Monday, December 31, 2012

Extruded Polymer Snowflake Tutorial

Polyform, the manufacturer of my favorite polymer clay: Premo Sculpey, hosts a "Make It Your Own" challenge each month. This month the inspiration piece was an extruded snowflake by Phoebe Doehring. You can view her project instructions here:

I thought I'd share a quick look at how I adapted the project for my ornament (shown above). I started with the snowflake pattern but instead of circles and curves, I adapted the center to have more of a Pennsylvania Dutch floral pattern.

To create the snowflake, I placed the adapted pattern sheets under a piece of glass from an old picture frame, just like in Phoebe's instructions. I started with extruded strings like she did, but I used a much finer rope of White Transluscent Premo mixed with Premo's Frost White Glitter clay. Because I planned on placing my snowflake on a background, I didn't have to worry about the thickness. I also used my tiny Kemper flower cutter to add delicate accents and cutout shapes.

Once I filled in all of the lines with my extruded clay, I baked the whole thing on the glass sheet for 10 minutes at 270 degrees. I took it out of the oven immediately and used my cutting blade to lift it off the glass and onto an unbaked circle of Premo Blue Granite clay that I had shaped over a glass bowl. I pre-coated the blue circle with liquid polymer to get a good seal before layering the still-warm snowflake on top. Because the extruded snowflake had just come out of the oven, I could gently shape it to the curve of the base.

I baked the piece again for 30 minutes at 270 to cure the snowflake onto its new base. Next time I'd like to transfer the extruded snowflake onto a polymer-covered glass ball ornament. Wouldn't that be pretty?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stories in Polymer

"Sled Fled" by Beckie of Aurora Clay Works
Madonna and child by Line of Play Sculpt Live

The arrival of two ornaments from my polymer guild's ornament exchange has been a bright spot in a sad week. These beauties were created by members of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy

I love how both Beckie of Aurora Clay Works and Line of Play Sculpt Live can tell intricate stories through polymer.

Beckie, a proud Alaskan, perfectly captured the moment when two young rascals jump onto an unattended dog sled and take off in this highly detailed work. Line's piece, in contrast, uses a few subtle brush-like strokes to depict the tender embrace of the Mother and Child.  Lovely works! Thank you, ladies!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Pumpkin

We said goodbye to our Pumpkin today.

He was almost 18 and had been in bad health, but we will miss him dearly. This was a picture of him a year ago enjoying one of his favorite activities: drinking dripping water from the faucet.

We adopted him 13 years ago from the Clearfield County SPCA along with his sister, Princess. Pumpkin was reaching out through the bars, meowing, and putting on quite the show in his effort to be adopted. Princess was hiding in the corner. They were a package deal so we agreed to take them both. Once home, Princess, came out of her shell and she is helping us through this painful time, along with Lucy, Benjamin, Emily, and Tucker.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 days till Christmas

Counting Down: 5 Days!

Dashing Dachshund Ornament

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 days till Christmas

Sexy Siamese
We are on the countdown to Christmas. 6 more days!!!

My talkative Siamese Emily was the model for this ornament that sits front and center on my tree. She is always striking a pose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ornament Swap

This lovely beauty arrived at my house yesterday--my reward for participating in the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's Ornament Swap. I made three ornaments and sent them out, and now three ornaments should be finding their way to me.

This one, created by Jackie of ThePleasantPheasant is the first to arrive. It is stunning! The color is a gorgeous rosey-pink and the finishing is simply flawless. And there is a hidden "M" just for me! Thank you, Jackie!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Handcrafted Switchplate Sale

Closeout Sale

I'm streamlining my inventory to get ready for some new designs in 2013. That means select light switchplates are on sale for only $8 each. 

If you order this week, you could still get one in time for Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Death by Idea

Ideas are fabulous, but they are also hazardous to your health.

Unorganized, unfulfilled ideas are a great source of stress for me. Sometimes my head gets so full that one more random thought that hits at 3 in the morning may as well be a sniper shot to the head.

I told you before that I'm a "notebook" girl--a notebook girl who likes to make lists. It is the only way that I feign sanity. But now my notebooks are running amok and have threatened my husband's sanity.  As my brain overflows, I drain the excess thoughts into a notebook. I have a notebook to capture each topic.

I keep them in an "orderly" stack on the coffee table until my cats jump up and knock over the stack. So honestly most days they are strewn around in a hot mess. What can I say, my surroundings reflect my emotional state.

Clean house = calm mind.
Chaotic house = chaotic mind.

So technology to the rescue. At least a for a test phase.

I "inherited" an iPad when my husband upgraded. I've adopted it as a high-tech notebook. Right now, I'm using the standard Notes app to keep lists on different topic areas -- one for blog ideas, one for my guild's challenge themes, and a couple for different product ideas.

Sure I could have been doing this on my laptop, but typing on a laptop feels too much like I'm at work. Ideas don't flow well in that type of environment. The iPad feels like my notebooks. Plus it is really easy to take it with me.

So if anybody has any tips on cool productivity or creative apps that I may want to check out. Let me know.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

painting polymer with alcohol inks

Here's another ornament that evolved from my star ornament debacle. It is based on my cat Lucy. I painted her black patches with alcohol inks. I like the translucent, glowing finish better than a solid acrylic paint. The other colors come from the polymer.


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