Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A chance to win a Julie Picarello pendant

Would you like to win a Julie Picarello pendant?

This is an invitation to attend the "Discussions from the Claypen" chat on Polymer Clay Central.

Date: Thursday Sept 29th

Time:  11:30 AM  Eastern Standard Time

All you have to do is show up and your name will be tossed in the hat!

Every thursday a gaggle of polymer clay artists get together to share our latest polymer clay projects and discuss what is going on in our lives. It has given us the opportunity to get to know each other and become friends. We would love to have you join us!! We also submit photos of our latest work and our wonderful moderator, Jackie, has kept an album of all the past entries.....page after page of beautiful art...  that alone is worth a visit.

Because most of us either have Julie Picarello's book "Patterns in Polymer, Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques" or have attended one of her classes this weeks project is to make a piece using her Imprint Mokume Gane technique.  When Jackie told Julie about the project Julie very generously donated an original pendant  and may even stop by, time permitting.  That's pretty iffy, but being an optimist I am keeping my fingers crossed.

And more good news.... Anyone who submits photos of their Julie P pieces get a 2nd chance to win... how cool is that?

Now if you can't attend chat you still have a chance to win by submitting a photo. If you want to submit  photos of your Julie P pieces leave a comment and I will tell you where to send the photos.... the dead line is wednesday evening.

I spent the weekend working on my entries... now that I have the hang of it I plan to make more today....  this is fun!!

Here is what I made so far.

more from the same mokume gane stack

Now I am off to mix more clay and make another "stack".  

Hope to see you thursday.....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Armadillo & More Old to New Canes

Get yourself a cup of coffee... or tea... sit back and relax, I have a lot of photos to show you.  I've reorganized my canes, weeded out the old ones I didn't like and made them into new one I do like... only had a couple duds that ended up in the scrap bag.  I think I''m pretty much done making new canes from old.... at least for now.

First I want to show you my Armadillo pin... at least I think he's an armadillo, he just kinda crawled out of the clay on his own.... looks more like an armadillo than any other critter.

Back side of pin, I used one of the pinbacks with a bail so he can be worn as a pin or pendant.

Now on to the New from old canes.

Most of the new canes are about an inch  to 1 1/2" long, I can usually get a dozen or so beads from each cane.  I'm gonna make beads tonight and then start on a special project tomorrow... I will tell you about that later, remind me, okay?

The 4 smaller canes are from ones similar to the one in the middle.  These are made differently than the ones I made in the tutorial.   To make the two canes at the top I reduced the center cane into a 4" log then ran it thought the pasta machine on the No 1 setting.  Cut the strip into 1 1/2" pieces and assembled the canes.  I did the same with the two at the bottom only I went a couple steps further, I sliced them across from corner to corner.... like in the tute..  then cut the triangle logs in half and put them together... clear as mud, right?

The small ones are all from the big one on the left.  Adding black and white is always a good thing to do. 

This is a group picture...

The two square canes are from the round one... I think that was one of my first attempts at a flower cane... not sure what kind of a flower I was aiming for.

The square cane is from the striped checkerboard cane. 

Oops... more from the round cane above. I usually make fairly small canes but I had lots of that one!

The two canes at the top are from the bigger one at the bottom.

These are all from my attempt at  garden butterfly cane.... makes me cringe just thinking about it, it was pretty pathetic... but I like these.    That bottom one makes really cool beads, I'll show you when I get them cured.

I do not remember what I was trying for with the original cane.... it must have been so bad I blocked it from my mind.  The background color is strange but it kinda grows on you.... at least that's what I keep telling myself.  I sent a set of these to a friend... you know who you are... we will see what her reaction is.   Hopefully they will make nice beads.

Made from odds and ends.... except for the first one in the 2nd row... I showed it to you above.... don't know how it snuck into this photo too.  My cat was helping me.

More odds and ends..... except for the bottom on the right, showed it before... cat still helping.

and more odds and ends, the two at the bottom were made from the same cane.  If you are dying to see the original canes most can be seen on my Flickr page under "Polymer Clay canes".

Okay, that's it for today... thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My BIG Mixed Media Pendant

This is a little funky and may not be everyones cup of tea but I like it.

First I made the center piece then decided to add wire.  Wire always has a mind of it own so I just go where it takes me.  I usually work with shiny wire but I have a few colors in a matte finish and the yellow matched well with the yellow in the cane I used.  I wove it over burgundy wire and added black seed beads. I was going to trim the wire  at the bottom but scrolled it instead and hammered it a bit.  Looks pretty good so I left it.

The top knot was made from the end piece of the cane and a piece of left over black clay that I rolled into a log and textured with the same design that is on the background of the center piece.  I then used 26 gauge wire to attach the top knot to the base and added the black agate beads.

So here is my BIG pendant.  Right now I have it strung on a gun metal chain but will probably switch to black rubber cord later on.

Click on the photos for a closer look.... click twice for an even closer look.

from a different  angle

I love that color of yellow....I have a top that color so  this is a keeper.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bowl of Beads & a Necklace

Last year I took part in a Coaster swap on Polymer Clay Central.  Here's a photo of the coasters.

I used the left over clay to make canes.  Here is the Bowl of Beads that I made with the canes.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Close up of beads.  I really like the way they turned out.

I  don't do much in  green, not sure why, I like green. I found a green cane in my stash and used it to make the pendant and beads, then added wire for the necklace.  I like it.

Another view of the necklace.  I like asymmetrical so I did a long bead on one side and a wired piece on the other.

I am working on a BIG pendant with another cane that I made from coaster left overs... it keeps growing and growing.... should be finished soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Polymer Clay Beads from Canes

First I wanted to tell you all that Michaels is having a big sale.  Clay is 99 cents and almost everything else is 50% off... well maybe not "almost everything" but goo gobs of things are 50% off. I of course had to buy clay although I already have enough clay to build a small house... I did manage to limit myself to white and black and cad. yellow... and maybe a few packs of  Premo "effect".  The scrapbooking card stock packs were 50% off too... I do not scrap book but I do love those purdy prints and I like to make my own greeting cards... have you seen what Hallmark charges for one measly card?  Now that I think of it, I needed that paper!  I only bought two tablets and I already used one sheet as a background for some of the photos on this very post (see below).  I also bought "Reflection's" brand brads (again 50% off) ,  3 rolls of ribbon, maybe I will make a wreath or use them on necklaces,  and 3 rubber stamps in the $1.00 bin.  Oh, and the main reason I went to Michaels, they were having a sale on the scrapbook storage containers and drawers which works for clay too.... I need sturdy drawers to store my clay although assembling those babies was no piece of cake, the directions said "assemble time: 15 minutes"  yeah right!!  Fortunately Heather is very handy for building things.  The sale lasts until the 17th so I may have to go back for more drawers, you can never have to many drawers.... right?

Okay now on to clay stuff.

   I went to my clay room with the intention of working on a butterfly pendant to go with my caterpillar necklace.

I first needed to clean my work area. I put scraps in the scarp bag, gather up the partially used packages of clay and put them away in the proper new drawers, put the tools back where they belong in the new scrap book caddy and started to add these canes to the 100's I have in containers.

I am so bad about making canes, putting them in containers thinking I will make something with them "later" and the poor canes just sit there.... sometimes for years!

So I decided to made another  "new cane from old cane" cane.  Which I did.

And then I went a step further and made beads! (See the new card stock background?)

That was fun ... I decided to do it again.

I got out this rather strange cane.

and made beads and a mirror image pendant.

Now I'm on a roll!  I got out one of my "quilt" canes. I started to make pillow beads. I like the look of pillow beads but I hate making them...made two and decided to switch to teardrops. way more fun plus I had one of those "lightbulb" ideas for a necklace.

That's it for now,  I am off to find matching beads and findings to make the necklace.  And to turn more canes into beads.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Polymer Clay Tutorial: New Canes from Old Canes

Okay here it is... I'm still not happy with the photos but they will have to do.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Step 1: First I  assembled a group of old canes.  The canes are 2" long.

Step 2: I  laid the corkscrew canes down lengthwise and cut them into quarters and sliced the striped cane from corner to corner.

Step 3: I then arranged the canes.  I decided to put stripes on both ends so got out another hunk of the striped cane and sliced it from corner to corner. 

Step 4: I then needed something to fill in the sides. I picked out a bullseye cane that matched the color of the orange flower.

Step 5: I sliced the bullseye cane in half lengthwise.

Step 6: I placed the halves on each side of the assembled came, curved sides in.

Step 7: I then squeezed the cane to remove the air pockets and began reducing it.

Step 8: I gently squeezed, rolled and pulled the cane to approximately  6"  I then trimmed the ends and cut the cane in half.

Here is how they look standing on end.

Step 9: I set half aside. Using my square acrylic rods I formed the other half into a square.  I did this by placing the cane between the rods and squeezing and making quarter turns until I formed a square log

Step 10. Once I was satisfied with the square I stood it on end and carefully sliced in half  from corner  to corner. I slice very slowly and follow the stripe lines to make as even of a cut as possible. 

This is pretty tricky, if you haven't done it before I highly recommend practicing on square logs of scrap clay. 

Step 11: I set one piece aside, laid the other down on the flat side and cut it in half.(I somehow missed taking a photo of this step, sorry)  I then carefully lined up the two triangles into a square.  Check the ends and try to keep the design the same on both ends.  After finishing the first I did the same with the other half.  

Step 12: I then reduced each cane to approximately 5" 

Step 13: Trim about 1/2" of each end. Cut the log into 1" pieces and assemble into a kaleidoscope canes.  

Step 14:  Remember the half I set aside in Step 8?  Here is what I did with the other half.  Instead of forming a square log I sliced 1/3 off of the round log. 

Step 15: I followed the stripe lines to make an even cut. Again I take my time and cut very slowly.

Step 16: I laid it down on the flat side and cut in half. 

Step 17:  I then put the two pieces together and formed an oval cane.  This can easily be made into a round or square cane but for now I like the oval. 

Step 18:  I cut the rest of the round half into two pieces 

Step 19: I laid them down flat like in step 16, and cut them in half and made these two canes.  They can be used as is or reduced, cut in 4th's and formed into kali canes. 

And there you have it, my version of making "new canes from old canes".  Hope you find it useful. 

A word of caution, if your old canes are dry or crumbly don't try to use them with more pliable canes, they won't reduce properly and will ruin the cane.  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Caterpillar Necklace & Mixed Media Fish

I had so much fun making this necklace..... It is one of those creations that grew on its own... I  had no idea what the finished piece would look like when I started, some of my best pieces just "happen".

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Took a while to figure out how to get this to hang properly.

Close up of long beads... they remind me of caterpillars... hence the name.

I originally planned to use the large tile at the bottom on another necklace, I tried it here and liked it so here it will stay.

It is a large necklace, the tile is 1 1/2" x 4" wide. It looks good on a solid colored top. I am pleased with the final result.

And here is my latest Polymer Clay and Wire, Mixed Media Critter.  I love this Fish!!

With most of my critter I make a wire frame and then add the polymer clay.  This time I made the fish body and then added the wire elements.

I also made new canes. I have been combining Premo with Kato Pearl to get the colors I want and then add a small amount of Pardo Art Clay , usually white, to firm the clay.  It's a bit difficult to get the Pardo to mix with the other clays, it has a tendency to flake and shred but do not give up, continue running though the pasta machine.... it takes 25 to 30 passes, but it is worth the effort.

I used the one in the lower left  to make the other four.  I know, strange colors and I may have over reduced a bit but I think they will make interesting beads.

I'm getting better at flower canes, the red one is not so great but I like the other two.  Packing the translucent is important with flower canes and I rushed on the red one.

The two square canes are made from the round cane.  I've made  similar  canes before only in different colors.

More from the same cane only round this time.

I was going for another flower cane with the top right but it looks more like a cross. I had scraps from the "cross" cane so I added yellow and made the other two round canes.  I reduced a piece of the larger square cane cut it in 4 pieces and made the smaller square cane.

The "Making new canes from old canes" is almost finished.  Yes indeedy, I should be posting it soon!!

Thanks for stopping by.