Saturday, April 27, 2013

Duo-tone Antiquing

Duo-tone antiquing is something that I just happened on when I decided to renovate some earrings that I wasn't to pleased with.

Some of the earrings were antiqued with just black and that went fairly well.  Some I antiqued using other colours and they really didn't turn my crank, so I antiqued them again with black and found that there was a subtle difference between them and the earrings that were just done with black.

The earrings were made using my Teapot Tempest texture sheet.

If you just let the paint dry between layers but don't rub most of it off with each layer you get the kind of antiquing that you see in the right hand pictures of the Buddhas and the flowers.

I will play around with this technique more in the future.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boxes - Just for the Record

I just finish a batch of ladybug boxes that I am quite pleased with. I wanted to make a record of the arrangement of flowers and leaves. I  
enjoy drawing pictures of what I have done, but that is and indulgence, taking more time than I can allot for the task. So, I love my cell phone. Not the best picture but the ones that most likely to be taken.

The best camera is the one in your hand when you need it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bails, Buttons, and Beads

I promised some ideas about what to do with tubes. I am sure there are lots of other ideas out there but here are a few that I have come up with.

I will have to go a little lightly beads. I sometime use slices of tubes as spacers and you can make long beads but I am leave that to your imagination for the moment.

Button backs
 Slices of tubes make great loops for the backs of buttons. This buttons should be sewn on with yarn. I worry that polyester might cut through that clay eventually. Since most people buy these buttons for hand knit items, the  buttons are rarely fasted with thread. I have been making buttons this way for years and there has been no problem yet.

Now we get down to the really meat of this post. That is bails. Slices of tubes make great bails. I really like to use clay as much as possible and while metal bails look classy, polymer clay bails do have a certain humble charm.

This is not really a tutorial so no hand holding or bum wiping here, just a few suggestions.

Here are the three ways I use tube slices and bails.

A.) The bail at the back of the pendant.
The slice of tube is tucked into the back of a precooked disk and held in place with a layer of raw clay that gives that back of the pendant a finished look. Liquid polymer clay is painted on the cooked clay to make the uncooked clay stick better. (I use LPC for this when ever I have to stick raw clay to cooked.)  I often drape a slice of cane over the tube slice but it is not necessary - just looks neat.
This is my favourite type of bail.

B.)The bail at the top of the pendant.
For this one I will sometime cut the top of the precooked disk of to make it fit the tube. If your bead is square this is not necessary.  This time I have drapes a large slice of clay over the tube. If the slice blocks the tube it can simply be drilled out after the pendant is recooked.

C. Filled and drilled bail on top.
 For this one I have used a large tube with a piece removed so it will clamp on to the top of the precooked disk of a pendant. Some times fill the tube with raw clay so I can centre the hole . I make a guide hole with a needle and then drill it to my cord size after it has been recooked.

I have included my notes that might give you a better idea of what I am talking about. I have used 1,2,3 instead of ABC but I ma sure you get the idea.

That enough blogging. Production and relaxation beckon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Rest of the Herd Out of the Box

The last of the herd makes a bit for freedom.
   As much as I enjoyed making these horses, it is time they moved along. I thing that it the end of these mustangs but if I find a stray I will round it up and send it to the Etsy corral. it                                                                                                

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Extruder Free Tubes

Don't get me wrong. I love extruders but I still make tubes this way to use as bails or bead components. This is simple but there might be one or two of you out there that doesn't know about it. So here we go:

1. Roll out some clay to a middle to thin setting, depending on how thick you want the walls of your tube. The clay should be soft enough to stick together but firm enough that you can control it. Cut a strip about a 1/4 of an inch or 1/2 a centimeter

2. Choose a straight metal rod as a mandrel. ( A metal knitting needle is good for this.) I usually rub a little Armoral on the metal to prevent sticking. Make sure that the Aromral is dry before going to step 3.

3. Wind the strip of clay around the mandril. Do not overlap too much. Ideally the clay should just butt up to the coil ahead of it.

4. Roll the clay and rod between your hands to bond the clay together.

5.  Roll the clay and roll on a smooth surface to further bond the clay.

6. Use a piece of Plexiglas or another hard surface to smooth the outside of the tube.

7. Cook the clay and mandrels as you would normally. Remove the clay from the mandrels when they are still hot from the oven. I hold the clay with a dish cloth and pull the mandrel out with a pair of pliers.

And what do you do with these things? I hope to have a couple of suggestions next week.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dragon not Gone

Visit Dragon and Friends
I just realized that not listed dragon stamps after I got a new batch. If you are interested in stamps take a look at my stamp collection. There are a bunch of new ones and one more big one to come soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Day Okay

My first day at Granville, a good experience.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Left Hand Back

A couple of weeks ago I got a little brace for my arthritic left hand. My hand has been bothering me for the last two years. It was diagnosed a year ago but that was as far as it went. I tried to find a store bought brace that worked. No success. Finally I went to a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in hands. Success!  The therapist know just what I was up against. The problem with the base of the thumb is the most common. ( I am nothing special.) The therapist made me a brace on the spot and it has made an amazing difference. If you have a hand problem like mine, and I know that other craft people do, go to a hand specialist ASP. I looked and hand braces on the net and there are none like mine. You need an expert. That does not mean that I am not going to try to make a brace out of polymer clay. I will post when I get a round to that one.

Starting tomorrow I am suppose to be starting at Granville Island Market as a day vendor.  The hours are long, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. We will see if I survive to blog the next little while. 
The green pea? I just added it for interest.