Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I love Christi Friesen, so when she talked about a product that would help to simulate metal on polymer clay AND give it a real patina look, I was very curious.  Then I saw some lovely pieces on Flickr by various artists who were working with it  (esp Randee aka ketztx4me), and I knew I just had to try it.   A quick visit to CF Originals and several anxious days waiting by the mailbox ... and I was ready to play.

I sprung for the whole kit, as it would be cheaper in the long run.  Look how much came packed in the box. There are 5 metal coatings, 3 patinas, a TON of dyes, application material and a sealer. If I had one complaint, I wish that the bottle of sealer was bigger.  I can see me going through sealer quickly.

My first tests were to see how the patinas reacted with various metal coatings.  I started with Brass, Copper and Bronze.  Silver and Iron will have to wait a while.  I made them in duplicate so they would make good earrings if I liked how they looked.  Learned an important lesson here which I will pass on to you.  If you want to make two pieces look the same - when you are ready for the final coat and patina, do both pieces at the same time. Otherwise the timing will be off and the intensity of the patina will not be the same.  (See if you can find which pair I learned this lesson on)


Some day I will figure out how to put two pictures side by side on blogger.  I am so excited about the possibilities and I haven't even tried the dyes yet!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Earrings week 8 - The Bear in the Woods

I can't believe that it is already eight weeks into the 52 earrings project.  It has certainly kept me active in my studio, so in that aspect it has already helped with that portion of my New Year's goal.

This week I did not go with Polymer.  The pieces I am experimenting with are not ready yet to be made into  earrings - hopefully next week.  I ordered the metal coatings, patinas and dyes from CF originals and have been having fun working with them.  More later....

We live in the Pacific Northwest where totems are a part of the rich cultural heritage of the native Americans and have been incorporated  into much of the art found in this part of the world.  Even the logos for some of the companies around here have totems in them.  My husband says that my totem would have been the bear. I find this hard to believe as I feel no affinity for the bear ( the mighty penguin however .... that is a bird that I greatly admire).  He insists that I am bear, the healer. So to appease,  my earrings this week were made especially for him

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 7/52 Earrings

What do ya know ... two blogs in the same day.

Last month I shared some beads I made using ArtyBecca's tutorial she had so generously posted on Flickr.  I put several together with some chain to make a necklace, but am not happy with its look, so will not inflict it on anyone till  it is reworked a bit.  I used the remaining beads for matching earrings.
  These particular beads have been duped Pumshell  ( a diminutive of Pumpkin and shell)

Also, since earrings are going to be a part of my posts every week, I thought I would work on ways to display them nicely. It was hard to decide which color, but in the end white won as I think most of my works will show up best against it.

Shake your Lizard Tail

At our guild meeting last week, we had one of my favorite program features.... a round robin.  Three different instructor have 20 minutes to present a mini program. We move from table to table to get all 3 in  a little more than an hour.  Sometimes they are hands on and sometimes  a demo, but always fun.

Joanne demo'd Lizard Tails a la Julie Picarello. She tried a new, to her, color combo that really turned out nice and I got to take home the demo!
And I Sanded it!!!!

So when I got a chance I tried it myself, using the scraps from my table.  It is not nearly as dramatic as Joanne's.  Not enough contrast... a learning experience. 

I had a lot of the base cane left.  Since I did not like it that much, rather than make several small ones, I formed it into one large pendant shape.
I am bigger than I look. 
Now I have to figure out how to hang it.  An excuse to visit the Blue Iris Bead Store for a bail, maybe?

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm featured on Polymeri!!!

When I got on the computer this morning and there was a message from the President of my Polymer Clay guild (Hi Patricia). She was letting us know that my little Be Mine Valentine heart earrings were one of those featured today on Iris Mishley's blog Polymeri.  Thank you Iris, what an honor. Polymeri is a beautiful blog - check it out at

(Update - I have finally completed converting my quilting room to polymer ... trying very hard to stay in just one room .... oh, it is so hard.)

PS.   I discovered the above link to Polymeri is not working.  Sorry about that. You can link to her blog from my favorite things list, at least that is working.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Be my Valentine Earrings Week 6

With Valentines day falling in week 6 of the 52 earring project, it was not hard at all to come up with the theme.

I started out the week working with translucent clay, so made a few translucent hearts. I tried adding a red glitter to the clay, and red ink to the clay.  The red washed out.  Not too bad, but didn't ring my chimes.

I then thought I might try for a faux ceramic heart look.  My thought was to make a kinda banner across the heart.  My first try, the banner is too thick for my liking. Back to the pasta machine... this one I like better. With the first heart I used Watermelon ink to color the LPC.  The color was not red enough without putting on several layers.  It lost it's ceramic look.  So the next time, I used Pepper Red ink thinking it would be darker. Surprising, it was lighter than the watermelon. I only used one layer of colored LPC to keep it more ceramic.
Used a waterproof pen to highlight the stamped letters.

These I liked enough to make into earrings. But I was on a roll and did not stop here.  I was not happy being unable to get a good red color using ink, so I thought I would try using the PanPastel Chalk red - it is really vibrant.

I made a basic heart shape and used a needle tool to outline the stamped letters to make the banner. I then colored the bead with chalks and baked.  After baking, I used LPC colored with black ink to antique.  With the first pair, I did not realize that I was making marks that would look like a strawberry when colored in.  Opps... so the second pair, when they come out of the oven, looked a bit like wood. To keep this theme, I antiqued with dark paint and used a satin sealer.
Shortcake anyone?

 I added a little bling to spark these up.

I am really enjoying this challenge. Coming up with a new idea every week AND blogging about it. Keeps my creative juices flowing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Earrings - Week #5

Several years ago, Seattle put in light rail between downtown and the Seatac airport.  I have driven past it a lot and wondered how well it would work for those clayers flying in for the Clayditaron cruise to Alaska this summer.  So on my day off this week, Lord Opuson and I caught it at the airport and road it downtown to the Westlake Center.

I was pleasantly surprised.  It was clean and not very crowded - not much more $ than the bus, but much faster.  There is not, however, much room for luggage. There are folded up seats for those with special needs, the area of which could work provided they did not need to be used by  people who might require them. The staging area for the Link is a ways from the airport terminal (to the north) so if you come in from the south end of the terminal, it would be quite a hike.  It would also be a bit of a walk from the Westlake Plaza to the hotel.  I suppose one could catch a cab at Westlake.  Not sure if it is the best idea, but if there is not a hotel shuttle available, it would be much cheaper than a cab and we all want to save a few $ for clay goodies on the cruise, don't we.

While at Westlake, of course I had to visit the great stores.  In one I found a great product that I wish I had thought of.  A metal necklace with interchangeable magnetic inserts!  It is made by a local company called Magnabilities.

They make them square like the one I bought or round, and a lot of inserts so you can always match what you are wearing.  Of course, I am wondering if I can figure out how to make my own inserts.

Just had to have this dragonfly.  I love the color, which is weird as I don't normally wear a lot of pink. When I got home, I thought I would make my week 5 earrings to match, but had no pink polymer beads. OK, I could have made pink beads, but I was heading into a weekend where I had to work at my J.O.B., soooo I decided to check my stash and see if I could  come up with a match.

These are what I put together.  They are actually a bit more orange than I would like, but they are shiney and I got several comments, including a day shift co-worker who wants to know if I sell earrings.  I thought everyone at work knew about my jewelry work ... looks like I have to work more to get the message out.

I did not feel like setting up the light box so took these on my window stile - scratches in the wood curtesy of the  Underfoot Clan