Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 8 PCChallenge

    Oh yeah... I received my Makin's extruder in the mail. It only took me nearly a week to actually sit down and play with it.  But when I did- I actually used the results to cover my Exacto knife and a cute little pendant. Here's the results. Nothing to sneeze at but I will be using the extruder- that's for sure.

     So let me start by saying the whole thing about extruders is very fascinating. I mean the technique that really sold me is the "retro dot" look. I won't say my pieces look anything like some of the amazing stuff I've seen using that look- fabulous canes. If you Google "retro cane", you will see better examples and a glimpse of the logistics behind it.  Mind blowing really... or maybe that's just me?  Anyhow- in hindsight, the colors I had on my desk lacked the contrast it needed and so just being the family of blues, it's not the best use of the technique, but it was fun and really, who gets it right on the first try?  Here's a photo to show you a snippet of the process- I didn't take any pics after I extruded, because I cut into them and then my head exploded with giddiness. I can't explain it.

     To simplify- you roll your sheets of clay, cut them out with a cutter, stack them in various patterns or somewhat randomly... then pop it in your extruder and GO!   This was just the basic round extruder die. There are OTHERS, many others, shapes that go together like a puzzle to help you cane... There are also other extruders on the market, ones that run up into the hundreds! (But the quality is exceptional). Don't get me started on techniques, techniques galore. I chose the extruder I have based on the Polymer Clay Tutor's (check YouTube) review of the Makin's Professional Extruder and the Walnut Hollow brand. I chose the Makin's brand. Sure beat the heck out of my old school Kemper Tool plunger Extruder from 20 yrs ago that I don't think I ever used because I didn't quite understand what the hell I was doing. (technically I still don't) but I do understand maintenance and cleaning, which goes a loooooong way to keeping your Muse happy because your tools stay working.  
     One last note on the little pendant. I used the Blank Slate porcelain pendant base (from Hobby Lobby) covered that with clay (used a little TLS). I then attempted to use my medium ball tool to make the slices "cupped". In reality my clay was too mushy and it wanted to stick to everything.  I should have let it firm up a bit.  Anyhow- I applied the mangled, slightly cupped slices and then textured it a bit. After I baked it I added a few drops UV resin to a few of the spots, as well as a few silver seed beads for interest. 

     Anyhow- that was my week. I actually have several other projects on the bench for some swaps at my favorite Yahoo Group Art Charms. But they will not be posted until they are mailed off.  I'm just excited my Xacto knife cannot be kyped by hubby anymore, it will be tooooo obvious which one is mine.  *smile*  *wink*

Happy Weekend!!! We are getting sunshine and 50° on Saturday (ducking and running)  Bah ha ha ha!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 7 Polymer Clay Challenge

     I had several thinks in the works... the covered pen I made turned out horrible, at least it won't disappear from the table in my entryway. HA! So I moved on...

   I attempted to make the latest canine figure from Kater's Acres tutorials.  Well- I tried to make my dog.  The likeness promptly went out the window the further I went. I won't give up on this one- it was too fun to not attempt another. I then tried to *age* him by adding paint. HA! Again- it's my first attempt in MANY years at this kind of thing. I hesitate to share, he's not the quality or craftsmanship I would prefer. It's all about marking progress.  I did use Souffle on him and will say it's an okay clay for this kind of thing.  Here he is...

yeah... weekend... *sigh*

Friday, February 13, 2015

Week 6 Polymer Clay Challenge

So it's week 6 and I'm still gettin' it done.  This weeks project is using the Holo Effect tutorial from The Blue Bottle Tree.  Pure awesomeness.   I've just licked the tip of the iceberg here. I have several of her tutorials. All good- excellent photos and step by step process.  Yes I'm still missing my battery charger. Yes it's still gray outside... mostly.

     Here's another project I am working on. The tutorials at Kater's Acres are just plain fun. If you subscribe to the club you can participate in the member challenge using January and February's tutorials.  This is Guillaume. I made him using one of Katie's tutorials. He was a lot of fun to make. 

     Then for a bit of a change here are a few of my photos I took when I went over to Vashon Island earlier this week with a few friends. Strangely there were a lot of sheep farms all over the place... I guess that's not strange. But quite a few. I didn't take pictures of the sheep but I did take photos of the beautiful lighthouse at Pt. Robinson Park. The driftwood was so awesome. You could tell someone had fun building driftwood forts. Vashon is interesting to say the least. Definitely would go back without a doubt. I can't believe I haven't been in the nearly 10 years I've lived in Washington.  The park at the lighthouse is at is absolutely gorgeous. 

     Yes- these photos were taken on my phone and filtered up on Instagram. I'm addicted. 

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Week 5 - 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge

 So I still have a stash of old clay... I mean oooooold clay. Like 10 years if not more. It's Sculpey III too.  (insert tsk tsk)  Yes- crap clay from years ago. Hey- when you don't know any better... meh. I also have 10 year old Kato clay that is crumbly as a cracker. My goal is to use it as much as possible.   So anyhow- I had some Sculpey III translucent and figured what the heck have I got to lose? Um... NOTHING!!! NADA! ZIP! GOOSE EGG!   So I added some alcohol inks and blended them, then proceeded to make a chrysanthemum cane. Aside from a yucky brown color which was I think 'Raisin'... it's okay. The pink is too bright and combined with the green, it looks too Christmas-y and I'm so over Christmas.  But it was fun and now I have one less block of Sculpey III.
 Here's the one photo...

Yeah... still taking photos with my phone... Ugh...  My battery charger for our camera is officially MIA...  *frowny face*   Haven't seen it since September. Might be in the lost and found somewhere in Vancouver Canada...   You know the stinker of the situation? the second I order a new one- it will show up. I just know it.  *sigh* 

Happy February!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pavelka Project - January Challenge

So... I'm not only doing the 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge, but I'm also participating in  the Pavelka Project over at Kater's Acres.
  January's  challenge was the "Suspended Crystal" pendant as well as the Valentine's Themed Carmex Topper.

    I made several versions of the suspended crystal pendant, but oddly still ended up submitting the first one I did. Meh... I did it- but it's not my favorite one. But I did it!

 The Valentine's themed Carmex Topper though- was my absolute favorite!!! It was totally last minute. I was thinking I would have to forfeit.  But I had recently been inspired by little vintage campers and it totally morphed into the topper.   Slightly more dimensional than my first version of campers (previous post). I'm definitely not done with campers yet. :D

 First up is the Suspended Crystal Pendant...

Secondly we have the Valentine's Themed Carmex topper. A peek at the process...

Here's the actual topper...

Yeah... I really need to find the battery charger for my real camera. That and it needs to stop being gray or night outside when I am actually ready to take photos... HA! Oh yeah... I'm in Washington!