Friday, July 29, 2011

My First Artfire Collection!

On both Etsy and Artfire, members can create lists (usually following a theme) of their favorite items to share with others.  On Etsy, these are called Treasuries and on Artfire they are called Collections.  While I have done quite a few Etsy Treasuries in the past, this is my first Artfire Collection!

There's nothing like a cold, creamy ice cream on a hot summer's day.  Since I can't really share the real thing with you here, I thought I'd share some fun stuff I found on Artfire this week.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I've Been Working On...

...obviously not my blog.  :)

I didn't have time to post a recipe or a tutorial this week but I did take a few minutes to photograph the beads I have been working on for the last week or so.

These aren't done.  I have sanded some of them and plan on buffing all of them.  The ones that haven't been sanded won't look much different from how they look here- just a little smoother- a nicer texture I think.
These first four are made from canes with translucent backgrounds. It's amazing how different the various brands of trans clay look when they are done. The cores of all of these are white so the yellowish color is just the trans clay. I kind of like the way the yellowish trans makes the beads sort of antiquey.

These ones were made with Fimo.

These are Kato trans and Fimo colors.

These are made of Kato.

These are all Fimo.

I made the cane for this last one many years ago when I was just starting.  I saw a picture of an extruded cane (not knowing how they did it) and decided to try the design on my own.  This cane was the result.  It's hard to tell but there is a little orange in there with the brown and black.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tutorial: How to Add a Charm to a Clay Pen

 This is the third tutorial in a series showing how to make a polymer clay charm pen.  The first shows how to cover a pen in clay and can be found here.  The second covers sanding and buffing/glazing and can be found here.

So this week it's adding the charm to a clay-covered pen.  Let's get started.

1 clay-covered pen, cured, sanded, and buffed or glazed
2-3 charms- clay or otherwise
1 headpin
5 or more jump rings big enough to fit onto the charms

Hand drill with a small bit (mine is about 2/32" I think)
Round-nose pliers
Flat-nose jewelry pliers
Wire cutter

Step 1: Putting the loop on the end of the pen.
Drill a hole in the end of the pen with the hand drill.

Drop a headpin into the other end of the pen, head last.  If your hole is too big and the head can go through, bend the end of the pin over so it can't go through the hole.

It will look like this:

 Make a loop with your round nose pliers...

... and trim off the excess with your cutters.

Step 2: Preparing the charms.
Open a jump ring.  Make sure you use a twisting motion rather than just pulling it open, otherwise you will weaken the ring.

Add the charm.  These are just a couple of slices from the same cane I used on the pen.  I just baked them between two layers of glass to make them shiny so I wouldn't have to sand/buff/glaze.

Close that ring and add another one to it.
Now add three rings to your other charm.  (Don't want them to hang at the same level.)

Step 3:  Attaching the charms.
Open up the top ring on each charm (if you closed them before) and attach them to the loop on the end of the pen. (Photo only shows one ring on the charm- I added another one later.)

 All done!

Step 4: Finishing
Now use your round-nose pliers to put the ink barrel back in the pen.  DO NOT push on the metal tip of the pen as this could cause it to not work, or worse, leak ink all over.
 Finished pen!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I've been working on... 4th of July Weekend

Once again, my blog is getting neglected.  I promise you will get a recipe and a tutorial next week.  For now, see photos of the craft fair I did last weekend...

Oh, my, gosh!  It was a busy weekend.  On Friday, I went and set up my fixtures for my booth at the park in preparation for the craft fair on Saturday.  Then ran home and got everyone ready to go to my Grandma's wedding (yes- grandma, she's 80-something, in a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home, and just got married) an hour away. 

Rodney and Grandma!
Rodney's a great guy and I'm very happy for them both!

So we got home from that about 11:00 pm and went straight to bed.

Saturday morning, we had to be up at 6:00 to get to the craft fair and finish setting everything up.  My canopy is new and I don't have wall for it yet but I hoped the booths on three sides of me would help shade things.  No such luck.  There was only another booth on one side of me.  The other two were no-shows.  I had to put up the blue half-wall that came with my canopy so the breeze couldn't blow over some of my lighter stuff.  (Next step: canopy walls- white)  That also kept the sun from making all of my creations soft and saggy.

My "artwork" table.  That blue tarp made the booth quite dark...

Holiday clay, paper dolls, and stuff made by my mom and my kids.

My flower pendants and my daughters' yarn dolls.

The entire booth- you can see clear over to the next aisle.
 At 6:00 we packed up and went over to the local golf course where they were having a huge street fair/show thing.  Anyway, at 7:00 the symphony from the local college played and we (me, hubby, our six kids, my parents, hubby's parents, hubby's brother (and his wife and son), my sister, her boyfriend, and a stray nephew) sang along with the songs we knew, ate junk food (including funnel cakes and parmesan corn on the cob), played with the kids and just generally hung out until it was time for Glen Beck to go on stage.  There were thousands of people there.  I know that's probably not very impressive to most people but in a town where the entire population is around 1,500...   Well, you see my point.  Wait, I have video:

(The three kids getting in the way were my nephew, AJ, and my two oldest daughters, Kjeri and Emmy.)

So, after Glen Beck was the fireworks show and it was AWESOME!  Needless to say, it was another late night.

Sunday we went to church and then over to my BIL's for a barbecue and cards.  We weren't real late but I had to get up early again on the 4th for the last day of the craft fair.  (We don't do business on Sunday, so my booth just stayed empty that day.)

So early Monday morning found us out in the park setting up my booth again.  (That is, after the scout breakfast.)  However, before I could start selling, I had to go advertise our other business in the parade.  Yep, we had a float in the city parade.  Okay, so it was my father-in-law's truck with banners on each side and our family (minus Kjeri, who was watching the booth) dressed in green t-shirts with goofy headgear.  It was fun anyway, and lots of people liked our "hand hats." 
"When's the parade going to start, Mom?"
Then, we went back to the craft fair and I hung out there all day with my two oldest daughters while everyone else went to Uncle Tony's house.  The wind blew all day.  By 3:00, I was fed up with fetching things off the ground and packed up and went to Tony's house as well, where everyone celebrated the real 4th by having leftover barbecue, playing more cards, water fighting, and lighting our own fireworks.  Once again, it was a late night but we all got to sleep in the next day.

And that was our 4th of July weekend...

I think I'll go take a nap now.