Archive for the ‘Polymer Beads’ Category

Bead Tutorial

March 20, 2011

I made a set of beads a couple of years ago and loved the way they turned out. Of course I did not take notes so I do not remember exactly how I did them. This tutorial will show the importance of taking notes while making something so you can remember exactly what in the heck it was you did in the first place when you go to recreate the piece or style later.

I started by using some pink scrap clay to figure out the settings on the pasta machine that were used. I tried different settings until I found the one I thought was used.

2×2 was the first one I tried I could tell even before finishing the bead this was too thick so I tried another thinner one.

2×3 this time still not right so I went thinner.

3×3 closer but I could tell I needed to go a little thinner so off I went.

3×4 could be it but I wanted to try one more and see what it looked like.

This was it! I think ;0. You will need your black layer rolled on a 4 and your colors on a 5 setting. Now I know the settings time to prepare the sheets.

You want to find some coordinating colors and make sheets of clay using a lot of pearlex powders. Use what you think will be good and then go and add more because I did not do this step and ended up with beads again that were not exactly what I wanted because I did not add enough pearlex.

Start by taking a section of all of your sheets and cut them with your blade this way. I cut many at one time since it is easier than using your exacto to cut each square individually.

Using your knife cut the other way so you end up with a bunch of little squares with all of your sheets.

Start applying your little squares to a base bead ( I used black) until you cover the entire bead with the different colors in a pattern that appeals you.

Once you smooth the bead by rolling in your hands until you get all the connection areas smoothed out you have a cool bead. Notice the one to the top of the screen with white in it? I did not like the way the white looked so I omitted it in the final beads.

This finish works well on any surface you just need to make sure you can smooth out whatever you are working on. This is a letter opener I made for work since my metal one always seems to go missing. No way that can happen now to me :).

When you are creating something that is not from a tutorial please take the time to keep detailed notes on what you do, settings on the machine and any other finishing or steps you do. This will save a lot of time later on when you try to recreate the item because you loved it so much. Although this was not as pearly as I wanted I am happy with the results. Beads are in the tumbler now so no pics yet but I will show the finished piece in a later post!


Ugly Cane Makes a Cute Flower

March 13, 2011

Is this my best flower cane? No but I was finally able to sit at the clay table and I will take what I can get lol. Spring is almost here and I felt like making a flower cane. So when I was finally able to sit at my claytable I opened the drawer where I store my conditioned Kato and I found this cane that was a mistake I made while working on a color exercise from the Color Inspirations book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

Instead of making a new flower I decided to use what I had to make a new flower. I have learned in the past that a cane that you may not like by itself takes on new life when combined or reduced in a new way. So I started reducing and combining and came up with this.

Add a little silver fill in and viola you get a sexy flower cane.

Once reduced I was able to make some beads, a new ring ball for my interchangeable ring, and some Pandora style beads.

The only setback was the time it took to put the individual cane slices on the beads. Then I remembered that if I cut them and left them the way they were it was easier to apply on the bead then if I had laid them out on the table.

One of the other things I was surprised at was how little cane waste I had.

Once I have more time to sit and play I really think I will be happy with the decision to move to Kato Clay. I love the way it works and with the clay softener and the food processor it is so easy to condition the clay now. I wish I  would have made this decision a long time ago.

Even though you may not have a lot of time to devote to your art it is so nice to sit down at the clay table and create even if it is using up old canes that you have messed up on. From an ugly cane you can get a beautiful flower if you have the time and patience!

Get up and go clay!

Project 365 App Drawing

February 15, 2011


Happy Valentines Day!

The heart has special meaning to it and today is the day of all the days in the year for hearts. This heart has a special story and I thought today was the day to share it with you.

This was my attempt at a take on the water-color technique by Maggie Maggio. As I recal I cold not find the place I had saved the tutorial so I winged it and made sheets in blue which is my favorite color. This was the end result one blue bead.

This is my favorite bead ever made.  Well not this one of course when taking pictures I could not find my favorite one, just know that it looks way better than this one lol. I only have a few beads left because I made it into a necklace for a gift for a special friend. I of  have no picture of it to show you and one of the things on my to do list is to start taking more pictures. I loved it but forgot to write down what I did to get that sexy bead and when I went to recreate it in pink I just was not happy with the results.

Are we ever?

I did end up with a lovely bracelet! And I wanted to make a heart. I started by making a ball which I kept reshaping and reshaping to get a heart. I must have spent a half hour on this never being happy with the results.  Hubby came into the room to ask a question and I ask him if he thinks he could make a heart for me. He took the clay and within a few minutes (with me the entire time sitting there my mouth open) asks me if that is a good heart?

I told him I was so baking it as it was and not touching it. I was never going to sell it or give it to anyone. I said it was my heart made with his hands and I was never parting with it. It brings a smile to my face when I wear it which as a designer is all you could ever want an emotional attraction to a piece of art made by you. This time I got a little help.

If you recall I am announcing the winners of the Project 365 app today as my way of sharing the love. Here is the original post.

 I guess no one wanted to pay for the app and wait to be reimbursed because no one signed up. SAD FACE After contacting the artist I was given 5 promo codes to download the app for free. So the first 5 people who comment on this post will receive a code that will allow you to download the app for free. It is up and working again here is my snapshot of January so far.

Some wonderful memories there already in the month. On the first those are stop signs that you can barely see with all the snow. My son on the 3rd throwing panty hose filled with ice melt to hopefully melt the snow. The morning of the 4th we both agreed it looked like a teenage prank with all the black hose on the roof. On the 7th 2 of my managers trying to walk across a very icy parking lot I kept telling them that the first one who fell was defiantly going to be my picture of the day neither one of them fell thank god. The 10th my first car scratch and it is a bad one, the 11th was all about the news of Egypt and Mubarak stepping down. On the 13th my son keeps trying out wrestling moves on me so he jumps on top of me while I am in bed I make him freeze while I take the picture the whole time he is asking me “Is this your picture of the day? I will show you picture of the day!” 

It’s a really cool app first 5 that comment on this post get it free!

You know It’s a lost cause when…….

November 5, 2010

As you know if you follow the blog I am a proud member of City O Clay. This week the conversation got turned to lost causes and how our art can contribute to them and provide humor and head shaking moments with our loved ones. It is a sickness and I am not the only one who suffers look at all the cooks out there!


1. You buy your toiletries for the lid and the clay molds you can make.

2. Your hubby walks into the lounge saying ‘before I throw this away, can’t you cover it?” (In one hand is a newly opened can of baked beans, and the lid in the other).

3. You buy your soda cans according to the size of your wrist. (Kay)

4. You buy broken or dirty objects at garage sales as they have interesting surface textureing. (Jan)

5. You have a list of ten things to do, and the only thing you do is play with clay.

6. You sacrifice your expensive make-up brushes so you can use them to paint clay. (Mozelle)

7. You own five pasta machines, and not a single one was ever used to make edible pasta. (Debbie G)

8. You look at the spices in the cupboard to see what would be fun to mix with clay.

9. Your 1 1/2 year old nephew knows what buttons to push to start your tumbler. (Ashley)

10. You can’t eat mints quick enough, so have to keep them in a zip-lock back so you can cover the tin with clay.

11. You buy coffee in cans so you can use them to make fairy houses. (Christen)

12. Everyone who knows you is looking at bottles and the bottoms of them, to see what can be made from them. (Glitz)

13. You and your family save any sort of packaging (meat trays, muffin boxes etc) because they have ‘cool texture’ on them.

14. You don’t want to do anything on Saturday night as there is a live clay demo on-line.

15. You started your own company because you couldn’t get good supplies anywhere else. (Valerie)

16. You have to make sure to have a plastic bag (preferably more than one) with you, because you never know what you might find whenever you leave the house!

17 Ever your sister-in-law she, on trips to the mountains, drags all sorts of rocks, pinecones, acorns etc along because she knows you’ll love them and can always use them. She will even jump up from the table to get moss from underneath the trees. I have collected 5 bags full!

18. Your ? tries to throw pieces of wood away without you seeing, because otherwise it’ll go back home again from the dump.

19. You cut the hair off your dog’s tail because it’s needed for a sculpt.

20. Your closet is stuffed so full with little found things, from butterfly wings and cicada husks to sorted bags of hair, packing material, and store-bought items that the door won’t close it’s ‘open at your own peril.” (Astrid)

21. You cook a turkey carcass for the bones instead of the broth, just so you can see what kind of molds you can make from the bones.

22. You get caught squatting behind the car, sticking clay into the tyre treads

23. You ask for discount when you only want the tin, but not the Altoids.

24. You try to explain why a blown out lightbulb is more exciting than one that can serve it’s real purpose.

25. You ask your friends and family to save their toilet paper cones for you, so you can make napkin rings.

26. Your husband is not allowed near the trash can.

27. You can’t figure out what to say when someone asks you why you have a coffee can full of pistachio nut shells labelled ‘someday’

28. You bump into someone in the parking lot while your eyes are hovering the ground for bottle caps, rocks with texture and broken parts of anything.

29. You know EXACTLY where all your clay stuff is, but can’t always locate the stove in the kitchen.

30. You’re hollering “I can’t believe you threw it away” with your head buried in the garbage can, as the dog-walking neighbour strolls by.

31. Your kid says he can’t find some of his marbles, and you can’t look him in the eye, because you don’t want to admit that they now reside inside your miniature dolls heads.

32. You purchase the ugliest blouse in the thrift store just because the lace has the exact pattern you need for that clay dolls skirt.

33. You stop dead in your tracks, bend over to pick up a piece of bark, and fart in the face of the person behind. (luny)

34. You pull a few hairs from the dog as it passes by, because you need some to use as whiskers.

35. You want to marry so you can see what your husband keeps in his tool shed. (Adele)

36. You see family members lounging on the couch and you attempt to throw clay under their bums to warm it up.

37. Your family uses your tools instead of theirS, because yours are cooler, and can be found because you put them back where they belong (Julie S)

38. You use your food processor for clay instead of food.

39. You see the guys in Home Depot running the other way when they see you coming down their aisle.

Have fun reading and if you see yourself or family members and friends please pass along that way they know they are not the only ones that have the sickness.

New Books

September 10, 2010

Super boring day at work one day last week and I always get myself into trouble when I have one of those.

I made some great book purchases and some bad jersey purchases.

Super boring day at work one day last week and I always get myself into trouble when I have one of those.

I made some great book purchases and some bad jersey purchases.

Finally I have the book Art & Fear for my personal library. I must tell you all if you do not have this book go and get it cuz it’s a good one.

My Local Library has a program where if it is in one of the adjoining libraries you just request it and when it shows up at the local one they shoot me an e-mail and I go pick it up. I recommend the try before you buy program because you just never know when you will buy a klunker. When I tried it last year I liked it so much that I paid over 4.00 in late fees because I just did not want to take it back. Stupid I know because I could have paid for the thing already but hey we all make bad choices every once in a while.

Other book purchases were Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindy Haunani and Maggie Maggio. I had heard from a lot of people that this was like a workbook in color and have wanted to try it since I spent my summer two years ago mixing colors…..well now is my chance. This one is going to Dallas with me.

I also purchased The Art of Jewelry Polymer Clay and Making Beautiful Beads these were to replace books that someone borrowed and just never gave back.

So that was my good part of the shopping spree.

The jersies I really do not want to talk about except to say that it involved me closing my bankcard and filing dispute papers.

Going to Dallas for some much needed F’s leaving hubby and son at home……..





I will check in with you guys when I get back and I am sure I will have some Dallas musings along with my clay mixing antics.

Enjoy your days and I can not wait to dig into my books and see what comes out of them!

Art & Design Collide

September 5, 2010

Pretty positive week for me. I tried to make my days :).

I wanted last week to give you a quick tut and so here it is with my drama of Art & Design colliding in a not so positive way.

At a recent swap I found out a cool way of using an o ring for a bail.

Can you see that those are wonderful clay creations with bleeping o rings!

I asked her how she did them and here are my black and white beads an unfinished project that just wont complete no matter what I do. I say it is the design gods telling me in a not so subtle way that this is not the project for these beads. Astrid thank you for the instructions on how you do it!

Take your baked and finished bead and drill a hole in it in two places where you want your o ring ends to be glued in. Make sure your bead is finished because you are now ready to assemble your piece once you put the o ring in. Photo note this is me trying to show the drilling step WHILE taking the picture I need more hands for good pictures.

Go to your local hardware store and find some o rings. I recommend you get various sizes because different pieces require different sizes. Start cutting your o rings.

When deciding on the o ring for your piece you also must consider that you can cut it in half or even three-quarters depending on the look of your finished piece. Take some super glue and place it in the hole stick your o ring ends in and voila.

These beads have special meaning to me and of course a story. If I try to tell it it’ll be a long one and you will fall asleep before I finish showing you how Art and Design collided for me this week. So I will say that I drew out on a piece of paper how I wanted the piece to lay. You can see it  in the picture it is the one on the very bottom if you look close. Looking good so far……….

Its looking good but as I am working I notice that if I move it too much it seems like the layers are getting tangled and not laying the way I want them to.  I am concerned at how I will store it when not wearing it….but keep building anyway. It has been forever since I have been able to sit down and create, most of my time lately if working on clay has been spent finishing the magazine article.

This is me arguing with my son because I need a shot from the neck down only focusing evenly on the necklace gone wrong. This is take three………….

This is the necklace gone bad! It just does not hang right. Not sure if it is the beads with the o rings, the lightness of the chain or the design but it aint working for me. I will take it apart and put it back in the drawer until I am inspired again by these beads. I do not know why they do not want to be made into a finished piece it seems like they have a mind of their own.

How many times have you had a vision of a finished piece only to have it not work out when you actually got to making said finished piece? What did you learn from it? Did it make you stronger? Or did it send you into a corner pulling your hair out and cussing?

I think we have to learn from an episode like this……however until I finish my piece I will never be able to tell you of what I learned. This makes me think of a topic in the book Art & Fear, where they were talking of the two different aspects of a finished piece. There is the buyer who sees the finished piece and forms their opinion, and the artist who can tell you of every twist and turn in the making of said finished piece. Two mindsets.

Once this one is done ……….the story will be a long one  but all mine because this one is mine and not for sale lol.

Final Facebook Post

June 7, 2010


The month of May has come to an end and so has the Facebook Focus part of the blog.  One of the things I wanted to do was to make you aware of how wonderful and positive an experience it can be.  However many of us are dragged into the games and we just click away wasting time.

Some days that can be what we need but unfortunately most  times it takes us away from other more productive things we could be doing.

Lets start by looking at the information gained from the poll that was posted.

Most of us joined so we could be closer to friends and family. We have been members for 6 months to a year.  An overwhelming majority have about 200 friends with at least 25 of them we have no idea who they are or how we found each other. My guess it is to be neighbors in some silly game. Over 80% of us play at least one game on Facebook and  100% have considered quitting it. Most of us spend 2 to 3 hours a day on the site.

I joined Facebook for marketing and to be closer with friends and family. I got dragged into Farmville and have taken a few friends with me. I have had fun at times playing Farmville. One of my fondest memories is going to a close friends house to play Farmville. The first time there were three of us on our laptops and we were joking and laughing while playing. Just getting set up was a riot trying to find enough electrical outlets so we all could plug-in was a group effort that had us laughing at ourselves and technology. With one story of an older person who was playing and kept storing her items in her barn without realizing what she was doing we were laughing so hard I literally almost pissed my pants.

Then there were the times when hubby would be in one room and shout out “Do you need cowbells? I just found an extra stash of them”. There were times that we would synchronize the trading in of valentines, gold, or eggs so the other could benefit. There were times when hubby would see something that was being offered by someone and remark that he did not have a chance to claim because so and so or someone else was online.  We laughed at times when things in life had us thinking that maybe we would not be able to find humor in anything. We had our son telling us more than once that we needed to get a life because of Farmville.

I have not been tending to the farm, or sending and claiming gifts because I have realized just how much time I wasted on that silly silly game. I do every once in a while use a farm hand to take care of all the animals, I guess it is nostalgia and me knowing that if I do delete the game I will not have a chance to experience these silly moments again. Some of them were fun but honestly most seem like another job which I do not need in my life right now.

So to my Farmville (or insert your favorite game here) friends I am not really playing anymore because I just have other things I would rather do with Facebook than waste my days on games.

If you too would like to quit being a slave to games just don’t click…..go for a walk, read a book, scream at your kids or hubby, take a nap. Do something you love instead of being a slave to a game that in the whole scheme of life does not matter.

GET AND STAY PRODUCTIVE!!! And remember how many clicks it takes to play your game and how you could be clicking for a more productive cause. I am gearing up for the next clay swap if you want to check it out come on by the Yahoo Group…….

City O Clay

Facebook Focus Month

May 8, 2010

I have decided to make Facebook be the focus of the blog for a month. There will be the latest swap pictures one week ( mail date is May 12th) but other than that you can expect ways to be productive and promote your art.

Recently someone asked how I get the blog links in my posts and I promised them the first post would be on how to do  that.

Honestly it is very easy to do first you write your blog post I use WordPress because I do not have a lot of experience and it just seems easy to me. I know there are a lot of widgets and tools that I could add to the blog and if any of you want to show me your favorite widget I would love to learn. Each time I try I seem to get lost for a couple of hours and not get much accomplished.

After you write your blog you need to log on to Facebook. I am showing this tutorial from my profile page.

Write what you want to in the text box

See that link box? Click on it and past the link from your webpage into the space.

All that is left to do is to click attach and share!

So that is it in a few quick and easy clicks.

Last night I though I found a way through Facebook to have it auto update from the blog to my profile but it seems after a couple of hours no success.  This is the hard way but it is just a few clicks and your facebook friends get to see what your up to!

 I post to the blog weekly and update various places including my Facebook page. Lets say you have your blog, and your updating places and one of those places is to your Facebook page but you do play a game or two in your free time and are worried that it does not look professional.

I mean do my fellow artists really want to know that I am hunting for the latest thingamajig to build the whatcha macallit?

What do you do then? Stop playing games? My friends you can create a business page and I will show you how to do that next week with just a few clicks!

How many times have you clicked today while playing a game? A few more for a productive reason will not do anything but send you in a positive direction.

To give some feedback about your facebook experience take this quiz it is only 9 quick quesitons and I really want to know what you do while your on facebook.
Click here to take survey