Posts Tagged ‘Tutorial’

Some Favorites

June 13, 2011

I made pens this week. I have never covered pens and honestly I do not know what I was thinking. They are so easy to do and look real nice. I have been using one of the ones I made all week-long at work. Each time that I forget and give the pen to my customer to sign paperwork, when I remember I cringe inside as I know if they seem like they like it a lot I will give it to them. I made a few so I guess as long as I do not use my favorite one all will be fine.

This week I thought I would give you some links to my favorite polymer clay sites for tutorials. There are so many blogs, and sites out there it is easy to get lost in them. Hopefully you will find some inspiration in these.

You will find me often talking about this group

This is where I hang my polymer hat in the virtual world. I host the polymer clay swaps that run every two months. It is a  group that is focused on learning and not on sales and how to make money with your art. Is this right for everyone? No but for me it works. I have little time to devote to keeping up with different sites and this one fits my needs.

The mother load of polymer information is of course this site.

You can search any topic and find useful information from others with many links to click on as well. This site focuses on learning different techniques for polymer clay. The only frustrating part in my opinion is the number of non working links. This is unavoidable with a site as large as this one. Working links or not you will find something useful if you look for it.

Another useful site is

This site has many tutorials, lots of information from individual polymer artists, and a wonderful chat feature with weekly polymer clay demos. I am not able to spend much time there as I have limited time while home to actually be on the computer, but I have been to the Saturday demos with Stargazer and let me tell you I went oohhh and ahhhh many times while following along.

One thing I enjoy is my daily polymer clay fix and this is how I get it.

The post comes to my inbox and you just never know who Cynthia will feature on her blog. Great Stuff!

One of my favorite sites that has to be translated is this one.

You can use the translator called babbelfish from yahoo and translate it to your language so it will work for anyone in the world.

Another great site for tutorials is this one but for me the best are her rambles (hence the link to her ramble index). They kick me in the but every time even if it is the third time I have seen it.

another site with great tuts

Here you will find a lot of tutorials in many different areas of working with polymer clay.

Another great site is this one.

and this one

Ponswan has many wonderful tutorials in slide show format. Great to learn from.

Everclay is another great site with wonderful tuts

and this one too

and another

and this site who is a dear cyber friend I want to be able to meet someday Luny!

This is a miniature site that I have not had the eyes to try yet.

and another

and another

Heck I forgot to do a search of tutorials on my blog!

At this point I think I am quitting! If you have not lost yourself by now with new ideas  then either something is wrong with  you or you are an artist that is in denial. Honestly that is all I can say lol. I hope that you enjoy the pages I have listed if you have one that I may not know of please clue me in. I am off to finalize my to do list

There are many wonderful tutorials on this site and a few that are on my to do list.

Bead Baking Rack Tutorial

June 5, 2011

I am getting ready for an opportunity to really work with clay for about a month and am very excited about it. I have been busy getting a long to do list ready with a lot of eye candy and some great tutorials. I have also been trying to get supplies that I will need for said projects as I remember I need whatever it is that I need. While thinking of the fact that I would be working with more beads than I usually do I realized I really needed a bead baking rack. I have used tins, boxes, bottles, anything you can think of to hold the bead piercing pin with beads on it while baking or coating with a finish without much success.

Do you know that those suckers are expensive? To get three would cost me about 70.00. Do I need three? No but it sure would be nice and I can see myself having three full of beads in various stages of finish. My next thought was that I could make them out of the metal pieces I purchased while trying to make cutters. The cutters turned out real nice by the way :).

Okay now I am getting off track…….. I needed bead baking racks and I had some lightweight sheets it should be easy and you know what it was. Enjoy the bead baking rack tutorial I know I do I got racks baby!



Wire Cutters



Permanent Marker

Bead Pins


Step 1

I used 5X7 Aluminum  Flashing if you use a different size your measurements will be different. I am not sure what this is for exactly but you can get it at home depot where you find the ductwork.

Step 2

Here is a blank sheet as you can see on the package you need to be careful of the sharp edges.

Step 3

Mark 1 inch segments along the length of the sheet at the very edge.

Step 4

You will have 6 marks.

Step 5

Place another mark right at the end.

Step 6

Repeat for the other side.

Step 7

You want to make sure that the marks on this side of the aluminum sheet match up with each other. These marks are what the bead pins will sit on so you want them to be even.

Step 8

Turn the sheet over so you have a blank sheet again to mark on.

Step 9

This time you will mark 1 inch in on the sheet. See how this mark is different from the last one you made?

Step 9

Continue marking all the way down this is for you to gauge the heights of the sides of your rack.

Step 10

Repeat for the other side.

Step 11

Now you will want to take your pliers and move them to your mark starting at the very end. This picture was taken by me sitting the camera on the table and taking it. I tried not to get another set of hands to help me in the realization I need to figure out how to take good pictures when I need both hands. So I started in too much on this picture and left it in to help teach you what not to do.Step 12

Continue folding in moving up the length of the sheet. You want to make sure that you see the marks you made on the inside of the tray. I gave up and had my son help me with the next few shots. I think he did a great job. I know the way I have my hand bracing the sheet looks very dangerous but I found it helped me to get a good fold if I held it in my hands and not on the table. I did not even cut myself once but please please be very careful remember the metal can be very sharp.

Step 13

Finish folding the first side.

Step 14

Repeat other side and you get something that looks like this.

Step 15

Remember these?

Step 16

Using sharp cutters cut a small triangle in each mark on both sides being careful not to cut off an end when working close to the edges.

Step 17

Here you can see some of the triangles.

Step 18

Reshape the tray so that the sides are standing up straight.

Step 19

Place bead pins in each of the cut outs to make sure that this thing really does work. Reshape as needed being careful not to unshape an area you just got right.

Step 20

As good as it looks its naked so I had to get some beads. I thought about making some real quick out of a scrap cane sitting on the table but decided against it as I would start making beads and forget the finishing of the tray. So here are some that I really like.

Step 21

Do it all over again and make another tray because the package came with 10. You will have baking racks AND racks for finishing if you make enough.

That was fun. Next week some of the things on my to do list complete with links and lots of eye candy!

Next Swap Covered Tins

May 23, 2011

The following is the Covered Tin Swap announctment at City O Clay an online polymer community.  You will find several sites and videos to learn how to cover a tin it is pretty basic when you think about it. This leads to the question of a tutorial as was done with the rock purse tutorial.

I had a lot of fun doing it and it added to my online  polymer clay tutorials. With a tin I do not know if I have anything that I could add to it that has not already been done. I mean am I just going to be saying and showing what has already been done? How can I make it uniqe and MINE? Would anyone even want to see another tin tut? I will have to mull this one over for a while because I have to think of a cane to make sheets  wooo hooo!

Okay wait a minute I just went back and really read the rock purse tutorial…… read what I said months ago. Why am I still doubting my craft?

I mean what could my tut be that has not already been done, do I have anything new to say or do that has not been already seen? When I realized that was the fear in me talking (I could list 10 reasons for why not) I got over myself and just did it. I can tell you there were a couple of times I sat there looking at my clay table, or just after I messed up a step (mess up kept in BTW) I could have quit but did not. I encourage you to face your fear and just try something, anything you would not normally do. The sense of accomplishment you will feel will give you the power to succeed in life no matter what you try. As my clay mentor Nj says Baby Steps.

Now that I have worked out my artist issues here are some tin links!

Soooo you want to cover tins hunh? Well
let us think of a few things before getting too inspired by links of
others’ work or the crazy ideas already running in your head.

We will be sending these to the swap
mistress in a SMALL PRIORITY box so you will need a tin or tins that
will fit into said box. Please take a moment to focus on this before
going crazy and covering a bunch of tins that are too big to fit in
one. Another issue we need to focus on is that if we make 5 tins they
all need to fit into a small priority box. Those of you swappers who
like to make one for each participant will not be able to do so this
time as you need to get it to me in a small one and I need to return
to you in the same size box. Now if you want to fill up a larger
priority box and send the correct amount of postage to return the
same size box to you that is an option for you if you want to make
more than five.

As far as the tin you can use it is up
to you just make sure that it (or how many ever you will send in)
will fit into one small priority box.

So now that we have the pesky details
out of the way we need to get inspired. Lets have some links.

Desiree as usual has a great tin tut

e how’s version

I am not sure who put this one up but
it is based on the ehow version. I liked the therapudic benefits part
of the instructions in the tut!

Zuleykha has one too

Squido has a video tut

This is a U Tube video that is almost 9
minutes long

This is not a tin but a wooden box. No
step by step here but some valuable information can be found.

This page is about wooden beads but I
put it here because it has more infomation about wood and its
properties. Wood is a tricky object to cover because of the water
that it can contain, which will lead to problem solving you will not
find when covering glass or metal.

There is always the motherload of
information on this site

Be careful you will get lost there so
make sure to get food and drink before going!

I could go on and on positng links but
I really think these give you the basic foundations needed to cover a
metal or wooden tin. Now I think we need some flickr overload with

I started by enering in my Flickr

polymer clay covered tin       and came
up with this

polymer clay covered wooden box
brought these links

The thing I did notice is that the
wooden boxes were mostly only PARTIALLY covered in clay. I wonder if
that has anythig to do with the unique prperties of wood when
covering with clay.

Polymer clay covered box    and these
pop up most of them you have already seen if you looked at both of
the previous searches.

You now have the fundamentals of
covering a box and some eye candy to hopeully get you inspired all
that is left is to sign up for the Tin Swap! Further informatoin to
follow in the Tin Swap Announcement and the General Swap Rules.

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!


Findings In Clay

February 19, 2011

Ok so I hope you get the pun. I over the last year or so have really focused on finding findings that can be used successfully with clay. I forgot where I had stashed them and ended up labeling the  drawer ( I was sure it was empty because it did not have a handle) where I had stashed them. Now let us see what the heck is in there and what I have made from some of my findings. If I have kept track of my purchases I will also tell you where I got the item.

These are some of the reasons I felt I needed to find finishes to work with clay. They look great but just were not finished enough for me. Some old stuff I loved the black and white one and wear it often.

A really cool recent discovery of mine has been eyelets you can get these anywhere and they come in different shapes, sizes and colors.

You can totally skip the eyelets but get a look that can be worn with Pandora bracelets with these babies I found at Fire Mountain Gems. Can’t find the two beads I made with them 😦 you get the idea.

One of the easiest way to finish a bead is to use a bead cap. I have a few of those lying around and here are  some of  my coolest that were part of a Quest bead buy with Beads and More.

I used these jumprings from Vira Murano (they are the best) they are called snapeze and go together magically to make this rear view mirror thingie for a dear friend.

Halstead beads has some cool tops and bottoms. Problem is I can’t find the cool tops they are in some little bag that is not in the right place but here is an example of another top that is similar.

These are hooks that I really like and I even saved the size of them you can get them at any hardware store.

And a few items made with them.

These are what I call pads I first saw them at an open house for artists this artist was a glass maker.

And some pads in action.

Wire always looks amazing. This was my failed attempt at wire wrapping bad and making my own clasp good.

Here are some packs I am not 100% sure if I am coating only the front or encasing in clay.

This is my best find ever and I mean it.

They are called interchangables and I had tried to buy the ring on Etsy. The seller contacted me and said she was no longer able to provide that to me so sorry etc… I posted a link to the ring and someone on Beads and More found the supplier and set up a quick buy. We got a great discount (50% as I recall) and within 4 hours the Quick Buy got over 3k in orders. So not only did I get the ring but got an interchangable necklace as well.

You have a different design on each side…..

And of course each piece has to have a matching ring…these are the ones I could find to photograph quickly.

That is what is in my finding drawer (at least what I can find) what is in yours???

OMG Kato

October 17, 2010

This is an experiment that I did last year to see what would/could be done. As you can see there was no real caning involved in this but rather the focus was to see how many ways the cane could be combined to make different ones!

I loved this experiment and wanted to try it again. One of the things on my to do list has been to try it but to do it with Kato. This week was time! I took all the Kato I had in the house and decided to use it for this project. So I am using clay that has been sitting UNDER my table for at least two years because I had the conditioning fear.

I am having technical difficulties with my camera again this week so any pics this week are from my phone, and all of the ones I took while making this with my camera can not be accessed. Freeken technology biting me in the butt again this week but at least this time they are on the bleeping camera I just can’t get to them!

I have heard of two ways to condition Kato and one of them is to pound the heck out of it with a hammer. So I spent an entire evening pounding the heck out of it with a hammer.

Two of the colors did well but the others did not they were very crumbly when I went to run them through the pasta machine. I then decided that I would throw them in the food processor ( I have one dedicated to clay). After another evening this time spent processing and adding diluent to the clay it was soft and pliable. I laid it out on my surface rolled with the roller and then ran through the pasta machine. INSERT ROLLED PIC HERE WITH PROCESSED IN THE BACKGROUND    Agghhhh

I then took the clay I had and tried to make some different looking canes with my limited colors and clay. I was very impressed at the crispness of the lines in the simple jelly roll and bull’s-eyes. This led to me mumbling to myself about how great this was going to be once finished if the lines in the stinking jelly were sexy.


 I then began assembling the cane remembering what I learned from last time. Air and or space is not your friend. Sounds crazy but if I say any daylight I removed the cane and inserted a log to fill. NO AIR OR SPACE. It makes sense that if there is any air then clay is going to go to that empty space and cause distortion no matter how small the space is. So I took my time and inserted the smallest of logs to fill in.

I then started to reduce. I will not go into the reduction but let others teach you (links at the end of the tutorial) not only about reduction but building as well. The first link is the first Kali cane I ever tried.

I began reducing and it got so big I ended up with two halves. One of the other things that happened to me while reducing is that the middle did not move for a while so I had a lot of ends that looked good but were missing detail. One of the things I was so impressed at was the crispness of the Kato look at these lines they look so nice!

Once combined the cane looks amazing! I am saving the final cane for December as I have decided to include this in the upcoming swap. But here is an end piece combined that still looks amazing. Under it you can see the cane with all the parts there and if you look real close you can see the distortion and missing elements.

 I can not wait to show you how the swap items turned out and even more I can not wait for the swap participants to get part of this wonderful experiment!

Have fun claying and any Kato tips you may have would really be appreciated. I have so many questions in mind.


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.

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

Faux Goldstone Quick Tutorial

March 14, 2010

If I would have quit the first, second or even third time I tried to make this then I never would have come up with this. Pretty simple once you figure out how to get the depth!

Super easy just roll a sheet of medium thickness, then cover with liquid Sculpy. Cover with glitter!

Cut out shapes covered with glitter.

Roll a black sheet on fairly thick setting. Cut out shapes and put a bead poker so you can string the beads easily when finished.

Attach your glitter sheet and your black sheet with liquid sculpy.

Bake per manufacturer setting and time. Cool and remove the bead poker.

This is the best thing I have found to get depth with clearness.

POUR EQUAL PARTS! You must read the directions it is very important to get exactly equal parts.

Mix it until you see bubbles per directions. Add as many layers as you can being careful to not have the mixture run over the sides and onto your tile.

Finished beads!

And here are some more that were wrapped to support the extra layers of epoxy. And yes you can see some spilled over on the sides. Do as I say not as I do.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please if you make something with this technique show me your stuff!


January 24, 2010

I am a member of city o clay and we have swaps there. They are real fun and I get to see what everyone had made because I am the one doing the shipping.

So one of the swappers Tabatha Pimentel sent in beads that had eyelets OMG what fun. Some of Tabatha’s work can be seen here.

I love her work she is so talented which is probably why she finished her beads this way. I can not show you hers since she is in the swap and I can not post her pictures until the swap is finished so I hope I have done her justice by this attempt.

Here are the eyelets. These are from Joanne’s I am sure you can get them online. I would like to find some sterling silver ones to use. (Writing on the to do list!) They are the Craft Essentials 1/8″ Eyelets.

I am sorry but can I just say that picture looks freeken good. Okay no light box but that is a good close up (patting herself on the back).

Is this the correct way of using eyelets?  I have no idea I am telling you what I did and BTW it was really easy.

 What I did was to make a bead,  then poke my hole with a poker, make the hole bigger with a clay shaper, insert eyelet, work eyelet in by rolling in your hands.

They still need more time in the tumbler the idea you want to get from this is the eyelet idea for finishing your beads.

Try it you will like it I think. The one thing I do recommend if you are using scrap clay try to get it as close as you can to the color of the bead. I used white scrap and you can see the scrap. Looks Tacky. Another idea would be to use a contrasting color for interest Hmmmmm that is a cool idea as well. What can you come up with? Or have you already done it?

Take care and have fun claying!