DIY Ring Bowls.

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Hey Thursday Readers!

Still being in the throws of wedding season, I thought another DIY gift would be in order. You can make something like this for a shower before the wedding so that the couple can use it on the day of their wedding, or it can be a gift for after that they can leave by the sink to put rings in while we wash dishes. This project was taken from Intimate Weddings, so feel free to check the full tutorial here.

For this beautiful and simple project, you’ll need:

  • 795 gram package of White Oven Bake Clay (which should be available at any local craft store.
  • Letter Stamps (also should be easy to find at a craft store)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Bamboo stock or chopstick for to use as an awl to poke holes.
  • Lid to cut out the shape (like a lid for a tub of ice cream)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Parchment paper.
  • A smallish oven safe bowl (like Pyrex)
  • Spray sealant and paint for finishing if you would like it.
  • A fabric doily

Your first step is to form your dough into a ball and place it on the parchment or silicone liner. Roll your dough out with your rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Place your fabric doily where you would like it to appear (you can put it in the centre or off to the side and either way it would look fabulous). Roll your rolling pin over top of it to press the design into the clay.

Use your lid to establish how big your bowl will be and to use it as a centre point to choose where to put your letters. You can do initials, or names, you could even do a small poem if your letters are small.

When you’re ready to cut the shape, peel off your doily to reveal the beautiful imprint.

Use your lid to cut the clay and form your circle. Save any excess clay for future projects.

After you remove the clay and the lid, you’ll have a circle that’s ready to be moulded into a bowl.

Use your awl tools to poke two holes at the top of the plate if you’re thinking of giving this as a ring bearer bowl at a wedding. You can omit these if it’s to be used as a ring dish at the sink or elsewhere.

Next you need to form your birds (if you’re making birds) or any other accents that you would like. If you’re making something you’d like to have stand on the side of the dish, use an existing dish to form the clay underneath them so they will be easy to adhere to the bowl.

Place your soft clay plate into the bottom of your oven safe bowl. Remember, it should be big enough to create a bowl, but not so small that your bowl is a teacup.

Place oven-safe bowl (and birds) on a cookie sheet and put into the oven for approximately 30 minutes (use the baking directions on the package, please!). When it’s done, remove from oven and let cool inside bowl for 20 mins. When cool, turn bowl over. It should pop right out.

Sand down the edges of your bowl until they are nice and smooth, as well as your birds. A sandpaper sponge would be ideal for this as opposed to regular old sandpaper. Use a little superglue to adhere your birds to the dish.

And you’re done! Well. If you’re inclined to paint your project, now would be the time, or add accents in paint or gold leaf or anything fancy like that. If you’re adding extra touches at the end, or if you’re going to be having this dish be for ring removal when you’re washing, I would make sure to use a good spray sealant so that the paint is sealed on, and the water can’t get in.

and you’re done! A beautiful gift, that takes just a little creativity.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Using Molds and Texture Sheets

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Its Wednesday again, and after constant storms and rain, the yard is starting to get green again. I am back home after three days at a local event, and working hard on new stock for my upcoming show.

When I am working with clay, two of the most invaluable tools at my disposal are molds and texture sheets. There are some things you simply can’t make on your own, or would take too long, and these are very handy for that. Texture sheets allow you to change the appearance of the polymer clay’s surface. The photos below are pieces I have made with the help of texture sheets and a pastry mold.

They can be plastic, silicone, metal or ceramic. The flexibility of silicone or plastic can be easier to work with, as the clay typically releases quickly from the imprint you make of it. You can buy pre-made sheets and molds, or create your own. I do both. There are some great two part silicone kits that will let you imprint texture or design into them. You can recreate the texture of leather, linen, scales, or even a raised pattern on a rock or a piece of pottery. GF Art Store has great sheets and cutters.

A mold good for polymer clay are mostly from silicone or a soft plastic. a hard mold will not release the clay. I have seen some instructions for baking in heat resistant molds, but I generally change up the piece I am molding enough that the flexible variety are best for my work. From molding pastry shells, dog bones, feathers, shells, or frames for a piece, and even molding doll parts, there are thousands of molds to inspire you. I have found several excellent shops on Etsy with great pre-made silicone molds. The Mold Studio is one.

Another is Sweet Treat Collections. They also carry baking supplies and cutters. If you make any projects with molds or texture sheets, please link to them. I would love to see what everyone comes up with!


Comparing Heights

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I’ve got a cool little reference tool for everyone today! Now I know this won’t be used for every medium out there, but if you draw or write about people with your art then continue on my friends.

This is a nifty little weblet made by Mr Initial Man called Comparing Heights, that lets you quickly get a visual on what the height differences should look like for characters. While you may have an idea for average heights (6′-5′ range) I find this to be incredibly helpful for fantasy art. Got a 60′ giant? Now you know just how large that would look next to you. Want to know if you fairy is too big? They got you covered. ūüôā I could see this being a fun tool for D&D GMs as well. If you are worried about group shots more, you can compared up to 6 people in this one right here instead. It’s really just a great simple (and free!) tool to help get everything into perspective. ;P


Tiny Houses

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So I got to see some friends of mine last night that I haven’t seen in months and they told me all about how their daughter has a ‘fairy door’. It’s a door you give your kid to attach to places that a ‘fairy’ comes to live in and be their sorta friend. It got me thinking about small things though and this artist I’d found recently.

Based in Spain, Marina Paredes of Prettymodels makes adorable tiny house slices. The detail that goes into these is just wonderful. I could easily see a fairy deciding to live in one. ūüėČ

Though my goodness I can only imagine the tools used. My hand cramps thinking about it. D: Her work is just lovely though and is made in 2 different styles, mini house and mini doll house style. The doll house ones may be my favorites, but I had one as a kid so I’m likely biased, lol. Either way, I recommend giving her etsy store a look to see all the lovely tiny creations she’s put together. ^_^


Building the Monstrosity

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I have been asked many times how I build the large Grid Wall structure that holds the quilts and pillows behind us.  I decided to start filming the set up for conventions to show you exactly how it is done.

First, Nicole and I filmed the set up for Too Many Games in Oaks, Pa.  There is a parental warning on this one.  There is some language being used by those around us.

Then, two weeks later we filmed the set up for Heroes and Villains Nashville.  There is no parental warning on this one.

It is interesting how an inline set up with two people takes 2 1/2 hours but a corner set up with 5 people takes 50 minutes!  Please follow my You Tube or my Twitch page if you would like to see future convention set ups.

If you have ever wanted to use gridwall, here is a site that shows you a few ways you can use it to display your products.  And of course you can always ask me any questions you want!

-Toni


Schmetz Monthly Needle Fact

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That’s not just a little piece of steel making your machine stitches. German engineering designs, calculates, tests and inspects the SCHMETZneedle. Take for instance the eye, did you know that needles have different eye shapes?

The most popular needle, the Universal, has an eye that is 40% the width of the blade. Really! There are three other needles with larger eyes, the Embroidery and even more pronounced is the elongated eye of the Metallic and Topstitch needles.

Now what does a larger eye mean? There is less friction on the thread as it passes through the eye. Ever sew with a thread that breaks or tends to shred? Guess what, use a needle with a larger eye. If you have old thread or maybe a poor quality thread, use a needle with a larger eye. The thread and needle work hard and fast. Help them out when you can with a larger eye.

Remember . . .

Change YOUR Needle!

– The needle is meant to be changed –

– The needle gets dull from use –

– The needle is¬†NOT¬†a permanent machine part –

-Toni


Feather Cane Tutorial

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Happy Wednesday everyone! We are firmly in art show and ComicCon season and I’m spending every spare minute sculpting pieces for upcoming shows. This Saturday you can find me at a small local event in Shelby, NC. It’s a great little con with tons of dealers, a Pok√©mon tournament and a costume contest.

One of the things I like to make are flamingos. I found an excellent tutorial for feather canes by Donna Kato. It’s extremely time consuming, but the results¬†are stunning. Plan to spend between 2-4 hours on this project. You can use any colors, but I went with the suggested pinky-peach blend for my flamingos. The results give you enough for several projects

You can find the tutorial here.


Needle Transports

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some needle cases and this week, here they are! When I think of sewing needle cases, I remember my Grandmother’s simple turned wood one or (dating myself here) my Mom using old camera film containers. I had no idea that needle cases could also be decorative and beautiful. The first set are very reminiscent of my Grandmother’s turned wood but in much fancier wood types. This purple heart wood case from Rainchabod Designs is just lovely:

So pretty and purple!

But then I went farther down the rabbit hole and found some turned acrylic cases, which can be super shiny. These needle case and seam ripper combos from Sewn Into the Fabric make me happy just looking at them:

Some of them are really sparkly!

Some artisans have decided to take the simple wooden ones and cover them in various mediums, like clay. In this instance, Happy Bear Creations NC has added some great texture and design to something so simple:

Pretty and subtle.

Finally, I give all credit to this last artist because they not only bumped up the wow factor on a little needle case, I would assume they also use it as they are a bead artist themselves. This gorgeous peyote stitched beaded case from Elewmompittseh is so amazing:

Just look at that itty bitty design!

Needle cases also put me in mind of more needle transporting mechanisms so I think next week we will also look at some neat needle books. See you then!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Quiltoni Paper Patterns now available!

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You may have seen the announcement on the Quiltoni Facebook page that paper patterns are now available!  I have developed a partnership with Quilt Exchange, a marketplace to connect designers and authors with everyday quilters worldwide.  This means you can now get my patterns not only as a downloadable pdf around the world, but paper copies as well!

If you are a store you no longer have to wait for me to be in your neck of the woods to order patterns!  Just sign up with the Quilt Exchange as a Retailer and you get the wholesale discount with no minimums required!  This is super exciting news!  If you want your local store to carry my patterns, show them the Quilt Exchange where they can order them!


Meet the Hackers: Nashville Heroes and Villains

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Tomorrow is the start of Heroes and Villains in Nashville and Toni will be there!

She won’t be found under Craft Hackers for this convention. ¬†Instead she will be sharing with Rumble and Roar Wandmakers at booth 317!

Rumble and Roar Wandmakers create amazing one of a kind wands. So if you are in the Nashville area this weekend swing by and say hi to Quiltoni and Rumble and Roar!