Happy Sunday, all!
We are back from MAGfest and I find myself with a rather nasty bit of con crud but we definitely had a great time! As promised, I scouted out some new and amazing creators, this first of which I realized I’d already met before. Apparently when I purchased adorable Calcifer cameo and Kodama in a bottle necklaces from Stephanie of Charming Little Fox at Anime Central last year, I didn’t post about it. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?!?!? I know! What is wrong with me??? So here we are giving her absolutely cute cutey cute creations a spotlight. Did I say Calcifer cameo? I did:
Lookit this widdle mean and scawy fiwe demon…
She makes all of these crazy tiny beauties by hand with clay so each one tends to be somewhat unique (which I love) so mine actually has a pretty teal background. The main pendants that truly captured my attention the first time around, though, were her terrarium necklaces like Totoro here:
This one looks so confused, too, like how did I get in here?
My little Kodama is just as tiny and detailed plus it glows in the dark! It’s these bitty details that really set her apart. Just think about the amount of time it takes to make things like these teeny sushi rolls or this koi pond:
Super duper cute, right? She also does do some slightly larger but no less detailed pendants like this lovely octo I would just love to put in my own rotation:
All the tentacles to hold you!
I would highly encourage you to take a look through her Facebook or Instagram for more examples of stunning clay artwork and once she comes back from a brief hiatus, you can purchase a piece on her Etsy shop. Next week I have some new leather wares to take offer.
Happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie.
For those of you that use polymer clay, have you ever thought about making your own version? I have researched and tried out several different recipes. I don’t recommend any salt based recipes, as they can be extremely poisonous to pets. Most of the ones out there are air dry clays, can be tinted with food dyes, or painted after dry. The one below is a baked recipe.
- 2 cups corn starch
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1¼ cups cold water
- food coloring (optional)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan and stir while heating over medium heat. It will start to thicken. Take it off of the heat and let it cool.
- When it’s cool enough to work with, knead it as above. You can add a tablespoon of oil (baby or mineral oil works) and a teaspoon of liquid vegetable glycerin to make it more smooth.
- At this point, you can pull off small pieces and color with food coloring. You can also wait until its baked to paint it.
- Form pieces into desired shapes. Bake at 250°F for 15-20 minutes. This is not an air dry clay.
This recipe is a great idea, especially if you have kids that want to try polymer clay out, and you may not want them working with the chemicals. Have you tried it? Let us know how it works!
Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. I live in the South, where fall is very definitely not in full swing yet- today its so humid that pea soup comes to mind. However, it is October, pumpkin spice and apple cider are everywhere, so its time for me to get with it!
There are some great pumpkin themed items on Etsy right now. I have a set of pumpkin earrings and a pendant available here. They are available as traditional pumpkins, or as glow in the dark pumpkins.
I saw these adorable acorns- they are clay, and could be used as pendants, keychains, or even added to a fascinator! You can find them in Sweet Birch Designs Shop here.
Selena Jewelry Bijoux has these amazing leaves, so perfect for this time of year. As a pendant, or added to a wreath, they are breathtaking and reasonably priced.
I am always a fan of clay food, and I adore pumpkin pie! CMYKlays has some adorable pumpkin pie earrings. They are fun, and look entirely edible.
If you are feeling crafty, I do have a pumpkin tutorial that was published here on Crafthackers last year. Its simple, and takes under an hour from start to finish. It can be found here.
Its Wednesday, and I’m back in my studio. This weekend I had the privelege of being a vendor at DragonCon. We had an amazing time, and it was so much fun to see everyone. I can’t wait for next year. Meanwhile, I am low on stock, and need to start working for my next show.
One question I am frequently asked is whether I seal my pieces, and what I would recommend for others to use. Polymer clay itself doesn’t need to be sealed. On its own, it’s durable and the color doesn’t change over time. If you have inclusions or a finish, then a seal or glaze would be recommended. The article I’m linking to does an excellent job explaining the different types, depending on your project. I recommend bookmarking it so you can experiment with them.
Once you’ve read the article, you can decide what finish works for you, or even if you need one.
Happy Wednesday, and welcome to Crafthackers! Its been a couple of years since Polyform introduced their new Premo glitter clay lines, and they’ve been giving us some great projects and ideas on color combinations when working with it. They are a lot of fun, but also require extra care.
What is glitter clay? It is polymer clay that has had glitter or flakes added to change the color, texture or composition. The full list can be found here.
The main colors I am talking about are opal, rose gold glitter, yellow gold glitter and white gold glitter. These have larger glitter inclusions. It is important to feel the clay before you purchase it, so I would recommend buying these clay variants in person. The texture should be softer, and allow indents when pressed. When not working the clay, keep wrapped in plastic or waxed paper. This clay must be completely conditioned before working. The glitter is large enough to make the clay harder to work. You can still combine it with other colors, just make sure it reaches the same consistency as the other clay or it will break while working it. Because of its stiff texture, its best to work the clay in one session. It seizes up easily, and projects can be damaged.
Have you worked with glitter clay? Let me know how it goes!
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!
Happy Sunday, all!
This week we are continuing our journey through useful but fun tools in the crafty world by offering up some examples of stitch markers! Stitch markers are generally used by those that knit or crochet to keep track of rows or stitches/types of stitches on larger projects. The idea is to insert a stitch marker where you need to remember to take that action (new row, switch stitches, etc.) or keep track of where you are. The first ones I found from Yarnistry Shop are very practical and help as visual aides for when you need to keep track of numbers of rows/stitches:
They are very reasonably priced and look quite durable.
I like how colorful they also are so that they are easy to spot! The second ones I found go right back to one of my favorite shops, which I have mentioned before, A Needle Runs Through It:
These can go along with the sheep needle minders!
They also have a line of NSFW stitch markers that you can view here. They are so amazing for the sweary crafter in all of us! The third stop should appeal to all those out there that appreciate a little bit of cute fake food. These sweet markers from Chapel View Crafts really take the cake:
I would not recommend using them if you are hungry.
My final offering should not be a surprise as I always love a bit of geekery. So these Harry Potter themed stitch markers from Mandas Knotty Crochet should help put some magic in all of your yarn projects:
Accio stich markers!
Hope you find something fun to help you keep count in any case. Next week we will explore some cool needle cases!
Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. I wanted to share some of the resources I use to find tools to work with my polymer clay. A lot of us start with the basic tools that can be found at most craft stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Sometimes you need a more specific tool than what can be found there. In my years of working with clay, I have found some great alternatives for sculpting tools and texture tools.
AmCreatures on Etsy has some nice hand designed tools. They are based in Canada. Their tools are mostly directed at sculpting dolls and faces for puppets, but work well for polymer clay. Some are for sculpting scales, eyes, and tiny detail work. Their prices are very reasonable for custom tools.
If you find that kneading clay fills you with dread, this next tool has great reviews, is simple to use, and does it in seconds. Its called the NeverKnead. Its an expensive investment, but works based on pressure. Instead of spending a great deal of time and pain with clay, try this!
If you need sharper straight blades for your clay, especially for cutting canes, Creative Canes Etsy shop sells tissue blades, which are medical grade and extremely sharp. Flexible enough for cutting curved shapes as well. The shop also offers different polymer clay finished cane projects.
Pottery114U sells pottery clay stamps that help with imprinting texture into your polymer clay. They are inexpensive, durable, and versatile.
When searching on your own, include searches for cake decorating, pottery, and other crafts, since tools may work for other mediums.
Happy Wednesday! I am here in Chicago this week, prepping and waiting for C2E2 to start. If you are attending the show, I can be found in Booth 273, along with Blacky Cat Creations. My friend and I have been checking out some local museums, landmarks and amazing food. I love to cosplay when I vend at shows. Even though I work with polymer clay, sometimes I see accessories I love but someone else makes really well.
Prism Moon Designs on Etsy makes amazing horns, antlers, antennae, and alien pieces.
Beautifully crafted with amazing detail, her work shines brightly in a sea of clay. Her prices are reasonable, and she does take custom orders.
Her work can be found here:
Hi there and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I wanted to share this quick and simple project with you. It’s a cookie ring, using polymer clay for the cookies.
What you’ll need for this project is:
- Premo clay in ecru and burnt sienna
- an adjustable ring base of your choice.
- A straight blade. You can use a knife, a tissue blade, or whatever you are comfortable with.
- Somethjng for texture, either a texture mold or even some wrinkled up foil.
- A miniature plate. You can check the miniature section of your hobby store, or even a toy store. It need to be oven safe to 275 degrees F.
- Condition your clay by kneading it. Separate out three pea sized balls of ecru clay.
- Flatten the balls, leaving them a little rounded like real cookies would be after baking.
- Using your texture stamp or crumpled foil, add some texture to the cookies.
- Make some very tiny balls of your sienna clay. These are your chocolate chips. Randomly place them on your cookies, flattening the balls as you place them.
- Optional- add some bronze pearlX powder to simulate baking color. You can also do an acrylic wash with brown after baking instead.
- Using adhesive, attach the cookies to the plate and bake in your oven. Premo bakes in an oven at 275 degrees F, and I would bake your plate for 30 minutes. After cooling, it can be attached using the same adhesive to your ring base.
If you don’t like rings, it can be done as a pendant, or even earrings.