Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Ornaments and a Product Review

Every year I make ornaments from polymer clay.  This year I was sorely behind.  I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.  Last year I made my usual styles into ornaments, and did a run of Blue Moons to commemorate the blue moon that occurred in December.

This year, nothing was coming to me.  I thought, how can I commemorate this year?  Its been quite a year, with the election and all the great singer songwriter poets we have lost.
And then it hit me.

I wanted to make some ornaments to embrace peace, love, and acceptance.  

First I decided to honor Leonard Cohen, and make something inspired by his song Anthem.  I love the line, "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in".  The other part of that inspiration was Karen's post that included a picture of this sculpture by Paige Bradley, which I LOVE.

So I decided to make a heart, with gold shimmer in the cracks, and wire wings.
I added the lyrics and dated them as well

Then I made some star ornaments, to honor David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, aka Starman

On the back I wrote "turn and face the strange" because I think it really fits for every single day of our lives. They are also dated.

 I also wanted to make something to do with Peace.  This election has caused so much chaos.  So I made a new design, a peace sign, with wooden textured parts.  It was really fun to make.  On the back, trying to stick with lyrics, I wrote, "Imagine all the people living life in peace".

So, my ornaments are finally done and listed in my destash group. (How my destash group workds: just click that link, ask to join if you are not a member, and then claim items in comments.  I invoice you for them and ship)  
Better late then never, right?  (on top of the normal holiday rush and business, I have had sick kids.  I am so behind).

Anyhow...................since I made a new ornament, I had to make a mold for it!  Thus, the review portion of this blog....

I have been wanting to try that molding plastic, the one that you put in warm water and mold it.  I thought it may capture detail better, or yet, last longer then my typical two part silicone molds.

I purchased this brand, InstaMorph, from Amazon.
I followed the instructions carefully. 

I used water that was 150 degrees as directed and poured in some of the little white plastic balls.  They are supposed to congeal into one piece.

But they never lost their ball shape textures.  So I started again, because the cool thing is, you can re use this product over and over again

 I heated the water again, this time making it between 160-170 degrees

These looked a bit more transparent this time and congealed.

 So I smooshed them together and tried to make it as smooth as possible, but it was hard to get the ball texture out of them

I went ahead and covered my peace sign anyway, hoping that it would smooth out by applying pressure

 While that was setting, I tried again and went a tad hotter.  It did get much more moldable- however, the work time is quick, by the time it cools enough to handle it, and you begin to work it smooth, it begins to harden.

When the plastic was cool, I tried to remove my mold.  it stuck to the polymer a bit, and it did NOT make a smooth mold at all.  As you can see- it never lost that ball like texture- and the sample I did in polymer on the lower right side is terrible

 So, even though I think this is a cool product, and it is amazingly strong, not a fan of it for molds.  I will find a use for it, but it was way more trouble then it was worth.  I ended using my good old trust two part silicone molds.

I actually have an article in the current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry on making molds with two part silicone.  
(I am also honored to be the Designer Collection in the current issue).  So grab it if you want to have a copy of my mold article- or take a peek at the issue because I was so happy with the pieces they picked to be showcased in the
Designer Collection (12 pages of my jewelry!  squeeee!).

You can pick up the current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry here, or at some local art and craft stores as well as Barnes and Noble.

I know I haven't been blogging much lately, so I hope you don't mind that I crammed like 3 blogs into one!!!!

Christmas is in 3 days, and I know everyone is just mad busy!  I truly hope you enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate, may it be filled with love, and family and friends, peace and wellness.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Sale

I cannot believe how fast this year is going.  
The holidays are here- and I am having my year end sale.  It's a way for me to say thank you for a great year, and an opportunity for you to snag a piece you may have been eyeing up, at a discount.

The biggest part of this, is that I finally stocked my shop.  That's right, I stocked it.  It has been barren all year!  I am happy to have many necklaces and earrings to offer now.

To take advantage of the sale, use code holiday20 at checkout to save 20% off your order. in my webstore

I also have some items listed in my destash group on facebook.  I have some ornaments, some of my block printed bags and some smaller necklaces that would make great gifts (coupon code not valid in this group, most items are already marked down).

You can check that out here.  If you are not already a member, just request to join and I will add you.  Read the rules and FAQ so you know how it works.  

I also have some of my block prints available- they make great gifts.  So message me to see what I have on hand.  
(stamps for prints- hand carved by me)

I hope you can find something to make your holiday shopping complete- or to just treat yourself!

Thank you so much for supporting handmade. 
I know I have said this before, but I am a small business.  Your purchase literally puts shoes on my children's feet and groceries on the table.  I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love and that it benefits my family too.  My family and my art are what are most precious to me in life.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 
(here is my gang, and let me tell you, these kids never stop growing- my 12 year old daughter is 5' 3"!!- and my 15 year old is at least 1-2" taller then me now)

Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!  May it be filled with love and joy.