Saturday, August 18, 2007

Heart's Melody Explosion Album

Heart's Melody Explosion Album:

An explosion album is so named because, when opened, the pages burst out like pages in a pop up book. This one is 5.35 inches square with black pages. They are fun to make and to embellish with pictures or as a journal or combination of both. The first one was made in preparation for a guild class. Since then I've made two more, learning something with each one. I think they may be as addictive as caning.

The front cover is made of polymer clay in two layers, a backing and a 'frame' layer. The frame is formed by cutting a shape in layer two, like a heart, square or oval shape then placing layer two on layer one. A raised edge around the opening increases the depth of the 'frame'. The back cover is similar to the front in style and embellishments, but made of a single sheet of clay with no opening.

After rolling the clay through the pasta machine, the covers were imprinted with a small round doily. Embellishments are added as desired. This album is decorated with cut out hearts, molded roses, and butterflies that were first stamped and then cut out using a tiny Makin's butterfly cutter. The butterfly rubber stamp is "Penni Jo Pattern Stamp - Butterflies, offered for sale by .

The entire cover embellishments and background details were highlighted using Pearl Ex powders; Macro Pearl, Russet Red, Spring Green, Interference Gold, Interference Violet and True Blue. The textured background in the center of the heart was brushed with Micro Pearl.

The tiny molded parts in the heart window were molded, brushed with Pearl Ex Powder and baked before putting them into the framed opening. The sentiment was printed on a laser printer, the back of the paper painted white and the sentiment torn out after the paint was throughly dry.

Baking: The framed opening was filled with molded charms and filled with clear UTEE. The UTEE melts as the polymer clay bakes. Sadly, bubbles remained on the surface after baking. When cool, I used a heat gun to gently melt the surface, being careful not to damage the surrounding clay. The result is a nice, glass like finish.

I sculpted the tiny molded key and keyhole parts, made a mold and wrote the printed sentiment. The roses are small versions of the flowers in the Sweetbrier Studio mold #1008 "A Rose for You". I am the designer and sculptor of this mold also.

Detail of album cover. Molded parts are embedded in melted UTEE. White 'spots' in the window are pearl Ex micro pearl on the background. The album ties shut with two sets of ribbons.

Sentiment in the heart: 'When one heart strikes a chord in the heart of another the resulting melody will last a lifetime.'

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another July Challenge

Also during the month of July, the moderator of the clay-polymer group at, Patty Barnes, announced the first challenge for our forum. A light switch cover with the theme "Summer". Boy this would be hard. There are so many excellent artists in that group. Then Twisted Papers offered to supply the prizes. I was hooked.

Trying to imagine what a "Summer" light switch cover would look like one warm evening outdoors, a firefly caught my eye and imagination as it flew into the rosebush in the corner of the yard. I had a design! This switch plate represents a summer evening with the lightening bugs flickering in the grass and sky turning from light to dark as the stars come out.

I tried hard to keep the switch plate thin enough for actual use. The sky is a dark metallic skinner blend that was highlighted with Pearl Ex powder. The leaves of grass are three layers in three shades of dark green, cut and laid one on top of the other. The tips and sides of the grass leaves are accented with green Pearl Ex powder. The lighting bugs were shown in flight, their gossamer wings of through the center cane, and outer wings of gold and black cane.

Glow in the dark clay was used for the stars and the bodies of the lightening bugs. The same clay was added to the sides of the leaves near the bugs to look like the light is reflected on the leaves of grass. After the lights are turned out, the effect is really cool. And, I got it done on time to enter.

I took two pictures, one a full color scan, the other shot in a dark laundry room using the night vision of the camera. Not a good pic as the camera could not focus well but it shows the glowing bugs and stars.

Second Poly Clay Play Challenge.

With one challenge under my belt, I tackled another one. In July, Poly Clay Play announced a challenge to make a frame using polymer clay. No other instructions, just "a frame". After thinking about it and caught in the grip of 'caning', I decided to make a baby quilt frame using through the center cane. Lines of 'stitching' separate the 'blocks' of color in the quilt.

I bought Kato and Fimo Classic for the cane as I wanted clean lines as the colors would be soft. Using a ring from the top of a tin can, I built the 'quilt' frame work, used the scraps to make ribbons and molded two sweet teddy bears using Sweetbrier Studio™ mold 1015 "Teddy Bear Picnic".

I used a circle of acetate for the 'window' and foam core board holds the picture in place.

The best part, I got to put a picture of one of our grandbabies in the frame. A sweet frame for an even sweeter baby.

First Poly Clay Play Challenge!

Poly Clay Play website had a challenge in the month of June, decorate a switch plate using polymer clay. The plate should have flowers on it and there was a lesson how to make them. I tried to get mine done in time, but missed the deadline. I had a good excuse, I was helping someone, but I really should have started sooner.

Anyway, here is the switch plate. I finished it and in my book, that was a challenge that I won.