Friday, March 15, 2013

Faux Heathergems in Polymer Clay

There is a lovely faux stone made from heather in Scotland. The heather is harvested, dyed, the dyed sticks mixed in color, bound together and covered with dark resin. The resulting slices cut across the many differently colored sticks making an unusually colored 'gem stone'. Left is a Heathergem set in a silver brooch. 

After watching how they were created on a show called "How It's Made" Joe suggested we try making something similar in appearance using polymer clay.

Faux Heather Stone Cabochons
We went into the studio where I gathered up bunches of scraps of solid colors of clay, many pearl and metallic and rolled them into ropes. Then the ropes were sponged with dark blue acrylic paint (the closest dark color) and allowed to dry. 

Like the real Heathergems the sticks of clay were gathered up, the colors sorted, then stacked. After some squeezing to press the sticks together, the bundles were cut across, at an angle and more.  The resulting slices were put through the pasta machine first on #2 then turned at right angle and put through again on #3.

Scrap clay was used to fill a number of our cabochon molds half way full, then de-molded.  The slices of Faux Heathergems were wrapped around the cabochons which were returned to the molds and the clay press very firmly to seal the clay slices to the cabochons. After baking, our 'gems' came to life and the colors popped with the application of a high gloss finish, just like the real Heathergems.
Faux Heather Stone Earrings

Left are a pair of my Faux Heathergem 'stone' earrings. The cabochons are set in bezels from Fire Mountain Gems.  They are not like the Heathergems as there is no wood grain in the bright colors but the overall effect is pleasing.

The cabochon molds used to create the faux stones were:

Both are available on our website 

Faux stones and cabochon molds by Penni Jo Couch

For more eye candy and a video of how the Heather Stones and Heather Gems are created visit their website: 

I hope you enjoy the Heathergems website and beautiful jewelry shown there as much as Joe and I did. 

Penni Jo

Monday, March 11, 2013

Best Flexible Molds is now on!

We've all been cautioned about 'fishing' emails, folks who are trying to get us to write back, give info, etc. Like most web users, we are more than cautious when receiving any emails with lucrative promises.

So, when, starting the third week of January, I began to get, occasionally, an email from a person claiming to work at who wanted to bring us on board as sellers my super cautious senses began to tingle. Thinking this had to be a come-on and an attempt to separate us from our info and or money, I promptly threw them away. 

But about a month ago the 'Amazon' email I got did not seem to follow the type of email that was fishing for info so, after reading the signature that had the Amazon logo on it (this is easy to copy) and reading all of the info in the signature, Joe and I began an in depth investigation to see if this person was, perhaps, an actual Amazon employee. Everything appeared to be legitimate (this can also be duplicated).

So, after a great deal of thought we decided I should send a tentative letter to the man, Mr. Brown, telling him I had been throwing away all his emails as I was highly suspicious that Amazon would have an interest in our small company. He wrote back with more info about selling on Amazon and said he was also very cautious.  (Might be true but, after all, people do fib. )

One cautious email after another followed until we tentatively decided he was probably was actually working for or with Amazon and we asked what was needed to sell on their website, what were the costs, etc. etc. 

No problem ~~ We could upload our data, photos and more. 

Problem ~~ then they needed a bank account number for payment to us of sold items. Once again, the feet grew cold and the suspicion level rose greatly. Hummm, maybe we were at that point where we were at risk and decided not to do it. 

After a couple of days though it was decided that we'd open a bank account just for web sales and keep no $$ in it! If they were going to steal, they were going to get nothing!! Bank account opened, we completed all the work necessary and  a couple of days later, uploaded our images, info and more using a spread sheet set up for us by Amazon. 

That evening we had an order for two molds!! We'd been up less than a day and already had an order!!! Now, after three and a half weeks, we are enjoying the sales at Amazon. Joe's busy making molds, packing and shipping. I'm planning new molds!

The picture is a screen shot of one of our molds on Amazon. There is also a Best Flexible Molds store. Right now we are only shipping in the USA from our Amazon Best Flexible Molds Storefront, our choice, but who knows where it could go from here.

You can order our molds directly from us on our website 
We ship to most countries. 

 you can order our molds from our store on

Posting by Penni Jo Couch
Creator and Designer of Best Flexible Molds


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Longing for Spring

PJ having breakfast on the Patio
  The weather here in Oklahoma has literally blown hot and cold for the last few weeks. One day is balmy and warm, then two days later, ice and snow. If one were not expecting this weather, one could possibly become frustrated. However, after 32 years of Oklahoma weather, it's just "situation normal".

We moved here a year ago in January and when winter had given away to Spring we began to richly enjoy the beautiful weather and early summer mornings on the patio.

Breakfast was my favorite meal of the day and we often had small visitors. 

Sophie our Lhasa-Poo would check out any crumbs that had fallen and try to shoo away the very friendly butterflies. 

Joe tossed some water onto the pavement for the butterflies to drink and a slice of orange that was quickly discovered by one the butterflies. (Sophie had no interest in it) By some mysterious means the little one on the orange slice made known the presence of yummy, sugary goodness to a bunch of his buddies who came fluttering down for a breakfast of their own. 

This one on my hand found a drop of orange juice on my tray and after drinking it all, climbed onto my plate and then my hand.  This gentle little creature  made me smile and thank the Good Lord that He has blessed us with quiet enjoyment of simple things.   

I sure am looking forward to that warm morning when we can eat breakfast outside again. 

Penni Jo