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.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I have discovered challenges. For an late middle aged, type A woman, this turned out to be a bit frustrating. I love to WIN! Often I find myself tempeted to spend the month planning, drawing, scheming, and trying to figure out what I can do to win. But, all I really need to do, is to create something that I love.
After this insight, I made this Bottle of Hope for the AMACO challenge. Surprisingly, the satisfaction of seeing the finished bottle and knowing a cancer victim would receive it, was all the prize needed.

'Hope Blooms Eternal' Bottle of Hope.
The red in the roses is for victims of blood borne cancers like Lymphoma and Lukemia. The green leaves are for growing strength, the tiny crystals are visual fragrances. The skinner blend background goes from dark to light - from despair to victory. The three roses on the base represent Faith, Hope, and Endurance.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bottle Of Hope

When a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, we all felt hopeless and sad. After seeing the bottles of hope at CHA, I decided to make one for her. We continue to pray for healing and hope that the little bottle brightens a dark moment.
The "Ministering Spirit" Bottle of Hope features a praying angel in flight, in a starry sky shining with hope. A tiny, starlit cross hung from her praying hands is a reminder of the Savior, the great Physician. It is our constant prayer for her recovery.

Made using the Sweetbrier Studio molds 'Angelic Presence' and the tiny cross from 'Renaissance Cross' molds. (I am the sculptor for these molds). The angel was molded using colored FIMO. After applying the molded angel and baking the bottle, I sculpted the back of the head and wings, adding the halo.

Genesis oil paints were used to paint the features and bring out the detail on the wings as well as add the word 'Hope' to one star.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Glue stick

It seems that every company has to have a new "twist" to their glue stick, some make the tops large, others make the tops small. If you accidently twist the wrong end of the stick and break the twistie end of glue stick off, the glue stick will not screw up and come out the top.

You will have to push the stick of glue up using a pointy screwdriver. It will come out all the way. :(

Note. using a glue stick while holding the stick by the gluey sides is not pleasant. Avoid this.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The mass produced earring test

My friend and I have decided to try selling at a local craft show this fall. Loving polymer clay, I did a test run to see how long it would take to make some dragonfly earrings to sell at the show. If you have never done this, it is an adventure in itself.
After 3 and one half hours of actual work, molding the polymer clay dragonflies (most of them had through the center wings), making holes in each dragonfly for eye pins, dusting with Pearl Ex Powders (on both sides of the bodies), baking, making eye pins for the designs while they were baking, glueing the eye pins into the cooled parts, varnishing, (creating a drying rack for 18 wet, dripping dragonflies, selecting the beads, creating two matching double ended eye pins with the beads on them for each pair of earrings, then linking the dry, varnished earrings to the double ended beaded eye pins which were then linked to the hypoallergenic french ear wires, I managed to create nine pairs of earrings. I then hooked each pair of earrings onto a cardstock back card for hanging or displaying. Whew.
The time it took for each was 23.4 minutes, (about 2.56 pairs of earrings an hour) and the cost of materials was$0.58.
I've discovered that I am not very good at this. Better keep thinking of things with which to stock the booth.
The earrings shown are made with cane wings. Pearl Ex makes the bodies shimmery and shiny. The eyes are heat set Crystals.