Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cool Weather for us, Free shipping in the US for our customers!

Tomorrow we will be headed for the mountains for a few days of R&R. The owner of the RV park cautioned us to bring coats as it gets in the 40's at night.

After long days of 100° F. heat and drought, it will be great to spend some time kicking back by the river, maybe tubing for an afternoon and wearing warm jackets at night while gazing at the Milky Way.

Since we will not be here to ship orders, all the orders that come in during our vacation will be shipped on August 1st when we return. Orders in the US will ship FREE! Our overseas customers will get a $5.15 USD discount on their shipping.

 Click here: BEST FLEXIBLE MOLDS  Don't forget our tool kits!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I've got a new attitude!

Some of you may remember that song, "I've got a New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle. Sometimes things can happen that give a person an "Ah-Ha!" moment, an event that gives birth to a new attitude.

At my age I have been cleaning up the kitchen for over 50 years! It seems to be a thankless job that is never finished. So, yesterday, when entering the kitchen and seeing the dishes from lunch piled on the counter (I'd left the room before loading them into the dishwasher) I was just plain disgusted. Now everything would have to wait until those darn dishes were in the dishwasher! Or, I could leave them here but they would still be here when I got back into the kitchen to cook a meal!

Visualize a pout here.... Geesh!

Then the words from an old poem I'd read over 40 years ago went through my mind. 

Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell. 
For, by this stack of evidence, 
We're doing very well.

Yes, evidence that we have eaten today, that we can afford to buy food, and that we live in a country where food is readily available everywhere. 

Suddenly I felt a bit ashamed to be fussing about the evidence of our abundance. These dirty dishes taught this old gal a wonderful lesson and a reminder.

 Attitude is everything.  

The evidence of our abundance is a reminder of the blessings we have daily. 

Thank God. 

I immediately began to put the kitchen back in order, dishes in the dishwasher, counters wiped down, stove wiped off and a fragrant candle lit to bring a sweet aroma to our tidy kitchen. It took about five minutes!

Life is good - I have evidence. Have a great weekend!

Penni Jo

Designer, sculptor & writer for Best Flexible Molds

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Green with Envy Jade! Class by Patty Barnes

  Patty Barnes' Class 
Green with Envy Jade!
Bead Fest Philadelphia Workshop

Workshop Date: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Time: 6-Hour (8:00 AM-4:30 PM)
Level: All Levels
Technique: Polymer Clay
Classroom: Room 10
Patty Barnes is a long time teacher of polymer clay and art teacher. She is also the list mom of the yahoo group, clay-polymer, one of the oldest polymer clay forums on the web. She will be teaching this summer at the Bead Fest in Philadelphia. The class is faux jade and she will be using one of our Best Flexible Molds, PJ046 Deep Cabochons to create cabochons that will fit Amate bezels.


Pardo polymer clay, inks and inclusions will begin this easy introduction to creating realistic jade which can be molded in a Best Flexible Mold to fit a specific Amate Studios pre-made bezel set of earrings and pendant or shaped free-hand into coordinating beads. From beginning conditioning to final finishing, you will learn all the techniques to intrigue you to discover the many possibilities of polymer clay faux gems.

Discount coupon!!
Here is a coupon for a $25.00 discount on the class. When booking and registering, add the code   DISCOUNT at checkout and save $25.00 off a new purchase of a 6 hour class or $15.00 off on a 3-hour class. 

 Patty is teaching at the Philadelphia Bead Fest!!

Only ten coupons available!

Prerequisites:  None

Materials List:

Value of Included Kit: $18

Materials In Included Kit: One package Pardo polymer clay, Amate Studios earrings and pendant bezels, Best Flexible Mold, inclusions, acrylic paint, deli tissue, inter-leafing plastic, 1/4 sheet of 320, 400 and 600 wet/dry sandpaper.

Students must bring these REQUIRED MATERIALS to class: Work surface of one of the following: tempered glass, 12" glazed tile or flexible plastic cutting board. Pasta machine with crank handle and clamp or motor with extension cord (if you have one), stiff clay blade, needle tool, stiff flat bristle paint brush and shallow food saver bowl for sanding, Dremel type rotary tool with soft polyester buffing wheel.

NOTE: Some work surfaces, pasta machines, blades, sanding bowls and buffing wheels will be available.

This will be a great class for a wide range of skills and interests.

Right is a picture of of one of our cabochon molds. 
 PJ046 Deep Cabochon Mold.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Website Problems -- OW!

New look home page
Over the last few weeks we have been having a bit of trouble with our website. 

After reviewing it, checking links and going over the entire site carefully we thought it was fine.  

Since we've had the same look for a couple of years we decided, since we were working on it, to completely rebuild it with a new look. 

PJ046 info & order page
In addition to the new look every mold now has it's own page.  We've added photos of the projects (each mold comes with a free tutorial to make a project), some have materials lists, other molds that buyers might also like and some even have sizes of the parts in the mold if applicable.  

Penni Jo's Clay Tools Page
We have also added the new Penni Jo's Clay Tools to the website with lots of pictures of the tools and uploaded videos to YouTube showing how to use the tools.  

Everything seemed to be working fine when we started to get emails that it was again, not working properly. Bless our customer's hearts! They wrote to us and sent lists of the desired molds and helped us to determine what was happening. 

Joe found the problem and after hours of work on Saturday everything has been fixed, tested and running properly again. Thank you all for your patience with us and for helping us to discover and fix the problem. 

Yours Penni Jo.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How we did an Inchies Swap at the OK PolyClay Twister Retreat

This year was our first big year with three days of claying and the members wanted to have a swap. Inchies were chosen as the swap of choice as they would be small, easy to transport and take less time than the regular ATC's.   
Deal an Inchie! These were created by Iris of Polyform. Very pretty!!
The decision made, we posted this announcement on our COPCGuild Website

We will be having an Inchie Swap at the retreat. For those who are unfamiliar with an Inchie, here is a bit of info.

By Definition, Inchies are one inch by one inch squares of Polymer Clay that contain small art. They can be imprinted, sculpted, collaged, or otherwise decorated.

Perhaps the theme of our retreat "Safari" will inspire many adventurous and exotic design ideas!

You may make as many inchies as you choose. Some are making ten or more. You can use any type of embellishments in your designs but try to keep the thickness below 1/2 inch. Please put a little bit of time into creating your inchies. Think of them as little pieces of art.

Many folks will be making inchies at the retreat. Your inchies do not need to be be turned until 10:00 AM Saturday morning. The swap will take place later in the afternoon.

About two weeks before the event, it suddenly occurred to me that we had a little problem. Not one of us had ever done a swap. Ever. Some of us had swapped, for sure, but never physically swapped the pieces.

Since my most recent swap was with the Thursday morning chat group on PCC Delphi I sent an email to Jackie, our hostess and one of the moderators, asking for help. She had just finished a big swap where we each sent in ten ATC cards. When asked if she could tell me how the swap was physically accomplished, she said that neither she or her husband knew how to do a swap and had searched the web for instructions to no avail.  Between the two of them they figured out a way it could be done and her hubby did the swap. With their very generous instructions, we were able to execute the swap. 

There may be a large number of ways to do a swap, but with Jackie and her DH's help, here is how we did it. 

African Inspired inchies by Jane L.

Determine how many inchies to the swap. 5 each, 10 each etc. Request that the inchies contributed are only the posted amount or multiples of the posted amount but not more than the people at the retreat. (We did not do this and it got very, very complicated trying to finish the swap. Some had a just a few and some had one for every person at the retreat. In spite of the difficulty, Angel, the chairman of the swap, did a great job completing it.)
It seems t me that it would work smoothly if there were 28 persons, and the swap number is 10 then, if desired, they can enter 10 or 20 inchies.  Set a time for the swap items to be brought to the Swap Chairman.
When the attendees bring their inchies to the swap chairman on Saturday at 10, if they haven't done it already, give them a bag and ask them to put their inchies in a bag and put their name on the bag. Their swapped inches will be returned to them in this bag. Many will have already done this.
How to Sort the swap
  1.   Open a bag and remove and count the inchies. If just 10, lay the bag down and put the ten inchies on the bag with the person's name showing(to avoid duplication). Do this for all the bags. You should now have a series of bags with a pile of ten inchies on each of them (two piles for any persons who sent in double*).
  2.   You pick up the first person’s pile (Number One), move one bag to the right and count them out one at a time putting them down in front of each of the next ten piles, like dealing cards. Keep the dealt inchies in front of and a bit away from the existing pile on the bag.
  3.   Then pick up the next pile (Number two). NOTE: At this point, person number one has no inchie. and person two, the one you just picked up, has one inchie.
  4.   Move to the next pile to the right (Number three) and count them out one at a time putting them down in front of each of the next ten piles, like dealing cards. Keep the dealt inchies a little bit away from the existing pile on the bag.
  5.  Repeat picking up the next pile, moving to the next person and 'dealing' them out.Continue until all the inchies are swapped. Pick up the piles created and put them into the bags. Doing it this way helps to fairly sort the inchies. 
*If a person sent in 20 instead of ten, divide the inchies in half, separate the two halves by 12 places; and treat the two halves as one person each. Be sure they are separated far enough so they did not get their own inchies back.

If people bring in more than requested, and further swapping can not be done return any excess in their bag.
This is a simple way we did our swap, there are probably many ways to  do it. You may substitute any item for inchies, like ATC's, etc.

 Have fun !

 Penni Jo, designer/sculptor of Best Flexible Molds. Home of great flexible rubber molds and fine tools.