Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wired Women Pins

Here's a quick and easy polymer clay pin to make when you need to have a quick gift.  I love working with polymer clay and the colors are all so beautiful.  I think if you try this project you, too, will become hooked on working with polymer clay.  These are simply too cute!  But they are fun to make, too!

I found this project on the website.  There are many others there for you to try.  Remember that Mother's Day is just around the corner and I can't think of a mother who would not love one of these.

* 20 gauge wire (about 18")
* Artistic Wire 22 gauge wire (about 8-10")
* Artistic Wire Premo Polymer clay in 3 colors of choice
* Wire cutters and round nosed pliers
* Sculpey Super Slicer Pasta machine, acrylic roller, or straight sided Glass jar
* A tie tack or clutch pin


The Wire Body:

Cut 18" of 20 gauge wire from the spool. · Starting at one end, form a loop for the head so that a 1/2" tail crosses the wire at about 3" from its end. Twist to secure.

At the "neck," bend the wire 90 degrees to one side to form the first arm. Measure 1-1/2", form a small loop, and bend back to the opposite side.

Repeat for the second arm.

Bend the wire straight down to form the body. Measure down 2" from the twist at the neck, form a small loop, and bend the wire back up.

Wrap the wire behind the neck, and then bend it back down to form the second leg.

Form a small loop again, and bend the tail end of the wire up again, making sure the legs are even.

Using the pliers, bend the loops at the ends of the arms and legs upwards to form the hands and feet.

Cut two pieces of 4-5" of a contrasting color wire. Bend each piece in half, and wrap them around the top of the head tightly to form "curls." Use the round nosed pliers to curl the ends.

The Clay Dress:

Condition all of the clay by rolling it into a cylinder or snake. Roll between your hands or on your work surface until it is long enough to fold into thirds. Fold it, twist it together, then roll it out again. Repeat this process two or three times.

To make a jelly roll: Roll two colors of the clay to small, flat sheets to less than 1/8" thickness. Cut out a rectangle of each color that is about 1-1/2" wide and 3" long.

Lay one rectangle on top of the other, carefully pressing them together from one end to the other. Then, beginning at one narrow end, roll up.

Gently reduce the size of the jelly roll by rolling back and forth on your work surface, pressing down and pulling slightly until it is the diameter you want.

Roll another sheet of clay very, very thin, less than 1/16" (#4 or 5 on a pasta machine). Cut paper thin slices of the jelly roll cane, and lay them on top of the surface of the clay sheet.

Smooth the surface with your roller, or roll through the pasta machine again.

Cut one strip, about 1/2" wide, from this very thin sheet for the dress top. Cut another strip 1-1/2" wide for the skirt.

Gently stretch the skirt piece, so that it ripples, but be careful not to tear it. Use your fingers to push pleats or gathers along the top edge. Then, wrap the skirt around the figure's waist (where the arms and legs intersect.

Push the back seam together with your fingers.

Lay the dress top piece across the front of the neck, and use your fingers to arrange it around the body top.

Cut the excess clay off in the back.

Before baking, push a tie tack through the back of the dress top so that the point sticks out the back.

Here's the link to this particular tutorial
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Window Shopping Wednesday

I think I will begin to use Wednesday's posting to showcase some of the blogs and websites I frequent routinely.
To visit the particular site just click on any of the pictures to go there.  I hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do.

Here's some pictures from Pumpkinseeds Folk Art :

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Dolls by Cart Before the Horse Etsy Shop

Here is an article I found about one of my favorite doll artist couples.  I visit their blog regularly and am always pleasantly surprised by the work available for viewing there.  They certainly are talented and really enjoy what they do.  Whimsy and fantasy abound in their collective imaginations.  Please visit them and tell them I sent you.

Contemporary Folk Art Dolls

Here's the link to the original article 

By: Katie Cordrey (Rockstar) Apr 11, 10
Oregon-based Etsy Artists Dylan and Jo make one-of-a-kind contemporary folk art pieces which they sell in their Etsy shop, CartBeforetheHorse. One of their creations is a set of Alice in Wonderland dolls. The contemporary folk-art set comes with Alice, her pink flamingo, the Queen of Hearts, and the Cheshire Cat. It is made-to-order through the couple’s CartBeforetheHorse shop on Etsy.
Alice in Wonderland dolls are just one set in the couple’s joyful, quirky collection of contemporary folk art pieces.

Source: thecartbeforethehorse.blogspot
Readmore: etsy

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Making Paper Beads for fun

Here's a tutorial on how to make paper beads.  I think we all may have made these before as children, but they are still fun to make and can actually become very beautiful jewelry or accessories to crafts.  Besides, they are all unique and handmade by you!  Enjoy.

How to Make Paper Beads

Make Paper Beads
Make Paper Beads
Kate Pullen
Paper beads are simple to make and a few rubber stamping techniques are all that is required to make beautiful and unusual beads. The basic technique can be adapted in many ways to achieve different effects. This is also a good way to use up odds and ends of paper. Even the most unpromising looking paper can make striking beads.


You don't need to follow a template, however a simple template is attached if required. The template has been designed specifically for rubber stamping. Instead of tapering to a point, there is a small strip that is just wide enough to display some rubber stamping. By varying the size and shape of the paper, very different bead designs can be created.

Beads in the Picture

From left to right:
  • Bead created from paper that has been stamped, with a row of glitter glue dots along each edge
  • Bead created from a scrap of paper that has been colored with alcohol inks and over stamped
  • Piece of scrapbooking paper that has been stamped in a complementary colored ink
  • Basic paper bead created from a piece of stamped paper
  • Bead created from scrapbooking paper and vellum that were stamped and stuck together before rolling
  • Bead created from paper used as packaging

Supplies Required

  • Paper
  • Rubber stamps, inks, embossing powders, glitter glue and any other embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Craft adhesive, any adhesive suitable for paper will be work well
  • Thin knitting needle or cocktail sticks
  • Diluted pva glue to seal the beads (optional)

Paper Bead Projects

Paper Bead Template

Paper Bead Template
Paper Bead Template
Kate Pullen
To print the template, simply click on the image above to open the full size version of the template. Then right click on that image and select 'Save Image' to save onto your computer. Print as required.

See the following pages for instructions explaining how to make paper beads.

Stamp and Decorate the Paper

Stamp the Desgin
Stamp the Paper
Kate Pullen
Stamp and decorate the unprinted side of the paper. This way the printed lines will not show. A rubber stamp with a detailed and intricate design will work well. Repeatedly stamp the rubber stamp over the page to build up a dense design. Cut the bead shapes from the paper.

Tip: Ink the edges of the paper. This will emphasize the design of the bead and give a more 'finished' effect.

Roll the Paper

Roll the Bead
Roll the Bead
Kate Pullen
Glue the back of the paper and carefully roll the bead. I use a thin knitting needle to roll the bead around, this helps to give a consistent result. Cocktail sticks or other thin and round implements would work equally well.

Seal the Paper Beads and Finish

Paper Beads
Paper Beads
Kate Pullen
Make sure the end of the paper is firmly attached, add an extra dab of glue if required. Leave the beads to one side to dry. I like to seal my paper beads with a coat of diluted pva glue. This adds strength and gives the paper beads a slight gloss. They could also be finished with a coat of clear varnish, embossed with embossing powders or even coated in resin. Other ideas for sealing the finished beads include coating the beads in melted UTEE or adding a coat of nail varnish.

Add any other finishing touches such as stick on jewels or other embellishments. Have fun using the beads!
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I joined another online class--making art dolls!

I am a member of several Ning groups and on one I found a class to learn how to make these really cute prayer dolls.  They are hand made out of Sculpey and then painted with acrylics.  So, I trundled myself off to Hobby Lobby and bought a big block of Sculpey and today I made these!

I still need to paint them, but they were so much fun to make.  I can't wait to make more.  I know, I know.  I still need to finish my painting and I will, but this is such a lovely diversion.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life keeps getting in my way!

I have been slowly working on my faces, but I can't say I am moving very fast.  Life keeps interrupting me.  My neice was ill for while and we were all concerned about her welfare; my job has just been murder with flip-flopping shifts and meetings, meetings, meetings.  I am just about to pull my hair out.

Tomorrow is my next to the last pottery class and I don't feel like I have learned enough to be through with this.  I will try to hang on and then take a hand building class, so I can feel like I have given this a real try.

The little work I have done on art has been on my faces, so here is where I am today.  I hope to be able to complete these faces soon and begin on the pastel of the poppies and my portrait of Satchmo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I missed my pottery class, AGAIN!

A man shapes pottery as it turns on a wheel. (...Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday I was to go to my pottery class and I really did intend to go.  My niece is having a bit of a crisis right now and I got tied up talking to her on the phone.  Then my youngest daughter called and wanted to know what was going on with her cousin.  By the time I got off the phone, I was going to be late--but I got in the car and started driving to class anyway.  Halfway there, I realized that I had forgotten to pick up the DVD I needed to return to my friend, Andy, at class.  Oh well, there is always next week.

So I finally got there and was 45 minutes late.  As I got out of the car, I realized that I had also forgotten my towel, apron and tools.  Great!  At that point, I decided that someone was telling me not to go to class.  I got back into my car and went home. 

I really like this class even though I am no good at it.  I want to learn how to do this, so what is the problem?  I really don't know.  I love playing in mud and making mud pies, so that's not it.  I know I am not good at this, but I am learning and that's okay.  I don't know what the deal is.

Next week I will make myself go.  I will have to figure out what my problem is and deal with it.  In the meantime, I will work on my pictures and try to finish one of them.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter Bunnies

Webkinz Plush Stuffed Animal Cotton Candy Bunny (Great for Easter!)The Easter EggLil'Kinz Mini Plush Stuffed Animal White RabbitWilton Easter 18pc Metal Cookie Cutter SetHoppin' Easter Fun: Children's Easter Basket ~ Boy or Girl Ages 3 to 5 Years OldChildren Easter Bunny Sun GlassesMy First Easter Basket - Baby GundHappy Easter, Mouse! (If You Give...)Here's a quick Easter activity you can do with your children to decorate their bedroom doors.  Make these cute Easter Bunny Door Hangers out of craft foam.  These should only take a short time to make and the kids will get a big kick out of making their own decorations.

Here's where I found this guide

Happy Bunnies


Printable Happy Easter Bunny Pattern
White craft foam (you can use cardboard instead)
Chenille Stems (2 colour of choice)
Scrap ribbon piece for bow (you can paint this instead)
happybunny2 (19K) Pencil crayons (markers work too, but I like the pencils better)
Permanent Marker or paint pen
Tacky glue

Happy Easter Bunnies

How to:

Print out the full-size bunny pattern and trace it onto a sheet of white craft foam (or cardboard) and cut around outside lines.

Using a coloured pencil, tilted to the side slightly with the point of the pencil facing away from the foam piece, colour the perimeter of the pattern pieces. Refer to photo. The pencils create a nice shading effect, where as markers will be a little more defined.

happyeasterthm (4K) Following the lines on the pattern, shade the circles around the bunny's feet, tummy and ears with the same colour as used on the perimeter of the bunny. To paint the bunny's face, use a black permanent marker and a red pencil to shade the rosy cheeks. Using a green pencil draw little lines at the bottom of the bunny for a little grass. Tie a bow with a scrap ribbon piece and glue in place at the bunny's neck.

Refer to the photo often for colouring and details. Using a permanent marker write "Happy Easter" across the ribbon banner. Poke holes where indicated on the banner and on the bunny. I used a sharp toothpick for this. Chenille stems can poke the holes, but it is a little more difficult. You don't need a large hole, just toothpick size.

Twist one chenille stem around a pencil to create a swirl and insert the ends into the top of the ribbon banner. Insert just enough to be able to twist the chenille stem up to secure in place (about 1/2 inch). Cut a second chenille stem in thirds and wrap two pieces around a pencil to create a swirl. Insert one end of one piece of the twisted chenille stem, into the ribbon banner and the other end into the bunny ear hole. Fold the stem up to secure. Repeat for second hanger on bunny ear.

Sign your name on the back with a pen or marker and Happy Easter!
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