Polymer and More Resolutions and New Crafts I’m Trying…

I can not believe it is almost the end of March. I have been collecting pictures for this blog but am just now posting them! So, my resolutions this year, in terms of polymer and or/jewelry/accessories was to use ‘stuff’  that I already have.  Okay here are lots of pictures of my work space and drawers and bowls and boxes of beads, findings, ribbons, leather, cording, wire, polymer things I have made and haven’t used: (and this is just a portion of what I have)

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So, bearing that in mind, I created the following bracelets and pendants:

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Leather wrap bracelets with charms I made from assorted polymer. Owl bracelet made with owl beads I made, with glass beads and blue crystals. The pendant was made with an assortment of polymer pieces. I added a metal dragon fly, created a wire tree with glass beads.  The whole thing is covered with crackle medium and antiqued.

The following pendants were made using a technique where scrap clay is twisted and rolled then sliced in half to create Natasha or mirror beads. I added mixed media in a couple of them to emphasize the design that came out from the technique. When you make these beads, the results are always a surprise:

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The first looked just like an owl..I added a twig for a branch and twisted wire for the claws. The second reminded me of a wild boar so I added tusks, nose and ears of polymer.  I made the bail out of copper wire. The third you can’t really see but the bead itself looks like a rib cage..a very fine rib cage. So I added ribs and a heart made from polymer. The heart has crackle medium on it and then antiqued with pearlex powder.  I made the little heart earrings to match.

Of course, I have quite a few more ideas…so little time…..!!

New Crafts

Loom Knitting:

For Christmas I received some gift cards that I decided to use to buy some knitting looms. After reading some blogs about the craft I was anxious to try it. My first loom I bought was a knitting board:

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The knitting that is on the knitting board was just a test piece.  It is fun to knit on.  I’ve made one thing, this scarf, which I just love (and have worn)which is  knitted with the open rib stitch

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I also purchased a set of round looms, a ‘flower’ loom and a ‘spool’ loom.

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I made a hat for daughter using a larger round loom:

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I decided to make wristlets.  I used the smallest round loom in the set. The grey one was my first one but the binding on the bottom was way too tight , noo stretch.  So I found another binding technique and made a pair in pink. They are perfect when the mornings are cold, my palms and wrists are warm but my fingers can still grip my steering wheel.  And I don’t have to take my rings off like I do when I wear gloves.

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Using the same size loom I made a pair of slippers.  They are comfortable but a little loose.  I think I needed a thicker yarn.  But like I said I do like them and they are very comfortable.

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Using the the larger end of the spool loom I made a ruffle scarf.   I think it turned out well.

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This is the knitting project I am working on now. It’s an eyeglass class using the double moss stitch and bulky yarn. It will have two buttons that I will make out of polymer clay.

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Cracked Marbles:

All over Pinterest I have been seeing items and jewelry made with cracked marbles. There are many different instructions on how to crack the marbles.  I put them in my foil ‘box’ that I cure my clay in and baked them at 375 for about 25 minutes.  Then dumped them directly into ice water…CRACK….they are really pretty.

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Here are two necklaces and a pair of earrings I made with them.  I am in the process of making some clay dragons with the marbles as an element.

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And Now For Something a Little Different…

I was going to do this as a separate post but it would have been a very short post..so what the hell…I’ll add it to this long one!

I like gadgets…craft gadgets…kitchen gadgets, all kinds of gadgets.  I also like bacon..sooo when I heard of the perfect bacon bowl I decided to splurge and try one out. So here is my review:

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The box comes with two bowls.  They are heavy black plastic. Using the instructions I wrapped 4 slices around the bowl and microwaved it.  When I went to pop it off one side stuck where it over cooked. I made some scrambled eggs with a bit of cheddar cheese on top.  It was actually quite good.  Won’t use it every day but for a special day  or for a weekend breakfast, I would use it again.

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Christmas Polymer

This Christmas I decided to make a few of my gifts to save some $’s.  They did turn out pretty well I thought.

Series of work table pictures … presents in progress. Neat table to messy one as the work went on.

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The presents:

Christmas ornaments; fairies on poinsettia’s.  Made for friends.

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Reindeer earrings. Made for niece, step daughter-in-law and son’s girlfriend.

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Boaters ‘red-neck’ mugs.  Made for brother and sister-in-law. The boat is a pic of their boat and the tag was designed by my daughter.

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Candy ‘red-neck’ jar..unfortunately did not get a picture of the top of the lid. Was a circle of blue granite clay with a stamped snowflake image on it. Made for oldest sister.

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Some more new polymer…

Some new techniques I have been trying:

A new leather mix..has dryer lint mixed in it..I also antiqued it with some bronze acrylic paint. I don’t know if really looks like leather but I do like how it turned out.

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This bottle I covered with the clay embossed with some stamps. Braided some to look like leather cording.

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This is a bracelet I made using the clay to hold a faux bone cabochon I made. I embossed the back and added some elements. I used a chain, cord and wire to put it all together.  I really like how this turned out. 

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I made some beads that look like wrapped leather. Click on the pictures to see it closer and you’ll see what I mean. I made a bracelet and matching earrings. Yes that is a skeleton hand.  I saw that at Michaels before Halloween and couldn’t resist it..decided to use it to model some of my jewelry..LOL.

Made with Premo clay, dryer lint, acrylic paint, glass bottle, chain, cording and wire.

Works with crystals:

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Made a locket using a large crystal covered the top with slices of a leaf cane. Made the bail with copper wire.

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This is a necklace made with a crystal marble, brass wire and chain, slices from leaf cane and polymer clay beads and glass and brass beads.

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This is a matching bracelet I made.  Also made from a crystal marble, leaf can slices, floss, glass and brass beads and brass chain.

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And matching earrings..used a fishing swivel with these.

Leaf cane was made with Premo clay.

Mini Fairies

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Using a tutorial from Sue Heaser, I made these little fairies. They are barely an inch long..I used floss for the hair. The tutorial used mohair. I plan to make more for part of some gifts I plan to make.

Crackle Paint

I have been seeing some items that were antiqued with crackle paint and wanted to try it on polymer.  I have experimented with three different types. One you first paint the item with acrylic paint then paint the crackling medium over that and then again with acrylic paint which then crackles. Then another one you paint the item with acrylic paint then brush the medium over it which then crackles. After it dries you can antique it with paint. The third type is a medium you paint on an item (without having to paint with acrylic first) and it crackles..then you can antique over this.

Here is an example of the second type:

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This was made out of blue clay. I painted gold paint on it. Then applied the medium.  It crackled nicely. Then I antiqued it with cream colored paint. The first type of medium I did not like for polymer. The second type turned out well as shown. The third type I’ve used on two items that aren’t completed and they turned out well also. Will post pictures when completed.

Wirework

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Using a tutorial for the spring 2013 Wirework issue, I created a wire bezel for this cabochon. I think it turned out well for my first time.

Used a polymer clay cabochon, brass and copper wire.

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These clasps are called Garden Gate Clasps. They are designed to be used with multi strand designs.  I used a tutorial from artbeadscene.blogspot.com to create them. They are made with a variety of wires.

These next ‘beads’ I LOVE!!  I bought a book called “Enchanted Adornments” at a half price bookstore.

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There is a necklace in there that is called ‘woodland wings’ . In the book the wings are made with a wire frame and then clear resin. I decided to adapt the design by using translucent clay and alcohol inks.

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I used Fimo translucent white rolled at the thinnest setting of my pasta machine.  Pressed the wire frame into the clay sheet. Rolled it up a little on the edges and trimmed with my x-acto  knife. Ran a bead of liquid clay around the edge for strength. Dropped alcohol ink drop by drop on the clay..I wanted colorful wings. After curing I glazed with polyurethane.

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Chocolate Chip Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

DSCF3723Yummy…

A friend on Facebook shared this recipe on her page.  It sounded delicious and I decided to make it for work.

I believe it is a Paula Deen recipe, but won’t swear to it. Very rich!

Serves 12-16

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly grease a 13x9x2 inch baking pan

Ingredients

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Cake Base Layer

1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix

1 egg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well.  Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.

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Filling Layer

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 (16oz) box confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners’ sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.

Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips on top of filling. If you want you can also add 1 cup chopped nuts.

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Bake 40-50 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey.  Eat and enjoy!!

Note: As I was writing this post I realized that when I made this recipe I used less butter. In both the cake layer and the filling, according to the recipe, you are to use 1 ‘stick’ of butter each. With my crazy mind I read 1/2 stick each. Well, you know it turned out quite well with my mistake—without realizing it, I made it ‘lighter’ lol.  I made it again today (with the lower amount of butter) per request from my hubby who only got 1 small piece out of the last one.  He really liked that one small piece. 

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Luscious Lasagna

As promised, our recipe for thick, rich, cheesy lasagna!

Ingredients:

2 boxes stove-ready lasagna noodles – the kind you don’t have to pre-cook (best invention ever!)

You won’t use all of it..it seems I am always short a noodle or two after I use one box.

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Large container of your favorite spaghetti sauce-we used the 66 oz bottle of Ragu traditional.  Again there will be some left over.  Daughter likes to add sauce to any leftovers she heats up.

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Cheese, lots of cheese! We use Provolone (smoked), Mozzarella and cream cheese.  I don’t care for ricotta, thus the cream cheese.

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Since daughter does not like meat in lasagna (I don’t know why-a glitch in her makeup-it must be from her father’s side) we compromised and use lots of sliced mushrooms.  I used 3 cans.

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Putting it all together:

Preheat oven to 425.

Put a layer of noodles on bottom of pan.

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Pour a thick coat of sauce…since you don’t pre-boil these noodles you want a lot of sauce so they can soak the liquid up as the lasagna bakes.

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Then the cheeses…Mozzarella, Provolone and dots of cream cheese (I love cream cheese – so I put large dots!).

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Now a layer of mushrooms:

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Another layer of pasta and repeat the sauce/cheeses/mushrooms:

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I did not use cream cheese on this layer as it is very rich and I use large dots of it on the other layers.

Again: (with cream cheese this time)

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Now the top layer:

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Mmmmm side view:

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Cover with two layers of foil:

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Pop in oven and bake for one hour to start.

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Uncover and check how tender the noodles are..if needed pop back in and bake 5/10 more minutes. I baked ours for an extra 10 minutes. Take out of oven, let rest about 10 minutes, uncover and enjoy!

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This tastes especially good the next day…

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New Polymer Pieces

I haven’t been as productive as I usually am during the last three months due to personal issues.  But I am now back on track and raring to go.

Some bracelets:

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The beads for these bracelets are made of translucent blue and translucent white clay.  I mixed a little embossing powder in each to add interest to the clay.  These beads are in the shape of skulls, which is very popular right now.  I also made these bracelets adjustable. Made with premo clay, black cording, glass silver, black and purple beads.

With the leftover blue and white clay mixture from the bracelets above I made some beads that remind me of rocks or maybe sea glass.  I like them…

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To some of the leftover white translucent clay I added ‘brown-sugar’ embossing powder.  I think it makes the bead look like it has sand in it.

Made with premo clay, beading wire, lobster claw clasp, silver and clear yellow glass beads.

The beads in this bracelet started out with the white translucent and I added pink (the color on the jar is ‘petal’) embossing powder (I love embossing powder as an inclusion to clay-it gives great texture to the clay). I think I am getting closer to sea glass..maybe not..either way I like the beads and bracelet.

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Made with premo clay, pink-gold jump rings and lobster claw clasp.

Some beads:

I love the faceted beads that I talked about in a previous post.  So I made more.

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The white ones are pearl clay and the lighter ones are translucent clay with some ink added.  I didn’t glaze these just used white acrylic to emphasize the faceting. I like the matte look of these.

Made with premo clay and acrylic paint.

These are more a burgundy or maybe a rich chocolate brown.

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These I coated with multiple coats of kato liquid polymer after accenting the facets.

I really like how rich they look.

Made with premo clay, acrylic paint and kato liquid polymer clay.

These arm beads were an experiment.  I really like how they turned out. They were inspired by a project in the book “Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams” a book of mixed media projects in epoxy clay.  Even though I don’t work with Epoxy clay, most of the projects can be adopted to polymer clay.  This book isn’t your run of the mill art project book.  It is kind of dark, gothicy, kind of creepy but fun. Here is a picture of the cover:

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The project that inspired these arm beads is called ‘Lion’s Paw Necklace”’.  The beads in the book are in the shape of lion paws with the forearm.  The artist used a mold to create them.  Here is a scan of the project:

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I have a human hand mold that I used and then I free formed the arms.  I haven’t finished the design of the complete necklace yet and I haven’t decided whether to use pearl ex to darken these or not..or keep them looking like pearl.  They turned out well I think.

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I put a channel under the fingers so I can thread a ring through.

These are made with premo pearl clay.

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Killer Cupcakes

A friend of mine was telling me about some cupcakes he makes for his family. He said they were chocolate with cream cheese and chocolate chip filling.  Well of course I had to ask for the recipe! They turned out quite good. So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Box of German Chocolate Cake Mix (I used the brand that uses 3 eggs)

Filling Ingredients:

1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese

1 egg well beaten

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 oz package of chocolate chips

Preparation:

Prepare box of German Chocolate Cake Mix as directed on box and fill cup cake cups about 1/2 to 2/3 full with the cake mix.

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Prepare filling by mixing cream cheese, egg, sugar, salt and chocolate chips.

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Top each cup cake with about 1 tablespoon of filling.

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Bake using cup cake instructions on the box of cake mix.

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Ice the cup cakes with any flavor you like, I used cream cheese frosting.

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Here is the inside:

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These are very good and rich. I found if you keep them chilled they are even better.

Enjoy!

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