Feb 26, 2013

Polymer Clay Swaps–Hearts & Textures

Heart and Texture Swap with date

This deadline for the mailing date for this swap has come and gone and happy to say I can finally blog about it since I’ve received the items from both my partners and they have both received mine. Yay!

The theme was Hearts and Textures, meaning that for the challenge we would create Polymer Clay Texture Plates (from polymer clay) and Hearts which we could stamp with the texture/s we created, but not necessary. Since I primarily work in jewellery I chose to make heart pendants.

Here are the ones I created for my partners, Bonnie Kreger in the USA and Leila Bidler in Italia. I have to say I am very lucky to have had these two ladies as my partners! They both spoiled me as you’ll see in a bit. The first set I sent to Bonnie. The bronze heart has a multi color stripe back with mica clays which I sanded and buffed. You can just barely make out my signature stamp on the side. The green blue heart has just about everything including a bit of crackle.


The second set I made for Leila. The blue heart has crackle and was silkscreened with one of my stencils and then has a layer of resin applied. The bronze hearts’ back, like Bonnies' has mica clays and was sanded and buffed.



Bonnie surprised me with something extra…a Shambala bracelet made with her handmade polymer clay beads that have the same cane as the Heart. Love the shimmer in the cane (darn photos can’t show that) . Of course the resin adds great shine and the pink & black go together like pie & ice cream…mmm. I think the keychain idea is so clever and I’ll never have hubby borrow my keys again!! hehe  Love the kumihimo work with the beads. Bonnie you have way more patience than I do! Bonnie made me laugh when she sent me a note saying the texture plate can be used to feed the birds, lol. I still think even if I don’t use it for texture, I can put it on a Journal as a cover! SmileThumbs up 

Bonnie Kreger2DSC07943

DSC07944 TADA!

Leila too spoiled me… with not 1, but 3 plates! 1 of them is a negative of the other. She made these laying one stripe at a time, baked, sanded to smooth the edges and then carved wiggly lines into them. Pretty nifty and am looking forward to using them. The heart is also sanded smooth and buffed. She left it so I could choose to add a pin, magnet or for stringing, but this might be a cool pocket ‘pet’. I like carrying things in my jacket pockets to play with. I tend to have my hands in my pockets when I walk or stand around. Leila also has a very neat signature stamp, but I forgot to take a photo.


If you are interested in joining our FB swap group, send me a comment or message with your email and I’ll let you know the details. Have a look at these blogs for more…


http://beadcomber.ca/ <<<<<You are here











Feb 20, 2013

New Tutorial - Ammolite, Batik Veneers and more

Am happy to announce that my latest tutorial is finally finished. I know some of you have been waiting on this one for some time. Thanks for being so patient!
Ammolite Crackle
This one is packed…24 pages and almost 100 photos. I couldn’t decide on an appropriate ‘short’ title since this tutorial is so packed with techniques, tips and more.
If you're not familiar with Ammolite, it is one of the most wonderful gems, full of flash and fire and just about any color you can think of. It is the fossilized shell of the extinct sea creature Ammonite.
I've divided this tutorial into different sections. You will learn to make:
1. Crackle and Batik Pattern Veneers (a part of
the Batik & Shimmer technique)
2. "New Crackle" technique (one method)
3. Faux Ammolite
4. Uniform color or metallic edging for veneers
5. Faux Bone and Raku Pendants
6. Texturing front and back of pendants
7. 3 styles of polymer clay Bails
8. Bezels for embedding tiny stones or chips of
9. Variations of veneers and pendants
10. Tips and much more.
The Tutorial can be found in my Etsy and Zibbet shops.

Feb 12, 2013

Kaweco Fantasie Pens for Polymer Clay Art


Fantasie Set Bild 2 400x400 72dpi

Childhood memories as a 5th grader in Germany…my cursive handwriting skills were never the prettiest and I would envy some of my classmates who accomplished neatly formed letters and would get complimented by the teachers. One of my teachers must have spoken to my father about my poor cursive skill because on my 10th birthday, or the start of 5th grade, I was presented with a beautiful sea-green fountain pen. My handwriting improved immensely with this new tool, perhaps because I felt more grown-up using a fountain pen. Doing homework didn’t seem such a chore when looking at a beautiful pen while doing so!


I was happy when Kaweco agreed to let me review them on my blog and even happier that they surprised me with both a ballpoint and a fountain pen! Beautiful craftsmanship…

Kaweco Fantasie Pen set

 Kaweco is located in Nuremberg, Germany and is well-known for its exceptionally high quality writing instruments, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The Company has a long history since it’s early beginnings in 1883. Before setting off to cover them (more on that in a bit), I just had to play and handle them on their own a bit…like a new toy, yes, you know it. I had to click the ballpoint pen a few times, to feel it’s strength, feel it’s nice weight and gave it a ‘go’. I’m not exaggerating when I say it is the smmmmoothest writing instrument I have ever felt touch paper. Like a perfectly weighted pendulum balanced between the fingers, it seems to write almost by itself. Just writing this, I had this image of Japanese Samurai and how particular they are about their swords. I handed the pen to my husband to try, he scribbled something and saw him smirk as the pen disappeared into his pocket! lol. He was teasing me when I objected, saying “ohhh…you want this back?!” lol. I know that I’ll never loan these to anyone, they’re guaranteed to disappear! These pens are like that, no ordinary pens, because as polymer clay artists will appreciate, we can cover and personalize them! Beautiful Chrome and raw brass.

The set comes with plenty of easy to follow photos and instructions in several languages.


Here you can see which parts can be cured in an oven and which cannot.


It took me a couple of weeks to ponder what I would want to cover these with, so finally created my own mokume gane stack in blues, purples and greens with hints of black, gold leaf and translucent. I find this resembles Abalone quite a bit and will hone that a bit more in the next while. I placed pieces of the mokume on a black sheet and rolled it out to a #4 on my Atlas. I used the measurements for cut-outs as per instructions, but found they needed to be adjusted in length just slightly.

2013-02-11 20-56-47.933

I trimmed the pieces and flipped them over to lay the pen blanks on top.

2013-02-11 21-01-18.886

I wrapped the pen blanks and used a soft rubber tip chisel to smooth  and close the seam. I have quite a few tips on how to get a smooth and flawless seam and finish that requires very little sanding afterward. I think I need to put that in a more complete tutorial at some point as I didn’t take any photos of that process.

Here is another tip though…instead of laying the tubes on card stock paper which will produce a slight flat spot on your piece…I use knitting needles (or skewers) and suspend the pen blanks on a tin form. I used the aluminum lid of a case that held little watch cases, but you could use aluminum pans meant for baking or perhaps use makeshift aluminum foil formed into a tray instead. For the pen blank that is closed on the end, I just wadded up some scrap clay as a support under the metal ends, so that the clay on the barrel itself doesn’t touch anything.

2013-02-11 21-27-54.547

After curing and cooling, I covered the metal rims with some scotch tape and wet sanded with 400, 600 and 800 grit. Finally, a good polish on the buffer. I just can’t convey the super high gloss in these photos, but they are smooth as silk and sparkle like glass.

Kaweco Tina Holden Pen

Kaweco pens Mokume Gane

Aren’t they beautiful?? I love them! Btw…I also covered a ball point pen that is commonly used in wood turning. I’ll show you the mishap tomorrow…

Here are a few more examples to wet your appetites about Kaweco pens…

Fantasie 5 low defFantasie 4 low defFantasie 6 low def

Kaweco’s website is language friendly and you can choose your language on the bottom of the page. Be sure to check their Calendar of events as they’ll also be at Exhibitions in the USA this year. If you too would like to purchase some Fantasie pens (or other pens) for your creativity, their prices are worth it. Contact Kaweco at: info@kaweco-pen.com

Feb 8, 2013

From my table…

Just finished 3 items…a UFO Pin and Flower Pin, both for hats but can be worn as brooches or necklaces as well. I have more of those on the way… And a ‘Card chair’ for a Hair Salon...


Flower Pin


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