Sunday, March 31, 2013

Grape Hyacinth Tutorial

Here's a fast spring time tutorial.
It's the grape hyacinth pin.
So simple, but really pretty on a spring cardigan.
Hope you're getting some sunny warm spring where you are.

Materials needed to complete this project:

STAEDTLER fimo effect clay in a variety of purples, white, and a spring time green.
I mixed the colours you see here from left over clay from other projects.
white acrylic craft paint.
Jewelry adhesive or super glue
Brooch back that matches the length of your finished hyacinth.
Cornstarch or baby powder to act as a release agent

Tools used to make this design:

Round toothpick
shish kebab skewer
Medium grit nail file

Here are the clay colours I used to make my hyacinth. I mixed a variety of purple shades gradient from white to medium purple. I also mixed some glitter green with white to make a spring time green.

Use the nail file to sand the ends of the toothpick and skewer round.

Make a tapered worm of the green clay as long as you'd like your brooch to be. Mine was about 4 cm long.
Dip the rounded end of your toothpick into the cornstarch so the clay won't stick to it. Make teeny balls of the lightest purple clay you've mixed and push them onto the rounded end of your toothpick. It will make a little cup shape. Use the toothpick to push the little cups onto the stem starting with the tip of the stem.

When you get eight or nine of the lightest cups onto the tip of the stem you can move on to the next darkest purple shade. Keep building the flower and darken the clay ever five or six cups.

Change to using the skewer because it's larger when you get to the middle of the flower. The larger flower cups will be at the bottom of the flower. They will also be a darker purple.
Bake the flower on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a preheated 230 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I used my finger tips to rub some white acrylic paint onto the tips of each flower cup. You could use a cotton swab if you'd like. Use the super glue to glue your pin back on to the back of the flower and you've got a pretty little spring time sprig to wear on your lapel.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Playing With New Ideas

Spring is a funny season for designers who publish in magazines.
I've been working on Halloween projects for publication in October this weekend. I've also had my hand in some springtime ideas.
I decided I really liked the look of dots and decided to spend a few hours elaborating on the idea with some STAEDTLER fimo effect clay.

I think my favorite plan is the grape hyacinth....
Let me know what one strikes your fancy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Being Inspired

Thought I'd share some of the things that have been inspiring me this week.
Maybe they'll inspire you too.

Maggs is working on her very first stop motion piece. This is her very first character.
Look at that pouty little mouth! I can't wait to see what happens with this.

Teeny little twisted fingers.
Maggs is fantastic!
She's gathered my STAEDTLER fimo clay scraps and just started making things.....

Some grocery shop flowers.
They're probably dyed.....
But they're pretty and splotchy.

What do you think? Dipped?
I'm feeling some rose sculpting coming on.

Mercy's been working up a storm and living her dreams.
I'm truly inspired by her.
I'm a lucky Mom!
This photo was taken by the talented Mark Jarder
 Merc is wearing Dolce and Gabbana from Timeline Boutique.

And for those of you who have been following Crystal's progress......
Just look!
Here she is with a play date. 
They've been playing tug of war and romping through parks and water.
She's amazingly inspiring.

What or who inspires you?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Video Tutorial of Tile Necklace Construction

For those of you who would rather watch a video tutorial, 
I've linked to the new tutorial on my Youtube page.

So..... would you rather a video?
Or do pictorial tutorials do it for you?

Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

STAEDTLER Fimo Tile Necklace

Here's a quick project.
I had some of these STAEDTLER fimo tile beads lying around from this post begging me to make a piece of jewelry or two in some spring colours. 

I used 24 gauge silver coated wire from Gutermann and some silver coloured jump rings to join it all together.

I strung some Czech glass beads I ordered from Five Sisters on Etsy onto a home made head pin Link to tutorial Here.... then I closed the other end to make a focal cluster.

I made another of these focal clusters using a larger tile bead and strung them together with some Czech glass beads all on their own on a head pin. I joined everything together with jump rings.

I added some more glass bead clusters and attached them with six jump rings between them to make a chain.

I added a dangle bead to one end when I reached the length I wanted and a lobster claw to the other.

This is the back when it's done up. I like the dangle bead at the close of the piece. It helps me find the clasp. Makes it much easier to put on and take off. It's pretty too. A little unexpected bling under a ponytail.

Hope you feel springy too!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Revisiting an Old Technique. Photo Transfer Portrait Dolls

These are some dolls I made and taught more than a decade ago. I used Lazertran transfer paper to put an image onto the unbaked STAEDTLER fimo clay and made these portrait dolls with the results.

This is my Grandma Maggie. 
I made this doll shortly after she died and I missed her (still do) terribly. 
She has been the angel for our Christmas tree almost every year since.
She's kind of a memento mori.
She offers little mental hugs when I'm feeling down.

She sits on a shelf in our living room the rest of the year. 
She's watching us and keeping us in check.
She would have NEVER worn a get up like this and I fully expect to pay for my transgressions when I see her again.
She has a full wire armature cotton wrapped body construction and is completely pose-able.

Here is the same thing done with a copyrite free postcard image.

I'm thinking it's time to remake this idea.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Worlds Tastiest Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Claiming "The Worlds Best" anything takes great courage.... Unless it really is the very best, and this really is the best grilled cheese I've ever had. (Even if I do say so myself)

You'll need:
2 cups of grated sharp old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of diced onion
1 garlic clove chopped fine
1/2 cup of Hellmann's mayo (No miracle whip!)
1 tsp hot horseradish
1 tbsp plain yellow mustard
a few slices of Havarti cheese (optional, I just had some so I used it)
grainy bread slices
butter for spreading on bread

Chop up the onion and garlic and add it to a medium bowl.

Grate the sharp cheddar into the bowl on top of the onion and garlic.

add the mayo, mustard and horseradish and mix well with a fork.

Spread the cheese goo onto a slice of bread and cover with a slice of Havarti if you have it.

Close the sandwich with a top layer of bread and butter the top of the sandwich.

Place the sandwich butter side down in a hot pan and quickly butter the new top side. 
No messy buttering!!!
Turn the heat to medium and when the bottom of the sandwich is brown flip it over and brown the second side.

Seriously good grilled cheese!