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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tip for Glazing Polymer Clay Pendants

As crafters, we often come up with our own clever little ways to "make do" when we need something to help us successfully complete a craft project.  Here's one of mine:


 


When preparing to apply glaze to polymer clay pendants, thread a paper clip through the bail.









Dip the entire pendant into the glaze and brush off excess.  Hang the pendant from it's paperclip from a bamboo skewer that is suspended over a large disposable container.  (Bamboo skewers are readily available in Asian grocery stores and they are very inexpensive. I paid 99 cents for a package of 100.)  Let dry and repeat process as necessary.  Upon removal, if the paperclip sticks to the dried glaze, it can easily be removed by clipping it with wire cutters.


And there you go!  A perfectly glazed pendant - the easy way!
                                                          

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Adjustable Photo Art Domino Bracelet Project

One of the things I find really fun to create with are wooden dominoes.  These little game pieces have loads of possibilities. They make great jewelry pieces because they are so lightweight.  And best of all, you can really personalize these by using family pictures to embellish them.

Supplies:
Drill
7 Images
Pencil
Scissors
White craft glue (I use Crafter's Ultimate)
Flat (non-embossed) wooden dominoes (7 per bracelet)
Waterproof brush-on sealer
Acrylic paint
Paintbrush
Gold leafing pen
9 MM jump rings - 16
6-7 MM jump rings - 6
Decorative chain - 4 - 5 inches, cut into 4 equally-sized sections
Lobster clasp
Basic jewelry tools (pliers)

Directions:

Paint the sides and back of domino with at least 2 coats of acrylic paint.  Let dry.  Add extra designs with acrylic paint, if desired.  I made little polka dots on mine by dipping the wrong end of the paintbrush into the paint and applying it to the domino.

Trace domino onto each image with pencil.  Cut out with scissors.

On a piece of wax paper or newspaper, squeeze out a quarter-sized circle of glue.  Dip finger into glue; spread glue over domino; apply image, taking care to press out any bubbles that may form under the image.  Let dry.

Apply brush-on sealer to front and sides of each piece.  Let dry.  Take the leafing pen and carefully outline a border around the edges of the image.  Let dry; apply 2 more coats of sealer.  (NOTE:  It's really important that you apply at least one coat of the sealer to your image before applying the leafing pen, as the ink from the pen can "bleed" into the image and ruin your design.)  Apply 2 coats of sealer to the back of the dominoes; let dry between coats.

Drill a total of 4 holes into each domino, lengthwise, making sure the holes are evenly spaced on each piece.  (Please see photos for reference.)  Brush off any sawdust.

Use the pliers and 9 MM jump rings to link the dominoes together.  After all 7 of the dominoes have been linked together, add 9 MM jump rings and chains to each end.  Use one 6 MM jump ring to connect the chain ends on each side of the bracelet.  Add an additional 6 MM jump ring and lobster clasp on one side of the bracelet.  Add 2 more 6 MM jump rings to the other end of the bracelet.  Wa-la - your little masterpiece is complete!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chocolate Candy Bar Earrings Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to Peggy aplSEEDS, winner of this week's blog giveaway!!!  Peggy, please send me your mailing address so I can send these "sweet" little earrings to you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life Got in the Way the Past Few Weeks - Updates Galore & GIVEAWAY

Hello and long time no write!  The past few weeks have been one heck of an interesting and busy ride for me.  It's not that anything bad has happened; it's just that I had lots of good things occur seemingly all at once.


The first really big news on a personal level is that my middle child, Anthony, graduated from St. Gregory's University last month.   He was able to achieve this goal in 3 years while working his regular part-time job (to pay for his living expenses) and running his charity for the homeless, Labor of Love Charities.   At the end of last year, I informed you that a gentleman Anthony met had planned to donate a hotel to the charity with the intent that it be turned into a homeless shelter.  To make a long story short, the donation fell through, however, Anthony is in the process of purchasing a 3 story building in downtown Shawnee that will serve as a resource center and place of shelter for the homeless.  Formerly known as the Gasco building - once the oldest funeral home in Oklahoma - this charming building maintains much of it's original art deco decor, flooring and even a chapel.  This shelter will be called the "Philomena House", and if all goes well, it will be open for business at the end of summer.  Please keep your fingers crossed.   Labor of Love Charities now has a Facebook fan page where you can stay abreast of all the latest news with the shelter, the homeless and to view pictures of the Sunday feedings and new shelter.  Hope to "see" you there!     (Pictured below is Tim, one of the regular Sunday visitors to the park, and someone who absolutely tugs on my heartstrings.)

On the "crafty" side of things, the Village Candy Store in  Sewickly, Pennsylvania contacted me to design several candy-themed jewelry pieces they can sell in their store.  Based on my conversations with the owner, Doug and pictures he sent me of his store, this appears to be one fun place to shop.  Not only can you buy candy there, but other candy-themed goodies - pillows, clothing and now, my jewelry.  I think this is going to be one fun adventure and I definitely plan to visit Doug and the Village Candy Store when I make it to Pennsylvania.     

My jewelry designs will be featured in two upcoming books.  The first, tentatively titled "Found Art Jewelry" by Heather Skowood, is expected to be released this fall.  The second, 1000 Steampunk Inspirations by Barbe Saint John, will be released in the Spring of 2011.

I have a few other things up my sleeve which I'll share with you soon.  :)

In the meantime, how about we celebrate all of this good news with a "sweet" giveaway?    All you have to do is leave a comment under this post and please make sure I have a way to contact you through your blog or an email address.  A winner will be selected at random on Saturday, June 5.    The winner will receive a pair of my handmade polymer clay chocolate bar earrings!  Good luck, everyone!