Learning to create polymer clay bookmarks

Look at these gorgeous bookmarks. So colorful and rich looking.

If you live in the Westford, MA area, you can take a workshop at Ink About It this Friday, October 1st, with my dear friend, Amy, who will teach you how to create them.

Read more about this mixed media workshop here. What fun!

Playing with Towers and Turrets

A few weeks ago, I started an exciting online class that combines mixed media collage with metalwork and resin. Called Of Towers and Turrets, it’s taught by the artistic dynamic duo of Sharon Tomlinson and Deryn Mentock.

In this first step, I’ve created a painted collage with stamps, words, images, gel pens and, of course, paint. I was a bit nervous to paint a face as I’ve never done that before but once I got started, I absolutely loved it!!! I used the Golden brand of paints, both the heavy body and the liquid acrylic. Love, love, loooove these yummy paints! And my 30% off A.C. Moore coupon helped fuel this new addiction.

Stay tuned for some unique jewelry creations like nothing I’ve ever created before…

My “Klimt” bracelets

I’ve gone off in a fun new direction with my jewelry lately and it’s all my dear friend Judy’s fault! I say this with great affection and admiration for an artist I consider to be THE mixed media queen extraordinaire. She has inspired me more than words can say.

A couple of months ago, Judy introduced me to painting on polymer clay and a whole new world opened up to me. That day, we made some ATCs but I got a notion to go in a different direction and make a pendant. And then I went home and started making trays of little components for earrings and bracelets and…..one thing led to another….and my “Klimt” bracelets were born. The rubber stamp I used reminds me of the shapes from the paintings of Gustav Klimt, especially his well known painting called “The Kiss”.

I am having the grandest time with my paintbrush and new hoard of Golden fluid acrylic paints! So many gorgeous colors. Yum.

I used ecru colored polymer clay as my base and cut out some square components from my stamped sheet. Then many joyful painting sessions ensued!

Knowing that bracelets have the tendency to twirl around as you’re wearing them, I wanted a clasp component that would incorporate seamlessly into the design.

I was a little nervous because I’ve never made a toggle clasp before and wasn’t quite sure how what was in my head would manifest into a physical clasp.

I’m happy to report that it works!

Stay tuned for my earring creations…

“The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Return to the Guild and ATCs

A couple of Saturdays ago I was delighted to attend a meeting of the Rhode Island Polymer Clay Guild, or RIPCG, for short. I had become a member back in the fall of 2002 and happily went to the monthly meetings until around 2008-2009 when I had to turn all of my focus onto my unsettled personal life. Now that I’m all settled in my new place (6 months now!) and am feeling more grounded and balanced in my life again, I can bring art group fun back into my life. Yay!

My dear friend, Judy, mixed media queen extraordinaire, showed us how to create and embellish ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), using polymer clay, rubber stamps, paints, markers and a fabulous little invention called Stickles, better known as glitter glue. Oh, be still my heart! You can see Judy’s tutorial here. She’s an amazing teacher, so patient and inspiring. If you’re in the E. Bridgewater, MA area, she gives classes at the Scrapbook Cupboard. Her next class is in Sept. on how to make polymer clay buttons. Check it out!

Lookie, lookie, what we made.

Aren’t they fabulous?!!

The ladies put together a delicious pot luck lunch and we ate and chatted and then ate some more.

Words can’t describe my joy at being back with this gifted, creative group of artists who all inspire me so much. Their talents are many, including Chinese brush painting, Zentangles, acrylic painting, beading, pottery, quilting and knitting. And, of course, polymer clay!

As I painted my little pieces, I felt my heart sing. There’s something about painting that really gets my creative juices flowing.

I started envisioning how I could bring this fun into some jewelry pieces. Starting with my clown pendant pictured at the beginning of this post, I am expanding that vision into components for bracelets, necklaces and earrings. What do you think?

Stay tuned for how this idea shapes and evolves…

“As we give fully, unafraid to let others know the truth about ourselves, we receive unexpected rewards from unexpected sources.”

~Helene Lerner-Robbins, writer

New polymer clay earrings

With both sets of my polymer clay earring components created in Julie Picarello’s workshop – the round discs and the long “lizard tails” – I drilled a small center hole approximately 1/8″ from the top of each piece. That is where the similarity in the embellishment process ends.

Using gold-filled wire threaded through the drilled hole, I made a wrapped “hanger” for each of the round discs and then attached a handmade gold-filled ear wire. I then created some crystal bead dangles using the same gold-filled wire and attached them to each ear wire with a small jumpring.

Using Silamide thread (my favorite for beading) and size 15 seed beads, I used the drilled hole to secure a ring of beads around the top of each “tail”. From that base ring, I worked peyote stitch first up around the top of the piece and then on the bottom of the ring, decreasing when needed to form fit the beads around the “tail”. I added a small pearl for embellishment and then a loop at the top so that the pieces could hang comfortably from ear wires.

Next up…..the pendants…