Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Uh oh - a possibly addictive technique to try...

Hello Everyone,

One of the people that commented on my blog suggested that I look at other Francophone websites. Today's post is from DomiCreative and it's a tutorial on the "Vice Versa" Technique using an extruder gun. I was initially drawn to the photos of the earrings - they're fun and remind me of the Caribbean for some reason.

Anyhow, this is something that I'd like to try when I get done with the Christmas stuff.

The series links are:

The technique
The results
The earrings

For those that don't read French, she says that it's easier to texture one side, slice off layers, then turn over and texture the other side to slice off layers.
The rest of her website has some very nice shots as well so do browse.



New Translator Button!

Hello Everyone,

By looking at my site statistics I know that I get visitors from all over the world. I noticed on Bounette's blog that she's got a translator button so I decided to add one of my own. It's on the left.

I took a quick look at the French and Spanish translation and, while not perfect, at least give a sense on what I'm trying to say. I would imagine that the translator errors are as interesting in other languages as they are when I play with the translators from other languages into English.

Anyhow, if anyone is interested in adding their own Google Translator Button, you can go here:


For people that use blogger.com, you have to go into "Template" and then add a page element and choose the correct page element.



Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Swap Teasers

Hello Everyone,

I discovered a nifty feature on my Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo image software. It's called "kaleidoscope" reflection.

I thought I'd play with the Christmas ornaments that I've received so far from the swap and post the images.

These images are photos of ornmanents from: Iris, Gera, Gail, Pat, and me. I won't say whose are whose.

But, they're fun to look at and a huge time waster because of all the settings that can be tweaked.

Hope you enjoy the images,


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Scrap Clay and Dollar Store Candy Tins

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to finish up Christmas stuff so that I can move onto other things. I love covering containers and it's nice to put an ornament or something into the container to give as a gift.

Our dollar store sells candy in tins that are just perfect for covering. The one trick is that there is a slight indent in the lid and bottom. I fill that in either with scrap clay or with liquid clay prior to covering - it just gives it a nicer shape.

I tend to generate a lot of scrap clay and I'm not disciplined enough to separate it into nice neat colour piles when I generate it. At some point I like to use it up.

So here are a few samples.

I've used Bev's stamps for texture and PearlEx pigments along with the Daniel Smith powders for highlights. For the silver and gold container I only used the Daniel Smith powders. I then finish them with spray on satin Flecto Interior Varathane (Thanks to Helen Breil who gave a demo on texture sheets at our guild and showed us this magical solution to setting the powders).

Our dollar store near by is selling little glass ornaments - they're perfect for covering with clay. The hardest trick was figuring out how to do it smoothly.

I love how these have come out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A beautiful face cane

Hello Everyone,

I'm in the middle of finishing my Christmas ornaments for our Clayamies swap and haven't been posting very much. I decided to take a break and visit some of the sites that I've got linked on my blog. One of my first clicks was on Bounette's site.

I'm a caner and love to see other people's cane work. This is Bounette's first attempt at making a face cane and I'm simply in awe. I love the majesty of the face and how she's incorporated it into the finished piece.

You can visit her blog here: Le Blog de Bounette


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bev's e-mail address

Hi Everyone,

This is just a quick blog as I get ready for work in the morning.

I've posted a few blogs about Bev's stamps and how you can ask her to make a custom stamp. She's finally come up with an e-mail address if people would like to contact her directly. It's:




Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to track your favourite blogs (or any other websites)

Hi Everyone,

Today's entry has nothing to do with clay. I use a free utility at work that notifies me when there is a change to a website (such as a blog). It's called TrackEngine and is available for free here:


It's fairly simple to use. You do have to sign up, but once you do when you're on a website that you decide that you want to track, it's as simple as cliking a couple of buttons. I haven't had success with the drag and drop method that they call for, so I use the alternate method of having it sit in my favourites.

Basically, when you come to a website that changes on an irregular basis (like many of the polymer clay blogs), you can add that website to the TrackEngine and you'll then get an e-mail any time it is updated. The changes are highlighted in blue.

Very useful for intermittent posters.

I wouldn't do it for something that changes daily (unless you want a reminder to check that site each day).

One thing to note is that you'll get notifications for EVERY change to the website, even if it's someone adding a comment to a blog. But, because the changes are highlighted in blue, if you don't see any blue, then you probably don't need to see the change. Also, if someone is posting and then seeing what it looks like and then posting (like I've done with this one), you'll get multiple notifications for the same post.

Hope this helps,


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The making of a Christmas stamp...

Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd share the process of making a Christmas stamp that Bev now has available to anyone willing to purchase it.

As an intro, I love words, books, and text (as is probably obvious given how wordy I am in my blog). So, I thought it would be nice to have a stamp based on phrases from Christmas carols. Sounds easy in principle, but not so easy to actually implement. This stamp probably took me 10 hours to design.

Step 1 - choose a list of Christmas Carol phrases that make me sing along just by hearing the phrase. Websites with Christmas Carols were valuable during this step just to make sure that I had covered the ones that I liked.

Step 2 - type them into a Word document with borders that the stamp was a 4 inches wide and six inches tall (this was the easy part).

Step 3 - decide what fonts to use for the Carols. I spent hours on this. Some were easy, such as the "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" needed to be BOLD and larger font. Others were harder, such as "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire".

Step 4 - Rearrange carols in the stamp so that there was a mix of bold, capitals, cursive, italics, and other styles. Also try to mix the non-religious themed with the religious themed. More hours spent on this.

Step 5 - Send to Janice for her input - raise eyebrows when she writes back saying that the reindeer are a nice touch but isn't sure of the fish skeletons. After a bit of back and forth realize that her Word reads fonts different than mine does.

Step 6 - Send to Bev for processing. Bev likes it and generates a stamp for me - I don't believe we had any back and forth on it at all (in huge contrast to another stamp that I asked her for where I kept tweaking because I kept changing my mind) though now that I look at it closely I notice that it's not quite what my fonts were for her originally (I'm still really pleased with it though).

Step 7 - Ta dah! A Christmas stamp is born. I do have a new found appreciation for people that generate stamps - it's not so easy.

I'm currently working with Bev to design a new cursive stamp for me since I've misplaced my stamp. I'm basing it on my wedding ceremony that took place in Spanish in Costa Rica. I'm wrestling with whether I want the words to make sense or whether I should mix them up and incorporate typos to make the font more interesting (more y, q, f, t, and ls).

P.S. Bev now has a contact e-mail for people to reach her directly - it's bev@impressit.ca

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bev's new stamp

Hello Everyone,

As I've mentioned earlier, we're lucky enough to have a woman, Bev, in our guild who will create custom stamps for us. What I didn't mention is that she also makes beautiful stamps of her own that are also available for purchase at the very reasonable price of $10 Cdn. When we were at Guild last weekend she had just finished this stamp and had a couple available. Janice and I snapped them up and I love it.

Bev's stamps come as a turquoise flexible rubber sheet (similar to the clear stamps that are sold at Michaels). You can run them through the pasta maker with your clay or you can press them in using a brayer or your hands. They work well as general stamps, too.

Anyhow, I loved this pattern. Here's how it looks with some of my scrap clay. I've dabbed pinata inks on it and some pearlescent powder.

At Guild a friend of mine, Karen, showed me an ugly charm bracelet that had black rubber inlays into a silver blank that she had purchased on one of her craft store forays into Buffalo. Once you peel out the black rubber inlays it leaves a nice frame for polymer clay. When I said that I wanted to play and see what I could come up with she gave me one as long as I promised to fill it in and give it back to her.

Here is what I've come up with. I impressed the clay, covered it with silver foil, then dabbed Pinata inks on it, placed the clay into the blanks, and then started working with the TLS and heat gun.

One thing I've noticed though is that the Pinata inks do start to bleed after a few layers with the heat gun. It's not a big deal with the bracelet - helps to provide depth, but it gives me concerns about how stable the ink is for a long period of time. I have a few samples that I've played with and I'll keep an eye on those.

Here are a couple more stamps from Bev.

Bev is working on a website. Once she's got that posted I'll post it here. In the mean time, if anyone wants some custom work done, leave a comment and I'll get Bev to get back to you (I don't want to post her e-mail since I don't know how that works here).



P.S. Bev now has an e-mail where she can be contacted directly. It's bev@impressit.ca