to sculpt or not to sculpt

I’m contemplating trying to sculpt again.  I’ve got “Creating Lifelike figures in Polymer Clay” by Katherine Dewey.  I have a mold for a female face (I cannot sculpt a decent face to save my life, even with the book and several online tuts).  I’ve got some cool stuff for making wings (not to mention the oodles of online tuts for making wings).

I rarely finish a humanoid sculpt.  It’s very difficult and time consuming for me to make one and my patience usually runs out.  I’ve got a body and several heads around here somewhere that I’ll probably never finish.

But I picked up a cool little birdcage over the weekend that is screaming to have a fairy inside.  And I’ve got a big tin of lace (some of it vintage) for fairy clothing. 

I haven’t attempted a fairy in well over 2 years.  I think it’s time to try again.

I may never be as good as some of those artists who sell their fairies on Ebay but I hope to eventually make one I can actually call pretty.  And despite the frustration it causes me, I can only keep trying.  Practice makes perfect (I’ll settle for pretty good).

Published in: on May 29, 2007 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

4 things

Ok so I’m borrowing from the French blogs again.  I’ve seen this survey going around their blogs and I thought it would be interesting to answer myself.

4 jobs I’ve had

fast food, pizza maker, assistant manager in a pizza place, cashier at a grocery store.

4 movies I love

All Harry Potter movies, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, All of the Star Wars movies, All the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Ok so that’s actually 16 movies and I could name quite a few more movies I love.

4 TV shows I love

Bones, House, Lost, and this last one is a love/hate thing – American Idol.  I’ll add Mythbusters to make it 4 I truely love.

4 places I’ve lived. 

Hendersonville, NC, Sheboygan, WI, Milwaukee, WI, Horse Shoe, NC

4 places I’ve gone on vacation

A cabin outside Crivitz, WI…hmm, that’s the only one where I’ve spent a night or more.  We do “day” vacations where we spend a day somewhere being touristy but come home to sleep.  Oh wait, there was Murphy, NC.  We spent one night there.

4 things I do on the Net

Keep an eye on My Ebay, read blogs and post to mine, read my Ebay Groups, play on Pogo.

4 things I won’t eat

Just 4?  I’m a picky eater.  Most seafood I won’t eat.  I only like a few types of fish.  Sauerkraut – just gross.  Most green veggies – there’s a few I will eat but I really don’t like most of them and if you cook veggies, forget it.  Split pea soup – I refuse to eat something that looks and smells like baby poop!

4 foods I love

Chocolate, berries, bratwurst (brats), sour cream and onion Pringles.

4 places I’d like to go.

New Orleans, Paris, Germany (I have family I’ve never met there), Scotland.

4 singers, songs, or bands I love

Queensryche, Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Oingo Boingo

Feel free to answer these questions in your blog!

Published in: on May 25, 2007 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Strip Quilt Round 3

stripquilt3.jpg

I think I’ve got it. Lisa’s suggestion of slicing canes thickly the long way, with my idea of scrap smooshed to the same thickness.  Each layer separated by a thin contrasting color sheet.  When cutting and recombining, always add that sheet in between.  This round turned out pretty good.  I like it.

Next to experiment with: cutting sheets of clay (patterned, leaf/foiled, etc) and putting together like you would one of these quilts on a backing sheet.

Published in: on May 25, 2007 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Strip Quilt Round 2

stripquilt2.jpg

Round 2 of the Strip Quilt experiment.

Since I used up my old canes, I made several jelly roll canes using some old skinner blends I had laying around.  Following Lisa’s suggestion I sliced these canes the long way, about twice as thick as the thickest setting on my pasta machine.  I also used some scrap smooshed the the same thickness (ran out of cane slices).  The pic above is the results.

They’re better than round 1 but I think I need a thin defining layer between layers.  And some patience to let the canes rest before reducing.

Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Strip Quilt Round 1

stripquilt1.jpg

Click the pic to see a bigger version.  These are unbaked slices of the canes I’ve produced.  I used mostly old canes with some scrap that was sitting around.

 What I’ve learned: 

1.  Strips the thickness of the largest setting of the pasta machine are too thin.  They might work with thin strips of a contrasting color between layers to add definition.   Double that thickness might work better, with or without the defining strip. 

2.  More patience than I normally show would be good as well (let the cane rest a bit before reducing).

3.  While a mish mash of color might work with fabric, it doesn’t seem to work with clay.  So I should stick with a max of 3 colors and shades of those colors.

4.  I ought to give this a try with sheets of clay.  Slice into strips, place on a backing, cut into squares and piece together.

Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm  Comments (2)  

Quilting inspired idea

I was talking to my Mom last night (she’s a beginner quilter) and she was telling me about something called string quilting.  Basically, this is taking strips of scrap fabric and sewing it to a “foundation”, often on the diagnal.  Make a bunch of squares like this and then put the squares together into a quilt. Scrappy String Quilt Instructions

I was thinking that I could take old cane and scrap, smoosh them into strips and do the same thing.  Personally, I would make a long stack of strips, maybe 1 inch tall by 6 inches wide and cut that into squares and then put the squares together.  A basketweave pattern comes to mind.  Or cut a square on the diagnal and add a strip  of black to one cut surface.  Flip the other piece before putting back on for a sorta leaf pattern.  Put a bunch of these together to make a bigger block.

I’ll be experimenting with this today and tomorrow.  I promised Mom I’d bring her samples.

Website of variations on this theme in quilts:
Strip Twist!
String-X Quilt!

Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

This and that

My husband went back to work today so I’m having something that resembles a normal day.

I’m playing with clay and playing is the key word.  I’m not really trying to finish anything or “make that which will sell.”  Just messing with some things I’ve been wanting to try.

I’ve got some gold/silver leaf covered scrap baking for some faux cloisonne.  And I’m trying the same technique (without the leaf) on one of the glitter pendants.

I cleaned out my clay gun to make the strings for the cloisonne and decided to try one of the tricks I’ve read about to make it easier to clean.  I cut some parchment paper to fit the inside of the barrel and put the clay inside that.  The paper got smooshed but the barrel looks clean.  This trick may inspire me to use the clay gun more often.  I hate cleaning it so I avoided using it.

I think I’ll go through my idea lists and see if there’s any other ideas that use a clay gun and give those a try today.

Published in: on May 23, 2007 at 11:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Ultralight clay

I was asked for my opinion of Sculpey’s Ultralight clay.

I ‘ve not actually finished anything using it just played around testing it.

I have some pendants waiting to be finished that use ultra light as the cores. 

It does in fact float.  The cores covered with Premo also float.

It mixes well with other clays (Premo) tho the mixed clay looks sorta speckled.  Mixes float as well (mine were about 50/50 ultra to premo). It doesn’t bend much (breaks when you try to fold a sheet in half).

Using it is weird.  It feels dry yet gets sticky.  It’s kinda feels like and looks like marshmallow.  You can use it just like regular clay – pasta machine, slicing, etc.

If you have hot hands, you may have problems.  I kept baby wipes handy to clean my hands and put it down for a few minutes when it got sticky.

Mixes sand ok, tho don’t get as shiny as premo when buffed.  I didn’t sand or buff plain ultralight.  Wait, I did sand some cores to refine the same and that worked fine.  There were some problems when I put them through the tumbler, darn things floated to the top.  They did manage to get sanded that way tho.

When I get examples, I’ll post them.

Published in: on May 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Auctions for the week of 5-21-07

Tutti Frutti Clay Frit Beads by Dystini

Golden Spaced Shield Pendant by Dystini

Black Gold Wavy Shield Pendant by Dystini

White Gold Red Flower Pendant by Dystini

Blue Silver Stamped Beads by Dystini

Black Pink Gold beads by Dystini

Published in: on May 21, 2007 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Now what?

I’ve got a bunch of pendants that I’m not sure what to do with next.  They’re rainbow (pearl, sliver, gold) with various colors of glitter mixed in trans on top.  They’re baked.  Some I think can stand on their own – the mica or glitter sparkles in an interesting way.  Some need more and I can’t decide more what.

1.  stamps – as in rubber stamps.  I could stamp on top.  It’s not like I don’t have enough stamps or inks.  I’ve never really done that with anything so I’m not sure.

2.  I’ve got embossing ink and powders I could try.  Again, I’ve never done that before.

3.  I could add more layers – flowers canes maybe.  But there’s the problem of them already being baked – I won’t be able to hide the edges.  Could rolls the canes in gold or silver powder tho.

4.  Molded elements – I have some molds that might be appropriate.

5.  ?  There’s probably more I could do but I can’t think of it.

 Unrelated to the above, I need to test the adhesive I got with the nail art stuff to see if it reacts badly with the clay.  If not, I can use it with the foils that change colors when baked to add them after baking.

Published in: on May 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment