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Heat Set Paints

Happy Sunday, Crafties

 

Today I’m going to share a trick I learned from another (fantastic) clay artist.

You can find her video here.

But I’ve changed how I’ve done it.

 

With this technique you can make your own set of heat-set paints, in any colour you can imagine.

 

What you need:

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  • Clay – Any brand it doesn’t matter. I used a Filini because its too soft to sculpt with and I have the full color range.
  • Clay softener – Here you can easily substitute the softener wit baby oil and that is what I did.
  • A food (onion) chopper: It makes life a lot easier. (Don’t use your kitchen one)
  • A grater: Small one that you do not use in the kitchen.
  • Pill dispenser box

 

 

Method:

 

  1. Grate the colour of clay you want to use into a small bowl.
  2. Put the grated clay into the chopper’s bowl
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  4. Add baby oil until its nice and shiny. You can always add more so start with a little and add more as you need to.
  5. Start chopping at the clay and that will mix it.
  6. You can smooth it out even more by mixing with a spoon once the chopper doesn’t help any more.
  7. Work it until it is as smooth as you can get it.
  8. Put your heat set paint into a pill dispenser box or little bottle

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Now its ready to be used whenever you want to paint your clay creations

Its wonderfully translucent so it works beautifully for blush and skin coloring.

 

Happy Crafting!

 

Polymer Clay Work Desk

Craft Room

Happy Sunday, Crafties!

I hope you are having a great day so far. I wanted to share one of my favorite places in my CROWS Room with you. My Polymer Clay work area.

This is currently and probably will be for a long time, one of my favorite crafts.

I don’t know if its because of years of drawing but I seem to have a knack for sculpting or if not a knack, then a great enjoyment for it.

So I thought I’d share photos of my area and how I have it set up.

From Right to Left:

Desk Right

Chalk Board: I use this to write down what ever project I have in mind to do next. Right now it should read Baroque Mini, but I haven’t written it down yet.

UV Light: This I have from my attempted nail days. (I truly suck at that btw) and I now use it when I make eyes for my creation. I use UV resin or UV nail top coat to get the high gloss finish on my eyes.

Scrap Clay box: Is exactly what it says. I like to keep my scraps separated by color so this box makes it easier.

Pasta Machine: My other one died… and I almost panicked. I can’t live without a pasta machine.

Eye Box: This is where I keep my premade eyeballs and backed iris canes.

Drawer set with Clay and Findings: One of my favorite things. In this set I have Premo/Femo/Souffle all sorted by color and labeled with a sticker color so I know immediately which clay I want to reach for.  I also have a few drawers with findings in them.

Camera: Is for when I get around to trying to film those you tube tutorials.

Toothpicks: No polymer clay artist will be caught dead without a good supply of these. They are far more useful than you’d think

Vasaline: I use this like a clay softener, but instead of softening all the clay I smooth with it. More on that later.

I have some head pins handy for charms, some que-tips for cleaning up and a spritzer of water for all kinds of uses.

Middle

Food Processor: Well actually it was a blender but it came with a grinding attachment which I use to chop up clay

Hand Lotion: Is a must you will not regret getting some, for some reason it a) prevents the clay color from sticking to your hands too badly and b) makes the clay more workable.

Basket: In this I keep my template for circles my acrylic blocks my calculator and a few other odds

Abour Press: I’ve spoken about this before. I can’t live without it.

Tools for sculpting: more on that later.

left

Basket on Press: In here I have a comb as you can see and my heat gun and hair dryer, all things I use a lot

I also use my Abour press with magnets all over it to attach little things that are metallic. Makes handy storage

sculpting tools

Sculpting brushes: These are plain painting brushes that I use (dragged through Vaseline) to smooth the clay after I’ve worked it. You can remove marks and fingerprints. It takes more work than you’d think but you can get gorgeous results.

Made tools: Mostly from knitting needles and sewing needles I’ve made a lot of tools that I use daily.

Silicone sculptors: I prefer these to the rubber ones, and use them all the tie.

Nail art glue: Its super glue, the kind you use to attach a nail tip to your fingernail. Stuff is tough as nails (haha punny) and it comes with a brush applicator.

Liquid clay: I have a few types I shove in there

Ball tool: And dotting tools I put them all in there too. At the back are my rollers I have a few of those too.

And there you have it. My work desk for Polymer clay.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Have a great one

Genevieve

Clay Storage

Morning Crafties,

I hope you are all having a lovely day.

Today I’m going to share with you how I store my open clay.

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I got these storage cubes from Plasticland. They cost about R140 for 4×4 rows of drawers. So 15 little drawers per cube. The cubes slot into each other so you can build them into a wall of drawers.  I can’t find them on the website (and I’ve looked and looked) but I know the Plasticland in Centurion Lifestyle center has them because that’s where I got mine.

Each little draw can fit two blocks of clay, and once again I have them in Brand then color order.

I’ve got each draw labeled with the name of the clay too. The round colored sticker on each label tells me at a glance which brand of clay I’m reaching for.

In front of the stacked cubes is one of my old storage boxes. In there I keep my scrap clay separated by color.

I’m going to be making another box for different color eyes. I plan on making many eyes.

I’ve got one of those drawer sets (the ones on wheels) I plan on using that for my unopened clay. Just have to find another home for my bear making supplies first.

😉

Hopefully this has given you some good ideas for your own clay storage.

Have a wonderful day,

Genevieve

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Polymer Clay Color Recipe Box

Boy that’s a long title…

 

Hello, Lovely Crafties,

Its another Sunday and what a beautiful day it is.

Okay, so I don’t really know what kind of day it is. Because its Monday and two weeks before this post is going up, but we can pretend, right?

Today I’m going to be showing you a storage solution/idea for all those polymer clay color recipes we collect.

I’ve seen people use folders and notebooks and every other thing I can think of to save the recipes.

There are some brilliant ideas out there.

But I had an idea that would both be a space saver in storage, and an easy to flip through catalog of color recipes.

(No, that’s not a spelling mistake, that’s how we spell color here.)

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Index Cards:

I know… They went out the window before VHS tapes did, but lets haul out and dust off this wonderful filing system because its perfect for a few different catalog needs.

As you can see this is a simple plastic “Bantex” index card holder. I put some vinyl lettering on it and used some Washi tape for colored accents.


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I made some dividers by laminating black card stock, cutting it down to size then using scrap-booking paper to make the tabs.

I made the labels using the print and cut feature on my cameo.

I made main dividers to keep brands separate then I subdivided by color groups.

Premo:

  • Black / White
  • Skin Tones
  • Browns
  • Pinks
  • Reds
  • Yellows
  • Oranges
  • Greens
  • Blues
  • Purples (which is my indigo and violet)

Then Fimo and so on  until I had dividers for all my brands of clay.


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For the actual recipe cards I used bright index cards and printed and cut out labels on my cameo (again) The little color chip goes on the top right hand corner of the card.

I thought I was rather clever, but then I’m an organizing junkie.

Happy Crafting,

Genevieve

 

 

 

 

 

Making a sturdy bracelet loom

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What you will need:

 

  1. A lid for a plastic dish (one you don’t mind destroying) I used an old ice-cream dish lid.
  2. A circle cutter (if you don’t have one you can use a scissors)
  3. A Japanese hole punch
  4. A cutting matt
  5. Scissors
  6. Felt tip pen
  7. Ruler

 

How To:

  • Using the circle cutter cut a circle out of the plastic lid.

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  • If you don’t have a circle cutter, you could use something circular like a bowl or glass and draw a circle then cut it out with a scissors.
  • Using the Hole Punch punch a hole in the center of your circle.
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  • Now use a ruler and draw 8 lines evenly spaced around the circle
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  • Cut about a centimeter into each of the lines that you have drawn.
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  • There you go a sturdy bracelet loom that will make a nice rope bracelet.

 

 

Keeping up with the Crafting

Happy Sunday, Crafties

 

As a multi-crafter I always have more than a few projects going at any specific time. Added to that, my over-active brain has ideas and concepts buzzing round it continually. Whether it’s a plot in a book I’m busy writing, or a craft idea, or a new project I want to try.

I get asked a lot. “How do you keep up?”

Today I’m going to share a simple little secret with you.

LISTS

I know, it sounds so old-skool but I have to TO DO lists and idea lists and project lists and plot lists. Even that can get overwhelming.

So I’ve found a way to simplify it and still help my overactive brain keep up with everything.

I keep note-books for my lists. One for crafting, One for writing and my day planner. Between those and Google calendar I’m perfectly organized.

 

Today I’m going to be sharing my Craft book, and the simple way I do it to keep it manageable.

Firstly I keep my craft planner on my desk within easy reach. That way I don’t have to go hunting for it when I want to jot an idea.

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My craft planner is a simple A5 book I bought for about R30 from Makro if I remember right.

I’m still going to decorate it but for now its just a plain pink hard-cover journal.

I have it divided into two sections.

 

CURRENT PROJECTS: That’s in the front of the book.

 

IDEAS: That is in the back of the book.

 

 

Simple.

So if I have a craft idea I go jot it in the back.

And the projects that I’m busy with get jotted in the front.

 

FRONT :

 

Current Projects.

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As I complete a project I strike through it with a highlighter and use a date stamp to put in the date it was completed.

You’d be surprised at the sense of accomplishment you get as those projects get finished one by one and the highlight adds up.

The green writing in the margin on the current project page is just a code I worked out for what type of craft it is. That way I know at a glance what project it is.

 

Here is the code so you can see how I did it or borrow it for your own lists:

LH- Latch Hooking

CS- Cross Stitch

CR- Crochet

CP- Color Pencil

PA- Painting

AB- Air Brushing

TB- Teddy Bears

PC- Polymer Clay

KN- Knitting

PB- Pealer Beads

CG- Computer Graphics

SW- Sewing

QU- Quilting

AP- Appliqué

CA- Card Making

BE- Beading

 

As you can see its very straight forward.

 

There is one thing I do that help when you have a huge project that can feel very overwhelming.

I break it into sections.

 

For example; I have a cross stitch piece I have been working on for ages. It’s a huge piece that has 6 pages of pattern.

I break it into pages: So in my craft journal I’ll have Page 3 of Aurora Cabin.

And once that page is completed I cross it out and add Page 4 of Aurora Cabin.

It makes a big task seem smaller, believe me it helps.

 

The Back is ideas:

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As I start a project  I strike through it with a highlighter and ad WIP (work in progress) to that page.

See so simple and you know where you are and what you have time for.

 

Okay, so I’ve made this post a lot longer than I intended too. Gah. Sorry about that.

I hope it helps you get a bit more organized if you are a multi-crafter like me.

 

Have a great Sunday

Genevieve.

 

Beaded Cup Cover

Good Sunday morning, Crafties.

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When I was little, I remember my granny having (and making) these beautiful crochet cup covers replete with dangling beads, to keep things out of her tea cups and to cover  food with when it sat on the table Christmas day (south African summer Christmas called for it)

I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own for a while—my gran’s one’s long since gone (goodness knows where)

Luckily for me (and much like my gran) I’m a hoarder (when it comes to craft supplies at least) when I find something at a good price I buy it and put it away, I always find a use for my stash.

In my stash I have heaps of seed beads. I’ve had them for years and ever so often I find a project that calls for them. Recently I bought some pretty pink faux-crystal beads and some plastic round beads. These made me get serious about my beaded cup cover.

This post is not a pattern. It’s a basic break down on how I did it. So if you want to give it a go, you will have to create your own pattern as you go. I will give you the basics and that is more than enough to work from.

 

What you will need:

A basic idea of crocheting.

Seed Beads (Colors of your choice)

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Little crystal like beads

Round plastic beads

A small tapestry needle

A needle threader (This is optional but really helps with threading the crochet cotton through the tapestry needle)

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Tulle fabric  (color of your choice)

Long pins

Crochet cotton

Crochet hook 1.9mm (size 5 in US sizing)

Superglue (optional)

 

How To:

Prepping the Tulle:

  • Start by folding your tulle in half so you are working on two layers of tulle
  • Take the size of cup you want to work with and put it upside down on the tulle.
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  • Draw around the cup with a pencil (the softer the better) then go 1cm further and draw another circle.
  • Use three long pins to pin the two pieces of tulle together before you start cutting
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  • Carefully cut around the circle
  • Keep the pins in place for the mean time.

Time to start crocheting:

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  • chart from here 
  • I learned to crochet using the UK names for stitches so I’ve added this here for those of you who call the stitches something else.
  • I used dc all around the first row (sc US) working neatly and evenly so that none of the edge of the tulle showed
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  • ss into the first stitch of the row at the end
  • The second row was 1ch 1dc (1ch 1sc) all the way around
  • Now you have a nice boarder to start working in your beads.
  • Cut the thread leaving a nice long piece so it wont unravel and put the tulle one side.
  • Alternatively you can thread your beads first and keep sliding them back as you work. Doing this has the advantage of less knots in your work but the crochet cotton tends to fray with the continued sliding of beads over it.

Threading the Beads:

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  • You are going to start only using your seed beads. I chose two colors for my base
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  • I threaded my crochet cotton through my tapestry needle and alternatively added 10 beads of each color
  • I didn’t count how many, but it was a lot.
  • This is a fantastic project to sit and do when you are watching TV.
  • First beading step done

Crochet continued:

  • Reattach the cotton using a tight little knot right near your hook.
    • Now 1ch, slide 1 bead against your hook, yoh (yarn over hook) and through the loop.
    • (your bead will now be crocheted into the stitch.
    • 1 ch and into the next stitch do a dc (sc)
  • Do this through the whole row. SS into the start of the row.
  • Sorry for the lack of photos in this part. Bright spark here was working and watching TV and forgot to take pics.
  • 1 ch, now it gets fun. Slide the bead against the hook and do the stitch. We’ll call this chaining the bead.
  • Chain five beads; double crochet into stitch.
  • I didn’t do it in ever stitch there would have been way too much, so I skipped three stitches between the chains
  •  The next row I chained 8 beads and did a dc (sc) into the center of the precious rows chained hoop.
  • At the end ss into the beginning of the row and cut your cotton.

Beading Last Step:

  • This is the sequence I threaded the beads in.
  • 5 pink seed beads
  • 1 plastic circle bead
  • 1 faux-crystal bead
  • 1 pink seed bead
  • Then I brought the tapestry needle around over the last seed bead and thread it back through the crystal and plastic bead (this creates the danglely bit)
  • last step 10 seed beads.

Crochet Last Row:

  • Chain 5 seed beads
  • Chain the dangly bit (one plastic, one crystal, one seed)
  • Chain 5 seed Beads
  • dc (sc) into middle of last rows hoops.

Continue until the row is done. Ss into beginning of row.

Finishing off:

This is optional but it does help protect your work.

Put a dab of super-glue onto all your knots and cut off the excess cotton.

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I hope that was understandable to everyone.

Have a great day!