#440

I have been wanting to play with clay for so long, but with the inspection and no space available, it wasn’t an achievable goal. I had even bought some clay tools that I was waiting to use, and today was finally the day.

While waiting, I had been looking at pictures and videos as well as playing with textures on my bluetac eraser.

I had the idea of making relief sculptures in bottle caps, and had lots of fun creating the two pendants above. I’m a little worried, as I researched whether bottle caps can be heated in the oven, and it said they should be fine. I’m a bit worried about the other one, as it’s a bezel of unknown materials. I quite like the coral filled one, but if it doesn’t work, I can always build the clay onto a circle and glue it on after baking.

One main reason I am back into bottle cap creations, is that I bought a tiny hand drill, used for jewellery, which makes holes in various materials, like aluminium. I was hoping it would go through shell as well, but it’s not working well on it. Maybe I just need to get the right size combination. I’ve been able to go through pencils, layered cardboard, and wood with no problems.

#395

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This is what the box die turns out like. Very pretty, and would make a great gift box for small jewellery or a couple of chocolates or something. I think I’ve figured out how to make the larger one work, it just needs some surgery first. I have to finish this box off, yet with an embellishment and ribbon for a handle. I think I’ll be making a few of these to have on hand for future gift giving.

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I also had a go at making myself an embossing folder for my big shot. It worked surprisingly well, considering last time I tried one, it failed completely. To make this, you die cut a pattern out of card from a food box, keeping all the pieces. Then, lining them up over another piece of card, you glue in the pieces in the slots, so they match up completely, taping the two rectangular pieces together so it hinges and lines up. Then you can use it as a regular embossing folder. You might have to play around with the shim plates and bulking with card to get the right amount of pressure through the machine, as this isn’t as thick as a regular embossing folder.
I’ll also have to try making my own embossing diffuser plates.

#393

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Dot dot dot…
Lately, my art endeavours have taken me to a far land, where I spend my time between colouring and die cutting circles to draw on. My first intent was to make cardboard pendants for jewellery, but  it has developed into just drawing on a load of circles, without fear of messing up. If it looks good, I can use it, if it doesn’t look good, I learn and start in the next circle. There isn’t the worry of filling a whole page, and I can use these as stickers, colour then in or scan them. I’ve had a few really cute ones, and been a bit adventurous, trying out different styles.

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This is how it started, wanting to make stickers, as I’d found a packet of sticker paper while looking for something to do. I really liked the results, and have just kept going.
At this rate, I’m going to run out of ink in my brand new markers I bought. At least I’m having fun!

#382

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I was trying out some things that I saw in videos. Now that I’ve finished cleaning, I can create things again.
I’m still keeping to a fair bit of drawing, though the muses in that area aren’t flowing greatly.
Firstly, the CD stained glass sun catcher. I was sent a video on Facebook about making old CDs into suncatchers by removing the laser layer to make a clear disc, use a stained glass liner, which I had, then fill in the sections with I’m assuming was alcohol ink, as it was transparent and adhered to the plastic. The first problem I had was I tried using DVDs. Apparently the backing layer on these are completely different and hard to remove, so I searched deeper, finally finding some really old CDs (you can tell the difference between them, as the CDs are greenish, whereas DVDs are more blue purple on the bottom.) I finally got a few discs clear, and marked on a design with a Sharpie. I knew I didn’t have alcohol inks in bottles, so I tried with my Copics, which is why it’s all streaky. This also caused the Sharpie to lift onto my Copics, erasing the lines I made. I haven’t even gotten to the lining stage yet, so I’ll have to have another go. I might have to search for more old CDs.
The other craft that I tried is these paper stones. The video that I watched used bigger circles and put them on rings, but I just wanted to try making the gems for now. You make these by punching out a bunch of circles or shapes in different colours of construction paper. You then glue them into a pile until you get a nice size to work with. Leave these to dry, and then use sand paper to shape and reveal the coloured layers of the paper. After this you seal them with sealant or nail polish, and then use strong glue to make them into jewellery. Since I only used a glue stick to adhere the layers together, I need to seal it really well, so they don’t split. By the end of these few I did, I was bored of sanding and had paper dust everywhere. They look cool and are super easy. I already have a few more ideas that I’d like to try for this.
So, lately I’ve been thinking of making videos for my raspberrysheep YouTube, which hasnt been touched yet. I know I’m not a master at anything, but I’m sure there’s plenty I could teach you guys, and it has to be easier explaining in a video than written here. I have a couple of ideas, but please, ask questions and let me know what you’d like to see in the comments.
Hope to see you soon 🙂

#352

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Nearly time for me to dive head first into Christmas card making mode. There’s some lovely inspiration this year, and I think I’m leaning towards more watercoloured cards, so that I can make them more personalised. Sometimes I stalk the peoples Facebook pages for ideas on what they like, for inspiration and a personal touch, but now that sounds creepy.
As for felting, if you don’t know, the little green guy in the picture is the mascot for Android- the rival to Apple iPhones. We are strong Android fans in this house, and my partner loves it. He even has a group on Facebook where all his friends talk about updates and technical things. This is why when I saw the green wool that I received in my package, that matched the mascot, I knew I had to make him a mini Android. I began with a polyester filling core, so I didn’t use too much of the colour. I think felting is a lot about will power. If you will something to be a certain shape, then go into auto mode while you stab, you end up with that shape. Or something like that. Once I had the base shape, which was a cylinder with one domed end, covered in a gradient from lime green to apple green, then added tiny dots for eyes, and a dark line to separate the body pieced, I had to figure out what to do with the limbs. In the logo, Android’s arms are floating next to his body, and his legs are tiny sticks poking out from below his body. I wanted to make him look a little cuter, and have large feet. This worked out great for the design, as it’s much more efficient having tucked in limbs than bits sticking out, vulnerable to damage. I made the arms by wrapping wool around the felting needle, then pulling it off, holding the wool firmly, and stabbing carefully at each end until it was a stable shape. I added it to the body before it was too firm to be manipulated.
The antenna are pieces of wire, glued into the head with glossy accents by ranger (any strong glue will do.) I then wrapped the wire until it was covered with wool, and added a dot of glossy accents to the end of the wires so they weren’t as sharp and dangerous.
Lastly, I folded a piece of wire around the keyring chain, and twisted it into a tight eyepin shape, and glued it into the figures head.
It’s cute working in such a small scale, but tricky and more likely to stab yourself. My next project has to be a bit larger to give my fingers a rest.
It’s awfully addictive though, I’m trying to stab wool between scenes in the game I’m playing in an attempt to multitask.

#351

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Post box checking day!
It’s like shopping without money, or presents from my past self. Today I received some merino wool that I got off ebay. Each packet is about 3 grams, so maybe 2cm by 3cm bags, and there’s 36 colours. I got a small amount of a lot of colours, as I like making small projects, I can use filling as the core, meaning I need less wool, and I wanted to see what colours I’d use. There are so many beautiful colours though, I think I’ll use them all.
The first thing that I want to make is little figures of my own cats. I haven’t decided whether to make them realistic, or cartoonish. I wonder if I could make them small enough to be on a necklace. Luckily wool is lightweight. I’ve been looking to Pinterest for inspiration, and there are so many great creations to get inspiration from. I’ll have to create a few different things.

Better get my guard gloves on.

#338

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I’ve been using the epoxy domes that I received the other day.
I’ve found the best technique so far, is to put the sticker dome over the picture that I want, then use a bit of PVA or glossy accents to stick the image into a bottle cap that has been flattened with my big shot machine.
Most of the pictures that I’ve used for these are from catalogues. Images on advertised t-shirts seem to be the best.
Tonight, I’ve been colouring parts in a colouring book to cut out for them.
I’ll be able to glue two together, sandwiching a bale or keychain between the caps. Alternatively, I could glue or solder a badge backing onto them.
I went fabric shopping today. I bought a few remnants in different textures to practice sewing various materials. I found some red spotted plush fabric to make miniature bears with.
I also found a nice pattern for a top and picked up some rayon, but I didn’t get the zip and bias binding that I need, so I’ll have to get them later. That should give me time to wash and dry the fabrics between cleaning.
Looks like I’m making more mess than I’m cleaning at the moment.

#325

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Finally got around to baking my clay. Also received a pasta machine. This makes conditioning so much easier, although I might get a really muscly right arm from cranking both this and my big shot machine.
Over the past couple of weeks I have be making a few things at a time, but was running out of room to keep them out of reach from the cats, so I had to bake them to make room.
I found out a couple of things that I didn’t know, like you cannot paint polymer clay with nail polish because it will turn mushy even after baking. Also, alcohol inks, like sharpies, will fade in colour over time. I’m lucky I found this out before I experimented on my figurine. I made a few pendants that I can paint on, and experimented with a Skinner blend (the gradient between colours using coloured clay.)
I still have a few things to try out, and also sanding these for painting.
At least most of my clay is conditioned now.

#309

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“I’m going to stay up tonight. There are things in this house that aren’t covered in glue and paper,” I declared to my partner, as he was going to bed. He looked at me with amusement and left the room. I had been reading the sports pages, strip by strip, as I covered random objects with paste and last weeks local newsprint.
The end. Based on a true story.

Today found myself in a shop with money and fifteen minutes to wait, so I looked for some things I needed to get, none of which I could find. So I discovered they have a newly created teeny tiny arts and craft section. They were rather cheap and mostly aimed at kids, with a small card making rack. I picked up a few things from here. I got some stencils that were aimed at kids, but they looked rather vague for some of the complex designs that were there, and it looked like it would be fun filling in the blanks. I got the girl set and boys set, so 12 sheets in all, ranging from hearts, fairies and butterflies to monsters, cars and skulls.
I bought some cheap brushes for glue and playing around. They aren’t too bad, nice and springy with no chance of real hair used (my one stipulation on brushes.)
They had pretty clear stamps, as you can see, with large acrylic blocks. These designs will be great to use on cards, especially to emboss.
I also picked up a couple new nail polishes for gem making.
I had the thought the other day to make a paper mache bangle. I was going to use a 600ml bottle, but I couldn’t find one. While looking for something else, I came across a masking tape roll, sitting right in front if me. I covered it in alfoil and added it to my paper layer rotation.
So many layers. So little time.