From the monthly archives: April 2011

Lately, there’ve been a few playdays with polymer clay, where I just try out ideas and techniques. The main reason is that, inexplicably, I’ve forgotten everything I ever knew about caning. Wait, that’s not strictly true; I remember it all, but transferring the knowledge from brain to hands is proving very difficult *G*

So here’s a taste of what I’ve been doing instead:

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I’ve also managed to install a proper shopping cart-type shop on my site, alongside my other older, more whimsical pages *G*

Link is here: Yay, real shop.

I’ve let my Etsy listings lapse a little because I want to try to get my own site out there a bit more, and give it some self-confidence, so there’s a lot of new pieces up there instead. (Plus, listing items is a relief when I’m not constantly waiting for Etsy’s many listing pages to time out on my slowish internet connection *roll eyes*)

 

I received a lovely conversation recently from Gill of Bluebell Designs: she had purchased some of my beads, and designed some truly lovely pieces with them. Here’s a peak at one of her creations incorporating my beads:

Artisan bracelet by Bluebell Designs

There’s also a lot more eye-candy at her jewellery site, including some beautiful lampwork and semi-precious designs.

Thanks Gill :D

 
  • Beets
  • Saffron
  • Turmeric
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries 
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Turmeric
  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • A seive
    • 1
      Add 1 tsp of stale turmeric for yellow. Turmeric is often used to give vegan puddings and tofu scrambles that “eggy” shade. This is a good use for turmeric that’s past its prime, since stale turmeric is fairly flavor neutral.
    • 2
      Mash the juice from 14 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries directly into the icing using a sieve to create blush or pale pink
    • 3
      Mash half a small avocado until creamy paste to get pastel green. Mix this into your icing. The avocado makes your icing thinner, but in a fluffy, pleasant way.
    • 4
      Mash the juice from 14 fresh or thawed frozen blueberries and 12 fresh or thawed frozen blackberries directly into the icing for raspberry purple, using a sieve.
    • 5
      Experiment and color your world! Other natural sources of color include carrots, beet juice and chlorella.
 

Remember the Beetroot Post?

Well, born partly from my (slightly odd) idea, Judith Lynn has been doing experiments with making a paprika ink/dye, and the results are looking great! You can read about her process and see pictures of the results here. She also had some tips for making beetroot work more effectively as a dye, which I’ll be trying soon.

So, in the search for natural vegan dyes we have a pink/red and an orange/yellow! I’m off to see what other colours can be added to the list *G*

 

When I first started making polymer clay buttons, I used to diligently measure the diameter of each button size, divide it into four, and then pierce the button holes at the two middle points. It wasn’t always perfect though, because my buttons sizes aren’t easily divisible by four, so I wanted to come up with a different way.

Ta-da! This is what I did:


I’m sure you’re all aghast with amazement (that look on your faces *is* amazement at my genius, right? I always get ‘amazement’ and ‘pity’ confused.)
Basically, I bend quite heavy duty wire around the test buttons so it spans the diameter:
Then I bend another piece of wire to the width I want the holes, using my flat-nose pliers.
I measure the first piece of wire, and wire-wrap the smaller piece onto the middle with thin (03.mm) wire.
Voila! Now you press it onto your uncured buttons and you get nice, evenly spaced holes.
If you’re good with wire-wrapping (um, unlike me) you can repeat step one and bind that onto your button-hole maker at right angles to the first large bar so that it is genuinely evenly spaced in every direction. (see below)
I’m sure there are lots of easier, better, and less stupid-looking ways to do what I’ve done, but hey – can you photoshop googly eyes on those ways and make a cute spider? Can you?
 
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