Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Make-up and mirrors

Did you know that you should throw away your make-up every three to six months depending on how gooey it is and if it goes on or near your eyes? By gooey I mean liquid, creamy type make-ups.
I’ve known this for years, but I can honestly say I never really did it. I would think about cleaning out my make-up collection and then lament throwing out all that money. Especially since I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis. I do wear stage make-up, and when I do, I wear a lot of it!

Well realization hit me that I have a little apothecary set of drawers full of make-up I do not wear. And I also know I haven’t worn any of the make-up in those drawers for well over 3 years. Time to say good-bye expensive make-up collection. Well good-bye to this portion of it. Everthing except whats pictured below got the old heave ho! The rest is a crafting score!

It is not good-bye forever, just good-bye as make-up.
Powder based eye shadows have a wonderful second life in the world of crafts (blushes, and dusting glitter do too!).

I have matte shadows, and color shift shadows, and shadows with a ton of sparkles and they are all fabulous for augmenting polymer clay. So are those blushes and glitter powders. A lot of make up has the same mica pigments in them as those pricey little jars of mica pigment for crafting.
And apparently they are good for mixing custom personal colors of nail varnish, and they work very well as soft chalk pastels for coloring in your rubber stamp creations.

And lets not forget the make up containers. When cleaning up my make-up, I even scored a few small mirrors for decorating.

Actually the timing was perfect. We have encountered a project in the Friesen Project that required decorating a mirror jungle style. I used one of the compact’s mirrors!

After decorating the mirror with a bazillion Christi Friesen style leaves I decided to use my new crafting pigments (old make-up) to add color variation and depth to the polymer clay before curing it.

Usually when I use powder pigments I don’t use the acrylic paint patina technique. I mean why cover it up?

The following images show the mirror before and after, I think you can really see the amount of depth and detail the pigment adds.

This mirror was completely made from various scrap piles: a throw away make up mirror, scrap pile of clay, left over beads, scrap copper wire, and finished off with old make-up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Valentine's Day Crayons

This year we made 36 crayons

The blue and yellowish one with pock marks was my favorite this year

Its always fun too see them melted in the tray because that is never what they end up looking like.


You need a heart shaped pan, those silicone ice cube trays are not going to stand up to the heat

And another pan with an edge to catch all the spilled wax from the heart shaped pan, and you will have spilling wax, so a cookie sheet with walls is a must

Skin and break up a whole bunch of crayons (or just use all the crayon bits from the bottom of your crayon bucket--what  do you mean you don't have a crayon bucket?)

The more expensive crayons have more pigment and less wax to them, they melt a little slower but you will have a better crayon in the end. The cheapo crayons work just fine, but you will have a layer of non -crayon wax on the back of your heart crayon.

I use a Wilton heart cookie tray, it takes just about 3 full crayons to make one heart crayon.

Break up your crayons, mix up your colors. We found that you do not need to pulverize your crayons, chucks 1/2 or smaller are just fine.

Place in oven, I use 300 degrees and basically just watch it until they are melted. Carefully remove the two pans (this is when the molten lava crayon wax will spill), let the trays cool. After about 20- 30 minutes I put the crayon tray into to freezer for about 10 minutes, then the crayons pop right out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I <3 Robots

Every year for Valentines day I make my kids a special piece of jewelry. They are still little and I know this will get lost, but in time they may come to value that mom made them something special. Or not.

This year they seem to be full of squees when it comes to cute little square robots.
I was totally inspired by a wire artist I follow on facebook, who had a give away day for her tutorials as a big "Thank you" to all of her followers. So I wanted to give you all a free tutorial. Since I only have two tuts over on clay lessons, I decided to just publish the freebee here.

So happy Valentine's Day if you celebrate it, if not, happy February 14th! heres a little robot tutorial for you!

Supplies/ tools

half block polymer clay
big pinch of pink or red polymer clay for a heart
liquid polymer clay
eye pin (or twist your own with 2" wire)
2 seed beads
1 bugle bead
ball tip burnishing tool, or aluminum knitting needle
oven roaster bag
dedicated pie pan
index card
cookie sheet

Component building

Condition and start forming the pieces of your robot. I hand formed my body parts, you may decide for a more mechanical look to use a tissue blade to cut out your boxes.

All of my sizes are "ish" meaning not exactly

you will need:
3 small balls for "rivets"= 1/8 inch round
1 top knot = 1/8' tall x 3/16 x 3/16
1 head = 3/8" x 3/8" 1/8 thick
1 body = 1/2" x 1/2" 1/4" thick
1 hip box = 1/4" x 1/2" 1/4 thick
2 legs = cubes 1/4" per side
2 feet = balls 1/4" round
2 arms = 1/8"x 3/16" 1/8" thick
2 wrists = medium balls 3/16" round
2 hand pads = rounded triangles about 3/8" long

from the second color of clay a heart a little larger than the hand paddles.

Again the sizes are not exact, and you may find that you like a wider body and no hip box.

Assemble the body


Use a bit of liquid polymer between the pieces to ensure they cure together.

Attach the top knot to the top of the head, then add the head to the body.

At this point add the eye pin: make an indent with your ball burnisher (or knitting needle tip), add some liquid polymer clay into the divot, then shove the eye pin in.

Continue to build the robot body, remember to add a drop of liquid polymer between pieces.

Add the face

Using the ball burnisher or knitting needle make two small divots for the eyes, fill the divots with a small drop of liquid clay, place the seed beads so the hole looks like a pupil. Push the bead into the clay with the burnisher.

For the mouth make three small divots for the bugle bead, repeat the process you did with the eyes: a drop of liquid clay, place the bead, push into the clay.


Assemble the arms

There are two arm styles presented here.

Style A-arm along side the body: add the arms and wrist balls along side the body block.

Style B- arm holding heart: its easier to build the arm, then attach it to the body. Arm block, wrist ball, paddle hand. Make divots in the end of the arms to seat the wrist ball into. Make divots in the wrist ball to seat the paddle hands into. Place the arms so they are rotated away from the side.



Cut one of the small balls in half. Place on either side of the head. Using the burnisher tool or knitting needle push little divots in the middle of the ball.

Place the remaining balls at the top of the arms (where the shoulder would rotate).  Using the burnisher tool or knitting needle push little divots in the middle of the ball.


Style A has the heart placed in the middle of the body box, use liquid clay to help it to stick.

Style B holding the heart-- now this can get tricky-- to help support the hands hold the heart, roll up a small bit of paper towel and place it on the body block. Then gently rotate the wrist balls and paddle hands in towards each other, and place the heart between the paddles. Don't use too much liquid clay here or the heart will slip out of the hands, you need just enough for the heart to stick to the hands.

Cure it

Place your robot on an index card on your dedicated pie pan. Place the pie pan in the oven roaster bag, close the roaster bag with a twist tie. Place this on the cookie sheet and cure following your clay brand instructions.

Let the robots cool completely before taking them out of the pan, the arms on robot B need to be fully cured and cooled before touching them or they may fall apart.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I have a sample pack of glass clay (yes you heard the right glass clay), and a sample pack of Hadar's metal clays.

Both have been in their respective packages for over a year at this point, waiting for me to reconstitute them and make something amazing.

I know what I want to do, but I am intimidated as $%^&*(. Seriously, a cuss word was needed, thats how bad it is.

I guess after I get over my fear of cleaning off my desk, I need to venture forth and use these products.