Thursday, June 27, 2013

Arts and crafts goes to derby: wheel storage

One of the fun things about being artsy-craftsy is being able to master creative problem solving.

Well I have recently taken up learning how to skate so I can learn to play roller derby.
My kids play derby, have been for almost a year now. They are learning some fantastic stuff above and beyond the sport like poise, strength, endurance, self confidence, strength, every body is different and every body can do great things. One of the GREAT things about derby is skills not size are what make a great derby player.

I could wax poetic about derby for a while, I really could. And that is one of the reasons I wanted to play too.

But that is not my purpose here today, today Im here to discuss wheel storage.
My kids are at the level where they are going to start having multiple sets of wheels. Just starting out we used the generic wheels that came on the skates, they have grown skill wise into needing better wheels, plus we have different wheels for outdoor trail skating. Eventually they are going to need harder wheels for different surfaces.

All these wheels are a pain to carry around. So far most skaters I have seen use a plastic bag, or tupperware.

I present my groovy solution:
tennis ball tubes

These things come in tubes for 3 or 4 balls, its great if you know someone who plays tennis, or has dogs. I neither play tennis nor have dogs, Im thinking these balls are going to be another great craft supply, or I'll donate them to friends with dogs.

The narrow wheels can fit 8 into a tube for 4 balls, but mostly 4 wheels per tube.
On my sticky outdoor wheels I have added a skewer to help keep the wheels lined up so they go into, and come out of the tube easier.


So far Ive slightly impressed two of the guys at the skate shop, neither having seen this as a solution before. One guy called it a "mom" solution if he ever saw one. That made me laugh. It is a mom solution, a crafty mom solution.

Now I just need to come up with something craft to do with the generic wheels that came with the skates!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Metal Clay resources

Copper clay octopus I made

For some reason I am totally behind on online resources for crafting.
I mean, Im becoming online distance education specialist, thats just pitiful and shameful--of course I could blame it on all the class work I've been doing the past 4 years, with breaks to work my fingers to the bone.

Yeah, thats my excuse.

So, I thought I would collect and share a few of these fantatistical resources for myself and my friends.

This resource list if for metal clay, because I miss it when Im writing research papers.

Do you know about Squidoo?
its sort of a wiki for all kinds of fun stuff
A Web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.)

There is a specific Crafting Squidoo:

Articles are called lenses.

They even organize so you can search for a collection of lenses on a given topic. Heres the collection for metal clay:

I've found these articles to be helpful, especially regarding firing schedules. is an interesting site, loads of tutorials, some for free.
All kinds of jewelry how tos, even metal clay.
You just have to do a search

I found 9 tutorials here for metal clay, between $5 and $12.

The sister site only had one, and its a repeat from

 On I found well over 20 pages of videos, just search "metal clay." Around page 20 or so there started to be some off topic videos, like clay roofing.

Metal Clay guru has a list of projects

So does CoolTools

And craftsy has 48 projects listed here

Jewelry Making Daily has 178 listings for metal clay here:

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has a few projects in their library

And also has a few projects: also has content:

And there is a lovely long list of tutorial here:

Im sure there are also a ton of links to blogs and the like on Pintrest. However, every time I search metal clay on Pintrest it displays Star Trek and paper crafting.?!?!? Huh?

But wait there's more!

Lets not forget Metal Clay Artist Magazine:
or Metal Clay Today:

And you can take online classes from Craft Art Edu:

and Craft Cast: type metal clay into the search window

This by no means an exhaustive list, but it certainly should be enough to get you started!

Want more?
What to search on for Google or Bing?
Try these search phrases:

metal clay
metal clay projects
metal clay tutorials
online metal clay
metal clay online classes
diy metal clay
metal clay diy
how to metal clay
how to use metal clay

then try them all by being specific to the metal:

silver metal clay
silver metal clay projects
silver metal clay tutorials
online silver metal clay
silver metal clay online classes
diy silver metal clay
silver metal clay diy
how to silver metal clay
how to use silver metal clay

silver, bronze, copper, precious, sterling

Also, Google will also provide a suggestion list of search terms.
And last thing: don't be afraid to just ask the search engine a full question. Key terms are all fine and good but sometimes you just need to know:
 "How do I make a hinge in metal clay?",or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47380653,d.dmQ&fp=4b4d315285e64b78&biw=1210&bih=648