Thursday, April 30, 2015

29 Geek DIYs to Make Right Now

If you aren't familiar with Buzzfeed then clearly you don't get distracted by cool sounding links people share on facebook. If you are familiar then hopefully you have been entertained with their lovely lists of cute/geeky/random things much like this one (link):

Geeky craft projects? I'm sold! And just in case you needed a further push to check this article out - look who made it as number 28 DIY:


Yaaayyy! It's me! Well...not actually me...but the soot sprite pom poms I made years back that still live in the corners of my home! Oh I feel special! Happy thursday everyone! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Polymer Clay Cat Brooch

As part of my polymer clay making rampage I took a little detour from bead and necklace making and tried my hand at cat face brooches.  I really do love kittens and even though I will probably never own one I can certainly own hypoallergenic pins of them! Take a peek:

Me-ow! I am super happy with how they turned out and liked making the different faces and patterns on the cats.  It also gave me another opportunity to try to master tiny little paint strokes which is super challenging.  I often see crafts and projects people make and wonder how the heck they create things so effortlessly.  Painting tiny details is actually really hard and these pins were far from effortless at my skill level - but practise does seem to me improving my abilities.

I really love the little orange cat the most with his smug expression perfect for the label of a jacket:

and in case you are concerned how you will be attaching said brooch - I glued on a nice sized bar pin with epoxy:

So what do you think? Are you big into brooches? or cats? or both!?!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Earl Grey Cocktail? Yes please.

Happy Monday! If you're someone who finds the first day of the workweek - how about trying this lovely beverage tonight? It looks pretty darn amazing:


What's in this concoction? Cold earl grey tea (yum), gin (extra yum), and hints of lemon, honey, and lavender (oh my!)! Sounds like a winner to me and unlike other tea/gin cocktails I've read about this one does not involve egg whites! If you're as drawn to this as I am check out the full instructions of Sweet and Charm (link) and make your own! Cheers! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

my new colour obsession

So after sharing all my sculpting and painting projects to you for the last few weeks I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my new favourite (in fact - I feel quite obsessed with) paint colour I mixed. It is used on both of these necklaces below - any guesses on which beads I'm swooning for? 

 Actually, I'm not totally sure these pictures do it justice - but it is the "mustard-y slightly olive green sort of ugly in a cool way" colour! Check it out: 

Yay! It seems to keep popping up in loads of the mid century modern designed homes I love looking at and really like how even though it is sort of an odd duck of a colour, it is still nice and muted and neutral.  I'm not about to wear it head to toe by any means (it isn't the best for bringing out skin tone), but I'm loving using it in little doses to add some interest to my jewelry!

Speaking of obsessions and jewelry - I've finally finished sharing all the different necklaces I have made and found a nice group photo in my camera roll to show you:

I certainly didn't intend on making 23 different necklaces when I brought my craft supplies out, but inspiration hit so there you go! I thought it would make a nice conclusion to my sharing series with you and a nice conclusion to the week too! Happy Friday! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Painted Wood Necklaces

After making my own polymer clay beads into necklaces I decided I wanted to make take a stab at making just wood bead necklaces as well!  I got a few different shaped wooden beads from my stash (I will have to show you my epically organized and enormous amount of craft supplies sometime), sand them up, and then paint them with my custom mixed paint colours.  I ended up making three different wood necklaces and this one from the tiny square beads is totally my favourite:

I really like the asymmetry and colour blocking I went with and even though sanding and painting all those tiny beads was super time consuming, it was lots of fun to make!

I then decided to try larger squareish wooden beads in a random colour selection. Check it out:

My pal Jim said this necklace reminded him of his mom...which I'm not entirely sure was a compliment or not - but I'm happy with how it turned out. I love the coral colour next to the neutrals and gold and think this piece could really add to all sorts of different outfits. It also contrasts amazingly well with teals and turquoise (which makes up 50% of my wardrobe) so that may explain my paint colour selection. 

The final all wood necklace I made is quite similar to the polymer clay and wood ones I showed you yesterday, it just took like 1/4 of the time to make.  I think it's pretty cute (and like the lighter cord colour with the wood) but miss the handmade texture and imperfect-ness of my sculpey beads. Here you can look and decide for yourself:

After making these three wood necklace projects I yet again appreciated how awesome it is to have my premixed custom colours in little pots (I don't seem to shut up about that do I?) and love trying out new ideas! I feel like the spring brings out all my creative juices.  Maybe that extra vitamin D fires up my brain cells - or maybe I've just been on medical leave from work for so long that I'm going stir crazy. Let's say its the vitamin D...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back in Biz!

Hooray! After a ridiculously long hiatus my etsy shop is open once again and ready for your online shopping needs! Yay! 

Matte Clay & Satin Wood

Here it is folks - my favourite Sculpey project I've made over the last month! It took way longer than I expected (which seems to be a trend with all my crafts), let me use my favourite custom mixed paint colours, and let me stretch those creative juices by making interesting combinations of wood, clay, and colour. Check them out - lovingly handmade polymer clay bead (with a touch of wood) necklaces:

Aren't they just dreamy? I am super thrilled with how they turned out and am impressed with how they came together despite my complete lack of planning on what size and colour beads to make. I went with a matte finish on the clay and a satin finish on the wood beads for a bit of interest and contrast. I think it helps show the texture and imperfection of the clay to give it that one of a kind handmade and lovingly crafted look. Once again I turned to good old organic waxed cotton cord to string them and tied adjustable slide knots so you can easily adjust the length of the necklace. Here is a shot of the necklace I've been wearing non stop: 

I really like how you can dress it up or down and how it reminds me of the neat statement necklaces Lisa Congdon is always wearing (she's my internet artist hero - so obviously I want to be just like her).  Once again I went slightly overboard on the making and ended up with a whole collection of clay and wood necklaces that are all a little bit different:

I alternating the number of beads, the colours, and the proportion of clay to wood with each necklace I made and kept falling in love with each one when it was finished! I'm planning on shipping these beauties off to Funktional in Kelowna (minus the one I showed you that I've been wearing) but totally want to make more soon! I figure if I can make them thinner than 2 cm in an envelope they would be great to sell online too! (FYI: parcels over 2 cm in thickness cost an arm and a leg to ship from Canada and usually deter people from online buying from me). Yay!

So what are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite? Are you going out to buy a giant block of Sculpey clay so you can get making too?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earring time

The next polymer clay craft I have to share with you is 100% inspired by me wanting to wear my custom acrylic colour pot colours (link).  What better way to add a tiny touch of your favourite colour to any outfit than with some nice stud earrings! there are probably lots of ways to incorporate colour to an outfit that doesn't involve your ear lobes, but I am a sucker for simple studs. Check out my Sculpey earring creations:

How fun! At first I was having trouble getting two little flat circles to be the same size until I started just making a tiny ball of clay and then cutting it in half to get two equal sized portions. These are totally everyday earrings for me and am super stoked with how they turned out. Here's a hand shot for size reference:

I also decided to do some with matte varnish and some with satin so you get a different look depending on what you're going for. And on a related note - these are incredibly sturdy little earrings. How do I know this you may ask? Well I accidentally stepped on a pair which seemed on par with stepping on a lego piece (there may have been cursing involved) and the earrings remained perfectly intact! I take product testing to a whole new level apparently...

Monday, April 20, 2015

sort of flat clay beads

Well I may have finished sharing my Sculpey pendant necklaces I made, but I made some other polymer clay necklaces too - this time with handmade beads! It seemed like a natural transition from pendant charms to beads and although these flat beads are far from perfect, I am totally digging the imperfection of them. Take a peek:

Hooray! Colour blocked and stacked bead necklaces! Once again I used some waxed cotton cord to string these onto and tied them with adjustable slip knots so they can be different lengths super easily!  I did learn one lesson quite quickly once I finished sanding, painting, and varnishing them...I didn't make the bead holes big enough and ended up having to bead ream the heck out of them to get them threaded on my strong! Oy! I will know better for next time.  Here's another close up so you can see their wobbly perfection:

Yay! I love them! They were insanely time consuming to make so I only ended up with the two of them - but that just makes me love them even more! Any thoughts? Have you ever made clay beads before?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Polymer Clay Pendants - playing with Studio Ghibli

Well we've made it to the end of the work week and here are the final Sculpey painted pendants I made into necklaces! I've been on quite the Studio Ghibli binge lately so I painted these little dudes with soot sprites and Totoro! Take a peek:

Aww! Aren't they darling? I also decided to use different coloured cord for these pals since my go to light brown seemed like too much of a contrast. Once again I took these pictures before my new grey organic waxed cotton came in so I will be switching out Totoro's cord for the waxed smoother version. Oooo I'm just thrilled with how these turned out and am such a sucker for cuteness! 

In case you missed out on any of the polymer clay fun I've been sharing this week here is picture of all the pendants I made:

Oh my! Apparently I don't like just making one of a project and ended up with eleven different necklaces in the end. What do you think of them? Any suggestions for pricing? Which are your faves? Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Polymer Clay Pendants - playing with dots and lines

Ok, so these necklaces are pretty darned similar but I really had a fun time painting the little lines with my new tiny paintbrush (thanks for the recommendation Lisa!) and making more dots! Check them out:

Yay! They sort of remind me of the fun mid-century modern patterns they used all those years ago and I love how the layers of dots turned out. I also decided to use different colours of cord to string these ones together and thanks to a lovely package I received the other day I can now switch out the grey bamboo cord I used for grey organic waxed cotton (which sits better and feels smoother on your skin)! Hooray! What do you think? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Polymer Clay Pendants - playing with triangles

Today I am sharing two of my very favourite Sculpey painted necklaces I made. I feel like triangles are all the rage these days so I played around with these three sided wonders to come up with these:

The small triangle mustard/dark teal/white one was actually the first pendant I painted and probably took the longest with all those tiny lines.  I feel like with all that effort I need to keep that necklace to enjoy, but in all honestly I sort of love them all so it's hard to pick any one favourite over another. What do you think? Enjoying my week of pendants so far? Do you have a favourite?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Polymer Clay Pendants - playing with dots

My week of sharing my polymer clay pendants continues with two more designs I made where I played with painting little dots. Check them out:

My mom really said she loves the pink and red and gold chevron dot one and my pal Jim thinks the light blue and teal one is his favourite and looks a lot like an egg (which in hindsight I totally agree with even if that wasn't my original plan)! The dots were super difficult to paint on at first but after lots of practice it was super fun! I used lots of different sized toothpicks and dowels and scoring tools to make the dots and by the end I felt I mastered it. 

In other (very much related) news, Wild Olive did a polymer clay raindrop pendant on her blog a few days ago (link)  that shows the same steps I used (more or less) to make mine! Great crafty minds think alike! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Polymer Clay Pendants - playing with lines

As usual, I had good intentions to get lots of blog posts done for last week and then somehow ran out of time and didn't write a single one.  Instead I took the lovely (sarcasm - I got so sick) 10 hour drive with my parents up to Telkwa/Smithers for a surprise visit with my sister and my adorable little nieces!  I guess I was so busy playing with my favourite 2 and 4 year olds that blogging got thrown on the back burner. I did however have a whole week's worth of scupley pendant necklaces to show you so I will share them this week instead!

These necklaces were super fun to make and I really enjoyed using the custom paints I mixed up in little pots (link) as my go to colour palette!  The painting ended up being the longest and most time consuming step - but making the pendants themselves was pretty simple. Here's my process:

1) Sculpt some pendant shapes from polymer clay (My personal fave is Sculpey) and make sure to make a hole in there so you can attach it to the necklace later

2) Bake said clay according to the package instructions

3) Let them cool and give them a light sand to remove any lumps or fingerprints

4) Paint them up with acrylics and when you're satisfied with your creation - cover it with a coat of varnish. I voted for matte varnish for these guys. Let dry and cure for 24 hours or so.

5) Attach a jump ring through the hole you made

6) Add a necklace string! I went with a waxed cotton cord for these ones and tied them with an adjustable slip knot fastener so you can easily adjust how long you want your necklace to tie.

7) Enjoy! Hooray!

Here are the first few I have to show you (part of my "playing with lines" series):

Yay! I am such a fan of lines and blocks of colours and like the geometric feel of these beauties and can imagine wearing each of them to top off many outfits.  I however do not plan on keeping the plethora of necklaces I made and instead will list them in my etsy shop which I (really really) hope I can get organized enough to open up again soon - but I might be tempted to keep a few.  Which is your favourite? Any ideas on pricing? 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Wishing you the very best Easter full of fluffy bunnies like this one:


I hope you have a great day full of egg hunts, binge eating chocolate, and enjoying the delights of spring! Happy Easter! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tortoiose Cozies

I'm not sure if anyone has a tortoise as a pet - but if you do you need to make it some lovely crochet shell cozies. They are adorable, hilarious, and ready for any holiday occasion! Check it out:

Ahaha! I laughed way too hard at these and am especially fond of the shark fin! The little tortoise doesn't even look super angry that he is being dressed up either (unlike many crochet cat costumes I have seen)! Too bad I'm not interested in adopting a tortoise any time soon....but maybe I will get one of those robotic vacuums one day and I can make costumes for it. Yep. Sounds like a solid plan. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Another brilliant idea I should have thought of years ago.

Kamloops is a ridiculously windy city.  I love the mild temperatures, lack of humidity, and amazing views but must admit I am not into the wind.  Sure wind can be fun when you're kite flying at the park but mostly it just annoys my ears, messes up my hair, and gives me a headache whenever I'm out walking in it. Well! Fraser came up with a brilliant idea to help my sore ear problem while walking! Tada!:

Yay! Headphones that cover pretty much my entire ear! I can't believe I didn't think of this ages ago but it is the perfect solution.  Now as the temperatures get warmer (and toques are way too warm and out of the question) I can still go out and enjoy my neighbourhood without causing major ear soreness!  I was using those little ear bud headphones on my walks - but the outside of my ears would get so cold with the wind it would still bother me and cause earaches.  Then I tried ear buds with a wide hair band but still no luck.  These headphones work wonders for my ear pain and look somewhat normal when I'm out walking. Plus I can pretend I'm a DJ? Ok. so that's grasping a bit...but I am really excited about these headphone and love avoiding earaches!  Yay! 

This set didn't break the bank either! I did a bit of research (ok...I computer savvy pal Jim sent me some websites to look at) and I wanted to get something that was comfortable, sounded ok, but was still under $75.  Even though I loved the Bose $200 seafoam pair from Future Shop - I opted for this Sony pair from Costco.  It was about $50 and fit my giant head with zero pinching or painful spots.  Sounds like a deal to me! I love them!

So how about you? Do your ears loathe the wind as much as mine do or am I just weirdly over sensitive? Do you ever sport the giant headphone look? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Chickie Gardland

With Easter just around the corner - I am convinced to make one of these awesome chickie garlands from Miss Vicky Viola (link)! It is was too cute to resist:


Eee!  Those little fluff ball chicks are so adorable and although I do find the image of the needle going through one of them a little disturbing, this DIY is right up my alley! I mean pom poms and cute animals? I'm sold. I even bought a bunch of those little chicks from the craft store and although they are currently hanging out all over my house (I got a little excited with my decorating), I feel I have the skills to pull this one off. We will see how it goes. Do you ever decorate for holidays? What do you do for Easter?