Friday, July 31, 2009

"Summer" Challenge

This month we were challenged by to create something using the theme Summer. Here are the entries, please check them out and vote for your favorite. To see larger image click the photo or title. Each link opens in another tab (window).

Summer Leaves by EmilyClaireCreations

Whimsical Waterbug by CreativeCritters

Gingerbread Family's Holiday Vacation by 2BeadOrNot2Bead

Folk Art Flowers Photo Frame by intothedawn

Orange Floral Flip Flops by 2goodclaymates

Summer Beads by treeseaoriginals

Due to technical difficulties at Blogpoll please use the poll on the top left of this page.
Poll will close at 8pm Central time Monday, August 3rd.

Introducing WelcomeToMyWhimsy



What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
My knees "rotted" and I could no longer do stairs or much walking. I was working at a porcelain doll shop/teaching studio and had to give it up and I sold my kiln. I then found polymer clay. It was PERFECT. didn't dry out, was way more forgiving than porcelain,
would cure in my regular oven, would accept acrylic paint and I could drill and carve it.
I had reached crafty Nirvana.

What inspires you to create?
Drawing breath.

Do you have a favorite technique?
Not really. I'll use any technique that will give me the look and feel I'm after at that time.
Hint: tulle/net impressed onto uncured clay makes great scales.
Hint: For very fine veining, like in dragon wings, use the palms of your hands to add the texture.

Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
The Marquis de Camembert is my favorite. He is terrific, maybe not the best piece I have done but my fave never-the-less.


What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
A mess! When I have tools and clay and spray bottles and paint and chalks
and all other kinds of things strewn about my area I know my creative
muse is there, and we are HOT!

How do you decide what to make?
Unless I'm working on a commission piece I find that props or colors will greatly influence what I create. A new technique will also get me itchy to try it on something.

Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
A wizard lamp. I have the innards ready and the design figured out. I need the right core and I'll be off..

What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
See above #1. LoL There is little waste with PC and it can be sanded, drilled and carved.
You don't need any fancy/expensive equipment to use it. It takes detail extremely well.
You can get it in colors and different strengths and flexibilities. It's perfect for me.

What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Read, Read, Read and look, look, look.and notice what others are doing and how they are doing it. But most of all Have Fun!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Smoosher ArtisticJen rides the Crazy Train

For the next two days Polymer Clay Smooshers' very own ArtisticJen rides the Crazy Train.

For more info on the Crazy Train promotions please visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Smooshers' Choice

Items chosen as favorites by various members of the Polymer Clay Smooshers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Review: Making Doll's House Miniatures with Polymer Clay by Sue Heaser

The following review is written by Cindi of

Last week's a request was made for a book to do with miniatures. I chose Making Doll's House Miniatures with Polymer Clay by Sue Heaser, because I was fascinated with this book from the first instant I picked it up. The cover is an indication of the intricate detail that will be shown in this book. Sue has chosen the Victorian and Edwardian periods for the settings in the rooms. The pictures in this book look real enough to be a picture of a room from someone's house and not someone's Doll house.
As usual, the basics are described, types of clays, tools, paints and powders. There is a small miscellaneous materials section that gives some helpful hints on different resources for making your polymer clay miniatures look more authentic. Then the general techniques section has more of the basics, along with tips and pointers on ways to make uniform shapes for different types of dishes.
Next begins the meat of the book and Sue begins in the kitchen with miniature food because it is the simplest-vegetables, breads, pies. Then she moves on to accessories, the stove and the sink. The stove you see on the front cover of the book has detailed directions and patterns and she even shows how to make the front door of the oven swing open with it's own make-shift clever! And the kitchen sink is complete with faucet.
Living room miniatures is next with bookshelves, books and OH MY HECK! the working tiffany lamp is absolutely adorable! I thought the directions for the lamp was worth the price of the book alone.
The dining room is next and all the accessories you would expect to find are there-dishes, utensils, more food. Teatime in the conservatory has oodles of plants, flowers, ferns and of course a tea set with more cakes and breads. The bedroom also has more flowers and another cute working bedside lamp.
The bathroom is another chapter that is in great detail complete with bathtub and toilet and bathroom sink along with the tiles that would be found there.
The very last chapter is the nursery play room, and it has directions for a toy chest, jointed doll, hobby horse, train and other toys and accessories.
And of course at the end is a section for further reading and a list of doll house furniture suppliers.
If you are interested in making doll house miniatures, I would highly recommend this book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Not sure what I will be doing next week. I still have other miniature books-flowers, dolls, villages....or maybe you have a favorite author/ PC artist? Leave me a comment and I'll do my best to do your request next. Until next week, happy claying :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Smooshing Delights

Friday, July 24, 2009

Plurkette Picks

Items chosen at random by various members of the Plurk community.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jingle Bells in July

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Ready made supplies by

Or start from scratch with tutorials by

Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Review: Fairies Gnomes & Trolls by Maureen Carlson

This book review is written by Cindi of

Last week's request was for a Maureen Carlson book, and since she was one of my sculpting gurus, I figured this was the perfect pick for our guild. So without further ado, here is Fairies, Gnomes ,and Trolls:

carlson book

This book reads almost like a fairy tale with short stories about each sculpture she creates. It is a creative world of fantasy characters and all creatures great and small in the realm of make believe get their exposure here in this book. As usual, in the beginning, Maureen goes through the basics of sculpting clay, taking the newbie clayer through small steps in order to make sculpting simple.

After the basics are explained, the first project in the book is, of course, a fairy door, (complete with real operating hinges), because fairies won't visit if they don't have a door to come through.
After you've made the magical door, next comes all the invited guests including fairies, gnomes (have you ever seen a toadstool gnome?), elves, a couple of trolls (one who started life a rock), and a tiny flower baby. For all you baby sculptors out there- this is a greatly detailed step by step how to make a pure sculpt baby. And what fairy kingdom whould be complete without a king, wizard and a faierie folk storyteller? There are bigger projects like a forever tree (a home for the fairies), and the garden face green man. I did make the green man garden face and it was very simple following Maureen's instuctions.

I must say the photography in this book is very different from Maureens other books. These characters have been captured in their natural habitat in gardens and forests which makes them all the more enchanting and inviting. Just a quick flip through the pages is enough to make one want to invite a fairy to their studio. The pages are bright and colorful taking you deeper and deeper into the magical land of Faieries, Gnomes and Trolls. I would recommend this book to any fantasy character maker and I give it 10 stars out of 5 !!! Kudos to Maureen Carlson...great job

Any requests for next week? There's a lot of beadmakers out there...How about a bead book? Or would you prefer a book specializing in miniatures? Leave me a comment and let me know what you'd like. Til next week, happy claying all you smooshers :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Santa's Helpers

Friday, July 17, 2009

Purple Rain

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Christmas in July on Art Fire

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christmas and Winter Holidays in July

I love Christmas in July sales. It is a great way to get unique gifts ahead of time without dealing with the Christmas rush. Many of these items are listed at sale prices.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Review: Susanna Oroyan books

The following review is written by Cindi of

This week I am reviewing 4 Susanna Oroyan books. You probably wonder why I chose to do 4 at once. Well, as the titles infer, they are all about the doll making process.

I first saw Susanna Oroyan on the Carol Duval Show several years ago. She had several dolls (part polymer clay with fabric clothes). At first I didn't like that idea. In fact I despised it; the fact that she was 'cheating' and not using polymer clay clothing! How jealous is that of polymer clay? LOL Just looking through these books is like eye candy for an aspiring doll maker. There are polymer clay dolls, paper clay dolls, soft sculpture dolls, primitive dolls, beaded dolls, any kind of doll you can imagine and every book is just filled with pages and pages of inspirational pictures.

Oroyan books

Susanna is a master doll maker and shows every step along the way to making any kind of doll you can imagine. She has 100's of photos (from over 100 different artists) of all different kinds of dolls.

Fantastic Figures deals with clay sculpting of dolls and every aspect of it-from the head to the feet. This book is strictly clay dolls where as the others have various other mediums.

Anatomy of a Doll is just that- basic doll anatomy; different forms, heads, body joints, and assemblies. There is even a face gallery showing pages of just faces on different types of dolls-painted faces, soft sculpted, polymer clay. And when it gets time to add hair, there is a whole page of different ideas for hair materials to consider.

Designing the Doll is taking your doll making to the next level where you begin to do constructive thinking about your future dolls. Proportional charts for adults dolls(women and men) then teens and children and toddlers. Forms, design elements, armatures (which ones would be best for your project), construction material, and assemblies.

Finishing the Figure is all about dressing and accessorising your doll. Ways to make fabric clothes for your dolls, how to make patterns, and how to add the details that bring your dolls to life. She shows different ways to mount your doll a stand if that's what you want to do.

I just can't say enough about all the inspiration in these books. And even though I would not consider making a cloth doll, there are several that have inspired me even so. I paid full price for all the books and I could never part with them simply because it is so easy to get lost in them for hours at a time...the photography of the dolls is that good. If you ever want to delve into the doll making aspect of polymer clay, try looking through her books at the book store and see if you can walk out with just one ;)

What will be next? Not sure....Maybe Lisa Pavelka? or Maureen Carlson? Leave me a comment and let me know what you'd like. Until next time, happy claying!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

And the winner is...



ColtPixy is the winner of the Polymer Clay Smooshers challenge!
Her Faux jade heart necklace won the challenge to create something pastel.
Thank you to for giving us this months challenge!
Thank you to the Polymer Clay Smooshers who entered their beautiful pieces!

Thank you to everyone who voted and for helping us spread the word about our challenge and poll!
ColtPixy will choose our challenge for July.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baking Tips Part One

The following is a compilation of information from various members of the Polymer Clay Smooshers.

It is very important to cure polymer clay properly using the manufacturers directions. Time and temperature may vary depending on what brand you use. The single most important tool to have in your arsenal before anything else is an oven thermometer. I am fortunate enough to be married to someone who knows how to and keeps my oven calibrated. I still use an oven thermometer. One of our members uses a candy thermometer in her oven.

No matter what type of oven you use we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping an eye on that temp. If it swings too much during the curing process you could end up with either scorched clay or clay that is not completely cured. Polymer clay that is not cured properly can crumble months and even years down the road. Properly cured clay does not.

With most clays you can bake longer than the recommended time. Some think that this cures the piece harder. Many of us do this. I don't think any of us Smooshers use any Sculpey's but if you do be aware that it can darken that brand if you cook longer even at a lower temperature.

Stay tuned for part two of our post, baking surfaces.