Monday, August 31, 2009

And the winner is...


2BeadOrNot2Bead is the winner of the Polymer Clay Smooshers challenge!
Her Fortunata, the Gypsy Fortune Teller won the Halloween theme challenge.
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!
2BeadOrNot2Bead will choose our challenge for September.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Review: Polymer Clay for the Fun Of It!

This review is written by Cindi of

Since I didn't see any requests for a book, I grabbed one purely at random and came up with Polymer Clay for the Fun Of It! by Kim Cavender. I first saw Kim on the Carol Duvall Show on HGTV. And then I saw her book while waiting at the check out stand in a crafts store. Just thumbing through it, now, I remember exactly why I bought it; I have seen a half dozen projects that I need to try.

'For the Fun of It' starts out with the 'clay primer'-a short basics overview-clay, tools, and treatments; and quickly moves to the skinner blend- demonstrating a couple of different ways to start using it. She teaches a couple of earring projects; one of them is a dichroic look that is particularly stunning! But what really caught my eye was the leaf cane. I took a picture of the cane I made following her directions and as you can see, even in different colors, it's a nice looking cane.

There is a simple tip on using black/white patterns as an accent. And then she shows you how to apply that tip in several different projects. Next, there is another cane, and this one is a beautiful flower petal; another beauty worth trying! Among some of the other projects are a face mask, a set of book ends, a mirror and photo frame. There is a glitzy tile clock that I believe I have all the materials needed to make it. The book finishes off with a gallery of beautiful pieces by various artists. I give this book 5 stars out 5 and I will definitely be keeping this it in my collection.

Until, next time, happy claying everyone
PS. Did you see Dori Of SassysClayCreations featured in HandMade News this week?

The next Review-Do you have a preference? Dottie McMillan? or Judy Belcher? If so, leave me a comment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Introducing RFColorfulCreations



What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
I first heard about polymer clay when watching a craft show on television about three years ago. I was fascinated what could be done with this type of medium. The baking part of it was sort of intimidating. I watched these shows for a while and bought books to learn more about polymer clay. When the urge to play was to much, I went out and bought some clay and a pasta machine. That's how my love for creating with polymer clay got started.

What inspires you to create?
I really can't say what inspires me to create. I just love working with my hands. I love creating things that are fun and make me smile, hoping others will enjoy it also. What I create has to have a happy feeling. Enjoying what I'm doing makes creating a piece fun.

Do you have a favorite technique?
I really don't have a special technique. I love to experiment and use what works best for me. This medium is so forgiving. If you make a mistake just squash it up and start all over again, no harm done. Sometimes I design a sketch first, but as I create it develops into it's own person.

Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
When I first started creating with polymer clay I started with figurines. I kept most of them, because I can't seem to part with them. They were my first polymer clay babies. My favorite is called, Roadside Farmers Market. This one was so detailed I still can't believe I did it. My dearest girlfriend had me will it to her if I went first. I might just take it with me. LOL!!

RFColorfulCreations on Flickr

RFColorfulCreations on Flickr

What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
I have no preference to what I like to make with polymer clay. I love variety. I become very bored if I multi create the same exact thing. I may make two or three of something, but they are so different as to keep it fun. So what do I prefer, anything my imagination and polyclay will allow.

How do you decide what to make?
Deciding what to make at times can be difficult. Creating for me has to be fun. If it is not interesting and a fun project it's a turn off. It may take me days to decide what I am going to do, but when I do I am a happy camper.

Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
I create such a variety of items, not one is ever the same. I start out in one direction and what ever my mind and hands decide is my end results. The only thing I can think of I haven't tried which I would love to learn is cane. The detailed ones with faces and flowers, but to me that looks quite difficult. Maybe someday I will take a shot at it.

What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
Polymer clay is a versatile medium and has endless possibilities. I still have so much to learn. I love taking something plain and turning it into a butterfly.
Polymer clay is a strong medium after baking. What I make I want to last a long, long time. The colors, the forgiveness and the durability is perfect for what I love to create.

What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
I feel a person who wants to try playing with polymer clay should jump into with both feet. I am self taught and still learning. I learned how to use polymer clay from books. You can start small and work your way up to more difficult projects. The good thing about it, you can learn at your own pace. It's fun and challenging at the same time. They should always remember, if it does not come out like you want it, just squeeze it into a ball and start all over again.The main thing is to have fun.


Friday, August 21, 2009

For Him

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Introducing treeseaoriginals



What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
My love for polymer clay started a little over a year ago. I was having lots of fun making jewelry with some vintage things of my mom's and the regular glass beads, crystal beads etc. I just could not come up with something that seemed to be "just me". I was on vacation at our friend's home in Wisconsin. She is an artist and very crafty. She said, lets order some polymer clay and play. So, we sent off for it, had it express delivered and for the next three days we played. This is a picture of one of the first things I ever made that week

What inspires you to create?
I'm really inspired by bright happy colors. I also love nature and especially flowers. On our trip to Ireland, I took about 1500 pictures and I would say over half of them were flowers.

Do you have a favorite technique?
I'd have to say my favorite technique "this week" is the skinner blend and also trying different things with extruded clay. I am facinated with what happens on the inside of log extrusion of different colors. I wish I could understand the physics of it, but I do know that the designs are really cool. I've used a few in some of my pendents and have some more on the back burner right now.
In fact, I entered a little contest entitled "over the rainbow" at Polymer Clay Central. I did a pendent with the skinner blend and extrusions for that. I can't post a picture of it here since it has to be something that is not up for sale or on a web site somewhere (the rules), but it should be viewable sometime after the 20th of august at and I believe anyone can I hope that you all go out and vote for me! I don't know if my name will be there or just the piece. Once the site comes up, I can let you know.

Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
So far I have two favorites. The first is the Animal Print Necklace. For some reason, I love the colors and the beads turned out really nice. I had another one that was just a little different and I only got to wear it one day before someone bought it off my neck. So I went home and made a similar one. So far, it's still up for grabs.


This is really my favorite. It's the first time I ever did a cane of anything and I just loved how it turned out. I was so surprised that I could make something like this.

What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
I love the versatility of polymer clay. I am always drawn towards bright colorful things rather than muted colors. I am starting to try different things besides pendents and beads. I have not posted anything yet, but I am making some Christmas ornaments that I really like. I am still trying to figure out what I like best. It is so new that I am sure my ideas will change...maybe even by tomorrow and what is so great is that whatever I think of, the clay will probably fit right in.

How do you decide what to make?
I made all the little "fishys" when I was going to a Marina for a craft show. That was really a lot of fun and some turned out a lot nicer than others. My inspiration for the fish was also the color combinations. generally I will get a feel for the colors that I want to work with and then something just sort of evolves as I manipulate the clay. If I get a good design, I might make one or two more just like it, but I tend to just make one of a kind and then go on to something else.

Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
I also want to try using polymer clay to cover some items. I have made some mixed media pieces over the years and would like to incorporate the polymer in those as well. Right now I have plans to use polymer to cover the lids on some wooden boxes that I have. I have never even thought of doing some type of sculpting with the clay. Isn't that funny??? :-)

What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
My best advice for someone starting out it to not be afraid to try something new. I just got a book and read it and then got the clay and for me it was like finding my niche. I love it. It is a great way to relax for me. It's all been fun and my only problem is that I get attached to all my little creations and sometimes it is hard to part with them.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For the special man in your life

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Days

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gifts for the man in your life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smoosher Studio Stroll - HaffinasCreations

Welcome to a glimpse into the workspace of a polymer clay artist! This is where the clay play magic happens for PCSG member HaffinasCreations and BeadsByHaffina. That's right, one artist with two shops. She is also the guild master for Art Fire's Chainmaille Guild.

'my' part of beading table, as you can see, right next to the computer!

'mum's' part of the beading table, as you can see..over run with my stuff, including the homemade, somewhat crushed lightbox. My daughter sat on it!

Mantlepiece where I kept my bust, new hand, keyrings and mum's beaded ornaments. The Dragon lady is mine ..although I didnt make it, but I did do the painting of the mandala..represents my own rebirth after the birth of my daughter.

About half of my polymer clay 'stuff', the other half is in the cupboard under this stuff.

New storage drawers under our beading table.. already filled most of them up with stringing supplies and packaging!

My 'resources' and a jewellery storage area. Under the bag, behind the 'bagged' stand, in the cane basket and under the brown cloth are most of my 'creations'. They are covered to protect them from dust.

The majority of our beading supplies, with a few scrapbooking things too... we had to keep buying new storage cos we keep filling them up!
I should point out that this is also our dining area..there is a table directly opposite the bookshelves..which sometimes gets used for crafting, but I tend to just move stuff on the beading table and set up for claying there..the pasta machine 'attaches' better to the beading table!
And yes it really is this messy most of the time... I get it cleaned up and then start making things and it just gets messy again..but I can find things even if noone else can! Not long after I took these photos my daughter attacked one of our bead mats with a pair of it now has huge cut marks in it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Taking a Tumble- An Easier Way to Sand

This tutorial is brought to you by

One of the most amazing characteristics of polymer clay is that it can be sanded and buffed until it looks almost like glass. But all that sanding is hard work on the hands and fingers! Here are easy instructions on sanding beads using an inexpensive rock tumbler found in the kid's section at the craft stores.

This method uses wet/dry sandpaper. Using an old pair of scissors, cut the paper into strips, then into squares. The squares should be approximately 1 cm square-- if they are much larger, you will find that the paper will curl inward when it is wet, preventing sanding. I would say I cut a loose heap of about 1/3 - 1/2 C of squares.

Next, measure the inside of the barrel on your tumbler. You will want to cut a strip of sandpaper to line the barrel. Cut the width a little shorter so that it does not quite reach the lip of the barrel, otherwise the paper may prevent a tight seal when you put the lid on the tumbler.

I use good old duct tape to tape the sandpaper strip together before fitting it into the barrel, usually a couple of pieces overlapping; that way if one should not hold well, the other will help it. REMEMBER the rough side is on the INSIDE of your sandpaper tube. Pop the tube into the barrel.

Next, place 1/2 your beads into the tumbler, then 1/2 your sandpaper squares, the rest of your beads and the rest of your sandpaper squares on top. Don't fill the tumbler more than 3/4 full, otherwise there won't be enough room for movement and things won't tumble and sand nicely.

Now its time to fill the tumbler with water. Fill it so that the water just covers your beads & sandpaper. Too much water prevents the beads from tumbling, they will just float around in the barrel. Remember, you want them to rub against the sandpaper sides and the squares in the water so that they get sanded. Add a drop or 2 of liquid dish soap. Not too much, or you'll wind up with bubbly water! (I've never heard why to put in the liquid soap, but any instructions I've read about using a tumbler suggest it-- if you know why, please leave a comment).

Finally, use vaseline/petroleum jelly around the outside lip of the tumbler and the inside edge of the tumbler's lid to act as a seal. Be careful not to use too much, as too much may ooze into the tumbler and make your beads feel tacky and they will be more difficult to buff later. Twist on and lock the lid and check your seal for leaks. All good?

Then its time to tumble! I start with 400 grit paper and let beads tumble for about 16 hours. Then I switch to 600 hundred grit, same amount of time. Depending on how smooth you want your items to be, you can continue with smaller grits until you are satisfied with the look & feel of your beads.

But WAIT-- don't throw away all that sandpaper! I've found that it can be dried and used at least one more time. So spread it on a towel to dry and use again. The duct tape should be fairly easy to pull off the strip lining the tumbler. You may need to lie something on top of the strip that lined the barrel so that it will dry flat.

This is only one method for using a rock tumbler for sanding your polymer clay pieces. I've heard there is some sort of technique using a tumbler & river rocks to sand polymer and I've heard rumors that you can also buff beads using a tumbler filled with felt. If you have any experiences with using a tumbler for your polymer clay, please share in comments!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

101 things to do with alcohol inks (OK maybe not that many)

This article is written by Kathi of

101 things to do with alcohol inks (OK maybe not that many)

Alcohol inks are so fun to use with polymer clays. They can be blended into clay, they can be added to liquid clay, they can be used for accent of baked pieces. Here are a few different things you can do. None of these techniques are my “inventions” and I will give credit and links where I can remember them.

1: Using pearl clay I lay stripes of piñata or Adirondack inks in lines. Once the inks are dry I then blend them into the clay. This gives you a lovely pearlescent skinner blend in pastel colors. With the clay you can now use many techniques to cover items or use as surface decorations.


2: Gwen Gibson does wonderful things with alcohol inks and shaving cream as seen in Polymer Café . Here is a picture of a few shaving cream beads I made using her technique.

3: You can use ink pads and stamps on a clay base and then layer translucent or Kato clear liquid clay. Donna Kato does wonderful things with foils and stamps as seen in this tutorial.

4: As seen in this issue in Polymer Café, using alcohol inks, alcohol and baked base beads, one can do amazing things with pitch black ink.

5: Inks are wonderful for making faux tie dye or batik. I learned this technique from Heather Campbell at the IPCG retreat in July 2009. She uses it a lot with her pieces. I don’t know if she is planning on publishing the method or not so I can’t really share how it is done.

hamsabatik ovalbatik

6: You can add ink to liquid clay and experiment like I did with the making of my meteor beads. (there will be a tutorial forth coming on these)


7: Inks and foils. YUM! You can use them on silver/copper/gold foils and then crackle them for an awesome look. I even got a faux dichroic glass look on the below focal


The main thing is to have FUN with the inks. Experiment, play, get colorful fingers. Let your muse take over and shut your brain off. You will be amazed at what you can create!

Happy claying!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Touch of Magic

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Playing with Polymer Clay Techniques

One of the great things about polymer clay is how you can use it to mimic other mediums. Never be afraid to just play with it and you will discover there are not many limitis to what you can accomplish.
EmilyClaireCreations has been experimenting with faux ceramic glazes to mimic precious metal clay.


Check out her blog post HERE to see what she has been up to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book review: Making Polymer Clay Beads

This review is written by Cindi of

My review this time is on Making Polymer Clay Beads, written by Carol Blackburn. All together I counted over 20 different bead shapes with some of them being unique beads that I have not seen in any of the other books I have. Maybe I missed them or maybe they are just explained in a little more detail here that made them stand out more to my eye.


As usual the book begins with all the basics- different types of clay, tools, conditioning, and baking. There was a very clever idea for a measuring tool that was very simple to make from something every home has. There are basics in different shapes, color mixing, and then the more in depth techniques begin-such as combing/feathering, the skinner blend and how these are applied to beads in a variety of ways. The Kaleidoscope cane is explained in a way that makes it easy and very symmetrical.
The pictures all along the way are very crisp clear and leave no doubt as to what you should be doing in each step. She shows different ways of using molds and how the techniques can be used on beads. Foils, powders, glitters are all used and applique and inlay are also shown in various ways. After the beads are made the different sanding, buffing, and varnishing techniques are shown and explained.
Faux techniques are in the heart of the book with malachite, veined marble, abalone, and agate being particularly well described. But those were just 4 of the 16 faux looks taught. All are very well detailed.
The very last section of the book brings everything together. Carol shows the different tools used in beading, what they are called, and how they are used. She demonstrates how different findings are attached and what they are called. She shows all different kinds of cording, wires, and beading methods to string your beads. Lastly she inspires us with ways to design with beads, and finishes up with a gallery of finished examples from various artists.
I give the book 5 out of 5 stars and it would be an asset for polymer clay bead makers and any beginner polymer clayer would be able to make a great variety of beads with the instructions provided.
Until next time, happy claying and special prayers going out to the guild master and her family.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Smoosher Studio Stroll-- IntotheDawn

Welcome to a glimpse into the workspace of a polymer clay artist! This is where the clay play magic happens for PCSG member intothedawn.

This is my main work area-- my husband's old computer desk. Poly clay books are in the basket on the desk and both the basket and pottery crock hold my paintbrushes, bead reamers, rulers, Exacto knife and other tools for claying. The bookshelf holds my oven for baking clay, my extruder & other tools. The purple bins hold paints, mica powders, varnish, glues, rollers, blades and such, while the white pull drawer bins below hold my clays and cutters of all shapes & sizes.

Trust me, my desk is never this tidy when I'm working...

... it's much more chaotic, like this...

The closet also holds supplies for claying & other crafting; my rubber stamps, inks, more cutters, beading supplies; plus frames, boxes & other forms to cover in clay.

Since space is limited, I have to get a little creative. I even use the back of my door for supplies! Here is where I keep my ribbons, satin cord and wood stains/varnishes.

The other half of my "studio" is my comfort space. Books, music, a chair for reading or meditation and enough floor space for doing yoga. As you can see, I love to surround myself with color and texture, which I find relaxing and inspiring.

What does YOUR studio space look like?


Friday, August 7, 2009

Smoosher ColtPixy rides the Crazy Train

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

For more info on the Crazy Train promotions please visit

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Monday, August 3, 2009

And the winner is...


Summer Leaves by EmilyClaireCreations

EmilyClaireCreations is the winner of the Polymer Clay Smooshers challenge!
Her Summer Leaves pendant won the Summer theme challenge.
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!
EmilyClaireCreations will choose our challenge for August.