Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions For a New Year

I am always looking forward to starting a new year.  There is something about out with the old and a fresh new start.  I generally do not make new year's resolutions but this year I decided to make three.

One:  Try new things --  Ever since I have discovered polymer clay I feel I am constantly trying something new and pushing my boundaries.  It is always exciting to discover some new technique or vibrant color combination.  I already got a jump-start on this one.  Ever since I saw Judy Belcher's Micro Knitting in polymer clay, I knew I really wanted to learn how to do that.  Rather than trying to figure it out on my own I decided it was worth going right to the expert and learning directly from her.  I have had a chance to go through the tutorial and now excited about giving it a try.

Two:  Improve on the old.  No matter what we create, I feel there is always room for improvement.  Sometimes that means taking a new course or tutorial.  We all have a different view point and experience and so we can always learn from each other.  One of my favorite polymer clay techniques is mokume gane.  I have been creating with it for several years now but recently discovered how Melanie Muir had really learned how to master it with such a unique style.  While I really wasn't interested in making "Rock Cuffs", I decided to take Melanie's class through Craftcast and see if I could pick up any tips.  I managed to learn a few new things and after trying her method I found my mokume did improve and I was satisfied with the results.

The veneer on this kite bead necklace was created in a mokume using the new Pantone Spring 2013 colors of Monaco Blue, African Violet and Tender Shoots.
These buttons were made using the Pantone Spring 2013 colors of Monaco Blue, Dusk Blue, Emerald and Grayed Jade.  Both the kite beads and these buttons remind me a lot of Batik dyed fabric.

Three:  Don't over do it.  This one will be more of a challenge but sometimes I want to do too much and do not allow myself time for the first and second resolution.  This past year we found ourselves almost too busy at times and after Dave and I discussing things, we both decided that somethings had to give to allow more time for what was really important.  Making these types of decisions should not only reduce some of our stress but allow more time to enjoy the whole process and not feel so overwhelmed.

Now I am off to relax in our new jacuzzi hot tub for a nice relaxing soak.  This was our new addition to our home this year to help with the tendinitis in my shoulder and combat that extra stress.   It will be a good way to relax and unwind before we see in the New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Celebrations, Preparations and Featured in Polymer Arts Blog

I was pleasantly surprised to see one of our "Ebbtide" Necklaces featured on The Polymer Arts Blog this morning (yesterday).  The blog is by Sage Bray who is also the creator and editor of The Polymer Arts Magazine.  This is a great new magazine which is also available in digital format.

I hadn't thought about this necklace for awhile until I saw it on Sage's blog.  It brought back memories of some our past work and how it keeps changing and evolving over the years.

This fall and winter has been a busy season for Dave and I and so felt good to take some time out to finally rest, relax and catch our breaths.  We also took a little time to celebrate 26 great years together (26 on the 26th) and now it is time to start thinking and planning our work for the new year.  We generally like to discuss what we have made and sold in the past and what we want to work towards in the future.  It helps us to stay focused and head in the direction we want to go.

Having someone to work together and discuss things with has been a real blessing for me.  It is so easy to get caught up in my clay and with two people working together as a team helps keep things a little more in balance.

Right now our focus is on my first ever gallery showing that is coming up in February.  It is an all polymer show in Vancouver called "The Chameleon Clay" in which I am thrilled to be one of six featured artists.  Other members of the local polymer clay guilds will be submitting items for the juried part of the show as well.

There is a lot of finishing details yet to prepare such as how to display some of the pieces I will be showing and a few special items that are still not quite complete.  You can read more about this show here and follow the blog that has been set up about it here.  My Container/Vase will be one of the pieces included in the gallery show.  It is made completely from polymer clay and the lid fits in just the right position so the opening is completely hidden when it is closed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pantone Spring 2013 Fashion Color Recipe Links

So here are the links for all the polymer clay recipes I shared with you for the Pantone Spring 2013 fashion colors:

Tomorrow I have a special tutorial that I will share with you.  It is a surprise but the photo at the top of this post is a hint as to what it will be.

One more note:  If you would like to refer back to our other clay recipes for Pantone colors of the past, I have all the links now added on a page at the top of this blog.  The Pantone clay color recipes go all the way back to the Fall of 2011.  Enjoy!

Polymer Clay Recipes for the Pantone Spring 2013 Colors Nectarine and Linen

I have a Christmas surprise tutorial for you soon and so want to speed these posts up a bit and share the last two polymer clay recipes for the Pantone Spring 2013 fashion colors which are Nectarine and Linen.

Nectarine is a soft shade of orange with a hint of pink.

1 part Kato orange
4 parts Kato yellow
1/4 part Kato magenta
1 part White Mix # 1-2

The color Linen is a soft blush shade of pink.

14 parts Kato Beige
1 part Ecru Mix # 2-8 *
1 part White Mix # 1-2 *

* See my Clay Color System for these clay base recipes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Polymer Clay Recipe for the Pantone Color Poppy Red

The Pantone Spring 2013 color, Poppy Red is one of three primary colors for this coming season going along with Monaco Blue and Lemon Zest.

The clay recipe for this color is also super easy.  Just like the Pantone color, Lemon Zest, Kato Red is a perfect match for the Pantone color Poppy Red.  I normally wouldn't use the red clay straight from the package, however, I was looking for the right red to combine with a violet purple to create a scarf jewelry piece for a custom order.  Using Julie Picarello's technique, I combined pure red with a shade of purple and my white mix (recipe # 1-2 in my clay color system) to create this piece.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Polymer Clay Recipe for the Pantone Color Lemon Zest

The Pantone Spring 2013 fashion color Lemon Zest is a deep citron shade of yellow that is like warm sunshine.

If you are using Kato clay, then you already have this color recipe as the Kato Yellow in it's pure form is an almost perfect match.  I rarely use any of the polymer clay straight from the package but I have tried using the yellow at times and find it is less opaque than the other colors so combines well when creating canes and other techniques such as mokume gane.

Here is a jelly roll cane and buttons made from it using a skinner blend of yellow and teal (see recipe # 8-4 in my Clay Color System).


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Clay Recipe for the Pantone Color African Violet

The Pantone Spring 2013 fashion color, African Violet is a soft muted shade of Lavender.  Here is the clay recipe to mix up this pretty purple using Kato clay.

3 parts Kato Violet
3 parts Kato Silver
1 part Kato Magenta
3 parts Ecru Mix # 2-8 *
12 parts White Mix # 1-2 *

* See my Clay Color System for this clay base recipe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Clay Recipe for the Pantone Color Tender Shoots

Tender Shoots is a shade of lime green that I am especially fond of.  When I first discovered polymer clay, this shade of green was the first color I learned how to mix and wanted to use it in almost everything.  It is easy to lean towards your favorite colors when creating but if we intend to sell the creations we make, we need to think about others and their color preferences as well.  This is why I love mixing up the new Pantone colors each season as it helps to push my boundaries in creating new shades of colors I normally would not mix up as well as create new color combinations with them.  So here is the clay recipe for the Pantone Spring 2013 fashion color, Tender Shoots.

15 parts yellow
1/2 part green
1/4 part gold
6 parts white mix # 1-2 *

* See my Clay Color System for this clay base recipe.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Helen's Breil Book is Out

I have been eagerly waiting with anticipation for Helen Breil's new e-book, "Shapes: 25 Inspirational Jewelry Designs in Polymer Clay".   I am excited to announce that it is finished and now available to purchase.  This book is fabulous and packed with so many new ideas and techniques that make you want to just dive in and play right away.  Just click on the photo to see more info and photographs as well as to purchase.  At only $20, it is a real bargain!

I am also thrilled to have some pieces I created included in her gallery of artists.  We were asked to create one of her pendant shapes from the book in our own unique style.  This is my necklace that is in the gallery that I titled "Water Lily".  Both the necklace and matching earrings are based on Helen's Cotter Pin Series, Design #4.

I am sure this book will be a huge success and we will see a lot of new jewelry designs popping out from this exciting and inspirational book.  Thank you Helen for sharing your ideas and wonderful work with us!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Clay Color Recipes for the Pantone Colors Monaco and Dusk Blue

I thought I would share with you two Pantone Spring 2013 Fashion Colors this time so you can have a little more colors to mix up and play with over the weekend.  Monaco Blue is a rich deep blue that combines beautifully with most other colors.  Dusk Blue is a lighter and slightly muted shade of the Monaco Blue and the two make a great color combination.


If you have my Clay Color System, you already have the clay color recipe for Monaco Blue.  It is a pretty close match to my Royal Blue, recipe # 9-4.  Here is the color recipe for Dusk Blue using Kato clay:

Dusk Blue
2 parts Kato Blue
1 part Kato Violet
2 parts Kato Silver
4 parts White Mix # 1-2 *

* See my Clay Color System for this clay base recipe.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Polymer Clay Color Recipe for Grayed Jade

The Pantone fashion spring 2013 color, Grayed Jade is a soft pastel shade of green and combines well with the jewel-tone Emerald.  Think of combining this soft pastel with Emerald when creating a cane, skinner blend or Mokume Gane technique rather than using it on it's own.

Here is the polymer clay color recipe for Grayed Jade using Kato clay:

1 part Mix # 7-3 - Cilantro *
1 part Silver
6 parts Mix # 1-2 - White Mix *

* See my Clay Color System for these clay base recipes.

Tip for Mixing Up Color Recipes and Such:
When I am mixing up my color recipes, I like to write the "ingredients" down so I can keep track and don't forget what colors and amounts I just used.  I found this inexpensive "white board" for writing on and when I have the  recipe just right I can record it onto my recipe card with my clay color chip.  My white board can then be easily erased, ready to use again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Emerald is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013

Emerald is a beautiful jewel-tone green and Pantone has announced it to be the color of the year for 2013.  Pantone describes this color as:

"Lively. Radiant. Lush… 
A color of elegance and beauty that enhances
our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."

Since we will be seeing a lot of this color over the next year I thought it would be the first clay color recipe to share with you.

5 parts Kato Green
1 part Kato Turquoise
1 part Kato Pearl

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pantone Fashion Colors for Spring 2013

Here are the new Pantone Fashion colors for Spring 2013.

I know Christmas isn't even here yet but for some of you who want to think on warmer things in this cold winter season, I will share with you some new color recipes using Kato clay over the next few weeks.  It will be part of our Christmas gift to all of our followers. (The other part is a surprise.)

Many of these clay color recipes I share use "base mixes" that are included in my Clay Color System.  For those of you who are not familiar with my Color System, it is more than just clay color recipes but a tutorial using my own method of mixing and combining color.  You can read more about it here.

So I will be mixing up some new colors this week and will share them with you starting tomorrow.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vintage Inspired Flower Necklace

Here is another necklace I created using my vintage inspired flowers in the jewel tone colors.  The copper and teal combination is one of my favorites.  I've been slowly experimenting with and introducing gilder's paste with my clay and like the effects of the copper paste I used here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Selling Out

We finally finished our last show for the season here in our little village of Chase.  Each year our town has a Chase Country Christmas weekend celebration with plenty of fun activities starting with a parade Friday evening.  We had our usual large set-up at the craft fair featuring our scarf jewelry and interchangeable earring system.

Since Chum N' Luba's Unique Boutique is new and sells a selection of our handcrafted jewelry, we helped to promote this fabulous shop.  The photo above shows one of their vintage dresses with our scarf jewelry and below with one of our vintage floral necklaces.

Dave and I both found the Christmas shows this year to be quite exhausting and stressful since our work load with selling wholesale has more than doubled.  A new experience for us was selling out on several items  on several occasions.  It is a good thing really but a little overwhelming when you think you need to make more inventory in such a short time.  Oh well, if this is as bad as it can get, I think we will survive!