Crysanthemum Cane Polymer Heart Pendant Necklace

crysanthemum cane 11

I have SOOO many polymer clay canes in my fridge….I first came across canes on EBay a year or so ago, and I was intrigued. How do they do it? I ordered two and studied them when they came, then set to practicing. My first ones were silly looking indeed. And I still can’t make super detailed ones, or even really good flowers. But I have learned you really can’t mess up an abstract cane.

crysanthemum cane

So I came upon this tute for a translucent chrysanthemum cane from PC Polyzine and even though I said I am not making any more canes until I use up some of the ones I already have, I made it anyway.

crysanthemum cane 4

It was actually too easy, and literally took about five minutes. It’s a strip of white, a strip of pearl, a strip of any color translucent (I used translucent red), and then a bunch of scraps torn into little pieces and pressed all over the stack of strips. Roll it up jellyroll style, and the log is then pierced halfway through eight times with a credit card to distort. And voila! That’s it!

crysanthemum cane 6

I made two hearts, as shown in the tutorial, with scrap clay as the centers. I made four beads, too….by covering some wooden beads with slices of cane. And sigh, I still have about 3/4 of the cane left to add to my stash of canes. They have taken over BOTH butter dish spots on my refrigerator door.

ingredients:   silver 11/0 seeds, silver 4mm bicones, pink 6mm crystal rondelles.

ingredients: silver 11/0 seeds, silver 4mm bicones, pink 6mm crystal rondelles.

crysanthemum cane 8

I actually wanted to use silver chain to make this necklace, but I can’t find any! Holy Smokes! An excuse to go bead shopping. So I did the next best thing: tiny silver seed beads. I will save the other heart and beads for another necklace later.

crysanthemum cane 10

Polymer Leaf Pendants

leaf pendants 8

I came across a picture tutorial for making leaf impressions in polymer clay yesterday, so I went out in my yard to see if I could find some leaves with veins to give it a go. Being in Florida, I have some strange trees in my yard, not the lovely oaks and maples that I was used to growing up in New Jersey. But I found a few that would do the trick:

add detail to outline with a toothpick

add detail to outline with a toothpick

So I rolled out some green clay, laid the leaves on it and rolled with the brayer. After rolling you then have to use a tool (I used a toothpick) to go over the veins as they do not come out very deep. The major outline of the leaves was easy, but I used quite a bit of artistic liberty in making the inner details. Hard for me as I do NOT consider myself an artistic sort in any way, but they came out okay. I tried adding some pearl colored pearl-ex powder first, but did not like how light the contrast was.

adding pearl-ex powder to the leaf impression

adding pearl-ex powder to the leaf impression

I put copper pearl-ex powder on one before baking, and the other I left alone as I wanted to try adding some paint to it. I used some 6/0 copper seed beads for the holes. Then I baked.

black acrylic paint applied and sponged off

black acrylic paint applied and sponged off

copper pearl-ex powder on this one

copper pearl-ex powder on this one

After baking and coloring, before applying resin

After baking and coloring, before applying resin

So I finished them off by applying a coat of epoxy resin to them. The big square one is, well pretty big! But you can clearly see the leaf. The smaller round one came out kinda looking like a tree, so I will from here on think of it as a tree pendant.

finished, resined square leaf pendant

finished, resined square leaf pendant

finished, resined round tree pendant

finished, resined round tree pendant

a view just to show how shiny and glossy the resin makes it.

a view just to show how shiny and glossy the resin makes it.

I had a lot of fun making these, and I will be keeping my eye out for some smaller veiny leaves to make some pendants a bit smaller than these.

UPDATE: I ended up stringing the big square pendant on some copper wire, I figured the pendant is so big maybe I can even it out by stringing it on a thin cord. I added some green miracle beads and brown mother of pearl squares to each side for some extra flavor.

leaf pendant necklace

still pretty darn big.  I haven't found the top that supports wearing this necklace yet......

still pretty darn big. I haven’t found the top that supports wearing this necklace yet……

Beads and Flowers from one Polymer Clay Cane

pink flower cane

It all started with this cane, which is just a skinner jelly roll of white and pinks, and pinched into a sort of petal shape. I followed this tutorial for a polymer flower and used two sizes of the cane, larger petals for the outer part, and smaller petals for the inside.

pink flower cane 2

Use the old “bend the eye pin” trick so that it will not slide out of your finished work.

pink flower cane 3

Start adding petals to a circle of pink on top of your green base. My flower has WAY less petals than the tutorial flower! That’s par for the course….I am very impatient. My first flower came out so pretty! But HUGE! I mean absolutely huge, like what am going to do with THIS??

pink flowercane  6

I also broke off a petal and glued it back on. Oh well, another refrigerator magnet! Or……

flower candle

attach it to an electric candle! I bought this candle at Big Lots last week, intending to maybe polymer clay cane it, but when I got it home it turns out it is made of wax! So applying cane slices and baking is pretty much out, I suppose. So voila! Big Flower finds a home!

I did make a second, smaller flower and put it on a cord and wore it to work.

pink flower cane necklace

So I had a bunch of cane left, and decided to turn it into an actual flower cane.

pink flower cane 8

I like to cover wood beads with cane slices. Besides saving on clay, they are guaranteed same size and the hole is already taken care of. I found out the hard way that you need to use wood beads that are finished in some way; unfinished raw wood beads makes the clay blister. I buy painted wood beads from DC&C Crafts, packages of 80 beads for $1.50 and they work beautifully with polymer clay.

pink flower cane 7

I made two sizes of flowers on my beads, and then strung them with colored wooden beads for some bracelets.

pink flower cane 11

pink flower cane 10

pink flower cane 9

So two projects, one cane. And I still have about four inches of cane left over!

Gold Leaf and Alcohol Ink on Polymer Clay

gold leaf white 7

I attempted to make my own alcohol inks a few months ago with rubbing alcohol and Rit dye. It didn’t come out very well. So I finally bought myself a set of three Adirondack inks and got out my gold leaf and went to town.

gold leaf white 8

gold leaf white 11

gold leaf white 10

Okay so these triangles were inspired by this awesome pendant from Loco Lobo designs that has been haunting me since I first laid eyes on it a few weeks ago. I didn’t have the patience nor the proper clays to copy it completely, but I combined some of my sheet of gold leaf clay with some strips of mica shift clay with imprinted designs in it. It’s a first try….I haven’t even properly sanded them yet, but I think they are quite interesting!

gold leaf white 6

I have three colors of inks, and with the red section I cut out a few circles. They will become earrings and a necklace later today.

gold leaf white 3

This was the green and blue section of the clay. It is really quite easy to make these cool designs, here is a link to the process but it is just a matter of applying gold leaf to a sheet of polymer, adding drops of inks all over, and then after it dries run it through your pasta machine to get the crackles. Run it through both ways, as in run through the machine on a setting that is the same thickness as the sheet of clay, turn the clay 90 degrees, and then run through again.

gold leaf white 5

gold leaf white 4

Not sure what exactly I will make with these yet, but will post the finished product when done! So with the leftover sheet of clay with all the cutouts, I rolled it into a big ball and ran it back through the pasta machine. The final few pieces are mostly white with some swirls of gold leaf in them.

gold leaf white

gold leaf white 2

I LOVE this process of gold leaf and alcohol inks. I plan on getting some more colors of inks, and also to try and coat some pieces with epoxy resin which I think would make them really shine and pop!

Polymer Clay Orange Flower Earrings

orange flower earrings 11

I bought an orange and yellow dress, and wanted some earrings to go with it. That’s the best part of making jewelry….you can tailor make anything you want to match just about anything! So using this tutorial from 2 Good Claymates for Polymer Disk Earrings, I got out my yellow and orange clay and had at it!

orange flower earrings 4

I made a yellow and orange skinner blend, and cut out some flower shapes, trying to use the most swirly parts of the clay sheet. I then made a flower impression in the pieces, first trying out a texture sheet that I had but ultimately using a picture frame to make deeper, more impressive impressions.

I used this plastic picture frame to make texture in polymer clay.

I used this plastic picture frame to make texture in polymer clay.

I tried three different mediums to add some pizazz to them – a bronze pearl-ex powder, some brownish acrylic paint applied and then wiped off to leave paint in the impressions, and some pearl pearl-ex powder. I HATED the acrylic paint one, it looked terrible I threw it away. The bronze pearl-ex one was okay, but I liked best the pearl pearl-ex powder. After baking, I made another set of flowers in the same size to apply to the backs to hold the eye pin in.

this is the one with the bronze pearl-ex powder.  Meh.

this is the one with the bronze pearl-ex powder. Meh.

On the advice of the 2 Good Claymates tute that I linked to, bending the eye pin into a squiggle helps to hold it in place – makes a ton of sense as a straight pin, as I have found out the hard way in the past, can slide right out of the hole. So after squiggling up my eye pins, I put the back pieces of clay on to the baked front pieces .

A squiggly eye pin trumps a straight eye pin every time.

A squiggly eye pin trumps a straight eye pin every time.

The tutorial I was kinda following used a plastic net to texture the back, I used this strange plastic piece that I seriously found on the ground a few months ago and thought “I have no idea what this is, but it would make a good texture!”

they mysterious plastic texturing piece

they mysterious plastic texturing piece

textured backs

textured backs

After trimming around the flower petals to make the two sides fit together, I baked again. The big question afterward was: brush on some resin, or just brush on some Finish floor wax? My husband, who probably just wanted some dinner, suggested I just Finish them and be done with it, so that’s what I did. If I make them again, I may try to brush on some resin to make them shinier and sturdier. But a quick addition of an ear hook, and that was that! I may add a dangly bead or two in the future, but for now I am quite pleased to have some yellow and orange earrings to match my yellow and orange sundress!

EDIT: I made some resin last night for another project, and decided to add some to these earrings. I love the way resin acts kinda like a magnifying glass of sorts when put on top of a piece of polymer. Anyway they came out super shiny, the design and the colors seem more amplified, and they are definately more sturdy.

orange flower earrings resin

orange flower earrings resin 2

Mokume Gane polymer and resin pendants, inspired by a fellow blogger!

red and green mokume 4

Easter morning isn’t the same when your kids are grown and gone. Add to that the fact that my husband dispatches for a local taxi company on Sundays from our bedroom, and that equals being on my own in the living room on Easter morning! So I took my laptop and, being new to wordpress and this blog, I decided to go through my reader and check out what kind of stuff everyone else is doing this week!

slices of mokume gane clay

slices of mokume gane clay

The very first comment I ever received on this blog was from Kerry Best who, like me, is also just getting into polymer and resin. Inspired by this video from Beads, Baubles and Jewels on her blog, I got out my pasta machine for a little Easter morning craft time!

red and green mokume 2

red and green mokume 6

The colors are definately not what I envisioned (hello, Christmas!) but hey, you gotta work with what you have sometimes. I still have to drill holes in them, and I have half the clay sheets left over for some different shaped pieces another day. The leftover scraps from the cutouts were used to make some coordinating beads when I eventually string these babies!

The finished pendants, on black rubber necklaces.

The finished pendants, on black rubber necklaces.

Polymer Clay Molded Flower Set

flower mold set 2

Last week at Hobby Lobby I picked up a package of Sculpey Mold Maker, then came home and scoured the house for something to mold. First I made a mold of a piece of coral that I had found at the beach and made a resin copy, which came out pretty cool! Then I came across an acrylic flower bead, which came out even cooler!

acrylic flower bead, Sculpey mold maker, and resulting mold.

acrylic flower bead, Sculpey mold maker, and resulting mold.

As I have never made a mold before, I find myself wishing I would have coughed up the extra five bucks to get the two part clay, the one where you mix the two clays together. The reason I say this is because as you can see, the mold is already cracking all over! I have no idea whether this particular brand of mold clay is supposed to come out rubbery, or hard. I don’t know whether I overbaked it, or underbaked it. The clay is actually still a bit soft and bendy, even though I baked it for forty minutes. But now it has cracks all over it!

molded flower earring

molded flower earring

I used some silver colored polymer clay, and baked them. After they were cool, I brushed on some light blue acrylic paint, and then wiped most of it back off. After that dried, I rubbed some copper pearl-ex powder on them, and finally finished them off with a few coats of Finish.

the finishing touches

the finishing touches

So they came out looking like old metal. I had poked holes in the clay before baking, so I used a simple jump ring combination to hang them on a rubber cord and some ear hooks. Wore the set to work today with some faded jeans and a white shirt and it looked very nice!

The finished set!

The finished set!