Friday, October 31, 2008

Updates on Mom + Featured: Spazzy

Hi everybody. First off I just wanted to thank everyone who has given your thoughts towards my mother. I really appreciate it. :) Oh and kat, I am putting you on my blog list *points to the right.*

Right now she is apparently waiting for a "packet" from her doctor via postal mail. She has no ideal what is in this "packet," but it may explain a little more about her situation. She is feeling a lot better, and in fact is back to her old routine this Halloween. She has bought doughnuts and apple cider for her grandchildren. ;)

On that happy note, I bring you today a new featured Etsy Member!

Who Did I Discover:

I found a little shop ran by Spazzy! Spazzy's shop is full of beautiful hand-spun, and hand-dyed yarn. Plus a little section called "gifts and more."

Who is Spazzy:

A stay at home mother of two, who loves to spin yarn. Her interest with yarn began at a young age when she was given vintage knitting needles by her Nana. Many of her yarns are also eco-friendly (animal free), giving a variety of choices for those who knit. :)

You can find Spazzy's shop by clicking here.

My Top Picks Are:

1) "Build Your Own Gift Basket: Brown and Blue"

I love the color blue and these brown goes especially nice with it. Also it's something I could make myself! ;)

2) Next up is...."Reflection: Handdyed Yarn"

The green, blue, and yellow swirls mellow me out man..(kidding :P). In all seriousness though, the colors really compliment each other well. Also one can't even tell this yarn is handdyed it was done so beautifully.

3) My most favorite item from Spazzy's shop would have to be the "Angel Wings Handspun Eco Yarn."

This yarn just looks so fluffy and soft. It makes me wish I knew how to knit, so I could make a warm soft blanket with it. :)

Spazzy's Advice To Beginners:

" My advice would be to take your time and not expect your first tries to look like yarn. "

My Final Words:

For those who knit or do other crafts with yarn I would recommend Spazzy's shop. She is very creative with her yarn and everything is done by hand. All of her yarn looks very professional as well as soft and comfortable. Sometimes I wish I could make blankets with yarn, especially since it's winter and Etsy is way too tempting. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Appologies/ Cancer Awareness

I wish to give my apologies for not being able to post most of this week. Unfortunately life happens, and not always for the better.

A month ago my Mother was having dizzy spells to the point where she could not walk without bumping into walls. She ended up doing an MRI and they found a lump. They decided to make another appointment for a second MRI to get a better look. The wait for the next MRI appointment was horrible and I would not wish it on anyone. Fortunately the lump is on the protective film that covers the skull and spine. This means that the lump isn't touching her brain. They have now decided to wait another year to see if it grows before they do another MRI, because the dizzy spells have ceased and my Mother has been feeling better for a while. If it is growing then my mother will need brain surgery to remove the lump, at this time it is unknown if the lump is cancerous.

My Mother and I have always been close, our personalities are a lot alike and I owe my own values and morals to her. During this entire situation I have been back and forth to my parents house along with my Hubby, we live two hours away so it was impossible to be online much except late at night for a couple hours.

I will try to post a new post regarding polymer clay this weekend. I wanted to post this to really encourage you all to be tested if you have similar symptoms of my Mother. Cancer awareness is something I have always supported, and even more so since this event has happened.

Please send your thoughts out to my Mother and Father.

~Blessed Be

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Technique Time: Poly +Others

Today I have been boiling sticks, soaking sticks, peeling bark, putting a wood finish on the sticks.....oh and yes this does have to do with polymer clay! Polymer clay can be used with many other materials to get interesting and unique looks. :)

Why Should I use Other Materials and Polymer Clay?

Well first of all it's a lot of fun. ;) Also using different materials with polymer clay will diversify the craft, polymer clay is so flexible when it comes to how to use it.

What Kind of Materials can I use with Polymer Clay?

Here is just a short list of materials you can use with polymer clay to give you item(s) a look all it's own.

a) Glass (Dichroic glass is a good example)

b) Wood

c) Fabrics

d) Paper

e) Metals

f) Silverware

g) Foils

h) Glass beads

i) Marbles

and the list goes on and on and on....! ;)

How Do I use Other Materials with Polymer Clay?

1) With many materials you would simply be gluing polymer clay to it after the clay item(s) are cured. This holds true for materials that can not stand the heat of an oven such as paper, wood, and fabrics. I suggest using Soba glue for these porous materials as shown below.

2) Other materials that you can bake into the clay are called inclusions. They include all items that can stand the heat of the oven, some testing may be needed! Most glass, and metals should do fine though. I will discuss inclusions in a future post.

3) Today I am going to show you how to prepare wooden sticks to use with polymer clay. First thing I did was check the lawn for sticks. Then I boiled the sticks up in a pot for 30 minutes. Then soaking them in this very hot water with a little bleach for another 30 minutes.

As you can see from the picture above I gathered several sticks of various sizes, and thicknesses. If your sticks have any growth on them (fungus, moss, mushrooms, etc.) please throw these away.

4) Then I peeled the bark off with this cheap (dollar store brand) carrot peeler.

Now you will want to cut off any sharp ends, I used a garden cutter.

Sanding the wood is also important, careful of splinters!

5) After the stick was peeled finally I applied a few coats of wood finish,one of the finishes I use for my polymer clay actually. ;)

6) Now the finished sticks can be used in multiple projects. Just a few ideas off of the top of my head are:

a) Hanging polymer clay pieces off of it to create a door hanger.

b) Gluing polymer clay pieces to it, adding some ribbon, to make a wand.

c) Making a wooden stick frame decorated with polymer clay, but of course.

7) Not all materials take a lot of preparation when it comes to mixing it with polymer clay. For example, I am using fleece on the back of polymer clay, that shall be dangling, so the item does not make a loud bang noise if it hits a wall, door, etc. It also protects against scratches.

8) One can also decorate glass mirrors, and candle holders by simply gluing the polymer clay pieces onto the glass or baking them while on the glass.

9) As you can see from my final door hanger I have used several different materials with polymer clay these include, wood, fleece, ribbon, and wire. Just in one item! ;)

My Final Words:

Using a variety of materials along with polymer clay can really inspire your creativity. It's interesting to see what you can make, and I recommend everyone to at least experiment. :)