Feather Inspired Boho Necklace with Sculpey Soufflé

In January I traveled to the Creativation Trade show, in Phoenix, Arizona. Held by Association For Creative Industries or AFCI, during the show I was invited to the 6th annual Prime Networking Event. At this event, bloggers, designers, authors and brands in the craft industry came together to network, make new partnerships, and learn about new product information. The event was Educational, informative, had great food and drinks and free product samples provided by this year’s sponsors. After the event attendees were encouraged to try out and create art for the Favecrafts Best Blogger Craft Event.

One of the sponsors was Polyform Products, who supplied a wonderful kit including a Sculpey® Bead Making Kit and three half bricks of Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed.

The Souffle clay colors of the kit reminded me of the feathers of the Great Green Macaw. In particular the neck and chest feathers, in tones of green, black and fluffy white, that many Macaws can be seen preening while relaxing. This color inspiration helped me visualize a Boho necklace, faux leather in style, since Souffle Clay once baked in an oven has a matte finish, somewhat like leather.


Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed
Sculpey® Bead Making Kit
Ceramic tiles
1 Coffee Straw
Pasta Machine
Paper Towels
Metal Spacer Beads
Cone Tin Beads
Darice 100% Natural Hemp Cord, 20 lb. Assorted Brights
Cord Faux Suede Olive-Brown 3MM

Working with the Sculpey Soufflé I quickly learned it is softer than most polymer clay, requiring little to no conditioning. Using the cutting blade, included in the bead making kit, I cut each brick in half, saving half of each clay brick for the second part of the project. I rolled out each half brick of clay with a pasta machine (devoted to craft use only) set on the thickest setting.
Using the Skinner Blend technique, which creates beautiful gradients in clay, I blended two of each color of clay. Now having pieces of clay with blends of green with black, white with black, green with white, I cut out 14 feather shapes using the cutting blade. I didn’t need to use a template because I wanted the organic look of naturally fallen feathers. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each feather. To give detail to the clay feathers I used the needle tool, included in the bead making kit, to draw on the clay, not going too deep but just enough to get create lines as shown in the photo above.

I placed a paper towel on a ceramic tile and carefully put my detailed feather pieces on top. I bent and curved the feather to give them a more natural flow. I baked the clay feathers on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions.

To condition and roll out polymer clay easier I use a Pasta Machine I got at a kitchen supply store. It also happens to have two noodle cutting rollers, that normally I ignore when using for clay. However the Fettuccine noodle roller was about to become very handy for the next part in my project.
*The use of a pasta machine with noodle cutting rollers is not necessary if you rather cut each strip out by hand.

I rolled out the reserved half bricks of clay with the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Then I ran each portion of clay through the Fettuccine cutting roller, making sure to run the white, then green and black clay last to avoid color transfer of clay. Each strip of clay was easily textured with a tooth brush to emulate the appearance of leather. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each strip of clay.

I crumpled two paper towels into rolls and placed a third paper towel on top of a ceramic tile. I carefully placed my strips of clay on the paper towels. I baked the clay strips on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions. Sculpey Soufflé once baked is more flexible than traditional polymer clay allowing for long and/or large art pieces to be created, yet be still resistant to cracking and breaking.

I cut a 24 inch portion of Faux Suede Olive-Brown Cord to be the start of my necklace. I cut a 10 inch portion of green Natural Hemp Cord and attached it to the suede cord using a Lark’s head (Cow Hitch) knot.

I slid a metal bead onto the hemp cord and did a overhand knot at the end of the cord. I repeated this on the second portion of the cord.

I added an additional 10 inch hemp cord length to the suede using a Lark’s Head knot, adding metal beads and securing them with overhand knots. Adding another hemp cord length I slid metal bead further down the cord, towards the Lark’s head knot. I did an overhand knot, slid on a strip of baked polymer Souffle clay and secured it with a overhand knot. I repeated this process for all of the other cured clay pieces.

I slid on three Cone Tin Beads on each side of the suede and did a simple slide knot to finish the necklace.
I am now a huge fan of Sculpey Soufflé, with its flexibility and matte finish it allows this cascade of cord, clay and metal beads to be lightweight, durable and fashionable!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!


Amazing Casting Products

2018 Creativation Trade Show with Amazing Casting Products

The Creativation Trade show, held in Phoenix, Arizona is the must-go event for craft and hobby industry professionals.  It is held by Association For Creative Industries or AFCI, showcasing the many facets of the creative industries from edible arts, painting & drawing, kids crafts, sewing & fabric, paper crafts and more.  This year’s 2018 show was a plethora of arts and crafts manufacturers, new products, demos, classes,  and networking opportunities.

Once again I was a demonstrator at the Amazing Casting Products/Alumilite Corp booth at Creativation! Here we are first day, right before show floor opening happy to have the booth up and running before the rush of attendees. It was a pleasure and honor to being working with such talented and devoted people!

So many samples were showcased in every corner of the booth!

The Amazing Casting Products Design Team had sent in a wonderful array of projects.

Anything from home decor, kitchen wear, mixed media, jewelry, toys, garden decor, and fine art applications could be found in the booth.

The demo area always had some sort art going on.

With so many samples there was bound to be some art application that would catch the interest of an attendee.

All three days I did demos; First day “Frozen in Time” How to embellish mixed media projects combining Amazing Clear Cast Resin with powders, dyes, stamps, found objects and more! Second day “Crafting Conversation Curios” How to mold and create unique handmade resin pendants, charms and curios with Amazing Casting Products! Third day “Wearable Art, Clay Time” Exploring the creative possibilities of wearable art that can be achieved using Amazing Casting Products and polymer clay! Manufacturer partner, Polyform Products

Yours truly working on the “Crafting Conversation Curios” demo.

Amazing Casting Products Design Team Leader Susan M. Brown starting with her “Moldmaking 101” demo. At this demo people learned how to make quick and easy push molds using Amazing Mold Putty that could be used with Amazing Casting Resin, polymer clay, chocolate, fondant, plaster, soap, and more! Susan also did a fun interactive game “Texture THIS?!” exploring texture plates with polymer clay while learning quick and easy techniques to make and use texture in varied mediums/applications. Game entrants were entered to win a prize package of Alumilite Corp/Amazing Casting Products & Polyform Products.

The wonderful and talented mixed-media artist Cat Kerr‘s demo “Bezel Bonanza” on the first day of the show. Demonstrating three resin bezel techniques that add dazzling dimension and texture to empty bezels combining Amazing Casting Resin, Amazing Clear Cast Resin, and polymer clay. Manufacturer partners, Polyform Products and Nunn Design. A video tutorial of her demo have be found here: Clay and Resin Dimensional Pendant
Cat’s second day of demos was “Personalized Photo Holders” was about making quick and fun personalized gifts using Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Casting Resin.

Creativation came and went so quickly it almost seems a dream filled with good times, amazing creative people, inspiration and a gateway into the creative industries. Hope to see you there next year!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!


The Gift of Sparking Winter Jewelry, Handmade of Course!

With the past few months speeding past, with projects, orders, shows and daily life, I still make time to create handmade gifts for friends and family. No matter how much planning involved I always seem to end up making a few things last minute, but now that most of these pieces are on their merry little way I can share a few of my favorites.

I love getting random bead assortments from Fire Mountain Gems. In one of my last orders I received some sterling silver filigree bell beads. Hoping to create some form of jewelry set, I was not sure what to put with them. Pulling out of my bead stash I found clear crystals and chain from Fiona Accessories. They were the perfect addition to the bells, creating a delicate but beautiful mix of sparkle and sound in a Princess length necklace.

Taking inspiration from the 1920s jewelry styles I wanted to create a simple Opera length necklace. Once again using chain from  Fiona Accessories and red crystals from Michael’s Bead Landing™ a graceful and lightweight necklace was created. While the red color is fitting for the holidays it also works well as a nice addition to dressy causal attire.

For this Matinee length necklace I used a mixture of miscellaneous findings left over from previous projects. The Aurora Borealis blue crystal beads went perfect with the patterned spacer beads. While the chain adds a more modern feel, the colors and spacers hark back to more ancient times.

When making jewelry gifts I just have to make earrings. Some beads just lend themselves to something delicate or have just the perfect flash of color to be made into earrings. Using beads and findings from Fire Mountain Gems,  Fiona Accessories,  Michael’s and many more jewelry suppliers these earrings were quick to make. A few almost could pass for tree ornaments, others found treasures and old heirlooms, making them perfect gifts for young or old.

What handmade gifts have you made or are making this Holiday Season?

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Amazing Casting Products

Crafty Adventures with Resin and Orchids

Many of my art projects are tests of both art products and my ability to create. I can collect supplies, start working on something, even get a basic idea of what I would like to do, and end up making something completely different. Being able to adapt and still make a complete project that I can be happy with is my ideal goal, and thankfully this one ended up that way.

Starting with a small collection of orchid blooms that I had dried, I wanted to try to preserve in Amazing Clear Cast Resin. Dried orchid blooms are very delicate, easily crumbling if mishandled. I decided a frame was the best choice to display the dried orchids and be able to hold the resin in place.


Amazing Clear Cast Resin
Black Alumilite Dye
Alumidust powders Light Pink, Interference Red, Yellow Gold and Brown

Liquitex Gloss Varnish
Dried Flowers

Stir Sticks
Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint
Picture Frame
Micro Hole-less Glass Beads in Gold and Purple
Measuring Cups
Parchment Paper (Found in the Baking section of most stores) to protect work surfaces
Baby Wipes

I started with removing the glass and back panel of an old frame. I scrubbed the frame clean and painted the back and front of the frame with 2 coats of paint. I mixed some Brown Alumidust powder with Liquitex Gloss Varnish, as a protective varnish layer over the paint. I let the varnish dry overnight.

I cleaned the glass panel and put it back into the frame. I glued the glass in place to make sure it wouldn’t shift while I worked on it and so resin wouldn’t leak around the edges later. I was careful to have a solid line of glue all the way around the frame and let it dry completely.

I mixed up some Amazing Clear Cast Resin, making sure to slowly stir to reduce air bubbles and let it sit for 5 minutes. I poured the resin into the frame and carefully placed the dried orchid blooms into the uncured resin. I found that with the first layer of Amazing Clear Cast Resin the orchid blooms had a tendency to shift in the resin. So the first layer of resin had to be a thin pour and I let that cure to a tacky set. 

I added a second clear layer of Amazing Clear Cast Resin, to cover and protect the orchids. To make sure the resin completely encapsulated the orchids I would push some of the uncured resin around with a stir stick, moving the resin in and around the blooms. I let this layer of resin cure completely.

Mixing up a new batch of Amazing Clear Cast Resin, I put a pinch of Light Pink, Interference Red and Yellow Gold Alumidust in separate small measuring cups. I then carefully added the liquid resin into each cup carefully stirring with toothpicks to fully mix in the powders.

I poured the resin mixed with Alumidust in different spots all over the frame and used a toothpick to drag the colors through each other. This created a lovely ebb and flow of color to the resin, and I honestly lost track of time doing this and found it rather relaxing and meditative in nature. I sprinkled in some Micro Hole-less Glass Beads in Gold and Purple around the blooms in this layer of tinted resin before the resin cured.

I had planned on doing a final cream color tinted layer for the background, but the lovely powder layer got lost when I tried a test sheet of white paper behind it. I needed more of a color contrast, so I thought about a black tinted layer or resin, using a black cloth to mimic the look, allowing the Alumidust tinted resin layer to visually pop more.
*In the future if I want to use a cream or light colored background I just need to make sure I use more Alumidust or a few drops of Alumilite Dyes to increase the color intensity without the need of a contrasting background.

Mixing up a final batch of Amazing Clear Cast Resin I added Black Alumilite Dye Black to the resin, making sure to fully stir in all the dye.  I poured the resin over the orchids and previous resin layer, carefully popping bubbles and making sure the tinted resin went into all the nooks and crannies.
*The dried orchids in this photo are slightly raised as they were not dried flat but collected already dried from a live plant. If the look of filter light going through the resin coated flowers is not the desired appearance just used pressed flowers instead.

Here it is with the final layer of black tinted resin. The Alumidust not only creates a wonderful metallic shimmer but changes color and tone depending on how the frame is tilted or what type of light source is used!

This test of both dried materials and the ability to quickly change the direction of the project worked out well. The frame looks complicated but it is just four layers of resin poured. No waste of resin just a few popsicle sticks, toothpicks and clean up with baby wipes.

With a simple change of dyes, powders and their concentration any number of lovely art can be created with few supplies!
Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Enchanting Halloween Jewelry Charms

My favorite time of year, Fall is finally here! Cooler weather, plant-life changing colors and the promise of my favorite holiday of the year, Halloween just right around the corner. Now that I have a little more free time I am trying to find ways to use up a lot of my older art supplies mixed with new and interesting items.  Scouring stores for Halloween decos, supplies, fabrics and ideas is favorite and seemingly a family tradition in our household.

I found at JoAnn Fabric Stores a wonderful line of Halloween charms by hildie & jo. The charms are sturdy, have a great finish and there is a great variety of carded charms. My only problem was most JoAnn Fabric Stores were selling out of the charms quickly and these were the only sets I could find. Each set had different themes and assortment of styles. I didn’t use all the charms yet but several I immediately knew what I wanted to create using up some of my older jewelry supplies.

The large two skull pendant set while advertised as Halloween charms I felt fit a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme better. Noticing the skulls had a warm golden honey color rhinestone set in them along with a black enamel antiquing, I picked black and honey tone crystals from Fiona Accessories, silver flower and leaf beads to accompany the skull.

The rather adorable silver fang charm was just perfect as is, and I felt if I added any of the other charms to it, the piece would get lost. I matched the red enamel on the fangs to small red Swarovski crystal beads and silver-lined translucent red Miyuki magatama (oval) beads. By spacing the beads on the chain in irregular intervals, it created the look of crystallized blood flowing down the chain and past the fangs.

The tiny witch craft charms were so sweet and well crafted I felt adding them to silver earring hoops with purple Swarovski crystals was the best way to create a delicate but magical cascade.

The more tongue-in-cheek witch charms I turned into a bracelet, using black, green and pink Czech fire polished beads. The playful movement of the charms and drops added to the fun everyday style.

After having such a fun time creating these pieces I can’t help but want to haunt the stores for more!

What might inspire you to make some fashionably ghoulish accessories this season?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!