Home Decor

Polymer Clay Snowflakes Ornaments

With the weather changing and the nights getting pretty cold in our area I have been finding myself wanting to put out Winter decos in the house early. One of my favorite styles of Winter decorations is ornaments, but they don’t need a tree in our house! I hang them on garlands, from curtains and fireplace mantels. A fun and simple project I love to make with children in our family is polymer clay snowflakes! It just require a few basic polymer clay crafting tools and some imagination.

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Supplies:

Premo! Sculpey Clay
Pluffy Clay
Pasta Machine/Clay Conditioning Machine
Snowflake Cookie Cutter *Once used with polymer clay do not use for food, just use it for crafts
Stylus
Rhinestones, beads or mini mirrors
Clear Plastic Wrap
Glitter
Jewelry Wire
Round needle nose pliers
Ceramic tile

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-2 I mixed the Premo! and Pluffy clay together, a one to one ratio. Now you might be wondering why I using that mix of clay. Since we are making ornaments I wanted the pieces to be as light as possible, this is why I am using the Pluffy. I did a review of Polyform’s Pluffy a while back.
I conditioned and mixed the clays by running them through a pasta machine until they were thoroughly mixed on the the highest setting.

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-3I then placed the clay on a ceramic tile and with a piece of plastic wrap on top of the clay. Carefully I placed the snowflake shaped cookie cutter ontop of the clay covered in plastic wrap and firmly pressed down through the clay until it was cut. The plastic wrap creates a nice beveled edge that you would not get if you just pressed the cookie cutter through the clay.

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-4Carefully I removed the excess clay, leaving the snowflake cut out in place. Saving excess clay for another snowflake or project.

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-5In this photo I put rhinestones in a pattern on the clay and press firmly into the clay but you can use any combination of rhinestones, beads or mirror pieces. There is no right or wrong way! 🙂

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-6Using several stylus I indented little dot patterns into the clay. Any texture stamps or indentations will work, have fun and come up with all kinds of patterns!

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-7I added some glitter to the clay by lighting sprinkling small pinches of glitter onto the clay and rubbing the glitter into the clay lightly.

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-8Using the round nose pliers I curled the edges of the jewelry wire; the curled edges will add an extra grip when pushed into the polymer clay.

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-9Carefully I pushed the wire loop into the stop of the polymer clay snowflake and smoothed the clay around it.
I then placed the tile on a polyclay designated cookie pan and bake according to manufacture instructions. Once cool I degreased the snowflake with dish soap and water. I sealed the piece with a sealer and it now it is ready to hang up!

ArtResurrected-Polymer-Clay-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-10Notice the ice clear snowflakes next to the polymer clay snowflakes? Well taking this project a step further you can make resin copies of the polymer clay snowflakes, mimicking the look of frozen ice!
Hop on over to the Amazing Crafting Products Blog for my clear resin snowflake tutorial!

Amazing-Crafting-Products-Resin-Snowflake-Tracy-Alden-1Until next time, safe travels!

Uncategorized

Forgotten to Found, Amber a rescue pup!

If you have noticed a lapse in my blog posts lately things have been rather busy but all should be back to normal now (*knock on wood*). Though I would like to share a little of what has been keeping my family and I so busy!

We live in a rural part of Southern California, sadly people dump off dogs and cats in this area, thinking they will not get caught or somehow the animals can survive in the high desert (120 fahrenheit in the summer, 20 fahrenheit and below for the winter) without food or water. Many of these people do not spay and neuter their pets and dump the resulting baby and parent animals. Most die due to exposure and predators, the few that make it attack endangered wildlife and domestic animals. We have tried our best to rescue and find homes for the ones that cross our paths.

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In August, after we had a party, I awoke the next day to the sound of a puppy crying nearby. In my sleepy mind I thought it was one of the neighbors pups. The noise continued and I asked my husband to look outside.  He saw a thin adult dog in the front yard eating trash out of the cans. We went outside and saw two young puppies with the mother dog who ran away. We watched them go, sadly they were too frighten to wait for real dog food or water (we put food and water out for them later none the less). Then my husband noticed a small puppy jammed under a trash barrel, not moving but looking at us. I picked it up and it looked at me, wagging a small tail and put a tiny paw on my arm. It looked to be the smallest and was the most dehydrated out of the pups. Quickly we gave it water, it didn’t seem frightened of us at all. I gave her a bath to wash off the dirt and grime. All I had was adult dog food for our dog Luna but the wee thing ate it up. The puppy quickly fell asleep and I was able to take the photo above of her. My husband gave me a look and said “I guess we have another dog?” Yes indeed we did! Our older dog and our elderly cat (also rescues) didn’t seem to mind the puppy and went about things as per normal!

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My mother watched the puppy while we went out and got her food and toys. When we got back she was so happy to have toys and wouldn’t stop cuddling with our feet. We decided to name her Amber, because of the colors of her fur. In the evening after finally having meals in her tiny tummy she passed bird seed! She had been eating bird seed out of desperation as a stray! We immediately made an appointment to go to vet to get her checked out and vaccinations.

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Here is Amber after one week of eating well! She was up to 9 pounds and had her first round of shots. The veterinarian feels she was around 5-6 weeks when we found her and if we hadn’t taken her in she would have died from exposure or predators. Thankfully she had no worms or any other issues, she was rather fond of the vet and his staff! It is felt she is some sort of Labrador/Sheppard mix. 🙂

The mother dog and Amber’s siblings never came back for her. We do not know what happened to them but we keep an eye out none the less.

We are trying to work with her on her habit of snagging any food she finds, a typical behavior for a dog trying to survive as a stray. She quickly learned her name and simple commands.

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As you can see in this photo Amber and Luna have become fast friends. Luna loves having a friend and they play all the time. In fact Luna is a real life saver for me, they can go outside and run the property with the puppy never leaving her side! It took some time for the puppy to sleep through the night but now she looks forward to resting with one of her toys and Luna next to her. She still seems to have dreams that upset her and make her cry but when she wakes up she becomes happy knowing we are near.

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Amber with her first chew, giving the coffee table evil looks. The chew had slid under the table, which to her meant it stole her chew stick and wouldn’t give it back. She felt growling and jumping at it was the proper response. After I forced the coffee table to give it back she didn’t trust it all night. 😉

At first we had an issue with Amber finding it necessary to be underfoot.  She has tripped pretty much everyone in the household, the little sneak! While we were still potty training her I slipped across a puddle on the tiles, doing the splits, slamming my right knee and skull into the floor. The second time while watering the plants I tripped over her, jumping backwards to avoid falling on her and landed flat on my back. Amber was fine but my previous spinal compression fractures didn’t like it.

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After a while she calmed down, realizing we would not abandon her and she could lounge. This allowed me more freedom to work on my art projects and take photos of said work. Amber now “assists” me by staying under the table while I work on art projects in the kitchen. The dogs keep my feet warm and the cat steals one of the chairs. Here she is now at 19 pounds, only has one more set of shots to get and once old enough she will be spayed.

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My lovely rescue pups waiting for treats! 🙂

My mother introduced me to rescuing and caring for abandoned or hurt animals. Happily I have carried on that tradition with almost every animal in our household. I encourage others to do the same, while caring for a rescue can at times be a challenge, you are rescuing a future life long friend.

Wishing you all safe travels,

Until next time!

Home Decor

Amazing Crafting Products Design Team!

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Things have been a whirlwind lately! So many new things happening and so many changes! I was contacted by the talented Susan M. Brown, Design Team leader for Amazing Crafting Products to see if I was interested in joining their design team since in the past I had used their product and enjoyed working with it. Of course I said yes and I am now a proud part of the Amazing Crafting Products design team blog! The photo above is of my first design team shipment and it was so full of awesome goodies to try out.

Amazing-Crafting-Products-Resin-Art-Resurrected-Theresa-Brehm-1Not only do I enjoy using their products as I have noted in past blog posts, I was introduced to resin as wearable art by my parents many years ago. Here is a photo of some of my mother’s work. All of the pieces in the above photo are over 35+ years old. Amazing Crafting Products even graciously allowed me to showcase her work  and vintage molds in an Inspiration post.

Amazing-Crafting-Products-Resin-retro-70s-Tracy-Alden-10Entranced at an early age by the idea of encapsulating objects I was inspired to use one of my mother’s vintage polyurethane molds to make a retro trivet piece and tutorial!

Amazing-Crafting-Products-Resin-Faux-Coral-Tracy-Alden-1Now I am on a roll and I just can’t help but want to test out how the products perform. I am starting to get back into my polymer clay work so I tried my hand at a faux coral necklace and tutorial. I used polymer clay pieces for the originals to make the resin coral pieces.

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For years now I have been trying to mimic the perfect faux amber, I blame a certain dinosaur movie for me always wanting the perfect piece of amber with an insect inside. While I have gotten close in the past there was always an issue with durability and/or clarity. Well, after trying some test with Amazing Clear Cast I was finally able to get the look I have wanted. You can find my inspirations post here talking about these new pieces.

Though don’t just take my word for it, please go to the Amazing Crafting Products design team blog to see all of the talented artists on the team! From model car makers, food artists, mixed media artist, paper crafters and so much more you will not be at a loss for ideas and inspiration. 🙂

Until next time safe travels!

CHA

Craft & Hobby Association Create & Connect Conference and Trade Show

Another Craft and Hobby Association Summer show has come and gone! This year it was called the Create & Connect Conference and Trade Show and was held in Las Vegas. While this was by far a much smaller show than the Winter CHA yearly show, it was still a great show to attend. There were better opportunities to talk and network with vendors and designers. There was also plenty of new products and artwork to see! I got there a day late due to health concerns and forgot my camera so I had to take photos with my phone but here is a few of the booths that I just loved and have to share with you.

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As per normal Die Cuts With a View (otherwise known as DCWV) had a stunning display of papers, bead, embellishments and artwork! These three lovely shadow boxes were attached to the outside of their booth showcasing some of their products and talented designers.

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DCWV had both their Summer and Winter collections up and were doing wonderful make-n-take canvas and necklace art.

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Those lucky enough to be there the last day of the trade show and the last few hours had the chance to buyDCWV papers and Blue Moon Beads. Here is some of the items I was able to purchase from them the last hour. 🙂

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The talented Suzann Sladcik Wilson, book author and CEO of Beadphoria, Inc. was at the Buttons Galore and More booth doing demos on how to turn their whimsical line of buttons into wearable art!

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Here is some of the Buttons Galore and More buttons turned into rings!They have so many designs and styles of buttons that could be used as embellishments in many art forms.

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Next we have the awesome Violette Stickers, a small but growing sticker company with some of the most beautiful stickers. They were at the Winter CHA this year but I somehow didn’t see them. I am glad I got a chance to really look at their stickers this time! They have lovely reproduction Victorian art stickers and fun and funky modern art stickers.

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Here is some of their sticker selection I bought. The photo does not do them justice. They have vivid colors, sharp detail and some of their lines of stickers have clear backing making them perfect for layering in resin!

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One of my all time favorites is the Connie Crystal booth! Their booth was a bit smaller but still full of dazzling crystals and beads! They always have some of the most imaginative displays showcasing their products.

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Some of the new Connie Crystal collections for this show! Their frosted beads and crystals this season are just stunning, I just had to buy some!

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I love to Create booth had a wonderful collection of Summer themed art using their line of products. The talented Kathy Cano-Murillo founder of CraftyChica.com was doing demos at their booth of all kinds of wearable art! The Tulip One-Step Spray Dye Kit they are now selling is a no fuss way of dying fabrics. I love the ease of use and vibrancy of the colors!

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The ever popular Graphic 45 had a gorgeous booth full of Steampunk and vintage print papers and embellishments. The display of finished art using their products was just beautiful and I love that they are doing more home decor tutorials using their products!

In the next few months I will be using all of the wonderful products I got at the show in new artwork. 🙂

Until next time safe travels!

Globecraft Memories

DIY Butterflies on the green

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I have a country garden on my property and I have fun growing all types of herbs, flowering plants and vegetables. Each year depending on the season I can see variety of wildlife coming into the garden to collect nectar, seeds and water. I make it a point to take as many breaks as possible to go work or watch the garden. Earlier this season I found a butterfly sitting on top of my flowering rosemary. I watched it fly about the garden for a bit, I then noticed a second one, then another and another! Soon the yard was full of butterflies! They look to be a butterfly known as the  American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), they have a rather “fuzzy” body and long antennae. I was able to take some photos of these lovely creatures with my camera. It got my mind whirling on how lovely these bright orange butterflies looked on the green plants, could I make something based off of this enchanting contrast?

The Globecraft & Piccolo Design team challenge this month is to create projects using their UV Resin and their bezels. I thought why not try to create the look of flying butterflies on a field of green. This time instead of doing my standard still photos I thought why not try out a video tutorial!

Hop on over to the Globecraft and Piccolo Blog for my UV Resin Butterfly Pendant video tutorial with Globecraft and Piccolo products!
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Until next time, safe travels!