Thursday, 29 December 2016

Marbled Clay Jewellery

Air hardening clay makes it easy to make things from clay at home.
easy to make Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay

This post contains affiliate links
Cass Art sent me some Air hardening clay and marbling medium to try out and review as part of their upcoming #BEINSPIRED campaign.
cass art #beinspired campaign
In the package I had pack of DAS air hardening clay, 2 packs of DAS Idea Mix marbling material in Verona Red and Sodalite Blue, a bottle of Vernidas Vitrifying Varnish and a DAS adjustable rolling pin, all in a lovely reusable Cass Art tote bag. The rolling pin has clever rubber rings so you can easily adjust the thickness of whatever you are rolling.
I've made a whole load of things from this 1kg pack of clay which I'll share over time, but I thought I'd start with this simple marbled jewellery.
Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay
Before you begin get everything ready that you will need. This clay dries in the air, which means it starts to dry as soon as it comes out of the packet!
Have a little pot of water handy as you can damp your fingers to make the clay more workable. I wouldn't make it too wet though, I found it slippery and difficult to handle if I made it too wet.

Marbling the clay is pretty easy. You break off a big lump of the air hardening clay, knead it a little to soften it then add some smaller blobs of the marbling mix.
marbling air hardening clay
Just knead it and roll it, repeating a couple of times and a random marbled effect just appears. Don't knead and re roll too many times though or the effect starts to disappear and the clay turns a pale blue (or red, or whatever colour you are adding)
I tried out both the red and blue, you can see my photos here switch between the two.
Once your clay is marbled you are ready to begin making your jewellery shapes.
marbled clay

For the triangle pendant I rolled the clay out leaving the largest rubber ring on, that leaves the clay 5mm thick. 
easy to make Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay
I made a paper template of a triangle 6cm(2.25'") x 6cm(2.25"), laid it on the clay and then cut round it. I tried my x-acto knife and just a regular kitchen knife. Both cut the clay just fine so either will work. I also tried just using my cutting mat or rolling out the clay on a piece of baking parchment. The baking parchment did make it easier to lift the clay shapes up, but it did make it a bit slippery to roll out so swings and roundabouts with that. Try it out, see which you prefer.
If your shapes have little rough bits like mine on the left, just wet your finger with a drop of water then smooth the clay down. You can pick the pieces up and handle them carefully, so you can smooth all the sides. Apparently you can sand this clay once it's dry but it seemed easier to me to smooth it at this stage.
Then make holes for the cord. I used a wooden kebab skewer. Poke the skewer in from the front and then again from the back, giving it a bit of a wiggle to make sure no little lumps of clay get stuck inside.

Now the difficult part, you just leave then for about 24 hours to dry and harden. (Oh and wash your knives, rolling pin, board etc now, hot soapy water works fine)
You can see here how the white clay lightens as it dries. The marbling mix colours stayed pretty much the same.
marbled blue pendant
It takes between 12 and 48 hours for everything to completely dry and harden, depending on the thickness. The mini bunting pieces dried really quickly, the fatter beads took longer. Once they are dry the pieces will feel much lighter too.

Then you can varnish to protect the clay and to give a glossy finish. The Vitrifying varnish gives an amazing high shine, it really is a glass like finish. Just brush it on one side at a time, giving it time to dry in between. I found any brush marks just smoothed themselves out so no need to fuss over them.
It's not a great photo but you can see the high gloss on the left v the matt look before varnish on the right.

marbled flattened bead pendant DIY
To make these flattened beads, just roll a lump of clay into a ball, poke your wooden kebab skewer through either in the centre or just a little above centre then flatten very lightly with the rolling pin.
making flattened marbled beads
Looking at this photo below of the finished blue pebble pendant I think I should have spent just a little longer smoothing the clay at the bottom before I left it to dry and harden. It's a little bit too creasy for my liking, although in nature pebbles to have cracks and crevices in them. Maybe subliminally I was going for a natural effect!
easy to make Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay

This little bunting necklace was made in the same way as the triangle pendants but on a much smaller scale.
clay bunting necklace
The clay was rolled out to 3.5mm (the middle rubber ring on the rolling pin) and much smaller triangles cut out. I tried mixing a little of my marbled mix into a fresh lump of the red Idea Mix to give a reversed marble effect for some of the triangles.
The little holes for the jump rings I made with cocktail sticks.
Originally I thought I would join each piece of bunting with a single oval jump ring but they just didn't fit.

You can see what I mean on this page from my little note book (where I make notes and sketch ideas that may or may not ever happen) 
ideas note book
I ended up adding a little round 7mm jump ring to each side of the bunting triangles then joined them up with another jump ring.

This way the triangles lie flat, if I'd joined the triangles directly to one another the whole thing would twist.

easy to make Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay
Part of Cass Art's #BEINSPIRED campaign is to share where inspiration comes from. Normally for me it's Pinterest, magazines, books, TV, looking out of the window..... anything really. With this marbled clay I originally set off thinking I was going to create clay pebbles to turn into beads. As the marbling effect starts to appear in the lump of clay it does feel like you are holding a large, cold, slightly wet pebble. But as I was experimenting I thought it would be fun to try geometric shapes, to contrast completely with the natural stone effect of the marbling. Triangles are such a simple shape to begin, but I would like to try the hexagon, or maybe the triangle split into 3 from my note book when I have time. 
easy to make Marbled Jewellery with air hardening clay
Have you ever tried using air hardening clay? It was much simpler to work with that I was expecting and the glossy varnish gives the pieces a lovely expensive finish. I've really enjoyed playing with it and have quite a few more projects to share with you later on.
You might also be interested in:
3 Pink Bracelets
3 Pink Bracelets
Cluster Drop necklace
Cluster Drop Necklace
Easy Bead Necklace
Easy Bead necklace
Fabric Twine Bracelet
Fabric Twine Bracelet
I'll be linking up at these great link parties,

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Yoda Snowflake attempt

Last year on a dull day in December when I should have been doing a whole number of things, I sat with a cup of tea had a go at making a Star Wars paper snowflake instead. When shared it on my personal facebook page some of my friends seemed interested to know how so I thought you might to see too.
Yoda snowflake
I downloaded and printed a template from Anthony Herrera Designs and got to work. There is a great little video too that is worth watching before you start, with some info about how to fold the paper and tips on cutting out.

I could have made a whole blizzard of regular paper snowflakes in the time it took to make this, but who wants a whole blizzard when you can have a Yoda snowflake?

You make these with regular printer paper and sharp scissors but you also need a good sharp craft knife. This is not something for young kids to do in the holidays!

The most difficult bit was the internal shapes like the eyes and mouth as there are just so many layers to get through. I found it helped if I cut the shape with my knife, lifted as many layers as I could then cut again, repeating 3 or 4 times.
I did tweak mine a little and joined Yoda's ears up, on the template the are not.

My precious Yoda snowflake got packed away with the decorations and by a miracle was still intact when we got the deckies out again this year. I've run it through the laminator, after all my hard work I hate the thought of it getting ripped.
Yoda snowflake

Now it's taped to the window for all the world to see. (Well, the people who walk down our street anyway!) The street light makes one Yoda really glow at this angle.
Yoda snowflake
There are some Frozen Paper snowflake designs over on Anthony Herrera Designs too if that's your sort of thing as well as Guardians of the Galaxy and Harry PotterI really love the Groot and baby Groot snowflake designs in the Guardians of the Galaxy collection ..... next time I have another "not really spare" moment I'll have to have a go!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Handmade Monday #5

Hello, welcome to Handmade Monday, the place to share your adventures in crafting!
I'm so pleased you have been able to stop by. Share your latest crafting projects and ideas here and then take a few minutes to see what other people have been up to. Last week we had quite a few newbies to our linky which was very exciting. We also had a few people I remember joining Handmade Monday's a long time ago so that was really exciting too. Welcome and welcome back! 

Next week Handmade Monday is taking a Christmas break. I plan to spend next Sunday evening watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special and eating mince pies. (best ever recipe here if you're interested) 

Is there any TV you are especially looking forward to over the festive season? 

The Crafty Lumberjacks linked up last week with their glittery decor quote from Home Alone and got me thinking again about what is my favourite Christmas film. I decided for me it has to be Nativity. It was filmed in my home town Coventry, (of Lady Godiva and being 'sent to Coventry' fame) stars loads of local school kids and is just lovely and heartwarming, a bit silly and very sweet - Everything a Christmas film should be. My next choice is probably Elf , then maybe Love Actually. Do you have a favourite?


Enough rambling from me, these are the fantastic features from last week's linky.


These lovely little knitted Christmas trees are from Knitting and so on, and there is a free pattern too.


Ginx crafts showed us these beautiful pyramid lavender bags with pretty embroidery. Definitely nothing like a popular brand of tea bags! 

Congratulations, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



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And now for this weeks linky.
Remember every entry gets pinned onto our Handmade Monday pinterest board too, if you'd like to join the board and pin directly just send me a message with your pinterest email.

The rules are pretty straightforward:
  • Did you make it? Is it craft related? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see what you've been up to. This is not the place for shops, link parties or posts with just other people's work. Giveaways are fine as long as they are craft related.
  • Add the link to your blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week, but try to make sure it's something you've not linked up here before.
  • Have fun! Mingle - visit some of the other links - that's the whole point! Leave them a comment, maybe share on pinterest, twitter or your other favourite social media. Let's support one another and grow our craft community.
  • If you'd like to follow me in some way (buttons to find me are on the side at the top) then that would be just lovely. If you'd like to tell others about Handmade Monday then that would be just lovely too.
Remember no Handmade Monday next week, I'll see you in the new year!



Friday, 16 December 2016

Festive Mirror Fun with Chalkmarkers

Turn your mirror into a fun festive photo opportunity this Christmas with Chalk Marker Pens.
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
A few weeks ago ChalkOla sent me a couple of packs of their Chalk Wet Wipe Marker pens to test and review.
I shared a classy and sophisticated idea last week, my festive wreath to decorate a window but I've been having loads of fun trying out these pens in other ways too.

In a mad moment, on a whim I added a Santa hat and beard to the mirror in our hallway. Then I couldn't resist adding a Rudolph red nose and Antlers too.
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
We've had fun messing about posing for photos ever since.
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
The drawing on the mirror was so simple. Just stand close to your mirror, shut one eye then draw the outline of a Santa hat and beard over your face using ChalkOla chalk marker pens. Then you can step back, open both eyes and take a few minutes to colour it in. 
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens

These are the UK links to the products I tested :
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chalk-Pens-Whiteboard-Chalkboard-Blackboard/dp/B01E17WAQO

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chalk-Pens-markers-Whiteboard-Chalkboard/dp/B00VVOWCSC

It's slightly tricky to get great photo of this. If you stand there in front of the mirror it looks fab, but if you try to take a selfie it's really challenging to get lined up properly.
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
The flash adds additional difficulties! 
Festive Mirror fun flash ops
You need to stand to one side with the camera and then direct the person who is posing to line them up as best you can.
Festive Mirror fun with chalk marker pens
Anyway, great photos or not, it's been loads of fun. I think we will make all our guests over the holidays have a picture taken in front of the mirror! 

It doesn't have to be Santa and Rudolph of course, an Elf would be fun, maybe a snowman hat and carrot nose. An angel halo could work, or maybe 3 crowns for 3 kings. 

There is still plenty of regular mirror left so you can check your hair/teeth/makeup/clothes before you leave the house too.

You might also be interested in:
Christmas Windows
Christmas Windows
Scrabble Christmas Sign
Christmas Scrabble Sign
Wooden Christmas Gift tags
Wooden Christmas Gift Tags
Origami Christmas tree ornament
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament
I'll be linking up at all these great link parties, pop over and have a little look round at all the lovely ideas.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Handmade Monday #4

Hello, welcome to Handmade Monday, the place to share your adventures in crafting!
I'm so pleased you have been able to stop by. Please share you latest crafting adventures here and take a few minutes out of your busy busy lives to see what other people have been up to.
This week I've totally gone from a casual "Oh Christmas is ages away" to a definitely NOT casual "14 sleeps!!!!" practically overnight!

Without further ado let's have some fabulous features from last week's linky.

Garden, Tea, Cakes and me shared these lovely glittered pinecones.
I've been trying this idea out this weekend as we found some old pinecones in with the decorations when we put them up last Sunday. #glitterallthethings

CJ Made shared this lovely block printing project, it reminded me of the lino cuts we did at Primary school (but way better of course!)
Congrats both of you, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

And now for this weeks linky.
Remember every entry gets pinned onto our Handmade Monday pinterest board too, if you'd like to join the board and pin directly just send me a message with your pinterest email.

The rules are not overly complicated:
  • Did you make it? Is it craft related? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see what you've been up to. This is not the place for shops, link parties or posts with just other people's work. Giveaways are fine as long as they are craft related.
  • Add the link to your blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week, but try to make sure it's something you've not linked up here before.
  • Have fun! Mingle - visit some of the other links - that's the whole point! Leave them a comment, maybe share on pinterest, twitter or your other favourite social media. Let's support one another and grow our craft community.
  • If you'd like to follow me in some way (buttons to find me are on the side at the top) then that would be just lovely. If you'd like to tell others about Handmade Monday then that would be just lovely too.