Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Whats New!

So many things are going on for Harmoniously Tangled.  I am having a giveaway here on my blog (click on Grateful Extravaganza page) and I am also involved in two other giveaways.  You can find out more about them on my facebook page.  I do these giveaways to thank you for taking the time to visit my page and be a part of my world.

I have also sold my first polymer clay piece.  I was so excited for this wonderful lady to have it.  She has been such an inspiration for me.  I am looking forward to future pieces as my skill grows.

You can see some of my new polymer clay pieces in my giveaway.  Here is a look at some of the pieces available in my online store.  You can get to my store by clicking the link on the right of this page that says Harmoniously Tangled at Storenvy.

Harmoniously Tangled is expanding to give you truly one of a kind items.  Visit often to see what is going on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WOW! I Am Amazed.

I am amazed and humbled by the many people who have taken the time to visit and like my little corner of the world on facebook.  Behind each of those little numbers is an amazing person.  I thank you for sharing time with me.

To thank you for sharing your time I will host a giveaway here on my blog very soon.  I need a little to time to create special items for this occasion.

Many things are going on.  As you read on my previous posts I am now creating with polymer clay to use in my handmade jewelry.  For the giveaway I want to create some unique items for you.  If you are interested in sponsering an item for the giveaway you can email me at harmoniouslytangled@yahoo.com  Send me a picture of the item with a link to your page and if it will be free shipping.

There is now another place you can find me, Pinterest   If you are not familar with Pinterest it is a place where you can create bulletin boards and put pictures of things that interest you.  Warning!!! This is fun and can be addicting.

Thank you again for sharing your time with me.  Stay tuned for the upcoming giveaway.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Learning About Polymer Clay.

New Years Eve is special for me not just because it is the end of a year.  It is also my Birthday!  So fun because that means there is always a party on my birthday.  I spent a wonderful day with my husband.  I cannot say that 2011 was an exceptional year but it had it's good parts.  The biggest was finding a talent in making jewelry and the many friends I have met both on line and at different craft shows.

There were some fun crazy times in 2011 with my sister (Lisa over at Creative Kitty Crochet) at the different craft shows we attended.  Getting lost, car catching on fire and set up mishaps.  You know the normal adventures you have when you start doing craft shows.  You can read more about those in some of my earlier posts.

As I am rolling into this new year I have made the decision to make my jewelry even more unique by making my own beads with polymer clay.  I have learned many things about polymer clay.  Each brand has it's own virtues.  I chose to start with Sculpey III.  It is easy to condition and blend your own colors.  I have made several canes (rods of clay made with a pattern running the length of the cane) with this and it requires a lighter touch when shaping the canes to keep from making a mushed mess.

As with any new project I try to buy minimal tools to begin with.  Never want to invest a large amount of money only to abandon the project down the road because I find it is something I did not enjoy.  In my opinion the must haves to start are:
Polymer clay, choose your brand by the characteristics that you find important to you.  Sculpey III is softer and easier to condition but it can be the weakest and most brittle.  Premo is easy to condition but the strength can vary with color, Fimo has a longer open time meaning it is longer before you have to stop and condition it, can become brittle when cured.  Kato can be the most difficult to condition but holds color well.  They all vary in in their finish after curing from a matte finish to shiny.  You can read more about this in Donna Kato's book The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques. 
Polymer clay roller,  there are several kinds.  They are like your rolling pin for clay and are made specific so the clay does not stick.
Poly blade, this is a straight blade that is similar to a razor blade.  Makes cutting canes much easier.
Crafty pasta machine, used to roll out sheets of clay for cutting shapes.  This helps keep your thickness uniform.  This machine is also helpful in conditioning the clay.
Sculpting tools, one with a curved end to help round, one with a pencil type end to allow for detailing, one that is like knife to help cut out shapes.
Disposable cutting boards, these can be found at Walmart and usually come in packs of three. These make great surfaces to work on.  The clay does not stick, you don't have to worry about staining your table top (the colors in the clay will bleed onto your work surface), you can also cut on these without fear of ruining your table top.
Oven, I bought a regular cheap toaster oven to start.  This is proving to be a problem as the temperature is not reliable.  The good part about polymer clay is that if it did not set the first time you can return it to the oven.  In the cheap ovens you are more likely to burn  your creations.  If you are going to start with this type oven spend a few extra dollars and buy a oven thermometer and run tests with several different thicknesses of clay so you won't ruin a beloved creation.
Molds, clay push molds can come in handy but you can cut the cost by free handing or using items around your house.  I am using candy molds I had on hand.  I leave enough clay on the top so I can grab the creation and pull it out.  Then cut off the excess clay.  There are also molds available to add texture to your creations.  Again look around I am sure you will find many items in your own home to add your own special touches.  Since I am preparing myself to create beads I have also purchased a Tri-bead clayroller .  Not a necessity but I am sure this will come in handy when I am ready to make those beads.
Baby wipes,  it is important to clean your hands in between each color to avoid unintentionally blending the colors.  Make sure to clean the crafty pasta machine and tools between colors also.
Rubbing alcohol, is good for your terminal cleaning at the end of each project.

These items will get you on your way to creating unique pieces.  Of course you will need wires or fittings to make these into jewelry or maybe you have another project in mind.  Either way jump in and enjoy the creating process.  Playing with clay may just bring out the child in you.

Earlier I mentioned Donna Kato's book.  Another book I would recommend is I Can't Believe I'm Creating Millefiore, published by Leisure Arts.  This book has easy to follow instructions on creating canes that can be used for many different projects.

Here is a sample of my first creations.
I am excited about this new year and I want to thank you for coming along with me.