Monday, 29 July 2013

Pink Ruffled Notebook Cover

I thought it was time for a well earned rest after finishing the Polymer clay book, we had a ridiculous heatwave here in the UK too, so it was far too hot to blink without sweating. I took refuge downstairs where it was a bit cooler for a few days and then had a look through my felt box to see what I could work on next. I found the pink nuno pieces I made for Ann’s Challenge on the Felting and Fiber Studio site, and decided to work on those. I started with the larger piece I made for a notebook cover. I’d measured carefully when I made the piece so I’d get the ruffles just on the front and back. This is the front:

And this is the back:

I must have measured properly because it worked out well. I didn’t want any of the ruffles where the flaps for the inside would go.

The fabric is a kind of synthetic crepe and ripples and ruffles nicely.

I’ve listed this on etsy now, though I'm going to swap the notebook for a red one. I’ve already cut and machine stitched the other piece for making a camera case, so as long as it stays cooler, I’ll work on the blanket stitch around that next.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Online Wool and Fibre Suppliers.

A while ago, I asked on The Felting and Fiber Studio site and forum for recommendations for online wool and fibre suppliers so I could do a price comparison to find out which sites were the cheapest depending where we live. I've posted about it on Studio site today. There is also a pdf with charts showing how much cheaper the cheapest site was and some prices of the fibres I looked at to compare, and also other relevant fibres.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ethical Wool and Animal Fibre

If you're interested in knowing exactly where your wool and animal fibres come from and that they have been treated well, have a look at The Felting and Fiber Studio site today. We meet Amanda from Newmoor Barn in Devon who has a herd of Angora goats and sources different breeds of locally reared wool and animal fibres.

If you have a business which keeps the felting, fabric and fibre community in supplies and would like to tell us all about it, come over to the Studio site, we have a Contact Us page now. If you'd like to contribute articles too, we'd love to hear from you, you can read all about it here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rubber Stamp Suppliers

I was talking to Marilyn on the Felting and Fiber Studio site about where to get unmounted rubber stamps. I use these on Polymer clay and prefer unmounted because they are more versatile and literally flexible. Luckily, I saved the envelopes (from 2007!) from when I ordered stamps. The main place I got large sheets of unmounted rubber stamps is The Stamping Ground. I bought quite a lot from there, their prices are very good. I also bought a couple of sheets from The Stampsmith. I bought some texture sheets — deep etched rubber in abstract designs, from Creative arts by Obertin. Most of my other stamps were bought from ebay. I don't think the seller I used is still there.

If you have any tips for good sites, feel free to post in the comments :)

Friday, 12 July 2013

Polymer Clay Simply Made

Well, it's taken forever and grown from the 'few pages' I thought it'd be to over 80, but I have finally finished my Polymer Clay tutorial, or e-book to be precise :)

There are 81 pages and over 200 photos illustrating clear and simple instructions. The book focuses on my very simple method for producing smooth, even clay and how it can be adaped to suit  different techniques for creating gorgeous and unique polymer clay pieces such as brooches, pendants, buttons or tiles for mosaic. And you don't need any specialist equipment or expensive gadgets. Or a pasta maker.

The introduction features the tools and products that I find really useful for Polymer Clay work. Most of the things I use are from around the house, and in my everyday craft supplies. There's also suggestions for cheap and free alternatives.

There are seven other parts to the e-book with sections showing some easy ways to shape polymer clay without the use of cutters, commonly available products for applying colour to the surface of clay, and using beads and metal as embellishments. Throughout the book, there are complete instructions for 10 different techniques including how to achieve a fake porcelain look; inlaying; applying acrylic paint for an aged look; and using beads to enhance designs. You might remember my previous attempt at that where I dropped the camera on the clay and dented it! In addition, there is also a gallery of polymer clay examples made with combinations of the techniques described for further inspiration.

The methods and techniques in the book are suitable for complete beginners, and anyone with no previous experience of polymer clay can create items just like those featured on the front cover in a few minutes with just Polymer Clay and a few commonly available items.

Thanks a lot to Kaz, Ruth and Ann from the Felting and Fiber Studio site for looking at and checking through the first and second drafts for me and making sure it's understandable :) Thanks a lot to Lyn from rosiepink too, for checking through the drafts as well and checking over my rewrites and extra photos at the last minute, and a big thank you to my girlfriend for putting up with me (again!) over the last couple of months, helping me rewrite difficult parts and coming up with the perfect title yet again :)

If anyone is interested, it's available in PDF format from my blog, there's a new page up at the top called Polymer Clay, just click that. I've been trying to upload it to etsy, but it's just sticking on the 'review listing' page. If I ever get it to list, you might want to check the prices on both, etsy is listed in GBP and on my blog it's listed in US dollars, and depending on the exchange rate, you might save yourself  a few pennies :)