Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deer Me with Creative Paperclay®

 While in Tucson I went to this museum full of stuffed real animals (the guys voted on going to this museum). And, gawd, there was even a room with my last name. The idea came to me to create a friendlier, happier version of what I saw. This could be great for a boy's room.

SUPPLY LIST
Creative Paperclay®
styrofoam
acrylic paints
brown paper
tree branches



















 Cut your styrofoam to form the deer's head and start adding the Creative Paperclay® to shape the face.




















Add eyes and nose then start adding detail.























Paint the face with as much or as little detail as you wish. Add ears cut out of brown paper and you are done.Next drill holes in the top of the head to add the tree branches whether real or fake. You could even change out the branches with the season.

Dream in color and play with your whole heart.

—Darlene Olivia McElroy




Monday, May 25, 2015

Shari's Tip of the Month

Hi!
 Thanks for stopping by to view my tip of the month.

I was cleaning out my studio and came across some packaging from some metal keys I had purchased. I was ready to put it in the recycle bin when an idea struck me. I wonder if these flimsy plastic packaging molds could be used with Creative Paperclay? The answer was YES!!

I cleaned it with soap and water just to make sure there was not any reside from shipping on them.
I packed in the paperclay leaving it clean around the edges of the mold. I  found that leaving clay in the mold till it was slightly dry made it easier to remove. (The paperclay will shrink slightly as it dries leaving a space around your piece.)Once removed I laid them on my drying table to finish drying.


















This worked perfect! Now I will be looking at packaging a little differently on the products I purchase. What is even better than having a new mold? I am helping save the environment by reusing and re-purposing an item instead of just tossing or putting it in the recycle bin.

Shari

I have been creating art for as long as I can remember. I studied graphic design in Portland, Oregon before moving to Denton, Texas and putting all my focus on creating mixed media art. In addition to being on the Creative Paperclay design team, I am a contributor for the Robin's Nest Design Team, an article writer for Mixed Media Art, and an Outside Artist and blogger for DecoArt.
I strongly believe in giving back. I volunteer at Scrap Denton Creative Reuse Center where I teach workshops, art camps, and perform art demos. I am very passionate about mixed media art and enjoy helping and watching others discover their creativity.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tip Time With Ann

Tips for working and saving some money.  Hi, I am Ann and today I wan't to share a few tips on how  I and you can save some money on some of the materials and even tools that help in working with Creative Paperclay®.





I like to shop for disposable tools and some materials in stores other than the traditional craft stores.  For one, the good craft stores are at least a 45 minute drive away for me and I do not get out to them as much as I would like too.  I have found  that while running errands and shopping for my family and household some pretty neat and inexpensive materials at dollar stores.  Here are just a few of my recent finds:

A rotating cupcake decorating stand (to allow me to spin my project as I work)
Cellophane wrap (to wrap on the cupcake stand to keep it clean, note: not shown in this picture,  and to wrap around the clay to keep it from drying out)
Aluminum foil (used as a form upon which I add the clay and build a project)
Toothpicks (to hold different parts of the project together)
Travel size spray bottle (to fill with water)
Soft sanding block (for sanding)
Small size plastic cutting boards (to hold and transport projects around my studio)
Cuticle stick (to smooth and make markings).
Paint brush ( for dusting off sanding residue)

I hope that you too find some inexpensive and  useful materials and tools at your local dollar store and then have enough money to purchase good quality Creative Paperclay®!

Thanks for dropping by today.  Please visit my blog (http://annmakes.blogspot.com)
where I go into more details of ways I make and save money while making things!

***Thank you to "Sandits" ( http://shop.sandits.com) for their wonderful sanding sticks.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bags & Tags by Linda Hess

Wow! It has been a whirlwind of activity in my household and life over the past 2 weeks.  Sadly 2 funerals in 1 week, first my father-in-law at Arlington National Cemetery and then the best man from my parent's wedding, one of those life long friends (60 yrs!).  We also had our middle child graduate from James Madison University (2 graduation ceremonies in 2 days) with her degree in Engineering...GO Katie bird :-)  Add to that my normal life as an Art Teacher and my after gig as a polymer clay teacher and I am ready for a break.  Only 3 weeks until Summer (wow).



The end of the school year used to have me making thank you gifts for all of the teachers.  With one out of college, one in college, and one entering her senior year of high school I don't give as many teacher presents as I used to, but why not come up with an easy peasy project that could be used as a gift or a tag or a card topper??  Naturally I pulled out the Creative PaperClay and set to work.

Materials:
Creative PaperClay®
texture sheets of choice
Pinata Inks
assorted cardstock (for cards)
assorted ribbons and trim (for tie-ons)
plastic bag (to protect work surface from inks)
Sandits™
optional: heart shaped cutter, Kemper© circle cutter or knitting needle

Procedure:
1) Pull or cut off a bit of the Creative PaperClay (I used about 1/8 of the block).  Rewrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying.
2) Separate the piece into smaller pieces and then roll each into a ball (mine were each about 1" round). 
3) Place 1 texture sheet on your work surface with the texture facing up.  Place one of the balls of clay onto it.  Place a second texture sheet or rubber stamp on top of the clay ball and press (think clay sandwich). 
 
Remove textured piece and repeat with other clay balls.
4) If desired, use a knitting needle or the circle cutter to put holes into the pieces.  This will allow you to easily tie components onto bags or card tags.
5) Place all clay pieces onto a plastic bag.  Time for coloring.  Drip Pinata Inks over the clay "shards" until you are happy with the look. I love how the inks flow into the nooks & crannies easily. 
If too much color is applied, dab with a paper towel to remove some of the ink.  Once complete, set aside to dry....OR pop the pieces into an oven (remove from plastic bag obviously!) and bake at 275° for ~20 minutes (NOTE: drying in the oven will not completely dry the piece...air drying will complete the process)
6) If you used a heart cutter as I did, the edges may be rough.  Edges are easily cleaned up by using a cool little tool called Sandits™.  Just rub it along the edges and voila! all the jagged bits disappear quickly.
 
7) Now the clay pieces can be added to cards, bags, boxes, etc.  The heart could even become a gift with the addition of a jump ring and lanyard hook! 



I hope you have enjoyed this project.  I think you can see with a few simple steps anyone can achieve WOW results that will have the gift recipiants wondering "How did she do that?!"
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tori's Tip for May - Work Boards and Drying Panels

Hi, it's Tori West with my monthly tip - If your studio is anything like mine, there are always lots of projects going on at once.   Since a lot of mine involve clay, I've come up with a few ways to make the projects portable so I can move one aside and start on others while the clay dries.


The first method is what I refer to as "work boards" - they are just pieces of cardboard covered with Glad Press n' Seal® wrap.  To make your own, cut a piece of cardboard to the desired size, cover one side with a piece of press n' seal, pressing and smoothing out the wrap to secure it to the cardboard, turn the board over and place a piece of wrap on the other side, smooth it down as well, then trim around the cardboard.  I have a lot of 4" x 4" square work boards (see that stack on the upper left side of the photo :) ) I use them to hand out to students when I give classes, and because that size is convenient for small projects.  The boards can be used over and over again, just wipe off the clay with a wet cloth.   I also have a variety of larger boards.

Aside from making the projects portable, another big advantage to these work boards is that you can stick the clay down on them;  wet the board, then press or rub the clay onto it to hold objects down.  For example, on the small board in the photo above, a 1:12th scale skeleton is in progress; the spine is stuck down to the board so I can work on the delicate ribs, and the feet are stuck to the board with the pattern attached to them, so I can carve out the tiny toes.  On the larger board, which will be a 1:48th scale mushroom house, the staircase is held in place with a lump of clay so that I can work on the railing.  The front board, holding another 1:48th scale project, has the floors stuck to it while I score in the floor boards and paint them.  They were stuck to the board as dry pieces of clay - to use the board in that way, wet it, then take the dry piece of clay and swirl it around on the wet board until it sticks.  You'll definitely know it when that happens -It's kind of awesome when it does.  To remove the items when I'm finished working on them, I'll use a credit card spatula to carefully get underneath them and lift them from the plastic.  (click on the image to see a larger version of the photo if you would like to see close-ups of the work boards).

The second method for portability and drying clay projects is to place them on drying panels.  Again I've made a number of them in the 4" x 4" size (the stack next to the cardboard ones), and also have a selection of larger ones.  The panels are cut from styrene "egg crate" fluorescent lighting fixture panels, which are sold in most major home improvement and hardware stores.  They come in 24" x 48" sizes, but can be easily cut to whatever size is needed by using flush-cut metal nippers, band saw, or scroll saw.  These are best for drying projects on when you want air to circulate around them as much as possible - place some spacers under each corner to let air get underneath, or to stack projects as needed.  I also use these styrene panels when making sheets of flat clay, and stack the larger ones for drying racks.

Thanks for joining me here again!

I'd love for you to join me for more projects & art adventures on my personal blog
Find me on Facebook, or peruse & ponder pics with me on Pinterest
Connect on Google+ or see what new creations I may have on Etsy


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creative Paperclay Frames by Lynda


I love having my spaces look nice, especially my desk space at work!  If I have to be some place for 8 hours a day, I want things to have a good look and feel!  Today's project - is a great piece to add to my own work space, which will be the beginnings of a few pieces all created to match!  Another thing I love, is having pictures around me - that is why I scrapbook in the first place; with this project - I got the best of both worlds for sure!!!

**TIP**  To make your pieces completely flat, cut a piece a bit larger than what you actually need, and flatten the whole area again.  This way, it is all the same dimension the entire piece after you cut out the shape.  

Supplies to use:
Creative Paperclay product
Flower molds of your choice (Stampin' Up flower molds retiring here)  
Paint - (I used Twinkling H2O's African Jade and Rose Gold and white craft paint)
Alphabet letters (your choice - I used Cricut Ashlyn's Alphabet cartridge)
Die cut vine (your choice - I used Sizzix Vine)

Tools needed for this project:
Die cut shape of frame - (I used Sizzix frame die cut)
Xacto knife
Rolling pin
Sandit's product

Directions:  

Flatten out the clay to the thickness you want for your frame.  Using a template you create, make your frame - making sure to cut the inside out!  

Allow Creative Paperclay frame to dry fully, checking out the pieces as they dry.  Try to flip them over at least every 6-12 hours to dry on both sides.  Using the Sandit's, sand the piece to make it smooth!  



    






Paint the frame white (or any other color you want to work with) at least 2 coats.  Allow to dry between coats for better coverage!   

After you mold the flowers and let them dry, paint them in your choice of paints and colors like the next 2 photos! 
 

After flowers have dried, add the vine, and place the vine from the corner, and the flowers on top!  


















Add the title at the bottom using your choice of titles!

I love how this turned out - and will make sure to share the others I am making using this same technique!  I just got a few more photos - so I can create a few more frames for my desk!  I hope you have enjoyed this piece - I love how it turned out, and can't wait to see my family every day!  
Thanks for stopping by, 
Lynda Jeffs
Creative Paperclay Design Team
  
  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Add a Creative Paperclay® Textured Border



Since I paint very flat I like to add dimension to my art with Creative Paperclay® elements. Sometimes it is a cast object, a raised circle or a border. I love the texture and depth that I get plus it pushes my art to a new level. This one was finished with paint and gold rub (my favorite thing on earth).

SUPPLIES
Creative Paperclay®
Vintage wallpaper
Brayer
Wax paper



I started by marking my art and laying down some tape so I would get a clean edge. I laid a thick rope of Creative Paperclay® on a slightly dampened surface and kneaded it down to spread it out a bit.












Next I laid wax paper over the paper clay and brayered it flat. The wax paper keeps the Creative Paperclay® from sticking to the brayer and lifting up while I am flattening it out. When flat, I removed the wax paper.












I have a collection of vintage wallpaper that I use as texture plates. I picked one and laid it over the clay
and brayered the texture into it.






With an exacto knife I scored the edge of the tape then lifted the tape off. It leaves a nice straight edge.















The last thing I do before letting the clay dry is to smooth out the edges. I dip my fingers in water and rub the edges to give it a nice edge. When the clay is dry, it is time to paint.


Take time off today to play.

—Darlene Olivia McElroy