Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Only How Many More Sleeps????

You've got to be kidding me!
We just finished Halloween......didn't we?.
My sister is already counting down the days until Christmas arrives.  Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to it too. Getting the family together around the table, sharing good food and perhaps some good wine as well. (OK, I'll be honest here, there is no perhaps when we're talking wine.  It's a definite)
I always remember my dad saying  "When you get older, time will just fly by."
At that time, I was probably 21 and I wanted to wish away the week days so that the week ends could arrive more quickly. Now that I'm older, I'm thinking it's time we added another day to the week so I can  have more time to get things done!
It's already November (how on earth did that happen?) and it's inevitable.  We need to start thinking about what gifts we will get for the people we care about. We also need to think about what we'll say when we're asked by out families, "What do you want for Christmas?"
This year, I've started a list....yep, I'm ready for the question and so my list is going up on the fridge tomorrow!

There isn't anything extravagant on my list, just small and simple things. A nice smelling soy candle....a new pair of slippers.  If I could ask for some "Me time", time for me to create and play with my clay, and my inks and my......I'm smiling just thinking about it.  I suppose that's a gift I'll have to ask myself for and I think I will!  Being creative is definitely good for the soul.  I truly believe that.

I almost forgot why I even started this post tonight!  It of course has to do with gift giving and receiving and also something good for the soul. I had a customer ask me on Facebook what a few other customers have asked me recently too (even had a husband or 2 asking me):)
"Do you sell gift certificates for Shades of Clay?"  Sadly, we don't. I'm sure I will set it up on the site in the future but for now I've been directing everyone here.  To the Polymer Clay Adventure.
If you haven't heard about it yet you'll want to.  It's a year long virtual retreat starting in January. There are 22 teachers sharing their techniques and I am one of them!  I'm honered to have been asked to participate. It's the first of it's kind and it promises to be exceptional.  Enough of my ranting.  Click here for more information if you are interested in either the giving or the receiving of something like this.
If you just want to slip the link into a email to your spouse, hint, hint dear.  You can send them this link in your wishlist. Just copy and paste it and make it easy for them!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Alcohol Inks

For all of you Alcohol Ink enthusiasts out there

You have asked, and we have listened. We have just listed 21 more single colours in the Adirondack line and we also have the White Opaque markers by Ranger available as well. We will soon be carrying all of the remaining colours in the Adirondack line. If there is something else you think we should be carrying please let us know. (BTW we still can't seem to find a supplier for the Yupo) Alcohol_Inks

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Polymer Clay Tutor demos the CaBezel Molds!

Just in case you missed it:

Cindy Lietz, "The Polymer Clay Tutor", created a video de-mystifying how to use the CaBezels molds. 

A big "Thank you" to Cindy Lietz,The Polymer Clay Tutor for creating a "How to" video using the Cabezels. She did a great job. It was refreshing for me to see someone else explaining just how easy they are to use. She has introduced my CaBezels to so many new people. The CaBezels have flown around the world to many places and that makes me so proud.  
Today alone they were sent to, Belgium, France, Australia and Israel and also to 9 different states and 4 different Provinces!  I think that's a record.
The CaBezels are an extremely light product to ship and many people are surprised at just how affordable shipping costs are. 
If a package weighs .249 grams or less it ships to the US for $8.25. To the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand and several other places for about $10.95. I know many of you aren't sure what you can get that weighs under .249 grams but so many products are light. As an example, 4-5 textures, some cording and a few jewelry findings usually stay under .249 grams.  
The CaBezels weigh even less than texture stamps. We're always willing to weigh your package and let you know if you are within the limits. 
Cindy demos many products, creates videos and shares lots of great tips.
You can find the video here and sign up for her newsletter while you are there.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shades of Clay Newsletter -Discount coupon code

Shades of Clay sent out a newsletter yesterday and then we realized that not everyone receives it. That means that you're missing out on the 10% off coupon code.

If you are interested in subscribing and reading the newsletter. All you have to do is click on this link to take you to Shades of Clay.

Once there, click on the word "e-letter" in the little blue box at the top of the page. 
Once you subscribe, you'll receive the link to view the newsletter online and get the code!
The coupon offer does have an expiry date.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Almond Bezels and More" the new CaBezel Mold

"Almond Bezels and More". Does the name sound familiar to you? The newest CaBezel mold was designed to be used alongside "Almond Cabs and More" from Best Flexible Molds.
Penni Jo and I started communicating  a few months ago about the possibility of me creating a bezel mold to "frame" her cabochons.  I am happy to say that it is now available.
I find the Best Flexible molds  really easy to use and the shape of the cabochons were shouting out for matching bezels (OK, maybe that was just in my head).
The frame thickness (on the bezels) is approximately 2mm wide.  If you want the look of a wider bezel or a textured one, that's easy to do.
Once your baked bezel comes out of the oven and has cooled, place it on top of a textured sheet of clay (some liquid clay will help the raw clay bond with the baked)  then,  use a cookie cutter or better yet, cut a free-hand shape with a blade and re-bake.  
Now create your cabochon. The sky really is the limit here. Try translucent clay with a drop of ink to gently color it or create a faux stone look.
Once you have de-molded the clay from the Best Flexible "Almond Cabs and More" mold,  place it in the center and gently push  into the bezel to fill it in perfectly. Bake. If you have used mica powders or anything else that needs a protective coating PYMII is a great solution.

You can find both of the molds on this page.  If you purchase both of them together you will save 10%

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Horizontal Pin Converters

Horizontal Pin Converters

Have you ever had a favorite brooch/pin that you wish could double as a pendant but didn't know how to do it? This may be your answer. It is called the horizontal pin converter.
Just slip it onto an existing pin/brooch and voila!  You can now hang it on a chain or cord.  The opening on the horizontal pin converter is over sized so thick cord and even large clasps on a necklace will fit through.
If you are creating a new piece of jewelry now and you want to make it so it can be both a pendant and a pin/brooch you can see how I did it here.

The placement of the pinback is important as it always is when you want your pendant to hang properly. Always place this in the upper third portion of the back, otherwise, your pendant will flop forward because of the weight.
As you can see in the photos, my pinbacks (1 1/4") were a lot wider than the horizontal pin converter. That's OK but it will slide around.  I fixed this by slipping a piece of 2.5mm SoftGlass onto the pin.  The pin converter now sits snugly in one place.
Another choice would be to use smaller pinbacks (last photo).  These pinbacks are 3/4" and a perfect width.
if you sell your work at craft fairs why not offer some of the pin converters for sale to your customers? They will most likely see added value in being able to wear the piece that they are purchasing in more  than one way!
The pendant was made using the brand new "Almond Bezels and More" CaBezel mold that was designed to perfectly match Best Flexible PJ001 Almond Cabs and More!  A match made in heaven :)

Here is a sneak peek at the new "Almond Bezels and More" CaBezel mold.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New product from Polyform for 2014!

New product from Polyform for 2014!

Be one of the first to try this new Sculpey clay silk screen kit. It includes everything you need to get started including some really pretty silk screen designs. 

Have you already tried it and want to share what you've created?  Send me your pics, I'm dying to see what you've created!
You can send the photos here when you are ready to share.

You can buy the kit here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Polymer Arts Magazine

Silly me!  I forgot to mention that the latest issue of The Polymer Arts magazine is here.
I've had a chance to read it and found so much inspiration in this issue!
There are still a few left!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Polymer Arts Magazine

The latest issue of The Polymer Arts magazine is here and it's fabulous!
Spring 2014 is full of beautiful and inspiring images as usual.

Helen Breil is featured on the cover.

Here is a little bit of what you will find inside:

Wire Wrapping with Polymer
The Versatile Neck Form
Creating WOW Photos
The Art of Pre-Finishing
Packaging: An Art Form with Purpose
The Way Into Juried Art Shows
Our Favorite New Tools
Stealing Talent: The Gray Issues of Copying and Credit
Art for a Cause
Book & product reviews, artist galleries & more!

Now available at Shades of Clay.

Monday, February 17, 2014

All-In-One CaBezel Package Deal!

Once again, I'm clearing out mismatched sets of the CaBezel Molds. Some of you may have seen this offer and now I'm doing it with the A-I-O's as well. The quality is still the same it's just that the manufacturer changed the color of the material.
There are some videos to watch to see how to use these molds and to give some inspiration.
Once you've used these molds you will see that possibilities for you to create your own unique pieces are

Paramount The Newest of the CaBezel Molds

It's here! The latest in the CaBezel Molds.
We called this one Paramount!  We're sure these large new shapes will command attention when used as a focal point for your work.
You can see the measurements and order it here.
As always, we love when you send us photos of what you create with these molds.
Why not be the first to show us your designs?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The New Pearl-Ex Chromatic Colors are here!

Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments

The new Chromatic Colors are are bright and vibrant!

New Pearl-Ex Chromatic Colors

Available at Shades of Clay in the small, convenient 3 gram size.

Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments are our most versatile product! Jacquard Pearl Ex is a safe, pearlescent, non-toxic, inert powdered pigment that exhibits extreme colorfastness and stability, ideal for interior and archival applications. It has a use for every artist, from watercolorist to auto painter, faux finisher to rubber stamper. Try it mixed with Jacquard Gum Arabic or Pearl Ex Varnish for applying to most surfaces. It can also be mixed with other artist mediums, oils, acrylics, encaustic, Dorland’s Wax, polymer clay, or spread dry on porous surfaces. Pearl Ex creates a metallic look without being a metal - it will not tarnish or fade. The different particle sizes produce different looks, from a smooth pearly luster, to a highly metallic sheen..Note: Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments were specifically developed as a art material.         They are NOT for cosmetic use.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Add caption

New Pixie Art Texture Stamps

For those of you that may not know, this line of texture stamps is designed by Helen Breil's husband Mike.
How great is that? To have 2 creatives in the same household and to married!
At this point I'd actually be happy if my husband's eyes didn't glaze over whenever I start talking about my new designs or ideas!
I regress.....

Here they are 2 great new designs! 

Mini Bar Blues


You can purchase them here!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Convertible Brooch-Pendant Combos

Have you ever thought how great it would be if you could wear that beautiful brooch as a pendant or vice versa?  Here is a neat little pin back that allows you to do just that!

I first learned about this amazing  little finding from ...who else....Carolyn Good.  She is always sharing such interesting things.
You can see how she uses them here and below, on the backs of her beautiful canework.
Available for purchase here (scroll way down )

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Art of Alcohol Ink

Many of you may be familiar with alcohol inks. A lot of us that use polymer clay also use these inks to add color and energy to our polyclay projects.  You never get the same effect twice especially when using the alcohol blending solution (this is from the Adirondack line) or the  Claro Extender from the Pinata line of inks). When adding these products the inks dance and swirl and create designs all by themselves.  It's really quite magical. can also use these salts to achieve some sweet effects. However, over the past few months I have become more familiar with a group of artists that are painting with theses inks.  The results are organic with exquisite color and rhythm and flow.  The part I admire most is the sense of control these artists seem to have over the inks that I am unable to master.

Here is some work by Pamela Radwan.
I get such positive feelings when I see these beautiful images.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Scarf Clips....endless possibilities

Carolyn Good posted this recently using one of her favourite texture stamps "Feather Boa"
Here she mentions how she made a reverse texture using scrap clay.  It's a great way to double the mileage from any texture sheet. I don't think this woman EVER runs out of ideas.

If you haven't already seen her free tutorial for using the spring loaded scarf clips here is her link for that.
If you have NO idea what a scarf clip is you can see them here.  They are taking the world by storm.  If you don't wear scarves, they can also be used to hang on a cord to make an instant and interchangeable necklace. How cool is that?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Spring Workshop with Local Alcohol Ink Artist

If anyone in the Toronto area is looking for a workshop using Alcohol inks I have found one.
Local artist Diane Marcotte will be teaching in Oakville April 12th at the Oakville Art Society.  It is an all day workshop and registration has already begun.  Space is limited.  You can see more of Diane's work on her website.

I am in loooove with this Panda Bear!!
If you would like more information you can contact the Diane directly.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Texture Stamps-Marley's Fish

Look at what Gail Garbe did with the "Marley's Fish" texture stamp!
I love this. Gail says that she used a metal container that she got from a thrift store. She used black clay and German Silver Gilders paste to get the effect.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

3 New Texture Stamp Designs

Today we are releasing 3 new Texture Stamp Designs.

The first one is Hootenanny
This one was designed for us by a Graphic Designer.  You can isolate the Owls and use them individually or use them all together. Lots of different texture areas to choose from.

The second one is Marley's Fish
This one was designed for us by a budding art student before she left home in Ontario to go to the University of the Arts far away in the UK.
I remember when I was a young student studying Illustration (oh my...I don't even want to count how many years ago that was!).  I had created a rather large pen and ink drawing of the 7 wonders of the world for an assignment.  A friend of the family bought it from me for $200.00 (lots of money at the time), had it framed and then hung it in her real estate office.  I still look back at that with fond memories because someone cared enough to validate my work and give me the courage to move forward with my dreams.
This was my way to give back. Good Luck Marley!!

I love these sassy little fish.  They bring a smile to my face every time I see them.  Lots of different areas of texture to choose from.

The third one is called Tendrils.
Drawn by moi! this one has an organic feel with lots of movement and a variety of textures to choose from.

Purchase all 3 together and save $5.00!