Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yummy Looking Miniatures on Flickr.

I love soft pretzles. I could never have jewelry made with these Pretzel Charms by SugarCup because I'd be too tempted to eat them.

I found a whole pool of photos at Flickr of miniature food. Some of the food is so realistic that it makes me hungry. I'm amazed at the talent these artists have!

Take a peek at this miniature cutting board with miniature cut fruit made by PetitPlat by sk_.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Making Cold Porcelain Clay

I hope all of you have had a great start to the new year. I was reading an interesting article in the New York Times today about how sales of craft supplies and handmade items have really picked up this past year. The article is from December 23rd, but it's still a good read. Click here to read it.

I also have been trying out some recipes for Cold Porcelain Clay. This air dry clay is made from white glue and cornstarch. It is supposed to be very strong when dried and be great for making figurines and other small items. I made some of this a very long time ago for some Christmas ornaments I was making. I am not sure what prompted me to want to make more when I have TONS of polymer clay sitting in my basement. I found a few recipes online. The first one did not do well, but the second one worked great. That recipe was from Diane Gilleland and is available here at Craft Stylish. When I encountered some cracking in the dried pieces, Diane was nice enough to help me out. She suggested using slighly less water in the recipe, cooking it longer on the stove, kneading it more and making sure the pieces dried in a controled temperature room. I actually took a small amount of the clay I had trouble with, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds, kneaded it a ton and then after I made my test shapes, I put it in my food dehydrator to harden. I noticed very little to no cracks at all! If you are interested in making cold porcelain clay I highly suggest you check out her tutorial. I'll be making a few more tests of this clay and then I'll share my results.

After much bugging by friends and family members I will make a huge effort to make and sell more items this year. The extra money wouldn't be bad either. I also need to get my studio in order. Right now it's a huge room full of boxes, so expect pictures and updates on that as well. Two of my friends, who are highly organized people themselves, have promised to help me. I have so much I want to make, but I can't find my supplies and I'm so overwhelmed by the disarray of my stuff that I instantly become uninspired. I frequently peruse the craft room pool at Flickr to reinspire myself to get my stuff organized. I think the hardest part of starting was realizing that I had no idea where to start and not being to prideful to ask my friends for help. I was a bit embarassed at showing them my mess, but I'm getting over that now. I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel bad about asking for help but I love helping people. I need to remind myself that friends like helping each other and true friends would want you to be the best you can be.