Aug 31, 2009

air dry clay


"i get bored with one medium and must move on to another to keep my muse happy"


the lovely tammy which also happens to be one the inspiration avenue gals (and admin ;P) said that in her last post. i am so agreeing with that!

so, ladies and gentlemen, presenting ... air-dry clay :)

these have been stamped and painted with acrylics and distressed. the lighter colored ones are highlighted with pearl.

i found this fabulous contraption in the bead bar and it's a bookmark! how hip is this! i'm thinking, you can even turn this into a pendant adornment!

speaking of pendants ... here are a couple made from DAS air dry clay

word's worth


earth flower



hippy chic


of old


gypsy rose

of course these are all in my new etsy shop "ithilien" :)

and i can't wait to make something out of this baby here ... she turned out surprisingly beautiful in an ugly sense ... but i really like her :) at the moment ... her name is terraine.

hmmm... did anyone notice that all my stuff are in blue or green, or blue&green??? at the moment i really can't see any other colors beyond this two ... and brown...

on a different note ...
today is malaysia's 52nd birthday :) so ...

SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA!!!

and

and i'm approaching my 100th post! the next one will be IT! so watch out for giveaways!! :)

happy pimping! :)


Aug 28, 2009

a new venture and a new shop :)

as you all know, i've been meddling with polymer clay and have really really enjoyed it :) i've also found twirling silver wires very relaxing! so when you combine these two, the result is a new shop at etsy :) VERY NEW :)

www.myithilien.etsy.com

the shop is called ITHILIEN... a place in middle earth ... where else :)

the reason for a new shop is becoz i didn't want to mix houseware with adornment. just doesn't feel right ... me being me LOL!!! i still dunno if it's a good move but if i dun try i'll never know :)

so here's the 4 (only) pendants i listed.


hidden forest


emerald


elven mist


and guess where this one came from? hihihi ... yea ... the tutorial :) i've since added the twirls, baked it and called it ...

midnight bloom

fingers crossed ... hope this works!

happy pimping! :)

just wanna share this

hey everyone :)
just wanted to share this ad i did for an anti-smoking campaign. i posted it in my other blog where i write about my other stuff (non arts and craft) :) if you have the time pls go and check it out :)) erm ... it's about anti-smoking and cancer so the make up is quite ... let's just say NOT pretty... just so you know...

here is the link :)


cheers!
luthien :)

Aug 27, 2009

make a simple pendant with polymer clay

ok :) as promised, i have made a tutorial *cringe* ... i really dun like the word "tutorial' being used here, cos i'm the one who needs a tutorial on polymer clay, definitely NOT the one giving it! let me just rephrase that ... i have made a pictorial illustration of how i made that pendant with polymer clay :) ... that's better!


you will need (steady ... there's quite a lot of things!) :

- polymer clay - i use sculpey premo and studio, studio is a lot softer
- 1 piece of smooth medium-large tile (yea... those we use in kitchens or baths)
- roller
- rubber stamp
- cutter / cookie cutter / any innovative cutting apparatus
- pearl-ex powder (this is magic!)
- baking tray
- baking paper
- aluminum foil
- zipper / grip seal bag
- oven
- money to pay extra electricity bills



1. prepare your tile and clay


*there is a reason why i choose a darker colored clay










2. knead clay


*the clay is really hard right out of the packaging so you must take time to knead it like you would knead a bread to soften the clay and make it easier to work with

* that's the tile for :) so you won't destroy your furniture :)





3. roll the clay to flatten it a little


* my roller is a PVC water tubing. it's so much cheaper to buy and works just as well. you can also use a wine bottle but make sure it is thick glass. mine cracked on me! of course, if you have extra cash, you can get a proper clay roller from the craftshop :)






4. when the clay is quite flat, rubber stamp the design of your choice


* don't roll the clay TOO flat becoz when you stamp, it will go flatter









5. here's the design on the clay














6. cut out the shape of your pendant


* i choose to make a round pendant and you cannot believe how difficult it is to find a round cookie cutter! there are all sorts of complicated cutter shapes just not round ones. aren't cookies supposed to be round??

* anyway, i improvised. this apparatus i'm using is ... i dunno what it is ... my guess, it's a candle holder. i bought it from a 5 bucks shop. look in the background, that's a jar cover. i use that as well for bigger circles


7. here's the cut shape


* dun throw the remaining clay away. you can re-knead it and use it for some other creations :)










8. making a hole for your pendant


* this is the simplest way to it. i use a toothpick ... no need for expensive hole making needles :P

* later you can either add a metal ring or ... i would probably just insert a leather cord through the hole, tie some fancy knots and wear it. if you intend to string a leather cord through, just make sure the hole is large enough




9. there! the hole :) large enough for a cord














10. the magic powder called PEARL-EX


* we crafters and artists have it so much easier nowadays becoz everything is made for us.
- it's so easy to be creative









11. dip a little powder on your finger


* or you can also use a brush if you prefer

* a little will go a long way :)









12. apply the pearl-ex powder on the clay


* if you want to keep the black in the indented spaces, then be lighter on your fingers when applying the powder. if you want the whole pendant metallic, then use a little more pressure and apply the powder into the nooks and crevices

* now... this is the reason why i prefer darker clay. it brings out the pearl-ex powder better than light colored clays



13. the result


* i used 2 colors here. all up to your own liking and creativity

* i think i over-powdered the pendant tho :p








14. now the curing part - you will need a baking tray and baking paper


* dedicate some apparatus just for polymer clay. do not reuse it for food. the clay might be non toxic but better to be safe than sorry. so polymer clay apparatus for polymer clay only!

* the reason for the baking paper is becoz i already have it :) ... lol!! real reason ... it's better to line the tray with it becoz if you bake the clay on a metal surface, it will create a shine on the back of the clay


15. place pendant on tray lined with baking paper














16. secure the top with aluminum foil


* 2 reasons :
1. so that the fumes from the polymer clay will be contained within the space. you can also use an oven bag (which probably is more secure becoz of the grip lock)

* 2. to avoid the clay from being burned. i burned mine the first time with my white/pearl color clay. i dun think dark colors are too much of a problem tho.


17. now all you have to do is to stick it in the oven


* preheat the oven for 10 minutes

* bake the clay according to the instructions on the wrapper. different clays bake at different temperatures. i bake my premos at 130C-140C.

* bake 30 minutes for every 1/4 inch thickness. to be safe, bake 45-60 minutes :)

* if you're serious with polymer clay, get a small oven just for baking clay :)

now, of course i'm not really going to turn my oven on for just one piece :) so the "pictorial illustration" ends here :)

altho this is not air dry clay so it won't harden unless baked, but it is still good to store unused clay securely. unused clay can be stored away in a grip seal bag and it will stay good for a long time.

when the pendant is done, you can either leave it au-natural or give it a finish. buffing on denim will give the clay a nice satin sheen. but me ... i like to varnish it. somehow it feels more durable ^-^

use a waterbase varnish compatible to clay. i use my jo sonja varnish and it works well. but apparently this little beauty works like magic and it's cheaper than varnish. future floor finish it's called. i thought i'll never get this here but i did ... tho i think the brand 'pledge' is carrying it in malaysia. i got this from ACE diy store at the floor cleaning section ??

apply a thin coat with a cotton tip, let it dry, and apply a second (or third) coat if you want more shine :)

well, i think that's about it! phew! for more tips and tricks on polymer clay, please visit this site by cindy lietz. i learnt a great amount of things from her. and she takes the time to answer all your questions too. just fantastic!!

have fun! and
happy pimping! :)

Aug 26, 2009

this is addictive ...

this girl has been feeling a little under the weather lately. dunno why, but the body seems to be floppish and lethargic. perhaps it's due to all the night crafting ... plus, the suppers and chocolates aren't helping. i think it's time to get this body back to the gym, and slow down on the crafting and the googling ... and safe some electricity!

yea... i think my electricity bill just sky rocketed this month becoz i've been doing extra oven time, baking my polymer clay! this is really addictive and i don't think i can afford it.

but ... since i HAVE been crafting all night and stuffing myself with chocolates ... ^-^ ...

refrigerator magnets anyone?

and oh ... *sigh* ... how can i stop crafting when each time i see a craft shop or a DIY shop i have to buy supplies and tools??!!

and thus ... the addiction remains ...




and i've been learning about wire "gauge" the whole of today and trying to decipher the yardage in a spool of wire, why some "gauge" numbers are more expensive than others when the yardage is less, and which is the best "gauge" number to use ... i think the silver wire is a 22 or 24 (i didn't look when i bought it cos i didn't know there were different sizes then!) and the copper is an 18 ... and this was quite confusing in the beginning. it would be much easier if the numbers increase as the wires get thicker :)

but i must admit, making these pieces were really fun :) not the best looking pendants but fun all the same :)

my next experiment ... air dry clay. at least with this i can safe on electricity :)

have a great week everyone :)
happy pimping! :)

Aug 22, 2009

CICAK

and now KATAK has a friend ... CICAK ...

i am as shiny as katak :)

probably even slightly cuter!

i can definitely do what he does ...

you can find us both in luthien's etsy :p

happy pimping! :)

Aug 20, 2009

the tale of KATAK

Once upon a time, there was a little frog named KATAK.

katak was a really special frog becos his skin glowed iridescent. katak spent his youth like any other young frogs. he played from day to night, he leapt from tree to mud, bound from slippery rocks to lily pads and dived and swam with his friends in the emerald lake near his home. but no matter how he played and enjoyed himself in the day, he would always return to his mommy when the sun sets. he would go home and tell his mommy stories about what happened in the day. he loved telling stories to his mommy. his mommy would listen patiently to his stories and smile. there is no one katak loved more than his mommy.


one day as katak was playing in his usual spot, a human man came along bearing little bundles of sweet smelling twigs. now, katak has seen twigs. after all, he loved to cling onto twigs and the back of leaves whilst soaking in the warm sun-baked air around him. but never has he seen twigs that looked so straight and smell so sweet. curious, katak made a huge leap and landed right in front of the human man.

“hello good sir … may i know what twigs are those that look so straight and smell like perfume?”

the human man smiled at katak. “those are not twigs, my little friend. those are praying sticks”

“praying sticks?”, katak asked

“yes … it is what we burn in honor of our ancestors that have passed on to the heavens. three praying sticks we would hold in our hands and three bows to our ancestors, and any message we wish to deliver to them will be taken up to the heavens by the smoke that rise from the burning incense.”


in time, katak’s mommy too passed on to the heavens. katak missed his mommy terribly. he no longer wanted to play. he just sat by the emerald lake thinking of her each day. there was no one that he could tell stories to now, and no one to smile back at him. he was all alone.

one day as katak was sat by the emerald lake, thinking of his mommy, he suddenly caught a familiar scent. it was the scent of praying sticks! he quickly looked around and saw the very same human man he had met many years ago. the human man was once again carrying little bundles of praying sticks. katak immediately made a huge leap and landed right in front of the human man. the human man was not surprised to see katak. it is as if he had expected katak to be there.

“hello my little friend, how have you been?”

“kind sir … can i ask you … no… beg you of a favor?”, katak pleaded.

“what is it my little friend, i will do whatever i can to help you”, the human man said.

“can i ask three praying sticks from you? you once told me that as long as i have three praying sticks and bowed three times, the smoke from the praying sticks would take my message up to the heavens.
please kind sir, i so want to talk to my mommy one last time … who now lives in heaven”

touched by katak’s words, the human man said,
“i could do better than that. from now forth, each time you want to talk to your mommy, wish for it with all your heart and three praying sticks will appear before you.”
with that the human man simply … disappeared.

and so the story goes … it is said that if you sit by the emerald lake, you would sometimes catch wisps of sweet smelling incense. and if you look hard enough you may even catch a glimpse of a little iridescent frog carrying three little sticks on his back as he leaps happily from tree to tree…
happy pimping! :)

Aug 18, 2009

HELP!!! is my blog or my images too saturated?

hey guys ... i'm in a dilemma.

it's like this. all this while i've been using my laptop when i correct and edit my images. i have also been using my laptop to design all the blog layouts i've been at for the past couple of weeks. everything looks ok on my laptop. the images are bright enough, the layouts are in the browns and greens i want.

but last night i had a shock. i didn't want to connect my laptop so i went to the desktop which was already on to check on my blog. and
OMG! i had the greatest shock!!! it was soooooo green and sooo saturated... and all my images were soooooo bright! everything looked at least 50% more saturated than what i see on my laptop!!!

in the spur of the moment i re-colored my blog banners and layouts. i unsaturated them at -60, which is a lot! this was the fastest way i could get a lighter look. but it was still not anywhere near to the color i see on my laptop! i didn't want to re-make all the layouts again with different colors! there are about 500 pictures in my blog. i just can't unsaturate them ALL!! so i'm leaving those.

then it made me think... was i too rash? so i need some help from you, my bloggie frens. please tell me in the comment box if my blog looks too greenie or brownie ... or the colors look just fine to you. also if my images are over saturated. i'll just dig a hole and bury myself if all this time i've been editing my colors according to the wrong standard! and i'm actually killing everyone's eyes!!! ARGHHHHH!!!! HELP!!! i need your response on this cos i can't trust either my laptop or my desktop now!!

not happy at all ... :(

Aug 16, 2009

my first ploymer clay project

AHH ... my first completed creation with polymer clay :) it's done and i really love it! from my last post you all know that i made some delicious looking candies and chocolates and i said i was going to use them in something else ... well here it is!

i mounted the polymer candies on this ... a piece of driftwood

and made it into a tealight and incense holder :)

had a bit of a dilemma tho ... i had the main parts made and baked so all i had to do was to mount them on the driftwood with super strong glue. however i wanted to add a couple of "extensions" on the wood itself so that i could prop the tealight holders up securely. also i wanted to add some embellishments on the wood itself. initially i thought that the clay would just stick to the wood. well ... as i discovered, it doesn't. i googled and found out that it's because the wood surface is porous. so i actually used all-purpose white glue to attach the uncooked clay onto the wood!

and then, another dilemma. how would the glue AND the driftwood behave in the oven at 135C ??!! would the driftwood go on fire? would the white glue melt and my clay embellishments start to fall off the wood? but i still had to try ... otherwise i'll never know.

as it turns out ... i have nothing to fear :) all of the things i thought would happen, didn't happen and i learned a bit more about polymer clay :)

i had to include the colorful beads i made. and i thought ... well i made holes through them (for stringing of course) ... i could actually turn them into incense holders if i glued them "hole-up" :)

i just couldn't leave out some of my "old time pepermint" looking beads. with some simple twirling of wire (i'm no expert!) i managed to dangled a couple of beads just off the high end of the driftwood. the girl at the craft shop said that these wire were good quality ones and no matter how much you bend them or use pliers on them, they would still SHINE ~ she's right!

as always ... love to hear what you think :) and if there are anymore things i need to know about polymer clay... PLS TELL ME!!! :))

happy pimping! :)