Monday, October 31, 2011

Candy Cane Tube Bead Tutorial -I-

I made some candy cane beads a few years ago and finally got around to making some more.  These are fun to do and go great with the rondelle spacers.

Here is how you can make your own:

1. Make a "log" of white clay about the size of a large marshmallow and pierce it through the centre with a steel mandrel or thin knitting needle.

2. Roll out some white, red and green clay (see color recipes below) on the 2nd or 3rd thickest setting of your pasta machine.  Cut a length of each color slightly wider than the clay plug.

3. Cut strips from each of the colors and arrange them around your clay plug.  I like to start with the red.  I cut 4 strips at about 1/4" wide and arranged them equidistantly around the plug.

4. Fill in the gaps with narrower strips of green.

5. Fill in the final gaps with white.  Roll a bit to smooth it out so there are no spaces between the colors.

6. Now roll out your clay plug by rolling it on the table and then lightly stretching it.  Keep repeating this process until you have a nice long tube.

When it becomes too long for the mandrel, cut it in half and set one half aside.  

At this point I like to trim each end off where you can see it is distorted but this is optional.

Keep the other half on the mandrel and continue rolling and stretching until it is the thickness you are happy with.  At this point I like to twist it to give that nice candy cane swirl look.

Now cut your tube into pieces.  I like to smooth the edges and roll each piece a little more so they are shaped nicely before baking so they will require less sanding after.  

Your beads are ready to bake, sand and finish.  Make sure you "tent" your beads with some aluminum foil when baking to keep the clay as white as possible.  You can also bake them in a pan filled with baking soda (be sure to cover the pan with foil during baking).

Tip:  With some clays like Premo, the red tends to bleed into the white.  I have found the white comes out much cleaner when working with Kato clay which is another plus.  If it does "bleed" a bit, the white will generally come clean again after sanding.

Color Recipes:  (Here are the ones I used but you can mix up your own)

Plug:  Kato white

White:  White Mix, Recipe # 1-2

Red:  Tomato Puree, Recipe # 4-6 (increase the red to 5 parts)

Green:  Christmas Green, Recipe # 7-5

** Above recipes found in my Clay Color System

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chase Mountain Sheep -I-

We went out for lunch today and when we arrived home there was a herd of mountain sheep near our house.  We thought our car would scare them off but they stuck around while I had time to run in the house and grab the camera.

I snuck around our neighbor's house so I wouldn't spook them so I could take some pictures when this little guy spotted me and was a little curious.

These mountain sheep live up in the mountain across the street but are known to come down and hang around our little village at times.  We generally see them more often in the winter as they are looking for some grass to feed on.   We hadn't seen this herd since last year and they have all grown quite a bit since then.

This last photo I took from the front doorstep of our house to show how close they were.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Dark Halloween desktop wallpaper with haunted house, pumpkins, bats and an old tree

Orange Halloween wallpaper with a house, pumpkins with lights, broom and spiders

Halloween background for pc with an old house with spiderwebs, pumpkin, skeleton and a ghost in front of the door

Black Halloween wallpaper with a pumpkin with a big mouth and huge teeth

Halloween desktop wallpaper with a broom, orange pumpkins, witch hat and full moon and candy

Halloween wallpaper with a painting with a black cat, orange pumpkins and a scarecrow with full moon

Red yellow and orange Halloween picture with black cats, skulls and pumpkins

Orange Halloween wallpaper with a black old tree, a witch on a broom, a pumpkin and full moon

Halloween wallpaper with angry looking orange pumpkins

Black wallpaper with a Halloween pumpkin with light in it

Halloween wallpaper with a scarecrow monster with pumpkin head and black wings instead of arms

Halloween desktop hd wallpaper with a town with a huge pumpkin balloon

Halloween picture with a castle by night and happy pumpkins

White Halloween wallpaper with scary little monsters like pumpkin, ghost, black cat and more

Light gray desktop wallpaper with a big pumpkin head

Red black Halloween wallpaper with a hill with a pumpkin and moon

Happy Halloween Wallpaper with a devils woman in black with little horns and an orange pumpkin

Orange Halloween desktop wallpaper with a smiling lighted pumpkin

Halloween wallpaper with a huge angry black cat and many pumpkins without faces yet

Halloween wallpaper with a pumpkin couch and left a clock with 12 hour, and some mice or rats

Black Halloween wallpaper with many pumpkins all with different faces and moods

Red orange Halloween wallpaper with a pumpkin and autumn leaves

Black background with a huge orange pumpkin in the middle

Halloween wallpaper with a basket filled with orange pumpkins

Black Wallpaper with an angry Halloween pumpkin

Red black white Halloween wallpaper with pumpkins, spiders, spiderwebs, broom, candy, cats, bats and witch hats

Black Happy Halloween Wallpaper with ghosts, mummies, pumpkin, black cat and other monsters

Black Halloween wallpaper with lighted pumpkins with nice faces

Orange Halloween wallpaper with a pumpkin with a small and a big eye

Happy Halloween wallpaper with a witch hat

Black desktop hd wallpaper with the text Happy Halloween and a pumpkin

Photo of a huge orange Halloween pumpkin in the back yard

A scarecrow with pumpkinhead on this Halloween wallpaper

Black wallpaper Halloween theme with a verry big lighted pumpkin on a mountain

Black white Halloween wallpaper with a ghost and the text Happy Halloween!

Dark red Halloween wallpaper with on the left bottom a few pumpkins

Dark gray Happy Halloween wallpaper

Black Halloween wallpaper with little pumpkins in the middle

Black Halloween wallpaper with an orange pumpkin in the middle

Black desktop hd wallpaper with a Halloween pumpkin and candles in the middle