Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Clay Storage Tips -I-

The first thing anyone says that enters our studio is "Wow, you  sure are organized".  It is not that everything automatically falls into place -- I do have to work at it -- a lot!  If I don't, it drives me (and Dave from all my moaning and complaining) nuts when I spend more time looking for something than actually working on a project.

I have been looking for some time to find the right container for storing my clay canes and blends and such.  I found these containers in the scrap booking section at a Michael's store and bought a few to test out.  I figured I could use them for other things if they were not compatible with the clay.

I was happy to discover that they are totally compatible and I love that they are shallow so you can store a lot of clay canes and pieces without having to stack them.

So on the next sale I picked up a bunch more and I love how they all fit nicely on the shelves at my clay work table.

The other item I was always looking for were those cool deli sheets that work great for wrapping and storing your clay.  They are just not a common item to buy here in Canada and I have never had success finding them.  I managed to buy some from a guild member who brought a few boxes up from the U.S. and showed them to my friend Denyse.  Well the next day she comes over with a box of these "perfect portions" bags by ziploc for me.  I could hardly believe it that it was the exact same stuff but in "bag" form.  We just cut the bottoms off and slit them open and voila --- we now have lots of sheets for our clay.  Thanks to Denyse that she found these (she bought them at Costco real cheap) and I thought I would pass this info on to anyone who has had a difficult time as well to find such a thing.

Casta y Coraje -I-

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Sewing Area -I-

I really love the studio that Dave and I created in our home.  There are three large working tables plus a corner unit for baking.  No matter how much space one might have, however, there just never seems to be enough which is a good reason to keeping it tidy and organized.

The only thing missing in our studio was a sewing area.  My sewing machine and serger were basically stored away, under one of the work tables and then pulled out as needed.  I really wanted to use them more so I came up with a plan.  First I had both machines serviced as it had been a while.  Bill at Heather's Fabric Shelf did an awesome job of cleaning and tuning them up and now they just hum and purr.

Next was to create my own sewing area space and so started my search using Pinterest.  If you aren't hooked on Pinterest yet, you do not know what you are missing!  It is such a great way to get all sorts of fun ideas.  If you are looking for some cool ideas to fine tune your studio, you can check out some of my Pinterest boards and follow them if you wish.  I have a board on "Studios" and another on "Getting Organized".  Some of the ideas may not be for a polymer clay type studio but many of the ideas could still be applied.

And so this is where my new sewing area is ...  Taa daa!

That's right ...  believe it or not, it is hidden away in the closet.  And since it is the closet in the studio, it is even handier.  I never thought about it before until I came across a few on Pinterest so started searching closet studios or closet sewing areas further and found so many cool ideas.  So I thought, why not make more use of the space we already have and I love how it turned out and everything just seemed to fit!

Here is my sewing area that fits nicely on the one side.  The desk we had fit perfectly in that space.  We happened to have a piece of pegboard that Dave hung on the wall for me.  My large thread spools for the serger fit on a shelf at the top.  The other important factor with having an area like this is proper lighting.  I managed to easily hook up two Ott lights so the area is nice and bright.  The one Ott light clips onto the corner shelving so it is out of the way.  I've had this light for several years but never liked the way it clipped and always felt it was so awkward but it has finally found a suitable spot.

The other Ott light hangs right on the pegboard!  

The drawer in the desk holds all of my thread so I can easily see all the colors.

Besides all the work area,  I still have the shelves on the side and above for storage. 

So that was just half of the closet and this is what I did with the other side: 

Our photo light box fits inside on some shelving.  I love how it is out of the way and frees up more counter space.  And because I have a power bar in the closet for the lights and sewing machines already, the light box can plug in as well.  Above are fabrics for sewing hung on skirt/pant hangers -- another idea I picked up on Pinterest.  The hanging closet shoe shelf just fits down the one side for storing other items such as more fabric and odds and ends.

So now I not only feel the studio is more organized I have a lot more counter space freed up and I can sew when I want without the hassle of pulling my machines out and setting them up every time.

Gary Medel -I-

Caricatura Carlos Bacca -I-

Monday, July 29, 2013

Making New Friends -I-

The past few weeks have been extra special for me as I have not only met some really cool people, I also made a new friend.  We received a call the other day from someone we had met at the Salmon Arm Quilt Show last June who had a friend visiting from the U.S. that wanted to meet us.  We always love it when people want to visit our (home) studio and see how and what we are working on.  This is how we met Nora who was on holidays and travelling all the way from Arizona.  Nora works with polymer clay and brought some pieces with her to show what her and her friends had made.  It is so neat to connect with other polymer clayers since we all feel we have such a common bond.

The other person we met recently is my new friend, Denyse Pyke, who is a fused glass artist.  She came across our work at Katja's Quilt Shoppe and contacted me right away.  She has had an interest in polymer clay for a while now and wanted to learn so asked if I could teach her.  We spent a fun day together where I gave her some basic instruction on working with clay such as conditioning, basic color mixing, baking, sanding, etc.  We made some skinner blends and then used them to create several jelly roll canes.

Denyse then covered a few tools and made some beads with those canes.  These are a few of the items she made and for someone who never even touched polymer clay before, I was quite impressed as to how quick she could pick it up.  I especially love the set of earring beads she made.  She is talented in other things such as quilting but also creates beautiful fused glass jewelry pieces.  She made the beads below in a color blend to add to a wind chime she was making with her fused glass.

When Denyse went home she showed her daughter, Shawna, what she had made and they played with the clay a little more.  The two of them came over a few days later and we all played with making some extruder canes which I forgot to photograph so will have to share them with you later.

I am so happy to not only make a new friend, but one that I can also enjoy claying with!

Rakitic -I-