Herbs are bursting back to life after a long winter
My kitty, Will Robinson, really enjoys the tasty chives
Polymer clay is a great product that is fun to work with, but it can be frustrating if you don’t treat it right. The polymers that make the clay soft and pliable can leach out over time leaving you with a crumbly mess and your project can end up a wreak, breaking apart after curing.
This little how-to will go over the best ways to condition and store your clay so you never lose a minute in crafting or lose a project after hard work.
Polymer clay comes in several sizes, the small bricks are divided in to 4 sections that make it easy to break apart. When you get your new clay home, start with the lightest colors first and wash your hands in between, so as not to transfer colors.
Break off one of the bars and then break it in half. (Make sure to get all the crumbs!) Start rolling the half bar of clay between your palms, folding it in on itself so that you don’t lose any of it. Once you get a long worm shape, do the same with the other half, then roll the two halves together until they are well mixed. Roll them out into a final worm and then coil it up into a ball, continually rolling between your palms.
A ball is the best storage shape, since you can easily start rolling it again to recondition for your next project. Drop the ball into your glass jar (I save jars from jam, pickles, olives, or whatever else I find interestingly shaped) Repeat this process for each bar until you have lots of colorful clay balls. Cut your label off off the packaging and tape it on with clear tape so you remember the color and brand of each jar. Each package of small clay can make 4 balls, the larger packages, obviously, make more and would need a larger jar.
Move to your next color and do the same. Use a different jar for each color and type of clay, so you can keep your collection well organized.
Glass jars are one of the best ways to store your clay as air, wax papers, and plastic wraps can leach the polymers out of your clay. The glass is a neutral space, easy to stack, and easy to see which clay you need at a moments notice!
If you have older clay that you find to be crumbly and hard to work with, here is a good way to recondition it. Get your glass jar ready, crumble your clay into it, into tiny pieces. Squirt in a little bit of mineral oil (I use the unscented kind so as not to add anything unnecessary into my clay, like scent chemicals) into the jar, cover and shake. Don’t use too much, as you don’t want the clay to be liquidy, but use enough to saturate all your clay. Shake it around and then let sit a while, then see if you can start making your worm rolls. If you can, just process as you did your clay above. If not, use a bit more mineral oil and let it sit a bit longer. Keep adding a little bit until you can get your clay to roll together without crumbling too much.
Only do this if your clay is unsavable otherwise, as it does change the properties of the clay a little, which could have consequences for your piece on down the line. I’ve done it to several blocks that I would otherwise have had to throw out and never had a problem with my finished product, but your mileage may vary.
When you are done processing all your clay (I recommend starting a good movie that you love and have seen often, if you have a lot of clay to do) and gotten them into their storage jars, you can stack them on your desk or shelf. Where they will be handy and also be a pretty, colorful, and arty room decoration! You can even decorate the jar tops if you wish. (I’m much too lazy for that, at the moment 😛 )
Today I was planning on no longer going to the Etsy forums. I can waste a lot of time there and it is also an emotional drain. But a friend pointed out a situation to me and I had to post. I copied it and am posting it here, because I feel almost certain they will remove it and ban me. I could be wrong, but I don’t really care.
And here is the petition to get it shut down: http://www.change.org/petitions/shut-down-rape-t-shirt-seller?share_id=IpiaioKtni&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
and here is my response on this thread: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13222253/page/1
I had made a vow not to come to the forums anymore as they were so full of either negativity or time wasting fluff.
But my vow was broken after only one day because someone mentioned this situation to me and I had to investigate.
I am disgusted at what I have seen. I am disgusted that the shop in question was not shut completely down IMMEDIATELY, especially considering the reprehensible shirt that is featured in the sold items and can not be hidden.
I am sickened that they chose to go through it item by item instead of pulling the whole thing down, when they have banned many MANY sellers (and buyers) from having a voice on the forums just for questioning the state of the site or for many other relatively small infractions. Permamutes are WAY more rampant than some of you may think.
I am appalled that I see a few people saying things like “well, it’s not that bad. Let Etsy do it’s job” No. It IS that bad.
Baby rape. Think abut it for a minute or two. I’ll wait…..
BABY RAPE. I don’t have, nor do I plan to have, kids. But until Etsy pulls this shop completely and replaces it with a 3 armed sweater, we are all on a site that tacitly condones this by leaving up a baby rape shirt in the sold orders of this shop.
Some of the worst of the other items were taken down… but baby rape is still there for the world to see.
Something happened to me as a child. It was small compared to what some have suffered, but it is a memory burned in to my psyche.
You can make light of it, say it isn’t a big deal, just “guy humor” but you are wrong. Dead wrong.
There is a line that has been crossed, and by not IMMEDIATELY recoiling in horror, Etsy has shown me another true color.
Since I mentioned permamutes and tacitly condoning baby rape, this might be my blaze of glory. My plan to avoid the forums might not involve willpower after all if I get banned too, but that is ok. I picked my battles and this is it. Here is where I stand.
I feel physically ill. And if you are thinking it’s no big deal or just an overreaction, then be glad you have the luxury to feel that way
I was ok with my decision to have a smaller, more focused shop here and a larger shop elsewhere… but now I will have to think very very hard about that decision.
I can’t afford to pull everything, I just can’t. But I can afford to never renew again.
My lightbox is made of cardboard and tissue paper, with the sides blown out because my kitty loves to sleep in there. Someday I will make a new one, but not today.
I work late at night when my brain won’t go to sleep and late in the morning when I finally wake. I work through the afternoon, until I forget to eat.Some of my supplies I order from my favorite sources, some I make myself from metal or polyclay, some I pull out of my bead and bauble stash I’ve been collecting since I was a teen (hello 1980’s).
I spread out all over my desk. Mixing and matching, trying out new things. Only sometimes does a cat jump up and scatter it all away.
I still sell few enough things that every time I get an order I say “Oh! Hey!” or “Wow, neat!” or “Hooray!!!” I print those orders out immediately and sometimes even get right to work, even if it is 2 am and I really should go to bed. I write a little note and tuck it in, just to say thanks for ordering from me. It is my honor that you choose something from my little shop.
I make my own little boxes, I stamp my brown paper wrapping with cute little purple dragonflies. I write with purple ink. I sometimes accidentally glue myself together or unreel way too much tape.
I will never be a factory. I will always be just me, working at my desk with not quite enough light, in my purple pokadot pajamas at 2 am when I really should just go to sleep.
I am handmade.
So, there have been a lot of recent changes in the Etsy-sphere and I couldn’t find a good comparison of the different options available. I decided to do a little research about what is out there. Some info I wasn’t able to find and I will update this as I find it… and I am sure there are lots of other options out there.
Feel free to download it for your own use (link at the bottom)… and if there are any changes I need to make let me know!
I’ve decided to give Lilyshop and Zibbet a shot until my shop grows. Where are you at?
My new blog to highlight some steampunk fun! I’m just getting started, so it may take a bit to get in the swing of things.
My name is Lynn.I am an Etsy shop owner and live on a horse farm in the Tn foothills with my love. I started designing jewelry as well as other craft projects when I was very young, but didn’t go into business for myself until just a few years ago. I have learned a lot in the past few years and have so much more to learn!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again!