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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Walnut Hollow Clay Embossing Kit - Tricks for ease of use

I recently purchased the Walnut Hollow Clay Embossing Set, and I'm very happy with it overall. However, I did find it very difficult to find the letter I wanted when I wanted it. Part of that is because I have poor eye sight and part of it is because the embossing letters are the same color of plastic as the base of the letters. Well, I took it upon myself to 'tweak' the manufacturer's product so that it'll be easier for me to use.

Materials needed: toothpick(s)/or small paint brushes, acrylic paint (I picked black but you can use any color you choose), and clear coat in a spray can.

After separating the letters, I dipped a toothpick into the paint and gently touched the letter area with the paint. It needs to be a thin coat so that it doesn't alter how well the embossing letters work. After the acrylic paint dried, I put on a light coat of clear spray paint. My theory is that the clear will lead to the acrylic staying on longer, but I don't know how long the paint will stay on whether I had used straight acrylic paint or with the acrylic and clear sealant. Either way, I can surely find the letter I'm looking for *much* faster than I could when they were all one color. Check it out in the photos! Yes, it did take some time to cover each letter but I figure the time it took will more than pay off considering each letter will be much easier to find with *every* project I do. Long term goal? Time saved!

I love, love, love my Walnut Hollow Clay Embossing Set overall and I recommend Walnut Hollow's Clay Embossing Kit for every clay artist (No, I do not have any affiliation with Walnut Hollow. This is a review for one consumer, that's all)! It's one of the best items I've ever purchased to add to my clay tools. My mind goes wild with how many things I can do with it! I want to race through websites looking for quotable quotes and dust off a few of the statements I've coined in the past.

If Walnut Hollow were to ask me to review the kit (I'd love to be asked to review new product. How fun would *that* be?!), I'd say it's fabulous overall but I'd like to see them change two things about it: 1) Color the text portion of the embossing stamps to make them easier to read (if that's even possible within the manufacturing process). 2) Add a few more of the blue letter holders to the kit or create a package whereby they can be bought separately - maybe even in different sizes. That way, one could preset letters in place for commonly used words (my commonly used words are: love, of, and, the, are, but, and faith) so the consumer doesn't have to change out the letters as often.

Let's face it, many of us are limited by the amount of time we can spend in our creative spaces. Things need to be organized, efficient and user friendly.

I'm off to craft... something!

That's my tip for Walnut Hollow's Clay Embossing Kit. I hope it makes your hours of crafting much easier and fun!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Link to a giveaway...

I want to share some information about a giveaway. Don't you just love that word, I do!

http://www.crafttestdummies.com/ has a great givaway going on.
Hit the link to find out more.
(I *think* I just entered - if I added the link correctly or not.)

Even if I wasn't entered into the contest, I'm more than happy to share the info with you. It's just the kind of gal I am, always willing to share information with others.
Have a crafty day and good luck with the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today's Project... a wooden spoon!

Yes, a wooden spool is being repurposed today. It's growing up to be a tree with character! I'll know in a couple days, or weeks, whether it turns out or not. And you will find out, too!

More later...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Santa Ornament - recycled pull tab tin top from a peanut can

My second paper clay ornament is done. Yeah, I know it's not the right time of year to make Christmas things, but it just turned out that way.

As you can see in the photo, I turned down the corner of the peanut can lid.
The gray blob is the peanut tin top covered, except of the tab, with air dry clay.

Then I started to sculpt... something. I molded a face from a store bought mold, and tweaked it just a bit with a toothpick. Then, I grabbed a pair of hands I had cast in plaster months ago and popped them on the blob of gray clay. I didn't know he'd be a santa until I put the collar on his coat, and cuffs on his sleeves in order to cover the wrists.

Suddenly, he started to appear. After some more sculpting, he dried over night and I painted him today. He needs a few clear coats of acrylic to seal him properly for years of enjoyment.

Now, unto the next thing...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Go Nuts... you heard me... go nuts!

Just this once, ignore proper eating habits and eat some nuts in the name of art.

I have recently repurposed the pull off tab from a can of peanuts in order to attempt a new project. The way I saw it, the tab would act as a built-in hanger.

The project began by turning the edges of the lide inward, as shown in the photo. Then I covered the front and back of the tin with a thin layer of air dry clay. I used a face mold to start the face shape, and tweaked it to make it more to my liking. I mounted the face on the lid, so that the head would cover most of the tab, and used a toothpick to blend the sections of clay. I made hearts with cookie cutters, used an old piece of jewelry to emboss the center of each heart, and mounted them onto the piece.

The whole thing was allowed to dry overnight. Then the paints came out, as did the glitter. The clay was still a bit moist when I started painting which worked out well for me. That way, I could use the toothpick I was painting with to scrape areas that were a bit more textured than I wanted them to be. After I scraped an area, I blew it off gently and painted over it. After all the paint dried, I glued the areas I wanted to glitter. Sprinkle, sprinkle... glitter added zing to the whole thing.

My first ornament was created!!! She turned out alright (although I'll probably jazz her up a little more later), and onto the next item I can recycle!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rehab dresser to match existing...

Today's project is to rehab a dresser I found on Craigslist so that it matches an existing dresser in the house. The previous owner had already freshened it up with white paint, so I'll be able to skip a few of my normal steps.

The existing dresser, cherry wood colored, is a family 'heirloom' that won't be omitted for sentimental reasons. So, I bought this white dresser with similiar shape, legs, and general structure at a fair price. The trick will be trying to do a faux technique so that the two pieces match, or at least have the illusion of matching within the same room (they won't live side by side so any variation will be less noticeable than if they were to be placed side by side). How faux can I go? GOOD question! I haven't done a lot of faux technique, so I don't have the answer...yet.

The PLAN (After removing handles and knobs)is:

Step 1. Lightly bleach interior and exterior of dresser and let dry completely.
Step 2. Lightly sand exterior.
Step 3. Raid my paint shelf, mix satin interiors to create a *Reddish* base color.
Step 4. Use a foam brush and apply paint in LONG strokes for streaked appearance.
(The photo shows I've started this stage already)
Step 5. Let dry completely - overnight.
Step 6. Raid my stain shelf and mix a *Reddish-brown* stain blend. I'll use cherry and mahogany stains for reddish tint, and I'll avoid walnut so my blend doesn't get too dark.
Step 7. Put on rubber gloves (stain stains skin!).
Step 8. Take a deep breath!
Step 9. Apply stain with bristle brush, very, very lightly.
Step 10. Let dry and repeat step 9 until I get desired tone.
Step 11. Let dry overnight - no I don't plan to wipe the stain off.
Step 12. Once cured, apply polyacrylic coat.
Step 13. Let Polyacrylic dry, sand gently. Apply second coat of Polyacrylic.
Step 14. Let Polyacrylic dry, sand GENTLY. Apply third coat of Polyacrylic.
Step 15. Enjoy for years to come.

Time will tell if it goes according to plan or not. Wish me luck!!!

Finally, it's February and I'm done with the project. I'm okay with the outcome but it sure took a few tries to get the color I wanted. I also oopsied when I tried to clean the hardware with lacquer thinner, it took the finish completely off them! I bought some metallic bronze spray paint to repaint them and it turned out fine.

What ya think of the dresser now? Hmmmm