Polymer Clay

In a previous post, I briefly discussed polymer clay and how I use it in my crafting. Polymer clay contains a basis of PVC and liquid plasticizers to keep it soft until cured. Polymer clay hardens by curing at temperatures created in the typical home oven (265-275 °F). The medium is versatile and easy to work with and appeals to crafters of all ages. The web has so many excellent sources of information and inspiration for anyone interested in polymer clay. Here are a few of my favorites.

Glass Attic: http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm THE encyclopedia for all things polymer clay

Polymer Clay Polyzine: http://www.pcpolyzine.com/ Great tutorials. The older issues had a beginner's corner. Here is an example: http://www.pcpolyzine.com/july2001/beginners.html

AMACO: supplier of clay tools. Resource of projects by medium. http://www.amaco.com/projectcat-polymer-clay-5.html

WetCanvas!: an artist's haven that covers many media. This particular discussion addresses how to bake your clay. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-353660.html

Now grab some clay and create!


Web Jewels

Browsing the internet is amazing. One link leads to another and suddenly you find a gem among rocks. I found a gem today! Terry Border, an artist who sees life with a twist, has a fantastic imagination and vision. Visit his blog and his web site. You will be amazed by what Terry creates out of ordinary items. Simply awesome!


Crafting Tools

As a crafter, there are some tools I consider essential and others I think make my crafting easier. Could I live without some or all of these - probably, but I would be very restricted in what I can create.

Three Essential Tools

Bone Folder - If I could only choose three tools, this would be one of them. Crisp, straight creases, smooth out glued images, the list goes on. A true must-have!

Scissors - a good pair of scissors might not bring about world peace, but it will make creating cards and other paper crafts SO MUCH easier and precise.

Glue Stick - all glue sticks are NOT created equal. I've tried many brands and really like the Pioneer Photo glue stick. A generous size at a reasonable price ($2 to $3). Does a very good job!

Important Tools

X-Acto Knife - Helps me get nice, clean cuts around die cuts, corners, and odd shapes or intricate areas. Cheap but a great performer.

Cuttlebug - Emboss and die cut. Tons of fonts and images to die cut plus a wide selection of embossing folders. Worth every penny! Cuttlebug machine - about $40 Embossing folders and die cuts range in price from about $5 to $60-70 for a set of fonts.

Xyron or Double-stick Tape - I bought the Xyron 510 and can put paper up to 4 inches wide through the machine. Lays down a layer of adhesive on one side. One cartridge contains 18 feet, so you get quite a bit of use from one. Xyron 510 - about $40. Double stick tape comes in many forms. Some are better than others but all do a pretty good job. Using double stick tape can be a bit expensive and if you use layers on your cards, you'll go through one roll pretty darned quickly. An alternative to the disposable rolls of double stick is using an automatic tape gun (ATG). 3M makes the ATG and special tape that goes in it. Large but light, these very large rolls of double stick tape will last you quite some time. If you make a lot of cards and use double stick, consider the investment in an ATG. It won't be long before you realize your savings. 3M ATG - about $40, 3M 1/4" x 36 yards tape roll (box of 6) - about $25.

Cutting Mat - a medium to large cutting mat will help protect your work surface and give you a reliable place to cut, measure, hammer, and all the other things crafters do. Take note: do NOT use heat on or very near the cutting pad. The heat will make the pad warp.

Metal Ruler - makes using your X-Acto knife cut accurate and easy.