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1  Re: Yard gnome! in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Diane B. on: December 15, 2011 11:32:18 AM
Cute!  I just love outdoor diorama-type things, whether polymer clay or other materials (or mixed).

Here, I rotated it for you:

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2  "collages" of photos (for Helena Puck) in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: June 27, 2011 11:29:29 AM
(Re making image collages for clay or anything else, in response to your question):

So here are the collages I was able to do (after a frustrating learning curve) on my baby-Photoshop (Adobe Photoelements)... each one is clickable, then clickable again for closeup:

This one is the simplest... it's just a number of whole photos collaged together into one shot, some overlapping (it's my mother in law--baby to 76):

This one involved "cutting out" some of the images before collaging them-- cut out around the head/shoulders, and/or with same white background, one has an oval part of the background left in (my mother-in-law's mother):

And this one was the most complicated because one of the images is the whole "background," with smaller images and also a text box superimposed on it (CD cover art I created for a digital scrapbook of photos of my mother and her brother, including the actual scrapbook cover):

Diane B.
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3  Re: Tiny "Sherlock" Clay figures [IMG HEAVY] in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Diane B. on: November 05, 2010 09:26:08 AM
I love tiny things, I'm not sure why - for some reason I've never made anything over a couple of inches, lol.

I've really noticed that there are some people who just like small and aren't that crazy about large, though medium-small is often okay.  And there are some people who only like large, and are totally disinterested in small or even medium!  Those may only be subsets with most people in the middle, but it's definitely something I've seen.

Pointy fingers would be a help! So would fingerprint-free. fingers

The main "sculpting" page at my site has a category with lots of tips you might want to check out for avoiding (and fixing) fingerprints :
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm > Fingerprints, Smoothing, & Dust

Oo, is your teeny-tiny figure posted anywhere? I'd love to see; I love looking at the tiny stuff.

Don't think he's online anywhere but will go look.  Most of the stuff I've made is still only in photograph form... keep thinking someday I'll get around to scanning it all but even the thought makes me tired Roll Eyes.  Hmm surprise, he was in my Photobucket (not very sharp though--scan of a photo).  The yellow guy on the right is the original earring...my version on the left:

There's a bit of an enlargement of the photo here but still pretty blurry:

Diane B.
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4  Re: Tutorial: Making a Yo-Yo Necklace in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Diane B. on: January 25, 2010 09:20:51 AM
Very nice, and like the asymmetry too.  Your colors are quite appealing as well.  Bet they're fun to wear!

I haven't done a lot of yoyos myself (mostly because I find the initial outer stitching fiddly, especially for the smaller yoyos, and never did enough to find my groove Cheesy), but here is one way I used them for a mini-foundation-pieced block as flowers in a "cart" and a pocket for my little niece's overalls (still looking for more ways to use them without having to make a whole quilt!):

And Layla, instead of sewing the yoyos together you could use a backing, then none of yoyos could flip.  
You could either use individual small fabric strips as bridges from one yoyo to another (on the back side, with glue), or you could use a larger fabric/interfacing/etc backing that's the shape of the final neckpiece but just a little smaller so it wouldn't show around the very outside--may show between the yoyos though but could be a part of the design perhaps.  If you used the right kind of glue(s), you could just glue them together on their sides too... use a permanent white glue (including "fabric glue") and clamp together while drying, or better using white glue plus a little bit of hot glue (not in the same places) so that the hot glue will hold the yoyos in place while the white glue dries and becomes even more permanent.

Diane B.

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5  Re: Reducing a Semi-Circular Cane? in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: December 03, 2009 01:44:01 PM
Here are some of the canes I was referring to, at least sort of (keep in mind these are old, slices and cane ends, really dusty and banged up, etc, plus my old digital isn't nearly as great as it could be  Roll Eyes ):

...the simplest ones with diagonal stripes... don't know if I confused these with the other b&w geometrics I made in that CZC class (which may actually be more like spliced or flame cane components, in the next pic), or not:

Also check out these old canes by CZC!!

And these may be the New Quilt pattern of CZC's, but using a spliced cane?

Here are a few more examples of things that can be done with spliced canes:

Here are some made just with stripes, including simple basketweave:

And these were created by my friend Grace Yen in another CZC class...I believe they started with a cane composed of a few layers (2 layers like a comb pattern?), then spliced or cut square in various ways and recombined?...or maybe the last two were from a different cane?:

Two things here... on the left, cane with diagonal stripes, but also another cane component ...on the right an unrelated group of slices I had played with to see if I could create a "tumbling blocks" pattern in clay:

And finally, here are some using only squares and rectangles... the first is another quilt pattern, Log Cabin:

...these are by Grace (another CZC class) long ago, mosaic canes (entirely different from making mosaics with prebaked tiles of clay):

oops... this isn't the one showing the multi-colored mosaic slice as well as the blue/green ones, but okay for a closeup anyway:

ADDED LATER... just found these pics of CZC's mosaics! (shows the individual wrapped canes to put together for the mosaic patterns, plus lots of examples of resulting mosaic canes used as slices on beads, etc):

I love that clock by Tracy.   I just meant I'd probably use different colors and forms (maby make it a little less 'girly' Wink) Though I really like the way it's leaning to one side.  Makes me think of time flying by.  

I think what you mean is "whimsical" and I'm attracted to that stuff too (as well as many other clayers, including some of the "serious, artistic" ones... wait till you see some of their stuff).  It's is also kind of "graphic" and that's another style some prefer.  

Now let me post this and see if the pics are showing up okay...

Diane B.

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6  Re: crosses in clay in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Diane B. on: July 23, 2009 08:54:36 AM
Diane B. i actually have a clay extruder but it's impossible for me to extrude much (especially the little spaghetti type strands), i have like no hand strength (which is actually why i started playing with clay)... and my DfutureH isn't always here. . .

Yeah, but that's why you need a pusher for your extruder!   I have hand, arm and chest problems myself so extruding more than a half-barrelfull has always been something I shouldn't do.  But with the simple extruder I built (plus warming the clay in some cases, but certainly not needed with Sculpey III), the clay literally comes flying out of the extruder--about 12" of it in 2-3 seconds using virtually no strength at all.  

Different pushers for the clay gun have been rigged up in the polymer community over time, and a few of the later extruders actually have built-in pushers or torque, but the one the DH and I built (based on one by Maureen Carlson, but with important changes) costs only about $5 (...it also creates no stress on fingers and is easier to store compared to the caulking-gun type pusher that some clayers use).  This one is a bellows-type pusher, comprised of only 2 short boards and a sturdy hinge.  A hole of approximately 7/8" diameter needs to be drilled in one of the boards (bigger than the barrel, but smaller than the "wings" of the extruder) so a drill bit of that size is needed too if not already in the garage.
To extrude, all I have to do is put my palm on the end of the top board, and just lean over the pusher with the dead weight of my whole upper body.
Here's a pic of the extruder in the pusher, having just extruded all the clay in a barrel (using a fairly large-hole disk though).  This was an early version...I make them a few inches longer now for even more torque and more palm room:

And this photo shows one of the later versions of the pusher, laid open flat-- view of the inside:
(...that little rectangular piece of wood you see acts as a bit of a "stop" for the plunger bottom, but I discovered that it doesn't really need to be there since the plunger will make it's own depression in the wood pretty soon, and it can't really move far anyway)

If you want lots more info on our pusher and how to make it --and also other pushers, including one you can actually sit on to extrude, and other extruders-- check out the Clay Guns page at my site:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/claygun.htm ...click on Pushers

... even when i do get him to do it for me, they are rarely as small as i'd need them, so i have to roll them anyway

If you have a regular "clay gun," you should have 6 single round-hole disks, plus 2 or 3 multi round-hole disks... the smaller ones of either of have holes that are teeny-tiny!  
Maybe that's not the kind of extruder you have though.

(Another possibility for making lots of clay ropes easier and quicker to do, or to reduce their size, is to start with a hand-rolled log or an extruded log, then use a long sheet of glass or plexiglass to roll over the whole thing on a smooth work surface until the log is the diameter you want.  If you want all logs to be an exact diameter or the same diameter, you can also tape a couple of temporary "spacers" on the work surface so your sheet won't be able to go down farther than the height of the spacer.  Spacers could be 2 strips of wood or stacked playing cards, etc, or 2-4 small blocks of wood or acrylic, etc.).

If you haven't seen the section at my site on making polymer clay Balinese Filigree (also with lots of tiny ropes), there may be some other info you'd be interested in there for making ropes and shapes quickly, etc:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/claygun.htm (same page as above, but click on Balinese Filigree near the bottom)

Diane B.
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7  Re: Post your colour blends in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: January 19, 2009 09:36:22 AM
I just wanted to see if anyone has found for example the perfect ratios to make a bright purple . .

Well, bright purples (or reds, etc.) are problematic if the mix is not started with a very clear (untoned-down) purple.
The same is true for all other "bright" colors because most brands** of polymer clay have colors which have already been mixed with other colors at the factory... and those can't be "removed" later.  
For example, a "tone" or a "shade" of purple can be mixed starting from a clear purple, but a clear purple can't be mixed from a tone or shade of purple.
("tones" contain a bit of brown or several colors that make brown, or they contain the complement of the color they're added to ... "shades" contain a bit of black... and "tints" contain white)

**however, Kato Polyclay has 8 clear "spectral" colors, and Premo has two sets of primary colors which are "pure" but either on the warm side or the cool side of that color (so those clays/brands will often give the most possibilities for mixes of all the colors that are closer to pure colors or "bright" colors --other brands may also have good clear versions of certain of their colors as well)

One trick for brightening whatever color you have though is to mix in some fluorescent clay of a similar color.

Pinata alcohol inks and pure-color artists' oil paints can be mixed in too to try and get any color closer and closer to the pure color too (but Adirondack brand alcohol inks can't be used in the same way because their colors are all already toned down at the factory).

. . . or a this or a that etc. . .

Recipes for various kinds of purple as well as all kinds of "this and that" colors, can be found on the page I mentioned before though if you want lots of suggestions or just places to start for a mix:
(for purples, or other individual colors, check Recipes & Combos > Individual Colors)

The category at that same page on mixing your own complete "palettes" of color can also create lots of purples, but they won't necessarily be discussed separately.

Actually, the link I posted in my last message went to the "other" part of the color topic I'd posted, and it didn't have the samples I was thinking of... here's the right link:
Here's one of the pics in that thread (this pic just happens to have a lot of greens and blue-greens in it, but note that each "green" you see is different than all the others in the pic --they look similar just because of the limitations of internet/monitors/etc.):

Diane B.
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8  Re: Post your colour blends in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: January 18, 2009 10:36:05 AM
There's loads of info on all kinds of "recipes" for Skinner blends (or are you talking about color mixes?) on the Blends page at my site, as well as links to many examples of the various kinds of polymer clay blends:

If you're talking about color mixes though, there's also loads of info on making all kinds of colors (and even whole palettes) on this page instead:
...plus more in this previous post here at Craftster which includes some mixes I've made:

Presuming we're talking about continuous "blends," here are a few multi-color ones I made long ago--don't have many pics of ones I've made since. . .  I then used a small flower cutter to cut flower shapes from the blend sheets at various places to put onto a small round wood frame I used as a photo ornament (with small gold bead in the center of each flower).  Some of these weren't thoroughly blended on purpose:

Diane B.

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9  Re: Most used polymer clay color ? Whats yours ? in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: November 10, 2008 10:09:34 AM
I miss being able to buy the Granitex blocks at my craft store.  I loved mixing the "black" with other colors for texture.  I've found other "effects" clay but it's just not the same.

I think Granitex is still being sold so you should be able to get it online.  Otherwise, have you tried adding black lint to translucent as a substitute?...that's what it always looked like to me anyway, and about as hard to slice.
I always preferred the old Fimo "stone" colors myself since they looked like real granite, etc... alas, as with many good things, they've been discontinued quite a while now.  If you've never seen Fimo's stone colors, here's a photo where I used the "black" one as a background a wa-a-y long time ago, though the sparkles didn't show up that much in person:

Ivory/beige/ecru/etc. --or a tad of brown, or gray, or the complement of a color-- is great for making tones from any polymer clay colors.  Even whole palettes of go-together-well toned colors can be made at one time just by adding one of those to each of the basic 3 colors (a red, a blue, a yellow) before mixing them.  They're great for making "desert" colors, "country" colors, and various other toned-down palettes too, or many natural materials and stones.  One clayer even got a similar effect from using SuperSculpey to get muted, country colors since SS is just translucent tinted with a pinky-brownish pigment.
Another term one clayer used for her palette of shades was "saddened" colors. 
Mixing colors is major fun!

Diane B.

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10  Re: Complex Malfoy Cane Project in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by Diane B. on: August 15, 2008 12:17:22 PM
So you want to make a sculpted head and neck of a snake to fit onto the end of a walking cane (or actually more like a staff)? ... not that you want to make a polymer clay "cane" with an image of Lucius Malfoy's snake or his whole staff running through it?

If so, are you just wanting to know how to sculpt a snake with open mouth, or how to handle the fangs (prebaked and inserted into raw clay head would be best), or how to use an armature underneath (or whether one is necessary), or how to do the neck decorations in your pic, how to attach to a separate staff or how to make one with clay, how to simulate silver,  etc.? 

And how big would you want everything to be?

As for specifically making snakes with polymer clay, here's one lesson and link to its examples:
....click on the two snakes for close-ups
Here's Mike's lesson for making them (the particular snakes in that link are covered with cane slices btw, but you could just ignore those parts of the instructions):
--form a long rope of scrap clay into a triangle log, which is fatter in the middle and thinner toward each end (his snake was around 12" long?)
--make a cane of your choice (his was ~1" square)you could use a Skinner Blend instead
--cut slices and butt together in 3-4? long rows on table (on waxed paper?); reduce (lengthen) the cane (thinner) before slicing as you approach the slices for the ends of the snake--to taper the snake shape
--add a lighter-color strip on each long side (will eventually cover tummy and a little will show on each side of snake = 1/5 + 1/5 on each side);
--put a flat side of the triangular scrap log-body onto the slices, and pull the rest up around it; remove excess plain stripe area, and roll to smooth the seam.
--form head in a thick triangle shape
--for eye: press white clay into the hole of a large glass seed bead; turn sideways and will look like a vertical slit of white; press eye onto the each side of the head.
--shape snake body (in multiple curves, or whatever) and prop the head up on a small block or wood, etc., while baking for most realism
(--if you need to reshape snake to make it all lay flat on the bottom after baking, put hot water on it, then weight while baking and cooling again)

tip for open-mouthed simple snake or other animal:
... make the head first; then use a wide blade to slice from the front of where you want the lips to start back to where you want the mouth to end; pry open the mouth gently, then do any additional forming or adding of teeth or tongue that you want...that's what I did for these dinosaur heads except I didn't pry them open very wide or add anything extra:

Snake heads are shaped a lot like dinosaur, "dragon," and other reptile heads, so you could also go by, or simplify, lessons for making scary versions of those (here are some linked to from my site):

Plankspankers lessons for dragon head, teeth, etc., & a body form

pics, various dragons:

And there are various ways to make teeth and snake or dragon skin from this page:
(...the categories called Teeth and Scales-Skin)

But meanwhile answer some of the questions above so we can understand more of what you want. (You might want to change the wording of your subject line to indicate that you want to sculpt the head/topper, not to make a sliceable "cane" of it).

Diane B.

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