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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: 550 Yards WW Handpainted on: October 11, 2007 10:31:13 AM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for posting this!  I've been looking for something like this for some time now!
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: i have a gas oven... on: March 23, 2007 08:56:58 AM
No worries regarding a gas oven.

I have an old, crappy gas oven and haven't had any problems yet baking polymer clay.  If you worry about temperature, you can get an oven thermometer.


3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments on: March 23, 2007 08:51:35 AM
My 2 cents regarding Pearl-Ex:

I love the stuff! I can't get enough of it!  My favorite is putting the interference colors on black clay.  I don't have any pix (no decent camera), but the effect is gorgeous. Interference purple and blue on black clay is particularly beautiful.

What I do is just "paint" the powder on raw clay with a brush, then bake and varnish.

I also have had really nice effects with blending Pearl-Ex with translucent clay and using that instead of the pearl colored polymer clay.

4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: two totally newbie questions, sorry =/ on: February 26, 2007 10:06:11 AM
Just a note, there is a pronounced stinkiness when curing polymer clay.  I live alone, so it's not a problem, but if you live with someone else they may wonder what you're up to!

5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: best type of polymer clay to use on: February 26, 2007 10:02:47 AM
I want to add my 2 cents.

I make polymer clay beads and use Premo! almost exclusively. It does get soft enough to roll and flatten and add inclusions, but it stiffens up fairly quickly when you let it sit.  This is good for me when I want thin slices of something or when I go to poke holes in beads (they distort less)

I did have a hard/crumbly problem, but I have a little bottle of Sculpey Clay Softener.  A touch of it on 1/8 block of clay did the trick nicely.

6  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Holiday Ornaments on: November 30, 2006 10:01:35 AM
You weren't using one of those "special" glass ornaments that are bought separately (not in a box of 12, etc.) and come in shapes like ovals and hearts, etc., were you? 

No, they were definitely the thicker round glass ones.  Like I said, shirtless Hugh Jackman was more of a factor in that particular accident. Wink (Oh, you can Netflix the Hugh Jackman "Oklahoma!" DVD, I highly recommend it!)

What I did was do an initial covering with a thin (4 or 5 on the pasta machine) layer of *extremely* well conditioned red, purple or green Sculpey III. Sculpey III is the softest of the polymers, so there is less chance of breakage when putting on the first layer. 

After baking, I did a bit of sanding to smooth it out and covered the ornament with mokume gane, chrysanthemum canes or whatever struck my fancy.  This second, decorative layer was made with either Fimo or Premo which are stronger. 
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Holiday Ornaments on: November 29, 2006 08:24:05 AM
Heh. Be careful even with the good ornaments!  I put my thumb through one while covering it with clay.  Ouch! Though I should mention that there was one other factor that contributed to my accident: I was distracted by a shirtless, singing Hugh Jackman in "Oklahoma!"

8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: What to do with avocado? on: June 15, 2006 10:05:07 AM
I've been crazy for avocados lately.  I did a variation of the chicken salad posted above.

1 Avocado
Lemon (or Lime juice)
a splash of balsamic vinegar (I use the garlic-infused kind)
a chopped up tomato (medium-size)
salt and pepper to taste
chicken (about a cup)

Mash avocado, add juice, salt and pepper and fold in tomatoes and chicken.

Vegetarian version: instead of chicken, fold in some slightly squished chick peas (garbanzos) 

I've done both versions, and both are delish!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: One Skein Hat using Colinette Point Five on: June 07, 2006 01:18:42 PM
That is a gorgeous hat.

Good work.
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Folk Bags Napramach on: June 03, 2006 06:02:16 AM
Here is the Saga of the Napramach!

This bag almost defeated me, but I prevailed.  Folk Bags is a great book, but some of those patterns are HARD.  After knitting this, nothing will intimidate you knit-wise.

The yarn was Araucania nature wool, in 5 colors. I substituted 'cause it was easier for me to find and much cheaper than the recommended yarn, also, the hand-dyed colors adds a really nice effect.  The whole thing was knitted on size 3 needles. 

You start with the 2 upper triangles, join them and then pick up stitches to knit the main body, then you try to remember to do the increase/decrease thing to get the pointy effect, while sticking to the color chart.  Then you weave in ends (it took me hours!) Then you block your rectangle.  Now you pick up stitches and knit the pointy bit at the bottom and pick up yet more stitches and knit the narrow band of triangles at the very top.

Spend another year or so weaving in ends, then block the whole body.

Then you get to do it all over again to make the second side of the bag, which will come out better because now you actually know what the hell you're doing.  (This pic is of the second side I knitted)

Use single crochet to join the 2 sides and knit the strap.  I'm not happy with the strap, I followed the directions for it, it is just a garter stitched strip attached by loops that you crochet when joining the 2 sides.  I would definitely change this to something more secure and less stretchy.  Maybe a thick I-cord or at least graft the strap instead of using loops. 

I didn't line the bag, but I would strongly recommend it.  This bag took forever, I want it to last forever. 

PS: When you use this bag, other knitters will know you are the real deal.  Not some dilettante knitter!
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