Hollow bead trick

Watkins on PCDaily

Carol Simmons and Rebecca Watkins are sharing the fruits of their recent collaborative work with you!

Carol wanted to experiment with big polymer beads and Rebecca wanted them lightweight and textured. Rebecca came up with an ingenious solution to make them hollow. Paper!

Since paper’s burning point is 451° Fahrenheit, it works as an armature for polymer. Rebecca researched and redrew various shape templates, printed them onto cardstock, cut them out, and taped each shape together. The constructed forms were covered with a thin layer of polymer (see the black forms in this picture) and baked.

Watkins on PCDaily

Carol and Rebecca covered the baked forms with slices of kaleidoscope canes. Rebecca incised deep lines into Carol’s densely patterned canes. They tried a variety of methods – deeply or lightly textured, highlighted with dark powder (see Rebecca’s project in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives) or not, covered in sheets of pattern or with small sections. Each test bead was then rebaked.

Simmons and Watkins on PCDaily

Here are her shape files for you to download free, print and play with. “They are free because I did not invent geometry!” says Rebecca. Still, it was generous of the duo to share their secrets. Thanks to them we have another great way to create hollow forms with polymer.

Polymer pod clusters

This cluster of polymer pods from Loretta Lam hangs like a bunch of colorful bananas. The pendant cluster is suspended on a long copper chain. It’s a new design that she debuted on her Facebook page.

Is it the ripe fruit look that makes them appealing and ready to be plucked?

Loretta thinks the configuration makes them look like fetishes. The vibe is very contemporary. She’s on to something.

Have a inspired weekend!

Bangle binge

Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan has been on a polymer bangle binge lately. Her large graphic patterns are usually outlined in black or white to accentuate the contrast between colors.

Companion patterns peek out from the bangles’ interiors and add a bonus to the designs.

See the whole collection on Nikolina’s Flickr pages and catch more of her intriguing designs on her Etsy showcase .

Her fresh, bold approach may make you rethink your work as you start the week.

Simple gifts

As long as we’re talking gifts, we’d better think about the kids. These poseable pieces from Australia’s HollyJayne are so cute and simple (she has a 2-year-old son). Of course Holly’s mastered the devilish details that can make simple spectacular.

Holly shows the pieces and parts on her Facebook page and she sells them on Etsy. See all her creatures on Flickr.

Speaking of simple, don’t you just love these little striped Christmas trees from Ukraine’s Masha Shupova? These are just the thing for that sylish, minimalist friend. Here’s her Etsy gallery.

The winning candidate

It’s voting day in the U.S. and I nominate these rolled polymer beads from Texas’ TurnAgainCreative for the best use of Stroppel cane.  Cheryl is the only name we have for our candidate.

Experimenting with these will keep your hands busy while you fidget and wait for campaign results to come in tonight.

Don’t forget to vote! Here in Ohio we’ll be happy to move out of the swing state spotlight!

Polymer pistachios

Scotland’s Jacky Mullen has closed her Etsy shop temporarily to look after an actual new baby. While she’s busy, we can still rifle through her past sales and her tumblr site to admire her polymer babies, fairies, mermaids and caterpillars.

This “Handful of Pistachios” is both enchanting and silly as baby faces burst sleepily out of their shells. Her busy bee will certainly be a Monday favorite. We’ll all be cheering for Jacky’s return. Thanks to Lindly Haunani for the link.

Grown-up rolled beads

What is it about rolled beads that fascinates us? Is it because we made them as kids that we want to try them again?

These grown-up polymer versions are from Page McNall. She adds graduated color, texture, and embedded trinkets with a wash of color – taking rolled beads to a whole new level.

Page has been experimenting. See what she’s up to on her Flickr page.

Out of touch

Network connection is unreliable for the next few days. Road blocks are preventing repairs… something to do with an overturned hot asphalt truck in the Poudre River. I may not be able to post regularly until next week.

Back in business….thanks for all your kind words and to Loretta Lam for pinch-hitting with a great link to Pam Sanders! Looks like the truck’s out of the water and the electrons are flowing again.

Site update

We’ve rearranged the furniture on PCD and streamlined a bit. If your favorite section is missing, poke around, it’s probably still there. Let me know if something won’t work…I may have mangled a bit of code in the move. It’s a work in progress and all comments are welcome. Thanks to my dear daughter for her help.

Fixed the email and RSS feeds, tweaked lots details. Thanks for your suggestions.

PCD’s mission and Friesen’s hearts

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been crazy for hearts and steampunk lately. Christi Friesen has combined those two themes into one free tutorial on her site. I couldn’t resist bringing it to your attention.

I’ve spent the day watching the snow and fretting about Noblesse Oblige Award that Valerie Aharoni bestowed on me. Rather than be embarrassed and shy (my aw shucks mode), I’ll share with you what this blog is about and give you some tips for getting your work noticed online.

The Award

Over 15 years ago in a seminar, I off-handedly came up with my personal mission statement which is, “Find beauty, share beauty.” Since a mission statement is supposed to consist of seven words, someone suggested that I add, “and accessorize well.”

There you have it. My simple blog intent was composed on a whim before blogs were invented. All sorts of plans were set in motion with that mission statement. Finding and sharing beauty is my bottom line. Read more about the award…