Back-to-school polymer

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Tamara Shea’s Pile O’ Books necklace kicks off the back-to-school season (and there’s a sale at her Etsy shop).

Tamara’s Block Party Press business has grown steadily since she first jumped online seven years ago when her sons were young and she wanted to find a way to stay at home with them.

She draws her own designs, carves her stamps, and cuts out her polymer components. Then she paints and distresses them.

Tamara’s moved her newsy updates to Facebook and opened a second online shop as her boys have grown and her art interests expanded. She shares her inspirations and photos on Instagram.

On the hunt for polymer

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Heather Millican (Swoondimples) beams and shows her dimples as she explains her methods in a free tell-all video tutorial on YouTube.

Heather reveals where she found the perfect brushes (makeup ones from Target), the best glue and wax, her choice for transfer paper and stamps. She leaves nothing out.

The polymer charms and pendants sell briskly on Heather’s Etsy shop not only because of the techniques that she’s developed but also because she brings gentle words and an openess to her pieces which make what she creates all the more irresistable.

You can see more of her on Facebook and Pinterest. You may end up like me saying, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

One tool, one day

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Julie Picarello allowed herself only one imprint tool for these Lunar Flowers. She haunts hardware stores looking for metal parts that leave unusual marks and shapes. For this exercise Julie challenged herself to move out of her comfort zone and design in 3D in a more loose way than usual for one day.

” I threw all caution in the wind, and distorted and manipulated on purpose. It was a strange feeling, and I might even have whimpered a little when I forced myself to cut a hole off-center. But by the end of the day, I was hooked on these simple little components,” she says.

She admits that she’s returning to her beloved imprinting technique, “But it feels good to have dipped a toe in uncharted waters, and lived to tell the tale.”

Her new works also include crackle surfaces and patterned edges that haven’t appeared before. Have you ventured beyond your usual depth lately?

Notes for a new year

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Heather Millican packs a punch with the simplest polymer designs. “I feel that my duty as an artist and mother are one in the same, to ignite the heart with love, compassion, and hope,” she explains.

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Each of her beads is handstamped, textured, patinaed, sanded and buffed. The words and phrases she’s carefully chosen make you stop and think and smile.

You can shop Swoondimples on Etsy and follow her on Facebook. Heather’s beads make great tokens for you readers today. You really rock! Thanks for a great year and happy 2015.

Stamping fall images

Shea on PCDaily

Maryland’s Tamara Shea is primarily a stamper and printmaker who uses polymer clay (usually brown) to bring her hand-carved images to life. Acrylic paints bring out the details and a sealer protects the work. Fall is a particularly appropriate time to feature her leaves and finds from the woods.

Tamara opened her successful Etsy shop in 2006. As you flip through her work, note the remarkable consistency even as she expands her themes.

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You may enjoy the bug and butterfly pictures she’s been taking of late and posting on Flickr. Her eye is drawn to objects and creatures that eventually crawl into her work.

Octopus polymer

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Ukraine's Katya Tryfonova shares her new Octopus beads with us. They're brightly stamped and colored polymer sheets rolled into jagged tube beads.

She then strung them into the angular necklace that she wears below.

On Katya's Flickr page you can see how she's taken classes and tried various styles, always giving the pieces a hint of her own voice. With her Octopus beads Katya is stretching her wings.

Tryfonova on PCDaily

Taking flight

Your response to Melanie Muir's project yesterday was amazing and your generosity has been heartwarming. Thank you.

Art Jewelry, Bead & Button and BeadStyle magazines have all added 1-year subscription giveaways to the event so your chances keep improving and there's still time. Melanie will draw the winners on August 19.

Polymer kiss

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Here’s a refreshingly easy mid-week interlude from Agi Kiss in Budapest, Hungary. These gypsy-like earrings are smartly shaped, then stamped with an exotic image and darkly stained to reveal the detail. Altogether simple and sexy design.

Don’t let the simplicity of her design fool you though, Agi also takes on complex beaded projects, mixing beads and polymer in heavily encrusted pieces.

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She markets the simpler pieces on her Etsy shop and in her Hungarian online shop. Agi shows more work that’s bead embroidered on her blog and on Facebook.

Polymer power

Michigan’s Adriana Allen created what she calls her Flower Doodle earrings using her stamp pressed deeply into polymer. Several colors of paint are washed into the crevices and hollows to create what you’d swear was aged copper.

Adriana has had arthritis since childhood and says, “I never gave into it. I decided to ignore it, which has not been easy since it had paralyzed me at one point in my life and now it is close to claiming my hands. Every piece I create reminds me of this fact, but the disease cannot stop me from doing what I love.”

She doesn’t like to talk about herself but will in this case because, “…I consider it a proof of the strength of mind over body, and the power of creation over everything else.” Adriana tells more of her story in this month’s Polymer Arts Magazine. She sells on Etsy. She’s also on Facebook.

Stamped polymer

Shaw moth

Tamara Shea’s (BlockPartyPress) beautiful moth pendant was created with a hand carved stamp from her original drawing. In her signature style, Tamara stamped the 2 7/8″ x 2 1/2″ moth onto brown polymer clay, hand painted it with metallic gold, green and silver acrylic paint, then distressed and sealed it.

Simple stamping techniques combined with dynamite drawing skills can make for some stunning effects. Her Etsy shop’s having a back-to-school sale!

Have a great weekend.

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