My "That's Clever" episode aired on HGTV this morning. My parents happened to be in town for a visit, so we did a mini-watch party. Dad only rolled his eyes and looked embarrassed once, which is not bad for that show. Definitely could have been worse!
I wanted to share with you my templates and a few extra notes about materials I used, etc. If you have any other questions about the projects, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll do my best to remember the answers... or else make up new ones! :-)
- Polymer Clay: I used Premo and UltraLight Sculpey clay for these projects. The green is a mixture of Premo's Green, Sea Green, and Black. The fence posts are a 50/50 mixture of Premo White and UltraLight Sculpey. The blue for the poker chips is a mixture of Premo Ultramarine and Cobalt Blue.
- Texture Sheet: The texture sheet I used for the grass is by Shade-Tex, part of their Nature One Set.
- Push Molds: I used 3 push molds for the flowers: Sculpey Flexible Push Molds Grow A Garden and Let It Bloom, and Sweetbrier Studios Summer Bouquet.
- Peanuts: Do not bake regular styrofoam peanuts in the oven, as there are concerns that some types give off toxic fumes. You can use cornstarch packing peanuts, which are a biodegradable alternative that are made from cornstarch. (To tell the difference, drip water on your packing peanut — the cornstarch type will melt away.) Or you can replace the peanuts with scrap clay.
- If you're interested, here are printable copies of the paper templates [PDF] I used for the poker chip coasters and the fence post.
- This probably doesn't matter to anyone but me, but that's not my craft room. That's my dining room. They couldn't film in my craft room because it's upstairs (hard to get the equipment to) and small-ish. When they prompted me to say this was my studio, I said, "But it's not." "What if you just say it's your work space? You do all your work on that mat, don't you?" So that's what I ended up saying. Still felt like a lie, though.
- Speaking of that mat... I normally work on a green self-healing mat covered with a sheet of wax paper. The wax paper was too shiny for the camera, and the green was too close to the greens in the desk set project, so we just used a sheet of craft paper I had close-by. Paper isn't an ideal work surface for polymer clay since it can leach out the clay's oils if you leave a project sitting on it.
- I don't remember now if there wasn't time to demonstrate this on the video, or if I started doing it later. But I don't recommend making the top (silver) part of the mailbox out of straight silver clay. It makes it much too top-heavy to use comfortably as a pen. Instead, form the mailbox shape out of UltraLight Sculpey or an aluminum foil armature and cover it with a sheet of silver clay.
Overall, I was actually pretty pleased with how my segments turned out. The production crew shot a lot more than that (including a couple more silly parts), so it was interesting to see which things actually made the final cut.
Mostly, I'm glad it finally aired. I'm not sure I would have signed up for it if I'd known then it wouldn't air for 2.5 years. But it was a good experience for me. I enjoyed learning what goes into a production like that. It forced me to get comfortable crafting in front of a camera, something I never would have done otherwise. And it's helped open other doors for me. I'm definitely grateful for those things.
Update: You can now watch my That's Clever segments on YouTube.