January 19, 2010

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.


Additional Notes

  • 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.

September 20, 2008

Telemundo Bottles of Hope VideoMy polymer clay group made the TV news again yesterday. This time the local Telemundo affiliate interviewed me for a Spanish version of last week's Bottles of Hope story. Here's the new story (in Spanish), and here's a photo of the angel bottle I made during the filming. (A couple of my other bottles were featured too.)

I suppose I should clarify, though. I didn't actually make that angel bottle during filming. There are several shots of me working on an angel bottle... but the angel bottle I worked on there got wadded up into a ball of clay before I left the building.

A couple of the other folks making bottles got wide-eyed when I disassembled it, and asked what I was doing. I didn't realize til I got home what a jerk I must have looked like. There we were, decorating bottles for cancer patients, and I rip mine apart as soon as the camera crew leaves.

It's not like it looked, though, honest. It's just that I'm not a public crafter. No matter what I do, I just can't seem to be happy crafting anyplace but home.

This time I tried really hard. Knowing that I have trouble thinking of ideas when I'm on the spot, surrounded by other people, I planned a project ahead of time. I even took along pictures of an inspiration piece in case I needed to reference it. Having the project picked out helped me with the other thing I tend to have trouble with — taking the right supplies. Since I knew what my project was, I had a general idea of what tools I'd need. (Too bad I got in a hurry and forgot a couple of those.) I even made an ambitious goal to try to keep myself on track: I was going to finish not just one, but two bottles while we were there.

But even after all that, I still couldn't do it. I got flustered when I realized I'd left my clay blade at home (it somehow didn't occur to me to borrow one of several others in the room). I hadn't brought enough beige clay and didn't like the replacement color I mixed up. But mostly, things just weren't looking right. The skirt didn't drape nicely. The wings weren't pretty enough. I felt like if I were at home using my own tools on my own desk, I could get it right. And so, like I've done at so many guild meetings and other public crafting sessions, I left without having created a thing.

It's not that I don't enjoy crafty get-togethers. I love being around other creatives, watching their process and absorbing their conversations. But I just don't create well in that situation. Maybe it's performance anxiety. Maybe it's perfectionism. For whatever reason, though, I prefer to do my creating in my own comfy little craft room, where I can really dig into a project and do it just right.

So is this just me? I'm curious what the rest of you think of crafting in public...?

September 12, 2008

Bottles of Hope News 9 StoryA local TV news channel just aired a story about the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild's involvement in the Bottles of Hope program. Our Bottles of Hope Coordinator was actually the one interviewed, but you can see me in several background shots making my bottle. Check out their nicely-done feature story here (see Group Bottles Hope under Featured Videos).

This just goes to show that some shows that're filmed do eventually air! ;-)

August 1, 2008

Whether you're new to heat embossing, or just new to heat embossing on polymer clay, my latest video should help you get a handle on this stamping technique. The video runs about 7 1/2 minutes, and shows how to heat emboss on both baked and unbaked clay.

Here are photos of a couple of projects from the video — click the description to see a larger view:

In my next post (the final in the polymer clay rubber stamping series), I'll show you how to use heat embossing to make a unique polymer clay photo frame.

Posts in This Series:
  1. Rubber Stamping Basics for Polymer Clay
  2. Rubber Stamp Techniques for Polymer Clay
  3. How to Make a Rubber Stamped Coaster
  4. Video: How to Heat Emboss on Polymer Clay
  5. How to Make an Ultrasound Frame

June 8, 2008

Due to popular request, I've put together this video showing how to use & clean the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder. The video also shows how to use the extruder to make coiled polymer clay beads, then sand the beads to reveal the colors hidden inside. The video runs about 9 1/2 minutes.

Here are a couple of shots from the video — click the description to see a larger view:

Prefer written instructions over video? See the updated version of How to Use and Clean the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder.

Posts In This Series:

Buy the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder now.

April 3, 2008

This video runs just under 8 minutes, and talks about the following:

  • Bottles of Hope history
  • Suggestions for finding bottles to cover
  • Bottle preparation
  • Bottle covering
  • Ideas for making your own Bottles of Hope

Not a big fan of videos? You might be more interested in this Bottle of Hope tutorial.

February 2, 2008

If you love texture sheets & have ever wondered about creating your own, check out my latest video, How to Make Your Own Texture Molds.

It runs just over 7 minutes, and includes the following:

  • How to make a texture mold from a basket
  • How to use extruded clay to make a texture sheet
  • How to use your texture sheets along with clay in the pasta machine

Here's a few photos to give you a clearer view:

Other posts in this series:

Start molding today with the Mold Putty Project Pack.

January 31, 2008

Are you a visual learner? If so, check out my latest video for tips on making buttons and button molds. It runs just over 5 minutes, and includes the following:

  • How to use Amazing Mold Putty to make molds from buttons
  • How to use your button molds with polymer clay
  • How to poke button holes
  • How to add button shanks
  • How to use Pearl Ex powders to add a little pizazz to your buttons

And here's a few photos to give you a clearer view:

Continue reading "Video: How to Make Button Molds & Buttons" »

June 13, 2007

This video goes along with my bamboo skewer polymer clay pen tutorial. The video is 6.5 minutes long, and it shows how to cover a bamboo skewer to make a polymer clay pen.

June 10, 2007

This video goes along with my pen kit tutorial. The video is 6.5 minutes long, and it shows how to cover the Amazing Twist Pen sold by Boston Clay Works. It also shows some alcohol ink basics.

June 7, 2007

This video goes along with my pen kit tutorial. The video is 8 minutes long, and it shows how to cover the Mini Key Chain Kit sold by Penn State Industries. It also shows some basic gold leaf techniques.

Just a warning: I tried to keep the on-screen hammering to a minimum -- but don't turn your speakers up too loud!

May 31, 2007

Here's another video that goes along with my basic pen covering instructions. The video is 4.5 minutes, and it shows how to cover a Bic Round Stic pen with polymer clay. Background "music" courtesy of my doggie. <g>

Here's a video that goes along with my basic pen covering instructions. The video is 4.5 minutes, and it shows how to cover a PaperMate FlexGrip Elite pen with polymer clay. Aside from the one I won't get to see til next year, this is my first "talkie" -- so suggestions are welcome!

March 30, 2007

While I was working on my latest hemp project, I thought it'd be fun to show my "mobile crafting station" in action. This is my first attempt at video, so let me know if you have suggestions.

Also, in case you need it for this project or any other, here's a print-quality ruler image [926K] from that measuring tape I scanned in.

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CraftyGoat's Notes is all about sharing polymer clay tips & tricks that have worked for me. (And even a few that haven't!)

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