Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Playing with clay

I think I've mentioned before JUST how much I {heart} the magazine Simply Handmade (published by Northridge Media). Enough so that when my original gift subscription from my mom ended last year, I re-subscribed on my own. I just get SO many awesome ideas from there - and I am a person who NEEDS ideas. Lots of them. I thrive on them. I've never been a person who wakes up in the middle of the night and hits my husband and says, "Oh! Honey, we should do THIS!" (Like Donna Downey does. I only wish I was that kind of creative.)

Anyway, in the most recent edition of Simply Handmade, there was this most adorable magnet made from oven-bake clay. I've always seen oven-bake clay and felt it call out to me...but aside from a couple bracelets my friend Deanna and I made several years ago, I had not followed through on the urge to play with clay.

But on my recent mega trip to Michaels (supposedly only to get painting supplies to try all my new Donna Downey tricks), I noticed that the Sculpey clay was on sale 4 for $5, plus I had an additional 20% off my entire purchase coupon...making them just a little over a dollar a pack, so I decided to pick up a few packs (and an acrylic roller, a cheapo pack of plastic tools, and a cheapo pack of mini-cutters) to try my hand at some things.

First on the list? Most definitely a magnet like the one I had seen in Simply Handmade. I have a dear friend who is having surgery next week, and I know she is scared and would SO appreciate a little cheer right now. First I just had to roll out a rectangle of clay. Then I stamped a sentiment with brown Staz-on ink. Next, I used a leaf shape to make three leaves from green clay, and used a tool to make lines in the clay. I then positioned them onto the blue rectangle and sort of pressed them down a bit. Finally, I used two different sizes of tear-drop shaped cutters to cut petals from pearl-white clay and arranged them in layers to make the flower, using a tool to push them down in the middle. For the flower middle, I cut a small circle of the white and pressed it down over all the centers. I followed the baking instructions for the clay (275 degrees for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness), then allowed it to cool.

After the clay had cooled, I used a thin brown marker to highlight the lines in the leaves. I used wire cutters to cut the back off a turquoise blue brad, then hot glued the top to the center of the flower. I used clay-glaze and a paint brush to apply glaze to the entire magnet. Once the glaze was dry, I hot glued two magnets to the back of it...and it was finished!

I am SO in love with how the magnet turned out - and it wasn't NEARLY as hard as I thought it would be!! (Read: will definitely be making more!)

But then it needed some cute packaging. I mean, it's a small magnet - about 2.25 inches wide by 2 inches tall, so it's not like I wanted to just wrap it in tissue and drop it in some huge gift bag. I had a few empty Prima flower tins from my recent emptying of all my tins and jars and bottles of flowers into one big plastic shoe box (um...yeah...I have a paper flower addiction)...anyway, the magazine ALSO showed a cute way of decorating a tin for just such an occasion.

I reminded Darrell - "Remember, honey, how when I first asked you to get me a sewing machine, it was for the purposes of sewing on paper?" He remembered. That was, um, about 5 or 6 years ago. I finally started sewing, what, like 2 years ago? Today was the first time I've actually sewn on paper! I sewed together several rectangles of paper and ran them through my Xyron to stick them to the tin (and then later had to use my craft knife to cut a strip off the top because my lid would no longer fit on the tin). I used some coordinating die cuts, flowers, and another brad to adorn the top of the tin, inking edges, of course! (What would I do without ink?!)

I even put our shredder to use to make some shredded paper packaging for inside the tin! Whoever knew that a shredder could be used for crafting?!

I'm fairly certain my friend to whom this is going doesn't read my blog...so I should be safe posting this. :) If she DOES see it before I get it to her...well, she'll just get to enjoy it twice!


Erika said...

SO cute!!

Crafty Mom said...

Adorable! I love it! We need another clay play date soon! :)

~ Louise Johnson ~ said...

Very nice Jen! I love all the gifts and sentiments you have shown this week to show your friends how much you truly care! Very crafty lady :)


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