Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

I don't know what it is, but I find the older I get, the more I need lists and labels. (Could it be I'm just getting older?)

In any case, I love both my vinyl cutter and my label maker (for those tiny labels I can't possibly ever cut and pick without losing my sanity). I love having a home for each thing I own (I'm not there yet, but I can dream), and having it clearly labeled so no one can get confused at where an item belongs.

The pocket finds jar, by the way, is for my laundry room. I often go through pockets (too many melted crayons in my past experience) and pull items out that don't belong there. You'd be amazed what each of us leaves in our pockets. All finds go into the jar, and I don't have to worry about it. If someone is wondering where an item went--check the jar. Makes my life just that much easier.

And so it's April and if you haven't already, I challenge you to do some spring cleaning and organizing. I'm personally going to challenge myself to get rid of at least 1 item a day for two weeks. And I'm going to go back to my already organized areas and retidy them. I'll try and post some pictures. We are trying to grow our garden too, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Wish me luck! (And good luck to you too).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monkey See, Kitty Do

We tried our hand at making two of the simpler cakes on the front cover of Jenny's book--the monkey and kitty cat cakes--out of polymer clay.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see the monkey and kitty cakes at the top.

I cut the monkey's face freehand, as well as cat's light colored area around the mouth. (What do you call that on a cat? The muzzle?) I used my new, handy-dandy clay extruder (which needs really soft pliable clay to work well) to get the pieces for the mouths, nose, whiskers, etc. I wish in hindsight I had paid a little more for a better quality extruder--one where you twist a handle or something instead of trying to push clay through with brute force.

Lastly, I found a packet of inexpensive disks that were the perfect cake platter size at the craft store. We painted them with acrylic paints I had on hand.

What do you think?

I've already got the next couple of polymer clay posts ready, but in the future, I will try and post some in process photos as well.


A word to those working with polymer clay for the first time. Read the baking directions when you are rested or just take note of my blunder. I misread the directions in haste and when I was tired, and was looking everywhere amongst my friends for an oven that would bake at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Ovens baking that low do not exist. Ummm, yeah--that was 130 degrees Celsius--not Fahrenheit. The cat and monkey got a little dusty during the two days they sat there until my brain kicked in after rereading directions on baking.

I also made the mistake of not realizing you cannot use the same tools you use for polymer clay on food items. Luckily I had planned on the shape cutters being solely devoted to clay beforehand.