Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Snap Jewelry DIY Findings Update

When I first came up with combining the interchangeable snap jewelry idea and polymer clay, I approached Wendy at Shades of Clay about carrying some of the snap components.  She loved the idea and it was nice to have them available to purchase through her website instead of just through us.  We did a lot of research into finding supplies that were good quality and that would work best with the polymer clay and I also published several tutorials with lots of tips on working with these findings.




Things have changed over the last few years and while we have expanded our snap components, Shades of Clay has decided to go in a different direction and not carry them anymore.  (You can read her blog post about this here.)  Wendy has been very supportive and we plan to still continue on with bouncing ideas back and forth for inspiration.


Oh, and by the way, did you know that Shades of Clay now also has a blog?  You can follow it here.   They have some cool free tutorial links and one of them is a video Wendy made about the buna cord and o-rings.  I found this video very informative and some of her ideas are so inspirational!  I really like the softglass cord and joiner charms that go with it but if you are looking for different thicknesses and cord that isn't hollow, Shades has buna cord in several sizes.  I haven't tried the really thick size yet but I love how Wendy hid her clasp in this bracelet!  You have to watch the video to find out!

Bracelet created by Wendy Orlowski

Shades has also added some exciting and cool artist materials plus other brands of clay such as Fimo.  I love how we can buy almost everything we need for our clay at one place that is right here in Canada and at very comparable prices!

You might also want to sign up for her newsletter so you can get in on any new product announcements and specials they might have.

And by the way, I am not promoting Shades because of any kick-backs or pay for advertising.  I am just a happy customer and want to show my support for my fellow Canadian friend, Wendy and her fabulous shop! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Buttons for My Sweater Coat from KLA Originals

I finally finished the buttons for the Sweater coat I showed you the other day that was made by Kirsten of KLA Originals.  I had to put some thought into what type of buttons to make as I wanted them to compliment the piece and be noticeable yet not overwhelm it.  After considering several possible styles, I finally settled on a stacked mokume gane technique matching up several clay colors that were in the coat.  I knew I didn't want round buttons and they had to fit through the button holes so designed a sort of trapezoidal shape.





Thanks again to Kirsten for this wonderful wearable work of art and instant conversation piece every time I go out.  I now keep a supply of her cards in my pocket to give out when people stop and ask me where I got this beautiful coat!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Strut Your Stuff With Our Interchangeable Boot Bracelets

With the cowboy festival coming up in Kamloops this week it has got us thinking about our boot jewelry and creating some new designs.  Boot bracelets and boot charms are a fun way to accessorize if you enjoy country western style dancing or just as an accent when going out.  Our original boot jewelry designs consist of using our faux turquoise, feathers and lizard tails. 

Faux Turquoise Boot Bracelet

Feather Boot Bracelet

Lizard Tail Boot Bracelet

Since we started our Snap Decisions collection it got me thinking about interchangeable designs.  These bracelets were made using the snap base connectors, beads and chain.  I love these as you only need one bracelet (or some people like to wear a pair) and then several decorative snaps to create different looks.

Interchangeable Snap Boot Bracelet

Boot Bracelet with Interchangeable Snap

Our latest style is a simple design combining the thicker (4.5 mm) softglass cord with a joiner charm (from Shades of Clay) and the snap base with the tube bail and several rubber o-rings to hold it in place.  I show an easy method for doing this in my mini tutorial for the snap necklace here.  The wonderful thing about this boot bracelet style is that you can also use the larger-size snaps like the ones shown here.

Softglass cord boot bracelet with interchangeable Canadian Maple Leaf Snap


Boot Bracelet with Softglass cord and Joiner Charm Clasp

Boot Bracelet with Softglass cord and Joiner Charm Clasp


Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Snap Brooches with Ideas and Inspiration

Our new snap brooches finally arrived yesterday.  We had ordered some samples sometime ago and really liked them so we now have plenty available.  The frames are in a beautiful tarnish resistant Tibetan silver and in three different styles, Cherry Blossom, Flourish and Leaves.

 

The snap base brooches are listed in our online store but also in bulk in our DIY snap supplies section.

I am excited about these new designs as another fun jewelry option as brooch pins have become fashionable again and not just for little old ladies.  A brooch pin is such a versatile piece of jewelry and can be worn so many different ways.  It is not only just an accent piece but can be used to hold a sweater or jacket closed or your scarf in place.

Brooches that can be worn more than one way (like the interchangeable snap type) are even better.  The first style of brooch pin we made was all from clay and had a pin back with an attached bail so it could also be worn as a necklace.  We have a special way of attaching the pin/bail to the back and this was featured in the Winter issue of the Polymer Arts Magazine.


Another style we create from clay is our Brooch Stick Pins (also featured in the same article by Julie Cleveland) which work really well with a sweater or shawl to hold it in place.  The piece actually swivels so it can be worn on the left or right hand side.



Since we discovered using snaps with our clay to make interchangeable jewelry, we have created several other styles of brooch pins.  One is multi-functional that can be worn not only as a magnetic brooch but also as a necklace, eyeglass holder or a sweater guard.


Our kilt pin style brooches work well with tighter weave knits.  The snap base is on a clip and detaches so it can also be worn as a necklace.  The charm also unclips for interchanging. 

And if you are looking for something a little simpler, we also have available both a brooch and lapel pin with a snap base that does not have a fancy frame.  These work really well with the larger clay snap styles.


So which brooch pin is your favorite?  If you are looking for more inspiration, check out some of the articles and pictures we have posted to our pinterest board.

And to make your own interchangeable snaps, I have published a tutorial on how to do this.  I have lots of tips and tricks to not only create them but for finishing as well!  I always like to provide a lot of information with my tutorials so you can dive in and start creating!



Friday, March 3, 2017

Canadian Maple Leaf Buttons

We have created a line of maple leaf buttons to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday this year.  The texture we used to create these maple leaf designs is by another Canadian artist and colleague, Helen Breil.  The maple leaf designs are in red and black and the more traditional red and white combos.





Our friend, Nettonya, knit these gorgeous hats and added the large size button to them as an accent.



Our maple leaf buttons are now available at the following shops in British Columbia:

Canada Display (our buttons on right side) at Thread & Paper



If you are not in those areas, they are also available in our online store.  You can see all our Canadian themed items in our O Canada Collection.

Monday, February 27, 2017

New Canadian Maple Leaf Necklaces

Canada is celebrating it's 150th birthday this year so we have been making special Canadian themed pieces for this big event.  Here we made some of our maple leaves in red and black on a snap and have arranged them on the softglass cord snap necklace that I showed how to make the other day.  I love how the leaves can be arranged in different ways and you are not permanently locked into only one necklace design.






I really love the look and feel of the softglass cord but if you have any sort of arthritis or difficulty with clasps, the plug type clasp can be a bit tricky.

For an easier alternative, the braided leather cord with the front magnetic closure is quick and easy to put on and take off.  Here is one in black with the same large maple leaf snap. 





These necklace cords are available in our online store in several colors.


If you would like to make your own, we have the clasps available in our DIY Snap Supply Section.  I showed in a previous post here on how to create your own necklace.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Closed our Artfire Studio

We have closed down our Artfire studio today.  After selling our tutorials and polymer clay supplies from there for several years, we finally outgrew it.  All our finished work, polymer clay supplies and tutorials are available in our new and updated online store.  We still sell some of our more popular items in our Etsy shop.

If you notice a price difference between the two venues, it is because our Etsy shop is in US dollars and our online store is in Canadian.

The other good news is that we are now able to sell our tutorials from our online store the same way we use to from our Artfire Studio.  Shipping will not be charged and any tutorials purchased will be sent out by e-mail, so European customers will not be subject to paying the VAT tax.


If you haven't see our new online store yet, feel free to browse through it and we are open to any comments or feedback.


Shipping is a flat fee no matter how much you purchase.  It is free on orders more than $75 within Canada and on orders more than $100 to the US..