Aug 30, 2009

Working Polymer Clay in Hot Weather

I Took The Handmade Pledge! I was so excited when I got another new Polymer Clay Book yesterday. "The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques" by Donna Kato. I'm all ready to learn to make some of these fun canes to use in my beads, so I start to condition the clay and then carefully form the inner part of the cane, nice round dots. I add the outer layer of clay and start rolling to shrink it down. My clay is getting softer and softer. Needless to say my round dots are now squashed ovals. At some point it dawned on me that maybe I need to put the first rounds in the refrigerator to set up a little before I add the outside sheet. Oh, did I tell you, we are having a heatwave here in my Desert City of California. Friday was 118, Saturday 114 and today 115. Do you think that might be why I have soft clay? :)

Aug 29, 2009

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

My good & creative friend, Dee, of Runako Designs, has a blog at, and entertains us with her Friday "Girls Night Out" sessions. She generously features other crafters' blogs and websites, and has contests for you to win gift certificates or pieces of jewelry (I won a GC from her and purchased her beautiful "Scarlet with Attitude" necklace). Visit her Etsy store at

This weekend, in order to encourage us to visit other blogs, and have others visit ours, she has us posting to our sites what we would take with us if we were on a Desert Isle, and then listing that on her GNO site. You are then requested to visit all the other sites that have posted. Check out for details.

Packing for my Desert Isle Visit

1. I would definitely take my husband, Randy. He is so adventureous and would make it fun. I would hear, "Don't worry, I can start this fire with these sticks". The original Mountain Man.

2. My toothbrush for those romantic moments.

3. I think my own personal Genie would be nice. And more than 3 wishes please.

4. Do you think they might have a "Curves" gym location there? Maybe that's just wishful thinking. I would bring my workout clothes if they did. :) I know, I know, I'm crazy to think about working out that way on a beautiful desert isle. Gotta keep in shape though.

5. I would need my cellphone and computer. How can I add to my blog without them? Hope they have wifi & Skype .

6. I wouldn't have to worry about food because my husband is a good Fisherman and would supply me with buckets of delicious fish. I'm sure the fruits and vegies are abundant. Sooo....I guess I would just have to bring my China and Sterling to eat off of, and my pots and pans to cook with. Or..... maybe we could just order out.

7. I would also want my 60' yacht so that I could get away for a day or two if I felt like it. Or would that be too ostentatious?

8. I'm starting to really miss my family, maybe they could come along too.

9. My bed, oh am I missing my bed. Maybe we can squeeze that in too.

10. Now, I really need a way to earn some money to get off this island, so I'll bring my jewelry tools so I can use the resources there to make beautiful jewelry to sell to the natives so I can buy a ticket home.

Thanks for the fun, Dee!

Aug 27, 2009

Crazy Caterpillar Bracelet of Polymer Clay

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

This is my "Crazy Caterpillar" bracelet. I love the purple, red and lime green together and can envision my own Crazy caterpillar in these colors. I have accented it with sterling silver spacers and flower clasp.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Rotary Tumbler for Sanding Clay Beads

Once you have your clay colors mixed and your beads made and baked, you need to sand, sand, sand your beads to make them smooth with a natural shine. This can be a problem for some of us as we get a little older :), so I have taken to "cheating" by using a rotary tumbler. This machine is normally used to tumble natural stones to smooth and shape them. The clay works beautifully in here when I use small river rocks and water to jostle and sand them for me. All they need then is a quick buff and whatever sealer I want to use on them.

Hmm...what am I going to do when all these beads get sanded? Need to put my design thinking cap on.

Michaela Space Blog

I've added a new link to a blog that I think you will find interesting. Micheala is a member of a WAHM shopping group that I am on, and is a very talented lady. With her designs, natural soap making skills and notecard business I think you will enjoying spending some time on her site.

Aug 25, 2009

Vicki Bensinger Blog

If you like to cook I suggest you check out my friend, Vicki Bensinger's, blog at You probably won't be able to take advantage of her in-home culinary classes as she lives in St. Louis, but she is always posting delicious recipes.

Right now she is running a contest to win a fabulous and funky Apron just for visiting her blog and commenting on the aprons. Let her know which is your favorite.

Leave a comment and tell Vicki that Loretta suggested you visit her site.

Aug 24, 2009

Another view of Shaggy Black Purse

Knitting With Fabric

I have so much fun wearing my blue "Shaggy" knitted purse. I can't tell you how many times people stop me asking where I purchased it, and if I make them for sale. Very rewarding comments for an Artist :)

In fact, it's so much fun that I decided to make one in Black. The fabric and pattern were purchased at Monica's Quilt and Bead store in Palm Desert, CA. The fabric is batik cotton which is printed on both sides. Good for the shaggy pieces that you add. The colors are black with green, rose and beige dot pattern. The lining is green and has pockets for cellphone, pen and other girlie items. The button is square, made of resin.

The process is cutting strips of fabric on the bias and then knitting that fabric together on #13 needles. You can decorate the purse as you like with fabric strips tied in a knotted bow, or you can add beads or buttons or ribbon. Whatever pleases your fancy.

Here are a couple of pictures of my creation.

Aug 17, 2009

Garden Party Necklace from Stella & Dot

This is our new "Garden Party" necklace from Stella & Dot. Visit my website at to take a peek at the rest of our "Statement Necklaces"

Garden Party Necklace

LORETTA CARSTENSEN - Stella & Dot Senior Consultant

LORETTA CARSTENSEN - Stella & Dot Senior Consultant

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LORETTA CARSTENSEN - Stella & Dot Senior Consultant

LORETTA CARSTENSEN - Stella & Dot Senior Consultant

Shared via AddThis

Aug 6, 2009

How about a little Swirl in your Polymer Clay beads

This was a fun project. I made canes of black, white, gold, copper and silver. I twisted those together, cut it in half and twisted them together again a few more times. I then rolled it out in the Pasta machine after lining it with some flat scrap clay. Then I combed the clay with a toothpick making swirls both ways. I then rolled it in the pasta machine making it ready to cover scrap clay beads.

The necklace is about 24" long and I accented it with torn pieces of black clay made to look like coco chips.

The method for this necklace is in the book "Making Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn. Page 24 & 25.