Aug 30, 2010

FanExpo 2010 = Good Times!

Monster Kookies had an awesome time at FanExpo 2010, this weekend! It was a fantastic event and there were so many awesome people there. :) I finally got to meet Sarah Norton of Beat Black and I also got to meet Daniel Proulx of Catherinette Rings - Daniel even bought one of my Industrial Hearts!

I bought a lovely ring from Catherinette Rings, and I also bought a creepy little Eyeball Plant from Ghoul Friday.

As for how successful Monster Kookies was, I'd say we did plenty well for ourselves. I had Jason, my partner in crime, with me. We sold out of many things, and only had a bit of stuff left by the end of the weekend. Surprisingly enough, it was more of the Monster Kookies higher priced items that sold out as opposed to the lower priced items - I was very sad (but also happy) to see all of my birdies and hearts go so fast. It was very rewarding for sure, and I can't wait to go back for a third year in 2011!

Aug 14, 2010

Tips For Mixing With TLS

I know that using TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) for the first time can be a little daunting for polymer clay beginners, which is why I wrote "Liquid Clay 101" some time ago. But I thought I would go into detail about the mixing process to make things a little less daunting. :)

I have compiled a small list of 5 random tips for mixing TLS.

  • If you are mixing a small amount of polymer clay with your TLS for things like frosting/icing, make sure that the piece of clay you are trying to blend is as warm and soft as possible. This is where softer brands of clay like Sculpey III or Fimo Soft are especially useful. I don't normally use these brands when it comes to regular sculpting, but they definitely blend well with TLS.

  • Adding a small amount of oil paint in the same colour as your icing choice is a good idea when creating icing/frosting with polymer clay and TLS. This further opaques the colour and really makes it vivid.

  • Don't over-do it on the oil paint. If you use too much oil paint in your TLS, you'll really be able to smell the oil paint. There should just be a hint of the smell. You'll discover after you've baked your piece if you've used too much, especially when you glaze it. If you use too much oil paint to colour your TLS, you'll notice that after you glaze the piece that the glaze will cloud over and become sticky... and a very strong smell of oil paint will be apparent.

  • If I could give you any ratio at all for creating frosting/icings and opaque sauces, I would say the following for oil paint:

    • Frosting/Icing: 1/4 of a quarter bar of Polymer Clay (preferably Sculpey III), roughly 2 fluid ounces of TLS, and just a pea size amount of Oil Paint in a matching hue.
    • Sauces: roughly 2 fluid ounces of TLS, and a pea size amount of Oil Paint in the sauce colour of your choice.

  • When creating clear sauces like maple syrup or strawberry sauce, Fimo Decorating Gel is the best way to go - it's like the TLS of the Fimo world. It's a lot more clear and transparent than TLS is, as TLS is much more white and cloudy, which is why TLS is great for sauces in which opaqueness doesn't matter - such as chocolate sauce. Since Fimo Decorating Gel is a lot more expensive than TLS and comes in smaller portions, try only using it when you need translucency in your mixture. If you wish to keep your mixture translucent but want it coloured, use shaved soft chalk pastels.

    Often times, people will have trouble getting the soft chalk pastel shavings to mix with the Fimo Decorating Gel. Even in the final mixture, there are often small particles and specks of the chalk pastel. To avoid this, do not mix the chalk pastel shavings directly with a large amount of Fimo Decorating Gel. I'll further explain this:

    Take a nail file and rub the chalk pastel across it to get some very fine chalk pastel particles. Do this on your work surface, such as glass, ceramic, or marble. When you have the desired amount of chalk pastel particles, add just a few drops of Fimo Decorating Gel. Take a toothpick and vigorously mix it into a paste. Add a few more drops of Fimo Decorating Gel, and mix again. You can do this a few more times if you like.

    Now that you have a paste of the Chalk Pastel and Fimo Decorating Gel, you can scoop the concentrated paste into a tiny baggy or container and add as much Fimo Decorating Gel as you please to make your desired mixture. If there are any particles left, leaving it over night usually does the trick... just give the mixture a good stir or massage the baggy of the mixture the day after, and the particles should all be desolved.

Hopefully this will help you all in your claying endeavors! If there is anything you would like to know, let me know in the comments section and I will try to write a blog entry about it.

Happy Claying!