Festivus Games Craft Booth

  
Some of you may know that my husband runs a CrossFit gym (which I’ve been meaning to blog about). Next month they are hosting the Festivus Games, a competition designed to include people who are not hardcore athletes. I feel like it kind of goes with how they run things at CrossFit Metanoia; they’re all about meeting people where they are to help them reach their goals. 

Joe suggested I set up a craft booth with the other vendors at the games, since I make some Crossfit-inspired jewelry and people might be interested in my other designs too. 

I was hesitant at first, thinking my artsy, nature-inspired designs would seem out of place. But all kinds of people will be there and it couldn’t hurt to try something different than the craft fairs I’ve done before. Plus it would be nice for us to do something together business-wise, since we both work really hard at completely  different things. 

So I have a lot of setting up to do in the next couple weeks, but I will be there with my fitness themed designs and lots of other options too (you can check out my gallery pages or Facebook Page to see some examples). I look forward to meeting more of my husband’s clients and any other locals who would like to check it out! 

Tile Bracelet Tutorial Improvements

I tend to make a lot of necklaces and earrings and not that many bracelets. I have a hard time making a bunch of matching pieces with nice holes, and they take up more material than, say, a pendant. Plus they have to be available in different sizes. 

But I like to have a well rounded selection, so I’ve been trying to make more. A while ago I made a tutorial of a stamped tile bracelet (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). It was cute and I spent a lot of time on the posts, but it could have been done better in some ways. 

Recently I made another tile bracelet, this time with cane slices instead of stamping. I’ve been practicing with canes a lot and this one is the unexpected result of several attempts at tree silhouettes. Anyway, I wanted to share some improvements I’ve learned.    

 

  1. Using the right brand of clay. Bracelets are likely to get banged around a bit so you want something strong. There are a lot of options – I used Sculpey Soufflé and Sculpey Premo here – I just wouldn’t use something like Sculpey III again for this project. 
  2. Making your tiles nice and thick. The original bracelet had about 1/8″ thick tiles, which is fine for some items, but you want more like 1/4″ to make room for the holes without weakening the tiles.
  3. Lining up your holes ahead of time. Teresa Pandora Salgado made a great video (Easy Bangle and Tile Bracelets) on how to do this, which kick-started the remaking of this project.
  4. Using proper findings. I used tigertail wire and matching glass beads like last time – stretch cord would be fine too – but added crimp bead covers for a more finished look, wire guardians for extra durability (here’s How to Use Wire Guardians), and a two-holed sliding clasp to match the two-strand design.  

 

Other notes: I keep large blocks of black, white, and translucent clay so I have them for backgrounds and such, and I’m working on stocking up on other colors. I used a square cutter to make the tiles this time because I liked the rounded corners and consistent shape. And I added a little liquid clay (Kato) for a shiny finish. 

Some of these tips are of course optional, but I hope you will find this helpful, especially if you too have a hard time making bracelets. 

In keeping with the original posts, here is a picture of my cat crashing my workspace! 

  
 

Care & Cleaning of Polymer Clay Jewelry

I wanted to start including some care and cleaning sheets when I ship my polymer clay jewelry orders, because there are some differences from other types of jewelry that some people might not be aware of.

Most of what I found came from the websites and blogs of other artists, which I will link below. Here’s what I pieced together so far – let me know if it sounds helpful as a buyer, or if you have any other tips as a seller!

1. Use regular jewelry cleaner on the metal parts, but only soap and water or light buffing on the clay parts

2. Keep away from solvents – cleaners, hairspray, nail polish, etc

3. Keep out of heat and extended periods of direct sunlight

4. The clay is strong but can be scratched or broken –  be careful not to drop delicate pieces or place in pockets or purses

5. Store your pieces away from high humidity to keep metal from tarnishing

6. Not recommended for wear during sleep, showering, or swimming

7. Please keep pieces away from small children for their safety

References: Eugena’s CreationsPink Cat DesignSaved Spirit DesignsEtsy Team Discussion