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Monday, August 11, 2008

New Pendants and what's on your worktable?

Hi, I said in my last post that I would show some of the new pendants that I have been working on, so here they are. I used quite a few different techniques on these babies. I used regular polymer clay, liquid polymer clay, I used shapes that I punched out from sheets of clay, I even silkscreened on the clay. But I'm pleased with the way that they came out. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to use them. String them on some cord with some glass beads? I'm not sure yet. But when I get them done, I will post pics of the final result. So what's on your worktable? Anything new and exciting? Hope so. Talk soon & thanks for checking in!

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's been awhile...

Well hey there! It's been awhile hasn't it? It's been almost a month since I last posted. It's just so hard to get motivated with this blog thing, you know? So the best I can do is to promise that my posts will be sporadic at best! First of all, you don't even know if anyone out there is reading your blog, then you think, well why would they? I mean why would anyone care to read about what I think? So then I think, well I shouldn't really be writing for anyone else anyway. I should write because I want to, and just do it for myself. I don't know, then sometime's I just get so darn busy, that I quite simply don't have the time. So - there it is - for whatever it's worth! So I finally went and got my business license -- yeah!! Which means that I've got to get serious now, and start running this thing as if it's a legitimate business. No more half-assing it! Time to put my nose to the old grindstone! And I'm really ready! I've been sort of floating in this limbo state for far too long. Guess you could say that I took a good hard look in the mirror, and I wasn't very thrilled at what was looking back. So I took some time out for some much needed self evaluation, and decided to make some changes in my life. I suppose that this has all come about because it's my birthday this weekend. I'll be 49 years old!!! Yeah I said it! Almost 1/2 a century old!! Whew - getting old sucks! Don't let anyone tell you differently. Your body just pretty much quits cooperating with you and starts to fail you at the strangest times and in the strangest ways. You get new pain in new places and for no apparent reason. It's weird. The up side to it is, that you start to feel much wiser in the ways of life. By now, I'm also very comfortable with who I am, and overall, I generally like myself and who I have turned out to be. I just need to remember to check in with myself from time to time, and always remember to keep up with the preventative measures in all respects. Aging, health, etc. Well anyway, I believe I'm babbling now, (another sign of aging) so I will leave you now, but not before I show you a few pictures of some new bracelets that I have been working on. Both the beads and the bracelet design are new for me. Overall I'm very happy with them. And I have a ton of other ideas rolling around in my head, that I just need to find the time to try. My other bracelets were okay, but generally I must admit, they were very boring. But I needed that time to develop my skills in bead making. Now that I have, I think my beading skills were ready for something new. So the pictures in this post are of the new bracelets. I've also got some new pendants that I wanted to show you, but I'll save those for next time. Enjoy your weekend, I know I will! Till next time America -- lol. c-ya!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First attempt at a butterfly cane!

Here are some pictures of the butterfly canes that I promised to show you yesterday. I made both of the canes over this past weekend. This was my first attempt at a butterfly cane. Not my first attempt at caning, mind you, just caning of butterflies! I think that they came out alright. The larger yellowish one looks a tad distorted. But I think it's because the new formula of the Premo brand of clay. It's very squishy stuff. Almost too soft. I'm hoping that if I let them "rest-up", that they will firm up a little bit. Otherwise slicing them, without distorting them further will be rather difficult. Guess I'll have to wait and see. I'm also not quite sure what I'm going to do with all of it. I mean I don't really need that much. Guess I'll have butterfly cane for the next few years!

Oh yeah, and before I forget, here are a few pictures of the necklaces that I made with the faux ceramic beads that I showed you yesterday. I realize that they are very simple and plain looking, but there is something about that faux ceramic look that just lends itself to a more natural and simple design. I like them, and they look great around your neck! Okay take it easy, and I'll be back in a few days. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hope you had a nice holiday!

Hope you had a great 4th of July! I know I did. It's always been one of my favorite holidays. I just love fireworks! Anyway, otherwise it just gave me a whole extra day to work on some new clay ideas and beads that I have been wanting to try. They are made using a faux ceramic bead technique, and I think that I like the way that they came out. I'll be making some more of these because I like the look. Oh yeah, and I'd been wanting to try to make a butterfly cane for some time now, so I did that as well. Actually I made 2 of them, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. So I will post those pics tomorrow. But in the are the pics of the beads. I'm not even sure what I'm going to do with these butterfly canes. I mean that I'm sure that I will use some of it on some clay things, but I have quite a bit of it, too much for me to use. Maybe I'll sell some chunks of it. I have never really tried to sell any of my cane work, I will have to look into that. Okay then, until tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My entry into the PCAGOE July challenge

This is my entry into the PCAGOE July challenge. The theme for this month is to make something that represents your personal hero or heroes. Since most of the people that I have truly admired in my life are strong beautiful women, I made this pendant to represent them. My mother is one of those women. She raised 6 children virtually on her own. She is a beautiful, intelligent, and strong woman and I made this pendant with her in mind. There are a lot of great entries this month, and it's fun to see what everyone came up with. So go to and vote for your favorite, you have until July 3rd at midnight. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Place for my stuff

Don't know if you are familiar with George Carlin's stand up routine called "A place for my stuff" or not, but if not you should be, it's very funny. He was a gifted and talented comic genius in my opinion, and he will be missed.
I just got some new storage cabinets for my studio, which is what made me think of the routine mentioned above. I love them and it gives me more room for my stuff! It also then makes you start to reorganize and clean things up. Which is always a good thing. When you clean up your environment, you also clear out the extra clutter in your brain. It's great! I had mentioned in a previous post about how I had managed to work myself right off of my desk and how I had moved over to my partners desk. Well after cleaning things up and getting more storage space, I am now back to my desk, and it is all clean and has some open space on it. Sometimes it's good to take a break and just get things together. Regroup and then you can come back refreshed and ready to try some new things. I spent the whole day yesterday just reorganizing and cleaning, and thanks to some assistance from my sister, I finished. So I am now ready to go tackle some new things that have been rolling around in my head. When I have some finished work to show you, I will post pistures. Thanks for stopping by, talk later.......

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have posted Part 2 of my Tutorial here on my blog. Part One is at the PCAGOE website or newsletter. But I will be posting it here soon as well. I will be adding more tutorials in the near future, so stay tuned.

Tutorial: Painted Hollow Beads Tutorial is at:

My Other Painted Hollow Bead Tutorial – Part 2
By Sally Sotelo

  • Materials Needed:
    Black Premo clay (one small package).
    Acrylic Roller or brayer.
  • Stamp of your choice or texture sheet.
  • Acrylic Paint (I like to use metallics and paint that comes in a tube).
    Pasta Machine or some way to flatten out clay.
    Kemper cutters or circular cutters of some kind.
    Aluminum painting palette with 10 or 6 indentations (I use a few of both types).
    Spray bottle of water.
    Scrap clay (how much depends on whether you choose to do the first step or not.)
    Optional: Gloves to avoid fingerprints.

{This first step is not mandatory. It really depends on how many beads you want to cook at one time, or how many paint palette trays you have available. Doing this will just increase the amount of bead forms, so that you can cook more of them at one time. It will require quite a bit of scrap clay. I've personally made a lot of them. So what you need to do is, condition some scrap clay. Run it through your PM at the thickest setting. Using a 1 and ¼ inch round cutter, cut 2 circles from the scrap clay sheet. Roll into a ball and place it into one of the impressions of the paint palette. Now press down on the ball flattening it on top and filling the impression completely. Fill each impression in the palette with the scrap clay. Then place in your pre-heated oven and cook for 45 mins – 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool, then pop them out. You will now have 10 perfectly formed, domed shaped, bead forms to place your cut out beads on later.

See photos #1 & 2 below.}

First condition your clay as usual. Roll out a slab of clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine. Cut into a size that will fit your stamp or texture sheet. Spray your stamp with a few shots of water and lay your sheet of clay on top of it. Using your brayer or acrylic roller, roll your clay onto the stamp. Pressing hard, and do this in one pass only. Do NOT roll back and forth over the clay. Peel your stamp from your clay, clean it and put stamp away.
I like to use acrylic paint that comes in a tube because it tends to be thicker and therefore easier to apply to your clay. See photo #3 below of 3 different types of acrylic paint that I like to use (all purchased at my local craft store). Place a glob of paint on the end of your index finger and spread in down your finger a little bit. You should have a nice even coat of paint on the end of your finger. Too much, and the paint will go into the impressions of the stamped image, and if you apply too little you won't get good coverage. (See photo #4 below) Then keeping your finger as straight as possible you will start tapping your finger onto the pattern that you have impressed into your clay. It should only go onto the higher spots of the pattern. Cover the whole sheet with the paint, re-applying paint to your finger as necessary. I usually apply one coat, then I wait for it to dry completely, then I apply a second coat. (See photo #5 below). You can use 2 or 3 different colors if you like, depending on the look that you want to achieve. Be creative try different things, colors, stamps etc. Set the sheet(s) aside to dry completely. This should only take about 20 – 30 minutes.

Okay, here is where you need to decide if you want to have a textured bead, or a smooth bead. If you want to make a textured bead, then you will NOT do this next step of flattening out your clay. So you can go to the next step. If you want a smooth bead then you need to do this next step of flattening out your sheet of clay. So, once the paint is dry, lay a piece of wax paper over your sheet, then take your acrylic roller and with medium pressure flatten out the pattern on your sheet of clay. Try to roll in all directions, so that the sheet doesn't get distorted. You will need to add a sheet of scrap clay rolled out to about the fourth thickest setting on your PM to the back of the flattened sheets. This is to make sure that your beads are thick enough when you go to string them. Otherwise they won't hold up, and the Beadalon or stringing medium will tend to split them apart where you have glued them. See photo below of cut circles from textured sheet that was NOT flattened or smoothed out.

NEXT STEP: Now you will take your circle cutters and start cutting out your bead shapes. IDEA: If you make 2 identical sheets of clay, you can try cutting out the same parts of the designs, so that you have an identical design on both sides of your bead. Or stamp the same design, but use 2 different colors of paint on each sheet, then you can have a two-toned bead. Use your imagination!
Okay now there are 2 ways of doing the next step or you can do both. I do both. After all of your circles have been cut from your sheets, take your aluminum paint palette and turn it over, so that it is upside down. Start placing your patterned circles over each dome shape of the palette. Press down using light pressure around the bottom, so that your circle really hugs the dome shape of the palette. If you made the domed shaped forms from the scrap clay that was discussed at the top of the tutorial, then get those out now. Start laying your cut circles over the top of each dome. Taking the dome in your hand, press down lightly around the bottom of each circle, so that it is hugging the dome shaped form. It won't become attached to the form, don't worry. You may want to wear gloves during this step to avoid fingerprints. Now place your palettes and/or your forms on your baking tile and place them in your pre-heated oven and cook for the recommended time. I usually cook them for 25-30 minutes. (See photos below)

After you have removed them from the oven, place the beads that are on the paint palettes aside to cool completely. Once they have cooled, the beads should just pop right off. If you are using the scrap clay, dome-shaped forms, here is what I do to make sure that your circles/beads haven't attached themselves to your forms. Turn on some cool running water in your sink. Now while they are still warm, pick one up and immediately place it under the cool running water, and carefully run your finger just around the inside lip of your bead. It should pop right off of the form. Do this to all of your remaining beads. Once they are cool, dry them off and put the forms away for later use. I have baked my forms multiple times before they started to degrade and I needed to make more.
Okay now you are going to need to get out your finger protectors and your drywall screen. Please see photos below.

But before you do that, I want you to get out your dremel or the handy little sanding tool that I discussed on my blog last week. For that info, go to my earlier blog post about a handy little tool to have. You are going to want to attach some type of flat sanding element to the end of your tool. You will also probably want to wear some type of mask to eliminate breathing in the polymer dust and even some safety glasses. (The safety glasses are always good for those times when your dremel or tool grabs a hold of your bead and sends it flying either across the room or right into your eye.) Now holding onto your bead, just run the flat sanding element along the bottom of your dome shaped bead. This is to eliminate that excess clay without having to sand forever using the drywall screen. Please see photos below. Now be careful that you don't sand off too much! With a little practice, you will get the hang of it.

The bead on the left has been sanded, the one on the right has not. This is made more obvious when you hold them together.

Properly sanded beads, with seam hardly noticible. Kato PolyGlue, push drill and sanded beads

Now, all that you should have to do is, run your bead over your drywall screen a few times, to make sure that you have a smooth and flush surface. Glue them together, drill your holes, add a protective finish, (I use Flecto Varathane, and place back into the oven at 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes to set) and start to string them up! There is no further sanding required. In fact, you can't sand these beads, because if you did, you would just sand the paint right off! Please see photos below for examples of both kinds of beads. The painted and textured beads, and the painted beads that were rolled out smooth. Both look very nice, try making some of each! Good luck, and if you have any questions, or if I didn't explain something clearly enough, please leave a

comment, or contact me via e-mail at

Textured Bead Set on left and stamped sheet that was smoothed/flattened on the right.

Mosiac photo arrangement of both types of painted beads

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More PMC Silver

Here's another PMC Silver necklace that I put together the other night. I added sterling silver beads, glass beads etc. I like the way that it came out I think. I haven't listed this one in my etsy store yet (, as I think it might be a gift for a friend of mine. We'll see. Having a blast playing with the silver clay, but then I already mentioned that, didn't I? I've also got 2 or 3 other polymer projects in the works as well. I have officially succeeded in working myself off of my workspace desk, and have moved over to my partners desk! But then she's never here at her desk anymore anyway, which is a good thing, because I need the room! Her desk was just this big CLEAN and EMPTY space that was calling to me, so I answered. She'll never know, and it doesn't seem that she really needs the space anymore anyway. I guess she lost interest, which is really working out good for me right now. Now on the other hand, perhaps I need to start learning how to focus on one project at a time until it's completed......hhmmmmm, NAH, probably never going to happen. There are just too many things that I want to try and do and make, so I've got 2 or 3 or 4 of them in the works all at the same time. It's just the way that I work I guess. Anyway, I'll be back later with pics, thanks for stopping by....... it was so nice having this chat with you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some good changes!

Been working on some changes to this blog lately. Well honestly, I haven't been working on it, but a very helpful friend of mine has. Stormy, from Stormy Designs (see a link to her blog in the right hand side column). She was so great in helping me to set up this new looking blog that you are looking at now! I really would have had no idea of how to go about it, and it would have taken me hours of playing around with it, before I'd have figured it out, so I am so very grateful to her for doing this for me! Thanks Stormy!! I think that I also know how to get my tutorial posted here on the blog, so I'll be working on that in the next few days as well. There will be different tabs near the top that you can click on, to go to the tutorials, etc. So look for that within the next week! As far as what I've been working on lately, well, I've been playing around a bit more with the PMC Silver clay, also known as, Art Clay Silver. This stuff is magical, and I just love it! The more I play around with it, the more I learn. I'm sure that I've only scratched the surface, but I'm learning and having a blast in the process! I made the pendant that you see in the photo, then used some liver of sulpher on it to give it a nice patina, and a somewhat aged look. Then I strung it with some real pretty sterling beads, glass beads, and Swarovski crystal pearls. I like it, and I hope someone else will too. I've just listed it on my etsy shop (, just in case anyone is interested! (wink, wink). Otherwise, I've got some clay in the oven, so I gotta go... thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Designer of the Week!!

I was reading my favorite blogs last night and as I was reading the Art Bead Scene blog, I scrolled down and saw a picture of my Crazy Green Necklace!! I was so surprised! I guess I had won the designer of the week challenge!! How cool is that? Very cool if you ask me. They have a monthly theme, and last month's theme was Earth Goddess or Mother Earth or something like that, and I had completely forgotten about the fact that I had submitted a picture of my necklace. Anyway, it was very exciting for me, and they had some really nice things to say about the pendant as well. So a big thank you to the ladies over at the Art Bead Scene blog!! If you'd like to check it out, please do, here's the link. Just scroll down the page a bit, and you'll see it. Check out their challenge for this month and submit an entry. Be back later and thanks for stopping in!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Some new necklaces

So I've been working on some new styles of necklaces. I like them. I think that they are a little crazy, a little wild, and a lot of fun. They are a lot of fun to make as well. I just keep tying on the waxed cord, doubling it, sometimes fraying it, and then adding beads to the frayed ends, etc. etc. I'd ask what you think of them, but the last time I did that, I didn't get any response. So forget it, I'm just going to tell you all what I think instead! So there! (sticking out my tongue at you!) Just kidding. Thanks for reading, be back later.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

All the colors of the rainbow

These are all of the colors that my fried marble teapots will come in. I've only posted 2 on my etsy site so far, but soon I will get the others posted so that i have one of each color listed for sale. I need to get some better pictures of the other new wrapped fried marbles, (see post below) before I can post those as well. I'm working on it, I'm working it.......

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Marbles

Well I still haven't figured out how to post the tutorial to this blog, so it looks like it will be posted to PCAGOE site again. Sorry about that. But I just couldn't seem to make it post here in the way that I wanted it to. I'm still working on it though, so if I figure it out you will see it here. When it posts to the PCAGOE I will post a link here as well. In the meantime I've been working on alternate ways to hang or mount my fried marbles. Here are 2 pictures, what do you think? Yeah or neah?? Leave me a comment, let me know. These have been made using the smaller peewee sized marbles so they are very cute and tiny. Well at least I think so, give me your opinion. Back later.


Friday, May 2, 2008

An important item and very helpful little tool

I wanted to share something with you that I alluded to in my last post. That ‘thing’, that I said would make my next tutorial much easier to accomplish and bring the sanding involved to a minimum. That ‘thing’ is my new handy dandy, nail filing, buffing, polymer clay sanding gizmo. It is a little item that I picked up from Wal-Mart for about $15.00 - $20.00. You see, I really hate to sand. I will do it, but I don’t like it. Well, lately with all of the hollow beads that I have been making, sanding was an important issue. I needed to find something that would make this much easier to handle. I think I have found it in this little tool. This was well worth the money and quite a handy little tool to have around. You can use it in many ways with your polymer clay, not just this latest tutorial, so if you can find one, I would suggest that you buy one. The brand name of the one that I bought is “Homedics”, which I think is the generic name that Wal-Mart uses for their home care products. Basically it is just a little nail filing, and buffing machine. It even has this dome shaped area in the front where you can place your hand in the dome and it dries your nails. So far, I have only used one of the filing heads, the flat one, and the main unit. It has 2 speeds and it comes with 7 or 8 metal covered filing heads that you just pull on and off the main unit when you want to change them out. The cool thing about this one is that it is cordless. You only have to plug it in to its electrical adaptor once in awhile to charge it. You can use it while it's plugged in charging, or use it cordless. I have just adapted it to use it to sand some items down quicker. I own a cordless, variable speed Dremel but sometimes it is still just too much power. Not to mention the fact that it would grab one of my beads and send it flying across the room. Or it would make big gouges in my beads. So this has worked out much better for me. I know that there are numerous other things that certain ingenious people on the internet have come up with, to make sanding your polymer clay easier. Scumbusters, spinning grout cleaners, and tide stain removing gizmos to name just a few. In fact Desiree McCrorey has a great website with all kinds of very good ideas and ways to adapt tools for using with polymer
clay. ( go to I have tried all of them and none of them quite worked out as well as I had hoped, until now. So, using a few of Desiree's ideas (Velcro), here is what I did. I took the flat filing head and attached a 1 inch x 1 inch piece of strong Velcro to the top of it, (see photo). I then cut out a circular piece of 280 grit wet dry sandpaper, a little over 1 inch in diameter and attached that to the sticky part of the Velcro. When the stickiness starts to break down after having changed the sandpaper too many times, I just get out my hot glue gun and add a dab of that to attach the sandpaper. This tool really works great to sand down the inside edge of the hollow beads that I have been making. And it eliminates those raw fingertips that can develop from using the drywall screen! So I just use this little device around the bottom edge of each domed shaped bead. Then, I only have to run the bead across the drywall screen quickly a few times to make sure that I have a flush sanded surface. Then I can glue both domes together as nicely, and seamlessly as possible. In fact I was able to cook, sand, and string together 3 bracelets the other day. That’s pretty amazing, considering it used to take me a few days to complete just one! So if you can manage to get one of these things before I post part 2 of the tutorial, it will speed things up for you immensely. Now I have some other computer work to do, and that tutorial to finish up. So until next time....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Some New Things!

I completed a few new things and a few old things. In other words, I completed a new leaf pendant, because the other one was sold to a very sweet customer. So I have posted a pic of that here. And I've completed some more bracelets and I've posted that pic here as well. But the exciting news is that I have been working on part 2 of my hollow bead tutorial, and it is almost finished. This tutorial will explain how I make the textured type of hollow beads, so stay tuned for that. This time I will be posting the tutorial here on my blog. So look for that to be posted here sometime next week! For now, it's back to work for me! Oh wait a minute, you need to go to and vote for your favorite "flower" themed item that a bunch of us submitted for the May challenge. You could win some very cool prizes just for voting! You've only got until May 3, so go do that NOW please! Thanks ==