Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ten on Tuesday: ten October projects/inspirations

It doesn't feel very Octoberish around here, yet. Highs near 90, still! But we're expecting a slight cool spell by the end of the week-- and maybe some of you other folks are already enjoying crisper air.

Whether eerie, shivery, spine-tingly Halloween is your favorite holiday (and you've had your costume all picked out since June) or you prefer a "cannier" (see "canny", def. #3) celebration of the harvest, it's a great time to pull out the ol' polymer clay and get craftin'. The colors of the season are beautiful, and there's a strange sense of excitement in the air. Take advantage of these fleeting, golden days of October! (Before you know it, it'll be time to think of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you won't have time to breathe, much less enjoy a leisurely afternoon with the clay!)

Ten on Tuesday: Ten October Projects and/or Inspirations

1. If you haven't already visited Sculpey's list of projects, now's a great time to do so! Many of them are great for beginners or kids, and there's a whole section with fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving themes.

2. Speaking of kids. . . Unless they've changed a lot since I was one (which admittedly, was a number of years ago-- and that number just keeps growing (g)), kids love things that glow in the dark. Consider adding a little glow to a project for a bit of instant spookiness. I just came across this page (by Lesley Shepherd) describing the qualities of glow clay. Could be useful, if you're new to the stuff.

3. If you didn't find the right project on the Sculpey site, check out this page of Diane Black's GlassAttic for a list of links to seasonal or holiday-themed projects. (There's a separate page for Christmas, if you're getting an early start this year.)

4. And for those who aren't so much into the whole "Halloween" thing, here's a little autumnal inspiration. . . This is something I just found by clicking a link at random (from the GlassAttic list): a photo of some beautiful miniature pumpkins. (The photo is labeled "Jodie Pumpkins", so I assume that I ought to give credit to Jodie Last-Name-Unknown.)

5. I learned a while ago that owls were "in" a year or two ago. (I didn't know that when I chose my Internet identity. Honestly! (g) I explain the origin of the name in my profile, if you're interested.) Anyway, if you don't mind looking a bit faddish (or like you're trying to be faddish, but are a bit behind the times (g))-- if your fondness for owls is genuine, maybe you'll benefit from Marie Hart's pictorial guide to sculpting polymer clay owls. As for why this is on the list-- owls are vaguely spooky, aren't they?

6. This one could count as inspiration if you're the type who finds motivation in an organized challenge. You're invited to enter the Inscrutables, MAKE, and PopSci DIY Halloween 2007 Contest. There are four categories, the one most relevant to pc probably being "Decorations, Gadgets, and More". You have until November 4th to enter. Check out this page for more info!

7. There are several pumpkin tutorials out there. Okay, more than a mere "several". I'm too lazy to go through them all, but for the most part, they're very similar. Here's one: Pumpkin Picture Holder, by Jill King. She makes her pumpkins pretty big-- about one pumpkin per 2 oz. package of clay. They have to be large, to support the wire and photo. Personally, I'd probably build the clay around a base of some sort (such as a small stone)-- partly to save clay, partly because I worry that thick items like that might be difficult to fully cure. (Of course, you could also cure it in stages/layers.) Anyway, putting aside my worrywartiness ;o) , you can use a similar technique on a smaller scale to produce miniature pumpkin decorations, beads, or pendants.

8. Need inspiration? If you have time to kill, go to flickr (or your photo-hosting source of choice) or Etsy and search for "Halloween polymer", "creepy polymer", "autumn polymer"-- you get the idea. You never know what you'll find, or what ideas of your own will be sparked.

9. For still more inspiration, visit the PCC Challenge archives. Some of the past challenges have had autumnal themes, such as Harvest and Autumn, or (possibly) spooky themes, like Gothic. Scroll further up the page for a list of photos of Claypen photos (such as Autumn).

10. If you can learn by photos alone (or if you can read Russian... or whatever language this is-- the Cyrillic alphabet throws me for a loop!), take a look at this scull and crossbones cane by cloud777. Thanks to the numerous photos, the process seems pretty clear-- and the results would be great for Halloween-themed projects.

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