Monday, December 31, 2007

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Male PC Artists

It's not quite Tuesday, yet, but since it's New Year's Eve (and there's no telling when I'll wake up tomorrow morning, or how long it would take me to remember that it was Tuesday), I thought I'd post this a bit early. :o) I hope everyone has a happy, safe New Year's Eve!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Maybe it's because so many polymer clay artists make jewelry, which tends to interest more women than men. Or it could be that more women are "into" arts and crafts to begin with, so there are simply fewer men . Whatever the reason, the majority of polymer clay-obsessed people you meet online are women. However, there are men active in the world of polymer clay. This Tuesday, I thought it might be fun to focus the spotlight on the male component of the polymer clay art scene.

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Male Polymer Clay Artists
(in no particular order)

1. Steven Ford and David Forlano. (Technically, that should count as two men, but since they work collaboratively, it makes sense to group them here, I think.) They're big names in the polymer clay world, so you've probably heard of them before. You'll find various articles by googling their names (or simply "Ford Forlano"), but for starters, you might try their own website.

2. Dan Cormier. He's half of a design and teaching duo. (The other half is his partner, Tracy Holmes.) Check out their bio and a few photos on the NCPG website, then head over to this press release to learn more about their latest class, Beyond the Blend, coming in February. You can find more photos here and there throughout the web, such as this one on Grant Diffendaffer's blog.

3. Dinko Tilov. He sculpts amusing characters with lots of personality. He has a book, if you're interested in his style of sculpture, or you can try out one of his free tutorials. Chess enthusiasts will love his chess sets, too. (He writes that he and his brother Boris both make the "critters" for sale at, by the way. So there's yet another male pc artist for you. (g)) Dinko writes about the process of making the chess sets on this blog.

4. Alan Vernall. This English polymer clay creator works works with canework and sculpture-- often combining the two. You can find photos of some of his work here. There are several tutorials and articles by Alan here and there on the web and in print. Here's one. Here's another. And another. (You can find more by googling his name.)

5. Jeffrey Dever. He creates jewelry and vessels, often combining organic, podlike shapes with fanciful colors. Check out some of his work here. (There's also a link to a little biography, near the bottom of that page.)

6. James Lehman. Visit his website, Painting in Space, to see a gallery of his vividly colored, glasslike bowls and other decorative objects. You can also read Deirdre Woodward's 2001 interview with Lehman over on the Polyzine archives.

7. Garie Sim. We go to Singapore to find our next "polymer clay man". Garie teaches children to sculpt with polymer clay. He also seems to have a scientific mind, which is good news for the rest of us, as he's always experimenting with new ways to use polymer clay. Browse the "Clay Creations" portion of his website for samples of his work. Visit this page (or the pages linked at the bottom) for some of his polymer clay experiments. He's also published a book of twelve projects for children (or the young at heart).

8. Bob Wiley. (A.K.A. "FimoBob".) Take a look at his clay gallery, then pop on over to HGTV for a closer look at how he does his faux wood inlay. (Or see his faux wood inlay tutorial on the Polyzine.)

9. Wes Warren. He's a master of millefiore canework. There's a blog, a flickr account, and his website. (He also has a new tool coming out around April 2008. I'm still not 100% sure what the tool is or how it'll work-- either it's a bit of a secret or I'm just out of the loop (g)-- but it's supposed to help with the caning process.)

10. Grant Diffendaffer. He describes himself as a "contemporary jewelry artist, author, and teacher". You'll find his portfolio here. In addition to a 2005 DVD on mica shift (aka "ghost imaging"), he has a new book coming out just about now-- January 2008. (That link takes you to the listing on Amazon. You can also order it through his blog.)

Of course, this is just a list of ten. There are many more, I'm sure. If you'd like to give a little recognition to another "pc man" (particularly one with an online presence, so we can admire some photos of his work), please feel free to mention him in a comment. You can also find a list of male pc artists on this page of Glass Attic.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Faux Barbed Wire

Have you seen Camille Young's latest entry on how to make faux barbed wire using craft wire, jewelry wire and Lumina clay?

It really does look like barbed wire!

I don't know much about Lumina. From what I've read online, I gather that it's no-bake (air dry), remains flexible after drying, and is waterproof-- or is it just "water resistant"? In any case, I'm not sure how well polymer could perform in the place of Lumina, for this type of technique. . . I know that the bendable polymer clay, even when cured, is still flexible enough to be woven into baskets-- but it wouldn't hold the shape of the "barbs" on its own, would it? How would it work if cured over wire? Would it bend without breaking, if you tried to bend it after curing, or would you have better luck getting it into the barb shapes before curing?

Just some thoughts. . . :o)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Tattletale Santas" -- polymer clay project

Well, it turns out I am blogging again before Christmas-- and just a few minutes after my last post. ;o)

I completely forgot to mention that my husband has put a new tutorial (or "project", if you prefer) on Polymer Clay Web. I still need to proof it (and give him credit), but it's up in time for Christmas (for those of you who don't already have a hundred projects in the works).

"Tattletale Santas" are something my husband (who grew up in Sweden) remembers from his childhood. Little elf-/gnome-like figures were placed around the house to keep an eye on the children of the home. They'd report to Santa (or the Swedish equivalent) on the behavior they witnessed-- hence the "tattletale" part. Wherever they sit and "watch", they're a little incentive to the kids to mind their Ps and Qs in those crucial last weeks before the Big Day. ;o)

Of course, these cute little Santa figurines can be used in any other way you like-- peeking out of holiday floral arrangements, on wreaths, in a miniature "Christmas village" (if you scale him down a bit more), and so on.

So, whether you're looking for a fun holiday project for this year-- or getting a head start for next December-- you can find Donald's Tattletale Santa tutorial here. :o)

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Ways to Use Alcohol Ink

Continuing on last week's theme of alcohol ink . . .

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Ways to Use Alcohol Ink

1. Faux Stones
Many faux stones (jade, agate, opal, etc.) look best if they're somewhat translucent, but most require some source of color. You can use small pinches of colored clay, but another option is alcohol ink. Because the inks are transparent and vividly colored, they're a natural choice for faux stone recipes. Of course, you can use ink-tinted clay for any other technique you like, as well.

2. Mokume Gane
As I mentioned in (I think) the first of these "lists of ten", you can use alcohol ink in mokume gane with lovely results. Put the ink on sheets of translucent clay in any way you like-- drop different colors and let them bleed together, brush or dab it over the whole surface for a more uniform look, and so on. Let the inks dry before layering the sheets of clay, then proceed through your favorite mokume gane technique. (For a different look, try layering metal leaf between layers of alcohol ink-tinted translucent clay.)

3. Multi-colored Metal Leaf
Composition gold or silver metal leaf are beautiful on their own, but if you'd like to spice things up a bit, you can tint them with alcohol ink. (Alcohol ink will add brilliant color but its translucency will allow the metallic look of the leaf to shine through.) Because the leaf it so delicate, I suggest first adhering the leaf to a clay base. Once it's been smoothed down to your satisfaction, apply the ink in any way you prefer. Let the ink dry thoroughly before proceeding. Metal leaf, whether inked or not, needs to be sealed lest it rub off the cured clay. You can seal it with any clay-friendly finish (Future, Varathane, etc.), or you can protect it with a layer of liquid clay or a very thin layer of regular translucent clay. (There's at least one project that uses alcohol ink on metal leaf in Donna Kato's new book. One great technique among many in that book.) You can also use your tinted metal leaf in mokume gane or crackle it.

4. Ink as Paint
Use alcohol inks to paint on raw clay. They work similarly to watercolors, but because they are alcohol-based, they'll dry very quickly. Thin the inks (and extend your working time) with either extender or plain rubbing alcohol. You can either cover the whole surface or leave some untouched, depending on the look you want. If you paint on a sheet of translucent clay, you can apply the dried sheet (painted side down) to another sheet of clay, encasing the inks. Viewed through the translucent clay, your painting will be softened, but still visible. (See Donna Kato's new book for more on this technique.) You can also seal in the painting with a thin layer of liquid clay or a clay-friendly varnish. (Actually, I'm not sure if it's absolutely necessary to seal alcohol inks at all, but my instinct says it's probably best to do so, especially for something that will be handled or worn. If the piece ever comes in contact with rubbing alcohol, for instance, the color might come off.)

5. Ink as Stain
Stain is thinner than paint. Generally, you can still see some of the original color of a piece after it's been stained. Create interesting effects by using alcohol inks as a stain for cured clay. Apply the ink straight from the bottle for darker color or soften the effect with rubbing alcohol or alcohol ink "extender" or "blending solution" (a product manufactured by the same company that makes the inks). You can also make stains by mixing alcohol ink with Varathane or Future (for a shinier finish). These thin washes of color can be applied in as many layers as you like to gradually build up color on a cured piece. (Be sure to store any leftover "stain" in a tightly lidded container.)

6. Faux Ceramics
I've written about this before. ;o) There are several tutorials online for a variety of faux ceramic finishes. Since the last time I wrote about this subject, I've found yet another version in Ellen Marshall's Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes (pg. 94-97). The essentials of most faux ceramics are as follows: 1) Make a patterned or textured shape in polymer clay (usually white); 2) Apply a glaze of liquid clay that's been tinted with alcohol ink; and 3) Cure. Here are the tutorials I've found so far: Parole de Pâte version, Christy Sherman's version, and my version.

7. Tinted Transfers
Transform plain black toner transfers with the addition of alcohol ink. (Use them as watercolors, as described in number six.) You can blend them-- or layer them, allowing time for each color to dry between applications. It's best to seal the painted transfer. Use a thin sheet of translucent clay, a coat of liquid clay, or your favorite finish. (Or use the encased toner transfer method I mentioned in the previous item-- the one from Donna Kato's new book. You can also learn about similar methods at Glass Attic.)

8. Faux Stained Glass
With a few products, you can have the beauty of stained glass with much less fuss than real stained glass requires. There are different ways to do it, but essentially, you make your "leading" from regular polymer clay (usually black), pre-cure it, then fill in the "cells" with tinted liquid clay and re-cure. In this tutorial, Barbara Poland-Waters teaches you to make tile beads with a stained glass theme. And in this project by Ann and Karen Mitchell, the faux stained glass is applied to a real glass vase. (Note that in that project, the Mitchells use oil paint to tint the liquid clay. However, there's no reason why you can't use alcohol ink instead. Alcohol inks will increase the translucency of your clay, giving you the look of translucently colored glass.) Faux stained glass would make beautiful sun catchers.

9. Miniature Food
I've mentioned before that alcohol inks are a great product for getting translucent color in liquid clay. Consider alcohol ink for anything that requires color but a certain degree of translucency-- such as maple syrup, soup, and some sugary glazes.

10. Faux Cloisonné / Enamel
Yet another technique combining alcohol ink with liquid clay! Tint the liquid clay and use it to fill in "cells" in a variety of surfaces. Try it with deeply textured clay (raw or cured). For a metallic shine that takes full advantage of the clarity of the liquid clay, line the clay base with metal leaf-- or go over it with a leafing pen. If you prefer, you can combine it with the thicker embossing foil that's available in most craft stores.

And there are other polymer clay techniques that use alcohol ink, too. (You may find some on this page of Glass Attic.) Overall, these inks are a great "extra" to have on your clay table.

Since next Tuesday is Christmas, I'll be taking a week off from Ten on Tuesday. (And with any luck, soon afterwards things will calm down enough that I'll be posting here more than once a week. (g))

In case I don't "see" you all before then, let me wish you Christmas that's merry and bright! :o)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Things to Know about Alcohol Inks

Alcohol-based ink is one of those "extras" that go so well with polymer clay. Alcohol ink has many uses-- some of which I'll describe next week. In the meantime, let's go over some of the basics about this product.

Ink can be confusing. There are so many types out there, and they're not just different brands, but for different uses, with different chemical "bases": solvent-based and alcohol-based-- dye inks, pigment inks, chalk inks! It's a bit overwhelming. (I'm still learning, too!) If you've been afraid to try inks with polymer clay, I hope this information will help you understand how at least the alcohol-based inks work and what you can do with them. (Maybe I'll tackle other inks later on. (g))

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Things to Know about Alcohol Inks:

1. What "alcohol ink" is.
Just as the name implies, alcohol ink is an ink with an alcohol base. They are dye inks that, according to Glass Attic, are "soluble resin in alcohol" (if that means anything to you (g)). Basically, the alcohol "carries" the color. It evaporates away-- quite quickly-- and only the dye is left behind. One of the appeals of alcohol ink is that it can be stamped (or painted, or whatever) practically anywhere-- not just on paper, but on even slick surfaces like metal and glass. Another major appeal is that it combines vivid color with transparency. (You can see through it to whatever's underneath.)

Though you can also find pens that write in alcohol ink, you usually buy alcohol inks in small (1/2-ounce) plastic bottles-- either individually or in sets, depending on the brand and the shop. Speaking of brands-- the only two brands I know of are Ranger's Adirondack line and Jacquard's Piñata (formerly "Fiesta") line. The two brands work in the same way and can be used interchangeably. Which brand you purchase will likely be based on availability and your personal color preferences. The 24 Adirondack colors are more muted and earthy than the 17 brilliant Piñata colors.

If you are lucky, you may find alcohol inks locally. (Both Michaels and Hobby Lobby carry some of the Adirondack line, in my area, but no-one has the Piñata line. In both stores, alcohol inks are stocked near the ink pads in the rubberstamping aisle.) If you can't find them locally, you can order them from numerous sources online.

2. A little goes a long way.
Seriously, these colors are intense, and you don't need much for most applications. That's important to know, if you're on a budget and want to spend your recreation dollars wisely. Those little 1/2-ounce (that's 0.5-ounce, in case my fraction looks weird) bottles may not look like much, but you can do quite a bit of crafting before you'll run out.

If you're fortunate enough to find them in a local Michaels or Hobby Lobby, you can use a coupon and save some cash. If you use a 40%-off coupon on a $10 set of three Adirondacks, you get them for around $2 a bottle. Even at the regular price, you'll get your money's worth from this product.

3. You can mix the colors.
If you can't find the exact color you want, you can mix the existing colors (even between brands) until you you get it right. Start slowly, though. As I wrote earlier, these are powerful inks, so you can easily overshoot the mark if you aren't careful. To combine colors, just apply drops from different bottles of ink onto the medium of your choice-- in our case, usually polymer clay-- then mix as usual. (Continue reading to learn about how to mix the inks into polymer clay.)

4. You can mix the inks into polymer clay.
In addition to using them on the clay (cured or raw), you can also mix alcohol inks into the clay. Of course you can mix them into any color clay you like, but mixing with translucent clay gives you the most bang for your buck. The bold but transparent inks create especially lovely tints of translucent clay. This is probably the best way to get translucent color in polymer clay. (Don't forget to quench the cured clay in ice water to further enhance that gorgeous translucence!)

To mix alcohol ink into polymer clay, roll out the clay or just "smoosh" it down flat (so the ink won't run off). Drop a few drops of ink onto the clay. Remember-- a little goes a long way. You can always add more later, if you want it darker. If you want to combine colors, go ahead and drop different colors at the same time-- either on the same piece of clay (if you're confident about the proportions) or on separate pieces that can later be combined a bit at a time.

It is generally suggested that you allow the ink to dry before mixing it into the clay. This could possibly prevent plaquing (though it's not certain whether wet alcohol ink leads to plaquing in the first place), and it definitely decreases the likelihood of staining your hands with the ink.

When the alcohol has evaporated, condition the clay thoroughly to evenly distribute the ink. If you prefer, you can also pre-condition the clay before adding the ink. Then you can mix in the inks just to the point of marbling.

5. You can mix the inks into liquid polymer clay, too!
Yep, that's right. Alcohol ink works great for tinting liquid clay.

Follow the same basic principles as when mixing it with regular clay. Put a little liquid clay into a clay-compatible container. Put a drop or two (or more, depending on the amount of clay you're using and the intensity you want) on the surface of the clay. Combine colors of ink as desired. (Again, you can always add more later, so go slowly. Of course, if you accidentally add too much, you can balance it out by adding more liquid clay.)

It's a matter of debate, but some people think that it's best to allow the alcohol to evaporate before mixing the ink into the liquid clay. (They worry that mixing it right away could lead to bubbles, I think.) If you have the time and patience, I say it's best to err on the side of caution. (Either that or run your own experiments.) Once you've mixed the ink into the clay, you can add more until you're happy with the color.

Note: Until you pull it out of the oven, it can be difficult to tell exactly how liquid clay will look when it's cured-- especially where translucency is concerned. It's always a good idea to test a tiny dot of your mix before committing to it for a big project.

Liquid clay tinted with only alcohol ink tends to have very translucent color. This can be a great feature for some projects-- not so great for others. Keep this in mind. If you're mixing enough that you'll have some left over, consider labeling your mixtures. I like to know what brand the clay is (because they each have their own characteristics and best uses) and what I used to tint it with (if not the specific color and "recipe", then at least the basic product-- alcohol ink, oil paint, mica powder, etc.). Otherwise, you may find that you forget in two or three months, and then you'll have to either guess or cure more "test dots".

6. Some colors behave differently from the others.
Yes, I know I said that you can mix colors from different brands, etc., and that's true. However, there are a couple of things to know about certain colors. For instance, I've noticed that some colors never seem to mix completely with polymer clay. The clay does take on some color, overall, but there are also tiny dark particles that stay suspended in the clay-- kind of like embossing powder or another inclusion. This could make some interesting faux stone, but it may be annoying if you were going for a completely smooth color. I'd suggest testing each new ink for this tendency before mixing it into a lot of clay. Based on my experience (and what I've read at Glass Attic), this may been more of a problem with a few of the darker Piñata inks-- "Rainforest green, Sapphire blue and the brown colors", according to Glass Attic. So far, I don't think I've come across this trait with the Adirondacks I own, but again, if you're concerned, test the inks first.

A second potential problem is that there can be some color shift with the red alcohol inks. I'm not sure which colors are more prone to this problem. I tried to search for information, but I can't find anything right now, even though I know I've read about this before. I've also seen it, myself, but I have very limited experience with it and don't know which specific colors shifted. Just be aware that the reds might tend to shift during curing-- meaning that they come out of the oven a different color than when they went in. In my experience, I think the red-tinted translucent clay looked pink before going in the oven, but came out more orange/gold. If it's important to you, it's simple to test a small bit of ink-tinted clay and see how it behaves.

7. You can apply the inks in layers.
Sometimes you might want layers of colors on a piece. You can achieve this by applying one color to the surface of a piece, allowing it to dry, then applying the next color. Repeat as desired, but be sure to let each coat dry before adding the next. This prevents the colors from mixing and possibly muddying. With this technique, you'll probably want to apply each layer of ink in a "splotchy" way, so that some of the previous layer(s) still show. When you're done applying ink, let the piece dry again. Anytime your project has alcohol ink right on the surface (not mixed into the clay), you'll probably want to protect the ink somehow. (Otherwise, it can potentially be marred if it ever comes in contact with alcohol.) You can seal the inks with a very thin layer of translucent clay or a little liquid clay (before curing) or a polymer-friendly finish like Future or Varathane (after curing).

8. You can thin alcohol ink.
If you want a softer color for a watercolor effect-- or want to get a few drops of to stretch a bit further-- you can dilute alcohol ink. Here's a little information about some of the products you can use (based on manufacturer's website, Glass Attic, and a little personal experience):
  • Piñata "Claro Extender": Extends drying and working time. According to the manufacturer, this product doesn't change ink colors, but Glass Attic info says it makes them more translucent. Ink mixed with it dries shiny.
  • Adirondack "Alcohol Blending Solution": Dilutes and lightens ink. Useful for blending. Removes ink from slick surfaces, hands, and tools.
  • regular rubbing alcohol: Dilutes and lightens ink. Ink mixed with it dries to a more matte finish. Useful for cleaning hands, tools, work surfaces.
  • Piñata "Clean Up Solution": Behaves similarly to rubbing alcohol. Is pure alcohol with brush conditioners (for the health of your paint brushes).
9. You can clean up alcohol ink (sometimes).
Both manufacturers of alcohol ink make a product specifically for this purpose: Adirondack's Alcohol Blending Solution" and Piñata's Clean Up Solution. These products and good old rubbing alcohol work well at removing ink from most tools and work surfaces. Avoid getting it on your clothes or other fabrics, though. As with many arts and crafts, it might be best to not wear anything nice when working with something like alcohol inks. Even when just applying drops from the bottles, I sometimes end up with spatters over my work surface. These are easily wiped off a ceramic tile, but I don't think they'd come out of fabric as well. (If it were to happen, I'd try alcohol first.)

If you get ink on your hands (and you probably will), you can first try "conditioning" it off. Knead some clay. Use scrap clay or, if you're tinting some clay anyway, use the clay you're tinting with the ink. Some of the ink may come off as you condition the clay. You can try removing what's left with one of the cleaning products mentioned above. Depending on how much ink there is and if it's found a place to hide in the nooks and crannies of your fingernails, you may not be able to get it all off at once. Don't worry; it'll come off in a day or so of normal washing. Wear your "artist's hands" with pride! ;o) After cleaning your hands with alcohol, they may be more prone to drying and cracking, so don't forget to follow up with a little soothing lotion.

10. Raw alcohol ink-tinted clay may behave oddly.
It seems that any time you mix a non-clay product into polymer clay, your best bet is to use it (i.e. cure it) as quickly as possible. The longer it sits around, the more likely it is to start doing odd things. According to Glass Attic, Alan Vernall reports that ink-tinted clay may tend to crack after a few weeks of sitting around (in the raw state-- not after curing). This isn't much of a problem most of the time. You can just recondition it-- maybe add a little diluent or mineral oil to soften it, if necessary. However, if you've made up a whole batch of canes with ink-tinted clay, it might be frustrating. Another problem Alan had was that the darker, "more vivid" colors of ink-tinted clay bled into surrounding areas of the cane. Keep these things in mind. It may be best to make small canes that you can use up quickly. Either that, or don't use alcohol ink to tint clay for your canes.

So, there are ten things to know about alcohol ink. Next week, ten more specific ways to incorporate alcohol ink into your polymer clay projects. :o)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Busy busy

Lately, it seems I just poke my head around the corner on Tuesdays, then disappear for the rest of the week! I've been working on some clay-related things, but I can't show any photos, yet, because they're all gifts. (I doubt that some of the recipients-- my father-in-law, for instance-- look at this blog, but it's best to be on the safe side.)

I suppose I ought to try restocking my Etsy shop, considering that this is probably the busiest shopping season of the year, but I think I may be too late, anyway, and at this point, I have my hands full working on the handmade gifts on my list. We'll see. . .

My husband and I each have an idea for a holiday-themed tutorial/project for Polymer Clay Web, but honestly, I'm not sure if we'll get around to them in time. There's just so much else to do!

In the meantime, there are a few Christmasy links I'd like to share. :o)

One of my Christmas projects that I probably won't get around to this year is to make some "candy" from polymer clay to use on picks in a floral arrangement I'd like to make for my table. One type of candy I'm planning to try is ribbon candy. It has such a fun shape-- and great colors-- and it seems like it'd be very easy, too. PCC hosts one ribbon candy tutorial written by Arlene Schiek. There are a variety of candies (including ribbon candy) in this HGTV-hosted tutorial by Maureen Carlson. Elsewhere on HGTV's site, you can view a short video clip of Maureen demonstrating how to make the ribbon candy. To find it, go to HGTV's "Video Guide", type "polymer" into the search box, and browse the list that pops up.

While looking for ribbon candy tutorials, I came across a couple of cute gingerbread house projects. The tutorial at Polymer Clay Express is for two-dimensional (flat) gingerbread houses-- perfect for ornaments or magnets. A tutorial for a three-dimensional gingerbread house-- great for a tabletop decoration that will last year after year-- is available at

One last link-- something that I found this morning while reading a few blogs: Elaine Robitaille's latest blog entry describes her process for making poinsettia ornaments with raised detail. There are photos to illustrate the steps, too. :o)

Well, off to get started on something else!
Have a great weekend, everyone! :o)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ten on Tuesday: Winter-Inspired Color Schemes

I'm taking it a little easy this week. (I've got things to do around the house and at the clay table! (g)) Just for a little fun, I revisited ColourLovers came up with this week's list. . .

Ten on Tuesday: Winter-Inspired Color Schemes:

1. Norwegian Lake
When I think of winter, one of the first things to come to mind is snow. That reminded me of the snow we saw this summer in Norway, so I decided to play around with that idea.
Norwegian Lake
My first try didn't quite capture the feeling I was going for, so I gave it another try:
Norwegian Lake II

2. Ice Cave
While looking for inspiration photos, I came across one of an ice cave. The beautiful aquas in the ice surprised me. I had forgotten that ice can be aqua, because I generally associate that color with warmer climates. I guess it can "do" for both!
Ice Cave
Ice Cave II

3. Snowy Birches
Thinking about Norway reminded me of Sweden and a couple of macros I took of birch bark. Those birches weren't snowy when I saw them, but I imagined they'd be lovely in snow-- the cream and grey (with just a bit of brown) against the white. . .
Snowy Birches

4. Snowless Winter
Despite all this talk of snow, I really haven't seen that much of it, myself. Where I live, near the Gulf of Mexico, we don't get snow very often. So that made me think of a "snowless winter" as a theme. . .
Snowless Winter

5. Winter Sunset / Winter Twilight
I know I'm not alone in feeling that sunset (and the twilight that follows) is a magical hour. It's the end of a winter's day. The still, silent air is cold-- maybe even a bit damp. You know you probably shouldn't stay out much longer, but those colors in the sky!
Winter Sunset
Winter Twilight

6. Glowing Embers
After being out on a cold evening, it's nice to warm up again. While nothing's so merry as a blazing, crackling fire, the hypnotic glow of embers is also inviting.
Glowing Embers
Embers II

7. Christmas
I can't think of winter without thinking also of Christmas. I made a few different Christmas-themed palettes-- and then I found one I'd already made that could also pass (with a shove) as "Christmasy":
Retro Christmas
Herbal Christmas
Victorian Christmas
Refined, Restrained
And then Christmas made me think of toys, so. . .
Vintage Toys

8. Winter's Night
Just a couple of palettes inspired by the idea of a wintery night. . .
Winter's Night
Winter's Night II

9. Tartan
Thinking of cold makes me think of scarves, which makes me think of plaid/tartan. . .
Basic Tartan
Iowa Tartan
Louisiana Tartan
N. Carolina Tartan

10. Happy New Year!

Festive color schemes based on celebrations of the new year:
Chinese New Year
Fizzy Bubbles
Little Black Dress

Have a great Tuesday! :o)

Other Polymer Clay Blogs

Coming back to this blog after months away, I noticed that my blogroll (via Google Reader) had disappeared. Don't ask me how. I'm only too thankful that I figured out again how to add it back. However, upon putting it back, I saw that it is huge-- too long, really, for my sidebar. So, for the time being, I'm going to try putting it here in a single "entry", then link to this in the sidebar.

So, if you're looking for some more polymer clay blogs to read, here are the ones I've found:

P.S. I'm fibbing on the date so that this won't appear on the front page of my blog. It's actually December 4th, 2008, but I'm going back to 2007. (g)