Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Michelle's Edumacation

This month’s Ornament Thursday theme is Academia. Last month’s theme was Red Hot. I thought I’d be smart and redecorate Helen’s work station without her knowledge. Not so smart of me. Turns out I was suddenly assigned the cleaning of that desk including dusting the designer door knob.

This month I have learned the error of my ways and recognize that my first designer door knob might not have been the best choice (or at least putting it on Helen’s desk was sorta stupid). I now offer an innocent yet educated cherub-like face designer door knob using a Krafty Lady art mold. I have graduated. No more door knob redecorations… after this one. Really. I swear. MZ

Check out the wonderful work done by the other Ornament Thursday members this month:

Art Bead Scene & The Golden Rule
The Art Bead Scene editor shares a few words of wisdom for jewelry designers.

Back to School-Make your own Pencils
School is back in session, everyone needs new pencils. Why not glass?

BeadStyle goes back to school
Lindsay Haedt's on her way to the classroom, but not before Linda shares one of her recent designs

Beading Help Web Wires Up Academia
Lynn Kvigne to read! While you can easily use a scrap of paper or an old magazine subscription card for a bookmark, why not whip up a stylish book mark instead?

Check out the "homework" project from Joolz by Lisa
A collab effort works out great when you plan ahead

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's learned how to Mail!

First Day
Michelle's School Book - it's academic!

Swelldesigner goes crazy over school supplies!
Alexa shows you how to turn pencil grips into ultra funky accessories

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Butterfly Project—Only a million more needed!

In an effort to remember the 1.5 million children that were killed in the Holocaust, the Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. The Butterfly Project is special to me because my father is a survivor of the Holocaust and is part of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Project

Nicholas Stargardt wrote--"Children were neither just the mute and traumatized witnesses to this war, nor merely its innocent victims; the war invaded their imaginations and the war raged inside them." The war still rages inside many survivors and their children.

I made these butterflies using Kato Polyclay and they are now part of the Butterfly Project. “Joseph’s Butterfly” (the one of many colours.. get it?) was made using a Kraft Lady Art Mould, colored with Jacquard alcohol inks mixed into liquid polymer medium, topped with a gentle layer of AMACO’s Rub ‘n Buff and sealed with Lisa Pavelka’s Magic-Glos. We hope to make many more over the next few months. The blue one is my favorite with its subtle ikat style colouring and a hamsa made of Swarovski crystals.

Please take a few minutes, read up on the project at I encourage everyone to read the poem “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Pavel Friedman, and help the museum reach their goal.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Independence and Ornament Thursday

The house is full of plaster hands in various positions and colours but my real hand is unstuck in time for this month's Ornament Thursday!

This pendant is called Independence from Race and Religion. I've sculpted a woman's face and used bits from Krafty Lady Art Moulds. Her cheeks and hair are from parts of a key and keyhole mould. Kristine, the Krafty Lady herself, has a quality product that is wonderful to use. I've not found a medium yet that can't be used in her moulds... Friendly Plastic, Premo, Fimo and Kato clays, plaster, wax, Magic Mud, hot glue.... but I digress. (sorry)

Originally the woman in this pendant started as pink clay and African American features. I wanted to see what oil paint did to clay so now she's nicely aged and has a lovely glow about her... but she's not so pink. The reverse is backfilled with textured black clay (thanks Lynne!) and has a brass tube running down the length to hold her weight (thanks Tommie!)

Here is what the other OT members have been up to this month:

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Craft some red, white, and blue drink charms from vintage wartime posters. They’ll make a big bang at your 4th of July cookout!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Celebrate the Independent Spirit

Hurray for Red, White and Blue
Lisa takes a shot at teeny tiny beads for a change

Strands of Beads
Melissa sees stars this month while considering the meaning of independence

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Krafty Lady molds save a reluctant jeweller..

Krafty Lady Art Moulds are pretty amazing – they can take a whole lot of abuse and they still come out fighting. This time I blasted them with one of those neat heat guns from Ranger, guaranteed to get the heat in the right place every time without a blast of air to scatter everything everywhere.

So, I was supposed to be making a necklace with Friendly Plastic – which, if you haven't used it is a totally cool product. Since I'm the kind of person who routinely colors outside the lines, I looked at the Friendly Plastic and then at the first of my new designs from Krafty Lady which features my African mask carvings and thought that here was a way to get out of making necklaces sitting right in front of me. How would Friendly Plastic work in my moulds? Giving only a passing thought to the possibility of frying the moulds I placed some pieces of Friendly Plastic in them and melted it by waving the heat gun over it!

Some what to my surprise, I admit, the plastic melted and the mould was fine. I left the plastic to cool in the mould and then, with the help of some cold water, the plastic molded shape popped out. Needless to say the necklace project was left standing in the dust and I spent the next hour molding colorful African masks from Friendly Plastic some of which you can see in the photo.

If you're doing this at home, start with Krafty Lady Art Moulds – they work well because of what they're made of and other molds may not stand this abuse. In deep moulds like the African masks work by layering strips of plastic inside the mould instead of using one big piece of plastic because the big pieces sort of drip into the mould whereas using strips lets you plan stripes, dashes and all sorts of designs. Zap the pieces with the heat gun and watch as they melt into the shape. Then set aside for a few minutes to cool – don't touch them because they're hot! Then pop the mold and Friendly Plastic into a tub of water and pop out the finished pieces. Too easy… and way fun. MZ.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Baroque Beauty

Michelle Zimmerman is one of the creative team behind the company that owns this blog.

Today we were thrilled to see the wonderful Kim Cavender take a look at the Baroque Beauty molds that Michelle designed for Krafty Lady Art Moulds. Kim's blog includes a picture of a piece Michelle made for Kim and equally wonderful, samples from another artist who has used the molds in her own work.

Here are two pieces Michelle made. Above is Painted Lady made from a cast Michelle made of her original sculpture and which she 'dressed' with a Polaroid Emulsion transfer of an image of some San Francisco Victorian Painted Ladies. The original sculpture measures over 6 inches in size. Below is Flights of Fancy, made from the Krafty Lady mold that Michelle designed plus three other Krafty lady molds; the Ginkgo leaf, Trojan horse and wings.

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