Air-dry clay ornaments in the works…

20181209_193423 (2)I’m trying out this new to me: Model Air, Air Dry Modeling Clay, made by Polyform, the same people who make Sculpey polymer clay. When it is dry it can be sanded, drilled(very carefully) and painted. Now according to the website, http://www.sculpey.com , these ornaments I’m working on should have dried in about 24 hours. Well, in real life, in the real world, it has taken a little over a week, I started these last Saturday and they are now finally dry and ready to sand(the edges) and then paint. And as you can sort of see from the picture, they curved/cupped a little bit as they were drying, not a lot but they aren’t completely flat like they started out as. I kept flipping them over back and forth so they would dry evenly, and they still cupped. Just a minor thing. I used card board templates to trace and cut the shapes out from the clay, which I had first rolled out flat and even. I then cut the shapes with a sharp craft knife. I’m going to use Folkart acrylic paints and dimensional paints on them. There is a teddy bear, two stars, two cats, two running pigs, a round ball shape, and two ninja kick fighters. I got that other package you see perched there on the cookie pan and will make some more ornaments. These shapes were all made from a 2.2 lb (1 kg) package of white clay. When I finish painting them I will post another picture so you can see how they turned out.

So, there you go! These ornaments were not hard to make so far, just a little fiddley and took some extra drying time. Hopefully, they will turn out well, I made two of some of them so I can give the best looking versions as Christmas gifts. So, Christmas is coming fast! Have a great day and happy crafting!

A way to display ornaments or cards if you don’t have a lot of space…

20181209_193553 (2)I’ve seen versions of this thingy all over Pinterest.com, especially in the sections for Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas. Some of these are made sized like a regular Christmas tree, clear up to six feet tall and would fit in a very narrow space, good for people with not a lot of room. I pulled together this one with help from my father-in-law, he drilled the holes for the cross pieces to fit through. I measured and cut the cross pieces and assembled and screwed on the base piece. The up-right piece is a 1″ round wood dowel which is 25″ tall. The base piece is a 8″ inch pine wood round, that I got from Hobby Lobby. The cross pieces, starting with the bottom one are: measuring up 7 1/2 ” from the base, a 3/8″ dowel, 14″ long. The next one, measuring up 8″ from the bottom cross piece, is 10 3/4″ long, also a 3/8″ dowel. And the top cross piece, measuring up 8″ from the middle one, is 8 1/2″ long and it also is a 3/8″ dowel. My measurements are give or take measuring, I was using a yard stick to measure the thingy before I took the picture. I base coated this whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: 6240E Cotton. Then I used a sea sponge piece and sponge painted the whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: Metallics 1654 Pure Gold, my camera didn’t pick up the shine very well. I was trying for a marbled look that I could use for holiday ornament display for different holidays, not just Christmas, a multi-holiday ornament or card display thingy. And I keep calling it a thingy because I’m not exactly sure what the proper name for it would be, I just know it’s Scandinavian.

So, there you go, an easy to make ornament/card display thingy that can be used in small narrow locations. And the Folkart Outdoor paints are self-sealing, so the thingy doesn’t have to be varnished, it just needs to “cure” for 72 hours and then it is ready to use. Though, I still might put some varnish on it to make it more shiny looking. So, Christmas is coming really soon! Have a great day and happy crafting!

A bit of a product review #3 The garden & home product edition…

20181101_183818 (2)I used to use these NeemAura Citronella Sticks when I worked in my garden to keep the mosquitoes away. See the taller package, that is how the package used to look, they came as an actual incense stick that you could stick in the ground and you’d light them and they worked great. They would last for two hours. Now they come in the shorter package, there is no longer a stick part and you have to finagle them onto that metal thingy which is an absolute piece of cheap crap! They break and fall apart. If you actually manage to get them to stay in one piece and onto the metal stand/holder thing, the slightest breeze can blow them over and the burning tip breaks off. And all the while you are trying to get the product to work properly, the mosquitoes are coming up behind you and having a field day chewing up your backside and any other part they can get at! So, to make these “sticks” work after a fashion, I light them and put them in a tall can like the ones asparagus spears come in. I set the can next to one of my pots to protect it from sudden breezes and the stick stays burning and does its job like its supposed to do but now for only an hour. I’m really not impressed with the so called new and improved version of this product, I can make it work but I liked how it was originally a whole lot better. In my opinion the “improvement” the company made to this product should never have been made, it was fine the way it was. Now it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give this product a 2. Before it was “improved” I would have given it a 10, it was that good! I got this from Amazon.com as it is no longer available locally in stores.20181101_183543 (2) “Dynamite Mater Magic”, in my opinion, works almost like actual magic for growing big healthy tomatoes and peppers. This is a SUPER GREAT product! I feed it to my tomatoes when I grow them and also to my pepper plants. This last growing season I was able to fill eleven gallon size food storage bags with peppers off my pepper plants and my last pepper plant was still loaded with peppers until we had a hard frost last week. The product supplies pretty much everything the plants need to produce vast quantities of tasty tomatoes and peppers and it helps protect against blossom end rot and cracking. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give this product a 10, it is that good! I buy this from Lowes.com and from their brick & mortar stores.20181101_183639 (2)It is the time of year when all kinds of crawly things want to come inside and hang out with you over the winter. We even have problems with centipedes getting in, can’t stand them and if they bite you it means a fast trip to the emergency room. So, I use Orange Guard, it is made with the oils from orange peels and works really well for killing and repelling creepy, crawly and flying home invaders. It will take down a fly with one direct hit, and it will kill a cockroach in ten minutes or less, depending on how much you are able to hit it with before it makes a lightening run to hide from you. I haven’t actually tried Orange Guard on centipedes yet, usually I wack them with my shoe, but it might work on them, but because they are so dangerous I would stick with the tried and true shoe wack method on them. Least ways with that method you know they’re definitely dead and not lurking somewhere close in a weakened state but still able to bite the crap out of you. So, a warning about Orange Guard, it can remove paint from all kinds of surfaces, so if you use this product, after spraying it, wipe it off the surfaces you get it on after it does its job killing the bugs you aimed it at.  And don’t spray it on plants, it can burn and kill foliage. All and all, Orange Guard is a very good product. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give Orange Guard a 9 and that is only because it can remove paint off household surfaces. With careful use, Orange Guard is a very effective bug repelling and bug killing product. I buy this at various health & natural food stores.

So I hope my product reviews are useful to someone shopping for garden and home bug repelling and bug killing products and for SUPER GREAT tomato and pepper food! I hope you all have a very nice day!