Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making your own clay, make a nose out of bread, weather

Anyone out there have any spring weather?  Good grief! 

I was thinking about beads and embellishments and little stars and snowflakes and things that we like to put on our stitching and how expensive they can be, especially in Canada.  There are cheaper alternatives though.  You can go out and buy polymer clay with a bunch of forms or cutters and make your own.  And if you think you can't do it or it's too hard, well, it's not.  And if you have the cutters or forms, but no polymer clay, well, just make your own!

A few years ago, I saw a "snow family" in a store in Ontario.  I thought they were the cutest things and I really wanted to make them.   So, I went home, took some plastic and cut out the template shapes I needed.   This is what I came up with.  I just couldn't remember how the noses were done!

The tallest snowman, is about 14 inches high, and the rest are progressively shorter.  I cut out a front and a back, both the same, sewed them together at the sides and left a small opening at the bottom.  I stuffed each one loosely with polyester filling and sewing up the small slit and then I joined them all together with just a few stitches in hidden places on the back or the sides.  I used a black marker for the eyes, and if I was making them today, I would have used a French knot or used a black bead for the eyes.

But I needed a nose and I didn't want to just paint on a nose.  But where on earth do you get a nose and if you find one, how much is it going to cost and is it going to be the size you need?   I explained my dilemma to a good friend and she told me how I could make my clay to make my own noses.  This is a close up of one of the faces.

 It is so easy.  Just cut the crusts off a slice or two or three pieces of WHITE bread, add a tsp or two of white glue, and mash it till it forms a clay.  I added a bit or orange acrylic paint and there are my noses!  I won't lie to you.  It is a messy process and you may want to consider using painters plastic gloves but there is nothing like using your bare hands, acrylic paint and food colouring or whatever, and ending up with colourful fingers for a few days.

I actually ended up with about 50 or 60 noses of all shapes and sizes, and you can see some of them in the photo above.

After making my noses, I put them on wax paper to dry, flat side down.  They were dry the next day.  I put a dab of white glue on the end of the nose and stuck it onto the snow man!  And just to let you know how long the noses last, my snow family and all the noses are about 15 to 17 years old!  I kept my noses in a plastic container and you might want to store them that way as well in a dry place.  They are made out of bread so may attract pests if your area is prone to them.  So if you need some noses, this is a great way to make them!  And then you can just "pick the nose you want"!  (sorry, couldn't resist)

But, you aren't limited to noses.  You can make beads, snowflakes, stars and roses and tiles and all sorts of things.  And yes, you can paint them.  

Here are some websites with more information, and of course, they each make them just a tiny bit different.  I just used the white bread, without crusts, and white glue and when the noses were formed, I put them flat side down on wax paper to dry.

Sliced Bread Dough Air Dry Clay by Cre8              Great video!

DIY Bread and Blue Mosaic Tile Frame                  also a video

Martha Stewart Makes Clay Beads

Basically, if you Google or Bing white bread and glue clay, you will all sorts of links.  

I plan on making more embellishments, I just need to get myself some small cutters (like cookie cutters) in the polymer clay section in the craft store.

Today is one of the warmest we've had so far this spring at 7C right now.  It is supposed to get to 10C but the wind is cold and so sure doesn't feel that warm.  But, we are managing to get out in the garden and do some cleaning up.  Some photos of spring!

Rhubarb is coming up in the garden, below.

And i found some fungus growing on an old elm tree in the back yard.  It resembles the STEP gardens ones sees of rice paddies in Asia.

 And my favorite, some photos of lichens and moss growing on another elm tree.

Don't forget to stop by the musings at The Sunshine Deli!

If spring hasn't found you yet, I hope it's on its way!

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