Monthly Archives: March 2013


Making patterns and texture stamps for Polymer clay – Part 1

Today has been a lovely day. I have been able to spend the whole day at home for the first time in ages. I got all my chores done this morning, managed a trip to the bakery for a coffee and a pastel de natas ( custard tart) and spent all afternoon in my workshop. My friend in hospital is on the mend, the sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, and I have had a lovely day.

I spent the afternoon experimenting with making different patterns and textures into polymer clay.
I have an ever growing collection of materials that I use for making textures, such as scrunched up foil, onion bags, hessian, bubble wrap, sand paper, various brushes,etc which i played around with, as well as making some patterned/ textured stamps.

My stamp making discoveries

This is a green plastic/ rubbery substance used for block printing . It is easy to cut patterns into it using a lino cutter, as long as you are not wanting very fine detail. It is not so easy to create textures in it. I tried rubbing it with sand paper,but it did not have a noticeable effect . It is not possible to press things into it , as the rubbery texture bounces back. Clay peels away from it cleanly, and the adigraf gives a good clear pattern. Definitely worth playing around with some more.

I rolled out some scrap clay about 5mm thick, and made patterns into the uncured clay with my lino cutter. At first I pressed too hard, and gouged out too much clay, but the great thing is you can just roll it up and start again. With a lighter pressure I made some nice patterns with the lino cutter. I could also incorporate different textures into the stamp by pressing textured materials into the clay. I then baked the clay. When I used these stamps I found the clay stuck to them, and did not come away cleanly. It was better when I brushed the stamps with cornflour first, although the definition was not as great, as the flour tended to sit in the cut out areas. I am going to see if a a thin coating of oil might work better.

In the next few days I hope to try out a few more ideas. I want to make some negative stamps from the ones I made today, as well as making some textured stamps by etching into cured polymer clay with my Dremel. I have a few other ideas that I want to try too, that may or may not work .

I will tell you about those in Part 2, next week .

Moving day ….

If you have been reading my other blog, about living in Central Portugal, you will know that I am in the middle of fixing up a crafting /workshop space, in the upstairs of my other little house.
Unfortunately my lovely DIY man is unable to help with the next part of the plan for quite a while, and so I decided the last week to start using it as it is.
Although I need to have water and electrics sorted out, and two work benches making, I have moved most of my stuff over there now. Yesterday I lit the wood burner and spent my first morning in there, sorting out where things go and just enjoying the space .

I bought some dip pens for drawing with earlier this week that i wanted to have a play with, so yesterday I had a relaxing time trying them out.

They are going to take a bit of getting used to, as they are so different to using a fine liner or micron pen, but they feel nice to hold, and I like the basic but elegant design.

Images of Dickens characters kept popping into my head as I doodled and scratched away merrily, although I doubt Bob Cratchit had time to doodle, with that nasty Mr Scrooge looking over his shoulder.

At the moment I only have some cheap black ink to try them with, but I have put a variety of Windsor & Newton coloured and metallic inks on my shopping list along with a selection of calligraphy nibs.

I have become fascinated with lettering recently …. but will tell you about that another day.

My shopping list is getting longer by the day !

Do you have a shopping list,or a wish list for creative bits and bobs ? If so, what’s on yours ?

Two card ideas from one very simple stamp.

I bought some green rubbery material called Adigraf for printing with a while ago.I found it strange stuff, and it wasn’t suitable for what i needed. (I will write a post about my experiences with printing materials one of these days, and explain why )
However I have used it for other crafting projects, and made some simple little Easter cards with it recently.

If any one out there is wanting to make an Easter card, then please copy these by all means. They are super easy, don’t need any special craft supplies, and any one can do them .

You could use an eraser, a piece of compressed polystyrene or even a piece of plastercine squished into an oval shape instead of Adigraf.

I used a lino cutter, but it was pretty useless, and I ended up using a craft knife for most of it.
I am looking forward to a trip to England soon, where I can buy some basic tools that I struggle to find here, and a lino cutter is one of them !

I used stamping inks, but if you have felt tips, then undo the ends of those and use the felt piece inside to rub on your stamp, for a similar effect. The other details were done with a simple fine black fineliner.

It is as easy as 1,2,3….

1. Cut out some oval shapes of various sizes and cut or gouge into them to make some simple patterns.
2. Cut some thick white watercolour paper or card into a variety of rectangle shapes and slosh on some colour, leaving white showing.
3. Ink up the oval shapes and print onto the dry card rectangles .

And thats it ! Then decorate them with a fine liner or gell pen or glitter, however you want, and add an Easter greeting.

The Easter chicks were made by using the other side of the Adigraf egg shape, which i noticed was textured. The only difference with the chick cards is the back ground, which I added after printing.

I made my Easter greetings using small pieces of watercolour paper that were left over, and writing them with a Fine liner. However you can always print some out on the computer if you don’t feel confident writing them .

Go on have a play…. and see what you come up with.

The birthday tree

Things have been a bit hectic for the last couple of days,and crafting has been a bit low on the list .
I managed to play with some paints and paper for an hour on Saturday, and started making something to help me to get to the post office at least a week before an up and coming birthday. Seeing as I have been organized enough to make my birthday cards, I need to get them posted in time too .
I came up with a birthday tree .

This is a still just a rough version at the moment. When i get a bit more time I will add some doodling and bits to make it look a bit fancier (and other peoples birthdays that I have written somewhere, but can’t find)

Your probably thinking why don’t I just use a calendar or a diary ? Well, I do. Let me explain.
I looked at my calendar on Friday and realized It needed turning to March . I turned it over, and there was my nephews birthday in 4 days time
By the time i got to the post office, it was shut, and they don’t open at the week end .In Gois I have yet to find another place that sells stamps,and even if i had, it would not get to England in time .So it was posted this morning.

This way I can see all the birthdays on one page, and when i see ones close together I will post them at the same time . I also don’t have to worry about transferring them at the end of the year onto the new calendar, and missing anyone off .
So I am going to give it a try.

A BIG Sorry to my nephew, James , for your card being late xxx

How do you remember everyones birthday ???