A lenient twist on the "item a day" craft challenge

The "item a day" craft challenge has always intrigued me. But it's a huge commitment! Lots of crafters have work, families, and other obligations that may prevent them from crafting every single day. So I decided to see if I could make 7 things a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week 2: Queen of Hearts

Soooooo.... when I decided last week to go with complicated I didn't quite realize how much time I was going to end up sinking into this week's projects.  For a first try I'm quite happy with the results, so it was totally worth it.  I've always been intrigued by polymer clay; I've seen so many people on so many websites do AMAZING things with the stuff.  But every time I've tried to replicate some of the simpler projects I've been confronted with the fact that I can't sculpt anything for crap.  I shelved all my polymer projects for about a year, and hadn't touched the stuff until this project.  While cleaning up my craft drawer I found the remains of my polymer clay excursions and decided to using it up rather than dedicating a drawer to the stuff.

In one of my many craft books or magazines (I unfortunately don't remember which one so I can't give them credit) I saw a neat little article on how to attach a homemade "bail" to a polymer clay frame.  It showed how to make an eyepin out of wire, then insert that into the top of the frame to create a loop for hanging.  Baking the clay secured the eyepin, allowing it to be used to hang the pendant.  I figured that if you could essentially stick an eyepin in clay and it would stay I could probably stick other metal things into clay and they would also stay.  Because my sculpting skills are so remedial, i decided to take one really basic shape I knew I could make, create several out of the shape out of the clay I had available, and embellish them in a variety of different ways.  I can make two things: Hearts and blobs.  Hearts seemed to be a better choice, so I went with that.

I created the first batch with hardware I had sitting around in the junk drawer at the house.

Hex nuts and nails are fun!
Nails again, with a screw.  I used a plastic knife from a fast food joint to add the texture.
I stabbed this one with some "gears" I had laying around.
Small brass nails attached this Tim Holtz keyhole.  The gouges were made with a very small knitting stick that I have never, ever used for knitting.

Once I had gotten started it was pretty much impossible to stop.  I ended up having a bunch of ideas and not quite the right materials to execute them.  So after a fun and productive trip to Lowes, I made batch two:
Copper siding nails are wonderful!
So. Many. Tiny. Nails.
This one is my favorite,  Hence it's status as the only pendant to actually make it to a necklace.
The addition of short silver nails with tiny heads let me use some more of those cool keyholes.
Franken-heart!  I was really happy with the small hinges I found in what appeared to be the "drawer making" isle.

I still have seven other heart bases that I haven't "finished" with wire, paint, gloss or other embellishments.  I worked at least three evenings on these bad boys during the week, and Saturday AM too.  I may have gone a little crazy, but it was so much fun. Still, I'm thinking that a slightly less labor intensive project for next week may be the key to keeping this up.

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