Fun Finds, Wood Blocks and ‘bellishments

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Hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, we were melting from the heat around here.  Amazing how fast it changed.  Ok, ok.. so I already put my heat on a little… and I put on my electric mattress pad at night to warm up my tootsies. Ahhhh… one of the BEST inventions, I tell you.  “Honey, keep your cold toes to yourself”.

Well, I wanted to share with you some cool finds I came across at Michael’s.  They have a table full of marked down costume jewelry.  I bought a few to use in my work.  Here a bunch.  Aren’t they purdy?  I’m sure I will find a place for them in my collages.

Next, my new friend, Nancy, (love that I can say “new friend” in my 50’s) sent me, along with some other goodies, these pieces of jewelry.  I just need to lock myself a way in my studio for a week.  Just bring me bread and water.. ok ok.. some chocolate too. Who am I kidding.  I’ll come out to eat.

So, with all these new embellishments, I decided to make a few more of my own.  I love making these.  As you can tell, I just love the turquoise and the reds.  Oranges are great too. It all depends on what looks good with the staining.  Read on.

Hearts is what I went crazy with. Oh, and of course, I love the faces.   I made some tiny birds also, along with a pair of wings.  The ” ‘bellishements”, are made from polymer clay.  They are impressed with texture sheets, buttons, jewelry pieces.  Anything with texture really.  You have a cool pattern on the bottom of your shoe.. bam, texture.  You have a cool door knob .. bam, texture.  You have a cool embossed place mat, coaster, piece of hardware.. bam.. texture.  Look around you, it’s there.

However, recently an artist blogger friend did a post on some wood blocks that she got from a couple of co-workers.  Read Autumn’s post HERE then read more of her posts.  Her journal pages are to die for.  So, I thought I’d search out the import store (Ganesh Imports)  they got the blocks at and found a store in Newburyport, MA (where I go often).  Off I went and found some great wood blocks.  Thank you, Autumn for your post on this.  I would have never known about Ganesh.

Here is my find… the big one is about 2″ round.

Love them.  Have you ever seen a carver make a wood block?  Once you see it, you will appreciate it the work that goes into making just one block.  Take a look here.  Talk about patience.. poke a needle in my eye.

So, I decided to make few “medallion-like” ‘bellishments out of one of one of the blocks… the bigger one.

Take some polymer clay, get it soft, roll it up in a ball and press it out into a circle shape.  Then so the clay won’t stick to the wood, I put some cornstarch in an old t-shirt, tied it up, like you see below and pounced on the wood then lift and separate.. hmm, sounds like a Playtex commercial.

     

Now, bake in a dedicated clay oven per the directions on the package of clay.  (Note:  Go here if you are concerned about using your kitchen oven to bake clay).  Don’t burn it and tent it and you’ll be fine.   I like to use either “Premo” or “Fimo Soft”.  Once baked and cooled, I stained it with brown acrylic paint. Smoodge it in the deep textures, then wipe off gently with a clean paper towel, letting the paint stay in the grooves, let dry.  Then I take a sealer (I used Future Floor Wax) and brush one coat on, let dry.  That’s it.  Now you have your own ‘bellishment to use in your collages, journals, etc.

You can check out my step by step button’s tutorial I did HERE.

   

Now, let’s go back a couple of summers ago on my trip to Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown.  I actually found some wood blocks there at a place called “In the Woods” (they do not have a website).  These puppies can get expensive, but they are worth it.  Here’s my purchase.  The bigger ones are about 6″ x 3″.

Can you stand it?  Aren’t they so much fun.  So different than any other rubber stamps out there… BUT I must say this…
They are made for fabric, not paper.  It can be done, but, you need to have some cushion under your paper when you stamp.  I just used a folded up piece of fabric or paper towel.  I just love using them to texture my clay.  LOVE. 

The other use for them is paper casting.  I use tissue paper for my casting; the kind you blow your nose with.  Here’s a look at some of the castings I’ve done…

This won’t work with detailed rubber stamps.  You can see the deep lines that really define the tissue. When the tissue is finally dry, you can paint and stain the pieces.  Use in your art anyway you want… Made by you.

I used one casting on one of my book covers.. The dark blue circle with the read heart.

I’m getting ready to venture out to Art is You.. in Stamford, CT Columbus Day weekend.  It’s my first retreat that i’m going to.. alone.  It’s always fun to go to these things with a friend, but it didn’t work out this time.  However, I’m sure hoping to come home with many new friends.  I mean, not with me, of course.. HA! .  I’ve heard that is retreat is something special, one of the best.  So, here I come.  I’ll be taking pictures and blog about my experience.  I’m trying to make a bunch of ‘bellishments to take with me.  I’m thinking 100.. yikes. Better get moving a little faster.

Well, I’ve filled up your brain with a lot of info tonight.  I’ll be doing a tissue paper casting blog or video soon.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.

Judy ♥ 

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14 responses »

  1. Wonderful, as always.
    Is there a way to “can” your talent and sell it?
    I’ll be your manager….!
    Scary idea…

  2. Jessica.. thank you so much and I can’t wait to meet you.. Yes, new friend, indeed. I know and see that I can learn a lot from each other.

  3. It looks like you’re having a lot of fun in your studio, Judy. What a great idea to use the woodcuts with polymer. Your ‘bellishments are beyond fabulous! Thanks for sharing, my friend. 🙂

  4. Isn’t it great to stumble on a great mark down table?
    I really love the colors (don’t know if my screen is showing them true though) in the gold leaf – looking one with the purple edges. You’ve got those creative juices flowing lady.

  5. Careful now, don’t hurt anyone in the process:) I know what you mean about the consistency & it’s even harder when you’re working. I’ve got to get in the groove and just keep going.

  6. Judy, thanks for the shout out. And I love what you did with your new wooden stamps. What a great Idea to use them with clay!!!!! Very cool.

  7. Also I can’t wait to hear about Art is You. You will have a blast and make many new friends and come home with a bunch of trade goodies. Your recipients will be thrilled with your embellies.

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