Friday, 26 August 2011

The Dough Diaries

After my recent attempt at the Play Doh technique, I am all fired up about practicing this until I get really good. 

I am also all fired up about playing with Play Doh! I have loved this stuff since I was young; it is just so squidgy and fun. 

So I recently bought a selection of the different brands of dough, in order to determine which works best when reducing background-less canes. It was also an excuse to buy lots of pretty colours and have a good squidge (I blame my need to squidge on the fact that I never received the barber shop play doh kit despite it being on my Christmas list for several years).

I made 5 simple flower canes out of Fimo soft, packed them with dough and scrap clay, reduced them and washed off the dough.

So far, I would say the following about each brand:

  • Hobbycraft Soft Dough: It didn't hold up as well as the other brands. I lost a fair amount of clay at the ends of the cane. This pot of dough was slightly older and thus firmer and I wondered if this might help when reducing: it didn't. It didn't dissolve that well in the water either and meant lots of handling of the cane to brush off the excess dough. The cane that was useable after reducing, was however one of the neater ones. 
Hobbycraft Soft Dough used.

  • Crayola Dough: I purchased a fresh pot of dough but the dough was quite dry. I don't know if all crayola dough is this dry or if I just got a pot that had sat on the shelf for a while. I found the dough was stubborn when it came to dissolving it and that meant a lot of handling of the cane to brush the extra off. When the clay is wet it's very soft and subject to finger distortion so a lot of handling is not recommended. The cane itself also distorted a lot when I reduced it using this brand of dough. The dough was more expensive than the other brands. 
Crayola Dough used.

  • Early Learning Centre's Soft Stuff: This seems to work well when reducing the cane and reduced at a similar speed to the cane. The dough came off fairly easily in water but did need a bit of rinsing after brushing the excess dough off. The end cane was pretty decent, especially in the middle. The dough is well priced and definitely worth another go.
Early Learning Centre Soft Stuff used.

  • Star Dough: This seemed to work well and came off fairly easily in the water. However looking at the end cane, there is a fair bit of distortion.
Star Dough used.

  • Play Doh. The original brand! This worked well when reducing the cane and came off very easily in the water with only minimal handling of the cane required. The pot of dough was older and had been handled a fair bit before use (hey remember that Barber Shop story?) but was still in good condition. The end cane was a bit squished in the middle but there was noticably less scrap cane. 
Play Doh used. 

A couple of the pots of dough were older so I'd like to try comparing brands again when they are nice and fresh. Fimo soft probably isn't the best brand of clay to use for this technique as it becomes very soft when placed in water and it's easy to damage the cane when handling. The clay was noticeably different in firmness depending on the colour and that affected my results.

Conclusion: I need to practice more. 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bumbles' Friends - Beaded Bee in Action

Remember those beaded bees that I made recently for a special project? 

Well here are the beaded bees in action

3d beaded bee as part of a fascinator

Fascinator modeled by Millie

Bee ring

Bee wired to a shoe!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

House renovations continue

Oh dear, the house looks such a sorry state at the moment that I try not to think about it too much...

Oh well with views like this on my doorstep, it will all be worth it!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Idit Zoota's Play Dough Technique - Clown Fish

I'm still practicing Idit Zoota's play dough technique of reducing a canes with no background. You can find Art by Yonat's tutorial of this technique here:

Here is my clown fish cane

And the canes after reduction

I used a thick layer of play dough which didn't seem to work as well as Yonat using the medium layer of dough with her canes. I'll try a thinner sheet next time. 


Idit Zoota's Play Dough Technique

I really love the idea of reducing canes without a background (saves on soooo much translucent clay and there are just times when a background is not needed!), but I've not yet mastered Idit Zoota's Play Dough technique. Recently I found some fab coloured play dough and thought I would give it another go with Fimo Soft. 

Here is my simple flower cane before reducing.

and the resulting canes post-reduction.

It is a definite improvement on my last attempt but there is still work to be done. I found that the Fimo Soft became very sticky after immersing it in water (to dissolve the play dough). I'm going to try the technique with  a different brand of clay after I have used up this stash of Fimo Soft. 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Bumbles' Friends - Beaded Bee

I was asked to make a decorative bee for someone recently. Whilst Bumbles seemed like the obvious answer, I thought he might be a little heavy for what he was needed for. Also, I wanted something with a little more bling and found this great beaded bee tutorial on Maize Hutton's website:

So here are Bumbles' mates...

Whilst the flat bees are great for one thing (all should be revealed if I get pictures!), I thought a 3D bee would look better for something else. So here is my 3D version of Maize's beaded bee design.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Rose gone wrong made into beads

Back in May I made a rose cane that went a bit wrong. I thought I could get away with using the cane by bordering it with leaves. However as I had several compliments about how good the cane looked, I decided to try it in some beads with a "minimal leaf look".

Me likey.