Welcome to my NEW BLOG!

Welcome to my NEW blog! For many years my projects could be found at my previous blog - www.fatcatcreations.blogspot.com. Since my business has evolved and is now known as Cindi McGee - Behind These Eyes™ instead of Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations - I thought this was the perfect time to launch a new blog. Since I've been on this creative journey for almost 16 years - I have a LOT of project links out there in cyberworld! If you are looking for a particular project you have found on Pinterest, Facebook, FaveCrafts, HomeTalk, Twitter, etc. and the link is not working for you, please feel free to email me at cdjb11@yahoo.com and I'll be sure to get you the new link to the instructions. Have a creative day and remember to DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Centerpieces" on a Budget!



"Centerpieces" for about $6! Putting together some wedding decorations for a post wedding BBQ - store didn't have enough light blue flowers for bouquets in vases, so I went an entirely different route!  Sometimes it's great to be FORCED to think outside of the box - (although I must admit I had a mental meltdown in the store when they had NO flowers lol!) The battery box for the LED lights is hidden beneath the white metal candle holder....

Summer Fabric Flower Topiary


In this week's episode of When Creativity Knocks, I'm creating this bright & summery flower topiary using Clover's Flower Frill templates, DecoArt® paints, and Beacon Adhesives™.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Easy Faux Chryosocolla Pendant


Chrysocolla is a beautiful mineral - the variations on patterns and shades of color are almost endless - but most are within the turquoise blues and lush green spectrum, with touches of deep navy and sometimes the tiniest hint of metallic shades of copper, or even some with a metallic a bronze like tone.  When I discovered this stone on Pinterest I absolutely loved it and could not wait to try to recreate it in clay!  This is a very simple way to achieve a similar effect.  



Materials:

Makin’s Clay® - Concord Blue 60g 
Makin's® Clay Roller
Makin's Professional® Cutting Mat
DecoArt® Americana® Multi-Surface Satin™ Acrylics - Night Sky, Black Tie, Coastal Waters, Woodland Green, Deep Turquoise, Turf Green 
Bronze bezel, chain, jump rings, closure
JudiKins™ Diamond Glaze™ 
Beacon Adhesives - Mixed-Media Glue™ 
Jewelry pliers
Sea sponge
Scissors

Instructions:

Roll 60g of Concord Blue Makin’s Clay® using clay roller to about 1/4” thick. 

Using sea sponge, randomly sponge a light amount of Woodland Green, Deep Turquoise, and Coastal Waters paint onto rolled clay.  Let paint dry.  

To apply second layer of color, using sea sponge, randomly sponge a light amount of Turf Green, and Night Sky mixed with a tiny amount of Black Tie paint onto rolled clay.  Let paint dry. 




Place bezel face down onto colored clay.  Impress to mark shape.  

Use scissors to cut bezel shape from colored clay. 

Apply Beacon Mixed-Media Glue to bottom of bezel.  Be sure glue covers the bottom completely to the sides to minimize gaps when the clay dries.  Place colored clay into bezel and press gently to adhere.  Let dry 24 hours. 



Apply a thin layer of JudiKins Diamond Glaze over surface of faux stone.  Let dry. 

Add bronze jump ring to bezel - I used 3 jump rings to match the connectors on the chain I selected. 

Add bronze chain and closure.  



I plan to tap my inner "mad scientist" and see what other techniques I can use to  recreate this stone with clay... so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fabric Flower Lampshade DIY Video





In this episode of the When Creativity Knocks Fun with Fabric Series I share this "cozy" little lampshade with a homespun feel.  Featuring Clover®, JudiKins™,  Beacon Adhesive™ and etchall® products. 




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Adventures in Metal Clay


I recently taught at the 2017 Artiscape event in Dublin, OH.  I also took the time to participate in a workshop and learn something new myself!   I had long been fascinated with precious metal clays.  Since I love working with polymer clay, it seemed like the perfect workshop for me to explore taking my clay work to the next level!     

Some key things I learned:
  • Precious Metal Clays can be expensive.
  • There are several brands of Precious Metal Clays.
  • They come in assorted metals and assorted size packages.
  • It takes a lot of practice to achieve truly artistic results.
  • It’s not a “hobby” you can just dive right into - while I discovered that my regular polymer clay tools worked just fine with the clay - firing it is a whole other story - you need a kiln or a torch to fire the pieces, and several “special items” that are part of the process. 
Precious metal clays (often referred to as PMC), have a “drier” feel right out of the package than regular polymer clay.  Once you remove it from the packaging, start working with it right away to create your desired shapes/beads.   A touch of water can help re-moisten or smooth surfaces if necessary.  It is also a bit more fragile when working with it than polymer clay.   

I wanted to create a rustic “charm”, as the workshop sample had a freeform/rustic style charm and I liked the look of it. The one in this bracelet was made from silver PMC.

We were given the option of bronze or copper PMC - and I was fortunate enough to share with the women sitting next to me so we each got a chance to work with both!  I found no real difference in working with one versus the other.  

I rolled bronze clay with a clay roller to about the thickness of two quarters stacked - the instructor said it was best to not go much thinner than that to ensure a sturdier finished bead.

I used metal alphabeet stamps to stamp a word into my rolled clay (you can also use rubber stamps, or mold your clay in molds, or add hand  “carved”  accents), then hand “tore” the edges to the desired size and random shape.  It had a bit of a crackled, almost leathery surface as it was drying while I worked with it - but I liked the effect so I chose not to smooth it out with water.  I also created an irregular flat round bead, and tried extruding the metal clay and it worked fine!   Lastly, I rolled some irregular round beads.   I made holes in each with a clay tool.




Then things got really “interesting”.  We learned how to torch fire our metal clay charms & beads.  We used fire bricks and screens beneath our clay when firing.  You start firing until you see the “clay” burn off and the metal beneath is glowing and continue firing for the proper amount of time.   How long you torch fire them varies depending upon the type of clay and the individual torch.   Immediately after firing, you drop it into a mixture called “pickle” which is made up of hydrogen peroxide, salt, and white vinegar.  There are several “recipes” for creating pickle online.  Once the charm has set in the pickle for a few minutes, you remove it and place it in water.   Then you remove it and begin to scrub away the “blackening” with steel wool.  The more you scrub, the more the metal will shine through.   It’s a workout, for sure.   



We each had the opportunity to fire one of our charms/beads during the workshop.   I brought the rest of my pieces home to try my luck at firing them.

For another glimpse at how my interest in metal clay began you can view my book review of Irina Miech’s Metal Clay Collection for Beaders here at When Creativity Knocks.  As you can see just from the cover - her metal clay pieces are stunning. 

This was quite an adventure for sure.  I feel like I’ve had just a tiny glimpse into the world of possiblities of working with precious metal clays - and I know that I’ll be trying it again in the future.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Earth" Beads Bracelet


"Earth" Beads Bracelet

These textured beads were not originally intended to be “Earth” Beads - but when I finished them the first thing that came to mind was that they reminded me of images of Earth!   Change the colors, and you’ll have an entirely different result, but they will still have a great dimensional texture…  This project is also featured this week on When Creativity Knocks. 

Materials: 

Makin’s Clay® - Blue 60g 
Metallic green microbeads 
JudiKins™ Diamond Glaze™
Green and blue glass “Indian” seed beads 
Toothpicks 
Jewelry wire, crimps, closure, jewelry pliers 

Instructions:

Roll balls of blue Makin’s Clay® to desired size. The number of balls will depend on the size you make, and the desired finished size for your bracelet.   7 Were made for this bracelet, and they are bout 1/2” in circumference. 

Pour a little Diamond Glaze™ onto a disposable surface and spread out to form a small puddle.  




Pour green metallic microbeads onto disposable surface.  

Quickly roll each bead throught he puddle a couple of times - the intention is NOT to completely coat the bead - just apply the glaze in random patterns. 

Immediately roll each bead into the microbeads.  Diamond Glaze is not just a glaze, it has adhesive qualities so the microbeads will stick to the clay bead where the glaze has been applied.  



Make holes by carefully inserting toothpicks through the center of each bead.   I chose to slightly flatten my beads, but you can leave them round if you prefer. 


Pour a small amount of Diamond Glaze into a small container (a medicine cup, even a cap from a shampoo bottle would work….. you want it small enough to not waste too much glaze, yet large enough to insert your clay beads.)   

Dip each bead into the glaze to completely cover surface.  Allow excess glaze to drip back into the container, then transfer the beads on the toothpicks to dry between two raised surfaces - this will allow excess glaze to drip from the bead.  While they are drying, watch for drips/distortions and carefully remove any undesired glaze with another toothpick.  



Let dry 24 hours.  Remove the toothpicks from the beads.  String onto jewelry wire with green and blue seed beads in desired pattern between each “Earth” bead.  Add crimps and closure. 




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Needle Felted Child's Purse DIY Video



In this week's episode of When Creativity Knocks, I'm sharing how to create this sweet little purse for a special little girl in your life.  I tried needle felting for the first time and I must say I love it!  I also did some simple embroidered details.  Featuring products from Clover®, Beacon Adhesives™ and JudiKins™.