Friday, August 05, 2011

Store comparison

Now, I live in an area where the two closest craft stores (they're not really all that close) are Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and I go to each one for different reasons. Let me give you the run down. Michaels is good for keeping up-to-date with the latest Sculpey products, but Hobby Lobby has a lot more generic clay stuff that isn't Sculpey brand but is still awesome. More variety at Hobby Lobby, more reliability at Michaels. Hobby Lobby has more (a LOT more) cookie cutters in the clay section, while Michaels only has Sculpey brand cookie cutters (the mini ones that come in sets of 12). I myself got the basic ones, because the other ones...well I couldn't really figure out what they were, so they weren't really much use to me. As for know, to brush onto the clay before you cook it to give it a certain look...well, I have only experience with the Mona Lisa brand powder, but it works pretty well. I haven't tried any other, not even the Premo! Sculpey brand stuff (I tend to distrust things that look too brightly colored, it sort of looks childish, not serious like the Mona Lisa brand) but I would be willing to try the powders at Hobby Lobby, which come in great variety and quantity for nearly the same price. I suppose I'll get back to you if I do. One thing I do have to say, though, is that now Michaels is selling these really neat storage cases for $2 each which are great for storing beads, clay, anything. Just the other day I went and bought two and they serve me well. But I will say this: if you plan on transporting your clay, do not use these to mass-transport. Use a smaller container and pad it with stuffing or tissues or fabric or something. That is how I transport mine to my customers, and the more padding used, the less chance of it breaking. So now, I must get back to making my mini pumpkin patch. I may post a tutorial on here about how to make mini pumpkins, because I think they're adorable. Nothing I like better than sculpting mini pumpkins late into the night while watching The Muppets Treasure Island...:-)

Pins (and Bake&Bond)

Yes, it is time again for me to give you a good hint.
And it's about the use of pins.
Now, I'm not talking about really sharp ones or really long ones. Short, stubby, bluntish pins do the job just fine.
I use them in almost everything, to hold my pieces together. They are about 1 inch, maybe, and the head of the pin is pretty small. You see, they're different from my sculpting pins, which have a ball at the end (good for hollowing out stuff) and are longer (good for holding when you pierce eyes or something). I got a really cheap ($1) pack of like 250 or so from Hobby Lobby, a really good deal. It's great they're so cheap because I was making a Mario Wiggler and to connect the body segments I used like 4 and for the flower on its head I used one, and I almost used 8 more for the legs but I thought, Bake&Bond will do the job. And so it does. To throw in another tip, use Sculpey Bake&Bond for holding smaller pieces together, and a glue gun for the bigger less fragile pieces. It's like clay glue, and it dries pretty quickly, although not nearly as fast as a glue gun. I think it's sort of the same thing as Translucent Liquid Sculpey, because it's bakeable, but who cares. It gets the job done. It's maybe...$6 or $7? At Michael's.
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