Thursday, December 31, 2015

Polymer Clay Journey: I Need To Condition My Clay? Explain It.

Something that I learned a year ago when my polymer clay "journey" began, was that polymer clay must be conditioned prior to using it. My young friend Luke who has been working with clay for years now, uses Sculpey 3 and has never concerned himself with conditioning. In fact, I asked him if he knew about this requirement and he said, "no." Several months ago when I decided to try out the other few brands of clay, I did check out the only brand he has ever used and discovered it was super soft and squishy. Which then caused me to wonder if super soft means you do not have to worry about conditioning your clay. Well as always, I researched the hard work already done by fellow clay artists and the answer from the folks who make it, Polyform, is "yes." If you do not condition or mix and knead your clay, it won't be able to reach it's maximum strength potential because the polymers or plasticizers won't be evenly combined through out the clay. That being said, I did discover that sculpted 3 is one of the weakest clays on the market. I do try mixing it with the Premo, Souffle or Fimo to use the great colour selection Sculpey offers, but  I have since concluded that Sculpey 3 is just too weak to use on any projects that require durability and strength. It is great for children and people with weak hands like me or arthritis, because of it's easy condition-ability. And it is great for the great little critters that my young friend makes, take a look here:

Just recently he received Premo clay and today, I am going to help him to learn how to use it. I don't want him to give up when he sees how much stiffer it can be compared to S3. On that note, I wanted to share some great Polymer Clay Tutorial Videos about Clay Conditioning and other basics. Hope it helps!!
Conditioning Polymer Clay 



HeArtfully Creating,
Anita


Saturday, December 26, 2015

DIY Craft Channel Recommendation Time: So Craftastic

Okay, sorry, initially I wanted to recommend a YouTube DIY crafty/DIY channel each week. However, obviously, I made a commitment that was unreasonable for me, in light of the happenings of life. So for now, I will just be a recommending channels that are good for children of all ages, as they inspire me. This young lady's channel "SoCraftastic" is one I have watched off and on for years now. Sarah's  bubbly personality and love for creating make me smile. It matters to me that children have "safe" channels to watch and learn from. Sarah's is one of those channels. Watching good tutorials is how I learn and I am almost 50 years old. People of all ages inspire me and help me to learn whatever it is I am wanting to know more about.
Below I am sharing just  a few of her many polymer clay tutorials. She has more than polymer clay tutorials of course, but I am partial to that subject. Just click on here to go to her channel or watch each YT video below. Take a look and like and subscribe to her channel.
Impressive!
What impresses me as an artist and as a student of creativity are those YoutTube artists who make their own videos and those who are able to clearly show us how to make whatever it is they are making. Even more, I love the effort they put into their tutorials, providing great videography, graphics and are able to present their ideas well, no boring moments! Way to go "SoCraftastic!" Thank you for your dedication and heart to teach and share what you love! Congratulations on being successful at it :o)






Saturday, December 12, 2015

ABC YouTube DIY Channel Pick of the Week! Crafts Are Cool!

I love watching DIYs especially art making,  crafty and review type ones. As a middle aged female, I too enjoy sharing what I love to do in video format as well. However, I admit, to record, edit and produce tutorials or videos of any sort, takes time. It isn't as easy as many think. That is why I was super impressed with a channel I discovered last night during my usual YT surfing. I was trying to understand what "decoden" was.  Lo and behold, I began watching this video...listen to her great enthusiasm and very clear directions....

Her channel is called: Crafts Are Cool! 
There are a lot of youthful craft making enthusiasts who love making YT tutorials. Crafts Are Cool has such a bright, cheery and enjoyable attitude and personality, I found myself watching more than just a couple of her videos. No, I didn't need to learn how to make what she was making, I just really enjoyed the heart in her videos. I may be old enough to be her Grandmother, but I really was impressed and wanted to share her channel with anyone of any age. Refreshing and fun! Thanks Crafts Are Cool! Keep up the great work! Happy Crafting.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Bergie Creation: Contest News! The Winner is....

A Bergie Creation: Contest News! The Winner is....: First of all, Thank you to anyone who checked out A Bergie Creation's First  Ever contest, jewelry giveaway. Please check out my Etsy...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Polymer Clay Adventure: 2015 Pavelka Project

I know 2015 is almost over, but it is better late than never. Recently
I discovered a great way to be inspired to create. As an artist, I may always have ideas of what to do next in my head, but that can be a problem. Too many ideas that seem to collide all at once, leaving me overwhelmed. Katie Oskin is a great Polymer Clay Artist that I have discovered in my learning about polymer clay adventure. She offers challenges to help artists have weekly and monthly goals. An excellent idea. It helps me to have an idea. This article is inspired by another poly clay artist, Lisa Pavelka.
Each project is based on her book about the basic fundamentals  of polymer clay.

This month's project was to transform a basic glass jar into something unique using polymer clay.
I wanted to share before and after photos of the jar I did. The design was created using hand mixed translucent red polymer clay. I prefer Premo aand Fimo. Hey, they rhyme. My goal was to make a piece that would be a sort of faux stained glass effect. You can see once it was baked, that a lit tea light, causes the poppies to glow.
Here is the accompanying You Tube video so you can see the details...

To see my handmade jewelry check out my Etsy shop here. Oh and if you want to win over $150 worth of my jewelry, enter my first giveaway contest here!

HeArtfully Creating,
Anita
A Collage From Start To Finish!

The jar completed with a lit tea light inside








Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Balmy Adventure

Alright, I did it. I did make the DIY lip balm and since the base is the same, as a bonus, I also made some solid perfumes. It all started after weeks of whining to my husband about how much the new EOS balms I bought, just weren't working well enough. Since I did make my own balm last year, I thought I would make a new batch and use the EOS containers. The containers are one of the reasons why I wanted to buy the EOS containers in the first place. Cool design. Here are the many way you can reuse the EOS container videos that I compiled here. I realize that my chapped lips mean nothing in light of what really matters in life. So hey, consider this a diversion.  All I know is for the first time since I was a kid who over licked my lips to the chapped state, my lips have been actually stinging and burning for no reason! Must be a lot drier this season than ever before!! EOS just wasn't cutting it. Mind you I must say, the only brand that does work for me, no waxy feeling, is Blistex. But, I wanted to make my own again. It helped that I already had the supplies.
Watch The Details In My Balmy YT Video Below


Recipe Or NO Recipe?
Before,  I made my own last year, I did do a lot of research checking out the countless websites and YouTube tutorials regarding this topic. What appealed best to me, were recipes that contained coconut oil, shea and cocoa butter, vitamin e oil, and beeswax. No, I didn't reuse old balm containers, I bought some on Ebay. Just the normal long tube types. 

Never been a recipe follower, I don't even like following patterns when sewing, knitting or crocheting. Yes, all baked goods that involve rising, like birthday cakes, do force me to actually follow the measurements given. Unless I have a craving for a hockey puck cake. 

I know this is not an article about making art, but it is still about creating. Believe it or not, for me, making my own beauty/body products is a creative opportunity. Maybe it is because once I know the basic ingredients and learn how it all works together, that is when I create whatever it is, using my own ideas. It is why nothing I ever cook or make, ever has the same result twice. 
What I learned from making Balm Before? 
Flavour? Yes or no? This time I added a few drops of coconut extract. But I have to warn everyone, don't do what I did the first time. I added flavour last time by using some cinnamon. Big mistake. So, I proudly gave away a bunch of handmade lip balms. Nope, I hadn't even really tried it yet. After about ten people had A Bergie Creation lip balm, I happily swiped it onto my lips and then suddenly it hit me! Really, it did. Sure I tasted cinnamon, but cinnamon actually BURNS! Oh yah! 
Apparently cinnamon is what you can use to naturally plump up your lips. Frankly ladies, embrace the lips God gave you. It is never good to mess with His creation. And using hot cinnamon to make your lips swell, not a great idea. Trust me! Boy did I feel bad that I gave a bunch of people I care about, a lip balm that caused a burning sensation! Needless to say, this batch of balm, NO Cinnamon!
This Time Round
Reusing containers is a lot more difficult than I imagined. It is important to get them as clean and as dry as possible. I even tried boiling them in a pot of water assuming the oils would come right off. Nope, not so much. Since it already had taken me over two hours to make my little creations, I just decided I would wipe the containers out and just make sure they were bone dry. If not, I believe bacteria can grow. If you thought cinnamon hurts, bacterial infections - much worse!

The EOS containers had to be pried open with a utility knife. Not something I recommend for anyone who is unsteady or too young.
Utility knives are sharp! I struggled and struggled, even my husband couldn't pry off the supporting "wheel" par,t in the container. Eventually, I got it. No fingers were lost, but it wasn't worth the struggle. I learned about this from watching the tutorials on YouTube. I did see someone using cling film instead of prying the supporting "wheel" from the container. In the end, I messed it up anyway.


Ingredients:
Shea and Cocoa Butter
Beeswax
Coconut Oil
A pan of simmering water
A heat proof glass measuring cup
Disposable Pipette or Eye Dropper
For Solid Perfume: Scented oils of your choosing
cleaned and dried lip balm or other containers.

Get Melting
The details on what I did and how are in the video above. 
Is It Worth It?
For me, it is worth it because I like the results. I am particular about how a lip balm feels and softens. Do not like any waxy,
coated feeling. If you want to make handmade lip balm to save
money. Make sure you add up how much it will cost to purchase all of the butters, oils and containers. You do get a lot out of that but, any oil product, including butters like cocoa, can go rancid over time. Storing it in the freezer may preserve the freshness. So unless
you are lip balming the whole neighbourhood, it can take a while to use up those not so cheap ingredients before they are ruined from age.  I did conclude that since my EOS reusing experiment,  did not succeed, no, it didn't turn out right. It was

my fault for not bringing the top and bottom half together before the melted butters and wax mixture started to set. That I won't do again! Watch the video and you will see. At least I can still use the balm with my finger!




Hope this was at least entertaining and even better if you are inspired to create something!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Creative Ways To Reuse EOS "lip balm" containers...

Lip Balm And Creativity?
Heartily Creating is about encouraging and inspiring folks of all ages to create, especially young ones. I remember being young, sooooo long ago :o) So what does reusing an EOS Lip Balm container
have to do with creativity? Just so you  know, that was what I asked myself as I searched out for DIY
videos on how to make a handmade lip balm to put into an EOS container. I may be an old person,
but I am an artist and I must confess that I never heard of EOS until this year. I saw it in an online shop and because I am a visual artist first and foremost, I actually tend to by things because of how they look! I saw these little round orbs and loved the unique shape and colour, one even had stripes!
A Side Note: EOS Review
My review regarding the actual lip balm product? Well, sorry, my husband and I are huge lip balm users and therefore experts on the topic...maybe not experts but we have an opinion. Because I have been making my own lip balm formula for a couple of years now and loving the results, EOS, is not anywhere near as moisturizing and slick. In fact, it may look and smell great, it may even last a long time, but it is because there is too much beeswax or whatever kind of wax they use. It makes it too firm and therefore when it is applied to the lips, I have to rub it back and forth a dozen times to feel like I have enough on my lips and even then, I am left feeling unsatisfied.
Better Balm Option-Personally Speaking...
My balm recipe is not really measured, based on experience and research I add about 2 parts beeswax, 3-4 parts refined virgin coconut oil, a few drops of vitamin e oil, 1 part or so of coco butter unrefined and unrefined shea butter. Like I said not really a recipe. but boy does it turn out moisturizing and slick. It isn't "waxy" like EOS and other balms can be. Oh and did I tell you the EOS peppermint balm is unusable by both of us because it burns our lips, just too strong and I like mint!
EOS Container Creativity
On that note, creating anything is part of creativity, so that justifies posting this article on Heartfully creating. I am about to create some new handmade balm after we dig out and clean our full EOS balm containers (no, we haven't even used it all up - the mint - nothing used). Right below is the video I plan to use to help me figure out how to reuse the EOS container to get my DIY balm inside. That lead me to seeing the other YT videos about resuming EOS. Not for lip balm but other things I never would have thought of. See what happens when you are in creative mode?

Be inspired :o)

HeArtfullyy Creating,
Anita

ReUse An EOS Lip Balm Container-Make Your Own...
A Kawaii Koala Lip Balm Tutorial

Create A Solid Perfume!

How About Creating A Night Light!?
Create A Flash Drive
3 Ways To ReUse Your EOS Container
Nutella Flavoured Balm In An EOS Container
Galaxy EOS Tutorial





CONTEST NOW OVER ----

Check out My First Contest Giveaway!!
Hi. Just wanted to share what I am doing in other parts of my life besides this blog. I also make handmade jewelry, run an online shop on Etsy, 3 other blogs and a You Tube Channel. So thought it would be good to share the link to my first ever jewelry give away contest event!
Details here: A Bergie Creation: Creative Inspiration Contest / Give Away: Ever Contest Give Away!!!







Thursday, November 5, 2015

Newest Pebeo Fantasy Paint and Resin Domed Pendant Necklaces!!

Side Note: I just realized that I accidentally posted this blog on my creativity blog, HeArtfully Creating instead of A Bergie Creation. My brain must be full :o)

Hi guys. I have been working furiously trying to photograph, edit and publish my newest handmade pendant necklaces. As you will discover, I have been having a blast discovering Pebeo brand Fantasy Moon and Prism Paints, as well as doming pendants in epoxy resin. Not to mention, new polymer clay pieces are coming as soon as I get the finishing touches complete!
More will be added throughout the next few days...click here to see details in my shop, A Bergie Creation.


 LIKE A Bergie Creation FaceBook page - click here.

As always, I create my pieces, and then depending on the medium, they often need sanding, polishing and buffing or resin added, whatever the case may be. Then, just as I am with words, photo time happens. On Etsy you only have room for five photos to showcase your pieces. Well, I ALWAYS take triple or more that number, sometimes fifty shots for one piece. It is so important to me, to capture every nuance, angle, hue, and part of my jewelry pieces so customers can know what they are looking at. 

Buying online requires trust that the shop is providing you with as many details as possible. On that note, please always read the description details and policies and procedures before making a purchase on any online shop. It helps to avoid disappointment. Countless times, I don't read, and think say a bead will be a lot bigger because of the photo alone, once I get them, oops, turns out they were only 3mm across. All the information was there, but I foolishly disregarded it. It is easy to be caught up in the appearance and lose sight of the details. 

More will be coming soon... in a "Newest Designs for Fall/Winter 2015" video...SUBSCRIBE to keep updated. And if you want to, it is always great to thumbs up and share these links so others can see A Bergie Creation too!

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Polymer Clay Journey: Make Your Own Logo or Signature Stamps


My handmade "logo" clay stamp...first a few words about signing art work...
If you draw, paint, doodle or make art in any way shape or form, you learned early on, to sign and date your pieces. It was my Dad who showed me that. Every beautiful drawing or painting he did, had his name and the date on it.

This article is about how I was able to create a stamp that I can use to "sign" my polymer clay pieces. To watch the YouTube video with details not in this write up, click here or right below.


"You're Not Van Gogh!"
A self taught artist for the majority of my 49 years here on this earth, I was able to finally enrol in our local Lakehead University's Honours Bachelor Of Fine Arts Program. By then I was about thirty
Vincent Van Gogh Self portrait painting
years old.  I hadn't been able to attend there out of high school, due to the inaccessibility of that particular program. As the years passed, one thing lead to another and eventually, a new, pretty much accessible building was made.
Yay, finally! It only made sense for me to apply. My portfolio in hand, I applied and was accepted. Part time, I was able to complete a full year of credits in about three years. Even though I was already a professional artist, I did learn a lot about composition, printmaking, painting, drawing, art history, and design.

Now, remember I mentioned how most of us learn early on to sign and date our art work? In fact, I tell every child I receive art from, to do the same. Well, here I was in a first year painting class, later in life, established already with my own style and such. After completing an assignment one day in our 4 hour studio class, I did what I always did, I signed my name neatly, in the bottom right hand corner of my abstract painting assignment. As my professor walked toward me to check out my masterpiece, my heart racing anticipation of her praise, my jaw dropped when she asked me, out loud, in front of my entire
Digital Drawing Self Portrait, by Anita Berglund
- Nope, Not Van Gogh, clearly!
class...
"Is your name part of the composition?" Embarrassed, and shocked, and yet understanding her point,
 "No!?" 
dribbled down my chin. She then proceeded to inform me (yes publicly)...
"You are not VanGogh. "
With a hand to my forehead, I exclaimed,
"I am not?" 
Just kidding, I was too humiliated and confused to be such a smart aleck. I bit my tongue. I wanted to ask her how on earth were we to sign our paintings?  She never taught us anything about that, and I never asked even after that day because I assumed it was what all artists, of all ages do!
Hmmm....I admit, I had been proudly and boldly writing my name on my pieces, my whole life. It was what I saw when I looked at other artist's work, Dad's included and rightly so. Perhaps over the years I was getting a tad bolder, wanting my name to pop out. After all, how else would anyone know it was an Anita Harris original? (Since 2001, Anita Berglund original)

Lesson Learned
Needless to say, from that day forward, understanding fully, that I am not Vincent Van Gogh, I sign
My Dad, by Anita Berglund -
see, look to the right, discreet right?
every painting as discreetly as I can. It doesn't pop out, you have to look for it. A part of me wishes I wouldn't have changed this but, she was correct. I got it, my signature did add to the entire look and threw off the composition. In fact, a recognizable element, such as a name or word, has more visual weight to it and through off the balance compositionally speaking. Silly me, thought that all viewers expect a  signature and automatically know that it is not to be considered part of the overall composition.
But, when you pay hundreds of dollars for a university class, it makes sense to glean all the useful, life changing information you can, otherwise what would be the point? I still don't understand some of the students I meet who pay thousands to a post secondary institution, yet, they seem to care less about actually learning and retaining, what they paid for - BY CHOICE, to learn! Hmmm....oops, bunny trail...

Discreet, can you find my name?
My professor would be proud, I hope!
On that note, I still sign my work, but I make sure it is blended in better, or at least not popping out in neon lights.  My husband Craig, signs his on the side edge of the stretched canvas, I always want him to at least sign the front, but he won't.

Now, on the subject of "signing" your creations, be they two or three dimensional. I want to share what I have discovered about how to personalize work done in polymer or other clays for that matter.

Three Dimensional Signatures
Since 2008, when I added jewelry making to my portfolio, signing my work is not possible. Other than packaging your pieces with your logo and signature on the card, it is pretty difficult to sign or mark your pieces. I don't want to be scratching or engraving small earrings or necklaces.

Since 2014, when I began my polymer clay journey,  I discovered that it is possible to imprint your pieces with a signature or logo of sorts. I learned this from watching one of my favourite polymer clay You Tube artists, Cindy Lietz, click this video click here to see where I got the idea, or click this link to see her article about the company that makes and sells these nifty stamps.

Frugality Births Invention
Of course with me, I always like to try to be frugal and try to figure out how I can make something
myself, if possible. So her video inspired me and voila, here is my first attempt at a couple of three dimensional stamps made from polymer clay, to stamp into my clay.

Above is my short video to show you, if you are interested in what I did. I didn't actually film the "making it" process, but if you are interested, I am more than happy to make a video or tutorial with more details. Let me know below.
Hope you learn something useful.

What Do You Think?
Have you had any issues or experiences regarding signing your art work? I would love to read about them in the comments below. If you have any questions, special requests, or thoughts and feedback, also, I would love to hear from you. Just write it all down below and if you are interested, you can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button to the right.

If you are interested in checking out my other creative projects and connecting in other ways and such....
Subscribe to our Anita and Craig Berglund YouTube Channel (where all of these videos and others are uploaded)
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Polymer Clay Journey: Making Texture Rollers...

Making texture sheets, using your own designs, is a lot of fun and a great creative expression that can be re-used as many times as you

want. Unless your sheet breaks of course. After seeing texture rollers  in a Polymer Clay Tutor product demo and the sculpted tool you can buy, I thought why not? So I tried making some texture rollers out of polymer clay and here are the results. 
Just watch the corresponding video below on our YouTube channel. 

Materials Needed and Baking Clay Advice
 If you have hands, that is your number one needed tool.

∆ You don't need fancy tools, just a craft or X-Acto knife

∆ Polymer Clay

∆ You can use anything to help make your impressions into the
I like to cover my tools and tin can holders in clay!
clay, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, utensils, needle tools, ball tools, cake decorating tools. Just do not re-use anything you use for polymer clay on food after. Keep them as special tools.


∆ If you want to purchase inexpensive polymer clay tools, I bought a lot for free shipping on Ebay from Asia. Just search for wax carving tools, clay tools, cake decorating tools, wire tools and nail art tools. From those searches, you will find a lot of cheap, helpful useful instruments.




∆ A Dedicated pan to bake on, I use a ceramic tile on cake pans I no longer use and then cover the items with an aluminium pan to protect the clay from discolouring.

∆ A Smooth craft sheeted surface. I use a large ceramic tile or piece of glass to work on.

∆ Bake your clay as per the package directions and then some. I
Add caption
follow all the advice I have heard which is bake always, at least for one hour to make it stronger. You can't burn your clay at the temperature on the package. Only if your oven isn't working right. Then it helps a lot to use an oven thermometer to make sure you oven is heating to the correct temperature.


A Closer Look
As well, here are some photos. No, I didn't film any of the actual making parts, but I think it is pretty self explanatory. I suggest looking up the video mentioned in the texture sheet article by Katie Oskin. Just think instead of a flat sheet of clay, you need to lay or imprint your designs or textures on a polymer clay cylinder. It is a great way to use up scrap clay. All clay is useable and has no reason to be wasted!









Love To Hear From You
If you have any thoughts, questions, ideas or suggestions, please write them below. I would love to hear from you or if there is something you would like to see or learn about. If I can help, I will do my best.

HeArtfully Creating,
Anita


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