Saturday, 30 October 2010

My first time with Sukerukun :)

Hello everyone!

 I've had my first time with Sukerukun clay couple of days ago :) and like most of you know, the first times are not like you imagine they'd be. I thought it will be nice, easy and with no stress. Well it wasn't bad but not what I was expecting. It was sticky and messy :D

But seriously I must say that I didn't realize that Sukerukun is so sticky. It felt like i was playing with chewing gum not clay ^_^ It even looked like this when I ripped a piece off :)
The one tip I could give to anyone starting to use this clay is if you want to roll it thin, use something like simple foil envelope. The clay wont stick to it and it will be easier to take it off the surface. I normally work using glass table and this clay didn't want to come off glass surface.
So here are some photos of my orange slices:
I think I made them too thin... But oh well, they will be used for something anyway :)
I didn't mix the clay with paints, I just let it dry and then painted them with glass paint, because I thought they will be more transparent. I have also experimented with painting them and I got the best results using white gel pen (I think it was filled with something similar to correction fluid). With this pen I could get really thin lines which could not be achieved using the smallest brush. The only disadvantage of it was that it didn't like to be varnished and it smudged when i brushed it with it. So the only option was to dip them in varnish and it worked :)
Here you have a photo how transparent they are:

I have also made some kiwi slices :) I'm sorry Rui, I didn't follow your tutorial :P I was going to but I was just too lazy to cut the insides and put normal clay in. Instead I painted them with glass paint and normal acrylic paint.

I've made banana slices too, but using Fimo air dry clay.

I got really excited with making fruits so I've made some more today :) I also made some watermelon pieces but I used a bit different painting technique and I will write about it in my next post. I am also in a process of testing a new medium for whip cream. I'm not sure if someone has tried it before though. At least I haven't heard about it.

I hope you enjoyed it all and thanks for looking! :)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Halloween Nightmare and homemade whip cream experiment :)

Hello everyone!
Just like the title of this post says, this year Halloween is a nightmare for me.  I showed you some of the Halloween decorations I've made in my last post. I also said there that I'm going to make Halloween cupcakes. And I did.
I didn't want to waste my Grace cream and I didn't want to use silicone, because I wanted them to be more durable, and so I decided to try something new: mixing my air dry Fimo clay with water and make my own first homemade whip cream. I must say that it takes a while to mix it properly, and i think i got over exited with water and I've added to much of it :( The cream was soft and I could pipe it through with ease. The cupcakes looked lovely up to the moment when the cream started to "melt"... I don't know how to describe it in English. The cream didn't stay on top of the cupcakes, it just melted around. The decorations didn't stay were they meant to, but instead they moved away from each other. It was a disaster :) And that's why I won't show you photos of my nightmare cupcakes here, because they are  too embarrassing for me :D

Instead, i will show you my other cupcakes I've made with Fimo cream  leftovers. I've made them when I finished Halloween cupcakes, when I didn't know that the cream on them is melting :( So I wasted half of my nice cupcake bases, but oh well, it happens...

As you can see, this clay is matt and I will have to finish them off with gloss varnish. I've used my handmade photo holders, which were sprayed with white paint, but as you can see it starts to chip off, and that is a sign for me not to use them in my Etsy work, but to use proper photo clips ^_^

You can see how the decorations has moved apart from each other :( Especially on this strawberry cupcake.  And the cream has lost it's definition, and now it looks more like frosting or icing (I don't know which one is professional definition:P ).

Here you can see the cream closer:

It doesn't look bad but it's not perfect either.  I just made a mistake not trying it out on a side :( Hopefully I will learn a lesson from this mistake :) Next time (oh yeas, I will try it again! :D ) I will add less water, and even if it will be harder to pipe it through, I will be shure that it won't loose the shape.

The clay cream is now hard enough to be varnished, and it feels much sturdier than Grace cream, which even after drying can be squashed with fingers. This one feels really tough. I can't judge how it holds tiny items, because I have attached them with tiny bit of glue underneath, but I think it would hold details pretty well, especially after varnishing it couple of times (to achieve this glossy effect).

I must say that even if it was too watery, it looks nice on small items, like these tiny macaroons:
I've filled them up with Fimo cream because I really, really don't like wasting things :) (when they cost so much!) You can see that the cream hasn't lost its shape and it looks like a proper cream :)

So what have I learned from this? Well, not much :D One thing maybe: not to be so impatient and try things out first before using them.
I have done all of this mess day ago and I must say that it made me really sad. I had to wait a day to write about this, otherwise you would get really depressing post! :D I was really looking forward to make these Halloween cupcakes, which i was planning to sell in a shop next to my cafe. Now I have nothing for them and I have to think about other ideas for them :)
I have also bought loads of stuff in a moment of desperation ^_^ I bought four different types of modelling paste and I will try to review them the best I can in the close future. I've done it because I want to stop using silicone, and use Grace clay only for mini items, like jewellery, because this clay is a bit expensive. So stay tuned for some unprofessional reviews! :D

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Halloween cupcakes and easy pumpkin tutorial :)

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

I have never really celebrated Halloween before and because of that I didn't plan to make any sweets with Halloween theme. But I recently visited my local sugar craft shop and they had these cute black cupcake liners with white skulls on them and I just couldn't resist buying them! :D And so now I have to make something from them so they won't get wasted, and the only idea I got was to make cupcake photo holders! :D
I have filled them with silicone (this is the cheapest way for me so far) and then applied some glue on it (after silicone dried :) and topped them up with air dry clay and "baked" :)

I must say that I was searching for a way to fill them with something and have proper looking cupcakes. Most of the cupcakes I've seen on other blogs (especially Japanese ones) were made with foil liners. I also found out that some people are using hot glue to fill them in and then they top them up with clay. I tried it and I must say that you can fill normal, paper liners with hot glue too :), but this way is too expensive for me, as you probably need two or more small sticks to fill mini cupcake. Silicone is much cheaper and I had some that I wasn't gonna use for anything else :) It smells a bit for some time but the smell disappears after a while.

So yesterday I made these cupcake bases and day before I 've made some decorations from polymer clay. They may not look like sweets but It wasn't my intention and I have little or even no experience with creating Halloween decorations anyway.

I've made these gravestones :)
And these cute spiders and orange sprinkles. They look like spider eggs! (my boyfriend had a great fun playing with them :D )
Here you have cute bows with smiley skulls and some marshmallows in the background. I didn't want to make serious Halloween theme, but something cute :)
And finally my happy pumpkins! I have never made pumpkins before so I'm kind of glad that they came out like this :)
I also made a short video how I made these cuties (without leaves but you can figure out how to attach them :) I didn't plan to record anything, but suddenly just decided to grab a camera and do it :P At the beginning I wanted to make pumpkins from eight little orange shaped pieces but it didn't look nice. Then I used this clay shaping tool and it worked from the first attempt! :D So here is my little tiny tutorial and please forgive me random sounds! I just couldn't be bothered to edit it and add music :D
My hands look HUGE in this video! :D I didn't realize that you won't be able to see what I've done at the end: I used this round end of a pen to press the top of the pumpkin. After that I made little hole on the top, put a bit of liquid Fimo and inserted stem with the leaf  :)

Hope you enjoyed this short video!
And thanks for looking! :D

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
"See you tomorrow!"

Sunday, 24 October 2010

First day of selling my creations at my cafe :)

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

I promised yesterday that I will post some photos of things I've made for my boss :) Please forgive me the quality of all photos! I had to take them quickly in the morning, just before work :) I didn't anyone to see me taking photos :P Although my other boss saw me, but she knows that I'm a little wacko so she didn't say anything ^o^

At first, we were planning to pack all the items separately in cello bags and add little label on top, but we found cute little stand and decided that it will be better to hang them on it. It even has a tiny heart on top! :D Here are some pics:

I wanted to print everything in blue just like I have it on Etsy and here, but I went for a pinky coffee colour, just because it blends into cafe background better (not that I don't want customers to notice them! :D ) I have also added a little note, stating that they are not edible items. Better safe than sorry! (hmm don't know if you say it this way... :P ).

I know that some of you may think that they are nothing special and are not really complicated, but I had to think about the type of customers that come to the cafe. I didn't really want to make too fancy things, because it wouldn't suit the character of our cafe and people just wouldn't buy it. I wanted them to be simple, quite cheap and similar to things we sell :)
I think that donuts are my favorite ones :) I made couple with jam filling inside of the bite, but you can't see it on pictures. But I made one major mistake - donuts with holes don't have jam inside! Silly me! But that just proves the fact that I haven't got much experience with sweets, I don't eat donuts :D

And here is my tiny hot chocolate with chocolate shavings, marshmallows and little cookie. I couldn't decide which picture I like better, so I've posted two :) I kind of like how the photo looks like, even with my digital camera it turned out a bit artistic! :D Lucky me!

We've started selling them today but we haven't sold any yet, although people were interested and were asking questions about them. Hopefully they will start buying them soon! :D
I'm looking forward to hear what you think about them :)

Hope you enjoyed reading this and thanks for looking!

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Never grow up!

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

I'm back again :) It's a bit awkward coming back to blogging after almost a week break. I feel like I forgot how to do this! :D Well hopefully it all will go well. I would like to tell you guys about lots of things but I won't do it today because I haven't got many pictures :P

 You may wonder what I have been doing for so long (or maybe you're not..). Well first of all I had my birthday last Monday :) Yeah, I'm one year older than I was before (if really you can be older that I am now lol O_o' ).  I don't really want to start talking about my thoughts about life, what I have achieved and all that blah blah when you have birthday and you look back at your last year of your life and think: what I have or haven't done? Well the only thing I would like to say is: technically I am old (well I think that I am) but I will never grow up :D I think I will be one of those grannies that wear etnies shoes and listen to metal music ^__^
And make mini deco sweets :D

So what I have done with deco sweets recently? Well I have finished custom phone and key charms for my boss and I can proudly say that she's selling them in her cafe (where I work). I was so excited about it that I totally forgot to take nay pictures of them so I will take some tomorrow and post them in the evening. So you wont think that I'm lying! :D I just have to do it before people will start coming in, otherwise i will look like a total weirdo! :D

I have also re listed some of my cupcake charms. I have changed cream from silicone to Grace air dry clay. Some people told me that Grace clay doesn't stick to anything but I actually love it :) I must say that I applied glue under the cream and on the little roses and leaves, so everything is mega safe now :D Indestructible! :D

I have also made loads of little components for cupcake picture holders. I am also planning to start decorating photo frames and cookie jars :) I just need to go to Ikea next week for supplies. Mmm, my beloved Ikea... :) And I have one little secret about what I will create soon but I won't tell you this yet. I'll just say that it's quite common among deco sweets artists, but I'm not sure what is it for, so I kind of created a use for it with a little twist. Hopefully it will look good :)

I also have some new items to list on Etsy so stay tuned and check out the news on Facebook! :)

Till the next time and thanks for looking!

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"

Friday, 15 October 2010

Japan #2 and Mo-pan #1 !!!

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

This will be short post and not about deco sweets :D It will be about bread!
I've made bread before but because currently I'm in the middle of watching "Yakitake Japan!" anime series, I'm kinda more into bread making than before. So recently I got some really nice fresh yeast and I was planning to make some bread. I've got this recipe from one of my bosses and I must say that it's the easiest bread recipe ever and I think the healthiest :) The only ingredients in it are flour, yeast, salt and water. That's it! And here is my bread made with fresh yeast:
This is actually my first bread I made with just white flour. I know it sounds weird, but before I've been using only wholemeal or mixed type of flour just to have healthier bread :D And I've never used fresh yeast only dried ones, so I'm kind of proud of myself ^__^

But this bread is not the reason of my post.
It's Japan #2 !

You're probably thinking now: "What the f.. is she talking about?" Well thanks to Tiff I've started watching "Yakitake Japan!" series and they had a recipe for a bread made in rice maker. Well it may sound normal for some of you, but for me a foreign person in UK, it is the most random thing I've ever heard! Even my Thai friend was sceptic, when I told her that I'm planning to make a bread in rice cooker. Well, here it is:
Surprisingly it worked! I've never done it before so I'm really glad it came out like this :D .And it tasted like real bread! Although I think I prefer my bread more! :D

If you'd like to make Japan #2 here is video on how to make it:
So have fun everyone making Japan #2 !
And thanks for looking! :)

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My first time with Fimo air dry clay :)

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

I haven't posted anything recently because (let's be honest) I was a bit lazy and I was preparing stuff for items i will be selling at my work :) Hopefully I will start selling them at the beginning or end of the next week. Whoop whoop! I also had my first sale on Etsy and now I'm waiting for the feedback. I hope everything will be OK! Fingers crossed! :D

I have lots to show you now and in the future, I just haven't got any pictures yet! :P Therefore for now I will tell you about my experience with second type of air dry clay, Fimo brand. yes Fimo has got lightweight air dry clay and it's white not like this horrible crappy grey clay I have bought before :D

 I bought it after reading Tiff's tutorial on the basic products you should use when starting to make deco sweets. She was using different brand of clay (I don't remember the brand now :P ) but I have discovered that her brand now is sold under Fimo name, so it should be the same product just with different brand. So OK. I was a bit excited :) My first impression when I got it was that is much heavier than Daiso clay. The surprise was inside:
As you can see it's much more sticky than other air dry clays. I mean I've tried only Daiso so I can't compare much! :D Anyways, I could easily see that it's sticky. You can also see me wearing gloves :) I wore them because it was really messy to mix it with acrylic paint. Daiso just loved mixing it with paint, but this clay didn't absorb it so easily. It did mix at the end but I had to wear gloves, so I wouldn't have to wash my hands every five minutes. And it was sticking really bad to my hands even while kneading it:
Check out my chunky sticky fingers! :D It didn't feel as smooth as Daiso.

I can't say that I didn't like this clay. It's available in UK for fairly cheap price. It may be not as nice to work with as Daiso, which I have to buy from Japan. The only advantage of this clay is that it feels sturdier than daiso and I know that i won't be afraid that it will break. I think that it has advantages of air dry clay (weight and air drying) and polymer clay (being less fragile). Therefore I decided to make some cupcakes and cookies from it but this I will show you soon :)

I will probably write some more about this clay in the future as I will be using it more often, so stay tuned for more!
And thanks for looking! ^_^'

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Sweet & Tiny Giveaway !!!

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

I would like to announce that Sweet & Tiny has been chosen to a Giveaway Contest sponsored by Artellect Etsy Team Blog!
There are 7 items you can win and there will be 7 winners! :D
This is my item included in the giveaway:

For more information and how to enter visit Artellect Etsy Team Blog!
Good luck! ^__^'

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Sophie & Toffee free discount codes!

Hello everyone!

This will me a quick post as I want to make bigger one soon :)
I've got two 10% discount codes from Sophie & Toffee shop totally free! Its for your first purchase from their shop so you have to be a new customer :) You must enter the code I will give you at the checkout and you will receive discount and I will receive a mystery gift :D
So if anyone want a code (I have two) please contact me on my email:
Hurry up!
And have fun shopping at Sophie & Toffee!!
(BTW check their FB fan page, they mentioned something about going on holidays soon so they might not post your order straight away :D )

Till the next time and thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My first time with air dry clay :)

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

Hello, I'm back again! I haven't post anything recently because... hmm I'll be honest, i was a bit lazy (>_<) And I've started watching new anime (well new for me) "Jakitake!! Japan",  all because of Tiff :D Thanks BTW. It's OK, very funny, sometimes a bit silly, like the whole idea of creating Japanese bread, or cutting bread dough with the sword etc :D but I like silly and romantic animes like this ^_^'  So this is one of the things that's been keeping me away from sculpting.  But before I'll start saying what I want to, I would like to share with you two really happy things that has happened to me as a fresher on Etsy :)

First of all I got included in Etsy Treasury called "Thanks for memories"! I was so happy! Not only because of that, but because this treasury is not only about deco sweets or kawaii items. It's created with more adult and artistic items, and that is really flattering for me, as I can see that (let's say) "normal" people may like my items too, not only kawaii fans :D

The second thing is I've just receive an email from Artellect Etsy Team Blog, asking me if I'd like to contribute one of my items as a giveaway on their blog, which can help promote my shop on Etsy. From all of the shops they've chosen me! I couldn't believe. I said yes off course! So now I'm waiting for their reply and all the instructions. You can visit their blog, it's really cool :)

So all of these things made me really happy but also freaked me out a bit. At the beginning I was excited with my new shop and everything, but now when i see that people are starting to show interest in my items, I start to panic. I think it's because I'm shy and without self confidence really -__- And I'm totally petrified because I want this person who'll win giveaway to like my product and I hope nothing go wrong with postage, mail or anything! :( 
I'm a pessimistic person and I think that I have bad luck, so when things like this happen to me, I know that the laws of the nature will correct it and my un-luck will come into play :( But oh well, we'll see how it will go. Fingers crossed!

The main reason for this post is the fact that I finally started using air dry clay :) Oh yeah! I have some clays waiting for the perfect moment in my drawers, and couple a days ago was my first time with one of them: Lighweight Daiso Air Dry Clay.

My first impression when I received it in a parcel was: it's sooooooooo light! My God! It was just incredible after using polymer clay for so long! I just couldn't believe! I knew that it's lighter than Fimo, but not like that! Amazing! I must say that I felt in love with it from the first second I started kneading it. It felt like I was playing with squishy spongy marshmallow! My fingers were saying to me: "Finally! We're having fun instead of wrestling with clay!" 
After some time admiring the consistency of this heavenly clay, I decided to colour it. As advised in Tiff's tutorial about basic materials for clay, I purchased acrylic paint in ochre colour, and cappuccino as well, because it was cheap and I'm a coffee lover ^__^
here's the picture how these two babies looked like after some tanning session:

First I used my hands, and although I didn't make them too dirty, because air dry clay just soaks the paint inside, I decided to use gloves from now on, just in case not to make the next part of the clay dirty :)  
Cappuccino looks more like skin colour so I used ochre first and I made tiny pancakes ( I will show you them later when I'll learn how to make maple syrup :D ), ice cream cones and a donut. I always wanted to make bitten donut and polymer clay somehow wasn't quite right for this task.

I wanted to play around with bites and shading with pastel chalks, and I must say that the difference between air and polymer clay here was just too obvious. For me personally, it's just impossible to shade polymer clay with pastels. They just don't stay on it or don't spread evenly. It's different with air dry clay, pastels just love it and go well with it :) And it's SO easy to make bites in donuts! I have made just one major mistake here. I forgot that inside should be brighter an I should "stick" lighter colour inside of the bite, so it looks natural. Oh well, I've just learnt my first air dry clay lesson :)

I've got really excited about this clay and somehow I've used all of it to make army of these little babies:

You can't see the size of them here, but I've made some bigger ones for bag charms and smaller ones for mobiles :) One more time I have to say that I'm really impressed and amazed how easily you can make macaroons from air dry clay. I can eve say that I felt like I was cheating a bit :P Don't get angry at me saying this now. What I want to say is creating the same textures and effects in polymer clay as in air dry clay is just really hard. You have to work I don't know, two times harder to achieve the same, or at least similar effects. So please don't be annoyed at me, this was just my personal impression :)

There was one thing I was a bit worried about this clay before I started using it. Everyone was saying that it dries really quickly and after a while it doesn't knead well and it cracks. Well I don't remember anyone saying this, but I've discovered that you can just dip your fingers in the clean water and knead it with clay, and it's just fine then. I even tried it with one day old clay wrapped from the bag, or EVEN with partially dried piece (it was drying out for about two hours). It felt a bit grainy at the beginning but after adding more water and kneading it properly, it became mouldable and I made a brand new piece from it :)

So then I asked myself: will I start using air dry clay from now on or will I stay with my old friend Fimo? Well the answer is not that easy. Even if air dry clay is so easy to work with, I wouldn't be so shure how sturdy and indestructible it is. It's really light and feels rather fragile. I definitely won't use it for for example thin bag or key charms, like cookies. I think they would break easily. I will probably use it for bigger, chunkier pieces, which if they were made from polymer clay, would be too heavy. I will use them for macaroons because I will fill them with cream and they won't break.
I also wont use this clay for detailed items or decorations, like roses or ribbons etc. It doesn't like to be rolled out thinly and it cracks on the edges. Polymer clay is much useful for it and you have plenty of time to change your designs, which is not possible with air dry clay.

And so my verdict is:
I will start using air dry clay and won't betray my old Fimo! ^_^

Hopefully I didn't bored you with this essay :D And please don't think it's a review, I don't really know how to write reviews. It's just my personal experience with new type medium and maybe other people have different opinion about it. Next time I will try different type of air dry clay and air dry clay whipped cream so stay tuned for more experience sharing! :)

Till the next time and thanks for looking!

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
"See you tomorrow!"

Friday, 1 October 2010

Summer cupcakes on Etsy!

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

Welcome everyone!
After yesterday's very disturbing post I decided to write about something more pleasurable ^_^ Cupcakes! Yes I have finally finished taking pictures of my cupcakes I made a week before. I also finished their design and I must say that I'm quite pleased with them :)

Here are some photos:

I really struggled with taking pictures as these cupcakes looked funny with charm resting on top of them. You could only see how pretty they are when you hang them on something so you can actually see how the whole charm looks like in reality :) 

Hope you all like it and thanks for looking!

BTW I want to start watching animes but I don't know which one I should watch first.
Have you got any recommendations? :)

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
 "See you tomorrow!"