Friday, February 27, 2009

Colorado Road Trip - Jen's Studio Day Four

We were going to shoot video today, but we decided to hold off until the end of our week together so we can showcase all the creative art we've been making.

We also decided that instead of creating, it would be fun to go visit another of my creative friends who lives in Loveland, Judy Caulkins of Judy's Stone House Designs. We met several years ago at a Society of Craft Designers Conference and have been friends and colleagues ever since. We also won the Best of Show in the Innovations display at CHA 2006 with our combined designs....anyways.....

I called Judy...hadn't talked to her in almost a year and said... GUESS WHAT?? Ive got a suprize for you....Can I come visit??? She was a wonderful host on the spot.

Here we are in her house, which has been transformed from a warehouse to an eclectic loft on the ground. Her home just screamed creativity! It was so warm and inviting...just like her!

Here she had displayed one of the wooden journals that I designed for her decorated in an Indiana Jones theme. I wish I knew who decorated the was so cute!

Here is her shelf of inspiration. On the edge closest to you, you can see the purses and albums that we combined to win the Best of Show award. She creates and designs miniatures for the miniature, gift and craft industries.

After the tour of her warehouse - stocked full of mini's....she treated us to lunch...and oh by the way...If you are close to Loveland, she has warehouse sales pretty check out her website and email her and she'll let you know when they are.
This little tea room was just around the corner. The smell of quiche and the aroma's of the tea when you walked in the door was simply was my cheddar cheese soup!
Thank you Judy for treating Jen and I to lunch! That was so kind of you!!!
After Judy's we went to JoAnn's Etc...they have their metal pendants on sale at 40% off! Then went to Sally's. Not typically the place you would look for jewelry supplies...

but I did find these dimensional little flowers made for nail art. Wouldn't they make an adorable embellishment for vintage jewelry? That seems to be one of the latest in jewelry trends...vintage...
We made our way back home with a stop at a bead store and a trip to nearly every grocery store looking for the last issue of the Rocky Mountain news....but no-go....all sold out...
It was a fun day to spend with a friend I dont get to see often.
Tomorrow Jen and I are off to a polymer clay guild meeting to visit with the ONE and ONLY ...POLYMER QUEEN...Ms. Donna Kato!
Check out the Friendly Plastic blog tomorrow. A new project sheet featuring friendly plastic strips and the bead rollers is available....and it's brand new!

Day three of the Creative Road trip!

A little snip-it f our workspace. Mine is the side with the griddle - Jen has hers set up to set rhinestones into friendly plastic. Actually.....believe it or not it's not to bad for a couple of mad creative people.

Jen did errands - I stayed here and created all day long. Mostly Jewelry - which I'll share on tomorrow's blog.

We found some tubing at the hardware store and I sure wish I knew the name of it, because it is perfect to make cylinder beads like Jana does. When you're finished, it pulls right out. But I'll share all those little techniques in upcoming blogs.

We were going to do video's today...but we decided to wait until the end of our week together so we can highlight all the things we've done.

This piece will be appearing on soon - as soon as I get the instructions to them. I call it Spirit of the Heart... to me it looks like it's flowing in the wind.
Now...head on over to these blogs: Friendly Plastic, Jen Lowe Designs and Amidei Madness for more of the inside scoop and photo's of things we've been working on. I've posted my big embellished butterfly there too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Road Trip at Jen's Studio - Day Two

Just get a couple of designers together with time on their hands and they will completely TRASH a studio in no time! So that nice pretty studio that I showed you yesterday??.....Not happenin today!

We were in the washer aisle of the hardware store and I was running around like a little kid in a candy store...then I got a text from Jana. She said..." I'm trying to create art...and I hate everything I made.... Im in a creative slump!" Just about that time - Jen looks at me and says...CALL HER and have her fly in! So I did.! She wanted to come so bad but the flights just didn't work out! (We even tempted her with a chocolate fondue party....and a t-shirt...) But this time it wasn't to be... So (SAD FACE NOW!) And guaranteed we will have a Friendly Plastic Fly In again this year....

After we ran errands, we created for hours upon hours. I did several new techniques and here's one of them. Jen and I used friendly plastic to die cut little shapes and charms. This necklace is a combination of friendly plastic strips, pellets, outline stickers and layers of resin.

Stay tuned - tomorrow I will show the BIG butterfly that I die cut and embellished!...
Well...even though it didn't work out for Jana to come see us....later in the day...I got another text and it said...'I CREATED ART!" and my goodness gracious... did she hop on over to the friendly plastic blog and check out that art candy.....
If she cant come to be WITH least she can by phone - blog and the internet!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Make Your Plastic FANTASTIC....

Jen SWORE up and down we we're NOT going to go to Walmart while I was here.....that's kind of a running joke because when she visited me...we went there three times a day - always needing something.

After a shopping trip to McGukins Hardware Store in Boulder (ohhhhhh....girls.....the found objects in that store......) we came back to the studio and created our little hearts out....yes I will show pictures...but not tonight.... we're in walmart and we walk past these shirts! How could we resist???!!!!! As expected...they will be embellished.....(Im thinking there may be a mad dash to walmart for the shirts??? )

While you're waiting for me to post pictures...have a jump on the friendly plastic blog. Jana's made some incredible art candy there for you to feast your eyes on!

Developing new techniques with Friendly Plastic - coming soon!

I'm thrilled to see the buzz that this blog has created with Friendly Plastic, both in the stick form and the pellets. I get several emails daily asking "Where can I purchase the pellets"???? Well...I will be putting together a list on the side bar of retailers, both online and stores where you can find the product. For right now - you can order it thru if you are in the states or if you are in the UK, you can order the from or

I've headed west for a few days (like 9) to spend time with another designer friend in her studio. The goal is to develop new techniques in friendly plastic. My style is rather organic and chunky and funky. I love to simulate if it's expensive and I can recreate it for less??...oh yeah...Im all over that!

Tonight I came up with a technique to simulate turquoise stone. Looks pretty good! But before I release the technique, it needs some tweeking.

I've got some other tricks up my sleeve....but I'll just have to keep you guessing so that you have something to look forward to!

Speaking of which....look forward to March 1st - when Jana announces details about our new Friendly Plastic challenges. This is a challenge for everyone, beginner or not. We're not judging, we're just playing, having fun and sharing...but you will win some great prizes! I have no details other than that....seriously...Ive tried my hardest to pull them outta Jana and she just won't turn loose of any details other than..."It's outta the box...." So....guess we're all gonna have to wait.

At Jen Lowe's Studio - Day One

Im totally in awe of Jen's studio! It's just oozes with creativity and inspiration. My quite different - functional but uninspiring. However, that will change as soon as I get back. My dad is giving me a studio make over..but that is yet another post!

When people visit me- especially if they are new friends or aquaintances, they always want to see "what I do". My house is very lodge-y and very little of my work is displayed - mostly because "it don't fit!" but Jens home and studio is like a living scrapbook. Her home simply oozes with wonderful works of art - collage frames of wonderful memories of her past, fascinating altered art.. and ways of organizing that just leave me speechless.... functional and artful...

This is her wall of organization and a little office space on the other where she does some papercrafting....

A better look at the incredible wall of organization ....but ....the funny thing organized as she is...she still can't remember where she put stuff...and still goes on the hunt....too funny.

This is the stash of friendly plastic I brought with took up a whole suitcase! There is absolutely NO friendly plastic left in my studio...cept for maybe a piece or two on the floor. And...

this is her stash...............thank goodness I brought enough to work with!!!!!!
Oh...we has SOOOOOOOO much fun last night. Jodi Amidei former editor of Memory Makers Books came over to play too. I made Friendly Plastic turquoise...and today...well..lets just say for the first time in a long time...I woke up - head spinning with ideas...had to run downstairs and grab a notebook and write them all down. I like the phrase a gentleman on the plane told me yesterday. He said....." I dont have alzheimers.... I have some-timers!" I thought that was cute and very true in my case!'s time to get to creating!!! Stay tuned for day two!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dance...Dance...Dance...Dance... - Friendly Plastic ArtDolls by Liz Welch

Just love these little Art Dolls by Liz Welch. I credit her with keeping the Art of Friendly Plastic alive in the UK.

I just thought this an appropriate pic for todays blog - because Im literally Dancing up and down! Im on my way to Colorado to visit the studio of Jen Lowe....and we are going to play and create and color and who knows what friendly plastic.......

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friendly Plastic TV- Candy Striped beads

It's amazing how many polymer clay techniques relate to creating in Friendly Plastic. In this episode of Friendly Plastic TV, I show you how to create Candy striped beads with Friendly Plastic pellets and bead rollers Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hollywood comes to Ozark - Making new videos

It's not hollywood, but it does feel like a mini version of the studio's Ive been to tape craft shows.
I thought you might get a kick out of my make-shift shower curtain window diffuser and the walmart sacks that take the glare off the light that I look into....tacky as it may gets the job done and in a couple of day's, you'll see the fruits of my labor.
I taped two Friendly Plastic TV segments today which will post on the Friendly Plastic TV and Lindapetersondesigns YouTube channels. Tomorrow I hope to tape a couple more videos as well.
I'll give you the links just as soon as they're ready.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Project of the month club preview

The theme for next month is Going Green! Here's a little preview of March's polymer clay POM it wont be this exact little froggie...but it will be very similar...with lots of focus on expression.....
The Multi Media Jewelry club will also be going green - replicating faux green stones in Friendly Plastic. Our focus will be on ways to colorize Friendly Plastic pellets.
So, if you're not a member's not to late to join!!! (see the side bar for details!)
While my focus over the past 15 years has been working with polymer clay, Im finding a new passion and love in Friendly Plastic. I love the way it can be totally retro...totally contemporary...and yes....I have created simple milliefiore canes with it..... I love being on the cutting edge of a medium that I believe is going to come back with a bang and take the crafting world by storm!
Tomorrow I'll be taping video's, the weekend I'll be designing POM's and then next Tuesday, I'll be on my way to Colorado for a week of everything Friendly Plastic and creating. I can't wait!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A big clean out day - Donating to my local high school art honor society

I walked into the studio today, with a full day of ideas planned....and then...I just couldn't take it any longer! Have you ever had a mess so big, that you had to clean it up just to make another mess even bigger?

I looked around and saw hundreds of things I hadn't used in a year, some weren't even out of the package and other things were just gently loved.

Being that Art programs in our high schools are on a tight budget...and really have no budget at all to work with, I called the local high school art department and talked to the director of the Art Honor Society for Ozark High School.

She was thrilled when I told her I was cleaning out my studio. I was thrilled that she wanted the donation! Im glad that the products are going to the school and I can't wait to see what the kids do with all of them.

It was kinda of a blast from the past today....found some classic molds from the early 80's that were made by AMACO. Kinda fun to dig out stuff you never knew you had...

Unfortunately only half the studio was the other side, including my workspace shall await my arrival tomorrow.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Red Candy Beads in Friendly Plastic with Bead Rollers

Just thought I'd share some eye candy! This really looks like a piece of cherry twist candy. It was so fun to make.

I've been spending hours in the studio over the past two weeks coming up with new techniques and this bead features one of them....I did form it with a bead roller....but the rest of the techniques...I'll just have to keep a secret for a short while.

Tips for working with Friendly Plastic pellets

Now that I think of it, I should have taken a picture, but Ive realized a really cool organic effect when working with the pellets. When left to simmer in water for an extensive period of time (and I mean hours) they develop little holes that almost look like coral.

If you dont want the little "pits" then simply condition the clay, folding and rolling it in your fingers.

Also, a little faux pas yesterday. I was working with very old plastic - the type that is very brittle. I wasn't that concerned about it because I really wanted it for the black on the back. What I discovered was that it melted to a very gooey chocolate consistancy and was rendered completely unusable when I mixed it with the pellets......Things you learn to do...and not to do...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Answering Readers Questions - Melting Friendly Plastic with Melting Pot

"bedlibedlam" from the Friendly Plastic yahoo group writes:

I'm wondering whether I can use my Ranger melting pot with FP, and if> so what heat setting I should use... can anyone help me out (apologies> if it's already been covered in an earlier post; I'm going to read through but I'm all excited having just got here!

Great question! I have used the melting pot to melt small pieces of the plastic. Line it with a teflon craft sheet like Jen Lowe uses. I cut it to size, that way you can lift out your plastic to dunk in the water to cool. The setting needs to be around 200 degrees. If it starts to bubble it's too hot. You may have to play with temperature a little bit because Im sure that all melting pots vary a little bit.

Eventually, after your addiction occurs....I would invest in a small pancake griddle. Jana and I both got ours at KOHLS for around $30. (Jana paid $20 on sale - I paid $31 with tax) You will not regret that purchase.

Thanks to Jen for creating another Friendly Plastic addict!

Tip - Make your metal tools look like new!

Unlike Jana, I don't keep an extra set of tools for photography.....what ya see is what ya get! However, I do have a quick tip to make your friendly plastic tools look like new - especially your metal cutters.

Sand with a fine grit sandpaper and then buff with steel wool. It will take all the inks, tarnish...and just about anything other than glue off your tools and give them a brand spankin new look.

Oh...and sorry to say.... Sticky Ass Glue.....unfortunately doesnt work with friendly plastic.....

Create a Handbag full of Memories using ArtEmboss and Wireform

Sometimes you just need a kick start for creativity. In today's economic turmoil, it's nice when what we create serves a functional purpose too! For around $15 (and you'll have materials left over too!)
So why not make a memory handbag accented with ArtEmboss metals and wireform. I used a wooden box/purse from Judy's Stone House Designs, but you could decoupage any fun shaped box.
You'll find instructions for this handbag along with a host of other projects - sure to cover every creative whim you can think of at
Look for new my new projects there along with a host of other really talented designers.

Subscribe! to the Friendly Plastic Blog Today!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Bend it Shape it Friendly Plastic Technique Video - Liz Welch

A Look Into My Tool Box

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is... what tools and materials do I use.
So here it is... a look into my Tool Box.

Here are a few of my favorite Friendly Plastic tools.

For Cutting: quilters cutting mat, quilters clear acrylic ruler, a mat knife (or utility knife) and a pair of scissors

For Heating and Softening: Griddle and a heat gun. oops... forgot to photo the heat gun.

Non-stick surfaces: Nordic Wear baking pans and flexible silicone baking sheets (cut to project size).

Creating Swirls and Marbling: The Needle Tool and the Marbling Comb.

Cutters: Cookie cutters, craft cutters, clay cutters.

Craft Knife:

There you have it … my favorite tools to use.

There are so many unique and fascinating tool out there that can be used with Friendly Plastic, I hope you discover a few of your own.

If you follow the tool box link above it will take you to my website for more detailed information.

New Friendly Plastic Project -Contemporary Glass Choker

Here's a sneak peek of an upcoming project - I'll provide the link ASAP.


I received a complimentary copy of ALTERED ARTS magazine at CHA and imagine my suprize when I was browsing the magazine and saw an article featuring my METAL JEWELRY 101 Book, courtesy of Design Originials. Thanks Kristi for such a nice article!.

I love altered arts because it's "license to play" - nothing has to be pretty...its just a huge collage of creativity. When all is said and done - it looks pretty good in the end!

I've included the links - so check them out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Show Us Your Moves

Friendly Plastic is back!

When AMaco decided to no longer distribute Fimo products, you can just imagine how shocked and devestated I was.....I really thought...what will happen now?? the long run, it's been great decision on AMACO's part and great for me as a designer as well. There are times when we get so involved working with one medium that we get artistic tunnel vision. Sometimes that's great...but for me it's very limiting in creativity since I tend to be impatient and get bored with one technique easy. Now this isn't to say that I have given up polymer clay..quite the contrary...

But what I am discovering is all the wonderful things you can do with Friendly Plastic pellets. Ive spent the better part of last week and will again this week tweek techniques Ive discovered. Being a polymer clay artist has really helped me tweek some of the techniques in using this medium. I love the way it softens in water - so definately instant gratification.

Along with Jana Ewy, I will be authoring the official Friendly Plastic blog for AMACO. If you've worked with this medium, please email me photo's - even if they are retro...we want to see where it's been and everything trendy you are doing now. This site is to promote the product and the artist. It's everything Friendly Plastic.

Die Cutting Friendly Plastic Video

Jen Lowe of Jen Lowe Designs shares her technique on die cutting Friendly Plastic

Vincent VanGoh in Friendly Plastic

Friendly plastic was and is commonly used to create jewelry. But here - we want to focus on EVERYTHING you can do with the plastic.

Katie Argyle from the friendly plastic yahoo group offered permission to share this photo.

I particularly loved the uniqueness of Katies work as referenced in this self portrait of Vincent Van Goh. The idea that you can "paint" with friendly plastic opens up doors of possibilities. Thanks to Katie for sharing!

Don't forget - you can subscribe to the blog and have it sent directly to your inbox and while you're on the side bar, sign up to become a member of the friendly plastic group on YAHOO.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

To Inspire Creativity

Well... first let me say... Hello.

Welcome to all of you that share my passion for Friendly Plastic.
I am the other half on this blog... the older... better looking one... but don't tell Linda.

Since returning home from CHA, it has taken me some time to process all the events of the show. By that I mean the overwhelming response that the return of FP has received. From the oohs and aahs that came from the crowd watching my demonstrations to the excitement felt by the AMACO family as they watched the faces, bright with smiles and sparkling eyes, as if they had just discovered buried treasure. It is what I have dreamed of.

To re-introduce a product back into the industry, is nothing less than risky. With the wonderful response FP has received in the UK, due to the talents of artist and designer Liz Welsh, we have been very hopeful for the same response here in the US. And we finally got it. Like all thing worth waiting for... this did not happen over night. This come back has been in the works for a few years now. You just never know when the spark is going to ignite the flame.

The FP flame has been ignited and with your help we can make this fire burning HOT.

This blog is here to INSPIRE your CREATIVITY, a place to fan the FP flames.
It is for store owners, buyers, distributors, manufactures, designers, FP veterans, and first time users.
Everyone is welcome... and we encourage your input.

I expect the next few years to be like the greatest roller coaster ride... so if you like crazy exciting fun, jump on and take a creative ride with us.

Hugs and Smiles,

Jana Ewy


Friendly Plastic 101 is a must have for any one's craft library. Artist and Designer Jana Ewy shares her "griddle method" to soften and design Friendly Plastic to create stunning jewelry, papercraft projects and more. A great book for beginners and intermediate crafter's! (And hint, hint....we're working on an update!)

To order Jana's book - click here!

Friendly Plastic DVD's and Books by Liz Welch

Liz Welch an award winning designer and textile artist living in the UK has done amazing things with Friendly Plastic! Her book Friendly Plastic for Starters and her DVD's teach her technique for softening the plastic using the hot water method. Filled will lots of techniques and tips and tricks for beginners.
For more information or to order her books - click here.

Friendly Plastic Color Chart

This will give you an idea of the available colors. Soon...and I mean soon!... some of these colors will be discontinued to make room for brand new colors! New colors for the first time in years!! This is just the tip of the iceberg for new Friendly Plastic products.

Email us your favorite colors or colors you would like to see.

Also, I've just added links to the side bar for available DVD's and books from Liz Welch and Friendly Plastic 101 by Jana Ewy. Both are great books.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mixed Media Jewelry Project of the Month's ready!

The Mixed Media Jewelry project for February is finished and ready for download to all the members of the jewelry pom blog.

This month's focus was on Red Hot Luv Beads. Believe me these beads - this technique sooooo addicting. I'm hoping you get the "What If" syndrome and share some of your creative experiments with me.


I call this one Not Enuf Hugs! There's a little story behind that which I've shared on the POM BLOG!
For all you members, simply log onto the POM Blog to download your project (on the right side bar) and get some inside tips as to possible variations. Also send your comments, pictures and questions to me so that I can answer them.
For you non-members....see what your missing????? It's simple and easy to join - simply click here for more information and then sign up using the link on the side bar. There's also a free sample project there too! The POMs are retroactive- meaning everyone will begin January 09 and get all this years projects. It just seems to be the easiest less time consuming way to go.
Jewelry POMS will be up later today......

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Welcome! Friendly Plastic is BACK! It's trendy, it's HOT and it ROCKS!

This medium, once popular in the 80's and 90's is not your "momma's Friendly Plastic anymore!". We've updated the style and even thrown in a few new techniques here and there.
We intend to give this medium the recognition it deserves and appeal to all audiences!

Primarily my focus will be in working with the pellets. With my polymer clay background, I am finding ways to tweek polymer techniques to work with the Friendly Plastic. My style is organic, nostalgic, funky and chunky....and there are times when I like to throw in a bit of whimsey to.
If you want to check out my 'personal' Art here.

My co-author, Jana Ewy is a renowned Friendly Plastic designer and has been working with this medium for 20 years. Her work is nothing short of amazing and stunning. But I'll leave her to introduce herself to you. She has a blog and an Etsy store as well.

Please introduce yourself to us! Leave us a comment. Share with us what you'd like to see as far as products, new colors.... Tell us what you like, what you don't like. That way we can keep creating the products you want most.

If you have an FP it to me.

We'll be blasting magazines, internet sites and creating videos for you to view - we'll give you more details when they are available.

Thanks again! and thanks for being a part of re-discovering this wonderful - retro-trendy medium again!

Busy Busy as a designer should be..... After CHA

I blink and it's like a week has gone by.....wait a second...a week HAS gone by! Seriously I had intended to blog sooner and catch you all up! Oh my goodness, has life happened!

Coming home from CHA made my brain mind wont shut off. I think I have the "What IF?!?!?!" syndrome....what if I do this...what if I do that? IF IF IF.....IF only I had enough time in the day to play with all my "IF's!"

I arrived home late Thursday night to ice and snow. I sure didnt want to leave the 80 degree weather in sunny Califoria. CHA was a little different this year, I was seriously busy and dead tired after each day of the show and Im sorry to say, I have very few pictures. But I do have blog links of others who have shared what they saw at I'll list them at the end of this post.

As for things that I did see and liked....(thanks to Jana for cluing me in...) Amate Studio's (thats AH Mah Tay....) has some awesome jewelry blanks. Perfect for Papercrafting jewelry, Polymer clay and Friendly Plastic (my new favorite addiction! - like I need another!). The girls at Vintaj also had some great vintage jewelry findings. Katie Hacker at Beadalon dropped by to bring me their newest catalog full of yummy licious findings, chains, name it. I use Beadalon in just about all my jewelry designs.

There was also a company there making fused glass jewelry in the microwave...yep...the microwave. And...I intended on going by to see it happen in greater detail...but I didnt...when I had the energy, I didnt have the time and vise versa......

My in-laws arrived on Friday, that meant the house had to get no chance to create that day....Saturday we visited .....and Sunday.....I couldn't take it any just before we left for the superbowl party at my parents house, I got out the electric skillet and swirled some Friendly Plastic. was so much fun to add color...and embossing powders and all different kinds of "What if's" much fun that I sat watching the superbowl, thinking I wished I had brought my friendly plastic with me! How sad is that?

Monday, I spent the day exploring several WHAT IF's with friendly plastic pellets. It's some amazing stuff.... .and the nice thing about it's heat..make and dunk and you have it. Im amazed at the stone effects that I can create...and later this week...(after the POMS are finished) I intend on perfecting and discovering new techniques....

So's a few bloggers who attended CHA:

Mill Lane Studio - she has some great stuff on there

Katie Hacker - Bead Queen Extraordinaire

Crafty Pod - promoting the Indie Arts

Enjoy those links........ For all you POM members, POMS will be out tomorrow!

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