Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friendly Plastic Radio and Marathon Day 3

Did you listen in to our premiere radio show last night? We had a great time and several suprize guests.

I hosted the hour long show interviewing several guests. Along with Jen Lowe, our featured guest, we also had Dawn Sandoe and Becky Finch from Amaco sharing new product announcements.

Special Guest appearances by Designers Helen Bradley and Michelle Zimmerman giving us the inside scoop on some interesting finds at CHA.

Polymer Clay artist Lisa Pavelka, telling us about the full line of products from VIVA including some metallic finishes that would work on Friendly Plastic Pellets - and possibly sticks.

Our suprize guest feature was 2009 CHA Winter Design Challenge Winner, Mylene Hillam all the way from Australia.

A very well rounded show and lots of fun!

We talked about tips, techniques and all sorts of stuff..

If you didn't get a chance to listen in...don't worry, It's archived - just click here

One of the product announcements (you'll have to listen to the show for the others) last night were 6 new colors of Friendly Plastic. These have NOT been finalized as of yet, but here are 6 of the contenders.


Now...what we need from you the viewers is HELP! HELP! HELP! We need you to ask questions, give us ideas on what you want in Friendly Plastic, what are YOUR favorite colors, ideas for tools, textures...anything imaginable. Leave comments on this blog, email me or Jana, twitter us ( friendyplastic or amacocrafts ) or comment on the Friendly Plastic Facebook page.

Im not sure when, but we will have another Radio show next month and I will announce that on the blog as to the time and subject. So...get your ideas in!!

Now on with the Marathon:

Im not sure what we were thinking....that we would just whip out this stuff...or at least ...not sure what I was thinking???? These are not quick least not the silver part!

We're working with Art Clay Silver this week in combination with Friendly Plastic and creating more of an upscale art jewelry look. It is a painstaking lesson in patience. From the initial concept drawn out on paper, to the creation of the design, the prep before the kiln, the sanding and sanding and sanding after it's the look you accomplish is not for the "gotta have it now" person like me. But...I will say that the results are beautiful.


I forget that the clay shrinks upon firing. I intended for this heart to be a little bit bigger....but.......oh turned into a dainty little piece. The heart shape and bezel were completely created from scratch and I can tell you my polymer clay experience sure came in handy.


The little swirly is a punch from paper clay silver. A great little accent don't you think? Which got me to thinking. For things like this, instead of using silver..which is beautiful, but pricey, why not simulate the look with ArtEmboss Pewter. It looks "virtually" the same, but the cost is sooooo not the same! I think that is what I will be doing in the future, especially when I want to embed them in resin.

Jen tried experimenting with another of Amaco's products - Wax Resist on metal clay to create an etching effect. She's blogged about her ventures - so check out her blog at The wax resist is kind of an uncommon product unless you are familiar with pottery. But one that I would like to try on pellets because I do think it will create some interesting effects. If not...well it was worth a try. We also have some other mediums to play with - like genesis paints ....

Im beginning to think that Jen must stay here for at least 2 weeks and maybe that isn't enough time to try everything we have in our brains.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friendly Plastic Marathon Day 2 - Making bezels in Friendly Plastic

We intended to get a load of silver fired yesterday, but instead, we got a little side tracked and decided to get a "WHOLE" bunch of silver finished before we fired. We worked feverishly and I mean FEVERISHLY to get as many things done as possible. We made more bezels, more charms, paper-type clay punches for embellishment...we just had a ball....Here's a sampling of what we made....

friendly-plastic jewelry bezels

I made this piece the last time Jen was here and it has sat around for about 2 years now. This is the "brilliant idea" that looked so wonderful until I put the resin inside and it didnt cure. Then I broke now I learned how to repair and all is well.....and ready for some Friendly Plastic!!

After all the's what your table ends up looking like... This is the metal clay table...

friendly plastic table

and here is the Friendly Plastic table....

With all that work.....(I know you are feeling terribly sorry for us about now huh?)..we needed a break! I took Jen to my favorite bead store in Springfield, Missouri - TouchStone beads (it's on Glenstone Avenue)!


Here is Molly - one of the family members who own the store. She is a doll! I absolutely love her - great customer service and most of the samples in the store are her own designs and work...she is amazingly talented and willing to share. So here is what I say...If you are coming to the Ozarks, have your husband drop you off at Touchstone beads and let him go to Bass Pro down the street....You will both be happy!


Now back to the studio for a little bit of practice setting designs into a metal "tray".


This tray is not one we made - it's one from NunnDesigns (check out their website) But it was good practice in cutter fusion and fracture and fusion. And this time...the resin cured so we are good to go!

Tomorrow...or maybe even later time for the Radio show, but no promises, we will have or pieces filled with Friendly Plastic and you will see a gallery of all the things we are working on.

The pieces have just come out of the kiln and are cooling, but I will photograph them again, so you can see what they look like when they come out of the kiln and the progress of this process...

Soooo stay tuned! More fun stuff to come your way!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blog Talk Radio and Friendly Plastic Marathon

Did you get a chance to tune in and hear Jana on Blog Talk Radio last night? Well....if you didn't...dont worry! The show is archived so you can hear it at your convienence! Just go to: and click on the July, 26th show link.

Last night was my first opportunity to tune in to the show - (I used the phone number), I have to say I was impressed with the entire show! Tiffany Windsor is an excellent host, but why wouldn't she be? She comes by it naturally as her mother is Aleene, the Original Queen of Crafts and Glue.

Maria Nerius, also a famous craft columnist,editor for and artist, reported on different types of glue. You can find all the in's and outs on glue on their website at . While glues may not be your thing...this important stuff to know when you need to glue friendly plastic to something. And don't forget you can also get more info on glues compatible with friendly plastic in the E-Cylopedia.

We also got to hear from Julianna Hudgins while at CHA - the international craft trade show going on this week. Plus other special guests.

There is also a live chat that goes on during the show, which is totally fun. Meet new people, network and just have a good ole' time!

So...get yourselves on over to the show and hear what Jana has to say about Friendly Plastic!

Now.....on with OUR MARATHON!

Jen called last night and said she is east of St. Louis which means she will be here around NOON today and she tells me her car is packed with stuff to work with! OOOHH Im like a kid waiting for a trip to the dime store to buy penny candy! I just don't think she can drive fast enough.

As soon as she gets here our marathon begins. Friendly Plastic, Metal Clay...mixed name it's going to be used. She will be here until Saturday morning.

Who's interested in chatting with us this week? I have set up blog talk radio for Friendly let me work out the details and I'll letcha know...

We're always cookin up something around's just not food!

Oh....goodness...look at the time...I gotta get the studio cleaned!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Counting down to the Friendly Plastic Marathon with Jen Lowe

The count down begins today........I've been thinking of a good "name" to call next weeks blog posts....and then it hit me...

When Jen and I get to creating it truly a is not stop creative bop! We get up early and go to bed super late if at all! Sometimes we talk, other we are extremely silent.

The theme for this week is Metal Clay and Friendly Plastic. To begin the countdown, I "WAS" going to show you a piece that I created a couple of years ago in metal clay.

Sometimes a piece has to literally just sit around for years until one day, I get inspired. That was what happened yesterday. I archived a piece I created a LONG time ago when Jen was here November 2007. I added Friendly Plastic to the bezel and it turned out Bea-UTIFUL! Then I added the resin to make it look glass like.....and...............................................................the resin never set up! AAHHHH!! I am bummed bummed bummed....and part of me is telling my stupid self.....self...why were you in such a hurry?? You can't hurry must have patience YOUNG grasshopper (emphasis on the *young*)! Oh I could just shoot myself with a heat gun!

So then I got a brilliant I often have brilliant ideas ... I'll just add some liquid polymer clay over the top of it and set it with a heat gun...then I'll add a clear coat of sealer and it will be good as new....NOT! Another dumb -yet almost brilliant idea that DID NOT WORK! So don't try bubbles the non-cured resin...makes your FP hot and sticky...and just is another idea that I have to chalk up to the learning process.

However.......all is not lost because what I did learn is that since the FP heats up and gets gooey, you can also pull it out of the bezel frame and clean the frame up as good as new and start all over...which I shall do in about an hour.....

So...sorry no picture of my what would have been "great piece" today....but I will post it as soon as I learn some patience in mixing my resin and letting it set.

Let's begin the Friendly Plastic Marathon countdown with this:

Join Inspired at Home host Tiffany Windsor and special Guest Jana Ewy Sunday night on Blog Talk Radio.

Sunday July 26 - Check the website for your local time.

Listeners can "tune-in" to the live shows via the internet and access archived podcasts 24/7. Listeners can also listen to the show live via their phone by calling 646/929-2406.

Dont worry....if you can't join them tomorrow, you can access the podcast at your convenience.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guess who's coming to visit?

Any ideas???? None other than the famous Jen Lowe herself! Im so excited that MONDAY she will be here.

Jen has just returned from teaching at the Metal Clay conference where she says made her head swim.

Soooooooo.....we'll be exploring metal clay...creating bezels and incorporating some Friendly Plastic for a multimedia combination.

Don't miss out on our posts next week....and I'm sure we'll be taping a video sometime too!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Video - A Pair of Shoes in Every Color

Here's the latest in the FPTV series - Shoes in Every Color! This technique can be used on new, slightly used or even to decorate and jazz up flip flops!

Feel free to use this video on your us get the word out on Friendly Plastic.
We now are on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube also has a Friendly Plastic group that will feature (eventually) all the videos related to Friendly Plastic. If you have a video that you'd like to share in the youtube group please feel free to do so.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I got a little carried away.....................

I've had many little bumps and detours through my creative career. But in hindsight, they all had a purpose. Designing is really different than creating. When you let yourself go...anything goes...who cares if your technically "NOT" supposed to use "whatever" in your's your world...create with it!....

Designing is different....with designing for manufacturers you have to think about the consumer...the trends...the product...the skill level....and that's when it becomes a job! No, Im not complaining or whining at all...because I love the job....I HAVE to create! does make it easy for you to get tunnel vision and lose your sense of "whatever goes".

Because my focus is not so much on polymer clay anymore..(don't worry, that's my first love)..and has changed directions to Friendly Plastic, that bump...or shall I call it a bump-ortunity...has led me outside of my usual comfort zone to experience soooo many other mediums. It was like the most wonderful slap in the creative face if you can imagine that. The world of Friendly Plastic pellets is so undiscovered....and so that has led me to many "what if" days.

The most recent opportunity I have before me, is designing and working on my next book called "Beading in No Time". It will be the latest in a series of books by Cico Publications and due out next spring.

I love this challenge, because its about "jewelry"...."beading"....and everything that encompases it. It's given me permission to create once again....

The book will be filled with all sorts of techniques from simple and about an hour to more delicate beadweaving and stitching. Now...because I'm impatient and I want my results RIGHT THIS SECOND....none of the beadweaving I do is extensively long....but the effects are stunning. So ....if you've ever wanted to learn how to weave beads...but thought it was too involved...there will be something great for you in this book.

Another resurgance in the craft industry is wire wrapping....I think I've found another passion! The free flow of wire and wondering what it will look like is like seeing your newborn for the first time....some have hair.......some are bald.......some wirewrapping is ornate and gaudy...and other is bald and simple.....

So here's my journey yesterday in designing rings for the book....not all the rings will be featured.....but a good majority of them will you enjoy.!

This one is for my mom...... (she doesn't know it if you know her....don't blow the secret please! :o))
The color of this green is so lusciously tropical....may just have to keep this one for myself....Im in a real green mood lately...and Orange too....but I have no orange in my wardrobe? I think thats code for go shopping for more clothes...what do you think?

This is just a simple wire could be a birthstone, baby ring or toe ring...

Here's where I got carried away...and I didnt even photograph them all.!!!...

This is better than goin to the spa!....(well...almost!) But instead of Calgon taking me away.....I think I'll say..."Beads...take me away!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Peyote Stitch meets Friendly Plastic

I try to do simple and plain....but I just can't! Originally this was to be a simple peyote stitch bangle bracelet....but........That little piece of Friendly Plastic that I've had laying around beside me since the Road trip was calling ...."Pick me! Pick me!"
It's a touch of vintage inspired by Jana Ewy...and a touch of me.....inspired by ....well....all the luscious peyote beading that I see in the magazines.
I had so much fun creating this bangle bracelet...the whole process was relaxing, destressing and just plain therapeudic! Gather your FP scraps, take apart some old jewelry and re-purpose it!
Need a stress free day??? Get out the beads and create!

Monday, July 13, 2009

PROJECT of the MONTH CLUB Projects available for download

Is this summer going by as quick for you as it is for me??? Goodness!

Here are the next in the series of Project of the Month Clubs now available.

I thought you might enjoy a change of pace and learn to use casting resin. This project is so versatile it is as addicting as polymer clay and Friendly Plastic.

Next for the Polymer Clay Project of the month club, I decided to create an adorable kitten. Inspired by all the kittens I have running around outside. This project really highlights the Six Simple Shapes technique so you can make this as simple or as complex you's your world! So Clay In IT!

Enjoy this months projects...and before you know it....I'll be sending you the next set!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life is happening.....

Let me applogize for being late with the POM projects this month...the 4th of July...and now..I've got tons of family from both sides coming for the weekend for a pop visit! AAAHHH!!! And phone broke! Seriously...20 years ago this wouldn't have even come up into my I can't live without my phone...and texting...

We interupt this blog post for a personal message...Alex...sorry you're sick and hope you feel better today! Call your Mom! - Miss you and love you!...I dont have texting and, you know kids, that's the only way they communicate so...I figured since he keeps up with the blog he'll get the message.....Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Well...just so you know I did make progress on the projects yesterday. The jewelry club will be featuring resin not a quick process...but ohhhh so fun.....and the Pom club is an adorable little kitten...inspired by ....all my adorable little kittens. Its a basic beginner project, but does involve the SSS technique so it's a great but attainable challenge for all the beginners. on with today's post...

During the Friendly Plastic Colorado Road Trip this past February, I played around with all kinds of FP techniques, from those I discovered in pellets to those developed by Jana Ewy. I love wire wrapping so I finished this piece with a little wire embellishment and gave it to Jen thinking no more about it....

Until yesterday, when she blogged about some other beads and pieces that I gave her, that she embellished. Today, she posted about a FP necklace I gave her and added fine silver metal clay die cuts to high light it...a great combination! Okay...why didn't I think of it???

Jen will soon be teaching at the Metal Clay conference in Chicago. Which is worth mentioning, because wouldn't Friendly Plastic be a perfect compliment to fine silver metal clay??? OOHH...more ideas!

Enjoy her post and jump on over to her
blog for more ideas!

Linda Peterson blogged today about how I used a bracelet she gave me, added fine silver and made it match a set.

So I decided to see how many days in a row we can bounce from my blog to hers! LOL!!!

I needed a sample of fine silver on Friendly Plastic. Now seriously....I have a ton of FP around here....but I decided to take a piece that she made and gave to me and alter it by adding fine silver!

Turned out pretty cool!

Now, if you are tired of jewerly....just ignore my blog for the next several days! I have tons and tons of samples to post and share....I have been a jewelry making machine!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LinJen-eered Jewelry - a mix of polymer clay stones and Metal Clay

I know you are probably thinking "What the heck is LinJen-eered?"????!?!?!? Okay..I'll just tell ya!
Back in November 2007 Jen Lowe came to visit me at my house. We crafted, created, experimented....made numerous trips to WalMart throughout the week we worked together and made collaborative art works...a little bit of her...and a little bit of the term LinJen-eered.
I've been following Jen's blog routinely for several years now and especially the last few days she's been posting about her upcoming trip to the metal clay conference. can imagine my suprize then I realized that the coral beads were a combination of the real thing.....and polymer clay! They were some of the beads I sent her home with two years ago!!!
So...THANKS JEN! Loved what you did with those beads! And thanks for letting me snatch your blog post today:
Jen writes:

I started out this morning with a single coral tube stone. Put the gecko on it. And then had absolutly no idea where to go! But I think I "went" just fine!!!

Even made matching earrings for the necklace:

Linda Peterson had given me this bracelet almost 2 years ago and it matches so well that I simply added 3 tiny dragonflies to make it a perfect match:

so, the gecko and the dragonflies are .999 fine silver. Pretty cool what you can do with diecut silver on jewelry!

I may actually have to start wearing some of this!!

Don't you wish you were going to the Metal Clay World Conference? It starts one week from right now!!!

Edited to add:

oops! I forgot to mention that the 4 coral looking beads that are round.....those are polymer clay beads that Linda made. They match the cylindar stone perfect! Amazing that you can't tell polymer clay from stone.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Project of the Month Club coming this month!

Let's have a mid year special shall we?????

For new members - $10 off when you join one club and $15 when you join both!
Now that's a hot deal!!!! Just email me if you are interested.

Im in the process of designing this month's projects and they will be online later this keep checking back!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Breathtaking Russian Bead from

The photo of this Russian Bead does not do it justice. When I opened my package this bead literally took my breath away. I have no idea what design it will become....for this bead is special....and in need of just the right touch. But for now, I'll be happy - more like estatic ...just having this in my collection...and one day it will call out to me and I will make a fabulous design!

Create your next design and wear a true piece of art with one of these gorgeous masterpieces. These beads are hand painted by artisans in Russia , and replicate portions of famous paintings from artists such as Chagall, Mucha, Klimt, Botticelli, Matisse and Picasso. These Russian pendants feature just a small piece of the whole paintings, but in doing so, the essence of the artistry is captured. WOW! oh WOW ..oh Wow!

Are you looking for unique beads...beads that NO one else has??? Check out or click here to see more of these beautiful Russian beads.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friendly Plastic on Facebook!

Join us on our *NEW* Friendly Plastic facebook page.

Do you know the value of networking? It's priceless! Networking is how I built my craft business - meeting new faces and their friends and their friends and so on!

So, now you have another avenue to promote your Friendly Plastic work and it's on Facebook! Use this page to upload your work and share your ideas with others. We have a great assortment of talent and business contacts who are fans of Friendly Plastic including manufacturers, magazine editors as well as fellow designers.

Join our fan club by clicking here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Free Friendly Plastic Project - Blueberries and Lace

Just in time for summer! Enjoy this project courtesy of Amaco and

If you love the color blue and you love blueberries this is the perfect craft for you. Make your own jewelry piece. Flaunt your new necklace or bracelet, be proud of what you created.


  • Friendly Plastic – 1 oz pellets

  • ProBead Roller - #6 Oval (optional)

  • Friendly Plastic Sticks – advocado/black, metallic turquoise/blue

  • Needle Tool

  • Pearl Ex Powder – pearl white

  • Two Eye Pins

  • E-6000 glue

  • Chain

  • Accent Beads of choice

  • Toggle or clasp

  • Griddle

  • Heat Gun (optional)

  • Non-stick cookie sheet

  • Ball tipped metal stylus – small/medium size

  • Silpat – non stick cookie mat

  • Bowl of Cold Water

  • Scissors (Tim Holtz – work the best to cut plastic)

  • Pliers

  • Baby Oil

Tip: Set griddle to approximately 160 to 180 degrees. Melt Pellets on non-stick sheet until clear. Add a small amount of baby oil to hands and tools to prevent sticking. Use caution when working with the griddle and Friendly Plastic to avoid injury. If Friendly Plastic bubbles it is too hot, remove from heat and lower temperature of griddle.


  1. Working with Friendly Plastic requires a degree of heat and cold water. Generally with each application of heat, there is a cooling in water to set that particular area. That way I can work on a specific area at one time without distorting other areas.

  2. Mix a small amount of Pearl-Ex Powder into the melted pellets. This does not need to be completely mixed as it will create a marbled effect.

  3. Reheat plastic as necessary to soften and continue mixing. When mixing is complete, place plastic onto non stick cookie sheet and heat completely on the griddle.

  4. Cut three 1/8” x 2” wide strips of advocado green and a 1” square of turquoise.

  5. Add a drop of oil to silpat and heat turquoise square. Once soft, press stylus into plastic just inside of edge and press outwards. This creates a scalloped pattern. Continue until you have a pleasing pattern. Cool completely in water.

  6. To create bead in bead roller: Make approximately a 1” ball, place it into the bead roller. Gently place the lid on and roll back and forth applying gradual pressure until bead forms. If bead does not completely form – add more plastic. If it squishes out the sides, remove some plastic then reheat and reform.

  7. To hand form a bead, simply roll into palm of hand and form a pleasing shape. Cool in cold water.

  8. Use heat gun for 5 seconds to lightly soften lacey plastic. Apply to base bead where desired. Use heat gun to manipulate the lace effect into place. Cool in water to set.

  9. Slightly heat green strips and apply to bead as desired. Cool.

  10. Heat the area for the jewels. Press in jewels. Cool.

  11. Using pliers, heat the end of eye pin and press into top and bottom of bead.

  12. Once cooled, remove eye pins and jewels. Secure in place with glue. Allow to dry.

  13. Add to chain along with any accent beads.

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