Weekend Projects 12/8/13

Remember the other day when I said I was “just going to do it” and sand my polymer clay beads? Well, I sanded a few and it was so mind-numbingly tedious that I decided to screw it and just put polyurethane on them over the weekend. Yesterday morning, I began that process:


It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t wonderful. I noticed right away that some of the beads were taking the poly better than others:


I then realized I probably needed to sand the beads to get the poly to stick well, sigh. Once the first coat dried I sat down and started sanding. Yup, still mind-numbingly boring. After finishing less than half, I gave up, re-polyed the ones I’d sanded, and left the area.

It’s just too damn tedious for me. I don’t know how to keep the poly from pooling at the bottom of the beads, like so:



and frankly, I want my art projects to be fun. Challenging, yes, but annoying and tedious, no. Thus, I decided that making beads with the intention of them looking perfect is just not for me. This was reaffirmed when I read this article by Martha Beck about things to cross of your bucket list. Basically, life should be full of joy and fun and doing things we really, really like doing, not things we don’t (like trying to climb the corporate later because we think we “should,” wasting our lives trying to diet our way to happiness, or trying to change people). I have always been artistic, but I’ve never been a detail-oriented person.



I love my pile of beads, but trying to make them smooth, shiny, and machine-quality ain’t for me.

So today I moved onto a new, more Jen-like project:



Trees! I love trees and tree art. I bought these prepared canvasses a couple of weekends ago and roughly drew out a design for a tree with swirly colors behind it. I intended the four panels to be separated when the piece was displayed, but while creating the piece I pressed them all together. I started out using a glue stick and, well, yarn. (Side note: A few weeks ago I tried a technique I’d read about for affixing yarn to a surface by shaving beeswax onto a board, melting the beeswax with a heat gun, letting it harden, and then melting it a little at a time and sticking the yarn into it. This was also tedious and horrible and I quickly decided it wasn’t for me. Since I spent $17.55 on the beeswax however, expect to see me making a candle sometime in the new year, because I don’t want it to go to waste!)

After I had the tree shape laid down, I added in the color “behind” it:



Some of the tree sections seemed to disappear, though, so I got out the hot glue gun and added a few more layers of tree-colored yarn in some spots to help it stand out from the colorful background. When I was done I added some of the polymer clay beads and cut the squares apart:





See the beads?

I also put some white paper behind it to get an idea of how it might look mounted on a white wall:



I’m not sure if this is done or not, but I’m done for today. This is the kind of stuff I like making–I easily spent a couple of hours on this today, and while my husband said it looked hard (and maybe boring?), I found it rather fun and thrilling.

I have so many ideas for things I want to create. Next weekend I plan on doing some holiday baking, mounting a couple of my other polymer clay projects so they can be hung (I’ll probably prepare this one for hanging, too), and then I’m out of town for the following two weekends, but after January rolls around I plan to continue with my weekend projects. I’m looking forward to making candles, decorating votives (I have a cool idea, I just need to buy the materials and see if I’m brave enough to take on polymer clay again), creating more stuff out of yarn, and who knows what else.

This week also look for a post from me on the four cornerstones of a happy, healthy body image, which is going to be a series. I want to write about all of the things I’m passionate about in this space.

Happy weekend!




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