Happy New Year lovelies!
How are you all doing? Do you feel rested or do you need a holiday? I'm in the 'Please can I have one more week' camp. Unfortunately, I was poorly throughout the Christmas and New Year break, so I am glad to be done with it and move on into January, which for me is a month of clearing out the Christmas clutter and planning for the year ahead. Although I am not putting everything away. I want to keep some of the pretty and the magic so my wreath and the fairy lights are staying!
This time last year, Jenny and I wrote about our 'Word For the Year' here and here, and in a couple of weeks I will be talking about the word(s) I have chosen for 2017. This post however is all about a new collaboration with Cass Art. Needless to say, Jenny and I were so excited when Cass Art approached us and asked us if we would like to take the Cass Art Challenge and join their '#Be Inspired' campaign. This campaign is all about finding out what inspires what we do and what we use in our creative process. We waited eagerly for our first package of craft goodies and when it came the packaging and the contents were pleasing indeed!.....
In fact, I was so taken, you could say 'inspired', by the shiny blue and interestingly textured packaging that I created a 'Happy New Year' sign with it....
Now on to the contents. You may remember that I am a big fan of air drying clay with a few tutorials already posted here, here and here. However, there were a few extra items that I have not worked with before. In addition to the air drying clay, the package contained some marbling clay in Sodalite Blue and Verona Red , a glossy effect varnish and a special rolling pin with changeable thickness bands. I pondered on the contents for a while as I wanted to do something very different from my previous projects and eventually the image of a cloud with raindrops came to mind. Perhaps it was the fact that there were lots of grey skies and some rain over the Christmas break or even that I felt a little bit low because I was ill, but the image of a stormy marbled cloud with raindrops wouldn't leave my mind, so I got making! And do you know, when I had finished it cheered me up lots and lots!
To make your own Cloud and Raindrops wall hanging, you need:
Air drying clay
Air drying marbling clay in blue
Non stick rolling pin with adjustable thickness rings
Glossy effect varnish
Template - Download Cloud and Raindrops Wall Hanging
Cup of water
A nail file
What you do is:
Break off a chunk from the white air drying clay and knead in your hand slightly. Using your hands, roll into a snake shape on the tray. Do the same with the blue marbling clay using much less than the white.
Wrap the blue length and around the white and roll further still using your hands, lengthening as you go.
Fold in half lengthways and twist together. Roll again as before. Do this perhaps one or more times until the blue clay is well incorporated into the white.
Now using the rolling pin with the 2.5mm thickness rings attached, roll out your clay. This bit is exciting (well I think so!) as you reveal the marbled effect. If you feel that it isn't marbled enough, repeat the rolling out into a snake and twisting. Do you see my swirly, stormy cloud appearing already?
Cut out the cloud template and one raindrop. Although there are 7 raindrops on the template, you only need one. Place the cloud onto the rolled out clay and cut around using a craft knife.
Poke holes into the clay using a cocktail stick at the points indicated on the template.
Peel off the cloud carefully from the tray and smooth out any rough edges using your finger dipped into a little bit of water. Place onto clingfilm to dry. Cut out and make holes in the raindrops in the same way.
Follow drying times on the manufacturers packaging, turning the clay after about 12 hours. It took about 36 hours for my clay to dry.
Tip: My cloud started to warp slightly as it dried, so when it was almost dry but still damp, I placed a book carefully on top to flatten it.
When fully dry, smooth out any more rough edges with a nail file.
Using the brush that comes with it, apply a layer of the gloss varnish to the upper surface of the cloud. I hadn't worked with this before and I found it slightly tricky - it has a very thick and sticky consistency. I worked from left to right covering the cloud, quickly but steadily. It did not dry in approximately 2 hours as the packaging suggests. Perhaps this is because I gave it a thick coating. I left it for about 2 days! Before this, when I touched it, it left a finger print mark.
When both the cloud and raindrops are fully dry, cut some lengths of thread. Using the holes you have made (you may need to poke them again with the cocktail stick to clear the varnish out of them), attach the raindrops at different lengths with the thread, ensuring the knots in the thread are placed at the back hidden behind the cloud. Now thread 3 more identical lengths as desired through the 3 holes at the top of the cloud. Tah-dah!..........
I have decided to hang it on my pegboard above my desk. I love it!
There were bits and pieces of clay left over and I also had a go with the red marbling clay. I decided to make some heart rings and a necklace too! For the heart rings, I used a sugar paste cutter to cut out a heart shape, allowed them to dry and then attached ring findings using epoxy jewellery glue and for the necklace, I pressed the pendant into the clay, cut around the shape made using a craft knife, allowed it to dry and attached it to the pendant also using epoxy jewellery glue. I really love the marbled effect on these projects!
This tutorial may inspire you to reach for some air drying clay and have go at marbling yourself. I do hope so! Let me know if you have a go!
Have a fab weekend lovelies! See you back here very soon!
PS - We were sent the materials for this project free of charge by Cass Art as part of their #Be Inspired campaign. Any opinions expressed are my own.