I know it's been forever since I've posted here, but I've been pretty consumed with my new, all-inclusive blog Craft Test Dummies. However, I recently came up with a class to teach at the May Artist's Way Retreat in Lake Logan, North Carolina, and felt it was time to share it over here.
I'm sharing my new memory project, "Memento Beads." As many of you know, you can add inclusions to translucent polymer clay, especially organic ones. The larger, oatmeal-colored beads in the bracelet above are translucent polymer clay beads I made after I mixed in some dried rose petals and a bit of glitter. The roses where ones that grew in my garden and dried last summer. Since we are in the process of selling out house, this bracelet will remind me forever of the lovely, fragrant dark burgundy roses that grew by the front porch.
If you are going to make your own Memento beads, just remember that the organic material (herbs, leaves, petals, etc, must be thoroughly dried. Crumble them finely between waxed paper, in a morter and pestle, or even a coffee-bean grinder. Mix a little into your translucent clay, and combine thoroughly. (I use a pasta machine, but you can use a roller.) Be aware that the addition of the organic material might make the clay a little drier and more crumbly, but a drop of clay softener or mineral oil should do the trick. You can also add non-organic inclusions, such as fine glitter, metal or gold leaf, or mica powders to tint/enhance the clay as desired. Then roll your beads and bake, following the directions on the clay package.
Here are some ideas for YOUR Memento Beads:
- Dried wedding flowers
- Prom/ Easter corsages
- Flowers from a funeral
- Herbs from your garden...did you know many herbs have "secret meanings?"
- Flowers from the birth of a new baby (what a great keepsake for both Mommy and Grandma!)
You can make your beads into bracelets, as I do, but you could also make rings, earrings, necklaces, keychains, rosaries/prayer beads...well, you get the idea.
Have fun preserving your story...