My solution is simple. I rebuild a collection of polymer clay and equipment from scratch and start making more clay food. My flight has been rescheduled to 2nd May, and that’s at least 1.5 weeks from now, so I have to get claying! I regret not getting liquid clay while I was at the shop, since I need it for making cake icing and other creams. My logic at the time, was to limit myself because liquid clay can be very messy, and I would only need to keep busy for a few days before having to pack up. Of course, this assuming I will be able to fly at all when 2nd May comes along.

Take a look at my mini collection of Japanese branded tools and glue paint I found at Daiso. I wish all this was available in Zurich, or even in Melbourne. I also included my Fimo clay and other findings I got from Multifilla, so not everything is Daiso.

Besides clay, I’ve been thinking of getting a kiln when I move back to Australia. At first, kilns seem so expensive and unnecessary. Once I researched wattage used on stand-alone convection ovens, I was shocked! I’d rather get a kiln that uses 1000W instead of a convection oven that uses more than 1350W, 1800W or even higher. Kilns also have higher temperatures and bead doors. I can try out other crafts and even glass beadmaking, like I originally wanted. Oh now I’m so excited about moving back to Melbourne and starting a business… but only after my pets depart, as I would hate myself for abandoning them.

I’m suited for a career in organising! How unusual. Second-best career would be designing. I always knew I wasn’t a real hardcore designer. Although, being any of the occupations where I organise for a living sounds a little boring, and I don’t enjoy maths.

Best Occupational Category
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.
Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.
Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.
Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

2nd Best Occupational Category
You’re a CREATOR
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional
These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Try it yourself!

I’ve been analysing my crafting habits, and I notice that I shift hobbies really quickly. I can’t just make something of a particular style and stick with it. I start to get bored, and I move on to the next thing. It must be bad for business, I’m sure. All I know is, I’ve always been a jack of all trades, and I am just either not passionate about any craft to really focus on it, or I need plenty of variety to keep myself entertained… I can’t identify which craft I love, love, love all the time, but I do know which crafts I don’t fancy: sketching, painting, knitting, embroidery, and of course, cooking. I think I grew to dislike sketching and painting because I was always forced to do it in school, and my work was always ridiculed.

Anyway, in the past week, I picked up a pasta machine — which is not for making pasta. And then I decided to try miniature food since I was out of ideas for clay beads. It sure is fun to make fake food while I can’t even begin to make real food. I learned some new techniques like how to make realistic cake icing. My living room is seriously getting clogged up with more and more equipment. I have two work tables now, all messy and full of stuff. I am one who clutters tables and shelves as time goes on.

I’m enjoying myself now, but, I can’t help thinking… This craft is not unique, and others will always be better than I am… And what is going to be my next temporary obsession when I get bored? Why can’t I just find something I’m passionately in love with? I worry that no one is going to support a crafter that swaps between different crafts every month or so. I think this whole issue is also linked to the fact that I did not really go into any speciality at uni, and my work experiences don’t even drive me into a particular direction. Again, I can see the evidence of myself being a jack of all trades.

Oh well, self-pity aside, I have some yummy photos of my recent clay work. All these done in just a couple of days. Michael says I learn fast. What do you think?

These are the clay foods I am happy with. I have a few more that didn’t turn out quite as I wanted, and so they sit on Michael’s desk.

Yummy cake! I always thought cake had to be made with liquid polymer clay and baking soda, like a real cake, but the way I used simply simulates the texture of a crumbly cake — clay was teased up manually using a pin. I did use liquid clay for the icing, though. Funny, I never really eat much cake at all. In fact, I don’t even eat doughnuts, and but they sure are nice to faux.

Pictured are a number of pendants. I’ve been wearing the cake with the white icing on the top right of the photo. It’s the first cake I made, before even using the new techniques I picked up.

The creamy sauces you see on doughnuts and cakes in this photo were done using window paint. I normally see people selling coloured glue or 3D fabric paint for this purpose, but I decided to find a locally available replacement. I need to photograph my equipment one day! It’s really fun and challenging to think of ways to use little substitutions available at my local Migros Do-It. I love that store. I visit 2-3 times a week, seriously. Okay, so another post on my equipment is in order!

I believe giving away free or almost free items on my shop is one way to gain some credibility. Little to no risk to the receivers of these free items, they are able to test the waters without a huge hit. I am then able to prove myself of being a worthy shopkeeper. That’s the plan. So far, I’ve placed up 2 free items in the past two days, and they were both taken within a few hours of listing (thanks so much!).


I will be putting up a few more of these free items soon, and I’ll still keep it up from time to time, depending on how popular they are. I should put up some free polymer clay beads. I hope people will start to like more of my items, and business might pick up. It’s been a slow two weeks. But it’s only been two weeks and I must say that I haven’t been patient.

Day 2: I was bad and purchased some more clay. I’ve come to like the metallic colours a lot, and the mica effects really make the pieces unique. Although, if you want to do without the mica, there really is no way. Another favourite is white transparent clay. I use this almost everywhere, it’s a staple for me.

Green and Gold
I worked on a more dull colour spectrum, as I didn’t like the bright child-like look of the batch I made the first time. Using my own handmade colour mixes, I really like the outcome. I made my own green from scratch, using cyan and yellow with a little metallic gold and black to get the smoky olive green. I need to polish up on my colour names. This is the best I can do to describe it!

I’m really happy with how these turned out. I tried a chop and mix technique with transparent and opaque white to get this depth effect. They were the most time consuming beads to make, but definitely worth it, just to look at the crackly-marbly-depth. I’m going to list some of these style beads for sale and see how they go. Because I make my own colours, it took me nearly an hour to get a shade I liked, not to mention the chopping and mixing I had to do for the outer layer!

Using the chop and mix technique again, and then just swirling them around a bit to get this effect. The good part about using a metallic clay, it adds the metallic effect to the other clays as well. The whole bead gets sparkly! Not sure if these will sell, since they are quite easy to make.

Using leftover clay, I made lots of spacers! I wanted to get a dark brown, but ended up with a lovely bronze for these disc spacers!! I love how they turned out, but I will probably never be able to get the exact shade again. I didn’t record my mixes (and I don’t intend to). Thankfully, my design skills can be utilised here when it comes to mixing colours. I generally know what colours to use to get a tone, from all that practice with illustrator. Never had an un-salvage-able sickly colour so far.

This ‘quick fix’ hobby has turned out to be rather fun, and I think I will stick with it for a while before starting my glass beads. It’s way more economical and allows me to fulfil my wish to make beads. The only thing is, it’s time consuming and sticky. I also need a little more equipment so I can work a lot faster. Pasta machine, I will get you soon!

I was a little disappointed when none of my bead findings showed up in the mail today, so I went down the street to the little craft/hardware store to get some polymer clay. I was also getting really impatient with the glass bead making supplies, since I still need to wait a couple more weeks before I can get all my equipment. In other words, I wanted a quick fix. I had read a little about making clay beads, and decided to do some more reading into it. Surprisingly, one needs to think in a totally different dimension in order to achieve the many intricate designs… I was amazed at ‘clay canes’. I still have to try that, although I think I will be terrible at it. Anyway, I took some quick snaps at what I managed to achieve tonight:
Before Baking
These are the beads that I made, all lined up on a card rack before baking. I found this trick on a tutorial site. The round and oval beads were done using a rolling mould that I bought along with the clay. Easy peasy. I also hand sculpted the smaller beads to make random shapes. Looks great as spacer beads.

Baked Beads
I like how they turned out! 40 minutes of baking at 120 degrees seems to work for me. I read a lot of different opinions on it. The beads are matte, my favourite to work with!! For the oval beads, I made swirls in them. They are the easiest pattern. I made holes in them before baking, which shrank a little, so I might have to work on the hole size next time. At least they still fit my stringing wire.

Plan for tomorrow: Go back to the store and get more white and black clay, along with some transparent colours. The mix of transparent and opaque clay will look awesome. Also, I need a hobby knife since I completely bent the plastic tool that came with my starter set.
This is a fun in-between hobby until I can finally melt some glass…

Everyone likes things that are customised to fit them perfectly, as goes with Etsy shop graphics. But not everyone wants to shell out over $100 for two images, especially if they like to change designs often, or are opening a second store on Etsy. I’m sure there is also a need for more than just pre-made graphics or commissioned shop banners, and I may have come up with something. If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to pay for design from scratch, then choosing ‘Your Own Background’ packages should be the perfect service for you.

I’ve completed one so far, with a leafy overlay design that transforms your image and shop name into a new work of art. The overlay design adds a lot of character to the image and banner, and it’s not just placed on top of your image. The special transparency alters the colours of the background that it overlaps and makes it unique and integrates it perfectly.



These two images show how the overlay is used when combined with a background image. The grey background is simply to demonstrate how the white overlay looks, but the end result will not be grey.

I will work with you on a personal level, providing you with proofs and multiple revisions until you are satisfied with the result.
This design is currently for sale on my Etsy shop for a low $12 USD and includes a shop banner and an avatar. Visit my shop now. More will be designed and added soon!

I’ve finally got around to taking photos of bracelets I made for sale. I uploaded two of them today, with a couple more items still saved for later.
_A014033 _A014062
Capturing these photos was not an easy task. I had to do a little bit of editing to get the colours to look more like the real thing. Still, learning every day. The photos link to their Etsy pages, which will give you a description and more images.

Starting out this beading project hasn’t been easy either, financially. I really need a lot of bead and finding stashes to be able to make various styles. I order a lot from other Etsy sellers, and each package takes at least a week to arrive. I can never order enough to last me more than a week. Actually, it lasts me about a day before I realise I need some other type of finding. So I order more and wait patiently… (yeah right). The next day or two, I order more supplies from another seller. And the cycle continues. Have a look at my stocked work area in our new apartment in Zürich-Oerlikon:
Work Area Preview of Upcoming Work

I’m still itching to make my own beads, because that would at least eliminate the need for me to search high and low for affordable glass beads in the colour I want. Of course, I would then be searching for and buying glass rods, wouldn’t I? Right. So anyway, I purchased a book on Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins. I was originally worried that I would need a kiln to even start out, but after finding a German online store that sells all the equipment and glass stock, I now know that I can use vermiculite (Kühlgranulat) to anneal small beads. This is good news for a beginner wanting to try out the craft without spending at least AU$500 for a bead kiln.