Friday, June 4, 2010

When cats attack

 Just like real flowers, polymer clay flowers are not immune to the curiosity of cats. I found this out first hand this week.

We had friends over for Memorial Day, and I decided to put some of my arrangements—which are soon destined for Etsy—around the living room. To get feedback, ya know? And it worked out great, until I left those same arrangements in the living room, thinking the cats would leave them alone.

Fat chance.

Tuesday: everything was fine. 2 arrangements on the entertainment stand and 1 on the breakfast bar.

Wednesday: not so fine. 1 arrangement on the entertainment stand, 1 on the breakfast bar, and one scattered about the livingroom.

Luckily, the damage looked worse than it was. Only one small, off-white flower is broken (looks like a cat was able to pull the flower head off the stem and chew on it a little, leaving faint teeth marks. The other flowers were just scattered about, but all in good shape.

My extreme displeasure was conveyed to the cats, who just looked at me and got cranky when I sprayed them with the water bottle. Silly human, I should know that anything remotely "fun" looking should be placed in a lead-lined safe, not displayed in the living room.

So this means I'll have to work this little life-lesson into a disclaimer on my Etsy shop page. Maybe something along the lines of "Keep out of reach of anything or anyone that might decide to chew on the flowers" or "Not chew-resistant." I'll have to work on the wording.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It comes from Hawaii

I was turned on to using Claycraft clay by Deco through another bride's wedding blog. She had hired one of the fabulous Deco Clay Craft Academy instructors in Hawaii to sculpt her wedding flowers, and after a little Internet sleuthing I found the website, its products, and the book Clay Art for All Seasons.

I purchased the book, figuring a $20 investment wouldn't hurt to see if any of the instructions looked feasible. And they did. So off went a purchase for some clay, which you can only get from Deco and also comes from Hawaii. Aloha!

Possibly the most interesting thing about the clay is its weight—it's feather light. The white clay comes in 4.8 oz packages and all of the colors are in 1.9 oz packages. Sure, this seems like a tiny amount, but there is one thing I learned quickly: a small amount of clay goes an extremely long way. The colored clay is so rich and vibrant that you almost always mix it with a little bit of white or black to get the color you plan to work with (though I really do like the plain red for roses—it's a very rich color).

Starting with a white rose, my first attempt was thick-petaled and looked as if it was made of Sculpey, not feather-weight clay. So I started again, forming the individual petals thinner and thinner, working them together into a rose.

And so the collection grew.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It started with a wedding ...

Being the obsessively frugal, penny-pinching person that I am—and often hopelessly disappointed when fresh flowers wilt and shed pollen all over the table 2 days after purchasing—I decided there was no way I'd have fresh flowers at my wedding.

It'd be a waste.

I couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars that a florist would charge.

We got married in November out in the countryside of PA ... there were no farmer's markets to source zinnias from, nor were there really any wildflowers still kicking around.

What did I do?

I made clay flowers. With my hands. And people thought I was nuts. People couldn't wrap their minds around the concept of clay flowers ("Won't they be awfully heavy?"). And they thought it was a lot of work for a little bride to take on.

But I did. And here's my story.