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The Year of New/Old Products

First batch of custom orders for 2015

In the spirit of the upcoming Small Business Saturday (because participating in that feels so much less “salesy” than participating in Black Friday), I thought I would share with you in one handy place some of the new things I have been working on in the shop this season.

For the past few years, the focus has been very heavily on crochet hooks, but this season I’ve introduced a new tool, and am re-introducing a few old favorites.

So, if you have an interest in giving handmade gifts this year, or if you just want to treat yourself (go ahead! I won’t judge!) allow me to give you a short guided tour of what’s new.

2015 319/365

First, let me tell you what all of these things have in common: they are all made out of polymer clay by me (and only me – I have no studio help). Some products involve a veneer of a polymer clay pattern over some kind of armature (for instance, a metal crochet hook) and others are 100% polymer (like a pendant would be). The polymer designs are made using a method known as millefiori, a technique which was borrowed from glassmaking. There are no paints used on any of these items. All of the color is inherent in the clay, so you don’t have to worry about the color chipping off.

All of these items are carefully formed, cured until hard, sanded through six grits of very fine sandpaper, and then buffed to a high shine. While I try to capture the smoothness and the shine through the photos I share, there really is no substitute to feeling these things in person.

If you’ve seen items made from polymer clay before, but they haven’t gone through the same rigorous finishing process, you would be astonished to compare the two. It’s hard to believe it’s the same material.

Ok, so here’s what’s new:

1. Seam Rippers. The handle is formed over a hollow tube, and the chrome seam ripper blade can be pulled out of the tube, turned around, and stored blade-side-in for safe-keeping. These have a nice, sturdy, heavy feel to them.

Pens and Pencils2. Twist Pens and Click Pencils: These fancy Cross-style pens and pencils are back after a many-year hiatus. They’re formed very much like the seam rippers, using hollow tubes which house the mechanics. When the ink or the lead runs out, you can replace them with cross refills.

2015 327/3653. Earrings: These are more classic items coming back a bit re-imagined. When I create pattern sheets to use as veneers on the tools above, I have to cut away the excess. Sometimes there is enough excess pattern left that it seems a shame to waste it. While it’s not enough to cover another seam ripper or crochet hook, it is often enough for a pair of earrings. I am careful to keep some symmetry in the portions of the pattern that I use. The findings are all Sterling Silver or Copper.

tile15104. Barrettes: The barrette backing is a high-quality 3-inch French barrette, which is sandwiched between two layers of polymer clay and baked just like that so the clay and the barrette can never come apart.

New crochet hooks at Polka Dot Cottage!

At the moment, I am surprised to say, my custom order schedule is completely open. I’ve finished and mailed off all of the orders that came in last week. If you want to take advantage of this lull, I recommend you hurry, because it’s pretty odd that I don’t have anything to work on right now!

Custom work costs exactly the same as those items already in stock, so as long as you can afford to wait a week or two for me to make it, you might as well select your own favorite shapes and patterns!

Do you know how I choose what to make and sell? Basically, I make items that I want to use myself. So, if you are at all like me, I predict you will like what you see 🙂

Check out the shop now!

P.S. Any questions about these items, or my process, or anything at all, please ask!

P.P.S. Custom ordering will only be available for another few days! After that, purchases will be limited to stock on hand.

2 thoughts on “The Year of New/Old Products

  1. Hi Lisa, I totally adore your work, hence all my orders. I’m a quilter at heart, but my interest spans to other fields as well. Just wanted to ask if you ever plan to hold workshops on working with clay and the basics. My thought is moving in the direction of using clay, with designs, for small pin dishes, etc. (I’m always thinking in the sewing direction). Many thanks for your great handmades and, of course, I will be ordering more from you soon. Mary K. In VA

    1. Hi, Mary! Thanks for your kind words 🙂
      I don’t know if you meant in-person workshops, online classes, or videos but I have have given thought to all three! At the moment, though, I’ve only got written instructions under my belt. If you’re looking for a good guide for beginners, I can recommend the Polka Dot Cottage Hearts ebook. It shows you how to get started with polymer clay without needing any fancy tools. I’ve also written a blog post aimed at resources for beginners, and you can find that here. That post is 6 years old, though, so there might be some broken links, and I no longer own a polymer clay book store 🙂

      If you’re interested in making millefiori patterns like mine, I have a few other tutorials, but most of them expect you to have some basic polymer experience and tools.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any specific questions. I might be able to help 🙂

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