Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rag doll tutorial

Recently the Detroit News wrote a little article about me and my clay. Here's a link...

I thought you might like to try out the tutorial yourself..have fun!

Polymer Clay Rag Doll

Level: Beginner

Estimated time: 1 hour

Tools: Scissors, wire cutters, black Sharpie pen, wax paper, cookie sheet

Supplies: 2-ounce packages of Sculpey Polymer Clay in white, beige and blue; 1/8 yard of fabric, colorful yarn, 18-gauge wire; acrylic paint in white, red and black; two toothpicks


1. Tear fabric into 5 strips, measuring 3 inches x 1/2 inch. Cut 5 pieces of wire into 11/4-inch lengths. Wrap a piece of wire around center of one strip, twisting to tighten around fabric. Repeat with all strips.

2. Now, cut yarn into 3 inches x 1/2-inch lengths. Gather 5 at a time and wrap wire around center, twisting a few times.

3. Roll out a 11/2-inch circle of white clay. Form into tear drop and stand upright for body.

4. Roll out two tubes of beige clay, about 2 inches long. Attach each tube to base of white clay, applying pressure. These are the legs. Turn up edges to form feet.

5. Roll out a 2-inch ball of blue clay and flatten to form circle for dress. Lay over body and legs. Gently form clay around them, making sure back is covered.

6. Roll out two 11/2-inch tubes of blue. Attach one to each upper side of body on dress for arms.

7. Make two 5 mm balls of beige clay. Attach one to bottom of each arm for hands. Insert toothpick straight down body.

8. Make a 1-inch ball of beige and push onto toothpick to attach body. Gently insert a wired yarn piece to side of head, then another. Continue inserting yarn, then fabric, all over head.

9. Preheat oven to exactly 260 degrees. When fully heated, bake doll on cookie sheet 20 minutes. Turn oven off. Let cool completely before applying face paint.

10. Pour a little black, red and white acrylic paint on wax paper. Dip wood tip of paint brush into white paint and apply eyes. Let dry. Next, dip tip into black paint. Apply small dot of black paint over the white. Use toothpick to paint triangle nose, then Sharpie to draw smile and eyelashes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monkey Cake Toppers and more

I am on such a monkey kick.

I've been making monkey cake toppers.

Monkey Christmas Ornaments....

Baby Monkeys

Monkey Valentines........

Even Monkey

There is something so sweet and silly about monkeys that I just can't resist.

Stay tuned to see what other clay babies I'll be creating!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pete the Popcorn

Thought I would mention my very good friends, Joe and Nick, and their new book that they have been working on, called Pete the Popcorn!

It is a wonderfully written child's picture book and it will be available soon on Amazon. Nick has started a blog to keep us all updated on Pete's story and the actual day that the book goes on sale. Here is a link to his blog.

I've had some sneak peeks and it's such a cute story, I can't wait to get my own copy and read it to my grand-kids.

I am so excited for my friends and wish them all kinds of success. They have such great ideas. I don't know if they know how much they inspire me! All of this book business has made me dust off some old manuscripts from my past and see if there's something I can do.

I'm so busy with my clay I doubt that I'll ever get around to doing that, but it's thrilling to see Nick and Joe go after their dream. They've even started another story! Great!

Go check out Pete's blog and watch for the date that Pete will be available. I want to be the first to buy a copy..Guess I'll camp out by the computer that day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And the winner is!!

The winner of the contest is Joe Kelley. The random generator picked number 2 and that happened to be Joe. He's on my facebook page so I'll be contacting him today. Thanks to all for playing! I appreciate your comments and I appreciate that you read my blog. I've editing my blog now, and will soon have a gallery full of clay babies!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's about time for a contest

I haven't had a contest in awhile so here goes!!

You can win this little Christmas Elf, however, the contest won't end until I have at least 10 comments on this posting. I would like to know why you read my blog? Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads it and when I'm feeling truly alone out here, I want to just stop with the blog. But, if I knew that at least 10 of you were reading it, I would have some hope!

Naturally you can only post one time. So, tell your friends and share this blog. As soon as I get ten comments,,the contest is over and I'll pick a winner.

Remember, your comment should be about why you read my blog!

If you are reading this now,,Thanks!

PS...send me an email at garritygal@yahoo.com with "can't comment" if you are unable to comment here. Good luck!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween gift for you

Happy Halloween!

Here's a nice print out for my readers. Tie them together and hang! I laminated mine,,will last a long time that way.

Just download to your computer and have fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Branding my business

I've been going to Madonna University for 4 years now, after my graphic design degree and we are always talking about branding. What is branding?

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:

  • Reflect the character of the brand

  • Describe the brand’s offering

  • Create an association with the brand’s promise

  • Be easy and pleasant to say

  • Be unique and memorable

So how does one brand a business that delivers a message of cute and whimsical clay ornaments and cake toppers?

I think I've been fighting with myself about what my "brand" should be, so I gave in today and worked on new business cards, banners, signs, etc.

My clay is cute, my graphics are cute, and my artwork is cute...so I need to accept it and move on.

How did I come up with this new branding.

  1. I looked for a clay baby that really portrays my style. This monkey says it all!
  2. I picked three colors that I reproduce the most in my designs.
  3. I chose a font that is whimsical and one that I could fill with color.
  4. I chose some graphic elements which make me think of celebrating!
  5. I kept the name Debbie's Clay Babies because it has followed me for years and it is in loving memory of my grandmother, who used to say, "are you making your clay babies again?"

I think the new look sums up my business. It's fun, cute, whimsical, adorable, loving, and pulls at the heartstrings of my customers. The fact that they are my "babies" offers the idea that I care about them (which I do) and they are a part of me, (which they are).

I'm very excited to do my next show, where I can wear my tee shirt and buttons, drink coffee out of my mug and walk in carrying my tote bag. I also made the above banners to string along the front of the table and maybe along the back. I printed about 10 and will laminate them and tie pink, teal and blue ribbons between each banner. I also made signage. I have a light blue table covering and might get a pale pink too..Once I do a show, I'll take pictures. I wonder if it will make a difference to be branded? I sure hope so. What do you think?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eight more days till Halloween

I just love to make Halloween Clay Babies. They are cute and colorful. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and if I ever get married again,,(I doubt,,) I would like to have a Halloween Themed wedding. But, until that happens, I'll enjoy the holiday just as it is.

Here is a Halloween set I made for a customer. She bought a tree and wanted to decorate it with my little clay babies. She just got the set last week and she's already ordered a Thanksgiving set which I'm shipping out tomorrow.

The picture below is a scene I made for a contest at Polyform Products. I think you can win metallic powders or something like that. I've already sold this at a show. The customer squealed when she saw it!

I am on a kick making monkeys. These Halloween monkeys are too cute! Now I've started to make Christmas monkeys. There is something so adorable about monkeys,,whether it's clip art, or clay or cartoons.

Although I enjoy making Halloween clay babies, it's time to move on to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those holidays will be here before you know it!

For a preview of some of my Christmas ornaments, here's a link to my etsy store where I'm slowly filling it with Christmas Clay Babies.

Watch for my tutorial for a Thanksgiving cornucopia next week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vintage Halloween Postcards

Who doesn't love old time Halloween Postcards?

I thought I would share some images that I have collected over the years. Some are actual postcards that I scanned.

Other images are photos that were purchased.

I believe that this cat was a decoration. I remember having a set of these back in the 60s. We had the cat, a witch, and a pumpkin.

Lately I've been printing these out and making Halloween cards for friends.

Here are some ideas for you.

Print them out and attach them to a long ribbon to make a Halloween banner.

Print them out on heavy card stock, laminate them and use as window decorations..they will last for years.

Make several copies of the same design. You can make it a complete theme for a child's party, banners, flags, table decorations, name tags, etc.

Of course you can make cards.

How about heavy card stock and laminate them. Glue a pin back on with glue and wear as a pin.

Have fun with these images. I just might post more tomorrow..

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October's here

I can't believe that September has already come and gone. I guess if I'm going to go to an apple orchard I better start making plans right away!

I love this time of year even though it means that the cold nastiness of January through April will soon follow. That cool chill in the morning air tells me that I better start winterizing my windows and doors. The garden hose and flower pots have to be stored away for the winter. My garden angels, frogs and turtles need a warm snug place to rest till spring. I feel like a squirrel driven by the desire t0 prepare for a long winter.

Once the yard is cleaned up for the season, I like to place a scarecrow in the empty flower beds. A few pots of mums and some corn stalks and pumpkins complete the scene. It's so simple, yet it makes my little place more homey and welcome. During the day, if it's warm enough, I like to open my window and listen to the rustling of the leaves and the corn stalks. It reminds me of a time when my children were younger. Their school was about a quarter mile from our house and during the day, it would be so quiet in the neighborhood that the only sounds I would hear would be that rustling of the corn stalks that I had tied to the front banisters. Then during lunch I could hear the children in the school yard, laughing and yelling. After lunch, the quiet would return, and the corn stalks would whisper and scratch against the window panes. It's one of my most favorite sounds.

When darkness arrives earlier and earlier, I like to close up the window curtains and bolt the front door. I burn a few apple cinnamon candles while I work on clay scarecrows and pumpkins. If an old Dracula movie isn't playing, I'm listening to music while I work or relax. It's a snug feeling and I will enjoy this until the drab days of January.

Until those cold days start, I'll be enjoying as much of what Michigan has to offer as possible. Another trip to Frankenmuth is in the works, a bonfire and a drive along the thumb area for the fall colors.

What do you like to do in October?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Halloween at etsy

I thought it would be nice to showcase some of the Halloween treasuries at Etsy, where I have my shop. This blog can't always be about me! Since October is right around the corner, I thought I would share some Halloween and Autumn artwork. If you haven't been to Etsy before, it's a wonderful website where thousands of artists and craftsmen sell their hand made wares. Vintage and retro items are available there too.

To start off, I thought this Orange treasury was bright and fun! Who doesn't like orange?

This next treasury is called Purple Perfection and it's just that! I especially love the purple hair!
What's the glowing in the jar? I want one of those..

Haunted forests, spooky bottles and old crows are part of this next treasury, called Haunted House in the Forsaken Forest. I think I've found a kindred spirit!

Finally, here's a treasury full of mummies! It's called Show me the Mummy!

I do have to admit that one of my mummies is in this treasury, the tall standing one. It's always fun and an honor to be placed in a treasury, so I thought I would share this one.

If you enjoyed these Halloween Treasuries, let me know. Click on the links to see the actual treasury. You might even find something you can't live without!

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