Thursday, June 18, 2015

The return of the muse and a plan

Last weekend the muse returned for a short visit from where ever she had been vacationing. On Saturday I had fun fine tuning the idea and following a tutorial I also mixed up more then a dozen colours to use. On the second day I worked for probably 10 hours I did loose count! I reined myself in and didn't create buttons in all the colours I had mixed up. If I had it would have taken a few more days and it would have resulted in about 50 pairs of buttons. I did creat 33 pairs of buttons that I will be posted on  Vanessa's Clay Adventures  in the first week of September. Sorry no sneak peeks or glimpses of this batch of buttons.

The plan. I have been pondering what to do with my Facebook page and on Etsy you can find me here SaylorDesigns . Firstly on Facebook (link above) I will be deleting all my albums before September 1 2015. I have noticed that visitors don't look through the albums or ask where they are. Over time I had created so many albums that it was confusing. That means its time to delete the albums and start fresh. That leads me to my Etsy plan. I have been slowly moving my Ready to ship stock to Etsy. I have close to 100 items listed and I have read that the more you  have listed the more likely you are to be seen. A note about pricing on the two sites. Prices on Facebook will always be lower then on Etsy. My intention in September is to list new items let them sit on Facebook for a week or two then move them to Etsy. The difference in pricing is because of the additional fees I pay to use Etsy. 

Then I had a chat with a friend who was telling me about using key words. I did some research to figure  out what key words are. Simply put as I understand it key words and the words we all use when searching for an item. My titles on Etsy were weak and didn't contain very many of those words we use to search so I have been slowly editing the titles of my listings in hopes it is easier to search my items. It seems to be helping I have been displayed in two treasuries recently. One can be found here and the other one here Fresh Finds .

That summarizes my plans with my handmade buttons and other goods for the next several months. I will leave you with pictures of two patterns I did last year and am considering repeating for fall 2015. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Creative Muse

It seems that my creative muse has decided that she needs a vacation after working very hard over the last year and a half. Who or what is my muse? I'm not entirely sure! hehe. She is where I say my ideas come from. She doesn't have a name or shape yet that is where I say my inspiration come from in the middle of the night or while I am out running errands or washing dishes. 

I have had a wonderful time creating hundreds of buttons and many of them finding new homes and adorning a variety of items, scarves, slippers, coffee cup sleeves and hats.  It is always a thrill when I receive pictures of my buttons in use or spot them in use on Someone's Facebook page! 

I am going to  take a few weeks off now and focus on spending time with my family and working in the garden. Some times changing my focus and recharging my batteries is needed. 

As always you can find me here or here I am also on Instagram I will be available to chat and will post when I can. I have many pairs of buttons and other things that are in need of new home. 

That leads to a question. How do you recharge, energize and find your focus when it is lost? 

Here are a few pictures from a trip I took several years ago. Maybe there is inspiration in one of these for you. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

An over view of how I make a retro cane

Hello! Can you believe it a second blog post this month? I thought I would share an over view of how I create one of the patterns you see often in my work in a variety of colours.

The colours before I sheet them out and make them useable

Here they are all flat and ready to be used. Here you see
shades of blue, turquoise, lime greens, white and brown.

Next I use a cutter to cut all these circles.

Then those circles are stacked like this. Sometimes I will make up
a pattern other times I just grab and stack with no pattern.

Those logs of clay now go into this tool called an extruder the end
of the extruder has a square die in the end of it.

The clay comes out looking like square snakes.

I cut and stack the snakes and it looks like this from the front.

A side view of the same stack of snakes.

That stack of snakes is now called a cane and when sliced with a sharp blade looks like this. Each slice looks slightly different.

The textured sheet of clay now becomes the back of the buttons
and the lighter blue sheet is where I will apply all the slices
of cane I am about to cut.

The slices of cane are applied to the sheet of clay then rolled
and smoothed out until usable. 

The pretty sheet and textured sheet are now stuck together.

Now its time to choose the shapes I want to cut out. I  grab my cuttersand fit as many shapes onto the sheet as I can. After the shapes are cut I put holes in the buttons. Put them in the oven to cureand sand and buff as needed. After that its time for pictures, editing and listing online. I hope that gives some understanding of
all the steps I take to create a back of buttons. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Creative Day Dreaming

I find myself doing daily tasks like dishes or interacting with my son and between my ears my brain has come up with a creative idea or inspiration that remains a dream until I can find a moment, an hour or a day to smoosh and manipulate the polymer clay I work with. The time I carve out to create seems stolen from something else I should be doing like sweeping the floor or building a lego tower. I could be working for 5 minutes or 5 hours it all passes so quickly and becomes a moving meditation for my body and mind. Some days I find myself caught mentally in the creative day dream while I am out doing errands or visiting with friends. My muse visits more often now and after a full year of creating as much and as often as I can I settle in to create with less struggle and effort.  It is easier now to sit and make something then it was last year. I doubt my mostly self taught aristic self less. I appreciate all of my customers and each sale I make. I have learned a great deal about my muse, my creative process and operating a small handmade business where I am the creator, dreamer and administrator. 

I enjoyed the following video it is worth watch .

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Time to Catch up!

I haven’t blogged in more then a year. I have thought about it a few times but haven’t followed through. I’m not sure why I quit blogging but I am going to attempt a return and blog once a month. In my very last post I wrote that I was going to create 100 Bottles of Hope that didn't happen. Instead I started creating buttons with polymer clay and posting them on my Facebook page. As I posted more and more buttons it caught the eye of Tanya from who happens to live in the same city as I do. She purchased a few buttons and shared my page. Next I was “found” by Allison of . After connecting with both of these women who I can now say are great friends and amazing support. I began to sell buttons slowly and I was enjoying the process of making new buttons and selling them. A few months passed and I was still making buttons and they were selling the same day as I was listing them on my Facebook page. I kept thinking this is amazing but I ‘m sure it will slow down. Things haven’t slowed down at all! Instead I have met many amazing customers and made 100s of buttons over the last year.
With the mind blowing success of my page on Facebook I created a site on Etsy so spread my wings and continue selling my handmade work.  My goal before the end of 2015 is to have a stand alone website with my blog and e-commerce. This is an intimidating and overwhelming idea that will take a whole lot of work to make it happen. I will make sure to let you know when my site is launched. Here is a collage of some recent buttons I have made.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A few more Bottles of Hope


I set a goal for myself in late fall to make 100 Bottles of Hope before June of 2014 and donate them to the Relay for Life event in my community. I will likely meet my goal of 100 bottles but I doubt I will get them donated to the Relay for Life. I had a gal contact me via my Facebook page she requested a single bottle for herself. We chatted a bit more and I found out she participates on a team for the Relay of Life. I sent her about 15 bottles she chose one for herself and shared the rest with her team mates.

I went to work last week ( I work casually on call) at the school I worked at before I had my son and found out person I worked with previously was away and receiving treatment for cancer. I will be sending some bottles her way as well.

As of today I have made almost 50 bottles and am quickly running out of my bottles to cover. I am now seeking more tiny glass bottles to use for this project. I will include an example of the bottles I am using. If anyone has any leads on more bottles that would be great. I am hoping to find a source for bottles that will be free as I am giving them away and don’t have funds to buy new and pay for shipping.

36 - 37 - 38

22 - 23 - 24

25 - 26 - 27

28 - 29

30 - 31- 32

33 - 34 - 35

39 - 40 - 41 - 42

43 - 44 - 45

unfinished bottles

The bottles I am currently using came from some sort of hair coloring the bottles are about 2 inches tall and very narrow. I don’t put anything in the bottles but do include two notes from the Bottles of Hope website with the origins of the project and well wishes. It would be wonderful to find similar bottles for free and in a large quantity of 100 or more.

Each bottles is slightly different and most of them have a word on them that may provide inspiration and strength at a time when it is needed.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This years Christmas Ornaments

This year I attended two craft fairs I enjoyed both of them and had wonderful reactions to everything I made. Here are a few pictures of the ornaments from this season.


small pink and purple scale ornament

large textured starfish ornament

green wreaths 2 better pic

light bulbs 1 2 3

4 snow flakes

2 trees 1 bell 2 star bursts

beach ornament 4

hanging navy and silver ornament 1


large show flake ornament # 7

ornament 2 completed

ornament 5 finished white to black

pink sparkly ornament  3


small snowflake ornment # 8

white silver blue ornament 6