“Don’t Let the World Make You Hard”


As I attempted to resuscitate the dried up polymer clay from previous projects (this and this) to make a Double Bow keychain that I saw on Minted Strawberry, I pondered on the quote I once saw: Don’t Let the World Make You Hard.

We human are no different than the polymer clay — our souls too harden when neglected and forgotten over time. We need to take the time to knead, knead, and knead some more with love and care so that the crackled soul can become soft and alive again, and turn into something colorful and playful like these lovely double bows.

Homemade French Macaron Keychains

A line between food and crafts gets very blurry for me sometime. I love making soaps because the mixing and pouring remind me so much of baking luscious cakes.  Making handmade lotion and seeing the emulsifying wax and oil mixture settle into velvety consistency reminds me of yogurt making.  And kneading the polymer clay into cute shapes and baking them in the oven reminds me of baking cookies!

Here’s my new creation:  French macaron keychains!  They may not be the lovely French almond cookies from the famous Laduree in Paris, but they sure are cute!  Here’s a very helpful video tutorial on how to make these heavenly morsels.

Rekindling My Love with Kneading

I cleaned up a storage closet that I keep all my soap and other craft supplies over the weekend and came across a bag of polymer clays that I had purchased many, many years ago. I was once obsessed with Fimo clays and used to spend many hours making little jewelry pieces for earrings and necklaces. That was back in the early- to mid-90s when the grungy accessories were in, and I used to dangle handmade charms on a chocker, while sporting a flannel shirt and a pair of Doc Martins boots. Good times.

I think I picked up several bags of polymer clay from Michael’s about five years ago in an attempt to rekindle my love for jewelry-making but it looked like that plan had failed … until tonight. I was itching to make something so I decided to give kneading the clay another try.

I wasn’t in the mood to make anything extravagant (the grunge days are over) so I decided to make very simple but adorable flower pieces. I haven’t decided on what I’m going to turn these flowers into so I just poked a tiny hole on each piece so I can make it into an earring or a necklace at a later time.

I made flowers in three sizes. I think I like the smallest one the most (I will probably turn them into a pair of earrings). I think these are a little too girl-y for me to wear and I’m actually thinking about giving them to my friend’s pre-teen daughters as gifts.  Or I may use it as a soap decoration when I wrap them up with a bow.

Making these flower petals was very simple. I rolled small pieces of the clay on the palm of my hand, folded the tip of the flattened ball to create a crease, and put five of them together. I put the tiny white round piece in the middle and that’s it! I poked a tiny hole with a wooden stick before popping them in a 270 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes. For the purple ones, I used Sculpey-brand clay in Lavender (312) for petals and white (001) for the center.  For the reddish ones, I used Lilac Pearl (1004).  Just to note that colors didn’t change much after baking them in the oven.

Paper Lover’s Heaven: Paper Source

My boyfriend and I were driving down Ventura Blvd. in Studio City last Friday on the way to dinner and we drove past newly-opened Paper Source!  Whoa!  I had no idea that it was opening on this trendy stretch of the boulevard! 

Paper Source is a stationary store packed with breathtaking paper goods, spanning from gift cards to wrapping papers. It also houses some of the cutest rubber stamps around. In short, it is the crafter’s ultimate heaven. Take me to Paper Source and I will go crazy, like a cat on catnip! I frequent the one in Pasadena’s Old Town but this new location in Studio City is much easier for me to get to as I’m not a fan of the parking situation in Pasadena. (By the way, the photos you see here are from the Pasadena store, not Studio City.)

The next day, on my way home from my Saturday run on the beach with my sister and the Roadrunners (I am training for the LA Marathon again this year), I stopped by the store to check things out. I found out that the store opened a mere week ago, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Saturday, October 23. It’ll be offering several demonstrations throughout the day. How exciting is that?

While I was there, I picked up some beautiful Japanese “washi” wrapping paper, as well as other pretty wrapping papers. Everything I saw were so high quality and vibrant, it took me a very long time to decide on which ones to purchase! If it weren’t for the two-hour parking, I bet would have spent the entire day there! I ended up bringing home about six wrapping papers, and made mini pocket mirrors with some of them, using my nifty button maker. If you are interested, you can purchase your own at my Etsy shop, Lavender and Olive (sorry about the cheesy shameless self promotion here)! 😆

Paper Source
12174 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604