I am officially a big ol’ loser. No, really, trust me — total sad sack. Here’s why: I have bruises on my hands from working with Sculpey.
Last year, I made really cool ornaments for my piano students from Sculpey. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a link. Here’s the ornament I made…
Pretty cool, huh? This year I’m working on pearlized white snowflake ornaments for them.
Before I go on, you need to know a few things. Firstly, Merle thinks it is his job to denude our Christmas tree every year. By Christmas, our tree is nekkid from the waist down. I spend a portion of each day putting ornaments back on the tree, for absolutely no reason since he just starts again as soon as I finish. Once the ornaments are off the tree, Merle and Tiny (and probably Belle, too) use them as soccer balls. A glass ornament smacked into a wall or table leg will usually shatter. I spend a portion of each day sweeping up broken ornaments, too. You can see why I usually just by the cheapest ones I can find for like 88 cents per 12 at Wally World, right? So we started talking last year about getting some of the new shatterproof ornaments. Which are expensive. But possibly worth it.
Secondly, someone who shall remain nameless has the responsibility of putting things in our storage unit as well as bringing them home when necessary. Someone is responsible for this because the bulk of our storage unit is computer cables, CD cases, 80 million CDs of software, bits and pieces of broken computers that can be Frankensteined into something useful, etc, and is therefore Not My Problem. Someone may have been moving totes to get to something and knocked over (from about six feet high) the box containing all our Christmas ornaments. Except my collectible ones from childhood, thank goodness. But all those glass ones? Tumbled to the ground in a crunch of glass. Someone’s wife may have immediately said a few horrible words from the warm security of the car, where she stays while visiting the storage unit in order to avoid a divorce-causing argument. We have learned from experience, folks. Someone may have felt really bad about it, but that doesn’t undo the fact that we have to buy a lot of new ornaments because someone’s wife likes a well-loaded tree. Just sayin’.
So now seems like a good time to invest in those shatterproof ornaments, doesn’t it? Actually, last year was probably the year to do that. Whatever. I proceeded to price them and try to find ones without glitter. Because I abhor glitter in any form. While they are coming down in price, they are still a bit expensive for the amount we would need. So I turned to the Bargain Basement Retail Outlet where Brian works. I found some I liked well enough (it’s not Love, but it’ll do) and bought about 50 of them. They’re turquoise and brown. You know, traditional Christmas colors. Sure. I think they’ll look okay, especially paired with whatever small iridescent balls we have left from last year and a few other things I think will work. I bought white paper with turquoise snowflakes, and I think it’ll all tie together okay.
Then, inspiration struck. If I was already going to be making snowflake ornaments for my kids, why not make some for our tree? I have pearlized Sculpey, I bought some white and turquoise, and I was already buying the cookie cutter. So making like two dozen more for us should be easy, right?!
Before you use Sculpey you have to condition the clay. You cut off a chunk, warm it in your hands, roll it into a log, roll it flat, fold it up, and repeat. About a million times until it’s soft, pliable, and warm. If you’re going to combine colors, like “white” and “pearl” to make a cool “pearly white” (technical terms, folks) you then roll a log of each color, twirl them together and roll flat, fold, and repeat until they’re blended. Which takes about ten minutes or so. I use a nifty acrylic roller with my Sculpey, and work on a 1 square foot ceramic tile. I worked pretty much all night to condition all my white and most of my pearl, and to combine four blocks of Sculpey into eight balls ready to make ornaments. Pretty soon, I wasn’t able to muster up the hand strength to condition any more. So I had to stop before I had my turquoise conditioned and pearled. I thought my hands were tired enough, and figured I’d start again today.
What I didn’t bank on was that my hands are bruised from about four hours of conditioning clay….. Yeah. I suck. That little rolling pin and I have a date for Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday, or whenever I can use it without crying. I will be victorious over the Sculpey. But meanwhile, I’m a pretty big ol’ loser, who should be icing my ol’ clay injury….
Welcome to Emerson Belle!!
Born at 11:40 on 11-22-10 to my sweet YaYaPrincess and her husband, weighing in at 7 lbs and reaching 21 inches long.
I am so excited I can barely stand it. The only thing close to your own baby is the birth of one you can spoil and then send home!