Tuesday, October 28, 2008

With my zombie obsessed hubby & brother in law in tow, I headed up to The It’s Alive! 2008 ZOMBIE FEST at the Monroeville Mall this past weekend. The Fest was a real heart stopper with zombie fans galore & zombie inspired arts, crafts & paraphernalia. A few of our very own talented Team members participated in this outrageously entertaining & gory event!

Some local 'Burg Zombies. See what a little shopping with the Etsy Pittsburgh Street Team can do for you even if you're in one of those 'zombie' moods?!

EJ & Lz of Octarine lured the walking dead with their sparkly & shiny original creations.

Lynne of Charmed by Nature cavorted with the zombie masses amidst her earthy, organic jewelry & knit creations.

It was hard for the dead & living alike to pass up the opportunity to meet zombiefied Marilyn Monroe aka Tamara of BarkerBell. Not only did she wow us with her most famous pose, but she had a table full of earth friendly, super cool jewelry & accessories.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CityCraft Handmade Holiday Happy Hour Market

As part of their ongoing effort to create local selling opportunities for artisans in and around the Pittsburgh area, the Etsy Pittsburgh Street Team is happy to announce the CityCraft Handmade Holiday Happy Hour Market on Thursday, December 18, 2008 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at Navarra (next to Bossa Nova) 131 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

This event, in downtown Pittsburgh, will feature 40 local artisans selling their handmade wares, performances by local musicians (schedule and details TBA), and how-to crafting demonstrations.

Mark the date on your calendar and come join us for a last chance to buy handmade for the holidays!

A few vendor spaces are still available. For applications, questions, or more info, email barkerbellheirlooms@hotmail.com.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

fire up your imagination!

I have taken the plunge into a new medium- silver metal clay! I have been playing with polymer clay for over a decade and love that it can be shaped and painted to look like so many different things, and it's cheap!
I have admired silver clay pieces I have seen on etsy and how some incorporated leaves into their work similar to what I do with polymer clay.
The idea of making a finished item that would be so durable really appealed to me as well.
What held me back was the thought of needing the use of a kiln and the cost of the stuff itself. For the smallest package (10 grams) it averages 15.00 and 60.00 for 50 grams. OUCH! This was going to take awhile.
I started searching silver clay demo videos online and began to feel like it was something I could do. I bought 50 grams of the low fire clay. It has the least shrinkage and is the most durable when fired and some basic tools- an acrylic roller, some small flexible molds, and a brass brush.
Finally, I decided to rip open the small package of silver clay. I was surprised to see how tiny 50 grams looks. I rolled it out thin, thinner than you are supposed to.
My frugal nature was forcing me to get the most out of this I could. I pressed 3 leaves in to the clay, pressed 4 pieces into molds and used a rubber stamp on the last of it. I made holes in 6 of the pieces and left them to dry for 24 hours. The next morning I looked at them and saw some small cracks in the leaves where the clay was very thin. I went to my local bead shop and bought some low fire silver clay paste. It's just watered down clay in a jar. I painted the cracks with the paste and dried the pieces in the oven at 330 degrees. I was getting impatient at this point. I set a metal screen over the burner of my gas stove in the kitchen. After a minute, the hot spots on the screen turned orange and that's where I placed the dried clay pieces. First they seemed to burn all over then they glowed orange all the way through(very cool.) I let them glow for 10 minutes and then I quenched in them in water and they made a loud "squint!" sound and became instantly cool to touch. I dried them and brushed them with the brass brush and was thrilled to see shiny silver metal! I used liver of sulphur (stinks real bad) to oxidize and make the details stand out.
Overall, I'm happy with the results.The finished pendants are very strong and shined up like a new dime. I still think the material is way expensive for my liking but I may have made a trade deal on some of my other work with a shop that carries it so it won't hurt that much.
If you are thinking about trying something new- my advice is to jump right in! Life is for learning new things and making new things! Have fun!
I would love to have a silver clay party with my Pittsburgh etsy street team friends and get all the burners on my stove fired up!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gallery Crawl Tonight

Members of the Etsy Pittsburgh Street Team will be selling their handmade wares tonight at the Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District at 914 Penn Avenue. Hopefully we'll see you there.