Printing Day Success!!!

Today we printed the first 55 packs of colouring in packs, and sold 24 of them by the end of the day just in people we saw!!! I have a busy week ahead but I hope to write up some tutorials on colouring in which hopefully will help all who are asking about them and what to use and so on, but in the mean time, this is what they look like packaged!! (tomorrow I will try and take some pics of them printed on the card stock 🙂 They look sooooo much nicer than “normal” paper 🙂

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I have already recouped all the costs of printing them, so from now on all sold will be 100% to the beautiful people in the old age home!!!

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Colouring Packs!!

Each Pack will comprise of 10 card-stock sheets with an image printed for colouring on one side. They will come in a plastic sleeve or ziplock bag, with a sheet describing the inspiration, the charities and the artist, as well as the web site links for here, for more information, tutorials and colouring and after use ideas.

The GIFT TAG pack will also contain 10 sheets of card stock, but the pictures are drawn and arranged so that they can be cut up to turn them into note cards and gift tags! Below are photos of the master copies, so they AREN’T on card stock in the photos! (so they look “floppier” than how they will be when printed … we will update with photos once that happens 🙂

This is Pack A (001CP):

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This is pack B (002CP):

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This is the first gift card pack (001GP):

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Which you then cut up to make these:

(the actual pack contains 6 cards and 24 gift tags so this is just a sample of that pack)

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(you can cut them out to have a border around each tag or no border, what ever size or cut that you prefer 🙂

$10 (CA, US, NZ or AU) or R85 per pack plus postage if needed 🙂

For pre ordering contact:

Canada: Ramona on ramonakmatthews@gmail.com

South Africa and Australia (& NZ & Fiji): Jenn on jen.joburg@gmail.com

Thanks soooo much for the support that has been coming in! It is so encouraging!!

Colour to Care!

I am sooo excited to let you all know that today we officially launch our own range of adult colouring pages!

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THE INSPIRATION

In August 2015 the ladies of the Craft & Charity arm of the Fourways Gardens Social Club, in Johannesburg, South Africa, decided to do add to their existing charity work, and create something special for Christmas by making gift packages for a local State and Salvation Army-run old age home. When we visited the home to assess their needs, we were shocked and saddened at how such special people are living. It is clean and safe and the old folks all have a roof over their heads, and food in their bellies, and the staff are fabulous, but the residents have absolutely nothing to do, and they are struggling for basics like medications and toiletries. We decided that with help, we can supply some of these basic needs for fifty elderly human beings on an on-going basis… and thus give them more than just a gift for Christmas.

And so we started work collecting and making things that they can use, eat, and DO. We collect old magazines, spare unused toiletries and things to keep them warm like socks, lap blankets etc, and When we were coming up with suggestions on how to provide them with things to do, someone suggested that adult colouring in may be enjoyable for some of them, but they are costly to buy! Being more than a charity group, we are also a craft group, so we thought we could make the colouring in books ourselves … and once we started making them we realised that maybe we could also sell them to raise money to buy the things that we can’t make ourselves!

CANADIAN CONNECTION

For the months of October and November, all packs sold in Canada will support Matthew House in Toronto, in the name of Pat Simon.

Special special thanks to Ramona Matthews for the all the printing, buying, and processing work at the Canada end.

A very high proportion of the selling price of our colouring packs will be going to these South African and Canadian charities, because all the labour, art work, and administration and other work is being done for free by these hard working ladies.

MORE PHOTOS TO FOLLOW!!

Earring Fun this week…

Combining all my loves: clay, cloth, thread, buttons, glue, tassels …

… and making the earring reversible too!!

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Back Again!

It’s been a rough year since we last updated here, but hope to be  more regular again as things settle. Both our lives have changed in ways that neither of us could have dreamt, and both of us are now struggling with long term health issues … some small, some big, some just plain annoying!

Julie is still running small classes, but Jenn won’t be able to run them any more, which is heart breaking as it is her passion, but at the same time she is learning a new normal, and finding pleasure still in creating creating creating, but not the same kinds of things … No it is a season for crafts that are less physically taxing, can often be done from bed, and are not too hard on her fingers!

The problem with working in bed however is that once in bed and starting to work, there is no room to get out again to go to the loo!!!

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We haven’t been nothing as you can see, and recently completed a small mosaic project for a client, which isn’t exactly a job to do in bed, (and neither is pewter work for that matter!!) … and not all days are bed days by any means, so we save those for strong days:

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And then on the less robust days there is always knitting, jewellery, sewing and card making… and drawing for the new ADULT COLOURING IN BOOK!!! (details soon!!)

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So for those who are still following us: thank you! And this will still be a great place for us to showcase what we are creating and hopefully give you some great ideas 🙂

Workshops and Classes! Sign up!!

With both of us being down due to illness the last couple of weeks, we have been quiet both here and on our fb page, so I apologise for that, but we have worked out our dates for July and August and already have takers, so get in early!!

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July:

The beginning of July we are going to take our half yearly well earned break, so there will be no workshops or classes for the first 2 weeks … BUT we will still have two workshops in the second half July:

July 16th & 17th in Fourways!

and July 29th & 30th in Norwood!

These are both Beginners Polymer Clay workshops where you will learn all about the clay, how to use it, and make yourself some fun and beautiful pieces like the beads below! For details check the CLASSES page here: https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/scheduled-classes/,

and/or email us on jenn.julie.clay@gmail.com

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In August we will be resuming our UFO/Play Day classes, so if you have completed a Beginners course, and would love to join us to play each week (for details also see the classes page link above and scroll down to UFO/Play Day, then email us and we will let you know dates for those!

Mosaic Sample Board…

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We spent the last couple of weeks making a sample board, as students are intelligent people who also often like to think outside the square and ask loads of questions about whether or not we can use this or that in their mosaics, and if so what will happen (and if not then the same question!) So I decided on a mirror instead of a boring square background, and went BIG (you can see the whole thing only just fits through a door!) … and to use a design that makes sense rather than just random, and I am quite happy with the results!!

We used more tiles made from polymer than ever before, both in the feature tiles and much of the background, which made the project sooo much lighter yet just as strong! Then we included everything we could think of from paper to old jewelry, children’s toys to resin beads, glass tiles, ceramic tiles, porous and non porous, sealed and unsealed, coated in varathane before the grouting process and afterwards, (and not at all). We used glass beads, plastic beads, fake pearls real stones, and even real bone! We threw in a button and something made from polystyrene, …. basically you name it, we used it …… with pleasing levels of success, (almost all were better than expected) … and the few which didn’t work out well, it was easy to see why! There were things that shocked us that they worked so well, and others that we would have expected a different result but still love the one we got, and believe it or not, there were only 2 “no”s! (which weren’t the end of the world)…

A fun thing for me was that one set of clay leaves I made 23 years and had been sitting at the bottom of a drawer since then, I decided that it needed a place here and it is fabulous!! So for all those artists who can’t bear to throw anything out, DON’T!!! (but do find something to use it for !!)

Updating Updating!!

Today we tried to put up some more info on our classes and what we sell,

Here are the two links to our ….

CLASSES:

What when where who etc is here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/posts-from-jenn/

Details of the individual classes are here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/scheduled-classes/

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What we SELL:

Is here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/for-sale/

So for all those of you who have been asking what the pictures are of and what we do with them, what we teach and so on, hopefully these pages will help to explain it all!!

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Why Filani

Every now and then we will give a detailed post about the products that we use and why … so this one is about Filani which is the brand of clay that we use:

Why Filani
When ever people see us making things with clay, the first thing they ask is “it is that Fimo stuff?”

The short answer is yes it is Polymer Clay, but no the brand we use is not Fimo. We have nothing against Fimo and in fact their clay can be created into some pretty sharp lines that we find impressive, but we choose to use Filani. That sounds a little like a paid advertisement, but the truth is that we use it completely of our own choice, and for many reasons! So in case you are wondering, here they are:

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1. There are sooo many good things about them!

We love Filani because we genuinely think that overall, they are the best. We love Sculpey III and Premo as well, and have been using them for nearly twenty years now, and had we not stumbled across Filani we would still be using them. But we decided to try Filani when we found it because of all the reasons below and many of those reasons are enough to make the change all on their own, never mind that there are so many!!

2. The Research…

Once we started trying a little Filani and liked it, we decided to see what the “big wigs” around the world think of them.. and were pleasantly surprised to see how they have been tested and here is what we found:

http://claypolymer.blogspot.com/2013/10/testing-polymer-clay-flexibility-at-60.html

Here they tested all the major brands on flexibility (in the context of it not breaking!!! which is important!!) and Filani beat them all!! If you enjoy this site then look around at as they did other tests on cooking times, colours, all sorts of things … we learnt a lot here alone!

http://www.bloglovin.com/viewer?post=1687704755&group=0&frame_type=b&blog=9551767&frame=1&click=0&user=0

Again Filani was up there in the winnings.

Not everyone has heard of Filani yet, they are only about 5 years old at the time of printing this (early 2014), and so considering that and that they are a non US company, they have done extremely well to be up there being known and tested by some of the big guys. From our research we found that for those big wigs who have tested it, they came first or second on most things tested which is pretty impressive! So from a third party research point of view, we were pretty impressed!

3. Our own experience!

We don’t believe in ONLY doing research, nor in ONLY using our own experience, we think that a combination of both is important when making big decisions like changing brands in a business!! So this is not as scientific as the tests below, and we didn’t do comparison tests as such, but we use our hands and our ovens and clay almost every day and we know our products well, and so just simply using Filani in every day use is a different kind of testing! So we simply used it as we do in real life over many colours and many months and we really like it 🙂

I particularly LOVE the colours!! There is something earthy about them even the bright ones, and the range is really good and growing all the time!

It is also really import to us and our integrity, for you to know that we chose Filani of our own free will. No one has paid or given us ANY incentives to try or use them, and our own trials of over 6 months were done on our own coin! We have come to our OWN conclusions, that we REALLY like their products! We still love Premo especially and will continue to use up our rather large stashes and even add to it from time to time, with both Sculpey III and Premo, but in all our classes we only use Filani and we only sell Filani brands where possible (not all products in the clay world belong to any one brand, but our clays do!)

4. They are LOCAL!!! woohoo!!

We love Filani because it is local. Buying South African products to support local manufacturers and create local jobs is ALWAYS a good thing!! We are proud to be South African and proud of our rainbow nation, and we LOVE that we produce so many incredible products here!! But we wouldn’t use most of them simply for being local! They need to be good enough to stand in their own right and Filani are standing up to the big brands all over the world and are only getting bigger!! We are soooo proud of this and we cannot think of a better company to get behind!

Being local also means that we can get supplies in not only fast but that they are actually almost always available! Many of the other brands can be hard to source in certain colours, never mind that for us they are hard to get. So access is consistent, fast, and reliable!

5. Back Up!!

We chose Filani not the other way around! Not that they don’t love us we are sure!! But we tested them and worked on their products for months before approaching them to work with them more closely, and it turned out to be at a time when they just happened to be looking for knew facilitators and the timing was just right! We each need each other, and we know it and have built a really professional but honest to goodness relationship which is an incredible bonus!! … and the support and back up since we met has been incredible!! We talk about products, we talk about results, we fiddle with colours and we share our trials and thoughts and ideas. Having a product like this to support our business is a huge bonus! To us Filani is more than a great product, it is part of our business and we are proud of that!!

6.They are one classy company!!

Product is everything! They need to produce the best possible product, and they do! But we have also had the privilege of being able to visit the Filani factory on a number of occasions, and have been super impressed. They are good people who run an INCREDIBLE company, and a factory that is cleaner and better run than most companies that I have seen! They are professional, they care deeply about their people, they actively create jobs where possible and do much by hand for this reason where they could easily have replaced people with machines! They work HARD on their products and are perfectionists which is a great thing for their business!!

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More fun

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I am loving this. So much fun. I have added some more pics to show what I have been up to. Just look at all the fabulous colours in the collection of beads – and I haven’t even started mixing colours yet. Just think you can make a strand of beads to match every outfit in your wardrobe. It is really affordable – so you really could! Then there is my board of tiles. I just love the “sculptability” (is that a word) of it. Playing with textures and adding creatures keeps me absorbed, relaxed and happy for hours. Just look at my little elephant picture. I rolled out some mixed bits of clay and it just happened. What a surprise!! There it was in the middle of the sheet all I added was more definition of the tusk. I have always loved elephants so this was a true gift for me.
Seriously though, this is such a versatile medium, forgiving and affordable and requires minimal additional equipment.

Julie