Monday, July 23, 2012

Naked No More!!

Hello, friends! How was your weekend? Mine went by fast for a change. See, our "weekend" isn't until Tuesday and Wednesday because of Elliott's work schedule and I often don't care for real Saturday and Sunday much anymore, but the girls and I did some fun things.

I bought Alyssa a Jenny jump up which she is fast figuring out the jumping bit. Her little thunder thighs kick like crazy when she's in her bouncer so I thought she'd like the jumper.

Not so much at first... But each time I put her in it she likes it more. I bought Amelia a gecko sprinkler toy, you hook up the hose to his tail and he shoots water out of his back. She got mad at it when she tried to drink from one of the streams and yelled at him, "you tricked me!" I'm not sure where she picked that up from!

Then while Alyssa was in the jumper, Amelia and I had some girly bonding time. I don't paint my fingers but recently started painting my toes. And of course my shadow had to have some too. I sure do love my girls.

Well, I bet you're wondering who isn't naked anymore. My hooks! They're slowly getting dressed up. If you're a fan of Lucy from attic24 you already know where I got the idea. I've tried several different tutorials for how to do it and none worked out like I had hoped. Or even like the tutorial said it would! So I made up my own way, and I want to share it with you!

They turn out so great and my fingers hurt less. Plus, there's an added little tutorial at the end of this too. Let's get started!

Things you'll need:
•Crochet hook (some kind of metal one, a plastic one could melt)
•Polymer clay (I highly recommend "Bake Shop" oven bake polymer from Sculpey. It's cheaper and easier to work with, found at Hobby Lobby for $1.27 each)
•Alphabet beads (optional)
•Baby wipes
•Bambo skewer
•Baking sheet
•Oven or toaster oven set to 275 F

*before we begin, please do this project at your own risk. I am not responsible for any injuries you may get from doing this. Not that it's dangerous, and if you use common sense and parental supervision, if needed, injuries shouldn't be a problem. :-)

First, take one section of your clay, there should be four little lines of clay per pack.

Smoosh it and work it until it's soft. If you want more than one color for a marbled look half each color, or 1/3 or 1/4 it, depending on how many colors you're going to work together to equal out roughly the same size as one line of clay.

After you've smooshed it, roll it out like a snake, roughly the same thickness throughout. I've found you want to make sure there is extra clay at the end for the letter bead and make sure it comes to just below the shank and where the grip begins. You're clay may spread upward in the next step.

Place your hook about where you want the clay to sit and push it in.

Pull the clay around the hook, it'll form a triangle around the hook. Your clay will stick to the table a little so work it up slowly.

Smooth all seams with your finger using gentle pressure (oxymoron! Haha!) Then roll between your hands or on your work surface to round out clay.

This picture is a little hard to explain. Taking the exposed hook in your hand and work the clay flat with your thumb nail. Creating a lip. If you've found when you do this step that the clay pulls away from your hook, you've got too much clay hanging around. Using your nail or a knife or toothpick, cut away some of the extra clay. Squeeze the clay back around your hook and round it out again. Continue to push the clay down with your thumb nail to make the lip.

I dunno if you can really see it or not but it'll look like that.

Next. You can decorate it or leave it like it is if you decided to do marbled colors or just a solid color. I decided to do stripes on this one.

I did polka dots on a different one that turned out great. Once you have them in position roll it between your hands or work surface. This will smooth out all surfaces. And if you're wondering...

I made the stripes too thick and they all just blended together instead of staying in their own spots! No matter! I still liked it.

Since you're covering the size markings on your hook with your clay I suggest marking the size of your hook somewhere on your clay handle. I just used a bead that was the same letter as my hook, H.

Press your bead into the butt of your clay until all the sides are covered. Rework your clay if needed to round or smooth out. Flatten the bottom with your fingers or on the work surface.

Once you have it like you want it to be it's time to bake! The package and the sculpey's website say to bake on 275 F for 15 minutes per every 1/4 inch thickness. I baked my hooks for 25-30 minutes on a piece of foil. Let cool before you handle after baking.

There you have your new dressed up hooks!

If it turns out you don't like it, this isn't permanent. Just use a sharp knife and CAEFULLY cut the clay off and just try again! I've cut off two handles so far and redid them. Or just cut it off because you found you didn't like it. On a side note, how do you hold your hook?

I hold mine just like that.

And now, time for the bonus tutorial! If you have kids at home for the summer this is a great project for them. Amelia did it even and she's only 2!

Using the same materials as above minus your hook but add the skewer, let your kids combine and mix the clay anyway they wish. Once they've finished combining the clay, shape it into spheres, square, etc.

Take the shape and your skewer and work it into the clay. Remove skewer, pat down the exit hole and work the skewer through the exit hole first. Now you have a potential bead! You just need to bake it. Once you have all your clay skewered place on your foil on your baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 275 F. Cool completely before handling.

String it up, tie, and wear! Or gift it. I hope you have fun trying one or both of these projects. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy crafting! :-)

1 comment:

  1. I hold my hook much differently, but I also hold my yarn much different than anyone I've ever seen. I never really crochet long enough at a time for my hands to hurt, but I'll have to try that on my H hook since I have an extra... It looks like fun =) And the girls would love to make beads. I guess a trip to the craft store is in order ;)


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