Come Back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?


Dollhouse Minis: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


18” Dolls: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Cooking:https://joanne-kitchen.blogspot.com/





Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Doll Size Bacon




This week I decided it was time for all you to start making some clay food for the dolls. We have learned so much in the Clay 101 series and now we can make some foods.

I love making bacon for the dolls from clay because it is one of those projects that looks complicated but it isn't. I mean look at the finished bacon in the photo, that looks really hard to do, doesn't it? But, if you watched the video you saw how easy it really is. One thing that is in our favor is that every slice of bacon looks a bit different. All you have to do is get the clay colors correct and the basic shape/size right and you have it!

So for clay colors:

First we need a bacon fat color. This is basically a slightly translucent off white color. This time I used some Original Sculpey and Translucent Sculpey III in equal amounts.

Next we need the “meat color” I used Fimo Indian Red and Sculpey III in Hazelnut again in equal amounts. A bit of a warning when you first start mixing these two colors it is going to look awful, just keep mixing and it will turn into the color we want.

But we need 3 meat colors, so we need to mix them from the two colors we just mixed.

Take some of the bacon fat color and an equal amount of the bacon meat color and mix those. This will give you bacon meat #2.

No take a small amount of bacon meat #2 and mix it with an equal amount of the bacon fat color.

Those are the colors we need to make our bacon.

So for that basic shape we want a finished slab that is about 3” wide and ½” thick. It needs to have 3 layers of meat with the darkest on at the bottom and the lightest at the top. Each of these meat layers is topped with a layer of the fat. Just don't make any of the layers even, you want them lumpy and bumpy. Only the top and bottom want to be relatively flat.

This slab should be a bit larger than the finished size (3” wide bye ½” thick) so that you can kind of smash and smoosh it to size.

Once you are happy with the size/ shape brush the top with a light yellow chalk, you want one that is close to the yellow ocher we use for baked goods just a bit lighter in color.

Now slice off some bacon slices and bake according at 235° F for about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool.


Be sure to hold onto the rest of the slab of bacon we will need it next week to make some cooked bacon. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 14




I know I gave a very brief discussion about baking surfaces in an early video in this series but I thing it is important enough to discuss it in more detail.

I have included photos of the bottom surface of the pieces of clay I baked on each baking surface. I know some are difficult to see, hopefully you can see the differences. 

If you are a regular viewer of my channel you may have already noticed that most of the time I bake my clay projects on paper plates. Yes, it is perfectly safe. The burning temperature for the clay is much lower than the burning temperature for the paper. In my opinion there are several advantages to using paper plates to bake on. Fist they are cheap, only use the really cheap kind that is plain white and has no coating. Secondly the paper plate doesn't really leave any kind of marking on the bottom side of your clay. The top and the bottom of flat pieces of clay look pretty much the same texture wise.

One of the things I do a lot is test bake clay mixtures. Whenever I am working on a new project I mix my clay and then bake small pieces to see if I have the mixture the way I want it. With the paper plate I can make the notes about the mixtures I have tried right on the plate next to that piece of clay.

If you are working with a group of people doing clay projects you can write each person's name right on the paper plate that contains their project. Makes keeping everything straight much easier.




Another surface I use often is a ceramic tile. Just one from the home improvement store. I like to stick to the 6” by 6” ones for baking and reserve the bigger size to work on. The major problem with tiles is that they leave the bottom of the clay project very shiny. This can be a distraction on many projects. The only time I always use a tile is if I am using liquid clay, then the tile is a must so you can cleanly remove the project from the baking surface.



The other surface I use regularly is sand paper. I love how it makes the bottom side of the clay look like a real baked good. I especially like this when making doll cookies.










Now these are not the only surfaces I use, these are just the top 3. In many projects I will specify what I suggest you bake on, and I usually choose the surface based on what texture will look best with the finished item. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Doll Size Green Onions




I decided it was time we put some of the skills I have been teaching you in the Clay 101 series to work. I love how we can use the skinner blend I taught recently to make the green onions look realistic. If you missed that tutorial (or just want a refresher on the technique) you can find it here.


The clays I used were:

Fimo white
Sculpey III translucent

mix these in equal parts for the white blend

Sculpey III String Bean
Fimo Translucent green (or the same translucent you used in the white blend)

mix these in equal parts for the green blend

I find it really useful to bake a sample of my clay blends when I am adding translucent clay to the mixture since the color of those blends changes a lot when baked.

Feel free to use the same plain translucent clay in both blends, I used the green translucent because I had a lot more of it than of the plain.

We want our finished green onions in this scale to be no bigger in diameter that 1/8th “ and about 4” long.

Any time I am using a translucent clay I lower my baking temperature to 235° F because translucent clay has a bad habit of discoloring at higher temperatures. Bake these for about 10 minutes and allow to cool.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 13





This week for our Clay 101 series I decided to talk about a topic that actually touches on one of my pet peeves about doll foods. That is clear finishes. The first thing I want to stress is most projects don't need any clear finish.

I'll wait while you think about that statement.

Okay, now back to the blog. Take a close look at the foods you eat, how many of them are actually shiny? Not all that many when you get right down to it. So don't overuse clear finish. Especially don't overuse the thick super shiny finishes.

If you decide you want to use a clear finish on your project use something that is compatible with the clay. The first thing to check for is it water based? The easiest way to determine this is to check the instructions for cleaning up your tools, if you can clean up with water/ soap and water you have something to try. I wouldn't go and put an untested finish on a huge project though unless you know for sure it is compatible with the clay. Many finishes will eat the clay so test or talk to someone that knows what will and won't work.



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 12





Since we have spent the last two weeks on the pasta machine for working with clay I thought this would be the perfect time to show you my favorite technique for the pasta machine. Today I am showing you the Skinner Blend. This is a way of making a very pretty blend of two (or more) colors that is very evenly blended. We will be using this in future doll food projects.

There are really only a few “secrets” to this technique first be sure to use well conditioned clay that is not too soft. Try to make sure both colors of clay are close in their texture. Start out with pieces of clay that are the same size and thickness. Only run the clay through the pasta machine in the one direction and always fold the same way.


If you follow these rules you will succeed at this pretty technique. Later I will show you some variations that kind of break a few of the rules. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 11




This week we are going to be cleaning the pasta machine. It is really pretty easy to do and you should do a minor cleaning every time you use it. By that I mean run a wet wipe over the bars to remove residue and wipe the base up a bit.

If you are going to be using a light color clay run a piece of scrap white clay (I use a chunk of Original Sculpey for this) through the rollers to make sure you have them clean.

A more thorough cleaning can be done as needed. I prefer to take the clay machine off the table for this more intense cleaning so I can see all the parts. I do use a wooden skewer and toothpicks but do be careful to not scratch the rollers.


Cleaning these machines really isn't too difficult and should be done regularly.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 10





This week on our Clay 101 series we are talking about a tool I use every time I work with polymer clay, my pasta machine. I am so glad I decided to bite the bullet so to speak and use this pasta machine for clay.

A bit of a back story about how I came to get this pasta machine. Anyone that knows me in real life knows I love to cook, it is one of my passions and years ago back when I was a new bride my mother-in-law gifted me with a top of the line pasta machine. I had seen this machine in a kitchen store that used to be local to us and my thought was “who would pay that much for a pasta machine” Then I found myself opening it up for my birthday. I thanked her profusely and I did attempt to make pasta with it. One time. That was more than enough times to make it really clear to me that I was never going to be making fresh pasta. At least not with that pasta machine. I have better things to do with my time. I would rather make the sauce and buy the pasta.

Anyway, the pasta machine sat at the back of my kitchen cabinet for years, over a decade close to two decades. I would pull the box out occasionally, wonder what I should do with it. I felt guilty that it just sat there but I really could never convince myself to make pasta again. I even moved it to a new house and it took up residence in the back of a new cabinet. I really felt bad but....

Then I started working with polymer clay. I read some articles where people were using pasta machines to roll out their clay. That made me think... should I? I wanted to but I again felt guilty. I knew that once I put a piece of clay through the machine I couldn't use it for pasta again. I debated for a couple of years and then one day I just boldly took that pasta machine out of the cabinet, un-boxed it and clamped it to my table. I then found a lump of clay that really needed some rolling out and I never looked back. The only regret I had was that I hadn't done this years before.

My pasta machine and I have spent hours together, it is always clamped to my work table and I use it every time I work with clay.

Then there is that second pasta machine, the one that was marketed for clay. I was at a store closing sale one time and they had this one machine left and it was marked down to less than $5! I felt like I couldn't pass that deal up.

My thought process was that I would be able to use the cheap machine for dark color clay and the good one for the lighter colors. The problem is that having 2 pasta machines on my table just took up way too much table space.

Maybe some day I will figure out how to use both machines and still have work space. In the meantime it doesn't take up too much space in the storage room and I can always dig it out if I need it.