canning the canes

Morning lovelies,

well you know I said that this post would be finishing off the 1916 skirt, well ‘fraid not.  I have run out of medium weight interfacing.  For those not into sewing that is the stuff that gives more support to certain areas, usually waistbands in skirts and infact in this case the waistband and belt. The rather annoying thing was that I discovered this on the day I had just been (note past tense) to the material shop. So since I am not planning on going again just yet that project is now on hold.

I’m still itching to play with clay though, so I’m not so disappointed and I’ve plenty of time before the 1916’s outfit is needed (August 3rd watch it roll round before I know it, and on that subject were did June go? has anyone else felt that it was just a blur??)

2 of the shoe boxes from inside the large storage box

But on to the canes, well there’s a box that has sat unopened in the sewing room since before the move and much much longer in truth as we spent every spare minute here renovating for at least 6 months before the move, and now that I think about it much longer than that as I broke my pasta roller,  (A really useful tool in the polymer clay world, but never use it for pasta once it has tasted clay.) and I was waiting for one for a Christmas pressie before doing any new clay things. Then as with buses, I was given two!, not that I’ve ever been give a bus, you understand, they just travel in twos. And so there was the wait before Christmas and then nothing after till very recently.  But about the box, it’s some, and I say ‘some’, of my jewellery making stuff, anyone into crafts will understand, these things take over every storage space. And it hasn’t been opened in along time, so today,   I thought I would take a look and see what actually was in it and I found some old canes, along with lots of other interesting bit and pieces, like dolls hair and my baby anvil and lots of glitter.

This was something to do with an old computer that long since died, and might make a very good circle cutter once dissected.

Back to the canes, there shouldn’t be a shelf life to polymer clay in general. You knead it to start with and then it is workable and it stays like that for quite some time. Only when you’re talking a long time as I often am between projects and the like (years rather than months) it doesn’t really.  There’s no water evaporation so it doesn’t harden in that respect, no if kept cool and dark it should keep forever. If too hot it can start to bake, but here in England I’ve never found that a problem. No the problem I have is leaking plasticiser, the stuff that makes it soft leaks out over time leaving your clay hard and crumbly. Old clay can be reworked and with a hell of a lot of kneading become kinda usable but it never really binds well so if attaching different colours together a liquid clay is a real help. Or you can buy a substance for working into the clay to recondition it (rather expensive for a small bottle) or you can use baby oil, need it in well, wash your hands, they will be covered in the colour of the clay and then you are good to go.

Well how about canes. I have all these canes and you can’t re-knead them now can you?

Firstly for those of you that haven’t the foggiest of what I’m going on about, canes are like sticks of rock that you have built up out of different colours of clay to make a picture or pattern that runs down the centre of the whole thing. They are great, cause you can make them big and then roll out the clay to a really thin sausage and the picture will still be intact through the centre. Then you slice bits off and the thinner you cut the more pictures you get out of your cane. which could explain why I still have lots of little ‘ends’.
But can I still use my canes?

Well apart from being really mucky around the outside as a result of loads being stuffed into the same bag and bits of different canes sticking to other canes, they seem ok, still soft enough to squidge down in size and still able to stick to a surface when applied. So I’m good to go and know what I’ll be playing with later, so I best sign off now and get on with some of the stuff I need to do before I can play. Till next week.

Hugs and Kisses

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