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Here are just two of the many butterflies that I saw at the Woodland Park Zoo.  I really want to try to recreat them in polymer clay canes.  I know that I will have to practice a lot and will end up with many new beads and such.

butterfly1.jpg butterfly2.jpg

bug.jpg
This little guy was actually outside of the displays in a tropic setting.  I hope that he does not get to far and wonders outside in to the cool Northwest weather.  I find him interesting and may even make a cane using him as a starting point.

Here is the picture frame that I made as an 50th anniversary gift for my parents.  The picture is a poor copy of their wedding picture.  I put it in the frame just to hold the place.  My Dad, who is a professional photographer, made a better print to go in the frame.

wedding.jpg

I am thinking of doing another frame for the pictures that we took at their anniversery party.  My Dad wore a suit and my Mom got into the wedding dress, fifty years and three daughters later!

Wow! What a store!

I hinted to my husband that there was a bead store in Washington State that I would like to visit. I spend many hours while we are on vacation visiting used bookstores so he was nice enough to take me there.

Shipwrecked Beads bills itself as the largest bead store. It is 80,000 square feet and they have over 8.1 billion beads. (No, I did not count them all, they state that in their flier.)

I walked into rows and rows of beads. The gal at the entrance gives me a cart with everything I would need, including a map. She also let me know about a room that they have set up with a TV and such for the non-beaders. They also have a food counter. You can really make a day of the visit!

They have all kinds of beads in all shapes and colors. They also carry all kinds of bead findings and tools. I even found a small section of PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and FIMO polymer clay. There was also few rows of metal charms.

I was totally blown away by the size of the store and the varity of beads.

I did spend money there. More then I should have. But I just had to have those glass beads from China and that big bag of lamp work beads!

Next I while do some shopping on their website, http://www.shipwreckedbeads.com .

I have already listed some of the basic tools that are useful with polymer clay.  Like a pasta machine,  it is not totally neccesary but makes conditioning clay much easier.  I would recommend buying a better one then going for the cheaper ones.  They all work the same but cheap ones tend to break and give you problems.  I have seen pasta machines at thrift shops and garage sales.

Another basic tool is a surface to work on.  You can use almost anything.  I have tiles, a table and cutting broads (not wood) that I use.  I do not re-use any of them for food stuff after I have claimed them in my craft room.

I also have an old small food processure that we no longer use for cooking.  It helps with conditioning really hard clay.

Some of my favorite tools are my cookie cutters.  I have many of them from large to small.  I really love the butterflies and flowers. 

I also have a bunch of shaped cutters that you find in the scrape booking area of the local craft stores.  They are really easy to use and make great shapes!

I am in the wonderful state of Washington visiting family and decided to try to find my own sea glass. My parents live in Kingston and have beach access, so my husband and I went beach combing. We had great fun but only found four pieces of glass on that trip! I am planning on doing some more looking today with hopefully more luck. Maybe with the bright sunshine I might find more.

I did realize that we found more of the glass on the way back home after looking for a while. I am sure that our eyes got used to seeing the differences in the rocks.

We do have a small bag of clam shells to take with us as well. I have lots to play with when I get home.

For now I guess it is easier to find sea glass on e-bay then on the beach.

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