Sunday, January 20, 2013

Efcolor stove review

Today is the deadline of my giveaway - any entries entered today will be accepted. The winner will be announced the 25th of January.
If you read my post about out mailbox you may understand, that I have had problems receiving my mail - which also means that I currently do not have the giveaway price. If it doesn't get here before the announcement, please have some understanding. But whoever wins, WILL get their price, and I'll ship it as soon as I receive it.

Review; Efcolor stove set/ "oven"

Some time ago I showed you this picture.
I ordered the Efcolor stove set from And now that I've tested it out some more, I'll give you my review and opinion about it.

Why did I order it?
well, you can use a regular oven to melt the efcolor enamel, and it works perfectly! but I wanted to try out this set for a few reasons;
I bought the enamel powder mainly to use when making miniature dollhouse plates, pottery etc. and heating up a regular oven just to make maybe 4 plates is rather stupid. I also thought it would be more convenient - it's small and portable, meaning that you can bring it everywhere. It's powered by 3 tea-lights, so the heat is practically free! yeah, you have to buy some candles (the set comes with 3 candles) and you'll need matches or a lighter... but those are both very cheap. The fact that it's powered by 3 tea lights is amazing, you can literally do the enameling anywhere you want.

In the set:
I looked up the enamel stove set on both a danish website and the metalclay site. The stove set you'd get from the danish site had the stove itself - not sure if it had the tea lights in it. The set from metalclay offered a set including all the pieces you see in the picture - and even though I live in Denmark, I ended up paying less than I would have on the danish site! amazing! :)
What you get:
-3 stands to hold pieces. These are great if you're going to enamel both sides of a piece.
-"Tweezers" a very wide nosed pair of tweezers, I actually find it great for picking up my plates.
-Spatular, a small spatular to help remove items from the hot stove.
-A large round spatular/plate with handle; making it easier to insert and remove things from the stove.
They also included 2 small leaflets about the Efcolor products.

Baking polymer clay, and baking polymer clay with enamel powder:
On the box, I believe it said that this small stove has a surface temperature of approx. 160-180 celcius. In celcius the normal baking temperature for polymer clay is approx. 110-130. So this stove is quite a bit warmer.

For the first test I placed a prebaked polymer clay plate (had been baked for 5 minutes in a regular oven) on one of the spatulars and placed it in the Efcolor oven.. I don't recommend this - it didn't take long before the clay bubbled up a bit and got burnt. I then placed a plate on top of one of the small rectangular stands - this worked well. I did the same with a plate, this time adding enamel powder to it, and the result was a beautiful plate, just as if it had been in the normal kitchen oven.
The stove set is pretty hard on the clay due to the temperature (just like a toaster oven). The clay can therefore easily be discolored (eg. white clay turning off white).
One thing I noticed, is what you see in the picture above.. I baked a "cane" (left), cut off a slice (right). I was able to bend the slice as much as I wanted. the high heat apparently made the clay really strong.
I am not going to use this oven to bake my miniature food, because I don't want it to be discolored, but I will continue experimenting with both this stove set and my regular kitchen oven, trying to overbake and bake at higher heat settings. and I will let you know the results when I've tried it out.

Do I like the Efcolor stove set?
yes! - it gives you "free heat".. It heats up in just a couple of minutes..
I think it's great for making pieces with enamel on top, and it would work perfectly for baking stuff like sprinkles and other tiny decorations for your polymer clay creations. You can even use it for baking a master that you need to make a mold from.
I guess you can even adjust the heat by removing one of the candles.. but I wish there was some kind of indicator. I am extremely happy that I bought it, and will be using it a lot :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tutorial: Piece of toast/ Slice of bread

Tutorial; Piece of toast in 1:12 scale miniature

For dollhouses or use for charms

I'm back! I know, this should have been up Wednesday? - technical difficulties, literally. This is a very quick and simple tutorial, but there are a couple of reasons why I'm posting it. Firstly, I used to have a tutorial for small "lunch sandwiches" on my YouTube channel, but all the tutorials I have on there were made when I'd only been making miniatures for a few months, which means that I really, really don't like watching them, ehem.. That did lead me to delete some of them - The sandwich tutorial is one of those that has been requested as a re-upload the most. I'm also thinking of making an addition to this rather short tutorial, showing how to make a couple of different types of toppings. Definitely let me know if you'd be interested in that.

And remember, only a few days left until the deadline of my giveaway :)

Start out by mixing the 2 colors - for the "crust" and the inside of the bread; "white part".
For the crust I took a piece of Fimo Champagne, and mixed in a bit of chocolate brown and orange (only a tiny bit, just to give it a warmer tone). For the white part of the bread I started out with Cernit Champagne - this is a slightly yellow tinted translucent-ish color. I mixed in some fimo white to make it opaque and mixed in a bit of the Fimo Champagne to "cancel out" the white so it wouldn't be quite as light.
Roll the 'white' mix into a log shape and roll out the 'crust' color on one of the thinnest settings on your pasta machine (or just very thin, if you're rolling by hand). Add a layer of the 'crust' color around the white mix and roll it into a thinner log, blending the seems. I used the side of my polymer clay blade to press down onto the log, creating the square shape. Aim for a diameter of approx. 9mm - you can always adjust the thickness by either pushing or stretching the cane.
To give the crust a more realistic baked look, I used a few shades of yellow and brown pastel, and brushed it on randomly.

Cut the amount of slices you want.
1) - Use a toothbrush to give the slice some texture on each of the 4 sides.
2) - Using a fine needle tool, add some detailing around the 'rim'/edge.
3) - Begin adding the texture to the inside of the bread, moving your needle tool in tiny circular motions.
4) - When the entire top surface is textured you can add a few larger holes, just like in a real slice of bread :)

I prefer pre-baking my miniature bread slices for some of my projects - if you're going to make a sandwich it's very helpful as you won't ruin the texture or shape when pressing down the top slice of bread.

you can expect a couple of posts from me this weekend - feel like I'm behind schedule

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Making a 2 part mold - Amazing mold putty

Howto; Make a 2 part mold for polymer clay - using Amazing mold putty

As I've said before, I'd never ever make a mold from one of my miniature dolls, animals or similar sculptures, and I think that molding mediums like these are often misused. BUT, if you have something that you want to make a 2 part mold for, here's a quick how to, using Amazing mold putty;

I made this mold for my "dolls dolls" - Since they're suppose to look mass produced, I needed a mold to make them look almost identical, though you still need to make a few corrections afterwards. I first sculpted the doll using fimo soft, then baked it.

1) - Mix enough mold putty to fit the size of the master (piece you want to make a mold from), keeping in mind that this is only for either the front or back. Flatten it and push your master into it - till it covers one half.
Let it cure completely before you continue.
2) - Amazing mold putty and many other molding compounds stick to themselves, meaning that if you mix a new portion and let it cure while attached to an already cured mold, it will be pretty much impossible to seperate them. You need some type of release agent - I'm almost certain that vaseline will work, however, I chose to use potato starch. Brush it onto the entire surface, making sure to get into all the creases.
3) - Mix another portion of mold putty - enough to cover the back of the master. Make the second half of the mold.
4) - Once cured, you should be able to seperate the 2 parts. If there are small areas that weren't covered well enough by the release agent, they may stick to eachother a bit, but not enough to make the seperation impossible. You now have a 2 part mold to use with your polymer clay projects :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Websites I like and recommend for ordering materials

Living in Denmark, I have to buy a lot of materials online, because you simply can't get the right things here - or because the only store that carries it is in the other end of the country. It's okay, I like shopping online - sitting comfortably at my computer, able to take all the time I need, shop at any time of the day and I don't have to stand in line! ;) Only thing that bugs me is, that you have to wait 1-2 weeks for most of the packages to arrive...

So I wanted to share some of the websites I enjoy ordering from. You'll see that a lot of these sites are danish, and only ship to Denmark - when I'm looking for new websites, I have to keep a few things in mind;
It has to be within Europe due to extra fees assigned... If the site/seller happens to come from outside of Europe, I'm only able to purchase for a small amount of money to avoid these fees.
These are sites I've found myself buying from multiple times.

I love this site, it has tools, polymer clay mold putty,.. a bunch of different things including materials for working with metal/silver clay, ceramics, glass etc.
This is also where I've bought most of my Efcolor enamel products.
Great, great site if you're looking for polymer clay and tools, and so many other things as well.
Now, I'm very sad right now - apparently this site no longer exists? I used to buy all my mohair/alpaca/rabbit-hair from this site,. The hair I use for my dolls. I'm still writing the link in case it'll get back on. They sold mohair for around 1.75£ for 30grams, which is really cheap. They even had an ebay account that I can no longer find either. /
This,... is by far my favorite place to shop for materials, accessories for my phone, ipad, nail art supplies, books, gosh, great, amazing place.. not good to your wallet, but great site!
For those who are in doubts about ordering from here, because they're afraid to get scammed and not receive the package; don't worry. I wouldn't by Chanel bags or Mac makeup products from here, but it's an awesome place for buying miniature ceramics, glue, whatever you need for your crafts. The sellers that are on ebay are all aiming for those 5 star ratings, so why would they try to scam you?
There's been 2 times where my package hadn't arrived after the time limit had passed, so I wrote a message to the sellers and they sent out a new package right away.
A german site, so if you don't speak just a little german, I wouldn't recommend it. I bought my Jo Sonja's paints from this site. They sell reborning supplies, but stuff like mohair and paints can be used for miniature dolls and smaller sculptures as well :)
Danish site - great selection of patchwork fabrics = small patterns, really nice for miniatures.
Danish site - They sell polymer clay and a bunch of other craft supplies,. I only order the clay though ;)
They carry the Efcolor enamel products. When I only want to buy a fe items, it's better for me to have a danish website as oppose to a UK site. (cheaper shipping costs)