Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nativity - White Sheep

Original design created by Amy Stevens 

(available for purchase on etsy-http://www.etsy.com/people/ExpressiveCreativity)


Standing- Stands 2" tall, 1 1/2" wide, 2 1/2" long. 
Sitting- Stands 1 1/2" tall, 1 1/2" wide, 2 1/2" long. 


You will need:
Sculpey polymer clay:
White (001)
Pink (1209 ballerina)
2 black seed beads (per sheep)
ball headed straight pin or stylus
flat headed straight pin
toothpicks


1) First, mix 1/2 white &1/2 pink (ballerina) for head, ears & legs. Roll out each body part into the desired size. 

Head - 3/4" light pink ball (per sheep)
Ears - Two 7/16"  light pink balls (per sheep)
Hair - 3/8" white ball (per sheep)
Body - 1 1/4" & 1" white balls (per sheep)
Legs - Standing - Four 9/16" light pink balls. Sitting - Four 5/16" ballerina (pink) balls
Tail - 3/8" white ball  (per sheep)


2) Legs: Standing Sheep - Roll four 9/16" ballerina (pink) balls into very short, slightly tapered logs. Use thumb or a flat surface to flatten the top, and slightly flatten the bottoms. Bunch logs together, smaller ends up. When in desired position, gently tap or press legs on a flat surface to flatten the bottom completely so it will stand steadily. Use thumb to indent the outside of each leg just 1/8-1/4" from top. Insert 1/2 toothpick through the length of each leg, leaving 3/4 exposed for the body to be pressed onto.
Sitting Sheep- Flatten four 5/16" ballerina (pink) balls to 1/16-1/8" thickness. Place on bottom of body after body is molded & texture is added. 

3) Body: Roll 1 5/8" white ball into a rounded oval. Flatten the oval slightly. Separate 1" ball into various different balls ranging from 5/16" to 11/64" and place onto flattened oval, mainly on to and sides. Use flat or ball headed straight pin or stylus to smooth out creases and add texture all around the body. Insert 1/2 toothpick where head will be located, leaving 1/3 of it exposed for the head to be pressed onto. 

4) Tail: Use flat or ball headed straight pin or stylus to add texture to 3/8" white ball. Press tail firmly to body, and touch up texture if needed. 

5) Head: Roll 3/4" ballerina (pink) ball into rounded teardrop. Flatten the back end slightly. Press onto toothpick and gently wiggle/pivot around the toothpick onto the body to create a bond between the two. 

6) Ears: Roll two 7/16" ballerina (pink) balls into rounded teardrops. Slightly elongate the tapered end, flatten bottom side of teardrop and press firmly onto head. 

7) Hair: Roll 3/8" white ball into an oval & flatten to apron 1/8" thickness. Use flat or ball headed straight pin or stylus to add texture the flattend oval.  Press tail firmly to body, and touch up texture if needed. 

8) Eyes & Mouth: Use flat headed pin to gently mark where seed beads will go on face. Place one bead on straight pin. Press surface of bead into clay, but do not let the pin touch the clay. Carefully slide pin out of bead. Use the flat end of the pin to gently push bead farther into the clay. Press the point of the pin on the outside of the eye, once in the middle, and once just above to create eyelash indents. Repeat again for the second eye. 
Use narrow edge of flat headed pin to create an elongated heart shape for mouth.

9) Bake: Follow directions on Sculpey clay packaging. (275° F (130° C) 15 min per/ 1/4" (6mm))
(Word to the wise: Be sure to purchase a thermometer for your oven to make sure it is at the correct temperature. Let it heat up for at least 30 minutes or longer. To test your oven, take a plain piece of clay and form a disc 1/2" wide by 1/4" tall and bake in your oven. Always open windows and turn on ventilation. It's normal to smell slight fumes, but if you begin to smell a lot of fumes, or see smoke, your oven is toooo hot! Remove it from your oven, set your oven for 10° lower, and try again with a different disc of clay. Also, if you are using a lighter color of clay, it has a tendency to brown or burn, so before you bake it... cover the pan with tin foil, just like you would a turkey. :) Also, once your items are done baking, turn your oven off and crack the door with a wooden spoon, but allow your pieces to cool in the oven. This will also help prevent cracking because it will let the items cool off evenly and gradually.)
Have fun, and enjoy expressing your creativity!

Monday, August 5, 2013

New recipes


A few weeks ago my family got together for a family reunion. It was a blast! The only tricky thing about our wonderful family is all of the allergies. Among all of the allergies we have apples, onion, garlic, dairy, soy, nuts, pork, eggplant, fake sugars, and intolerances to some grains as well. Crazy, I know! As for myself, I have been testing myself by eliminating grains and processed sugar to see if I am allergic or intolerant of anything. "What do you eat?!" you ask, well I get creative and try new things. A lot of vegetables, fruits, and proteins. But I crave chocolate sometimes, and I found a delicious recipe for brownies, but the best part is they are Unbelievable Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies!

I fell in love with the first bite, but I realized that something was missing.... whipped cream or ice cream or frosting, anything really. Well here you have it.... unbelievable gluten-free coconut brownies with coconut cream topping.

Coconut Brownies

1/2 C & 1Tbs coconut oil 

1/2 C & 1 Tbs cocoa powder
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C coconut sugar
1/3 C honey or agave ( I like agave )
1/2 C coconut flour
C unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Place 1Tbs coconut oil in 8x8 pan and place in oven for 2 minutes. Remove pan, spread melted coconut oil along bottom and sides, set aside. 
2. In small saucepan melt 1/2 C coconut oil on low (just to melting, not hot) and whisk in the cocoa powder, remove from heat and set aside. 
3. In medium sized bowl whisk eggs, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the coconut flour and coconut and mix until combined.
4. Pour into prepared pan, bake for 35-40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean from middle. Remove from oven, place one paper towel on top of the brownies and cover with foil. Let cool for 1-2 hrs. 

Coconut Cream Topping

1 Can Coconut cream (coconut milk will not work, you need coconut cream, I used Trader Joe's Coconut cream extra thick & rich )
1/2 C agave 
1 tsp vanilla
Whip together coconut cream, agave, and vanilla. Cool in Refrigerator for 1-2hrs while brownies cool. Spread on top of brownies or serve brownies with a dollop on top. 

Enjoy!!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nativity - Holstein Cow


Original design created by Amy Stevens 

(available for purchase on etsy-http://www.etsy.com/people/ExpressiveCreativity)

Stands 2 3/8" tall, 1 5/8" wide, 3 1/4" long.




You will need:
Sculpey polymer clay:
Black (042)
White (001)
Pink (1209 ballerina)

2 black seed beads
ball headed straight pin or stylus
flat headed straight pin
clay extruder (optional)
toothpicks







1) Roll out each body part into specified size. 

Head - 1" white ball
Nose - 1/2" ballerina (pink) ball
Ears - Two 1/2" white balls
Horns - Two 1/4" gray balls (mix 1/2 white & 1/2 black)
Body - 1 5/8" white ball
Spots - aprox. 5/8" black ball
Legs - Four 3/4" white balls
Utter - 1/2" ballerina (pink) ball
Tail - 1/4" white ball & 13/64" marbled gray ball (mix left over gray from horns & white just to marble)

2) Legs: Roll four 3/4" white balls into short, slightly tapered logs. Use thumb or a flat surface to flatten the top, and slightly flatten the bottoms. Bunch logs together, smaller ends up, angle front legs toward each other, and back legs toward each other. When in desired position, gently tap or press legs on a flat surface to flatten the bottom completely so it will stand steadily. Insert 1/2 toothpick through the length of each leg, leaving 1/2 exposed for the body to be pressed onto. 

3) Utter: Roll 1/2" ballerina (pink) ball into an oval, creating rounded points on the ends. Press width wise onto flat surface, turn 1/4 and press once more, creating a right angle on the oval shape. Pinch one flattened side between two thumbs to create space for the it to fit between legs. Press firmly onto legs. Use Pin to create a smooth seam and round away from the body. 

4) Body: Roll1 5/8" white ball into a rounded oval. Firmly press your thumb into the middle of wide side of oval to flatten slightly and create bow in back, and two humps. Round one hump, slightly shorter, for rump. Create a steeper slope for the other hump for neck. Insert 1/2 toothpick where head will be located, leaving 1/3 of it exposed for the head to be pressed onto. 

5) Tail: Use 11/64" clay extruder attachment to push 1/4" white ball into a cylinder. Gently round one end of cylinder and taper the other. Gently twist & push the two ends together to create a slight curl in tail. Roll 13/64" marbled gray ball into a rounded cone and attach to the tapered end of tail. Use stylus, or ball end of pin, to create an indent for tail on body. Press tail firmly to body. 

6) Head: Roll 1" white ball into a pear. Round out back end, press small end upward to create a place for nose. Gently press thumb vertically to create bridge of nose and make rounded boxy shape for the face. Press onto toothpick and gently wiggle/pivot around the toothpick onto the body to create a bond between the two. 

7) Nose: Roll 1/2" ballerina (pink) ball into elongated oval. Press width wise onto flat surface. Indent flat surface with fingers and gently press nose onto head. Indent middle of nose and round it out. Use stylus or ball end of pin to create nostrils. Press pinky finger firmly to indent mouth, pull down & away simultaneously. Round mouth with stylus or ball end of pin and very gently form lip of mouth. 

8) Ears: Roll two 1/2" white balls into rounded teardrops. Slightly flatten bottom end of teardrop and press small end upward. 

9) Horns: Roll two 1/4" gray balls into rounded cones. Curl top end slightly.

10) Eyes: Use flat headed pin to gently mark where seed beads will go on face. Place one bead on straight pin. Press surface of bead into clay, but do not let the pin touch the clay. Carefully slide pin out of bead. Use the flat end of the pin to gently push bead farther into the clay. Press the point of the pin on the outside of the eye, once in the middle, and once just above to create eyelash indents. Repeat again for the second eye. Use the curve of flat headed pin to create eyebrow indents above each eye. 

11) Spots: Flatten 5/8" black ball  to 1/16" thickness. Create various shapes for spots. Press various sizes of spots onto ears, body, and legs. Be careful to not to smudge black onto white. 

12) Bake: Follow directions on Sculpey clay packaging. (275° F (130° C) 15 min per/ 1/4" (6mm))

(Word to the wise: Be sure to purchase a thermometer for your oven to make sure it is at the correct temperature. Let it heat up for at least 30 minutes or longer. To test your oven, take a plain piece of clay and form a disc 1/2" wide by 1/4" tall and bake in your oven. Always open windows and turn on ventilation. It's normal to smell slight fumes, but if you begin to smell a lot of fumes, or see smoke, your oven is toooo hot! Remove it from your oven, set your oven for 10° lower, and try again with a different disc of clay. Also, if you are using a lighter color of clay, it has a tendency to brown or burn, so before you bake it... cover the pan with tin foil, just like you would a turkey. :) Also, once your items are done baking, turn your oven off and crack the door with a wooden spoon, but allow your pieces to cool in the oven. This will also help prevent cracking because it will let the items cool off evenly and gradually.)

Most of all, have fun while expressing your creativity!
 
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