Crafting Unicorns!

Hi everyone. I came up with today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and it’s “Unicorn”.

I love love love unicorns! I have two unicorn soft toys. One, I got when I left the first day center with my current care agency back in early August of 2018. The other, I got in my Christmas hamper at the next day center that year.

Other than soft toys, I also have a number of unicorns I crafted out of polymer clay. Today, I am going to show you a few of my recent creations.

First up is a white unicorn charm. It is mostly two-dimensional, which I don’t really like, because it means its horn sticks out up rather than forward. It has a rose on top of its head. That one took me about half an hour to craft, because my Fimo Soft polymer clay was just a little too soft for my liking. For the rose, I used the color Cherry Red and I used Tropical Green for the leaves. The horn is done using Metallic Gold Fimo Effect.

The next unicorn I’m going to show you is my favorite so far. It was done using Pastel Lilac Fimo Effect. I did the mane and tail in Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver and used Metallic Gold for its horn. I added some purple glitters to its legs and ears for some extra sparkle.

Then last Thursday, I tried to create the perfect unicorn. I originally wanted to create the same unicorn as above but put it onto a green, flower-shaped slab. Eventually, I ended up choosing a different color, Fimo Soft Lavender, for this unicorn’s body. I did create the mane and tail using Metallic Silver and Metallic Gold again. Again, I added glitters, gold this time, though just to its legs.

Unfortunately, I forgot to blend the unicorn’s horn into the head and/or secure it with liquid clay. Rather, I secured it using wire only. This means the horn is a bit loose, which I’m told isn’t really visible but it does bother me. This is the reason I don’t think this is my best unicorn so far.

What do you think of these? Do you like unicorns?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (January 7, 2022)

Hi everyone on this first Friday of January, 2022. Today, I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. I’m right between my dinner and my evening coffee, but if you’d like a drink, I’m sure my staff can make you a Senseo or a cup of tea, pour you a glass of juice or offer you a soft drink. Let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d start off by saying that the weather is all over the place right now. Sometimes, it’s raining or even snowing, while at other times, the sun is shining. It’s too cold for a walk though, so I’ve stayed indoors all day and most of the week. Last night, despite the heating being on and all windows being closed, I was feeling quite cold. Okay, I can feel cold in the middle of summer sometimes. That’s just me, I guess.

If we were having coffee, I’d also share about my new food plan. Like I shared before, my hope is to get to a healthier, less stress-inducing diet this year. The dietitian got back to my staff on Tuesday with a healthy food plan. It’s a standard basic food plan I’m sure, as for instance it allowed for an artificial sweetener in my coffee even though I’ve been drinking my coffee black for years.

I have been trying to stick to the food plan ever since. On Wednesday, I did have my crunchy muesli for breakfast, because my staff had already prepared it. Oh, I said this was something I wasn’t willing to give up, but I’m trying after all. Yesterday and today, I had two slices of bread with jam on them.

So far, it’s going okay, but I do find that I’m struggling to eat a variety of foods, as out of the healthy food choices, I only like a few things. Today, as an alternative to the bread with jam for lunch, I tried a toasted cheese and bell pepper sandwich. After all, the dietitian said that toasted sandwiches are a healthy choice as long as you don’t load them with more than one slice of cheese, ham or the like. You can, however, add veggies to taste.

If we were having coffee, I would share that, speaking of the food plan, I do look forward to getting chips this evening. I am so happy I am still allowed these on weekends.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t been too inspired on the crafty front lately. On Wednesday though, I did create a polymer clay dolphin charm. I used the Fimo soft color blue ice quartz for the body of the dolphin, white for its belly and black for its eyes.

Polymer Clay Dolphin Charm

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share that I did do a fair bit of reading lately. I started the latest Maggie Hartley foster care memoir, which came out as an eBook yesterday, right then. I’m now at 54% already. It doesn’t look like I’m going to finish any of the other books still on my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads though, but that’s okay.

How have you been?

Things I Am Passionate About

In today’s Sunday Poser, Sadje asks us what we’re passionate about. Passions can be defined in various ways. They can be things we enjoy doing, but also societal issues we hold strong opinions about. In the below list, I am going to go into both, because I do enjoy talking about the issues I feel strongly about.

1. Writing. My greatest hobby is certainly writing. I’ve always enjoyed it. It is definitely something I do with a passion. I don’t talk about my writing that much though.

2. Crafts. Another of my hobbies is crafting. Unlike writing, I do talk about my crafting a lot. I love to infodump about my latest crafty hobby, be it soap making, polymer clay or whatever.

3. Autistic, mental health and disability activism. Back in the days of my first WordPress blog, most of my posts were opinionated and related to disability, neurodiversity or mental health. I no longer write as much about autistic advocacy, disability rights or the like, but that doesn’t mean I no longer feel passionate about these issues. I have always considered myself a moderate pro-neurodiversity activist, in that, though I side with autistics and the neurodiversity movement, I do feel that most neurotypicals are well-intentioned, though privileged.

4. Calendars and timekeeping. I just need to mention this. I used to love calendar calculation, ie. calculating what date March 25, 1955 was or the like (it was a Friday, by the way). Now, though I’m no longer as interested in or competent at it, I do still feel passionate about issues relating to it. Never tell me that because it was New Year’s yesterday, there were “really two Sundays” this week. No, New Year’s is a bank holiday and this year it was on a Saturday, not a Sunday.

There are probably other things I feel passionate about, but these are the things I can think of right now. What do you feel strongly about or what do you enjoy doing very much?

Artistic As Always #WotW

Hi everyone this Christmas Eve. How are you all doing? I’m doing pretty well. I’m joining Word of the Week again with a phrase (as almost always) and (again as almost always) my phrase of the week is related to my creative endeavors. I’m trying to come up with original phrases to say I’ve been crafting and creating a lot again. Today my phrase of the week is: Artistic As Always.

Truly, I don’t think a single day went by that I didn’t do any creative activity. I mean, I haven’t been blogging as often as I’d like to, but I did a lot of polymer clay work. I created several charms, including a planet, a flower and a rainbow, which is currently in the oven.

I also created my first polymer clay cane. A cane is a log of clay with a design on the inside, which you can then cut into slices to use as beads or to decorate a vase or whatever. I decided to do a flower cane and to make the slices into beads.

I will combine them, some yellow beads I made today that are also in the oven and a flower charm I made last week into a necklace for a woman who lives in the care home downstairs from mine, who is obsessed with necklaces. I still need to create lots of yellow beads, but the woman won’t have her birthday till the end of January.

I also got some crafty supplies in my Christmas hamper from the day center. They are two silicone molds. When I saw them, I did worry they’re a bit too shallow and detailed to use with polymer clay, as they’re officially for chocolate I think. I created a butterfly with one of the molds, which is now in the oven too.

I do worry that the butterfly will be some kind of omen though. You see, a fellow client went into hospital with recurring seizures yesterday and I’m worried sick that he’ll die. Please all pray that he’ll recover.

In addition to creating art itself, I’ve also been busy exploring the artistic community online. I joined several Facebook groups for neurodivergent creators and artists. For those not aware, the term “neurodivergent” refers to people with a neurological or mental health condition, such as autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. I initially worried the term “artist” or even “creative” was meant to include those creating visual artworks such as paintings or drawings only. Thankfully, I quickly found out the groups I am part of are inclusive of all creative outlets.

Lastly, inspired by a conversation in one of the FB groups, I decided to buy the books The Artist’s Way and The Artist’s Way Workbook. I haven’t yet been able to do anything in them, because I read books on my iPhone and using my Braille display only and, since the latest iOS update, these don’t work well together. That is, several times a day, seemingly at random, my Braille display will get stuck and the only way to get it unstuck is to reboot my iPhone. Not ideal when in the middle of a sentence in a book.

Overall, I’ve been really artistic over the past week. It’s been an intense week on other fronts too, but I may share more about that in a separate post.

Word of the Week linky

Christmas Crafting!

I have a confession to make: this is my first year ever actually doing Christmas decorations. I used to like them as a child. Particularly though, I liked fidgeting with the little wooden snowmen and angels and Santas in the Christmas tree.

When I left my parental home to go into independence training, it never occurred to me to decorate for the holidays. Besides, I was back with my parents over Christmas. I never celebrated Christmas in my independent living student accommodation and once in the mental hospital, I hated decorations with a passion. During my first year there, I even ripped them all off. I don’t think my husband cared much for decorations during the years I lived with him either. Then when I went into the care facility, for the first two years, apparently I wasn’t feeling stable enough to decorate my room. In fact, I never quite considered it “my room”. Now I sort of do. I consider that a major win, since it means I’m beginning to feel safe in the care facility. Maybe the fact that I started decorating for Christmas, has some symbolic meaning.

I don’t have a lot of decorations. I have a store-bought, simple, ready-made Christmas tree and a couple of smaller decorations here and there. The point is I have something though.

In addition, this is probably the first year I’ve genuinely crafted something for Christmas too. I mean, during the year I did card making (around eight to nine years ago), I did create Christmas cards too, but these were so ugly a five-year-old could have made them. This year, I actually added my very own home-crafted piece to my Christmas decor.

First, several weeks ago, I created a cookie cutter polymer clay Christmas tree charm. I fully intended on finishing it off with gold Fimo Liquid after adding the balls, but decided after it got out of the oven that I didn’t really like the way it turned out after all. I don’t have a picture for this reason.

Then, last week, I found out how to make an actual three-dimensional Christmas tree. I made it using the same color (Fimo soft Emerald) I’d used for the cookie cutter charm. It’s a shame Fimo doesn’t offer Christmas tree green! I added two colors of balls (Indian Red and Metallic Gold) and added a Metallic Gold star for its top.

Later that week, one of my staff told me about a project she’d been working on in which she’d used a metal ring, a part of a tree trunk, a string of lights and some washi tape to create a Christmas decoration. I thought to myself, how fun would it be to glue my polymer clay Christmas tree onto the tree trunk and work from there.

On Friday, fully having the tree trunk and metal ring project in mind, I created a polymer clay snowman too. That was a bit harder, because it had to be smaller than the Christmas tree and of course the snowman includes more intricate features.

On Saturday, when the staff who’d talked about the tree trunk project came by, she showed me the tree trunk. I think here’s where my concept development is a bit lacking, as I had absolutely no idea how huge a tree trunk would be. In my mind, I had imagined a small piece of wood, but it was the actual trunk of an actual, large tree. Yes, she’d said a tree trunk, right? Needless to say my Christmas tree, which isn’t even 10cm high or 5cm wide, would be invisible when used on this trunk.

Instead of the trunk, we decided to use a small piece of cardboard to stick the Christmas tree and snowman onto. I am not sure how well they will remain secured, as I’ve heard mixed messages about glue and polymer clay. The fake snow we used to spread around the tree and snowman, also hardly stuck at all, but for now, it’s in its place.

We decided to use a much smaller ring than the one my staff had had in mind, because of course the large ring would again drown out my polymer clay sculptures. Since the string of lights was meant for the large ring, we couldn’t use that, but we could use some mini Christmas balls and washi tape.

I couldn’t do much in creating this final project, as most of the parts had to be glued together using a glue gun, but I don’t mind. I like that I at least did the polymer clay crafting.

Do you usually do any Christmas-related crafting?

Linking up with Inspire Me Monday and #LifeThisWeek.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (December 18, 2021)

Hi everyone on this cloudy Saturday afternoon. It’s been a few weeks since I joined in with #WeekendCoffeeShare, so I thought I’d link up again. As I’m starting this post, I haven’t yet had my afternoon coffee. I’m going to take a break for that when I finish this paragraph, so if you’d like a cup yourself, I can get you one too. We have an assortment of cookies and may still have a few mini Mars candy bars left too. Let’s have a cup of coffee and let’s talk.

If we were having coffee, first I’d tell you I had a good talk with the behavior specialist on Monday. We discussed a few things, including my desire to be made aware of the contents of the paperwork that went to the authorities deciding on my one-on-one. Those visiting just for the Coffee Share won’t know this, but it got approved for two more years to come, yay! However, I’d still like to know what was said about me, just because it’s about me.

We also discussed my food issues, for which a referral has finally been made to the dietitian. I really hope the dietitian can help me get some clarity on what (not) to eat during the day, because currently every opportunity to eat is an opportunity for inner conflict and chaos. Finally, we discussed my wish for a physical day planner using Braille-labeled activity cards to choose from.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the blindness agency came by on Thursday to lend us a Braille label writer and several pairs of colored NoIR filter glasses (special sunglasses for those with low vision). I will be trying out the sunglasses over the coming weeks and will be using the label writer to type up the aforementioned activity cards.

If we were having coffee, I’d moan about my adaptive footwear again. Shoe Guy finally decided my orthopedic shoes aren’t fitting and can’t be made fitting, so he’s going to make me new ones all over again. He finally brought back my new walking shoes, that my husband bought me a few months ago. Now though, my left arch support insole got a bump in it that I can’t get out of it. Bottom line: I still can’t walk comfortably! Ugh!

If we were having coffee, I’d end on a positive note by telling you about all the creative work I’ve been doing over the past couple of days. I made some lovely polymer clay charms on Thursday based on tutorials I saw on YouTube. Can you guess what the below charm is supposed to be? Facebook’s automatic alt text guessed it correctly!

I also made a Christmas tree and snowman out of polymer clay. This evening, I’m going to add both to a larger mixed media Christmas ornament. Lastly, I finally decided to save my scrap clay rather than throw it away. I made some randomly-colored beads out of it yesterday.

How have you been?

Gratitude List (December 10, 2021) #TToT

Hi all on this cold but lovely Friday. Today, I’m doing a gratitude post, just because I can. As usual, I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT). Here goes.

1. I am grateful my mammogram came back all clear. I still suffer with slight discomfort, but I feel comforted knowing it’s nothing serious.

2. I am grateful I got my COVID booster shot yesterday and I didn’t even suffer a sore arm. Well, not that arm, at least. All my limbs were stiff this morning, except for the arm I’d been jabbed in.

3. I am grateful my one-on-one support got approved again. Not only that, but it got approved for two years this time! I am so intensely happy, but still can hardly believe it.

4. I am grateful for crafty inspiration. I am currently working on a mixed media Christmas project which includes polymer clay.

5. I am grateful my husband was able to sort out my health insurance for next year. Here in the Netherlands, basic insurance is mandatory but you get to pick your own private insurance company. The government decides what is covered under basic insurance but insurers get to fill in the fine print and decide which care providers (eg. doctors, hospitals, etc.) to contract with. In addition, they get to offer additional coverage packages. For several reasons, my current health insurance was no longer fitting for me, so I decided to change insurers, but needed my husband to help me make the actual switch. I am so glad it seems to be sorted now.

6. I am grateful we still have pepernoten. That’s a typical St. Nicholas (December 5th) treat and I love it!

7. I am grateful that I was able to have quite varied lunches over the week and most were relatively healthy too. I had Turkish pizza on Wednesday, which was my unhealthy lunch of the week. Yesterday, I had a boiled egg on bread and today, I had a toasted cheese sandwich. On Monday and Tuesday, I think I had my usual lunch of a peanut butter sandwich, which I don’t really like.

8. I am grateful I was able to clean my essential oil diffuser (the new one) yesterday and that it was hardly dirty at all.

9. I am grateful for my Christmas tree and its lights. Its lights were almost out this afternoon, so initially I thought its batteries were empty. That would’ve been highly annoying, since I had only put the batteries in last week. Thankfully, switching the position of the batteries did the trick of turning the lights on again.

10. I am grateful I have been sleeping really well over the past several nights. Last week, I had a few rough nights, but this week is much better.

It was harder than I expected to actually make it to ten things of thankful. I mean, I am overjoyed at my one-on-one having been approved, but that makes for only one item on the list. However, I am trying my best to remind myself that even the little things in life that I am grateful for, can and should make it onto this list.

Polymer Clay #WotW

Hi all on this gloomy Saturday. I thought I’d join Word of the Week once again and my word for this week is “polymer clay”. After all, I’ve been working with this medium all week. Well, except for Thursday, when I had to get my mammogram and the whole day went chaotic as a result. And except for yesterday, when I was sick with some type of hopefully short-lived stomach bug.

Like I told you all already, I crafted a white polymer clay unicorn late last week. I don’t think I posted the picture to my blog so far yet, so here it is.

White Polymer Clay Unicorn

The creator whose YouTube tutorial I used, didn’t use a ball of tinfoil for the inside of the unicorn, so neither did I. This did mean I used up a lot of my white Fimo. Today, I wanted to make a snowman and didn’t have enough white clay even when using tinfoil for its insides.

Back to unicorns. I made another one on Monday, but threw it in the trash after baking because its horn drooped and it was cross-eyed. I did want to make another one though, so went back to the table on Tuesday to create one. This one, I did without even watching the YouTube video. This one’s made of Fimo in the colors Sunflower Yellow, Tangerine and Apple Green. I nicknamed it Sunnycorn even though its horn is green.

Sunnycorn

By late Tuesday, I was fully obsessed with creating polymer clay unicorns, but I had also thrown out most of my Fimo, because it was too crumbly to work with. The only colors suitable for a unicorn I had left, were Indian Red, Sunflower Yellow and Brilliant Blue. I don’t like the combination of red and blue, but red and yellow do look good together. I joked that they’re the colors of the nearest top league football club. Now it happens that one of my staff is a fan of that club and she had her birthday yesterday, so I decided to create a football unicorn in red and yellow for her.

Football Unicorn

For this one, I made use of some tips I’d gotten from people online and used a little wire to put in its horn to keep it from drooping. If you were to look at the unicorn from underneath it, you’d see that the wire stuck out a tiny bit. I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to prevent this, but for now, it’s okay.

On Wednesday, I finally gave in and ordered some new colors of Fimo Soft polymer clay. In fact, I ordered twelve (!) new colors, including four shades of blue. I already had Brilliant Blue and now I also have Pacific Blue, Blue Ice Quartz, Blue Agate and Pastel Aqua. I am tempted to create a completely blue unicorn now. Or a whale. I also ordered several shades of purple, Pastel Vanilla, Lime, Metallic Gold and Pastel Peach. My staff also went out to buy me some Fimo at the local craft store, where it’s more expensive but she saved on shipping. She bought me Emerald, Cherry Red and some new Tangerine, because I did know I’d almost used that one up. And now that I want to create a snowman, I realize I’m nearly out of white. Ugh.

I also ordered a mold for creating butterflies. This one is useful for both polymer clay and soap, though of course once I’ve used the mold for Fimo I can no longer use this exact one for soap.

Today, since I was out of white and couldn’t do a snowman, I decided to create a Christmas tree instead. I got cutters for St. Nicholas last week, so I cut out a Christmas tree out of Emerald Fimo and put little balls of Indian Red onto it. Then I had my staff put a hole into the top of the tree to put a ribbon through. Once it’s baked, I’m probably going to decorate the tree with gold Fimo Liquid.

This evening, I was originally going to try out the mold I’d ordered on Wednesday, but I got distressed over dinner and then didn’t want to do any more crafting. However, by 7PM, my distress had subsided and I did try a small butterfly in Brilliant Blue. I must say it turned out okay for my first attempt.

How was your week?

Word of the Week linky

DIY Polymer Clay Owl on a Metal Ring

O(w)live

Hi everyone! I already shared a few times about the polymer clay owl I’d been making over the past few weeks. Now that it’s finished, I finally wanted to show you what the final product looks like and how I created it. I apologize in advance for not having photos of each of the steps.

What You’ll Need


  • A metal ring. Mine is about 12cm in diameter.

  • Polymer clay in your desired colors. You will need colors for the ring (this is the owl’s body), the wings (three pairs), eyes, beak and legs. I used the same color for the beak and legs and for one of the pairs of wings and the eyes.

  • Round (two sizes) and heart-shaped cutters to cut the different body parts.

  • Your usual polymer clay tools, such as a pasta machine or acrylic roller to roll out your sheets of clay before cutting. I used my pasta machine.

  • Plastic eyes to stick onto your owl once baked.

  • Glue for sticking the eyes onto the owl.

How I Made My Owl

First, I cut long, rectangular strands of clay out of my sheet of the color I used for the ring. I went with olive green thinking it meant the owl sat on a branch, because I didn’t realize this was supposed to be its body. I wrapped the strands around the ring. First, I tried curling, but that didn’t work. Then I just made sure the rectangle was just wide enough to cover the entire ring and folded it around it. That worked! I obviously had to cut several strands to cover the entire length of the ring, but that’s okay.

Then I added the wings. I started with the bottom wings, for which I chose the color ochre. I cut them out with round cutters and then attached them to the olive green ring.

Then I did the same with the two other sets of wings. I chose caramel and taupe for the middle and upper wings respectively. I said you need three pairs of wings, but really you need four wings of each of the three colors. At least if, like me, you want the owl to look the same on both sides. Similarly, you’ll need two pairs of eyes (including four plastic eyes), two pairs of legs and two beaks.

After attaching the wings, I went on to the eyes. I used slightly smaller round cutters for those and attached them in a similar way that I’d done the wings. I decided to use ochre again for the eyes. This may seem strange, but I didn’t want to use too many colors and make my owl look too overloading.

I used heart-shaped cutters for the legs and, as you will see in the finished product, attached them upside-down. Sorry, I don’t have a photo with just the legs.

For the beak, I used a kind of half heart shape that I had my staff help me with: I cut out the actual heart (same size as the legs) and my staff cut away the excess clay with a knife. I used an actual feather to stick the pointy holes in the beak, but I’m pretty sure any pointy object will do.

Then the owl went in the oven. I baked it for 60 minutes at 110°C. I know, I know, Fimo and other brands recommend 30 minutes, but, like I’ve mentioned before, there is no way you can bake polymer clay for too long. I let it fully cool before attaching the eyes. I used my jewelry glue for this, but I’m pretty sure E6000 or something like it will work too. I then strung a ribbon between the eyes to hang my owl onto. Voila, here’s O(w)live!

O(w)live

I am linking up with Party in Your PJ’s and Wonderful Wednesday.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (October 30, 2021)

Hi everyone. It’s almost 8PM here so I already had my last cup of coffee. Still, I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. Or Weekend Soft Drink Share for me maybe, although I didn’t have a soft drink this evening either. Instead, I decided to have water with my chips. We have Pringles, the original flavor, so if you’d like some, here you go. Let’s have a drink and a snack and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that, like I said yesterday, the weather was good most of the week. Partly cloudy, partly sunny with maximum temperatures between 13°C and even a rare 18°C on Thursday. Today though, it was raining most of the day. By early evening though, the rain stopped for a bit.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, yesterday, I got in over 14K steps thanks to the great weather. Today, I only managed about 6K steps, but I did get in over 250 steps an hour during seven out of the nine hours between 9AM and 6PM. I consider that quite an achievement!

If we were having coffee, I would ask you all to pray for wisdom for both me and my GP with respect to our upcoming appointment regarding my abdominal discomfort. Like I said yesterday, I am grateful my X-ray was normal, but my discomfort is all but gone.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I ended up not pursuing the issue I mentioned yesterday with the €90 software I bought via PayPal from some shady vendor. I did reach the vendor, but he claimed the problem I was experiencing wasn’t on their side, so there’s no way I’ll get my money back. Oh well, I hadn’t had my hopes up too high.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I finally did start crafting again. The project my staff saw that she brought the supplies in for today, was a polymer clay owl crafted around a metal ring. She also brought a finished owl she’d borrowed from the storekeeper who had inspired her, so that I had an idea what it should look like. It looked very different from how I’d expected it to look. I started working on the project today.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would tell you that my assigned staff, the one who was on sick leave but is slowly recovering, came to the care home for a few hours again today. Remember how I said a few weeks ago that I worried that I caused her burnout by sucking up her energy? Well, she went out of her way to reassure me that I didn’t make her sick.

She also cooked a meal for dinner with another client. It was a potato, leek and mince casserole. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I did.

How have you been?