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Tag Archives | Beth Silaika

Review | Firefly Sculpey Fun Forms

Reported by Beth Silaika

One rainy day, my son Xavier and I decided to review the Dinosaur Firefly Sculpey Fun Forms kit. It was a perfect rainy day activity and he was quite enthusiastic to create his own Triceritops.

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The kit contains 8 pieces – the form, some clay and a few tools to detail your sculpture. The kit is for ages 8 and up. Xavier is turning 7 this weekend, so with supervision, I felt it was age appropriate.

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We started by reading the directions, which were pretty specific. You could create one of two types of dinosaurs: Stegosaurus or Triceratops. We chose the Triceratops. There were step by step directions on how to create each size of clay to form our dinosaur.

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Xavier could not wait to start forming his dinosaur, so I let him start by rolling out the clay in the forms into the shapes they specified. This was actually a great project for him to work on since he has fine motor delays.

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The clay can be sliced with the tool provided in the kit and then slowly rolled and softened to form the shapes.

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The directions are labeled with each pack of clay which must be formed into specific shapes. The directions are in black and white, and it would have been nice to have the photo on the directions in color, just to distinguish between the tan, brown, and clay colors.

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The roller tool in the kit allowed you to evenly flatten the pieces of clay into the shapes required to cover the plastic dinosaur form.

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We were not sure of the exact size of the shapes required, so we really had to guess based on the amount of clay. It would have been nice to have the directions specify the size of the specific shapes (e.g. make a 1/4 inch flattened circle).

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Xavier was able to easily press on the clay to the form, but I helped him press it and mold it tight so that the colors flowed together.

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With a little bit of help from the tools provided in the kit, we soon saw the Triceratops take shape!

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Some final pieces of clay on the bottom and we were just about finished and ready to bake our Triceratops (which we affectionately named “Brownie”….I talked him out of “Horny”).

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The finished form was ready to bake in the oven. It was only a few minutes of baking time to completion.

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Here is the finished product. It doesn’t look like the dinosaur on the cover of the box, but it is something that Xavier treasures!

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We both really enjoyed working with the Firefly™ Sculpey® Fun Forms™ Dinosaur kit. It was a nice change of pace from watching television or playing video games on a rainy day!

Pros:

  • wonderful variety of choices for a personalized toy for your child to make
  • great project for a rainy afternoon
  • realistic looking, durable final project
  • non-toxic

Cons:

  • directions were difficult to follow in black and white; color directions with specific sizes would be better
  • messy – colors of clay can bleed and you need to wash your working surface and hands between colors to avoid colors mixing
  • clay is very hard, but if you set it under a light for a few minutes and work it with your hands and condition it, it becomes softer.

Have you tried the Firefly Sculpey Fun Forms yet? What do you think?

Vendor Spotlight: No Bow No Go Top Notch Templates and Bow Instructions

Reported by Beth Silaika

I have always been jealous of those moms who are able to one, get their children to comb their hair and two, get their children to accessorize with adorable little bows and ribbons. If only I could make those adorable little hair decorations. When the opportunity to review the No Bow No Go Instructions and TNT Top Notch Templates product, I was so excited to be able to create something for the two children who still let me get them dressed!

This 131 page spiral bound instruction book and top notch templates set (of twelve) was very nicely put together. The pages are easy to read and the photographs are clear and they are labeled very well. There are even safety tips for people creating bows, since some of the tools which you need to use to create the bows are quite dangerous if they are not set up properly or if they are touched by little hands.

The templates are made of clear plastic and are made to last a long time. They are clearly marked in the corners to let you know which template is which. There are instructions in the manual to let you know the finished bow size (which correlates with the template number) how much ribbon length is required to create one bow, and which size ribbon looks best with each template.

After skimming through the book a few times, I decided to create a few bows for my youngest two daughters. I gathered my supplies (hot glue gun, alligator or french barrette clips, scissors, needle and thread, ribbon)

First, you attach the ribbon to your clip. Here I used a French Barrette Clip.

The next step is to wrap ribbon around your template. There is a nice slit in the template which allows you to sew the center of your bow. Here you can see that I am sewing the center with a few stitches.

I used some clips on each end to hold the ribbon tight to the template while I sewed it in the center.

I slid the ribbon off the template and started to fluff the ribbon. I followed the instructions which told me to create a “center” of the bow. I used a straight center, wrapping the ribbon around and hot gluing the back. I trimmed the ribbon ends in a V-cut.

I attached the finished ribbon to the barrette clip.

Tah-da! It looks great! Genevieve tolerated it for about 1 minute. She loved the color, and I love the fact that I can create them to look just like any outfit she might have in her closet.

Sophie stumbled into the room and requested a purple one for her hair. It was so simple to create, I was able to whip one up for her in about 5 minutes. She wore her bow for the rest of the day!

Pros:

  • There are several book options available, including digital downloads of the instruction book.
  • Templates come in 4, 9 and 12 template sets to fit in your budget
  • Additional instructions are available for a nominal fee
  • Great asset for you if you are starting a small craft business
  • Simple, easy to follow instructions
  • Clear photographs
  • wide variety of bows (including stacked, twisted, pinwheel and split tail to name a few) with ribbon color and width options = endless possibilities
  • heavy duty template, will not easily break or crack

Cons:

  • Really cannot find any cons…this is a great resource for someone who is interested in creating their own hair bows!

The No Bow No Go Instruction booklet and TNT Top Notch Templates can be purchased online at their website {NoBowNoGo.com}.

How cute are these bows?! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Studio3 Color Cubbie Storage

Reported by Beth Silaika

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

In my quest for the ultimate in craft studio organization, I have tried many options for Copic Marker storage. I have tried the clear Copic storage containers, black velcro wallet cases, small metal buckets from the Target dollar spot, but nothing seems to be the right fit for the sheer mass of markers which I quickly accumulated. I ended up filling up 4 buckets with my Copic markers and the buckets took up too much space on my craft surface. I wanted to find a clean cut solution which would not break the bank!

While blog surfing one day, I stumbled across the Color Cubbie from Studio3 Solutions. This little storage is BIG on value and storage area! Each color cubbie is 4 5/16″ wide and 14″ high. The unit is only 5 1/2″ deep, which is perfect for most desks and crafting surfaces. It has a durable, white vinyl finish that coordinates well with every color craft room! At $16.95 per cubbie, the storage is affordable for my needs.

I ended up ordering a few cubbies, thinking I could use it for my collection of gel pens, copic markers and aquapainters. I was amazed at the quality of the product and the sheer volume that each shelf can hold. Each little shelf holds approximately 24 Copic sketch markers. You can fit at least 30 gel pens, Stampin’ Up! markers, Prismacolor pens or pencils on each shelf!

Here are shelves side by side with my Copic markers and a variety of gel pens. What I love about the storage is that it fit on my book shelf directly above my craft desk. I can see the pens and the numbers on the caps easily, which I could not do when they were in the metal Target dollar spot buckets. It is so easy to color now because I can grab the exact color I need and clean up is a snap! The shelves are at a slight angle, so the markers and pens don’t slip out. They stay nice and secure in their little shelf! Since they are on the book shelf right above my craft desk, I have them at eye level and they even look pretty with all the Copic marker colors divided up into like colors.

As previously mentioned, I ordered a few of these shelves. Even after dividing up my Copics and gel pens into a variety of color families, I still had two more Color Cubbies to fill. I looked around my craft room for my next problem storage area and realized that I had a small plastic CD container holding my Papertrey Ink Perfect Match ink pads. I was always having a difficult time locating the correct color ink in the bin and suddenly had a “lightbulb” moment. There was plenty of space for the inks and they fit quite perfectly in the shelves. I was able to fit four ink pads on each shelf.

In order to tell the various colors apart, I used a label maker and printed out the name of the ink color and used a swipe from a coordinating Copic marker to label the appropriate ink to the shelf.

The entire storage solution for four Color Cubbies, side by side, is approximately 17 1/4 inches wide, still only 5 1/2 inches deep and 14 inches high. The sheer volume of storage is impressive and it has cleared so much of the clutter on my desk. It has made me a more efficient stamper and allows me to clean up my craft space so much quicker!

I love my Color Cubbie. I am pleased because it takes up so much less space than all the previous storage containers I used before for my Copic markers, Sakura and Spica gel pens, Aqua painters, and Papertrey Ink Perfect Match ink pads. The cost was also relatively inexpensive compared to having a custom piece made. The shipping was very quick and the product is well made and very sturdy.

Next, I will be tackling my paper and stamp storage in my craft space!

Pros:

  • inexpensive solution to your storage needs
  • well made, sturdy design
  • clean style
  • white color, which fits most craft room color schemes
  • slanted shelves to prevent items from falling out
  • finish can be cleaned with a damp cloth
  • holds 24 Copic sketch makers per shelf
  • holds more than 30 Stampin’ Up markers per shelf
  • holds more than 30 Skaura or Spica gel pens per shelf
  • holds more than 30 Prismacolor pencils per shelf
  • great storage solution for Papertrey Ink Perfect Match ink pads
  • allows you to see the colors/numbers on the end of your markers/pens
  • takes up very little space for the amount of storage!

Cons:

  • online purchase, so not available in retail locations (but worth the wait)
  • once you see your items organized, you realize that you need more Copic markers

[Editor’s Note: This item is no longer available from Studio 3, but similar items are available from other manufacturers.]

Do you have the Studio3 Color Cubbie storage unit? What do you think of it?