I started making another donut with some of the crystals I bought at Michael's - these are not Swarovskis (which Michael's does sell, under the Jolee brand) but Chinese crystals sold as "Crystazzi" brand. But I've used them before, and honestly, to the naked eye you can't really tell the difference. I'm sure an expert could, but I really can't. I have to admit that I like to use Swarovskis, just the same - whether it's a touch of snobbishness, or just because I like to know what I'm getting - but they can get very expensive and once in a while I break down and buy the others. (I am very careful about keeping them separate, though. I want to know which is which!) Anyway, one of the colors I bought is Champagne, which apparently is not an active Swarovski color, as far as I can tell. It's sort of a pale gold, and it's making up really pretty with the gold Delicas.
My experimental polymer clay piece is not what I'd call beautiful - you notice there's not a picture of it - but I'm not unhappy with the results, on the whole. The clay was harder to work with than I anticipated, but it did soften up eventually. (I guess this is why everybody gets pasta-makers!) What I made was sort of a spiral piece out of a long thin rope of clay. It's just an unacceptably lumpy piece, as far as I'm concerned. It did harden up like it's supposed to, so I have to call the experiment a success. Oh, and I also tried staining it darker with acrylic paint, and that didn't come out too badly, either.
I never did say that I finished my spiral Christmas ornament. I haven't decided if I'm keeping it or putting it on Etsy. There's no way I can sell it for enough to make up for the ridiculous amount of time I put into it, but that's just me being obsessive-compulsive. I just have to think of it as another experiment - just a more successful one than that first attempt at polyclay!
It's two sided - I alternated between adding the beads on one side and then the other. The beads are an assortment of stuff, but the bulk of it is Czech glass of various kinds. There are a few glass pearls and a few shell coins and even a couple of miracle beads, but mostly it's fire-polished beads and druk beads and some pressed glass, in a variety of colors and finishes. I just made a little bowl full of "bead soup" and went fishing in it whenever I got ready to add another bead. I wouldn't say I added the beads entirely randomly - in fact I definitely didn't, because I wanted a lot of variety and I was careful not to repeat things too close together. But I like the way it looks, overall!