Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update to life

Oh, boy .... has it really been that long since my last blog. Life has taken some nasty turns in the last month, and taken all my extra energy.  My mother in law was not breathing well, finally went into see the doctor.  She has always been a stoic person, not to be stopped by little aches and pains.  Unfortunately they discovered a lot of fluid collected around her lungs, and when they removed and tested it, they found cancer cells.  A lot of tests later, it was determined that she has Lymphoma.  We are still waiting to hear if it has infiltrated her bones.  She starts on Chemotherapy this week.

  My husband and I are still shocked, as we really expected his Dad (who's health has not been the greatest) to be the first to get really ill and never expected it to happen to his mother, who has always been the rock of the family.   My husband is not handling this too well, and I have to be there as his rock at this time.  So there may not be too many blogs from me for a while.

I really don't want to depress any of my readers by this post, but I am asking any who feel inclined, to include Karon Wolfe in their prayers.  Thank you for any kind thought


Thursday, November 24, 2011

What the Heck Happened??

I have been using polymer clay since  2006 and have NEVER had anything like this happen before.

No, this is not the dark side of the Moon.
At first I thought that I had trapped air in the clay, but when I looked the unbaked trimming off this piece, I didn't see any trapped air bubbles.  I checked the temp of the oven and it was spot on.  

Needless to say, my piece was ruined, but luckily it was not anything I had spent too much time on.  
This is the only polymer piece that I have worked on lately, as I have been very busy making domino pendants.  They have been selling well - mostly to my co-workers.  I am so happy that I have been able to provide unique gifts for the upcoming holidays.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

River Stone Tut

My guild mate Maria Jam Brown has written a  good tut on making faux river stones from polymer clay.  You can check it out at her website

River Stones by Maria Jam Brown
I got to see them "live" at the Artisan show. They are quite realistic (and so much easier to put holes in than the real thing).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Domino Fever

For a few days there I was hardly able to get any sleep. I was too busy making domino pendants.  You got to see the tray of them drying in my last post, and I promised I would show them in greater detail as soon as I was done with the Artisan's Show.  So here they are (warning, this is a long wordy and picture heavy post)

Anyway, the wolf on the left I like so much that I decided to keep him for myself. I really like how there is a suggestion of a moon behind his head. The cool cat is my first domino.  It is hard to tell, but those 3 blobby things are crystals.  They kinda stick out, which I am not sure I like.  The dominoes were colored using alcohol inks.

 One of these days, I am going to figure out how to control where pictures go. I swear they have a mind of their own.  I did exactly the same thing with these two as I did with the first two pictures I posted and look how they are in different spots. Anyway, here are two cats (can you tell I like cats?)  The one on the left, there was a smudge of ink in the right corner, so I covered it with a little sticker.  These two were colored using Stazon ink pads.

 These three lined up with no problem... maybe I am getting the hang of it  (or being forced to use Chrome isn't as bad as I thought it would be).  These three birds I colored using Smooch Pearlized Accent Inks.  The glittery highlights on the owl are obtained with Stickles.  These were colored using Alcohol inks

Then I entered my green phase.  Playing around a bit more with adding words to the pendants. But I think of the three, my favorite is the simple one in the middle.

The fish was very popular.  I took the tiles into work to show them off the day before the show and one of my co-workers wanted it.  The dancer on the right - the coloring is a combination of several attempts.  I didn't like what I did first, attempted to remove the design unsuccessfully. I ended up putting another color on top of it which combined to make this very unusual color.  It is truly one of a kind, as I doubt I could every recreate it.

What are pendants without florals? Smooch Ink was used to color in the petals and as a highlight. These were also colored using Ranger Alcohol inks.

My last two pieces that I have pictures of. The face on the left I really did not like at all, but a co-worker fell in love with it and wants it for her daughter.  And the phoenix is from a Christi Friesen stamp. Her stamps are wonderful and I can't wait till I have more time to put them on tiles.

 I can't believe it but I can not find the pictures I took of the domino pendants that I sold.  One was a really cute little frog hanging on a branch, tagged "smile". The other was a wolf pendant similar to the one above only in green and yellow - looked like it was in a forest.  That will teach me not to have my camera with me at all times.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Works in Progress

Looks like the Muse back with a vengeance.  I have been working like mad trying to make some domino pendants before the Artisans show this weekend.  Little sleep (up till 5 am last night) but I have a fair collection started.  They are still drying and after that I will glue on the bales.

The tiles as I originally found them

And here are the dominoes after a few alterations. I must apologize for the quality of the photograph, but am in a hurry.  Hopefully I will have time between now and the show to take good, individual photos of each piece.
There are a few I am thinking of keeping for myself/


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Distractions I don't need

Hubbie and I went to Goodwill yesterday.  I was looking for a light colored scarf to display my pins on at the upcoming NWPCG Artisan show.  I always browse the aisles while there, you never know what you will find.

I really got lucky..... I found an Atlas Pasta Machine!  Unfortunately it did not have a crank. That did not stop me .... I took it to the counter and was able to get a 50% reduction from $24.99 to $12.50.  The great thing is that  when I got home I found that I have a crank that fits it .... Now I just have to determine if it is in good working order. That will have to wait until after the show though.

The other big score was a box of dominoes - the good kind, not the cheap plastic they make now days.  I have seen (and own) some wonderful transfers onto dominoes, so I been looking out for them every time I visit a thrift store.  There were 72 of them in the box for only $3.99 .... I am waddling the two step with my happy feet on cloud 9.

 So what am I doing today?  I should be getting ready for the show.  Instead, I am trolling You Tube and finding so many ways to decorate dominoes besides picture transfer ... maybe  if I finish my tagging I can try one of the techniques out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Best Place to Be (if you are a cat)

  Right now I have my studio torn apart getting ready for the Artisan's show this coming weekend.  If you live in or near the Seattle area and are interested in seeing my work in person, as well as the works of  other talented artists (with a chance to purchase, of course) drop by and see us.

When: Saturday, November 12th – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm 
           Sunday, November 13th – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: ArtWorks, 201 -2nd Ave. S in Edmonds, WA 98020

Fee: Free Admission

I normally keep the door shut to my studio when not in use -the Underfoots (gotta love them) don't respect my clay or resin or beads (don't get me wrong, they LOVE the beads, just don't respect them -  always pushing them around), so it is prudent to make it a no cat zone.  I keep it unheated unless I am working.  I have been busy all morning with inventory and tagging items for the show.  In and out, in and out and one time (only ONE time) I forgot to close the door.

Luckily the space heater was more attractive than my clay this time.  I found the Rue sprawled. legs splayed, just soaking up the heat.

Let's see, 5 minutes to the stomach then I'll turn and bake my back,  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Scarf Weather

It has been a long time since I have written.  I have been in a creative slump lately.  I am attempting to pull myself out of the rut by experimenting with designs for scarf pins.  The only show I participate in is next week and I want to present something new.

 These were the first two I made.  They are skinner blends stamped and baked. After baking, I antiqued with LPC.  I think the pin sticks are too long and flexible.  Both the pins and skewers bend very easily.

 My next experiment was with textured white clay, which I then colored with inks.  After the ink dried, I antiqued with black tinted LPC.  This pin tack is shorter, but still too flexible.

 Trying a different shape this time. Also, since the earlier skewers were too flexible and bendy, I thought I would try a more solid material.  I hammered some 16G copper.  They look good but are too slick.  I found they slid out of the scarf.  These two both colored with green ink, the one on the left had some blue added while the one below had a Carmel colored ink added to the green.

Next was an attempt to mimic ceramic.  After texture and shaping a white base, I baked the pieces. When cool, they were colored with LPC tinted with different inks.  The skewers are a bit stronger this time. I covered toothpicks with clay, textured and colored with tinted LPC.

 I really like the colors. But after trying to find a sweater to photograph them against, I realized that unless they are a perfect match for someone's scarf, they may be hard to sell.  So, my next adventure will be trying to come up with a neutral color and design.  Perhaps faux bone or ivory.

This is the only one of the three Faux Ceramic pieces that did not burn when I zapped them with the heat gun. I am usually very good at preventing burning, but this time when I was heating the back of the piece, the front burnt.  I got the trick of it by the time I got to this one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Strung Out: Beadaholique Beading Contest: Falling Leaves

My Bead Soup Partner Julie Bean let me know that her store, Beadaholique,  is holding their first contest.  I tried to copy over the informational page but was not able to transfer more than the first line.  Then a notice appeared that blogger no longer was supported by my internet browser, and to try Chrome.  What the heck! I am not comfortable with Chrome, it took me 10 minutes just  to figure out how to find my blog with Chrome and still haven't been able to favorite it so I can return easily. I just doesn't seem to be very "user friendly" to me... But here I am, using Chrome for my post for the first time.

But I digress, the purpose of this entry is to talk about Beadaholique's contest.  Here are the pertinent details.  I hope that the links copied over OK.

We are very excited to announce the first ever Beadaholique beading contest! Enter a photo of your original jewelry design for a chance to win a $50 Beadaholique Gift Certificate and lots of exposure on our blog and Facebook page. The theme is "Falling Leaves" and you can interpret that however you like, let your creativity and inspiration flow! Just make sure to use at least 1 item from Beadaholique and follow the contest rules

From all the entries we will narrow it down to 10 finalists, all of whom will have their entry pieces published on the Beadaholique blog and Facebook page. There will then be public voting to decide the winner. 

We can't wait to see all what everyone comes up with! 

Here are some important dates to keep in mind: 
  • Wednesday, October 26 4 PM PDT: Last day to submit
  • Friday, October 28 @ 1 PM PDT: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email
  • Tuesday, November 1 @ 4 PM PDT: Public voting closes
  • Thursday, November 3: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email.
Click here for a complete list of rules, deadlines, and more specifics. 
Happy Beading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Check out this virtual book tour

My muse has deserted me lately.  Stress from both work and personal issues (Prince Pippen took a turn for the worse and has kept us very busy) has taken it's toll on my creativity.  Last night I found myself making the same bead over and over again. Boring....

So tonight I have been browsing the internet, looking for inspiration. I didn't find any polymer clay inspiration since one of the first things I  come across was an absolutely fascinating virtual book tour being hosted by Barbara Lewis. She is the author of  a new book on Torch Fired enameling.  I just got this book several weeks ago from Amazon, but have not had the time to more than casually look through it.  After visiting the blogs featured in this virtual tour and all the different ways Barbara's techniques are being used, I am serious thinking about taking up this art too.   But where to find the space and proper ventilation in my tiny house....? 

Please do yourself a favor and check it out at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Warmest place in the House?

Looks like Rue found a warm place to take a nap.  Just had to share.
Daddy needs his laptop, honey

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lookie at what I won!

I am constantly amazed by the technology available today.  When I was in college ( I am really dating myself here) there was ONE computer on the whole campus.  Now they are everywhere and ingrained into our lives. I can not image a day when I am not on line doing something.  One of the things that I like the most  about computer technology is that I get to meet many people online that I would never have meet in real life. 

One of these people is Lynda of SCDiva.  I first meet her when I started posting to Flickr several years ago. She is a very talented artist who's work really resonates with me.  She was the first person to become a follower of my blog. 

Every month this year she has been having a give away and, of course, I have entered every one and crossing my fingers, hoping to win.  And this month I DID.  Wow... I am jumping for joy. 

These lovely flowers will be winging their way to my home this week.  Aren't they the most delicate beauties? 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Metal Revisited

I have really been liking my new metal embossed earrings.  I haven't touched polymer in several weeks,partly due to a bad case of Blogitis (the contagious BSBP virus), but also because I have been exploring this different media.  I have used several embossing plates but keep returning to the same swirly design. It seems to be the most attractive, at least I think so.

These two earrings are embossed with different plates but made using the same ink combination. 

 The same swirling embossing plate, using yellow and steam inks to color.

At first I was only coloring the front of the metal.  They turned out OK, but on this set I colored the back too. I think it looks better hanging from the ears to be colored on both sides.

The same earrings from only the front

The majority of the earrings were made from a blank about the size of a $0.50 piece.  I did have some smaller blanks which are not large enough to dap into a concave shape.  So they are being left flat.  They are about the size of a quarter.  These are colored on both sides too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bead Soup Follow up

I signed up for Bead Soup in order to challenge myself by working outside my comfort zone.  In that aspect it was a huge success for me.  I really learned how to make wraps for dangles - over 60 dangles on  Little Kitty 2 Two. 
  Also I got another bad case of Blogitis.  With 362 jewelery artists involved, it took a long time to visit them all.  I saw a lot of gorgeous piece by some very talented designers.  I found a lot of blogs that I added to my favorites and am following now (have to keep it at a minimum since I find that the more time I spend on line, the less time I spend making.   Oh how I wish there was more than 24 hours in a day). 
The downside was that I was so busy visiting other blogs that I have not touched polymer in over a week and have not blogged since  the big reveal.  How the time flies when having fun.
 My blog was visited a lot.  I know that for those people who are old hands at blogging, this may not be a big deal. But I just started in January, slowly building up a following,  and for me this was a HUGE thing.  I want to say a  big

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Reveal

The day is finally here to show off what I did for my first Bead Soup Blog Hop. As you can see, my wonderful partner, Julie Bean from Beadaholique, sent me a ton of beads.  What to do with them all?

I am a bead maker, not a jewelery designer per se.  One reason I did the Soup was to challenge myself to try something I had not done before.  I have a tendency to over do and the first week I went nuts and worked on the main chain part for hours.  Then life intruded and I only finished it up this week.  I couldn't believe the trouble that I had figuring out how to attach the bead caps to the silk cord.  I had it in theory, but practice left a lot to be desired.

I had seen a lovely piece on line that was composed of charms and dangles and wanted to do something like that.  I went through a lot of head pins and dug into my stash to add to the variety that Julie had already sent me. I had a piece of black silk cord in my stash that I used to extend the chain to necklace length.

The rules of  Bead Soup Blog Party are simple. After signing up with Lori Anderson at Pretty Things (one of my faves), she assigns partners. I can't believe that she has the energy to undertake this but I am sure glad that she does.  Then you exchange a focal, beads and a cool clasp (not lobster).  And you need to have a blog to let everyone know about what you are doing.  On the day of the BIG REVEAL, you get to show off what you made and visit all the blogs of the other designers.  There are a ton of people who signed up for this current Bead Soup and would take up a huge piece of  this post to list them all. The link to the complete list is:

Go ahead and check them all out. Get a jolly case of know you want to.

Are you ready.... Here it is, full monty and the little bits that make it up. (I snuck a pair of polymer clay beads into the dangles: Can you spot them?)

I dub thee "Little Kitty 2 two"

The lovely focal by Golum Ceramics.  Salt and Pepper kitties like my own Eyesis Rue and Prince.

Isn't this clasp lovely.... The detail is delicious.

Trying a "Glamour Shot". Not sure I succeeded

Showing off how it hangs. I really wish I had a better
form to photograph it on

After all this I have beads left over (Julie was sooooo generous), so I had plenty of choices for earring design. 

The little blue flower earrings are my favorite.  I love color of the little rose beads, but were not able to use very many of them.  The bead holes varied in size greatly and not many of them were big enough for the headpin to fit into.  I will probably be able to use them in a piece later that I use string rather than wire. In looking at the final piece I am wondering if it is not too busy? The focal looks kinda lost in the forest, so to speak.  I have beads left over and I may do something simple with the focal later.  I am sure that I will get inspiration from all the wonderful pieces I am sure to see in the next several days as I visit the other Bead Soup Party Members.

Thanks again to Julie Bean  for all the great beads and to Lori Anderson for all her hard work at putting this all together. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

What a difference the undercoat makes

Making a new pair of metal earrings using the Vintaj metal blanks.  After painting the first side, I washed the paint out of my sponge brush so it wouldn't cake up while waiting for the blank to dry.  When it was time to do the other side, the brush was still damp, so the paint thinned out when applied.  What the heck, I thought, it is just the back side.

Well, when I dropped on the inks, I discovered that the consistency of the paint makes a BIG difference in the look. Believe it or not, the same inks colors were used on both sides. Lesson learned.

Front (good layer of acrylic)

Back (watered down layer of acrylic)

And just a reminder, the Bead Soup Party Reveal is tomorrow, September 17th.  Whooo-hooo.