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

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.