Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Favorites August 29, 2008

My weekly buzz through Etsy for things to fill the ever-growing Wish List yielded a passle of pretty things this week. The colors of choice this week are teal and crimson.

I confess to being a little obsessed with theothersister's funky, but chic, purses. I hope Santa brings me the Rose Garden purse. I mean, he wouldn't have far to bring it, since she is a fellow South Carolinian from down Charleston way!

I just cannot get enough of this stunning Japanese Magnolia print by tljessup. It is a must-have, and a steal at $16!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stick A Fork In It, IT IS DONE! Hallelujah!

Finally! After 54 attempts and who knows how many pounds of clay, I finally made something I could stand to use as my entry for PCAGOE's September challenge, "Texture". I don't know why this challenge was so hard for me, slap a stamp on a slab of clay and call it a day, right? Texture out the wahoo, right? WRONG!

In the first place, I didn't want to do a stamped piece or one impressed with a texture sheet. That felt like cheating for some reason. I really wanted to stretch my imagination, and my limitations, and do something outside the box. Easier said than done. I got lots of pretty beads out of the effort, but nothing I wanted to use as an entry.

Just when I was about to give up and admit defeat, I decided to go through my little library of inspiration, books which mean a lot to me, and I spotted my copy of Anna Johnson's book, Handbags: The Power of The Purse. I don't want to get off on a tangent here, because I could talk ALL DAY about pocketbooks, but this little, bitty paperback packs a whollop of inspiration. It is full of jaw-droppingly beautiful handbags, and I found one in an animal print that got me thinking... and this brooch is the result.

The base of the piece is made from Black Kato clay embossed with an animal print texture sheet. I stippled some of the stripes for interest and applied teal mica powder and copper alcohol ink to the surface, cured it and sanded and buffed it to bring out the solid black stripes. I added a faux turquoise cabochon I set in a copper metal basket mounting. The turquoise cab is made from a cane of Clover and Peacock Studio clay and Black Kato clay. I recessed a pinback mounting into the reverse so it would lie flush when worn.

I found my happy place with it. It's not perfect, but I can live with it. The best thing is, the challenge is DONE! Move over Snoopy, I am doing the happy dance!


Artist Of The Week - Linda Riopel

This has become my favorite blog feature. I love being able to spotlight my artist friends and no one is more deserving of recognition than my friend and fellow PCAGOE artist, Linda Riopel of NKdesigns. Linda is a native of Long Island, New York and has been married for almost 40 years to her husband Bill. She and Bill have two children, Nicole and Ken; and two grandchildren by Ken, ages 3 1/2 and 5 weeks (6 weeks by the time this interview airs!), whom Linda says are the lights of her life.

Linda, who or what inspires you?

I teach polymer clay classes in the Spring and Fall at the Smithtown Continuing Education. I love that so much and it has given me the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for polymer clay. My students are a great inspiration to me as their thirst for more information and knowledge has helped me to learn more after researching it for them.

Donna Kato and Barb Fajardo are two artists I aspire to be more like and try to follow their lead of giving so generously of their art.

Other than polymer clay, what kinds of materials do you use in your creations?

The only other materials I use are Swarovski crystals and high end glass beads. Someone once said - "life is too short to use cheap beads" and I think of that all the time as I am creating a necklace or bracelet.

What is your favorite technique?

I think that mokume gane is my favorite technique along with using flower canes. In mokume gane, it always comes out differently and a surprise when you slice it. Nature and flowers are just so amazing to me. I try to duplicate what God has created. (Doesn't always happen though.) LOL.

What do you like best about being a part of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy?

Being a part of the PCAGOE is extremely important to me. It's a place where I can ask for advice, share techniques, talk to my friends and just be myself with people who have the same interest. I also enjoy the monthly challenge. It's a way to showcase some of the newer work I have done and see what the rest of the polymer clay community is up to. (This gorgeous keepsake box is Linda's entry in the September PCAGOE challenge, the theme of which is "Texture". Check back on September 1 to find out where you can vote for it!).

Other than Etsy, where could someone find your creations?

I have put some of my pendants and beads on Ebay, along with Etsy. I also blog at

Now for the fun stuff!

What is your favorite Color?
Purple and Turquoise.

Favorite Song or Musical Artist? Music - Billy Joel is my favorite, can listen to him day or night.

Favorite Book or Author? Anything by James Patterson. Think I read them all and there are a lot of them!

Favorite Movie, Actor or Actress? I am a Law and Order Junkie and watch the reruns - again and again! It's a sickness!

Thank you, Linda. You're the best!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Red, Red, Red!

Have I mentioned that red is my favorite color? Only a few hundred times?

I adore the color red...tomato red, particularly. Did you know that historically, in times of war or depression, the sale of red lipstick soars? It is true! The rationale is that women think a little red makes them feel better. I agree. Red is my personal power color. I wear it when I'm in a kick ass mood. Nothing says "don't mess with me" quite like a killer red suit. I am not the only fan of red. I heard it is the number one favorite color, and I am not surprised.

I was looking through my stash of beads the other day, beads I'm saving for myself, frankly, and realized the majority of them are red. I don't know why that surprises me. When I sit down to make a new batch of pendants, the first color I reach for is red, followed by white or cream and black. They just look so fabulous together!

These are some of my most recent red pendants. My favorite red clays to work with are Kato red and Premo! Cadmium red. Blending the two gives me a lovely, bright tomato red.

These pendants were created from polymer clay canes made by my friend Pam Gilfillen of I think the diamond pendant is really pretty. After I cured it, I wet-sanded it through six grits of sandpaper, 400 to 2000, and buffed it with a dremel to get this glass-like shine. It reminds me of the lines of a classic corvette.

These pendants are from my Kinetic Energy series. Man, that's a lot of red clay, isn't it? I really like these, too. They give the eye quite a jolt in person, and you can almost feel the energy coming off them. I also buffed them to a glass-like shine.

Red, Red, Red! Gives me a warm fuzzy all over!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Favorites August 21, 2008

On My weekly jaunt through Etsy, I picked up a few new favorite things to add to the Christmas wish list. I don't think I'm going to be able to hold out until then, though. I fell in love with the Celtic Vine Bead the first time I saw it in LoraHart's shop, and that floral landscape from Arunnion, and the original watercolor by naturescorridor. I've got to start dropping some hints around the supper table!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PCAGOE Artist of the Week - ClayAngel

This week I am featuring my very talented friend and fellow PCAGOE guild member: Pam, a/k/a Clayangel. Pam is a fellow South Carolinian as well, a down-home girl and a wonderfully caring and generous lady to boot!

So Pam, tell me a little about yourself.

I am complicated. I don't think y'all have enough room to describe me.

Who or what inspired you?

If you are asking about arts and crafts in general, when I was about 8 my aunt bought our family the World Book Encyclopedia set with the Child-craft series. Those books covered everything from nursery rhymes to science experiments. I was totally enthralled and read every one cover to cover. There were tons of things to make in those books and I did make most of the things. Now I am inspired by so many things, feelings and thoughts. I try to look at everything with an eye toward creating.

Other than PC,what kinds of materials do you use in your creations?

I use the usual foils, leafs, and powders. I think about using things like, broken jewelry, keys, found objects etc. I have 1 unmatched diamond earring I want to incorporate in a creation but my muse just hasn't told me what yet.

Do you have a certain design style?

Not really, all of my jewelry items seem to be very bold and outfit specific tho.

What is your favorite technique?

I don't really have a favorite but I am very technique oriented. It is ALL about learning and executing a new technique for me. I have only been creating with clay now 3 years and I still have so much to learn. I am fairly successful at caning. (Lynda: I can attest to that. Pam makes gorgeous canes! You should see the ones she sent to me! It was like Christmas in July!)

Other than Etsy, where could someone find your creations?

I travel to the Saint James Art Show in Louisville, KY the first weekend in October annually.

How long have you been involved in your craft, and how did you get started?

I was a miniaturist for many years. I built a dollhouse and wanted to furnish it in a modern style. Since there aren't many dollhouse furnishings in a modern style that isn't very pricey, I decided to make most things. An on-line mini friend got me a couple of pkges of Fimo in the perfect colors, and suggested I make the modern looking telephones I wanted. So the first things I made was a pink and a green trimline type phones. I shaped and fiddled then figured out on my own I could wrap a snake of clay around a toothpick to get the coiled cord. Fascinated, I looked up some tutes for clay. Finding how to make a cane I though cool a walking cane! I need some men's accessories! Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it wasn't a walking cane at all. Then I was like NO Way! I couldn't believe that someone could make a 3-D design in the clay, stretch it out, and the picture still be intact inside the cane!?!

What is the most rewarding, interesting or even weirdest thing you've been asked to create?

Most rewarding are the Bottles of Hope I created for cancer survivors. I am most proud of the latest batch I did. They were figurines "offering the bottle". Weirdest was some miniature adult toys.

What are your hobbies, or how do you like to spend your free time, assuming you have any?

Polymer clay is my hobby. My hubby would probably be happier if I sold more but selling isn't my forte, so to speak. My other hobbies would be decorating my home, keeping tropical fish, holding the couch down and watching reality shows. Lastly, I am a total Internet junkie!!! After Polymer Clay true crime interests me and I am a lurker over at That board moves so fast I am doing my best most times to just read along but it's the first place I go after email, Flickr, and polymer clay sites.

Now for the fun stuff!

Favorite Color? Earth tones

Favorite Food? It changes, I get on kicks, It might be fruit this week and crab legs the next. I am not a big meat eater. I am not a vegetarian or anything I'm just not into most meats. Pasta is a big thing for me.

Favorite Song or Musical Artist? This also changes, Right now I listen to a lot of Country but I like a very wide variety of music. Sirius satellite radio is awesome!

Favorite Book or Author? When I can find the time to read its Koontz, King, Clancy, The last book I read was Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I thought it was better than The Davinci Code. I love to read history books, Colonial America, Revolutionary war, Civil war, Royalty, Biography's, True Crime. I can also get lost for hours in Magazines from the 50's and 60's. Cookbooks. Oh and what I call wish books, catalogs. I cant pass up a catalog!

Favorite Movie, Actor or Actress? I like animated movies. I rarely watch any other kind of movie.

Thanks so much, Pam!

*Photo transfer of Palmetto Tree in Photo 2 was taken by Susan Roberts of and was used in this design by permission

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My White Tiger Necklace is Featured in a GORGEOUS Treasury

This makes 4 times my White Tiger Necklace has been featured in a treasury, but I've got to say, this is my very favorite. It's called Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing! and it was created by Amy of Amy, you have exquisite taste in tigers!

Thank you so much for including my necklace!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Ass Is Grass And "Texture" Is The Lawnmower!

The theme of the September PCAGOE challenge is Texture. It is cutting my butt! I am all about smooth and glasslike and I cannot for the life of me come up with something I like for this challenge! I spent ALL DAY this past Saturday AND Sunday trying to come up with something that would work as an entry. 30 pendants or so later, I had some really pretty things, but none fit the category of "Texture". Sigh. I've got to go find my happy place for awhile.

This is one of the pendants I made. I actually think it is my favorite of all the pendants I've made so far. Faux Bone in Black and Gold 4I made it using the technique clayers use to make a faux bone finish, except I used black and gold metallic polymer clay. I really love this one, and it is mesmerizing. DO NOT STARE DIRECTLY AT IT! Watch out, it'll hypnotize you and I'll have you scratching behind your ear with your left leg and barking like a dog, not to mention what you might do to a fire hydrant.

Seriously, though. I really, really like the faux bone technique, and I am imagining all kinds of color combinations. Happy place, here I come. Somebody get me a margarita...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thanks, Stephanie!

Stephanie, a/k/a Mrsfatface, created a new treasury today featuring my Hummingbird Necklace

This necklace measures 25" excluding the pendant. The polymer clay pendant, in shades of violet, dusky rose, lavender, peridot green and shimmery pearl measures approximately 2" tall by 1 1/2" wide and 1/2" thick. I enhanced the pendant with gorgeous deep purple amethysts, lavender crystal pearls, Swarovski lime green bicone crystals, facted amethyst czech glass rondelles, and sterling silver spacer beads. It is finished with a sterling silver plate bail and s-hook clasp.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Favorites

I decided to add a new weekly feature to the blog. Things to go on my Christmas wish list, but I'll call them Friday Favorites. They are all items I've found at Etsy that I would love to have for my own. This week there is a TeamSC member among the picks ( and two PCAGOE members ( and I hope you like these gorgeous creations as much as I do!

My Copper and Turquoise Blue Necklace Won!

Copper and Turquoise MB5Copper and Turquoise MB Pendant

My Copper and Turquoise Polymer Clay Necklace won the TeamSC weekly challenge, the theme of which was "Blue"! I'm so excited, it is the first time I've won one of the weekly contests. Thanks to all the TeamSC members who voted for it, your checks are in the mail!

This bead was almost reborn as something else. It was one of the first polymer clay beads I ever made, the only spherical one I've made. It broke my heart when it came out of the oven with a slight hairline crack, but I couldn't bear to throw it away, so I put it aside. I got it out a couple of weekends ago and decided to make myself a necklace, and guess what? The hairline crack was gone! I love it so much, and I have worn the necklace several times. I always get stopped and asked where I bought it. I love the look on peoples' faces when I tell them I made it. I then explain the wonders of polymer clay. Yes, I'm converting the world to PC, one person at a time.

In fact, I am wearing this necklace today. I was in a blue mood this morning... not a blue funk, but a funky blue mood! I love the color blue, it is my second favorite color, after red. The colors in the Indigo to iolite range, sliding toward the purple end of the spectrum, are my favorite shades. Ironically, I don't make a lot of blue beads. I went looking for some inspiration this morning and found some really beautiful examples of blue designs in polymer clay. Aren't they great?

Bettina Walker, a/k/a beadworx, makes gorgeous bracelets, but I love her polymer clay pillboxes, too. Bettina was a graduate graphic designer running a small advertising agency for classical and new media when she discovered polymer clay in 2003 and immediately was fascinated by the unbelievable versatility of this material. Ever since she spent each and every minute creating intricate patterned canes, producing art beads, one-of-a-kind jewlery and decoration. She attended several classes with international teachers and organizes workshop weekends for the german clay community with renowened teachers like Lisa Pavelka and Sarah Shriver in 2006 and 2007. Since 2007 she has taught private classes at her home studio and workshops throughout the country. You can see more of Bettina's work in her shop at

These darling bluebird earrings are from the creative mind of Marie Chao, a/k/a Wumpus. What'a a Wumpus? A magical creature that is curious about all the wonderfully silly things in life, loves to play and vows to never grow up.

Marie says that when the days get too serious, the wumpus in her begs to jump out and be silly giddy happy. She loves hiding out and creating imaginary friends and telling stories about them, which often materialize in the form of drawings, photos, polymer clay creatures, short stories, and live on tee shirts, post cards, stickers, and other "crazy stuff". So, let the wumpus in you come out and play!

PCAGOE Artist of the Week - The Ametista Girls, Carrie & Kathy

This week I am featuring Carrie and Kathy, the duo known as Ametista. Carrie and Kathy have a passion for creating custom keepsakes, and love to take ideas and run with them, and as they say, sometimes with scissors! Their work is a wonderland of whimsey and a wonderful example of what can be done with polymer clay.

Who or what inspires or influences you? Do you have a
plan before you make a piece, or do the materials "speak"
to you?

Carrie - For commission pieces there’s a plan – for
personal creations, not so much. I wait for bits of scrappy
clay to speak to me!

Kathy – Carrie really inspires me the most. She’s
very creative and lots of fun to work with so that makes it
easy to let your creative side just flow.

What kind of materials do you use in your creations?

In addition to the polymer clay (solid and liquid),
we use powdered pigments, liquid chalk, metal findings,
alcohol inks, photo transfer paper, foil paper, metal wire,
paint, wood and glass…so far.

Do you have a certain design style?

Carrie - I’d like to think we do but I’m not yet sure
what to call it.

What is your favorite technique?

Carrie - Photo transfers with embellished polymer frames.

Kathy – that’s probably the same for me as well, even
though I’m working on some fairies.

Other than Etsy, where could someone find your

How long have you been involved in your craft, and how
did you get started?

Carrie - Hmmmm, just a few years really. We started out
designing and making jewelry together about 5 years ago and
then segued in clay and here we are.

Do you work from your home, or do you have a brick and
mortar store?

For now from home, but we can be found at

Do you have a method for remembering ideas you want to
implement, such as a notebook or tape recorder, etc.?

Carrie - Yes, we do our level best to write down our ideas
in our notebooks as they arrive. This basically translates
into a third of our ideas being written down and the other
two thirds being lost back into the cosmic universal idea

What do you do when you hit a brick wall creatively and
nothing is working?

Carrie – I stop and do something else for a while, it
always works!

Kathy – Ditto!

What is the most rewarding, interesting, or even
weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to make?

Carrie – well I just made a pair of earrings that had
glow in the dark eye balls on them for Kathy…I though
that was kinda weird.

Kathy – hey you know you loved doing them…lol! My mom
asked for a very special frame to be hung on her wall. It
had 3 crosses on the top left corner and the Bible on the
bottom right corner and part of her favorite song inside
the frame.

What are some of your goals for your craft, and where
do you hope it will take you? Where do you see yourself in
5 years?

Kathy – just to be able to share what we do with
everyone, to continue to bring a piece of art into their

What is your favorite part of being a member of PCAGOE?

Carrie - Since Kathy and I joined PCAGOE, we’ve received
feedback, ideas, encouragements, challenges and incredible
inspiration…all my favorites.

What are your hobbies, or how do you like to spend your
free time, assuming you have any?

Carrie – I study astrology, numerology, kabbalah, little
physics, tarot, palmistry…all things mystical and
spiritual oh and I enjoy watching IFC.

Kathy – continue on improving my photography skills (I
have so much to learn), scrapbooking, Pilates, yoga,
walking my rather large dog and vacationing with the

Favorite color?

Carrie – Violet
Kathy – hmmm…blues

Favorite food?

Carrie – Yes, food is my favorite! LOL
Kathy – Spicey Cajon Seafood!

Favorite song or musical artist?

Carrie - right now I’m listening to Kate Nash
Kathy – Wow, too many to list...

Favorite book or author?

Carrie – Hard to pick one, but JK Rowling is a favorite.

Favorite movie, actor or actress?

Carrie – Too many to pick
Kathy – My all time favorite movie is “To Kill a
Mockingbird” it!

Thanks, ladies. What a great interview!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dr. Seuss and the Letter "H"

Dr. Seuss H 6U Dr. Seuss H View 3

I was asked to do a second tile for PCAGOE's Alphabet Project for a children's hospital, an orange "H".

I immediately thought of Dr. Seuss and the Whoville characters. I've always loved his books, and this is my tribute to him. The tile is 2" square and roughly 1" tall (which unfortunately exceeds the maximum height requirement, but maybe they won't notice?). I made it from Studio Clementine orange and Studio Peacock polymer clay, and Kato white clay. I wanted the base to be puffy, cartoony, larger than life. I can't sculp, so as much as I wanted to add some whimsey on top, an embossed white slab with the blue and orange letter block was the best I could do. It was a hit at home, so I hope the kids who receive it will love it, too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

RUSTic Beauty and Decay

I love rust! Really. There is beauty in decay, don't you think?

I'm working on a design for the PCAGOE September challenge, which is Texture, and I had some items bookmarked at Etsy as favorites that I thought would inspire me. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and snagged a treasury for them. Isn't it pretty? If you'd like to see the items in more detail, you can visit the treasury at

Monday, August 11, 2008

Twice the Fun!

Here are two brand new Treasuries featuring TeamSC artisans. The first was created by Jacki of It makes me feel happy with the bright, sunny yellow colors. Thanks for including my Tribal Gold pendant, Jacki!

The second treasury was created by Taylor of I love the bold black, white and gray of this treasury. My White Zebra necklace fits right in, doesn't it? Thanks, Taylor, for including me!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spotlight on PCAGOE Artist - Stormy Designs

This week I'm turning the spotlight on PCAGOE member Stormy of Stormy creates unique sculptures, art, home decor, art jewelry and accessories from polymer clay. Her seahorses and dragons are instantly recognizable for their amazing detail and embellishments, such as crystals and gemstones.

So Stormy, tell me a little about what got you started working with
polymer clay

I had started beading again and wasn't happy with the selection of beads in the local craft store. Seems the color or size of their beads wasn't what I was needing. Frustrated I asked a dear online friend about her beading and she got to talking about polymer clay and how she was making her own beads. She encouraged me to try it out and said that I would love it. She was right, and now I rarely buy store bought beads.

Do you have a certain design style or favorite technique?

Since I'm still much a newbie, I've only been working with polymer clay since April 2007, I have yet to find my own style. I'm having alot of fun trying out many different techniques though.

Who or what inspires or influences you?

Other artists inspire me. It was the work of Christi Friesen that inspired me to do my first dragon sculpture. Many artists, especially those members of the Polymer Clay Central forum and the PCAGOE inspire me. Their work is amazing.

Do you have a plan before you make a piece, or do you just
go with the flow?

It depends on what I'm making. Sometimes I plan something and have to change the design several times to make it work. Sometimes I just pick up the clay and start playing and make something just out of my head. I see a really neat blend of colors or piece of Mokume Gane that would be perfect for a pendant or something, and I'll stop what I'm doing and work on it. My muse usually has full rein when I clay, which often results in several unfinished projects sitting while I work on something else.

Other than Etsy, where can your creations be found?

I have some of my creations in my eCrater shop,

What are some of your goals for your craft, and where do you hope it will take you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to develop a few successful selling items. I would like to be able to support my clay habit and have a little left over. In 5 years, who knows? Maybe teaching? I just enjoy claying.

What are your hobbies, or how do you like to spend your free time, assuming you have any?

Besides claying, I like to read a good novel, walk my dog, enjoy nature. Photographing nature and animals, watching the deer and other critters that live in our woods.

Favorite color? Purple although I wear black mostly.
Favorite food? Anything chocolate.
Favorite book or author? Nora Roberts is my favorite author, I've read every book our local library has of hers.
Favorite TV shows? Grey's Anatomy, Men In Trees, Army Wives

Monday, August 4, 2008

Palmetto Pride!

One of my favorite images is the South Carolina state flag. The United States flag gives me goose bumps, but I get choked up whenever I see the SC State flag flying. The indigo blue background and the white Palmetto and Crescent is stunning, and I never get tired of looking at it.

I managed to snag an Etsy Treasury today, and I knew just what I wanted to put in it, lots of pictures of Palmetto Trees! Some of the items were created by my very talented fellow TeamSC members. Isn't it gorgeous? Please visit it and check out the talented artisans behind the photos.

Palmetto Pride Treasury

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Featured in a New Treasury!

I love finding myself in a treasury! LOL I was browsing through the Etsy Treasuries this morning and found this one. My Black Phoenix Necklace is featured! The polymer clay pendant is gunmetal gray metallic clay embossed with a phoenix design and enhanced with mauve/pink rhodochrosite, gorgeous Picasso Jasper puffed squares, carved black horn bone beads and shiny black hematite rondelles. You can find it in my etsy store at

Friday, August 1, 2008

PCAGOE August Challenge - It's Show Time!

It's that time again! Please vote for your favorite entry from the August challenge sponsored by the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy, the theme of which is "IT'S SHOW TIME!".

Several PCAGOE members took the challenge and created some fantastic items out of polymer clay to pay tribute to their favorite film or TV show. My entry is #2, which I blogged about last week, and I hope you like it. If you do, please show your support and vote for it at Voters are also eligible for prizes, which can also been seen at the website. Two lucky voters chosen by random drawing will receive some gorgeous polymer clay pieces, so please vote and show your support for your favorite design!

Thank you!