Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Sage Bird Featured On Pip's Blog

My sage little Sage Bird Pendant is featured today at my friend Pippa Chandler's blog.

Pippa lives in the United Kingdom and is a gifted and supremely talented Polymer Clay artist. She and I share a love hate relationship with sandpaper. We are admitted sanding and buffing addicts. Yes, we've never seen a piece of polymer clay we haven't sanded and buffed to a glassy shine!

I adore Pippa's work and am so glad to be able to call her a friend. I think she must have a perpetually sunny disposition. If she ever has a bad day, you'd never know it from talking to her.

Pippa, you are a sister of my heart, even though you don't talk with a drawl or have bigass hair, and you really are THE BEST! Thank you again!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pay It Forward!



I love the idea behind Random Acts of Kindness and Pay It Forward. I've been the giver and the recipient numerous times, and nothing makes you feel as good as doing something nice for your fellow hooman beans. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea, which comes from Christi at 2ifbysea. Thank you, Christi.

Okay, here we go:

Creative people are adventurous! So, if you would like to participate, please send me a comment and the first five people will receive something from me in the mail. Here are the rules, and happy posting!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. This is an adventure!

2. What I create will be just for you with love and good wishes. It will be made of actual materials, not of cyberspace.

3. It will be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be!

5. In return, all you need to do is cut and paste this text on your Blog (from "Creative People are..." and create Five things for the first 5 people to respond to your post.

6. Send your mailing address after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if you do not post on your own blog to pay this forward.

Thanks so much!

Monday, April 27, 2009

My MPBird Brooch Featured at CraftGossip Today!

What a nice surprise to wake up to on this glorious Spring morning! Thank you, Julie, for including my new MPBird Brooch in your Monday Morning Mosaic at My friend Mary Ellen, a/k/a BeeTreeByMe is also included. That is her beautiful little Sea Green Turtle right beside my birdie.

What a great way to start the week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bird Beads: A New Chapter

I have had a productive weekend so far. I made 25 new pieces and only two sailed into the "Butt Uglies" jar!

I wanted to see what I could do with some of the larger bird images I purchased. I was cruising around Etsy Friday afternoon, checking to see what was new in some of my favorite Sellers' shops, and I stopped at Marcia Palmer's store.

Marcia Palmer is a polymer clay artist from Atlanta, although she works in other mediums besides clay. I admire Marcia's work tremendously. She has been a huge inspiration to me since I started working with clay almost two years ago. I think our sense of color and composition are similar, although she may not like the comparison. Her combination of warm, earthy colors and bold and exciting patterns and rich detail are what I strive for in my own work. I visit her shop and drool. Everything is so beautiful.

I purchased some background patterns a few months ago and haven't been able to come up with a way to use them until this weekend. I looked at the larger bird images and realized they would be perfect against the brick reds, mustard yellows and burnt oranges in the patterns of the backgrounds, made even more vivid by black outlines. They are all distressed to look even more "vintage". You know I love that vintage look! I really like the way these turned out, and hope to complete a few more next week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Think Green Today

Happy Earth Day, everyone! I have to admit, I have not been the world's best recycler in the past, but I am trying to do better. I watched Al Gore's documentary recently and it gave me the heebeejeebees. Now I'm using non-aerosol hairspray, I sort my trash into Paper, Plastic and Glass, I buy bio-degradable cat litter, and I take cloth totes to the grocery store. I also try to buy recycled paper products whenever I can.

As a life-long crafter, I've used found objects practically my whole life, so I do contribute to sustainable art, although I'd like to do more. I recently "repurposed" some frosted glass, empty room freshener plug-in bottles and a couple of mini bottles (I didn't drink them, Ma, they were given to me) by covering them with polymer clay.

These aren't new works, but since today is Earth Day, I thought I would show off my "sustainable art". I just finished off a bottle of my favorite perfume, Ralph Lauren Blue, and I am really excited the possibilities of what I can do with it. It has a very intriguing square shape. I'll post photos when I finish it. All those corners would be a real test of the ol' image transfer technique, though.

Be good to your Earth. It's the only one you've got!

Monday, April 20, 2009

In The Zone

I spent the weekend surrounded by image transfers. I had big plans to work the entire weekend to get some Spring themed items in the Etsy store. I got up at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning and started cutting and trimming a few hundred images, picked 50 of my favorites and dived in, only to come to a screaching halt when I ran out of Premo Pearl clay about halfway through the first batch. So I had to stop, take a shower, get dressed, put on makeup, fix my hair (I don't go anywhere without hair and makeup, people. I would scare small children!) and make the 215 mile, round trip from the boonies where I live to the nearest craft store, a Hobby Lobby, only to discover their inventory of Pearl was hard as a brick. I bought 2 small packages anyway and some Premo clay softener, which I had never used before, and crossed my fingers it would work.

It worked, but put me behind about 6 hours, so I ended up pulling an all-nighter Saturday night. I'm sure you know how it is...when you get on a roll and forget time and food and the doorbell and're in THE ZONE.

It took me awhile to get my momentum back, but I ended up making 30 new pieces brooches and pendants and bird beads from my new collection of vintage book illustrations of flowers and shells and Japanese postcards. I ended up going to bed about 5:00 a.m. Sunday.

The only bad thing about making so many new pieces at one time is that they all have to be sanded and buffed, which I normally don't mind. In fact, sanding is very cathartic, but 30 pieces took all day Sunday to complete, but my elbows and arms feel like lead weights this morning.

You can see more of my weekend efforts at my flickr photostream. And I ordered several one pound blocks of Premo Pearl this morning with express delivery, so I should be good to go again by Thursday! Next up, those vintage shells on ephemera backgrounds I didn't get to, and some historic places images!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Saga Continues

Here are my latest efforts in the Bird Bead series, good but still working on the color. I wanted to try a little darker background than the original beads, but think the next ones I make will be with much lighter backgrounds. Overall, I'm pleased with these, but I've still got some ideas I want to try. I think I'm going to wait for my new embossing powders to arrive, though. Hopefully, they will be here by the weekend and I can play with them.

Bird Beads Batch 3 Photo 3 Bird Beads Batch 3 Pendant 1

Bird Beads Batch 3 Photo 1

This pendant was made with the last little bit of the original colored clay. I really like it. I call it Ghost Bird because he's a mere shadow of his former self!

Bird Beads Pendant

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thank You, Everyone!

Wow! I am just overwhelmed at the wonderful response the Bird Beads have gotten since Cynthia Tinapple featured them at Polymer Clay Daily yesterday.

As of this morning, I had 2,747 new hits on the flickr site and 985 new hits here at the blog, and many new visits to the Etsy store. I just wanted to thank all my friends, old and new, who visited the PCD site, my flickr photostream, and here at the blog; and especially those of you who left the wonderful comments, and everyone who emailed me with your congratulations and support. It has been a huge boost to my confidence and I'm very excited about new design ideas featuring the vintage bird images. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

The plan was to go home last night and start making new Bird Beads for the Etsy shop out of the clay I blended Monday night, about three pounds worth! Well, you know what they say about those best laid plans? I learned a valuable lesson: While Studio by Sculpey clay offers a wonderful color palette for Bird Bead backgrounds, it is not the clay for Bird Beads. It is just too soft. I made this agonzing discovery after transferring about 20 images to the conditioned clay. Even after letting the clay rest all night Monday night and all day Tuesday, when I started to form the beads, it was immediately clear that the clay was too soft to hold the images intact.

The thing about image transfers is that you can't handle them too much, or you get distortion. When I first started doing transfers on polymer clay, the Studio seemed to be the best choice to use, but I wasn't manipulating the images around corners back then, either. Studio is just too soft for the Bird Beads, and I am sad to report Bird Bead Batch #2 will never see the light of day.

The good news is, I conditioned and blended some Premo clay last night. I had already switched from Studio to the metallic clays by Premo and Kato for most of my image transfers anyway. I should have listened to my inner voice this time, too, but those colors called to me. Oh, well. Batch Three is on the agenda tonight!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Bird Beads Are Featured At Polymer Clay Daily Today!

Cynthia Tinapple took a liking to my little Bird Beads and featured them in an article today at Polymer Clay Daily. Cynthia, I can't thank you enough. This is so exciting!

I worked up several batches of clay last night for new Bird Beads in different colors, and I ordered the complete line of Ranger Distress Embossing Powders from Blockhead Stamps. I wish now that I had taken photos of the clay. It took me several hours, but I finally got the colors I wanted and hopefully will be able to make a nice selection tonight, that is, if I get down off Cloud 9!

Thank you again, Cynthia! I love your wonderful blog, and it is such an honor to be included among the talented artists you showcase.

As my friend Linda Riopel would say "Big circles, big circles!"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bird Beads Galore

I hope everyone enjoyed a happy Easter weekend. My family got together yesterday for lunch, and I ate until I could not put another forkful in my mouth.

I got back home and immediately went to work, trying to put to clay several ideas I had yesterday using the vintage bird illustrations. I wanted to do some 25mm-35mm sized beads which could be used as pendants with brass components, that Victorian/English Garden look which is so popular right now.

Several months ago, I started experimenting with using the Ranger line of distressed embossing powders to add texture to my clay pieces. I had one of those light bulb above the head moments and realized they would be perfect to add the speckles to clay to resemble the look of bird eggs. I have some Pinata inks, but I like the bumpy texture you get from embedding the embossing powders even better, and reached for the Copper and Weathered Wood. I made these and am imagining many more with different colored backgrounds.

Bird Bead Series Beads 1 and 2 (b) Bird Bead Series Bead 3 (b)

I also made my first pillow bead! It isn't a very good one, but I kind of like it, and I had so much fun making it, I'm going to keep practicing and making more. I have a bunch of inchies which would be perfect for little square pillow beads.

Dahlia Pillow Bead 1 Dahlia Pillow Bead 3

This is the reverse side of the pillow bead. It is a piece of William Morris fabric blown up 200%! I dinged it up to make it look more vintage. I know, sometimes you can take the distressing too far, but I like it. This piece reminds me of a piece my friend Kate at organicodysseys did recently. I may have had some subliminal influence from her! :)

Dahlia Pillow Bead reverse

Off to the studio!

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Image Transfer Pieces - LOVE That Vintage Look!

I have been itching to do some more image transfers of vintage book illustrations, and I found a wonderful new source for them in Sabine Berg's Etsy shop, sabinesydney. Sabine sells the most gorgeous digital images. I have plundered through many, many digital collections at Etsy, and hers is one of the best. It is almost like she created them just for me. They are exactly to my taste and pefect for what I want to do.

Here are a few pieces I finished last night.

Vintage Wild Orchid Illustration Pendant 2 Vintage Fuschia Orchid Illustration Brooch 1

Small Vintage Bird Illustration Brooch 3 Vintage Bird Illustration Pendant 1

I still have tons more vintage images from Sabine to put to clay: Beautiful shells, birds' eggs, birds' nests and florals on ephemera backgrounds. Whether you work in polymer clay or scrapbooking, cardmaking or whatever, you owe it to yourself to visit Sabine's shop.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can I Get A Witness?

I snagged a Treasury today titled "Can I Get A Witness?" , and filled it with some old friends and favorite new polymer clay artisans.

I love all of these pieces. Isn't that "See No, Speak No, Hear No Evil Funky Monkey" magnet cute? I could send a few of those to some special people this week, bless their hearts.

Please visit the treasury and give it some love by clicking on the photos and leaving a comment for these wonderfully talented artists!

Thank you!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just Because You Hear Hoofbeats Doesn't Mean It's A Horse

My 15 year old niece Kaitlyn was born with Common Variable Immune Deficiency Disease, or CVID. In layman's terms, her immune system is almost non-existent.

In 1976, another child who suffered from a form of this disease was portrayed in a made-for-TV movie starring John Travolta. That child's name was David Vetter. The movie was called "The Boy In the Bubble." David lived for 13 years, most of it in a sterile environment at a hospital, encased in a bubble which prevented him from contracting germs which most of us throw off every day. Children like David and Kaitlyn can't shake off common colds and such like most of us do, and we live with the constant fear that a super bug, flu virus, pandemic or epidemic would be fatal to her.

CVID is a life-long, chronic, life-threatening disease. Kaitlyn takes an intravenous treatment of a synthetic drug manufactured from blood plasma once a week just to survive. David Vetter died while this same medicine was in the process of being approved by the FDA.

Kaitlyn is one of only nine people in the State of South Carolina who have CVID. Prior to last year, she had to travel to a large hospital in Columbia, about 200 miles round trip, once a month to have the treatments administered through a port in her stomach.

For the last year, Kaitlyn has administered the drug to herself at home, the first person in the State to be able to do so, but even after cutting out the monthly expense of traveling, her treatments still cost over $4,500.00 per month. It is a devastating disease to the families of those suffering from it as well.

Thank goodness our Kaitlyn doesn't have to be isolated in a sterile bubble like David Vetter. The medical community has come a long way since then, but it takes money and research. The Immune Deficiency Foundation is having a fundraiser drive, and Kaitlyn is hoping to raise $1,000.00 for the IDF between now and June 15, 2009.

The theme of the fundraising project this year is "Think Zebra". In medical school, doctors are taught that "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses", which means they focus on the likeliest possibilities in making a diagnosis. But we want the medical community to sit up and take notice: Just because you hear hoofbeats doesn't mean it's a horse. It could be a zebra! CVID is a very difficult disease to diagnose, which is why IDF says it is a zebra instead of a horse.

For every $10 donated, the donor will receive a zebra print bracelet inscribed with the foundation's name. I hope you will consider making a donation in honor of my niece, Kaitlyn Moseley, to help her further the fight against this horrible disease, or in honor of the healthy children in your life.

And please remember Kaitlyn and the other children who suffer from this disease in your thoughts and prayers.

Kaitlyn is a beautiful, smart, witty, vivacious, and charming young lady. She has actively campaigned to bring attention to this horrible disease. She has served as a member of the National Teen IDF Board and traveled to Chicago last year to speak at the convention. She also campaigns for blood donations to the Red Cross, and if you are not able to make a monetary donation, I hope you will consider making a donation of blood in her honor at your local blood bank or at the next blood drive. It takes 45 pints of blood to harvest enough plasma for ONE treatment.

Thank you so much!

Lynda Moseley

IDF Think Zebra Campaign
The Red Cross

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Featured on Tonja Lenderman's Blog Today!

Faux Antiqued Bronze Bas Relief Pendant

Tonja Lenderman featured my Faux Antiqued Bronze Bas Relief pendant on her blog at Polyclay Corner. It is her "flickr find" for today.

Tonja's blog is a new favorite blog, too. If you have not visited it yet, you must. It is the best kind of blog, informative and inspirational. I guarantee if you take a look, you will learn something new and find all kinds of things to love.

And Tonja, if you want to call this piece faux tooled leather, I will happily change the name! Thank you again for the lovely compliment.