Saturday, May 30, 2009

Double Delight!

I am featured in two beautiful PCAGOE treasuries this week, the first is titled Come In And Take A Load Off and was created by my friend Angela of PolymerClayCreations, who graciously included my Beautiful Decay Necklace. Thank you so much, Angela!

Angela's PCAGOE Come On In And Take A Load Off Treasury

Beautiful Decay Necklace

Jill's PCAGOE June Is For Brides Treasury 1

The second treasury was created by Jill Palumbo. She included my Southern Nights Magnolia Pendant in her gorgeous treasury titled June Is For Brides. Thank you, Jill!

Southern Nights Magnolia Pendant

It is an honor to be chosen and in the company of such talented artists!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I Did Last Weekend

Two new necklace designs with pendants you've probably seen. I'm running so far behind in getting necklaces made, I'm lucky if I get 1 necklace to every 50 pendants completed. I have too much fun making the pendants to do the rest of the work!

Here are two I did Memorial Day weekend. I am so happy Ghost Bird finally found his home. I was getting anxious that his gemstones would never come to the forefront of my mind, but the minute I saw the square-cut Smoky Quartz beads, I knew where he belonged.

Ghost Bird Necklace

Ghost Bird Necklace

Crimson Carnation Necklace 5

Same goes for the Carnation Crimson pendant. Sometimes I get so anxious that I am going to make the wrong choice of gemstones, but I think I got it right this time. I cannot get enough of these tiger jasper beads. I would like to corner the world market on them so no one else can have any! Tiger Jasper is a chameleon stone, it goes with everything, and I should have known it would work wonderfully with this pendant.

Crimson Carnation Necklace

Monet's Water Lilies Go Western, Yee Haw! My Entry in the May ABS Challenge Contest

May ABS Entry - Monets Water Lilies Go Western 2

I love the monthly challenges sponsored by the talented ladies at Art Bead Scene. They get very creative with the contests, and the prizes are always fabulous. The "winner" is chosen at random, so it isn't like you're being judged on your creativity or skill, it is just a good excuse for me to play with clay and have fun.

I love seeing how other people interpret the themes, which this month is Monet's "Water Lilies" series, which happen to be some of my favorite paintings anyway. It is up to the designer how to interpret the theme, so you know I had to take a stab at an image transfer!

Ol' Monet would probably roll over in his grave to see how I paired his beautiful painting with Southwestern turquoise, and I fully expected not to like it, AND it was kind of shocking to see the final design, but me likey! I almost called this Monet Cowgirl!

Who wouldn't want to wear all these beautiful colors of turqouise together? I think this one is destined for my own private jewelry collection. I'm not sharing!

So please check out the other entries at the Art Bead Scene flickr pool and check the ABS blog on June 1st to see who wins this month! You can also check out more photos of my entry in my flickr photo pool.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Best Friends Brooch Featured In A New Treasury!

Thank you, Linda Riopel, a/k/a NKDesigns, for featuring all PCAGOE members in her newest treasury, "Who Let The Dogs Out, The Cat!" , and for including my Best Friends Brooch. You are the best!

Best Friends

Best Friends Brooch

Friday, May 22, 2009

Buddy Poppies For Memorial Day

Many people know and understand the significance of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it used to be known long ago, to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives in battle for our country.

Some people here still drape their porches with patriotic bunting and fly the American flag. Almost everyone I know celebrates the holiday in one way or another, but nowadays, it is more a celebration for having a day off from work than in remembrance. Picnics and cookouts, BBQ and lemonade are the order of the day, as they will be at my house, although I do fly the flag every day.

I grew up near the site of Rivers Bridge, where a Civil War battle took place between February 2nd and 4th in 1865 during Sherman's March To The Sea. South Carolina was on fire, literally, during that couple of weeks. Sherman burned his way through much of the lowcountry, where I live, destroying courthouses and homes and lives in the process. Such is War, of course, and there are always two sides of every conflict, but living here and working in and out of every Courthouse within a 50-mile radius of the battlefield, as a real estate and probate paralegal and genealogist for the past 30 years, I am intimately familiar with the effects of his ordered destruction of historical records and buildings, the loss of which is immeasurable and saddens me greatly.

To my knowledge, I did not lose any ancestors or family members to War, and for that I am thankful, but several of my ancestors fought in wars waged by and against this Country down through the years. My great, great grandfather, James R. Moseley, served as a private in the Confederate army and was captured and sent to Hart's Island, a Confederate internment camp in New York, where he remained until the War ended. Oral family history is that it took him almost a year to walk home to South Carolina.

Every year on the anniversary of the Battle of Rivers Bridge, a group of people reenacts the battle in historically accurate detail. People come from everywhere to watch the men and women in period costumes, and red crepe paper poppies are in abundant display. When I was a teenager, I volunteered to make red crepe paper poppies for the VFW. I was well-aquainted with one of the ladies in the Women's Auxilliary of the VFW, "Miss Olanthe" Ashe, who was our Clerk of Court for decades until her death in 1987. Miss Olanthe pressed me into service, so to speak, and we spent many a lunch hour in the little cloakroom in the Clerk of Court's office, making red crepe paper poppies to be sold by the auxilliary to help maintain the graves at the battlesite and the site itself.

Whenever I think of Memorial Day, I think of those red, crepe paper poppies, which are now officially known as "Buddy Poppies", but I did not learn until I was older the reason we made poppies in particular, so I thought I would post the poem from which the idea came, and salute the men and women who gave of themselves and made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live free. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

by John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Faux Leopard Print Necklace is Featured in A Treasury!

Thanks to my good friend, Linda Riopel, a/k/a NKDesigns, for including my Faux Leopard Print Image Transfer Necklace in her beautiful treasury entitled "Stick Your Neck Out!", all necklace designs created by the mega-talented members of PCAGOE. Thank you, Linda! You rock!

Faux Leopard Print Image Transfer Necklace

Please visit the member shops to see more of their wonderful designs!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Images, Images Everywhere!

I might have mentioned that I'm a little OC, Obsessive-Compulsive. Well, I am, so I might as well admit it!

I turned my OC eye to my studio Saturday and realized there was a better way to keep my collection of images for transfers than I was utilizing, so I set about organizing them. I went out and bought some of those pretty Martha Stewart-ish looking photo boxes, you know the ones with the index card dividers with the alphabet on them, and some 3x5 plastic bags. Then I started sorting. Okay, so I get to BIRDS. Hmmm, I've got probably 500 bird images, but putting them altogether wouldn't help when I needed one yellow bird in a hurry. So I decided to subgroup them into colors. Hmmm. That worked until I got to BROWN BIRDS. I did not realize I had so many Brown bird images. So then I decided to group them by BIRD NAME. Hmmm. Then I had to get the encyclopedia out, because my internet connection was on the fritz due to a thunderstorm Saturday morning. Well, it turns out that as smart as I think I am, I do not know my robins from my orioles. Hmmm. So I decided, 3 hours after my initial foray into organizing the images, to just put all 'dem BIRDS back in one bag under "B". Lord knows my OC self would have had a conniption fit by the time I got to FLOWERS. Shudder.

By Saturday night, still no internet connection (how do people live without it?), so I sanded and buffed some pieces I cured Thursday night for our weekly PCAGOE Clay and Play night. Notice there is only one bird pendant. I think that is a Robin, or is it an Oriole?

Bird Study 2a Roses on Sheet music bead 4b Coral Flower and Bud 1 Carte Postale 1 Daisy Canvas 1 Rose Notes1

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Am The Featured Artist At Animal Print Essentials Today!

I am thrilled and honored to be the featured artist at Maria DeGange's blog. Maria is an interior designer and the owner of Animal Print Essentials. She has searched the globe for interesting and exotic items in various mediums which feature animal print patterns, from wallets and purses to furniture, and gathered them all together in one place for you to see. If you are a lover of animal print patterns like me, a visit to her catalog is a must. As my friends would say, it is positively droolworthy!

Thank you again, Maria, for the wonderful opportunity!

My Bird Brooches Featured In Two Treasuries!

Thank you to my friend and fellow PCAGOE team member, Tina, a/k/a Chicki for including my Primitive Bird Brooch in her beautiful "Hints of Green", all PCAGOE Treasury, my first since rejoining the guild earlier this week. Don't we have some talented folks in the guild?

And, what a surprise, I found my MP Bird Brooch in another gorgeous treasury titled "Baked Earth" made by PandaLuv

Thanks, ladies!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Googling My Analytics

I added Google Analytics to my Etsy shop last month, and I am amazed at the number of views and the places from which they come. If any of you have Etsy shops, you should really take a look at this free marketing tool. It only takes a few minutes to sign up, and provides tons of interesting information to help you market your artwork.

I just checked, and from April 5 to May 5, I have had 2,219 views from every state in the U.S. except Rhode Island, and from 42 countries and territories: The United States, Canada (I am very big in Canada, Hee Hee), Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Isreal, Russia, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Austria, Cyprus, Sweden, Slovenia, Japan, New Zealand, Bermuda, Gabon, Jordan, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Panama, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Hungary, Malaysia, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Latvia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

That is so cool! I am still amazed that you can pick up a phone and call someone on the other side of the world with no wires between you! To see that someone from Gabon actually window-shopped at my little store just thrills me.

And, the average visit to each page is 2 minutes, 34 seconds. I think that is amazing, considering how I flit around the internet. 2.34 minutes is a long time to stay on one webpage, so I must be doing something right!

So a big thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my shop and browse the items, and hey, if you know happen to know anyone living in Rhode Island, tell them to go have a look-see, okay?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lifeus Interruptus

I intended to get in the studio and stay there all weekend, but several things happened to prevent me from being able to do as I planned. I did make a few new vintage look floral pendants and brooches, and I finished a custom order for a client. Since the styles and techniques are so far apart, it was a little jarring to go from one to the other, and it took me a few minutes to wrap my mind around what to do for the client.

Several months ago, when I first started experimenting with using embossing powders for texture, I made a series of beads I called "Gunpowder and Gold". They were made from Black and Gold clay, and I rolled some Gold snakes in black embossing powder to make this little pendant, which measures about 1 1/2" by 1". I made myself a necklace from it, and my friend Catherine saw it, she asked me to make a necklace for her with a bigger, more squared pendant in the same pattern.

This is what I came up with, after my mind shifted gears from image transfers. I hope she likes it.

These are the image transfers I cured Saturday, and sanded and buffed yesterday. I think I am going to have to take a course on flower names, though. Does anyone know if the purple blooming flower is really a delphinium? That is what I have been calling it.

Tangerine Lily Pendant

Burgundy Carnation Pendant

Watercolor Butterflies Series - Red Gold and Blue Black

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Favorites May 1, 2009

I cannot believe it is May already. The year is speeding by too fast for me. I need a few more hours out of each day. I realized I have not posted a Friday Favorites lately, so here are my pics for today, all Polymer Clay Art and Artists I discovered on my jaunt through Etsy the other day to check out my favorite Sellers' newest works. It is not by chance more than a few depict image transfer techniques.

Lynn Davis is one of my favorite polymer clay artists. I purchased a Carpe Diem Heart from her ExpeditionD shop a couple of weeks ago (she also sells under her name), and it has quickly become one of my most prized treasures. It is definitely the tiniest piece of art I own, at 1" by 1", and evokes so much emotion every time I look at it.

Bethany Cooper's Copper Clay Tile Pin grabbed my attention the first moment I saw it. It is awesome, and the next thing on my "buy" list. You would never guess it is made from polymer clay. That frame looks like real, aged copper. It has a touch of verdigris, which you know I love.

EyeOfTheTiger's Heavenly Cherubs On A Cloud Brooch is an exquisite example of image transfer onto polymer clay. I absolutely love the cutwork detail, which is extremely hard to do and not botch. Trust me, I've tried.

And I am a huge fan of Shabby Chic/Cottage Chic decor, and MenagerieStudio's Shabby Chic Heart Charm really appeals to me. This piece is deceptively simple looking, too. There are actually several techniques evident in this piece: Image transfer, embossing, aging and crackling. It is really stunning. I am going back to drool over more charms from this Seller.

Here is a link to all the Art and Artists featured. Please visit their shops for more examples of the versatility of polymer clay. The possibilities really are endless!

Shabby Chic Heart Charm - MenagerieStudio