Thursday, October 29, 2009

November PCAGOE Challenge - It's Almost Time To Vote!

November Mosaic

Here is a mosaic of the entries in the PCAGOE November challenge, "Metallic Showdown!". I can't believe all the gorgeous entries this month. We were required to showcase metallic clay in our entry pieces, and the metals are well-represented.

So don't forget to vote for your favorite entry at between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7 for your chance to win a beautiful polymer clay prize created by our member artists.

And stay tuned for a sneak preview of our Holiday Stocking Giveaway! Like Santa Claus, it's coming soon!

Members entering this month:

1) Heather Moor by CrazyDay
2) Lost At Sea by LaurelSteven
3) Doric Garden Sculpted Polymer Clay and Wire Bead by JKollmann
4) Metallic Millefiori Barrette by KellyPlaysClay
5) Gridlock Pendant by ClayAngel
6) Multi-Metallic Retro Pendant by AshPaints
7) Three Tiered Earrings by MarciaPalmer
8) Copper Faux Snakeskin and Mica Shift Cuff by 11BoldStreet
9) Faux Antique Brass Asian Lotus Blossoms and Chrysanthemums Necklace by SCDiva
10) Bronze Age Beads by RMKDesign
11) Copper Frenzy by MirameCreations
12) Faux Mokume Gane and Mica Shift Autumn Leaves Necklace and Earrings by ClayHappy
13) Metallic Mix Polymer Clay Pendant by FungibleElements
14) Faux Mokume Gane Pearl and Multi Colored Metallic Necklace by Jencom72
15) Black and Gold by Studioschiek
16) Ms. Robot by BeeTreeByMe
17) Elf Ornament Art Doll by SpiritMama
18) Golden Millefiori Bell-Shaped Ornament by PolymerClayCreations

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Brassy Babe for The November PCAGOE Challenge

I've been working on an entry piece for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's November challenge, the theme of which is "Metallic Showdown". We are required to use metallic clay in the entries. Now, I know what you're thinking, Miss CopperDiva will certainly make a copper piece from my signature antique copper blend. Well, I thought so, too, but after playing around with black and gold for a smaller embossed piece, I smooshed the black and gold together, added some gold and black embossing powder, and got the most gorgeous, antique brass-colored clay. Having just received a shipment of these beautiful antique finish brass cutwork flower beads from, the old lightbulb went off in my head and I made this piece. This is one of the few times I have bought the beads first and then decided what to make to go with them, usually it is the other way around, make the pendant and then go looking for their bead matches. I still prefer to do that, less chance of disappointment that way, but this one turned out even better than I expected and I decided to use it as my challenge piece.

You can see all of the entries in our monthly challenge photo pool at flickr. Voting begins November 1, 2009 at and ends at midnight, Eastern US time on November 7. The winners will be announced on the 8th at There are some really stunning entries so far and there will be more posted to the pool shortly, so stay tuned. PLUS, five lucky voters chosen at random will win a beautiful polymer clay prize handcrafted by one of our member artists!

Here are the other two small pieces I made before I smooshed the black and gold clay together, and I already have plans for more of these stripedy (yes, it is a word) embossed pieces in random colors...speaking of copper...hmmm. These look like Tiger Eye to me, so I named them Faux Tiger Eye 1 and 2.



Monday, October 19, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

It was a very busy weekend at the Diva house. I had several custom orders to make and mail. I also wanted to get started on my entry for the PCAGOE November challenge, the theme of which is "Metallic Showdown"; and more Christmas ornaments in the PCDiva shop, after Miss Lynn (Thank you, Lynn!) bought half my inventory; and I have been dying to experiment some more with the cylindrical-shaped beads like the balloon beads below.

In the past few weeks, I've had requests for more Pendants using the vintage William Morris textile images and the vintage Japanese Woodcut images, and some animal print pendants, so I made several of each of those, and sat down to improve on the prototype for the "balloon beads". I made these lovelies, which I am calling my Vintage French Ephemera Series. I ran out of the 20mm copper bead caps (and cannot for the life of me remember where I purchased them!) and I had some 5mm sterling silver pandora rivets, so I used them instead. I can't wait to try this shape with the heirloom roses and vintage florals... and butterflies... and animal prints... and stamped...

Vintage French Ephemera Series

Yowzer, aren't they pretty, if I do say so myself?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Balloon Beads and A Piano Playing Cow

I try to enter the challenges at ArtBeadScene every month, for two reasons: Number one, I love a challenge and the chance to stretch my mind and improve my technique; and number two, the paintings Heather, Jennifer, Tari and the other editor ladies choose are always so cool!

For the past several months, the ladies have featured two of my favorite artists, Katsushiki and his 36 Views of Mt. Fuji and Kandinsky and his color masterpieces. But this month, although I'm not familiar with the artist they've chosen, I am very familiar with the style or "genre" of the painting, primitive folk art. I collect primitive folk art and "Outsider Art because I am drawn to the bold colors and graphics.

This month's challenge is to create an entry based on Ruby C. Williams' delightful "Piano Playing Cow". The bold colors immediately inspired me to go searching for some really bold, graphic colors, something hip and modern, but something happened on the way to the stripes. I found these vintage advertisements for a 19th century French Hot Air Balloon Show at my friend Corinna's Etsy shop, Piddix, and fell in love. An idea popped in my head and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

These are the beads I made, a huge departure for me, but I love them! They are capped with 20mm bead caps in an antique copper finish. They are solid, not hollow, and the image is wrapped around the bead and meets in the back. These are my first attempts, and it was slow-going, but now that I know how I want them to look, I plan to make LOTS more.

Grand Ballon Captif Series

Okay, beads done, now I needed a pendant. I thought a long time about what shape would compliment the beads and decided on oblong, and brought in a starry, indigo blue background which complimented the colors in the balloon beads nicely, baked that sucker, sanded and buffed.

Now to the composition of the necklace. This is always the most nerve-wracking part for me. I always want to get it right the first stringing, but that seldom ever happens.

My first thought was to use an AB finished Czech glass bead in a coppery aubergine, but I quickly discarded them as too fancy and flashy. I knew I wanted Copper to be featured heavily, and I remembered I have these gorgeous 28mm fluted copper balls which mimic the shape of the balloon and the wires attached to them. Perfect! Then I thought I needed another accent color either in blue or red, so I'd have at least one of the colors in the Williams painting in the entry, but everything I had was too dark or two light or too purple red, cherry red, etc.

So I sat down and thunk on it a little while until the little light bulb went off over my head. Sponge Coral! A cross between orange and red with a light and dark variagated, textured surface. I had these little saucer beads, but they didn't pop by themselves, so I added smooth antique finish copper beads caps, since there were all those bead caps on the balloon beads. I think this piece has great "flow" and I am very pleased with the result.

While it doesn't have the bold, bright colors of the Williams painting, I think the graphics on the balloon beads and the pendant draw the eye, just as the colors in the painting do.

My Japanese Lanterns Necklace is Featured At ArtBeads.Com

This is one of my newest necklace designs and features a vintage Japanese woodcut. It is featured this week in the customer gallery (click on Community tab) at ArtBeads.

I love these vintage Japanese woodcut images! They are very popular with my customers, too. The colors in the graphics are amazing, and many of them are included in the Fall 2009 Fashion Color Forecast. Lots of warm olive, majolica blue, honey, etc. And I enhanced the pendants with carved jade, rainbow soochow jade, salmon-peridot Czech glass rondelled purchased at ArtBeads (they have the best selection of Czech glass anywhere!), olive jade rounds and sweet little 3-petal Czech glass flowers I purchased at Etsy.

Here is another necklace featuring one of the woodcut images. This is the Japanese Waves Necklace. I LOVE the blue color of the waves. I enhanced this pendant with Hidden Valley Jasper, a/k/a Succor Creek Jasper or Owyhee Jasper, a carved brass Dragon bead, Red Impression Jasper, and Aqua Fire Agate.

Tickled Pink

I am having a bit of the big head this morning. I just found out that I have been named as the Barnwell County (SC) Arts Council's Featured Artist for November! As my friend Linda Riopel would say, Big Circles, Big Circles!

have been featured on several blogs and published in a few magazines, but I have to tell you, there is nothing like a little recognition from the home town folks. The Barnwell County Arts Council is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This little pat on the back has been a huge boost to my confidence and fueled the creative fires a little more this week. So, THANK YOU, Penny Creech, for the encouragement and support and thank you to the South Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Art is not a luxury, it is a necessity of life. Please support your local arts community and the National Endowment for the Arts!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Congratulations to the Winners!

The winners of the October PCAGOE challenge, "Favorite Art or Artist" are:

1st Place goes to Entry #8 - StudioSChiek for her stunning and extraordinary, framed polymer clay sculpture, "Lady In Waiting", inspired by Gustav Klimt.

2nd Place goes to Entry #2 - SpiritMama's beautiful pendant, a faithful rendition of Edvard Munch's "The Scream".

3rd Place goes to Entry #3 - NKDesigns' gorgeous Yellow Calla Lilies Pendant/Necklace, inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's Calla Lily Series of Paintings.

Congratulations, ladies! I wish everyone could have won, the entries were all amazing and it was extremely difficult to choose just one!

Please join us next month, when our challenge theme will be "Metallic Showdown".