Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Just Leased Cloud 9 For Life!

Wow, I am experiencing an abundance of riches today, my friends.

First, I learned that Cynthia Tinapple featured my Under The Big Top Cylinder Beads today at polymerclaydaily; and then I learned that Karen of LunaGirl is also featuring my image transfers on her gorgeous blog, LunaGirl Moonbeams!

Polymer Clay Daily


As I told my fellow PCAGOE members this morning at our team forum, this is very humbling. I still don't know if I have found my voice in this medium of polymer clay yet, but I must be doing something right, or I'm on the right track, anyway. Thank you Cynthia and Karen. This means so much!

Pardon me while I call the moving van, too. I am taking up permanent residence on Cloud 9!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Under The Big Top - My Entry in the ABS February Challenge

I have had an idea about what I wanted to create for the ABS February challenge since seeing the painting which is the subject of the challenge on the ABS website.

The theme for February is based on Vestie Davis' painting, "Luna Park." I love this painting for its primitive folk art style and the bold use of red, my favorite color. I have had these images of vintage Circus advertising posters for awhile, but hadn't been able to think of a way to use them until I saw the painting.

FEB ABS Challenge Entry - Under The Big Top

I made the cylinder beads last night, and held my breath the whole time because the images were not the right size to use for this type bead. I added the little red "bead caps" in polymer clay, and then tackled the pendant.

FEB ABS Challenge Entry - Under The Big Top

I enhanced the polymer clay beads with hand-blown blue cobalt, matte glass round beads and faceted, red, Czech Glass rondelles with a half-Picasso finish, and Thai Silver end caps.

Under The Big Top Circus Focal Beads (2)

Under The Big Top Circus Focal Beads (3)

Under The Big Top Circus Focal Beads (1)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fee Fi Faux Fum

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Pendant with Chinese Turquoise, Turquoise Howlite, Antique Copper 7

I am still on my faux techniques journey and made this faux turquoise pendant a couple of weeks ago. I finally got caught up on my custom orders and sat down earlier this week to put the necklace together.

This is one of the few times I have created a pendant specifically for gemstones I wanted to use with it. These Chinese Turquoise rounds have a very delicate hairline matrix, as opposed to rough cut chunky turquoise with big pockets of dark matrix.

I used the rounds and the Turquoise Howlite barrel beads for inspiration. This was an extremely small batch, 4 beads in all, one of which will never see the light of day, not even in the Butt Uglies Jar. Shudder.

I can live with these, even though they aren't quite what I wanted. This pendant has gotten a lot of notice, and the necklace design, too, so I may not be looking at them with an objective enough eye.

My friend, and fellow PCAGOE guild member, Christi Uliczny of River Valley Design featured the necklace on her blog yesterday. Thank you, Christi, and everyone who has commented on the pendant and necklace!

Christi is a very talented artist. Her Etsy store and flickr photo stream are full of some serious polymer clay eye candy. She was recently featured on PolymerClayDaily for these gorgeous Rocky Path earrings (tutorial available at!); and most importantly, she is the mother of one of our brave servicemen currently serving our country in Afghanistan. OOH-RAH, Cale!

Christi is a true genius with alcohol inks and pearlex powders. The shimmer, the shine, the depth of color, the color palettes, are all amazing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Faux Work Is Featured On A Blog!

Thank you to my friend and fellow PCAGOE member, Deb Tuchsen, the Renaissance Gal of San Antonio, no less, a/k/a RenGalSA, for featuring some of my recent faux work on her beautiful blog.

Feature on RenGalSA Deb's Blog 02/16/10

It is always nice to get the notice of your peers, and I really appreciate Deb taking the time to do this for me! Deb specializes in polymer clay school spirit jewelry, which everyone loves (Go Dawgs!) Check out her shop at Etsy and her flickr photo stream to see more.

Thank you so much, Deb!

Thank You, Everyone!

I started writing tutorials on image transfers recently, at the urging of and with the help of my wonderful friend, Linda Riopel of NKDesigns, who helped me get them published in PDF format. I listed them in the Etsy shop and the response and positive feedback have been tremendous and a little overwhelming.

It is very humbling to realize so many people are interested in my work, and the thought that people who have never worked with polymer clay want to learn how through one of my tutorials is amazing to me. I love this aspect of writing the tutorials because bringing new people to the medium of Polymer Clay is as satisfying to me as anything I create with my hands. It is such a versatile medium with endless color and design possibilities, and I want everyone to experience it.

So, I have been sitting here for the past two weeks, slightly stunned at the response to the tutorials, especially when I realized where they were going. What did we ever do without the world wide web? It just blows my mind to think that with the click of my mouse, I can send a tutorial to Japan or Slovenia, places I will probably never get to visit in person.

Since the first tutorial sold, I have emailed them to Australia, Canada, Isreal, Spain, Japan, France, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia; and 12 states in the United States: Tennessee, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New York, Arizona, Texas and New Mexiso.

My pendants and brooches have found homes in Australia, Western Australia, Austria, Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, and 28 states in the United States: South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, Connecticutt, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, California, North Dakota, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, Rhode Island, Oregon, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Arkansas, Washington, Maine, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and Pennsylvania.

Many of my customers have also become wonderful friends who keep in contact with me after the tutorial or pendant is delivered. Many of them have sent me photos or posted photos of the necklace designs they have made with my pendants, and I am in the process of creating a customer photo gallery feature for the blog, so all of you can see their gorgeous creations, too!

So, I just wanted to thank everyone who has purchased a tutorial, a pendant, a brooch, commented on my blog, my flickr photostream or visited with me by email.

The internet is an amazing thing, and you are all the best part!



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Potpourri Infused Polymer Clay

The theme for the March PCAGOE challenge is "Texture." I thought and thought, trying to come up with something unique and different. I didn't want to do an embossed or stamped piece, because a lot of the entries will probably feature stamped or embossed pieces.

As part of getting back to basics in an effort to discover where my muse has been hiding for the last month, I decided to revisit techniques I hadn't done in awhile, and while adding inclusions to polymer clay is nothing new, adding an image transfer to the mix is, and I love the results.

I scanned my parents' 1958 wedding invitation, which my mother, a paint artist, hand colored 52 years ago. She framed it and it has hung in her foyer for years. I love it because of the personalization. She added a sketch of the church where my parents were married and one of the orchids from her bridal bouquet.

What I hoped to achieve was a piece that looked like handmade paper. I was concerned whether the colors and text would transfer well, especially to the textured surface created by incorporating the potpourri. The potpourri mix is composed of French lavender buds, Egyptian chamomile, sunflower petals, mauve pink bouton rosebud petals, and red rosebud petals, which I dry and preserve myself for floral arrangements. I have blended tons of it on hand.

The natural perfume from the lavender remained even after curing the piece. My studio has been magically transformed into a French meadow.

Texture is one of the PCAGOE team's favorite themes, and we are sure to have many beautiful and interesting entries, and we hope you will vote for your top 3 favorites at between March 1 and March 7. You could also win a prize. 5 lucky voters, chosen at random will receive one of these beautiful polymer clay prizes created by our talented member artists!

1st Row, L-R: StudioSChiek, PolymerClayCreations, ClayCenter, KDollDesigns
2nd Row, L-R: NKDesigns, RenGalSA, AshPaints, BeeTreeByMe
3rd Row, L-R: 11BoldStreet, AlisonEKurek, RiverValleyDesign, LaurelSteven
4th Row, L-R: Juliespace, JanGeisen, ClayHappy, SCDiva

Faux Jade, Part III - Gettin' There With The Red and White

I am having such fun with the faux jade. I worked on improving the red and white colors yesterday. I am still tweaking the recipe, but I am making progress!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Faux Jade - Luscious Lavender

It was back to the drawing board this weekend to try and improve on my faux lavender jade recipe. I had to tweak it a good bit, but am really happy with the results this time. The color is a gorgeous, soft, translucent lavender, with red tones instead of blue.

The jade pieces have been very popular, espcially the little green "Burmese" jade Koi fish, and I found a dragon stamp I liked very much.

Okay, of the 6 colors of natural jade, I've recreated green, black, lavender, and yellow. I'll be back at the drawing board again to try and improve the color of the Red and the White recipes, which is not as easy to do as it sounds. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Carolina Snowfall

Those of us living in the U.S. deep South hardly ever get snow. We sure got some tonight. The lowcountry of South Carolina is blanketed with the most gorgeous glittery white powder! It is thrilling and breathtaking.

Those of you who regularly get snow are probably thinking I'm a nutjob, but for someone who has seen snow a handful of times in my 50 years, only 3 times that I can remember where it actually stuck to the ground and accumulated any significant amount. Well, it did tonight! 5" in my backyard so far, and it's still snowing!

I snapped these photos in the backyard. This is my dogwood tree, and the church across the street. I hope the snow sticks around until tomorrow. If it does, I intend to go exploring with my camera!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spring Has Sprung In The Diva Studio

It was a busy weekend in the Diva studio. I got back to the image transfers in a big way, turning out more than 50 new pendants. I wanted to get some new stock in the Etsy shop to start gearing up for Spring, Easter and Mother's Day.

I am absolutely nuts about vintage floral images and book illustrations because they always have beautiful, bold, vibrant graphics that make my knees weak.

I hit the jackpot with these new images purchased from a fellow Southerner's Etsy shop, LunaGirl. I bought the CD with 900 images and impatiently waited for it to arrive. I was not disappointed. The knees went to jelly when I opened the files. Sheer nirvana.

Just look at these gorgeous colors!

I'm Featured in an Etsy Gallery!

What a nice surprise! I found out one of my necklaces is included in this lovely salmon and gray gallery of flickr photos created by FauxDonna. What a thrill!

FauxDonna's Color Inspirations Coral and Gray Gallery
Charcoal, Black and Coral Necklace with Carved Pyrite and Leopardskin Jasper - Gems 2

Thank you so much, Donna! I'm honored!

Congratulations to the Winners!

The winners have been announced in PCAGOE's February Challenge, "Flowers and Gemstones Associated With Your Birth Month" and I received 2nd place in the member vote! Thank you, everyone who voted for me, and congratulations to the other winners, too!

Winners of the Public vote:

1st - BeeTreeByMe
2nd - 11BoldStreet
3rd - JKollmann

Winners of the PCAGOE Member vote:

1st - BeeTreeByMe
2nd - SCDiva
3rd - JKollmann

Next month's theme is "Texture", and I can't wait. I have something very special planned, if I can pull it off, so stay tuned. This is always a very popular theme with the members, and I am very excited to see what everyone creates!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Jade Babies Hit The Big Time!

Thank you, Cynthia Tinapple, for including my jade pieces at Polymer Clay Daily today. What an awesome thing to wake up to this morning, and if this doesn't get the muse out of hiding, nothing will!

This is the second time my work has featured at PCD, an honor I would never have imagined. The other time was last April and it was for my image transfers. It is very gratifying to be featured for a different technique, and a huge boost to my confidence.

Cynthia does so much to promote polymer clay in a positive way and as a bona fide art medium, and I just thrilled to be mentioned in the company of so many fabulously talented artists.

Okay, hold me down because I'll be hanging out on cloud 9 again all day today, maybe even all week, me and my muse.

Thank you again, Cynthia. You are the best!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back to Basics - What You Do When The Muse Goes Into Hiding

I have been struggling with my muse for the past month. After turning out many, many image transfers, I think I hit a wall. One after another just didn't turn out the way I wanted them to, and I had to stop.

Usually when my muse goes South, I can look through my stash of Art Jewelry and Architectural Digest magazines and find something to fuel my creativity, but lately, not even that has worked.

So, last Thursday night, for my guild's weekly Clay and Play session, I decided to go back to the basics and do some things I haven't done on a large scale in awhile, like faux finishes. I pulled out a couple of books and decided to try faux jade and faux bone and faux turquoise. I didn't quite make it to the faux turquoise because I got so absorbed in the faux jade.

I did some research and discovered there are six colors of natural jade: Black, red, green, yellow, white and lavender. I wanted to try a batch of each, but only got as far as green, yellow, red and lavender this go-round, but I intend to do some more. I haven't had that much fun claying in ages.

I am really pleased with the results of the green and yellow. The red, which my research source says can range from reddish brown to orange, looks a little too orange to me, but hey, how about faux carnelian? The lavender turned out too gray, but not black enough to be black, so I need to experiment some more with those colors.

Then I decided to do a quick batch of faux bone. I deliberately left the beads in the cooker for longer than I was supposed to (don't try this at home unless you bake outside) because I wanted a darker striation. My neighbor saw these and thought they looked more like wood. I'll try to cook them like I'm supposed to cook them next time, but I love these, too.

All in all, a very good weekend. Now if that truckload of translucent clay I ordered would just get here, I could do some more.

Faux Jade Series - Dark Green "Jadeite" Architectural Detail and Gingko Leaves

Dark Green "Jadeite" Faux Jade - Architectural Detail and Gingko Leaves

Faux Jade Series - Koi Fish - "Burmese" Front View 2

Medium Green "Burmese" Faux Jade Raised Koi Fish - Pendant

Faux Jade Series - Chrysanthemums and Lotus Blossoms - Dark Green "Burmese" Medium Green

Medium Green "Burmese" Faux Jade - Chrysanthemums and Lotus Blossoms Pendant

Faux Jade Series - Koi Fish - Medium Green w/Black Inclusions Front View 3

Medium Green "Burmese" Faux Jade Pendant/Brooch - Koi Fish

Faux Jade Series - Koi Fish East/West Bead Light Green Front  View

Light Olive Green East-West Faux Jade Focal Bead - Koi Fish

Faux Jade Series - Japanese Waves - Reddish Orange

Reddish Orange Faux Red Jade Asian Waves Pendant

Faux Jade Series - Floral Cylinder Bead - Yellow 2

Yellow Faux Jade Floral Carved Cylinder Bead

Faux Jade Series - Asian Script - Front View - Lavender

Lavender Faux Jade - Asian Letters Pendant

Faux Carved Bone "Drums" Front View

Faux Carved Bone Series - Paisley - Front View

Faux Carved Bone Series - Tree of Life - Front View
Faux Bone Pendants