Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Victorian Living Interview

Last week, my new friend Tess featured one of my 2010 Christmas ornaments on her gorgeous blog, Victorian Living.

This week, Tess asked if I would like to be interviewed for the blog. Of course I would! I am beyond thrilled! Better get that rope and tie my foot firmly to the ground. The old noggin might get a bit bigger today than it was yesterday.

Please check out the interview and leave a comment for me if you like. If you are a fan of Victoriana, you will become a devoted follower of Tess's blog, too.

Thank you so much, Tess!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A New Blog Feature - On Creative Sprinkle No Less!

My friend and fellow PCAGOE member Marie Young, a/k/a YoungCreative, very generously features a PCAGOE member every week on her delightful blog, Creative Sprinkle.

This week, Marie featured one of my 2010 Ornaments, the Vintage Victorian Angel and Cherub Ornament. Since this is one of my personal favorites out of the collection, I'm doubly pleased, and honored.

Thank you very much, Marie. You are a wonderful team member to promote your guild mates the way you do. I really appreciate the gesture! You have made my day!

Marie's blog is up for an award, too. It has been nominated for The Blog Guidebook's 2010 Top Blog Award. Please visit Marie's blog and vote for it if you can. I did! Congratulations for the honor, Marie, and good luck in the voting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Victorian Christmas Ornaments and Other New Image Transfer Pieces

What a weekend! I came home last Thursday night and immediately started working. I have a customer who wanted some of the Faux Jade Asian Geisha cylinder beads, and a large order of ornaments for a local customer to do. I also wanted to get a few more things made for the shop before the big Black Friday Cyber Monday rush; and possibly whip up an entry for this month's ArtBeadScene challenge. The theme for November is Gustav Klimt's painting "Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze, 1909."

I thought I had an entry down pat for the December PCAGOE challenge, the theme of which is "Mokume Gane," but learned just how controversial that term can be when applied to polymer clay. I realized my entry was not mokume gane, not even close, so I withdrew it and am scrambling to find something which fits. One thing I learned, DO NOT call it a polymer clay technique! It will now and forever after be lumped in with "Faux techniques" as far as I'm concerned. Yikes!

First things first: The Asian Geisha cylinder beads. This is a second set with a few different faces than the originals I created for the 2010 Progress and Possibilities competition at IPCA. They are a bit larger in diameter, too. I just love these images.


And here are a whole bunch of Christmas ornaments in the Vintage, Victorian Romance theme:

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Victorian Santas with Scrollwork Borders Trio Ornaments

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Victorian Santas with Scrollwork Borders Trio Ornaments 3

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Victorian Santas with Scrollwork Borders Trio Ornaments2

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Turquoise Girl with Red Floral Wreath Ornament 2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Santa with Children on Red Snowflace Background Ornament

2010 Holiday Collection - Santa Heralds Christmas Cylinder Bead Ornament 2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Santa Checks His Orders

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Birds andHolly Ornament 2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance - Angels We Have Heard On High Ornament 1

There are more at flickr if you would like to see, but as you can see, it is no wonder I fell asleep at my worktable Sunday night.

It's funny, but I haven't really done a lot of image transfer lately. I've been concentrating on faux work and trying to figure out what new direction I might wander off in, but they are so popular with my customers that I can't get too far away from them. It was fun to get back into transfers again. All total, I created 74 new image transfer pieces over the weekend. That is a record!

I also read on the ABS blog that woodland is going to be big again, so I made a few transfer pieces with vintage botanical/nature/birds/butterflies images. Not a hard chore for me, as I love them, too.

Vintage Florals Series - Pink Rose Cylinder Bead 2 (1) Vintage Ephemera Series - Bird Study with Eggs Pendant (1)

Vintage Ephemera Series - Bird Study Round Pendant with Iolite Drop (1) Vintage Ephemera Series - Carte Postale Butterfly Cylinder Bead

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Featured On Victorian Living Blog!

I am hanging out on Cloud 9 again today. I am a huge fan of anything from the Victorian era, and I was thrilled to get an email at Etsy from Tess, who has a shop at Etsy called ScrapHappyLyreBird, telling me she is featuring one of my 2010 Ornaments on her gorgeous blog, Victorian Living!

I cannot thank you enough, Tess. I love your blog and am now a faithful follower. What an awesome idea, and so inspirational. I am honored you chose one of my ornaments to showcase this week, and I'll be watching and reading! Thanks again!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Collection - The First Necklaces Hot Off The Wire... Wrapping That Is!

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance "Baroness" Necklace

I am not the best wire wrapper. I don't have the patience for it, really, but since the theme of my 2010 Holiday Collection is Victorian Romance, which brings to mind lacy metals and dainty links, I started practicing. This is the first completed necklace for this year's collection.

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance "Baroness" Necklace

The image is one of my most popular images, and comes from a collection of vintage equestrian advertising art. The series this one is from is called "Grand Champions", and the image is titled "Baroness." That's the name of the horse, not the lady, but the graphics are fabulous and the crimson reds and moss greens lend themselves so well to holiday jewelry. I even made matching earrings!

2010 Holiday Collection - Victorian Romance "Baroness" Necklace and Earrings Set

Wire wrapping is sort of like being on a ledge 50 stories up, at least for me. No rope! No stringing wire! Just me and my loops! Yikes! But, after practing for a week, I think I have at least got the hang of making decent wraps, still not sure my loops look all that great, but I had fun making this necklace and am hard at work on a few more featuring loops and wraps, beautiful crystal beads and antique brass findings. I love these sweet little end caps. Lately, if I don't frame a bead with end caps, it feels nekid.

And talk about nekid, I really went the minimalist route with my next holiday necklace. Long necklaces are so hot right now, and I decided to embellish one of my Vintage William Morris Tapestries Cylinder Beads with some antique brass and a little sparkly bling. I sort of deviated from the "Victorian Romance" theme of the holiday collection and dived into the "Art Nouveau" theme, but I love this one so much, I think I'm going to keep it for myself. I'll make more, promise!

2010 Holiday Collection - Vintage Art Deco Morris Artichoke Necklace

2010 Holiday Collection - Vintage Art Deco Morris Artichoke Necklace - Cylinder Focal Bead Pendant Closeup

And then I took a detour to the middle ages with some Medieval-influenced, Gunmetal antiqued, Pewter/Silver pieces. Something a bit unusual about these is the color. I never use clay straight from the package. I blend my own shades of antique gold, brass and copper colors, but these were created using Premo Silver mixed with a little black embossing powder. The backs are embossed and antiqued, too. I call these "Georgie's Dragons" after you know, St. George who slew the... oh dear, that's not very romantic, is it?

Ancient Romance - Medieval Dragon Earrings - Gunmetal Antiqued Silver with Clear Swarovski Crystals Ancient Romance - Medieval Dragon Earrings - Gunmetal Antiqued Silver with Clear Swarovski Crystals

These pieces are part of my "Ancient Romance" series, but I think they fit well in the holiday collection, too; and just look at those sweet little wire wraps! These earrings are my Medieval Flourish earrings, which I accented with my favorite color of Swarovski crystal, the Black Diamond.

Ancient Romance - Medieval Flourish Earrings - Gunmetal Antiqued Silver with Black Diamond Swarovski Crystals Ancient Romance - Medieval Flourish Earrings - Gunmetal Antiqued Silver with Black Diamond Swarovski Crystals

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas In The Diva Studio

2010 Holiday Ornament Collection - Victorian Angels with Basket 2010 Holiday Ornament Collection - Victorian Child with Fruit and Tree

I have been working like the Dickens, pun intended, to create my 2010 Holiday Jewelry and Ornament collection, after deciding the theme would be "Victorian Romance."

2010 Holiday Ornament Collectin - Victorian Snow Girl with Red Umbrella 2010 Holiday Ornament Collection - Victorian Santa in Crimson

I probably have the largest collection of vintage Victorian Christmas and holiday images of anyone, even digital sellers. There is something about the vintage graphics and the color palettes that pull me in and immediately put me in the Christmas spirit.

2010 Holiday Ornament Collection - Victorian Aqua Angel Heart 2010 Holiday Ornament Collection - Victorian Boy with Tree

Here are the first of the finalized design for Set 1 of the ornaments, predominantly featuring image transfers. Since I am known primarily for my image transfer work and my mica shift (no slicing or squishing!), I wanted to incorporate both techniques into the collection this year, so I "framed" each of these ornaments in a custom blended antique, burnished gold metallic clay on the sides and back; and added Swarovski and Jablonex crystals and lots of little antique brass components to achieve that Vintage Victorian look. I am very pleased with the results. This is one time when the execution exactly matched the plan. I think they are very romantic. My only problem is now I don't want to sell them, I want to keep them all for myself. Sigh...

Victorian Christmas Ornament - Burnished Gold - Amethyst Angel Cylinder Bead (2) Victorian Christmas Ornament - Burnished Gold - Amethyst Angel Cylinder Bead (4)

Set 2 will be predominantly mica shift, and this is the prototype for the set. I had a few structural issues with such a large cutout, so I'm rethinking the size, but hope to have more of these to post by the weekend.

Silver Heart Pendant with Garnet Swarovski Drop Silver Heart Pendant with Garnet Swarovski Drop

Silver Heart Earrings with Garnet Swarovski Drop Silver Heart Pendant and Earrings with Light Topaz Swarovski Drop

Victorian Christmas Pendant Burnished Gold Heart with Amethyst Swarovski Crystal Victorian Christmas Earrings Burnished Gold Hearts with Garnet Swarovski Crystals

Set 3 will be the jewelry collection. I blended some antique silver and used the burnished gold for a few pieces, and I hope to post photos of those in the next day or two. All the pieces will incorporate the mica shift in silver or gold and image transfers.

Copper Phoenix and Jadeite Green Earrings (2) Ancient Egyptians and Iolite Earrings2 (1)

I also have gotten back into making earrings. When I was making them 2-3 years ago, they didn't have any polymer components because I wasn't making small beads then. Well, I can't say that now, so I thought I would try a few in my signature antique copper metallic clay blend with various shades of turquoise. Now I need four hands, two to create Christmas ornaments and two to create earrings. Oh well, who needs sleep, right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A 2nd Place Tie for Polymerista of the Month at Voila!

I have been dreadfully remiss about blogging lately. Family health issues and guild business and life in general has derailed me lately, in more ways than one. My feng shui is out of whack, but I'm trying to do better.

Tallow Jade Necklace (5)

My faux Tallow Jade with genuine Tallow Jade components was judged 2nd place in the Proficient category for the November Polymerista of the Month contest sponsored by Voila!. The amulet pendant and two large lantern shaped beads were created by me. I have had the two oval, genuine Tallow Jade pieces for several years, but have never been able to match them with anything, so I set out to see if I could recreate them in clay. I have to say, it really is a perfect match. I purchased the rounds in 10mm and 8mm sizes and added these chyrsanthemum sterling silver end caps and sterling silver spacer beads to complete the design.

I actually tied for 2nd with my friend Marcia Palmer, one of my heroes, so I am doubly thrilled today.

I was also very humbled by judge Christine Dumont's critique of the piece. Her critiques and the scoring framework really challenge me every month to do my best and beyond. She has helped me tremendously on my creative journey in clay. Christine, you are the best! You rock, girl! Thank you so much!

Congratulations to the Winners!

The winners of PCAGOE's November "Seasonal" challenge have been announced!

Winners as voted by the public:

1st Place - Jackie Sieben of ThePleasantPheasant
2nd Place - Mary Ellen of BeeTreeByMe
3rd Place - Randee of RMKDesign
Winners as voted by PCAGOE members:

1st Place - Randee of RMKDesign
2nd Place - Susan of 11BoldStreet
3rd Place - Jill of JKollmann

Congratulations, everyone!

Our theme for December is "Mokume Gane." Oh boy, I can't wait! It is such a popular technique among polymer artists, and we are sure to see some really beautiful designs. Stay tuned!