Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Feel the Earth Move, Under My Feet, I Feel the Sky Tumbling Down, uh Tumbling Downnnnnn...

Yes, we felt the effects of the earthquake way down here in the South Carolina lowcountry yesterday.  I was eating lunch in my car shortly after 2:00 p.m., when it started gently rocking back and forth.  At first, I thought something was wrong with my car.  I had the engine running and the air conditioner going full blast, which I know you aren't supposed to do, but it was freaking 93 degrees outside.

I immediately turned the car off and when it was still rocking, I thought, "oh Lord, it must be me. I'm having a heart attack." I never heard anybody say they felt like they were swaying from side to side during a heart attack though, so I looked at the leaves on the trees and saw a tiny bit of a breeze.  My next thought was that if my brand new Camry was flimsy enough to rock from side to side in an itty bitty breeze like that, it was going back to the dealer!  It wasn't until I got back to my laptop and checked on Irene's projected path that I found out what it was.

Many people don't know it, but earthquakes in South Carolina are not as uncommon as you would think.  I did a little digging (no pun intended) on South Carolina's earthquake activity at the US Geological Survey's website.  We have had more than 20 earthquakes since 1698, the most significant being an 1886 quake that leveled much of Charleston.

The Palmetto State is apparently a hotbed of seismic activity.  I believe we are on a major fault line, and our rocks over here on the East coast are older than those on the West coast and more dense.  That rockin' and rollin' travels further through thick rock, doncha know.

Okay, so this week has been a bit unusual, what with the escaped convict/idiot, an earthquake, Irene looming over us, and the Braves winning 9 out of the last 10... and you thought life in the Deep South was slow and boring. 


Monday, August 22, 2011

September Blog Giveaway - Win A Free Tutorial!

For this month's blog giveaway, I decided to do something a little different. The blog prize is a copy of my Faux Jade Tutorial!

The tutorial contains 16 color recipes, 6 jewelry projects, and 3 mini tutorials. The projects range from a simple white jade pendant to a lavender jade floral necklace.

So, if learning to create with polymer clay my way interests you, please leave a comment. I would like to hear about your creative process, whether you are a polymer artist, paint artist, a jewelry designer, mixed media artist, glass artist, whatever artistic medium you have chosen as your own. How do you do what you do, and what inspires you to create?

As always, no purchase is necessary to win. On September 1, I will draw a winner at random. If you do not have email enabled on your blog, please incldue your email address in your comment. You may comment as many times as you like, but only one comment per person will be entered in the drawing.

Thank you, and good luck!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Update: The Idiot Has Been Captured!

And it only took him robbing a convenience store at gunpoint and hijacking a car for the police to finally catch him. Thankfully, it was in an area 5 or 6 miles away from me, and ironically, at a place almost exactly where he started this escapade.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me and commented on the post and expressed their concerns. It was a trying time, but the sun is shining bright today and we are once again going about our lives and thankful no one was seriously hurt.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What To Do While You're Waiting For An Escaped Convict To Be Recaptured

... and you are alone, in your house with your neighborhood on lockdown all day. Well, you jump at every sound, and think you hear him at the window every 5 minutes; and you try to go about your day in a normal way and don't even think about what you're going to do when it gets dark and he still hasn't been apprehended...

Yeah, that's the way my day has gone. It's 12:47 a.m. now and the idiot is still on the loose. Yesterday, he overpowered a deputy, beat him up, and escaped police custody while being transported from one prison to another. Now he is armed with the deputy's Glock and shotgun, and has managed to elude 150 local, state and federal police and 3 teams of bloodhounds, even though they surrounded him in a cemetery 2 blocks from my house at 7:30 a.m. this morning. He has tried to hijack two cars in the neighborhood and broke into a house to use the rest room and change clothes. The police think he is still in the woods behind the cemetery, which is way too close for comfort, or a good night's sleep, so here I am, sitting up in front of the laptop with all the lights on, inside and outside.

I actually managed to get some new pendants and earrings done today. Fear is a great motivator, apparently. I thought it would be more difficult to churn things out while looking over my shoulder constantly, but I am happy with most of them.

I went back to my comfort zone, playing with alcohol inks, translucent clay, and embossing powder. I started experimenting with layering colors, peeling back bits of each layer with a blade and then adding more translucent clay and either more alcohol ink or more embossing powder. I must say, I do like these, very much.

I bought some indigo blue and copper raku beads recently, and thought the colors looked really good together, so I tried making some blue and copper pieces. The black and turquoise whitewashed hashmark earrings are from a dab of scrap clay I had sitting on my table today. I have been trying to think of a way to use these tiny silver end caps, and they fit the horse eye shape perfectly.

I was supposed to be finishing three new tutorials for the shop today, but my mind just wasn't on that with everything else going on. I will have to do that tomorrow for sure, though, whether or not the idiot gets captured.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August ABS Entry - Ramsdell Art Nouveau Necklace

The theme for this month's Art Bead Scene challenge is inspired by Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell's Art Nouveau illustration for American Crescent Cycles, created by him in 1899.  

To be honest, I was not crazy about the art for this month's challenge when I first saw it. I was going to pass on the challenge because I thought the colors drab, and a little boring. 

Everything I had in the old gem box was too bright and seemed to make the colors even more dreary.  I looked at the image some more and eventually decided I didn't have anything that would suit, so I took myself shopping, cruising through my favorite virtual gem and bead stores.  Then I remembered that has a new line of Czech glass, and I bought all these and more.   The initial pendant size I was going to use was much larger, but the beads still made the colors seem awfully boring.  I decided to make the image smaller (much smaller) and see what happened.   I think it turned out okay.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hangin' Out On Cloud 9 Again - A New PCD Feature

The first thing I do during the work week after I get up in the morning is check my email and then visit Polymer Clay Daily to see who/what Miss Cynthia is featuring for the day.  I got a nice little jolt this morning when I read my own name at the top of today's post!   As a result, I am feeling a little lofty, so if you need me today, hang a right at Cloud 9.  I may be here awhile.  Thank you so much, Cynthia, for taking the time to read my blog and peruse my flickr photostream.  It is an honor and a thrill to see myself on the pages of PCD!

I also have to take a moment to send kudos to Cynthia for all she does to promote polymer clay artists.  I doubt there is anyone in the polymer world who doesn't know her or has not read the posts at Polymer Clay Daily.  She is a wonderful ambassador for us all.  It really jumpstarts my creativity to see what everyone else is doing. 

Cynthia has a new endeavor aimed at helping inspire us, too.  She recently launched a virtual magazine called "Studio Mojo."  You can read more about it at PCD if you are interested.  It requires a paid subscription, and I signed up last week and spent a lovely afternoon via the web with Cynthia and polymer artist Lindly Haunani (from whom I learned a lesson in patience) and also reading through the back issues.  It is like being able to attend a master class every day.  I am really excited about the concept and the chance to see and hear the interviews in real time, so bravo to you, Cynthia.  Much good luck with the new website, and thank you again for the feature. 

August Blog Winner - Barbara Lewis!

We had 16 comments this month, and after spinning the old random number generator, #11, Barbara Lewis, is our winner! Congratulations, Barbara. I'll be contacting you today for your address and will get the pendant out to you pronto. I hope you enjoy the pendant as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

Thanks again to everyone who played along this month. Next month, I'm taking a break from offering polymer pieces and will be offering some supplies to inspire you to do your own embellishing. Stay tuned!