Saturday, September 24, 2011

September ABS Challenge Entry - Corn Maiden II Necklace and Earrings

The inspiration for the challenge at Art Bead Scene this month is this quilt created in 1965 by Lillie Mae Pettway (1927-1990), one of a group of women who live/lived in the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee's Bend, Alabama.  This one is titled "Housetop", a 12 block half Log Cabin variation.  The quilt is part of an exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. 

This is one instance where the polymer artist in me ran smack dab into the needle artst in me. I learned how to quilt at a young age from my mother, who learned it from her grandmothers. When she was growing up in the great depression, "repurposing" was done out of necessity. Her family comes from the mountains of SC and NC where quilting wasn't considered an art so much as it was a means keeping warm and passing the time, just as I'm sure it was for the women of Gee's Bend.
The color palette for the challenge contained three colors that my eye naturally gravitated to, red, brown and rusty orange.  I decided to concentrate on those and see what I could come up with for my own Log Cabin variation.

 I distressed the polymer with a dry, stubby-bristled paintbrush and acrylic paint before curing.  I decided to use copper findings and added these gorgeous, black, terra cotta 18 mm beads created for me by Rare Earth Beads at Etsy;  some oval carved horn beads with stripes to compliment the pendant and earrings, black and tan carved horn rondelles, and small, carved Brecciated Jasper fluted beads. 

I hope I've done the many quilters in my family, past and present, proud.   It makes the polymer artist in me happy, and makes me want to get out the fabric scraps and quilting needle, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

October Blog Giveaway Prizes - Two Chances To Win!

I'm crawling out from under my faux bone rock to post a prize for the October blog giveaway.   No, the dang tutorial is still not finished.  I had a brilliant idea and changed it almost at the last moment, and I am still working through getting photos for the new material.  It's turning out to be the tut that ate the world!

All this experimentation for the new tut has led to me having a studio full of faux bone and faux ivory creations, and I thought I would use a few as my blog prizes this month.  I decided to have two winners this month, too.  How cool is that?  

You know what to do.  Please leave a comment between now and the end of the month.  I would like to know what your favorite thing is about Autumn.  If you have a favorite soup, casserole or stew recipe you'd like to share, please do.  I am looking forward to the fabulous food and fellowship I know I will enjoy at our annual family reunion of my maternal grandparents descendants on October 15. 

You may comment as many times as you like, but only one comment will be entered in the drawing.  No purchase is every necessary to win.  If you won last month, you aren't elegible to win again this month... gotta spread the love around! 

I will pull two winners on October 1.  If you do not have email enabled on your blog, PLEASE leave an address in your comment where I may reach you if you are one of the winners.

Thanks, friends!   Now, back to that tutorial...

Prize #1 - Faux Distressed Bone Koi Fish Buttons

Prize #2 - Faux Ivory Flower Beads

Monday, September 12, 2011

In The Groove

I have been working through some practice projects for my new faux bone and ivory tutorial and honing some recipes which I hope are a little more interesting for you than the standard stuff.  

Some unusual things have come from all these exercises, and my mind is now wandering toward other applications the recipes may have.
Thursday night, I worked straight through without stopping until around 10:00 Friday morning.    

Saturday night, I went to bed not intending to work at all on Sunday, but woke up at 3:00 a.m. with an idea for these faux terra cotta curved beads which nagged at me until I made a few.  I only sanded these with 400 grit sandpaper, but I sanded them for almost an hour.  I buffed them after sanding but thought they looked too shiny, so I hit them again with the 400 to take the shine off, then rubbed them with my fingers.  I let the natural oils in my fingers give them a bit of a patina.   

These faux bone and faux ivory buttons and beads were sanded through 8 grits of wet-dry sandpaper before being buffed with a Dremel.   I know, I know.  I am obsessed with sanding, but I can't help it.  If it isn't sanded and buffed, it feels unfinished. 

I really had to hold myself back from sanding the terra cotta beads through all 8 grits, too.  I love making these buttons, they are so much fun to do!

I'm waiting on a shipment of clay, and I hope to finish up the new tutorial in the next week.  I've still got a few more ideas to play with before the tutorial debuts. 

If you'd like to see more of the faux bone, check out my flickr photostream Faux Bone Photoset


Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Will

What will you do to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States of America on September 11, 2001?

I will proudly fly the United States flag.
I will recite the pledge of allegiance, with emotion choking my heart.
I will grieve again the loss of so many innocent lives.
I will honor the many heroes from that day by giving blood.
I will tell my family I love them, because we never know when our next breath will be our last.
I will say a prayer for peace on Earth.

The Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic
For which it stands,
One nation, under God
With liberty and justice for all.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Blog Prize Winner - Emily!

I am really pleased by the response the blog prize received this month, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your creative process and the artistic mediums you use to create.

It has been very satisfying for me to be able to share various polymer clay techniques via my tutorials for the past year and a half.  I love introducing new people to the polymer world who have not experienced its amazing versatility and also sharing a particular technique with an experienced polymer user you hasn't tried it befor, so the response from all of you who are eager to try the faux jade tutorial is wonderful.

We had 27 entries this month, and I am pleased to announce the winner of the faux jade tutorial is #8, Emily!

Congratulations, Emily!  I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  I know you will create many beautiful things with it, and I would love to see photos. 

Thanks again to everyone who shared a comment this month!

(Emily, I did not see a way to contact you from your comment and blog, so I hope you see this soon!)