Monday, November 28, 2011

I am Featured in the Purple Issue of From Polymer to Art!

Now that the Purple issue of From Polymer to Art has been released, I can let go of that breath I've been holding since July and tell you that a tutorial I wrote specifically for it is included! 

Saskia Veltenaar and Marjon Donker asked me to write a tutorial for the Orange issue, but I couldn't meet the deadline.  Gracious and generous ladies that they are, they allowed me to submit a brass and crystal embellished, faux lavender art glass necklace tutorial for the Purple issue!   If you are a subscriber, look for it on page 33!  

I am thrilled beyond words and truly honored to be in the company of such talented artisans.  Thank you so much for the opportunity, Saskia and Marjon!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Miss Bonnie's Velveeta Cheese Fudge Recipe - Happy Thanksgiving!

My friend, the very talented polymer artist, Bonnie Kreger, has very generously agreed to share her Velveeta Fudge Recipe with us, just in time for your Thanksgiving table.  Bonnie says this makes a big batch, which can be cut in half. 

Thank you so much, Bonnie!







December Blog Giveaway Winner - Lupe Meter!

Congratulations, Lupe!  You are the winner of my December blog giveaway prize, a $25 Gift Certificate good toward any item in my shop at SCDiva!

We had 9 entries this month, excluding my own comments and a hacker that I deleted:

1)  Pine Ridge Treasures
2)  Bonnie Kreger
3)  Suzanne
4)  JuLee
5) Pips Jewellery
6) Lupe Meter
7)  Sweet Willow Designs
8) Cournte
9) Nancy Smith

I loved hearing about your holiday traditions and found a new recipe.  I am giving Velveeta Fudge a test drive this Thanksgiving!  Anything with Velveeta in it can't miss!   Doesn't that recipe look fantastic?  I don't know if it is the same one Miss Bonnie uses, but it is from Paula Deen, the butter queen, so it can't be too bad.  I am going to give it a try.

Thanks again to everyone who commented and participated every month in the blog giveaways this year.  I have decided not to have them again next year, but I am thinking of hosting some challenges that you can all participate in, which will show off your talents, too, regardless of the artistic medium.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  I'll be thinking more about rules and guidelines, so stay tuned.  

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A 30MB Baby Just Delivered! My New Faux Bone and Faux Ivory Tutorial is FINALLY Finished!

After more than 8 months of planning, writing and editing; and many sleepless nights, I am happy to announce the new faux bone and faux ivory tutorial is finally finished and in the shop!  Yay!

I feel like I've birthed a 30MB baby. Yep, 30MB. This one is a whopper.  It will be delivered either by email or by CD through the regular mail, whichever you choose.  There are listings in the shop for both versions. 

For those of you who need instant gratification, I will email it in 7 separate parts.  If you prefer a CD, I'll burn this baby to CD quick as a wink and get it out in the regular mail to you.

I am really excited about this tutorial.  Faux bone and ivory are two of my favorite things to create with polymer clay.  This is one faux that absolutely showcases polymer clay at its most versatile.  

The tutorial contains 11 recipes, the result of my own experimentation; 2 methods of creating faux bone, 6 special projects for faux bone and ivory; plus a gallery of finished pieces to inspire you when you create your own; plus the sanding and buffing and plexiglas tutorials, which I am now including in all my tutorials.   The gallery sections in the tutorials add to the file space, but it is one feature my customers have overwhelmingly asked for, so I included it again in this new tutorial. 

Thank you so much to John and Mary Ellen, who helped me proof the tutorial, and to all of you who have waited so patiently for me to finish this one.  I hope you enjoy it, and I want to see photos of your faux bone and faux ivory creations!

I am going to take a little break from writing to get some Christmas orders finished, but I have more tutorials planned, so stay tuned!   I'll be back at the work table in no time. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

December Blog Giveaway Prize - A $25 Diva Designs Gift Certificate

Gift Certificate Designed by Laurel Steven

I thought I would end the blog giveaways with a bang and give away a $25 gift certificate good toward any item in my Etsy shop, to be redeemed on or before December 31, 2011.  No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing, just leave a comment about your holiday traditions at the end of this post.  I will draw a winner from the comments next Wednesday, November 23rd.  You may comment as many times as you like, but only one comment will be entered.   If you won last month (sorry, Lois!) you aren't eligible to win this month.   If you do not have email enabled on your blog, please include it in your post so I will know how to contact you if you win.

This month, I want to know about your November and December holiday traditions, be they ethnic, cultural, historical or religious.  What makes this time of year special for you and your family?  

My family are Southern Baptists and we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, with lots of food and fellowship.  Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and has special meaning to me because I am descended from Mayflower passengers Isaac Allerton and Richard Warren.  That history has been important to us for a long, long time.  Thinking of the sacrifices the pilgrims made and how history was changed because of them and their sacrifices gives me the shivers, especially when I think that I would not be here if they had decided to chuck it all and go back to England and Holland.     

I also have vegetable duty for both holidays this year.  Since I am the acknowledged "Queen of Casseroles,"  I will be making Hash Brown Casserole, Broccoli Casserole, Squash Casserole and my maternal grandmother's cornbread dressing.  

Xan, my sister-in-law, has Salad duty, and I take my life into my hands horning in on her territory, but I think I may also have to risk it to sneak in a 7 Layer Salad, another of my holiday favorites.  My sister, Tara and I are the only ones who eat it, as most of my family is on the "no onions" side of the fence.   Tara is in charge of dessert, which lucky for us, means one of her towering, made from scratch, 3-layer German Chocolate Cakes.  Being a good Southern girl, Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese icing has always been my favorite dessert, but Tara's German Chocolate Cake is absolutely the best cake I have ever eaten.  I have dreams about that cake!  

However you celebrate this time of year, I wish you all joy and happiness this holiday season, and good health and good fortune in the coming year. 


Monday, November 14, 2011

ABS Designer of the Week Feature

I am thrilled to be the featured designer of the week at Art Bead Scene this week.  Thank you so much to editor Tari Sassar for choosing my necklace, "Stillman's Madonna" my entry in the November challenge.

I love the painting which is the subject of the challenge this month, and had an ephiphany while creating this necklace that has lead me in a whole new design direction; and it fits right in with my Ancient Romance Series!

Thanks so much, Tari! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Next Up In The 2011 Holiday Collection - A Bit O' The Plaid

Highland Heather Tartan
What a weekend!   I have been hunkered down in the studio for two days.  Yesterday, I received the shipment of chain and clasps I was waiting for, so I worked on finishing up more of the holiday collection, including these gorgeous (if I do say so myself) Scottish Tartan Necklaces.  worked on the Faux Bone and Ivory tutorial.  The publish date is near, though, my patient friends.

The tutorial was a whopping 30MB in size, and I have been paring it down by reshooting some of the photos at a lower resolution.  I also had to delete the gallery of finished pieces, which is a bummer, because I know all of you look forward to those at the end of the tuts.  

The projects for the tutorial are all done, though; and it is just a matter of resizing some more photos and rearranging some text and it will be ready to go.
Black Watch Tartan

I had an idea for one more set of pendants and necklaces for the holiday collection and went to hunting some Scottish and Irish clan tartan images I could transfer to polymer. 

I found a very nice man at Etsy who had some just the right size.   I chose two Stuart patterns, one I'm calling Highland Heather because I couldn't identify the clan it is associated with, and one Black Watch, which is my favorite, even though it isn't my clan's pattern. 

Oh, yes, I have some Scotch in me, as well as Irish.  My Scots were Border Reiver Forresters and Armstrongs.  I haven't researched all my Scottish connections, but those are the ones I know of so far.

I listed the first two in the Etsy shop today, and I must say, I am having a hard time with some of the changes they are implementing.  I used to be able to put in pretty long tag names, but now "image transfer jewelry" is too long, and apparently "romantic" isn't an official style.  Romantic and ultra-feminine is what I was going for in creating these.  I think they are really dreamy.

Stuart and ??? Tartans
I need to check and see which clan the plaid on the lower right belongs to, so pardon my ??? in the caption.   I have a nifty little book, The Scottish Clans & Their Tartans, by W. and A.K. Johnston which was published in 1946, a 32nd edition, that has been most helpful, but it doesn't have that one.

Now I am off to research some Irish clan tartans, and I still want to do a few which reflect holiday traditions in other countries. I also have my eye on some new Asian snow scenes.

Suggestions are welcome, too, so if you have any ideas of what you'd like to see framed in brass or antique silver, let me know.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More New Santas For the Holiday Collection, And A PCD Feature!

My friend Pippa Chandler (thank you, Pippa!) was the first to tell me this morning that my "Santa Americana" necklace and my 2011 Holiday Collection are being featured by Cynthia Tinapple today at Polymer Clay Daily

Oh, my stars, what a thrill!  I hope the boss doesn't actually expect me to work now.  Who could concentrate?  I think I will hang out on Cloud 9 all day today.   Climb on up and join me, we'll have a party!

Seriously, though, thank you so much, Cynthia.   It is a such an honor to have your work shown at PCD.  I know many polymer artists have the site bookmarked to visit every day, as do I.  I am constantly inspired and awed by the talent and creativity displayed there, and it means more than I can say to be included.    

If I can bring myself back down to Earth tomorrow, I am going to do a few more pendants for the holiday collection, including one or two brooches.  I love to wear Christmas brooches, another tradition my Grandmothers began.  I remember my maternal Grandmother had a gold enameled holly and berry leaf pin she wore, along with her Christmas aprons.  My paternal grandmother, a Baptist preacher's wife, always wore a pin depicting Jesus's hands folded in prayer.

These are a few I put together last night.  I am waiting on some new chain and clasps to finish them, but these will be a little less ornately embellished and a little less expensive.  Look for them in the Etsy shop shortly! 

Happy Holidays, everyone.  I hope it is a blessed and joyous one for everyone.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Holiday Collection Preview

Here is a sneak peak at more designs from my 2011 Holiday Collection. The collection's theme is looseley based on historical holiday traditions around the world. There are a few new pieces in the Ancient Romance Series; and some new Victorian Christmas Ephemera pieces, several of which may look familiar, since I used the images in last year's Ornament collection. They feature Santa and Father Christmas in various incarnations.

I hope to add a few more which depict holiday traditions in other countries. I've always loved the story of Sweden's Christmas Rose. When I was a teenager, my grandmother gave me a crosstitch pattern book which had different Christmas traditions in it, and I recreated them all and put them on our tree.  My mother still puts them on her tree, and has every year for the last 35 years.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

November ABS Entry- Stillman's Madonna

The painting the ladies at Art Bead Scene chose for this month's challenge is a gorgeous painting by Marie Stillman in the style of Rosetti and Waterhouse, two of my favorite artists who painted Pre-Raphaelite women.   The Pre-Raphaelite woman has been a recurring theme in my Ancient Romance Series of Medieval and Renaissance era inspired jewelry, so this challenge was right up my alley.

The name of the painting is "Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni."  The woodland setting and the lush olive green and gold tones, with that touch of crimson in the flower adorning the lady's bodice made me think of a Medieval Christmas, so with "Greensleeves" running through my head, I sat down to create what I hoped would be a delicate, old world necklace dripping with jewels.

I transferred an image of the painting to polymer clay and added Siam Swarovski crystal, a beautiful crimson red color; and Peridot Czech glass bell beads, all of which I framed and accented with Vintaj flower end caps and other brass connectors and components.

I am going to add this one to my 2011 Holiday Collection,  too.  It fits right in with my other "Ancient Romance" pieces.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Blog Prize Winner - Lois Moon!

We had 16 entries entries this month for the Faux Ivory and Swarovski Crystal Brass Embellished Necklace; and the winner is Lois Moon!   

Congratulations, Lois, and thank you very much to everyone who took the time to comment and enter.  In this big old virtual world, I appreciate each and every one of you who spends time with me here on my blog every day.  You are the best!

Have a fantastic day, my friends!