Friday, December 25, 2009

The Blizzard Of '09

We had a white Christmas this year. The snow was lovely, if a bit deep. This is what we found when opening the front door about 4 :00 Christmas Eve. The snow was still falling and had blown up onto the front door and drifted in the entry way.

We hope that you have enjoyed your holidays with the ones that you love and the ones that love you.

Tonight I'm playing in clay, developing some new techniques for classes and wondering "What if????".

Inspired by hand made jewelry on the web and the beauty of ribbon embroidery, the next project will either be called "Sliver flowers" or "Faux Ribbon Embroidery". Note the first name is SLIVER, as in a sliver of pie; not SILVER, as in silver and gold.

The flowers and leaves are tiny slivers of clay that are gently rolled to shape. When finished, it reminded me of silk ribbon embroidery where many of the shapes are tiny slivers of ribbon, shaped by the stitchery. We'll see. You will hear it here.

The first pendant was done in pastels and posted on my flickr site. It was posted on Etsy, but was lost in the huge pool of lovely products.

The pendant reminded me of the slightly puffy look of ribbon embroidery.

The next attempt was to make another pendant with a different feeling.

I learned more about beading at a guild field trip to a beading store. This pendant has a jade necklace with tiny gold tone seed beads, AB glass beads, two lavender beads whose names I have forgotten and gold tone spacers.

The background is faux ivory, but looks more like faux wood. Maybe not a good choice. Also used are iron on crystals and some wire work.

I'm still learning something about jewelry every day it seems. This necklace is a favorite so far. It took four attempts to get a pattern in the beadwork that I liked. First it was too dull, then the lavender beads were too far from the pendant, then it needed spacers, still to dull out came the sparkly AB glass beads. Finally! a necklace I was proud of.

The earrings are in progress.

Just for fun, I experimented on different bits of clay, like ribbons to make this little wisteria pendant.

The clays used are both translucent and opaque. The tiny eye pins along the bottom are from Rio Grande. They have tiny ridges that allow them to be inserted before baking, and when gently pressed from the front or back, will not come out after baking.

The pendant is only about 3/4" tall without the eye pins and pale pink drops.

Have fun and I hope you have lots of time to create and play.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Gift for you ~ the 2009 Christmas Angel artwork

* Christmas is a time for, well, lots of things, but one of the biggest for me is a new angel drawing for the annual Christmas card / newsletter.
* This year's Christmas angel is designed to reflect a prayerful attitude and a sweet spirit.
* Peacock feathers intermingle with her feathers and circle the border of her robe. The title of this illustration is: "A Christmas Prayer"

* There are two images, the jpg, has a romantic, Victorian background. See right. The .png image below is the angel alone on a transparent background. Feel free to download either or both.

* We hope that your holidays are especially good for you this year, that you and your loved ones are well and pursuing happiness.
We have had a very busy year. Last November we began the remodeling of the house that I inherited.
* Note: Old people who plan a total and complete remodel of a house should think twice or even three times. It’s a LOT of hard work but the results were well worth the effort. We were blessed to have many, many hands helping us with the work. I thank God for our helpful family and friends.

* Vince Jonas was our most excellent and creative carpenter. He’s been blessed with a marvelous talent. New baseboards, casings, cabinets and built-in's make this house both uber-functional and beautiful.
* By the time the house was finished, Joe and I were more fit than we had been in years and both of us lost weight. We moved in on my birthday in August.
* In September I started teaching again, once a week, at Southern Oaks Rec center. We will be posting both a freebie tutorial and a tutorial for sale each month from the classes that are taught each fall.
* Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year! May you be blessed by the eternal gift of the Babe of Bethlehem, Emanuel, God with Us and may God richly bless you, the ones that you love, and the ones that love you.

* If you would like to use either or both of these images for your personal, non- commercial use, or for making one of a kind's for selling at craft shows, you may download either or both sizes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Venture ~ Tutorials

Each year I create eight to ten new polymer clay tutorials for the classes that I teach in the fall. It's a lot of work for just one class. Recently hubby Joe suggested we post the more involved classes for sale and have a "Freebie of the Month" tutorial along with the tutorial for sale. After a bit of planning, we have chosen the first two class tutorials to post and created an index page with clickable links.

HERE is the link to the index of the currently available Pdf files.

The first is titled, 'OrnamentCover.pdf'. When you click this link a single page will open up with information about the tutorial, a materials list and photos of the finished ornament. The full tutorial will be sent to you by email after payment.

The second link, the "Freebie of the Month", is titled, 'SnowmanSwitchplateTutorial.pdf'. Just in time for winter fun or to bring a fun, snowy, wintry feeling to a warm southern home.

This is a tutorial that I have posted a couple of times over the years. It's one of my early guild classes; a switch plate cover with a snowy winter scene. The project shown uses Fimo glitter blue and glitter white, but any blue and white clay should work. The clay is baked on the switch plate.

A switch plate cover note: to avoid the embellishments from breaking off, be sure that the parts are firmly pressed into the background and are thin, sort of like the artwork on a coin. The snowman's nose appears to be sticking out, but it is actually flat across his face.

The second page of this switchplate tutorial contains a second, mini tutorial, "Faux Knit", a technique for making 'knit' clay fabric as shown in the scarves. I've made tiny stocking caps and socks using this technique and would love to see what you might make using this 'knit' clay fabric.

If you can't download the files or would like printed copies, please write to me.

Have fun!