Thursday, February 28, 2013

IA Challenge-Pink!

In honor of breast cancer awareness, the challenge this week at Inspiration Avenue is to create with pink--the color associated with this cause.
Color challenges are a no-brainer for me since anyone who has visited here before knows I love creating french beaded flowers. This Ranunculus was created in hot pink and will reside in the new section of my Etsy shop for Focal flowers.

Stop by and see all the other art created for this challenge and stop by tomorrow to see my next project for the Friesen Project! Ribbit!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Featuring Magazine!

I realize that many of you are already familiar with this cool magazine, but I wanted to take a moment to put up a "thank you" post. Jenn, who runs the Artist's Playroom Challenges writes for Featuring Magazine and had a giveaway awhile ago for two issues of the magazine, which I won. The whole title of the magazine is "Featuring: Art Journaling, Mixed Media & More..." and it certainly delivers!

I hope you can read some of the interesting and pertinent articles from the front covers. Briefly Issue #1 had articles pertaining to Etsy, The Butterfly Project, Copyright issues, Doodling, ATCs and more. Issue #2 talked about Twitter, Zentangle, Haiku plus highlighted some very cool artists.

The magazine is printed on high quality, glossy paper and both issues had about 75 pages. So, thank you, Jenn, for the giveaway..I am sure I will be referring to these issues again and again. If anyone has any questions or is interested in subscribing to the magazine, you can either visit Jenn's website above or the magazine website, here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gambling on Ten Fingers

I have a love/hate, but mostly hate relationship with my current food processor. Since I make a lot of soup during the winter, I love that it makes chopping carrots, celery & onions effortless and quick. What I hate is that a few years after I got it the top dial which controls on/off and the speeds froze--in the on position. This means that every time I want to use it I have to plug and unplug it and use it only at top speed. For more years than I want to admit, I have been using it in this decrepit condition. I am always careful to keep it unplugged when changing blades or emptying the container. Just lately, I have been thinking about "the law of averages" and gambling. I'm not much of a gambler so I decided that before something dire happens I better get a new one. Since I don't use this appliance everyday, I didn't need top of the line. I found one that I could be happy with and would let me keep my precious ten fingers. The point of this post is not a commercial for food processors, but to show you what I made to cover it:

First I would like to thank Maria Elkins for posting a tutorial for a mixer that I was able to adapt to the size I needed.

I pulled some fabrics from my stash that complimented the tiled back wall which my husband & I designed when we moved into the house. I made the finished cover a little bigger than necessary because I like to store the book and extra blades in a plastic bag with the machine--out of sight, but handy! The only thing I purchased to make this was a package of batting (which I will also use for future projects) and the double fold bias tape to finish off the bottom edge. I have enough tape left over for the second cover I plan to make for our expresso machine!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bugs And Hearts

Hi Everyone! This was one of those weeks where I was running like crazy...but can't really put my finger on what I was doing! No, I'm not losing it! There just wasn't anything too blog worthy to talk about. Except maybe these, the next projects for The Friesen Project.

So, besides leaves, what else lives in the jungle? Why, bugs of course! I'm not the biggest fan of bugs mind you, but in the interest of keeping up with The Project, I figured I could make one...if it was cute and not too realistic!

I used some pearl-ex powders to add some shimmer to the blue wings. The white clay is colored with green pearl-ex powder, although I am not really sure you can see it from this angle. I dabbed a little here and there on the legs. Didn't have time to bake on the protective coat yet, but I was thinking shiny in places and satin finish in others.
Here is the other project this week:

Heart bead decorated with some more of the leaves I learned to make last week. Also, some swirls and a line of amethyst chips. I'm still on the fence with this one as to whether to patina or not. It does add depth, but it also dulls down the color in my opinion, and I like this so much just as it is. I used a mixture of purple and orange granite texture clay and some of the leftover pieces from the mirror leaves.

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Welcome to The Jungle!

This month the Friesen Project, hosted by Kater's Acres, is focusing on Christi Friesen's second book in her series, Welcome to the Jungle! You can click on the button on my right sidebar to get all the information.

Our first task was to make leaves--lots of leaves in many shapes and sizes. I thoroughly enjoyed and lost myself in this project. I made no less than 50 teeny tiny leaves that could later be strung on wire and added to a project. Then I started making the larger, more awesome leaves! After making all these leaves, we had to have something to do with them. So here is the first project, a mirror:

I was glad I had a mirror on hand to use. It was a little small and so as not to crowd it too much, I added just one or sometimes two of a kind of leaf. The mirror is encased in clay and then all the leaves and embellishments were added. After curing, I added the beaded holder--see some of those teeny tiny leavesI mentioned? I can't wait to begin on the next project!

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winter Wonderland!

Here is what we woke up to this morning:

It was gorgeous, and I really wish I could have captured the sunrise shining on the hill in the distance. Of course, by now most of it has fallen off the trees & melted, but it was pretty while it lasted!

We are going to a neighbor's house tonight for dinner, and being Valentine's Day, I thought I should bake something appropriate:

Not bad, if you consider I don't have a heart shaped pan! I took some thick (folded over a few times) strips of foil, made a rough heart shape, mashed (yes, a technical term) in the dough, removed the strips and baked it. This is something to keep in mind if you ever want to make a free form shape & your dough is fairly firm--like chocolate chip cookie dough is. Later on, I'll use cake icing to write "Happy Valentine's Day".

Last, but not least, I want to thank Dawn from Pesky Little Sister for awarding me the Liebster Award. The following rules apply:
This award is given to blogs that have fewer than 200 followers to encourage new visitors to visit.

Rules for Acceptance
Thanks the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
Post the award on your blog.
Give the award to 5 bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers.
Leave a comment on their blog letting them know you have given them this awesome award.

I'm not big on following rules, LOL, and I hope Dawn won't mind...As is my practice, I invite any of my readers who have less than 200 followers to accept this award and pass it on.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Dragon!

Hi everyone! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the temperature is over 40 degrees! I can't ask for much more than that in February!

I've had such a nice response to my first little dragon, that I have decided--in between making beaded flowers and working on the next clay projects--to make a few for my shop. First, I'd like to show a new flower I made. It is a life-sized Iris meant to be a focal piece in an arrangement or it would certainly look great on its own.

The head of the flower is over 4" tall, and I hope you can see in the photos how each petal has a little design element in the center. Now on to the dragon...

He is basically green, gold and blue. I tested out several ideas for a hanger, and in the end decided on a matching gold ribbon. He will be in the shop later today. Oh, yeah, he says his name is Dorato!

Thank you for all the encouragement and kind words.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Digging Out...

was not bad at all! We woke up Saturday morning to a foot of snow that was not too heavy, so my husband was able to clear our double wide driveway with the snow blower. Thank you for all the kind comments and good wishes. Our neighboring state of Connecticut received much more snow, so keep them in your thoughts. We are less than 15 miles from the border, where they got 22" of snow. Massachusetts (where our daughter goes to college for anyone new here) got hit pretty bad, too. Well, it is winter after all. I kinda forgot with all the warm weather we were having!

Since I wasn't too keen to drive on the slick roads, I stayed in all weekend. I crocheted an earwarmer headband for my girl's Valentine's Day gift.
It was simple to make with a pattern I found here.My daughter chose black with the twist in front.

She didn't want candy this year, but I could not help slipping in a chocolate/peppermint heart I "made". I took a candy bar and slightly melted it in the microwave, cut it with a cookie cutter which I left in place, and put it in the fridge to reset. I broke away the outside, removed the cutter and wrapped it in plastic. I hope you get the idea, because I obviously forgot to take photos! Simple anyway.

Hope anyone in the path of the storm is safe and sound!

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's baaaaaaaack!

The snow that is! Just a quick check in today. You probably already know that many of us are being hit with a blizzard. Or will be later on tonight when two storms collide. The weaker storm is hitting us now, already with accumulating snow and sleet, and the wind is beginning to pick up. The real stuff will come later on tonight and overnight with heavy winds and mega amounts of snow--12" to 18" where I am....up to 36" near my daughter in Massachusetts! I guess we've been spoiled by this mild winter! We have the cars and gas cans all filled up, the generator filled up, and the snow blower is all set to go!

If you are in the path of this storm, please stay safe, stay off the roads if possible, and shovel responsibly!

And because I just can't stand not to show a little art on my post, here are some polymer clay swirl beads that I put in my Etsy shop to sell as supplies...
Have a happy, creative, safe weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2013

IA Challenge-Dragons

Since I have been making dragons in association with the Friesen Project over at Kater's Acres this month, I also chose dragons for the weekly IA Challenge. According to the Chinese it is the year of the snake, and although I was born under the sign of the monkey, I wasn't particularly inspired by either of these. So Dragons it is!

The last project of the month on dragons was to use what we learned and make a piece of jewelry, a statue, vessel, etc. You can click on the link on the right sidebar for more info. It is never too late to join up! I set out to make a cabochon that I would perhaps bead around and turn into a pendant. So I made a wee little one on top of a slab of clay. Here he is finished, but not with a patina or protective coat. I think I will add some antiquing since he has all those nifty marks in his tail to hold the color.
As for making him a pendant...well, as you can see in the next photo, he is rather thick, and I am almost liking him better just as he is. Any opinions?

Have a happy creative weekend everyone!