Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tarot Image Transfers

I've been experimenting with image transfers onto polymer clay and my experiments have been successful!

On the left are poly clay tiles with the transfer images in place, well burnished and ready to bake. On the right are the tiles after baking and with the transfer paper removed. I'm amazed at how bright the colors are! The faded rectangles are all that's left of the image on the transfer paper.

I followed this Color Photo Transfer lesson, using Avery Ink-Jet Iron-On T-shirt Transfer paper. The only thing I did differently was that I covered my clay pieces with a ceramic tile for the first bake and then baked 10 minutes to set the image, instead of 5-7 minutes. I removed the tile when I removed the image paper and then I finished the bake.

The secret, I think, is in the burnishing. Not enough pressure, and the image comes out faded because all the color doesn't transfer. I also had to be sure to burnish the image thoroughly around the edges, or I would lose part of the transfer.

But all in all, this transfer technique worked like a charm! One more item completed on my polymer clay " learn to do" list.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 2nd moon

A new moon cycle for this year began Saturday (2/13), so its time to review the card I drew for the 2nd moon when I did my new year's tarot spread.

The Hanged Man (12)~

In general, this card is about being suspended and the need to look at one's situation from a new perspective. This card in the Pearls of Wisdom deck seems rather joyful about the process though. The two runes on the card are Wunjo (joy, wisdom) and Isa (ice); this card indicates an isolated, frozen period of time that will bring happiness in the end.

Intuitively, I see that there is a lot of wisdom available-- the owls and serpents symbolize wisdom to me; also that change is in the air, a necessity, indicated by the butterflies and the autumn leaves falling.

This is just a pause in the journey and it looks like its by choice-- note the knapsack carefully leaned up against the tree, and the Hanged Man even had time to take his shoes off before he started hanging around. Perhaps the all-seeing eyes will help to see what is overlooked, so that the journey can continue.

So what I see is that I need to be looking at my life from a different perspective right now, especially in areas where I feel like I'm in a rut. If I turn inward, focus on my path, I will find the wisdom I am seeking to make the necessary changes I need to move forward.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Round Robin

The Polymer Clay Smooshers guild is having a little bit of fun with an idea that Dori of Sassy Clay Creations came up with. She created a Round Robin box, filled it with fun little polymer clay items and more, then made a list of names and addresses of all the guild members who wanted to participate.

She sent the box to the first person on the list, who took what she wanted out of the box and replaced those items with five new ones and then mailed the box to the next person on the list... and so on, and so on. Each person who receives the box takes a picture of what they chose from it for themselves and posts the picture in the guild forum so everyone can enjoy as the box makes its rounds.

So last week the box arrived at my house! Here is what I chose from all the goodies:

A little polymer clay tool that will be perfect for the detail work I like to do, some earrings that remind me of little green acorns, a plaque that says "All you need is Love" and is made of the coolest glittery clay I've ever seen, a lucky bunny butt keychain in my favorite color (green!), and a beautifully detailed Goddess face pendant. Also, I chose a strand of wooden lentil beads because I love using wood beads.

Then it was my turn to replace what I'd taken out of the box. I can't tell you what I put in it because it has to be a surprise for the other recipients on the list, but I will tell you that the Round Robin box that's leaving my house is bigger than the one that arrived. So much fun!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day 2010

A couple of days ago, my sweetie sent me these lovely tulips for an early Valentine's gift. It was like he'd read my mind-- I've been longing for tulips ever since they started appearing in the stores at the beginning of the year. Aren't they lovely? They smell and look like spring!

We had a simple Valentine's dinner at home--the tulips, candlelight, cheese fondue and snow crab legs. There is just something very romantic about sitting in our quiet kitchen in the warm glow of the candle lamp, relaxing, talking and laughing, dipping into the fondue pot. Together.

So, sooooo much nicer than sitting in a busy, noisy, expensive restaurant. Sometimes, simple really is best.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Feline Friday: Paternal Instincts

Moose no longer has the equipment to become a daddy, but nevertheless he's learning to be one with the kittens around. Or maybe it's fraternal and he's just being a good big brother?

Of course, the kittens don't give him much choice, sometimes. Sassy especially likes to curl up with Moose where ever he's napping. This leads to Moose grooming whichever kitten has encroached on his space-- or sometimes wrestling with her-- and then when both are bored with those activities, napping together. He also joins in on galloping around the house with Sassy & Dot in the evenings. I guess we should have gotten him kittens a long time ago!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Inspiration Board

After putting it aside for far too long, I have finally finished my Inspiration Board! I completed staining the frame on Monday, then yesterday I waxed it and screwed the hardware on the back for hanging and put it up in my craft room. It hangs over the right hand corner of my work table.

Now to fill it with inspiration! Here's what I have on it so far--
  • my keyword for this year, EXPLORE
  • photos of two polymer clay pieces by Tammara Scott that I absolutely love
  • a little beaded strand I made with the chakra colors to remind me to breathe and stay balanced
  • a schedule for Earth Temple to remind me to stay connected with spirit
  • a most excellent Chinese cookie fortune that reads: Your talents will capture you the highest fortune and prestige
  • Two of my favorite quotes:
"I think the creative process is not about creating something else, its about the process itself creating who I am." ~ Mayumi Oda

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar." ~Mary Bryant

And there is still room for a lot more inspiration. I think this board will always be a "work in progress." I'm pretty sure it will be ever changing and evolving, just like me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hearts Afire & More

This month's challenge theme for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild was "Hearts Afire." We've had an amazing turnout for this challenge-- 35 entries! My guild is an incredibly talented bunch, check out everyone's entries by clicking the banner below, and while you're there, be sure to vote in our poll (located on the blog's left sidebar) for next month's challenge theme.

Here are my two entries for the challenge--

And remember the chrysanthemum cane technique I was experimenting with? Here is what I've created with it so far:

All are available at my Into the Dawn Designs Artfire store!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imbolc Cleansing

Blessed Imbolc to all who celebrate!

The longer I am on this spiritual path, the more I come to appreciate Imbolc. I like to think of it as the "quickening" of the earth, the very earliest beginning of a new growing and gardening year. Today I thought I saw a hint of springtime yellowy-green on the outermost branches of the tree in our front yard. Maybe wishful thinking, but maybe not!

This year I'm really connecting with the whole purification/cleansing theme of Imbolc, most strongly in terms of "spring cleaning." I want to spend this tide really tidying the house, especially my craft room. My creative space needs a complete organizing makeover. I want to re-organize my bookshelf to include all my polymer clay and jewelry making books and magazines, restructure my "craft closet" so that everything is more handy and available. I'd love to rearrange the furniture in that room, too, but I'm just not seeing how that can be done with all the furniture that's in there. Furniture arrangement has never been my strong point.

It's my hope and belief that cleaning and organizing my creative space will make room for more creative energy and ideas for this year. As I will, so shall it be!