Friday, July 30, 2010

Feline Friday: Ready to Play

Aww, looks like Moose and Sassy are sharing a tender moment, doesn't it? But really, it's more like--




And they're off! Just another evening of kitty stampeding around the house.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crescent Moon Pin

This past week I have been creating all sorts of new pins, pendants and earrings. This crescent moon pin is what I've been working on for the PCSG "space" challenge-- here it is fresh out of the oven after being cured:

Then I added an edging of labradorite chips, a patina of silver paint to bring out the details and varnished it with a satin glaze:

This pin would make a really great cloak clasp and would look beautiful on a shawl, scarf, lapel or even holding up a hat brim or decorating a tote bag. Mystical Crescent Moon Pin now available in my ArtFire shop!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gram's Antique Lamp

This past weekend I decided that perhaps the kittens are old enough and therefore have calmed down enough that it might finally be safe to put my Gram's antique lamp out in the living room again.

This is the lamp that sat on the dresser in Gram's bedroom for as far back as I can remember. When I was a child and spent the night, I got to share Gram's big bed with her, and Gram would turn the lamp on so that I wouldn't be afraid of the dark. I've always thought it's one of the most beautiful lamps I've ever seen.

After Gram died, it was one of the few things I hoped to be given from her house, because it reminded me so much of her and the time I spent with her. When my Dad gave it to me, he told me the story behind it-- a history I'd never heard before.

This was once an oil lamp, not an electric lamp. When my great-uncle Bill (Gram's brother-in-law) was younger, he collected many beautiful old oil lamps from antique stores. He took them back to Illinois with him, and one by one, he put in the wiring, sockets and other fixtures needed to make them electric lamps. This one he brought back to Iowa and gave to Gram.

He did such a beautiful job with this lamp. It actually has two bulbs in it-- one on top, under the glass shade-- but also one low-wattage bulb down in the "belly" of the lamp which used to hold oil. This bulb makes the glass just glow with a nice warm light and shows off the lovely flower design, which I believe is hand-painted.

This lamp is a treasure to me, not because its an antique, although that makes it all the more special; but because whenever I look at it, it brings to mind two loving people who were so important in shaping my childhood.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: Cat's Wire

Let me introduce you to yet another great artist who has branched out to add polymer clay to her designs-- Catrin of Cat's Wire. This Polymer Clay Smoosher's guild member lives in South Germany and is owned by 4 cats. She is addicted to wire crochet and has recently begun to explore sculpting with polymer clay, which makes for some beautiful and unusual wearable art!

Lace and Rose earrings

Swirly Snowball earrings

Tree of Life pendant

Besides Cat's Wire at ArtFire, she also has shops at DaWanda and Etsy. Plus, you can see more of her fascinating work at her Flickr photostream. Or become a fan of Cat's Wire on Facebook.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feline Friday: Why You Wanna Leave Me?

We went away for a few days earlier this month, but during the packing process I walked into the bedroom to find this:

Sassafras decided she was going to make things difficult. It so tugged at my heart, reminding me of our sweet calico Claire (now gone two years), who ALWAYS staged a sit-in protest whenever we packed our suitcases:

Sassy said, "Look at me, Mom, I'm too cute to leave behind!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: Valerie's Stuff

Let me introduce to you to Polymer Clay Smoosher guild member, Valerie of Valerie's Stuff!

Valerie has been smooshing clay for six years now and got hooked when she discovered mica shift. But her focus lately has been on making these beautiful pendants painted with alcohol inks.

Valerie also makes wonderful layered and swirled beads and pendants. She has a great eye for bold color combinations.

This week only, use coupon code THISWEEK for 15% off items at Valerie's Stuff on ArtFire! You can find more beautiful work from Valerie at her Etsy shop AND her Zibbet shop.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 7th moon

The seventh moon is already waxing, time to take a look at the card I drew for this cycle when I did my New Year's spread.

Six of Wands~

My year has been blessed with lots of great wand energy and this moon cycle is no exception. This card depicts victory/triumph as well as creative energy. Good news, acclaim, or praise is on my way. My friends will be there supporting me and cheering me on, lifting me up in celebration. Sounds good to me!

The two runes shown on this card are Tiwaz and Uruz. Tiwaz represents the letter T and the Sky God, Tyr. Tiwaz relates to honor, authority, victory and success in competition. Uruz represents the letter U and the Aurochs, or wild ox. Uruz relates to good health, abundant energy, change (usually positive), freedom and action.

With the summer session at my job ending last Friday, my daily routine will now have room to include lots of clay time for the next few months and I am looking forward to it. This card is a sign that my creative energy will be in full force!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: Creative Critters

I am actually a bit behind in posting, but wanted to make sure to shine the spotlight on fellow Polymer Clay Smooshers guild member Michelle of Creative Critters before this week ended!

Michelle has a studio full of creativity that runs from OoAK plush dolls, animals and catnip toys, to beaded ornaments, pen sets, magnets, jewelry, hats and scarves. But her polymer clay sculptures and miniature houses are something you absolutely should not miss!

Wouldn't you love to live in this cozy Tudor-style house with its beautiful gardens? I sure would!

And have you ever met a Glow in the Dark Lionfish Mermaid? Through Michelle's fantastic imagination and sculpting skills, you have now!

This Halloween Mask earrings and necklace set is a personal favorite of mine. The eyes of the masks glow in the dark!

And these items are just the very beginning of all the imaginative pieces you will find in her shop! Plus, Creative Critters is currently having a Christmas in July sale; use the coupon code XMASINJULY on any items in her Christmas section and receive 10% off when you check out. But hurry, sale ends July 25th.

You can also find Michelle at her blog HERE and at her Facebook Fan Page.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: EmilyClaire Creations

This week the spotlight falls on long-time Polymer Clays Smooshers Guild member, Valerie of EmilyClaireCreations! Valerie is a SAHM with two little daughters whose names were the inspiration for her shop name.

Valerie works with semi-precious stones, copper, silver, glass and of course, polymer clay. She has a wonderful design style which is inspired by nature and the rust belt of Ohio's decaying industrial areas where she lives. All of her designs have a great earthy, metallic flair to them.

She has also perfected a fantastic faux ceramic glaze look with polymer clay.

These above are just a few of her beautiful pieces; please visit her ArtFire studio to see even more. And, even better, Valerie is having a Christmas in July sale right now-- 15% OFF everything in her shop!

To learn more about Valerie and EmilyClaireCreations, visit her blog In My Room, or become a fan of her FaceBook page.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Finished Clay Sun Logo

I finished my clay sun logo last week! Well... maybe...

Above are the sketches I did of my original ideas for the sun design. Then I decided to add beads to the design somehow and I played with color mixing.

Even when I finally started to create the actual design in clay, I was still playing with ideas and changing my mind. Above is just one of the permutations my sun design went through...

... And here is how it finally ended up!

I really like the final design... and yet... there are a couple of changes I wouldn't mind making. For one, I'd like to lighten the main color (copper) of the sun-- right now, I don't feel like the beads "pop" the way I want them too because they blend in too well. Also, I'm not satisfied with the purple mica powder I used; it turned things too blue, IMO. Maybe I could use gold mica over the purple and add more "sunny" tones.

But I can't make up my mind. Because then I look at it again and say-- I love it! So perhaps I won't change a thing. Right now, I am going to try it on for size, using it as my new avatar.

Maybe I'll play with the design some more later; maybe I won't!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Raccoons

Look at the sweet little visitors we had today!

Not one, but TWO baby raccoons were camped out in the tree in our front yard.

Each one was curled up in a little Y-shaped area of the tree branches, napping away the afternoon.

One stayed fairly well hidden, barely bothered by my taking pictures.

The other one was a little more curious.

They stayed the whole afternoon and were still there after it got dark, although they had moved closer to the main trunk of the tree. When we got home from grocery shopping they were gone. Mama must have come and gotten them.

It was so cool to watch them all afternoon through our front window. I wonder if they will come back? I would guess they will look for a more isolated spot for napping, but who knows, we might see them again.