Monday, September 27, 2010

The Ball is About to Begin

Just 3 more days until the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild Masquerade Ball begins!

What's the Masquerade Ball, you ask? It's a fantastic parade of gorgeous masks like these, from last year's Ball:

Only this year, we've invited our fans to join in, so you'll see masks made by them as well as the Smoosher's guild! Plus, we'll be giving away some lovely prizes, too! And, if you join in our Spread the Word blog contest before October 3rd, you'll be eligible for the drawing for a beautiful bracelet made by Haffina Creations.

So come join in the fun at PCSG, starting October 1st!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tarot Card Inspired Tarot Bag

Using scrap fabric, plus some inspiration from the colors of the deck itself, I sewed up a tarot bag recently.

The deck is the Druidcraft Tarot and I pulled from The Lady (III) and Princess of Cups cards for the color scheme for my bag. The color of the panne velvet isn't quite accurately shown in these pics, it is more of an olive hue-- both the velvet and the cotton batik for the lining were leftover from when I made a cloak for myself several years ago. I made the bag a generous size of 9 x 7 inches.

I found the braided trim and beaded trim for half price, and both perfectly matched the colors in the cards shown, which are two of my favorite from the deck. The braid is a bit bulky for cinching up the bag with the drawstring, but I still like the way it looks.

Being a novice sewer, I wasn't able to completely hide the woven edge of the beaded trim into the seam of my bag bottom. My sewing machine foot wouldn't go over the beads if I got close enough to the edge to hide the woven part. There must be a little trick to doing that? If any one has suggestions on how to do that, I'd love to know for next time.

Overall, though, I'm really pleased with how my tarot bag turned out! I love the colors and the style and I really like that I'm using a bag that I created myself to store one of my favorite tarot decks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Front Range Pagan Pride Adventures

Yesterday was Front Range Pagan Pride Day and I had my very first experience with selling my wares from a vendor booth!

I only had about 2 weeks to prepare, so my booth was itty bitty, small potatoes compared to some of the booths there. But I did the best I could on short notice and I think it turned out fine.

I owe much thanks to some friends who helped make my vendor booth possible-- Sage, who gave me the idea, lots of encouragment and loaned me tables, and Deb who graciously loaned me the use of her canopy. I have fantastic friends!

One thing I definitely learned-- light weight tablecloths are not good when the wind blows! Even though we had them tied down, the wind puffed up and blew those light tablecloths easily, and lots of items on the table got moved around when that happened. I had to leave most of my pendulums bagged up together during the morning hours so they wouldn't roll away!

The rest of vendor's row at FRPP. There were about 6 other booths in the opposite direction from this view, including mine.

There were rituals, workshops, pagan bands, and other entertainment throughout the day. Nationally known pagan author and performer T. Thorn Coyle was our featured speaker, who lead us in some songs/chants and also meditations. But my favorite performance of the day-- the belly dancers! They were fantastic and performed for at least a half an hour.

Closing ceremony was a Blot ritual by a local Asatru (Norse/Viking) group, which was really interesting. The ritual came across as very empowering with the Hammer Rite, lots of praising and libating and hailing Odin.

Believe it or not, next year's FRPP is already in the works-- date set for October 1st, with Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor as guest speakers. I'll be there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Handmade Artist Opportunity

If you create handmade items and have always thought, "I wonder if I should try selling online?"-- the answer is YES because ArtFire is offering an incredible opportunity right now with their Opt-In Group Deal.

Open a shop at ArtFire and sign up for the Opt-In Group Deal, and if 20,000 members sign up for the deal, your fees for a Pro Account will be just $5.95 a month! There are no hidden fees-- no listing fees, no re-listing fee every few months, no commission fees, and you can list as many items as you want-- for just $5.95 a month! Read more about this awesome opportunity here and find out about terms, conditions and FAQs here.

I have been at ArtFire for over a year now and I love this marketplace. And it just keeps getting better. It's simple to navigate and has lots of features for Pro-account sellers, like design customization for your studio, studio blog, easy networking and promotional tools for Twitter, Facebook, Stumble, and more. ArtFire Pro studios also have a global editor and the ability to create coupons which makes listing items and putting items on sale a total breeze.

So if you've been wanting to give e-commerce a try, DON'T MISS this limited time Opt-In Group Offer at ArtFire!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Everything for FRPP

Lots of work in progress this week as I get ready for vending at Front Range Pagan Pride day this upcoming Saturday, September 18th.

First off-- scarab beetles for necklaces and earrings!

And MORE scarab beetles in progress!

I've always wanted to try making pendulums. These will get a lentil shaped bead for the other end of the chain, to hold while using the pendulum. The bead on the left has African violet and gold leaf in it and has been polished, the one on the right has lavender buds and gold leaf and still needs to be buffed.

And lastly, egg rattles in progress. I thought these would be fun little items for those who like to go to drum &/or chant circles.

Still a lot to get done before Saturday, so I'd best get to it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Front Range Pagan Pride

Front Range Pagan Pride day is here in the Denver area this coming Saturday, September 18th-- and Into the Dawn Designs will be there as a vendor!

I'm very excited to be vending at FRPP this year! This all came about on very short notice, so I am working hard to create plenty of items to bring for my booth. Stay tuned this week for a sneak peek of just some of the pretties I'll have on hand. Such as...

... brooches/pins that will be perfect for cloaks, shawls, lapels or hat brims...

... fabulous fall faerie wear, like this golden aspen leaf necklace...

... or these brown and copper oak leaf earrings with fancy jasper...

More to come-- stay tuned! And come see me at Stapleton Central Park on MLKing Blvd. in Denver for FRPP this Saturday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feline Friday: Best Toy in the World

We tempt the cats with catnip, we bring them rattley mice and crinkly foil balls and feathery wands-- but no, Dot thinks the best toy in the world is... this...

An empty cracker sleeve! YEAH!

It's sooooo much fun! It makes this great crinkly noise and...

NO! You can't have it! It's MY toy! MINE, MINE, MINE! Now go away and let me play!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 9th Moon

Fall is in the air and the 9th moon has arrived. Here is the card I drew for this moon cycle back when I did my New Year's spread--

The Emperor (4)~

Opportunity for lofty ambitions and great authority this moon cycle! The Emperor is the ultimate patriarch, the ultimate father figure.

He represents power and a solid foundation-- a solid foundation is also represented by the cubes and cones. Cubes also represent looking at a situation from all sides, and cones remind me of "raising a cone of energy" and as well as the witch's hat, a symbol of wisdom. He also has his symbol of will power and action-- his wand; and he has his dagger, representing clear thought, drawing boundaries, cutting to the heart of the matter.

There are four runes on this card-- the most I've seen on any card in this deck so far. They are Uruz and Sowilo on the left, Tiwaz and Dagaz on the right. In their simplest definitions Uruz is potential, strength and wisdom; Sowilo is success and victory; Tiwaz is authority and leadership, and Dagaz is security and certainty-- all the characteristics the Emperor embodies.

Most likely this moon cycle will present me with opportunities that will require me to act like the Emperor and draw on those strengths within myself.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Faux-ish Turquoise

I've been wanting to play with techniques using acrylic paint on raw clay for a while now, so I decided a simple faux-ish turquoise effect would be a good place to start. What I was really going for was the interesting "veining" the paint creates more than making faux turquoise that looked so real it could fool ya.

The first part of the technique calls for chopping up your clay, which I did with my ripple blade. Then, the messy part-- slathering the chopped up pieces with black paint. I admit, I cheated. I didn't use my hands and get all goopy, I used an old paintbrush. Does this mean I get my Polymer Clay Smoosher card taken away?

After the paint dried-- and I won't lie to you, I got distracted and it had a nice long week or so to do that-- I smooshed all the clay back together into a nice little loaf shape. Then I made some bead cores with plain clay and covered them with slices from my faux-ish turquoise loaf.

I made round beads and played around with making some tube beads. It actually wasn't as easy to do this as I thought it would be. I'm not the best cane or loaf slicer, I'm still working on making even, thin slices. And then I had to roll and roll the beads in my hands to get them conditioned well. I think the paint stiffens or dries the clay a bit, which makes it hard to get a nice smooth surface.

At any rate, I'm happy with the faux-ish turquoise look I achieved and I think the beads will be perfect for what I have in mind once they've been varnished.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Halloween Extravaganza

It's on the way! Only a few more weeks! Are you ready for Mrs. B's 31 Days of Halloween?

Over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, Mrs. B is cooking up a horrifyingly good time for everyone who stops by. I've been participating in Mrs. B's Halloween fun since her very first year-- and it just gets bigger and better every year. To give you an idea of just how huge this blog event is, she's been planning and organizing since mid-August!

Seriously, you must check out festivities. Great decorating and craft ideas, yummy recipes, and lots of interesting guest blogger posts on everything and anything related to Samhain and Halloween. And don't forget the Haunted Blog Tour! Plus, this year so far she already has 43 Giveaway Sponsors, and Into the Dawn Designs is proud to be one of them.

Head on over right now to pick up a blog button to post on your blog BEFORE October begins-- this will earn you an EXTRA entry for every giveaway. And then join in the fun and mayhem beginning October 1st over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom for 31 Days of Halloween!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: Gingerbell's

This week the spotlight focuses on the fantastic work of Polymer Clay Smooshers guild member Ginger of Gingerbell's. Whether it's polymer clay beads and pendants or her beautiful beadweaving, Ginger's work is incredibly intricate.

I have long admired Ginger's eye for color combinations whether it be subtle, like this swirled cabochon in her Blue Beauty Bead Embroidered necklace, or...

...the bold colors of these China Poppy pillow bead hair pins.

And look at the glittery shimmer in her pendant and beads for this Wild Thing Tiger Beadwoven necklace-- beautiful!

These are just a small sample of Ginger's gorgeous work-- so be sure to visit her shop to see her bangle bracelets, earrings, handmade buttons and beads. She also makes candles and soaps with yummy sounding scents like Black Amber & Lavender and Sandalwood & Ginger Apple.

You can also find Ginger and her beautiful jewelry at Gingerbell's Gifts, her blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Feline Friday: Paparazzi

Moose says, "No photos. Please respect my privacy..."

"I said NO PICTURES! Hey! Did you hear me?!?!?"
**scuffle ensues**

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tarot Mosaic Box

This month's PCSG challenge theme is "Medieval" and it was quite the challenge for me, coming up with an idea for something to create.

What are the Middle Ages known for? Kings and Queens and heroic knights, dragons and castles... I googled for more ideas and found that stained glass was popular in architecture during that time... and then I discovered that tarot cards became popular during the last 50 years or so of the Middle Ages-- BINGO!

I got out my clays and mica powders and started making mosaic tiles to go with some of the tarot transfer tiles I'd made a while back.

Because it took me forever to come with an idea for the challenge theme, I was running out of time and afraid I wouldn't get my idea finished before the deadline. So of course I had trouble figuring out how to fit together all the mosaic pieces. Then last night around 11 pm, everything began to fall into place...

Voila-- the Empress & Magician Tarot Mosaic box, completed just in time for today's challenge theme due date and available at IntotheDawn ArtFire.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome September

When the goldenrod is yellow,
And leaves are turning brown -
Reluctantly the summer goes
In a cloud of thistledown.

When squirrels are harvesting
And birds in flight appear -
By these autumn signs we know
September days are here.

~ Beverly Ashour