Friday, June 25, 2010

PCSG Ocean Challenge

This month's theme for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild was "Oceans"-- and the entries are absolutely amazing! I swear, every challenge the designs just keep getting better and better. There are 17 beautiful interpretations of this theme, so be sure to come and check them all out by clicking on the banner below.

And while you are there, be sure to cast your vote for the next challenge theme-- poll is located on the PCSG blog's left sidebar at the top.

Lately I have been obsessed with creating polymer clay ATC/ACEO's and so that is what I made for my challenge piece.

I really like the idea of putting a lot of creativity into a little space-- ATC/ACEO's are only 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, trading card size. It's a great size for experimenting with new techniques and a challenge to see how just much detail can fit those dimensions.

Definitely not done playing with this idea yet!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: CNewcomb

This week, I am pleased to introduce Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild member CNewcomb of CNewcomb Woodworking as the focus my Smoosher Spotlight.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: polymer clay is an extremely versatile medium to work with-- and CNewcomb's items prove it. He came up with the incredibly creative idea to use polymer clay as an inlay for his patterned key chains!

CNewcomb is a father of two little girls, and he got into woodworking as a hobby and a way to relieve stress. Now his hobby has grown into his online store and he's begun to add polymer clay to the mix. When you visit his shop, be sure to check out all the lovely scroll saw work, too!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feline Friday: Our Little Anomaly

Last month I shared that the girls had been spayed, but I didn't mention what was discovered about Sassy during the procedure-- our girl has some internal anomalies!

The vet doing the procedure noticed right away that Sassy's uterus was deformed. Nothing to worry about, since she was being fixed anyway. But then the vet could only find one fallopian tube and ovary. She called in her boss to assist, our long-time vet & friend Dr. Brett, and they finally found it... it was just like a little string with a knob on the end, barely developed.

So then they were concerned about all of Sassy's inner workings and did a little exploratory surgery to make sure she had everything thing she needed. Turns out, she's missing something else-- she only has one kidney. But it is a fully developed and fully functioning kidney, which is good.

So we have another special needs calico kitty, like our Claire-bear was. The vet said not to worry, many cats (and humans) live long and full lives with only one kidney. All we can do is make sure her kidney stays healthy. So with that in mind, we are switching her (well, all the kitties, actually) to a special Rx cat food designed for kidney health and making extra sure there is always plenty of fresh water around to drink. I'm so glad we indulged in the kitty fountain now! She loves drinking from it. And beyond that, we just have to keep an eye on her.

Dr. Brett was dismayed at first to discover we had yet another kitty with special needs. But then he said, "Well, if anyone can take care of a cat with kidney problems, you can. I know from past experience with Claire that Sassy is going to get the best possible care from you." And it's true. We'll do whatever we need to take good care of our girl.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Clay Logo, con't

More playing and experimenting in my journey to create a clay logo for Into the Dawn Designs. This time, I explored color mixing to try and figure out what clay colors will look best with my beaded head pins created last week.

I went through some clay color recipes I had and chose several purples from Cindy Leitz, Polymer Clay Tutor (she shares great color recipes that I collect from her weekly free newsletter) to mix up. Those colors above were all pre-bake shades (Premo tends to change color or darken a bit after curing), but pansy was already looking too bright. I think viola and horizon will work though.

I also want a copper color to use. Straight Premo copper is too orange for my taste; I mixed 1/2 copper with 1/2 burnt umber to see if I liked that better. I also used copper Pearl Ex on plain burnt umber clay to see how that looked. I think the winner is copper mica powders over burnt umber, but the half-and-half is nice too.

Of course, my color choices could change once I start working, but for now at least I have a starting point. Onward!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 6th moon

The 6th new moon is here and its time to explore this month's tarot card from my New Year's spread--


This card is all about forward motion, the lava is flowing and nothing is stopping it-- in fact, the flow looks like it is being celebrated. Eights often relate to the completion of a phase and fast movement towards the next stage. There is also balance and lots of creativity in this card.

The runes seen on this card are Raidho and Ehwaz-- both relate to movement. Raidho represents the letter R and is the wagon or chariot. This is a rune about travel, journeying and evolution. Ehwaz is the letter E, the horse or horses. More movement! Steady progress and change (usually for the better) is indicated.

Looks like my creative journey is really going to take off this moon cycle, which fits. My FT works hours will end soon and I am looking forward to devoting my days to creative work. This card completely supports this upcoming change in my life.

(BTW-- I completely forgot to blog about card for the last moon cycle-- in case anyone was curious, it was the King of Swords, which completely fit with the authoritative, analytical decisions I had to make at my job during the 5th moon cycle.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lucky Number 13

Thirteen years ago today I married my sweetie. We celebrated our anniversary over this past weekend, in our traditional way--


By faux candlelight...

... and took lots of self-portraits...

Here's to 13 and MORE years together. Love ya, sweetie!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: CraftyBabyHope

This week, I am pleased to introduce Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild member Jennifer of CraftyBabyHope as the focus my Smoosher Spotlight. She is a newer member of the guild but has been active since the very second she joined!

Not only does Jennifer's shop feature imaginative polymer clay items, but she also has lovely wire work jewelry. And you may be wondering about her unusual shop name, Crafty Baby Hope-- well, this name was chosen because all profits from sales go towards the cost infertility treatments, as Jennifer suffers from secondary infertility. So, as her shop name implies, she is crafting in hope of being able to have another baby through medical help. You can learn more about Jennifer through her blogs, Jewelry For Hope and A Look Into My Life.

Here are some of the sweet polymer clay items you will find in her shop--

This Clay Baby Girl pendant is just one of several baby pendants available.

She also makes sweet little barrettes, like these Pink & Purple Flower Button hair clips.

Her sculpted animals, like this Black Scottish Terrier, are utterly adorable.

And if you are in the mood for a sweet treat, why not indulge in some of her many Kawaii charms, like this Super Sweet Candy Treats set?

You can also find CraftyBabyHope on YouTube, where she has several polymer clay tutorials, and on Facebook!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WIP Wednesday: A Clay Logo

So, I've been wanting to create a polymer clay sun to represent Into the Dawn Designs. Something to replace the digitally created graphic I have now. Something that shows my actual clay work, that I can use for my shops' banners, my avatar, etc.

I know I want to use clay, mica powder, copper wire and beads. Above are the beads I have that I would like to try and incorporate into my sun design. Just playing around, I made the little swirly head pins with the beads on them and wondered how I could use the swirled copper disc beads as well.

I decided to add a copper swirl bead to the strand to see how it looked, and I like it. So these strands will be part of my sun's rays and will be added to the clay design. Which is yet to be determined. But I'd like to base the colors and design off of what I've begun so far.

It's a bit like a puzzle and I'm slowly piecing the idea together. Can't wait to see how it all turns out, although I suspect there will be quite a bit of trial and error. But that's okay. I have faith that in the end, it will be fabulous-- the fun will be the creative journey I take to get there.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smoosher Spotlight: Sassy Clay

This week, I am pleased to introduce Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild member Dori of Sassy Clay Creations for the Smoosher Spotlight.

What makes Dori's polymer clay work so incredible is the huge amount of color, texture and detail she puts into everything she creates. Dori calls this technique pc layering, and it's easy to see why--

Just look at the layers of shapes, colors and textures in her lovely "Green Envy Mask"-- each detail builds beautifully upon the previous layer.

Another great example of her unique style is this "Bright & Cheery Mirror"-- lots of fun shapes and colors combined to make a one of a kind piece.

Dori's layering style also works wonderfully to make the most delicate and romantic looking items, such as this sweet "Flower Covered Bowl".

Besides being an incredible clay artist, Dori is also very inspiring to other Smooshers. Recently she shared her tutorial on how to make polymer clay ATC's and motivated a bunch of us in the PCSG to try our hand at making ATC's! I've made two so far, and I'm addicted. There is even talk in the guild of having a poly clay ATC swap!

And speaking of swaps, Dori is the organizer of the guild's previous and current Round Robin exchanges, as well. This has been a great activity to bond our guild members, help us get to know one another and share our creations with each other-- plus it has been so much fun! Makes me wonder how Dori will inspire all of us next.