Sunday, September 14, 2014

WIP Zentangle Polymer Clay Journal Cover

It's hard to find time to play with clay when you live in a resort town.  We have had lots of company,  our son Brad, who lives in Oregon, came for a short visit, he hadn't seen the cottage yet or his Dads boat so we were thrilled he was able to come.  His visit prompted a visit from daughter Heather, grandsons Nick and Brandon,  granddaughter Amanda, her hubby Cory and of course great granddaughter Lydia who was the star of the visit.  The rest of the family couldn't make it but Brad will be back for Christmas so they will see him then.

This is our Lydia playing with the colorful big stuffed  lion her Uncle Brad found in a Eureka Springs shop. She is such a sweet happy baby!

The shops here are filled with an abundance of wonderful creative things, I will have no problem finding birthday and Christmas gifts this year.

Now the other impediment to my claying is there is so much to do and see here, concerts or shows almost every weekend and so many good restaurants, plus the weather has been beautiful. My favorite thing to do is sit on the porch and watch the hummingbirds, I just can't get enough of them. Not sure what I am going to do when they go south for the winter.  Of course there will still be the deer and other critters to keep me entertained. Even though we live just a couple blocks from the historic district  we still have deer wandering through our back yard.

Anyway I have stayed inside a bit the last couple evenings and worked on a few things.  Used the last cane and some of the scraps to make mirror image tiles. I textured the backgrounds and used "Perfect Pearls" to add the shine.

I also made a mirror image pendant  from scraps.  I textured the background with sandpaper and shaded it with PearlEx powders in green and gold. I used PearlEx violet on the embellishments.

This is what took up most of my time.... a journal cover that is the WIP ..... I like playing with zentangles so I just started doodling and this is what I have done so far. I still need to come up with a border and add a few design elements. I first cured the clay and then drew the designs with my Microperm pen.  I'm not very good at zentangles yet but I hope to improve with practice. I will take more photos when I finish it.... not sure when that will be.

I hear my hummingbirds calling me..... they make a cute chittering sound..... so I'm heading outside.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Border Cane Beads

There is so much to see and do in Eureka Springs that I find it hard to find time for claying and blogging. Our weather has been so beautiful, it was actually chilly early this morning, and it's mid august, usually the hottest month.  We do love it here!

 I did manage to make a few beads from the canes I showed you in my last post.

Closer look at the long beads and the folded beads.... not sanded yet. They are approx. 2" long.

Another view of the same beads after sanding, not much difference in the photo but lots of difference to the touch, nice and smooth now.

Rustic heart pendant

Pendant with the long beads...,

and the long beads with some little round beads and a couple mirror image beads

I think I will make more of the small round beads and use them with the heart pendant, then I can make earrings with the long beads.

I am working on more canes.... which I will post when they are finished.

When my back is healed and I can venture down Jacobs Ladder again I will start posting photos of shops and restaurants.....

That's it for today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Surprise Lilies in my yard... and Border Canes

I love to garden and when we moved here in April I had big plans for our terraced back and side yards. Then I injured my back and wasn't able to garden at all. My morning routine is to enjoy a cop of coffee on the upper back deck. I can sit out there is my pj's listen to the birds sing and watch the squirrels play in the big oak tree. I always felt a little disappointed when I look down and saw weeds growing where flowers should be.....  then last week I looked down in the back yard and saw these beauties swaying in the breeze..... it took my breath away! Seriously it took my breath away.... It was a gift, a wonderful beautiful gift, one that I can look forward to every year.  Surprise Lilies!!

This is how they looked from the deck.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

and here is a closer look.

I also found them along the front of the house and by the garage.  When driving around town you see them everywhere..... such a wonderful sight!! Do you have Surprise Lilies in your yard?

Now on the claying.  I am enjoying making canes again. I originally planned to make a Border cane to go with my Fox cane...... and ended up with these.  Often my muse leads me in a totally different direction.  Never fear, I will try again for canes to go with the Foxes.

Closer look at the Border canes

This is my favorite

Fun canes I made with the scraps.

I am working on beads from the canes and their scraps that I really like, will post photos when they are done.

That's it for today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Fox Cane

I finished this cane last week but couldn't take photos.... my camera battery ran out and I couldn't find my charger, ordered a new one and had to wait for it to arrive before I could take photos. Trying to find things in my new studio is very frustrating, right now I am looking for my micro beads, I know they are here somewhere.  I need to put up more shelves so things will be in plain site instead of tucked away in drawers..... aaaagggghhh!!!

Okay I made this Little Fox Cane

I like foxes so when I found a fabric pattern with cute little foxes I thought it would make a nice cane. I started with the head

and worked my way down

I have gobs of scrap clay so decided to use some of it for the back ground. In order to make the cane square I made a tree effect on the left

When the the cane is flipped over and the "tree" sides put together it looks more like a tree, as you can see with the two canes at the bottom.

I usually don't make canes this big so I ended up with way more foxes than I will ever use. I used one of them to make a couple kaleidoscope canes. I plan to make Little foxes jewelry and will use these to make matching beads.

There is a ground hog that lives under our back porch, I named him Phil.  Isn't that clever of me?  He suns himself on the back step every morning. My cats are not fond of Phil and refuse to go out in the backyard because of him.... and the deer... they don't care for them either.  I thought having a resident ground hop was kind of neat until I read all the damage they can do with their burrowing. We may have to call someone to relocate Phil.  

This is poor Corny sitting in the window keeping a eye on Phil. She is not a happy cat and has voted to have him evicted..... the sooner the better. 

That's it for today. I am now working on a border cane to use with the Foxes. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 20, 2014

SURPRISE!!! I'm Back! Mixed Media Hearts.

Let me tell you, moving is hard work and not for the faint of heart..... or old folks.  We decided to move ourselves along with help from our kids, mostly daughter Heather who made 7 trips in her truck and rode in the UHaul with Roger when we moved the furniture. Heather and I did all the packing and unpacking...... again mostly Heather. Once we got everything down here I was having a jolly old time unpacking and putting thing away.... it was fun.... until I injured my back lifting a heavy box of glassware... resulting in a compression fracture in my lower back that I am still recovering from.... so of course Heather did almost all the unpacking too.  There is still  unpacking to do, I have many, many boxes stashed in every nook and cranny that will take me months, maybe years, to unpack.  The cottage is about half the size of our house in Highland, plus no basement or attic.  I may have to open an antique shop one of these days..... to many treasures and no place to put them.

We do love Eureka Springs. The cottage is built on the side of a hill overlooking the downtown historic district.  However now that the trees have leafed out you can't see much of downtown, it's like living in a tree house.

Here is the view from the corner of the wrap around porch on the main floor.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

This is our gorgeous big old tree in the side yard between our cottage and the historic  Jacob's Ladder staircase that leads to downtown.  The tree is home to an active squirrel family and a multitude of singing birds.  We have deer and other critters that wander through our yard and a ground hog that lives under our back porch that I have named Phil. I had planned to plant an array of gorgeous flowers by now but again can't do much with my injured back.... next year, I guess.

This is my partially set up studio. As you can see I still have work to do but a least all the "studio" boxes are unpacked (again thanks to Heather).  I need more storage, which I have ordered, and will reorganize once I decided where I want to put things but this will work for now.

Last week I dug out the wire and tools and made a few hearts. It's been a while since I made anything so I thought I better start with something easy...hearts are easy and everyone likes hearts.... right?

Here are the "before" and "after" photos of  the wire hearts.... before and after I added polymer clay.

I used silver colored wire for the base and wrapped with amber, brown and lime green wire. I embellished with faceted glass beads and rings of tinted shell that match the green wire.

I mixed green and gold Kato clay for the polymer clay background and textured with a variety of tools. I used PearlEx metallic powder for the highlights.

I used 18 gauge gold color wire for the background of this heart. Wrapped with Seafoam Green 28 gauge wire and Yellow 28 gauge wire, accented the edges with matching seed beads.  The drop is a shimming faceted glass bead with iridescent carnival glass center.

I mixed Kato Pearl and Kato Green and with a touch of Kato Turquoise to match the Seafoam Green wire. I then stamped the clay with one of my favorite rubber stamps and highlighted the raised branches with Gold PearlEx.

I have the wire part of the next heart finished ......

hope to make the clay backing tomorrow..... maybe Pardo translucent tinted with alcohol ink, which I have to find, I know its here somewhere!  Locating my supplies is like an Easter egg hunt, just not as much fun, although  I do feel pretty darn pleased with myself when I find what I'm looking for.

I have a Doctor's appointment in the morning. Plan to clay again in the afternoon. Still walking around with a cane, can't go down Jacob's Ladder just yet.  Once I am more mobile I plan to take lots of photos of the shops and neat places around town so I can share this marvelous place with you.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Our Retirement Cottage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

I haven't posted for some time.... sorry about that.  The last few weeks have been a little hectic. We have been going back and forth from our home here in Highland to look for a place in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  After looking at many places we found one we love.  It is this delightful little cottage sitting on the side of a hill overlooking the downtown area of Eureka Springs.

It was built in 1900 and has been completely updated while retaining it's old world charm.

Here is a photo of the front of the cottage

This is the back of the cottage taken from the street below and looking up

The first floor has a wrap around porch on 3 sides and there is a 2nd porch on the lower level. There are swings on both levels, here is the swing on the lower level.

Here are a couple photos of the view overlooking the town.  I will take more when we get moved in.

This one is from the lower level porch.

Jacobs Ladder is a set of historic steps that run along the side of our property.  They lead to the historic district of Eureka Springs.  All we have to do is walk down the steps to an abundance of delightful shops and  wide array of wonderful restaurants.

We closed on the 28th spend one night camping out in the cottage and then had to return to Highland because of the weather.  I wanted very much to stay the weekend to experience the Mardi Gras parade but couldn't take the chance of driving back in an ice storm.  We have relatives that also live in Eureka Springs. Carol took these photos of the parade.  How cool is that? We will be living within walking distance of all the fun events that take place in this historic town.

Carol also took a photo of the little birdhouse in our back yard.  There are all kinds of critters and birds that inhabit the town as well as an abundance of creative folks that sell there wares in the shops. I definitely won't lack for inspiration!

It will be a few weeks before we get completely moved but once we do I plan to blog at least once a week about the shops, restaurants and events in Eureka Springs.  After all the packing and unpacking is done I will also get back to blogging about polymer clay so please don't give up on me. I have several new ideas that I want to share with you.... even have plans for a tutorial or two.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Trying a New Technique & Bird in the House.... again!!

Yip, we had another bird in the house! Still haven't discovered how they get in, not that I blame them, it is sooooo cold outside.  5 degrees today, brrrrrrrr!!

I was snuggled up under my blanket kinda snoozing on the couch, one eye on the tv when I swear a bird flew over my head.  What the...... Senior moment?  Nope, real bird!! The cats racing down the stairs sounded like a herd of buffalo..... they really wanted that bird.  Oh no, not again!!  I scrambled to my feet and began the chase. After following him through 4 rooms, cats in hot pursuit, he ended up perched on the transom above  the door in my office area. (See him sitting up there?)  I threw open the door grabbed the broom and striking a Babe Ruth pose I was ready to bat him out the door if he tried flying back into the room.

No doubt folks driving by thought I was nuts for having my front door open..... and holding a broom like a bat.  I am a source of entertainment to our neighbors, makes me wonder what they are going to talk about after we move.

I finally managed to use the broom to shoo the bird out the door and at the same time keep the cats at bay.  Pretty easy this time.

I have many breakable, hard to replace items sitting around so these bird invasions are traumatic for me.  The bird usually doesn't knock anything down but my darn cats will.  As usually I was yelling for help from the guys upstairs and once again they slept through the whole thing.

To give you an idea of what I have sitting around here is one corner of my front bedroom.... filled with stuff I do not want broken.

See why cats racing through the house gives me the willies?  Most of the time they are pretty good about staying off the furniture... but there is no stopping them if they are after a bird..... or a mouse. Yes on occasion we do have a mouse in the house.... at least they stay on the floor.... and our little female cat catches them in no time flat.

Fortunately I got the bird out before it flew upstairs.  What a relief.... after that adrenaline pumping experience my nap time was over......  No more birds please!!

Okay on to more important news!!

Our move to Eureka Springs is moving right along. We found a delightful little cottage, made an offer and it's been accepted.   So Exciting!!!  It's a much smaller house than this one but it is very nice.  It is a completely remodeled cottage built in 1900 and the location is PERFECT!!  The view overlooking the town  is TERRIFIC!!  I will show you photos after we move in... it will be a couple months. Hubby still has to retire and I have to pack, pack pack.  The streets are so narrow and squiggly I am not sure how we are going to get our furniture in there but my family assure me it can be done.   We'll see.

Okay, now on to clay.

 I haven't had a lot of time to play with clay.  A while back I did try out a new design technique with PearlEx that I like very much.....

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Two of the beads are made from scraps, the rest are air filled. I do like using the "air filled" technique, they are light as a feather and don't add much weight to a necklace or earrings.

Same techniques, different shapes and colors.

A couple tiles from scraps..... I do love those scraps!!

 I am now working on beads.  My studio is to cold to stay in there for very long so I got a tray, some scrap clay for bead guts and a few canes. Settled down in front of the television, put the tray on my lap and made these.   They haven't been cured yet.  I need to drill holes, put them on rods, then pop them in the oven.  Did I mention my studio in my new house has heated floors..... how cool (or hot) is that?

 Oh, and I made a pendant from the end piece of a cane.

I purchased a new extruder from Kimberly Idaiski called the Czextruder made by Lucy Clay Tools. It looks good and its gotten good reviews. I am anxious to give it a try, I am hoping it will extrude Pardo Art Clay.... stay tuned for the results.

That's it for now.

Thanks for stopping by.