Thursday, May 27, 2010

Colored Wire & Polymer Clay Necklaces

I'm still pulling weeds and planting flowers. I am happy to report... my backyard is looking good! I still have the back flower garden to conquer... it looks like an overgrown briar patch and I've been dreading doing it. I've also been putting it off cause there is a little bunny living in the briar patch and I hate to destroy his home.

Speaking of the bunny... I've begun to think of him as my own Peter Cottontail.. he's so cute and he doesn't seem to be afraid of me at all. He comes out in the late afternoon and nibbles on the grass. I talk to him and he lets me get within a couple feet before he hippity hops back under cover, when I walk away he comes back out. Well a couple days ago I was planting flower seeds... I decided to just plant seeds in one flower bed and see how it turns out... it's the side flower bed closest to the back garden.... Corny, my evil cat, was napping in the gazebo. She usually goes out at night or early morning and naps in the air conditioned house in the afternoon but that day she decided to do her snoozing in the gazebo. I'm working away when suddenly. out the corner of my eye, I see this orange streak fly across the yard. Yikes!!...I knew I wasn't going to like what was going on behind me. I spun around and sure enough there was my poor little bunny hanging from the jaws of my evil cat. "Old legs don't fail me now"... I rush over, grab Corny... I'm yelling "Drop the bunny, drop it, drop it, drop it!! and shaking her like crazy. She finally releases the bunny, he falls to the ground, careens around the gazebo and back into the briar patch. I march to the house firmly holding a squirming, angry cat. "Bad cat... you are a bad, bad cat!!" I manage to get the back door open, enter the kitchen and not to gently deposit her on the floor. She jumps up on the table and give me a defiant "what the hell was that for?" look. I knew it was a mistake to let her watch "Big Cat Diaries". "No more tv for you missy!!"

That was about all the excitement I could take for one day so I put Corny in the bathroom... you should have heard her complaining...and went back outside to put away my tools. No sign of bunny, I hope he's okay. I then took a nap.

Yesterday it rained and stormed and rained some more so I stayed inside and played with wire. I was going to clay but I have a shin splint on my left forearm... I guess that would make it "forearm splint" ... from all the weed pulling and digging. Anyway it hurts to turn the handle on my pasta machine so I played with wire instead.

Here are the necklaces I made.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

I used black wire wrapped with peridot wire and peridot glass seed beads and glass square beads. The polymer clay beads have a swirl pattern that goes with the design of the pendant.

I used amber and brown wire on this one and added a polymer clay flower that was in my bead stash.

This is what the back looks like. I sandwiched the wire pendant between the polymer clay flower and a circle of raw clay on the back that I smoothed and then cut to fit the flower. I textured the back to give it a more finished look.

This is another focal bead I had laying around. I added some wire embellishment and then made the chain to match. I haven't seen bunny since the "incident", I'm hoping he moved on to greener pastures. Today, if my arm doesn't hurt to much, I'm going to tackle the back garden.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trash to Treasure Swap Final Destination

Wow what a journey this has been!! The Round Robin Trash to Treasure Swap was the brain child of hostess Tonja Lenderman. It began mid August 2009 when Tonja put together a box of "partially finished pendants, left over beads, odd and ends, bits and bobs" that she couldn't bring herself to throw away but didn't have a use for. She suggested it would be fun to send it to a polyclay friend who could remove what they wanted, add an equal number of items and send it on to the next person on the list. She was hoping at least 15 folks would join in the fun, everyone was thrilled and 27 of us signed up.

First the box traveled across the pond where it made it way to the homes of several international clayers, they added wonderful items that was greatly anticipated by all us Yanks. Our international friends were very generous and the goodies soon out grew the original box. The box(es) made it back to the USA and were rerouted to Tonja for downsizing. She sent a more manageable box on it's way and with the left overs made up a "Mystery Box" for s special drawing. To make a long story short... I won!!... the Mystery Box.

The swap box was moving right along.... or so we thought... when it disappeared into a black hole never to be seen again. (If you don't know the story go back and read my blog Jan 16th & 25th.. or Tonja's blog... for the details)

To make another long story short... we used the Mystery Box plus donations from very generous friends to keep the swap going. It was great fun to watch the box travel across the country. Most folks shared photos of what they took out and what they put in, while the rest of us drooled and turned green with envy. I am pleased to report all the cool donated items that were in the box I sent out have found new homes.

All in all I would say this was a fun swap....... here are the final photos.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

First I emptied the box into my light box so I could take a photo... wanted you to see the box was still "full to the brim"
I didn't take photos of everything, but here are some highlights. Mostly hearts... and some fun charms
A sample of the many canes. I was hoping I'd get a piece of the Mola parrot from Melissa and I did. , The lovely flowers & fun figures are from Sue, a cool cat from Claudia and Raggedy Andy from Alice. I'm not sure who made the butterflies.

I don't know who made the halloween box... fess up someone.... the rest of the cool loot in this photo is from Tonja. Thank you so much Tonja!!
And here is lots of neat stuff from other friends. Lots of wire and goodies from Moe, a mold from MaryKay, buttons from Tonja, Rasta Man Cocoon baby (how cool is that!!) from Kathi, molds from Gloria, pendants from Jeanann, and cool findings from Jessica. Another Trash to Treasure Swap is in the works. Connie has volunteered to be the hostess.. she is making a list and checking it twice... so mosey on over to Polymer Clay Center Message Board and sign up. See ya!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mixed Media Polymer Clay Pin & Pendant

First of all I want to report the painters are finished and the house looks mighty good. My feline friends and I are very happy. I can freely stroll around the house in my ratty pj's without someone peeping in the windows. Fritz can relax and snooze on the back of the couch and Corny no longer follows me around the house complaining in that high pitched whine .... peace has returned at last.

Since the house looks so good I spent the last few days sprucing up the yard.... well the back yard anyway, that's where my flower gardens are. I pulled weeds and pulled weeds and pulled weeds.... and pruned trees. There are still lots of weeds to pull but I needed a break so thursday hubby and I went to the nursery to buy plants.

Oooooo there was so many pretty plants, I love plants and I wanted them all. Hubby said get what you want so I grabbed one of those wagon carts and started loading it up. I finally stopped when it wouldn't hold anymore and we hauled it inside. Most folks there were buying one or two plants, the ladies that own the nursery were checking them out and when they saw us coming I heard the one say to the other "Oh this is going to be fun!". I think I made their day, which was fun for me too. I spend the afternoon planting and it looks pretty good. It always amazes me how much smaller the plants look once they are in the ground. I'm going to need more.

Friday we ran out to Wal-Mart to get one of those roller-up things for the garden hose and I needed zinnia, marigold and hollyhock seeds. I told hubby I would just take a quick stroll through their plant department.... I usually don't buy plants from Wal-Mart, they don't take care of them and the poor things are droopy and scraggly. A new order had just arrived, they were putting out some pretty nifty plants..... so I bought a cart full. I then hurried back home to plant before it rained. Darkness drove me inside although I still had several plants to set out.

I got up Saturday morning to rain. It let up around noon but it was to wet to plant so I went back to pulling weeds. It kinda misty rained all day and I got damp and muddy. My cats sat at the back door meowing for me to come in. My husband and grandson were busy watching tv.... every now and then one of them would call from the back door "You should take it easy... or... don't overdo it" The men in our family melt if they get rained on.

It was raining again this morning... I'm hoping it dries up a bit so I can get back to planting.

In the mean time I made some wire doodads to put on these polymer clay pieces.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

This one will be a pin, I haven't put the pinback on yet. When turned on it's side it kinda looks like a bird head.

This is a pendant. I added a wire charm and made the chain with matching blue wire. The beads are pink glass squares. The sun is out so I'm heading back outside. See ya later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I tell ya I couldn't do anything right yesterday. The day started out pretty good. I had breakfast, got dressed... put on one of my spiffy new tops that I got for Mother's Day, the pretty sunhine yellow one from Heather. I even put on make-up so I could go to the store later in the day. I went in the kitchen to do the breakfast dishes, I'd had bacon and eggs and the bacon grease had congealed in the pan so I turned on the burner to melt it. (I save the bacon grease, I like it for frying eggs). At this point I looked down and saw brown spots all over my pretty new top. damn! I'd somehow splattered liquid make-up all over my front. I whipped off the top, scurried to the laundry room (just off the kitchen) doused it with laundry soap and started scrubbing.... then I smelled something burning.... yikes!!.... the bacon grease. The kitchen was filling up with smoke. I flung open the backdoor, punched the fan button on the stove, grabbed the pan and headed out the back door when I realized I wasn't wearing a top. I dropped the pan back on the stove, slung on a sweatshirt, grabbed the pan again and tried to make it out side before the smoke alarm went off. Too late.... the high pitch screech was piercing my eardrums. You know how it kinda vibrates though your body making you want to screech along with it? Gives me chills!!

The alarm on the first floor is above the hall door, to high to reach without the ladder which is in the I grab my Grabber from the pantry an attempt to "grab" the smoke alarm. I get it off the nail but when I try lowering it, it falls from the Grabber, hits the floor and parts fly in all directions but it's still screeching like a banshee. Finally I shut it off ... relief at last!! I could use some of Moe's wine.

In the mean time my cats are sitting on the table watching my every move with great interest. Apparently they think I am doing a one woman show for their amusement. I'm tempted to give them each a good smack... but I didn't, so do not report me to the humane society. I loves my cats.

Now keep in mind my hubby worked the night before and is upstairs sleeping. I was trying to not wake him and it worked cause when I told him about it lately he said he didn't hear a thing. He did not smell the burning bacon grease or hear the smoke alarm or hear all the crashing around.... if I ever tumble down the stairs and break my neck or am bludgeoned to death by a crazed intruder .... you think the police will believe his story that he didn't hear a thing? I watch those true life crime stories on tv... he'll spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Serves him right!!

So after the exciting morning I went outside and pulled weeds for several hours. That calmed me down and my ears stopped ringing. Then I came in to play with clay.

and my ill fated day continued.

I was playing with some layered clay when I thought it would be interesting to carve through the layers. I couldn't find my carving tools.... they are hiding with my knitting I used my blade to slice designs in the clay. I was really pleased with the results when I saw a post on PCC .... about Jana's classes on her Laser Cut technique. Yip, I stumbled on her technique. Of course my rendition isn't anywhere near as wonderful as her beautiful pieces but it is similar.

Here's the layered piece I started with.
The one on the left is like Jana's technique. The one on the right was made by slicing a log lengthwise and arranging the pieces to make a stylized tulip.

After sanding I will add some beads and wire and put them together like this.
Now what do I do? Is it okay to make more pieces using this technique? What would you do?

P.S. That strange little box is back on my blog pages... it comes and goes... I don't know what it is or how to get rid of it. Any suggestions?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Polymer Clay Totem Bracelet

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there, hope you had a wonderful day!!

I used cane end scraps to make this layered mirror image bracelet. It said "totem" to me so I call it my totem bracelet. I cured it on a small glass jar about the size of a soda can. I used lavender and aqua 20 gauge wire to make the chain links. The large links are 18 gauge gun metal wire.
Click on the photos for a closer look. At first I had a lobster claw clasp but I couldn't put it on with one hand so I made a hook, it works better and it looks better too.

I sanded the inside so it has that silky smooth feel. The back is striped with flowers but for some reason they don't show very well. You can see them better if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it.
I hung it on my display with a few other bracelets.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Two Favorite Mediums Polymer Clay & Wire

No, I'm not dead. I did have the flu or a cold or a virus... something along those lines, I felt like crap and mostly slept but I'm better now.

Then I got side tracked with rooting around in the basement... I'm never going to be done with the basement. The more I root around the bigger the mess gets and I keep finding things that I "can't" get rid of. Maybe I should go on that "hoarder" show. Yesterday I found some things that I thought should be in a closet upstairs... which led to sorting and organizing the closet so I would have room for the stuff from the basement. You get the idea, this is how I spend my days, just moving stuff from one place to another, no wonder I can never find anything.

Here is the Polymer Clay and Wire pieces I made recently.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

The pendant is made from polymer clay and the chain is copper wire accented with seed beads.

Close up of the pendant.I made this layered pendant some time ago. I used brown wire and pink square glass beads to make the bail and chain.

Close up of the pendant
I used one of my "rattlers" for the center of this pin and then added the wire and bead flower. The hand display is smaller than a real hand. I think I'll put a bail on the back so it can be worn as a pendant too.