Friday, June 25, 2010

Birthday Roses & A "Floating in Wire" Polymer Clay Pendant

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a wonderful day with good food, lovely gifts and best wishes from my online friends.

My teenage grandson got up 6 Am early, went to my favorite bakery in a neighboring town and brought me mini pies and an assortment of danish to go with my morning coffee. 

Later in the day my daughter, Heather, brought me two new outfits and a birthday cake. Hubby helped me order a new camera (I'm using grandson Brandon's right now, my old one died) and a Dremel Stylus, both are due to arrive on the 29th. 

My sweet son sent me roses. Good thing I don't make my living arranging flowers. Fortunately roses are beautiful no matter how they are arranged.

And there is more to come, daughter Pathena (Moe calls her my "not Heather" daughter), my granddaughters and great granddaughter are coming over this weekend with more gifts. 

And my new Monafied pasta machine with motor arrived today.... how cool is that? I condition a couple batches of clay... it's a little scary, has anyone ever flattened a finger (or a cat), I'll probably be the first.... and I was surprised that it's so noisy. Is it suppose to sound like a table saw? Having said that I really like it. Conditioning goes much faster and is easier on my arm and wrist. I hope to get a cane or two made over the weekend.

I made another wire and bead pendant and "floated" a MG polymer clay chard in the center.  I'm experimenting with photo backgrounds.  Son Brad sent his dad a gift assortment of cheeses from IGourmet for Father's Day. It was packaged in a wooden box lined in straw...which I immediately glommed on to.  I thought it would make a cool background for photos.  The pendant gets a little lost in this photo

In this one I added a vintage light blue nylon hanky over the straw. I like the results, the pendant shows up really well.  I have more ideas on how to use the straw filled box so I'm sure you will be seeing it again. 

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rainbow Skinner Blend Beads and Cane

It was to hot to go outside today so I concentrated on clay. I think the heat is frying my brain.

My pasta machine motor hasn't arrived, I know it's on the way so hopefully it will be here soon.  I made do by feeding the clay in with my left hand and cranking with my right. I'm left handed so I normally crank with my left, it was a little awkward but I got the job done and didn't mush a single finger.... came close a time or two. It felt like that coordination test where you pat your head with one hand and rub your tummy with the other. (Not as easy as it sounds.... go ahead, give it a try.  See, I told ya.)

Click on the photos for a closer look.

First I made a Rainbow Skinner blend using Kato Pearl that I tinted with Premo and Fimo Classic. I used the black button as a mold and made these two round tiles.

I accordion folded the skinner blend strip then use the pieces that I trimmed off the sides to make the tube beads and the flat tile.  The round tiles are reversible, this is one side....  I was going to show you the other side but I somehow deleted the other photo and can't figure out how to put it back in the proper order.... you'll just have to take my word... the other side is pretty too.   Lordy I hate being so computer illiterate! Just when I think I have things figured out they  "new and improve" and I'm in the dark again.

Here are the canes I made.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mostly Wire Jewelry with a Little Polymer Clay

Sorry to report the little bunny is no more. Early yesterday morning, coffee cup in hand, I headed out the door on my way to the gazebo and there blocking my way was the mangled remains of bunny. Ick, Ick, Ick..... Poor bunny, I had stopped worrying, I thought him big enough and smart enough to elude the evil killer cat.... alas, not so.

I slammed the door and waited for hubby to get home. He disposed of the body for me. I can clean up bird remains and an occasional mouse body but not bunny. Corny is a small cat and looks so innocent but she an accomplished hunter. I wish she didn't feel the need to share her kills with me. She has a young squirrel in her sights now. He seems to think he can outsmart her but I'm not so sure.

My arm is still sore, it hurts to crank the pasta machine. The YaYa's chipped in to buy me a motor. I ordered it from Mona along with a Monafied pasta machine and am now waiting for it to arrive. In the mean time I've been playing with wire.

I love this necklace, I love the colors and the design is just what I wanted. I hope you like it too.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

I like to design asymmetrical jewelry. And by now you all know I love dyed freshwater pearls.
I used one of my polymer clay tiles as the center piece in this wire pendant.
I found a marvelous tutorial by Karla Kam on how to make a crocheted wire and bead necklace. This one is fall colors and was a perfect match for my wired maple leaf pendant.
I used red, white and black beads on red wire for this necklace and then added a polymer clay pendant wrapped in red wire.
And last but not least is a green crocheted wire necklace to which I added a green leaf pendant. I'll be making more of these. The necklace is easy peasy to make, doesn't take long at all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Canes & Heather's YaYa Creations

Summer has arrived bringing high heat, high humidity and summer storms. I've had to adjust my schedule. I get up early so I can do yard work before it gets to hot. I do a little weed pulling and water when necessary, Mother Nature has been doing a pretty good job with the watering. I then have an early lunch and take a mid day nap. Afternoons and evening are free to clay and do a little cooking. I try to plan meals that won't heat up the kitchen. Yesterday I cooked up a pot of Green beans and ham with potatoes and baked a big old pan of macaroni & cheese. I put ham in my mac and cheese, it's Brandon's favorite food. I was hoping it would last for a couple days but it's almost gone. Amazing how much teenage boys can eat.

I made a couple canes from scraps and I used my extruder to make the black and white cane. The black and white clay was really soft so I anticipate problems when I try to slice that one, maybe if I let it rest... and hopefully firm up... for a few days.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

And here are the things that Heather made at the YaYa retreat. She had a good time teaching and learning, she has little experience with clay but I think she's hooked now.

She sculpted the raven and then made a mold which she used for the raven on this piece. She is very good at sculpting little critters, she made several to use with her silver clay pieces.

These are made from the sheets she took with her. She made the retro cane in matching colors. As you can see she likes freshwater pearls and wire too.She took a couple books with her, one by Donna Kato and one by Carol Blackburn... the squiggle is from the Kato book.
She took the face molds with her. She got the aluminum wire at Hobby Lobby, it's a softer wire than the copper wire I use. The piece on the right is from the Kato book.

I love these colors together. Heather likes scraps too, I like what she did with the cane end pieces.
Some MG tiles, a couple swirlies and some stacker beads. The pieces have been sanded but not buffed... she forgot to take her Dremel. One of the other YaYa's showed them how to make pendants from old domino tiles. They drew on them with colored pencils and decorated with beads and wire.
And they always make dichroic glass pieces. Do you see the ravens in the green ones? Heather love's ravens.
The polymer clay was a big hit with the YaYa's, I think we have several converts. Heather took photos of what the other ladies made, now all we have to do is figure out how to upload them onto my computer... so stay tuned... more goodies to come.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Polymer Clay Flower Canes

It is HOT today.... mid 90's and high humidity! A good day to stay inside which in to bad cause it is the annual Switzerfest in our little town. The festivities take place on the square which is very close to where we live. We can sit on the front porch and see all the comings and goings. In years past they put the tilt-a-whirl right in front our house then last year they moved it down the block. I like that better. I'm getting cranky in my old age and all that yelling gets old after a couple hours. My favorite part of the fest is the food. I'm having a pork burger and funnel cake for supper. I love funnel cake.

Here are the tiles I made from the previous canes. I am very pleased with the way they turned out.

Click on the photos for a closer look.
When I went to the clay room today I had every intention of trying to make a clown cane.... but my muse took a look at all that left over clay and said "Nope, let's use this clay to make flowers" so that's what I did. Not sure what I will do with them but I like the colors, don't you?
Maybe I will make a clown tomorrow.

Heather will return from her YaYa retreat tomorrow, hope she took lots of photos.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Colorful Polymer Clay Canes

Grouping of canes I made to use in kaleidoscope canes. I achieved these pretty colors by mixing Premo colors with Kato Pearl. I always make at least one "what was I thinking" cane, in this case the triangle with the blue blob.

Click on the photos for a closer look.
The assembled cane before reduction.
And here are canes I made from it. They don't look like much here but the tiles I made are pretty cool. I will get them sanded tonight and show them to you tomorrow.

The little clown is an egg cup, he wanted his picture taken and he looks good with the canes. I plan to use him as a model for my next cane.
I like gardening in pots, they are easier to weed. I don't know how the weeds get in the pots, but they do. Don't you love the little white ballon flowers, the buds are so cool. I got some in other colors too.... purple, yellow and orange... so sweet!
The trumpet vines on the gazebo are in full bloom.... time for the hummingbirds to arrive, they love the trumpet flowers.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Polymer Clay Canes from Premo

Yesterday I was rearranging my clay drawers and I discovered several packages of Premo that I forgot I had. I wanted to see if I could use the clay for canes.... it's pretty soft.. I used partial packs of Pearl, Red Pearl and Blue Pearl. I let them rest over night, I'll try slicing them later today.

Click on the photos for a closer look

I also made a Seafoam Green Wire Pendant adorned with glass Cathedral beads then added it to a necklace made of green glass pearl beads on wire links. I had planned to back the pendant with clay but decided I like it like this. I am happy to report that yesterday I looked out the studio window and spotted the little bunny. That was the first time I've seen him since "the incident". He looked great, grown quite a bit, just hopping around nibbling on grass. Fortunately Corny was in the house napping. I took a photo but it didn't turn out well, what with my dying camera... and my dirty window.. he looks like a blob instead of a bunny.

This is a photo of the flower bed under my back windows. The lilies are gorgeous this year, I wish they lasted longer but enjoy them immensely while they are in bloom. The clematis is getting top heavy but I'm not sure how to prune the vines so I just let them do there thing. This is the first year for the foxgloves, they are so regal looking, I hope they come up again next year.

Close up of Clematis Close up of Foxglove

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Polymer Clay Canes for YaYa

Daughter, Heather, is leaving today for her annual YaYa Sisterhood Retreat. The Yaya's are a group of 8 friends that get together for a week each year to have fun and do artistic projects.... this year they are going to give polymer clay a try.

Heather came over friday afternoon to gather supplies and have me show her some basic projects they can try. We thought making a kali cane would be fun so we put together some simple canes that she can combine to make the kali cane.

The flowers are from my garden... turned out to be the colors Heather chose for her canes.

I love the colors of these snapdragons.And here are the canes I showed her how to make.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

These are a couple sheets we made to use with the canes.
This was made with layered magenta and ecru clay using the same technique as mica shift. Heather will take photos so we will get to see what they make. I can hardly wait!! Have fun YaYa's!!