Back from Boston! Passach with the family

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting with my brother and his family, as well as extended family, on my mother’s side- which is Jewish. mmmmmmmm. I had several different keugels (no idea if I’m spelling that correctly!) and today a coworker has brought in even more, and another flourless chocolate cake! It doesn’t hurt to have a NYC-based pastry chef in the family on first-night, either. Next I have to get my butt back in the gym, because I’m sure the celebration has made it bigger! Tomorrow I’ll post photos of my Fire Mountain Gems contest entry!


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Tribal Twist- my entry in the 2009 Bead Dreams competition, challenge, or whatever you’d like to call it!

I discovered this: spanglercandy.com, and this: Story of the Candy Cane
after reading one of the projects in Donna Kato’s updated Art of Polymer Clay. She used the candy cane twist to make tube beads. Tube beads are totally not my style, but the spiral definately is. So I studied a little further on how they make large amounts of the same spiral so that I would have enough to make a bead set and have all the stripes match.

Here is my second result. The first one I created is going to the Fire Mountain Gems 2009 Beading Contest, in my opinion it is one of the best pieces I have made thus far. I’ll be showing it off next week (I’m competitive to a fault, when I want to be. I couldn’t possibly show pictures of anything for a competition until AFTER the due date!!!!) This one was made to further celebrate the technique. I also used a mix of premo, fimo, and kato in this one- and FMG doesn’t allow that, it had to be pure Kato. I understand why, because they sell it. But I really need to soften Kato up to be able to effectively work with it. To me, “effective” means that I can create a beautiful piece in a reasonable amount of time- and Kato just takes way to long for me to condition. I don’t want to spend all my working time rolling clay thru a pasta machine! So here she is, Tribal Twist. I imagine a beautiful Jungle Queen wearing this while hunting tigers! Click to view them larger.

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It’s that time again…PCAGOE Challenge Time!

aprilmosaic
The talent in our group is amazing! This month’s theme was Faux. I really wanted to enter this time, but alas, I ran out of time. I’ve got too much going on this month with competitions and my spring break from school!
Be sure to visit the group, click the photo above, to vote for your favorite and you might win a prize!

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Polymer Clay and Mixed media, a natural combination

Well, this week I tried to enter the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. You can see my entry at my flickr (studiobijou.) Unfortunately, they posted that they would pick the winner on April 1, with entries due by today, but they already picked the winner! But, it did get me to make something and get my mental gears turning. Kinda like homework used to. The theme was Matisse’s Fauvist Red Goldfish painting, which I took literally….matisseredfish

I enjoy mixed media, probably the most common form I use is jewelry art. I just got a bottle of Lisa Pavelka’s Magic Gloss, which is a UV resin that cures in sunlight (or a blacklight, but I don’t need one, living in Florida I can use mother nature) and boy, is it fun. A tad expensive, at $9.50 per ounce- however, after researching UV resins, it’s about 60% cheaper than others on the market so I won’t complain. I embedded a dried daisy in the resin and cured it, then flipped it over and poured some on the back so it would be completely embedded, cured that…then created a polymer clay frame for the whole thing and baked it- and it’s pretty cool. I want to do some more experimentation with it and then I’ll post pics. My nephew has been visiting this week, so I’ve been a little pressed for time and haven’t made many new things.

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I have an idea…. Do you sometimes hate to say that the way I do?

I used to keep a green notebook full of ideas. One time, a business exec told me that I could start a new business every day. LOL. I believe that. It’s unfortunate for me though, because I am an idea-machine- but also a businesswoman, realizing that in order to build a personal brand it would be very difficult to start a new “business” every day.

I have decided that when I get a particularly good one, I am going to work out the details and submit it for publication- let the idea run wild in the great outdoors and see who it resonates with. Selling my ideas, as it were. For the really, really good ones, I will play with them myself for a while and see which ones stick. My main problem is that I don’t really enjoy repeating a design more than about 10 times, so I need to create things with infinite variability or else I get super-bored, super-fast. I enjoy making birds and I think that’s going to stick around for a while. Everything else is an experimentation.

It is really frustrating to me to have so many ideas. Some people would probably tell me that this is a really crappy thing to be complaining about, but I find it inhibiting. Because I have so many ideas and I often play with one a couple of times before giving it up, it has become difficult to decide if I should invest, say, in a tool or supply for that idea. I find myself shooting my ideas in the foot before I get started for fear that I’m going to waste a whole bunch of time and money on an idea that will bore me in 10 seconds. Help!

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A few nice things to say about Kato clay, reluctantly…

I am entering Fire Mountain Gems beading contest this year, and the clay is Kato Clay. Unfortunately. I hate Kato clay. It stinks to the high heavens to my sensitive olfactory cells, and it is tough. Like Classic Fimo tough. My cold little hands just can’t condition it. Since it performs so much like Fimo did, I sometimes wonder why it is manufactured. However-

I was forced to buy some in order to compete. I ordered my four necessary colors. One of them was actually smooth and noticeably easier to condition than the other three. But the other three colors…omg, it took me all freekin’ day to make the components for my piece, which would have taken a couple of hours if made from my current favorite clay, Premo. As for my finished product, it is incredibly gorgeous. I have this to say about my experience using Kato clay-

although it took three times as long to condition and ready the clay in order to create my pieces, the sheen and the absolute lack of fingerprints was almost worth it. If made from Premo the same items would have had a dull finish and since everything I make is curvilinear, it is almost impossible to sand smoothly. So- the flawless, printless, sheen-y finish is very nice. I am certain that if made in Premo, the same items would have had prints on them and I would have had to spend a lot of time getting them out before baking. I guess it’s due to the extreme firmness of the Kato that it didn’t pick up my prints while I was working it.

Competition deadline is April 15th- so I’ll be posting pictures then. I can’t wait to see what I’m up against when all the entries go in 🙂

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Critters in polymer clay

So I was taking a stroll through critterland, that interesting place where imagination meets clay and little “things” come to life. My favorite place to spot such critters? Etsy, of course. And I know so many people there! So I started traipsing through the forest, and the first thing I found was this blue thingy- kinda like a cross between Wild Things and Dr. Suess.
ittybittiesforyou

Then, a quick swim…for this cane covered beautiful fish
alicestroppel
And finally, a Corgi face and butt that was so irresistable I bought it on site! My cousins Sarah and Ryan have a Corgi, her name is Birdie, and I’m sure they will love this when they get it.
beetreebyme

There are so many other little critters to be found. Some lifelike, some cartoonlike, some very fantastic, and some just plain pretty… do be sure to visit Etsy.com. If you search PCAGOE TEAM as a tag, some of the work I showed you here will come up, as well as the work of 80 or so other artists I am aquainted with in that group.

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