Saturday, February 28, 2009

Be afraid...

Ok, now I think you probably know from reading my blog, or my profile snippet, or seeing my pink and blue outfit or noticing my cute little painting in my new banner...that I am a laughing, happy, crazy, kooky kind of chick.

Well, all that being said, I suppose we all have a dark side. I usually read mystery novels, seldom romance. While I do watch some chick flicks, I prefer old black and white Voodoo Island type movies. I watch vampire and zombie movies, and I previously thought that talking ventriloquists' dummies were the creepiest of all. Until now, so turn on all the lights and grab the claw hammer, because it's time for my latest pillow creation....

Meet the scariest clown around. The idea in my head was that of a cute and non threatening clown. I then started looking at pictures of Victorian clowns and pictures of clown marionettes, and this just sort of emerged. I did another one, but it turned out much larger than this one and I am thinking he just might be destined for the face of an art doll. I'm just not sure.

I am having fun with these little pillows, but I'm like a inquisitive kitten that keeps jumping outside the box. Once you know you can get back in when necessary, you get a lot braver. Who knows what might find it's way onto a pillow.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. It's raining here, so I think a cup of tea and a good book are in order. We'll talk soon. Take care.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Pillow Talk

I am digging on this pillow making. I love to draw and I hate to feel like I am "wasting" my time in the evenings by just sitting around and drawing. My sister and I drew all the time when we were kids and my mother loved it, it kept us quiet. Anyway, making a pillow out of my art is a good way of displaying the drawing in a way that I don't feel embarrassed and feel like I'm "showing off " by looking at my own art. So here are the latest ones.

You may remember this little face from a recent set of ATC's. I recreated her here.

She has a bit of a crazy doll look to her, but that's ok.

I have been toying with the idea of doing a girl with flowers for hair. I got a new quilted bedspread yesterday in my favorite color combo of pink and green, so I had another reason to make a pillow. I am happy to introduce you to her.

Well, that's it for today. For all of you who sent addresses, I did want to mention that I got the hearts mailed out yesterday. It was a fun giveaway. I hope you enjoy them. Take care and have a great Friday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pillow soft

I don't know about you, but I am so inspired by the beautiful art pillows that Sandy is creating, that I decided to have a go at it myself. Some of you may remember these little pillow dolls that I made and embellished at the library event last year...

It was fun and it may have even motivated several young library patrons to make their own little pillow dolls.

Then one year for his birthday, I presented DH with this little bit of fluff...

Mmmm...smelled like cinnamon. That was fun to make also. I don't know what it is, but there is something so satisfying about making a pillow. They are soft and squishy and just so comforting. I used to like to make pillows. Now, thanks to my friend, Sandy, I love, love, love making pillows. Art Pillows!!!

Seriously though folks, here is my first art pillow. I redrew, using Derwent Graphitint pencils, one of my earlier faces, using the same beige fabric that you see in the prim pillow. I, then, heat set it with the iron and made it into a pillow. Size is about 7" x 10".

I was so happy with the result that I couldn't wait to make another one. My sister has a lovely friend who just received her citizenship and is so very proud of this accomplishment. (Do you have any idea how hard these tests are? She prepared for two years.) So to acknowledge this special event in her life, I made the following pillow...

In case it isn't clear from the photo, those are red and blue fireworks going off around this little lady and below her is the date of her citizenship ceremony.

Well, that's it for now. I just could hardly wait to post these. Sandy not only motivated me to get out my sewing machine, she encouraged me to think outside the box a bit. That is what art is all about. Learning, creating, enjoying. If you are new to my little world, you may not know that the name of my blog refers to how easy art is. Everyone can be an artist, it's just that easy. Yep, you might say it's just "...a walk in the park".

Take care.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I just wasn't likin' it...

You remember my work in progress from the other day

Well, several things about this design just didn't set with me. Keeping in mind that I'm not a professional, but have been making jewelry for a long, long time -remember Pop Beads-? anyway, after putting this together in the design above, I felt that some more refining was in order.

I tried to duplicate the look of a handmade glass bead and am actually very pleased with the result. It seems, though, that combining a glass look bead with natural stone beads, seemed a bit off. Also the black wire and crimp beads, which I really like in other applications, just seemed to take away from the look of this focal bead. I have lots of other beads in my stash so I took everything apart and after trying several other ideas I came up with this...

This is a shorter necklace, and I used textured glass beads in purple, smooth glass beads in teal green and smaller beads in an iridescent purple.

I had just about given up on wearing short necklaces again, because I have become so conscious of the effects of gravity on my neck. I just decided yesterday, "shoot, who cares?" The lines aren't going to go away so why should I limit myself, when I love jewelry so much. So I put it on and it looked pretty good, lines and all.

I suppose this is just another step in the journey of aging. Accepting your new look and even embracing the changes. I'm rocking the silver hair, so why not start rocking the rest of it? You just watch!

Well that's all for now. Take care, have a great Sunday and don't forget to rock your look.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just a few things

I am just showing you a few things I have been working on lately. I mentioned last week that I got new supplies for Valentines Day and I have been having a blast. My hubby is so good about letting me do my thing for hours at a time. He is the best. So here we go...

Since I am always trying to duplicate glass art, (lampwork, fused, etc.) in polymer clay, I am constantly on the look out for a product that dries clear. I have done a bit of faux work with UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) and like the results, except it is not that easy to work with hot glue and it does have an amber tint when completely "cured".

All that being said, here is a product called Liquid Glass

It has to dry overnight, but the results are stunning. It is a clear plastic and cannot be heated (guess how I know?) but when completely dry, after being layered with iridescent papers that are by the same company, you get a pretty good duplication of that dichroic look.

Something like this...

I also like the look of little items enclosed in glass (think aquarium beads, usually done in lampworking), so this is just an experiment to see if it would work with Kato Clear Medium.

This is a great product. So much better than Translucent Liquid Sculpey, which usually scorches when I try to gloss it up with the heat gun. It does seem a bit thinner than TLS, but if you cure the layers first in the toaster oven, and then heat it, you get a very clear and hard finish.

This shot doesn't really show that these canes are completely enclosed in the Kato clear medium. But I'm sure you get the idea. I plan on making some itty-bitty fish and enclosing them, also.

I made several canes, also this week using the technique developed and so generously shared by our friend and polymer clay artist, Cindy. Thanks Cindy, you are so talented and we all look forward to what you will come up with next!

Never knowing what to do with canes, I made a couple pair of earrings just as practice...

You may remember that I like to take my scrap clay and see what I can make from it at the end of the day. Here is a bead I made from scrap clay, smooshed together in a loaf shape and then twisted.

I liked it so much that I got out some other beads and using black Accuflex wire, I crimped my way to this...

A quick update on my cholesterol testing, my results were really good with my total cholesterol being 193. Hubs is gradually bringing his levels down. Now we are off to the grocery store for lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Eating healthy, especially organic, is a bit more expensive, but the taste and the long term benefits are so worth it.

I'm working on sending my hearts to you all. I have gotten addresses from about half of my bloggy friends, so hang in there, if I haven't gotten yours yet, I'll be e-mailing you soon to remind you.

Take care, and have a great day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

He Expects Nothing Less...

My hubby and I don't go in for the traditional Valentine's Day things. We smooch and hug all the time anyway, and we buy each other things throughout the year, so I always "surprise" him with a sappy sweet handmade card. This year I added a little sculpture for his desk. Fortunately, he is used to my offbeat style and likes anything I, so lovingly, present to him. Here is his new art...

click for an enlarged view

Yes, it is a piece of art made from a grape stem. I fashioned the base from polymer clay and painted it a bit. I painted the grape stem here and there, and glued a raccoon bead to the base. The seeds were added so the 'coon would have some food, but they ended up looking like pulled baby teeth, so that's a bit yucky. When I gave this lovely item to DH, he looked up at me with the funniest look on his face and then just smiled and shook his head. He did add this little bit of art to his desk. I think he actually likes it.

I also practiced with my new Derwent Graphitint pencils. They are water soluble colored graphite pencils. Very subdued colors that really pop when you touch the wet brush to them.
A bit of a departure for me, as I usually use very bright colors, but I like them a lot.

click me, too

This was just a few quickly scribbled lines that reminded me of hair, so I added some wonky facial features just for practice purposes. The colors are so subtle, I can think of lots of applications for them.

Well, that's it for now. Remember that if I haven't gotten your address yet for your heart, feel free to go to my profile page to my contact section, and send me your info. Love y'all bunches, so take care and wish us good numbers on our cholesterol tests tomorrow.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And the winner is...

Happy Valentines Day, Sweethearts! This will be a short post today, as all I am doing is announcing the winner of my heart drawing. I had fun doing this and once again I want to let you all know how much I appreciate you doing this . Ok, drum roll please.....the winner of the heart drawing is...


I had enough hearts for everyone that commented to get a heart. I tried to be fair about it and did the drawings according to the ones that you said you liked, and then if you didn't get that one or if you had no preference, I put your name back in the pile and drew names until each name had a heart. I actually came up three short, until I realized there was a picture that I forgot to post.

As I was looking at these little hearts, a part of me said...ah, these are so lame...but I know it is the thought that counts. Anyway, you know who you are and all I need is for you to e-mail me your address and eventually I will send out all these little hearts.

I know some of you don't blog on the weekend, but not to worry, your heart will be here until you are ready to have it sent. Just let me know.

All that being said, I had a blast with my new art supplies from Dick Blick (I always order online) and did several little drawings that I will post next week. I got my Fire Mountain Gems order today (I guess you can figure out what I got for Valentines so I'm off to clean up my work area to see what I can create with all my new stuff.

Have a great Valentine's Day and hug the one you love!

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Valentine's Eve...

Just a quick post to let you know that my heart giveaway drawing has been done. I will announce the winners tomorrow. It was a lot of fun and I really appreciated everyone participating. Thanks for making me feel like my little blog and my funky little hearts were worthy of your time.

I wanted to show you what I worked on this week. I hadn't done anything cat related for a long time, so here is my version of a "Fat Cat in The City".

This was done on 7"x 10" cold pressed watercolor paper. He is drawn with India Ink markers and colored in with Inktense pencils. I like the versatility of these colored pencils. They are a watercolor type pencil, but the pigment is ink so after you use your water on them and they dry, the ink is permanent. You can color over the areas after they dry, but you cannot re-wet them and lift off color like you can with traditional watercolors. I am currently waiting for the arrival of my Dick Blick order with yet another type of water media pencil. I'll let you know how they work.

In the meantime, have a great Friday and come back tomorrow to see who won my Valentine's Day heart drawing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Valentine Giveaway...

You may know that I like making polymer clay hearts and I have made quite a few. A Valentine giveaway might be a good way to share them. I usually make jewelry from my pieces, so a few of these hearts already have bail type findings on them, so you can run a cord thru and make a necklace. After making a few in this manner, it occurred to me (finally) that not everyone likes pendants. So...the rest of them do not have findings on them. If you win one and want a finding, just let me know. I have all the tools to add a finding easily. After using the word "finding" four times, I suppose I should mention, that a finding is usually just a piece of metal or such, that makes the piece wearable. Without further chatter, I present to you the hearts of my giveaway.

...Click on the pictures for a better view...

The above hearts are just sort of big and funky. The left one and the bottom one have polymer clay bails.

The hearts in this shot above are more traditional. Softer and sweeter. The top one has a piece of cotton fabric embedded into it and a gold free form bail that I made with a scrap from my good wire. The one on the left is so cute, I made a ruffle from thinly rolled clay and sandwiched the inside edge between two hot pink hearts. The heart on the right is pink and white marbled clay, made using a mold that I made from the bottom heart. The bottom heart has a bit of white paint for a distressed look.

Ok, folks where would you be without some Metal? I'm a metal head (read 80's head banger), and love some Steampunk. Here is my take on the metal...

Steampunk heart left has a gold bail and bits of gold wire, again from my scrap stash of good wire. The right heart has inexpensive findings punched in and will probably tarnish nicely in time.

I have a really nice bead carved from some type of antler. The carving is so precise, I suspect it was machine carved and not one of a kind. Anyway, I used it to make a mold to make the following pieces, mostly because of it's resemblance to the Valentine heart.

I made some of these out of bone colored clay and some out of pink clay. They are all highlighted on the high spots with gold paint. None of these pieces have any findings on them. They are a bit curved on the back side and I think they are almost too pretty to relegate to the jewelry box. I think they would look cute placed next to your computer, so you can think of me when you blog.

Now last, but certainly not least, is the biggest of them all. This piece is big and concave. It would look great as a pendant if you like larger jewelry. If you win this one and want it flat, to glue to a book or box, just let me know and I will reheat it and flatten it out. That's one of the beauties of polymer clay. It is so forgiving.

Yes, you are seeing correctly. It's Minnie Mouse waving at you from a this red, gold and black highlighted heart. It's a bit busy, but I think it's really cute.

Well, now if you have made it this far, I'll bet you do want to participate in the giveaway. Here is what I have decided on. Please leave me a comment saying which heart you want and why. I will do the drawings next Friday (the day before Valentines) for each heart and then if I have any hearts left over I will pop them in randomly with the winners.

You don't have to have a blog to participate. If you are a reader of my blog, but don't have your own blog...just go to my profile and e-mail me your "comment" and I will add you to the names in the hat.

I hope you like this little giveaway and want to participate, I think it will be fun.

That's it for now, I'll be back later with my take on some of the tags I have received recently. Take care and have a great Friday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hump Day

My mom, always got up on Wednesdays and declared excitedly "It's Hump Day". For those of you unfamiliar with this term, she meant that when work was done, she was over the hump and on the downside, sliding into the weekend.

Anyway, it is Wednesday and I really don't have anything to report, except that once again the forecast said snow and we have bright sunshine and 23 degrees with a wind chill of 9 degrees, and no snow.

I have been trying out several different things in my studio. I will be doing a little giveaway next week in honor of Valentine's day. Something heart related, of course, and while I was trying this and that, just like the Mad Scientist that I am, I realized that I have glow in the dark polymer clay.

Glow in the Dark Clay??? Does it work? That can't possibly work! Prove it !!

Yes, wee ones, it really does glow in the dark. Not for very long periods of time, but hold it up to the light and it gets re-energized. All glow-in-the-dark products contain phosphors. A phosphor is a substance that radiates visible light after being energized. To make a glow-in-the-dark object, what you want is a phosphor that is energized by normal light and that has a very long persistence. If you want to read more on this subject, feel free to click on this link, which is where I found such an easy to understand explanation.

Well that's all for now, except to wish everyone a Happy Hump Day. It like having a holiday every week. Take care and stay warm and safe.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Wrestler

It's been quite a while since we went to see a movie, but DH has been anxiously awaiting "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke. We are both fans of old school professional wrestling and have been to several matches, with both big time professionals and small time locals. All that being said, here is a quick review of this movie.

It was very realistic and very raw. I averted my eyes during more than one scene. Mickey Rourke made me like him by allowing me to like his character. I have always appreciated the theatrics of professional wrestling and I have always known how tough this sport is, even though it is choreographed and always touted as "fake". Mickey's character has a deep respect and love for his profession and all his team mates. He just can't seem to make life work outside the ring.

Several of the sentiments in this film may seem predictable and a bit formulaic, but sometimes that's how real life is. I think that's the thing about this movie... I kept forgetting that it was a scripted movie and not a documentary. It even looks like Mickey is doing his own fighting and stunts. It really was pretty intense. If Mickey Rourke doesn't win the Oscar for this film, it won't be his fault.

The supporting actors were just as good and believable in their performances. This may be the movie that some folks don't want to admit that they liked, don't want to admit that they were moved by it. I have no problem telling you that it moved me.

It is violent, it has nudity, adult situations and four letter words, but none of these things were unwarranted. It seemed real...very real...and I was sorry it ended.

Thumbs up from me, but not for the squeamish.