Posts Tagged ‘art’

What Do You Like Dislike About Your Workspace?

March 6, 2012

Yes I asked it? The question what do you like / dislike about your workspace?

Don’t answer the question unless you are going to be honest with your self and your art and change what is in your power to change. Not everything can be changed that you do not like but you owe it to yourself to change what you can so you have a space that you can feel good in and create the wonderful art that you know you can.

One of the best things I like is that I can do it!

Not all of my attempts are perfect and my claytime is limited but you know what I did it and learned along the way which for me is very fulfilling. One of my other favorite loves is to teach others with how to’s which have led to many tutorials on my blog and being published two times in the Polymer Cafe Magazine.

While thinking of the things I love about my work space I remembered that I love that I can wheel from the pasta machine to the work surface with the chair I got a couple of years ago at a thrift store. It is the little things that make me happy sometimes and I really love that I can wheel between the two and I do it all the time. :).

I love these drawers! I got them one day while returning from dropping off my son they were put out with the garbage. Half of the drawers had tools in them still. And to think I did not want to go get son that day and I was very upset with him telling him he was lazy for not walking on such a nice day. Score for crazy mom.

I love that I have a space that is all mine. I do not really remember how or when it happened but that room is now all me and my art. Guests sleep in my sons room not the extra bedroom anymore. I will have to ask hubby what he remembers of it all that should be a fun conversation.

I love the fact that I now tell hubby what I want for gifts and get some cool tools. Mothers day is coming and mama wants a new high-speed buffer baby is what I told hubby last week. I am looking forward to moving into the basement so I can have room to properly use and store my tools.

I love the fact that sometime in the next year god willing I will be able to have as much time as I want with my art as I plan on retiring soon. What a wonderful feeling.

What do I hate?

I hate that currently I do not have the time I want and need to spend on my art. I can see how I will really enjoy this when it happens and how my creative side will come out and play for real.

I hate that I get scared when my work table is clean. Is this why we leave it so messy? I hate looking at it empty and not knowing exactly what I want to do next. I love what comes off the table once I work through the block when it happens but boy when it is going on it is weird to stare at the empty table.

I hate the piles under the workable. I mean they work in my current space but I lose an entire table that could be used for creation because I have crap on top of and under it. Goal for next workspace is clean floors like so clean I can sweep them when I want to with out moving crap.

I have a love hate relationship with my drawers. I hate it when I go looking for something and it is either not in the drawer it should be in or I misfiled it in my mind. Recently I looked for a while for something and when I found it the place made sense just not while I was looking for it. With as many drawers as I have you can look for a while before you find it.

I hate not finishing so many projects. But I do love it when I revisit the project and it turns out better because of some special touch I have learned by doing other things. I look forward to finishing more projects in the coming year it will be fun.

I hate the fact that I am going to retire and concentrate my efforts on this art thing. I know it is on the love side too but it is a scary idea quitting your job and spending your time creating. Not sure how to fix this one……….time will tell.

So what is it that you love hate about your workspace? More important what are you going to do to change it?

Carol Simmons Class So Excited

August 23, 2011

This week I did not touch clay but rather focused on Carol Simmons’ blog in preparation for her class this October.

Ohh and by looking at her latest post there is an opening. I think this is going to be a wonderful class. It will be at Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts from October 2-8.

There have been several times over the last few years that I have tried on my own to focus on color.

This is the time that while on vacation in Texas I took a painters color mixing book and tried to mix. I really enjoyed this exercise but looking back I mixed them and for a while had them hanging on the wall to easily see but during one of the many clean ups my work room has seen they were moved to a book.

I think I made the decision that Premo came in so many different colors that my mixing was not important anymore.

Then I thought of making the switch to Kato and started mixing what I had on hand to see…..again.

I knew that if I really moved to Kato then I would need more mixing.

I was so motivated by my color mixing that I got the book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

I began following the exercises with Kato and honestly I stuck with it for a while but eventually I got sick of mixing again especially when I saw this.

Of all my mixing exercises this one is my favorite. Look at all the different greens that can come from a few shades.

So I can say I have done a lot of mixing however the question remains. How much of my mixing has made it from the exercise stage to being a part of my art on my clay table? If I can achieve this from this class then I believe it will be a success. Oh yea and I want to make a really sexy cane!


2 Sides of Art

April 10, 2011


It has been a while since I posted about Art Musings but this week I just have to revisit the subject. You may remember this post if not it is a fun read about what I went through to get clean dirt.

This whole idea stems from the book Art & Fear Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking. The idea is that art has two mindsets.

With the recent Rock Purse Swap I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful green rock purse. The first thing I saw was the color green, the wonderful craftmanship, and the playfulness of the artist. I am only showing you the inside because we still have to wait a few more days in the hopes that the international participants get theirs before I go on vacation. I will post all pictures one day this week.

I have to wear green to work every Friday and so my first thought was I have a new Friday necklace Yea for me! I was next drawn to the wonderful craftmanship as all the features looked perfect. I as the art admirer was drawn to the nose and mouth area because they looked so perfect and real. I also loved the way the rock purse was joined at the seams. It was not a straight line but rather one that had a wonderfully fitted point. The playfulness came out with the wonderful treat on her nose.

The artist started with a lucky find of THE PERFECTLY SHAPED ROCK that only has one imperfection at an end. The artist intends to take great care of her special rock as it really is the one to make rock purses of this style out of. Her challenges making the rock purse were the release, and time. She began by using Pearlex as her release but later switched to Armour All and got great results. At times while using the Pearl Ex the clay would not form to the rock in a pleasing manner but the switch to Armour All allowed her to form the clay tightly to the rock without the fear of the shell breaking while removing it from the rock.

My purse was the second version where she intentionally made him (yes her vision is a him) with his eyes looking up at the owner waiting for the okay to eat the treat on his nose. The whole time she is making him she knows his eyes are looking at her waiting for the okay to eat the treat this astonishes me as the art receiver. I never once thought about the eyes and I feel bad about that. You know I will look at the eyes now first thing and of course point it out to my customers on Friday at my desk at work.

So in a nutshell you have it whether it is finding clean dirt ( I was so crazy heck I still am) or the BOY puppy waiting for the okay to eat a treat. Art has two mindsets!

Have you ever taken the time as an artist to see that and embrace it?

The Eyes Have It

March 27, 2011


This week for me has been about transferring files on the computer so they are not lost forever, finishing the Rock Purse Swap, and making eyes.

I am working on a face cane and it must start with a sexy eye. How often in life do you get to make an eye out of clay??? You must start with a good eye tutorial and I think I have found the best one ever!

This is a realistic eye cane that is easily made once you follow the steps. My recent switch to Kato Clay will make this one even better than an attempt that was made a few years ago. I got a paper cut to the eye and when the local eye doctor took such great care of me I took eye tokens to the ladies in the office. They loved them! 

So here is my new Kato eye that just so happens was made in green as the tutorial.

And the finished eye not reduced fully…..

Tomorrow is a short day at work and I hope to build the face cane at that time.

You can expect swap pics in a couple of weeks since we had so many international participants this time we have to wait until they get their packages which takes a while.

Enjoy your artistic journey even if it is making an eye! I can not wait to see how the face turns out!

Color Fun

December 4, 2010


I must admit I did not realize how important the Whoopla  from Polyform was last week. WHY?

I was still using Premo, and Sculpy for my clay primarily and had not realized the importance of color mixing. I have been considering the move for a long time as you can see in my previous blog posts this is the one where I just broke down and said I was gonna do it NOW!

After weeks of putting the decision off I just decided one day to stop being afraid of the move and placed my order. I must tell you the company I ordered from is Clay Alley and if you want super fast service that is the place to go.

I got a shipment of clay and began working on the color inspirations book and began mixing …….

 And while I was mixing it hit me and it hit me big.

If I am going to work with Kato exclusively then what if they tried to take my blue color  away? What colors would I loose? What if I HAD indeed built my business on these custom colors that I could no longer mix because the company decided in their wisdom it did not make good business sense to continue with these colors?

I would be up a creek without a paddle as they say and that is a scary thought. I can only imagine how many in the clay community must have felt. They must have been very shocked when they heard the news, and later when they found out the change from the company relief and happiness would be the words for the day. I am still mixing and having a love hate relationship with the whole thing but it is wonderful to do and it seems like now is the time.

I do not have the proper colors to do the exercise properly but here is my rendition.  The base colors are Magenta, Green and Yellow. To those I mixed  the color you see on top of each row mixed again with rows of white, silver, and black. I kept finding myself dreading the next row to mix as I was doing this by hand. I kept being so surprised at some of the color changes I kept saying wow to myself. I was especially drawn to some of  the plumish colors they look nice and deep, the green that almost looks like a mint green, and the peachish color. I was also surprised to see a green that made me think of olives which I hate.

I am so excited to be able to mix quite a few colors and feel this book is going to give me the confidence to continue to create harmonious pieces. I am so not excited about the mixing that I will be doing for a while if I want to do this exercise the right way once I get some of the missing primaries in. I am really going to try to focus this winter on the book and completing the exercises as I have time. One thing good about mixing colors it is mindless but also inspiring. I can do it anywhere anytime as long as I have the clay with me. This type of mixing all I need is my two hands and I always have them too!

 I do know the next round is waiting for my fingers but I am not sure if I am ready for it wish me luck. Whats on your worktable?

Thank You Tory Hughes!

August 22, 2010

No I am not just using her name to get hits on my blog I really mean it. 

I have been away from my claytable for months now, only two but it seems like a lot longer than that believe me. Life stepped in as it always does sometimes, vacation, computer crash, good things and bad all mixed in along with the laundry and a 40 hour a week job at Americas most convenient bank! 

Even though I often speak about focus and art in my blog  I lost it. 

Look at an earlier post about focus I spent a whole month just talking about Facebook and how we could use it for productive means not just playing games. I have kicked the Farmville habit and blocked the games successfully yea for me. 

I talked about how you can find it in your art and not be a quitter 

I just wasted a half an hour looking at old posts so I am getting myself back on track by saying that as much as I talk about focus and art I have just lost the way. I needed Tory to inspire me to get back to the art table. 

She has a Face Book page and that is where the shout out came to get a Focus handout from her. Not only did she send it but I had requested by my phone and she out of the kindness of her heart found my e-mail and sent it to me. Since computer time is limited for me at home it took me days to even open it. When I did she kicked me in the butt with the first sentence. 

• A lack of focus most often arises from an unwillingness to prioritize and stick with




I will not go into what her hand out says that is for you to request from her and be inspired by her but I will tell you what that first sentence made me do finally after over 1.5 years. 

There is a wonderful project (I think so anyway) that I want to have published in a magazine but every obstacle that could have has stood in my way. I could not figure out how to do it for months, then when I finally did and tumbled it I ruined the project and had to start all over again. My computer crashed when I had the article almost finished and had to do it all over again since I had no saved disk and lost it all. All that is left to send to the publisher is two pictures that need to be taken and it has been two months and they are still not taken. 

That first sentence made me get up and go take the damn pictures and attach the article that was finished months ago and click send. 

Thank you Tory Hughes! 

Please be inspired by her and remember that whatever it is you want in life can be achieved if you believe in yourself and stick to it. Find your path to success and stick to it. The rewards will be immense and the amount of pride in yourself for accomplishing your goal will be great as well. 

You deserve it remember that YOU DESERVE IT. So do it for you because it will never happen if you are doing it for someone else. 

If you would like to be inspired by Tory here is her website 

Enjoy and remember you deserve it!

Facebook Focus Continued

May 30, 2010

If you did not take the poll last week there is still time to take it to be included in the results next week.

I want to continue with the Facebook theme this week with a post that may or may not hit a nerve. It is the games on Facebook and my intent was to delete all games (I only play Farmville) with this posting but I am just not sure I can bring myself to do that. It is not that I enjoy screaming at the screen while whatever I am trying to do freezes, but I really love some special moments that I have had while planting and harvesting. This week Just the facts Ma’m.

I understand that not all of you play Farmville your favorite may be Mafia Wars, Fishville, Cafe World,  Restaurant City, Castle Age or insert your favorite here. Honestly I want you to think of it in clicks how many do you do each and every day when you could be clicking other things? Last week it took 5 Clicks to create a business page on Facebook. 5 Clicks……

When hubby said that he would spend an hour on his farm daily I told him he was crazy and asked if he had a tractor? Do you have a Harvester? What do you have? Let me see your farm!  He removed his reading glasses and explained that he was saving his money. I told him he needed to buy all the machines and get some arborists and farmhands so he just had a few clicks not a million. Our son came into the room in the middle of the conversation and after laughing and shaking his head at us left the room and said we needed to get a life.

This got me to thinking of how much time I spend on my farm every day. And so I had to  of course do some research and find out how long I did spend on the farm every day. This is when Farmville  introduced the newest building a greenhouse! So everyone was trying to get this or that to finish building. Also that was when they made the last upgrade to how you accepted your gifts which led to me getting a lot of error messages and wasted time. At one point this month there was a two-week period where I could not touch my gifts in any way it kept going to the market  no matter what I tried. Believe me I was trying to get to work on the farm I kept clicking and cussing. I almost thought it was a sign from the Farmville Gods that I was supposto quit playing.

Once I finally was able to play again I was amazed at how long it takes to do things.

I will admit I went crazy in the beginning timing how long it takes to do things doing them 5 times to get an average. I timed things like how long it takes the farm to load (11 seconds) go full size (07 seconds) accept 10 spring eggs in your gift box THE NEW WAY (47 seconds) you get the idea?

I know it seems like those are seconds but how many times do you do it in a day or a week? How many clicks? That is the question I kept asking myself. How many bleeping clicks to get that mystery gift from the request stage actually to the farm! So I timed it this time with 3 as the average. Note this part of the research was done on my new laptop (yea for me) which is a lot quicker.

It mattered how quickly and smoothly Facebook was moving at that particular time. One night I spent 11 minutes and 54 seconds and got so frustrated. I ended up spending 26 minutes going through all gifts and getting many error messages but cleaned it out so I could get accurate information for tracking next day.

Next three attempts average for 30 items from request to on the farm not in an egg or box 🙂 13:45.

Harvest, plow and seed were all within seconds so the average time for all was 2:52.

To harvest all buildings, animals and trees with arborists and farmhands 1:04

To fertilize 15 friends 17:19.

That is a lot of clicking that is all I have to say. Think about it how many clicks for you today? This week?  This month? I will focus next week on the special moments while playing Farmville, the poll results which so far have been very surprising, and the decision Delete or not to Delete.

Regional Pendant Swap

May 21, 2010

A break from Facebook with a look at the participants in the regional pendant swap 2010. All the pieces are so different and wonderful.  Thank you to all who entered and I can not wait to see what the next swap brings sign ups soon!













Project 365

March 20, 2010


I got a new phone and one of the apps available for it is project 365 the one I have is free you can buy one for .99. 

How to take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way. 

So of course I had to download it and try it out. Took a few days to remember I had downloaded it. 

Then the first picture I was going to take was of course when I dropped the phone and accidently took a picture. I figured it was a great first picture I mean it could only get better right? 





Next day I forgot to take it till I was at home and fought with hubby to take one of him. 

Next day was March 16th. Which was when I realized I had started with the wrong date so I did not have to use hubby’s picture which would make him happy. 


Since we have had record flooding in the area while working at the drive up I thought a great picture would be to take one of the big puddle in the field. On the way home from work I decided to go to one of the dams close by our house. I had to go pick my son up from the gym and started driving to our destination. You can see that picture in the header of this post. Problem is after driving to the dam and taking pictures with both the camera (son) and my phone (me) I had not saved the pictures to my phone so the only picture I had was the blurry one on the phone. Not even going to try to get that to the phone so I will use the puddle field pic for today. 

One of the games I play that he loves to try not to play but always gives in with a guess or two or ten depending on his mood, is to start driving and have him guess where we are going. 

I told him he would never get it in a million years and after a mile or two of arguing the guesses started. Since he was playing I gave him hints and he guessed and guessed until we were there and even when we were he did not understand where we were going. 

While looking at the dam together tonight and having an almost conversation with him I realized I was really going to like this project 365 thing. I could not help comparing the water flowing over the dam like my art just flowing and flowing out of control. But that is another post for another day! 


Thursday was hubbies new toy for a couple of months. 


Friday’s pic of the day a damsel in distress. She locked her keys in the car and thankfully some guys helped us because the plastic coat hanger I had was not going to help. 

Are their going to be days I am going to forget? Of course  and those days I will focus on staging photos for jewelry designs SCORE for ideas and an a+ in the learning department. The rest of the days will be spent photographing my surroundings and my family. 

I am sure there will be a couple of days that neither one of my housemates will want a picture taken of them and they will put their hands in their faces. I will either leave it there or take something else. I do think that they will bring it up as the weeks and months pass. Both of them individually suggested a picture of the day to me this week but I liked my picture that day better. I HAD to have green on ST Patty’s day and could not replace hubby’s new toy :). 

Since I love pictures so much I really am going to like the idea of being able to open a page and see 30 days in my life at a glance, with the capability of scrolling through the months. I mean anyone can do it these days with the mobility of the camera phone. You always have your phone with you every day but you do not always have your camera with you! 

I urge you to try it and see where it takes you with your art! 



How Do You Do It All? (part 2)

February 26, 2010

My artistic focus right now is on exposure not sales. I want to get out there so when I am ready to focus on sales my works will be made with  highest quality possible.  I would like to have the experience with different techniques, and a finish that is professional.

With technology the great medium it is any artist would be severely limiting their market share by not exposing themselves online in some shape or form.

Here are my tops for How I Do It All

Blogging- for me is something that I have been very committed to in the last 6 months. It is a great way for me to use my writing skills and really I am enjoying it a lot. It also is a great way for me to work through whatever is going on that needs working through and a great inspiration for me. My blog is me……and what I am going through art wise or life wise. I use word press and have only had technical issues a few times which were resolved within 24 hours. With the I phone app I can access my blog while on the go which is a wonderful tool. Still learning the ins and outs of the app but it looks very promising.

Flickr- for me is a great site that I can showcase some of my artwork. I have two set up one is for professional work

and the other for clay experiments and things ..

With Flickr you can get photos of your art out there for all to see. There is no fee and this is a very popular way for you to see what people like and do not like from their comments.

Flickr also has an app for the I phone so you can stay connected while on the go. Another feature that is appealing is anywhere you are you can show some one your pictures on Flickr with a couple of touches.

Facebook is another great tool you can use. You can hook up with your real friends and your cyber ones. It is a great way to let others know what IS going on with you and your art. The one drawback is the games and all the silly notifications you get by playing them. It took me a while to realize that my friends were posting and I did not see what they were saying because of all the notifications from what ever ville game it was they were playing. I now have it set up so that when someone says something it comes directly to my phone and I can be a part of what I joined Facebook for in the first place. Keeping track of my friends and claymates and not the games they are playing.

Twitter is one of the great ways to keep track as well but I chose not to participate in this wonderful wave of life. I have enough to keep up with and I feel adding this would only hinder my creative abilities. I have been wrong a couple of times in life and this could be one of them.

Web Sales is something we need to consider and I have done that. I have established the same business name at several sales sites.  Etsy, Ebay, and Artfire….. now the question is have I posted my items for sale? No not yet but hey I have started and established something so that is a step in the right direction I think. I just do not have the time to keep track of the things that can and will come from online sales. At this point in my career I also am not ready to commit to a website for sales. I did that years ago with general merchandise from our family business at the time and had intended to donate all the profits to an infertility charity. I now know the idea  didn’t work and know that people were hesitant as to why anyone would want to donate 100% of their profits to any charity?? Those were my true intentions and  why  I do have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to setting up a website. You don’t even want to know how much money was lost with not even a single sale.

Groups and guilds are very important I think. You have to have support somehow someway no matter what art is your medium. It is great to have support and the ability to reach out to someone who is going through or has already been through what you are dealing with. I found a great Yahoo group called City O Clay. It is an online clay group and  I have formed friendships there and it feels like home. Since I do not have a lot of time to keep track of many groups I chose City O Clay as my clay home on the internet. It is amazing what topics of discussion come up sometimes. One of the latest OMG headlines was the topic of boiling Barbie dolls. *disclaimer no Barbies were hurt in the name of art they were merely boiled so they could hold their new pose more effectively. Find some type of online group and you will get so much out of it if you choose to participate. I guarantee it.

I recently joined the Central Ma Polymer Clay Guild and have been lucky enough to attend one meeting. It is a great way to be with people who share your same interest and can be a wonderful inspiration as well.

Volunteer opportunities are out there if you choose to find them. I am the swap mistress at City O Clay. It has been a wonderful experience for me and a wonderful motivational tool for me. I am so proud of the individuals of all skill sets that participate in the clay swaps. I truly believe that the open hand is the full hand. Translated you have to give and when you do be it time, money, or your talents you will get more than you give in return. 

So those are the things that I have committed myself to for my art. Now I just need to find some time to actually sit down and create. One of the drawbacks of all the technology is the time that is required to maintain the connections you make. You must prioritize and then of course act on those priorities. Also you must consider the time your job and family take in everyday life. Many days it does not seem like there are ever enough hours, but I try to stay as motivated and focused as I can.

I hope this may have helped you some in your journey. We are all at different stages in our art, as well we all have different amounts of time we are able to dedicate to our art each and every day. Then there is the biggest demon of all to face. That inner voice that says I am not good enough, so why try. If that is the voice you are listening to in life you don’t have a chance. Sit down with yourself and have an honest conversation. Then the next time any negativity that is self-directed comes out turn it around and make it positive which will give you strength and motivation.

Whatever it is that helps you do it all please share I would love to know your strategy!


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