Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Texture Sheet Swap DONE!

September 30, 2012

Finally the texture sheet swap is over and I can share what I did and what others sent in with you. I am amazed that I have never thought in texture before and so happy this was the one chosen so I could.

Here are the sheets I got in the swap

These are some of my sheets and how I made them, a salt shaker.

A basket

A metal earring

And some dots with tools

Here are the swap participants











I hope you will consider joining in on the fun at city o clay. Next swap is dragons.





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?

Life Stinks (sometimes)

January 18, 2012

Did you ever have one of those phases in life when you just got punched in the tummy or kicked in the butt?

It happens to the best of us heck this is life. What I want to know is how do you survive artistically while in the middle of it all?

I have no answers for you here I am seeking advice from you my art friends.

I mean when life throws something at you that you for a while see no good way out of how in the heck do you even feel like you want to be in the studio? How do you bring yourself to create? I can not even make it to the table as clean as it is now (yes it is still clean YEA!).

I got some new toys in the mail today and am hoping that is what I NEED to get going. They are the die sets for the book Relief Beyond Belief which I think will be a new interesting thing to try. Also looming are two swaps I am in and boy those puppies are due quick well quick for someone who has not even been at the table for a few weeks.

Dang I better get cracken! There is some inspiration for you deadlines :).

The Year in Review

January 1, 2012

This last year was one full of growth for me both personally and professionally. It started with me still being on cloud 9 from the December Polymer Cafe article.

There were three swaps this year.

Rock Purse

Colorful Ocean Creatures

Mini Food

pics up in a week or so

The swaps are such a wonderful learning experience and I am so proud of all the participants and blessed to have found this group. I am not sure exactly why I am so blessed to be the proud Swap Ma Ma but I am loving every minute of it. Next swap just opened you should check it out.

This year I made the switch to Kato. It took forever for me to commit to the change and wouldn’t you know it as soon as I do it they change their formula and it is much softer now. The jury is still out on this one but I hope to continue with my commitment to use 100% Kato. I like the way it holds the details while making canes which is my first love. I also like the way it feels ONCE conditioned.

This year I focused on learning new techniques. I had a flower phase…..

and a wonderful opportunity to take a Carol Simmons class. The Carol Simmons class was defiantly my most favorite part of the year clay wise.

I am so blessed to have had the year I did. I learned new techniques, made new friends, and am finding it easier to call myself an artist.

This new year I hope to continue to count my blessings and focus more on my art. Good health is the most important blessing because without that nothing is possible. I hope to lose a few pounds this year (don’t we all?). I also hope to be able to retire from my 9-5 and focus on my art   24-7. No date set yet but I am hoping for sometime this summer.

Finally in the new year I hope to have our summer home finished or very near completion. My studio will be located on the top floor with mountaintop views. This year will be about gathering the necessary supplies to open the new studio.

My first project is already in mind. It will be a housewarming gift to myself and it is a OOAK chess set for the upstairs sitting room and should take a loooonnnnnnggggg time to complete but once done will be a masterpiece I am sure.

With this new year  upon us I wish all of you nothing but the best with your art and life. Remember you are your worst enemy and road block. When you get in your own way with self-doubt it hinders you as an artist. Whatever you want to do………….


Carol Simmons Class Starts Tomorrow!

October 2, 2011

All Packed and ready to go! As I used to say to my son one more wake up till Carol Simmons!

This is what approx 6.5  pounds of clay looks like sheeted out. I threw them in plastic protectors and am carrying it on with the 500 pound cardstock (it’s not that heavy but you get my drift). My carry on weighs 38 pounds because of the clay and thick cardstock. I sheeted more than I should have but I wanted to make sure I was ready for anything that came my way.

This is a wonderful opportunity and I hope to learn about Kaleidoscope caning from a master in the field. I have played around with the idea many times but never looked at it in the way she will teach me to look at it from now on.

This was one of the first I tried.

Then I tried one that I just love. It was from a shirt that I owned and I made the same pattern from the design.

I tried one with Kato clay and decided to make the change.

This is the image I have chosen to base my cane off of.

Then I saw this image and drooled all over the keyboard. I thought at first that I should not choose this one because I clearly was looking at the cane and not necessarily the colors me being the caner I am. Then I was not sure there were enough colors for a cane. But a funny thing happened while planning for the class Carol actually suggested this image and sent color swatch thingies with it. When I looked at the colors that way it seemed to me they were almost the same funny hunh?

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!


My Claytable

July 10, 2011

In looking at my pictures of the day (Project 365 app) you can tell I have defiantly been playing with clay.

July 1 Excess of one color of clay while building a cane. Slowly coming to the realization that I use way to much clay and think a mini project would be a great challenge for myself.

July 2 New pasta machine since the last one bit the dust while I was conditioning way to much clay while building a cane.

July 3 Wax for my experiment with the lost wax technique. I am still not sure of the best way to do this but am trying everything I can think of.

July 4 Tins for swap so this is censored until the swap has been mailed.

July 5 The first bead crumbled after all that bleeping time poking holes in the thing. I will try baking again in a different way. This one still needs holes though before I bake it.

July 6 This is the first gardenia from the new tree hubby bought before leaving. I of course in the digital age had to post it on his FB wall for him to see if he ever logs on.

July 7 A hair pin that I made as a prototype. I was happy to be using all that bleeping cane I made in different ways for new ideas. Of course me the artist just saw all the stinking grey hair on my head.

July 8 Pens 12 and 13. I am making one for everyone at work so that some of them can stop saying ” You have not given me anything yet when is it my turn”.

Even with all this activity there was a moment when I looked at my semi clean work table and could not think of what to do next.

That moment the one just after finishing projects and moving items to or from the ufo pile with no commissions to guide us, is the scariest of all for artists.

What’s Next?

I think I may have an idea but it will take months to play itself out for many reasons. What are your what’s next moments? More importantly do you give yours the wings they need to fly?

Some Favorites

June 13, 2011

I made pens this week. I have never covered pens and honestly I do not know what I was thinking. They are so easy to do and look real nice. I have been using one of the ones I made all week-long at work. Each time that I forget and give the pen to my customer to sign paperwork, when I remember I cringe inside as I know if they seem like they like it a lot I will give it to them. I made a few so I guess as long as I do not use my favorite one all will be fine.

This week I thought I would give you some links to my favorite polymer clay sites for tutorials. There are so many blogs, and sites out there it is easy to get lost in them. Hopefully you will find some inspiration in these.

You will find me often talking about this group

This is where I hang my polymer hat in the virtual world. I host the polymer clay swaps that run every two months. It is a  group that is focused on learning and not on sales and how to make money with your art. Is this right for everyone? No but for me it works. I have little time to devote to keeping up with different sites and this one fits my needs.

The mother load of polymer information is of course this site.

You can search any topic and find useful information from others with many links to click on as well. This site focuses on learning different techniques for polymer clay. The only frustrating part in my opinion is the number of non working links. This is unavoidable with a site as large as this one. Working links or not you will find something useful if you look for it.

Another useful site is

This site has many tutorials, lots of information from individual polymer artists, and a wonderful chat feature with weekly polymer clay demos. I am not able to spend much time there as I have limited time while home to actually be on the computer, but I have been to the Saturday demos with Stargazer and let me tell you I went oohhh and ahhhh many times while following along.

One thing I enjoy is my daily polymer clay fix and this is how I get it.

The post comes to my inbox and you just never know who Cynthia will feature on her blog. Great Stuff!

One of my favorite sites that has to be translated is this one.

You can use the translator called babbelfish from yahoo and translate it to your language so it will work for anyone in the world.

Another great site for tutorials is this one but for me the best are her rambles (hence the link to her ramble index). They kick me in the but every time even if it is the third time I have seen it.

another site with great tuts

Here you will find a lot of tutorials in many different areas of working with polymer clay.

Another great site is this one.

and this one

Ponswan has many wonderful tutorials in slide show format. Great to learn from.

Everclay is another great site with wonderful tuts

and this one too

and another

and this site who is a dear cyber friend I want to be able to meet someday Luny!

This is a miniature site that I have not had the eyes to try yet.

and another

and another

Heck I forgot to do a search of tutorials on my blog!

At this point I think I am quitting! If you have not lost yourself by now with new ideas  then either something is wrong with  you or you are an artist that is in denial. Honestly that is all I can say lol. I hope that you enjoy the pages I have listed if you have one that I may not know of please clue me in. I am off to finalize my to do list

There are many wonderful tutorials on this site and a few that are on my to do list.

Children Polymer Clay Birthday Party

May 9, 2011

The birthday party was a huge success. Each child was able to make something and take it home with them. Last week when I posted was packed up and pretty much ready to go. Hubby was so sweet he cut a ton of pvc pipe so each child had a clay roller. What is funny is most of them chose not to use it which took a while for me to get over.  They let their muse guide them. :).

When I arrived I was so happy to see Ahmad there to help me carry everything to the back yard. I was even happier when he stayed and helped cut the kids’ canes for them as there were way to many for me to do it all myself.

Here is the table set up and ready for the little munchkins.

The birthday girl had a wonderful time creating as did her friends.

Here are their creations with some thick cane slices, joints that are not smooth, areas where the is no clay covering their piece, but it is theirs, they made it and they are super happy! I started by taking the picture on the ledge knowing they would be great shots. I soon realized they needed to get in the oven so there was time to bake before the kids had to leave.

Only catastrophe of the day was a frame that was covered on the wrong side ekkk.

Her dad said he could fix it so the crisis was averted. You can expect more kid related clay parties with one project choice and better cane cutters@

Children’s Birthday Party EEEEKK

April 30, 2011

I had a wonderful vacation with my family in Texas. The funnest day was the one we went to Six Flags and checked out the Fast Pass. It costs a little bit more but is well worth it. We had my brother almost puking after the third ride, he just wasnt the same the rest of the day it was fun :).

Upon returning a family member called and asked it I would do a birthday party for her daughter. I said yes before I realized exactly what I had agreed to. The freaking out began in earnest.

I made a quick shout out on City O Clay and got some wonderful recommendations.

Give the kids options and understand they may create something totally different from your options.

Have child safe tools and supplies.

Have fun and encourage the kids to learn and find their inner muse.

Use pvc pipe for clay rollers ( That suggestion solved any problems I had in my mind).

I am looking forward to hosting a birthday party (not in my house Yea no clean up) for 17-20 six to eight year old girls tomorrow. Our offered projects will be covering a picture frame, a candle holder, or making a pen. These kids are set with supplies thanks to Debbie Gills wonderful suggestions my box was pretty much packed. I was amazed at how many supplies that were not my daily tools that I have accumulated in such a short time. I was happy to have plenty of stamps, old make up (20 different colors), texture sheets, cutters, canes canes and more canes to be able to pack last night while getting ready.

I look forward to living up to the expectations of the birthday girl and I can only hope she and her friends will have a fun party tomorrow. You of course can expect pictures and a complete wrap up next week!