Posts Tagged ‘premo’

Polymer Clay Whoopla

November 25, 2010

 

The polymer clay community this week has been in an uproar with the announcement from Polyform that they would be introducing some new colors, and discontinuing some others. The main colors to be discontinued are Cobalt Blue, and Zinc Yellow. The company after listening to their customers have decided to keep these two colors and provide the recipes for the discontinued colors.

So what was up with that decision? If you read the announcement, then you have read that they say they were listening to their customers (us) and we wanted these colors. We begged for them and you know us artists if there is something we want and a way to badger someone into producing it for us then we can and we will.

How in the world did they not see the effect the decision of eliminating Cobalt Blue and Zinc Yellow would alter the hard work that many artists have put into building their color palate and recipes. There is no way you can mix these two colors and it is from these and other primaries all colors come from. I think that after the uproar of this week that is one of the things this company will not soon forget.

Remember the basics!

All the new colors seem rather nifty but I wonder how long it will take me to try to figure out a similar mixture. Made the move to Kato finally. I am thinking the best way for me to start is to begin the Color Inspirations book. I need to now learn how to do one of the hardest things an artist can do. Rely on her color mixing skills. It is an art that I need to learn.

It brings me back to a vacation where I mixed a green, let me show you the picture otherwise what I say will never make any sense.

I made the color wheel by mixing green and yellow in equal proportions, ending with 6 shades of green.

I then took each shade of green which is the first green next to each set of two rows on the left of the picture, and mixed the top row with black, and the bottom row with silver in equal proportions ending with a but load of greens.  This is me mixing yellow, green, black, and silver can you imagine if that was one of the colors that was to be discontinued and those were all colors that you could lose forever? The colors do not look that good in this picture I will admit but the silver when mixed made some wonderful pearlish colors.

That is a scary thought and I am glad that it is not going to be. Whew off to start the new color journey with Kato. Focus will be on documenting the color recipes in a clear concise manner that I am able to read if I see them in a year. Another think I learned so far is I like silver mixed with color a lot. Wish me luck.

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.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YYRRGT7

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.

Facebook Focus Month

May 8, 2010

I have decided to make Facebook be the focus of the blog for a month. There will be the latest swap pictures one week ( mail date is May 12th) but other than that you can expect ways to be productive and promote your art.

Recently someone asked how I get the blog links in my posts and I promised them the first post would be on how to do  that.

Honestly it is very easy to do first you write your blog post I use WordPress because I do not have a lot of experience and it just seems easy to me. I know there are a lot of widgets and tools that I could add to the blog and if any of you want to show me your favorite widget I would love to learn. Each time I try I seem to get lost for a couple of hours and not get much accomplished.

After you write your blog you need to log on to Facebook. I am showing this tutorial from my profile page.

Write what you want to in the text box

See that link box? Click on it and past the link from your webpage into the space.

All that is left to do is to click attach and share!

So that is it in a few quick and easy clicks.

Last night I though I found a way through Facebook to have it auto update from the blog to my profile but it seems after a couple of hours no success.  This is the hard way but it is just a few clicks and your facebook friends get to see what your up to!

 I post to the blog weekly and update various places including my Facebook page. Lets say you have your blog, and your updating places and one of those places is to your Facebook page but you do play a game or two in your free time and are worried that it does not look professional.

I mean do my fellow artists really want to know that I am hunting for the latest thingamajig to build the whatcha macallit?

What do you do then? Stop playing games? My friends you can create a business page and I will show you how to do that next week with just a few clicks!

How many times have you clicked today while playing a game? A few more for a productive reason will not do anything but send you in a positive direction.

To give some feedback about your facebook experience take this quiz it is only 9 quick quesitons and I really want to know what you do while your on facebook.
Click here to take survey

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

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluedamselflyjewelry/

and the other for clay experiments and things ..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82656386@N00/

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!

IMPORTANT UPDATE

You can create a Facebook Fan page and this tutorial makes it super easy!

Enjoy!

http://studio.faculte.com/bp/MzA0ODc0MzE2NQ

Art and Musings

February 20, 2010

         

Last week I chose to focus on family instead of rushing to post and entry. Right Choice? Wrong Choice? Still wrestling with this one but I wanted to let you know it bothered me 🙂 I focused on what was important to me at the time and life is good which in the end is more important than a blog post anyway.
So this week we will be inspired and focus on being an artist and you can laugh at me a little if you want. I however have a feeling many (yea I am talking to you) of you will be or have already been in the exact same situation for your art!
 
I don’t read a lot since it seems like I just do not have the time but found a title last year Art & Fear Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles &Ted Orland.I will be focusing the blog on the book and its chapters in the coming weeks so hopefully that is something you would like to think about as well. I am looking forward to your input. 
 
The introduction focused on the fact that art is made with two mindsets. That of the artist and that of the person viewing the art. Honestly I have never thought about how art is viewed and what it means, I mean I didn’t go to college and study art. They either like it or they do not right? That is true but I never really thought about how I felt about my art. I DO Feel my art? When I am looking at a piece I remember so many things that the purchaser or viewer probably does not even care about. They want to know how it looks around THEIR neck or THEIR ears etc. They don’t necessarily care that that piece was made in the nights after the death of a dear family friend when I could not sleep.My art is what kept me going in those days. They don’t care about how long it took me to learn how to learn how to make really nicely formed round beads, or lentils. They want something that speaks to them because of style, shape, color whatever it is that speaks to them. They do not care about the process, and for me as the artist it is all about just that the process of learning or perfecting a technique.        
I really look forward to the journey I am about to take with this book.  

        

Now on to my  clay table  🙂   
I love the faux turquoise technique from the book Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay it was written by Irene Semanchuk Dean. The technique uses dirt mixed with liquid clay and then it is put in the gaps that come from the clay when processed. Tried it early last year on some practice pieces and I don’t know if I got a good spoonful of dirt or what but it looked amazing. Here are the very unclear pictures of some of the practice pieces. Kind of hard to see a difference but I wanted to show you something.  
    
 I had a specific project in mind and this technique the way I am doing it takes a really long time to complete. So I waited until life gave me a window to do it in and made it late last year. Two things happened one I tumbled with a new tumbler and did not think it would matter too much not to line the tumbler, second I got bad dirt. Today I will focus on the dirt aspect of the whole thing.   
 
This project started last year mind you and I want to finish it so bad if for no one else than for me. But honestly as spectacular as this will look everyone is going to want one! The finished sexy piece process started two weeks ago. Made the necklace, took pictures, wrote tut, tumbled in tumbler this time with a liner and it is now ready for the dirt part. Do you think I could find clean dirt?    
 
 The guys at Home Depot god bless them but when they see me coming in the store they should just throw their hands up in the air and walk away. Honestly I would not blame them if I saw them running away from me when I walk in I kind of deserve it by now. The question from me I though was a simple one    
 
” Do you have any clean dirt?”   
      
“Excuse me mam did you say clean dirt?” 
 
“Yes I need some dirt with none of the white things or sand in it please? Do you have any?”      
    
He looks over at the guy driving the forklift they are trying to get more salt for the foot of snow we just got the day before.      
“Mike do you know if we have any dirt with no peat moss or _______ (sorry I forgot already what the white things are) and no sand?”     
 
Mike says “She needs topsoil and we don’t have any of that.”     
 
I say “Okay so I need topsoil? Do you know where I can find any now?”      
 
Mike says “Maam you are not going to be able to find any topsoil this time of year you will have to wait until Spring. How much do you need? You know it is going to be expensive right?”    
 
I say ” Oh I only need about a quarter of a cup. How EXPENSIVE do you think it will be?”      
 
Mike says, “Oh that stuff if you can find it will be expensive.”      
    
I say “Thanks guys at least I know what I will need now! Have a great day!”       

And I left knowing what I need is topsoil and boy is it going to be expensive. I went to every store I could think of over the weekend looking for some good clean dirt. Would you believe none of the landscaping or farms are open this time of the year? Just a sign in the parking lot of every one I tried saying if you need firewood please call insert their number here . 

Flash to Monday morning at the dry cleaners when I am dropping off hubby’s cleaning. The guy behind the counter comments on the necklace I am wearing.          

“Oh I am a jewelry designer thank you!”        
He says, ” I have never seen a woman wearing something like that before.”       

  

I say ” Thank you and if you think this is good you should see the next piece I am working on. It is amazing it is Faux turquoise and all I need to complete it is some good clean dirt you know with no sand or anything in it just some good clean dirt.”       
He says “Oh you need worm dirt.”        

I say “What? Worm Dirt? What the heck is that.”         

He says “It is the dirt that bait shops use to put their worms in. It is a very clean dirt.”     

I say “Okay thanks I will go and try to find some worm dirt.”  There was someone behind me in line and I remembered buying worms and the dirt being real black and not having a drop of sand in it.       

Last night when I asked hubby if he knew where a tackle shop is so I can  buy some worms he gave me a look. Before giving me directions, he asked me what in the heck I needed worms for? I had to explain the whole scenario from the beginning because he has no idea I am looking for clean dirt, or that I have tried to find dirt and could not so now I am on to finding worm dirt in the hopes that it will help. My son who was present for this conversation and was with me when I bought the food processor for clay not food, rolled his eyes at me when I tried to stick clay under him while he was on the couch so he could warm it up etc. they have both seen a lot of crazy things for my art. He without blinking an eye said         

“Mom you want worm poop in your jewelry? EWWWW?”         

Okay so I had not thought through the whole worm poop dirt thingie but I do know where a tackle shop is and hope that they can help me find some poopless worm dirt.         

I will keep you updated! I also now have a few plastic bags and a spoon in my purse. Why? To get different dirt samples of course. I was just at the ski lodge and my son was snowboarding and while on my way to the car I saw some really dark-colored dirt on the side of the parking lot. I actually went to the car to get the bags but halfway there realized that first it was dark outside and if I saw the dirt in the daylight I probably would not like it BECAUSE it is on the side of a parking lot with a ton of snow around it hence it will be filled with sand. We already know I do not want sand and so in a way I have become a kind of dirt conisour?         

Which brings me full circle to the book and what the introduction says. The person who buys whatever piece I may make from the turquoise technique will never know what I have gone through to get this clean dirt. Two different mindsets. One of the artist who is attempting to perfect a technique and the other of the person who is looking at the art and relating to it from their life perspective.         

Enjoy your art!         

    

Flowers

December 20, 2009

This is what it looks like outside my window today.

With a view like that you may wonder why in the heck I am posting about flowers.

Hubby has a special lady at the auctions that takes care of him real good. Last year she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and I wanted to make a special pink rose to show how much we care about her.

I have been a flower making fool just trying to get a good flower made for her.

First I tried with the circle cutters I had on hand. That did not work so I orderded some from Clay Alley http://www.clayalley.com/  this woman has great customer service and her shipping is errily fast.

Okay I got my rose cutter set from Clay Alley superfast now I just needed to sit down and make some roses.

I made so many stinking roses that I ended up turning them into christmas ornaments. The looked good but just not exactly what I wanted to have my special rose look like.

So I made some more…..

Better, still just not right.

What I learned is that it is very important to see whether the petal is above the next one or under it. The rows make a difference as well. One row may need the petals one way and the next may be just the exact opposite way. Another thing I learned is cussing helps not only to make it look right but to ease your frustrations. I have never cussed so many roses in my life. The cussing must have worked because look what I made just for her. She will get the sexiest one there. And now I know how to make a rose.

Dang I am good!

Snowflakes

December 14, 2009
 
So I love to make canes when I say I love I mean I really love it!

One of the recent canes I made was for a unique gift for a friend. She is Palestinian and very proud of it. I am not going to get political here but I wanted to make something she could have to show exactly how proud she is.

So I made her a one of a kind rear view mirror thing a ma jig and she liked it a lot but because of where she lives she was not able to hang it. I made one for myself I liked it so much and I am lucky because I am able to look at mine every day while driving. Of course I can see every corner that was not filled correctly so as to not distort the image when reducing but every artist is hardest on themselves. If there are any that do not do that I do no know who they are! This is not the one that hangs from my mirror its cold and I did not want to go and get it out of the car. This is an extra uglier cane slice ” just to see” it worked!

This is a cane I made that ws inspired by a shirt. I wanted to recreate the intricate design. Here is a link to the shirt on my practice Flickr site.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82656386@N00/3339471544/

I also wanted to submit it to Polymer Clay Cafe so I have detailed pictures of this cane being built. If anyone wants me to I could post that one week. I built that baby perfectly maybe a little too much detail but I built that baby good! I am so blessed to have been able to take a class by Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg at about the time I made a terrible cut in the cane while trying to reduce. Lynn Ann and the wonderful hostess Seana graciously offered to reduce the mangled cane to help me. This is what came from their hands! They are the best cane reducers I have ever met.

Okay so its winter and we had our first snow what better way to celebrate then to make your own snowflake?

http://www.popularfront.com/snowdays/

 

Here are my snowflakes by number you can search and find mine.

8867513

8867554

8867578

8867604

Getting freeken inspired by making your own snowflake!

So where does the snowflake come into play with clay you may ask??

Well while making mine I realized that that stinking snowflake pattern is almost like a triangle for a kaleidoscope. Why don’t you play around and see what a log here or a long plug there will do to your kaleidoscope?

You still have the reducing part to do and I am no help there but while watching Lynn Ann and Seana I have some ideas of how to reduce correctly.

Guess another kaleidoscope is in my near future!

Inspiration

September 25, 2009

What inspires you?

Is it color?

Shape?

Size?

Whatever it is that nudges your muse please  be aware and give yourself every opportunity to be inspired.

For me Fall is such a wonderful time of the year here in New England. The colors are amazing and I find that very inspiring. What about those colors? Don’t they just make you want some fresh apples or cider?

See full size image

Another thing I love about the fall is the fact that I can share it with the ones I love. So be on the look out for a pack of leaves they are on their way LOL. Whatever it is that inspires you, spend some time with it today. You deserve it!