Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And the party rolls on...

Okay, this is my second post and a week hasn't even passed since the first one!!! (:  Yeah for me. I have done some thinking though and I'm trying to embrace my sweet, hard to take seriously self. What the heck...I should just go with it! (:

Okay enough introspection, last time I promised to actually talk about my artistic endevours. SO, lets start with that!

Polymer Clay: I came to polymer clay via a funny path. I was actually attracted at first to some metal clay projects by Lisa Barth. If you don't know her or her work check out this link: Not only does she do incredible wire weaving (more on that later) but she has the most fantastic metal clay projects. So, completely enthralled with her work and the possibilities, I decided that I absolutely needed to do this. Well, that was until I realized the start up and ongoing costs! But unwilling to give up, I started looking around and discovered polymer clay! Reasonably inexpensive, you can cook it in a household oven, and the potential--- wow! To be honest, it has even more potential I think the metal clay (although perhaps not as sophisticated...well not in my hands at least!).

So I started working with polymer clay. My first clay was Kato....a very well know, well liked clay.  But I had a bear of a time conditioning it! After doing some investigation, I realized that what might be soft pliable clay at 70-75F was like a rock at 66F (the warmest temp that my house gets to in the winter).  So, I switched to Premo and what a difference! Since then I've pretty much spent at least one day every weekend making beads from my polymer clay.

And well, I promised to show some pictures and here the first one is!!!  So this is an experiment with translucent clay and alcohol inks. What you can't tell from this picture, is that at first these were DAY-GLO bright! Well, at least  I thought so! You can see the one I like to call bubblegum pink second from the right!

But believe it or not, I was able to combine these with some other 'magic elements' and turn it into something I'm really proud of! I promise to reveal the final product in a future blog. I'm hoping to submit the item I made to an informal contest which means I can't show it here yet!

So let's go onto my next item!

Kumihimo: Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braiding technique that has been applied to modern jewelry making. I'm actually a big kumihimo fan. It's very relaxing (well except for the bead loading part)!  The piece show below was made with Swarvoski pearls and bicones that I won from Rings and Things ( (It was the most awesome prize pack ever!)

I made this as a gift for my mom's best friend and I'm really very happy with it. You can't really see the 4mm bicones here, but in real life, they make the whole piece sparkle (but not in an overwhelming way...just small sparkles).

Sigh, I had no idea I was so verbose. I hope you aren't bored. (Of course, at this point, I don't actually think I have any I'm basically talking to myself.)

Last topic for the day!

Wire Wrapping: Okay, more backstory.....remember how I said I was totally in love with Lisa Barth's metal clay projects? Well, call me a fan-girl of her wire wrapping too. So once again, inspired I decided to learn wire wrapping and weaving and wire working. I had some tools (from my time doing chain maile...have I not mentioned that yet? Hmm...) so I gave it a try. And I fought with the wire and it fought with me.....and well I think it won. My fingers hurt and after many, many hours I had a not very lovely tiny wire woven bracelet. (What you want pictures? Nope, not going to happen.) So I gave up (well not really.....more like I put the wire in the time-out corner). Then on Facebook I read about a brand new site called The Wire Guild. Well, at first I ignored the evil siren call. Then finally one day while avoiding vacuuming, I decided to go check out the site. You want a website link? Sure thing: What you should know up front: This is a membership site that costs $6 a month. Now, I'm not a fan of membership sites normally. BUT this lady makes videos...really good (sometimes funny!) videos. And that woman who fought with the wire? Well not this time baby! It actually talked to me and I talked back! And I made THIS!

Okay, so its not a masterpiece, but then I made another one and it turned out even better. Plus, I need to oxidize these more pictures later. The best part was, I really really enjoyed making this and that is the first time I can say that about metal working. I'm really looking forward to making more wirework! Yes, I have been seduced by the evil siren at all!

Well, next time I plan on talking about some of the links to the companies I've listed below. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Welcome...let's get this party started....I think

This is actually my second attempt at starting a blog. I think my problem with blogs is that I have a tendency towards introversion and a certain desire for privacy. Both of which are rather counter to the whole concept of a blog. (:

However, one of my artistic goals this year, is to participate in at least one blog hop. And guess what --- to do that you need a blog. (:

So --I'll try my best to tell you a bit about myself and a bit about my goals.

Me: Well, lets pretend for a minute we are in the game/site called "Second Life" ---now I've never actually been in Second Life (for fear of immense addiction) but I did see it demonstrated once and I think for my purposes it will serve ------ so, again pretend we are in Second Life. If I were to create a character that I think reflects me (well my fantasy of me) --- she would be an elf with purple eyes and dark hair and heck while we are at it, light teal skin. She would of course, be super tough with a tendency to wear clothes that a cross between steampunk and well, more practical garb. Boots definitely (butt kicking boots with a feminine flair --what the heck does that mean? I don't know...pretty but without high heels? Oh and good foot support) and pants that wore like jeans but looked like leather....and a jacket with a long tail and a short front because you know it just seems cool and edgy.   Okay, now that you've had a good real like self is a pale shadow of this ...jeans and boots...yes, elf-like...possibly. Purple eyes and teal skin....well that's perhaps a bit far fetched. I'm sure I don't qualify as super tough but we are all entitled to our fantasies.

Okay though...that's a bit of a fanciful start to this rather basic blog. My artistic goals. Sigh...I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that I'm an artist. I've had a few art quilts in shows, sold a few pieces of jewelry....but mostly I'm a fiddler. See I like to learn things. Lots and lots of things. And so I rarely take the time to get really, really, awesome good at anything. Is this is problem? Well I don't know. I've learned to quilt, art quilt, knit, kumihimo, bead embroidery, weaving, bead weaving, a tad bit of wirework and wire weaving, and at the moment I am enthralled with polymer clay.  

In the past, I've been happy to fiddle. Really. But this year...sigh. This year I want to somehow be more than I am. I don't really know how to explain this. See...I tend to come across as a sweet, nice, pleasant person (unless of course I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch...). But I feel like there must be more to me than that. Now you might say there is nothing wrong with being sweet and nice and pleasant...and well, you would be right. But the fiery, fierce, butt kicking boots wearing inner self is really rebelling. And seems like a worthy outlet for some of this 'angst'...but I feel sort of stuck on how to express it.

So...I've come up with a few goals which I will talk about in my next blog post! (: