Monday, June 21, 2010

July PCAGOE Challenge Prize Pool

July PCAGOE Challenge Prize Pool
July PCAGOE Challenge Prize Pool
Originally uploaded by DivaDesigns1

These are the prizes in the pool for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's July Challenge, the theme of which is "Faux." Vote for your favorite entries from July 1-July 7, 2010 and you could win one of these beautiful items created by our member artists! Watch for details.

1st Row, L-R: pendant - ArrowdaleArtStudio; cell phone fob - 11BoldStreet; pendant - ClayHappy

2nd Row, L-R: faux wood - JKollmann; bracelet - CraftsbyCAG; barrette - NKDesigns

3rd Row, L-R: earrings - RenGalSA; necklace - PipsJewellery; earrings - PolymerClayCreations

4th Row, L-R: pendant - SCDiva; pendant - RozPetalzStudio; pendant - RiverValleyDesign

I'm always trying out new things to use my canes for and experimenting. I guess its part of the learning process and goodness knows I've still a ton to learn.... and then of course there is the practice to get it down. I'm starting to feel like I've got a handle on some things, though I look at some of the wonderful pieces out there and know I still have a lot to learn. And I try to take my own unique spin on everything I learn. This pen is a new item in my groovy line - which is a wonderful example. I've admired so many of the wonderful pieces out there that use millefiori canes backed with translucent - mostly flowers and butterflys - as appliques. I wanted to give it a try, but am not a huge flower person, so the idea of making canes with themes from the 'flower child' era just sounded fun to me. My first few trials were so so (I'm real bad about just jumping into something first and THEN reading about it), but I'm gradually getting a better handle on the technique and this pen turned out fabulously. My hints? 1) Cut the appliques very thin and even. 2) Use your finger or a paintbrush handle to flatten the edges of the appliques 3) Let the sheet set before you roll it with your brayer or pasta machine for the plasticizers to distribute some since most of the time your background is much softer than your canes that have been sitting awhile. 4) I have a fabric covered corn heating pad that I use briefly while the clay sheet is covered with waxed paper to 'warm' the clay evenly before I flatten it into an even sheet. Not too much because I don't want it to be soft, but enough so that the appliques don't leave craters in the background and blend smoothly and seamlessly. I'm finding a heating pad comes in handy for a lot of canes that I slice and then want to wrap around items. In some cases, the clay wants to crack when I wrap it and warming it up even briefly helps it to bend. I still have a ton to learn, but the hardest thing about learning is finding the time to do so - right? Please feel free to share any hints you have also!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY! I'm a single mom of 3 kids and things get real lonely some days. When times get rough, I think about my pets. I have 3 cats and a dog. My dog follows me everywhere and never is more than a foot away from me. My oldest kitty is 12 years old. She climbs on my lap and puts both her paws on either side of my neck, and hugs me and licks my neck while purring up a storm. My siamese mix from the spca plops on my lap, on my computer, on my workspace - wherever I am and lounges and purrs. I can throw him over my shoulder or hang him upside down by his back legs and he doesn't care - he trusts me and is never afraid. My youngest kitty is a maine coon mix that I rescued with the rest of his litter from the fence - his mom is a stray who hangs out in the back yard. He's never known any other home and sleeps on his back stretched out spread eagle. I've never known any other animal to sleep like that because it's against their natural instinct - but he does. Our animals are our biggest reflection of who we are and if I look at mine, I'm guess I give a lot, because they are so willing to trust and give back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's a bead FRENZY!

Lots of Beads!
Lots of Beads!
Originally uploaded by RenGalSA

You know - i'm always trying to be as ......well, stingy ... with my creations as possible. I spend so much time making my lovely creations, even after I get something put together the little designs on the scraps just scream to have some use, too! So I've been experimenting. Sure, lots of the scraps go into piles to be used as scrap clay to cover bases or for templates - BUT, I've been using more and more to make beads to add more depth and interest to my pieces. Above is a collection of swirled lentil beads and pillow beads that I created - some from the same canes! I tumbled them all with very small river rocks (ok, fish tank rocks - I couldn't find a river close enough) with about a 1/3 of a cup of powdered cleaner (aka ajax) for about 24 hours, then cleaned them and buffed them shiny. Now to make some jewelry - right? I'm still working on some more styles of pillow beads and some tube beads, so look for more bead frenzies in the future!

In preparations for the 4th of July, I threw together some fun red, white, & blue items that I have called "Patriotic Patchwork." So far I have tins, earrings, and memory capsules that will be heading to my shop shortly. Rather than do the star and stripes this year, I used my love, peace, daisy, and little feet canes to add a reminder of what the 4th stands for.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! <3

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Nature of Things!

These beautiful tins are brought to you by Beth Petricoin of Create My World (top) and Michelle Stuckner of Michelle's Clay (bottom). Beth's work is an inspiration.  She has a wonderful, unique way of incorporating the organic with polymer clay and the fusion is seamless.  Her work incorporates vines, leaves, shamrocks, and even real pressed flowers.  When I look at her designs, I think how nice it would be to have a dried flower from a wedding bouquet or a coursage lovinging preserved in a piece of jewelry, keychain, or plaque.  Her use of color in her tin is stunning!  You can view more of Beth's designs in her etsy SHOP or WEBSITE or follow her blog at or her Facebook Fan page.  Here is a fun mosaic of her other creations!  The Hydrangea pendant is one of my favorites!

1. St. Patty's Scrolls Necklace, 2. Hydrangea Real Flower Pendant,
3. Funky Chalkboard Pendant Necklace, 4. Pop Pendant Necklace
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Michelle's Work is wonderfully unique and is filled with warm animal visions - especially horses.  She says, "I am inspired everyday by other artists, nature, people, animals.... the list goes on.  I use a lot of earth tones and nature inspired designs in my work. I occasionally make mold of leaves, sticks, buttons, but often times find them and use them once (or until the leaf wears out!). Textures sheets are sometimes used, but often times I just use what I find interesting and use household items." Her chunky photo transfer bracelets are wonderful and a great way to preserve a memory.  You can get more inspiration from viewing the wonderful items in her etsy SHOP.  Below is a selection of Michelle's creations.

1. Shake, Rattle and Roll Elvis Chunky Bracelet,
2. Saved Necklace Autumn Warmth, 3. Pony Pendant, 4. Horse Pin
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Today is the last day to vote in June's PCAGOE Challenge! It is also the last day to  bid to take home the wonderful tins our members created.  All proceeds will go to Polymer Clay for a Cause - a wonderful guild sponsored children's charity. Voting and Bidding go through midnight EST tonight and the winners will be announced tomorrow.  All of the tins have starting bids and the bidding today is bound to be fierce, but with bids starting at only $10, you can still get a wonderful treasure for a special birthday gift, graduation present or a keepsake for yourself.   Nothings is better than getting a one of a kind treasure and supporting a wonderful charitable cause while doing so!  If you still need to vote or bid, you can do so HERE. Remember, 5 lucky voters will go home with a prize from the guild created prize pool and one very special winner will take home a wonderful matching pendant and tin created by Jeanette of Clay Happy

Life will be returning to normal shortly (and my sanity shortly after with any luck) as graduation visitors return home and we settle into a summer routine with the kiddos.  I've been putting in many hours polishing off the new Member Gallery for the soon to be released PCAGOE website update!  I'll make sure to keep everyone posted when the new site becomes live!  It's going to be wonderful - filled with good information, tutorials and member hints, links to our favorite shopping places, etc etc!  Now is a great time to become involved in the PCAGOE if you've ever thought about it.  In the mean time, I've been doing some sketching on new designs that I should be putting together soon and am looking forward to sharing them with you!  For now, here is another blast from my past!  This is an old self portrait that I drew in a spoon as a freshman in college.  It's wonderful and whimsical and has a great memory, too!  The spoon I used was a silver baby spoon that was a gift from my godparents.  It is one of those wonderful treasures that always reminds me of how valuable the people in my life are!   Make sure to let the people in your life know how much you treasure them, also!  *hugs*

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Springtime for a Transplanted Jersey Girl

Toni Ransfield is a millefiori GODDESS - no really, she is!!! This gorgeous tin is just the tiniest of examples of her wonderful array of canes, designs, and wonders. I can't count the number of times I've browsed her Flickr account or her etsy shop and marveled over the designs there.  Such beautiful colors!  Toni resides in New Zealand where Polymer Clay work is as uncommon as the natural beauty is common.  (I still remember fondly watching Hercules which was filmed there....and it wasn't all about Kevin Sorbo....well, not all.)  Whereever Toni resides, we are lucky to have her!  She makes the world so so so much more colorful!  Besides the wonderful work you can view on Flickr in the mosaic below and in her etsy SHOP, you can marvel at her KEEPSAKE EGGS shop or her POLYMER CLAY PENS shop.  You won't be dissappointed!  Just the vast scope of her work and the number of canes she's created is mind-numbing.  =)

1. New Canes, 2. NEW!! Fountain Pens,
3. Close up on the pendants, 4. New Floral Beads
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Two more days to vote in this month's PCAGOE Challenge! Don't forget that you can also bid to take home the wonderful tins our members created.  All proceeds will go to Polymer Clay for a Cause - a wonderful guild sponsored children's charity. Voting and Bidding go through June 7th and the winners will be announced June 8.  Check out the wonderful creations and think ahead for birthdays and holidays!  These are all one of a kind treasures and at starting bids of only $10,  a great deal for a wonderful charitable cause!  If you still need to vote or bid, you can do so HERE. Remember, 5 lucky voters will go home with a prize from the guild created prize pool and one very special winner will take home a wonderful matching pendant and tin created by Jeanette of Clay Happy!

OK - graduation is done, school is out and now I'm waiting for my sanity to return and anxious to return to my clay table.  I'm sharing another tidbit from the past today as I wait for my life to slowly return to normal.  For many years I designed these ornaments and would add new ones every year that friends would collect for their trees.  They are made from Friendly Plastic, which was softened and molded or sculpted in hot water into the designs shown.   This ornament is my Wind Blown Santa.  He has lots of sparkle and a cheery face.  The design is formed very very carefully around a painted glass ornament and weighted so it hangs on center.  I haven't done any more of these in 10 years, but I still have a few that I treasure on the special tree I have for them!  If you're interested in looking at more of these designs you can find them on my main webpage HERE!  Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Floral Medallion with Silver Braid

This lovely tin is brought to you by the talented hands of Lupe Meter!  Lupe's tin is my 4th feature in this month's PCAGOE challenge, "Think Outside the Box."  Lupe's creations always sparkle!  Touches of gold and silver accent her work and give it a luster that hides its simple polymer core.  Her work showcases some of the true diversity of polymer clay!  Personally I love her memory books. Handmade beads and wonderful polymer charms give them such a keepsake feel - who wouldn't want something so charming and personal to keep their memories in!  You can find more of Lupe's wonderful creations at her etsy SHOP or follow her on her Blog at

Mirame Creations
1. IMG_6680, 2. Torn Clay Watercolor,
3. Speckled Gold, 4. IMG_4971
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

In this month's PCAGOE Challenge, you can not only vote, but also bid to take home the wonderful tins our members created.  All proceeds will go to Polymer Clay for a Cause - a wonderful children's charity. Bidding goes through June 7th and the winners will be announced June 8.  Pick up a wonderful gift for someone special while supporting a fabulous cause!  Deals can still be had during this special PCAGOE challenge. If you still need to vote or bid, you can do so HERE. Remember, 5 lucky voters will go home with a prize from the guild created prize pool and one very special winner will take home a wonderful matching pendant and tin created by Jeanette of Clay Happy!

Here is another blast from the past that I'm sharing today!  This photo was done in college and taken in San Antonio at the Alamo long before I lived there (San Antonio - that is).  I entered this photo in the Best of College Photography by Photographer's Forum my Senior year and won Honorable Mention and is published in the 1986 publication.  Glen R. Servin, publisher; Kimberly Kavish, Photo Editor; and Mehosh Dziadzio, Art Director.

The lighting is so subtle.  The huge live oak that dominates the photo had just shed it's leaves in the spring and they cover the ground like time has long past.  Tiny new leaves give such a wonderful texture to background as two people cross paths.  I have named it "Meeting at the Well."  Prints are available at my shop on Imagekind.

Someday My Prince Will Come!

Someday My Prince Will Come!
Happy Creations by Phoebe
My day 3 day feature is coming a bit late. May is a crazy month and especially crazy this year. Don't you just want to KISS this frog? This beautiful tin is brought to you by the Phoebe Doehring. Phoebe creates the most beautiful whimsical designs! From Dragons and Mermaids, to wonderful dragonflys, mushrooms, and critters of all shapes and sizes! Her creations are great for that special keepsake cake topper or that memorable magical gift! Looks up this SHOP and get yourself some Happy Creations by Phoebe, too. Below is a mosaic of several selections from Phoebe's etsy store - click on the links below to view the items!

1. Little Mushroom Family, 2. Aqua Mermaid Figurine,
3. Rainbow Dragon, 4. Pink Spring Bird
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Phoebe's tin is an entry in the June PCAGOE challenge, "Think Outside the Box." This month, not only can you vote, but also bid to take home the wonderful entries. All proceeds will go to Polymer Clay for a Cause - a wonderful children's charity. Bidding is still going on for another 3 days and great deals can still be had during this special PCAGOE challenge. If you still need to vote or bid, you can do so HERE. Remember, 5 lucky voters will go home with a prize from the guild created prize pool and one very special winner will take home a wonderful matching pendant and tin created by Jeanette of Clay Happy!

It's been a crazy few days and I've been working on sketching out some new designs to coordinate with other pieces and putting together some new ideas in the brief moments I have between family and graduations projects. Here is an oldie but goodie from about 10 years ago. I don't have any of my old cat canes any more, but keep getting told I need to make more!  I should have new stuff to share by the end of the weekend with any luck!  Or maybe I should ask you to wish me luck on getting new stuff done at this point!  lol

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Touch of Nature in Pastels!

It's day 2 of the PCAGOE challenge and the bid sheets are busy! Thank you to everyone who is participating in this wonderful event! Today's itsy bitsy tin is brought to you by Peggers - Peggy Reichenbach. Peggy is also a long time member of the PCAGOE. Peggy's creations are fun and whimsical - with cheerful smiles on bugs, ghosts, and little pookie pets - great gifts and wonderful cake toppers! But she has her organic side as well, with beautiful switchplates, ACEO artist cards, and jewelry with touches of leaves and feathers like her wonderful covered tin. Viewing her SHOP is bound to put a smile on your face! Here is a mosaic of some of her other wonderful creations!

Peggers - test
1. Pookie Kissers, 2. My first pendant with my own beads,
3. let's go sledding, 4. Ladybugs on a skateboard
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

The battle lines are being drawn already in only ONE day of bidding on the fabulous artistic tins in this month's PCAGOE Challenge. At a starting bid of $10, you can get a wonderful gift for a special someone - a great little box to wrap a piece of jewelry or hide a even better treasure! These tins are all one of a kind designs and will be treasured little works of art that could add a splash of color to your bathroom storing bath beads or on your dresser storing a prized piece of jewelry. You could always use it in your purse for change, a spare pair of earrings, etc - but who wants to hide something so lovely? If you haven't voted or placed your bid yet, you can do so HERE. Remember 5 lucky voters will win prizes from our member prize pool and ONE very lucky voter will win a lovely matching tin and pendant set from Jeanette of Clay Happy! Good luck to you all!

Sebrina's Elf
Sophie's Elf
May has been a crazy month as school draws to an end.  I have a son graduating High School and my youngest daughter graduating Elementary - with all the end of the year parties, celebrations, volunteer activities and plans.  Not to mention that since I carry school items, there is always a rush for teacher and graduation gifts.  I will be looking forward to things slowing down as summer starts and I take on my summer classes.  This summer I will be teaching 6 different classes.  Introduction to Color is a beginning class for ages 10 and up (adults love this, too).  We cover mixing colors, color properties, compliments, shades, tints, and make some wonderful easy clay creations while learning all about color, including a fun color wheel wall hanging.  The class finishes off with creating jewelry from the canes we have created!  Introduction to Drawing is another beginning class.  In Intro to Drawing, you will learn how to draw and shade basic shapes, how shadows fall from a light source, and drawing from one point and two point perspective.  In Color Fundamentals, we build on what we learned in our intro classes as we learn to use different color medias.  You will learn how to draw shapes and create shadows using colored pencils, paints, and pastels - learning not only how shadows differ in color vs pencil or grayscale, but also how to work with the different color mediums and the differences between them.  Drawing Fundamentals I'm told is a HARD class.  It doesn't start out hard though.  We learn to look at shapes and draw different every day objects by breaking them into cones, cylinders, squares, etc.  This is a very fun exercise and doesn't involve getting the exact proportions - we're just learning to SEE what objects are made up of.  The end of the class getting harder though as I touch on drawing to proportion and transferring what you see onto paper.  It involves basic math skills - ratios and multiplication - but it makes the students realize how art isn't just about drawing.  The last two classes are longer classes and involve JUST polymer clay.  Sculpture Fundamentals builds on much of what we learned about shapes composing objects as the students learn to sculpt simple clay creatures.  We then put all that learning to the test as we create a realistic baby seal!  Sculpting People is just using the same techniques as Sculpture Fundamental to create hands, feet, faces, noses, ears and then put it all together to make a wonderful elf sculpture of your very own!  The creations from the sculpting classes are treasures and something enjoyed by young and old alike!  The elves at the left were done in my last class by 11 year old students!  Aren't they fabulous!  You can find out class times, supplies, and class pricing HERE.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  I keep class sizes very small, so they fill fast!


Connections - Textured Asian-Inspired Keepsake Box
by Marcia Palmer
Voting has begun for the PCAGOE June Challenge, "Think outside the Box." For this challenge, all the entrants started out with the same sized, rectangular aluminum tin, which measureS 2.5" wide by 2" tall. As with every month, I take the time to highlight a few on the entrants and today's beautiful box was brought to you by Marcia Palmer! Marcia is a long time member of PCAGOE, having joined in 2007 at the guild's inception. Her home is in Georgia where she makes the most wonderful earthy and ethnic pieces!  Below is a mosaic of her work that will be included in the Member Gallery of the New PCAGOE website that will be launching soon!  Marcia's work encompasses the mystic and the primitive, with wonderful earthtones and beautiful color accents that blend to give the pieces warmth and charm.  I've admired her jewelry for some time, but in putting together the Member Gallery, I found her dolls, too!  So wonderfully creative and inspiring!  You can find Marcia's shop HERE or follow her on her blog at or on her Facebook Fan Page.

Marcia Palmer - test
1. Primitive Influences Earrings, 2. Earth Tones Pod Pendant,
3. Mystic Angel, 4. DSCF6809
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

To make this challenge even more special, you will also be able to bid on your favorite tin or tins to have as your very own! All the entries will be auctioned off during challenge week to the highest bidder, to raise money for our team charity, Polymer Clay For A Cause. The voting and bidding is going to be fierce this month with 29 entrants! Beginning June 1, 2010 and ending at midnight, Eastern US time June 7, 2010, you may bid on one or more of the entries. Bidding for each tin will open at $10 U.S. currency. Payment will be by PayPal only. The highest bidder for each tin will be notified as soon as possible after the challenge ends. The tins and styles are all so very wonderfully unique and range from wonderful flowered creations, to asian influenced works of art, to fun whimsical sculpted creations! Please go vote and bid at Remember! 5 lucky voters have a chance to win a prize from the fabulous member created prize pool and this month one lucky winner will go home with the fabulous tin and matching pendant above created by Jeanette of Clay Happy!

Here is a mosaic of all the other wonderful entries!

1) Teeny Tiny Tin by NKDesigns
2) Faux Granite and Abstract Inlay by 11BoldStreet
3) Clownfish Have Feelings Too by CreativeArtCenter
4) Teal Leaves by PipsJewellery
5) Falcon Lady by SCDiva
6) Butterfly Tin by ArrowdaleArtStudio
7) Turquoise Delight by LaurelSteven
8) Retro Cobblestones by Polyclarific
9) Someday My Prince Will Come by HappyCreations4U
10) Imagine by TheColorOfDreams
11) Abstract Blues by HiGirls
12) Little Box of 1001 Dreams by ClayCenter
13) Mixed Media Mosaic by Juliespace
14) Floral Medallion with Silver Braid by MirameCreations
15) Bloom Where You Are Planted by BeeTreeByMe
16) Dreaming of New Orleans by YoungCreative
17) Groovy Tin by RenGalSA
18) Carnivale! by BlessedBeadJewelry
19) Keychain Tin by MichelesArtJewelry
20) Misty Water Garden by AshPaints
21) Springtime for a Transplanted Jersey Girl by ToniNZ
22) Elegant Seashell Canework by CraftsByCAG
23) Spring Rain by KellyPlaysClay
24) Pastel Skinner Blend with Leaf Motif by Peggers
25) Rainbow Millefiori by PolymerClayCreations
26) Treasure The Moment by MichellesClay
27) Connections - Textured Asian-Inspired Keepsake Box by MarciaPalmer
28) Turquoise Jewels by CreateMyWorld
29) Ali Cat by AlisonEKurek


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