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.

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