Saturday, July 31, 2010

Old Lace Kaleidoscope Bangle

Old Lace Kaleidoscope Bangle
Originally uploaded by RenGalSA
When I start making a cane, I rarely have an idea about where it's going to go - my mind is too busy working on the colors, details, design elements and layout. THEN, when it's done I go "phew" - but really the work is just getting started. And I try to nudge myself with every project - learning new techniques, trying out new styles, experimenting with finishing. This bangle grew out of experimentation. I love my kaleidoscope canes and they have so much history in them when I use up the canes from past memories - girl scout functions, birthday parties, classes, other projects I grew to love - it just seems to me like I'm passing on those memories to everyone that sees or has purchased a piece of that history. My little way of spreading good karma maybe or just maybe leaving that little bit of me around for history to remember. =) With this cane I've covered tins, pens and keychains, made pillow beads and wonderful swirled lentils from the left overs, and now this. I love the tones in this - they're soft and almost have a southwestern feel to them. I finished the whole bracelet by sanding smooth, lightly coating with Liquid Kato several times - always sanding again in between. I'm working on several more as I slowly put together a tutorial on the process I went through that I hope to be offering in my Etsy shop soon. This bangle is mine to keep =) But I should have others to offer in my shop soon, too. In the mean time, here is some other wonderful creations from my experiments with my kaleidoscope canes. Clicking on the picture will take you to the item in my shop. There are so many more, but searching "kaleidoscope" in my shop should bring them all up. Thank you for looking!

It's been a very busy summer for me, but a very wonderful one. I feel like I'm getting so close to reaching my goal and I've made so many friends along the way - I feel truly blessed. One good one that has become one of my biggest supporters and brings me to tears with her compliments and encouragement has been Pam Plumley. I met Pam through the PCAGOE when I joined and friended her when I started up a Facebook account in December (with pressure from my teenage daughter "Mom, everyone HAS to have one"). Since then she has been not only a good neighbor on farmville (my one FB vice - lol), but always has the kindest things to say about my work. And when you're struggling with self doubt trying to make your way in the world, those words always mean so very, very much. A while back I got a message from her on FB. She was starting a new arts & crafts blog and wanted to interview me for her FIRST posting. There isn't words for how honored I felt and I wanted to share her blog with all of you. She has truly put her heart into it and it has so many wonderful links to other helpful sites - it's something everyone should bookmark. And I want to encourage her to keep going, too! I'm so impressed with what you've done, Pam and so honored to call you a friend. Thank you! You can click on either of the photos below to view Pam's blog. =)

EPL Online Catalog
Also - about a month ago, Lisa Rapp posted on the PCAGOE forums about a new Facebook Group called Etsy Promo Love. Great idea - you post you items on the page and for every item you post, you share an item on the page with your friends. It has since turned into another etsy team and
Misty Aurora's Blog
they've put together an online catalog. Clicking on the screenshot at the left will take you to the whole thing. My print is on page 8. EPL has been great and I've made many new contacts and new friends. As part of another EPL promotion, Dina B. aka Misty Aurora interviewed me for a feature on her blog. Dina also makes the most clever and fun polymer jewelry - cute colorful designs! You can find her Etsy shop HERE or view her Flickr gallery at Clicking on the blog screenshot on the right will take you to her blog. Thank you, Dina!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Southwestern Mosaic Necklace

Southwestern Mosaic Necklace
Originally uploaded by RenGalSA
Whenever I make a new project from my different millefiori canes, there is always odds and ends left over and my southwestern mosaic was no different. So after experimenting with pillow beads with my kaleidoscope canes, I decided to put some together from my left overs. A friend saw them and had an idea for a Christmas gift for a friend of hers and that's how this wonderful necklace came to be. This line of gifts and jewelry was a last minute lightbulb going off in my head moment for the July PCAGOE challenge - something different that was more in line with my tastes. I love southwestern style. Now I have more items in the same line that I have lovingly listed in my ESTY shop. Here is a few pictures. Clicking on the images will take you to their page in my shop.

It's a beautiful day today. The sun is shining and the humidity from our stormy days of late is passing. The lawn is loving this weather and needs mowing again. lol There is a huge live oak that lives outside my studio area window that creates the most wonderful dappled shades of light across the green grass. It reminds me of childhood walks in the woods near my home in rural Minnesota. A great environment for opening up to my inner muse to create. Today I want to finish off some new canes and take some more pictures for some tutorials that I've been slowly working on. 1) Tutorial for making a Santa Cane, 2) Tutorial for quick and easy swirled lentil beads, 3) Tutorial for Kaleidoscope Bangle bracelets, 4) Tutorial for making face canes, 5) tutorial for designing kaleidoscope canes from other cane remnants, 6) Making a simple addition cane (where you add clay to make a pattern), 7) Making a simple subtraction cane (where you cut out a pattern from a clay plug), and 8) Creating a custom mosaic design using extruded clay and liquid polymer clay. There is a lot of information that I need to share for each one, so I have my work cut out for me - but I guess I have my own unique spin on the polymer world to share. =) Let me know if there is anything else that you see in my work that makes you go, "How does she do that?" I'll be sure to put it on my never ending to do list! *hugs*

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Texas Pride Utilities Collection

Ok - been neglecting my blog lately, so it's time to catch up some. This is a new Texas line of products that I've been working on for the last month or so. I have many jewelry and housewares items in this line including napkin rings, flatware, wine stoppers, drawer pulls and knobs, keychains, flashlight keychains, pens, and perfume pens. I'm planning on adding even more items to this line, including little galvanized bucket ice coolers, wine markers, coasters - along with coordinating beaded and bangle bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other beaded items. This Texas Pride line for right now is in burnt orange, white, and black - but I plan on adding red, white, and blue and maroon, gold, and white - along with a few more fun Texas canes like armadillos and cowboy boots. Here is some pictures of items currently available in my ETSY shop.

I've been literally working from sun-up to sundown for about the last month with only a few breaks for Bunco and some meetings, but happened to get out to a small show this weekend in the evening heat. It's been wonderful though getting to know the wonderful members of the San Antonio Polymer Clay Guild and Alamo City Handmade. Both are having shows coming up in October. The SAPCG show is October 9, but the application for it is due tomorrow. If you're interested in being a part of this show, it's going to have wonderful traffic since the Randolph AFB is having a show in the same building the same day. You can find the information and application at I will share more information on those shows as it comes available. The last SAPCG meeting, Maureen (Mo) Greene did a wonderful demo on her version of a tie-dye cane!! It was fabulous! I agreed to do a workshop in November - still thinking what I might do, so suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Faux Stained Glass Votive Candle Holder

Anyone that's been to my house knows that I LOVE candles, so this little colorful, cheery votive holder is right up my alley! This beauty was created by Berit Hines or Clay Center. Berit is an expert at the art of 'cover' - she covers votives, tins, salt & pepper shakers, pens, crochet hooks, wine stoppers, etc etc etc. She makes the most lovely millefiori canes for her creations and coordinates the colors so very well! From bright cheerful bold colors like this votive, to soft shades of pink, teal, and purple. When I'm thinking of doing a new project and trying to think how design details coordinate, I often find myself going to Berit's photostream on Flickr and poking around for inspiration. You can find more of Berit's wonderful clay designs at her etsy SHOP or visit her BLOG.

Berit's faux stained glass votive is another entry in this month's PCAGOE faux challenge. Today is the final day to vote and you're final chance to win a prize in our voter drawing. VOTE HERE before it's too late.

Paperdoll Pillow Earrings Feather Swirled Lentil Earrings
Old Lace Swirled Lentil Earrings UT Camo Swirled Lentil Earrings

Earrings, earring, earrings! They show off the bead so nicely! I have all these wonderful beads left over from scraps and this and that - my way of making the most of every project. It is so fun for me to put a pair of earrings together out of a beautiful bead that could have gone to the scrap clay heap. It's even better when it finds a home and I get to see someone else enjoying it. Polymer clay is such a wonderfully colorful, flexible, multi-purpose medium - I am always thinking up new wonders to try.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Faux Jade Fish

I've always love jade and these little fishes are so wonderful! Might be the pisces in me also, but I just want to flip the top one. lol =) These lovely faux fishes are made by Jackie Sieben of The Pleasant Pheasant. Jackie's makes the most wonderful Kaleidoscope Canes and was my inspiration for the creations I put together. I loved viewing all the wonderful detail and seeing how all the colors, blends and details fit together to make a whole. My own spin on the kaleidoscope cane was that inner practical nature of mine and wanting to recycle old canes that I knew I'd never use again. lol To see Jackie's wonderful canes for yourself, visit her etsy SHOP or take a peak at her BLOG. Maybe you'll get inspired, too!

Jackie's wonderful faux jade fish are another entry in this month's PCAGOE Faux challenge. Tomorrow is the last day to vote, so VOTE HERE if you haven't yet. You may be one of the lucky 5 voters to win a wonderful member created prize.

Old Lace Twist Pen Old Lace Pillow Beads
Old Lace Memory Capsule Old Lace Keychain
Old Lace Perfume Pen

Speaking of inspirations, here is a few pieces that were created with my "Old Lace" Kaleidoscope cane. It isn't a huge cane by comparison with the other canes I have made, but slightly larger than my first two kaleidoscope canes, so I got to experiment a bit more with ways to use it. I have a few more projects in the works and am totally enjoying the detail and the color in these canes, so I plan on making more and maybe throwing together a tutorial from my creative process. Another 'to do' for my long, long list. =)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oriental Totem

Oriental Totem
Originally uploaded by JanGeisen
Visions of gold, jade, and an ancient oriental coin..... familiar, but with a modern twist. Jan Geisen works such artistry with her jewelry pieces. The composition is unique, but familiar - bold, but tradition - and attractive in all aspects. I can see wearing this piece with so many outfits, especially because I'm very fond of these shades of green! =) Jan's work is outstanding! Her shop is filled with wonderful pieces - some with asian influence, some with wonderful faux, and others with peaceful swirls and designs that go so well with so much. Each one a treasure! You can view more of Jan's wonderful designs in her etsy SHOP and her WEBSITE or follow her on her BLOG.

Jan's necklace is another entry in July's PCAGOE Faux challenge. Voting goes now through July 7th. Don't miss out on your chance to win a wonderful prize from our member prize pool! Vote HERE.

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday

I've been thinking ahead and behind a bit lately. I needed a birthday gift for a good friend and was trying to decide what to make for August's PCAGOE challenge - paint, foil, and leaf. The idea of inlays was still stuck in my head from this month's challenge piece and I was thinking about how you could go about making a true polymer inlay piece with just polymer clay. Well - all those thoughts just kind of meshed together and this is what I came up with. It was made in several stages and I still plan to experiment with the technique some more - it was a very satisfying creative endeavor. The background for the guitar is a mokume gane with several layers of black with varying degrees of translucent added, gold foil, metallic red, and ink painted translucent. The guitar itself is layers of metallic red, red, and orange red about 1:5 with translucent. This will be a fun technique to perfect for a tutorial and something unique that I look forward to experimenting more with. Hope you like it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Faux Turquoise and Pebbles Bracelet

I love turquoise and anything with a southwestern feel. I guess it's no wonder that I ended up in Texas. =) This beautiful faux turquoise and pebbles bracelet is made by Carola Greiser of CAG Crafts. Carola joined the PCAGOE in March and creates the most wonderful millefiori canes for beads, buttons, and jewelry. Her work has so much detail and is always finished with such fine workmanship. When I look at her work I think how she must have hundreds of canes hanging about and I wonder how she knows where to start. lol I'd be seeing all the canes and just thinking about the months of different creations I could make! =)
Really though - her etsy stores are a MUST SEE! It truly makes you appreciate the artistry that comes out of those plain blocks of clay from the craft stores. =) You can find her beads and jewelry at CRAFTSBYCAG and her buttons and pens at POLYMERCLAYSHED. To keep updated on her new work, visit her blog at

The days left in the PCAGOE challenge are counting down! Carola's bracelet is a wonderful addition to this month's FAUX challenge and if you haven't placed your vote yet for your favorites, now is the time to do so! You can vote at Remember - 5 lucky votes win a wonderful prize from our prize pool! VOTE TODAY! =)

Happy 4th of July! It's been a busy month, but I put together a few new designs for the holidays. This is my new Patriotic Patchwork design. It has a red, white, and blue marbled background with my 60s cane series appliques. The colors together with the white appliques give almost a lavender look to the smaller items when viewed from a distance. You'll notice the shine on most of these - I made a new muslin wheel for my ancient dremel and was experimenting with buffing. I love the results, but my 14 year old dremel was not so happy with me. I guess 14 years is nothing to complain about. Off to Lowe's I guess for a new one. =)

HAPPY 4th of JULY! Enjoy your day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Faux Venetian Glass Mosiac

Faux Venetian Glass Mosiac
Originally uploaded by pati b
How elegant is this! This beautiful tulip mosaic is brought to you by Pati Bannister. It is literally a mosaic in that it is made up of hundreds of little polymer clay pieces painstakingly tiles together into this wonderful pendant. Pati writes, "I have always loved mosaics, and must admit that I am having an absurdly wonderful time making these pieces. I am loving working with all sorts of colors and trying different mixes (much as when painting). Even the hand-sanding, buffing and waxing is fun as this is when the colors come to life." Pati in addition to being a fellow polymer clay addict is also an artist and a painter. I think some of my favorites from her collection of work are her faux petroglyph pendants. But then I have that hidden side of me that reads National Geographic from cover to cover and dreams of one day doing a 'dig.' lol Pati is one of those undiscovered talents in the polymer clay world, but her creativity and her style are going to catch more fans than just me. =) You can find more of Pati's work (including her wonderful petroglyph pendants) in her etsy SHOP or follow her on her BLOG. Enjoy!

Pati's tulip is another entry in this month's PCAGOE challenge - FAUX! It's wonderful to see what can be done with polymer clay and how truly versatile and beautiful the medium is. Voting in this month's challenge is now through July 7th. 5 lucky voters win a wonderful prize from our member created prize pool!! For your chance to win, vote HERE!

These past few weeks I've been playing around a lot with different styles. Here is a few pictures of not only some new designs using pillow beads and my new kaleidoscope canes, but also some new ideas in photographing my work to make it more appealing artistically. In studying - for instance - the photos that make it into treasuries, I found that the color palettes have a huge draw. Coordinating the composition of the photo with the piece of jewelry seems to be key in catching people's eye - they want to see more than just the jewelry alone. So far, these photos have exceeded my expectations in the draw they have shown in Flickr and etsy, but there is always room for more experiments. =) It's hard to know sometimes what others may look for.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Visions in Amber & Lapis

Originally uploaded by studioschiek

I'm in love with the colors and sheen on this necklace. This necklace was made by Arlene Schiek of StudioSchiek and is my first featured piece in July's PCAGOE challenge. Arlene has more than a decade of experience in polymer clay and much of her work reflects nature - incorporating seeds, pods, fossils, and natural stone forms. I especially like her foray into sculpture and her goddess vessels. They have such a creative primitive feel to them! Arlene has definitely earned the right to be called an artist. Her work is stunning. You can view more of Arlene's work on Flickr or browse her shop HERE.

The PCAGOE challenge for the month of July is Faux. There are so many wonderful creations this month and you can vote on your favorites HERE. Voting goes through July 7 and 5 lucky voters win a prize from our fabulous prize pool. Here is the rest of this months entries!

July Mosaic

1) Tide Pool Pendant by BeeTreeByMe
2) Faux Raku Pendant and Beads by RiverValleyDesign
3) Faux Chinese Turquoise and Antique Copper Necklace by SCDiva
4) Faux Pebble Bracelet by OneandOnly
5) Faux Turquoise and Pebbles Bracelet by CraftsbyCAG
6) Faux Amber and Lapis Lazuli Necklace by StudioSChiek
7) Faux Opal, Bronze and Coral Necklace by RMKDesign
8) Faux White Leather Cuff by 11BoldStreet
9) Faux Serpentine Necklace by VyaKyasha
10) Oriental Totem by JanGeisen
11) Faux Venitian Glass Mosaic Pendant by PatiBannister
12) Faux Cinnebar Trinket Box by JKollmann
13) Faux Jade Pendant by KellyPlaysClay
14) Faux Rock Box by ArrowdaleArtStudio
15) Dagwood Sandwich by Polyclarific
16) Faux Jade Fish by ThePleasantPheasant
17) Brick by Brick Necklace by HiGirls
18) Faux Amber Beads by MarciaPalmer
19) Fe Faux Necklace by LaurelSteven
20) Faux Stained Glass Votive Candle Holder by ClayCenter
21) Imitation Lapis Lazuli Beaded Cabochon by MirameCreations
22) Faux Amethyst Agate Necklace by BlessedBeadJewelry
23) Faux Southwestern Mosaic Inlay Tin by RenGalSA
24) Faux Dichroic Glass Polymer Clay Beads and Pendant by PolymerClayCreations

Faux Southwestern Mosaic Inlay TinHere is a close up of my entry! This was fun and I think I learned a lot while doing this. I wanted to make it look like an inlay piece between the borders of silver. Experimenting with different mixtures and adding different color and texture to the different ‘faux’ inlay stones was a learning experience. I never knew what would happen with the final result and decided that with faux stone - especially the malachite - you can never use enough translucent. The color takes it over and you just get more ‘glow.’ The stones used for most inlays are matrixes - splashes of color held together by resin. In this piece yellow jasper, coral, lapis, and turquoise. My one exception was the malachite where I wanted to play with the layering and add an extra design element. I made a fun big cane and will probably use it for other fun designs as well.


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