Thursday, April 29, 2010

PCAGOE May Challenge Entries

The Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's May Challenge theme is "History/Historial Event". As you can see, 14 of our member artists took the challenge and created these gorgeous entries depicting and interpreting a moment in time. Some are playful and humorous, others are touching and evoke deeply emotional feelings. Some are very personal. All are awesome interpretations on the challenge theme, and we hope you will vote for your top 3 favorites beginning May 1 thorugh May 7, 2010 at www.pcagoe.com.  5 lucky voters chosen at random will also win fabulous polymer prizes handcrafted by our member artists! Here is a list of the entrants:

1) Fly Me To The Moon Pendant by BeeTreeByMe
2) Australian ANZAC Slouch Hat Brooch by Polyclarific
3) The Day The World Changed Forever by NKDesigns
4) Medieval Manuscript Cane Set by ZoeOwyn
5) Headline 1920: U.S. Women Get The Right To Vote! Commemorative Brooch by SCDiva
6) My Great Grandmother's Steamer Trunk by ArrowdaleArtStudio
7) Ancient Shards Earrings by OneAndOnly
8 ) Italian-Inspired Terracotta Necklace by YoungCreative
9) Famous Painters of the Renaissance by PolymerClayCreations
10) Sunface Kachina Pendant or Wall Hanging by RenGalSA
11) Bathtub Gin Bootleggers by AlisonEKurek
12) Caveman's wheel Pendant by IansCafe
13) Come To The Tea Party by AshPaints
14) Popular Toys of the 20th Century by BlessedBeadJewelry

I'm #10 this month! Remember to vote for you favorites beginning May 1 and I'll be featuring an item each day during the voting so you can get to know the artists a bit better!

Today is Clay & Play Thursday in the PCAGOE - a day to post and show off what you've been working on in the past week. I won't be claying much these next few days as I finish off some spring cleaning and then host a birthday party for my daughter and 6-8 giggling 11 year old girls. We're having a movie night, sleep over, then doing a clay project as a party favor - making simple flower canes and covering pens and glass tubes for pendants. I've done birthday parties doing this and have done it for girl scout troops and it always is a big hit with the kids and a great memory. I still have girl scout mom who come up to me and show me the bracelet they still wear that we created years ago in our troop projects. It makes a wonderful party activity! Besides the party plans, I'm working on a smaller version of my sunface kachina for a necklace with matching beads from the canes I used to create it and some faux turquoise and some matching earrings using the feather cane. I've posted a few more pictures from my endeavors over the past few weeks while I was ill. I did more than I realized. lol

Enjoy your day and don't forget to vote beginning Saturday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PCAGOE May Challenge Prize Pool

The time is fast approaching for the upcoming May Challenge in the PCAGOE! This month's challenge theme is historical! Entries have been submitted until noon eastern today and voting will begin on May 1st. Five lucky voters will win prizes from the wonderful prize pool pictured! The prizes donated are as follows:
Row 1: Barette - Polyclarific; Tin- ClayCenter; Bracelet - YoungCreative; Necklace - ArrowdalleArtStudio
Row 2: Bangle - HiGirls; Necklace - 11BoldStreet; Earrings - PolymerClayCreations; Earrings - ClayHappy
Row 3: Pendant - JKollmann; Pendant - NKDesigns; Pendant - SCDiva; Beads - JenCom72
Row 4: Pendant -BeeTreeByMe; Pendant -RiverValleyDesign; Pendant - LaurelSteven; Cane - ToniNZ;

It's been hard to sleep lately as my "to do" list keeps getting larger and a few weeks of being under the weather hasn't helped, but I have managed to put together some new designs and rework a few old canes into new items. Here is a few pieces! The rest of my week will be spent catching up on spring cleaning and organizing my thoughts to prioritize my ever growing list. =) Then I'll be blogging about the PCAGOE challenge entries starting May 1. Look for more southwestern designs and possibly more kachina pendants/hanging in the near future along with a few more high end jewelry pieces. And I'd like to take this time to thank my friends in PCAGOE and everyone else for their wonderful support and encouragement. What a wonderful 'family' to be a part of!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PUBLISHED!!!


Polymer Cafe Reader's Gallery
Originally uploaded by RenGalSA
These two items are featured in the June issue of Polymer Cafe's Reader's Gallery. =) I'm thrilled beyond words. It's kind of a funny story. Long, long time ago when Polymer Cafe first came out, I was thrilled to find a magazine that had so many wonderful new ideas and tutorials. I had a subscription the first year it came out and just loved it - read it cover to cover. Then life kind of stepped in and I never renewed it again. Back then from what I remembered, the reader's gallery was this tiny section on the editor's page with little thumbnail pictures, so when I submitted a few pictures I was thinking well, this won't be so scary. I didn't realize that the Reader's Gallery now is BIG!! I got a page and a half feature. lol I guess I'm glad I didn't have a recent copy of Polymer Cafe to see how things have changed or I'd have chickened out. lol It's all part of life's little game to push you forward - right?

Then last Friday as I was catching up on taking of photos of items I'd worked on over the last few weeks of being under the weather (very bad sinus infection that went into my chest) and just trying to do busy work that I could do in bits and pieces between naps - I found this pair of earrings featured on Craft Gossip. I was so surprised and thrilled because I had JUST posted them. My Flickr hits went through the roof! =)

And NOW - I just finished my challenge piece for the upcoming PCAGOE challenge. This month the theme is historical so I created this wonderful Sunface Kachina pendant/wall-hanging to commemorate the Native American influence in this wonderful country. The Sunface is a Hopi Kachina that represents warmth, shelter for the old, bright future, and playfulness for the young.

SALE SALE SALE SALE!!!! I will be having a Mother's Day Sale from now until May 2nd. Take 15% of your total purchase and every order over $50 gets FREE shipping! My shop is filled with many beautiful items that can be customized quickly for that special one of a kind mother's day gift. Several members of the PCAGOE TEAM are also having promotions in their stores:

http://www.VixenJewels.etsy.com
http://www.nkdesigns.etsy.com
http://www.craftsbycag.etsy.com
http://www.11boldstreet.etsy.com
http://www.creativeartcenter.etsy.com
http://www.blessedbeadjewelry.etsy.com
http://www.claycenter.etsy.com
http://www.polymerclaycreations.etsy.com
http://www.youngcreative.etsy.com
http://www.clayhappy.etsy.com

Take a look for that extra special custom gift for your mom!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wonderful Weddings


Morin Wedding 01
Originally uploaded by rhome_music
Many of you that know me, know I've had a passion for photography since high school, so - though I generally have spotlighted polymer artists here - I'm going for a change of pace today. =) Today I'm spotlighting Chris Raymer. Chris and I discovered each other back in January and became instant friends. It's nice to find someone with the same sentimental, quirky, idealistic, dreamer tendency that have plagued me my whole life. lol I've completely enjoyed his stories and insights on his Flickr photostream and his creativity and warmth shine through in the photos he takes.


Chris and his family live in San Antonio, Texas. So many wedding photographers are good at lining people up and taking your standard group photos, but Chris has a natural gift for bringing out the warmth in a setting. I have to say, when he posted his wedding photos I was completely blow away. Anyone can pose a shot, but it takes a true artist to find shots of people being themselves and take them at their best - personality and beauty all in one. It's a gift and one that there is no amount of education or practice can give you. Chris has this gift. If you'd like to make use of Chris' fabulous skill and attention to detail for your wedding, graduation, or other event, please contact him at rhomeproductions@gmail.com.

Ok - I've been neglecting my blog, but between a major sinus infection going into my ear and the roots of my teeth - then catching up with daily responsibilities, I've had a rough week and am only now feeling more myself. I got a bunch done this weekend, but also slept a ton (I probably needed it). I got samples of my new UT Camo line done that is a fun camouflage background pattern of burnt orange, black, khaki, and brown with Texas, lone star, LOVE, and bare feet cane appliques. I really like how it turned out. I also made up large patchwork canes and did samples of a design for Reagan High School. AND some new earring designs using little silver floating frames (I love these!). Always more to do, though. =) I got a ton more to photograph yet, too!

Happy Spring, everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crazy Quilt Churchill Tins & Pen

Here is a quick photo of an experiment I did with some left over cane ends. I made them into a very fine marbled background (so that the white in them wouldn't throw off the foreground patterns) and then added some of my 60s cane images, Union Jack flags, and WC crests for a fun crazy quilt design for Churchill High School. It's very busy, but has a certain chaotic appeal I think. lol

Today's Blog is going to be short and sweet. I need to sit back and refocus a bit today and have worn myself out a bit. There is so much that I've been planning and doing and wanting to do - from more detailed local school designs, to more generic college designs, to more mother's day gifts that are customizable, to more drawings and painting, to working on some more 'artsitic' polymer projects.... and then there is those added things that need doing - paperwork, licensing, business plans, TAXES, shows, galleries, tagging, production, and website updating. Not to mention just being a mom and trying to manage to have a little bit of a personal life. I sometimes wonder how people that succeed ever manage to find enough hours in the day. lol

Thinking of all that I have been through and am going through let's me know one thing - when and if all of this comes together, I want to give back to others in my situation, give to the community, give to the schools. Nothing is worth while unless you can help those who helped you.

God Bless You All!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dad's Ugly Shirt!


Necklace #3
Originally uploaded by VixenJewels
Congratulations Polly! This was the winning entry voted by the public for this months April Challenge and it's not a surprise at all. It's a wonderful fun piece from a series of pieces created by Polly Dobbs based on an old shirt of her father's. Polly's pieces are wonderful and original with tribal, wiccan, and nature elements in them and make a wonderful bold statement. Polly joined the PCAGOE this January and has been a wonderful, creative addition to the team! You can look at more of her work at her shop, Vixen Jewels or visit her blog and see her thought process in creating this wonderful piece at http://vixenjewels.blogspot.com.

Congratulations to all the other winners! 2nd place voted by the public and 1st place voted by the PCAGOE members is Mary Ellen Nichols of BeeTreeByMe wonderful Flower Quilt pendant. 3rd place voted by the public and 2nd place voted by PCAGOE members is Suzen Phoenix of Phoenix Rose and her Serape Necklace. And 3rd place voted by the PCAGOE members is Angela Hickey's Brocade Kimono brooch.

I'm having such a hard time waking up today! Lynda should have warned me how tiring sanding can be. =) Anyhow I was up last night sanding a few new items - some with feet. I should have a few more items posted in my shop later today or early tomorrow depending on if I need a nap or not. =) Oh and I have my first overseas sale... to Korea! Someone ordered one of my Jungle Parade prints from my design shop, so have to take time to package that all up, too! Hopefully there will be no odd shipping hangups.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pocket Change


Pocket Change
Originally uploaded by Ian's Cafe
Everyone needs a bin for pocket change - right? I mean I have several plastic cups filled with it and a cute little bin would be much, much more attractive. lol This little creation is by Ian of Ian's Cafe - a new member of PCAGOE who just joined a few weeks ago. Ian's shop doesn't sell coffee, he specializes in fun polymer designs like this one and custom graphics. He has a wonderful, fun style! You can find more in his ETSY shop or on his blog at www.IansCafe.com.

Today is the last day of voting in the PCAGOE challenge and your last chance to become one of the 5 lucky voters who win an item from our talented member prize pool! Choose your favorite and vote HERE! Good luck to all the contestants!


I spent last night working on bills and a few new canes. A wonderful little bare foot cane to add to my 1960s series of canes and a Texas state cane to add some flair to all my local designs. I have great plans for both of them and I think I might do a few designs just using the feet or making a little path with walking feet. I should have some new designs to show using both of these tomorrow and maybe a lone star cane as well! So much to do, so little time - right?

Wednesday is over the hump day, so it's all downhill from here....and it also means tomorrow is Clay & Play Thursday in the PCAGOE forums, my personal favorite thing to look forward to each week! There is always so much inspiration being in a guild filled with so much talent and I've grown so much and learned so much just being a part of it all. PCAGOE just finished membership renewals, but I'd like to remind everyone that comes here and blesses me with reading my ramblings what a wonderful group of talented folks make up the PCAGOE - not just artists, but friends. If you'd like to be a part of it all, membership is only $20.48 on or before April 1. Fees will be pro-rated for members who join the guild after April. It's such a small price to pay for all the advice, tutorials, kinship, and support from this wonderful organization!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Butterflies in Flight


Butterflies in Flight
Originally uploaded by ashpaints
Isn't this lovely? Polymer clay by itself is such a wonderful, colorful, versitile medium - but then when you add surface treatments like foils, alcohol inks, dyes, and paints - you can come up with such wonderful glowing colors and textures. This wonderful pendant by Arlene Harrison of Harrison Hollow Designs uses those surface treatments to make an absolutely gorgeous piece that reminds me of a silk scarf. The colors, the texture, and the golden butterflys are just wonderful and inticing!
Arlene's pendant is the 6th item I'm featuring in the April PCAGOE challenge "Inspired by Fabric." You'll find wonderful jewelry, beads and home decor items in Arlene's shop - fabulous colors, floral themes, and butterflys for spring! To find yourself a treasure, visit Arlene's ETSY shop or follow her on her blog at http://www.harrisonhollowdesigns.blogspot.com or at http://www.picturetrail.com/ashpaints.

Tomorrow is the last day of the PCAGOE April challenge! 5 lucky voters will win prizes made by our wonderful, artistic members. Make sure you get your vote in to be eligible to win. Vote HERE!


Ok - I was browsing some of my old photos the other day and found some pictures I'd taken of the Alamo and Riverwalk some years back. I was looking at them and compulsively started editing and cropping them - then realized the difference just a bit a cropping can make in changing the focus and draw of a photo artistically, so I posted before and after photos on my flickr page to show the change. The pictures were taken with an old digital point and shoot as I was showing some family visiting the city, which disappoints me to no end that I hadn't taken them with my 35mm because some of them turned out to be very compelling shots, but will never be super quality. Maybe though I can turn them into paintings. =) p.s. The photos are one after another - I included nearly all that I took except for some family photos - just to show how you can crop even simple snap shot for more effect.

Pray for the Great Barrier Reef - losing any part of it would be a tragedy. Thank you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bone Weave Cuff

Ok - time for another World of Warcraft reference! Ok - in warcraft there is the good guys (alliance) and bad guys (horde). The bad guys are made up of orcs, undead, trolls, taurens, and the wickedly beautiful blood elves. I can SO see this wonderful bone cuff dangling from a wicked blood elf warlock's hand - having carefully woven it out of the bones of those she vanquished! I know so many wild gamer women that would love to have this dangling darkly from their wrist - how clever! This wonderful creation is made by Claire Maunsell of Stillpointworks out of polymer clay for the PCAGOE April fabric challenge. Claire's shop is filled with wonderful beads, earrings, and pendants - all exceeding unique with a strong organic feel to them. Like this bracelet - organic, but with a twist. See more of Claire's work in her ETSY store or visit her blog at http://stillpointworks.blogspot.com.

Claire's wonderful cuff bracelet is the 5th item I've featured in the ongoing PCAGOE April Challenge vote. Voting continues today through April 7 and if you haven't voted you can vote HERE for a chance to win a beautiful prize donated by PCAGOE's talented members.


Slice, slice, slice .....decorate, decorate, decorate.....roll, smooth, roll, smooth....bake.........sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand.... Sound familiar to anyone? But lookie at the goodies I got to show. These are trial pieces - first runs to see how many pieces I need to stack together and what sizes to make a larger cane that can be slices and placed in a single piece. Let's just say they're my rough drafts - even for all the sanding. I am very happy with the overall look of the patterning though, so I'm excited about how it will all come together. I have more similar pieces that I will be working on for additional schools and more 'rough drafts' of other trial pieces yet to come! Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Batik Bracelet

Blue and Green - two fabulous colors that go with so many wardrobe choices. This lovely bracelet was made by Patricia of The Color of Dreams Boutique for the April Fabric Challenge to look like IKAT cloth, which is similar to batik. The beads are pillow shaped and the wonderful clasp is handmade. Patricia has belonged to the PCAGOE since August 2008. Her shop shows off the most wonderful thing about polymer clay besides it's diversity of use - it's COLOR - with wonderful beads, earrings, bracelets and other items that just glow with the wonderful colors of polymer clay. To see more, visit Patricia's ETSY shop or follow her blog at http://thecolorofdreams.blogspot.com.

There is still 3 more days to vote in the PCAGOE April Challenge. The designs this month showcase the wonderful versatility of polymer clay not only in mimicking other materials, but in the way it is used - from jewelry to sculpture to housewares. If you haven't voted yet, please vote HERE. Remember 5 lucky voters will receive a free prize donated by the wonderful artists of PCAGOE. Thank you!

I have a lot more done, but no photographs of the new items yet. Still working on final sanding and buffing, but tomorrow I should have a ton to show! It's been a very busy few weeks and I'm getting used to being busy, though I took a break yesterday to mow the lawn and do some weed pulling (always more of that, too). With all the rain this winter the weeds are huge and I have bushes that have grown more over the winter than in the last 3 years. lol Some morning I'll have to grab my ipod and tear into trimming. I need the sun, so it's all good!
Here is a quick photo of some new Union Jack canes in black, red and white for Churchill High School here in San Antonio.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Southwestern Serape

I spent 4 years in Albuquerque - full of all the wonderful culture there. Old Town with the street vendors, the Sandia Mountains, green chili (oh - love green chili), and this little piece just brought back memories. It's hard to believe it's polymer clay - it really just reminds me of all the wonderful ponchos and mexican blankets that lined the stores of Old Town. And the colors are so warm and vibrant! This little piece was done by Suzen Phoenix of PhoenixRose Creative Arts Studio. Suzen is another fellow member of the PCAGOE that entered this wonderful necklace in this months Fabric Challenge. You can view more of her wonderful creations at her ETSY shop or view her work on Flickr.

Suzen's serape necklace is the 3rd piece I'm featuring as part of the PCAGOE challenge vote. The vote continues until April 7 and if you haven't voted yet, you can vote HERE. 5 lucky voters will receive a prize made by out wonderful team of artists!

Yesterday was busy busy busy as I'm preparing more local school stuff for shows at different schools and a few open houses in preparation for graduation, mother's day, and end of the year teacher's gifts! Here is a little unbaked preview of some of the items I'm working on. I have a huge mug of coffee sitting next to me and I'm listening to the doves cooing outside my window. The air has a brisk, clean feel to it and I have the back door open so it fills the house. It's so nice to be able to leave windows and doors open again and I'll miss that when the heat descends and the air conditioners take up their constant background hum - I'd much rather hear the doves. =)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Paisley Box


paisley box
Originally uploaded by Arrowdale Art Studio
At first glance you see the ruffles, then you look again and realize they're clay, too! This wonderful little clay box by Cindy Matthews is another entry in PCAGOE's April Challenge "Inspired by Fabric." Cindy joined the PCAGOE this past December and has been just a joy to have around. Also being one of 6 daughters, I've always felt a kindship with her - I'm the oldest of 6 and she's the youngest. lol Cindy's work is so clever. This little box with the paisley is just wonderful and warm and her shop also has polymer jewelry and adorable sculpted polymer purses. She is currently working on one of a barn that is close to my heart being a Minnesota farm girl myself. You can take a closer look at Cindy's shop HERE or visit her blog at http://presby2.xanga.com.

Cindy's lovely paisley box is the second item that I'm featuring this week as part of the ongoing PCAGOE vote. Remember, voting is going on now through April 7 and 5 lucky voters will receive a wonderful prize made by the wonderful artist in our guild. If you haven't voted yet, please vote HERE.




Today is my calm before the storm post wise. I don't have a ton to show but have so many projects in the works! Plus I'm already thinking of what I will be planning for the May PCAGOE challenge which is historical/historical events. Ok - above is two of my art prints. "Armadillos Dance" I designed several years ago and the original is in cut layered art paper. "Churchill 2009" was made for the graduating senior class of the Churchill high school band last spring. I've been wanting to do similar designs in polymer clay, with layers and shading - with backgrounds that have elements of mokume gane, image transfers, and mica shifts and embellished key elements in the 'realistic' images on the ends of each transformation. Though there is many many potential ideas running through my head, I thought I would pull one from my family history. My mother's maiden name is Catlin and a distant relation to the painter George Catlin, who did wonderful painting of Native Americans. My idea is to take and develop a new design that goes from a buffalo to a native american - possibly based on one of George Catlin's paintings - then fill the changing shades of the background with faint images, mica shifts in cultural patterns, etc etc. It'll be a rather large wall sculpture and done in tiles, layered and grouted together on a base suitable for hanging. It's something I've been wanting to do for some time and still have the details to work out in my head, but I welcome any advise or input!

Thank you all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cubist Bangle


Cubist Bangle
Originally uploaded by lisarapp
Geometric Shapes are always so fun to work with and this piece by Lisa Rapp is just stunning! It has so many layers of detail! The shapes are crisp and shine, while the background looks like rough linen and has the illusion of transparency. There is so much design depth to this piece beyond the simple lines and I just love it. Lisa joined the PCAGOE in January. She not only makes fabulous bangles, but stunning handmade bags that she uses her polymer clay gift to personalize! You can find more of Lisa's creations at her shop, HiGirls or join her Facebook Fan page.

This week during the PCAGOE challenge vote, I'll be featuring random artists who entered while the voting is going on. Lisa is the first and there will be 6 more until voting ends April 7th. If you haven't voted in the challenge yet, please do so HERE - Remember 5 lucky public voters chosen at random will win a lovely gift, so go VOTE!

I've been doing a bit of catch up from time to time in order to update some of my older items (not that any of it is really old - I've been a whirlwind of activity for months now). I've learned so much more about how to photograph items and finishing and editing with all the practice I have been going back and redoing some photos when I have a few extra minutes and throwing a few new old pictures in when I take new new pictures. =) Here is a few examples of photos from items made for Oak Meadow Elementary that I took time to edit and update last night. This was my first 'horse' cane and I still adore the colors. I might just have to add a funky border to the cane and use it for something other than school items. I have way too many canes to play with now. lol

Do you have your carrots in order for the Easter Bunny, yet?

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