Sunday, May 29, 2011

Barbed & Netted Bottle

My life has changed so much in the past year and a half. Through all the struggles that I've been through, I feel like I'm in such a better place and where I need to be as a person. I have been given so many gifts and my friendship with Dawna Sharp has been one of those. When I decided to look into making my love of polymer clay a more serious business venture, I started a facebook account more as a business promotional tool, but it has become so much more than that. I've met new friends, found old ones, and become a part of a huge polymer network that enriches my life every day with their support and encouragement. Dawna has become one of those new friends that I have met through that polymer network. I've seen her work progress as I work on my own progression and am in absolute AWWWWE of her new creations. This bottle is just fabulous and creative and I can just see it filled with whisky and sitting in MY bar. =) You can find more pictures of Dawna's work on Flickr or in her shop on Artfire!

Sage by Deb Tuchsen
Sage by Deb Tuchsen
I took the weekend off from work to spend some quality time with my youngest daughter. We hit Lowe's and she got some seeds to plant in a little greenhouse container and then later we went to Alamo Drafthouse to watch the new Pirates of the Carribbean Movie and have dinner. She's growing so fast and becoming such a lovely young lady - she just turned 12. In some ways I still feel like she is the precious baby in this drawing and probably always will. Love you all!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Published AGAIN!

Polymer Cafe - June 2011
I'm always surprised I guess when the issue finally hits the stands, but I'm once again in the June issue of Polymer Cafe! Anne is always so sweet with her praise and even asked me this year to write a how-to for the magazine (which explains why I've been experimenting with tutorial writing - getting my feet wet). I sent her photos of 3 pieces and she put all three in the reader's gallery. And I do have to say I feel quite honored to be showcased along with the talents of Lisa Pavelka and Valerie Ashley (Elysian Field Originals). At the same time I submitted photos to Bead & Button and Art Jewelry Magazines and have been asked to write articles for them as well - one another 'how-to' and another for their online forum. I'm not sure when I'll have time, but I'll work on everything when I can. Here is the three items that were featured - you can find them on pages 45 & 46:

Kaleidoscope Bangle Bracelet
Kaleidoscope Bangle
The history of this piece:  Years and years ago I began my experiments in caning, but being a beginner things didn't always work out as planned.  Regardless, I'm this old german, frugal farm girl who makes use of everything, so all the old cane got stored in baggies in storage box.... and they sat.  Along the way I created other canes and taught classes for birthday parties and girl scout.  There was always left over canes in the projects, so they got put in baggies, thrown in the box.... and sat.  Then I got the idea in my head from various artists who inspired me to create kaleidoscope canes, so I pulled out the box and started assembling things.  This cane has bitty canes from so many various projects it's like a history lesson for me.  From tiny hearts we made friendship bracelets in girl scouts, to flowers we created during my daughter's birthday party, to left over canes from my kachina project.

Guess it's like a view of life.  You take all the pieces of your history and put them together and it's beautiful in the end.  =)

Folk Rock Art Tin
Folk Rock Art Tin
Born in the 60s, I remember fondly the music and memorabilia of those times. The daisies I fashioned after those I remember decorating the bottom of my grandmother's bathtub. The peace and love signs were common in jewelry through the 70s (I think I may still have one hiding in my jewelry box even). And I remember those cold Minnesota winters making bitty feet on the frosted school bus windows with the side of my fisted hand being the foot and fingerprints as toes. A fun childhood memory that my children will never have living in the San Antonio heat. This is just a small tribute to that era or peace - something often revisited today.

Sunface Kachina Necklace
Sunface Kachina Necklace
Sunface Kachina Necklace
This is the Hopi Kachina, Sunface. The Sunface Kachina represents warmth, shelter for the old, bright future, and playfulness for the young. The pendant (about 2") has millefiori feathers, jellyroll and patterned accents complimented with a necklace of faux turquoise rounds, red jellyroll cane beads, barrel beads covered with feather patterns and 4 millefiori feather drops.  All polymer except for the silver beads and clasp.  SO MUCH FUN!

I spent 4 years in Albuquerque and fell in love with the turquoise, the culture, and especially the native american symbols - the kachinas and fetishes. There is so much love of nature tied to their beliefs and sometimes I think we forget how important nature it to our very survival. We forget through all our focus on paying bills, the every persistent media coverage of war, and our 40 hour work week just how important the grass under our feet truly is. I miss simpler times.

And I'm hoping to get back to concentrating on that grass under my feet soon! Life is too short to get so tied up in the stress that you forget to live it. PEACE =)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Easy Swirled Lentil Tutorial

I know, I know - it's been 8 months since I last posted then two days in a row. The world is going to end!!! =) I guess like all things in life, time passes and the world goes on and hurts heal. And once it heals - IT'S TIME TO CLAY! right? This is another tutorial that I make generous use of on a regular basis. Using a few tools, it's makes making uniform swirled lentil beads out of your clay or cane craps a simple process. I've had the photographs taken for this tutorial for months and have wanted to share it, but have only recently found a tad more time and creative inspiration. ...or maybe it's just that I have a very wonderful new man in my life that is making the dark shadows seem not so dark anymore. =) As you can see from the photograph - you still see a lot of the canework in the swirls and they have a nice uniform pattern. You can find the tutorial for sale in my Etsy Shop or at ClayLessons. Here is a few more items I've made using the same technique.



I can't wait to see some creations folks have made using my tutorials and post them here! I love how other people tweek your inspiration with their own creativity. I have more tutorials on the way, too!




Thursday, May 26, 2011

"It's a Girl" Business Card Case

Well, I haven't posted here in forever. Unfortunately my life took a very stressful turn, but as with most things it is passing and returning to a busy form of sanity. And as that sanity returns, I'm playing with a few creative inspirations that have come my way. This is a new tutorial that I have posted in my shops and on ClayLessons. It's for a fun 'chevron' style background using a stacked cane and a rippled blade. I've been playing around with it some and it's fun to change up the width of the layers for effect and throw in some gold foil, etc. You'll probably see more items with this pattern over time and here is a few that I made in a southwestern color scheme. This is all in preparation for a article I'm writing up that I hope to get published in the near future about mosaic style creations I've been making like my musical art tins. I hope to include a few of my favorite technique artists in my article as well and give their wonderful inspirations some well deserved recognition.






Thought for the day: I've been talking a lot to my son lately. He's becoming a very strong young man and thinking about what he stands for - his beliefs and goals and what's in his heart. I think it's one of the most satisfying things I've experienced as a parent to listen to your child as they talk about what defines them, knowing that they're strong enough to be their own person no matter whether their beliefs are those you share or not. And isn't that what parenting is all about? - to give your child enough love and unconditional support to instill the self confidence to be who they were meant to be. I just can't put into words how proud I am of him.

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