Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something to think about...

This post has nothing to do with polymer clay but I thought I would share it anyway. This is a link to an article that a college friend of mine (Ellen) posted on her blog. Ellen and her husband were blessed last year with a precious little girl they named Nicole. Nicole happens to have Down Syndrome. Ellen frequently posts on her blog about Nicole and way that their family has been changed and enriched by the blessing of her life. I don't normally (actually ever) get political or get into controversial issues on my blog. Although anyone who knows me could tell you that I am a very opinionated, or shall we say passionate, person. But this is something that I felt compelled to share. Read the article, visit Ellen's blog, and maybe get a new perspective on the issue. One last thought from Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who - "Even if you can't see them or hear them at all, a person is a person, no matter how small."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Pendant

I just finished a few of these last night. I've been wanting to make this design for a while now but for some reason I couldn't get focused enough to finish it. I like how it turned out. I used a sterling silver plated bail on the back and I think that this will be a bit more secure for future pendants.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Because

My babies.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why trucks are evil...

Here is a pic from the show I did this weekend. This is my dear friend Letty who helped me out all day. We had quite the adventure after the show ended.

After we had cleaned up our area and loaded the truck (Letty's Dad's truck) Letty went to move the truck away from the loading area and it wouldn't start! Being much more handy than I, Letty fiddled with the connection to the battery and finally got the truck started (only after a few dramatic sparks I might add). We then went back inside to the reception for the artist and we enjoyed some nice little snacks. When we finished, Letty went out to start the truck back up. A few minutes later I followed outside only to find her standing outside the truck!? I know you're thinking that the keys were locked inside but she had the keys in her hand but the door would not open! We tried and tried both doors but neither one would open. We got the window open a little and tried to unlock the door with a hanger (just like on TV) and a slim jim but no luck. One of the other artists tried to help us too and also a kind man that just happened to be in the parking lot but we couldn't get either door open. It was the strangest thing because the key would turn and you would think that the door was unlocked but it just wouldn't open! By this point we had been trying for about an hour. BTW it was 14 degrees outside. I then called my husband to ask him what we should do and let him know we would be quite late. I don't have a cell phone so I was using Letty's and the phone kept dropping the call! The other artist let me use her phone and I finally got a hold of my husband who called a friend we had in this town (about 25 miles from where we live). He was hunting but could be there in 30 mins. So while we waited we sat in the jeep of this other lady trying to warm up. So then our friend Scott shows up and still we can't get the door open! So Scott went to the police station and soon after out hero show up and after about 10 mins got the door open!!!! Yea! We were saved! Scott left and the officer left and we jumped in the truck....It wouldn't start!!! Can we get anymore drama??? A few more sparks later and we were finally headed back home, half frozen but on the road! These kinds of things always seem to happen to Letty. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Come on Ring those Bowls! (I mean bells)

Here are some of my latest ring bowls. They are pretty tiny, only about 2 inches across. These are probably my biggest seller at the shows I've been doing. I keep one on my work table (actually that's where my rings are right now) and one in the kitchen for when I roll cookies or make meatballs and (occasionally) wash dishes. They are fun to make and I can use my canes without the pain of having to slice tissue paper thin slices. I'm actually pretty consistent with the whole slicing thing but I need a really fresh blade and I'm out. Hint, Hint Mom, I would like sharp things for Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Etsy Transition

I am making changes to my Etsy shop. Since I opened it I've basically just been selling canes and from time to time some beads. But now I want to carry my finished jewelry. My business cards that I give out at the shows have my Etsy address on them so I figure that I should have my show pieces for sale there too. I'll still be doing canes here and there but I think it will mostly just be for my own work. Unless someone out there reading this just really wants some canes! I will of course make an exception!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy December

December 1st...yesterday we awoke to a beautiful covering of snow. It continued to snow all day and everything looks so clean and fresh. I always get excited for the first snow. Ask me in February or March if snow still excites me and I'll give you a very different answer. But for now I will enjoy being inside with my coffee.
On a slightly different note, It seems that every time I do a show another one just appears. Because I'm just starting out I'm not very familiar with the art shows in the area. (I have decided that I definitely will be doing art show and not craft shows). I was thinking that this show I just finished would be my last one for the year except for an open house a friend of mine wanted to do. But last week I was invited to attend a show in a nearby town...This weekend. Very last minute I'm feeling ambitious and I want to take advantage of every opportunity that I can so I said yes. That means I have a ton of work to do so I better get busy and stop playing on the computer!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I ♥ Polymer Clay

These are my new heart pendants. This is a great way to use up those cane end that I always have in abundance. Sometimes I make them swirled but I thought I would try these with a confetti look. They look very elegant with the sterling bail and chain.
I took my product over to the gallery last night. Hopefully all will go well this weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Still Here!

Yes I'm still here and I'm still working. Actually I'm working now more than ever because I'm finally selling my work. I had a small show a few weeks ago and I'm participating in a Christmas open house at a local art gallery this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it and I've got some new things to show off. I am the worst picture taker ever and I still can't quite figure out how to use the photo program to make my pictures look their best, so have mercy on my lack of photography skills. The blue pendants are a completely new style for me and I love the way they turned out. I wore the middle one tonight to youth group.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have a flickr site! I finally set up a page with some pictures check it out, leave me comments. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008


My show was a huge success! I was super busy the entire time and I never even got to take a look at the other exhibitors. I was so impressed with how the show was run and the over all quality. This was the first time this show has been put on and I hope it will continue. Good Job Cindy! We were suppose to start at 10am but I had people at my booth by a little after 9am. By 11:30 I had already sold out of the little ring bowls I had made. Next time I'll need twice as many! My stock is totally depleted so I'm going to need to work extra hard to be ready for the next show. I found one in Iowa City that will be the first weekend of December. I think I will try to get into that one if I can. They are taking applications until October 10th. We will see what happens. Here are a couple pics of my booth and my OOAK Necklaces in my garage before the show. I was so busy that I didn't get any other pictures. I was pretty happy with how my display turned out, need to fix the gaping hole that my table cover makes in the front, but over all pretty good!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Show and Tell

My show is this weekend! I think I'm almost ready, I still have a few more things I want to finish up. I've set my booth up in the garage and while it sure isn't the booth of my dreams I think it will work for now. Especially considering that it was almost free! Talk about using found objects! We already had some tables from church but I wanted to raise them up a bit. I was going to go to Menard's to get some PVC pipe to use as leg extensions but then I started digging around the garage and found that the people who lived in the house before us had left a PERFECT pipe just for me!! I also wanted to add some levels to my display so I started looking around the house for anything that I could use. My square waste basket? Perfect! I spray painted it black and I think it should do the job. Next table coverings. This I did buy, I found 2 king sized black flat sheets on clearance at WalMart. Again not perfect but they will do the job. They actually look pretty nice and they are long enough even with the table leg extensions. Finally I needed something more. I pulled out some old matchstick bamboo blinds and cut them in half and made super cool table runners! I'll post some pictures after the show as I would be quite embarrassed to have my messy garage in my photo!
Here are some pics of some of the other things I'll have at the show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I made these pens yesterday. I'm slowly getting ready for my first real show. Well at least my first real show that I will be doing solo. It's just a local show but I figured what better way to start. The show isn't for another several weeks but I know how deadlines have a tendency to creep up, so I decided I better get moving now to save stress later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Ladies

Here are a few of the lady brooches that I've been working on. The ones with the leaves belong to the Eve collection (as in Adam and Eve) and the others are my Retro Ladies. As I'm making them I love thinking about their would be personalities. So fun

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


While the kids and I were at my parents' house someone decided to drop a little gift on their front porch. We were watching tv one night and heard a strange sound outside. When we looked out there was this cute little kitten all alone. Now, my parents live in the middle of the country with no neighbors, there was no way that this kitten found their house without human intervention. She was very tame and sweet and my daughter soon informed me that her name was Aloha. The imagination of a three year old! Well before we had to say "aloha" to Aloha I took this picture of the kids. I just thought it was too cute to keep it to myself.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shum Inspired

I was surfing the internet the other day and I came across these beautiful pins by Wanda Shum. They reminded me of some things I made a very long time ago. I made some face pins years and years ago and I was never very happy with them. I had trouble envisioning someone walking around wearing a extra head on their shoulder. But after seeing the beautiful patterns and colors that Wanda uses I thought it was an idea to raise once again from the ashes. So I spent last night making my first face cane in at least 7 years. As I went along I suddenly recalled one of the problems I always had with face canes, underestimating the amount of skin color I would need. The cane just kept growing and I barely was able to finish with the color I had. It was a custom blended color, I would not have been able to reproduce it.
The batteries in my camera are dead so I'll get some pics when I can. In the meantime enjoy Wanda's site, she has such a fun style!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Riding the bangle wave!

I'm jumping in on the bangle trend! After being on polymer hold for the past several weeks I'm finally getting some work done. I'm having great fun with this bangle thing and I'm planning on doing more in a few other styles. These are just my proto-types you could say. I really like the retro style one and the caned ones. I'm not as crazy about the swirl ones but I like the tie-die yellow orange and blue. These aren't even sanded yet but I felt the need to finally post something!
My hubby is in Mexico until next Saturday so I'll be going to my parents after church tomorrow. I'm sure my mom would love to help me sand! And my clay will be traveling along with us. No husband for a week means more clay time!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not this year...

The deadline for the Bead Dreams competition has past and I didn't enter. I'm a little sad but I decided that I just have too much going on in my life right now to get involved in one more thing. I haven't done a whole lot of new stuff since my last post. Just a few canes and I made a set of beads in the plum blossom style in a smokey blue shade. I really like them but I haven't quite decided how I'm going to string them up yet. When I figure it out I'll post a picture. Until then check out my new Blog:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Plum Blossom Necklace

Last night I was up burning the midnight oil. I just couldn't stop until I was finished. Now this is just my first attempt but this is the idea that I am working with now. It still needs a bit of tweaking.
Opinions anyone?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pendants Take 2

When I was in Baltimore at the ACC show I watched a demonstration of a Chinese painter. He was telling about the significance of the plum blossom which is the national flower of China. The plum blossom has five petals that symbolize five qualities of life that everyone desires. I can't remember what all of them were right now. But listening to him tell the story of what he was painting got my mind going on a way to expand on my floral pendants.
I really like the way this one turned out and I'm planning on doing more in this style. I also changed the bail from a silver ring to a clay bail that is hidden. I like the all clay look especially with the softglass cord. I still have a few more ideas that I'm going to try, hopefully tonight after my kids are in bed. I had an idea late last night and I had the hardest time falling asleep, so tonight I think I have to get in the clay!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


So I just had the most frustrating thing happen to me and I feel like I'm going to explode. So I thought I would write it out here.
In June I will be participating in a pageant. I've never done anything like this before, but it's one of those things that I wanted to do when I was younger and never did. A good friend of mine participated in the Miss Iowa pageant and had a wonderful experience. So I looked into what was available for married women. It turns out there are tons of pageants for those who have said "I do" so I emailed a couple for more information. A few days later I received a call from the pageant director asking me if I wanted to participate. After a bit of though I said yes!
That was in November, and now as the pageant draws near I am getting into high gear to get ready. One of my get ready steps is getting shoes, and thus begins my frustration! Because I live in the middle of Iowa there aren't a lot of store that carry the 4-5 inch high heel, clear acrylic (death trap) shoes that are typically worn for the swimsuit portion of the competition. So I turned to the Internet. The friend I mentioned earlier had let me try on her shoes. They were too small for me but I thought the style was very classy looking and not too, well, stripper-ish. So I found a place online where I could get the same shoes in a larger size. The place I found with the best price ($70.00) does not take returns because since people only wear the shoes for a very brief time they could be returned after wearing. Understanding this I ordered.
The next day a received a call from the shoe store telling me that they are no longer carrying this particular shoe and they only have one pair left that was the sample shoe that had been tried on and showed signs of wear. They offered me another shoe that they said was almost the same only that it had a different colored sole that wouldn't show anyway. I told the very polite woman that I was uncomfortable to order a shoe I had never tried on. The woman assured me that I would be very happy with this shoe but if I wasn't to call and specifically ask for her and in spite of the policy we would make it right under the circumstances. And so I ordered. (by the way they had already charged me for the shoe that they didn't have, $1 more than the shoe I received. $1's worth of salt in the wound!)
Yesterday the shoes arrive! I was so excited that I felt like a kid at Christmas. When I opened the box I felt a bit uneasy thinking these looked a little extreme. I tried them on and yikes! I could barely stand let alone walk! I thought these are not just like the ones my friend had. I measured the heel and they were a full 1 inch taller than the ones I had ordered! I looked like a street walker! UGHHHHH! At this point I'm more disappointed that anything else because I really needed to start practicing wearing these shoes. But I thought at least I can return them, good thing I specifically asked!
So just an hour ago I called the shoe store and told them I was unhappy with the shoes and they were not as originally described (the heel height). She told me the woman I wanted to speak with was not at the store but she would call her and get back to me. A few moment later my phone rings and the sales lady tells me that they will not accept a return or exchange and The woman I spoke with never told me otherwise! I was LIVID! So she is calling me a liar! I keep my composure and spoke a bit more with her about how I specifically expressed my concern about the no returns and I was assured that we would work around it. She told me flat out no returns. What could I do????? I told her I guess there is nothing else to say and I hung up.
How infuriating! So now I am out $70 that I don't have just lying around, and I have a pair of hooker shoes!
Well I feel a little better writing out my struggles. Even though I doubt anyone except my mother will even read it. Oh and by the way, they kept the $1! Tacky!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Synergy Lessons

I've been home now for over a week and I still haven't had the chance to clay, but my notebook is full of ideas for new stuff and ways to make the old stuff better. So instead of posting pics of my latest work (of which there is none) I thought I would share some of the things I learned while at Synergy.

#1. Everyone makes crap. This was the most wonderful and freeing thing I heard all weekend. I know that it was completely unrealistic but I had this idea in my head that "real" artists sit down at their work table or go into their studio and just make beautiful pieces and the ideas are always flowing and everything they touch comes out looking gallery quality. NOT TRUE! I learned that even the artists that I most admire go through times when they don't have ideas and everyone has a box, a drawer or even a closet full of junked projects. How nice to know that I'm not the only one with a box full of stuff that I consider rejects! One presenter even said that when she wants to create a new line first she makes about 20 drawings of an idea, then puts the 10 best drawings to clay, then narrows that down to 5 and after revision maybe 1 or 2 will actually become a product for her. In the past I have felt like every time I want to clay I have to create something fabulous and award worthy. So many times this has caused a complete creative block. I was told over and over that the only way to really make something good is to make a lot until it becomes good.

#2. There should be evidence of decision making in every aspect of your design.
This was the main point in Kathleen Dustin's session on earring design. She gave us examples of earrings that were a wonderful bead or design and then were put on a store bought earwire without thinking. By adding a little thought and a bit of time to make your own earwires that relate to the design of the earring the quality of the design as a whole is greatly increased. This leads to better sales and also greater value of the earring itself. I'm already trying my hand at making my own earwires (I think it's one of those practice makes perfect things) and I already feel more confident in my finished products.

More Later!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

It's been a few days since I got home from the Synergy conference and my head is still reeling! It was such a wonderful experience and I got to meet some neat people (you know, the ones I think are famous)! I also made a new friend, Elizabeth, who makes sculptures and specializes in wedding cake toppers. Check out her Etsy site . It was great to be around people who not only understand my love for my clay but also share it. Everyone here at home is like "what is it?" or "So when do you paint it?" or "Tell me how you make a, what is it called, cane?" Ahhh, but to be around other people who already know what a cane is...sweet bliss. I made a ton of new stuff (canes, beads and pedants) before I left and I still have quite a bit left so check my etsy shop for new stuff often. I did sell WAY more than I expected in the Synergy gallery. I think 13 boxes of canes and 7 pendants. HURRAY! I was so excited I though I would explode! Now I have some money to get...New Clay! Oh one other thing, I purchased a SH.A.R.K. (SHeet Adjusting Ruler Kit) from Polymer Clay Express / Dan Comier. It's this little barrier that goes on the pasta machine so you can control the width of your clay sheet. I have seen people use magnets to do something similar but I saw this SHARK in action in one of my seminars and I knew I had to have it. (and I never buy anything on a whim, I am the cheapest person I know). I won't get it for about 6 weeks since it was the very first one to be ordered, and they are not on the market yet, but as soon as it comes I will let everyone know how it works! Well I think that is enough rambling for one post!
This is Elizabeth and Me at the banquet
This is my little corner in the Synergy Gallery

This is Elizabeth and me talking to Barbara Forbes - Lyons and Jana Roberts Benzon! Barbara is wearing one of my pendants! I know I know, I look like a little kid asking for an autograph! I'm such a dork!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I made a bunch of ornaments in this style for Christmas presents for my family. So I thought that I would do a slightly smaller version as beads and pendants! I'm planning on having some of these in my gallery section at Synergy. Only a week to go!!!