Saturday, November 14, 2009

Silent Night....Long Night

My daughter had a few days off of preschool this week so we went over to my parents. Of course I took all my clay with me because I had an idea for a grand cane. So while the kids rode in the tractor with Grandpa and Uncle Jake, I went to work on what turned out to be the biggest cane I have ever made. By the time all was said and done the honker weighed in at around 7 lbs (about what the real baby Jesus must have weighed)!!! Most of it will be used for Christmas ornaments for my up coming shows but I am selling some pieces of it on Etsy if anyone is interested.
Here are my pictures of the process, all together it took about 10 hours to construct and reduce.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gris Bleu

I just wanted to quickly share with you one of my favorite blogs. GrisBleu. Its all in French so I have very little idea what it says but a picture is worth a thousand words and this site is LOADED with pics. So much fun and so inspiring! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

M & J Art Gallery

A local gallery is now carrying my work. The M & J Art Gallery in Ottumwa is focusing on the art work of area artists and I get to be one of them! One of the owners (Chris) who is a fabulous artist, told me yesterday that they have out some images of my work up on their website. Go check it out, and while you're there take a look at all the other fine artists featured on the site. Here is one of Chris's paintings to get you started.

Monday, September 21, 2009

They're back!

After an absence from my Etsy shop, the canes have returned. I have lots of new designs and a few left of some old favorites! Stop by my shop via the link on the sidebar!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Babies!

Every once in a while I like to show off my kids. This blog is primarily for my clay stuff but I'm a proud mama too :)

Here is my 4 year old Magdalena (Lena) on her first day of preschool and My 2 year old Santiago sampling my mocha (no, I don't give him coffee on a regular basis!)


After 2 days, 11 containers, many cups of coffee and 14 lbs (!) of clay i have finally gained victory over the scrap pile(s). I don't know about the rest of you, but I tend to collect bits here, pieces there, ends of canes, projects that were, well... ugly. All of these get tossed into a container to be sorted later. I also don't actually have a set place to work on my clay so I tend to wander around the house to where ever the light is the best or where my kids are playing. So I found little bowls of scraps in my bedroom, in the basement, and around my kitchen table. Because of this I also tend to open a pack of clay, not use the whole thing and later, in another location, open more of the same color. So I end up with many half used blocks floating around my 3 areas too. I don't like wasting any clay so what I do when I finally get around to dealing with the pile is sort the scrap by color and blend the groups together into new colors. Any clay that is too muddy already or maybe got dusty goes into the "crap clay" pile. This will become project bases and bead guts. This time I documented the scrap adventure and I'm pretty pleased with all of the good clay I discovered in the process. After two full days of my family having to eat at the coffee table, I think my husband is glad to have his table back :)
Here are my containers full of canes, partial blocks of clay and scraps

Moving through the piles - cell phone ready, and I think that is the second cup of coffee...
Here I have my color piles which I will sort into smaller piles based on shades. (or is it hues?)

Half way there - I've switched to a new coffee cup, BTW that blue and brown mug is my favorite mug! It was made by a local artist.
Look at all my pretty new clay!
Nicely organized canes - but looks like I'm running a bit low. Next project massive cane building with my new colors!
Alas, not all clay can be saved. Looks like I'll have enough bead guts for a lifetime!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Still holding on to summer

What day is it? Can it really be true that summer is over? Days seem to just fly by recently. I just had my last show of the summer. It has officially been one year since my first solo show. Once again the "Walk on Art Street" was a tremendous success. I had a few new items that seemed to go over well. I made beaded wine bottle stoppers, key rings and tiny delicate necklaces specifically for this show. This show was held in the town where I live (Ottumwa, Iowa) and to make it even more special, I was a featured artist in the local paper! A reporter came to my home the week before the show to interview me. I think the added publicity really paid off too, many people came to my booth because they said that they saw me in the paper. I didn't actually get to see the article because we don't get the paper but I read it online. So if anyone out there happens to have an extra copy could you send it my way??
Here is the online version of the article.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Updates #2

The week following the Oskaloosa show I had the opportunity to teach polymer clay art to a group of students from the local high school. Ottumwa's community college has a program called Upward Bound to encourage would-be first generation college students. These students live at the college for 6 weeks and attend classes to get an idea of college life. If they participate the summer before their Sr year they can also receive some college credits. It was a really neat program and I was proud to get to be a part of it. I took pictures of some of the students work which I will add when I find my camera...

I taught the kids how to make some simple canes and showed them some different ways to use them. We made covered pens and stands, ring bowls, key chains and other fun stuff! I also showed them how to use their cane ends for swirled lentil beads.

These are the pens and holders the class made. I think they all did a great job!

Yoslin with my stack of clay books and magazines (wearing her new bracelet!)

One of the guys perfecting his swirl technique.

Updates #1

My life has been non stop crazy for the last several weeks. Is it already July???? I thought that Summer was suppose to be the time of year when we all slow down and enjoy the outdoors, BBQs and the good life? Well maybe we get a bit of that but everything else still seems to come at 100 mph. So I guess I should break this up into instalments

Mid June marked the first show of the season for me. It was held in the near by town of Oskaloosa, IA. This was my first time doing this show and I thought that it went very well. Even though the weather was quite cool and a bit damp they had a good crowd and I had decent sales and good feedback. As usual my ring bowls were my best seller. This was also my first opportunity to try out my new propanels and shelf displays! I only used 3 of my walls for 2 reasons; first I was concerned that if it got hot I would have no breeze with the walls all up, and second I found out that my tent is too low for the support poles on my walls. but by using just the tree I was able to secure them right to the tent and still have some air flow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

One Lovely Blog

I was just notified that Alice Stropple has given my blog a "One Lovely Blog" award. How sweet! Now it is my job to pass on the award on to 15 blogs that I enjoy. That will take me a bit of time to choose! Thank you so much Alice!

Monday, June 15, 2009

New work and New Pics

It's show season again and I have been very busy getting myself ready. I have new product lines and a revamped booth as well. Today I finally got around to taking some pictures and wonder of all wonders, I've even loaded them into my computer and onto my blog in the same day! (That is a big accomplishment for me!) So as they say, a picture says a thousand words.

Monday, May 4, 2009


For the first time ever I have killed a batch of beads. :( I was baking about 2 dozen beads that I had been working on for a few days. Meanwhile I started making lunch. I don't know where my brain went during the next few minutes but without thinking I turned on the broiler to roast some peppers! I know I should have a separate clay oven but I don't at this point. When I opened my oven there were my new black beads. It had only been maybe 3 mins or so but they were toasted and smoking. The beads went outside and all the windows were opened. In all the years that I have been working with clay this is the only time I've ever burnt something. I really should get myself a clay oven

Thursday, April 30, 2009

One more thing...

Here is my first batch of summer beads. Yeah for colors!!!!! They are not sanded yet but I just had to take a picture of the pretty colors. :) They look like candy. These will become bracelets and earrings. After looking at them yesterday I realized I need about twice this many...back to the clay table!

More Diversity Conference

I've finally loaded some of my pictures from the diversity conference this past month.

Pens and bracelets with faces and flowers. I took these pictures towards the end of the day, had I been thinking (and on time in the morning) I would have taken pictures in the morning when I had my full stock. This is what I had left at the end of the day. I made a bunch of ring bowls with face canes and they went fast.

My little section of table. I had to really condense my display since I usually have at least 2 tables.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I am officially register for the IPCG retreat in Chicago! Hooray! The whole family will be going to Chicago to visit family and I'll take a few days to play clay! If you are planning on going you should sign up soon, I think they are capping attendance at 75 (my application number was 61, though I don't know if that actually is the number that have registered so far). Here is the link to the registration page.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Many Faces

This past Friday I had a table set up at our local community college's Diversity Conference. The theme for the conference was "Many Faces, One Vision". A perfect opportunity to use my face canes! I had the good intentions of making beads and bracelets and earrings and ring bowls and even some new bookmarks all with faces. However when reality hit me I settled for a few bracelets and lots of ring bowls. I did make beads but I didn't have time to sand them. It turned out that the ring bowls with the faces were very popular. I even had a couple sales that someone was just walking by and saw the bowls, stopped and bought one. I didn't even have to tell them what it was, how it is made, "No, there is no paint on the bowl." :) It was a pretty good day.
Now my next project is to prepare for my next two shows. I have about 2 months but one of the shows will by far be my biggest one yet and I need LOTS of inventory. This week will be dedicated to cane making. The first step.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Necklace for Ada

This necklace will be one of the door prizes at the Christi Friesen workshop that will benefit Ada Silapiruti. Ada is the daughter of Ponsawan who made the mosaic I blogged about a few posts back. Just over a year ago Ada was in a terrible car accident involving a drunk driver. Read about Ponsawan's art here and all about Ada and her road to recovery here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Warm Weather and Smooth Beads!

Yesterday the weather was so beautiful, 65 and Sunny! The kids played outside all afternoon, and I actually got some findings put onto a group of pendants while they played.
For the past several weeks I've been filling up a bag with beads and pendants that needed to be sanded. Since I hate sanding I had been putting it off and putting off, now I was left with this huge bag of unfinished stuff! I decided to buckle down and I told myself I could not work with raw clay until my beads were sanded. Now I know that a lot of people use a tumbler to sand their smaller beads, and I've tried that too, but I just don't feel like the quality is as good. So I do everything by hand. It took me forever but I finally finished the bag so now I need to put everything together into finished pieces. During the 13+ hours of sanding I did discover a new little trick! I generally shy away from round beads because mainly they are so hard to hold onto when I sand. But not any more! I discovered that I can use my needle tool to poke through the hole (I don't pierce all the way through so it fits tightly) and use it as a handle with the smaller beads! The saves time and my finger nails! I'm sure this idea is not original but it helped so much! Today should be another nice day so maybe I'll get some more work done. Happy Friday to everyone!

Friday, February 27, 2009

In a van down by the river....

What does that mean anyway?
Oh well. We have a new van! Well new to us at least. About 1 hour ago my husband and I finally purchased a Windstar mini van. I can not tell you how happy I am that we now have two cars. Several months ago our second car (a 1988 Toyota) died. Since then we have been a one car family. With Noe gone as much as he is with church stuff, work and school I have been stuck in the house with kids at all times. I'm free at last!!!
So what does this have to do with polymer clay? Easy! The mini van will be my glorious transportation for all the shows I hope to do!!!! Lots of room for displays and Art! (Does that make it a business expense??????) :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Items on Etsy

My camera works now. I don't know what happened but I plugged it in again yesterday and now it works.(???) I finally put some more of my work in my etsy shop so go check it out! (The link is just to the right) These are a few of the things that I have for sale.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blast from the past!

I've gotten a little behind on my blogging lately. Well I have a good reason for that, I spend too much time reading other people's blogs! Ok, but here is my post. This week I worked on some new pendants and finally took pictures today. But for some inexplicable reason my computer won't recognize my camera. I have no idea why and I don't know how to fix it so I guess showing off my newest (and therefore favorites) will have to wait. So...instead of the newest, lets take a look at some of the oldest. I shall now embarrass myself just a little. These are some things that I made about 10 or 13 years ago. I would have to look at my 4-H record book to know exactly when I made them (see that darn record book does serve a purpose later on!). So lets see that would mean I was 13-16 years old.

Here we have a few figurines, a couple pins, and some earrings.

Necklace, bracelet and a huge pin with some of my first face canes.

I have boxes and boxes of stuff that I made long ago. All these are from before I knew what a skinner blend was, before I would even touch a brand of clay except Sculpey III and before I ever sanded anything. Ahhh the memories...