Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Other Uses for Polymer Clay Inros

I am finally getting back to my projects after two emotional months with a very sick dog. My Trisha girl finally took her last walk Saturday, November 30th and is now playing and running at Rainbow Bridge. It was a tough 2 months of seeing cancer take the best of a loving family member. I will miss her being underfoot and keeping me company in the kitchen. It is always painful and difficult when you lose a furry member of the family especially when you have to make that final decision of letting them go. Chemo was out of the question because it was in her mouth and she could have lost her upper jaw from the radiation. She was the best dog ever! 


My studio was left a mess for two months with projects unfinished while I took care of her. This week, I finally got back to them. I finally finished two other Inros on my table and have a couple more still waiting to be finished plus some gifts that I need to make for Christmas. I have been wanting to create an inro in a Christian theme for holding memory verses. This is my first one in that theme, finally completed!  I am hoping to sell them so I can raise money for missions.

This is another Inro finally completed...oriental theme.

I love creating Inros and they sure take me some time to make but the end result always amazes me! Plus, they make nice vessels to keep photos, momentos, and scriptures! 

Well, I have three new tutorials to try out...getting to them later this week! The weather will be perfect...nice and chilly, for Arizona. Hoping I will get around to blogging about them soon because the holidays are upon us. They certainly snuck up on me this year! 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pendants 4 A Good Cause

I have been finishing up some last minute inspirational pendants to donate to a good cause, a woman's shelter for battered women. I made a few more to add to the batch that we all made up at our guild retreat.

Image transfer with Magic Glos

Butterfly pendant with a rub-on inspired by Tina Holden's Batik and Shimmer Technique

Cross with metal leafing using Penni Jo's Best Flexible Molds and Magic Glos

Image Transfer with Magic Glos

Now time to clean up my studio and get ready for my next workshop (Oct. 26th) sponsored by our guild (AZPCG) with the lovely Sarah Shriver. We will be learning all about polymer clay Kaleidoscope canes...can't wait!

Looking forward in sharing what we all create in this workshop!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Another PC Inro and Some Photos from AZPCG Fall Retreat

Finally back after MIA for a couple of months, but I do have a lot to share with you all as well. After August rolled by, I realized that I had to put my foot to the pedal and get those retreat badges done and all the goody bags done. I totally forgot to take pictures of all the goody bags that my friend, Idelle and I managed to get in her van for our AZPCG Fall Retreat up in Prescott, Arizona. We ended up having 26 members attend our annual fall retreat which was held at the end of September. The weather was perfect and the claying much fun, and of course so much FOOD! Here are a few photos from our retreat, and boy did we have some fun demos! 

I think just about every member donated a cane so Amy Gebhardt could show some of our newest members how to make a Kaleidoscope cane and reduce it. As you can see from the pictures above, a few of us volunteered to give Amy a break from reducing this huge cane. We all were able to get a slice off this big cane...what a wonderful keepsake! Lot's of great demos: from Faux Ivory, Twisted Cane, Hollow Puff Bead, Finishing, Bead Shapes (shark tooth), to Basket weaving! Our Vice-President, Dara Meunier put together these awesome door prizes!! Many of the items were donated by some of our favorite polymer clay companies and other jewelry supply companies. We even had some members donate items and handmade items to both the goody bags and door prizes. It was a win, win, win for everyone involved!! Good thing Rio Grande donated some wonderful canvas bags to hold all the goodies from our retreat! 

We also had a challenge as well: Inspirational Pendants for a women's shelter for battered women. Here are a few photos that I managed to take. By this time, my camera was acting up which is usual. My friend, Idelle took photos of all the pendants as glad that she took additional pictures.  

The two pendants that I made are at the top right and bottom left. My top right (the Mokume gane cross) won in the challenge to my surprise, because there were so many beautiful pendants. These are just a few of them...won't the ladies be happy to unwrap these at Christmas! I received a boat load of gift cards from this challenge which I am still trying to spend...very extravagant prize that I am tempted to make a few more inspirational pendants for this good cause. 

During the retreat, I was able to view a VHS tape of Gwen Gibson's beautiful Inros. She will certainly be missed in our polymer clay community. It was so sad to hear of her passing, but I rejoice that she is not suffering anymore. As you know, I have been on this kick concerning polymer clay Inros. I have been looking for other tutorials and trying to decide which one I like the most. I really love Gwen's tutorials on Inros. All I needed was a little nudge from a fellow PC buddy, Michele Norine. Michele has a way of tackling things. She has showed me some great avenues, so thank you, Michele!! This black and gold Inro was one of three that I started up at camp. I am still working on the other two. This one just came together it when that happens! 

Here are my other two Inros waiting to get finished...

I almost forgot to show you all some of the badges that I made for the campers.

I was finally able to use a face cane that I made in a Barbara McGuire's Face Cane Workshop a year ago! Even though, these took a lot of work (and one time I questioned myself why I decided to make these), all it took was one smile from my fellow PC buddies and I knew I had made the right decision in making them!! 

I always look forward to this time of year, our Fall PC many great memories and loads of PC fun and friendships! I am so blessed! 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Polymer Clay Fun

I have been having fun with polymer clay lately. I wasn't able to tackle the polymer clay Inros in my last challenge...gave it several tries and decided to put that on the shelf for a month. Thank goodness, I didn't give up on it. I had a clay day with a couple of my clay buddies from our guild and gave it another try. Sometimes, it is nice to see first hand how another artist attempts a similar project. Even though, I do well well with written instructions, I tend to be a visual learner. One of our newest members from our guild, Michele Norine came over to show me how she did a polymer clay Inro. There are several tutorials out there on the web, polymer clay books, and DVD's. We discussed the different ones and what worked for her. In the long run, I went back to the one that I was using and gave it another try. Sometimes when you work on a project with another artist, your creativity sparks...probably because you can bounce ideas back and forth. I used one of Donna Kato's instructions for making a polymer clay Inro. Here is my first Inro.

I used some of Penni Jo's Best Flexible Molds for the tiny dragonfly and flowers. The back side of the Inro has a small hummingbird with flowers. It took me a some time to sand this but it really shines!

My next project was to make a cat pendant for my neighbor. Her husband repairs appliances and if I have problems with any of my appliances, he comes over and fixes them for me. He only charges for the parts...what a nice neighbor!  I learned a fun technique from my clay buddy, Michele Norine. She has a new tutorial listed on her Etsy studio...Stamp Cut and Paste on Polymer Clay. So, this is my cat necklace that I created using her technique. 

I added resin on the pendant so show off the blue/purple clay that I used in the stamp, cut and paste method. And for a final touch, I added some rub ons which I purchased from the lovely Cat Kerr (In the Light of Moon). Cat has a nice collection of rub ons and they work so well with resin can click here for her Etsy store.

I have to say that projects are taking me a little longer to get done these days. We were finally able to get my father-in-law in hospice care. He is still residing with us, but hospice comes in and helps us out. It is nice to get additional help, but I do have to be around for all the visits. I am thankful that I have a hobby that I love...polymer clay has been my life-saver! 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fantasy Vessel Swap Part II

I finally got back from a wonderful vacation with family and sisters. What a fabulous vacation but I am glad to be back. My only wish is that I could be at two places at one time...terribly missing my sisters. We are not only sisters but great friends as well, awfully hard to find these days. What awesome memories!  Here are a few pictures of where I visited over my vacation...then we will get to the good part.

My sister and I visited the Botanical Gardens and Aquarium in Albuquerque, then we headed north to Santa Fe where we stayed for the weekend and visited the Tesuque Glassworks and the town of Chimayo. We walked around all the galleries in Santa Fe and even stopped off to visit one of my favorite polymer clay artists, Tory Hughes. She was gracious to let us in her studio even though she was in the process of rearranging. It was a great road trip and I came back refreshed and inspired! 

Now to the real business of this post, the second part of my Fantasy Vessel Swap. As I said before, my partner for the International Polymer Clay Swaps (Facebook group) was Nettonya Ryane from Surrey, British Columbia (Vancouver). Here is was Nettonya sent me. A beautiful heart-shaped vessel/box and it even glows in the dark!! Such beautiful canework from Nettonya!! I absolutely love the butterflies!!

Twinchie and florescent butterflies

Fantasy Vessel/Box (heart-shaped)

Nettonya used a special Fimo Florescent clay to create the "glow in the dark effect" and the butterflies are florescent too. She also did a great job with the art doll creative! Love, love, love my swap! Thank you, Nettonya!! 

Well, next on my list of projects are my name badges for our guild polymer clay retreat. Time to get busy and creative again.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fantasy Vessel PC Swap, Part 1

I joined a polymer clay swap this month....International Polymer Clay Swaps on Facebook. The theme is anything fantasy-like container of sorts (vessel). My partner for this swap is the lovely, Nettonya Ryane from Surrey, British Columbia, in the Vancouver area. This is my second swap with this group and it is always fun to see what you will receive from your partner.

I gave this plenty of time and really tried my best to make a vessel. I even used two different tutorials but I wasn't pleased with my four tries, so I gave up on it and decided to cover a tin which was also permitted in the swap. Perhaps, I was trying to make the project too difficult, but I haven't given up entirely on making a Polymer Clay type Inro. Here is a sample of what I am talking about for those who have no idea what the heck I am talking about...Bettina Welker's tutorial on a Polymer Clay Pebble Amulet/Inro.  

This is picture of a vessel (in this case an Amulet/Inro). The top actually pulls out and it is hollow inside. Pretty neat! Looks like a fabulous tutorial and if you click on her name, it will take you to her Etsy Store where you can purchase the tutorial. I actually used one of Donna Kato's (click here for a link to her gallery of gorgeous Inro Boxes) tutorials for my attempt at making a Inro Box.. I tried using a digital transfer method on mine, like Donna Kato's, but next time I think I will try making one without adding a transfer to it. Then, when I have mastered that, I can attempt to add a transfer. It is all a learning experience and that is why I love participating in swaps! 

Moving on to the piece that I made for Nettonya...a polymer clay covered tin. Covering tins with polymer clay is something I am familiar with and have done several times before. We also had to make a Twinchie (Like an Inchie...tiles, like ceramic tiles that can be used for wall art and can be grouped or mounted on canvas) to include in our swap.  A Twinchie is 2 inches square.

Titled: Night in Day

I sealed both images with PYM II before applying Magic Glos. I also used mica powders and alcohol inks for the stamped areas. I have to say, that my sun stamp is probably one of my favorite stamps which I have used for several of my polymer clay projects.


A gift for Nettonya
inspired by one of Randee Ketzel's  tutorials

I thought the pendant had that same fantasy-like feel to it and went along with our theme. I sure hope Nettonya was pleased with the swap that I sent her. 

I am headed out for a little R & R in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico this weekend to get out from out triple digit temps here (118 degrees this weekend here in sunny Phoenix, AZ...scorching HOT!!). My wonderful hubby set me up in the beautiful resort. I am thinking that I will take advantage of a back massage while I am there. Then back down to my hometown of Las Cruces to give my dad a hand with my mom. He desperately needs a break from caregiving. So, unfortunately, I will not be able to see what I receive from Nettonya (perhaps I will on Facebook) till I return in a couple weeks...reason why this post has two parts. When I return, I will post the lovely swap that Nettonya sent me. We both gave our best to get it to each other before the end of the month. You can never tell with the mail and customs...praying and hoping she receives her package before the end of this month as well! 

Thank you for stopping by...have an awesome day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Workshops and Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

From the looks of things, I have been M.I.A for a couple months now...WOW!  Life as usual has been busy...I started a garden, yard work just about everyday now since the weather is hotter, workshops and tutorials, plus playing with my grandkids! I guess, my blog has been at the bottom of my to do list...sorry!

Last part of March, I was fortunate enough to take a workshop with the lovely, Barb Fajardo.  She taught our polymer clay guild several techniques which were very fun and addicting. Here are a few items that I made during the workshop and some that I completed at home.

Here are some more photos from the workshop (work of the AZPCG members that attended the workshop).

I made several bracelets using Barb's technique and gave one to my daughter. This is the one that she wanted.

My daughter, Rachel is usually a hard one to please and because she loved it, I decided to make more bracelets. I really like the multi-strand bracelets and it seems everyone is layering their bracelets, so I decided to have some fun with the bracelets. It is nice to be able to make your own focal pieces and add the desired amount of holes for the design.

This is a new shape that I have been working on and trying to perfect. Sanding is a bear, especially the dark colors like this purple one below, but I really like them.

I was inspired by the beads that I came across on Facebook, American Trade Bead. I almost thought they were polymer clay, when I first came across them, but they are GLASS!!! Awesome work by some very talented glass artists!! They hold auctions for these beautiful beads. I would love to try and make some more fun shapes. Here are some links: Homepage and Online Store. What did I tell you, gorgeous collection of glass beads!! 

I have also been busy trying to get some kits together for our annual polymer clay guild retreat. I am in charge (alongside our AZPCG Vice President, Dara Meunier) of the goody bags this year, so I have to make a total of 25 kits. I have been contacting lots of companies that would be willing to donate items for our goody bags. Some companies have been very generous. The guild is also asking retreat attendees to make handmade items (which is always the best type of gift to receive) or purchase items for the goody bags! I am so excited, I can hardly wait...hoping the next several months fly by!  

Well, off to get started on a swap that I signed up on Facebook to do...only a couple of weeks to get it done. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Yum...Soup Is On!! 7th Bead Soup Blog Party!

I can't believe this is Lori Anderson's 7th time hosting this terrific Bead Soup Blog Party! I don't know how she does it to bring this entire Blog Party together, I really don't, but I am always thrilled that she finds the time to do this because it is just so much FUN!!  This time around, Lori broke it up into three reveal days, another record number of international participants! WOW! If you didn't get a chance to visit the participating artisans for the first reveal, you can click here to visit their blogs.
My partner this time, is the talented glass artist, Suzanne Fragiacomo. Here is a picture of the wonderful bead soup, Suzanne sent me.

As I've probably said before, one of the most difficult parts of designing, at least for me anyway, is deciding how you plan to use the focal piece and what beads to use that will bring out the colors of the focal but not take away from it. I usually add some of my own polymer clay beads, but this time I decided not to include them. Although, I did make some polymer clay core beads which I covered with seed beads and I must say that they came out marvelous, but they would have taken away from the beautiful glass bead that Suzanne made had I included them in the piece. Here is photo of these beads and you will know what I mean when they are side by side with the focal. 

Suzanne's beautiful glass bead

Suzanne's glass beads and my beaded polymer core beads

So, I didn't use them in this piece. Instead I used some nice wooden beads, ceramic beads, and some czech beads. I also decided to have the clasp on the side rather than the back because it was decorative and I could also hang some of her small glass beads close to the clasp where they could been seen too.

I love these colors, they are so vibrant and happy!! I hope I was able to creatively display Suzanne's beautiful artisan glass art creations!!  I am so looking forward in seeing what Suzanne made with the bead soup I sent her. Here is a photo of the bead soup I sent her...being that it was her first time participating, I thought I would send a nice collection of beads and some polymer clay pieces which I created.

Stamped Polymer clay on a metal blank (The Hoarder's Closet)
and matching polymer clay triangles.

So, sit back and relax and join in on the fun!! Here is the list of artists participating in the 2nd reveal of Lori Anderson's 7th Bead Soup Blog Party. I hope you get a chance to look at all the beautiful designs. I am sure you be inspired!! Thank you, Lori, for all you hard work...bless you!! Thank you all for stopping by and have a fun day! 

Agata Grygiel
Ali McCarthy
Alice Craddick
Amy Severino
Ana Krepel
Andra Weber
Andrea Glick
Andrea Trank
Anitra Gordy Boyers

Annette Rivers
Anu Tuppurainen
April Grinaway
Audrey Bélanger
Barbara Bechtel
Barbara Mason
Becky Pancake
Beti Horvath
Billi RS Rothove

Bobbie Rafferty
Brandi Burdick
Candida Castleberry
Carol Dillman
Carolyn Gebert
Carolyn Lawson
Caron Reid
Catherine King
Cathy Jakicic

Chandra Merod
Charlene Jacka
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Fick
Cherrie Warzocha
Cheryl Brown
Cheryl Dunham
Cheryl Foiles
Cheryl Gangle

Chris Eisenberg
Chris White
Christina Miles

Christine Murrow
Cindy Ritchie
Clare Etheridge
Cory Tompkins

Cris Peacock
Cynthia Abner
Debbie Rasmussen
Debi Levine
Deborah Brooks
Deborah Read
Debra Behrends
Dorota Żerańska
Elaine Robitaille

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Emma Todd
Erin Guest
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Francy Inman
Ginger Bishop
Gloria Allen
Hajer Waheed

Hope Smitherman
Ilenia Ruzza
Ilona Hegedűs
Ine Vande Cappelle
Jackie Ryan
Janine Lucas
Jean Peter
Jean Wells
Jeanne Steck

Jelveh Jaferian Johnson
Jennifer Cabic
Jennifer Reno
Jennifer VanBenschoten
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Kyrlach
Jenny Robledo
Jessica Brower
Jill MacKay

JJ Jacobs
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Joanne Tinley
Johanna Rhodes Nash
Judy Robinson
Juli Cannon
Julia Gerlach
Julie Bowen
Julie Panusis

K Hutchinson
Karen Martinez
Karen Vincent
Karen Williams
Karin Slaton
Karyn Bonfiglio
Kat Douglas
Kate Dufour
Kate Mulligan

Kate Richbourg
Kathleen Gallant
Kathleen Lange Klik
Katie Nielsen-Nunez
Kay Bolton
Kayla Potega
Kelli Jacobson
Kelly Patterson
Kelly Ramstack

Kiersten Kern
Kim Sparks
Klaudete Koon
Klaudia Tóth
Krista French
Kristin Oppold
Kym Hunter
Lana Kinney
Laura Guenther

Lauren Fenty
Leah Curtis
Lennis Carrier
Linda Murphy
Lisa Johnson
Lori Anderson
Lupe Meter
Lynn Jobber
Mandi Effron

Marcia Dunne
Margareta Saari
Marianne Baxter
Marie Covert
Mary Ellen Parker
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens
Megan Milliken
Melissa Meman
Melissa Mesara

Michaela Pabeschitz
Michelle Tucker
Mimi Gardner
Mischelle Fanucchi
Monica Phillips
Mowse Doyle
Nancy Boylan
Nancy Dale
Pat Haight

Patina Queen
Patty Miller
Pia Kaven
Rebecca Anderson
Rose Johnson
Roxanne Blanc
Sarah Goode
Sarah Singer
Sarah Strover

Shalini Austin
Sherri Stokey
Sherry Baun
Sheryl Stephens
Silvia Sernicola
Solange Collin
Stacie Florer
Stacy Alderson
Stephanie Haussler

Stephanie LaRosa
Sue Burleigh
Susan Bowie
Susan Kelly
Susan of Libellula Jewelry
Susan Sheehan
Suzanne Fragiacomo
Tammi Sloan
Tammie Everly

Tania Hagen
Tania Spivey
Tanya Goodwin
Tanya Wiles
Tari Kahrs

Theresa Buchle
Tiffany Smith
Tina Holden

Tracey Nanstad
Tracie Dean
Tracy Bell
Tracy Kruse
Veralynne Malone
Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

Facebook Participants

D’Arsie Manzella      
Claire Brannigan Hasemeier 
Robin Showstack 
Melanie Lemen Swope 
Beccy Peterson 
Kelli Nelson 
Chris Schlicht 
Shelley Cole-Kuduk