Monday, July 25, 2016

Ocean Finds

This PCAGOE is about the ocean. I haven't laid on the ocean in a few years and have to make due with rivers and lakes. I still get out close to the water as often as I can and go through the sand to find little treasures. I made this brooch with beads that are ocean or water related. There are those shell beads that have been dyed pink, the polished rocks, the granite, the marble and the sea glass. Those have been encrusted into pink clay which in turn wrapped in more clay.
I love all the pinks and imagine it washing up on shore, remnants of long gone head wear lost at sea. On the ocean floor a queen's crown is missing its biggest jewel. I like imagining stories like these for some of the things that I make or that I find. Where would you situate this brooch?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Beach Star!

This Ironcraft challenge is a fitting Stars and Stripes for July 4th. Being Canadian and celebrating our own independence a few days ago I decided to move from the obvious flag theme to a more broad definition of stars and stripes. I've been going to the beach a lot and not being near an ocean the wildlife in the river floating to shore is not always the most exciting. So I decided to add my own wildlife.
The painting is an exercise in shading of the skies and the water and the sand. I see stripes that blend into each other so in a very round about way, this fits the theme. lol
I also have a bigger goal with the exercise because my next challenge will be to apply a beach theme to polymer clay. This is the warm-up. I have lot of fun painting this and am not very good at it but I think that my idea comes across. The starfish is making stripes in the sand.
I'd love to hear comments on whether you saw that before I told you or only after. Be kind but be honest.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Music is the Language of Love

This month's PCAGOE challenge is music and that gives us so many possibilities for interpretation. I have focused on wall art for 2016 and I decided to make a piece on a wooden canvas. It is primarily polymer clay except for the canvas.
This time of year my yard is filled with birds of every color doing their thing. They sing beautiful music to each other in the name of love. I chose the gold finch which is common bird in this area. They come up north to sing their hearts away to entice the female to breed. They love to thistle and milk weed which is something we have plenty of.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ironcraft Wants Memories.

This challenge is about memories. I chose to show a latest wall piece that was inspired by the view I had from my kitchen window when I first moved into my present home, 15 years ago. Living in a small village means that from anywhere you can see the church. Our church had squatters when we moved in to the neighborhood. A couple of black crows had a huge nest on one of the ledges. The nest was at least 4' x 4'. The couple lived there for about 8 years before they disappeared. I watched them grow and have babies. You could see them teaching their young ones to fly and hunt. It was pretty amazing. In that last year, the crows have become very big, standing about 2 1/2 ' high.
Crows are sometimes seen as creepy and scary and I admit to being a little nervous when I would see them in my backyard. But after seeing them daily and watching them live and raise their young for so long, they had become the village mascots.
This piece is polymer clay on a wooden canvas. I had fun making this one. The kids got creeped out. They don't remember the crows like I do, they were doing growing of their own.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Caricature in Polymer

This month's PCAGOE challenge is Quilling. I had never done any of it so this was a challenge for sure. Once I got started, I didn't want to stop. I love it, I love the results you can get and you can be sure that quilling will be in other pieces I make. My favorite of the 3 that I made before time ran out is this one. It was inspired a ceramic artist named Anastasaki https://www.facebook.com/anastasaki.gr/. I love the work. The one that caught my eye was a portrait of a 20's couple. The way bold lines are used to define the features just seemed to be made for the quilling I had in mind.
I used my husband and I as the subject matter, adding the purple hair for me. I had purple hair last summer and I miss it terribly so I figured I could at least immortalize it in a piece. It is built on a wooden canvas. I am sure it will be the conversation starter for some time to come.
Have you ever taken something up, that you never thought of before, and just made it work, right away? Like it was waiting for you all this time. I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ironcraft Calls for Summer.

I haven't posted for an Ironcraft challenge in a long time. I have been keeping up, just not with my own photos and such. This time I made the effort to do it on time. The theme is wonderful and in our neck of the woods, summer is just starting to feel like it's here.
I chose to finish a piece I had started some time ago but it still counts because I did transform it from its raw state into a finished piece. For those who don't know the rules, every Ironcraft entry has to be made between the time the host announces it and the due date. Can't use up stuff you already had.
My piece was inspired by a vacation to the ocean a friend told me about. She was reminiscing about sitting in her hotel room with a glass of wine watching the waves. A vivid image popped into my head and I wanted to try to make it out of polymer clay. It is built on hard canvas. I painted the background and the rest is all polymer. The curtains are polymerized tissue paper. I particularly like those turned out.
I don't know about you but I'm ready for some summer and if I'm lucky this year, I'll be able to go to the ocean and watch my own waves. In the meantime, I have this piece on my wall. I can always pretend it's a window. lol
If you'd like to share your vacation plans with me I'm all ears. If you ever have been inspired to produce something that reminded you of a real or imagined vacation, I'd love to hear about that too.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

We Were All Girls Once, 2016

I finally got all my ducks in row and made the donation choices with the money raised during the Morrisburg Polymer Clay Gathering 2016. http://plancanada.ca/because-i-am-a-girl is our fundraiser of choice and each year we manage to raise the bar just a little higher. This year was no exception. We were about 25 people in all and we raised 1200$ through our silent and live auctions. We received some extra donations as well. Now, hear a drum roll as I get you ready to find out how much our 1200$ bought in matched donations. For those who are not aware, the Plan Canada site has a system of matched donations. What you put in is matched by various companies in order to maximize the benefits. So, our money bought a total of 7,145$ spread out through various items. We bought some books, some farm animals distributed to communities, seeds and tools to ensure the recipients can grow their own food. We bought the supplies necessary for literacy training for girls, some tools and supplies for a Mom shop which teaches women to create with their hands and provide for themselves and their families.
My most heart wrenching item is buying someone a birth certificate. We take our own for granted, never really wondering what life would be like without it. But without a birth certificate you do not really exist. You cannot go to school, or get any identification. It breaks my heart that a person should be denied anything on account of something so basic. So, ladies of Morrisburg, I salute you! Thank you so much for your generosity and to all those who donated the goods we all got to bid on. Thank you for coming along with me on this mission of helping girls around the world have a better life. These efforts may seem like they are easy, no big deal, but maybe, through our efforts some girl will be able to go to school and have books waiting there for her when she gets there. I'm sure whoever she is, she'll take it from there.