Thursday, April 28, 2016

Downton Inspired!

I wanted to show off my Downton Inspired Hat Ladies. I made them for our Morrisburg Polymer Clay Gathering and I thought they turned out very well. The impetus for these ladies was to develop a demo using the Fimo Sculpting Clay that was sent to us for our retreat. Fimo graciously sent us each a starter pack with mold and I wanted to show off what you could make with them. I made a couple of other sculptures with the kit but these ladies were closest to my heart.
These ladies became very precious to me and I gave some away to people in the workshop.  I kept a couple though. Have you ever had a project that when complete it became very hard to part with?

Monday, April 25, 2016

The World in her Hands.

This month's challenge for PCAGOE is about negative space. I coupled this piece to coincide with our annual Morrisburg Polymer Clay Gathering fundraising auction. Since our recipient cause is I chose to do something inspired by that theme.
This cause is very close to my heart. I am so fortunate to live in a country that gives girls and women opportunities to education, to careers, health care and justice. Even if we have fought for those rights and that we still have a long way to go to full equality, we as women, have a relative freedom other women in the world only dream about. Like it is our duty to keep working at equity and equality it is also our duty to work at making all girls and women as free as we are.
"World in Her Hands" is about recognizing that the state of our planet is in our hands. It is also about knowing that by taking care of our children, our girls, we can then feel certain that it will be one of those girls, or many of those girls, who will build a better place for us and them in the future.
We just finished another wonderful year in Morrisburg and the fundraising auction has raised the most money yet. I don't have the final numbers yet so stay tuned for another blog post about that.
This piece is also part of my 2016 focus of Wall Art. It is made on a wooden canvas and is all clay. I sculpted the hand and the globe. I cut out the globe to make the "negative space". Someone took the piece home with them and they also take with them a piece of my heart and my many thanks for the support.
Do any of you have favorite charities that tug at their heart strings? Let me know and if you are so inclined, the above mentioned charity is always needing more funds.

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's Flower Power!

This month's PCAGOE challenge is Flowers. I'm not much into the flowery type of things. I love my flowers real and in my garden. However, I was inspired to bring a little of the garden that is about to pop up outside my window. We still have snow but the hyacinths are peeking through and that makes me happy. My favorite flower is the tulip. I like the shape and after having visited the Butchard Gardens in Victoria BC in May, I fell completely in love with all the variations possible.
I've been working on wall art this year so I chose to make a tulip as a wall piece. And I must admit that the idea in my head is very close to what I actually produced. I really like this piece. I could pretend that my pieces always turn out the way I plan but that would not be true. Mostly, I propose an idea and my hands and the clay have other ideas. I'm usually happy with what I make but it's rarely like my original idea. This time is different.
My Spring Tulip is built on a wood frame and covered with marbled greens. I then sculpted the flower on top. Let me know what you think. Do your pieces usually end up the way you first envision them? Or does the clay or the painting have a mind of its own?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What is in my Kitchen?

This Ironcraft challenge was simply the kitchen. It could be anything for the kitchen, found in a kitchen, made in a kitchen. Well, I use my kitchen toaster oven for baking clay all the time so I'll just show you what I made up this week. Now, every once in a while I come up with a new product to offer at the artisans shows I do during the year. This year I am offering this new crochet tool that is just wonderful. I sell individual crochet hooks, hooks in sets from 2 to 22. This set is actually just one handle with 8 different size hooks that are interchangeable. How amazing is that? When I first stumbled on that set I knew I had to add that to my inventory. I know they won't stay in inventory for long and will hopefully be able to replenish on a regular basis.
With the size starting at 3 going up to 7, these 8 hooks are probably all you'll ever need. Of course, I've been thinking about crocheting with the selvage edges off my quilting fabric so maybe I'll need a bigger hook for that. What projects can you imagine with your crochet hooks?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Woman Can Never Have Too Many Rings

The PCAGOE challenge for this month is 'rings'. So, I set out to make the most beautiful ring ever. After many attempts I realize that my imagination far outdoes my talents. I had a lot of fun making the various kinds of rings I came up with. I made some entirely out of clay while others have a metal base more familiar to us. I sculpted some. Then I sculpted more. It is very addictive really.
I can't really say that any of them are 'the most beautiful ring ever'. I'm just glad for what I learned and I lift my hat to those who make exquisite pieces of Art starting with the same materials that I have. I think it would make a great focus for a series exercise. Someone has already done a Ring a week or a Ring a Day. I leave that for others right now.
I do, of course, have a favorite, well maybe, favorites. In the end a girl has got to choose and I go for the art deco-ish and bright colors. Which one of the 14 is your favorite? Or have you ever started making a project and found yourself unable to stop?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gingham Glory!

Ironcraft threw out the challenge of the letter "G". I immediately went for gingham. I love that pattern and fabric. I owned a pair of stretch turquoise and white gingham pants and I loved them to death. Literally, I wore them until the fabric just let go. I thought I looked so smart in them.
I chose some gingham fabrics from my stash and put a couple of goals into the same project. I had a book that teaches 'quilt-as-you-go' techniques and I decided to make a center piece for my kitchen table from the gingham fabrics I found using the techniques in the book. My kitchen is mustard with white trim and my fabrics look awesome in there.
As always I learn many lessons during these challenges. Mostly I learned that try as I might, I am not very good at getting the same results described in the books. I was to have blocks that measured 12". I needed 9 of them. I followed the steps and still, none of my blocks ended up to be the right size. I squared them all off to 11" in the end. For this project, it isn't the end of the world and I've come to the conclusion that if I'm using this technique I will be better off starting with a larger block to I can square it off to the desired size. This technique, though, does permit me to make a larger finished quilt than the regular way. I also like the look of the piecing of the blocks. I'm going to stick to this technique for a while I think. Of course, the next book might teach me something else I will equally like. At least I hope so. It's always nice to learn new things and to accept new challenges. Keeps the brain and the spirit young.
I'd love to hear what you do to keep your brain and spirit young? What challenges you like to set for yourself?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ironcraft in Love!

This theme for the Ironcraft Challenge this time was hearts and flowers. During this time of gushing love expressions, I tend to try understating the sentiment. I believe that less is more. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for showing love and sentiments of kindness. I prefer the ones that are subtle and not too showy.
In keeping with the quilting theme I've been on, I appliqued two cups of tea on a table. I enjoy having the time to have a cup of coffee or tea with conversation with my loved ones. It's not the type of coffee or tea (although that can make a difference) or the type of cup, it's the time that I long for. Time for letting the world go by without you. Time to just catch up, be it on daily news or a some life-altering revelation. I love having time to talk and nowhere to go. My piece is all about that. I chose to make the cups different to show that the drinkers were not the same. The more manly mug and the dainty cup suggest that this
could be a couple on a Sunday morning. The hearts above the cups are the steam rising from the delicious brew.
What is your favorite way of taking moments with your loved ones? Have you a ritual that you like to do? I'd love to hear about it.