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.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The 4 Seasons

This month's PCAGOE challenge is entitled The 4 Seasons. We were to interpret that in any way we wished as long as the all 4 seasons were represented. I've always admired the paintings of trees with the changing seasons so I chose that as my starting point.
I have chosen a focus for 2016. I plan to make a wall piece a week for the 52 weeks to come. They will be of various sizes and backgrounds but will have more polymer clay than other medias in them. If any of you remember my year of bowls, where I made at least one bowl a week, you may remember that I thoroughly enjoyed that endeavor learning so much about the clay. I hope to enjoy this "form" focus just as much.
Using a flat canvas, bought at Michaels, I started by putting a wash of blue mixed with white glue for the background. I marked the area that would have the different seasons. I drew the tree onto the clay using a mg cane I had that looked like tree bark (of sorts). The tree is the same in all the seasons and I made little simple scenes of each season for each section. The clay was adhered with my tls formula. I then cut out the center to add a globe. After all, all the seasons follow earth's calling. Surely, my representation of seasons portrays my neck of the woods. It would an amazing study to do different parts of the world. That is a project for another day for sure.
I've already learned one lesson although I'm not sure that my conclusions are right. The globe "lifted" in the center. It cracked a little. The funny thing is that the canvas remained attached to the clay so the canvas is rounded where the globe is. I'm not sure if you can notice it in the photo.
I could always say that I meant to do that but I would rather take the chance that someone would know how it happened. It would be more fun to know so I could reproduce it at will. I welcome any and all theories on the matter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ironcraft Celebrates 5 Years

In this part of the world, winter arrived late but it is here with a vengeance. As much as I'd like to tell you I love winter and all its activities I can't. I spend most of the winter months indoors dreaming of warm breezes and flowers and all their colors. For the first Ironcraft challenge, we were asked to do something in either wood, silverware or daisies as they are the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary. Ironcraft is celebrating its 5th anniversary. Congratulations, Kat! Well done!
I opted for daisies because I love them as a flower and they are within my reach in my applique skills. So I made a striped background onto a "rolling hills" design and then appliqued the daisies on them. I made some buttons for the centers. It looks cute. Making it into a bucket bag was also a challenge as I realize that my corner work needs a little practice.
What are your favorite things or shapes to applique? I love doing hearts too but sometimes have a hard time with the rounded angles.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Value of Color

This PCAGOE Challenge is called 50 shades of grey. Of course it's a play on words on the infamous book but what we were to study is the value of the scale from white to black. We could make something from black to white or use another color and turn the photo into a black and white one. I made both a black to white piece and a color piece. For the challenge I chose the color photo turned to black and white because I liked it better as a photo. I made a Xmas ball for my tree which is blue, white and silver. It looks great in the tree and the photo turned out really well in black and white.
The black and white piece is a bell for the tree. It is fine but it does not match my tree and the photo did not show off the value study that it is. Here is a photo of the bell. You can let me know what you think. Any suggestions on how to make it work would be appreciated.
The following photo is the Xmas ball in color on my tree. It looks great with all the other decorations.
This last photo is my challenge photo. I love the way it turned out. It definitely has a long ago newspaper feel and I think the value of the black to white shows up well. Of course, any and all suggestions are appreciated.
So, another year of challenges is met and I always learn so much from them and my fellow challenge participants. I look forward to another year of challenges, both from clay and life. I wish everyone  the peace of the season along with all the goodies and laughter it can bring. I pray that everyone can be filled with the wonder of life and that everyone stay safe for the wonders to come. Happy
Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fall is Falling!

This Ironcraft challenge was to create something for fall the title is what struck me the most. I think it's quite clever. I chose to continue my quest of becoming a quilter with a little exercise quilt. I saw one made of triangles and thought it was intriguing so I picked this one for the challenge. My idea was to create movement in the piece so I placed the triangles at different angles making them look like they are "falling".
It was quite a challenge for the triangles in the squares. I kept running out of fabric on one side of the triangles and had too much on the others. I still turned out kind of cool. When I look at it, my eye keeps moving from one triangle to the next which is what I wanted to accomplish. Of course, that's me. It's like reading your own short story, you can think it's brilliant but no one else gets it unless you explain it. I'd love comments and opinions.

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's Personal.

This month's PCAGOE challenge was to make a personal accessory. I wanted to make something that I don't usually make, something for myself. I have, over the summer months, discovered the benefits of essential oils. I am using them more and more and thought it would be cool to bring them with me wherever I went. I don't want to lug around the bottles. I thought if I could put the oils in something that would be easy to take with me. Then it hit me. What is easier to take with you than a pendant you wear around your neck.
So I set out on a little research and lo and behold I wasn't the first one to think of this. They have different names for them and the absorbing part of the pendant is different depending on who makes them. I decided to make mine from a piece of terracotta. It's quite absorbent. I took a hammer to one of my old pots and broke it into pieces I could use for a pendant. I chose some faux turquoise because I love the combination of colors, very southwestern. I sandwiched the piece of terracotta in between layers of turquoise, leaving an area to take the oils. It works great! I chose orange essential oil for my trial. I find it gives me energy and clears my mind. I love lavender as well so I might make another for that one. Here is a photo of my new pendant. I like wearing it, gives me focus. What is your favorite essential oil?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Corpse Bride

Halloween is coming! I love Halloween, I always have. I've had the best parties and the best laughs at Halloween. So when Ironcraft gave us a Halloween challenge I was thrilled. I've been making nightlights often lately so this was a great chance to make another. She is inspired by the rendition of Clarissa Pinkola Estes of the story of the Corpse Bride. I don't how many versions of this story are out there. Clarissa's http://aimeecwillis.wix.com/edwebxtracopy2#!__lesson-1-corpse-bride-story is my favorite by far. The story starts out with a groom-to-be who does something kind of stupid and can't get out of. The story ends with a great lesson of the capability of women for compassion. It is a both funny and touching story.
I used a paper mache armature and covered it with polymer clay then sculpted the flowered veil. I enjoyed making this so much. I was at a friend's house with other polymer clay artists and we chatted and created for many hours. It was bliss.
The photo does not do it justice. My skills at taking photos like this need much improvement but I think you get the idea. Halloween means different things to different people but we all have a favorite treat or story that accompanies this day. What is yours? I'd love to know.