Monday, November 30, 2015

Back to weaving

So I have been very occupied recently and now can finally see the light of day. I haven't been doing too much polymer recently but did manage to fashion some beads and button to enhance this woven purse....I started it during the summer.  I have three others to finish as well, but this one is in colours I don't usually go to.  
The bag is large enough to encase a standard I-phone and I sewed a pocket into the lining to hold a credit card or keys. The strap is rather long, but that way it can go cross body, an option some people are interested in. 
Unfortunately, the huge load of stuff I usually carry in my own purse wouldn't normally fit in this bag, but I tend to carry a "lot" of baggage, lol. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Here. There. And everywhere

Miss Daisy is going for a grooming today so she can be all spiffy when she sits at her booth (with her dad)  at the Victoria Beach art show this weekend. Their mission will be to help raise funds for the East Beaches animal shelter. It's the same organization that Molly also sat for the past seven or eight years.   

I will be busy in my booth with my polymer clay accent pieces.  I have some new items this year and it will be good to be back at the Beach after a year off. The event wasn't held last year because construction on the new facility wasn't complete.  Now that it is ready (although some work still has to be done on the exterior) I am looking forward to seeing my old friends at that lovely and popular event. 

Returned yesterday evening from Kenora after a busy day at the market there.  That venue continues to be a fun and interesting place to meet and greet.  Saw many old friends from both the education and art field yesterday, and it was so nice to catch up with them.  Then spent a delightful mid afternoon lunch with relatives and friends at the pizzeria in Kenora. And there were cupcakes too!   I got half a dozen cupcakes from the gal whose booth is beside me at the market.  She makes the most delicious "heavenly creations" ( that's what her cake business is called).  I'm sure they were a fitting treat after the workout (swimming) for our young relatives from Guelph. 

So it's catch up day today and tomorrow.  I have several " holes" in my inventory that need to be filled by Saturday morning.  It is a two day sale at the beach so I need to be well stocked.  And since we will be heading back to Kenora again next Wednesday and off to Morden for the corn and apple festival a week from Friday, I will have to spend a couple of late nights supplementing my stash.  No rest for the wicked. 

Thank goodness we have our new air conditioner installed.  With the heat index very high (well into the 30's Celsius) it's nice to be able to work in comfort.

Hot August nights, here we come!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Around the world in five (campy) days

Tomorrow the fun begins. As part of a group of four art-minded adults, we will be offering a summer camp activity for youth in Stonewall, Manitoba at the Quarry Interpretive Centre.  My block of time will be art forms from five continents using polymer clay as a medium. It's rather a mixed (travel) bag, but will involve lots of hands on activities to keep the young-uns away from technology for a few hours each day. 
Our first stop is South America so I plan on making these folksy parrot-type sculptures that can either be suspended from a hook or hang on a wall. In the session we will form the body and do some simple caning for the wing and tail.  As well, we will make a bit of faux wood for the branch/perch for the Polly to sit upon. (Lol -a "Polly"mer Clay Polly).  Would love to make ocarinas too, but the time frame won't permit.  So I will just have to practice playing the little clay ocarina I got from Peru a few years ago. 

I hope to post some of the kids' compositions here so stay tuned. 

Off to pack my gear!

Monday, June 29, 2015

On the rocks

I called this little girl Mavourneen.  She is trying to cool off in the heat and humidity.  I suppose I should put some water in her rock pool.  
I had made a bunch of little faces a while back and finally figured out a way to use one.  The composition is fairly simple.  First I made a bunch of stones and set them on top of a light bulb to bake.  While that was in the oven, I did a rough formation of the arms and body over some wire and then attached that to the hole in her head. I made a simple cane for the scales, cut it down the center and overlapped them all, up to the b- line. (She's fairly ample in that region)   Then when she was finished baking, I added some ribbon for hair and festooned it with some glass beads and "seaweed" around the back. 
She is sitting there waiting to go to Kenora on Wednesday. 
Happy summer! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fishing season opener

So, the fishing season  of"fish"ally began this past weekend, but to bh's dismay, the weather was way too cool for him to go out on the waters.  His friends braved the conditions, though, and of course, the fish were jumping into the boats.  (So they say...they're fishermen and of course the truth is somewhat questionable.)

That aside, I did a little fish locating of my own and found this pescatorial present in my clay oven today. 
Of course, there's another side which is a little different. This fishy had a Botox injection in the lips 
Sorry my hand and the dining room got in the way.  I was trying to hold the fish in one hand and the iPad camera in the other, and couldn't deal with all the shaking of the dog wanting to see the fish up close. That Daisy is a verrrry inquisitive little one.

This weekend I will be going up to one our fabulous lake beaches for the first rural sale of the season.  I hope this stringer of fish and other beachy things will lure folks to my booth. Of course I will have other hangings, a few new books, and the usual assortment of this and that.  

Hope to see a few of my friends this Saturday at Winnipeg Beach. It is after all, the of"fish"al cottage opening weekend...and since the weather's been a little better than last year, hopefully it will be a great long weekend. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

From cover to cover, we've got you covered

I I've been making handmade artist's journals from polymer clay for years and love love love to make them. I usually hand bind the signatures using Coptic binding and decorate the spine with beads or fibres. I've taught a few people how to make them, but the task is a little daunting if you've never worked with polymer clay and are a novice at book binding...and you've only got three hours.
These are a few of the books I've made recently, and much as I'd like to share how to do them, they just can't be done in a three hour workshop.

So when I was approached to teach a workshop at Artsjunktion, we decided to do a workshop on making covers for sketchbooks using a purchased coil bound sketch pad.  
This is the ideal size sketch pad to cover. When finished it's not too bulky and the size lends itself well to working with polymer. If it's any larger, the covers tend to slump if you don't have an armature.  And if it's too small...well you don't have enough space to do your art, or sketches, or journaling or zentangles get the drift.   Having a coil binding means the task of struggling with a Coptic binding is averted. 
This is a sample I made about a week ago, using alcohol inks and some innovative texturing materials to enhance the polymer. Of course, the choice of textures, design, colors and style has infinite possibilities.  Those issues will be dealt with at the workshop. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in taking part in the workshop, it will be held at the artsjunktion facility in Winnipeg on Saturday, April 11th from 9 am to 12 noon. Here's a link to get more information about the workshop and a registration form:

If that link doesn't work, just google the artsjunktion web page, click on workshops and check out "Journal Covers Using Polymer Clay"

Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bicoastal creation.

So we are just a few hours from the Gulf of California and the main inspiration for this comes from the Florida side of the continent. 
I have made loads of Beachy things, mostly stones, snaills, seahorses and fish, but the inspiration for this neck piece was directly from the west coast of Florida. We often spent Christmas vacations there while I was teaching full time and I absolutely loved beach combing.

The snail, starfish and white thing are simple hand formed polymer creations, but the scallop shell and faux coral have closer ties to the beach.  I made the scallop using a modified Skinner blend sheet which I coaxed along an actual scallop shell I collected many years ago. After I made the impression of the ridges, I used the inner part of the real scallop shell to make a backing.  For the faux coral, I made a molded impression of an actual conglomerate of whah might be coral ... Not sure... but it was plenty interesting with lots of texture.  I whipped up a small batch of "impromptu" coral colors and put it in the mold. Fortunately the impression took pretty well, and where it wasn't good, (there may have been some undercuts), I used a needle tool and pulled out some pipe work. 

I tempoarily have it strung on heavier waxed cotton cord.  Not certain how I am going to finish it.   Maybe I'll sleep on it tonight and have a few pipe dreams of how it is all going to come together. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

For the birds, continued

So yesterday was my first post in ages, and here I am today, with a bit of a follow up.  

This is what I am doing with the birdhouse cane.  The completed bookmark just to the left of center is for the neighbour who is the birdhouse collector. The others with flowers will be also become bookmarks, while the little one at the top left is a charm that I will use to embellish something. 

In my last post, I mentioned that that I had seen birdhouses on Cindy Leitz' polymer clay tutorials.  If memory serves me correctly, I believe that was also where she demonstrated the bookmark hook similar to what I have here. To see the way Cindy explains her method, here is the link:

Speaking of birds, when I went out with Daisy  this morning, We were greeted with the sweetest of bird songs. I guess that means  spring can't be far away in some places!

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's for the birds

Posting to this blog has been very lax lately...not that I haven't meant to write.  It's just that old nemesis  of time.

Yesterday was a fun filled day where we hosted a pot luck on the patio and then followed that with a little game night. It was enjoyable with Daisy providing half time entertainment with her spin the bottle antics.   Even though she has a dozen "toys", playing with an empty water bottle was just as engaging for her. 

Earlier in the day, I spent a couple hours doing some clay work.  Inspired by our neighbour's bird house collection, I thought I'd give making little bird houses a shot. I have made some three dimensional sculpted birdhouse before, thanks to "PCT" Cindy Leitz 's instructions on her weekly site.  For this effort, I thought I'd try a cane.

My cane is pretty simple and its shape evokes a bit of a hobbit house. I pre-baked some tiny perches and inserted them with a bit of t.l.s. close to the base of the abode.  In the cane slice, I inserted an eye pin, and will probably make this baked sample into a bookmark charm. 

The stripes were originally intended to represent planks of weathered wood, but was afraid the weathering details might get lost in the eventual reduced cane slices. So, they ended up like jailbird stripes. Maybe I'll assign each one a number!