Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am re-blogged louder

Lucky Duck Designs.

This is fun :)

I am "it"

I've been blog-tagged by Sandra Eileen Artisan Jewelry. I'm supposed to post 7-10 random things about myself.

1) I know the words to more than one Bob Wills song and I like to sing along. Loud.

2) I haven't eaten sugar in over three years.

3) I am a compulsive collector; don't let me near a Salvation Army, thrift shop or yard sale. It isn't pretty.

4) My college guidance counselor asked me why I took sculpture, painting, printmaking AND drawing when I didn't "need to" to get my degree.

5) I met my husband by answering his online ad in 1999.

6) Sometimes unexpected things make me cry. Example 1) Seeing my sister's beautiful face across the dinner table, Example 2) John Singer Sargent paintings, Example 3) A group of neighborhood men singing x-mas carols in a store I was working at. (THAT was embarassing!)

7) For being so realistic and cynical, I have no trouble believing my horoscope.

8) I have done, at various times, for work: picture framing, figurine sculpting, hand assembly of high-end invitations, porcelain repair and t-shirt painting, among many others.

9) Every random job I ever had contained an aspect that was crucial later in moving my life forward.

10) I am an atheist and an optimist.

I choose to tag Glass Beach next...(hope she don't hate me)

Friday, April 27, 2007

I am blogged!

So fun :)

I am a featured artist on the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy blog.

And thanks for the fantastic walk yesterday, mom! It was great to see what bloomed (almost overnight!) in your neighborhood. And to spend your birthday with you, what a treat!

Monday, April 23, 2007

April PCAGOE Challenge: Spring

I created these teardrop earrings recently in response to the PCAGOE challenge for April. The theme is Spring.

You'll have already noticed they match the pendant below :) I made the earrings in round and oval too, but I haven't listed the other shapes in my shop yet. I'll edit this post when I know the voting is going on so you can participate if you like. There's a prize pack offered to one lucky random voter but I have to find out if you need to be an Etsy member to win...

Update: Sounds like anyone can vote but I am cautioned to avoid having my friends and family skew the results in my favor. But that was already understood by you all, right? If I ever win one of these challenges, I want it to be in a fair way! However, if you don't know me personally, and you just stumbled upon my blog and you like my stuff? Well, then, Can't stop you from voting, can I?

Voting is from noon on April 26th through midnight April 28th, eastern time.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Color Mix

So I think spring might actually be here. I am leery, though, of fully accepting it. That last nor'easter lasted a week, drove rain in around our windows and left the canal a funny color brown. But we are not in the flood zone, so all is well. We haven't been down to look at the river, I'm sure it's very high.

Today it is sunny! And promises to be warm :) Nice. (Update: We went to the river and it is indeed high, it looks like it might have gotten almost as high as the "100 year" flood we had a year ago! The debris from the water could be see way up past the walkway, sand covered parts of the path and had ripples from waves sculpted into it. The river is normally a good ten feet below the path! But it is 70 and bright blue skies.)

I thought it might be interesting to show my polymer clay color mixing results. I am prone to take it for granted, color mixing is one of my strengths. I try not to use polymer clay straight out of the package with a few exceptions; the obvious black, white and gold, but also brown, they make lovely browns! But many polymer clay colors are too bright or too translucent for my needs. So here is a series of pictures that show how I mixed a particular green. I will try to show these from time to time because I think it might surprise some what goes into a color. (ie the red I used to get my nice spring green.)

The first pic shows how I took the very bright green and toned it down (by adding red) and warmed it up (by adding yellow) and made it more opaque (by adding white)...
...with this result. It's hard to see in these photos, but the mixed green is less neon looking and more opaque than the original. But it's still not quite what I want.
The third image shows what I added when I wanted to take it a step further...
...and the fourth pic is the final result, which you can see I used in the bottom pendant below!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cute, bright: a new product in my shop

I've started making pendants. Pendants seem popular on Etsy and I like the way they look. I use polymer clay and I mix almost all my own colors. I roll the clay out thin and layer it. I press into the stack of layers with objects to make patterns, then I cut the circles with a cookie cutter and bake them. After they are cured, I hand sand them to reveal the patterns like topographical maps and make them smooth. Finally, I drill a hole and attach a sterling jump ring.

For the necklace, I string size 6 glass beads on strong plastic coated steel cable and attach a clasp. I slip a tiny piece of coil (called bullion or French wire) onto the ends of each cable to make a neater, more decorative finish.

I hope these prove popular! I think they will look nice en masse on my table at craft shows.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

South End Open Market

Invitations are done! It was a big project, but very gratifying. We all worked together and thank whoever for the internet, made things so much easier. Made things possible! Mom was a HUGE help; addressed all the envelopes and held my hand when I got overwhelmed, yay Mom!

Now I can look ahead to what is next. Exciting development: I was accepted to receive two free spots at South End Open Market in Boston this summer and fall! Originally, when I heard about the market, I knew I would want to do it, but they require a commitment of 5 Sundays in the 6 month season and I knew I wasn't ready for that quite yet. I was planning on attending this season, observing and being jealous of the vendors. Then I read a post in the Etsy forums (to which I am unashamedly addicted) that SEOM offers free spaces to first time Etsy vendors, so I signed up. Whee!! The dates are July 22nd and September 30th.

Now I need to think about what I will be selling and how to display it. Luckily, on the September date, I will be sharing a table with Liz who owns Lush Beads the great little bead store in downtown Lowell. She will be a great table mate, won't scare away my fish. Let me explain that: it is my experience that customers at a craft show approach your table like timid fish and any little thing can startle them away. Especially a clueless adjacent vendor who feels compelled to make a friendly comment on somthing banal like the shirt the customer is wearing, which, like oppposite magnets, propels them away from your table instantly. Grr.

I know there will be much jewelry at the show, so I will showcase my eggs, felt and mom's cards. So now I am off to reconfigure the layout of 70 or so of mom's watercolor designs to my new printer. I had them all set up on the old one, but now the margins are all off, and the colors are odd so I need to redo each one. But it's a labor of love! And the new printer makes such pretty prints, it's really satisfying. I will have a whole spinner rack of her cards at the show!

Monday, April 2, 2007

I Am Featured!

Recently, an extremely nice woman contacted me out of the blue to be featured in her monthly email newsletter. Here is the link! Scroll down to the bottom to see my little write up in the "Featured Friends in Arts and Craft Business or Web sites This Month" section.

PaulJulia Designs creates original handmade bags. You can view her Etsy shop here: PaulJulia Designs. Julia runs the small company with her husband out of Malden, Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, my new obsession with old buttons continues...