Thursday, April 30, 2009

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go...

And even though I'm not leaving on a jet plane I'm humming the song.

We're off to Morrisburg in a half hour. It'll be three full days of laughter, creativity, oohing and aaahing and complete and utter exhaustion. I look forward to it every year.

Most of what you see packed is clay supplies. The big box is for the junk table. I'm getting rid of my old craft magazines and other supplies that have been hanging around forever. But I'm sure I'll pick up other things.

This year will be interesting since Mom is coming with. I'm hoping she doesn't need to regale the women with stories about my diaper days.

I'll post photos when I get back.



Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mom's first cane...

Hi All,

Thought I'd take a minute to post a photo of Mom's first cane. She was ashamed of it but there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of as far as I'm concerned and I only wish that my first cane had come out looking like that. I love the colours and the feel, very stained glass looking. Mom's talent is showing through and she'll surpass me very soon.

She's very much enjoying her clay starter kits and has ordered more clay. She's infatuated with bottles and sees opportunities for covering everything with clay.

Mom is coming with me to Morrisburg this year (less than a week to go) and it'll be great fun. She's gaining confidence as she plays with the clay and I'm sure Morrisburg will be good for her (as well as a huge amount of fun) so she's less nervous about being too much of a beginner in the class.

I'm getting a bit nervous about the class I'm teaching - it seems like such a simple concept and I'm concerned that people will find it not very entertaining. But it'll be OK and I'm looking forward to all the adaptations that people come up with. I'll definitely be posting photos afterwards.

Cheers everyone. We're off to do a bit of hiking and spring flower watching.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More shower curtain magic...

Hi Everyone,

Just by coincidence, since my last entry dealt with showers, I have another shower curtain texture sheet. This one is courtesy of Barb, who provided us with samples this last weekend.

Three different colours of powders on scrap clays and here are the results. The blue piece is the actual shower curtain. I can see this on tins very easily and it's going to be part of my repertoire of textures.

Shower curtains seem to need the Pearlex type powders to show their true nature. We experimented with some pearl and mica clays and the effect wasn't as interesting as when the Pearlex was applied.

Anyhow, thought you'd like to see what can be done with a bit of curtain.



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not that kind of blog...

Hi Everyone,

Occasionally I'll go into my sitemeter link (which you can see on the left if you scroll down far enough) to see how my blog is being found by others. Some of the search terms are interesting and one from today made me smile.

The search was a google search for "Sandy and Jana in the shower".

Unfortunately for the searcher, my blog is not that kind of blog, nor will it ever be and this entry is as racy as it's going to get.

Talk about the disappointment on the other end. I'm sure the viewer was thinking something along the lines of "why does this show up????".

My blog on the shower curtain texture sheet here was very popular for spammers for a while there and I think it's bumped to the top of some listings somehow. I also know that I've written about Jana Roberts Benzon a couple of times so that's probably also where it came from.

Anyhow, I'm not always sure how people find out about my blog, but I am sure that the person who put that into their search engine did not find what they were looking for on my site.

But wouldn't it be funny if we've turned that person into a clayer? Stranger things can happen though it would make for an awkward introduction at a guild meeting.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another use for a flexible ruler

Hi All,

A while back, when Cindy Leitz was offering up her services for free (now she charges a well-deserved token fee per month), she showed me a use for a flexible ruler in one of her videos. I was thrilled with the idea and promptly went out and bought myself one at our local office supply store for about $2.00. I haven't used it very often, but today I was inspired to try something else with the ruler. The ruler has raised markings for millimetres and inches.

I've been toying with the idea of decorating a box and I wanted to place the centre piece in the centre. I could have used a pen to try to find the centre but I decided to play with the flexible ruler instead. I dabbed ink on the raised markings, turned the ruler over, moved the ruler back and forth until the 6 inch mark was centre to the box (I could tell because at either end of the box there were an equal number of markings before the next inch marker) and pressed the upside down ruler down onto the wood.

I then did the same the other direction. It turns out I was pretty good eyeballing how the ruler should go crosswise because I've got a neat little cross in exactly the centre of the box (which you can see if you click on the photo. Now when I'm placing my clay pieces on the box I can use the grid marks as indicators of what is centre.

It's probably not perfect, but it works for me for now. I'll keep you posted on whether I've mucked up or not.



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Black and White caning

Hi All,

I've been working outside of my comfort zone lately in clay. I did a piece for my Morrisburg class that came out very impressive (I really have to work on my humility) and it was just crying for accent pieces. It's black and white and the accent pieces also have to be black and white. So yesterday I spent some time doing some canes that were black and white.

My comfort zone issues are that I don't often work with black. I add it to blue to make a beautiful blue, but that's about all I ever do with black.

But here are the canes using Judy Belcher's tessellation technique (the big circle is the starter cane). I'm happy with them and am trying to figure out how to incorporate them into my work.

That's all for now.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

BOH inspired by Renee

Hi All,

A while back I posted that I was giving a Bottle of Hope (BOH) to Renee who had entered my One World One Heart giveaway. Renee is dying of inflammatory breast cancer. It will vanquish her at some point, we know not when.

After I sent Renee the BOH, she sent me the Sara McLachlan "Closer to You" CD as a thank you. That was completely unnecessary, but welcome at the same time. I resolved to listen to it whenever I was making Bottles of Hope so that a little bit of Renee will live on.

Here are the first Bottles that I've made listening to the CD. They're made using Bev's stamps (who I'm sorry to say is now only offering her stamps locally for the time being due to too many things going on in her life), scrap clay, a bit of red clay to cover the scrap clay, and the Daniel Smith metallic powders I'm so fond of.

Last week I had a business trip to Winnipeg and I got to meet Renee in person. She's a bubbly, petite, voluptuously curvaceous woman with a beautiful smile and a voice and mannerisms that are just perfect for telling bed-time stories. To look at her you'd never know that she's spent the last several years undergoing cancer treatments. We spent a very pleasant couple of hours talking about all sorts of things and had a wonderful time. I'm under strict instructions that if I'm ever out in Winnipeg again to look her up. We are now new real (rather than virtual) friends courtesy of this wonder called blogging.

She was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer just before all the videos and e-mails started coming out about what a strange and insidious disease it is. It took her doctors a year to make the diagnosis. If you've got any kind of breast irregularities at all, particularly those that start up suddenly and without explanation, please do read about this disease. YouTube also posts several videos which you can find with a google search.

If you'd like to know a bit more about Renee, feel free to visit her blog at

I think I'm slow on BOHs, these took me probably two hours to make 8 of them so it was two rounds of the CD. I automatically start humming "I Will Remember You" when I look at the Bottles or the photo of the Bottles.

Seems appropriate.