Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fishing tackle earrings...

Hi All,

I really enjoyed the April 2009 version of Polymer Cafe. You saw my attempt at the diagonal skinner blend flowers here, which was one of the articles.

One of the other things I wanted to try was using the blank spinner blades for jewelrey which was a technique for a necklace shown by Lee Ann Armstrong in the same issue, whose work you can see here.

While Lee Ann has been showing necklaces, for me it's all about earrings. So I was pleasantly pleased when I was at our Dollarama and they had packages of the spinner blades, three pairs for a dollar, in a perfect teardrop shape. At our store they come in silver and gold.

One other thing that I recently purchased was a slab of Dichro Slide transfer paper in the blue/gold shifts to green. I've had to cut it into small pieces since a bunch of us got together at Morrisburg and have ordered the whole set of colours (which should be in very shortly) so I don't have a lot to play with.

This is one of my attempts at a pair of earrings. They looked really nice until I decided to go fancy. I used a regular hole punch to cut out the dichro slide paper. I had discovered at Morrisburg that the dichro slide paper when placed on clay and stamped will take the stamp and keep the shape. I do have another piece to show of that later.

However, the shape (in this case a nice bit of flower) doesn't keep when you place it on a bed of uncured liquid clay. So all I got was a bit of rippleyness that would have been better if I had left it flat. But if you didn't know you might think that it's supposed to be that way. So these are almost good.

I'll wear them.

I took two different angle shots so you can see the dichro effect.

And once the other sheets come in I'm sure there are a lot of opportunities.

I'll post more as I experiment.

That's it for today.

Thanks so much Lee Ann for giving me an idea I never would have thought of without you!



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Three Feeping Inspired Bottles of Hope

Hi Everyone,

I'm a HUGE HUGE fan of Feeping Creatures which you can see at I contacted Dylan (the creator of these marvelous creatures) and asked if it would be OK if I played around and tried to make my own that would be used for Bottles of Hope. He very graciously gave me permission.

Here are my first three attempts.

They're fun to make.

I should make more.

They make me smile.

Thanks, Dylan! I'm sure they'll provide a bit of a smile for others.

Cheers, everyone.


Monday, May 11, 2009

My first attempt at diagonal skinner blend cane...

Hi Everyone,

Polymer Cafe had instructions on how to create a diagonal skinner blend flower cane. I loved the idea and thought I would try to make one. Once I understood the instructions it went OK and I think there's great potential in it.

For those that are unfamiliar with the diagonal skinner, it seems to be a relatively new technique. What it does is create a cane that gradually changes colour as you slice into it. You can see a bit of that in my canes in the first photo. There are some with three teal petals and two pink petals and then some with three pink petals and then two teal petals. That's all the same cane, just different sections of it.

Some of the things I would do different:
1. I would simplify my skinner blend and not use as many colours.
2. I tried narrowing the skinner blend by reducing it in the pasta machine. Next time I would simply turn it into a plug and narrow it that way.
3. I added pearl to my colours and it really seemed to wash them out so my colour changes weren't as extreme as I would have liked.
4. I would not follow the instructions that say to narrow the darker edges of colour since they get lost somehow during the reduction process.

Since there wasn't enough colour change in the canes I decided not to follow the instructions completely for the covered tin and turned the individual flower canes into one larger cane with lots of translucent spacing. This next photo is thin slices of canes put on different colours of clay. I'll cover Bottles of Hope with the canes - seems like a cheery thing to do.

My next attempt is going to be to make butterflies with the technique since I think that could be very nice. I do think it's something I'm going to experiment with for a bit.



My annual labour of love...

Hi All,

I took the day off work to decorate a cake for my husband. It's my annual labour of love for him. I'm not particularly good at it and it takes me hours. By the end of the day I can be on the cranky side and my hands are very sore. The kitchen is usually a disaster.

But I'm typically happy with my results and it's really the only thing my husband wants for his birthday so I try not to complain too much. Every year I buy the Wilton's Cake Decorating issue and try to use it for inspiration. I had flipped to the Wall-E cake, husband saw it and said "I want that". It's not often he gives me guidance on what he actually wants so that was an easy choice (and, of course, he got the movie for his birthday).

So here's my cake for my husband, my love, my soul-mate, my brightness in life.

His birthday was actually last week but since I had a cold he didn't want me anywhere near cake making so it's a few days late. Husband is looking forward to having it after dinner.

And if you want to spend some time with a smile on your face, go over to and spend some time perusing their site. I hope my cakes never make it to their blog.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Mom...

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

As many of you know, my mother came to Morrisburg with me. Wendy taught a very fun class on steam punk and here is my take on it (which doesn't really follow steam punk). The inspiration for the tin is the centre piece on the lid which is a clear green plastic earring that someone must have actually bought and worn at some point but that had made its way to the Junk Table at Morrisburg. We were joking around with it and Mom piped up that she liked it. So it became the focal piece. Most of the other add-ons were scavenged from the Junk Table as well and nothing was actually purchased for the project that Wendy taught.

Mom saw the tin during its creation but I wasn't able to give it to her because I had to make sure the bits and pieces stuck. I had to use a crazy type glue to do that but it seems to be fairly sturdy.

I purposely didn't finish the seams and made things a bit more raggedy looking than I normally like.

What Mom doesn't know is that inside I've put some teeny weeny shells that I picked up at our last trip to Hawksbill Beach Resort in Antigua. Mom had come with us the year previous and spent her days shelling. She didn't come with us this year so I picked up some tiny ones for her. Oh, and that bit of a watch that I picked up in Hawksbill unfortunately turned out to be electronic on the insides. But I did scavenge a small piece and included it on the lid. It's the copper winding that's attached to the green stone that then attaches to the diamond thingy on the lid.

There are some new textures on the tin for me. Shades of Clay has just recently added a Makins texture set that includes Curly Fur, Sweater, Diamond, Curly Beard. The Curly Fur is used on the top, Sweater is on the top edge, and the Diamond is used on the sides. In addition, there were some texture sheets provided by Bev that were new that made the trim around the green gem and the upper trim for the lid.

I'm happy with the tin and Mom appears to be though I hope it's not one of the "I'm so proud she made it and gave it to me only because she's my daughter".

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you so very much and I couldn't have picked a better mother even if I wanted to. You have been so wonderful for me, particularly this last year as I went through the trying times that I did. I am blessed and thankful that you are in my life.


Sandra (family calls me Sandra, to everone else I'm Sandy).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A blog I keep meaning to post...

Hi Everyone,

I've been meaning to add Vio's blog as a link for quite a while and when I think of it I'm not at my computer. So now I'm adding her blog and announcing it here.

You can see her blog at She often writes bilingually in French and English.

Vio is one of the organizers of our annual Morrisburg clay event and is a beautiful, talented, funny, and warm presence at both the event and throughout the year through the clayamies. We have a couple of things in common - we're both geocachers and it turns out our husbands share the same birthday. She lives in Northern Quebec and my mother is from an area much further north in Quebec.

The photo is from one of my favourite pieces in her repertoire and I've stolen it from her blog.

On another note, after almost a year of hiatus, Cynthia Blanton has started to post on her blog again. If you click now on the link you'll actually see a photo of Vio first up.

And that's today's entry.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Bottles from Mom

Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd take a minute and post a photo of Bottles of Hope that Mom did and that we proudly put on display at Morrisburg. Turns out that Mom's pasta machine was defective while making these and she did these all with something that would make most of us give up in frustration. She still calls herself a beginner but many women disputed that.

The roses on the left in the picture are some that she made for me while at Morrisburg. I will take them to my office and display them proudly.

Three of the bottles (the two in back and the one with the fan in front on the right) were made by Louise. Mom and Louise agreed to trade and keep one as a memento of the event. It was nice having Mom get to meet Louise since when Mom was first starting with the bottles we spent over an hour perusing Louise's amazing bottles.

One Morrisburg entry down, so many more to go.



Sunday, May 3, 2009

A very successful Morrisburg...

Hi All,

I had a wonderful time in Morrisburg this year. The photo for this blog entry is the mosaic that we did as part of the gathering. Each one of us were given a small piece of paper with a bit of an image on it. We were told to replicate the image. At the end of a couple of days we each placed our image on a large piece of cardboard and the result is the photo that you see here. Several women were smart enough to guess what the final image was going to be, but I certainly wasn't one of them. Final piece of work is about 2 feet x 2 feet.

I'm happy to say that my mother had a really nice time and she was warmly welcomed by the group of incredibly talented and beautiful women. It was nice to catch up with old friends and having the spectacular honour of meeting some new ones (Diane, Pat, and Alice).

My class seemed to go well- I think I had too much to show and not enough time for people to play with the techniques. But if nothing else people went away with new ideas in their heads and the technique will show up in the odd piece of work now and then. I do know that there were several "ahah!" moments for others as I taught the class and that's good enough for me.

I loved the other classes though I don't really have a lot to show at the moment. I think I've only semi-finished one piece but I look forward to playing with the techniques.

And I've certainly got all kinds of future blog entries lined up including:
- my mother's whimisical Bottles of Hope
- details on what I taught
- results of what I did with others' classes
- my "ahah!" moments from others' classes
- and others...

A big huge thanks to Margi and Vio for organizing Morrisburg. It's safe to say that it's one of the highlights of my year each year.