Sunday, February 28, 2010

Three more landscape canes - week 9 of canes

Hi Everyone,

Today I taught Mike Buessler's landscape cane technique to Guild. It was a pretty successful class - about 20 women participated to varying degrees.

Here are the three canes that I did during the class. The one on the left was the first demo on how to do a cloud within a skinner blend stack. I was happy with it and will play with it a bit more to see how it reduces. The big hit for that was how to make the dark blue that I do (Kato blue + black + purple).

I had done the upper and lower portion of the one in the middle as preparation for class and didn't put the two pieces together until class. The intent was to show that Mike's technique could also be used as the bottom for variegated land features and how to cut it into the uppper portion. I don't quite follow Mike's technique for cutting in landscape features, mine is all done with cookie cutters. I didn't have high hopes for this one but ended up being very happy with it. I am a little concerned that if I reduce it the blue sky is too much like the green of the top portion of the hills and that I'll lose the hills, but we'll see. To do it again I would put the darker green as the top.

The cane on the right was a variation of the landscape cane that I showed in an earlier post. Essentially you start out with a skinner stack and then start flip-flopping dark to light. I was inspired with this cane by Vio's technique that you can see here, but just a different variation that makes for a good cane.

I have some photos to post of some of the class results and I'll get to that later.

I really am adamant that Kato clay is the way to go when you're doing complex canes or where shape is important. Surfingcat visited my blog recently and I typically will visit someone's blog when they visit mine. I was happy to find her description of the different clays for caning here. I'm sure others that are more talented than I am can work with the softer clays but they're definitely not for me, though I do envy how much easier they are to condition.

For those in Canada a great source of Kato Clay is Shades of Clay with quick delivery and reasonable prices.

I'm starting to get off topic so I'll close down now.



My new earring holder

Hi Everyone,

I love earrings. They're what I buy as souvenirs from places that I go to. I never, ever, change my necklaces or rings, but my earrings change every day.

I have been looking for a nice earring holder forever. My previous earring holder was a wire mesh pencil holder. It worked well, but it didn't really look nice on my dresser. I've been looking everywhere for something that I would like. There are some nice stands out there somewhere, because I see them at the One of a Kind shows holding the artist's products, but I haven't found anything.

Anyhow, I was at my friend Talar's place before Christmas and she had simple cork board that she had put a ribbon in rows on and had placed her earrings on that. I very much liked the concept, but again, it didn't work well in my bedroom.

But from that idea came my inspiration. I've had this picture frame for probably a half dozen years now, and I've always had grandiose ideas of printing off a few photos and putting them in the frame. I've never done it for a number of reasons, including the limited wall space in our house. So I decided it would make a nice frame for earrings. The 4" x 6" openings were perfect for the pasta machine size and the glass (which is no longer part of the frame) made an ideal template.

Scrap clay dusted with Pearlex powders, assorted textures, some 1 mm elastic cord, and voila!, an earring holder.

For those that are interested in trying something like this, all I did was tie a slip knot on the end of the elastic cord, anchored it to one of the doodads on the back of the cardboard piece that goes in to anchor the picture (or in this case the clay piece), and then started wrapping the elastic around the clay and the cardboard piece. I anchored the other end on one of the other doodads. You can see it in the photo.

It's now hanging on a narrow spot between our bedroom door and our closet.

I like it.



Friday, February 26, 2010

My new favourite earrings - week 8 of canes

Hi Everyone,

Last guild meeting I was pleasantly surprised when Wendy gave me a pair of earrings. They're my new favourite because they go with everything. It helps that Wendy's such a wonderful person that I feel infused with gentle happiness every time I wear them.

They're made with a brain cane. For those of you that have never caned before, this has got to be one of the easiest canes to do since you can't go wrong with reduction and even if you assemble it a bit incorrectly it still comes out interesting.

There are a few tutorials and many images out there of brain canes. The first link below appears to be the one most referenced and is credited to Kathi Gose. I've added a couple of others but if you google "brain cane" you'll get a selection of images.

Polymer Clay Central's tutorial
How to convert a brain cane to a kaleidoscope cane
a cane using rose colours

And if you're just in the mood to browse canes, here's one the greatest sites for photos of canes. It really makes me want to drop everything I'm doing and just go cane.

Parole de Pate's listing of cane articles

Friday, February 19, 2010

A landscape cane - week 7 of canes

Hi Everyone,

Today I decided to make a landscape cane similar to the one that I had made a few years ago. The cane on the upper left was my very first landscape cane and I created it before I had seen Mike Buessler's video on landscape canes. I definitely did it the hard way, each bit of skinner blend that you see in the cane was created separately and each layer in the cane was created separately. That cane took me hours and hours to create but it's still one of my favourites and I guard the last bit that I have.

Once you watch Mike's video you know that there's an easier way. So I thought I'd try to duplicate the previous cane. This one took about an hour all told but I stopped several times to let the ideas come together. It's OK and I like the colours, but it doesn't look very nice when you get it to the quarter inch scale as the abstract is what stands out. You can see that in the lower piece on the right where I've put several of them together.

I've decided for landscape canes that I might like the coarser skinner blends better. I'll have to experiment on that a bit.

I'm tempted to kaliedescope the smaller cane. We'll see. I do like the larger pieces enough that I'll keep them for now.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bottles 2-12

Hi Everyone,

Here are 10 more Bottles of Hope. Four of these were made before Christmas but hadn't gone to the hospitals so I'm counting them.

As promised, they are named after the following bloggers.

2 - Faerie Moon Creations, an artist who makes beautiful jewelry
3 - Barb's Garden whose oil paintings look like watercolours and radiate light
4 - Jingle who is a scrapbooker and so much more
5 - Donna whose blog gives me itchy ankles just by looking at the title and doesn't do justice to her digital scrapbooking talent
6 - Sharon a quilter whose colour choices I very much like
7 - Sarah Eiley whose brand new 2010 blog is dedicated to many things motherhood
8 - Golden Angel Works whose patience with cross-stitch is a thing to be envied
9 - marie-neige who isn't a blogger and doesn't have a website so isn't eligible for my giveaway, but she visited my site and I will at least grant her a BOH.
10 - Kelly, who appreciates and creates altered art by mixing old black and white photos with other media
11 - Tina Holden, a fellow Clayamie clayer out in BC who does beautiful work of all sorts and offers wonderful tutorials
12 - Astrid MacLean, another altered art artist who sometimes incorporates clay into her offerings and whose colour choices remind one of times gone by.

So that's it for now. I have other bottles on the go and will be posting those in the future.



Monday, February 8, 2010

Eye canes - Week 6 of canes

Hi Everyone,

The photos in this blog entry are not mine. Please read on.

Through OWOH I've been visiting sites of other artists and have been paying attention to those that have left comments. Sue C of Chasing Rainbows, Too has left a few comments on some of my blog entries so I started perusing her blog. She's introduced me to a number of things including Selkirk Rex Cats. She's also got some great links to other clayers, one of whom I'm excited to be writing about in a future post.

Sue C does canes and I was intrigued by her mention of eye canes and she posts several photos of the initial process here and here. She promises that the picture above will transform itself into an eye cane. At first I had no idea how she was going to do that, and I still don't. But she does show what an eye cane looks like in one of her first blog entries. And here they are.

I'm looking forward to future entries on how she transforms the pixels above to the eye canes later on. I think it sounds like an entry for Polymer Cafe.

Please take a wander through Sue C's blog.



Monday, February 1, 2010

Bottle 1 - Happy Anniversary

Hi Everyone,

I'm happy to say that I've started my donations towards the Bottles of Hope Program as promised in my One World One Heart posting and yesterday presented 13 bottles at our Southern Ontario Polymer Clay Guild. I'll post photos of the other 12 later this week.

Today is my wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 16 years today. We got married on a beach in Costa Rica. My husband is my soulmate, my heart, and my greatest love. This year also marks the point where I met him half of my lifetime ago. We met on a canoe trip hosted by the Ottawa Hostelling Association. Full moons, loons, magic. I am very lucky marriage wise though I know many aren't.

Anyhow, through the OWOH program I found Whimsical Creations by Melanie. I'm not sure what number she is on the Magic Carpet Ride, but she does beautiful work with clay and you can see her giveaway here. It's very clean and, well, whimsical. I loved her cake ornaments, an example of which is found here, and thought that it might make a nice Bottle. Even though I'm sure that my technique was quite different than Melanie's, I won't go into too many details. Scrap clay was my base, and then no different than a fondant application, I put a layer of the coloured clay on the scrap clay. I cut out the centre of the cake to be able to put the bottle in with Kemper cutters that were almost the perfect size. The polka dots (I wonder where that term came from) are there to cover some of the defects.

As also promised, I am dedicating the first 100 Bottles on behalf of the first 100 entrants in my OWOH giveaway. My very first entrant is Quiltmoose - Dagmar. She does beautiful quilting work, resides in Germany and is also a geocacher. Coincidentally she also has a post about a zipper bag that I hadn't seen before yesterday when Patti brought hers in to show us at Guild. I wonder how many times that'll show up in the next while.

Anyhow, that's about it for today. I was going to take the day to work at home since my husband has been away for the last five days but he's informed me that I have to be there, so I suspect I'm getting a nice bouquet. We'll go out to dinner tonight and have a quiet evening.

It's going to be a good day.