Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A simple landscape cane...

Hi Everyone,

We had a clay day with a lovely group of women the other day.  We each brought our own items to complete.  It's been a while since I've done any serious caning and I thought I would try something out.

I started with a skinner blend plug going from white to blue to dark green to dark blue.  The plug was about 1.5 inches wide, 3/4 inch tall, and 1.5 inches deep.  Then I sort of started cutting random shapes using cookie cutters into the plug and reassembling them.  I wasn't really happy with the reassembly and was very disappointed - it's the second cane I've tried in the last while that hasn't seemed to work out.

I thought for sure that I had just generated a lot of scrap clay.

But then that magic happened - for the caners, you know what I'm talking about.  It's when you slice off the raggedy end and the real image reveals itself.  I chortled with glee and a couple of the women at the table went "ooooh, aaaahhh" as well.

I'm actually very happy with this.  Total time including conditioning clay, mixing colours, creating skinner blend plug, and marginally reducing it, about 1.5 hours.

Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but might have to try it again.  Maybe this time with Caribbean colours since winter is here and I'm longing for warm beaches and turquoise seas.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Earrings for Karen...

Hi Everyone,

A couple of years ago when I was in Santiago, Chile, I bought the pair of earrings you see in the top photo.  I almost didn't buy them since I had already bought several other pairs and these were more expensive.  But they called my name and the call got stronger the further I walked away from them.  So they became mine, and I love them.   They're some sort of fired clay, about the size of a quarter.

Anyhow,  I've been wanting to see if I could make something similar in polymer clay.  I had also found some clear glass beads that I really liked in New Mexico and it seemed that it was the perfect time to play.

Here's my attempt.  I'm happy enough with them that they went to one of my friends, Karen.   She seemed to be pleased, but she's always gracious in receiving gifts.  They're a dark navy clay finished with a bit of Perfect Pearls interference blue and then antiqued with white after indenting with assorted indenting tools.

I really enjoyed making them so I'll have to experiment some more.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Thank You to Tripadvisor and Happy New Year

Hi Everyone,

Happy Belated New Year!  My husband and I somewhat spontaneously decided to spend some time traveling at Christmas and did a road trip through New Mexico.  It was a wonderful journey and the compilation photo above only shows a small portion of the trip.

We were fortunate to have a lot of help from the excellent New Mexico Destination Experts at Tripadvisor including CasaAzul, bleicherblog, KthSch, NM_Photojournalist, Tet14, and others.  Some of these people were also so very helpful a couple of years ago when we were planning our amazing Arizona trip and it felt like I was reconnecting with old friends.  The recommendation to spend Christmas Eve in Santa Fe was spot on as well as many of the other pointers that we received.

I cannot say "Thank You" enough to the Destination Experts.  Their help makes the memories as wonderful and magical as they are and continue to be long after the trips have been completed.  The journey would not have been the same without them.

If you'd like to visit the New Mexico forums, click on the link here.  In those forums if you go back a couple of weeks you'll see some trip reports from sw123, those are my lengthy tomes of our journey.

We had more snow and colder temperatures in New Mexico than where we normally live in Canada, (almost 3000 km away) but it certainly added to the beauty.

There were many sights that we didn't get to see due to time limitations while we were down there and we do hope to return.  The southwest has a particular draw for us and it didn't disappoint this time.

In the mean time, if you're curious, here are the links to some of the places we went.  There were many more, but these were places that were the big draws for us.

Feel free to read the trip logs for more information.  And if you're ever planning a trip, do consult with the Tripadvisor forums.

I've already been claying in the New Year, but haven't been taking pictures yet.  I must do something about that.

And last night I discovered that I might have to journey to Croatia and Slovenia.  All because of a photo that I saw of Plitvice Lakes.  Turns out we've got our very own Croatian experts at work who are already planning my must do itinerary even though it might be a couple of years before we get there.