Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Blog

Visit my new blog at http://strebedesigns.blogspot.com/

This is the last entry here.  Thanks for continuing to follow me in my new home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Feelin' Groovy Covered Bottle - Simply Unpredictable

This is my entry for the Polymer Clay Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) March challenge with the theme "something covered".

Feelin' Groovy covered bottle
6" tall by 2 1/2" square

I have been collecting cool glass jars and bottles for awhile now and when this challenge came up I decided it was a good time to start to upcycle some of them and give them a new life.  I had so many I liked, mmm which to choose?

Stash of glass to cover

I really like the rosy and blue bottles (saki bottles) but I don't think I want to use much clay on those because they are so beautiful by themselves.  For this challenge the object had to be at least 50% polymer clay so they were not going to work.  I finally decided on a balsamic vinegar bottle from Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar bottle

I chose it because the flat sides work perfectly for what I had in mind.  I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do (no drawing first this time!).  But I did know I wanted something unpredictable, nothing neat and lined up and symmetrical. I decided to combine two techniques I recently learned from the Polymer Clay Adventure series.  The techniques involved "Cane Mutiny" with Teresa Pandora Salgado and "Polymer Painting" with Suzanne Ivester. I love the organic work of Salgado's cane work.  Freedom to stretch, twist, is so much fun.  From Ivester I learned how to slice your "canvas" and place what you want where you want it.  Then flatten to a smooth painterly look.  So I started by making some cool organic canes.

In progress

Once the canes were made I sliced them in varying thicknesses.  Some very thick ones I flattened with the pasta machine and ended up with a very large "pedal" to make big "flowers" as a base.  I put these words in quotes, because these are strictly my "pedals" and "flowers" all made up! When I wanted to add a smaller shape over the larger one, I would simply carve the shape of the smaller shape out of the larger one and fill the gap with the new shape - as in polymer painting.  I kept doing this repeatedly on all sides, sometimes layering four and fives times to get the organic look I was after.

I made two tops for the bottle, the one shown above is mounted on a cork, the top pictured below is all polymer clay.

Second top made from all polymer clay

More side views:

Showing both tops

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing my story.  I would love to hear your comments.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Challenge for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy team - "Nature"

Time to vote in the March Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy challenge.

The theme is "nature". It is always fun to see what everyone makes, the talent and diversity are amazing! Three lucky winners will be drawn randomly to receive gift certificates from sponsoring shops. All the artists shown here are sponsoring shops so there is very cool stuff to be had! Thanks to all for supporting us!

Click here to visit the challenge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flight of the Bumble Bee Tin

The theme for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy for March is Nature.  I just finished taking a virtual class from Teresa Pandora Selgado on Cane Mutiny - on how to join, twist, turn and pucker your canes. I like the way Teresa uses translucent and white clay to emphasize the pedals.  I don't know much about flowers, so this one is purely fabricated. I love the freedom making up your own flowers allows - another great idea from Teresa!  I decided after I put all the flowers that a bumble bee with translucent wings was in order!

The tin is 4" in diameter, and 4" high including the sculpture.

thank you for stopping by! 

PCAGOE February Challenge winners

Many thanks to the public voters for placing my mask in second place.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

February PCAGOE challenge - "Masks"

Voting is up and ready for the Polymer Clay Guide of Etsy group challenge


Vote for your top three and you may win a prize of a discount to supporting shops.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ms. Violet on her Mask

The Polymer Clay Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) challenge theme for February is "Masks".  This is my entry, meet Ms. Violet on her Mask.

Ms. Violet sits atop the world on her mask. 
This mask is wearable or could be used as a fun piece of wall art.

I love masks and have a small collection from my travels. My favorites are the colorful whimsical ones and I decided that this is what I wanted to do ... something a little off the wall and whimsical for this challenge.

I have several cardboard masks blanks and I decided to use one of them. After ideas floated aimlessly around in my head, I captured a combination of them on paper, just enough to give me direction.  I decided on the colors  and with my new pasta machine with motor easily conditioned all the clay.

wasabi, a mixed forest green, navy blue, mixed violet, bronze and gold 

The build:

More views:

Thank you for stopping by! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Polymer Clay Challenge

Happy New Year everyone! With the start of a new year I, like millions of others, make all the usual resolutions: eat less, exercise more, clean the garage, call family more often, ... Some are successful others not so much.

So this year I have found a new challenge. The 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge created by Katie Oskin at Kater's Acres. Katie has challenged us to complete one piece of work each week.  She asks us "Are you looking to challenge & stretch yourself, increase your skills, & be productive in 2015? " Well I said, yes, yes and yes, so I signed on. And simply for those reasons.  I am not going to set my focus in any particular direction except to state that I am currently enjoying working with translucent clay (including liquid) and making night lights using faux stained glass techniques.

This is a no pressure, self motivational type thing, so I could be in a little trouble sometimes!

The guidelines for week 1 can be found here.

If you would like to sign up and play along, just click on the image below.

2015 Polymer Clay Challenge

Happy Creating!

Week 1:

These Little Piggies votives - translucent polymer clay over upcycled horseradish jars.  Lit by battery operated candles. (click on photo for an enlarged view)

Week 2:

This is the bracelet I made after watching Syndee Holt's video on the Polymer Clay Adventure. A lot better than my first two!

Week 3:  

Two more cuff bracelets inspired by Syndee Holt's video.  The texture on the wasabi is from a grapefruit plastic mesh bag!.

Week 4: Ms. Violet on her Mask 

read about her here Ms. Violet on her Mask

Week 5: "put a bird on it" cuff

Week 6: Tropical colors cuff

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): January Challenge Illuminated

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): January Challenge Illuminated: For our January challenge we are featuring illuminated designs. Vote for your favorites. Three lucky voters will be chosen in a drawin...