Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Time for a deep breath – finally!

The mad Christmas rush is over! It was fun, exciting, exhilarating, frustrating, and very tiring all rolled into a relatively neat package. But as December comes to an end, for at least a very few days, I can relax and think about what I want to concentrate on in the new year. I have several things that have been on the back burner during the holiday rush and I’ll be sharing those adventures with all of you as they unfold. In the meantime, here are a couple of my latest projects.

The Copper Butterfly necklace is done using a custom mixed coppery colored clay with hand-formed and hammered copper bale. The top and bottom sections get a bit of extra glitz with the addition of copper leaf, then three translucent “ghost” canes are used to build the design. I love the effect that the ghost canes have because other than the outlines, there’s just a soft shadow after the translucent clay is cured.

Every month the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy) has a challenge designed to push our creativity. This month’s challenge was butterflies so I tried my hand at making a “ghost” butterfly cane. Since I am pretty much a butterfly person, this was right up my alley! I actually made half a butterfly, then when you cut two slices, you just flip one over and you have a perfectly symmetrical butterfly! A few beads and a bit of copper wire for the antennae and you’re good to go! The larger beads are also polymer clay, hand formed, then impressed with a texture plate. A copper glaze was brushed on then wiped off, leaving the shiny copper in the indentions.

The Dragonfly Pendant necklace was made for one of my sisters for Christmas. She’s a dragonfly person to about the same degree that I’m a butterfly person so we’re always finding things for each other. The dragonfly’s wings are actually the leaf cane pulled into a longer piece and layered. This pendant is much more dimensional than the butterfly pendant. The beads and wire complete the body of the dragonfly.

I'll close this post with good wishes for a safe and happy New Years Eve and Day.  I'll be bringing the new year in with friends at an all-night clay-in!  FUN!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My hand sculpted Here's My Heart pendants are featured in a treasury

Thanks to Laurel for including my fun hand sculpted Here's My Heart pendants in her Hearts for the Holidays treasury. 

First row: Roses on Music Sheet by NKDesigns; Tangerine Blossoms by Jaelsjewels; my Holiday Plaid Set; Bliss Heart by StudioBijou - whoops, that one is sold.

Second row: Special from Irismishly; Here's My Heart from Ashpaints; ExtraLarge Heart from BreathtakingBeadzz; this one is sold, but click here for a lovely surprise from another member.

Third row: Green Faux Cloisonne from Peggygsjewelry; My Passionate Heart from bijouxhibou; Polymer Clay Heart from rivervalleydesign; Red Floral Heart from RozPetalzstudio.

Fourth row: Silver Heart from teric55; Klimt Cane Heart from Creativeartcenter; Polymer Clay Book Thong from nkdesigns; and Emerald Love Heart from jaelsjewels.

As much as I love polymer clay, I am still amazed at the variety of what can be created with this marvelous artists' medium.    Ya'll be sure to check out everybody's shop.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm featured in TWO Etsy Treasuries!

It is always a thrill to see one of my pieces selected to be a part of an Etsy treasury.  Both of these treasuries were created by two of my fellow PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy) members and I would like to thank them for including me.  Be sure to check out their Etsy stores to see what they have available.  And just a bit of encouragement - any purchases from participating PCAGOE member shops before midnight Eastern time on December 12 will qualify you for a drawing for three great stockings filled with polymer clay items created by our members and a gift certificate which can be used in any participating member's Etsy shop.

The first treasury - called Rough Yet Refined - includes various items that use texture in the design.  Alison E. Kurek  included one of my Victorian Lady focal beads.  Here's the link in case you want to check it out: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=99519

The second treasury - called Stocking Stuffers Under 30 - includes a variety of gift items for, you guessed it - under $30!  This treasury was put together by Tonya of Tonya's Treasures and includes one of my inspirational signs.  Here's the link to that treasury in case you want to check it out.  http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=99518

Both of these treasuries are only open for two days so they will be gone by Saturday. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow in Mississippi - twice in one year!

I was at a party Friday night with some of my high school classmates who I’ve not seen in a LOT of years when one of them announced – “It’s snowing!!!” Now remember, I’m in central Mississippi! Snow is NOT a common occurrence – in fact, I made the statement in a blog post a while back that the only way I was going to get snowflakes was to make my own! We had a snowstorm in late February or early March of this year with about 5 inches where I live so it was really surprising to get one this early.

We drove home in the snow only to discover that power at my house was off – apparently the recent “upgrades” to our infrastructure didn’t include snow gear! Oh well, it was pretty… but I had things to do! I had a couple of cool designs running around in my head and I really wanted to get my hands into my clay. Fortunately the power came back on around midnight so I had time to play before I had to go to bed.

Then I had to get up Saturday morning and drive to Vicksburg. Here’s a picture of what I had to dig off my car before I could leave. Now I understand that this is barely a good dusting to some of you living further north, but we’re not used to this stuff!

Our guild had signed up to participate in a arts and crafts fair in an historic building in downtown Vicksburg. It was a beautiful old building and Holly Days in Vicksburg was a success for the Central Mississippi Polymer Clay Guild, which I am Secretary/Webmaster for. This was one of our fund raising activities and we are well on our way to paying the traveling costs for the artist for our first weekend retreat. By raising funds in this way, we can keep the cost down for members and guests. The nationally known polymer clay artist who is coming in April made pendants for each of our officers last December and we were so impressed that we decided she was definitely on the top of the list of people we wanted to have come teach. And let me tell you, folks, that’s a mighty impressive list! We’re hoping to be able to host two retreats a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Come to Holly Days Arts & Crafts Show in Vicksburg, Mississippi Saturday, December 5th

Tomorrow I will be participating – as a part of the Central Mississippi Polymer Clay Guild (CMSPCG) – in the first craft fair that I’ve done in YEARS! We have several guild members who live in Vicksburg and participated in this event last year. CMSPCG will be using this as a fund raiser for our first ever weekend retreat in April. Funds raised at this even will go into our Bring A Polymer Clay Artist to Mississippi fund. The first of what we hope will be a twice a year event is scheduled for late April. More on that later when get the final details worked out.
Holly Days is held in an historic old building in downtown Vicksburg. The Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation’s purpose is “Preserving the history, culture and architecture of this area and providing all citizens with the opportunity to experience cultural, artistic & educational enrichment.” Many of the members of the CMSPCG donated items to be sold so there is a great variety which will be available. Drop by and see…

Here are a few of the things that I donated just to give you an idea:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vote for your favorite Seasonal entry and be eligible to win one of 5 prizes!

Every month the members of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) have a "challenge" designed to spark our creativity and add a new dimension to our body of work. The theme for this month’s challenge is simply Seasonal. PCAGOE members were challenged to create something that spoke to them of the season – whether that season was winter, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza.

We've got 21 great entries this month and they run the gamut from classic to oh-so-cute. To see all of the entries, go to PCAGOE.com, click on the link to vote for your favorite and to see the prizes that are going to be sent to five randomly drawn lucky voters. Voting begins on December 1 and runs through midnight EST, on December 7. Come join in the fun!

Here is a sample of what's available for Christmas at Harrison Hollow Designs.  Be sure to check out my Etsy store at http://ashpaints.etsy.com/ or my Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/harrisonhollowdesigns/