Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Faux Stained Glass Clock

Remember in my last post I mentioned faux stained glass?  Well the gift has now been delivered and I can post a picture here.  Yes, this is all polymer clay on a masonite artists' canvas.  This is something I dreamed about the Monday night before Christmas and I knew that it would be perfect for my youngest sister.  So instead of the jewelry she was supposed to get, I made this beautiful faux stained glass clock.  She was pleased, I was happy, all is well in my world! 

This is the first one that I made -- for my middle sister who loves dragonflies.  I worked out the kinks on this one so that when I started on the Iris and Butterflies Faux Stained Glass clock, it went a lot quicker... although this is a time-consuming process... but well worth the effort!

 Now I'll be making more to add to my Etsy store.  I'll let ya'll know when they are available.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Monday after Christmas!

How's that for a long greeting?  I had a marvelous Christmas this year with my fun beginning the Sunday before Christmas with dinner with my chilren and their children and running all the way through yesterday with a beautiful church service.  It pretty much ended this morning when I had to return to the real world and go to work! 

I love that my gifts from my grandchildren were handmade.  Itis heartwarming to see that sort of thoughtfulness and creativity being handed down through the generations.  Some of the gifts I gave this year were handmade too.  I have two that I have yet to deliver so I'll have to be quiet about them but think faux stained glass....  More on that in my next post.  I may do a quickie tutorial on faux stained glass made in polymer clay.  Anybody interested in learning how to do that?  Leave me a comment and if I get enough comments, I'll put one together. 

In the meantime, remember that the 15% off on everything in my Etsy shop sale is still on through the end of December.  Just type HOLIDAY15 in the coupon section at checkout to get the reduction.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What a year!!!

2010 has flown by! Here I sit on December 22 – just 3 days before Christmas – just 9 days before we ring in 2011 -- and wonder where the year went! A lot has changed in my life this year both on a personal and a professional level and I believe those changes have had a positive impact on my art. I’ve grown both as an artist and a person and I’m really excited to see what 2011 has in store for Harrison Hollow Designs.

One of the things that I’m thinking about is doing more tutorials on my blog. I love sharing what I’ve learned about polymer clay with others and think this is a good way to do it. Some days it may be just a quick tip about how to get specific results, other days a full blown start to finish tutorial. What do you think? Would you like to see some of the “behind the scenes” details on how I make things? What interests you? What do you want to learn in 2011? Maybe I can help!

In closing let me wish each and every one of you the very best of Merry Christmases and a healthy and abundant New Year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Angels we have heard on high

and seen in the Harrison Hollow Designs studio! Here are some of my newest projects for Christmas 2010.

The earrings start out with a ball of base clay. The fuchsia and goldenrod angels started with a copper base clay, the purple and the hot pink started with turquoise base clay. Then a selection of very thin slices of leaf and flower canes were added and rolled onto the base clay to create the millefoiri pattern. The round bead is then rolled into a cone and flattened on the end to create a “bell” looking bead then pierced so they can be strung together.
Once the bell beads are baked and tumbled and buffed to a nice shine, a small gold disk (for the angel’s halo), a pale peach colored Swarovski crystal (for the angel’s head) and goldtone “wing” findings are gathered to form the upper body. Then the angel earrings begin to come together!

First a complimentary seed bead, then the bell bead, then wings, head and halo -- walah!  It's an angel! Using my round-nosed pliers, I make a closed loop at the top and attach to the ear wires. Repeat for the other angel and you have a beautiful set of Angel Earrings! 

For a closer look, go to my Flickr site or my Etsy store.

Friday, December 3, 2010

HOLIDAY15 Coupon Code still available

Just wanted to let everybody know that even though the PCAGOE Holiday Special has ended -- and soon the 3 lucky winners will be announced -- I still have the coupon code activated that gives you 15% off on any purchase from my Etsy store.  I'm going to leave it up at least through December 15 which is the cut-off for personalized items. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get a jump on the Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale!

Yes indeed!  Member of the Polymr Clay Artists Guild of Etsy is once more participating in Etsy's Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale.

Beginning today and running through December 15, 2010, everything in my Etsy shop - Harrison Hollow Designs - is eligible for a 15% discount.  All you have to do is enter the Coupon Code HOLIDAY15 at checkout.  Etsy will recalculate your total for you. 

Check back regularly.  I'll be adding new items all the way up to December 15.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Make it personal!!!

Check out the newest addition to the Harrison Hollow Designs "Make It Personal" Gift Tag Ornaments. The original Gift Tag Ornaments were a big hit last year and this year's additions add a touch of elegance.

These ornaments start with a marbled clay base which introduced the color palette. Then a faux ribbon is added across the middle and various elements are added. Some ornaments have flower and leaf canes, others geometric elements. Some even have beaded accents -- just whatever direction the muse leads me! Or if you want yours to be as close as possible to the pictured ornament, just tell me that.  Because every ornament is handmade, there will always be some small differences but I will do my very best to make it as close as possible to the original if that is what you want. I will be glad to email you a picture of your ornament - before personalization, of course - for your approval. Each Gift Tag Ornament is always a one of a kind piece of art!

Use it this Christmas to decorate your package then next year it can decorate the recipient's Christmas tree! The gift that keeps on giving!

The Gift Tag Ornament measures approximately 4 inches tall by 2 inches wide and the base ornament is ¼ inch thick. The additional layers increase the thickness in the middle of the ornament.

Click here to go to my Etsy shop for more information. If you have any questions, email me using the CONTACT feature in Etsy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking about Christmas yet? It's closer than you think!!!

And have I got some special things in my Etsy and Artfire shops to make your Christmas even more special!  Personalized ornaments, state ornaments that can be made in the shape of any state, millifoiri christmas tree ornaments, poinsetta candle holders, poinsetta ornaments, and snowflakes for your tree.

Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, beads to make your own jewelry, one-of-a-kind pens, picture frames, trinket boxes, even a decorative lanyard for your id badge!

And for the gardener, there are butterfly, dragonfly, ladybug and funky chicken plant stakes, decorative candle holders made from terra cotta pots, and much more!

And, as always, custom orders are welcome!

Monday, November 8, 2010





How can I win?

Shop in one of the participating stores listed below from November 8th until November 30th, 2010 and your name will go in the drawing to win one of our fantastic prizes. OR send us a postcard - details below. Purchase 1 item, get 1 chance - purchase 10 items, get 10 chances.  Send one postcard, get one chance - send 10 postcards, get 10 chances. This is definitely one competition you will want to be in!

What do I win?
You will win a beautiful Christmas package stuffed to the brim with polymer clay goodies handmade by our members.

There are 3 prizes to win and with each prize pack comes a gift certificate.

First Prize - $75 gift certificate plus prize pack.
Second Prize - $50 gift certificate plus prize pack.
Third Prize - $25 gift certificate plus prize pack.

Who wouldn’t want to be in this drawing!!! Find out all the details by visiting any of the participating shops listed below:

NO PURCHASE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY. Send one postcard per entry, and please include your Etsy name AND your email address. Mail postcards to: PCAGOE, 1126 N. Gower St., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Postcards must be postmarked no later than November 30, 2010. Winners will be announced and notified by December 5, 2010.  We cannot be responsible for misspelled or illegible entries.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FINALLY!!!! Just Hanging Around - A Simple Tutorial - Part 3

Sorry to be so long in getting back to this but that's the way things happen sometimes.  Everybody is well and getting back to normal.  So let's get back to our gecko!

Just Hanging Around – A Simple Tutorial - PART 3

OK - Let's recap.  We've cut a piece of pvc pipe, made a inner and outer plug from polymer clay and baked.  Then we added brick patches and layered on torn edged stucco.  Finally we smoothed the stucco with our fingers.  We used stamps or other tools to add brick-like texture to the darker adobe brick areas, then used the corner of our texture sheet around the brick patches. Moving out from there, we added texture to the entire stucco surface including top and bottom.  Then we cured in the over for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Now our stucco covered adobe brick covered pencil cup is ready for us to add the whimsical gecko.

Let's start with some tile work.

There are plenty of tutorials on the internet about how to make a kaleidoscope cane so I'm not going to go into that. Make one using your southwestern colors and reduce it to about ¾ inch square. Cut enough slices at about 1/16 inch thick to go around your pencil cup. I put mine on the diagonal and had to slightly stretch a couple of them to make it all meet. (Figure 16)

To make it easier to get the tiles lined up fairly accurately without having to depend on a ruler, I wrap an elastic pony tail holder that fits snuggly around my pencil cup and measure at a few points around to make sure that it is level.  A rubber band would work for this also.

Before I put the "tile" on the stucco wall, I brush on a light coating of Genesis medium or liquid polymer clay. Don't press too hard or you will distort your "tile". Cure for about 10 minutes – just long enough to firm the clay, not to cure it.

Now for our friendly gecko!

I will readily admit that I am NOT a sculptor so I cheat. I looked on the internet and found a clipart picture of a gecko that I thought would look nice on my stucco wall. If you can't find one that you like, email me using the Contact Me information and I'll send this one to you.

Next you'll need to mix a nice southwestern rusty red/orange color – or whatever color you want for your gecko. I mixed some reds, yellows and some scrappy gold metallic in until I was happy with the color. Once it is well conditioned, pinch off a good sized chunk and make a log(Figure 17).

Now for the cheating part…  I use the clipart to determine the shape of my gecko. It looks in this picture like the gecko is actually a good bit larger than the picture but that is just the angle of the camera and the thickness of the body. I have the clay about 3/8 inch thick at this point. I started with the head -- pinched a neck then pulled the head into a point. Next I began pulling, rolling and shaping the "body" until I got it about the right size – pulling any excess clay on down into the tail. Last I pulled the tail out nice a long and checked the curl on the end! (Figure 18).

TIP: One thing I learned the hard way is that the clay likes to pick up the toner from your clipart and redeposit it in places that you won't be happy with – so I would recommend taking a couple of strips of wide packing tape and covering the printed area.

Once you get your gecko's body the way you want it, set it to the side to rest.

Now let's add some feet.                        Roll a snake almost as big as the picture of the leg you are adding. Lay it over the picture and press down until it is no more than about ¼ inch thick. Try to keep the edges rounded. Then use whatever tool works best for you to cut away small areas until you can see the outline of the leg from the clipart. I have a small dental tool that I use for this but you could use a craft knife. I use whatever tools are handy to shape the ins and outs of the legs (Figure 19).

Get the shape as close as you can but just leave a rounded end. We'll refine and add the toes later. Smooth any rough edges and taper the end that adjoins to the body.

Continue until you have all four legs shaped on the plastic covered clipart (20).

Now let's put the body in place. 

First you'll need to decide where you want to place your gecko. I test him in a few places because I don't want his feet running over into one of the brick patches. (This is where I found out about the carbon from the clipart transferring to my baked clay! I was NOT happy!)

Once you are happy with the placement of your gecko, brush on a thin layer of Genesis or liquid polymer clay on the bottom and gently press him into place – just enough to make sure that he stays put while we add the legs (Figure 21).

And add the legs.

Brush a then layer of Genesis or liquid polymer clay on the bottom of each leg and press it into place following the clipart. I usually have to tweak both the body and the legs at this point (Figure 22).

My favorite texture tools:

I have a rubber stamp collection that I've been working on for years! So whenever I start a project, one of the first things I do is check my rubber stamps to see what I have that will work. Here I'm using two to add texture to our gecko and make him more interesting (Figure 23).

Let's add some texture:

I use the big stamp right across the middle of his back, then use the smaller stamp everywhere else. I use the stamp to round the edges where needed and to flatten. I tweak again after this is done if needed – particularly on the legs (Figure 24).

Time for toes!

Use a small piece of pipe or a straw to cut small equal amounts of clay – four for each leg. Roll into a ball. Lightly brush the area around the end of each leg with Genesis or liquid polymer clay. Add four balls spaced around the end of the leg, then use a ball stylus to impress a hole in each one. This will both add texture and adhere the "toe" to the leg (Figure 25).

Add some eyes:

I use black teardrop beads for the eyes. The little bit of twisted wire through the hole in the bead helps to secure it into the clay. I use my ball stylus to punch a shallow hole for the eye placement and press with my finger until just the end of the bead is showing (Figure 26).

Now take a look over your gecko. Does he need tweaking anywhere? Is the texture on his back good and clear? When everything is the way you want it, put it in the oven a bake for 1 hour at the recommended temperature for your clay.

All we have left to do is antique and highlight. We'll do that last step once he's thoroughly cured and cool.  I've got a weekend workshop with Klew (Karen Lewis) this weekend, so it will be next week before I can post the final steps that give Just Hanging Around that "finished" look.  Ya'll have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Change of Plans!

Remember yesterday I said I would go home and finish the pictures for the tutorial?  Didn't happen!  My daughter and her kids were involved in a nasty rear-ender that totaled her van but didn't do any major damage to them, thank you God!  They were all shaken up pretty badly but only my grandson had to be checked out for a sore shoulder before he could play football tonight.  Long story short -- no pictures got taken last night but I promise I'll get them done and posted just as soon as I can!  I know ya'll are all on pins and needles to see how I make the gecko -- particularly those of you who know just how much I don't love to sculpt!!!  Sorry for the delay but life does get in the way from time to time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Family Reunion was great but it's time to get back to work!

We had the annual gathering of the Speights/Miller side of my family this past weekend and it was a great event in spite of tears shed for three treasured family members we lost this year.  On the flip side of that, we had two young ladies who are expecting and lots of kids running around!  And enough food to feed a small army! 

But now the weekend is over and things are beginning to get back to a semblance of normal.  I should be able to finish taking pictures for the last installment of the Just Hanging Around tutorial tonight and get that posted for you tomorrow or Wednesday. We'll be sculpting the gecko!  In the meantime, I got word that one of my Reel Jewelry lanyards was included in an Artfire treasury called Autumn Revival.  This treasury was created by one on my fellow PCAGOE members, Christi of RiverValleyDesigns.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Hanging Around…A simple tutorial – Part 2 – Adding texture

OK, in our last post we created a two-layered plug to change the pvc pipe into a "cup". Then we mixed the brick color and randomly pressed on some patches and thinned out the edges with our fingers. Finally we mixed the stucco color, tore ragged strips, placed them artistically around the brick patches then filled in the top edge, bottom and open areas between patches with the stucco clay.

Today we're going to add texture to the brick patches, then smooth and texture the stucco. So… let's get started.

Changing clay patches to faux brick:

I'm going to show you three different ways to make bricks.

(1) The first way is definitely the easiest and involves just pressing a geometric stamp into the clay. I have had this little stamp in my collection for years so I can't tell you where to get one exactly like it but just look for something with squares and/or rectangles. Don't worry about stamping onto the stucco clay, we'll be texturing that later.

(2) The second way is to use a brick or geometric texture sheet. There are quite a few of them available for purchase. The one I have is made by Makins and is available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Note that these are basically two-sided. If you press one side down, you get raised bricks. If you flip it over, the bricks are recessed or indented. You want to use the raised side. Again, don't stress over making indentions in the stucco clay. We'll fix that later.

(3) The third way -- if you don't have a stamp or texture sheet that will work to give the look of brick, here's how you can create bricks. Remember, these are just small little places and you are creating an impression of brickwork. You can use a small knitting needle, a needle tool, even an old credit or gift card. You just want something that will make straight line impressions in your clay. What you will do is just press lines in the clay to create individual bricks.

Now wasn't that easy?

Add texture to your stucco:

Earlier this year our local polymer clay guild offered a workshop with Julie Picarello. One of the really neat things that she gave us was a texture sheet. If I remember correctly she said these texture sheets were made from larger sheets of a material designed to make safety treads on stairs. If you haven't been lucky enough to have taken a class with Julie and added this neat texture sheet to your toolbox, a piece of course grit sandpaper – around 80 – will work.

To add texture to your stucco, start with a corner of your texture sheet [sandpaper] and press right up to the edge of the clay you have around each of the brick patches. Try to get texture but without smooshing the clay too much. Stay on the stucco clay. You don't want this kind of texture in your bricks.

Now move outward from there, smoothing seams as you go. Don't forget to texture the bottom and the upper rim of the pencil cup. Don't worry about getting excess clay inside the pencil cup while you are texturing it. I slightly round both the upper and lower edges of my pencil cups.

Use your craft knife to trim the excess clay off the inside of your pencil cup, then use the smallest amount of pressure with your texture sheet to smooth and roll that inside edge. This serves a dual purpose. Not only does it look neater, it also helps to close any tiny gaps and air-pockets you might have along that raw edge.

Check all your edges. Make sure your texturing has blended the seams and all areas of the pencil cup are textured. Cure for 10 to 15 minutes – just enough to firm up the clay.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's time to vote for your favorite "Southwestern" challenge piece!

We've been talking this week about the Just Hanging Around Pen Cup that I made for the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy) Southwestern challenge.  Now it's your turn to participate.  You can vote by going to the PCAGOE blog and vote for your top three favorites. 

Check out the entries:

In addition to helping choose the winners of this month's challenge, 5 lucky voters will be winners too!  Five lucky public voters, chosen at random, will win a beautiful polymer clay prize created by one of our many talented artists.

Voting begins October 1, 2010 and ends at midnight, Eastern U.S. time on October 7, 2010.

And for those of you following along with the Just Hanging Around tutorial, I'll be back with the next installment on Monday. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Hanging Around…A simple tutorial - Part 1

Hopefully you've gathered your supplies, cut your pvc pipe to length and sanded down the edges if they were not already nice and straight. I use a compound miter saw to cut mine so they are usually nice and smooth but you can use a hacksaw or even a cutting wheel on a dremel. I just love power tools!

To get started, condition a block of white clay. My preferred brand of polymer clay is Premo, however I find their new bright white hard to work with so I mix it half and half with Sculpey III to get the consistency that I like. Condition to the point where you can fold your clay in half and it does not crack along the fold. Don't cut the conditioning part of the process short. Not only does this conditioning increase the flexibility, it strengthens the clay.

You'll probably have more than you need for the inner plug but we'll just add it to the mix when we make "stucco".

Condition enough scrap clay to make a sheet at the thickest setting of your pasta machine large enough to cover one end of the pipe.

Plug the pipe:

I started with a 3 and ½ inch length of 3 inch pvc (plumbing) pipe. To close up one end, I make a two-layer plug. First condition enough white clay at the thickest setting for the inner plug and enough scrap clay at the thickest setting for the outer plug. I use white clay for the inner plug since you can see it but the outer plug can be scrap since it is completely covered.

Sit the pipe on the white clay and mark the inside of the pipe with a needle tool.  (Picture 2)

Remove the pipe and cut out a plug just very slightly larger than the marked line for a snug fit. Flip the white inner plug over and lay it on scrap clay run at the thickest setting. Lightly press together to bond the two layers of clay. I like to add a little bit of texture here just for interest. (Picture 3)

Then sit the pipe back over it. You may have to put slight pressure on it if you cut your inner plug too big but you want it to be snug. Use your craft knife to trim around the pipe, then use your thumbs to round the clay at the edge of the pipe. (Picture 4) If you have gaps between the inner plug and the pipe, use a ball stylus to push the clay over to fill the gap. Bake for a minimum of 30 minutes. You don't have to cure it completely but you do want it strong enough that it won't break when you cover the bottom.

Let's lay some brick:
The clay for the brick wall that peeks through the stucco is a custom mix of some random reds mixed with copper. If you can leave some streaks and marbling in while you are conditioning, this is even more realistic. When you have the color you want, run a sheet at a middle thickness [I used #4 on my pasta machine] and cut some small rectangles. I have a small geometric stamp that I used that is about 2 inches by 3/4 inch so that's how big I cut my rectangles. [If you don't have a stamp, you can use a texture mat or a needle tool to impress lines when we get to that step. For right now we're just positioning the brick patches.] (Picture 5)

Brush some Genesis medium on the area where you want the brick patches to be and press it on. You probably don't have to do this since the polymer clay sticks pretty well to the pvc pipe but I just like to make sure everything stays put. You can use liquid polymer clay instead of Genesis. (Picture 6)

The brick patches should be placed randomly around the pipe.

Use your thumbs to spread and smooth the edges. (Picture 7)

Now for the stucco:

The stucco is also a custom mix. I used the rest of the white that I conditioned for the inner plug, then added about half a block each of Premo and Sculpey III white to half a block of ecru and just a pinch of copper. You are wanting a very light sand color.  Add the copper sparingly as you condition. You want to keep your stucco light but adding the copper gives the color warmth and helps to keep the colors of the brick and the stucco harmonious. [We will be using copper again when we make the gecko and I have copper in my kaleidoscope cane so it helps everything to blend if you have a touch of it in your stucco mix.]

Once you have your stucco clay conditioned, run it through the pasta machine on a mid-thick setting [I use #4 on mine]. Tear several strips with rough edges and pat it on above, below and on each end of each brick patch. (Picture 8)

Use a bit of artistic license here to create a look of the stucco crumbling away by varying the angles – you do not want a square!
Once you have your brick patches bordered, tear larger pieces and fill in the rest of the wall area.

Use your fingers to blend the edges relatively smooth, but don't obsess over it. We're going to be adding texture later. Remember to cover the bottom and wrap the stucco clay over the top edge. I don't cover the inside of my pencil cups. We'll clean up the inside edge after we add texture.  (Picture 10)

We'll stop here today and continue the tutorial next post. Check back next post to see how we make the red/copper mix look like bricks and all that white/ecru/copper clay look like stucco.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Hanging Around…Coming Soon - A simple tutorial

 When you think "southwestern" what images come to mind? I see painted deserts, cactus, adobe brick walls and stucco buildings baking in the hot summer sun. And of course, geckos!

As those of you who read my blog regularly know, I am a member of the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy). One of the fun things that the members can participate in is a monthly challenge. I usually try to participate simply because it forces me to think outside of the box and create something based on the theme for that month. Well, as you may have already guessed, this month's theme is Southwestern. Each individual artist develops his/her entry based on whatever says southwestern to them. Some interpret it by color, others by a faux stone such as turquoise, others with scenes depicting southwestern culture.

My interpretation is a pencil cup which I've named "Just Hanging Around". I've created a faux stucco wall that has crumbled here and there, allowing the adobe brick understructure of the wall to show through. To this faux wall I've added faux tiles made from slices of a kaleidoscope cane in southwestern colors. And finally I added a fat gecko hanging out on the wall enjoying the sunshine!

I've had several people ask me how I make the pencil cups so I thought this would be a good one to use for a tutorial.  It will be in three parts to keep each post from running too long.  You should have all the clay supplies you need for this project - white, ecru, copper clay and about a block's worth of scrap clay in orange and red tones -- on hand already. You will also need a kalidescope cane in southwestern colors.

The only unusual things you will need is a piece of 3 inch across pvc plumbing pipe cut to about 3 1/2 inches tall and some burnt umber, red and white acrylic paint to add shadows and highlights.  If the top and bottom of your pvc pipe is not flat and even, sand it on some course sand paper until it is even on the top and the bottom.  And hold onto that course sandpaper.  We'll need it later for texture.

So gather your supplies and check back.  We'll start by laying some adobe bricks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harrison Hollow Designs is growing and expanding!

As many of you know, I'm in the count down for early retirement.  I'm shooting for June, 2012 so that's less than a year and a half left to go.  As a part of that process, I've been looking at ways to expand my online presence.  One of the things I was looking at already was changing my Artfire account from basic to pro which means that I would have a lot more tools and benefits available to me as a shop owner. 

Needless to say, I was delighted today to receive an email from Artfire with a fabulous offer for me to upgrade my basic account to a Pro account for just $5.95 a month FOR LIFE!  Based on the fact that I was already considering doing this at a cost of $15.95 a month, this is a no-brainer!  I've just signed up to be an Artfire Pro! The same offer is available to any Artfire basic account holder or anybody who just wants to join in the fun.  There is no long-term commitment since they clearly state that you can cancel your membership after just one month!  But why would you? 

This charge is all that you pay for an Artfire Pro account and there are tons of perks... TONS!! There are no listing fees and no "off the top" fees when an items sells. No matter how many items you list or how much you sell. If you've used any of the other handmade sites, you know there's a bill that comes at the end of the month and you just never know how much it is going to be until you get it! I pay more than $5.95 a month just for my Etsy listing fees!!!

They are getting ready to exit Beta and want to do so with a Bang! Their normal monthly subscription fee is $15.95 and even this is a good deal but $5.95....well, I just couldn't pass it up! This special deal is contingent upon a minimum of 20,000 participants signing up.....and they are well on their way! This opting in period is open for an undisclosed period of time and they have set the maximum number of available spots to 50,000 so I would check it out ASAP!

Here is a link to the details

Now don't get me wrong, I don't intend to close my Etsy shop, this is just a part of growing and expanding my business and an excellent way to get more exposure and more sales!

Another great thing about Artfire is that if you already have an Etsy shop, they will automatically upload your items to Google Base on ArtFire! You don't have to reload everything! If you are selling your art and spending way too much money you should check this out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm in TWO Etsy Treasuries today!

How exciting is that!  It is always such a joy when people who don't know me personally or even by email find and like one of my pieces enough to include them in an Etsy Treasury!  Here are the links if you would like to check them out:

Golden Sunshine - includes my Golden Egg Trinket Box in the top row!


Scenes from Indonesia - includes my Butterflies in Flight Faux Batik necklace in the bottom row.

Be sure to check out all the items in these treasuries. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

The holiday season -- it will be here before you know it!

I know it's just the first of September but my mind has been on the upcoming holidays lately. Christmas is my favorite but Halloween and Thanksgiving fit right in there too. I've been working on prototypes of two different Christmas ornaments and should have something to show ya'll after the weekend if all goes well. I've never been particularly good at sculpting with clay but I've worked out a technique that makes it a bit easier for those of us who are "sculpture" challenged ;-)!

In the meantime, here are a couple of cute ideas from the Holidays section of my Etsy store. These cute little pumpkins are shaped around a tea-lite size candle which makes it super easy to replace when the tea-lite that comes with it burns down.

This Roly Poly Santa is made around a small glass bulb and is just so cute that you'll want a dozen!

This pencil cup is a great gift idea for the fall. It is formed around a piece of 3" pvc pipe (yes, the same pvc pipe that your water runs through!) for strength and stability. I keep one on my desk at work year round – changing them out according to the season or holiday. The one in the picture is one I made last year for Halloween and one of my co-workers felt it would suit her desk better than mine!!! Imagine that! So, while I don't have one of these in my Etsy store right now, I can make one for you to enjoy in plenty of time for Halloween – and Thanksgiving! Just drop me an email to arlene.harrison at and we'll work out the details. And stay tuned…. I'm thinking snowflakes for Christmas/Winter….

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Been playing with Faux Jade

Since I spent ALL of my Labor Day weekend helping one of my sisters redo the cabinet doors -- ALL OF THEM!!! -- in my mother's kitchen, I did not get to play with clay this weekend.  But I do have something new to share with you.  Recently Lynda Mosley, one of the members of PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy), was doing a series of faux jade beads and I decided to try my hand at it.  I didn't get anywhere near as fancy as Lynda did (her beads are to die for!) but I was pleased with my results.  What do you think?  Did I capture the "jade" look? 

For a closer look, feel free to go to my Flickr site.  You may have to click to the 3rd or 4th page.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another Early Bird Special!

Earlier this week I posted pictures of some bracelets and offered a 20% discount plus FREE shipping for anybody who mentioned my blog in an email message to me at arlene.harrison (at)  This is a special just for blog followers and Facebook friends.  Yes, you can still contact me and yes, the offer is good until 6:00 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, September 6. 

I also promised to be adding more....
This time it's earrings....  I've been going through my bead stash putting together earring sets.  Each earring set will sell for $18.00 plus $3.00 shipping once it is listed in my Etsy shop.  If you send me an email message and state that you saw it on my blog or on Facebook, I'll offer that same 20% discount and FREE shipping. 

For these earring sets I dug into some of my more "interesting" polymer clay beads.  I love playing with canes and you can really get some unusual patterns going when you use them.  One of the great things about polymer clay is that once you make the cane, you can apply thin slices to solid colored beads and really get some unique beads that are fairly repeatable.  So if you see an earring set that you really like the beads on and would love to have a bracelet or a necklace to match, just let me know.  No two polymer clay beads are ever exactly alike, but that's what makes them special! 

The picture to the right shows a set that I've put together for one of my customers.  The beads are acrylic rather than polymer but the end result is the same.  She wanted the earring set plus something simple but elegant to hang on a silver chain that she already had. 

The pictures here are small but if you want to see larger, more detailed pictures, go to my Flickr site at  Feel free to click on through.  Most of the things that I work on find their way to Flickr before I list them in my Etsy store.

You MUST mention that you saw it on my blog and agree to be billed through Paypal to qualify for the discount and free shipping. You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay through Paypal, just a credit card. Paypal is a secure online payment system that I've used for years without any problems. If you see something that appeals to you, send an email to me at arlene.harrison (at) and I'll send you a Paypal invoice. If you would prefer not to be billed through Paypal, let me know and I'll see what we can work out. 


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sta-cation is over but here's a great deal for you!

My staycation is over…[imagine a sad face here :-(  ]. I'm back at my day job, missing my studio and my afternoon naps and my 2 am bedtimes! I just don't know why I but I get into creative mode about 8:00 p.m.!  I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted to over the week but I did get in some quality time in my studio. Monday was spent doing some much needed organizing, then I worked on some more of the "pandora" style beads with the chrome grommets on each end. I also pulled some of the beads that I've been making and hanging and put together some bracelets.

Now here is an opportunity for those of you who follow my blog.
I don't have these posted to my Etsy shop yet. My plan at the moment is to add them this weekend at a cost of $20.00 each plus $3.00 shipping. Purchases made through the blog before they are posted to the Etsy shop qualify for a 20% discount plus free shipping. You MUST mention that you saw it on my blog and agree to be billed through Paypal to qualify for the discount and free shipping. You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay through Paypal, just a credit card. Paypal is a secure online payment system that I've used for years without any problems. If you see something that appeals to you, send an email to me at arlene.harrison (at) and I'll send you a Paypal invoice.  Now is a good time to start thinking about Christmas gifts too, you know!

On a similar note, if you see a bracelet you like but would rather have a different color of beads – say red, or green, yellow, whatever – instead of the blues that are used here, just let me know. If I have some in my stash and can make it up fairly easily, I'll offer the same discount and free shipping. These bracelets are made to fit the average wrist, measuring approximately 7 ½ to 8 inches. If you need one smaller or larger, just let me know.

Be sure to check back during the week. Tomorrow I'll be posting earrings…..  Now for some pictures:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Going to have a STAYcation!!!

I'm hearing this term a lot recently because people were amazed that I was talking a week off work and STAYING AT HOME!!!!!  I've already had to rein in one of my sisters who wanted to plan a trip for me with a lot of visits to friends and family in a very short time frame. Not my idea of a vacation!  No, I don't want to go ANYWHERE! I just want to stay home, rest, relax and play!
Here is a picture of one of my newer pieces that will go in the new shop:
I personally think it is a wonderful idea!  I plan to spend some quality time in my studio -- something that I've not been able to do much of lately.  I plan to go through my closet and toss everything that no longer fits (YEA!) in a box for Goodwill or Salvation Army.  I plan to get my second Etsy shop set up with some of my more upscale pieces and finally, I plan to take some nice long naps! Now how much of this actually gets done will be determined by a lot of factors that I have very little control over and I'll let ya'll know how my stay-cation goes.