Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last Call for Christmas 2011

You've just got a few more days before it's too late to order for Christmas 2011. I have an excellent selection of gift items available and on orders placed before December 15th, you can still get the 20% discount by typing HOLIDAY20 in the coupon code space.

Just think how nice these Angel earrings would go with your Christmas outfit!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bits and Pieces Sale

Recently I've been trying to organize my studio and gathering those bits and pieces left over from previous projects. I've listed several sets of beads that are random numbers. Usually when I make beads for a project, I don't know exactly how many I'm going to need so I wind up with extra. Thus I have "bits and pieces" and now they can be yours. Note: These are bits and pieces so if the listing says 5 beads, there are only 5 beads available. I will indicate how many beads are in each set and if I have more than one set of beads in a design.

To make this a great deal, I'm offering a 20% discount on every item in my Etsy store from now through midnight on December 5th. When you get ready to check out, enter HOLIDAY20 in the coupon code. Be sure to check back frequently as I'll be adding new items as I get them photographed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time to vote on your favorite in this month's PCAGOE cane challenge

As many of you who follow my blog regularly know, I am a member of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, also known as PCAGOE. Every month PCAGOE has a challenge which encourages members to stretch out of their comfort zone and create something based on a central theme. This month's theme was canes. The entry could be either the cane itself or an object made with the cane. I've done my part...


Now for your part of the challenge... Each month we invite friends, family, customers, anybody who might be interested to vote for their favorite three designs. We've got some pretty impressive entries this month so I encourage each of you to follow the link shown below to the PCAGOE blog site and cast your vote. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen to receive a hand-crafted polymer clay prize from one of our talented designers. So go now and check it out!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big changes headed my way!

Yes indeed, folks, change is in the air.  Some of it is planned, some is happenstance.  But regardless, change is always going to be a factor in our lives.  Some change is good, other changes bring challenges which force us out of our neat little lives.  I'm facing some rather important changes over the next few months.  Some days, I'm excited – some days I wonder if I'm making the right decisions.  Only time will tell….

Thanks to a chance encounter with an old school friend that I had not seen in forever, I found out that I might be eligible for widow's benefits based on my late husband's social security.  I figure there had to be some good come from the death of my friend, my partner, my encourager, so I investigated and – sure enough – I was eligible! That made it possible for me to retire a lot earlier than I had originally planned!  So my target retirement date from the law firm where I've worked almost 10 years is set for March 1, 2012. 
As the time gets closer, I'm working on plans for what to do with the rest of my life.  I have worked somewhere for most of my adult life so this will be a definite change for me.  My sisters have come up with a plan and I think it is a good one.  It's just going to take a little work.

Over the years, I've had people ask me if I taught – first painting, then polymer clay which is my current passion.  Since I really did not have a place suitable for teaching, I always said no or invited them to visit a meeting of our polymer clay guild.  So earlier this year one of my sisters suggested that I clean out one of the storage buildings on my property and open a teaching studio.  In addition to giving me a place to teach, this will also give me a place to display my body of work.  So the planning begins.  And the clearing out of the accumulated "stuff" that has found it's way into the building I plan to use.  

So by this time next year, Harrison Hollow Designs will have a home separate from my home studio.   I'm stepping out in faith like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams – If you build it, they will come!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Live Laugh Love

Thanks to Drunkenmimes for including my Live Laugh Love mini-mosaic in this great Artfire Collection.  These can be personalized with any words or images to fit the person that you would like to gift this to -- or to your own personal taste.

This would make excellent Christmas presents and will definitely not be something that he/she will get duplicates of.  Nor will he/she be able to pick this up in their local big box store.

Click on this link to see this mini-mosaic and others.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Think PINK! It's time to vote for your favorite

Yes, I know that October is actually National Breast Cancer Awareness Month but when we found out that one of our members had been diagnosed with breast cancer, the artists of PCAGOE decided to make our challenge this month PINK in her honor. 

Now it's time for you to vote for your favorite challenge entry and have your name included in a drawing for a select prize from one of our fabulous polymer clay artists!  Here's the link:  Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy Monthly Challenge 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bye, bye Summer

Not that you could tell it by the temperature outside here in Mississippi but summer is officially drawing to an end.  In just a little over a week, we'll be celebrating Labor Day here in the States.  Kids are heading back to school and thoughts are turning to fall and the various holidays we celebrate.  Halloween can be a fun holiday if you keep the scarey, ghoulie stuff out of it.  I love pumpkins and jack-lanterns so you'll see them in a lot of my Halloween decorating.  The little jack-o-lantern is wrapped around a tea light so it is fairly small.  That's a #2 pencil that the Pumpkin Tea-Lite Candle is sitting on.  The face is just on one side for Halloween and you can turn it with the face to the wall for more of a fall look.  At $6.00 each (plus S&H), this is a great fall gift idea.  And the tea-lite can easily be replaced when it burns out by popping the metlted one out of the plastic cup and dropping another one in.  These are available in both my Etsy shop and my Artfire shop.  Both show only 1 available but I do have a good supply on hand.  Just send me a message if you want multiples.  Discounts are available for orders of 10 or more. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Keep It Cool! Only 3 More Days to qualify

...for the PCAGOE Keep It Cool Summer Giveaway and save the shipping fee on your purchases.  But only through August 14.

The talented artists of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) are going to Keep it Cool with a Gift Basket
Giveaway from August 8-14.
Win this great basket stuffed with all kinds of one-of-a-kind handmade gifts from the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy. No purchase necessary.

Enter in one of two ways: Each item purchased between August 8th and 14th from a participating Etsy shop (see list) gives you one (1) entry. Or you may enter by sending a convo to any of the participating Etsy shops.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

KEEP IT COOL! Gift Basket Giveaway

The Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy Summer Promotion Gift Basket!


The talented artists of the PCAGOE are going to Keep it Cool with a Gift Basket
Giveaway from August 8-14.
Win this great basket stuffed with all kinds of one-of-a-kind handmade gifts from the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy. No purchase necessary.

Enter in one of two ways: Each item purchased between August 8th and 14th from a participating Etsy shop (see list) gives you one (1) entry. Or you may enter by sending a convo to any of the participating Etsy shops.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vote for your favorite Under The Sea creation

August in Mississippi is hot, hot, hot!!!  So what better way to cool off than
to go Under The Sea which is the theme for the August PCAGOE challenge.
The members of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy were challenged to
take their imagination and creativity to the depths of the sea and now you, the
voting public, have the opportunity to pick a winner!  And you could be a
winner too!!!  Go to http://www.pcagoechallenge.blogspot.com/ and vote
for your favorites.  The names of all the voters will be entered into a drawing
for a handmade prize package!  Voting is open August 1 through August 7.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just a few more days of Christmas in July

July in Mississippi is hot!  Makes me wish I was sitting on the beach somewhere with a cool breeze blowing off the water.  This pencil cup may not blow a cool breeze across my face but it does conjure up the memories.  And you can add it to your work or play space and save 10% if you purchase before the end of July.  Come check out the many cool polymer clay items available for sale by members of the Polymer Smooshers on Artfire.  But hurry, the sale ends when July ends!  Polymer Clay Smooshers Christmas in July Sale

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christmas in July Sale - Polymer Clay Smooshers

I'm proud to announce that I've been accepted as a member of the Polymer Clay Smooshers on Artfire.  They are hosting a Christmas in July sale which offers 10% off any item(s) in the shops of the participating members.  For participating artisans, click on this link: Polymer Clay Smooshers Christmas in July Sale

This sale started on July 1st and will go through midnight, July 31st. This is a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rough spring but things are looking up!

I'm getting back to focusing on working in the studio and getting some projects finished that I've been working on for a while.  I've almost finished the long-promised tutorial on Faux Stained Glass using polymer clay.  I have a tremendous respect for those teachers out there who do this on a regular basis.  It's a lot easier to just play with the clay and not have to document the step-by-step procedure.  But by the time I get this tutorial finished, it will take you from a block of clay to the finished picture with clear and concise directions. 

I know I haven't been my usual bright, bubbly poster this spring and I do apologize for my absence.  I've been dealing with two issues.  The one that is affecting my art the most is a problem with my eyes.  I'm seeing normal size with the left eye and a larger view of the same thing with the right eye.  The difference is significant enough to cause what I was calling double vision but what is actually a shadowed overlay.  Weird stuff!!!  After many doctors visits and tests, we still don't know what caused it but we have come up with a treatment plan so hopefully that will soon be manageable.  Next doctor's appointment is July 7 so y'all keep your fingers crossed and prayers lifting that this will work.  For an artist not to be able to see a clear single crisp image is pure torture!!!

The other issue was much simpler.  I tore the cartilage under my left knee on New Years Eve morning.  I had surgery two weeks ago to repair that so I'm out of pain for the first time in 6 months and wondering why I put it off for so long!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My "Believe" Mini Mosaic is included in an Etsy Treasury!!

Thanks HiGirls for including my "Believe" Mini mosaic featuring the pink breast cancer ribbon in the beautiful Etsy Treasury called Form and Function.  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4de6db2776208eef243680a4/form-and-function

All of the pieces in this beautiful treasury are made by fellow member of the PCAGOE - Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paint with Passion Mini-Mosaic

The newest addition to my customized Mini-Mosaics features a hand-sculpted artist's pallet with paint brush made using the same technique as I did for the breast cancer ribbon and the autism puzzle piece.  This was another custom order from a client.  These measure 3 1/2 inches square and cost $12.00.

This is a great way to create a one-of-a-kind gift for that person with a special interest.  I'm thinking about making one for a friend who like to fish... wonder how hard it would be to sculpt fish?  I do love a challenge!

Why don't you let me make a custom Mini-Mosaic for you or someone you want a special gift for?  Just email me at arlene.harrison (at) gmail.com 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Autism Mini-Mosiac - Solve the Puzzle

Another custom order from a coworker was for a mini-mosiac featuring the autism puzzle piece and the words "Solve the Puzzle"  This is my interpretation.  I used the same process to make a mold for the puzzle piece that I did to make the breast cancer ribon.  The coworker was very pleased and now I have another custom mold to use to make more.  Both pieces were interesting challenges and helped me grow as a polymer clay artist in addition to making my customer happy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Breast Cancer-Believe Mini-Mosaic

As some of you may know, I’m having some difficulty with my eyes these days so anything that requires a lot of close-up detail work has been put on a back burner. That is why I am having so much fun with these mini-mosaics! These are seriously addictive! The fun thing about them is that you make a pile of different sized tiles, then your put the pieces together to create a mini work of art. These measure 3 ½ inches square and are perfect for a little “happy” as we say in my family.

The mini-mosaic that I’m showing you today is the result of a request from one of my co-workers for one with a breast cancer ribbon on it. After a bit of thought on how to go about this, I decided to sculpt the ribbon then make a mold. I used my new favorite mold making product – Sculpey’s Bake and Bend polymer clay! Just too cool. Works just like my regular polymer clay and is soft enough – and firm enough – to hold its’ shape. It also took the details of the background stamp that I used with it very well.

This mini-mosaic includes the word Believe. The one I am making for my co-worker includes the word Peace. What a great idea for a birthday gift, Mother’s Day gift or just a “happy” for a friend or family member who is going through or, even better, has overcome breast cancer! To make it even more personal, you could include her initial as I have on some of the other mini-mosaics that I’ve made. Every mini-mosaic is unique and one-of-a-kind. Just send me a message and we’ll discuss it.

Here's a quick slideshow of some of other mini-mosaics I have available.  Special orders are welcomed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PCAGOE Mother's Day Promotion




This is definitely one competition you will want to be a part of! No purchase is necessary.

How can I win?

You can enter by either…

(1) purchasing something from one of the stores listed below from April 18th to the 29th. Your name will go in the drawing to win one of our fantastic prizes. Purchase 1 item, get 1 chance -- purchase 10 items, get 10 chances :




Harrison Hollow Designs








The Pleasant Peasant


(2) send an email to Laurelsteven.etsy.com with your name and email address and the words PCAGOE MOTHER’S DAY PROMOTION.

At the end of the promotion a random drawing will select the winner! 

What do I win?

You will win a beautiful Mother's Day Basket stuffed to the brim with polymer clay goodies handmade by our members.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make mine dragonflies…

Recently our local polymer clay guild had a demonstration about how to make small clay tiles to use in mosaic designs. I have been having so much fun with this technique. Today’s example was made for my sister who loves dragonflies. In addition to the dragonfly focal tile, I’ve included an initial tile in the lower right corner. I love making things for people that are special and specific to them. Just think how these could be personalized for Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduation, etc.  Look for these soon in my Etsy and Artfire shops.  If you want to order one for some special person in your life, contact me and we'll figure out something just perfect! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring has arrived in Mississippi!

Everything is blooming - which is a good thing for those of us who love the beautiful flowers and the spring green leaves - but a bad thing for thos eof us with allergies!!!  I fall into both categories so spring is one of my favorite times of the year even though I suffer through parts of it! 

In addition to the blooms, I'm beginning to see butterflies and as anyone who knows me knows -- butterflies are my "thing"!  The pendant you see here features a butterfly done in a faux batik technique then finished with a protective layer of resin.  Red, green and white beads in necklace pick up and repeat the colors in the pendant. 

The faux batik technique is one of the first tutorials that I bought and comes from Tina Holden. Click to see some of the beautiful things that Tina has made using this technique.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mosaics can be addictive!

I've always warned new comers to polymer clay that it can be addictive!  And my newest obsession is no exception.  This past weekend our local polymer clay guild (Central Mississippi Polymer Clay Guild) met and the focus of the meeting was making and using mosaic tiles. One of our members, Jennifer, had researched various techniques and shared with us three different “looks” using just black and white clay, rubber stamps, mica powders and acrylic paint.

Once we had a nice pile of tiles to choose from, we arranged the “focus” tiles in a pleasing manner and glued them down. Then we filled in with strips and tiles until our piece was finished. These mosaic pieces can be put into a frame or set up on a small easel for display or a hanger could be added for a different look.

I can definitely tell you that this is an addictive art form. My next project is going to be a wall hanging that will include my house number. I have a place on my front porch already picked out to hang it! Now if I can remember where I put all my butterfly stamps!!!

Some of the techniques we used were from the book "Mixed Media Mosaics: Projects Using Polymer Clay Tiles, Beads & Other Embellishments" by Laurie Mika which is available from Amazon.com. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It’s not polymer clay… but

Other than revamping the studio, here’s what I’ve been working on lately. Back before I became addicted to polymer clay, I spent 30+ years honing my skills as a decorative painter. One of the categories in my portfolio was “Indoor/Outdoor Art”. This art is painted on a wooden “canvas” built by me in my workshop then sealed to withstand the rigors of being displayed outside. This art is designed to add a burst of color to an outside wall or fence and a special coating is added to keep the colors from fading.

A thick “medium” was piped on using cake decorating supplies then different sized paint brushes were used to create the raised detailing. Then the real fun began! The technique I used for this painting involved using multiple sheer layers of paint and glaze which gave it a rich “deep” look. The red flowers alone had a minimum of 5 colors and/or color mixes applied and I wish you could see it in person! Even I was impressed and I painted it!

I don’t do a lot of painting these days. This one was a custom order and I had a lot of fun doing it but I’m ready to get back to my polymer clay!

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's finally a studio again!!!

Since mid-January I've been working on a revamp of my studio.  Some of you who follow on Facebook have already seen the finished pictures but I thought I would share the progress.  I did good at taking pictures of the first three steps but got busy and forgot to take "in progress" shots after that but I think you'll get the idea:

The first step was to sand and paint the old waterbed base that was left over from about 15 years ago.  It's just been taking up space in the storage building and I needed something to "lift" the drawer units up so I wouldn't have to stand on my head to get items out of the bottom drawers.  Plus by using the waterbed base, I gained 4 good sized drawers.

I replaced the outdated drawer handles with some nice new antique copper ones.  I got the wrong kind of hinges for the doors so they will have to wait until I make another Home Depot run.

Then I ripped a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to fit the top and trimmed it out with 1 1/2 inch x 1/4 inch wood strips.  Picture 3 shows that in place.  I then covered the plywood with peel and stick vinyl tile.

The finished piece shows 3 Freds drawer units which are screwed together.  The next section is from an old tv cart that I've been using for scrap clay storage.  The shelves are just wide enough for plastic baskets to slide in.  I took the tv cart apart and used just the shelf portion.  You can see how this was previously used in this blog post:  http://harrisonhollowdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/06/studio-remodel.html  The last section are the two cassette cabinets that I repurposed a while back to store my clay in. 

I ripped another piece of plywood, trimmed it out with the wood strips, painted it chocolate brown and covered it with the peel and stick vinyl.  This final piece gives it a nice finished look.

I'll share more on this studio rehab soon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hearts and Flowers Sale for Valentine’s Day

Don’t you just love the romanticism of Valentine’s Day?  February 14 has become the date for exchanging love messages and a celebration of St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. The date is marked by sending poems and simple gifts, such as flowers, to loved ones and secret loves. Use coupon code HOLIDAY15 to get 15% off any item in my Etsy store through the end of Valentine week, Saturday, February 19. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

So much for best laid plans....

In the last post I showed you some pieces that I had made using a new technique with alcohol inks and gold leaf.  I promised to update you as soon as I got some beading done with them.  Well, I casually mentioned to my daughter that I was thinking about taking a plastic storage cabinet out of my studio and replacing it with some wooden drawer units so that I could actually FIND stuff! I told her she could have the storage unit if they would come unload it and haul it away ... and help me get the new storage units set up in the studio.

So last Saturday me, my daughter and her boyfriend spend about half the day tearing my studio apart!  My small project grew -- as they tend to do at my house!  One of those "in order to be able do that, you first have to do this" type situations!!! Talk about a major mess!!! 

Now I have stacks of stuff everywhere -- in boxes and bags, in drawers waiting for their cabinets -- sitting on every available surface all over my studio!!!  I've gotten some of the work done toward getting it all back together -- in New and Improved format -- but since I'm still working fulltime, it's taking longer than I anticipated!  So no beading has been done and no pictures to show you.  Wish me luck over the weekend in getting things back in working order!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shiny Things -- in progress

I long ago determined that patience was not one of my strong points.  The hardest part of using the resin is WAITING for it to cure.  The minimum time, according to the tutorial I was using, is 48 hours but 72 is better.  I figured in humid Mississippi that I better go for the longer curing time.  So I patiently put my resin covered pieces in a plastic storage container with a lid -- to keep out the dust -- and played with other things.  I didn't even open the container until last night!  How's that for resisting temptation?

But I've got to say, the wait was worth it!  The pictures I have here don't begin to show the beautiful shine these pieces have. 

The square piece was made using a prefabricated bezel.  The mokume gane polymer clay stack -- made with a custom-mixed teal and blue plus silver and white -- makes a beautiful pattern that perfectly matches one of my blouses. 

Once I was happy with the design of the clay sheet, I measured and cut a piece to fit into the square of the bezel.  After brushing the inside of the bezel lightly with Genesis, I carefully placed the clay and smoothed it all the way to the edges. 

After the clay was cured and cooled, I added a fairly thick layer of resin and smoothed it out to the edges as well as I could.  I do see where I'm going to need to add another thin layer and smooth the edges better.  I see a few places where I did not get quite to the metal bezel. 

These pieces are ready to be added to earwires for earrings. You can see some of the shine here but you can't really see how well it domes and how nice and clear it is. No yellowing that I can see. I love these little jewelry findings. They are perfect for adding a small pop of color.

Overall I was pleased with my first try at applying resin to my polymer clay projects.  It is amazing the difference it gives a piece

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OK I’ll admit it! I like shiny things!

There… I’ve admitted it, now how to achieve it? Over the past several years since I started working with polymer clay, I’ve tried several different things that were reputed to make it shiny. Some worked. Some didn’t. Some were way more trouble than it was worth! But none gave me the clear glass-like finish that I was craving. So what does a girl do…

Well, this girl finally purchased a package of Envirotex Lite. This is a two-part resin that some polymer clay artists use to achieve that glass-like finish that I’ve been trying to get. Will it work for me? Check back and I’ll share my experience and what I made.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great start for the new year!

I usually have a lull between Christmas and Valentines Day where I can rest, relax, regroup and clean my studio -- which it desperately needs after the Christmas rush to get orders done and out the door! So.... there I was last Tuesday night resting and relaxing when an email came in from a sweet lady in New Hampshire who wanted to know if I could make 55 Mississippi ornaments and get them in the mail to arrive no later than today, January 21. 

Well, any of you who work with polymer clay know that some work can be done pretty quickly while other things tend to require a fair amount of time and labor.  I did accept the challenge and did about half of the ornaments with a smooth surfact that had to be sanded and buffed.  The othe half I did using a fair amount of texture which cuts down considerably on the sanding and buffing!  It was a good thing we had a holiday on Monday or I would have been burning some midnight oil for sure!