Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tapestry Snowflake Spinner Christmas Ornament

This is my selection for the 2012 Art Bead Scene Christmas Ornament Blog Hop and it has been quite a journey from concept to completion.  Once I decided to participate in the Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop, I had to come up with a unique design for my art bead and since I was making snowflake shaped ornaments, what better design for my art bead than snowflakes.  These were created by making a reverse image mold of one of my favorite snowflake stamps so that the snowflakes would actually be raised above the surface of the bead itself.

The next challenge was figuring out how to make the spinner portion of the bead work correctly.  If the hole down the center was not perfectly lined up, the art bead would not spin!  It took me several attempts before I got the details worked out on that one but everything fits nicely now and spins!

So folks, according to Lisa Pavelka "If it's a spinner, it's a winner!"  What do you say? Is it a winner?

This ornament along with my personalized Tapestry Spinner Christmas ornaments can be found in my Etsy shop at http://ashpaints.etsy.com.    

Here are links to other artisans who have participated in this Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop.  Be sure to click on each link and check out what each of them has designed for this annual event. 

Art Bead Scene
Treasures Found
Song Beads
Viki O'Dell
Sue Beads
Modern Nature Studio
Diane Hawkey
Suburban Girl Studio
Jen Judd Rocks
Ellie's Bijoux
Island Girl's Insights
Life By The Seat Of My Pants
Too Aquarius 
Shelley Graham Turner
Artfully Ornamental
Charis Designs Jewelry
Harrison Hollow Designs
Silver Nik Nats
Bead Soup Mix
Toodles and Binks
Bead Recipes
Play Sculpt Live
BeeTree by M.E.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My entry for the Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop

The time is almost here‼!  Back in late October I heard about something called an Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop. In checking further, I learned that this is the third year that Art Bead Scene has hosted this Ornament Blog Hop.  I was intrigued so I investigated further and learned that to participate I would design an ornament using an art bead.  My first thought was I love making Christmas ornaments.  My second thought was what exactly is an art bead – so I went to the Art Bead Scene website and learned that: 

An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist.
I clicked on some of the links and saw that art beads range from very simple to very complex and can be made of just about anything!  But my best discovery is that I make art beads‼!  Who knew????  Since I do make beads of all sorts, sizes and forms from polymer clay based on whatever project I am working on at the time, I decided that an ornament made using an “art bead” would be a great challenge so I signed up!

Now the time is drawing near for my Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop entry to be revealed.  It’s been an interesting and productive challenge and involved working through several prototypes before I was happy with the end result.  The creation of my art bead involved working with alcohol inks, gold leaf, metallic paint, custom mixes of polymer clay, deeply etched rubber stamps and a handmade mold. 

The inspiration for my ornament goes back to a polymer clay cruise I took in August with a group of  polymer and metal clay artisans. Each artisan was invited to make charms to exchange with everybody else.  One of those charms was based on a Lisa Pavelka design that involved using two elements that were independent of each other so that they could “spin”. 

 My ornament is unique in that it hangs flat but it also spins!  To quote Lisa Pavelka, “If it’s a spinner, it’s a winner!”  Check back on December 4th to see if you agree. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Personalized Tapestry Spinner Christmas Ornament

Yes, it's been a long time coming.  I was inspired to make this ornament back in August while on a polymer clay cruise to Alaska.  Part of the cruise fun was that each participant could choose to make charms to exchange with the other participants.  This is always fun because with such a diverse group, you get samples of so many different styles of polymer clay and metal clay.  One of the charms that I received, from one of my local guild members, Annette Harris, was a "spinner" charm based on a design by Lisa Pavelka.  It had an outer circle and an inner circle which turned on an axis. 

For the past several years I've designed a new personalized ornament based on new techniques that I'd learned during the year.  When I saw the spinner charm, it set my mind to working on how that could be developed into a personalized ornament.  I could see this ornament in my minds eye, but the process of getting it out and into clay was not a smooth process.  The first few tries went into the trash can.  Then the convection oven that I used in my studio to cure clay crashed and burned - literally!  Scared the stew out of me and smoked up my house with nasty fumes! 

But finally, after many trial runs and trashed prototypes, I'm happy to introduce the Personalized Tapestry Spinner Christmas Ornament.  This ornament starts with a creamy white clay backed by a solid colored clay cut in a snowflake design, then "tapestry clay" (made using a technique learned from Tina Holden) is used to add color and sparkle.  Gold leaf is added for more richness and a tiny crystal is added to the spoke of each snowflake. 

The personalized disk rides on the center wire and spins freely to add movement to this unique ornament.  Each ornament is handmade at the time the order is placed and has the initial of your choice on the front and the year on the back banded by matching tapestry clay.  If you don't want the year on the back, I can replace that with a snowflake.  Each ornament also has my name and the date stamped on the back.  You can select the color for your back and I'll coordinate the tapestry clay with that color for a one-of-a-kind ornament. 

You can order yours by going to https://www.etsy.com/listing/114353163/personalized-tapestry-spinner-polymer or send me an email to arlene.harrison (at) gmail.com.  Deadline for Christmas delivery is December 10th so please get your order in early. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make it personal - Mini- Mosaics

After a couple of months of packing up, renovating and unpacking, Harrison Hollow Designs is finally back in full operation.  I’m working hard and heavy on custom orders for some of my mini-mosaics.  These 3 ½ inch square mosaics are small works of art and each and every one of them is different.

Each mini-mosaic starts with the personalization tiles.  Some like the short messages – like my personal favorite “Dance To Your Own Music”, while others tell me what they want the piece to say.  One recent customer requested the phrase “Make Things Happen” and added her initial.  So you can see where these can be designed specific to you or whoever you want to gift one to.

Another fun design element is a focal tile featuring the breast cancer ribbon, a puzzle piece for autism, a painter’s pallet, etc.  Then an appropriate phrase is added and the design finished with coordinating tiles and beads. 

Wouldn’t a custom mini-mosaic designed specifically for someone special to you make an excellent birthday or Christmas gift?  If you would like to work with me on a custom design, leave a comment with contact information or go to my Etsy shop at http://ashpaints.etsy.com and send a convo.  Let’s create something beautiful!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who said I'd have plenty of time when I retired????

Who was that silly person who actually believed that she might have lots of free time once she retired?  Surely not me!!!  My last post was back in early May!  And here it is almost August.  But in my defense, a couple of factors have tied up a major part of my time.

First my mother fell and broke her leg in mid-February so when I retired the end of March, she was just finishing up on home health care and at the point to where she would need to go to the doctors and physical therapy.  That took up a lot more time than you would think but we've just been released from one of the doctors and everything appears to be on the mend.

Then my brother told me he was close to finishing up a big job and would be ready to start on my renovation within a couple of weeks.  I had been slowly going through stuff and packing stuff in my studio but now that had to go on fast forward.  We've been working on some much needed changes to the studio and bedroom.  It's taken a bit longer than I anticipated but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's small and dim right now, but I can finally see it!!!  I have high hopes that by the end of next week I'll be back in my studio!  I seriously need to do something creative with clay!  By the way the Make Mine Blue Soap Dispenser is the last thing I made before my studio got completely disassembled.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Your Turn to Vote and Win!

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 "Specific Artist Inspired". I chose to use Wyatt Waters as my inspiration both because of his use of beautiful vibrant watercolors and the fact that he grew up in central Mississippi.  Here is the link to the challenge:


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.Three  lucky winners will be randomly chosen to receive a hand-crafted polymer clay prize from one of our talented designers. And with most of the participating shops, YOU get to pick your own prize!  So go now and check it out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carol Simmons Workshop in Dallas, Texas

Thanks to the North Central Texas Polymer Clay Guild for hosting Carol Simmons last weekend.  Four members of my local polymer clay guild drove to Dallas to attend and it was well worth the drive.  Carol taught us how to start with 3 primary colors - for instance blue, fuchsia and yellow - to create a wide range of rich vibrant colors.  The addition of white in specific areas added to the range of colors available to work with.  And all of these colors - because they started from the three primary colors - are harmonious.  We used those blends to create simple canes, then combined them to create more complex canes.  These 9 simple canes were combined to create the triangle cane.  What was really funny was that everybody kept talking about how ugly their cane was!  THEN the magic happened when Carol showed us how to square up the canes, then how to turn them and combine them in different ways to create completely different looks.  We had a great time, made some new friends and learned a great technique.  Fabulous weekend workshop!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Retirement! I'm loving it!

I am loving retirement!  I’ve had several people ask me how I’m adjusting to retirement… do I miss work… that sort of thing.  All I can say is that I haven’t stopped smiling yet!  I’m thoroughly enjoying not setting the alarm clock and not wearing a watch. 

I’ve been too busy since I retired to even think about being bored.  I’ve been working on getting my studio ready for a major renovation.  Amazing just how much “stuff” is in here that has to be packed!  And this past weekend I drove to Dallas to attend a workshop with Carol Simmons.  Excellent workshop.  More on that later. The picture shown here is the end result of the workshop.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

It's a brave new year. A year filled with opportunities and challenges. As of April 1st I will no longer be employed as a legal secretary. I will be among the retired. I will be ready to start the next chapter of my life.

In the meantime, I'm working on revamping my Etsy store. I'm working on some new things for spring but want to reorganize my store. You can save 30% on anything in my shop by entering RETIRE30 in the coupon code. And by purchasing before January 31, you can get an additional coupon code for a discounted purchase in the revamped store! Valentine's Day is coming up soon. I have several items which would make excellent gifts for yourself or someone special for Valentine's Day.