Monday, December 2, 2013

Gingerbread Gift Market – December 6 and 7, 2013

Gingerbread Gift Market – December 6 and 7 

This will be my first time to participate in the Mississippi Gingerbread Gift Market which is held every year at the Ag Museum in Jackson, Mississippi. If you are in the area, stop by for a great selection of handmade gift items.MS Gingerbread Market 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where did 2013 go?

It has been such a busy year and it has just flown by.  Here we are in November already!  Christmas is just around the corner and then we’ll be looking at a spanking brand new year!  I’m already working on expanding my market base due to the recent changes in Etsy’s position on handmade.  ALL of my work is handmade and I’m looking at new venues that respect the artisans who continue to provide a quality handmade product.  I’ll still be on Etsy as I see how that market plays out but I’m adding shops on and in addition to my Artfire shop.  It’s going to be an exciting new year!

So what’s new this Christmas? I’ve been working on some Christmas mosaics that feature laser cut wooden ornaments used in a unique way.  I’m calling it my Faux Wrought Iron collection because the swirls and curls just remind me of wrought iron railings so prevalent in the south!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I am a featured artist in the Mississippi Craft Show magazine!

I will be participating for the first time since the mid 80′s in a craft show on August 24 and 25.  What makes this craft show special is that it features only Mississippi artists and everything is handmade. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I got an email from a new customer a few days ago.  She had found a picture somewhere on the web of a soap dispenser I had made for a PCAGOE challenge which I had named the "Make Mine Blue" soap dispenser.  I had not listed the soap dispenser in my Etsy shop because someone saw it at my Flickr site and purchased it before I had the chance to get it listed.  The new customer is redecorating her bath and wanted to know if I could make a soap dispenser in a design similar to the challenge entry.  She loved the colors and the design. 

I, of course, responded that I would be delighted to make another soap dispenser.   The first picture is the original dispenser.

I did not have another dispenser in exactly the same shape but sent my customer pictures of three styles so she could select the one she liked best.  The second dispenser is tapered so that it is smaller at the bottom and has a silvertone dispenser.  But I think beyond those minor factors, I was able to recreate the Make Mine Blue soap dispenser that I made for the PCAGOE challenge.  What do ya'll think?  Close enough?  So much of what I do is one of a kind that it is really a challenge to do a repeat.  I think I'll call this one Serendipity!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Introducing the Finger Painted Mosaic tutorial

I have a tremendous admiration and respect for the people who write tutorials on a regular basis.  It sounds easy enough.  Right?  As many tiles as I've made and mosaics I've put together you would think it would be a fairly simple process.  Right!  Wrong!!!

What I have found out is that it takes a lot of patience to make it happen.  It's been an interesting process of writing and taking pictures and pulling it all together.  I have to remember that people who purchase my tutorial may be anywhere between beginner and expert and that I need to have content that will meet the needs of clayers of all experience levels.

I'm also trying out a new feature that Etsy has for tutorials... an instant download feature.  Supposedly once I load the original PDF file, Etsy will take over and send the file out when a sale is made.  I sincerely hope that this works smoothly but if any of you have trouble with it, please let me know. It is now available in my Etsy store.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Mosaic Challenge

Every month the online guild that I belong to - Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) - issues a challenge to its members.  This month's challenge is mosaics so I've been working on a new design for this challenge.  As most of you know, I've been working on what I call mini-mosaics for a while.  These are small mosaics build on a 3  1/2  inch square wooden block and backed by a self-easel.  But for this challenge I wanted to go bigger!

I recently bought some cross forms from Hobby Lobby and liked the fact that there was a frame around it.  You can see that project in my previous post.  So my challenge was to figure out how to create a base with a frame around it.  I found thin trim pieces at Lowe's that I could strip down to the size I needed and used wood glue and my pneumatic nailer to attach the pieces.  A bit of sanding and it's ready for the mosaic tiles!

I found this really cool stamp at JoAnn's that says "Life is art.  Paint your dreams... Sing your songs... Enjoy the dance."  This just spoke to me so I decided to use is for the challenge piece.  This piece is much larger than the ones that I've worked on in the past - measuring 9 inches tall by 6 inches wide.  The warm brown frame around the piece finishes it nicely and ties in with the color used for antiquing the tiles. 

I found that I really enjoy working on the larger pieces so I'm sure you'll be seeing more of these listed in my Etsy shop. I'm also working on the tutorial for my method so keep watching for that.  I'm getting close....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fun with Mosaics

I've been working on a series of mosaics this spring and have come up with some interesting designs.  This particular design is one of my favorite.  I found this cross shape in the vacation bible school section at my local Hobby Lobby and thought it might be a good base for the mosaics.  What do y'all think?

I'm  thinking about writing a tutorial for my method of creating the tiles and assembling them.  I call this finger painting mosaics and would love to share the way I create them. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today was a good day!

Today was a good day. My mother is out of the hospital, home and slowly regaining her strength.  I'm finally recovering from the crud that I've been dealing with for the last three weeks and I've had a busy week in the studio working on finishing up some orders while playing with some ideas for spring.  I'm working on some pretty neat bracelets that I'll be posting soon so keep checking back.

I'm also trying to decide whether to submit an application to participate in a juried craft show that is held in mid-August.  Last year was its first year and a friend went with me to check it out.  We were pleased with what we saw.  In addition to being all Mississippi artisians, the organizers are being very selective about who they let in.  The items to be sold in each booth must be handmade.  If they maintain this requirement as well as they did last year, this might be a show worth getting into.  Plus the door fees are used to support a local animal rescue organization!

It has been a lot of years since I last did a craft show.  It's a lot of work and sometimes you do well and other times you don't.  So do I want to get back into it now that I'm retired?  What should I look for in deciding whether to participate in a show?  Any suggestions? Comments? Ideas?  I'd love to hear from some of you who do shows.

Oh by the way, the picture here is of the mini-mosaic that I made for the PCAGOE March Challenge.  The theme was "celestial" and could feature the sun, moon and/or stars.  I call this one Aim For The Moon and it is now available in my Etsy shop and can be purchased as it or personalized just for you.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Well, so much for good intentions!

One of my great plans for 2013 was to post something informational or at least interesting to my blog at least twice a week.  And yet here it is, January 31st, and this is my first post.  What happened???

Long story short - my Mother who is 83 years old and diabetic - had flu which turned into pneumonia and wound up in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She was admitted on New Years Day and was in the hospital for three weeks before being transferred to a rehab facility to continue building strength so she can go home.

I am, fortunately, from a large family so we've been able to share the caretaking duties - both for Daddy at home and for Mama in the hospital, then the rehab facility.  But it still takes a bite out of every day plus driving time so studio time has been limited to filling orders and preparing to teach at our local polymer clay guild.  The pendant shown above is an example of one way to use alcohol inks with polymer clay which was our focus for this guild meeting. 

I told a friend recently that I really needed some serious studio time because that's my way to reduce stress.  Do any of you find that creating art in whatever media helps you reduce stress?