Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Exciting times in Harrison Hollow!

This has been an exciting couple of weeks for me.  First I got a letter from the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi telling me that I was accepted for membership.  This means two very important things to me.  It validates my work, which all my friends and family think is great, hey, they are friends and family.  They love me and I so appreciate their support.  But having that validation from the premier crafts organization, one known for being very particular about who they let in, was a big plus for growing my business.  It also makes me eligible to participate in the Chimneyville Craft Show in December which is one of the biggest handmade art shows in Mississippi.  Scary but YEA!

The second exciting thing for me was the surprise birthday party that my daughters put together for me.  I guess I'm just not suspicion enough because I left my house Saturday night thinking we were going to run by my daughter's restaurant, C. W. Finn's in Flowood, for a quick meal then on to the Country/Western dance.  I even texted my daughter to make sure that they had room - because sometimes Saturday nights are packed with reservations - and she said sure, come on. (HA!)  Imagine my surprise when I walked into the restaurant to see a packed house!  And started recognizing faces! All of my family except the Florida crew, brother, sisters and their families, kids and grandkids!  Fun! The picture below is me with my immediate family.

and here is a picture with my brother and two sisters.  Love all these guys and gals!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Jana Roberts Benzon workshop was a tremendous success!

And for me, this was a surprise.  Not that I don't think that Jana is a great teacher and artist, because I do.  I love the intricacy and detail of her work.  Between the problem with my eyes and the fact that most of the work that I do these days are mosaics, I just didn't know how much of what Jana would be teaching us would be applicable to what I do with polymer clay.

But I've got to say, the entire weekend was a blast!  Never a dull moment! I learned a lot that I can use to make my mosaic designs better plus just a lot of general knowledge that Jana shared with us as she taught.  I know some people want to go home from a workshop with a finished project but I get more from the teacher sharing little bits and pieces of knowledge picked up over the years of working with polymer. 

It's always great to see old friends and make new ones.  I'll be going to Houston next month for a workshop with Laurie Mika and was delighted to meet two of the members of that guild.  Plus a couple of ladies came from the Dallas guild, so Texas was well represented.  Others came from Florida and Alabama and, of course, Mississippi.  It was a great group of polymer clay artists and a very positive weekend for all concerned I believe.

Here are a few of the pieces I finished during the workshop.  The first two pictures are a design that Jana calls seahorses.  I got my first one a bit fat so it wouldn't curve as gracefully as Jana's so I tried a second one... I work fast (grin)!

This design has a self-bale which I thought was really cool!

The other actual project that we made was a collage pendant.  We used canes that we made and some that we brought with us to create an interesting design.  I've still got some work to do on this one but like it so far.

How about you?  What do you look for in a workshop?  Do you want to take home a finished project or would you rather learn techniques?  How much value do you put on all the little tips and tricks the teacher shares along the way?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pins and needles!

No, I'm not taking up sewing... although I did do a lot of sewing in my younger days.  These pins and needles are the ones I'm standing on waiting to see if my application to the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi is accepted.  This is THE guild to be a part of if you are a artisan who falls outside the category of painter. 

Acceptance into this guild will open doors and provide guidance and avenues to pursue my art and grow my business.  It will provide a network of other artisans striving to make sure than quality handcrafted items will continue to be available.  So yes, I'm on pins and needles! The applications will be reviewed this Saturday, March 8th so I should know - yea or nea - soon.

This is one of the pictures that I submitted, along with three actual items.  I love the saying on this because I've got some friends who have seen me through some tough times better than any therapist could.  I hope I've been able to do the same for them.

This is another of the pictures included with my application.  Anybody who knows me knows that I love butterflies so this saying is particularly special to me.  Hopefully it will be to the judges too!