Saturday, September 12, 2015

Where do fairies live? In a Tree Trunk Fairy House, of course!

One of our recent PCAGOE challenges was Fairy Houses.  Now I’ll be perfectly honest, I haven’t given much thought to where exactly fairies live.  My children – even my grandchildren – are past the fairy tale stage so I had no idea that fairies were so popular.  But my sister suggested that I make a few for a recent craft show.  

I was in one of my favorite general stores and saw some of the classic coke glasses.  My crazy imagination turned that glass over and what did I see?  A tree trunk!

Several of these glasses went home with me and soon were sprouting tree roots.  
So, we now have the beginnings of a tree trunk fairy house.  My next challenge was how does the fairy get into her house?  So I sculpted a door, cured it and then made a mold so I could easily make more.    
Next the trees needed bark.  So I blended some burnt umber and gold polymer clay to create a nice color of brown.  After smoothing the clay mix over the tree trunk/glass, I used a needle tool to add some texture, then brushed it all over with an old toothbrush to smooth it and remove fingerprints.  


After curing the tree trunk, I decided my tree trunk needed some foliage.  I added some large leaves and flowers plus vines with smaller leaves to finish out the design.  A larger flower tops the tree trunk.  Add a stem and you have a fairy house fit for the best of the fairies!     

For more views of this enchanting little fairy house go to my Etsy shop at

Or you can visit one in person at the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi's gallery at the MS Craft Center in Ridgeland, Mississippi. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Life is the Art of Drawing without an Eraser

It’s challenge time again at PCAGOE and the theme this month is ABCs.  Anything to do with letters.  So much of my work does include messages impressed into the clay and incorporated into the design.  So for my challenge piece, I selected one of the 14 inch mosaic stars that I’ve just started making.  The message “Life is the Art of Drawing without an Eraser” is one that speaks to me.  

The star frames/trays come in a set of 3 with the smallest 12 inches across, up to the largest at 18 inches across.  It was an interesting challenge to figure out how to work the mosaics into the points of the star.  After several trials – and errors! – I figured out that the best and easiest way to do the points was to do them outside of the frame.  So I cut card stock to fit into each point, then lay scrap clay out on a ceramic tile and use the card stock pattern to cut the scrap clay to the correct shape.  I then build the mosaic design on the scrap clay.  Before I put it in the oven to cure it, I check again with the card stock pattern and make any adjustments.  

When all five points are cured, I glue them into the points of the star.  I add a layer of scrap to fill in the center and begin filling in with both large and small tiles.  The final cure has to be done in my kitchen oven because of the size.  

This project was frustrating but rewarding.  I am very pleased with the finished product and think it was well worth the effort that it took to work out the kinks.  Now on to the 12 inch and 18 inch stars!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Look what I found at Hobby Lobby!

On a recent trip to Hobby Lobby for other supplies, I saw these cute metal ornaments and, since I have a granddaughter who is very much into horses, decided these might work nicely on a treasure box.  

I used a cream and soft moss green to coordinate with a gold/brown clay mix that makes me think of leather.  I also had a rubber stamp border strip that makes me think of tooled leather so the whole box came together rather nicely.  

Here’s the finished Cowboy Up Treasure Box.  What do you think?

Monday, July 27, 2015

At Home in the Enchanted Forest

It's hot in central Mississippi but I've still been hard at work in the studio getting ready for three fall shows. Here is the latest addition to my designs.

This was fun project and will be my entry in the PCAGOE monthly challenge. Our theme this month was fairy houses. I call this At Home in the Enchanted Forest. This fairy house vase started out as a simple green vase from the local general store. I chose it because the square shape reminded me of a chimney cap.

The "stones" on this fairy house are actually an illusion cane. You can create shadows which give the illusion of stones. The background that you see through the stones are not a part of the cane itself but show through the translucent center. Pretty cool! 

The flower canes are part of my "five finger" series of flower canes that aren't "packed" with translucent and the vines and leaves are simply hearts cut in two and textured with a needle tool.

The leaves at the bottom were just hand cut and shaped and a smaller version of the flowers were added around the bottom.  Swirls and curls go all around the bottom to give it a finished look.

One of the fun things that I used in this fairy house is the window panes.  I used scraps from some ghost canes - basically end pieces of white and translucent - chopped them up and remixed them into a block.  Then I cut very thin slices to make the window panes.