Saturday, December 29, 2007

Assorted Little Cratchitts and Inspiration from the Grinch

As Bob Cratchitt may have said if he was a blogger... "I've been making rather merry and such a long silence on my blog only happens once a year"... (if only someone would interject & raise my salary!!)


Here I am again, very, very rested. Set for 2008 and resolving to stick to my earlier decision to end production work and to focus on OOAK only. My friends the Moxies will remain but I have a new twist in mind and I can't wait to get started on it!

Sojourn is coming closer... I have the task of putting together the "paper infrastucture" for the event -the schedule- assigning people to workshops based on pre-registration forms and putting together some little events in between workshop times. I'm actually having a lot of fun with this- reminds me of being a student teacher and making a lesson plan and playing the scenario in your head searching for something that may cause a glitch. Maybe that's why last night I dreamed I was in university residence again... I digress. I'm hoping to have this project finished asap so I can dive across the room to my worktable and begin claying again!

A final observation (not from Tiny Tim Mr Dickens!) for many, many years we have watched "The Grinch" on the realtime feed from the TV network or with a VHS tape and always thought the colour did something outrageous to my set- it blurred past the contrast setting and sometimes even caused an audio buzz. this year I purchased the DVD and we watched the show in high definition. The colours are absolutely dazzingly wonderful! Pinks and oranges- shifts of tones from the foreground main object to the background colour- someone could write a thesis on the theory employed in this production! I recommend that anyone who loves colour cue the DVD for a look- turn the volume off. Make it an academic exercise- it's a joy.

That's all for now folks!

Cheers and goddess bless us everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snowberry Ornament

I used some glass disk ornaments that I found at Michael's to make tree ornaments for shows and the Clayamies' Ornament Swap. Here's one with the Snowberry theme that I've had so much fun doing over the last few months. The ornaments were strung on a selection of assorted fibres and embellished with beads and bells. Snowberries and Fish were by far the most poplar designs.
Add one more goofy craft show question to add to the "What Are They Thinking At Craft Shows?" list- I had the ornaments displayed in my booth and lost count of the number of people that picked them off the display, brought them to me and asked,"What can you use these for?"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weather or Not: 'Tis the Season

This is the time of year that my friends from less balmy parts of Canada who know that I LOVE snow send me photos of the blizzards they are enduring. I always feel less "Canadian" in wintertime. Victoria very occasionally does have a dusting of the white stuff but the area where I live in has a distinct micro-climate so that it may be snowing 2 blocks away but it comes down as rain on my street.
I just returned from a walk to the village and took some photos to illustrate what I mean about my quirky climate. I know I have visitors from many countries to this little blog- perhaps these photos may dispell ideas of all of Canada being covered with snow all year round....this is typical for Victoria in December. (nothing to do with global warming!- )

PS- Speaking of Global Warming-I apologise for my country's bad behaviour at the conference in Bali- I did NOT vote for the current government. most Canadians didn't- it's actually a minority government that embarasses us constantly.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Invitation to Sojourn 2008- Nanaimo, BC- Canada February 22-24 2008

Yesterday I spent most of the day putting together a new blog to let everyone know about Sojourn 2008. It's the first ever Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild's Retreat and it's shaping up to be a really exciting event. Here's the new Blog- take a peek!
We have a fine group of presenters - here's some eye candy to let you see the inspiration we have in store-
Tina Holden

Wanda Shum

Joan Tayler

Cheryl Trottier

Georgia Ferrell

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Liz Hoar's Polymer Clay Creations- A Feast of Colour

Liz Hoar is a member of our Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild. She has a wonderful eye for colour that is reflected in her work with polymer clay as well as the colors she selects in her own wardrobe. Her studio is a treasure trove of gorgeous fibres spilling from bags and containers, reams of glorious fabrics and fascinating machinery and tools. She's an innovative polymer clay artist and anyone who has ever been lucky enough to receive one of her pieces in a swap is always delighted.

Here is Liz's West Coast Forest-inspired ATC from the last guild meeting, two of her bracelets and one of my favourite pc swap treasures- a matchbox vessel with a funky personality .
Love those colors Liz!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Winterfest- A Claynadian Tradition

Here in Canada we have a National Online Polymer Clay Group- Clayamies. It's a close knit collection of polymer clay artists. Each year we get together online and celebrate Winterfest- a cyber party! In spite of vast distances between us and time zone shifts of 3 hours (sad to say no Maritimers were able to join us this year) we partied for several hours last night. We lit candles to begin the festivities, exchanged gifts, sipped assorted beverages, relished snacks and laughed for hours. Before Winterfest began each of us had written a list of wishes for the upcoming new year and we had a little ceremony where we all burned our wishes-sending them up to the sky....

I have a gift for any Canadians reading this- you are invited to join Clayamies! Go to our website at & follow the links to become a member. You can also find links to regional guilds.
Here are photos of some of the gifts that were exchanged. Kudos to all and honourable mention goes to Canada Post!
Snowflake by Vanessa Betcher
Wire legged (& hard to photograph) vessel by Gera Scott Chandler
Stemware charms by Georgia Ferrell
Bottle by Kristine Ovens
Dragon by Tina Holden

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild Meeting

Today I went to the VIPCAG Meeting here in Victoria. We're planning "Sojourn" -a polymer clay retreat in Nanaimo in February and there was much to discuss. There will be a terrific selection of workshops and demos by Canadian polymer clay artists Tina Holden, Wanda Shum, Cheryl Trottier, Joan Tayler, Georgia Ferrell, Barb Alexander and myself. We'll also have vendor tables and a silent auction. There's a lot to do but we have a terrific organising committee and we're all very motivated and excited.

Once we finished discussions we hauled out the clay and had a great time making ATCs (artists trading cards)... With the Christmas season, kids with flu and craft shows our numbers were down but we still had a wonderful day together.

Here's Kristine and I with Liz in the background. More pics asap.
Our meeting was at the Scouts Hall in Fairfield. There are very old and quite wonderful murals on the walls- 1920s-30s? There is a sign in the hall asking for any historical source info.... they sure piqued my curiosity. You can see a bit of one in the background.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Please Go Back to the Krazy Drawing Board

I use Cyanoacrylate glue a lot and like most people who use it I am frustrated by the inevitable clogged nozzles, unwanted dribbles and stuck-together fingers. When I saw this Brush-on Krazy glue I almost danced in the aisle of the Hardware Store. What a wonderful concept!! Sad to say I can't recommend it, I think that they have somehow diluted the stickiness so that the brush doesn't harden up in the bottle. The hold on polymer clay is not reliable at all, especially on vessel seams. The Krazy Glue people have to go back to the drawing board... it still sticks skin tho!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Studio Cleanup

Today my organiser Linda Lake came by to "do" my studio. She drops by every few months when I begin to have difficulty finding my worktable. Linda has come up with a lot of wonderful ideas for organising the space including the terrific rack for storing all my fibre. The polymer clay is stored in plastic containers turned sideways and drilled into the wall- I credit Genevieve Jenkins for that wonderful idea! Before I begin to wreak destruction once again I've taken a couple of photos.
Here's my worktable, it's far too small- I hope to replace it with something with drawers.

This is the general Storage area, plastic bins with white lids store completed work.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Betwixt and Between and another favourite artist...

The blog doesn't show it but I have been claying! I made some ornaments and an item for Clayamies Winterfest chat- every year we have a cyber party in MSN and exchange gifts that we've mailed to each other. Some years the party has included particpants from coast to coast to coast as we say here in Canada. As everything I've made is literally under wraps I can't share here until after the swaps.

I have also been doing a lot of that in-your- head claying. The kind you do at 3:oo am when you wake up and start manipulating polymer clay while you are neither asleep or awake. The key focus in that imaginary studio has been boxes and once I get out of bed I have been using a lot of scrap mud coloured clay to do make n' toss experiements.

There's no production line work any more but a lot of good wheel spinning.....

Yesterday I was Google surfing for a 2008 day planner. I was looking for one with Klimt images and I saw an image on the cover of a book that stopped me in my tracks. I wasn't familiar with him by name but to me he's up there with Klimt and Modigliani - Friedensreich Hundertwasser - what an incredible inspiration! I spent well over an hour exploring his work and I plan to do more today. I love the way he attacked pristeen architectual lines and added magic to urban landscapes. do a google search to see what I mean. I'm concerned about posting pics here for copyright reasons but here's a sample from a poster website- hopefully they'll appreciate the free advertising.

Friedensreich-Hundertwasser- Arche Noah-

Monday, December 3, 2007

An Exciting Milestone!

I had confirmation that "Salmon Woman" was included in Sue Heaser's new book The Encyclopedia of Polymer Clay Techniques! Here's Salmon Woman- she's currently on display at The Gallery of Artisans in Victoria. This is the first time one of my pieces has been included in a publication and I'm very excited. My friend Genevieve Jenkins took the lovely photographs.