Sunday, February 28, 2010

Curling and Polymer Clay

I'll start by saying that as hard as I try, curling completely baffles me. Yesterday we had the fire on, chilled beverages and snacks on hand and the Olympic curling final on the TV. As Canada was in the final, it was mandatory that I watch so, rather than try to decipher the action I decided to multi-task and placed myself under a Whistler sized mountain of Polymer Cafe, Ornament and Vogue magazines. I went on a fabulous trip through hundreds of pages of pure inspiration. I looked up whenever the crowd cheered or became ominously silent and was on the spot to toast gold at the end of the game- or is it match?
My magazine browsing session was fantastic and I have a LOT of new ideas for OOAK pieces, the first one is underway, it will incorporate wool, here are the colours, the clay will be mixed tomorrow!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Reflective Day with Polymer Clay Research

I decided to take a break from filling my production boxes and spend a day seeking inspiration- who better to inspire than Leonard Cohen- he has an exhibition at the Avenue Gallery which is few blocks from my house so I wandered over and took the show in. It was wonderful. It ends on February 28th so if you're in Victoria and want to see it you'll have to make tracks!

I have an idea in mind to combine my canvas approach with OOAK wearable art so I'm leafing through all sorts of fashion and art magazines looking at connection approaches. I have a sort of shrine/niche idea in mind.... the Olympics are on and the sketchbook is out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Attacking the Polymer Clay Worktable... Artisans and the Olympics and one last shout out to Synergy

I'm home again after our getaway and after having work accepted into a new gift shop, re-opening my Etsy Shop and submitting an application to a three day show in November I am inspired to get to work! The frightening photo shows that I need to get this work table tidied up- and ORGANISED I'm challenging myself to post the after photo before noon today! I have to be careful though, last year I did something like this and ended up emptying the entire studio and doing a complete overhaul...I'm too busy to take an entire week off for that.
Many artisans and gallery owners had high hopes for sales during the Olympics but I'm sad to say that the Olympics haven't seemed to help sales for artisans- my main place for sales in Vancouver which is in a prime location on Granville Island (where all that lovely Swiss fondue is being prepared) has had sales drop 28% this month. A large artisans' venue in a downtown location has vendors who are struggling to cover booth costs and may close. Off-shored mittens, scarves and other mass produced items are selling out.

I'm still hoping that someone at Synergy might get word of my little request for that photo of Arbutus on the wall in the exhibition and send me a jpg... guess I should have done a shout out a lot earlier! Here's the link if you want to see what I'm talking about!
11:48 am- worktable is tidied and organised and I'm set to work- i even got some tulips as a reward to myself.... they're red - Canadians know why!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are YOU Going to the International Polymer Clay Artists Association Synergy Conference? Here's a Polymer Clay Challenge!

The excitement must be building in Baltimore as final preparations are made for Synergy! While I can't be there, my polymer clay mixed media collage "Arbutus" is! I was so relieved to have word that she has cleared customs and has arrived at the hotel. I'd love a bloggable photo of Arbutus in Baltimore so I have a little challenge for anyone attending Synergy- the first person who sends me a jpg of Arbutus on the wall beside other pieces in the the Collaboration Exhibition will win one of my BeachStone Bracelets! Send your image to
The contest begins on Wednesday, February 24!
Pass this link on to anyone you know with a ticket for Synergy and a penchant for playing my polymer version of The Amazing Race!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In a Mist

Our second day here has been misty and gorgeous. No view of the coastal mountains today... I headed to the beach to gather treasures and to take photos. The wonderful squiggly trails in the sand are caused by intertidal invertebrates that ingest sand and "evacuate" it to create intriguing designs for people like me to recycle in my own way.

It's going to be a lovely night... there's a foghorn in the distance....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Viewing the Olympic Games from Vancouver Island

Here's the gorgeous view from the place we're staying on our getaway. We're at Rathtrevor beach at Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island. There's plenty of beachfront to explore! It is hard to see details but if you double click the image to get the full sized photo you can see a snow covered mountain in the distance to the right of the photo-It's Cypress where the Olympic freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding events are being held. Now that it's night time I can see the lights on the mountain. I am not a huge fan of crowds so this is a good distance from the actual events for me!

Go Canada!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mixed Media Collage- Tidepool

I just put the finishing touches on this 5x7 mixed media collage. The rusty section on the corner zaps the blues in the piece. The photo was taken at Point No Point.

I'm running low on rust in my treasure embellishment box, only a fellow mixed media / ratpacker type would understand my concern! (I know there are a lot of you who read this blog)- Happily I'm heading up island this weekend for a little getaway with my daughter and there's a huge beach which hopefully will have the rusty goodies from a shipwreck or two.

My prime beachcombing targets will be driftwoodized tree roots and rusty wire but it's never what you look for, it's what you find that fuels the best creations.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mixed Media Polyer Clay Collage- Point No Point 1

Here's a 4x4 canvas that reflects on that windy morning when I took dozens of photos on the beach at Point No Point. It's all based on the photograpgh below - I asolutely love the tsunami wave effect at the upper area- it reminds me of a Japanese print.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World One Heart Winners!

Congratulations to my three OWOH winners!

The Fusion bangle goes to Kathy- The Artful Muse

The BeachStone Bracelet is being sent to Sam at The Life and Times of Me

The BeachStone Pendant is on its way to Debbie at Heavenly Humour

The packages will be delivered to the Post Office tomorrow morning.

THANKS to everyone who entered my draw!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tumbling Polymer Clay BeachStones

My main job this weekend (as the TV is set to the Olympics- Go Canada!) is to make a huge supply of BeachStones for Strands and Bracelets. This morning I emptied a nice supply from my tumbler and thought I'd document the process and share my method.
Here's my well worn tumbler. One day I'll re-locate the screw top knob, but it works just fine without it! The tumbler is filled to the halfway point with polymer clay beachstones, water, a squirt of dishsoap and fine beach sand, in my case collected from Willows Beach in Victoria. It's been tumbling for 24 hours. This method works very well for Polymer Clay BeachStones which should be smooth but not glossy. If you are polishing beads that need to be satin smooth or glossy it might be interesting to experiment with pumice or another fine polishing medium.
I empty the murky looking water and BeachStones into a collander that's sitting in a large bowl.
I lift the collander from the bowl and shake out the sand...
then a final rinse- the bowl is catching extra sand...
...and the Beachstones are ready.

PS- there are only 2 days left for the One World One Heart blog Event. Click this link to visit my page and enter to win! Good luck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snags- Mixed Media Collage

I'm happy to say that after the wholesale show along with orders for the BeachStone Jewelery, I have some requests for some canvases!

I got back to work yesterday and finished this one- "Snags" the first of 2010. The photographic elements are from my photo-taking session at Point No Point.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Arbutus Heading to Synergy 2

Yesterday I hauled out a big cardboard box and a few meters of bubble wrap to pack up "Arbutus", my mixed media polymer clay collage for her trip to Baltimore for the Polymer Clay Association Synergy 2 Conference Arbutus will be in the Exhibition which you can view online in case you aren't able to go to Baltimore. The package is laden with documentation and awaits Canada Post "FRAGILE" stickers and postage stamps. It's be hard to part with her into the hands of Canada Post and the USPS as she sets off on her cross continent adventure! Please handle with CARE!

Monday, February 8, 2010

the Island Artisan Wholesale Show- Polymer Clay BeachStone Jewellery

I was at the Vancouver Island Artisans Association Wholesale Show yesterday. I launched my new BeachStone jewellery collection for 2010 as well as my completely redesigned booth! It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new merchants, say hello to good friends and receive much valued feedback on my work.
Here's the BeachStone Collection! Here is the new booth.