Saturday, 26 October 2013

focus on life–week 43–in the shadows

Friday was the deadline for the art charms to arrive for the 2013 Art Charm Swap hosted by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions.  I was relieved that my charms arrived early, almost a week before the deadline – go me! November 15th will bring a blog hop to show off the charms created and to kick off the auctions in support of Beads of Courage.  Last year, I also participated, and received some wonderful charms and more importantly the auction raised $600!
When I saw Sally’s prompt of “in the shadows” for this week I knew a teaser pic in silhouette would be perfect.  Then all week I forgot to take the picture!   So my iphone snap tonight is not exactly what I had in mind, it gives away even less. 

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I have been distracted by another idea.  I think it started with the making of these very charms. During the creative process (which I’m trying not to give away yet) I somehow created these.

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This got me to thinking that a tongue depressor just might make the perfect earring “card”.  Today I finally brought the idea to fruition with a little cutting and drilling.

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This is a great start but not entirely what I had in mind.  I thought since I already had the holes drilled I would dip them in some paint and hang to dry, to look a little like paint stir sticks.  I looked around the room and thought, hmmm dangling sticks of paint where a kitten explores is probably not the best part of this idea.

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I decided that alcohol ink and a toothbrush would provide just the right amount of decoration.  Here you see them in part of a cold air return that just happened to be on a clearance table next to the PVC pipe when I was picking some up to act as table risers.  It was a show display serendipity!  They also stand on edge quite nicely as the posts allow them to rest at a perfectly tilted angle.  For transport, they also arrange tidily in a cigar box.  I’m also very happy with how these studs are all coming together, this is a new product I will be featuring at Handmade Harvest next Sunday.

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Now I suppose it’s time to start thinking of Halloween.  I wonder if the other “in the shadows” photos will help more with that eerie leaning.  Head on over to the studio sublime to see them all.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

How long does it take you to make that?

I’ve just updated my show calendar, which has it’s own page here on the blog.  I am going to have to do a bit more fiddling to make the layout right, but for now I’m frustrated with the tool and have to move on.  I was a little disappointed that not all the shows I wanted to take part in would have me, but I’m excited to be part of two new to me shows and two returning goodies.

I’ve always loved craft shows.  I love going and I love taking part.  I’ve been working on new product, complete redesign of my booth, new packaging, new signage and the list goes on and on.  I can’t wait to see it all come together, since right now everything is either still an idea or somewhere on the road to done. I fully expect to still be tweaking all kinds of things right up to the last minute as that’s just the way I am.

Last night I was working on some new post earrings, that will be debuting at Handmade Harvest.  I had to move some things around to have just enough space to work.  One tray in particular has about twenty or so pendants that the final layer of sealant is curing on.  I was trying to remember if it had been 72 hours yet when I realized it would be wise to just write down the time I finish at!  Such an easy solution.  Of course my next thought is these aren’t really done.  You see they have this little void in the centre that I want to add a little sparkle and resin to.  That means these “done” pieces will have about another three steps and five more days before they are really done.  I had a flashback to a wonderful sign I saw at the Pottery show one year.  It was two pages long - regular 12 pt font! I stood there and read through and it detailed, and I mean detailed, from start “I dug the clay out of the ground” to “I set up this table full of mugs”.

Back to my tray of pendants, I started trying to count out steps on my fingers, what to call a step, hmm, lets see…

-I found the vintage button - I made a mould - I conditioned the polymer – I moulded and then further hand shaped and sculpted – first cure – I added a base colour – I added three layers of metal paint to sections - I custom mixed more polymer – textured it – sculpted it as a bezel to the first piece – second cure – I colourized (3-5 layers) – I highlighted – I sealed three layers…and more to come.

So lets call that fourteen steps, but some of those are really multiple steps, each with different amounts of time doing and lots more time waiting.  This is why it is so hard to answer that favourite question of craft show attendees: “How long did it take you to make that?”  It’s a fair question! One I sometimes answer with a smile and a hmmm, then tell them something else entirely about the piece or the process.  Mostly because what the heck time shall I count.  These pendants have been a work in progress for about two months now and they aren’t done in my mind yet.  

Really I take the question as an invitation to chat about my work, so please, don’t stop asking it! Just know, I’m not being intentionally vague or flippant if I say 2 months!

Here is where I should be showing you these pendants I’m going on and on about, but they ain’t done so instead

rufus studio kitty

Rufus has not learned yet that a good studio kitty should stay off the worktable and keep his hair to himself!

Friday, 18 October 2013

focus on life–week 42–all in a day

“Let’s focus on 24 hours and see what goes on during your day!”

This week’s prompt from Sally at the Studio Sublime had me a bit stumped.  The first thing that popped into my head was all the waiting 24 hours for things to dry in my studio at the moment.  There are so many projects at various stages of wait, it’s starting to drive me a bit insane.  But this is what happens when you bust out all manner of mixed media.  Everything needs a good cure, then seal and wait, seal and wait, seal and ….. Yup, pretty boring picture I couldn’t bring myself to take.

Thursday I was already having a day I’d rather do over when Averleigh decided to celebrate finishing lunch Greek style.  Awesome. She screamed and screamed and while I thought it was mostly over the loss of the prized eat-every-meal-off-of plate it was at least in part because it landed square on her toe nail.  I didn’t realize it was really hurting until that night when the nail bed was purple.  Poor love.

Twenty four hours later, there I was in the kitchen grabbing lunch and thought, heck, that is the picture isn’t it.  I walked over to the dustpan I had left the pieces in (along with all the cat hair and crumbs) and assessed the situation

focus on life week 42

I thought of when we first found it, her reaction was “Where’s Daisy?” Daisy Duck is such an awful character, I was a bit bummed when she got so attached to her.  So it would be routine for lunchtime to include some story about where Daisy may be since she wasn’t with the others.  I bet that will just be my memory and not hers.  I will clean and tuck away these bits for something, someday. 

The metal plate in the background was MY plate it has an elephant that is practically worn away for good, you can just see it when tilted a certain way in the light.  Averleigh is quite pleased with how this one can spin around and around on the table.  No comment.

Hope to see some finer days from my friends below, hey they can’t all be beauties

Saturday, 12 October 2013

focus on life–week 41–connections

Here we are week 41 and I know October will be gone in a blink of an eye, always the case as I ready for shows.  This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and when Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime had us thinking on connections in all manner of ways, well, the timing was perfect.

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For starters, this arrived!! The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer, is all about connections.  It’s very exciting to receive a beautiful book directly from the author with her sweet message inside, (another great connection.) I keep running through it just looking at the beautiful pictures, I haven’t started to read through proper yet.  Of course I’m most attracted to the ones with higher difficulty which shouldn’t really be the starting point, but then again I sometimes do things the hard way.

Friday night brought the celebration of a connection earlier in the courthouse.  (I stole this picture from my dear friend’s facebook).  This has been a while coming in idea, but only about two weeks ago did I receive a text, would we be available to celebrate? To which I replied “where else would I be” as there are some things that are just not to be missed!

wedding van

This morning was a third birthday party for a special guy, and we gathered at the local pumpkin patch/berry farm/petting zoo etc to celebrate some more.  After a wagon ride, magic show, pizza, cake, presents and general fun the party was wrapping up but with the gorgeous weather we stayed on a bit.  Averleigh had decided she didn’t mind waiting in line she wanted to have her face painted.  This child has always fought the idea of a comb or basically anything you would touch her face and hair with so I had some doubts.  We waited probably about 45min to an hour in line, hubby and I trading off, before it was her turn.  The artist asked what she would like and set to work, moving briskly and without much direction.  It seems all the children just new when to close their eyes and she moved their heads where they needed to be.  Until…


PINK KITTY!  That’s what she asked for and I think it turned out pretty good.  She wondered if there would be a tail for her, I suggested we could just pretend.  She sure did get a kick out of this connection to being a kitty herself.

All these connections I am so thankful for this thanksgiving.

Friday, 4 October 2013

focus on life–week 40–give us a smile!

Thanks all for your sweet comments on last week’s post, it’s wonderful to have such encouragement.  With a big smile on my face we headed out Sunday with the mission of apple picking at the orchard just down the way.  I’ve lived in the area my whole life and I’ve never been!  While apples were never the top fruit in our house, hubby and Averleigh are big fans.

Looking through the shots I could have shared many with wide smiles in what was a perfect sunny, warm fall day.  I kept returning to this one though, it proves a long held belief.  You don’t need to see a person’s mouth to know they are smiling.  It’s all there in the eyes. Who would doubt that apple hides a wide grin?


Now if only I could have had a little more light on those beautiful eyes I would be really happy.  I found the speckled light the apple trees made a bit of a challenge.  It’s hard to complain about shade when you are taking pictures amongst trees, but I wish some in the bunch I took like the one below had more sun in the right spots!


It’s a fun learning process, this photography.  Soon I think it will be time to have some instruction.  While I can read all sorts of things on the subject, I think there is much that could be learned in person. 
Thanks to Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime for bringing this little lesson to us each week!