Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kiss my camera goodbye..

How can an artist update her blog and her website, send pictures to customers and document her artwork without a camera?

That's the problem I've had for the past week. My fugi fine pix finally died and so I ordered a new camera from Overstock.com. Actually, I ordered a refurbished camera. My first Fugi was refurbished and worked well for 5 years, so I figured I would try again. After inserting two AA batteries into the new fugi, I took 5 pictures (which filled the card...:( )..I do have a much better card to insert in the future. When I tried to upload to the computer, the connector for the USB was defective. Now I have to wait till they send me a new camera. I'll send the other one back as soon as I get my car back from the shop..(it never ends..)

So, until I get my new camera, I won't be displaying any new photos.

For entertainment purposes, here's a nasty old witch I made awhile back. Hope she doesn't scare anyone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Periodically, my work gets published. I've been in 4 magazines and the Sculpey Website. Here are my latest two designs. This is a Christmas Monkey Picture holder. I believe they want these designs for children to make. It's fairly easy and the colors can be changed making it a spring monkey, Halloween monkey, etc. The second design is a cupcake bracelet. Once again, it's an easier project geared for children. I'm going to make these for my upcoming craft shows. I thought they would be great as Halloween and Christmas. I like making these because they are just beads that get strung on elastic. The ends are tied, and it's ready to wear. If I could get something published two times a month, the fee would pay my rent. I really need to be more pro-active and send out designs to magazines and websites. One magazine is already working on next year's Halloween ideas, so I'm getting ready to send off a couple of designs to them.

Craft shows...

So far, I'm going to be doing 4 craft shows for sure, another one I'm waiting to hear if I got into it or not, and one more th
at I'm debating on.

My shows are.........

South Lyon Pumpkin Fest, South Lyon
St. Paul's Fall Fest, Trenton
Franklin High School, Livonia
St. Thomas Becket, Canton

The show I really want to get into is Eisenhower school in She
lby Township. I've sent my check and pictures, just waiting to hear.

Another show I'm debating
on is a small $20 show in Macomb. It's at a farm/flower nursery. Might be worth the trip as they sent out 9000 flyers and are advertising in the Free Press and Detroit News. There was an article written about it on line. I might give it a try.

Today I'm going to be working on lots of Halloween Clay Babies. Here's are some examples of what I'll be making today!

Ghost/tombstone Fatty Pumpkin Fairy

Monday, August 11, 2008

When mistakes happen

Here's a picture of the burned clay baby that I was going to fix. As I said before, I didn't test the oven and a whole batch of angels got a little toasted. Those wings on the angel are supposed to be a translucent color, a little off white. Instead, they look like wheat. I wasn't happy with it.

So, I used Polyform Products Brown Antiquing paint to antique the angels. It's really simple. I brush on the paint, covering the baked clay and then, with a soft rag, wipe it off. Here's a picture of the final outcome. It's kind of prim looking.
Plus, the letters on
the scroll really stand out. Luckily, I got to
save this batch of clay
babies and learned a valuable lesson
(once again)..Check your oven's temperature!

Polymer Clay Cards

I have been making cards with clay images on them. I just started putting the cards together, only have made a few, but
I think there is potential there. I've had
this idea for twenty years.
Sometimes I get so mad at myself
for not following through on my
ideas. It's a lot easier now, with programs and websites, to work on more of my ideas than ever before. Not all of them are good, but at least I can say I'm trying.

This card can be used as a thank you to a nurse or congratulations to a graduating nurse. As soon as I get more cards finished, I'll put a link on my blog where they can be
found. Right now, I only have about 7 cards on the site. My goal is to get 24 cards on there, then start promoting it. I get a whopping 42 cents per card. Have to start somewhere!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Turning a new leaf

After months of contemplation and discussion, I finally made a decision that I know was the right one to make. I quit my job. I haven't been happy there for awhile and could feel the passion evaporating from my soul each passing month. Working with children used to be fun, but the last year proved to be stressful on me and I felt unappreciated. The parents in my program just didn't seem to really care about what my staff and I were trying to accomplish, and although a little 5 year old telling me they loved me gave me a warm feeling inside, it wasn't enough to keep me there.

My plan? To increase production of my clay and work my business. I also am trying to improve my graphic skills (I'm working on a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Arts)..I keep looking for small graphic jobs that I would feel comfortable doing, but so far, I feel intimidated. In September, I'll be taking three classes that will steadily increase my degree of skill and my self confidence. In a year, if all goes well, I'll have that degree.

Today I really enjoyed being home all day. I worked on cleaning my "studio", designed some Christmas ornaments, worked on my website (www.polymerclaybabies.com), networked a little and had a slight disaster in the kitchen. I burned some angels I was working on. I of all people should have known better. I got a new stove and should have done a clay test. I tell everyone to put a piece of scrap clay in the oven to test it. I didn't bother to do that and I also failed to put the temperature gage (something I got from Polyform Products) into the oven.

These angel wings are supposed to be white!.
.Now I'm going to have to

antique them. I think it should be ok. I'll upload
pictures later of the finished antiqued angels.

In the late afternoon, I took a break and sat out behind my home and listened to the birds. This is the simple pleasure that I love. It's something I do everyday, weather permitting.

I put out some apples and peanut butter
and old crackers to
attract the birds. Tomorrow I'm going
to get some bird seed. I'll probably end up feeding all the squirrels in the woods. Hopefully, the birds will get a chance.

Each night I hear a screech Owl back in the woods. The other day I saw a bird with a great wing span approach a tree behind the house. I only saw it for a second. When I went outside to investigate, I found nothing. I would LOVE to see an owl out back. It would be an honor as my sister says.

I ended my little break by taking a picture of the sky. It's to remind me of what a beautiful day today was!

When I sit and look out at the woods, it clears my head of anything negative, it inspires me and pleases me. I feel close to nature, to God and it gives me peace. After a brief period, I'm ready to come back to my studio and create. If you have a quiet activity you can do each day, try it. Maybe you like to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee before the family awakens. Perhaps an evening walk is your time to reflect. Embrace those gentle moments, inhale the scent and take a mental picture. It doesn't cost a dime and it's rewards are priceless!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fatty Fairies

started making a line of fairies called "Fatty Fairies". My friend Mary Ann and I were trying to design things a few years ago and actually thought up this poem at that time..."Fatty Fairies...We're too fat to fly, so we don't even try!"

They are just roly poly round fairies with shimmering wings. Cute and whimsical, they are very affordable. At this point in tim
e, I'm charging $8.00 for each one. I made a few for my granddaughter's room.
I've attached a hook and some strong fishing line so they can be hung from the ceiling. Very cute.

This is a Fatty Fairy holding a
cupcake and a heart.
I can personalize the heart.

Patriotic Fatty Fairy holds stars
and comes with a flag.

Fatty Pumpkin Fairy holds a big pumpkin and is in multi-colored autumn colors of clay that are swirled. I love the material that I'm using to make the wings.
I've started selling these on my website and ebay. I'm also going to be doing a few craft shows this fall and will try them out there.

Craft shows

Speaking of craft shows, it's been a few years since I've really been involved in the craft show circuit. I used to do them every weekend, but over the years, they seemed to be less of a money maker, and more of an expense. I decided after a really tough craft show year about 4 years ago, to just give it up. I gave away all of my displays and made my friend Mary Ann promise that she wouldn't let me do another one.

Well, I've been missing the interaction I've experienced when I've done shows. I miss greeting the customers, watching them laugh and make "oh, how cute" comments. I miss the friendly chit chat while wrapping their purchases. I miss that cash! :)

So, I'm going to do a few shows and see how it feels. I lucked out and found brand new fireplace screens at K-Mart. They were marked down to $2.50, originally priced at $29.00. I can hang my clay babies from the screens. It's not the greatest idea, but it will serve my purpose. Most of my holiday items hang anyway, so the screens should work nicely, and the items can be seen easily.

I doubt if I'll ever step back into shows like I used to do. I'm older now and my knees hurt all of the time. It takes a lot of stamina to do shows, and I've lost some of that. But, if I do a few a year, it will satisfy my "craving".

I would love to hear comments from other crafters out there. Are you still doing shows? How are you doing out there? Thanks in advance!

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