Thursday, January 29, 2009

Clay is on Sale at Joanns..

In case you don't know, all Sculpey clay is on sale at Joann's. That includes premo and studio clay.

But, you better move fast because the sale ends on Saturday. I went to a Joann's today and the lady in charge of that department hadn't put the sign out (it's been on sale for a couple weeks), so there was a lot to choose from.

I loaded up on a lot of clay, enough to last for awhile (of course, there's always the chance I'll sell a lot of clay babies and will run out).

I came home from the store and dumped all the clay on my table. Tomorrow I'm going to sort it out. The last few days I've been busy and haven't done much in the way of clay. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, I just can not get to it.

Giveaway winners

I've only heard from a few of the winners of the clay baby giveaway. If you won, please send me your address. Tomorrow I'll contact those people. Then I will ship out the clay babies to the winners. Remember, if you haven't sent your address to me, put "I won a clay baby" in the subject line.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are you aware of the CPSIA?

Bloggers all around America are uniting today by posting about the CPSIA. Because this affects many of my friends and possibly me, I'm concerned about what is happening. So I've joined in to post this blog, which was written by a member of Etsy. She gave permission for bloggers to post it.

CPSIA (website)..

Consumer Product Safety Information Act

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

Links concerning CPSIA

To save you time researching, I've included some links for you to follow.

Forbes Article

National Bankruptcy Day

Digital Journal Article

Etsy Resource

Craftzine Blog, More Harm Than Good

YouTube Videos

I guess this gives you a start so you can become better informed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Raggedy Ann * Andy

Here's a little card I made that looks wonderful when printed. Open it up in a new tab, right click and save. You can add text later on. Use it as a card, book marker, on an ATC or frame it.

You can use it for your own personal use.

Pretty Snow and Frozen Pipes

Last night, after I tucked myself into bed, I thought to myself, "I better let the water drip in the sink" My pipes froze a few weeks ago and I've been letting the water drip ever since.

But, somehow I fell asleep and, sure enough, when I got up, my pipes were frozen.

I am so angry at myself for allowing that to happen! Trust me, it won't happen again.

I tried to defrost the pipes with a hair dryer for an hour. I wanted so badly to get those pipes to thaw because I didn't want to bother the landlord; but, it didn't work.

Now, I have to deal with the grumpy repair man later on this evening. He's such a un-happy person. I guess I wouldn't want to crawl around defrosting people's pipes either, but then again, if he hates it so much, he shouldn't do it.

My pipes have heat tape on them, but I'm having some electrical problems. So the landlord is going to inspect the outside electrical box, to see if the breakers need to be replaced. For once, the landlord was kind towards me. It's like he was giving me a break.

While I was outside I took some pictures.

Snow covered chair and old stove I use for decorations.
The white box is filled with petosky stones.

I love this big old tree. The sun is right behind it.

Another prop in my back yard. It's fallen down the hill a bit.
I better fetch it before it falls further and floats down the river.

This is where I sit in warmer weather to relax, watch nature, get inspired and be rejuvenated.

I've seen deer splash across the river and ducks lead their babies up stream. From this spot, I watched a baby raccoon, high in the trees, fret for it's mother. I've heard owls, coyotes and fox.

Once I saw a big ball of snakes, slithering in the warm sun. Sometimes I see spiders that are so big, I quickly retreat inside.

I don't own the property that slopes down to the river. But, it's nice to be so close to nature, and still be in the city.

While I was outside taking these pictures, it was bitter cold. But, I know that it will only be a few more months before the snow melts, the birds return and I go back out side and enjoy the view.

I'll be back later with some creative ideas.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Graphics

I found these old photos in an antique shop in Northville, Michigan a few weeks ago.

I'm trying to build a library of graphics on my computer (I better start backing up files!).

I also found a magazine with over 200 ads in it and lots of images of women. The magazine is dated 1899.Open the pictures in a new tab, right click and save.

Improvements to my work

In an never ending attempt to make my work the best that I can, I've discovered that when I take my clay the extra mile, it sells. Well, not all of the time, but I have a better chance at selling it.

For instance, I just had a few sales on eBay. The clay that sold had extra details giving it that little punch!

Sometimes it's hard for me to get that through my head as I'm making something. I made a gingerbread with a cupcake. Looked pretty cute to me. But it sat on eBay without many views and no bids.

Instead of re listing it, I took a look at it and re-designed it.

Above is the original and below is the redesign. I added a few more cupcakes to her.

Here's another clay baby I tried to sell.

I added another monkey and put it on etsy. I only increased the price by $1.00, making it $7.00, which is a good price.

I'll see if that makes a difference in sales. I think I'm going to look at several of the items I have and see if I can liven them up a bit. It can't hurt.

Indie Crafters

You no doubt have either heard the term, Indie Crafters or you are one yourself.

I have been trying to find a definition of Indie crafters, because when I see a site that offers Indie crafts, I'm confused. Other than the occasional pink skull and crossbones, or odd looking hand stuffed toys, most of the items look like "crafts" to me.

According to the Urban dictionary Indie means the informal use of the word independent.
"Also, for many, it has come to symbolize originality and forward-thinking, especially in music and design.

By this definition, indie is any business or designer that is not associated with a large company. Indie can also define the consumer who chooses to support small business, independent record labels and handmade items rather than shopping at big-box stores."

By that definition, I guess that anyone who has made things by hand is an indie crafter.

Sometimes though, that name implies the younger generation. I once tried to get into an Indie/urban craft show in Detroit and was turned down. My first reaction was that I was insulted. My second was that I must be too old. Of course, they didn't know how old I was, but that was my reaction.

When I first went to etsy to check it out, I thought to myself, I think I'm too old to be here. But, I didn't let that deter me. I'm still trying to build some success there and I'm sure my age has nothing to do with it. But whenever I see a profile where I think the artist/crafter is close to my age, I feel a little better.

In your opinion, what do you think Indie crafts or crafters implies? Leave a comment, I'd like to better understand.


The bottom line is that it doesn't really matter about the age issue. Or if a person calls themselves an artist or a crafter or an Indie crafter. It's more curiosity on my part. It's very exciting to me to see the interest that younger people have in crafting. (My daughter was knitting the other day, and I was ecstatic!)

Sometimes I wish I was 20 again, only in this decade. How valuable the Internet would have been to me when I was younger and more ambitious and when I could stay up till 3 am crafting and had the stamina of a horse!

When I first found out about Polymer Clay it was 1982. I was at a craft show and a lady had made fruit from colored clay. Now, I had seen white clay in the art stores, but colored??
She was kind enough to tell me it was from Polyform Products. I found a package of white at the art store, and wrote down the address of Polyform. I called the operator, who gave me their number. I found out they could sell me colored clay, but I had to have a sales tax license. I had to go downtown, get a name for my business and get the tax license. I finally ordered a box of clay, (8 or 10 colors, 10 colors each)..That whole process took about 6 weeks.

No stores in Michigan sold colored Sculpey in those days. In fact, when I had a little gift shop in 1987 through 1989, I sold Sculpey III and taught classes. The UPS man would deliver my clay on Thursday and there would be two or three customers hanging around the shop to grab up their favorite colors. Look how easy it is to buy clay now!

I guess you could say that I'm a pioneer in crafting. Or at least claying. Plowing the way for others, making their journey a little easier. Hey, I like that idea. I think I'll use that term to describe myself.

Debbie Garrity, Pioneer Crafter.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Polymer Clay Winner

The last winner of my giveaway is Silverhartgirl. Congratulations and thanks for reading my blog.

Now I need everyone who won over the past week to send me your address. My email is

In the subject line, put "I won a clay baby". That way, if it goes to spam, I'll notice it.

I will ship this out by Wednesday or Thursday, and I would like to make one trip, so make sure everyone gets their information to me before then.

I hope you all enjoyed this. I know I did. I plan on doing this more often (not a week's worth), but at least one a month.

So, if you want more chances to win in the future, bookmark my site, or subscribe to it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway *Day Seven*

The winner of the little bear is South. Thanks for commenting.

On this final day of the giveaway, I'm offering four miniature clay babies. Here's a picture to see their true size..Compare to the dime.

The little minis can go in a collection, on a shelf, computer, window sill. With a little blue tac you can attach one to your dashboard.

You get 4 minis, a pig, a rabbit, a single monkey and a pair of monkeys.

Leave a comment if you live in the United States or Canada. You have till tomorrow, Sunday, 4 p.m. EST. Then I'll announce the final winner. Everyone who won can then send me their address.

On Monday, I'll be back to my blogging about polymer clay, creativity, art, inspiration and making the most out of your life.

But, the giveaways will continue, sporadically, so make sure you become a faithful reader. I may giveaway more clay babies, mini canvas art, book markers, charms, etc. These are some plans I have for the near future.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway *Day Six*

Congratulations to DianeH. She is the winner of the penguin doll. Thanks for finding me!

Friday's giveaway is this little bear holding a couple of hearts. It's just in time for valentine's day.
All you have to do to leave a comment. The rules are easy. Plus, you need to live in the United States or Canada.

Saturday is the last day. I've planned something special for the last day! Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway *Day Five*

Yesterday's winner was Rachel Jaclyn. Thanks for stopping by. For all of the winners, please send me your address. My email is I'm not mailing these out till after the contest ends.

Today's clay baby is a girl holding a penguin and a penguin quilt. She has crazy fabric hair.
Once again, for those of you just stopping by for the first time, leave a comment and you get a chance to win. You have to live in the United States or Canada to play. (Otherwise, shipping will get too costly).

After today, there are two days left, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, I'll be back to my usual blogging. However, in the future I will have random giveaways, so make sure to bookmark me or subscribe, so that you can see what's happening here.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway *Day Four*

Congratulations to Polymer Chick. She won again.

I am really being honest and fair when I pick the winner. My friend Stacy sent me to and I'm using the dice. Until more than 6 people comment, I only use one.

The first person to comment is number 1, second is number 2,,so on, you get it.

Today the die landed on four. I could be sneaky and roll again till someone who didn't win was picked, but I'm too honest.

I once did a really well known craft show in my area and one of the stipulations was you had to donate a gift worth $10.00 or more for their big raffle. The Raffle was called at the end of the day, after the craft show ended. I always thought that it wasn't really very convenient for them to do it like that. Most shows call their raffles during the whole day.

Well, at the end of one show, I realized why they did it like that. It had taken me a little longer than usual to pack up. My sister was there to help me and was visiting the restroom, close to the raffle table. I was waiting in the hallway for her, where I could here the ending of the raffle. There were only a few people near the table and I realized one woman kept saying, Oh, that's me, I win again. I positioned myself to see what was going on. The only people around the table were the organizer, a few volunteers and the organizer's daughter & her daughter's husband. I stepped back, because I didn't want them to see that I was watching.

A few minutes later the organizer's daughter and her daughter's husband walked past me. In their arms were some nice items, a large wooden snowman, a doll, some wooden ornaments, a shirt, . I didn't catch everything they had, but the daughter looked at me and said, "Can you believe how lucky I am?" Then as they walked further away, I heard her husband say, "wow, you sure are lucky." (pretty amazing, since there was only one raffle ticket per person. You received it as you entered the show.)

I always had such trust when I donated my craft item to the show. I never realized that the organizers and volunteers were keeping the best things for themselves. I had seen a lot of nepotism at that show in the past, but this was beyond favoritism, it was stealing in my opinion. (I never did the show after that. I wrote them a letter telling them what I saw, and they failed to defend themselves.)

My point of this story is that I'm trying to be honest with the daily picks, simple as that.

Today's giveaway is a monkey with a cupcake. (My stained glass pin didn't turn out so well.)

Yesterday I had over 100 visitors (maybe I was counted a few times) but only 4 people commented. So, I wonder, are people shy? Don't they like the clay babies? :(

Don't be afraid to join in on this giveaway! If you live in the United States or Canada, leave a comment and you could win this little monkey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway *Day Three*

Are we having fun yet?

Yesterday's winner was BG. Thanks for commenting.

Today's free Clay Baby is a little patriotic girl holding a flag. It's an eventful day in America. It's a day to put aside all our political differences and hope that America takes a turn towards better days.
So this little Clay Baby represents that. I'm the least political person you'd ever want to meet; I voted for the other guy, but I hope and pray that Obama is the best president we've ever had. Who would wish otherwise?

Let me repeat the rules of this giveaway. Leave a comment. Any old comment will do. It doesn't influence my choice (that's the luck of the draw)..This isn't a gimmick, just my way of thanking my readers, paying if forward, building my blog, growing my business. The only stipulation is you have to live in America or Canada. At least having a mailing address in those two countries. If you live on the moon and have a mailing address in Canada or United States, go for it!! :)

I got side tracked and didn't do the stained glass clay pin yesterday. I had to go to my class and at the end of the day, my legs were hurting so bad I couldn't concentrate. I feel better today, so I'm going to do the stained glass, with photos, so that it's a tutorial. Also, if I like the end results, it will be tomorrow's giveaway.

Let the commenting begin!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaway**Day Two

Today's little giveaway is a silly fairy with hearts, just in time for Valentine's Day. She has shimmery wings and comes with a sturdy fishing line so you can hang her from the ceiling if you'd like. If not, she looks just as cute sitting on a shelf.

Remember, all you need to do is post a comment. You may post every day and get a chance to win everyday. Only stipulation is that you live in the United States or Canada. (shipping purposes only)..

Someone suggested that I use to chose a winner. I numbered each comment in order and rolled the die/dice at Random and yesterday's winner was Polymer Chick! Yeah..

Congratulations and best of luck to everyone who posts today.

I'll be back later to show pictures of my stained glass polymer clay pin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Polymer Clay Giveaways

Want to have some fun?

For the next 7 days I'm going to give away a clay baby. This giveaway starts today. The little clay gingerbread with a cupcake is today's gift.

How can you win?

Leave a comment.

That's it. Just leave a comment with your name and at the end of the day (10:00 est) I will write the names down on paper, place them in a box, shake and pick a winner. It can't get much easier than that.

I'm going to do this every day this week, Saturday being the last day. I will announce the day's winner on the following day.

So, whoever wins today, will be announced tomorrow.

Next week I will ship out all of the clay babies to the winning readers. I will contact the winners by email, and we can work out the details then.

You can leave a comment daily, giving you 7 chances to win.

This giveaway is only open to residents of United States and Canada. Shipping outside of these countries will be too costly. Thanks for your understanding.

Good luck to you all!

Valentine Graphic and LunimArt

Here's a sweet graphic for you to have. It's two little sock monkeys falling in love. Open in a new window, right click and save. This would be a cute comment to add to myspace or sent as an email attachment, etc.

My friend Mary Ann, who is as addicted to creating art as I am, sent me a link to a website called LuminArt Inc.

This company sells wonderful iridescent mica powders in vibrant colors that you can add to all kinds of art work. I've used something similar on clay jewelry and embellishments. The powders give the artwork an elegant, shimmery look.

Check out their website for tutorials and wonderful pictures of art work you can do. I especially love the clay tray. By using texture sheets, clay and mica powders, they've made a wooden tray look like stained glass. Later on today, I'm going to experiment with some of my mica powders to make a stained glass pin. I'll be back to show you the results.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Free Valentine Graphics

If you've noticed, I've started to offer free graphics. Today I've made altered collage tags. These can be saved on your computer and printed on card stock. You can use them for collage, Artist's Trading Cards, gift tags, etc. Click on the picture and it opens in a new window. Then right click and save.

Here's a free polymer clay graphic for you. Use it on myspace or newsletters, personal cards.

My only requests is that you don't add any of my images to a collection of clip art that you sell.

You can use it for crafting, website design, art, etc. I'm still in the beginning stages of my graphics' techniques, and I know I have a long way to go, but this is a start. By giving it out for free, I'm hoping to get some feedback, ideas and motivation to make more.

Let me know as the months go along, how you like the freebies.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Polymer Clay Graphic

Here's a graphic I made today to put on my Daughter-in-law's myspace page.
Feel free to right click and save it.

100 Years to Live

Today, as I was working on a cake topper, I had music playing in the background.
The song, "100 Years" came on by Five for Fighting. That song is so beautifully written that it makes me cry every time I hear it. It also makes me think. I think about my life and those around me, the time we spend together and how much time is left. I ask myself, am I living each day to the fullest? Am I doing everything I planned on doing in my lifetime? How can I make each day the best that it can be? What is next for me to accomplish?

I'm 53 years old and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to live another 47 more years. I'm just being realistic. The biggest reason I won't live to be 100 is that I'm overweight and I don't see a lot of overweight centenarians running around. Also, I don't have good insurance, and I think people with better insurance live longer. That being said, it doesn't mean I'm going to be fat forever and have poor insurance. I do have some goals in mind.

In the meantime, while I'm waiting to lose weight and get great insurance, what am I doing to really live my life?

At this moment, getting my 4 year (really 34 year) degree is my biggest goal. It certainly involves a lot of my time and energy, but I love every minute of it. I went out in -12 degree weather this morning to get to class. I could barely breath the cold bitter air, but I was there.

Tapping in to new creative thoughts and ideas is another way I'm "living my life." The whole process of re-inventing myself is another. I've been a red head for most of my life, and I'm thinking that maybe it's time to change the color and the style. Well, maybe just the style as I think I look good as a redhead :)

I'm trying to face my fears as I get older. I've done that in a few areas. For instance, I used to be more timid in public. I'm starting to speak up, crack jokes and ask questions without hesitation. It's not much, but every time I do it, it's empowering to me.

One fear that I can't seem to face is the fear of flying. That has really held me back. That and money. There are places I want to see where I just have to fly. My dream is to visit Great Britain. The fastest way to get there is by plane. But, just in case I never get over that disabling fear,I periodically get brochures from Cunard about transatlantic cruises. In fact, I received an email today that quoted prices beginning at $745 on the Queen Mary 2. I think a trip to England would be a great gift to myself after I graduate!

Everyday I watch less TV. I think positive thoughts. I try to be nice to everyone around me. Yes, I do get cranky. I have mild road rage. I have less patience. But, I'm working on myself. I practice self talk. When it comes to my clay business, I ask myself, "Would you hire yourself?"

This is it. There are no "do overs"..You've heard, no doubt, the expression, "Your life is not a dress rehearsal." The older I get, the more I realize the wisdom in that. I want to make the most of each day so that when I lie down each night, I won't have any regrets. May the word "bored" never cross my lips. May I seize the day!

Again, my favorite quote...

"I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau

Lyrics and Video

Below are the lyrics to the song "100 Years". Below that is a bittersweet video made by someone other than the Five for Fighting. His name is Filmaker Mike.

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you�re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you're on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Drive and Motivation

In order for me to stay motivated lately, I've had to start listening to my motivation tapes again. Maybe it's the sub-zero weather and the fact that I haven't seen the sun in days, but I have the energy level of a slug.

Today I'm going to listen to music and give myself a pep talk. Sometimes I think it's ridiculous that I have to work so hard to start to work. I guess I'm not the only one though. There are hundreds/thousands of websites that address motivation. Work place motivation, diet motivation, motivation for kids with attention deficit. I guess even Tony Robbins needs a little motivational push every once in awhile. So, I'm not alone.

Something that really works for me is a mini goal. My goal today is to finish one cake topper and start another. I have 5 hours to work on this goal before I have to go to work. When I get home, if I'm not too tired, I have the whole evening to work.

I think my biggest problem is that when it gets dark, I get tired. Once I step into my home at night, (6:45) I'm ready to take a bath, eat and watch TV. I want to start utilizing that time better. Maybe a shower instead of a bath would energize me. If I drank hot tea, listened to music and stayed out of my bedroom till 10:00 I'd get more done.

Here's a link to 16 ways to get motivated. Get off your butt!

I guess I just added another goal to my day. That's to come home, shower, drink tea, listen to music and create. I'll give you an update later.

Hey! I actually see some sunshine peeking through my window!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here's an idea

Remember that Valentine's Card graphic I gave you for free?

Here's something I did with it.

I made my own myspace layout by going to this website.
Here's what it looks like.

I love the way it looks. Remember if you'd like to use this graphic, right click and save.

A "pear" of cake toppers

Sometimes I have to know when to look at my work and say, "Yikes!" So it was with a cake topper that I've been working on.

My customer wanted a couple of cute pears to go on her cake. She wanted them with a wedding dress and tux. After I finished the topper, I didn't like it one bit. I thought it was bulky and made the couple look obese.
I wrote to my customer, sending her the picture, and she agreed that it was kind of big.

So, I did another one for her. It looks like this.
I think it's much cuter and more whimsical. My customer sent me an email saying it was exactly what she was looking for. Wow! I'm glad. I used a lot of clay on these, and I wanted her to be happy. I still have to glue it to a mirror base and add blush (paint the stem too), but she got the idea.

It's hard to execute someone's idea when you are an artist. They have a vision and the artist has to try to reproduce that vision for them. About 99 % of my customers are wonderful, as they let me take the idea and run with it.

I haven't met a bridezilla yet!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


On Friday, after my class, I headed out to my sister's house in Howell. A few hours later, we got blasted with snow, snow and more snow. I was supposed to come home on Saturday afternoon before dark, but the roads were horrible. So, I spent another night there and got home Sunday before noon.

I usually travel with my clay, but this time I left it at home. So, by Saturday noon, knowing that I wouldn't be coming home, my sister and I ventured out to Michaels so I could buy some polymer.

Since I had no coupon, I was hoping that clay was on sale. I wasn't so lucky, and had to pay retail for a box of it. I chose wisely though, and bought an 8 pack of granitex clay. I almost hyperventilated at the check out. I don't think I've paid retail in 20 years! That will teach me to travel without a box of clay and some supplies.

When we got back to my sister's house, she wanted to load up the wood box so we could have a fire. As I carried a couple of logs to the wood burning stove, I saw a Michael's flier on a pile of papers. Sure enough, there was a 40% off coupon that was expiring that evening. Too late for me to use it though. We sure weren't going back out in the storm.

Here are some little things I made to help me pass the time and to feel a little bit useful to myself.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Polymer Clay Love Card

I made this little card to share with you. Feel free to right click and save it. It is for your own personal use. Please don't add to any collections that you sell.

You can add Valentine text, happy anniversary text, love, friendship, etc.

I will be offering more graphics in the future in the form of cards, post cards and clip art.

If you like that idea, let me know. I would love to hear suggestions too!

A little critique now and then helps!

Here is a little graphic you can print out and use in collage and jewelry making. I think it's the right size for a scrabble pendant.

Right click and save.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Things about Michigan I'm grateful for...

It seems like everywhere I go, people are talking about the woes of living in Michigan. They think there's a silver lining in Texas or Tennessee or Arizona. Maybe there is, but I'm not going anywhere. I am so tired of hearing bad news, especially concerning Metro Detroit, the car companies, Mayor problems, foreclosed houses, etc, etc, that I decided I wanted to make a list of 10 things that I'm grateful for.

  1. Water. Michigan is surrounded by six quadrillion gallons of fresh water, and over 3,000 miles of lake coastline. There are also more than 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan and, according to the Michigan Historical Center, one is never more than six miles from an inland lake or more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. I think I've personally traveled along 1/2 of those 3,000 miles of coastline. I plan on seeing more of it this summer. "We never know the worth of water 'til the well is dry." -English Proverb
  2. Pine Trees. I know everyone has pine trees, but can you hike through a forest of white pines, kicking up sand under your feet and come up onto a bluff that looks over miles of sandy dunes that lead down to one of the great lakes? If you can, then you know how wonderful it is.
  3. Diversity. A few weeks ago my sister and her family and I went on our annual traditional shopping spree. In 5 hours we bought hot tortillas in Mexican Town, Fresh produce and spices at the Eastern Market, bought kielbasa and pierogis in Hamtramck (had a great Polish dinner there), stopped in Greek town for some sweets, bought fresh Italian sausages and cheeses at a great Italian market in east Dearborn and ended up at an Arabic bakery for Syrian bread and baklava.
  4. Snow. Seriously, sometimes I like it. Like tonight when I came home from work. It was dark outside my home, and as I got out of my car, I was met with a soft silence as wispy snow floated down from the dark sky. There was a light scent of smoke in the air; someone had lit a fire. It was a pleasant moment.
  5. Spring. Do lilacs bloom in warm climates? I'm not sure, but I would hate to live where there were no lilacs. I planted a lilac bush close to my bedroom window so that in the spring I can smell it's perfumy fragrance.
  6. Family. My family is here in Michigan. They live 5 miles, 10 miles and 40 miles away. But they are here, close enough for me to see weekly. I can't imagine being any further away.
  7. Friends. I have a handful of friends. It is just the right amount for me. I've had friends come and go and now the friends I have are probably the most important I've ever had.
  8. History. I'm such a nostalgic person. I drive past a bump in the road and can remember something from my past that has to do with that bump. I remember sights and smells and sounds and can only imagine that if I moved anywhere else, my soul would stay in Michigan.
  9. Comfort. Yep. It's all about comfort. It's too scary to think of living anywhere else. It's scary to think about leaving behind my friends, my home, my family, my job, my contacts, and my memories.
  10. Hope. No matter how dismal the news is, no matter how many people are facing job cuts and loses, people here still have hope. I see it everywhere I go. People still shop, they buy paint to paint their houses, crafts to decorate, fabric to sew, books to read. I know people are suffering and times are hard, but people still smile and laugh and they keep on living.
I understand there is real pain and fear now because of the economy. I am surrounded by it and don't want to act as if trying to change the way I think will make it all go away. But, it's a great coping mechanism that I use. Being grateful for what I do have helps me. I don't practice Buddhism, but I sure like their sayings.....Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

What did Debbie do today?

I made several embellishments. Here is a picture of some of them. I used rubber stamps and made little words. I'm giving them to a friend of mine who does Artist Trading Cards. I did an alphabet and some faces too. Kind of simple, but she will find many things to do with them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Little girl with a book

Here's a little girl I made. She is sitting with her cat, holding a McGuffey Reader. I scanned the original book and re- sized it, then printed it. I scanned a bunch of Little Golden Books too.

This little girl is on my etsy site now. My Etsy.

What's going on with Michaels?

Both Michaels' stores that I shop at are going out of business, the Dearborn and Westland stores. I heard a rumor today that they all are going out. I find this hard to believe. Has anyone else heard anything? I hate to be a rumormonger.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fake it till you make it

In my effort to reinvent myself (which is going horribly), I've read that you must "fake it".

In other words, pretend that you are who you want to be before you actually become that person.
Apparently it works for weight loss, financial success, and other achievements. I have mixed feelings about this idea because I feel like I would be living a lie. But I do use it occasionally.

For instance, ever since I was a child I wanted to have a house with a library. I grew up watching old Gothic and horror movies and read lots of Dickens, Bronte and Poe and there always seemed to be a library somewhere in the story. The rooms were always the same, tall book cases filled with old volumes of classics, science and poetry. Two wing back chairs stood close to a stone fireplace which always was lit with a blazing fire. Nearby a dog or cat would rest. The windows were narrow and tall, decorated with dark drapes that hid a secret window seat. There was usually a storm outside; thunder would rumble around the books and furniture. Can you imagine curling up on a overstuffed sofa, reading "Dracula" while the wind howled and beat against the glass?

That's the ultimate for me. But, alas, I'm too poor to have a house with a library. So, that's where fake it till I make it comes in. In the corner of my living room, I've placed three book cases and a table desk. The shelves are lined with hundreds of books. On the top of one shelf I have a painting I did of Jane Eyre. There's an old clock, a candle stick and some photos. There's also a spot for the cat to lie down. (that's her in the picture)..

I will always dream that I will have a library. Everyone who knows me is aware of that dream. Until that day comes, I'll keep "faking it". Better to have 1/10 of what I'm dreaming about than nothing!

What Did Debbie Do Today?

I made a fairy in a jar. The fairy was already made. I've been meaning to make one of these for a few years now.

She's kind of ethereal and kitchy at the same time.

I'm going to put her on Etsy later on. I liked making this and have been brainstorming some ideas. How does Dick and Jane in a jar sound?
Retro in a jar! Vintage in a jar!
Giraffe in a jar?

Time for a break!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lots and lots of cake toppers

The last few days I've gotten a lot of work done. It feels good to finish up orders and make new clay babies to put on etsy and ebay.

As you can see, I've had a lot of different requests lately for toppers. Kiwi and asparagus is my favorite. The bride wanted the kiwi to be elongated. That's about the best I could do, as the kiwi started to look like a brown eggplant.

As I mentioned, I'm going to really start working my cake topper business. I'm in a showcase for next Saturday on Etsy. It's the wedding showcase. That will help a little with more exposure.

Polymer Clay Graphics

Here's a few polymer clay graphics that you can use for personal use (website, business cards, tags, newsletters, etc).. Just right click and save to your computer.

I'll be adding more free graphics as I make them.

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