Monday, September 26, 2011

I'M SO EXCITED, I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Wednesday 25 people from the Arizona Clay Guild are going to Prescott, AZ for a 4 day retreat.
This is the building we will be spending 12 hours a day in doing polymer clay.  This is my 5th year of attending camp and it gets better every year.  We have demos, exchange gifts, share techniques, the food is wonderful and we have lots of snacks.  I packed 100 packages of clay today.  I plan to make as many different kinds of canes as I can.  I'll post them when I get back.

Every person going to camp is donating an item to what we call "Goody Bags".  I guess I can show you what I made now since it's only one day away.

These are polymer clay magnet sticks.  There is a heavy duty magnet on each end.  I use mine all the time for picking up my clay blades (I drop them a lot and they are hard to pick up from the floor) or to hold the blade while you are working.  These can also be used to hold metal pieces when you are making jewelry.  It will stick to your pasta machine and the blade can be held there.  My husband actually designed this.  He has one in the garage for picking up screws and little things that he drops.

If you want to see some great gifts check out my friend Lupe's blog  Her spice jars are gorgeous and she's saving one for me with a cat on it.

Hope all my stuff fits in the car.  Every year I say I'm not going to bring as much and I still do.

This was last year.

I have 3 less bags this year.  I'M SO EXCITED.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


After 15 days on a road trip, I was so glad to get home.  We drove to Wisconsin from Arizona and on the way there the rubber blew off the windshield wiper.  Had to find a KIA dealer and we were 200 miles from Albuquerque.  A really nice guy there waited for us even though it was almost closing time.  He was standing in the parking lot holding the windshield wipers.  By now my husband and the GPS (Moaning Myrtle) have had numerous fights and it was only our first day on the day.

I don't know about Dorothy and Toto but I never want to see Kansas again.  We don't normally drive through there but thought we would like to see some different parts of the country.  KANSAS HAS COWS.  Millions and millions of cows.  We got caught in a storm that made me stop breathing.  I was sure I was going to see the Wizard of Oz.  No more Kansas for me Toto.  The GPS was trying to get the best of us by now and John was really starting to dislike her.

One of my nephews is a computer geek and teaches all things computers.  He talked John into buying me an IPAD Touch so he wouldn't have to listen to Myrtle anymore.  I was so excited.  Now I can get my email any where and watch you tube and read books.
Little did I know how much technology there was in this thing and I would have to figure out how to sync stuff from IPOD to IPAD and learn how to go from Microsoft to Apple and another whole system.  My brain is over whelmed.

From Wisconsin we drove to Chicago to go my godson's/nephew's wedding.  It was beautiful.  The bride was gorgeous.

Her dress was beautiful.  I think there was $100,000 worth of shoes in the church.  I've never seen so many fancy shoes in my life.  Unfortunately for me, my high heel shoe wearing has come to an end.  I had 3 inch heels on for 2 hours and got a blister the size of New Jersey on my toe.

The fun part of the wedding was when the bride and her bridesmaids showed up at the church in a Chicago Trolley.

When the wedding was over the Trolley took the bridal party all over for picture taking.  When we got to Chicago it was cold and raining.  The day of the wedding it was 71 and sunny and the day after the wedding it was 57 and raining.

I brought home some of the flowers from the wedding.  I'm going to dry them and put them in polymer clay and make beads for all the girls in the family.  I put the flowers in a Ziplock bag and sucked the air out of the bag with a straw.  It has been a week now and this is what they look like.


We left Chicago Monday morning and drove to Joplin, MO.  Tuesday we stopped for lunch in Clinton, OK and when we came out the battery was dead.  Lost 3 hours in Clinton getting a new battery so we only made it to Amarillo.  The next morning we were packing the car and there was a 7 inch crack in the passenger side window.  We drove 12 hours to get home because we were afraid something else might go wrong.  At least John and the GPS quit fighting and she quit saying "RECALCULATING".

Next week is our 4 day clay guild retreat in Prescott, AZ.  4 days of nothing but clay and fun.  I can't wait.  I washed clothes and ironed for 2 days now I get to pack my clay stuff.  I always overpack.

Hope to have some good pictures for the blog when I get back.


Saturday, September 3, 2011


I made a flower cane.

From the flower cane I made two pendants.

This one doesn't have a bail yet.  Still thinking about what I want to do with it.

This one is in a silver bezel so I'm doing a Kumihimo rope with size 11 black seed beads.  When I make a large pendant out of a small cane, I do it by cutting a piece off the cane that is at least 1/2 inch long and rolling it with the roller just like you do to make a pie crust and then run it through the pasta machine.  It doesn't distort the pattern AS MUCH.

When I first started doing polymer clay 9 years ago someone told me to use Diamond Varathane or Future floor wax to finish them.  After lots of internet research, I decided I liked the look of sanding and buffing better.  The Future and Varathane are a must if you use mica powders on your pieces but make sure you put them back in the oven on 200 for at least 20 minutes after they are dry so it sets the finish.  I'm on my 3rd buffer, I own 3 rock tumblers and have a shelf full of sand paper.  When I sand a pendant or polymer clay piece, I start with 320 grit and go to 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500 and finish with 3000.  I prefer to throw things in the tumbler for 15 hours with the river rocks.  Much easier.  The point is, polymer looks like glass when it is sanded and buffed.  But thumbs look like meatloaf if you don't wear gloves when you are sanding. LOL

  I have a wonderful outlet now where I am selling my polymer pieces and I brought this one in yesterday and it sold before I got home.

Got a call saying the lady who bought it wanted another one somewhat like it if I could.  I don't have that cane anymore but with the addition of a small amount of translucent and pearl, everything you make will shine, shine, shine after sanding and buffing.  You only need a pinch of translucent to make your pieces really shine.  I ususally mix it in with one of the colors of the cane.


I ordered some beads over the internet and it said there would be 38 grams in the bag.  Many projects tell you how many grams of seed beads you need for a  project.  When I got the bag yesterday it looked kind of small.  I have a scale that weighs in grams and ounces and I weighed the bag and it only weighed 36 grams with the bag.  I sent the company an email and they were sorry and couldn't figure out how it happened but they are sending me the missing beads which probably equals 100 beads which could be the difference between finishing a project or not.  Don't take bead weights for granted.  Buy a scale. I use it for weighing envelopes before I mail them to make sure I know the post office is correct.  I verified the scale with the ones at a couple post offices.

I had my first international sale on Artfire this week.  YIPPEEEE  A lady from Hong Kong bought 4 items.  Thanks to Lynn Reno I got through it.  She told me about the custom forms and how she packages things for shipping.  Check out Lynn's shop on Artfire, her steampunk items are awesome.

This is Sissy, I posted pictures of her when she was little.  Look at those eyes.  She's a smarty.  She belongs to my friend Pat but I get lots of kisses when she sees me.  Wish she was mine.