Monday, December 16, 2013

Beauty for Sale

It really kills me to sell these, but I must. I am offering my collection of hand blown, etched, silver fumed, hollow, glass beads created by renowned glass artist, Aja Vaz of Wandering Spirit Designs. Five have a shiny finish, sixteen have a matte finish. The two largest have gorgeous, etched copper end caps. More photos are available upon request.

Most were created by Aja in 2009 and 2010 and all are one of a kind works of art. I am selling them on a first come, first serve basis in the lots shown.

Email me if you would like the price list and purchase details. 

Serious inquiries only, please. Thank you!

Lot #1

Lot #2
Lot #3

Lot #4

Lot #5

Lot #6

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Going On A Walkabout

I wanted to give an update on the new tutorial for all you wonderful, patient people who have been waiting for it and checking in every week for a status report. 
Without any hemming and hawing around, as my Papa Moseley used to say, the plain truth is that it is just not coming together as I want it to, and I have decided to set it aside for awhile.  

I am sorry to disappoint everyone, but I am finally caving in to the stress. I have decided to take a break, and do not plan to publish it before the end of the year.  Instead, I am going on a walkabout or sorts, to try and get my mind on track again to finish it.

This faux tutorial is the hardest tutorial I have ever written, and I am not sure why.  It is a simple enough process.  It shouldn't be this complicated or take 8 months to write, but it has.  

If anything, I think the stress of not having the comfort of a consistent paycheck is behind it.  I am experiencing an insecurity and uncertainty that I have never before in my life had to face.  The result is that I may be headed back to the outside work force, if I can find a part-time job, that is.  As long as I had that cushion of employment comfort, my creativity was a free-flowing thing that never let me down.  That may be a poor excuse, but it's the only one I have.  

I am a perfectionist, have a Type A (to the max) personality; and on top of that, am OCD. I also have some other physical health issues that have been exacerbated by the mental stress.  Since I have other people to think about besides myself, I am going to give the tutorial a rest, after nine re-writes, until the first of the year. 

The holidays are not a time anyone wants to pile on more stress, right?  I planned for this tutorial to be published back in April, no later than June.  I had planned to start some new, non-polymer projects for my second Etsy shop my Mother and I started two years ago, which has been sitting sadly neglected all year, so I am going to devote the time until the end of the year helping her develop some items for it, and I am going to sit back and enjoy a no-stress holiday with my family.  

Thank you all for your patience, and your support and encouragement, my friends.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Brass Embellished Halloween Jewelry

Tutorial Update:  The new faux tutorial is in re-write stage, but the end is in sight, I hope.   Stay tuned, and thanks again for your patience, everyone.

In the meantime, I took a mental break for a couple of days to list some of the more than 400 pieces I made while writing this gargantuan tutorial; and some new, brass and crystal embellished, mixed media Halloween pieces.   

I don't celebrate Halloween myself, but I hear it is the second biggest holiday in terms of sales, so I thought I would try a few pieces in the shop and see how it goes.  What do you think?  I aimed for whimsical but classy, if there is such a thing.  LOL

Notice how I worked in tartan patterns?  I couldn't resist!  I created the tartans especially for Halloween using in pumpkin orange, scaredy-cat black and ghostly white.  Hee Hee!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thank You, Everyone!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who emailed me and commented on my last post about my meltdown.  I am continually amazed at the generosity and kindness of people I have never met in person, but I should not be.  Your support has been tremendous, and I am so grateful to have so many wonderful friends.  These friendships, and your encouragement and support, mean the world to me.  I really appreciate your concern, but please do not worry about me.  I go through this angst every time I write a tutorial.  It's part of my process to get to the best tutorial I can write.   I would not know how to act if everything went smoothly with no hiccups.  Is that the way it works for anyone?  

I appreciate the offers of pre-orders, but I don't think I will ever be able to do that.  I would feel even more pressure to get this thing done, but I really thank you for offering, and for caring so much!  

And it won't be too much longer on the new tutorial, I promise!   

Saturday, August 17, 2013

When Your Stress Level Goes Through The Roof

Faux Boulder Turquoise
It is always aa trying time for me when I write a new tutorial.  It seems old Karma picks that time to kick me in the butt, every time.  Stupid stuff goes wrong, the accidents keep piling up, and my stress level goes through the roof.  

Naturally, when a tutorial is now almost 4 months past the original date I had hoped to have it published, well, you can just imagine how stressed I am.  

Unfortunately, the new faux tutorial is still not finished.  In the past three weeks, I lost hundreds of photos, my camera died on me, my printer died on me, and my beloved Nesco oven died on me.  Ask me which is worse.  At this point, I couldn't tell you.  

Having no steady income means that sometimes, new supplies have to wait for the income to catch up to the need, but when three absolute necessities such as a camera, printer and oven go kaput, frustration quickly turns to despair.  I learned that when you work for yourself, a business loan is much harder to get.  The banker actually laughed at me.  I was so embarrassed.  Good credit will only take you so far.  They actually want to know that you can repay the loan.  Imagine that.  

I looked at some of the online lenders, like Kiva and others, but they would take longer than I have to get the new equipment and get the tutorial published. 

Faux Purple turquoise with genuine purple Howlite beads
I had to resort to selling some things I had hoped never to have to part with, more so because they were my insurance against something happening that I couldn't pay for in the future... oh, wait, something did happen that I couldn't pay for, so then depression set in when I realized, what will I do if something really bad happens in the future?  

All this put me in a bad place for the last two weeks, and I don't mind telling you, I was scared. Very scared.  I suddenly didn't like this full time artist business.  My creativity level has sunk to an all-time low.  I think my muse is even terrified of me.  

Luckily, all the basic technique photos were shot before the camera died.  I was able to find the same model of camera, my beloved Canon Powershot SX110is, on ebay, for a fraction of its original cost.  It arrived yesterday, and so far it works just fine.  

Faux Yellow Turquoise andAutumn Jasper
Before I found the Canon, I dug out my old Sony Mavica to use, then realized I had never used an SD card with it, only a floppy disc.   I took about a hundred pictures on it, then tried to stick the floppy into my laptop.  Guess what? It ain't got no stinkin' floppy drive!

This is the kind of stupid thing I do when in the throes of tutorial meltdown.  I don't think logically. I went and bought an SD card, with my increasingly small stash of emergency money, only to discover I bought a "Pro" SD card, not a "non Pro" SD card, which of course, an old Sony Mavica uses instead of a "Pro." Naturally.  I wasted a quarter of a tank of gas and 25 bucks figuring out that one.  

Do you ever have days you feel like nothing you do is right?   Yep, that's me, on day 23 of this pity party for one.  All this negativity isn't helping, I know, but for now, that's just where I am.  So, pardon my blue funk for a bit longer while you wait on the new tutorial.  

Faux Dalmation Jasper with Pink Rhodocrhosite and Blue Turquoise
The good news, and there is good news, is that I got the new camera out today and recreated some of the recipes in the new faux tutorial just to get my mind in the right mood to create.  So far, so good.

Here are a few more of the photos I took before the camera debacle, some Boulder Turquoise, Purple Turquoise, Yellow Turquoise with Autumn Jasper, Dalmation Jasper with Pink Rhodochrosite. and Blue Turquoise, and a mosaic mishmash of Lapis and various Turquoises.  

I can't bring myself to put out a tutorial that is nothing less than my best, and it just isn't quite there yet.  Good things come to those who wait, right?  

Someone should have told me when I started creating stuff that people with OCD shouldn't be artists.  That, paired with being a left-handed, Type A personality perfectionist... I was doomed from the start! 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Big, Bad Boo Boo, and I Don't Mean Honey

I just wanted to let everyone know the new tutorial will be delayed a few days.  I had intended to publish it by August 1st, but I did a really boneheaded thing last night which will cause a delay. I accidentally deleted the photos for three of the projects.  I am just sick about it, but it means I have to order new clay and start again with those projects, so I ask for your patience for just a little while longer.   THANK YOU! 

The good news is, while I wait on the new clay, I have time to read Cynthia Tinapple's new book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives:  Emerging Ideas and Techniques from 125 International Artists, which was published last night.  I bought a copy at 12:47 a.m. for my Nook HD+, and ordered a hard copy this morning to show my friends and family.   I stayed awake until 2:15 looking at every page, absorbing all the beautiful artwork.  

I am so thrilled and deeply honored to be included in this important and incredible book.  It is as beautiful as I expected, Cynthia!   Thank you again for the honor of being included.  I am so excited, I can hardly breathe, and I am still pinching myself.  

I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think.  You can find me in the Texture Chapter, on page 66, right beneath Helen Breil.  Helen Breil, for goodness sakes!  If I'm dreaming, don't wake me, okay? 

Congratulations to Cynthia and to all the featured artists!  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Joint is REALLY Jumpin' Now!

Thanks to my faux turquoise pendant being featured today at Polymer Clay Daily!   Yowzer!  

I am so excited, especially as the feature is about the new tutorial, which I haven't even published yet.   I am so touched by the wonderful response and support!   Thank you, Cynthia Tinapple!  I can't say enough that you are the polymer clay world's best ambassador.  

I share the spotlight with you, all my friends and customers who make it possible for me to be able to create full-time.  

Thank you again, everyone.  Now come on, join me and Mr. Bowie and Let's Dance!  We'll really shake these old walls!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Joint Is Jumpin'

Lots of activity in the Diva studio in the past month.  I think I am finally in the home stretch with the new tutorial.  All the random ideas I have taken from the keyboard to the work table are finally gelling together in a cohesive collection of instructions and projects.  It won't be long now before the new "Fabulous Faux Master Collection" will be published.

What I had originally planned as a faux turquoise tutorial has morphed into a range of faux finishes using the same technique.  I want to try a few more really unusual and beautiful finishes before I call it done, but I believe that by the end of July, this baby will get birthed!

These are some of the faux turquoise finishes which will be included in the tutorial.  I wanted to give everyone a variety of colors.

These bracelets, created using my some of my fabulous faux turquoise polymer slides and Regaliz, a/k/a Licorice Leather, are a new direction for me.  I haven't made bracelets on this scale before, but I absolutely love them.  I decided to include a lesson in the new tutorial on how to create them.

These beautiful little beads are a joy to create.  They will be included in the tutorial, too, along with a special project that I hope to include which will really showcase their gorgeous matrix.   They are an "all over" design, pattern on the front and back and around the edge.  LOTS of beady goodness!

Okay, that's my update.  Now it's back to work to create some more!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Death of Please and Thank You

I am going to have to break the news to my Momma that she raised me wrong, because those free manners she beat into me from the age of two aren't supposed to be practiced on Flickr or at Etsy.  

Yes, I was actually chastised earlier this week by a "well meaning" colleague who thought she needed to instruct me on when to say thank you.  I am from the South, and we're a little slow, you know.  she wanted me to know that I don't have to post a thank you for every nice comment someone leaves under your photos on Flickr.  I kid you not.  

What's worse, I discovered after that enlightening email that she is not the only one who thinks that way.

I check in on the discussions at the forums on Etsy once a week to be sure I'm not missing news about the implementation of the next, great Seller's tool. The powers that be don't often tell you what's coming down the pike before they send it hurtling toward you.  

Well, a question was asked to the effect of whether or not Sellers should leave feedback for their customers.  Huh?  You mean someone actually thinks you shouldn't do that?  Yes, indeed.

Judging by the response to the question, there are many sellers at Etsy who either a) don't care about feedback; b) can't afford to take the time to leave feedback; c) don't think it is necessary in order to maintain good relations with customers; or d) don't think it affects whether said customers come back and buy from them again.  

Criminy, some people are stupid.  

I was amazed at how many sellers actually said they couldn't take the time to leave positive feedback on a transaction.  Many are also of the opinion that feedback should be withheld until the buyer leaves it for the seller first.  Some sellers think the buyer's side of the transaction isn't completed until the buyer receives the item and is satisfied with it. WRONG!   The buyer's side of the transaction is completed as soon as they pay for the item.  

I've come across this before, this holding hostage the buyer's feedback until they give you feedback.  Several people I know have that position.  It is not very professional, in my opinion.  If you are an ethical Seller who puts your best work out there, you should have no reservations at all about leaving positive feedback for the buyer immediately upon completion of payment.  Period.  If you don't, it makes me think you knew the work was not the best before you listed and sent it out, and you're holding your breath waiting to see whether or not the buyer agrees. 

After thinking on this situation for a couple of days, I have come to a conclusion.  Manners must be a generational thing, or perhaps a cultural thing.

In the South, if you are over the age of 40,  you were raised to be respectful, which meant saying "please," "thank you," and "yes, ma'am or sir."

But, even this Southern 20-something generation doesn't have the manners my generation has.  They seem to be a bunch of whiny, inconsiderate, selfish brats.  This generation is all about "me."  Please and thank you are hard to come by in this day and age, and that's a damn shame.   My niece and nephews still say it, thank goodness... within my hearing, that is. 

Since 20-somethings are now running the world, I should not be surprised that a hip, young, internet seller has such a blase attitude about taking 15 seconds to thank a person who spent their hard-earned money for something in the seller's shop.  

One girl (if her photo is any indication, not a day over 25) stated she averages 1500 sales a week, which I could not confirm by looking at her sales; and that she only posts feedback once every six months, if then.  With all those sales, she just doesn't have the time.  She has plenty of time to stalk the forums and post on many different topics at all hours of the day and night, however.  I guess she has her priorities.  Posting... high on the list... thanking the people who pay her bills... bottom of the list.  

Frankly, if a seller waits 6 months to leave me feedback for something I purchased, I don't remember what I brought from her in the first place.   It annoys me to get a feedback 6 months after the fact, and I have been known to email the seller and tell them so, and that I won't be troubling them with any future purchases for which they need to bother leaving feedback.

If you are a customer of mine and you don't receive feedback from me within 24 hours of your purchase, you will know I am dead.  

And, if you leave a nice comment for me at Flickr or anywhere else I post stuff on the internet, you'll get a timely thank you for that, too.

That is just how my Momma raised me, and as she has always said, manners are free and it doesn't cost you a dime to use them.

Jeez, is it really any wonder this world is going to hell in a hand basket?  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Tremendous Honor

Cynthia Tinapple's new book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives: Emerging Ideas and Techniques From 125 International Artists, will be published on July 30th.

Cynthia posted the news this morning on her site, Polymer Clay Daily, that she has created a sister site, Polymer Clay Global, which promotes the new book and lists the names of the artists included.  The site includes links to their websites or blogs so you can get to know them better.

And now, I can tell the secret I have been keeping for months...  I am one of the 125 artists included in the book!  I am thrilled beyond words for this tremendous honor.

Honestly, I haven't posted about it on the blog until now because I was afraid my photos wouldn't pass muster.  Cynthia asked for a format I wasn't able to deliver, so I sent in jpeg files and kept my fingers crossed they would work.  I guess they did!  When I saw my name in the lists of artist, I finally let out a breath I've been holding since last August.  

I am so excited to be a part of this important book.  I don't think I will actually believe it until I see it in person.  Many of the artists included are pioneers in the polymer clay world.  Many have worked for years to elevate polymer to a legitimate artistic medium.  I did not even pick up a piece of polymer clay until 6 years ago.  I feel I am still at the very beginning of my journey with it, so it is unbelievable to me that my name is among those included.

Cynthia Tinapple is the best polymer clay ambassador the polymer community could hope for.  She works  tirelessly to promote polymer artists and their work.  She not only created Polymer Clay Daily and Polymer Clay Global, which promises to delve even deeper into the inspiration behind the works of our best polymer artists; she also curates a video newsletter, Studio Mojo, devoted to in-depth interviews with some of the world's best polymer artists.   She always has her finger on the pulse of polymer trends and news and generously shares it all with us.

I cannot imagine the time and effort it takes to keep up with all this, but Cynthia does it, delivering our daily dose of inspiration at Polymer Clay Daily so that I and thousands of others can peruse it with our morning coffee.  I always start my day during the week with it, and lately, I have been going back through the archived posts, discovering even more artists and inspiration.

For my gallery spot, I submitted photos of these Faux Jade Kanji Character focal beads I created using Pardo Translucent Clay and alcohol inks.  I cannot wait to see what everyone else submitted.

Several of my friends are also included, another little thrill.  I am so happy for them.  Many of my polymer mentors and heroes who inspire me every day to push myself to do better work are also in the book.

I hope you will check out each and every link in the list of artists included.  You might want to pace yourself, though.  The quality of the polymer art is going to be mind-boggling.  

Mere words could never convey how appreciative I am of the honor, Cynthia, but thank you so very much.  I am permanently installed on Cloud 9 from this day forward; and I invite all my friends to climb on up and celebrate with me!

June ABS Entry

I wasn't going to enter the challenge at Art Bead Scene this month, but after I saw the art which is the inspiration for this month's challenge, though, I decided to enter these earrings.  I didn't make them for the challenge, but they incorporate almost all of the colors in the painting, the wavy pattern echoes the waves of the water; and the mosaic squares also echo the little house shapes.  

The challenge artwork for June is "Jackknife Village" by Franklin Carmichael, a "modern" Art Nouveau  styled painting created by him in 1926.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow...

It is supremely embarrassing to realize I have not posted here on the blog in more than a month, but that is what happens when I get immersed in a new tutorial.  I am only coming up for air now to post a few new pieces in the shop and on Flickr.  Some of these are pieces I made a month or two ago, and stockpiled while I worked on the tutorial, so I could add a few at a time as other pieces sold.  I try to maintain about 150 items in the shop at one time, so twice a month, I add new things and rotate out some of the older pieces.  

Anyway, while I have some "spare" time waiting on the new clay, I decided to get back to something I love to do but haven't had the time for in more than 20 years.   I sewed myself some new clothes!

I used to love to sew.  My Momma taught me how when I was 8.  My first project was a simple dress I made for 4-H.  That was the very first thing I ever made with my own two hands, and I know it is what got me started on this artistic path.  I can still see it, a little beige, cap-sleeved sheath that may have had 6 pieces.  Momma made the pattern for me out of butcher paper.  It was beige because we couldn't afford to buy new fabric, and had to use whatever she had on hand.

I need new clothes after more than 30 years as a paralegal, wearing the "dress for success" blue suit, black suit uniform during the work week.  A couple of weeks ago, I came to a startling realization:  I am never going to be in the corporate work force again, due to my age, which is middle headed toward old; and my health, which is so-so.  The jobs I want are going to the perky 20-somethings; and ain't nothing about me is perky anymore.   

So, I am now and for the rest of my life will be a full-time artist and jewelry designer, probably below the poverty level.  LOL 

Am I happier than I was in the corporate world? Ask me on a day when I've had a sale or two and can pay the bills.  There is a lot of worry for most full-time artists, and while it is something I dreamed of being able to do,  it was only a pipe dream 5 years ago; and even then, I was thinking it was 20 years down the road.  But, here it is, and I am trying to enjoy it.

Setting aside the worry, there are wonderful things about my "new" life.  The best thing is that each day is my own.  I can do whatever I want with it.   I am learning not to feel guilty for sleeping in until 10:00, okay Noon, one morning, or staying up all night the next.  I don't have anyone to answer to except myself.  

The second best thing about working for myself is that I get to spend more time with my best friend, my Mother, Addie.  

We have had some great heart to heart talks lately, really opening up to each other.  I've never felt closer to her, and I think she would say the same about me. 

Any of you who have visited my blog already know that my Momma is an artist herself, a landscape painter. We have had some really enlightening discussions about color theory and design recently.  I have become so interested in what she does, that I have decided to take some art classes and see if I have any talent at painting.  

Third, if I want to get in the car and drive through the countryside on a weekday to get inspiration, I get in the car and start driving.  As small as South Carolina is, I can be on the Atlantic Ocean or in the Blue Ridge Mountains within a few hours' drive in each direction.  Inspiration is everywhere around me.       

I have also had some serious discussions lately with my friends and fellow polymer artists, Jill Kollmann and Ginger Davis Allman, about stress and pressure and creativity and being successful as an internet seller.  We are all trying to figure out the magic formula, and I am learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other marketing strategies.   Jill and Ginger (and Ginger's computer Guru husband, Gary), are super smart about all this internet marketing stuff, and have been a huge source of support and encouragement for me.  

Ginger is actually a customer turned friend, a co-conspirator in the search for the perfect cobalt blue translucent clay; and I am convinced Jill is a sister from another mother.  We have so much in common, and when I need someone to vent to, or share a success with, I go to Jill.   

Having key people to talk to is important.  It is also a bit of a change for me, as my closest friends for the past 30 years were people I networked with on a daily basis in my paralegal job.  Only a handful have maintained contact since I left my old job, and I am doubly grateful for all the friendships I have made through the internet.  

Once I had the epiphany about not being part of the corporate rat race any more, I decided I want to be somewhat of a Bohemian.  My old "black suit, blue suit wardrobe" has been relegated to the back of the closet.  My new, handmade wardrobe is much less restrictive, more comfortable; and certainly bolder and more brighter. 

So, if you see me gadding about town in a flowing turquoise and red caftan, or a busily-patterned batik print tunic, don't be saying to yourself "there goes that crazy, old, artist lady again."  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Yikkity Turquoise

Retired Atlanta Braves 3rd baseman Chipper Jones had a saying.  When one of the Braves hit a long home run, he called it "going yikkity."   In other words, they done good. 

I do believe I went Yikkity with the latest batch of turquoise! For inspiration this time around, I turned to  some of the lighter green turquoise from China; and a "faux" turquoise called African Turquoise, which is actually a jasper that is dyed or chemically enhanced.  

I played around with the greens which are prominent in Chinese turquoise and African turquoise, then went to my favorite dark teal. I also pulled out some tiny shape cutters with some really beautiful results.  

Before I write a tutorial, I repeat the process I'm writing about over and over and over again, to be sure my customers who purchase it can expect consistent results when they apply the steps.  That practice results in a lot of pieces, and a lot of clay is used.  I've gone through about 4 pounds of clay in the last month, and I'm almost ready to write, but I've got a few more color combos I want to try, so everyone who asked about the next tutorial, it's coming.

Please be patient with me.  I think you will really love this one.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Little Detour

I took a little detour from mosaic making yesterday to create some pieces inspired by this string of rustic saucer lamp work glass beads I received in the mail from Julie at Indian Creek Art Glass.  

I was one of two winners at Art Bead Scene last month for my "Fracture" earrings, my entry in the Marc Franz challenge.  My prize was a gift certificate from Julie's shop, Outwest.  I used it toward the purchase of these beauties. I specifically asked for the eight apricot beads, and left it up to Julie to make up a mix of Southwestern colors to complete the order.   I could not be more pleased with her selection.  Thanks again, Julie!

When I opened the package, I think my jaw really hit the floor.  Folks, this is my kind of beautiful.  I just had to stand and stare at them in awe for a few minutes.  

I can't really describe, and the photo doesn't show, how stunning they are.  The colors are mouthwatering.   My brain started churning with ideas inspired by the texture and colors.  

I'm calling this collection Native Flowers, and they are part of my Southwestern Landscapes Series. These are a few of the pieces I created after being inspired by Julie's work.  She's my new favorite glass artist, and a super nice lady. 

I painted several different sheets of translucent (Premo) clay with chalk inks and alcohol inks, let them dry, and used my controlled marbling technique to make very thin sheets which I layered onto my favorite faux bone veneers.
I wanted the bone to show through the translucent clay, and I am really pleased with the result. 

I am being very stingy with my saucer beads for now, but I have a necklace project in mind that I need a pendant for, and I may have to think on it awhile longer... and I've still got more turquoise to create, too.  

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of you who purchased my faux turquoise mosaic pieces.  The pieces from all three batches sold out, and I hope to have more in a few days.  Thank you so much!

I really do have the best customers in the world, many of whom have become treasured friends as well.   

Several of the pieces are on their way to Australia, and my customer didn't even mind paying the new, ridiculously expensive U.S. postage rates for 1st class international mail.

That's devotion for you!  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More New Faux Turquoise Pieces

Well, my friend Arlene Harrison was right.  Mosaics are addictive!   I created a few more faux turquoise mosaic pieces, this time combining the 3 recipes I had on the work table, a King Manassa type turquoise, a robin's egg blue turquoise with black matrix; and a medium green-blue turquoise with black matrix which resembles Kingman turquoise.  

My Nanny Moseley would say it is tacky to brag on yourself, but I'll just have to be tacky today, because I love the finished pieces.  Please forgive the less than stellar photos.  I think my camera is on its last legs. I've had a terrible time lately getting good shots and the battery won't hold its power.  These pieces are really special. 

I've had the most fun creating these, and I am not done yet.  Look to see more pieces later on this week, including combinations of faux turquoise with other faux finishes, like coral and Campbellite, which I have wanted to do forever. 

These last two pieces shown are part of my second batch of faux turquoise that I created last week, before the mosaic frenzy started.  Yummy!

I'll be listing these pieces this afternoon and tonight, and I don't think they will last long, so if you are interested in these or any of the others shown in my flickr photo stream, better hurry.   Two pairs of the earrings have already been reserved for a local customer.

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Something Borrowed, Something Blue... Turquoise That Is

Faux Turquoise Polymer Mosaic Earrings
I'm back to faux turquoise this weekend.  I made some veneers two weeks ago and they've been sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do with them.

I was looking through my friend Arlene Harrison's flickr photo stream yesterday and decided to try some mosaic pieces after seeing hers.  So Arlene, I'm stealing your idea!

Here are the first results, which I love.  I am shamelessly giving myself a pat on the back today.  The photos are good, but they look AWESOME in person!

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Mosaic Pendant or Cab
Tonight is Family Night, a/k/a the night I reign supreme as Canasta champion, so I'll be out of commission most of the day, but as soon as I can get back to this technique, I am going to do some pushing of that old envelope edge.  

I've got some ideas I want to try to implement.  You know what that usually means, though... something totally unplanned will probably emerge, so stay tuned.  

I am having way too much fun to stop now! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Back In The Studio At Last!

The fingers have healed and the new shipment of clay arrived last week, so it was time to get back into the studio.  

I am still trying to find my next tutorial topic, so the experiments continue.   I can't decide between adding to my "Fabulous Faux Collection" or doing something along the lines of textures or surface design.  

I am photographing every step of the experiments and hope something definitive will emerge by the time I am through with the new shipment of clay.  I still have no Pardo, which is a major bummer, but May is getting closer and I hope it will arrive before the end of next month.  

I have a list of the gemstones and natural material I want to try to duplicate. The list gets added to every time my friend John sends me an idea he would like to see me duplicate, too. The list is getting pretty long, so I thought I better hop to it and see if I could mark some “DONE!”

Two days ago, I set out to try and duplicate Purple Copper Turquoise, which is actually a dyed and enhanced Magnesite (would that then be a faux faux gemstone?); and a Purple Impression Jasper, another natural stone enhanced with dyes in every color under the sun.  Both the Magnesite and the Impression Jasper are really pretty, so neither was a hardship to try.   But alas, the experiments went awry and my hands didn't create what my eye and brain wanted them to, and I ended up with something close to the patterns in Druzy stones.

My favorite gemstone vendor, Kevin and the guys at Lima Beads, has a gorgeous Purple Druzy with copper matrix among their gemstone offerings so I decided to call this latest batch my version of Violet Druzy Stone.

My goal in creating faux pieces is to create something of a size that you normally wouldn't find in the real gemstone, like a humongous Faux Carico Lake Turquoise pendant or earrings, which would be out of the price range of most of us.  

I love creating a big focal or earring components that look so much like the genuine gemstone that my jewelry designer customers can create statement jewelry using the faux focal and much smaller, genuine stones.   My first faux experiments five years ago actually came out of a customer request for Golden Tiger Eye, something I still am trying to achieve.  

I start by studying a specimen of the genuine gemstone I want to imitate.  I may study it for several days or even weeks before attempting it in polymer clay.   Trying to create an organic look from an inorganic compound like polymer is more difficult than it appears. The hardest part is creating, for lack of a better word, believable depth and texture; and creating texture is easier than creating depth.

This was, for me, a large batch of experimental clay, one that yielded a dozen pieces, when a normal batch only yields 2 or 3 pieces at most.  When my original ideas for a faux purple copper Turquoise or a purple Impression Jasper didn't pan out, I was left with several sheets of extremely thin clay, which yielded a dozen finished pieces, which I've been staring at for two days while trying to decide what to call them. I finally settled on “Faux Violet Druzy” after cruising through Lima Beads this afternoon and finding that gorgeous cabochon.

Am I disappointed the Purple Copper Turquoise and the Purple Impression Jasper didn't pan out? A little, but I love my Violet Druzy, too.  

One of the best things about being an artist is that there is no right way or wrong way to create.  Happy accidents are good, and these are wicked good happy accidents, if I do say so myself!

If you would like to see more of the Faux Druzy collection, please check out my Flickr Photo Stream.   Now I'm going to beat it back to the studio!  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Faux Fantasy Turquoise and an Exercise in Patience

Faux Carico Lake Turquoise Arrowhead Earrings

I have been trying to determine what my next tutorial will be about, and so I have been experimenting a lot.  First up:  Faux turquoise.  I LOVE turquoise, and wanted to try and come up with polymer versions of some of my favorite types of genuine turquoise, like Carico Lake and Blue Gem, neither of which I will ever be able to afford. 

Creating faux turquoise also satisfies my need for big, bold pendants and earrings.  I can create as big a focal as I want in polymer, whereas a piece as large in the genuine turquoise stone would be way out of my price range, and probably almost everyone else's price range, too.

I made more than 120 pieces in the last 10 days, and sanded so much, I'm out of commission because my fingers are a cracked and bloody mess. 

I am also out of clay, and it is torture!  I am very impatient to get back in the studio and do some Spring creating.

Faux Blue Gem Turquoise Pendant
I am seeing such beautiful new work from all my favorite polymer artists and I am jealous I can't get in there and create some new things, too.   

Until my fingers heal, I'm spending the time sorting finished pieces into three batches:  List, Trash and Butt Uglies.  If a piece passes the Diva Perfection Test, it goes in the List pile.  Pieces with imperfections go in the Butt Uglies Jar for my Momma.  Things I don't like or are too ugly for the Butt Uglies Jar get tossed.

Faux Carico Lake Turquoise Earrings

Of the 120+ pieces I created, I ended up with about 45 List pieces and 40 or so Butt Uglies.   The rest got tossed... a lot of wasted clay, unfortunately.

The next step is photographing and deciding which pieces to list first.  This is the hardest part for me.  There are only so many items you can fit on the first page of your Etsy shop, so I have to decide which are my favorites.

Diva Fantasy Turquoise Earrings

These are some of the pieces that made the cut and will be listed.  Seeing the final result is so worth the wrecked digits; and several of the pieces have already been reserved or sold.

Faux Blue Gem Turquoise Earrings

Which brings me to something I wanted to say.  If you see something in my Flickr photo stream that is not listed in my shop, ask me about it.  I only have the energy to post a few pieces at a time, so it may be that I just haven't gotten to the one you want yet.  I am always happy to reserve pieces for my loyal customers.  Email me and we'll discuss it, okay?

Thank you!