Thursday, December 25, 2008

Heifer International Charity Pledge 2009 for Organic Odysseys

Bees...................................The one thing about bees that most folks know is to basically stay out of their way! Some are downright terrified of anything that buzzes, and for good reason, some can be deathly allergic to a sting from a bee. But bees are more than little flying stingers, in fact they are very important to everything living, plant, animal and human alike. You may have picked this up if you happened to see Jerry Seinfelds movie last year, The Bee movie. While it was a cute and funny movie, the story line did help to educate many who are not so aware of this.

Something others may not be aware of is that there has been a crisis of late with the bees. Modern technology is believed to be the culprit as it only seems to be happening in high tech countries. Some blame the cellular phones we all can't do without. To learn more about that just google "Bees disappearing" and you will find a wealth of articles on it.

In poor countries where food is not such a convenience, working to grow crops can be daunting and lots of hard work for little pay in vegetables, and grains for bread. This is where having bees in residence and abundance can be a great blessing.

Heifer International realizes this and offers those in need, through donations of caring supporters, bees, equipment and also most importantly, training on how to keep them. Having these bees can greatly increase the yield of their crops, even doubling it in some countries.

That is why Organic Odysseys has pledged Each month of the coming year to sponsor a Hive to those who could use it best through Heifer international. I will be using the proceeds from my shop to fund this. If all I take in is just enough to do so , then so 'bee' it. :) This is a commitment of Organic Odysseys to help others who are trying to help themselves grow good , healthy and abundant crops, somewhere on our planet. We at Organic Odysseys believe in being our brothers keeper and to share in the blessings we receive with those in need.

We ask that you help in this endeavor by visiting our shop and looking at the diversity of organic themed items there, jewelry, functional art, home decor, and even personal apparel and accessories and choose something , knowing that a part of your purchase of art made from produce from an organic farm is going to help others raise food organically so that they too may live a more healthy and productive life!

Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winner of Scavenger Hunt!

Announcing the winner of the PCAGOE Scavenger Hunt for the Organic Odysseys shop:


Congratulations! Please convo me on how you wish to spend your Gift certificate of $20, so I can make a listing just for you!!!!

A Special thank you to all who entered, I hope you had fun on the hunt and will keep posted about any other fun things we are planning! I really enjoyed opening up your entries and for those who left encouraging comments and compliments, I thank you, it was very inspiring for me, my gift from you! Thank you for playing!

Keep tuned in to my blog and the PCAGOE blog for more fun events!

Happy Holidays everyone! And again, thanks for your participation!

Organic Odysseys

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

To friends, family, and anyone who stops by, Wishing you the warmth and light and Joy of this season of miracles.

The first night , the first candle...................
Barukh Atta Adonay Eloheynu Melekh Ha-olam She-asa Nissim La-avoteynu Ba-yyamim Ha-hem Ba-zzman Ha-zze

Barukh Atta Adonay Eloheynu Melekh Ha-olam She-hekheyanu Ve-kiymanu Ve-higgi'anu La-zzman Ha-zze

Gift Certificate Added to store

For those last minute shoppers I have added a gift certificate to my etsy shop which can be used for anything in the shop, including the shipping. All you have to do is to make your purchase as usual by adding this to your cart, then leave me your recipients name and special message in the 'Message to seller' box at checkout and it will be sent to them when you want ( for Christmas or a certain day of Hanukkah!). I got the neat templates from Giftango, check them out if you are looking to do the same.

After the holidays, I shall be offering general gift certificates to give to the someone hard to shop for or to let them have fun picking something out. Hopefully these will work out better than I've heard gift cards do ( mine is good for 11 months) because I've read recently or heard on the news that over half gift cards go unclaimed ( this is why stores push selling them , especially at the check outs, because they know they will get the money up front and they may never be redeemed! ).

I plan on sending a reminder to the recipients so they don't loose out, and since the GC can't be lost in the rubble of life's accoutrement's, they don't have to worry.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I couldn't wait

This is really the only time of year I eat fried foods, I couldn't wait until tomorrow night! I made these Thursday night and stopped before eating some just now to catch this picture before they're all gone! Three kinds, Potato, Sweet Potato, and Mixed with curry! I love them all !

6:32pm December 20th 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Add Some Spice for the Holidays

I love spices, and herbs, wonderful little things from bark, berries, flowers and herbs, these little things take an ordinary dish and elevate it to 5 star dining. Not only do they taste good, flavoring everything from drinks to salads, soups, and meats, vegetables and lots of baked goods, they also add wonderful aromas in every part of our lives, even the non edible.

Who doesn't love a lemon scented soap to make you feel fresh and alive? ( I consider citrus among all these others as it marries so well with them). Or A cucumber sage body wash? Cinnamon scented candles, or ones called something like Pumpkin Pie? I even have one called Root Beer float and it smells exactly like it and true root beer like Virgils, is made from all kinds of botanicals.

We enjoy spices and herbs in our daily lives but don't much pay them the honor they deserve. I was so busy lately with promotion that I somehow missed that I was featured in another treasury. This one is extraordinary, in that it puts the spotlight on the spices of life and it also included my herb flower bracelet. I am honored to be chosen for yet another well made treasury by EvergreenIvy .
So don't forget to try these little but powerful spices, herbs, flowers, citrus, they can be very beneficial health wise so all the more reason, but they sure to make it fun and flavorful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peace on ART

Ahh, what a lovely Rosey glow !!
I got a treasury tonight and that's what I named it. I featured some cool things I've found around and about etsy and also lots of beautiful art from my fellow members of the PCAGOE. Take a look and see if you can't not want to buy something!

Many of the Polymer clay artists featured are also participating in the PCAGOE Scavenger Hunt I posted about here last week.

One of our members, SCDIVA has made a treasury featuring them all, you can check it out HERE.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Treasury Feature!

One of our newest members to the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Esty ( she joined when I did), Milica Bubanja of Slovenia who is a wonderful Artist and has many fine pieces in her etsy shop , recently made a Treasury featuring Polymer clay pieces with a nature theme. She graciously included my Edamame Brooch made from copper metallic clay, highlighted with a verdigris finish. I am honored to be among such wonderful artists, each with their own style of nature interpretations.

She Calls it "Top Art Jewelry"
Be sure to stop by her shop at etsy: and see lovely and very unique pieces like these:
I love this one, The Butterfly Poem which has a great transfer of a delicate butterfly and a handwritten poem framing it. Very beautiful!

Also this caught my eye, these fabulous 'sponge' beads which she makes into retro modern earrings, necklaces and charming charm bracelets like this one seen here.

I love the colors, so fresh but serene! They remind me of warm Tropical seas in a fresh and modern design.

If you like the wonderful art seen in this treasury, be sure to visit the etsy shops of these great artists: JaelsJewels, studiobijou, laurabeestudios, jkollmann, slavko, scdiva, marciapalmer, beadworx, cocojaneandme, utopiabeads, juliespace

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hunt For Trea sure!

I am a member of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, or PCAGOE for short. This holiday season we are having our first ever Scavenger Hunt. Many of the members are participating in this, so be sure to visit the shops listed below. Why not sit back for a moment and join the hunt and maybe win a lovely prize for yourself!

Here's how it works. See the little snowman image? You will be searching for this chilly little fellow in one of the listings in my shop at etsy. He will be found among the pictures , hidden within a listing. To go on the hunt you just need to sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage, in your PJ's even and just look through the listings in my shop. When you find the little snowman seen here, all you do is click under my shops name where it says 'Seller info', click on contact and this will put you into a convo page. Just convo me ( private message) that you have found the snowman in that listing and you will automatically be entered into the drawing!
Please also include how you found out about the contest too!

The Drawing will take place on Dec 22nd by random number selection. If you are a winner you will be notified through your etsy account by convo and an announcement will also be made on my blog on Dec 22 as well.

This is open to all etsy members ( sign up is easy and only takes a moment if you aren't already a member) but not to PCAGOE members.

The Prize I am offering is a $20 gift certificate ( non transferable) good for anything in my store until Dec 31st. You can use it to purchase anything up to $20 ( no cash given if not all used) or you can apply it to something of more value, just convo me as to what you want and I will make a listing for it minus the GC, just for you!

Happy Hunting!

Shops participating in the Scavenger Hunt:


Edited to add Angeli, so make sure you stop by her shop! She make yummy non calorie treats!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mixed Media Pieces ( my version)

Well I finally got this done! I bought the yarn on Nov 11th after weeks and weeks of frustrated search on etsy to find one of these little neck warmers to display my 80's revision of button covers! First it took me awhile to track some down, hardly anyone carry's them, in fact I found some vintage ones on etsy and snatched them up. I had a few of the smaller size back from the 80's when I used to cover them will all kinds of things and sold quite a few sets.

These however are not just glued on things, but rather the cover is embedded into the clay to lie flat and not giveaway that it is a button cover.

While I was at Joannes for a clay sale, I decided to just make one of these scarfs myself, so I choose three different kinds of yarn, and tried to get some on sale, these new yarns are soooo expensive, more so than when I used to knit and crochet years ago. But then again we had very little selection in those days. I hadn't a clue how to go about this and wanted something totally mine, not someone else's pattern. So I sat down with a couple of pattern books ( for stitches, not articles of clothing and such) and dug out my needles and decided I would not go the knit route this time. I realized why I loved crochet so much, you don't have to worry about dropping stitches! So I choose a hook that I thought matched the yarn and just started in. I just used some basic crochet stitches but with the yarn so variegated and slubby, anything more would just get lost. I finished it off with a ruffled edge and then worried about not placing the button holes.

I searched around through my boxes of fabrics, and trims and found some beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon that matched perfectly. So last night I sat down, figured where I wanted these beauties to sit on the scarf and sewed on the buttons. Then I took the silk ribbon and made buttonholes magically appear!

I then buttoned the buttons, and snapped on the button covers, or Button jewelry as I like to call them and Voila` it was finally done! Actually I had finished the scarf and am currently working on another with a totally different design, but I couldn't find a darning needle to sew the button holes with until yesterday! So now I have taken some pictures, not the best, but it is so dark and dreary today, can't get a good natural light one, but I couldn't wait any longer.

I'll be listing this a little later today, and hope it does well, it sure was a long time in the making and I know it's definitely one of a kind because I am not repeating this one! :)

I do know one thing, If it doesn't sell soon, I may take it out of the store and keep it for myself. I really like how this came out and I love the idea of not having ten yards ( or so it seems some times) of extra scarf you don't know what to do with. This serves it's purpose, to keep your neck warm and not hinder your movements, it's bad enough it's winter and you have to bundle up with bulking winter clothes, no need to get frustrated in the middle of it all!

Oh I forgot to mention. This Scarf is beautiful, functional and artistic, but it doesn't' end there. As I said there are buttons sewn to the scarf and they are buttoned like regular buttons, through holes, then the 'Button Jewelry' is snapped on over the buttons. But when you get to your destination, if you've planned right, you can remove the Jewelry from the buttons on the scarf, and now add them to your blouse! The only requirement is that the buttons on your garment will fit the button cover. The one in the leaf is for your average shirt button, while the one for the eggplant will take a bit bigger button. So now you have cool looking button jewelry to wear throughout the day, so you don't have to leave these lovelies hanging out in the coat closet! Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Treasury

I put this together so early in the morning and went to bed immediately following that, I forgot to mention it here. I got a Treasury in Treasury West the testing version at

It features many talented polymer clay artists of etsy From A to V!, such as ArzuMusa, FolkArtFromtheHeart , laurelsteven, marciapalmer, PolymerClayforaCause, RadicallyRiley , VAharoni.

Polymer Clay for a cause highlights a conglomeration of polymer clay artists pieces sold in this store for a special memorial charity started by one of pcagoe's members ElementalDragons .

And I just learned recently that Valerie Aharoni of VAharoni, Has won the Grand Prize Winner/Best In Show in the Bead Star contest chosen by viewers at Beading, and First Place Winner in the Seed Bead Division of Fire Mountain's Beading Contest! From what I understand this is the premier issue of the magazine and a true honor to be picked for that! Congratulations Valerie!

There are many other great polymer clay artists showing their wares at etsy and the best belong to the PCAGOE, please take time to check it out here, many wonderful gifts for the holidays and beyond can be found in their shops!

PCAGOE has its own blog where you can find interviews with the member artists as well as monthly contests where you can win wonderful pieces of Polymer clay art, check them out here. Stop by to see all the wonderful offerings and sign up for the newsletter to keep abreast of all the news, while your there.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Skinner Blends for Botanical Color

I have had an ongoing love/hate relationship with the Skinner blend. I love how Judith executes it, using it with beautiful metallics or blending it to make it look like fabrics in her new book on clay quilts, but I hated the way mine looked, not quite blending as seamlessly as my perfection personality would like. I have tried using the blend on a few of my pieces with the botanicals from the farm, such as the Nasturtium soap dispenser, this pendant of Nasturtiums as well as this one done early last summer with Summer Savory. I choose the bright colorway for the Nasturtiums by their natural state, the orange-y reds, and deep butterscotch yellows. I think it worked, I sold a cheese shaker recently with that blend on there that came out really cute. In working with the materials sent to me from Pointy Paws ( as I wrote about earlier here ) I had started to make a brooch from one of the Live Oak leaves. When I got to the third stage of making it I decided it was a bit too big and it should be incorporated onto a vessel of some sort. My eyes fell on a prepped six sided horseradish jar and started pondering how to cover it to highlight the medallion best.

I decided to try a skinner blend again and choose a color palette I have not seen done before, ecru and a sagey green from the new line of Scupley, Studio. I mixed these a bit more than the usual runs through the pasta machine and am glad to report I am happy with the results. I had a bit left over and decided to try to do a covering for one of my new acquisitions, stainless steel money clips. I have had these savoy cabbage leaves from the farm ( believe it or not! ) and have been dying to imprint them and finally got the chance. I just knew they would impress, impressively! :) I took a few pics to show you, using my new(est) photo set up, a vintage ( I've had it for 30+ years) Tupperware cake holder and two reveal lights. I am happy with how both turned out and may just continue to experiment with how the skinner blend can work with my botanicals.

In my work I usually spend just as much time on the finishing of the piece with paint, pastels, or other color options to get the look I am trying to achieve as I do on sculpting the piece first in the clay. I used black paint over this skinner blend on the vase, a ecru on the Oak leaf and a medium sage on the black leaves surrounding the cameo and the rim. I think that they work well together and look forward to trying out more combination's to offer my customers.

I've also been working on a whole series of new buttons in various colorways. I think I shall try some soon in a skinner blend to see where that leads. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I want THIS bed

Couldn't be more perfect, I love the coast, I love the stucco, I love the candles, the comfy looking quilts, the white against the blue, the calm of it all..........

I want This bed. ( click on this to see the whole thing) nicolas mathéus takes the most awesome photos, I stumbled on this one
What more could you need? A cozy nest, a pile of books, candles to read by, sea air and sounds to sleep by? Perhaps a bit of bread and cheese, a bottle of wine.........Ahhhhhhhh..........

I think I shall go to sleep tonight pretending I am on that bed, breathing in all the fresh sea air , listening to the distant sound of the waves, dreaming sweet dreams, feeling at peace.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preparing for Thanksgiving and Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Right now I am juggling making things for tomorrows dinner ( we are alone this year and will spend some time at a local soup kitchen to help with their Free Turkey dinner) so I must get everything ready ( including the Turkey- roasted) before then. Right now I have a loaf of bread in the oven so we will have bread for lots of Turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving and when I am busy this weekend getting ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I was invited to a trunk show but hesitated because of my health, now I am glad I didn't fork out the 100 bucks, I would have had to forfeit.

Next to go into the oven will be this luscious Pumpkin Cheesecake that has the most wonderful Maple Pecan glaze ( aka praline topping made with almost a whole bottle of real maple syrup and heavy cream~). I already baked us a coffee cake for our b'fast tomorrow, and some Orange Cranberry bread to go with the meal, not to mention the Orange Cornbread which I will add some Neshama sausage and apples to it with some broth I get from the Turkey after I cook down the carcass to night. If you are wondering why all the baking and not even using canned broth, I have Celiac disease and can't have many products and I do just about all our baked goods, from cookies to breads, pies, and even donuts.

We will have Butternut Squash and pumpkin soup for lunch with some veggie chips and my famous Spinach Garlic dip!

As soon as hubby gets home ( early today, although he did work Sunday to have today off! Until they asked him to come in and sub for some inspectors and supervisors who were off. ) I will have him tackle the bird. I like to stuff him with citrus and sage and take fresh sage, chop it up and mash it into about a half stick of butter and carefully stuff this under the whole skin of the breast. It filters down into the meat and is just delicious! I can cook a 12 turkey in under 3 hours so it won't take long.

I just checked on the bread and it has risen so high! It must be 8" or more! Here it is, a contrary bread, no matter how much I spray the pan it always sticks! I have to remember next time to use parchment paper!

In between all this I am frantically taking pictures for Friday, I will be trying to post as many items I have done as possible. Then after next Monday I ( hopefully) can get back to creating again! I really want to work on some place card/favors for the holiday season.

While I was taking pictures I looked up in my studio at the ceiling fan and this stained glass Magen David I made over 7 years ago caught my eye. It is very overcast out but the light caught it just right and I snapped a pic or two. I thought they came out pretty good, until I loaded them into the laptop and saw the cobwebs, I guess I'll have to dust in there more often!

I sure wish that the camera would capture details like that when I want it to!! This shot was taken about 9 ft away and in dim light! I shoot in a light box, close up and sometimes can't get that clarity! Oy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Organic Odysseys meets Pointy Paws

One day while shopping on etsy ,(I think I was browsing using the Time Machine 2) I saw this SS ring base come up. I have been working on a ring inventory of late and have only been using distressed copper bases but I had wanted to start acquiring some Sterling Silver ones for the more distinguished buyer and also so that they can wear my rings longer. This one looked interesting, simple but elegant and the price was good. So I clicked and decided to buy it. Normally I check out the seller first but I didn't this time, not until I had made the final purchase. Then I looked and saw that they sold these items to help raise money for rescued animals.

Now I have always loved animals and was taught at a very young age by my Grandfather to love and respect them and to appreciate all they had to offer. I remember at age 6 or 7 walking around my grandfathers property one day and coming upon a fallen bird. I didn't know what it was, but I remember I cried upon seeing it and realizing it was dead. I went to find Grandfather and told him about it and that I wanted to bury it. He got me a shoebox and dug a hole. Meanwhile I had placed the bird on a piece of old rag my Grandmother had given me for it and closed the box and placed it in the ground. Grandfather covered it over and I think he thought that was the end of it, but it wasn't, I wanted a head stone! So he got a scrap piece of wood and gave me some paint and I asked him what kind of bird it was, and he told me, 'A Grackle'. So I asked him how to spell it and then painted on the little piece of wood 'A Grackle'. That was the first and last animal I ever buried, after that it was too emotional for me and I always got one of the men in the family to do it for me, when one of our animals had to be put down, I couldn't possibly go, it was too heartbreaking.

Ever since then though I have taken in strays,and injured animals, they just seemed to find me somehow, be it dogs, kittens ( I once found a kitten locked in a pay toilet at a gas station and had to take it home!) squirrels ( raised two at different times that had fallen from the nest), an Opossom ( took to the local animal wildlife shelter) and all kinds of birds that needed some rescue that I'd released,asap. One time a mother woodpecker had taken her brood out to teach them how to hunt. They had found our dogs little pool that was back near the woods and had a bit of water in it and I guess were having a bath or drink. Next thing I knew I saw one of them struggling and the rest flew off. I went out to rescue a baby woodpecker that was thoroughly soaked. I picked it up gently with a washcloth and brought it inside. There I placed it on a towel on the bottom of a cage I kept just for that purpose and placed it on the floor. Then I stood above it with a hair dryer on low, careful to move it around so it wouldn't get too hot and after a few minutes his feathers soon dried. It was very close to sundown so I hurried out side to put him back near the pool and hoped he would know the way home!

So you can see I have raised many an orphan and have a deep love for all Gods creatures. That is why I was so interested to read the announcement at this etsy shop.

100% of the revenue from our sales goes to rescue and shelter discarded, stray and broken animals.
I had to go and look around to see what else I could buy from this seller, just to help the animals out. And happily I shopped , finding many things I thought I could use with my organic pieces to make some very nice jewelry. I convoed the woman and asked if it were too late to combine shipping since I had already completed the other order, and she graciously told me no it wasn't.

Within a short while I received a package in the mail and opened it. The first thing I saw was some crumbled paper ( more like crinkled from being wet) and what looked like some leaves sticking out from it. What in the world?? I thought. I pulled out the paper and also noticed some odd looking boxes in there. What did I order? I had three other packages sitting besides me so it wasn't' just this I was waiting for in the mail. I opened the folded two sheets of paper and began to read.

First the woman thanked me for my order and for helping the animals out, then she proceeded to tell me that she had taken a look around my store, ( I love that!) and then while she was on her way out to gather up what I had ordered ( I assumed she had a workshop outside the main house) she got to thinking how we lived in different parts of the country and that maybe I didn't have some of the plant life where I live that she did. So in the rain she stopped to pick off some leaves and seed pods and put them in the letter and a little box for the Morning glory seed pods and sent it off to me along with some bonus bags of wonderment ( beautiful beads and other goodies).

Now that was last week and I haven't been feeling too well recently, my heart is doing it's odd thing again so I haven't been able to get to this as soon as I wanted. But I was so touched by her generosity, and thoughtfulness I just had to reciprocate, for the animals.

So the very next day I made some molds and also impressions in some clay. I really had no idea what I'd be making, but I was sure something would come to me. I haven't finished them completely, but I wanted to show what I have done so I can get thanking this woman properly!

Here are the molds and an impression of one of the large green leaves, that I believe if I understood her correctly, Live Oak.
I finally got around to working on them and have made bas relief pieces from the molds such as the one from the top of the picture with the black dots, these are actually morning glory seeds embedded into the clay and then I later removed them. From this mold I have made a very special button for someone to use on a very special garment I think. The mold to the right of that is of the Morning glory seed pod. The way it impressed it looks to me like a strange outer-space man just crossing the finish line and breaking through the end of race ribbon!

The one right below it is the little cap on top of the seed pod and the one below that is a smaller Live Oak leaf. This one here you see in brown clay, I added a backing to it and filigree texture and made this pendant.

Isn't it beautiful? I will add findings to it and make it into a necklace. It looks like antique brown leather set in an old bronze metal aged setting.

I seemed to like the shape of these Oak leaves, I remember, but it's been awhile, being in the South, and seeing many majestic Live Oaks, with the Spanish Moss hanging off of them. These are huge , stately trees and are also not like Northern Oaks, which I am surrounded by, but the Live oak is an evergreen. I sure would like that, we just spent the best part of two days cleaning up all the leaves from our dozens of oaks!

So I had to make something else. Remember the other mold, with the oak leaf? It looked kinda ruffled? I decided to make a bead with this, different than others I've made. I made a base bead first from the newer clay that is very light, so light it floats, and this bead does float, I tried it out! anyway, I made the base bead and baked it, then I impressed some sage green clay into the leaf mold leaving plenty of clay on each side. Then I carefully and I mean carefully, wrapped it around the base bead, careful to smooth it so there were no air bubbles, and cut away the excess clay then smoothed the seams together.
It looked nice, but rather plain. So I decided to give it a little lift. With my needle tool I carefully went around the leaf, impressing a tiny hole each time. As I got to the edges I had to be more careful that each press of the tool did not smash the leaf on the other side.

I finished it off by making tendril type branches to simulate the Spanish Moss. After baking again, I finished it by sanding, then painting with various colors of paint, sanding, baking and then sanding and then finally buffing it. I think it came out very nice. It looks to me like a natural clay bead done in earthy glazes. I will also be making a pendant from this one, it is different than anything else I've done before and that is one of the exciting things that come from a loving heart with a surprise like this! New and exciting discoveries!

I hope I am not boring you yet, I want to show you a couple more things I've made. Here is the little Morning Glory cap, it reminds me of tomato caps and if you have been to my store you have probably seen my tomato bracelet that highlights many different tomato caps, each has it's own personality.I have done this one in a Tuscan Wall finish, it reminds me of the stucco walls in Tuscany, yellowed with age. Yes, this will be another pendant, a more delicate one than the last.

But this one here will be a brooch, one that reminds me of Wedgewood and old cameos at the same time. It is done in a denim clay and highlighted in white. It reminds me of Close Encounters of the third kind, the little men against the bright white light! This will have a border added to it and then a pin back. It should be quite the conversation piece!

Oh! Remember that white circle of clay with the black dots I told you were Mourning Glory Seeds? That is the button I made at the top of this blog entry, isn't it handsome?

I hope to be listing all these come this Friday, yes, Black Friday and I will also be having a shop wide Free shipping offer as well as a free gift tag/ornament with each purchase. So be sure to stop by, OH, and did I mention, all the proceeds from these pieces pictured here will go to my Local Animal Shelter, I'm sure, this time of year especially they will need all the help they can get, so see if you can't help out but purchasing one of these unique items. And thanks again to Nita, of ! And please visit her shop and see if you can't help out there too! I think Nita is the nicest, most personable person I've met so far on etsy ( besides my friend ellaluna) and I'm sure anyone that does business with her will agree!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New 'Bronze Age' Series

I have always loved the patinas of time, it gives a certain kind of 'weight' to an object and makes it have more 'presence' . mostly I guess, because of the time it has been around and seen the world go by, ever changing yet remaining the same. As King Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun" but those things that are truly interesting , I believe, will always remain so.

I have been collecting pictures for awhile now of objects I like and studying them to discover what their main attraction is. I have realized that shape usually is the first thing noticed, then to be followed by the finish or color. Shapes that are pleasing to me are always organic in form but the colors I like also emanate from nature or from time spent in nature.

Of late I have realized I have an affinity for the patinas found on bronze sculptures, and ancient coins. That is why I have been experimenting how to translate that into my work with organic botanicals and I think I have finally gotten it! I know this is only the beginning but I am so pleased with the results I just had to share.

I have had some requests for more switch plates, something I have always enjoyed making, both with my newest venture in organics in clay as well as my Judaica pieces, like this one found in my other etsy shop Almost ARTifacts. So I have decided to get going with them as well as another item that has been on my drawing board for awhile, Buttons.

Buttons were the very first thing I made when I discovered polymer clay over 20 years ago. At that time I was just re-discovering sewing and that it wasn't as bad as I had thought. While in Home Economics class in high school I remember not doing so well in the sewing semester , mainly because the teacher had unreasonable expectations of me because she knew my mother had majored in HomeEc in college ( but had switched after only a year to the field of Special Ed) and was always nagging me about my work. So when I started to sew years later after getting past that, it was with great fervor as it was a wonderful way to make something useful as well as artful at the same time.

After trying some quilts I grew tired ( to come back to these later in a much smaller proportion after a car accident) of them and switched to clothing. I decided my husband needed a vest wardrobe and proceeded to make him one. I used all kinds of interesting things for the buttons to go with my themes, but when I made one of the vests with textured strips of every color of the rainbow and crazy quilt stitches to join them, I realized there didn't exist any buttons that would be in the same artistic vein as the rest of the work and I would have to make them myself.

Somehow I stumbled upon polymer clay at my local hardware/art supply store and created a suitable buttons for that vest. But I soon disregarded them as a vehicle for art and moved on to 'bigger and better' things. But now I have returned after a long absence to the button to rediscover what a useful and wonderful little canvas it can be for art. Even the most mundane of articles of clothing can be skyrocketed into the realm of ' artistic couture' when adding one of these little beauties.

So without further ado, I present some pieces from my newest series, The Bronze Age. This is my first switch plate/or outlet cover. For the first in this series I choose something that I cataloged into my inventory of molds recently, Bok Choy. Most people only know it as the filler in their Oriental dishes and don't really know what it looks like whole unless they are amateur chefs who love to experiment. Bok Choy is a member of the Cabbage family but much milder, and has a crisp crunch like celery, while pleasant to the palate and marries well with anything you want to cook with it. It doesn't have much of a flavor of its own, nor many calories, but what it lacks in those departments, it more than makes up for in the texture department.

This plate was done using three different stages of leaves. From the very heart of the plant ( the whole plant except for the shallow roots is eaten) where the baby leaves emerge, a fingerling one ( seen on the right bottom of the plate) that could be used for crudité, to one of the larger outer leaves that have the best veining, varying from large to more delicate. The veining and texture remind me of the human bodys ventricular system which I studied long ago when I was persuaded to go into the medical field. I think my combination of clay and paint, along with sanding and buffing to look like a 'worn with age' sculpture or coin help to complete the imitation of time. I am very pleased with the outcome, and even more so on my first ( after a long time) re-visitation of buttons.

I've also been continuing my ongoing struggle with photographing my pieces. I long for the old days with my SLR, but then again I didn't have the instant gratification of seeing them immediately and the frivoulousness of tossing the bad ones out without wasting any money.
So. I think I am more than happy with the outcome of the Buttons, which are also of Bok Choy, as well as the new set up to photograph them, which involves, oddly enough, two of my pot lids for diffusion of the lights!

Here is a set of ones I made with some organic Carrot tops. I love the look of these as well and will have a hard time listing these on etsy to sell as I have been dreaming up all ways to use these myself!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fairy Flower ring

I don't believe in fairies, but if they did exist I would imagine they would like to wear rings like this!

I started working on a series of rings a few weeks ago. This is one of them. It seems that the purple color I have chosen for this and other pieces recently has become the newest fashion color statement this season, called, organically enough, ( smile) eggplant. I have used it in this Sweet Bell Pepper blossom ring and mounted it on a copper filigree pedestal that sits atop an adjustable copper ring base. The piece is square, but beveled and tapered down to imitate the table of a jewelers cut stone.

I really like the ethereal way this turned out. The white paint gives it a ghost impression quality while still showing the delicacy of the very thin and translucent petals. I have a few more on the way and will be listing them soon on

I do have some more ideas for rings that aren't button pad types but more artistic. I will be experimenting with these ideas in the coming days.

UpDate: I listed this on etsy last night, but it hasn't received many views yet. I suppose it's waiting for the righ purple princess to come along and claim it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tomato Treasury!

I was just browsing the Treasury at etsy and came across this!

One of my three tomato and garlic broochs! In fact I just listed another today, before knowing this one was in a treasury. It sure was a wonderful surprise! You can see the new one here.

I sure am going to miss going out to the farm and picking from the U-Pick-it area, those plump red and yellow tomatoes, to bring home and slice for sandwiches, or salads and especially to make sauce and soup! There is nothing comparable to homemade organic tomato soup, it's more than Mmm, Mmm Good!

I'm also glad I took the initiative to make molds of the tomatoes while I could. The ripe ones don't work, but the green did fairly well, and I got a few different kinds, along with the very interesting leaves. Tomato branches are made up of leaves that imitate the leave on the branches. Most are asymmetrical near the stem which gives them a very distinct look. The first sale I made on etsy was a key fob which had an imprint of two different tomato leaves, one on each side. While out at the farm on Labor Day , DH was happily picking fall raspberries while I sat at my portable picnic bench and table and worked on impressing specially picked leaves into the clay I had pre-prepared before coming to the farm.

After the sun went down and it was impossible to continue working, we ate a picnic dinner I had brought with us while watching the fading colors in the sky over the pond. I had cooked hamburgers before we left and quickly wrapped them in foil and then a towel and then put them in an insulated bag. When we got there I put them on the cars hood to stay warm and they did! We had burgers and some potato salad, and a green salad I supplemented with freshly picked tomatoes from the field.

Simple but delicious, eating right there on the corner of the field and watching the sun go down and the moon come up by candlelight. Food couldn't have tasted any better nor could the atmosphere be topped by the best 5 star restaurant!

Certainly a day to remember, and one I will recall over the cold winter.

Nothing says summer like fresh picked tomatoes!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New set ups, New Treasury, New Techniques

I've been working with a new photo set up, and found some more tips to try out with photoshop which I will be experimenting in the coming days. I've joined the Polymer Clay Guild at etsy, my first guild and am excited to be able finally after all these years to 'talk' to others about clay that won't get bored like friends and family! lol, I Have featured some of my new friends on a Treasury I got early this morning.

Treasury West

I hope this brings some traffic to their stores, I love all the talent I am discovering there! I have featured Mosaico, LaurelSteven, ZsBcreations, Starless, Studiobijou, Cocojaneandme, with alternates Naftali, Gingerbellsgifts, please check out their shops, wonderful artwork!

I have also been playing with some ideas for working with all the molds I made this past season from all the produce at the farm. I started with a few finishes that I thought would highlight the delicate veining of the botanicals.

Such as the one I call Scrimshaw

The Tuscan
This one I use when I highlight the impressions with pastel chalks, carefully blending them into the clay. I have a special technique I've developed to give it this old world look, like something you would find in a stucco house hugging the cliff side on the Mediterranean.

And the antiqued

Or Vintage as seen in this garlic and golden tomato brooch . I had such fun making these with the molds I made from the fresh garlic bulbs and tomatoes. These are the main finishes I've been using along with some natural looking ones to imitate the veining of the natural plant. Like the Eggplant leaves, where certain varieties have green leaves but a purple veining and purple fuzz covering the leaves. But I want to make more of a fashion statement , so that my pieces will be more wearable and I have been working on various finishes that I will be debuting in the weeks to come, so be on the lookout for them here and at my etsy shop.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Third Sale!

I was astonished! I Sold my second piece on early Friday morning, when I checked into my store last night I saw I had made a third sale! So quick! I am thrilled and will have to say goodbye to this very special Cameo. This was my first try at making a Cabochon. In Donna Katos new book, she gives a little info about making your own cameo blanks. I formed the base by hand and baked it. I then spent some time wondering just what I could put on it. I had made a mold of a surprise I found on a studio bench one day, a carrot I had been wanting to mold somehow. It had dried up but in doing so, had made this wonderful looking texture. I took that and some fresh carrot leave and impressed a 'bouquet' into a ball of clay. This is the mold I decided to try and make 3-D on this cabochon. It took at least half a dozen tries to mold it and to form it seamlessly over the cabochon base, but I finally got it to work. I smoothed it out without distorting the impression and baked it. I was very pleased that it did not have any air bubbles. It was then sanded with many grits and buffed on my new buffer! I used the scrimshaw finishing technique on this one to bring out the wonderful texture made by the carrot and the leaves. I am happy that it has found a new home!


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