Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eco Eggplant

I like to incorporate recycled materials into my artwork wherever possible. Many don't realize that being a Polymer clay artist is one of the less wasteful kinds of art there is. We do accumulate scraps but those scraps are saved and recycled. There really is no need to throw any away. The least you can do with it is to mix up your scraps and use it for the base of so many things. But you can also use other recycled items as well. I have plenty of jars saved to cover as well as many other things , but one day I was changing a light bulb and realized I couldn't put this in the recycle bin, but what could I do with it?

Actually I had some others saved with some dried oranges, some wasp nests and other things I was going to use to spray all gold and make a wreath with some day. Never got the round tuit though, so they sat in a box. I emptied out the box, kept the bulbs and have now started to designs ways I can incorporate them in my clay art. This is my first. It is with a premium light bulb that is longer than most. I thought it was perfect for an Eggplant. I wanted it to be a rather whimsical sculpture so I used various mini stamps and texturizing tools to give the fruit some interest. The stem is actually molded from my mold I made last year from a fairytale eggplant. I have many more ideas in mind for my growing collection of burnt out bulbs, I will share them with you as I do them.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Swan Lake

Last weekend we took a drive to our local lake
(different from the last lake I talked about) and while eating our little snack we'd brought with us this is the view we enjoyed. Those yellow looking trees are weeping willows, one of my most favorite trees. I always wanted to plant one in my yard but DH said no, they are water seeking and will clog the septic tank. Ugg! Well at least now I get to see many of them ( this park has dozens) anytime I want and only barely 10 minutes away.

Isn't that a beautiful view and that is from the side of the road where we parked. We usually see the regulars, the Canadian Geese, the Mallards and some other domestic geese and ducks, but this time, yes, that's right, we got the treat of seeing this beautiful creature~! We saw him or her, two years ago and never last year in all the times we went, but here he/she was, serenely floating on the water and close to the edge, dipping her head down over and over eating at something on the bottom. It was wonderful to sit and enjoy our late lunch and watch this, as well as see the trees getting ready to burst into green and color. This park also has over 50 dogwoods, both pink and white and a street that runs through it is lined with cherry trees and when they start to fall off, it's like a Pink Barbie Parade is happening! I'll get pictures and share in about another month or so.

I hope this weekend is as peaceful as last. Just look at the rosy glow of the sunset tinting her graceful neck! And when I got home and looked at the pics I noticed that her beak isn't just orange but two shades of pink and then orange. What a beautiful creature, I am so thankful to have witnessed this right before sundown!

I have been super busy this week that is why no blog posts but I promise I have some cool stuff to post soon!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mountains and Rocks

We went up to the mountain lake this past weekend. It was rather dreary, again the sun wasn't out but we had a picnic in the car and then took Jazz for a walk! She loved it but was pooped the next day! I did find some cool rocks I just had to take some pics of. Also some of the interesting winter scenery that I hope won't last for long. It's amazing some things will dry out and stay up all winter!

I don't know what they are but I love the texture! I took several pictures but this was the only one that came out, it was quite breezy and they stand about 4 feet tall so the wind was moving them back and forth quite a bit, but this one stood still long enough for me to capture it clearly.

And here are some of the rocks. I must admit I have always had a fascination with rocks. Walking to school I would have to go down my grandparents driveway which was not paved and I still remember walking and looking down to see what interesting stone may have come to the surface after the last rain. One time I found a stone that on one side looked like Comedy and the other Tragedy. I still have it somewhere. I also remember when I was about 16 I skipped school with my BF and we went riding his dirt bike somewhere I don't remember but there was a stream and I found these most beautiful rocks. I ended up filling my pockets with them and on the way back they ended up tipping us over! He made me dump them all out which I wasn't too happy about, even though I had a skinned up leg and bruised hip!

I love the texture and color of these, I don't know what they are but they are fascinating. And they aren't gray, they really are that bluish color. I think if I could refine that they would make lovely earrings, a bracelet, necklace........... And look at this Beauty. It looks as if someone painted it. Reminds me of the Lascaux cave paintings!

So it wasn't a total waste, we also found a cool park not far up the road.
They had some old log cabins from some historical site and also a new bandstand. looks like it may be fun to visit in the warmer months.
On our way out, I noticed they had these interesting leftovers from winters ravaging, I think this is some kind of sedum, all I know is I loved the colors and it was beautiful on a dreary day.

All in all it was a lovely day but I was happy to get home! And on the way, the sun did pop out to give us a beautiful sunset!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Looking forward to those Summer Sunsets

I think I must be looking forward to seeing the sun set somewhere besides outside my window and through the trees. Lately I have been turning towards those colors when my favorites are more in the greens and blues. I found this out when I made my poppy cane and have been experimenting with it lately to see how many ways I can manipulate it and use it. These aren't finished yet but you can get an idea.

I especially like the one in the middle, it is a rectangular piece that is formed with double holes to be a bracelet focal bead. This was actually the end of the cane as I pushed and pulled and beat it to reduce it further from the original size which I made my Necklace from in this earlier post. I cut this away to get a nice slice and saw how the leaves and the flowers were actually popping out from the background of white in a rather interesting way, too interesting to add to the scrap clay boat so I carefully formed this bead from it. I love the 3-D effect it made just naturally!

I can't wait to see what else I can do with this, I'm thinking to shrink it down some more and do some earrings. They are so springy like, but with these colors I am surprised at myself for loving them so much! This cane seemed to have caught the eye of Cynthia Tinapple on Polymer Clay Daily on March 1st as I just stumbled across a link to my necklace on Etsy there on her blog under 'Second Looks'. I was flattered as this was my first cane!

So I will be working with this some more and most likely if things turn out well I will be adding some to the shop. Also I have been experimenting with my leaves, I have been wanting to give them a yin yang look, an all natural and then a more op art look, but not take away from the natural beauty. Since my experimentation with canes I have come upon an idea to give a half and half look, one side the full veining and texture of the live leaf and the other side what one might see under the microscope ( artistically interpreted !).. This is a prototype I thought I'd share and would love to read some comments.

Here it is with a ring I quickly whipped up from the cutaway pieces.

But back to those sunset colors. I got a convo today from Wintergarden ( who does some great things with color in her specialty pieces), who informed me she loves my work and had added one of my pieces to her treasury at etsy. It is titled "Potent! Is the talent of these artists" . When I went to visit it I was pleasantly surprised, it is beautiful and full of the sunset colors. My Edamame leaf brooch sits comfortably along side these fiery hot works of art, and I must say have inspired me more to pursue this colorway! Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chag Sameach Purim!

Once again, they tried to kill us , G-d Saved us, lets Party!

In honor of the holiday, all items in the Purim section of my AlmostARTifacts shop have free shipping!

Also this beautiful necklace, (fit for a Queen) with an ancient scroll bead along with the separate listing of matching bracelet and earrings is the special for this month. If you buy both, not only do you get free shipping, but also free gift wrapping and $6.00 off the set! Go take a look at my selection of Purim gifts. There are 13 in All! ;)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ancient Ways - Purim's coming soon! Thank you Esther!

I know you are used to reading Organic Odysseys news here but did you know I have another store? Yes, it's called AlmostARTifacts. I have been facinated with ancient things for practically all my life. I love going to museums and also libraries and now online to see antiquities from times past. Not long ago I was doing some looking around on the internet seeing what I could find out about any antiquities or artifacts from Esthers time.

I came across this section of the Megillah ( Hebrew for Scroll of Esther) that was written on Papyrus in Ancient Greek, found in an Egyptian dump. All the scrolls found there are called the Oxyrhynchos scrolls. This particular fragment I saw was missing many letters but many could still be read. This inspired me to try to make different pieces using this fragile piece of history. I have tried to come up with different items rendering them in a faux ivory and bone, ebony and onyx, and antiqued to look as if these could have been found alongside the papyrus.
Purim will be here in a few days. We are told in the book of Esther that through all our generations we are to remember and celebrate this time when Esther saved her people from the evil Haman.

You can find all these in my other store, AlmostARTifacts and right now until the end of March the shipping is free on all Purim section items. Take a look and let me know what you think, I love comments!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Lately I've been rearranging the studio and thus going through all my materials (and this includes all my findings and beads for making jewelry from my polymer clay components). Beads were one of the first things I'd tried making ( after buttons) when exploring polymer clay years back and I did a bit of experimentation. I really don't lean towards the shiny or the 'bling' type beads, I prefer instead more earthy, natural and irregular to shiny, bejeweled and perfectly matched. So some of my favorites have been imitations of what one would find in nature and drill a hole in it to make a bead.

Beads are one of the oldest forms of self ornamentation on our planets. The newest discovery of ancient beads that I am aware of are made of Nassarius shells with holes drilled in them and estimated to be 75,000 years old, found in a cave in Africa. As you can see, beads have certainly stood the test of time and we are still adoring them.

But lately some more glamorous beads have been catching my eye. Such as those by Cyndie of BreathtakingBeadzz. Cyndie makes beautiful millefiore beads and then uses them to make all kinds of small treasures so you can take this wonderland of floral bouquets with you wherever you go. Check out her shop to see key chains, cell phone charms, earrings, focal beads, pens, bookmarks, and more. She has hundreds to choose from so you are sure to find something for yourself or a gift or both! You can find her canes for sale there in florals, butterflies,bees, hummingbirds, dragonflies, ladybugs etc if you ambitious enough to want to try to decorate something yourself with them. She also has a whole rainbow of Swarovski crystals to match with her stunning beads, so you can design your own piece. That's one of my favorites there, with butterfly's and colorful leaves.

Here's a new shop I've discovered called CreativeSpiritToo . She offers some very colorful beads and focals that are totally different, very artistic, modernistic and impressionistic! Many of the master painters must be her inspiration because I can see many of them echoing from the past in her modern renditions.

I love these beads, I think they would make a stunning pair of earrings, perhaps paired with some Lapis Lazuli? I think they would go with just about anything, especially anything denim. I might just have to snag these for myself, as of late I have been trying to collect little bits and pieces of other polymer clay artists work, just to put into my studio, and be surrounded by them, if not in body, but in spirit.

And finally, last but certainly not least in my beading quest, one of my favorite all time bead makers, who is a Bead Star in her own right, Valerie Aharoni who makes the most interesting lentil beads I've ever seen. I still can't figure out her secret on some of these, all I can say is that they are entrancing, they make you want to look at them and study them for hours, even if you don't figure out how she did it! Take for instance this faux bois Lentil, I love the colors and the texture is amazing. Very organic and peaceful to look at, and would make a stunning focal bead paired with even the simplest of companion beads. Valerie's style is different than any other polymer clay bead artists I've ever seen and I'm so glad to have discovered her shop and the great talent that lies within.

Her shop is called , VAharoni and is full of wonderful beads, and most recently of bead sets that you can buy and use to make her award winning necklace that was shown on the front page of Bead Star magazine, a new magazine that features only Prize winning beaded jewelry. Valerie took first place and one look through her shop will show you why.

She has been very busy making many bead sets in a whole rainbow of colors just so others, perhaps you? can duplicate this intriguing, but fairly simple ( once you have her beads) necklace. The directions can be found in the Bead Star magazine and are very easy to follow, even for someone like me who has only made a half dozen beaded projects in her life!

I have collected a couple of Valerie's bracelets, but am thinking I really need to add one or two or more of her delicious beads to my collection and maybe get up the nerve one day to do it justice in my own jewelry piece!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To lie sometimes on the grass.......

Got a message today about a treasury, went to see, glad I did. I sooooo long for Spring. We didn't get the predicted huge amount of snow last night but it's still so cold out there and all white!

I love this green! Just had to share! Love the title too:

"To lie sometimes on the grass, Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, Grow, Grow........."

My Corn leaf and kernels vase. ( click on poster to go see at etsy) I love the texture on this, the leaves are rather hairy and when impressed into the clay they leave a fuzzy look with a very distinct double rib down the center. And each kernel is different even though when you eat a cob of corn you don't notice, when you sculpt them from real live corn you do. :)

Happy Green Month!

( Oh, BTW, in my shop, I am offering 25%, yes, 25% off anything green in there for the whole month of March, so you in the mood for some green but needing to save some as well? Stop on by soon.) Check out the announcement in my shop here OrganicOdysseys.etsy.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

Time to Vote Again!

Impressionist Field of Poppies

Yes, this time its Canework. That's right the PCAGOE ( Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy) challenge this month was to make either a cane or canes or to make something from them. If you aren't familiar with a cane, outside what dapper gentlemen from old Hollywood movies would spin and dance around, it is a term also used in glass making. Take a look here for a more in-depth description and pictures of the glass. Polymer clay artists have found that many other artistic mediums can be duplicated with the clay, it is that versatile and glass cane work is also not only possible but can be made to fool many eyes.

I never really got into making canes, a few years back when trying different techniques with the medium I made a few checkerboard canes, and a leaf cane or two but they never quite came out right and I think I still even have some, or tossed them in my scrap clay pile. I wasn't going to try for this challenge, but then I remembered, it was a challenge and I challenged myself to try again.

I didn't want to try anything I'd seen in books , wanting instead to find this technique for myself. I looked around for inspiration and came across a tutorial by Cynthia Tinapple on youtube where she demonstrated how to do a face cane. I remembered seeing something similar from thousands of years ago, the Romans would make these kinds of canes. Right now you can actually see a set for sale on ebay, going for over $6,000. So I wanted to make a cane like this. Wasn't too sure about how to go about it so just went in with abandon. I think it came out close to the vision I had and like the sketch I had drawn out, but the important thing was I had fun!

I wasn't sure what to do with it when I was done, so I finally decided on a pendant. I had some greens I had mixed left over so I made an impromptu skinner blend with the five greens and made my first blended bead strand from them.

I'd like to keep this first one for myself, but have put it up in my shop to take orders. They won't be exactly like pictured, but that is the beauty of the cane, especially doing the technique I came up with of adding extra elements leftover from making the leaves and poppies to give a 3-D look. I may also offer brooches, and maybe reduce it to make earrings, so this is cool, you get more to play with after all that work to make the cane.

Don't forget, to go and vote at the PCAGOE.com site, because you aren't just voting, you are entering to win some really cool prizes ( and one is by yours truly, the green and copper necklace), so hop on over there and place your vote, I know it won't be easy because they are all so wonderful! Click on poster at right to take you there to vote! Have fun, and hope you win!

It's funny how in a round about way, Cynthia inspired me to make my cane. When I checked out her blog today, Polymer Clay Daily, and read her side column where she posts links to artists she has featured in the past and calls it 'Second Looks', I noticed one titled " A fresh Breath of Spring". There was no name attached, so I clicked, especially since we are getting what has been called a Mega Monday Winter storm ( some have gotten over a foot of snow today), I could use a Breath of spring, my favorite time of year. Imagine my surprise when the link lead here. Thank you Cynthia!


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