Thursday, October 30, 2008

Words to Live (and Create!) By

This month's newsletter from Dollmaker's Journey included a quote that is too good not to pass on. They posted it as "Anonymous", but a quick googling found an attribution to Elaine Normandy. I have no idea who Elaine Normandy is but I like the way she thinks!

Art is too much fun
to be restricted to those
who are good at it!

Is that great or what?! This is my new motto, LOL.

One more quick thing for today... I joined a new Yahoo! group for polymer clay artists last month and am having so much fun there that I want to include a link to their homesite. Visit The Fairy Studio to find lots of inspirational pictures and some really useful links.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pictures, as promised

Mondays are my favorite day of the week. I don't have to go to work, Jake is at work, the girls are in school, so if I have my act together I have a whole day in which to make art and play to my hearts content. This morning I got everything done and sat down and finished painting my Tree Spirit Box. Oh, how I love this box!

I chose my paint colors to go along with the colors of the interior, put on some music, and just went at it. When the time came to add the embellishments, I didn't notice that one of my tubes of micromarbles had been corrupted with glitter, so the effect is a little more sparkly than I had intended, but I'm not sorry. A little extra sparkle never hurt anyone. :-)

Here's a full front view...

and the full back.

If you remember the earlier posts regarding this piece, you might recall that I embedded a small face in the trunk. You can't see it by looking directly at it, but if you peek in from the side...

you are able to glimpse her peacefully meditating amongst the branches.

Unfortunately, I broke the clasp on the box from handling it. Does anyone know where I might find a replacement?

Ifinished my Halloween challenge piece as well (completed, photographed, AND entered on time!) but I can't put it up here until after the challenge closes Friday night. Not only that, I have another WIP in full swing, but it's so closely related to my Halloween piece that to be safe I will save that for later as well. Oh, it's going to be a fun week!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Life Happens

Sorry for the long absence. Life at Cascade View Dairy has been a bit topsy-turvy lately, and blogging sort of slipped a little on my list of priorities. Briefly, as everyone who doesn't live under a rock knows, the economic climate in this country is a little scary right now. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it seems like farmers get hit first and worst every time.

We made the difficult decision last week to lay off one of our workers. This man has worked for us for the last 12 years, but we just can't afford to keep 3 workers full time anymore. I don't know what Jake has inside of him that makes him keep going, but he loves this life and wants to continue, at least until the girls are safely settled in college. And I'm crazy about him, so I guess we're all going to just keep on keeping on.

For as long as we can anyway.

In the meantime, my Art still happens too. I have been working like a fiend on a challenge project that's due today. I've had such fun with it -- I can't wait to share pictures.

My Tree Box is nearly finished, and so is the Tide Pool figure, but I haven't had a chance to set them up for photos yet. Soon, I promise!

And just to show that Life isn't all Doom & Gloom, I am posting some pictures I took last night at halftime of the Silverton High School Homecoming football game. Alice was elected to the Senior Court, and I can't resist the opportunity to show her off a little, especially since I don't have any other photos to share this week, LOL!

Ooooohhh... I love that car!

Her escort is a little grubby because he is the team's quarterback and had just come straight from the field to the car. Alice says he was too nervous about getting dirt on that gorgeous Chevy to relax and enjoy the ride.

Of course we all had to run down to the sidelines with everyone else and give her a hug. It was a gorgeous night for football.

Silverton won by the way, 41-10. It was a good night!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More leaves, branches, twigs... when will it end?

Sorry for deleting the comment button after my last post -- a spammer found me the other day, so I just wanted to make it harder for any more to crash my blog. I put everything back to where it was today, so PLEASE leave me a comment!

(Don't you just wish that the people who work so hard at spamming would use their energy and talents toward something... if not more useful, AT LEAST less annoying!?)


I added leaves to the tree and thought "it is good". At least when viewed from the front. When I turned it to a different angle I realized that my tree looked more like a peacock's tail -- all gorgeous arcs and curves until viewed from the side, when it showed as totally flat.

So... I added some more branches.

(Full disclosure: this photo has been altered to enhance the contrast and show detail.)

Woo Hoo, now it's looking good. I especially like the way the face is somewhat obscured. This afternoon I added some smaller twigs, and I hope to add the last leaves tomorrow when the branches and twigs are stable enough to work on.

Yesterday, I was about to give up. Today... I'm pretty happy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fitting it in when I can

I have made more progress on my Treasure Tree Box than what shows in these photos, but if I wait until I can take more photographs, I will never manage to get a post up this week. It has been yet another tempestuous week, but I still found some time to work on my creations. I think I would go insane if I couldn't...

I took a better shot of the finished inside cover to share.

Now that the inside is complete, I can start applying embellishments to the outside. I had an image of a tree in my mind, so I began by applying a web of roots.

Then I drilled some holes, added a little wire for an armature, and began building the tree.

I haven't taken any more photos of later progress, but I'll try to get some up in a day or two.

How's this for an excuse for being distracted though?

My daughter-in-law and granddaughter came for a visit this weekend and it would have been downright inhospitable to disappear into my studio. We both had fun playing with my camera though.

The camera strap was the big attraction for her. Never fear... I'll teach her which end is the fun part when she's older. For now, I just like making her grin.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The First Week of October 2008 - a Rant

Last week was a doozy for sure, and I'm not even talking about the stock market. As I sat down to think about what I wanted to write in this post, I'm a little amazed that I am able to think about it calmly. If I had *known* what the week would bring, I would have stayed in bed.

In spite of the fact that the Oregon Rains came early this year, we got our corn crop safely harvested. It's all cut, siloed, and covered with no delays and no accidents for another year, thank God!

I had a cold and felt like @#$%^&*( all week. Ugh! What made the sinus issues even less fun than usual this time was our neighbor's new "bird cannon" which goes off at irregular intervals every few minutes. It's not that loud, but oh! when you have a headache...!

My sewing machine is STILL in the shop. I drove to the city on Saturday to demand its return, but there it was still in pieces on the work bench. I have no idea what is going on, so I raised the roof a little. I hope I managed to light a fire under SOMEBODY. Time's a-wastin' and I need to get a costume put together for my DOD doll before the challenge deadline.

Fortunately, I still have a healthy supply of Paverpol, Aves Apoxy, glue, and paint. :-) She now has her "wooden" shoes at least.

Our TV died. (At least my little 25 year old b/w portable is still usable for another few months so Jake won't miss his beloved football.) I miss the movies I put on for background noise, but at least I was able to use the time to work on my current rotation of projects.

So, what do I have to share this week? Messes, that's what. I haven't managed to actually FINISH anything, which might be contributing to my crankiness, but Progress Is Being Made, so, oh well...!

Below is my 4th attempt to create a believable illusion of sea foam floating on the wind on my Tide Pool piece. I mentioned the rains came early here this year -- I think the humidity is affecting the Paverpol's ability to harden enough to stay in place without drooping. If this doesn't work, I will put her aside until we have a few drier days. So far, so good though.

Here's another little Mess-In-Progress I've been playing with. I always have little bits of apoxy left when I work with it and I hate to waste it, so I've been adding the little dibs and dabs to the inside cover of this box. This weekend I decided it was pretty much done, so today I am painting it. The colors complement the piece of hand-dyed silk velvet that lines the bottom of the box. Note to Self: Next time, paint the lid THEN add the velvet.

I don't know how well you can see them, but the brownish bits on the tinfoil are little accent pieces I sculpted that will fit inside the bottom of the box. When these all dry, I can varnish them, glue them in, and get everything ready for a sprinkling of micromarbles and glitter. Ah, don't you just love sparkly stuff!!

I've got one more picture for you -- a close-up of the inside cover of the box. Do you think I might have gotten a little carried away? ...hee hee...