Thursday, May 31, 2012

Challenge of Literature Blog

Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati started this challenge at the beginning of the month, and today is reveal day via a blog hop on her site.
Now let me say this was indeed a challenge for me, in more than one way. Not even sure why I decided to enter. Have had an idea for a piece since that day, but it has taken me until 3 days before the reveal to even start on it. Why? Not because I have had lots of other projects (well just a few), and not because my vacation cruise got in the way (but it did), because I REALLY didn't want to write this blog. It is confession time.
I am so NOT a reader!
There I admit it. The last book I read cover to cover was the Bible and that was ions ago (well except for the bedtime stories I have read my grandchildren when they slept over. Does "The Giving Tree" count?). If it weren't for Cliff Notes, I would NEVER have passed high school English! So why on earth with a non-reader enter a literary challenge? That's the word - CHALLENGE!

It is not something I am proud of, and keep trying to make it happen. I love interviews of fascinating people and want to know more. Right now, I have two biographies on my coffee table, that I bought at a library sale, "Front Row at the White House" by Helen Thomas, and "Fatherhood" by my favorite comic and humanitarian, Bill Cosby.They look nice there, but have I opened them? (well yes, a couple of pages of the Cosby book)

BUT, I do still have a favorite, actually a series. "The Lord of the Rings " Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Do I have it in my home, yes. Have I read it, no. However, my son has, and that also was ions ago. He was very much like me ("I don't want to read it"), until he picked up the first of the three volumes, and didn't finish until he closed the cover on the last of them. He has never stopped since. His horizons have been broadened and his imagination has soared to the point of wanting to write his own novel (which is still in the works),

Yes, reading is a fantastic thing. I applaud anyone with a love of it. And perhaps some day when my hands are too arthritic to pound my clay, I just may take it up. I could even start with one of the classics I missed in high school!

For now, though, here is my tribute to J.R.R., and his gift to my son.

Lord of the Rings Bracelet
A rough-hewn bracelet of oval hammered links and a braid made up of three strands, one brown leather, one red hemp, and one brown cord. It holds polymer clay charms formed into the shapes of two plaques, holding the Middle Earth Map, and an Arwen Butterfly on Elvish Script.
The center charm is my depiction of the wire wrapped Elvin Leaf, and it is flanked by golden rings with the Lord of the Rings Inscription.

Thanks Erin for a TRULY challenging Challenge.

Now go check out the participants who have worked hard to bring their literary inspirations to life by clicking on the link to Tesori Trovati.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Tribute

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represent all missing and unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice – they not only gave their lives, but also their identities to protect these freedoms.

The Tomb is the final resting place for Unknowns from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, and is guarded at all times.

... On the ABC evening news, it was reported during the approach of Hurricane Isabel to Washington, DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They refused. "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment; it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Very, very proud of our soldiers in uniform.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fairy Garden Challenge

Bonnie of Jasper Gems came up with a creative color challenge for the month. It was based on this photo of a Fairy Garden, which I thought was extremely inspiring beside being beautiful.

I had a ton of "other things" on my plate this month, but just could not pass it up.
The picture is 2-dimensional, but the glow gives it a multilayer look.

By now I realize my true favorite is flowers and use them as often as I can in my creations.
This was no exception.
Even though the challenge was for creative colors, I decided after several trials to go with the actual details and focused on the adorable fairies.

Fairy Garden Necklace

The focal point of the picture is a honey hair color fairy surrounded by flowers and other fairies. I transferred it to a silver pendant and domed it with resin. There are two smaller charms with the faces of other fairies flanking it. For the flowers, I hand formed them from polymer clay in the shape of lilies of the valley, blue bells on green stems, and a peach rose, which is featured at the bottom of the picture. They all have mica powder accents to give them the same sparkle as the picture. The green beads are stamped and pearl accented with a leaf pattern to simulate the ground cover. The chain pieces, linked to the sets of floral beads, are figure eight sterling, and have argent silver wires stung with Swarovski pink rondelles and lavender barrel crystals, attached, to simulate the lighting accents of the picture.

Thank you Bonnie for a beautiful inspiration and fun challenge.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Ship Has Come Home!

It was a Dream Mother's Day for me. Here we are, one of my three sons, his wife, my two daughters, hubby and six of my 9 grandchildren, boarding the ship for our cruise.

Four wonderful days to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay. This trip has been in the planning stages for over a year, and now it is a beautiful memory for all of us.

Of course the planning was a little more detailed for me, and only a portion of it involved my polymer clay, which is why there have not been many recent additions to my studio. Attention elsewhere!

My daughter thought the kids should have matching shirts, so mom got started with appliques, front and back.
"Sailing the Bahamas on The Dream"

The back of the shirts had this applique on them
 Then there were the Fish Extenders for each of the doors to the cabins, two of which had to be "refreshed" after previous cruises, and one from scratch.

This is the newest one.
Could the smiles on those faces be any bigger?

Yes, I also printed out all the pics and attached magnets to the backs, so they could be put on the doors.
Fish Extenders hold presents from other cruisers in our Internet group (and each of my kids needed an extra back pack to take all their kids "loot" home).

Of course, I did get to play with my clay, making the gifts for them to give out.

Golden Mickey Heads
Lucite picture frames with each families favorite Disney Characters
With a family as large as mine, is it any wonder that I love to get involved in so many projects?  Once I have come down off the clouds, I have to get back to my clay table, and start working on several challenges I pre-cruise entered with reveal dates coming up soon. Excuse me while I get busy -- Again!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flowers for Mothers Day

Every child longs to give their mother, mamma, mommy, ma, mommoy (or you insert a name) flowers for Mother's Day. Here are some suggestions:
Roses are the most recognized symbol of love.

Single Red Rose Pendant

Rose Brooch

Blue is for Boys

Blue Mum Flower

Blue Flower Ring

Lentil with Flower and Leaves

Ivory and Blue Star Flower

Dew Drop Blossom
Pink is for Girls

Hand Painted Small Flower

Pink and Green Pearl Pendant

Briar Roses in pink and white

Pink Egg

Pink Ribbon Necklace

Pink Hawaiian Flower

But when you are still waiting and don't know for sure, many colors are possible        

Copper Floral Pendant

Spring Flowers Cuff

Green Blue Flower Earrings

Faux Wood Polymer Clay Flower

Yellow Flower Earrings

No matter what the flower, from the simplest Daffodils, like the ones I gave my mom each year, to the exotic Orchids, a flower from your child, is the greatest gift you can receive

Purple Orchid



Deep Red Flower

Purple Petunias with Swarovski Crystal

Tiger Lily Flower Beads
This entire bouquet was created by the talented artists of Polymer Clay Smooshers

Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Arts and Craft Festival

I just finished a two day Arts and Crafts Festival in the town next door to me (How many times does that happen?). It was fantastic, not because I didn't have to use a ton of gas to get to it, or get up 3 hours early to get to the "set-up" time, or have to reserve an overnight hotel room. The weather was great, the crowd was fantastic, and sales were spectacular. Just maybe the economy is picking up! My daughter came along to help out, and boy did she (those credit card sales would have taken hours, if not for her expertise)! Sold a total of 21 pieces.

Also got 3 orders for custom pieces:

The first was for a lanyard for a card holder. Have never done one before, so this was a "spread my wings" challenge for me.

The other two were for a matching Memory Wire Bracelet and "long dangle" earrings for this necklace.

Lots of Persian dots and pink roses, but always give the customer what they want, and I was delighted to have more creations to make for someone.

That is my biggest thrill, to know my "babies" have found a new home.