Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clay Retreat

I just returned today from the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild's Annual Retreat. It was held at Lutherlyn Camp in Butler, PA. They have a huge beautiful, well-lit (regardless of what my photo here seems to show) room for us to work in, comfortable sleeping cabins, and a staffed kitchen. This is how I should live all the time...14 hours to clay and three meals a day!
It was so much fun! A few members did demonstrations of new products or techniques and we had auctions, contests, and special projects (contributing design ideas and samples for a program that makes jewelry out of recyled computer parts). Most members are local but we had attendees from Michigan, Ohio, and New York.
I got a great book in the silent auction that has given me a bunch of new ideas. I was very productive during the retreat -- 3 items are already on my etsy site with more to come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Halloween Hall of Fame

It's that time of year again. Let's take a walk down memory lane...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Clay Master! Each piece is more beautiful than the last!

Today I discovered Marcia Palmer's polymer clay work! BEAUTIFUL!!! Just take a look through these pages...
She has a shop on etsy. Here's one of her many pretty items!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Christmas Wish List

I've been buying some gifts for others on etsy but there are a few items I'd like to have for myself (hint, hint family!)

I don't have the patience to make seed bead jewelry anymore, but  beadnurse does.
This could be a Christmas present for me!

This "box tote" by RoseKnits is just the right size to make a good home for Grandmother's linen napkins that I use as backdrops for my bead photos.

This necklace by UniquebyRebecca is very pretty

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sketchbook: Win the lottery!

The latest sketchbook page...

Sketchbook: Excercise more!

This is my t-shirt from the race last weekend. Twice in recent years I was in good enough shape to run the whole three miles but this year I couldn't get myself to train regularly so I walked it (with Rob who made us walk very fast!)
This drawing reminds me of the illustrations from the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. I loved that book when I was little.

Sketchbook: Fold the laundry!

I've been working diligently on my Sketchbook Project pages. My theme is "A Million Little...Things I Should Do But Don't." (For more details about the project, see the post below this one.)
I will be figuratively airing some of my dirty laundry in the sketchbook, but I think many of the pages will relate to actual laundry, such as this one...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sketchbook Project

I signed up for the Sketchbook project and received my sketchbook last week.
The theme assigned to me was "a million little..." and I've decided to finish that statement with "...things I should do but don't."
The first sketch I did was of my book club book that I have barely started reading yet. Instead of reading it last night, I drew a picture of it. (That's why I hardly ever make it all the way through the books...I end up working on a creative project instead.)
Rob and I went to dinner tonight so I drew the condiments on our table. I love salt and should probably eat less of it so that was the subject matter du jour.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

And speaking of so many beads of my own...'s how I store them all. Shelves and kitchen utensil hanging racks, all from Ikea. These are glass, stone, and polymer. You can get a better view of some individual necklaces here.

Beautiful beads by Claire Maunsell on

I loooved these polymer clay beads at first sight and bought them immediately this evening. (This is the first time I ever purchased from someone else because I have so many beads of my own!)

I like the texture, color, and out-of-an-ancient-tomb vibe. While purchasing, I left a note for Claire asking if she had plans to make more in a few other colors -- I have a vision of them all mixed together in one long dramatic necklace. She indeed does plan to make more so I will post my necklace when it is finished.

In meantime, go check out her other interesting items on flickr and etsy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Colorize Old B&W photos with Photoshop

I will post directions when I have more time so bookmark this and come back. It's a super easy Photoshop project to colorize your old family black and white photos to give them a funky twist.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Help a robot get its wings"

Voting has just ended for an ad contest on I voted for this one by Norma V. Toraya (Crankbunny on etsy). It is one of only two out of the 10 nominees I think would be appealing to the person who doesn't know what Etsy is, and who may not have any preference about buying handmade items.
The simple explanation in the ad is easy to understand and the gentle humor gives it the right funky-but-serious-about-the-business image that might just be the push that gets the viewer to check out the site and buy something. Now, if only etsy would start advertising!! Go watch the ad, it's really well done.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Green-Gold-Red Chunky Necklace

I made these beads intending to sell them on my etsy site but for some reason, most of them cracked while baking. The cracks don't affect the beads structurally; I  threw a few down--hard!--on my ceramic tile floor to no ill effect. However, I just didn't think I could sell them and feel good about it. So, I made a necklace for myself and discovered that it matched perfectly with jacket I have. Happy accident!

Favorite Idol: Adam's album comes out Nov. 24

If you don't know, Adam Lambert was the insanely talented, very interesting runner up the last round of American Idol. I have nearly worn out all the Adam songs I downloaded from iTunes during the Idol season. If you are a fan of the show and have never downloaded the studio versions of the songs (by all the contestants), you are missing out. They are uniformly great. (You can only download them during the season and for a few months after -- they were all gone when I looked a month or so ago.)

Adam's version of "Ring of Fire" is the most played song on my iPod -- about 150 times more than the second most frequent song. This evening I learned that you can pre-order his CD on and immediately did so. Adam! Adam! Adam!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite TV: Big Bang Theory

"Big Bang Theory" on TV. If you don't watch it, you should. Monday night, CBS, 9:30. Unfortunately it doesn't seem that full episodes are online anywhere for free, just clips. Or you can buy the first season on iTunes.

I watched sporadically during the first year, but it has really found its rhythm since then. And thanks to the exceptional comedic talents of Jim Parsons ( who plays Sheldon, it has become one of the funniest shows on TV.
One of my favorite episodes from Season 2 featured Penny starting a business making hair clips and then the boys get involved to "improve" it. clip:

Here's an interesting clip of Parsons on Letterman

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I order all my frames online through Easy interface (but it used to be easier before they changed it!).  They also used to let you order small frames but no longer. However, the prices are still good so those are minor quibbles.
The picture at left and in the blog header is one I have not gotten around to framing yet. My reference material was a photo that a co-worker took while on vacation in China and it was the first picture I tackled in a weekend workshop in September. Desmond O'Hagan was the instructor. He was a great teacher. He worked on each person's painting as he demonstrated techniques so we all got to go home with a partial O'Hagan original!

Lorena Barrezueta's porcelain "disposables"

Look at these fun ceramic wares!


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