Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend of Claying

italian inspired polymer clay necklace
Polymer Clay HummingbirdI had a pretty productive weekend playing with clay! These pics are from two of my current projects. The first is my entry in the May Challenge for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy. The second is from a custom order.

Italian-Inspired Faux Terracotta Necklace
The May Challenge theme is History so I decided to do something art-inspired since I'm an art history major. Don't laugh, I know it isn't a "marketable"major, but it sure was fun!

I had a set of Italian-themed stamps that I could see working on a necklace. I inset the images into a faux terracotta base to create the pendant. It reminds me of ancient pottery.

I created the faux terracotta using a cool technique called inclusion. That is where you add things to translucent clay to get a natural color, in this case ground chili peppers. The black accents are made with gold foil inclusions in a tinted translucent base.

You can vote through May 7. So go vote!

Hummingbird in Flight
The vibrant humming bird is part of a cool custom project I'm finishing up. It is going to be perched upon an art quilt along with a butterfly and 5 ladybugs. Hopefully I'll get some pictures from the woman making the quilt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Mission Statement: Who Needs One?

Finding purpose through a mission statement

The world is filled with exciting threads. Pull one here. Pull one there. The next thing you know, you’re tangled up in a mass of twisted threads with nothing to show. On the other hand, select the right thread, combine it with another good thread, and you create a beautiful sweater.

So how do you know which thread is the right thread? You follow the thread that fits your mission statement.

Here’s the problem. I launched a business without a mission statement. The term "mission statement" creeps me out. Too many mission statements are complicated trite. Besides my business is just me. Writing a mission statement seemed pretentious.

Now I have millions of shiny, exciting threads dangling in front of me, and I’m grabbing at them like a cat under the influence of catnip. Without at least an informal mission statement, I have no solid way to select the right thread.

While the term “mission statement” doesn’t work for me, I do appreciate the clarity of purpose that the concept brings. What I am seeking is the business equivalent of the philosophical questions “Who am I, and why am I here?” To develop a meaningful mission statement, you have to start with some serious soul searching.

  • Who am I? Who do I want to be?
  • What do I do? Why?
  • What thrills me? What drains me?
  • If I only finished one thing today, what would have the most meaning?
  • What should I pursue and what should I leave behind.
  • Does anyone care what I do? Why should they?
  • Can I do anything useful for them?
  • What is important to them?
  • Am I really different from other people doing the same thing?

This isn’t something you do in 5 minutes. I’m going through the process, and it is not an easy one. Fortunately, it is an enlightening one.

I’d love your help on this.

How do you select the right threads in life? What questions do you ask in your soul searching? Is there a better term than “mission statement?”

Please share your thoughts, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Afternoon Delight

rainy day

Enjoy your "we time" whenever you can grab it.

Rob and I left work early today to get ready for dinner out with friends. Those plans canceled so we opted for a different way to pass a Friday afternoon. We curled up under the blankets and listened to the rain outside the window. And then we ... napped.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Magnolia Polymer Clay Cupcake Topper

magnolia cake topper

Surprise Bridal Shower
Earlier this week, I was charged with baking a cake for my friend Caroline’s surprise bridal shower. I decided to do cupcakes because that way I could leave a couple at home for my husband to enjoy. People seem to frown upon me removing a slice of cake ahead of time.

Making Cupcakes Classy
To make the plain white cupcakes “more classy” I sprinkled the top with granular sugar to make them sparkle and placed them on my tiered glass serving plate. I wanted to do something special to decorate the top, and I had a pretty good idea of Caroline’s taste because we are working together to design her wedding cake topper.

Southern Inclinations
Caroline is from New Orleans and even though she is living in Pennsylvania now her heart is very much still there. She has been going back and forth between favoring a fleur-de-lis topper or something with magnolias. I’ve never done anything with a magnolia so I chose to do a small magnolia so I could practice.

The Technique
I started with a block of Fimo 014 Transparent White. It is my favorite transparent because it bakes to a white that reminds me of frosted glass. I made each petal by rolling and shaping them with my hands. I attached them to a center stamen created from a yellow/transparent clay mix. The leaves are a green/black mix coated with Liquid Sculpey. After I baked it I coated the whole thing with a coat of Sculpey Satin Glaze to bring out the glass-like quality of the translucent clay.

Want a custom magnolia created for your event? Visit:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

What a glorious day yesterday! We had our annual egg hunt at my house. I love when we get to do it outside. My niece and nephew seem to have so much more fun when they can run.

I made these lady bug earrings for my niece. Wish I could find something to do with polymer that little boys would like.polymer clay lady bug earrings


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