Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art Deco Christmas Ornament Series

Art Deco Snowflake Collection

I adore art deco__such a delicious style! When I read about a wax impression technique that you could use to transfer patterns to polymer clay in the latest issue of The Polymer Arts, I knew it would be the perfect technique to create some deco delights for decking the halls.

Following Sage's instructions I carved a series of deco diamonds into a wax block to form a stamp. Then I cut out the individual diamonds and pieced them together to create the Art Deco snowflake pattern for the backdrop of my latest Christmas Ornament series. They are available now at Young Creative, but hurry they won't last long!

Art Deco Snowflake on Silver Background

Snowman Ball

Art Deco Snowflake

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stay Sane; Shop Online

Flapper Snow Woman Holiday Earrings

My husband and I were watching the local news last night when the camera panned our Walmart parking lot to show it FILLED with cars and people streaming inside to start pre-Black Friday shopping. Insane!

Snuggle up and shop online.
Personally, we like to celebrate an alternative version of Black Friday. My husband and I are curled up today with a warm cup of coffee, Green Mountain Breakfast Blend. Mine is topped off with a dollop of whipped cream. And we are browsing the internet for great gifts.

An Etsy Christmas
Those of you who shop on Etsy (home of all things vintage and homemade) might want to check out the site-wide sales Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Several members of my clay guild, the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy, (including me!) are have sales in conjunction with the big Etsy event. See some of their wonderful gift ideas.

I'm offering free shipping on all jewelry. Here's a peak at some of the one-of-a-kind gifts and stocking stuffers waiting for you in my shop, Young Creative.
Panda Necklace

Fleur-de-lis Necklace
Ocean Swirl Necklace

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In the studio

Works in Progress
It is Art Every Day Month and I haven't been doing a great job of physically creating anything. But that's okay. AEDM isn't about strict perfection. It is about infusing creativity into your day in whatever way you can. So on that front, I feel pretty good. And today, after a week of being pulled in a different direction, I am back in the studio with a few works in progress.

Most of my art creation procrastination this past week is because I attended the American Marketing Association's Higher Ed Marketing conference in Chicago for my day job at Saint Francis University. It was a much needed break from day-to-day tasks. Nothing like a conference to recharge the batteries.

The other thing that has kept me from actively creating is not positive. This week my alma mater became engulfed in scandal. Yes, I am a Penn Stater. My husband, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I all graduated from Penn State. I also worked there for 10 years. I still have many dear friends there.

Like so many Penn Staters, I spent the greater part of this week glued to the TV, hoping someone would say something that  made sense.It is hard to find the words that express what I'm feeling. I am ashamed. I am crushed. Yet my bond to my Penn State family has somehow become stronger through tragedy.

It is probably difficult for anyone on the outside to understand. I imagine it is what family members must feel when they find out that someone they love and trust did something horrific. In the pubic eye, your loved one's shame becomes your shame. The family name that brought you pride is now tarnished, yet your family is still filled with great people that played no role in all of this.

I came across this Facebook post that has gone viral. I'm not sure who wrote it, but it says it better than I can.

"We are… sad. We are… grieving with the families and the victims. We are… brokenhearted. We are… trying to make sense of things. We are… confused. We are… over 94,000 students strong. We are… ranked among the top 15 public universities. We are… the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. We are... over 8,500 top-ranked faculty. We are… hard working student athletes in many sporting events with NO connection to former events. We are… more than 2 university officials and 2 athletic department members. We are… more than this scandal. WE ARE PENN STATE. We have always been more than just a football team"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Working with Master Craftswomen

Little Angel, Raw Cane, by Clay Images

I mentioned in my last post how inexperienced I am at caning, but that I felt I needed to enter the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's monthly challenge using the caning technique anyway. I had to expand beyond my comfort zone even though I would be competing against some expert caners.

This angel cane by Berit of Clay Images is a great example from one of those caners. Berit creates canes to use on her own work and she also sells raw canes to other artists. This angel isn't her challenge entry, but a new cane she just finished. The photo shows "reduced" canes. Below you can see how the cane looked before she started to reduce it. It is amazing how the separate pieces go together to become one without losing any detail.

Want to see more cane work: the PCAGOE challenge is still open for voting until Nov. 7. If you vote you could win one of these fabulous prizes pictured below.

unreduced cane

sliced and baked cane on a crochet hook

                       1st row, L-R: Arrowdale Art Studio, NKDesigns,  Juliespace,
                        2nd row, L-R: JKay Jewelry, Clay Images, Polymer Clay Creations,

If you would like some more information on getting started with caning, check out these articles on the PCAGOE website.

Free Flower Cane Tutorial
The Emotional Thrill of Polymer Clay Caning

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Challenging Myself

One of the best benefits of membership in the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy is the fact that we can participate in a themed challenge each month. The challenges are a great way to grow creatively, although I must admit not every theme excites me. This month's theme, caning, is one of those themes that I wasn't really looking forward to.

Caning is a cool technique, and I love to see the complex designs that my fellow PCAGOE members create, but personally I haven't been drawn to trying it. I gravitate to textured and sculptural techniques. Given the fact that caning "isn't my thing," it would have been easy for me to opt out of this one. Obviously anything I create for this one is never going to measure up to the experts in the guild. But these challenges are about competing with myself. Whether it is trying something I've never done before or taking something I love to do to a new level, the challenges provide a forum to push myself.

This snowflake cane is my first cane. It is a VERY simple pattern created from a free tutorial. Am I happy with the result? Well, not entirely, but I am happy that I gave it my best shot.

 I encourage you to head over to to see some of the amazing work of true cane artists. Public voting is open in the challenge until Nov. 7. You could win a prize just for voting.

Oh, and today is the start of Art Every Day Month. I can't wait to start exploring what everyone is working on!


share icons