Monday, May 28, 2012

Best of Intentions

My husband is a real sweetie with a romantic heart, yet not all of his romantic ideas work out as planned. In fact on Friday his best intentions took on an almost comic element.

Things are really hectic in my day job so I worked Friday while he took a vacation day. He felt bad because I've been so stressed and he wanted to treat me to a worry-free evening.

I arrived home to a clean house. Nice! On the counter was a  bottle of wine with a note that said to enjoy a glass of wine, grab a shower or take a bath, and then we were going out to dinner. Nice again! But before I had a chance to contemplate my next move, the phone rang. My husband was at the grocery store without his wallet. So I hopped in the car and headed off to meet him there.

Back home, I pulled in the drive way and saw grocery bags piled up in front of the door. My husband was at the end of the deck trying to capture our cat Benjamin. The 17+ pound usually "slow, gentle Ben" had run past him and spazzed once he got outside. He wouldn't come to either of us. We chased him through the neighborhood, until he disappeared under a shed. My husband managed to grab his leg and pull him out. He was coated with leaves and spiderwebs and had a horrible stench. We took him inside and gave him a bath. Then we showered and headed out to dinner accompanied by a stiff drink.   

Monday, May 21, 2012

Work in Progress: Frolicking Pisces

Sculpted Polymer Fish Base

"Martini Glass" Bowl

So what do you do when you have some polymer clay and an empty martini glass? You whip up a water-inspired bowl and a couple of frolicking Pisces to hold it up.

If all goes well these two pieces are about to become one (hopefully) interesting miniature bowl. I "saw" the bowl in my head first. The theme for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's May Challenge, "Bowls and Vessels," probably had a little something to do with that.

I molded the bowl shape in a martini glass and created ocean color scheme with alcohol inks. Once I saw the bowl taking shape, the "ocean" called for some sea life so I sculpted some polymer fish to serve as the base. They'll get a hit or two of mica powder before I bake them.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Translucent Beauty

It is no secret that my love of translucent clay has deepened thanks to the "Chopped Translucent" tutorial from fellow PCAGOE member Susan O'Neill of in The Polymer Arts magazine.

I just finished a few jewelry pieces using her technique. I love how they catch the light! You can check them out at I shared the Alice sculpture earlier where I used the technique for faux stones. So many possibilities!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Custom Order Fleur-ry

Custom Light Switch Plates
I've been working hard this past week on a custom order of light switch plates. These fleur-de-lis plates will be finding their way to Louisiana. I can't think of a more fitting home for them! It was a particularly fun order because I got to see how a design I originally did for a single plate translated doubles, triples, and rocker switches.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Sculpture

Alice in Wonderland Sculpture

Hint to husbands: Sometimes, we ask you what you think because we want your honest opinion, but most of the time we ask what you think because we are feeling insecure and would like reassurance.

As I painstakingly worked on "Alice" here for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy Monthly Challenge, I was getting a little frustrated challenge. A challenge is meant to be challenging, right, but for some reason I decided to tackle my first human figure for this one.

The faux stone and grass base was looking great with each individual grass blade painstaking placed between the chopped translucent clay "stones."  And I loved how the white rabbit turned out. Better than I had imagined him. I even liked the funky-faced mushroom that Alice would be seated upon.

Now all I had to do was create Alice. I started with her face and bodice which I baked before attempting to add appendages and her garment. It was at that point that I asked my husband what he thought. Referring to her hands, I fully expected a little gentle guidance there, but instead he looked at the baked face and started to laugh. Apparently, the size of her lips and nose in proportion to the rest of her face was funny. It reminded him of those statues on Easter Island. That was the point that the tears started to well up in my eyes.

He felt bad now. That isn't my usual reaction to his humor. "It's no big deal. Just ball it up and try again," he said. To which I replied, "It's already baked."

"Oh," he said.

Well! Damn! Now all I could see was her ginormous lips and nose. I had to start over. And start over I did, 11 more times. Every day after work I came home and started on her head. And every night I crawled into bed and gave the status report..failure 3, failure 4, failure 5. You get the idea.

Each one got progressively better, but I wanted to keep going. Finally I had one I could live with and I moved on to the fun part of dressing her. My husband tried to get me to go out and buy a doll mold, but I wanted this to be all me.

The moral of this story is don't settle for your first attempt. The second one will probably be better. And don't ask your husband what he thinks if you really don't want to know.

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