Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Making hollow egg shells blows

hand blown egg shells
Hand Blown Egg Shells

Hollow egg shells are such a great raw material, but collecting them, well, that BLOWS.

With Easter just a few months away I am doing what I should have been doing months ago--blowing out egg shells to use in my Easter projects.

Most of the time when I cook eggs I either poach them or hard boil them which means no chance at salvaging the whole shell. So when I encounter an opportunity to harvest a hallow shell, I jump at it. Whether it is baking a cake, making meatloaf, or scrambling up a quick frittata--my recipe start with "blow out an egg shell."

The method: One woman, one egg, and a pin

My method is simple in theory.
  1. Poke a hole in both ends (I use a thumbtack to start the hole, followed by a pin to burst the yoke).
  2. Blow
For a great hand-blown-egg tutorial that has pics of the pin method, check out "Baby Janyne's" blog. One disclaimer: The tutorial shows the egg streaming out of the tiny hole. That RARELY happens for me.

Do ladies blow?
The blowing process is extremely unladylike. Almost every egg I touch has some kind of clot that doesn't want to come through the hole. That means inevitably, my husband walks into the kitchen to find me blowing with all my might into a chicken egg. Let me just say, his crude jokes never get old.

I even picked up one of those hand-held suction thingys that moms use to suck snot out of their babies' noses because I read that you could use that to remove the yokes, but the clot still clogged the hole. Plus, when I used it, I got queasy picturing baby snot. There are also commercial blowing kits available, but I've never tried one.

Do you have a secret tool or method to blowing yolks out of egg shells? If so, PLEASE share!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bat'leth Display Rack: a study in texture

You know the saying, "the shoemaker's children have no shoes," well in my home, that translated into the polymer artist's husband had no rack for his Bat'leth. Confused? Let me back up in this story.

bat'leth rack in use

My husband, Rob,  is a big Star Trek fan. He has a replica of a Klingon weapon known as a bat'leth that needed a proper display rack. He found a metal holder with sailboats on it that was the right size, but sailboats aren't very "Klingon" so he "commissioned" me to find polymer solution.

He gave me a print out of a symbol that he wanted me to include. That symbol, and the location of the screw holes, were the only real perimeters that I had to stay within.

I liked the antique gold feel of the metal so I used a blend of antique gold Premo to match it for the base. Once covered, the spaces between the three sailboats left a weird indentation that I could have leveled off with more gold clay, but I kind of liked the pattern. I decided to work it into the design by filling it in with chopped pieces of translucent clay that I later tinted with alcohol inks. It reminded me of a lava flow. Hot, Angry, and Klingon.

In my original plan, I wanted to have the Klingon symbol in the center, but I quickly realized the screw holes were in my way. I had no interest redrilling holes in metal so I opted to create two symbols, one at each end of the piece.

Rob is really happy with how it turned out and so am I. In fact, I've entered into this month's Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy's Challenge: Texture.

Voting is open until Jan. 7. Pick your three favorites and you will be entered to win a prize of your choice. Vote here:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Create, Create, Create

Ah, a new year -- that time of psychological fresh starts. Who am I to fight against the tides of goals and resolutions?

Actually, I'm feeling pretty good about my path right now. If you remember January 2012, I outlined my BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals). Since BHAGS are by nature BIG, you don't achieve them in one year. I look at it as more of a 5-year plan. To recap, here is my BHAG:
"To live a creative, joyful, spiritual life as an artist and a writer"
I'm happy to say that I've taken some solid steps toward my BHAG in 2012. In 2013 I'll continue implementing practical, tactical goals like starting a newsletter, thanks to the advice of Alyson Stanfield of Art Biz Blog, but my big focus this year will be on creation.

So for 2013 it is Create, Create, Create!

Do you want to learn more about setting a BHAG? Then read my posts:

Don't Fear the BHAG

Debuting Today: Marie's BHAG


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