Friday, December 28, 2012

Spirited Away

Old Necklaces - I must have a picture - nature abhors a vacuum
This is the longest I have gone with out blogging this year! I am okay – It is just the spirit of the season. My daughter is home from university for a few days and rather then decking the halls we are making a family effort to declutter. Out with the old and hopefully not in with the new. Empty spaces is the goal. Horizontal surfaces blessedly empty. I know that spaces will be filled, nature abhors a vacuum after all but the goal is to hold all off the tide of books and craft materials that have threatened to take over my world in the passed. I have piles on old beads that I am determined to get on to Etsy or gift people with. I want to spin like a Sufi and delight in Zen emptiness – or at least walk down the hall in the dark without stubbing my toe on a box of paint.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paint Verses Plan

So here is the Chameleon back. I have used paint to drop the back ground back and bring up detail in the leaves. For my next piece I am planning to use a lot less acrylic paint. Funny, but I don’t mind using paint to antique or bring out detail but I definite feel like I am cheating when I use it to change the tone of a whole area. Back to the drawing board – literally.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just Because You Can ...

This is a mark one and it isn’t even finished yet. I still want to go in with some acrylic paint and define layers. This in not exactly the direction that I want to go in to the upcoming show but sometimes I find that I learn things by just flying at it without much thought. Once again I am reminded of the phrase – “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” – I find this especially true on polymer clay were there are so many possibilities. Imposing limitation on yourself is one the best way to establish continuity in your work. I will still thrash away at this piece because I think that it still has some more lessons to teach me, then I might just hide it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Olga's Magical Creatures

One of many bunnies - you know how bunnies are.
 This is Mango Snowflake. She is one of Olga's magical creatures. Find out a little more about Olga and her magical creatures go to Olga's Magical Creatures on the Chameleon Blog.

The Chameleon Show is an all polymer clay art show at Seymour Art Gallery in North Vancouver this coming February. I am suppose to be making somethings for this show too, that is one of the reasons I have had so little time to blog lately.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Last Market of the Year

Some new shawl pins, lots on other new stuff too.
Saturday in my last Market of the year. Join me at the Farmers Holiday Market.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mark One Meets the Masters

My mark one birds and Jem's bowl
Some of Cathy's ornaments
Saturday was the guild Christmas get together. We had a meeting of polymer clay lovers  graciously hosted by Jem, one of our founding members. We had our ornament exchange for which I had hastily thrown together a mark one ornament. It has some potential but this time they were really rough and ready. In contrast members brought lovely ornaments but being in party mode I didn’t get a lot of photos.

We had a chance to meet Cathy who brought a profusion of ornaments – each beautifully crafted. Using square canes and mobius, beads she gets some really interesting shapes going. You can see her magic at here blog Catrinket. I think that Cathy is our first American member ( wee! we are going international.)

Jem showed us more of her amazing little bowls. She has perfected them to the point that they are on sale at Robert Held Glass Studio where they are lucky enough to has Jem as an office worker. How terrific to have your polymer clay art stand up and be proud in the dazzle on beautiful glass wear.

Jem will be one the people sharing their knowledge at Horizons, the guilds polymer clay retreat in February.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Friday, December 7, 2012

Kittens’s Mittens

“Three little kitten’s have lost there mittens and I know where to find them.”

This years holiday decoration tutorial is not very different from last year socks - but it makes a cute a bead that could be used as a decoration for the tree or for earrings -  especially for knitters who knitty sorts of things.

So here we go in search of mittens.

1. Choose bright contrasting colours of polymer clay.

2. Condition and put two sheets together. Reserve a little on one colour to make the cuffs of the mittens.

3. Cut and stack the sheet to make a stripped cane. You will need one for the main part of the mitten and a smaller one for the thumb.

4. Assemble the cane with the extra colour for the cuff.

5. Cut slices from the cane keeping the thumb up and at right angles. I was originally going to call this post “Thumbs up for Mittens”.

6. Now it is time to shape the mittens. You can round the corners, adjust the angle of the thumb and push a hole part way through. I have used a thimble to give a ribbed texture to the cuff.

7. After you have cooked the mittens you can glue cord into the holes. I have used a jewelers glue but there are lots of alternatives.

And that’s all folks. I am off again to move my studio. I hope to get it together in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Winter Garden

We have not had a killing frost yet and the sun is shining at the moment. A rare occurrence for this time and place. Since the weather is nice I should take the time to move some thing from the old studio.

This morning early I polished some shawl pins and eyeglass holders. I would like to put them up on Etsy but It will have to wait. The clouds a coming in and I had better scramble to get stuff outside done.

Update - Some of the eyeglass pins are ow available on Etsy. Check out the sunflower and others.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Friday, November 30, 2012

And Not Just Production

Production in an everyday occurrence.
I had expected to have enough items left after the last show to take me to the end of the year, but (lucky me) I sold out of some things. I have been back at production this week and I am also planning on moving to a new studio space. I will try to post pictures of the empty studio this week end. That will become my shared studio space over the next month.

Update - Some of these eyeglass pins are now available on Etsy, Check the sunflower and ladybug and others.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Officially the Season

The whistle tree
It is now less than a month before Christmas. The Out Off Hand Show in Victoria was great fun and well worth crossing the water for. Thanks to all the people who dropped into my booth and a special thanks to Barb for being a great help and host.

I have a dozen things to do before end of the day but I have been waiting to post this picture of my whistle tree. Some of these whistle sold on the week end but I will post some on Etsy before Christmas shopping is at an end. Up and attum!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hitting the Road Again

Gunnera manicata
Tomorrow morning I am off to Victoria to the Out Of Hand Show. I may not be able to post for a few days but I will take my lap top and see what I can do.

I can not post without a picture so here is one I took yesterday of a plant a couple of doors away. It is dormant now but when it wakes it looks like it might bit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Technicolor Crab

Edelchen's crab
Eva Hartman sent me a picture of her golden fish a few days ago and then followed it up with Edelchen’s crab. Their group in Germany made the fish and crab together at their last clay meeting. The crab was made with polymer clay and coloured with pen.

Here is the link to Edelchen's photostream if you would like to see more.

I always enjoy how others use the stamps I have created. The crab can be make using part of a larger stamp with the a fish and crab or a collection of smaller stamps the include the fish and crab.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tools #1 – Gasket Removal Tool

Gasket removal tool without the hooked end.
I have decided that my blog was getting really boring. This show, that show – who really cares. I am going to start sharing information about my favourite tools. I will try to do this once a week. The tool that I am sharing today is my favourite pointy thing. It is a gasket removal tool that I found in a store that carries automotive tools. It had a hooked end which my husband took it of with a grinder. It is thick enough ( 1/8 inch – 3.5 mm) to use as a tool to roll out little imperfections with its side, the point is great to make holes and draw lines and the handle makes a great cross hatch pattern in the clay. I have other pointed tools but this is the best for the work that I do. I recommend taking a look for one if you are in an automotive shop.

Now - back to work setting my living room straight. The Culture Crawl was a success in spite of the rain. We had 950 visitor instead of the 1800 last year. It was busy enough, I don’t miss the great crowds. Now the goal is to tidy up and get ready for the Out Off  Hand show in Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city.     

Friday, November 16, 2012

Put a Bug on It

Bugs at the ready
In all the rushing to get ready for the Culture Crawl this evening, some thing was bugging me. Or at least ladybugging me. I had made the decision to leave the ladybug off a few items that would normally have them. The logic behind this was that there are some people who don’t like ladybugs. What happened was people pointed out that the ladybug was missing on some of the items and then bought the one with the ladybug on it. So this morning – actually the middle of the night, like 2:00AM, I felt the need to put bugs on a bunch of finishes pieces. Now I just have to cook and polish them again. Sun is up I think that I will go and do that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

From a Sow’s Ear

Stitch markers were more popular that expected.
After a little rest in the form of more production, I am trying to make my living room / studio into a space to receive visitor’s to the Culture Crawl this weekend. Last year we had an astounding 1,800 visitors. This year there is rain forecasted so there will be far fewer visitors. Because my studio is in my home and not in a bigger building the attendance is really at the mercy of the weather
For my rest I am working on renewing my stock of stitch markers. I am not one who thinks that a sea cruse is a vacation but there are days that staying in bed and reading a book looks pretty good. Naw – that only lasts a few minutes. Back to work! Tidying where I have not tidied for a year. I may not be finished by Thursday but I will have tamed the room a little.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Golden Fish

Eva Hartmann sent me a picture of the fish that she made using my Fish and Crab stamp with ink, gold foil and mica powder. She has changes the lower fins and totally made the fish her own. I like to be an aid to others creativity. It’s a lovely fish, Eva, you must be proud.

What is done
Circle Craft is over for another year. It was great! It exceeded my expectations in every way. The last day when it was not busy Adrianna, my helper at the event, and I brainstormed for ideas to redesigned my booth for next year. I learned a lot from this show and enjoyed every minute of it.

What is Next
Next comes the Eastside Culture Crawl. Officially it opens this Friday the 16th but I have decided to open from noon to 6:00 on the 15th for;  friends, family, neighbours and followers of my work. You can contact me throught my website if you are interested in dropping by.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Changes are Made

Here is now part of my display worked out.

Were are in the swing on things at Circle Craft. Today and two more to go and then on to the Culture Crawl. Lots to do before I start today.

Here is what Circle Craft looks like now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Off to a Great Start

Nancy holding the fort – thanks Nancy
We were off to a great busy start. At one point in the afternoon there was a rumor that the sun had come out and that everyone had run outside to take a look, but then everyone seemed to flood back when the sun went down. So the evening was busier. The weekend is suppose to be sunny and cold. It will be interesting to seem what kind on crowd it brings out. More tomorrow, or - if you are in Vancouver drop by and see me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#249 not $2.49

A short post before I dash off to finish setting up for tomorrow. I apologize to all the customers that asked me to email them and remind them of Circle Craft. It just didn’t happen. This year again it is a run to the finish line. I just hope that some of my regulars will make it to the big show. Booth #249 is where you will find me. I am looking forward to visiting with my friends that have volunteered to help and to meet lots on people that I haven’t seen for a year, both customers and other artists.

The bare bones.

The small houses are one of taking fruits of inventory. I had forgot all about them. I make them years ago and they were hiding in one of my back boxes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Friday, November 2, 2012

A Plan of Attack – Large Venue Events

At the risk of using to many military analogies, I present the following suggestions for attending large craft or trade shows.
1. Come equipped: A good pair of walking shoes, a water bottle ( large venues are often full of dry conditioned air), a map of the venue and a notebook (making a note often saves time trying to find a desired item again after lunch) and a cell phone (especially if you are visiting with a friend).
2. Start in the middle. If you come early when the gates open, consider starting in the middle or the back of the venue. There is always a crowd in the first aisle or two but it can take and hour or more for that crowd to reach the back row of stalls. If you go for that back or middle, you get the pick of the litter and a appreciative crafters who will not be busy yet.
3. Get a re-entry pass shortly after you arrive.  Many large markets that charge an entry fee will have a reentry pass the you might have to line up for if you decide that you would like to return later or the next day. If you want to avoid a wait, get this pass early before other make that decision at the end of the day .
4. Have a plan B. Some times the cell phone reception in  a large concrete building is poor so don’t rely on them. Agree upon a comfortable place to meet in the event that you are separated from your friends or just want to relax while the other scout out treasures.

That’s it. That is the list that my helpers and I came up with last year when we had slow times at a big craft fair. If there is a hint that should be added speak up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Craft Fair Warriors

Whistle and box star
As goblins came to the door last night, I was upstairs checking inventory, my ammunition for the coming assault of craft fairs. As my husband pacified the sugar stoked mop, I counted whistles and updated my “get it done if you can” list. Next Monday I will begin setting up for my biggest craft fair of the year, just a little nervous.

Tomorrow I hope to list strategies for craft fair goes to make their time at the big craft fairs enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Play but Display

I am being consumed by display at the moment. New banners, new signs and a new approach. It Circle Craft I will not be selling jewelry, (it’s a long story) but so many of my things look like jewelry even though they have a practical use. So this year I am going to display my whistles, eyeglass pins and enros as if they were jewelry and see how it goes.
A nifty display idea
Last year at Porto Bello West craft fair a jeweler had a great economical way of displaying her pendants and necklaces. She used plate stands and tiles instead of commercially available jewelry display stands. I am going to try this trick at Circle Craft and I wanted to share the idea with others out there looking for an inexpensive way to display their art.
A week tomorrow the big show will start. The first three days are from 10AM to 9PM. Its not so much the length of the days but I am often asleep by 9 ( and up at 3AM) so I will have to try to keep more civilized hour for a few days.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Friday, October 26, 2012

Not the Production Blues

Children of production meditation – inro and eyeglass holders

Tiny two holed wafer beads – they will top off the enro
Every year about this time when I am in crazy production mod, someone will say;

“Production must be really boring. I can see that designing and getting ideas must be fun, but it must be a drag repeating the same thing over and over.”

Well production is like a meditation. Every year there are at least a couple of good ideas that just pop into my head while I an doing production. Sometimes the ideas are solutions to long standing problems, sometimes there are things so obvious that I wonder how missed them before and sometimes they are “Hello! where did you come from!”.

That is why I will not bitch about production. Maybe I will whine a little but I will not bitch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Racking up for Circle Craft

New racks – an upgrade of my summer market racks.
I need lot so of stuff – production, production

I am in the last days before the big one, Circle Craft. Fourteen days and counting. Actually I have to set up my booth two days early so not even that. I have been working on my booth and doing production so I am a rather dull girl these days. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Friday, October 19, 2012

“Real” Clay

It is down to the crunch for Circle Craft and many crafts people have their heads down getting the last things done before the biggest show of the season. For this reason I own a special think to Matthew Freed for taking that time to test out one  of my rubber stamps on ceramic clay. I am hoping to take a pottery class in the spring to play with my stamps but perhaps it is a medium that I will like too much. There is always a temptation to go whizzing off on some new project. Just a taste, that  is all I will take but maybe I should steer clear of temptation.

Thanks again Matthew for testing out the Teapot Tempest stamp.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ballpark Colour

The mixed green and a band of the raw colours
If I am without deadline pressure I really enjoy mixing colour in a systematic manner but I also enjoy just going for it. When time is of the essence this is a useful method. Here is how it works. I pile up all the colours that I think that I think might work, then I take a thin slice out of the middle. I mix that little slice thoroughly. It doesn’t take long if you take a small enough sample. If the colour is what I want, I go ahead and mix the whole batch. If it is not what I wanted I can add one or more colour and cut and mix a new sample. If I and way out I can always take the stack apart. ( I think that this is easier done with Fimo which doesn’t stick together until you add pressure.) When I have a stack that comes out to the colour I wanted I can take a picture of the stack and file it with the mixed colour sample. No exacting but it gives me the colour that I want quickly and a starting place for more exacting mixing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do I Have a Deal for You

Not Quite finished but you get the idea
Yesterday morning I helped to install a fantastic array on at the Seymour Art Gallery for there 3, 2, 1 Art Party at Seymour Art Galley. The party starts at 7:00 tonight so if you are in the Vancouver area this is your chance to get great art at a great price. Great music too, have a listen.

I love to work on the installation team once in a while – a chance to see something besides polymer clay.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Knit City Rocked

 Knit City was the first of its kind in Vancouver – Definitely the first of it’s kind that I have attended, definitely not the last. I learn a lot, sold a lot and laughed a lot. Sign me up for next year!

Knit City 2012
I want to make more tools for knitters and spinners. More spindles and lots of new things that I didn’t know that I wanted to make until this event. When I got home Sunday evening my helper, friend and extraordinary knitter, Mayu, sent me this link to an  instagram posted by Sweet Georgia Yarns. The yarn is a special colour way made for the Knit City event and the button was made by you know who.

Dam that was fun!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Friday, October 12, 2012

Such a Bright Light

12:00 noon - starting

4:00 PM getting there
Yesterday after delivering my package to be juried and went to the studio and packed today’s set up. I did the metal exercise of setting up in my head to make sure that I didn’t forget anything. I am suppose to have a check list, but I have packed so often that I don’t usually use one. I unpack at the Croatian Centre, got my display set up and then I realize that I didn’t bring any lights. I do this at the first indoor market every year. It least I am consistent. So back to the studio, nice little visit with Carmen who has been dying fibre all day, then back to finish up with the lights. I think that I will put some more buttons on cards this evening. That will be relaxing. The market doesn’t open until 11:00 so I will have time to do some stuff in the morning. And then I will see.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Panic as a Supplement

I woke up this morning at 2:00 AM and could not get back to sleep. At 3:00 I got up and decided that I would read over the rules for the jury that I was submitting things to on Monday the 15th. But what was this! The work has to be submitted on the 12th not the 15th!  Eeek!!!  By 10:00 AM I had my submission assembled, photographed and packaged. I have known that this had to be done for weeks but it took vitamin P, for Panic, to get the job done.

By a 11:00 AM I was at the studio loading the wagon for tomorrows set up. 11:00 Saturday the doors will open I and I will have my first taste of vending at a fibre focused festival. Now a deep breath and I’ll try to make sure all my buttons are in a line. I hope to get some picture of the event this week end.

Jury items, awaiting approval, I do so seek approval

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Knit City

My coupon for the swag bag and some of my buttons
Knit City is an event for knitters and other fibre lovers.  There are classes, lectures and a vendors  market this Saturday and Sunday.  There are lots of vendors with fabulous fibre, yummy yards and bodacious buttons.  It is the first time that I have done an event with this group and I am really looking forward to it. If you are among those that like to line up and be the first off the blocks, I believe there with be swag bags for the first 50 customers. If you make there come and say hello. I am in booth #28.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cat Came Back

The cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner,
The cat came back, he just wouldn't stay away

So one of the things that I have been working on is cat whistles. White ones and black ones. So far they are all a little different and I can’t decide if it is a good idea to put in stone eyes or not  (I think maybe not). The one second from the top left has jade eyes. I put them in with two part epoxy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012