Thursday, October 30, 2008

Witches, ghosts, and scary things…

OK, I told you I love this time of year, I told you I love Halloween, and I love what goes with this time of year even though it can be traumatic to me (ghosts). Another thing I love is witches with red hair, because I resemble that remark!
Well…if I was clay, this is what I would look like! Dawn Schiller from ODDFAE just posted this on eBay!!! I love mahwah (also a town in New Jersey), Dawn! Go look at the other views at the eBay link, she is hysterical.

She also did some pieces at sandy camp out of the Cernit in the new formulation (formerly known as G-Clay), how cute are these guys?? She is also the one that helped me make the Snakeman, posted previously in this blog. She is worth the time to look at what she does.

The Crabby one is made from the flesh color and highlighted with china paints. And the smiling friendly guy is made from what the Cernit clay people call biscuit. It is a color very much like bisque porcelain clay, they really did a wonderful job with this new formulation of Cernit. They kept the colors and the porcelain effect intact with out all of the weird things that Cernit used to do. LOL!!! it looks like mug shots for gnomes, ogres, goblins, and oddfae...perfect for the Halloween holiday. The Biscuit, Champagne, and Flesh colors are all excellent for making dolls and faces, hands, body parts, and feet.

It is scary to me what some people can do with clay, but in an oh so wonderful way!!

Photos of Oddies by Irene Niehorster, witch photo Dawn Schiller

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall is here...

Fall is here...The light has changed and at night, it is nice and cool, what I call excellent sleeping weather. But the air is hot and dry during the day and it still feels like summer. This is my favorite time of year, I love the light and the cooling of the air at night, it is a break from the long summers and a chance for me to get a great nights sleep, I do not have any air conditioning in my home. A time of pomegranates on my neighbors tree, I love them.

It is the holiday time of Halloween. I love the skulls and the oranges and purples and greens. I love the dark things, vampires and bats, spiders and witches, and the color black. The children with their costumes and the squeals of laughter coming from them on Halloween night.

It is harvest time, time to gather all I have planted physically and metaphorically. It is a time for me when I can see the wheel of life turning with the coming of winter and the slow down that takes place in my life. It is also an emotional time of year for me, I almost dread this time of year because of the time markers or monuments that I have in October. It is a time of fires and the scariness and dread of that. When every time I smell smoke, I run around the house with my nose in the air like a dog, searching for the source.

I lost both of my grandparents in Oct on the 21st, Jim in 1982 and his wife Mary in 1997, My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year after the fires, and His sister Jill died 4 years ago on the 25Th. There is a great missing that comes in my life now and a great joy, it is a bi-polar month for me. And I seem to find a balance in that, between the two extremes. I find it hard sometimes to understand why I still love this month and the holiday as much as I do. I was perusing the Internet and I find that I am right on time with this missing and now is a great time to honor those in my family that have gone and those that have suffered, I love you and miss you all and I am so grateful for those that have lived through the trials and tribulations of life so that I can hug you another day!

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali

Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Lights," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. Diwali is celebrated on the no moon day (approx fifteenth day) of the month Kartika.[4]

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beading for the cure

Go to and check out Beading for the cure.

You can help!
Together we can create the world’s longest necklace, The Necklace of Hope, and generate a significant contribution to the fight against breast cancer. Start Beading for the Cure today.

Bead Space

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Community Service Reminder from the Universe:

My dear and valued friend, your gifts are innumerable; your depth is incalculable; your presence is unforgettable.
Your touch is healing; your style is appealing; your power is mind reeling.
And you are loved and adored on a moment-to-moment basis, more than you can now comprehend.
Just like we planned -

The Universe

Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®

© ®

Yet still, friend, every day you surprise me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Awakening to Change

Being Aware is the First Step
Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don’t know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we’ve already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.
for the rest... Daily Om

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stamped Mokume Gane- part5 YAY!

Condition and roll out in your pasta machine on the 2nd thickest setting a color of clay that goes with your Mokume Gane Stack. I have used a sheet that is 2" x 2", this is a great size for the sample. You can make bigger sheets if you wish, but I find that starting with a little and starting small is sometimes so smart, patience grasshopper!
I have used turquoise again, 1. because I LOVE this color and 2. because it was handy and already mixed.

I have slivered off sections of the stack I made and placed them on the sheet of turquoise.

I have added more slices until my sheet of turquoise is covered with one layer. I try not to over-lap the slices.You can then press these gently on to the sheet of turquoise.
<---- can you spot where I cut the lines with the back of the blade? Oh by the way be very very very careful when you do that.Back of the blade to me means, opposite side of the sharp side.

Turn the setting on your pasta machine back to the thickest setting and roll your sheet with slivers through on the thickest setting.

Turn the sheet of clay 1/4 turn and turn the pasta machine setting down to the 2nd thickest setting and roll the sheet through again. This will flatten all of the slivers on the sheet, you can add more if you wish to fill in holes or you can keep turn the sheet and the setting down each time you roll it through to get thin sheets of design to cover things with.

If the images on the clay stack start too random, destroy the stack again and start slivering off more slices.
This picture is to remind you what the colors and the stack looked like after all of these sections.

I have to go rest now...maybe someday I will post something I made out of this.

Stamped Mokume Gane- part4

Here you can see me using a paper clip as a texture tool!

I am using a heart charm as tool! And if you are real quick you will be able to spot the blooper.

Here is the imprint of an awesome rubber stamp that I have. Don't even ask. The company that made this one doesn't exsist any more. There are tons of other companies that make wonderful spiral stamps though.

Now sliver off slices of the top of the stack with your clay blade. I say sliver because it is easier than trying to take the whole slice.

On to the final part, I am sitting here at this point wondering if it is all worth it...

Stamped Mokume Gane-part3

Cut what comes out of the pasta machine in half and rotate one of the halves so the cut edges are on the same side and stack on top of the other.

Run those through the pasta machine on the thickest setting.

Cut in half. Rotate and stack again. Do not roll through again.

Cut in half again and stack one half on top of the other to form a block.

Now destroy the stack, pent up aggression? Me? Hell no….
I press my stack to a ceramic tile or my work surface or something that will stick to the clay first so after I am done destroying the surface I can sliver off the slices. Press all kinds of stuff into the top surface. Here I am using a piece of filigree to press in to the top surface of the block stack. The marks you see below the filigree area are cut with the back og the clay blade or a knife to make those marks, you will be able to see what it does in some later pictures.
I am seriously thinking about leaving you all hanging

Stamped Mokume Gane- part 2

Mix a half of block of Cernit opaque white with Cernit pearl, this will be the color that runs throughout the stack that is the same.
Condition and mix the clay till it is mix thoroughly.
Roll out in your pasta machine on the 5th thickest setting (now say that real fast 5 times).
Now depending on how many colors of clay you choose to use you will need a sheet of pearl that is 2” x1” for every color.
I like to keep it to about 6 colors (No reason really, just the way I roll). So for these instructions you will need 6 pearl and white mix sheets and 6 color sheets. You can use the first sheet you cut to measure all of the others.
I am going to use purple, turquoise, light green, neon yellow, orange, and red. Condition each of the colors and roll out on the 5th thickest setting and cut the same size sheets as you did for the pearl/white mixed color.
Continue with the measuring of the colors.
Set down a 2” x1”sheet of pearl and add a purple, pearl, add a turquoise, pearl, light green and so on in a rainbow. Please, I like to demo in a rainbow, pick colors that make your heart sing, if you can not think of anything just use colors like shades of the same blue, browns, blacks and grays, ocean, fire, autumn, Indian sunset (hi Lala!), I think you get the idea. I don't know what Indian Sunset is to you but to me it it, purple, red, Christmas red, orange, lemon and yellow.

Your stack will look like so...

Flatten the stack to about ¼” thick, try to flatten evenly starting on one end and move a little at a time to the other side of the stack.

Roll through your pasta machine on the thickest setting.

Stamped Mokume Gane- part1

I wrote this up in 2003 and I thought it might be time to publish it again with the clay I use now, Cernit, the link will take you to my husband's store the Clay Factory.
I will probably have to post this in sections until I figure this whole blogger thing out.

Mokume Gane is a technique that comes from Japanese sword making. It is a method of stacking different colored metals together, stretching and pounding and distorting them to make wood grain or water like images in the cross sections. A lot of Polymer clay people have adopted this technique to make very beautiful patterns in the clay; covering beads, glass, and incorporating the slices into their work. I think that Lindly Haunani made us all aware many years ago of the beauty that could be achieved with this dynamic and easy technique.
It is easy and the random beauty of each slice is something to behold. There are lots of methods of achieving this look but I find this is an easy (Oops!!!!! Did I say that again?), and quick way to make the patterns. I use a common color through out the stack like pearl, gold, translucent, white, black, or silver and a pallet of colors, i.e. the rainbow ones, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. You can also add sheets of clay that have metal leaf added to them or have been painted with different paints, thin washes of Lumiere maybe, or brushed with pearl-ex powders and then coated with a very thin coat of pearl-ex varnish and allowed to dry can be added to the stack too. It is fun to play with and a very easy (oops there it is again) technique to start with, and you will have dynamic results to encourage you to move forward through this addiction. LOL!
For the Mokume you will need:
1-2 ounce block of Pearl, silver, white, black or gold and enough of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple to make the sheets below, probably less than a ¼ block of each color.
I am using Cernit phthalate free clay for this project but other clays will work just as well. Use what floats your boat, OK? I will use what floats mine.
Clay Dedicated Pasta machine
Clay blade
Rubber stamps- These need to be deep, bold, and defined stamps, better to use out line image stamps than shaded image stamps. Howard has something called Stamp Scraps that are perfect for this at the Clay Factory the link will take you there.
Needle tool, paper clip, filigree finding, and screw
Punch cutters by Kemper (these come in sizes from 3/16” to ¾” and several different designs, they are very tiny cookie type cutters with plungers to get the clay out.)
The settings on my pasta machine run this way, #1 being the thickest and #9 being the thinnest.

Sandy Camp-The Butterfly Project

This is something that we got in to at Sandy Camp.
I was moved by the involvement and the message. Varda Levram-Ellisman and Ellie Hitchcock coordinated this project for Sandy Camp, thank you ladies for your efforts. Tina Goodrich made over a hundred butterflies.
You too can become involved in this.

Photo taken and copywrite 2008 by Irene Niehorster
Holocaust Museum Houston
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, Texas 77004-6804713-942-8000
The Butterfly Project

"The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone....

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure
because it wished
to kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto."

Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942
Born in Prague on January 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on September 29, 1944.

Gold/Silver Mixes

This is the second page and third pages of the gold and silver mixes.

The one lone sample is the gold and the silver mixed together 1 part to 1 part.

And something to think about, please...

"Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine."

Happy Sunday and welcome to everyone who has visited this page, I am forever richer because of you all! Thank you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

words to live by!

"Life is not a tragedy, it is a comedy. To be alive means to have a sense of humor, to have a deep, loving quality, to have playfulness."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gold/Silver Mixes

Here are the first of the gold and silver mixes and the results of those combo's.
I really like the gold/turquoise mix. But the Lemon/silver is pretty cool too!
The color is listed on the right, the first column of colors is the result of a 1 part to 1 part (1:1) mix of gold and the color listed.
The second column of chips is a 1 part to (1:1) part of silver Cernit to color.
I use a 1/2" round cutter to cut out a color rolled out on the thickest setting in the pasta machine. And then I cut out a round disk of gold or silver and mix the color and the gold or silver disk together to get the result, which I then roll out on the thickest setting and bake and then glue in to my journal to document the result of the color mix.
I use this journal to keep my color mixes and the recipes. This give me a general idea of where the color goes and how it looks after I bake it.
The part or 1/2" round disk can then be converted to other size parts, i.e, 1 disk= 1/4 block, or 1 disk= 1 full block, 2 ounces, or 1 disk= 1 large pound block. You will get the same results from all the sizes as parts listed.
You also bake these on a cardboard that has the color written on it and then the gold and silver colors at the top. My baking cardboard looks similar to the journal page.
I am always surprised with what I get from gold and silver.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Manifest money through lies?

Maybe we have been going about things the wrong way, maybe we need to change the way we think, maybe we need to be honest and...Manifest Money through Joy.

What we have done for years isn't working, we are all in this together. What we do to others we do to ourselves.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Snake man

Snake man is a equal part mix of brown and flesh Cernit clay.

Sandy Camp

Well... I am tired and exhausted, but in a very good way! My guild, the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild, just threw our annual event called Sandy Camp. We have it at Warner Springs Ranch in Warner Springs, California every year for the last 8 years, the staff is so very kind to us. It was our 10th anniversary. IT WAS AWESOME! the best ever (imho). It is one of the nicest things, to have one of the best retreats I have ever been to, be part of what and where I am. Many wonderful and dear dear people had five fabulous days of fun, clay, food, spa, neck rubs, laughing, and general chaos. Demos and private little spontaneous classes, mass sharing and big hugs. I made a cone head, Dawn Schiller's competent and guiding light led several of us through an impromptu class, and then more (after I opened my big mouth about it), we loved it Dawn. I think that was the only thing I finished, LOL!!! Say hi to snake man, look at those teeth, that is porcelain white.
My cohorts on the Sandy Camp committee did a great job, in spite of things that sometimes get thrown in the way. We had a great time planning it. What a team.
The people and companies that came through for us went above and beyond the call of duty in supplying us with Goodie Bag stuff and wonderful things for the raffle, it was unbelievable. Thank you all for coming through for us yet again, you are treasured for your generosity in oh so many hearts. You are the best!
You have heard of the perfect storm? Well this was the perfect event, the weather even cooperated with us until the family feast, and even then it wasn't much of a bother. We had homemade cherry fudge and lavender fudge (I can not begin to describe how wonderful this is, except for it is f-ing good, not regular good), cake, pie, and other assorted desserts after that and then... the raffle, or opportunity drawing as it is known by. I won two jackets from Lee Kellogg at StampaFe Art Stamps, I wanted one so badly last year and now I have TWO. Thank you Lee for bringing them again. YAY for me!!!!
And if you get a chance check out her stamps they are wonderful, sacred hearts and shrines and lots of others that are so cool. And... Un-mounted are half the price. Check out deities/religion, hearts, and skeletons for some very interesting stamps, of course, as always, in my humble opinion.
She brings the jackets every year and it is what we all pine for except of course all the other stuff and Jami Millers hand made quilt, which was a show stopper in itself.
And last but not least, the wonderful and vibrant women that came from Israel, thank you all so much for sharing your love, your talent, your country, and your joy with all of us, we are forever better because of the experience.
There is so very much more to add but my brain is on leave.

Cernit color mixes

This is a Cernit color mix of Brown and Opaque white, the original colors are on the left.

The mixes are shown with parts of Opaque white to one part of Brown, the results are on the right next to the number of parts of Opaque white.

One thing I need to tell you is that if you want to milk a color of Cernit down or if you want to make a color opaque you use Opaque White not regular white, which should really be called porcelain white, but it is not, so we deal.

This is done with caramel and Opaque white. Original colors on the left and amount of parts of opaque white with 1 part of caramel, results shown at the right.

At the bottom of the page is the mix of yellow, caramel, and Opaque white to make champagne or ecru-like colors.

The one on the very bottom of the page is the best ecru. It is 1 part yellow, 3 parts caramel, and 15 parts of opaque white. Notice how I wrote white on the page, pretend I wrote opaque white. ;-)

Here are some more mixes of champagne or ecru like colors.

The top one is 1 part caramel, 2 parts champagne, and 2 parts opaque white.

The bottom one is 1 part of brown, one part of yellow, 15 parts of opaque white.

This a ivory stack made from Cernit colors, now this I am very happy with, must be something to do with the translucency of all the colors.
It is in a stack of the same size sheets of these colors.
1 sheet of the best ecru color rolled out on the thickest setting, bottom of stack.
1 sheet of champagne rolled out on the thickest setting
1 sheet of opaque white rolled out on the thickest setting
1 sheet of translucent rolled out on the thickest setting, top of stack.
Flatten stack with fingers until 1/4" thick and roll through pasta machine on the thickest setting.
Cut in half and lay one half on top of the other and roll through the machine on the thickest setting again. You can stop here or do this step again.
Cut strip into sections and stack all in one block.
Cut again in half and stack one half on top of the other. Compact together with out reducing and slice off piece from the striated face for wood or ivory.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lumiere as an antiquing medium

Lumiere acrylic paint makes a wonderful antiquing medium. It is definitely different than using an opaque medium like Ne-Opaque, but beautiful none the less.

Punch the color in to a baked piece with a large stencil brush, I use a ½” or bigger round stencil brush. Using a damp but not soaking old piece of bath towel I wipe and if necessary rub off the excess paint.
This chart shows Lumiere colors on black and white Cernit.

The Clay Factory carries both the Lumiere and Cernit Phthalate-free clay.

I have pictures of other examples of standing shrines on my web page under the shrine page. All of them are antiqued with Lumiere or Ne-Opaque. Another wonderful thing about these paints is they can be used on a lot of other canvas beside Polymer clay, like fabric, paper, and leather.

the picture is gone...

this is what it was...

words for the people

This is probably the last day you can see this, but I wanted to show you. I have been working on digital collages with my art. This is one that got published on D. K. Brainards page. I was very excited! Thank you D.K.
Sorry not to post this sooner but I was at Sandy camp, more later...