Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Renee award

The Renee award was created by Bella and Ces in honour of their friend Renee. In Bella's own words "this is a brand new award and I have the pleasure and honor of spreading the seed, watching it grow. I hope it finds it's way to those who are like Renee: the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak, giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns..."
I have been honored with another award and I am proud, very proud of the first one. But the 2nd is probably going to be the highlight of my blogging career, at least for me anyway. Some of you who have met me and know me, know that I have been involved with Bottles of Hope. I found something and a person that sang to my heart in so many ways, Diane Gregoire and her Bottles of Hope. The dynamic, positive, beautiful, and wonderful woman that I met in Connecticut at the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild would change my life for the better in oh so many ways. Thank you Diane for your gift, I have and will always treasure it.
Leigh Ross (thank you for fighting) and her Polymer Clay Central website have many pages of Bottles of Hope and this is the one I was at.
My own special and totally giving guild the San Diego Polymer clay guild is very involved in this program. We have many members and their families who have tackled this daunting killer of men and women. Our member Julie Downing is the woman with the hat sitting on my left. I miss you Julie. Thank you for fighting.
We have turned the BOH outreach into a cancer outreach.
My mother was diagnosed with Beast cancer in 2002 and is to this day a survivor. Thank you for fighting Mom, I am so grateful.
My sister in love (law) was diagnosed and died from breast cancer in 2004. Thank you for fighting Jill, I miss you sooooooooooo much!
This is only a small part of my story and so when the sweet Opps!DesperateBlogger gave me this Renee award I had no idea what a trip it was going to take me on that day. I am still a little raw from the trip. But I am so humbled by the blogs and stories I have read. Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you, for enlightening my life with your stories. It has taken me these few days to even be able to talk about it and I love you Renee, you have another friend. Thank you for fighting. Bella and Ces, I hope I can be and have friends like you in my life, always. Bless you all. You have rocked this girls world.
Congratulations on 200 posts Opps!
This little acorn is humbled by oaks in her presence!!! I am soooooooo very grateful for being included in this group; I can not express it in words.
I am passing this on to Acorn/Oaks in my life, because life’s lessons come in some many guises. Life's gifts too.

Welcome to the Singe Sisters Sorority at the Hellinback College of Hardknocks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pounds of Flesh

Cernit Flesh doll colors- left to right; Nougat, Caramel, Almond, Suntan, and finally Flesh.

All are available now.

I consider these to all be base colors, that can be altered with small amounts of the other colors available.

“I’ll have a pound of flesh” or “I want 10 pounds of flesh”.
Hearing this when someone calls to order always makes me chuckle, so I googled it.

Happy Birthday Will!!!
Shakespeare is believed to have been born on April 23, 1564, and died exactly 52 years later, on April 23, 1616.


From the Phrase Finder
Something which is owed that is ruthlessly required to be paid back.
This of course derives from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, 1596. The insistence by Shylock of the payment of Antonio's flesh is the central plot device of the play:
SHYLOCK: The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is deerely bought, 'tis mine, and I will haue it.
The figurative use of the phrase to refer to any lawful but nevertheless unreasonable recompense dates to the late 18th century.

n., pl. pounds of flesh.
A debt harshly insisted upon.

This ad from page made me laugh even more and I had not even gotten to the definition yet. Seems there are quite a few things under this title for sale on Amazon.
Pound Of Flesh at Amazon
Low prices on pound of flesh. Qualified orders over $25 ship free

and the definition from
pound of flesh, something that strict justice demands is due, but can only be paid with great loss or suffering to the payer.

Pound of Flesh
The whole bargain, the exact terms of the agreement, the bond literatim et verbatim. The allusion is to Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, who bargained with Antonio for a “pound of flesh,” but was foiled in his suit by Portia, who said the bond was expressly a pound of flesh, and therefore (1) the Jew must cut the exact quantity, neither more nor less than a just pound; and (2) in so doing he must not shed a drop of blood.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

Interesting isn’t it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Playing with my food

My friend Jodi and I played with our food a couple of weeks ago. That’s right; I skipped clay that day and went straight for the food.
Jodi is a dear friend and quite a artisan herself. She has a good eye, is quite intuitive, and a quick learner. She likes to play with food, beads, and scrap booking. When she gets in to something she goes all the way. She will take classes, peruses the stores looking for unusual items, and does this with a vengeance. She gathers many things to her, inquires about a lot of others, and then starts to experiment with all of the goodies she has stock piled.
Needless to say when I go to see her, I love to go through all of her stuff. It is organized, categorized, and itemized. She knows exactly where everything is. This in itself is an unusual experience for me. My space is a collage of everything. If I put things away I can’t find them. Having never been trained in filing or categorizing, I don’t even know where or how to start. So going to her house and playing with her toys is fun. I put things back too, it is easy, it is all ready figured out for me.

She had just bought this fun book...
Hello, Cupcake! By Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

They even have a blog.
We looked through it and Jodi said “Let’s make something”.
OMG!!! Those words get me every time.

Here is this cute book; it is a New York Times Bestseller, with irresistibly playful creations, and then it said...

“That ANYONE can make”.

<--samples from the book.

Jodi basically has her own cake decorating store, because Jodi is in to it. Almost everything you could ever want. She just so happens to have a cake mix and frosting in the color we need, but we need a few things from the store, we send the “boys” as we call them, Howard and Jimmy to the store with a list. Howard dislikes shopping strongly. Jimmy will go to every store in their city to find what Jodi needs, and he is like a blood hound on the trail. With many calls and conferencing we finally get all of the ingredients that we need to do a pretty good job of making Garden Party Cupcakes. Well ,sort of. The stores don’t have the candy that comes apart in strings for the peas (see how nice the vines look on those peas in the picture on the left) and they don’t have the right Jolly Rancher soft chewy things for right color of green and the right color of orange that we need for the carrots and peas.
I say “hey let’s fake it”, because that is what I do well and I am feeling just a little sorry for “the boys”, because this is the 10th call and the 3rd store. I can feel Howard sizzling. LOL!!!
So we tell them “never mind come home!”

And then we start. We do work well together in the kitchen, it is like a dance of friendship and sharing and it gives me a warm feeling in my heart, that I have a wonderful friend like her. I enjoy it; it takes my mind off of the turmoil and everyday bull sh*t of life.

This is something that I dream regularly about doing, I know that I can cake decorate and I have dreams where I make cakes and cookies and desserts. Silly, I know, but I do. So here is chance for me to do it. FUN! And a dream come true, how many times can one really say that? We had to make some changes to the great instructions and they still worked. These really are fairly easy and if you can find all of the stuff and candies to do this right, I bet they'll look a lot better, but you know what? I am proud of those little cakes, my friend and I made, they look like a garden and it was big fun.

These are mine and Jodi’s, not bad right???

And would you look at that lettuce?It called for several cornflakes covered with green chocolate and put together around a M (that is what my family calls M&M’s, after all there is only one M on them… M’s). I rolled up that fruit roll up in variegated green color and started kneading it. It worked and then I made flat petals to put around the green M. See all this playing with clay is paying off in playing with my food. TA DAH! Garden Party Cupcakes…perfect for Earth day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Glitter me this…

For Barbara Trombley, Art Glitter Institute
and Jacquard Products Importers of Cernit Phthalate free Polymer clay and of course for me, Marie Segal and the Clay Factory.

Cernit 2.2 ounce block- black, you could probably make a few of these pendants from a 1 block
Glitter kit- basic fabric kit from Art Institute Glitter
I prefer to use the Fabric glue that Art Institute Glitter carries with these pieces.
Leaves and Petal Stamps- Barbara Mac Guire’s design sheet garden
Bead Prints Flora looks like it would be a wonderful stamp sheet for this too, but I have not used this one.
Look at all of Barbara's products they are really wonderful
Cutter-Makin’s circle set 36001, large or medium depending on the size of flower you make
Bamboo skewer
Kemper slicing blade
#2 pencil with a new eraser
Card board box at least 6"x6"
All of these pendants are done basically the same way. We will build a flower and leaves that then we can embellish with the glitter.

Condition and roll out your black clay on the thickest setting in your pasta machine.

Cut a strip of clay that is ¾” wide by about 4” long. Bezel each edge of the strip with your clay blade.

Wrap around the bamboo skewer and press the angled edges together and smooth.
Break loose from the skewer by twisting free with your hands and roll on your work surface to smooth. Trim off the end by holding the blade perpendicular to the clay and roll the skewer and the blade forward to make a finished end.

Cut a 1 5/8” section of the skewered clay by rolling the blade and the skewer forward to cut through the clay. Now you will have a tube bead that you can use for the top of the pendant.
Using a circle cutter or template, cut out a circle in the same thickness, thickest setting in the pasta machine.

Leave the tube bead on the skewer and place it in the center top edge of the circle and press the two gently together.

Here are the stamps that I used from Barbara Mc Guire’s stamps Garden Party

Cut out 8- ¾” teardrops of the same thickness and roll those into balls.

Roll 2 of the balls into 1” cones, flatten each one of the cones on to the leaf stamp and release, you might want to use a spritz of water on the stamp first before pressing the clay on to it.

Set these aside and start to build the flower. Or you can add to the circle background that you made above. I like to wait until I have the leaves and the flower built and then I put everything together on the background circle with the tube bead in the way that they look best together.

Roll the other 6 balls in to a 1 ¼” teardrop shape. Press the teardrop on to the stamp and peel off for the petal

Start making each petal and put one after the other in to a circle with the last petal covered by the next a little bit.

Tuck the last petal you add a little under the first one you made with small opening in the center of all of the petals.

Add the leaves and then add the flower to the disk background with bead.

With the eraser on the pencil poke it in to the small open space on the flower. All of the petals will lift slightly and this is good.
Drape the petals down and press down

Cut out a ½” round and roll in to a ball and then roll into a squatty teardrop, Take the thinner end and then press the thicker end in to the stamp, holding the teardrop straight up and down. Roll the thin end of the teardrop a little between your fingers to make the point a little smaller and place that end in to the center of the flower you poked with the eraser of the pencil.

Press that gently in to place in the center.
Bake the flower in a pre-heated 275 degree oven for a half hour and shut off oven and let cool in the oven, when the flower has completely cool start with the glitter.
I recommend a card board box or lid to do this in.
Do not do this where you do clay because it will get in to all of your clay.
I use a tray to glitter over and then I save all of the glitter that falls on to it for later.
I prefer to use the opaque glitter.

I pick areas and fill it with glue by covering the area I want to glitter. Cover evenly and smoothly, not glompy, because the glue will run if this happens, wipe it off and start over.
You are almost better using less glue than too much.
Fill in the section and then take a spoon and sprinkle with the glitter of your choice.

Shake the spoon horizontally from side to side, until all of the glue is covered. I do one of these sections at a time one color of glitter at a time.

Let it sit with glitter on it for about 10 seconds and glitter will settle into the glue.

When the 10 seconds is up hold the flower over the little jar of the same color of glitter and dump all of the excess back in to the jar.

Waste not, want not right???

See the excess is off and it looks much cleaner.
I suggest that you do another petal after a couple of minutes. Take your time and go slow and you will have great results. Or make a few flowers and do a couple at a time and using the same color of glitter at a time.
The time and care that you put in to this will be worth the effort.
Let the flowers dry over night and then place back into a preheated oven at 275 for 15 minutes shut off the oven and let cool. When the flowers are cool again, take tooth brush and scrub the glitter areas with a tooth brush to take off any excess.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Marie Segal at Cafe Press

I love to work with my digital images, my work and just pictures I take.
This is a new one on the left. I haven't added it yet, I just wanted to show it. Meet Metal Mama.

I am having a great time and it seemed to me a shame to waste them by not putting them somewhere... so I decided to open a Cafe Press store.

More big blocks

Here are some of the other big blocks of Cernit avaiable.

That is Blue, Yellow, Christmas Red, Black (on top) and Opaque White.

These are also 500 grams (17.7 ounces) and they come in the small 62 gram blocks as well.

That is a 62 gram (2.2 ounces) block of Caramel for reference on the top left.

It is very exciting to have some of these colors in the big block now! I for one can never get enough Opaque White and Black.

And for those of you that want to go to the store, Clay Factory index page

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New big Blocks of Cernit

We have gotten in the bigger blocks of Cernit in the phthalate free formula.

These are some of the doll colors

Flesh on the left

Suntan in the middle

Almond on the right

500 gram packages

17.7 ounces

Check out the other colors too!