Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge - Trees

My friend Donna from Cottage Days & Journeys has offered up a Personal Photo Challenge, and the subject is trees, so I decided to share two tree photos I've taken:

I took this photo tonight during a beautiful sunset, just for the purpose of this challenge, and I really like how it turned out. These trees are about a mile away from where I was standing, across a valley, so my camera was zoomed in almost to maximum for the shot.
 (: Please click on the images to see them in their full glory. :)
This photo is the reason I entered this particular challenge. I took this photo out the front door 4 years and 1 day ago, and I just love it. It's such a study in monotones, not because of the camera settings, but because of the day and the snow and the wet and the frost. I've never been able to get another photo of those trees that looks so good.
Thank you, Donna, for allowing us to share our tree photos.
Here is the link to the Personal Photo Challenge blog, so you can see all the gorgeous tree photos:
Thank you for looking!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Alligator Clips Extraordinaire

I'm really loving these cute cute alligator hair clips that I've been embellishing with my kaleidoscope canes lately. They are really pretty and are a nice one-of-a-kind way to hold a coif! :)

I like them so much that I bought more of the alligator clips to beautify and I will be displaying them very soon. Please feel free to check out my Etsy shop which has many small gifts at very reasonable prices for the upcoming holidays. I appreciate your looking and sharing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Getting Back in the Saddle

Well it's been a while, but I've been quietly working in the background from time to time, and I'm so happy to share some simple polymer clay buttons that I made. I like to make polymer clay kaleidoscope "canes" a lot and these slices just screamed out "buttons" so here they are. I had a good time making them. (click on the photos for a closer view)

The buttons in the below photo are baked and are very hard. They are safe to put in the washing machine and in the dryer on a cool setting. It's best to turn the garment inside out while they tumble.

Below is a photo of a stack of raw unbaked polymer clay canes that I made. Using that photo as an example of where I begin, I use a tissue blade (sharp long razor-type blade) to slice the cane thin, then I place the slices on a clay backing (usually textured). After gently pressing the two pieces of clay together, I place a piece of plastic deli wrap over the clay. I s-l-o-w-l-y and carefully press my round or square cutter down on the plastic wrap, and that gives a nice domed edge to the buttons.

I have these little circles that I cut out of printer transparency film, and they are my "cheaters" for getting the holes just right. I had my circle cutter make a mark right in the center of the film, and then I made holes in the film to show just where the buttonholes should be, using a regular button as a guide. That center mark allows me to get the template right in the center of the clay button.

Once my circle or square is cut, I place the transparent circle over the top and make marks in the clay for the button holes. Then I press the needle tool through the clay from both sides to keep those button holes nice and neat.

I bake the raw buttons for 40 minutes in a 300 degree oven to make sure they are well-cured. I use Kato brand polymer clay for my canes, so the higher temperature works great for that brand of clay. (I cover the clay with aluminum foil while I'm baking - always!) Also since I live at high altitude, my oven temperature needs to be higher than that of "flatlanders". :)

Then I hand sand the buttons with high-grit sandpaper and buff them to a shine. It's a lot of work but the outcome is so nice that it's worth it.

I  hope you enjoyed this little walk through my button-making world today! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Recent Sunsets of Northern Nevada

October 6 & 7, 2013
(photos are unretouched)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 2013 Challenge! "TEXTURE"

I am excited about my entry for the PCAGOE January 2013 Texture Challenge! I love working with texture, always have, so when this theme came up I was thrilled. I was hoping I could make a piece that would show my love for texture, and I believe that I did. I'm very happy with my entry to this challenge.

I hope that you will vote for your three favorites this week, from January 1-7, at the PCAGOE blog. Thank you for voting. You could win! Three voters will win a prize this month.

Here is my entry, it is a triangular vessel with texture adorning all three sides and the bottom. Each side is different - sort of a three-in-one vessel that can be turned for visual interest. I went for a modern organic look and think that I accomplished that. :)

I added some imprinted patterns with 23k gold leaf accents on each side for a little mellow bling. The textured base and the raised textured pieces are in the same lovely copper color for a unified look.

Side 2

Side 3

I even textured the bottom, and added my "maker's mark" there. All in all, a very enjoyable challenge! Please don't forget to vote at PCAGOE this week. Thank you!