Sunday, December 13, 2009

At work we have an annual ornament competition (mainly to decorate our department tree). This year we were each given a clear glass ornament and a prize was given to the most creative ornament. Originally I was going to do an elf face, but felt that wasn't creative enough. I came up with the idea of doing a naughty/nice ornament. I knew I wanted to have the naughty side sticking his tongue out, unfortunately due to the hair, you can't really see the expression on the eyebrow. One side is nice & one side is naughty. I had to do one face and then bake the ornament and then do the other face. The biggest challenge was to get the ears to look good from both sides - I'd sculpt one side & it would look good, but it would mash out the other side. Once he was baked, I had fun finishing him - the stocking cap is the top from a sock. His hair is a strip of rabbit fur. He was really fun to do - oh & I got first prize (a gift card, which I took to Michaels & got a great book on painting fairies, angels & mermaids in watercolors).

My dear friend Lisa is never shy about letting you know what you've done that she absolutely loves (and she is very appreciative of most of my art). Anyway, when she saw my first gear necklace, she went on & on about how much she loved it. She is such a dear friend and it is always so much fun to do something for her and watch her when she receives her gift - there is never any question about how much she loves and appreciates the time and effort that go into creating a one-of-a-kind handmade gift - which makes it a joy to do for her. Lisa's birthday is in early December and I made her a sprocket gear necklace of her own - I also decorated a great heavy duty box I got cosmetic samples in for her present, so she can reuse it as well. I used Tim Holtz sprocket gears and (surprise) more of the Madame Delphine line on this piece - it has a real steampunk look to it.

I participated in an icicle doll ornament exchange on one of the groups that I belong to online. Here is the doll I created for my partner. I sculpted the original face in polymer clay and created a mold. I molded the face in paperclay and covered it with a knit fabric and painted it. This was the technique I learned at EDAC this year from Cyndi Mahlstadt (see previous blog entries for details).

Tim Holtz's sprocket gears are so great to incorporate into jewelry - I just love using them. I created this necklace just for me.

Again with the Madame Delphine and the bead embroidery, this piece also has dangles from the Forged line by Plaid. The circular peyote chain took longer than the pendant. I like the look and think I'll do more of this type necklace.
When Michaels got the Madame Delphine line by Blue Moon Beads, I was in trouble. This was the first line that had pieces that really spoke to me & that I had to own. I've probably bought more of this line than any other one they have carried. I'm not really sure what it is about it, but I'm really loving it. This is a very simple necklace that I made using just the leaves package (of course it uses 5 packages!).
I've had the book The Art of Bead Embroidery for several years and have always been meaning to do something similar. I loved the whole concept of this book & why not? I know embroidery and have done it (though not so much recently and nowhere near as good as my Nana or Aunt) and I love to bead. I finally got brave enough to start my first piece & of course, me being me, I started with a necklace. I began the necklace on the flight to EDAC back in July, worked on it on the plane, at night at the conference and then a few weeks after I got home. I never keep track of how long a beaded piece takes me - I usually work on them in the evenings when I watch TV or other times, such as flights, waiting in a doctor's office, etc. My first piece was done from a necklace that I did several years ago when I was just getting started with free-form peyote. At the time I thought it was fabulous, but as I've grown I didn't like the piece as well and hadn't worn it in a long time. So I took it apart and used it to create this necklace. It reminds me of a forest stream. Once I did the necklace, I had to do a bracelet to match. I did this one on a metal cuff form that I got when I went to Rhode Island a few years ago.
Wow, how time has flown, it seems like just yesterday it was Halloween and now Christmas is just around the corner. How does that happen? Every year I think time accelerates between October 31 and December 25. Well, since I just slept a time or two since it was Halloween, maybe I should start there. I signed up to take an online class with Pattee over at Odd Dolls on the ning network on creating a witch's face back in October. The original class concept ws to put the witch's face on a small canvas, but I decided to put my face into a book - Book of Spells & Potions, complete with a niche for the potion bottles and miniature spell book.

Pattee is a fabulous teacher, her videos are just like taking a class from her in person and she not only goes into great detail, covers every single step, but also gives you other option ideas. I highly recommend taking an online class from her - in fact I've just completed another class with her, a little whimsical pod creature and she even gave us a bonus extra of a holiday pod ornament! I haven't had a chance yet to sculpt either of those, but I promise as soon as I do, they will go up here.