Monday, December 24, 2007

one little pendant so far

My first attempt at the mica shift technique. Woot, I can't wait to work on this some more!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Still need holiday gifts?

It's not to late to get a gift certificate to an etsy shop. Get one for my shop here. Or search etsy for other artists offering gift certificates. There are lots of fun options, and most sellers (including me: divadea and thepaperwhisperer) will email them to you!

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

tarot card of the day

Today is one of my "energy" days. I feel I could do anything and for long periods of time. So I got ready for a dinner party I'm throwing tomorrow - made stuffing, casseroles and 13 tiny loaves of banana bread; got out the china and wacky tableclothes; and decided that margaritas go perfectly well with turkey and potatoes. I made a great dinner of steaks and spanish rice. I listened to Buffy the Musical all the while and was happy.

Anyway, it's been a while since I pulled and pondered a tarot card from my Buffy tarot deck. The card for today is The World.

Tarot Card: Major Arcana, 21. The World
Character: The First Slayer
Upright Meaning: Fulfillment and contentment. Happiness. Growth. Successful completion of a project or cycle. Culmination.
Reversed Meaning: Lack of success. Delay. Incomplete happiness. Hesitation. Frustration.
Questions: What have you been laboring over for a long time that is nearing completion? How will you make this ending a positive experience?
Advice: It’s up to you to finish this one. Don’t rely on someone else. Hesitate just long enough to consider where you’ve been and how it will affect where you’re going.

This card always gives me the sense of old and new together. She was the beginning of something huge, and she's history. It's time to integrate my past with my current dreams and get into gear. OK then. I'm on it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Land of Women

I just finished The Land of Women by Regina McBride. Why it took me 2 weeks to read 234 pages is anyone's guess, it seems I'm getting slow as I head toward middle-age. Anyway, although this novel was about a mother and daughter and their lovers, to me this novel was really about sewing, specifically fabric. Mother Jane and daughter Fiona are both seamstresses, and their passion for their crafts rivals, and sometimes even outweighs, their passion for their men. The writing is eloquent, and the descriptive passages actually remind me of silks and cottons and patterns and colors.

What do our characters sew? They sew dresses, and reading this book made me think of all of wonderful hand-sewn dresses by the talented people on etsy. Here a just a few favorites I found today.

Singin' the blues about gold dress by 1MaddieAndMe
(and this one is reversible!)

Schoolgirl dress by reddoll

Mariana Dress by colorada

Holiday in Red dress by willarie

I love dresses and fabrics, which is ironic, since I can't sew at all. Not. At. All. Enjoy the handmade dresses on etsy. Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing handmade with love!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Least views, what the hey?

One of the ways to search for stuff on etsy is to choose a category. Then you can sort by price (low to high or vice versa, or low to price or vice versa). I chose the holiday category, clicked on Christmas, and sorted by least views. I often sort by least views, just to see stuff other people have missed. So, is being in the first few pages of "least views" a bad thing? Not necessarily.

First of all, there are about 234,656,298 items on etsy. OK, I made that up. But seriously, there are lots, I mean lots, of items for sale on that site! Sometimes an item was listed very recently and hasn't had time to be seen a lot yet. Sometimes it was posted at a time of day (or night) when we etsiers, for once in our lives, are actually out doing something other than browsing etsy. And sometimes, I'm guessing, it's just dumb luck. Sometimes, unfortunately, it could be a problem of poor photography or a badly cropped or uninteresting picture, but that sure isn't the case with these treasures I found just now in my "least views" search. Check them out. (And feel free to buy them for me...)

This is rubber duck soap by SweetLollipopShop. Have you ever seen anything cuter? Almost makes me wish I had a kid. (Yeah, OK, not really.)

LadyRayCello, a fellow PCAGOE-er made this adorable cat ornament. I'm always impressed with people who can sculpt. I make a mean blob, but that's the best sculpting I do :)

And this card by artbyheather? Well, I want it. And it feels a tiny bit like a portrait of me at the moment. Mildred couldn't resist the urge to be merry. Yep.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

and the other winner is...

RG Creations won the November PCAGOE challenge. Her pieces are absolutely fabulous and unique. Here's the winning entry.

I managed 3rd place with my mokume gane frame and switch cover set, which I'm pretty happy with. I'll keep trying!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

...and the winner is...

Er, I mean, and the winners are...

First place: alto4
Second place: kw_theatrebug
Third Place: michellegiacobello

Great photos, gals! Pictures of the prizes are below. You can choose

  • a stack of holiday greeting cards
  • a pile of handmade beads if you're a crafty person
  • pair of rainbow earrings (this one's gone - on its way to DC!)
  • poinsettia bracelet - or -
  • Daphne Necklace (this one's gone - on its way to Australia!)

Alto4, kw_theatrebug and michellegiacobello, please email me at with your prize choice and your mailing address.

Holiday Greeting Cards: handmade, each is one-of-a-kind, made from colorful cardstock, embossing paper, recycled Christmas cards, embossed images and other embellishments. They come with matching hand-stamped envelopes. The inside messages are Peace, Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

Beads! These are great for jewelry, collage, zipper pulls, gift tags, etc. The possibilities are practically endless. Various shapes, sizes and colors will be included. All are handmade polymer clay cane work.

Since it was a rainbow challenge, I figured I ought to include something rainbow! These earrings have sterling silver ear wires and are about 1 inch long.

A bracelet in the holiday spirit. Handmade polymer clay cane work poinsettia beads on stretchy cord.

The Daphne necklace beads are made with black and semi-translucent cane work laid over bright colors of clay.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the rainbow photo challenge. Besides the three winners, there were three other people who submitted a photo for each week: eclectic_e, sap115 and JenBliss22. If you three send me your mailing address (, I will send you a contest prize surprise, also!

Thanks to everyone who particpated!

Monday, November 26, 2007

November PCAGOE challenge

I got very excited about this month's Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy challenge. The challenge was to use the technique called mokume gane. I had never done this technique or even heard of it before. Here's a bit of trusty ol' wikipedia info about the technique.

As applied to polymer clay, basically you make a block of several layers of clay (and sometimes other materials like gold leaf), make holes and/or indentations in it, fill the holes with more clay, squish the whole thing around to promote random swirliness, let it sit for a bit, and then cut it into thin slices to cover a project.

In my case the project was this matching set of a photo frame and light switch cover. To make this clay "upholstery" I used polymer clay in black, pearl white and various shades of aqua, blue and green. I added a bit of metallic powder, and I even filled some of the holes in the original cube with a completed cane. Then I sliced the cube carefully and laid the pieces onto another thin piece of clay, rolled the whole thing smooth and carefully used pieces of it to cover my frame and switch cover. Both pieces have a smooth, shimmerry matte finish. This set is currently for sale at my etsy shop.

This technique is so much fun. I love randomness, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed cutting the slices and seeing the different pattern it made each time. So fabulous.

Here's the best part - you can go to our guild website:, and vote for your favorite November mokume gane entry. You can vote from now until Wednesday, 11/28 at midnight. All you have to do is choose your favorite entry from a drop-down list and you are automatically entered into a random drawing to win a prize of a whole collection of polymer clay goodies handmade by the polymer clay artists of etsy. One of the prizes is a magnetic bud vase made by me!

Thanks for reading, and thanks for voting!

(Since I'm so excited about this one, this blog entry is being cross-posted to several places. Sorry if you're one of those people who gets it twice.)


This was the last week of the flickr rainbow photo challenge. We had a week for each color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. We skipped indigo, because it's just so ambiguous...

Anyway, there were only seven entries this week, I loved them all (which makes sense, given my obsession since childhood with rainbows), but I narrowed it down to two favorites.

Stacey's rainbow of books is fabulous. The colors are beautiful, of course, and I love the choice of book titles. It's like a little peek into her life.

And you can't go wrong with a great photo of great art like Michelle's "melting pot." Plus it has rainbows within rainbows, which is just cool.

Here's my entry, the rainbow of booze. Well, technically, grenadine isn't booze, but it was the most vivid red, and it was hanging about with the liquor bottles. I feel like this has potential to be a great photo, so I'll probably try again some time, maybe with a better camera. I have visions of turning this into a Christmas card...

Thanks to everyone who participated and spectated. The winners and prizes will be announced in a few days.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Alas, the rainbow photo challenge is just about over. Just waiting for the rainbow votes to come in. My favorite purple photo is neon purple by alto4. Great lighting.

My purple picture won't be winning any prizes, but still, fire, pretty.

New Ornaments!

Usually I work in polymer clay. I turn it into jewelry, frames, buttons, and lots and lots of beads. But this week I had the overwhelming urge to use felt. Felt does seem to be all the rage in crafting circles these days, and I don't claim to be a felt aficionado. But I went to the craft store, got a supply of holiday-esque colors (some with glitter - what more could you want!) and went to town. They turned out sort of folk-art-y, which is not my usual style, but I like it. I'm going to be at Lancaster Eastern Market on Saturday (11/24), and folk art usually does well in this area of the country, so I have high hopes. Some are large ornaments (about 4.5 inches across) sold singly, and others are smaller (about 3 inches) and come in sets of two, three or four. All are made with felt and my own handmade polymer clay cane work beads. Since these are all going with me to the arts market, I haven't posted any on etsy yet. If you see some you like or have a custom request, feel free to email me at I can post some in my etsy shop just for you!

Marcia Ornaments, set of 3

Miriam Ornament

Natalie Ornaments, set of 2

Shauna Ornament

Sylvia Ornaments, set of 3 (these are my favorite - the middle one has a jingle bell instead of a bead)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

tarot of the day

A quick past/present/future reading about an issue that's been bothering me. Bothering me a lot. To the point of near obsession.

Past: 8 of swords: bad time, dispute, war, squabbling, accidents
Present: king of coins: dishonest in business, clever but untrustworthy, waster
Future: the hanged man: sacrifice, voluntary exercise of restraint, changed attitude, remorse, repentance

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's all about the balance

The dual concepts of yin and yang which describe two primal opposing but complementary principles or cosmic forces said to be found in all non-static objects and processes in the universe. (courtesy of wikipedia)

We seek it all the time, whether we realize it or not. We don't like things to be out of balance. When they are, it affects our mood, our work, our heath, our relationships. (As Xander would say, "that's not askew - that's cockeyed...")

Here are some talismans of balance, life with the necessary ingredients in the right mix, that I found on (where else!) etsy.

Yin Yang Ring by blockpartypress

Zen Eyes by fineartist

Striking the Balance by marciapalmer

Yin-Yang Painting by SuzDaisy

Roni Beads by divadea

Here's to keeping our balance this holiday season. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Button, button, who's got the...

I admit it. I've caught the button bug. Ever since someone at an art fair looked at my beads and said, "hey, you oughtta make buttons," I've been into the old-fashioned fastener. And I'm starting to understand why some people just collect buttons for the heck of it. Of course, some folks actually use the buttons they collect. Art buttons such as these, which are made of unique polymer clay cane work can be used in lots of projects - to fasten a purse or wristlet, to adorn greeting cards or collage art, to fancy up hand-sewn or store-bought clothing, to string, unstring and sort if you're a kindergartener, to mix and match and have fun with!

Here are my latest.

Benji Buttons

Jess Buttons

Marcia Buttons Square

Mardi Gras Buttons

Stripey Buttons

Some have been sold, but some are still available here at my etsy shop. Get your buttons now - they make great stocking stuffers for your favorite sewer, crafter, or collector of cuteness.

And to remind myself that sometimes people make stuff with materials other than polymer clay...

Here are a few cool ones I found on etsy:

Hand-embroidered silk buttons by contemporarystitches.

Handmade ceramic buttons by Mudcakes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Ack, I am a bad bad blogger. Or not blogger, as is more accurate. I guess that means I occasionally have a life that doesn't involve qwerty. That's good, right?

I loved all the blue pictures in the challenge last week. There's a certain blue hat on a kid who really shouldn't be talkin' ghetto that makes me laugh and laugh every time I look. There's a brilliant candy bar shot that I would swear was taken from inside the vending machine. There's a gorgeous blue sky and some rather cardboard cutout soldier guys (hmmm). But my favorite is leftandleaving's Civil Twilight because instead of being a blue something it's a something cast in blue. It's got a cool angle and great shadows, and is all-around fabulous. This is breathtaking, and I want it to be a huge, wall-sized poster.

My blue was taken out my car window. (I slowed down...) This is part contentment and part nightmare for me. I love my house and my neighborhood, but yes, I'm kind of ashamed to admit that fact. I was supposed to be too cool to live in suburbia in a white house with blue shutters with nice neighbors and a lawn. Yet here I am, and it's so pleasant that some days I can't even find it in me to feel guilty about it. At least I don't live in a McMansion, right?

Seriously, though, I have a good life, and I am grateful. Plus, there's a blue-lidded fire hydrant about every 6 feet - Elizabethtown will not burn down.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Art dolls - so fun!

The world of makin' stuff is full of wonderful and unique things for sure. This week I'm fascinated by art dolls. They come in all sizes, made of any material you can think of, and are meant to serve various purposes. Here are a few of my favorites made by my friends at the polymer clay artists guild of etsy.

This is a darling little spool doll made by DancinJules. She's got handmade polymer clay clothes in my favorite colors. Adorable!

This is mystic angel Tumaini by MarciaPalmer. She's made of a carefully selected combination of polymer clay, beads and fibers in rich autumn colors. Her name means hope.

I'll be trying my hand at art dolls soon, so stay tuned for the fun.

Friday, November 2, 2007


This was green week over at my flickr rainbow photo challenge. My favorite this week is leeleeoh7's green beads. For one thing, I love beads. For another thing, I love shiny. This picture makes me feel like they're rolling away - photos that make you feel motion are always cool. And I'm oddly fascinated by the possibilities of what could be reflected in the beads. Yes, I know, it's probably something mundane, like the wall or the shirt of the photographer, but shut up and don't tell me that - I can dream.

My green picture is of a closet of a person who arranges shirts by color. This is the green section. Mostly olive green and seafoam green, but green nonetheless.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


If I could have one wish, what would it be?

Well, duh. For Joss to have a new show.

Check it out.

Needless to say, I am uber-excited.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

tarot cards of the day

Tarot Card: Six of Swords
Character: The Anointed One
Upright Meaning: Departure. Movement away from difficulty or danger. Journeys. Overcoming of obstacles.
Reversed Meaning: Unexpected developments, temporary relief from difficulties. One obstacle after another. Negligence. Possibly a stranger.
Question: Is your current journey physical or mental?
Advice: Sometimes what looks like a savior turns out to be a decoy. Watch out for false solutions and quick fixes that never work long term. Also, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

King of Cups: A successful professional who is in a powerful position. Does not always clearly display feelings and can have hidden depths. Honest and faithful lover.
Inverted: Someone whose talents are washed out by emotional excesses. Could be great but dwells incessantly on emotions. Alternatively, a totally dishonest person with no conscience who will lie and deceive with no remorse.

Well, OK then. Apparently the King of Cups is not going to leave me alone until I do something about it. Note to self: make time to call, it won't kill you. It may irritate you slightly, but just deal.

And as for you, oh annoying one, you are the creepiest of the creepy, so it's hard for me to take advice from you. What looks like a saviour may be a decoy. I think that's already happened. And ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Why, oh why, is that always true, eh? So what's the best way to address the problem? Not ignoring it. But perhaps taking a look at myself and how I react - they're not going to change. I can choose get frustrated or not. I will try to choose not this week. We'll see how it goes.

Cryptic much?


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