Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The perfect Valentine

Need a Valentine this season that's a little less with the mush and a little more with the snark?

Don't have anything nice to say? Say it with confidence.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

tarot card of the day

Regarding a situation I'm fairly nervous about.

Tarot Card: Major Arcana, 20. Judgment
Character: Warren
Upright Meaning: Finality . Outcome of a situation. Hard work rewarded. A rebirth or new start.
Reversed Meaning: Delay in final outcome. Indecision and stagnation. Loss or separation, but not necessarily permanent.
Question: Are you delaying making a decision out of wise judgment or out of fear of the new?
Advice: Go ahead and make the final decision. For better or worse, it’s time to move on.
Well, then, Warren is scary. Let's hope for the "hard work rewarded" scenario, shall we?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Polymer clay workshops!

I (hopefully with assistance of my brilliant sister Bird) will be teaching polymer clay project workshops at St. John's Coffee Cafe in Camp Hill, PA, one Saturday each month.
To register online, go to http://www.divadea.com. To register not online (I hardly know what that means anymore...) go to St. John's at 115 St. John's Church road, Camp Hill, PA 17011.

The class dates so far are Saturdays 2/9, 3/8 and 4/19, from 1:00 PM to approximately 3:30 PM.

The first project is a darling mokume gane photo frame for Valentine's Day. This is a terrific and accessible project that anyone can do. (Well, anyone who can follow instructions, that is...)
The workshop fees are very reasonable - just $25, and that includes materials and use of tools.
So sign up and bring a friend!
Questions? Feel free to email me at admin@divadea.com.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

WIP - love challenge #6

Here it is! The last steps of my pcagoe February challenge project, the lovers tarot wall hanging.
(See all the steps.)

After making all the pieces for the picture and the background, I fit them together carefully, and smoothed every seam with gloved fingers.

Here's a close-up of the still unbaked project.

Then I made a border with brown clay. I mixed in the ends of the brown hair cane to ensure a nice match and to use clay that might otherwise be wasted.

After a simple border was made, I re-smoothed and re-checked the whole piece inch by inch. And then it went into the oven to bake (on cardboard on a cookie sheet). I bake my beads in their own little toaster oven, but at approximately 9 inches square, this one had to go in the regular oven.

After it cooled I did a bit of sanding and buffing - notice how the mica shift apple's pattern shows now - and mounted the whole thing on cardboard and felt. Now all that's left is to add hanging apparatus to the back, post it for sale in my etsy shop, and enter it in the challenge.

Project completed!

I plan to scan the project and alter the image digitally to add the number and title of the "card," and this will be the start of what could be a pretty fabulous tarot deck. So, 1 down, only 77 to go...

WIP - love challenge #5

The next step in my Lovers tarot challenge project for pcagoe is to make the background. I used the mokume gane technique, first making the cube, then cutting thin slices. I started with a red/black/white/silver theme and decided these really don't fit with the project - so I'm saving them for the Queen of Hearts.

I used some better (well, more appropriate, anyway) colors on the next try. I made a mokume gane square and sliced it both directions to get some abstract pattern and some stripes.

I then carefully laid alternating pieces on another sheet of clay, rolled the whole thing smooth, and cut out equally-sized squares by laying a square of cardboard on top of the clay and cutting around it with the "magic knife."

These squares will make the background of my picture.

Stay tuned for the last step and the finished product!

Friday, January 18, 2008

WIP - love challenge #4

For those just tuning in, this is the progress pictures of my project for the PCAGOE February challenge, which is love. My project involves the Lovers tarot card and lots and lots of clay.

Having finished the cane work sections of the project, next, I made an apple.

The apple has significance on the lovers tarot card because of the mythological Biblical reference to a big, life-changing decision. Read a little more about the card in step #1.

This particular apple is being made using the mica shift technique. This piece is still unbaked, but when it is baked, sanded and buffed, it will shine and the pattern will show much more than it does now.
(Pssst. A guild friend of mine, Rebecca of RGCreations, does wonderful mica shift work. Check it out.)
The next step will be to make the background and put the whole thing together. Guess I better get moving!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

polymer clay - it's not just for breakfast anymore

Well, I've just spend another (mumble-mumble-longer-than-I'd-like-to-admit) surfing the net and perusing polymer clay goodness. I am more and more amazed at how people take this wonderful and wacky material and make it into fine art. There are those who still think polymer clay is for kids, but check out these amazing works of art!

Dancing Waves Pendant by artsyclay

Flower Necklace by beadworx

Turtle Focal Bead by ArtByLilin

Now, seriously, just for kids? No way. (Of course, polymer clay is a great medium for kids - let's talk about that another day!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WIP - love challenge #3

Here's the next step of my love project for the pcagoe February challenge.

First, I traced the sections of my picture clearly in black and made tissue paper cutouts.

Then I cut the reduced canes into thin slices, placed them carefully on flat sheets of clay, and rolled them smooth. (I used mostly "mess-ups" and the unusable ends of canes to make the sheets of clay, since it won't be seen anyway.


(more hair)


Then I carefully cut around each piece of tissue paper laid onto the clay to make the puzzle pieces.





With all of my pieces ready, I'll need to make the background next. Probably tiles. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The long and short of it

Personally, I love looooong necklaces. And the beauty of polymer clay is that the beads are lightweight and my long necklace won't actually drag me down. This necklace, Olivia, is a whopping 45 inches long! More of my necklaces are long than short, because I try to cater to the larger women like myself, who just plain can't fit into the teeny tiny ones.

I do sometimes make short ones, though. This one, Danielle, is only 14 inches long.

The other necklace-making tendency I have is to not measure. Actually, it's not just necklaces - it's cooking, too. I have an aversion to measuring. Anyway, I figure this is OK, because people come in infinite sizes and shapes. Not everyone needs a standard length. Someone, for instance, might be looking for a necklace like Zoe, which is 21.5 inches long.

To see more pictures of these pieces, click on their names above. Or just visit divadea.etsy.com.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

WIP - love challenge- #2

Here's the next step in my PCAGOE February challenge project. It's going to be (we hope) an art collage made of polymer clay representing the major arcana tarot card The Lovers.

Step number two - the canes. Believe it or not, the canes you see above and below are destined to be hair. The canes are made by "building" pictures and patterns with different colors of polymer clay. I am using Fimo Soft for this project with a bit of Premo Sculpey thrown in if needed for the colors. These are about half colors from the package and about half hand-blended to make original colors.

And the canes below will be faces. They will be rolled into small tubes, 1/2 ot 1 cm across and cut into thin slices so that the pattern will be there, but not be overwhelming.

And, finally, here are the canes (plus a few more for shirts and background) reduced and ready to slice. The chunks of clay on the right are the beginnings of some mokume gane, which will be coming up in the next step.

I hope you'll come back to see the progress on my Lovers project!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

WIP - love challenge - #1

I'm trying something new here. A few things new, actually. I've been doing my best to branch out a bit in my polymer clay-ing, although I will admit that my first love is making beads and jewelry. So this will be a new type of project for me - and I'm not even sure exactly what! It's definitely going to be a piece of art, but I'm not sure exactly how big, what all the components will be, or how I will put it together. I have lots of ideas, of course, so we'll see what happens. The second new part is that I'm going to log my progress and steps as I work. Here is my first step. It took way longer than it should have, but then I have extremely limited drawing skills. Will the end project look anything like this? Who knows.

This is a drawing based on the major arcana tarot card, The Lovers. I chose this because the next monthly challenge theme for PCAGOE is love, and I really want to challenge myself this time around. I plan to use Fimo polymer clay in a combination of cane work, mica shift and mokume gane techniques as well as some other materials for a mixed media piece.

About The Lovers card
The Lovers card denotes the obvious - love, romance, sex, marriage. But it's also about decisions, usually a decision between two options - vice or virtue, devil or angel, wife or mistress, that sort of thing. Depending on placement in a reading, there are also opposite aspects of these themes, such as divorce, or stagnancy and difficulty making decisions. Here's the thing: the obvious decision isn't always right, and the right decision isn't always obvious.

Stay tuned for step 2 of this work in progress.

Monday, January 7, 2008

my padded walls

My wall of etsy art. It's small, but it's a start!

Friday, January 4, 2008


Many artists and jewelry designers give each of their pieces a name. I name things also, but a little differently. I name each polymer clay cane I make. Usually each individual cane has a name and the name is not used again, but I have some exceptions. For instance, all of my just black and white canes are named Cindy. And sometimes a "family" (which is what my sister who canes with me like to call them) of canes that go together all have the same name.

One of my all-time favorite canes is Danielle. This particular cane was made with Sculpey brand polymer clay, using some hand-mixed colors and some straight out of the package.

All three Danielle items shown here are currently for sale at my etsy shop - click the photos to see more pictures and details for each item - and there are a few more Danielle necklaces on the way. I'm bummed when I use up the last of the beads from a cane I particularly like such as this one, especially since no cane is ever duplicated.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Polymer clay comes in the most fantastic colors. And of course, you can mix the colors to create infinite shades and hues. I remember a time (although the memories are getting faint now) when I loved black. I wore black every day. I think I owned about 25 black skirts. It's funny how we change over the years - now I love colors, the more the better, the brighter the better.

Here are just a few colorful etsy polymer clay items for today.

Citrus Surprise Earrings by clayangel

Evening Sunflower Decorative Switchplate by mosaico

Psychedelic Colorific Polymer Trio by wumpus

Sunburst Polymer Clay Button by ovenfriedbeads

My own "self portrait" necklace in complementary colors, which I love.

I will admit that I still own several black skirts, but now I have to hunt for them amid the orange and yellow and rainbow and stripes...

Have a colorful day!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

tarot of the day

My question: Who am I in this certain situation?

Tarot Card: Ace of Swords
Character: Riley
Upright Meaning: Power, victory and triumph. Fantastic success and achievement. Defeat of enemies. Ambition and enthusiasm.
Reversed Meaning: Tyranny, brutality, or the abuse of power. Weakness. Over-confidence and greed.
Questions: Where is your current power coming from? Are you using it wisely or for your own selfish gain?
Advice: use the powerful position you are in right now to help someone else gain a leg up. Know you’re doing the right thing.


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