Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My New Banner

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Dear sweet Kathi (dragonsglass) made me a banner a long time ago.  All pretty flowers.  Then I decided I was tired of all the blue on my blog so I asked my friend Ginger (gingerbellsgifts) who made her cool banner.  She gave me a name.  So, I toddled off to http://colorfiestagraphics.etsy.com/ here and found this dandy woman named Surbhi Vaswani who is a graphic designer.  She put up with my lack of computer skills (hear that sound??? that's Kathi being hysterical) and managed to create this really cool banner for me! I told her I love stars and I love orange.  How cool is this?  And she took my "moe smile" and made me an avatar after having to explain what one is.  I swear, I'm hopeless.  

Anyway, go visit Kathi and Ginger>>>>their addresses are over there>>>>

And please go visit Surbhi.  She went the extra mile to make sure I was happy.  She did good!  :D

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Fun Vase

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Hiya!  Well, I bought Christi Friesen's new book called Polymer Clay and Mixed Media.  I love it. It's a great book and has tons of stuff to make.  Naturally, I have a ton of beads to make lots of "bead soup" so I decided this green vase needed a necklace.  And I just happened to have some cool silk ribbon from www.brassbouquet.com.  I was all set to go!  Clay, beads and ribbon!  What more could a girl want?  

Oh yeah... other stuff.  Well, I went rummaging through my Other Stuff cupboard.  HAH!  What do I find?  Besides cat hair?  I find a bunch of cool things from an old kukui nut lei that B got once.  It had kukui nuts (nah, really?) shells and some seed thingies I think are from the ohia tree. So, I made clay flowers, then glued on the seed *doilies*, then,  the shells.  Now I am addicted to making vase necklaces. :)   And isn't my little gecko cute?  :D

Oh yeah... don't be alarmed at the gruesome carpeting and slip covers.  The slip covers are to protect our stuff from the depredations of 2 rambunctious cats and the carpet will soon be in the dumpster!  Yay!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some Fabulous Work!

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My friend Gilly who lives in remote Australia (really!) sent me this site.  This woman Eugena does marvelous stuff!  I've been wanting to play with resin for ages and, after looking at Eugena's gorgeous creations, I REALLY want to play with it!  Go check out her site and drool!  She's at www.polymerclaychameleon.blogspot.com.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Summer Bracelets

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I made a ton of summery bracelets.  Soon I will put them on my Etsy.   I just love these stretchy bracelets.  Have 3 on right now.  :)  One of them is the middle picture here. I wonder how Allie and Ipo would look with kitty bracelets?  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fun Pictures

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Our kitties, Ipo and Allie, were playing and being cute.  We took some pictures.  Aliie looks like she just landed in the Mother Ship. :D  Come to think of it... so does SOS. 

And what do you think of my gecko?  I just bought Christi Friesen's new book, Polymer Clay and Mixed Media.  My gecko is just clay except for his eyes but there are some really fun projects in this new book!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bathrooms and Putfirs

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Well, where to start? Ok, we'll start with the bathrooms. The other night we went to this VERY fancy French restaurant for dinner. Lovely place right smack on Waikiki Beach. When I say right smack on, I mean that. All the windows are open ( as in... no glass) and you could conceivably leap out a window to the sand 3 feet below. Gorgeous place. Beautiful view! I had forgotten there was a place like that here. I had a perfect vegetarian meal that cost a mere $37.00! Ala carte. Oiks. Luckily, someone else was buying because I would faint if I knew what my entire bill was.

Anyway, along about halfway through, I have to shishi. Guess what that means. :D So, I toddle off to the ladies room. Now, the ladies room is NOT open to the beach. It has doors and walls everything. Enclosed, if you will. Encapsulated.

So, I go into a stall and discover there is a gale force wind blowing through the stall. Really. I valiantly try to put the paper cover on the seat. It was like the Keystone Kops. It kept blowing off and I kept trying to put it back. Now, because it had blown onto the floor several times, it is no longer sterile, right? I throw it away and try again. WHAT is wrong with me?

Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out just WHERE is this wind coming from? I mean... you remember that famous picture of Marilyn Monroe standing on the grate with her white dress blowing up? This is EXACTLY what the toilet paper is doing. It is dancing and getting longer and longer while I watch. I can't decide which is more fun. Watching the TP dance off its roll or struggling to get the seat cover to stay long enough so I can sit down. And I never do discerne just where this wind is coming from.

While I would normally have thought this was great fun, I had been drinking champagne and had to pee! [ I had to pee, Pee! :)] I finally gave up and let the cover plaster itself against the wall of the adjoining stall. Meanwhile, I now have TP that is about a quarter mile long... ruffling all they way. I start to snicker. It look like it is alive.

All of a sudden I think this is a scream and start laughing out loud. Equally, all of a sudden, the entire bathroom gets REALLY quiet except for the gale force wind which is now blowing about Force 6.

All the Japanese women who had been laughing, fixing their make up and talking get ominously quiet. This, naturally, makes me laugh harder. I am hysterical. The Japanese tourists have headed in droves for the door. I can hear their cries of alarm. They think there is an out-of-control person in the stall. They are right.

I wait quietly. I figure security will be in soon whereupon I will express righteous indignation and stomp off to my table demanding more champagne. :D Most excellent stuff. :D

For some reason, nobody shows up to remove the offending old woman who is delirious in the bathroom. I make my way back to the table and dinner proceeds.

Now, a few days have gone by. I have made it out of Michel's unrestrained by 300 pound security guards. But. I seem to be having problems with Micheles.

This is not only the name of the wonderful restaurant but is also the name of my sister. I am experiencing Michel/Michele issues.

Sister and I are IMing. This is fun. While I am insane, sister Michele is staid and down to earth and revoltingly normal. I will probably write her out of my will for this transgression.

Anyway, it has taken me a while but I have finally got it across to her that it's ok to misspell on IM as it is better to leave something misspelled rather than to leave the person to whom you are speaking hanging while you edit. Michele will not only fix her spelling but will also fix all the syntax and punctuation then look up any proper sentence structure she may have forgotten while learning to diagram one. And you guys wonder why I love my wine. This is a small part of the reason. :)

Good. So, Sister Michele is trying to say something about shipping stuff. She says something akin to , "... so UPS or one of those putfirs can do it...". What? Putfirs? WTF is she talking about? I am stymied. I also feel immanent hysteria approaching. " You lousy putfir!" "Ok, all you %(**%$# putfirs... up against the wall!" Like that. "Putfirs of America, unite!" :D

Now, Michele is one of those people who would curl up and croak before saying an off color word. I, as you all know, am not afflicted thusly. :D So, I tease her about her new swear word. She actually agrees that it does, in fact, sound like "a bad word". Sigh. I am actually related to this paragon. Scary, don'tcha think? She's SUCH a putfir! So, henceforth and verily, we will now refer to anyone/thing we don't like, as a "putfir". :D

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mold Compound Update

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I got a nice email from Stan who says that their LT (the non transparent) compound is firmer than the transparent one.  That sounds more like what we clayers want.  He says the LT is a bit transparent, tho, so that's good.  I'm going to try the LT and see what happens!  :D

Monday, March 16, 2009

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And so... I have another fun site for you to go visit.  www.compositherm.com.  This is a really cool reusable mold compound.  It is very reasonably priced and I like it!  At first I thought it might be too soft and rubbery but I just needed to experiment a bit.  And Stan Farrell, the owner dude, is a total sweetie.  He is very helpful and answered all my emails right away.  Stan even put a tutorial on just for us polymer clay addicts!  It's the one using the star.  How cool is that?  I asked for clarification and Stan made us a whole new tute!

Anyhow,  I like this stuff and I love the fact that when you are done with your mold, just toss it back into your container and next time you want a mold, you just reheat it.  The pictures here are a mold I made using a button.  

Even though the mold is very rubbery, the next day it is much firmer and easier to use while still being very flexible.  So, if you plan ahead and don't need to make something in the next hour, you'll be better off, methinks.  You can use the mold as soon as it sets but I found that allowing it to set overnight made it much easier to use.  

Another thing I found is that the mold melted much quicker than I thought.  The directions said nuke it for about a minute.  I nuked my whole jar for 30 seconds ( take the top off and set the jar on a saucer ) and that did the trick.  I know all microwaves are different so I'd suggest starting at a shorter time then adding a few seconds if you need to.  I used one of those little plastic cup pill thingies you get in hospitals.  I will have to ask my neighbor the nurse to bring me home a supply.  :D

I think having a reusable mold compound is wonderful.  If it doesn't come out the way you want it the first time, you just reheat it.  And I think you can reheat it indefinitely so you pay less than $10.00 and have mold compound forever.  I bought the 6 ounce jar ( I think it's 6 oz.) but they have a bigger size, too.  

Customer service is wonderful!   So... go check them out, ok?  Compositherm.  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Having A Brain Dead Day

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It was freezing when I got up this morning!  Cold and really windy and pouring rain.  Ok.  Ok.  I can hear you all groaning asking...HOW cold is it?  And snarling at me.  :)  It's cold for here.  I mean... with the wind chill... it must be 62!  Ok.  65.  But, no matter.  My Hunnibunni told me to go look at the beautiful rainbow across the valley so I tried to take a photo of it.  This is an ok photo but the rainbow was way brighter than this picture shows.

Then I decided I really ought to do something constructive.  But my last remaining brain cell (referred to henceforth as MLRBC) wouldn't cooperate.  It forced me to lie on the couch while poor B got ready to brave the elements.  When I finally dragged my lard butt off the couch I looked at my craft table then drifted away.  The little furbrats wanted outside in the misery so I took them out into the hallway where they immediately decided this was a bad idea.  Back inside.  

Then I decided if I moved I'd get some energy.  So, I did my Ana Caban Pilates DVD.  I got all tangled up in my body band.  I keep waiting for the thing to SNAP and take off some vital body part that I sorely need.  Like my nose.  So far, so good.  It is stretching as it is meant to stretch and all is well.  

Then I decided to photograph the new beads I made.  I tried more of the ink beads.  I love these!  I think they look like marble.  But then, MLRBC might have a different thought than you.  :D

Anyway, I'm off to sit at my table and do.... something.  :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Serendipity

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Now, here is a cool thing. I was sitting at my work table thinking, Self? What shall we do to stay out of trouble? I figure nothing can happen to me if I'm sitting quietly at my table minding my own business. Right? Sure. Little Spawn of Satan is asleep. Allie is looking out the window. Life is calm and all is right with the universe. Temporarily.

Anyway, I begin messing around with this felt I bought.

Sigh... I always get sidetracked. This felt stuff. I am trying to find a civilized replacement for these buffing pads that my friend in Scotland makes for me. As she is my pal and I love her, I can't keep saying...CHRIIIIIS! Make me buffers, right? So, I am on a quest for buffing material. You are thinking...Oh, Moe... that is a no brainer. HAH! You are mistaken. Big time.

And... just WHAT is this mystery stuff Chris is using? It works like a charm. Leaves HUGE tumbleweeds of fluff all over my floor. Lasts about 2 days but gives the best shine anywhere.

I mean... you think I'm kidding about the tumbleweeds. I'm not kidding. I was giving a massage one day when one came ripping through my living room. Luckily, my client is face down and cannot see impending disaster. I mean, really. This thing hits my table leg and my client will be on the floor. Good thing I have insurance. You can just picture the gyrations I have to go through to keep this 40 pound ball of fluff from knocking my client to the floor. I'm old, I shouldn't have to do these things. :)

So, I digress.

I post on PCC and ask all my clay pals what they are using as buffing pads. As always, half the kids there jump in to help. What a forum. I love them! Anyway, I get several suggestions. So, I toddle off to the fabric store where I have on my list... FELT and COTTON FLANNEL. Soft, in both cases. Desiree and Celia have said this is what I need. I believe them.

Oh boy, here I am at the fabric store. I get yet another dear sweet little old lady to help me. She is from Japan and tries really hard to sell me a scissors. A scissors? I want felt and/or flannel!

I tell her I actually don't sew that much and I have a wonderful German made scissors that was a gift when I bought my Janome sewing machine. Luckily, I had the good sense to say the magic Janome word otherwise who knows what would have happened to me. When I said Janome, two other equally old and equally Japanese clerks chime in to tell me THEY have Janomes, too. Of course they do. Janome is a super machine! So, when I tell the woman I have this great German scissors, she gives me the dead eye and says, "but ours... made in Japan". I know better than to open my mouth. :D

So, back to the cloth. I explain why I want either felt or flannel. Mrs. Japan takes me to the felt and shows me these pre cut squares. It's pretty soft... might work. Only 42 cents! I get one. The she drags me to the flannel. OOOOO! This is nice. Very soft. I can hear Desiree and Celia telling me... get soft! I buy some. Celia and Desiree KNOW!

Now, I am home and looking at my fabric loot. Uh oh. The felt has this little tag on it that tells me how Green I am. Swell. I don't wanna be green, I wanna be SHINY!

It is made from recycled plastic bottles. How grim is this? Great for the planet but will probably amputate all of my fingers if I try to buff my clay. As spontaneous combustion is not in my immediate future, I think....Ok, scratch that. No pun intended. :( I mean, just PICTURE trying to buff your beautiful polymer pendant with old coke bottles. Jeez. I have only ONE question. Why me?

Ok, I put aside the old plastic coke bottles. Now I make a little pad out of the fleece/flannel. Very soft! Oh boy. I am proud of myself. I put it on my Dremel and start buffing. About 11 billion particles fly off. Sigh. I will persevere. Hah! Desiree was right! I had only to run the thing against a picket fence for 10 minutes and all the particles went away. I can't WAIT to see the next fluff ball that careens through our living room.

Now, this works pretty well. Not nearly as well as Chris's Mystery Scottish Stuff, but it's close. Then Janie gives me some suggestions. More on that another day. Ok... where was I?

All right.... I was sitting at my table. I have the old coke bottle felt now that is useless. So, I thinks... Self? You can use this stuff to apply your alcohol inks to clay. So, I whip out my non-Japanese German made scissors and proceed to whack the felt into small pieces.

It works great to apply the inks. I dab a bunch of various inks onto my clay. Now, I could get REALLY side tracked and tell you about Tonja and the Mule Puke. But I won't. :D

While the inks are drying, I mess about with LuminArte powders. The most glorious colors in the world. Someone told me they are going out of business? Say it ain't so! Back to the powders. I now have golden powder all over my palms. So, I cut bead size pieces of the now-dry clay and roll beads. Oops. Powder is now all over my clay. I cook the little suckers and lo and behold! Gorgeous beads! I leave it to you to decide. Is this serendipity, or what? :D

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flowers Everywhere!

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Bead making has been occupying me lately.  I have been thinking that with the awful state of the world economy that more and more people will want to make their own jewelry.  I know when I started beading, I got really tired of buying store bought beads all the time.  It was such a treat to buy beads that weren't expensive but were still high quality.  So, I decided to make beads just like that because there weren't that many around.  There are lots of high quality beads but they carry high prices, too.  ANyway, take a look at some of my latest.  I wish I could figure out just how to photograph the faux jade.  It is just beautiful but I am having a miserable time getting a good picture.  I'll keep trying!  :D

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Flowers Galore!

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I ordered a ton of canes from the ever popular Toni in New Zealand.  She makes the most beautiful canes!  Anyway, they came yesterday and are so pretty I just HAD to make some hearts. If you need super canes, go visit her at Etsy :: ToniNZ :: Unique Polymer Clay Canes ~ OOAK Polymer Clay Jewelry  So, here are 2 of the hearts I made.  :)  Soon to be on my Etsy!  And on my Art Fire if I can figure out how to get the pictures on.  Sometimes it will take my photos and other times it won't.  :(