Monday, August 27, 2007 disguise!

I swore that when the scrapbooking craze...became a craze....that I would NEVER EVER get into it! Not because I didn't love it....but because...I knew I would love it! I knew I would have to feed the insatiable desire for everything - every paper - every embellishment - every little doo-dad - just plain everything! I needed another craft hobby like I needed another hole in the head. Well...Im sorry to say...I have several holes in the head, I think I'm up to around seven or so by now.

Then it happened.....What if I could justify it? I thought, "Technically, if I found a way to add polymer clay with scrapbooking techniques, I wouldn't necessarily be able to call it a "new" hobby would I?" I would be just branching out and exploring my creative horizons...right??? YES!!! YES!! YES!!! I could scrapbook in disguise...ooohh the possibilities that opened up!!! No more emergency trips to the scrapbook store when didnt have the write color embellishment...and patterns...we'll I could either stamp them or create milliefiore canes for letters... I could make little embellishments whenever or in whatever color I needed for my layout!

So here is sampling of that can see that my style goes from clean.... to altered. Im so into altered because it's free, expressive, messy and as Maureen Carlson says...."IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PRETTY!".
The little cowboy page in the background is my dad (you've guessed it, now I'm totally into heritage scrapbooking and genaeology - my 8th hole in the head). This layout was featured on DIY Scrapbooking about a year or so back. It combines polymer clay to make rustic/rusty looking embellishments. Mariah also did a similar one on the Carol Duvall Show featuring leather like embellishments.
I have two altered purses with heritage albums that pop out when you open them up. It has many embellishments from airdry clay techniques, wire, metal and more....Isn't this a fun way to display your photo's and create a bit of home decor? And lastly but not least the book with the "39" is called "My First 39 Miles". It's a collaberation of memorabilia from my life - miniaturized report cards and all kinds of stuff. It's a lunch sack album...but the cover features stamped and aged polymer clay techniques based on colors from Basic Grey.
The "Inspire" page was one of the first I featured on the Carol Duvall show. The dragonfly embellishments and Inspire words are all made from Fimo polymer clay.
Well...I guess the I blew my I have drawers of paper, nearly every punch that McGill makes (great for polymer clay may I add...), die cut machines (wizard, sizzix and big kick- also great for die cut polymer shapes) and the list goes on and on and on......
I'm out growing my studio!!!
See you next time on the ArtBuzz.......

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bead Rolling is a family affair!

My!!!! OH my!!!!!....I sure have been on a colorful journey lately!!!

Usually one night every couple of weeks or so, my Mom would fix leftovers (my Grandma Molden would call them mustgo's) know...leftovers...a little bit of this... a little bit of that...whatever you had on hand in the fridge. No matter what leftover's we had, my Mom sure had a way of bringing it all together for a yummy meal. You might say that this bracelet fits that description because it's full of all sorts of great bead ingredients which make way for some delicious and tasty bead soup jewelry ! You'll find these and other bead making techniques in my latest book "Bead Techniques - Clay Jewelry with Bead Rollers"

This bracelet along with a Faux Jade Necklace, on display in the AMACO booth during the Winter CHA 07 trade show, caught the eye of the buyers and educational department of JoAnn Stores. Instructions for this project are available on the JoAnn's website.

The Faux Jade necklace is where my real family affair story begins. JoAnn stores decided that they would like to have live samples of the Faux Jade Necklace in select stores and asked if I would be willing to make them! I was honored. What I didn't know, was the necklaces were going to be featured in 235 select stores!

The project took an entire 8 weeks to complete. As I neared the deadline, I had everyone in the family involved. Mariah mixed the clay while my husband Dana, my mom & my dad, and Elise made the base beads. Then, they handed them over to me for stamping, hole poking and baking. Once baked, Mariah painted them, the rock tumbler sanded them and then we sealed them. I strung most of the necklaces in the car on a weekend trip to St. Louis. We all worked together and eventually completed nearly 2600 beads. Each bead had 7 different steps.

The good news?.. We finished on time. It was really alot of fun to have the whole family involved in the project, together in the studio, laughing, sharing old stories and creating new memories. (now when Im in the studio...and I get the bead rollers out...the kids say.."Run away...Run away!!..." - just kidding. They actually used this experience and design their own beads now)

As soon as I get my hands on a copy of the project sheet, I'll post it for all of you. In the meantime, if you happen to be in one of those select JoAnn stores and you see the jade necklace take a moment to remember a time when your family was all together working as a team....maybe doing some yard work or planting flowers ...or during a family gathering...or a planning wedding...whatever it is, I hope it brings you "warm fuzzies" and that you'll continue to create great family moments for many years to come.

Do you have great crafting with family stories??? Please share them!

Next time on the Art Buzz......HOT LINKS! Don't miss them!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don't let the Summer heat ruin your CLAY DAY!

So you're off running to the craft store today to buy more polymer clay because you've been such an addict you're nearly out of every single color...right?? Okay... maybe that's a little exaggerated but in any case here's a little tip to help you not spoil your summertime projects.

Make your trip to the craft store your last trip of the day. Polymer clay begins it's curing process at 90 degrees. It doesn't totally cure...but it is on it's way. We all know that temperatures in the car get well over 200 degrees and now that Fimo is curing at 230 degrees you could wind up with a nice baked solid color paperweight (otherwise known as a cured block of clay). We DON'T want that to happen!!!

So..what if you wind up with some slightly baked all lost? NO! Chop it in a food processor (totally devoted to clay), add a few drops of baby oil or veggie oil to the mix. The friction created in the machine and the oil will help to rejuvinate clay that has lost a little bit of it's life due to old age or a little heat stroke. Condition the clay until it's soft and pliable thru the pasta machine.

I know that these tips aren't rocket science...and you've probably heard them before. It's always good to have a little refresher reminder.

Happy Summertime Clay Time!!...until next time on the ArtBuzz.....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Let's have a party!.... WITH BEADS!

I spent most of last week making canes. That is pretty unusual really for me because I'm not a cane maker, Im more of an "impatient bead maker". I can totally relate to "The Impatient Blogger" in the need for instant results. Once the canes are made it really is kind of fun to have a bit of creative freedom and just plunk canes slices on to base beads with no particular look in mind. These beads all work together because they are all of the same color family. This is really a lesson in Skinner Blends! I love Skinner Blends and we'll be exploring these in my new book.

The inspiration for this piece came from the Masquerade costume designed by Liz Welch and embellished with Friendly Plastic. The color palette she used became the focus of these beads. Using the Tube Bead Rollers really made the task of creating so many beads easy and fast. The result was this very fun....very FUNky chunky necklace ensemble. You could just keep adding and adding charms or anything you like to make it uniquely you!

I hope this necklace provides you with inspiration to just create....and not really worry about each individual bead - the whole creative process without regard to the outcome is quite therapeutic

And ....if you need a little more inspiration, click on my BRAND NEW flickr gallery page. I feature of my favorite whimsical characters from years gone by.... to my new updated jewelry gallery. Just click here!...and if you care to...leave a message, I'd love to hear from you...

Until next time on the ArtBuzz................................

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's old....has become New!

In keeping with the flashback to the 80's Blast from the Past may recall a product called "Friendly Plastic". It's produced in the here in the States from AMACO. Way back in the 80's, I purchased a pair of earrings and a matching bracelet at a craft show made with it. The ensemble was quite flashy - a little gaudy and complimented my big 80's hair (yes ladies....AquaNet was my friend...). Those pieces have since been broken and I think.....lost. Friendly plastic was quite a popular medium for creative people and came in a variety of metallic and varigated colors. But the 80's crazy died out...and so it seems Friendly Plastic did a little bit too..... Jana Ewy brought a 90's update to the product with her books showing us how to layer and create patterns with Friendly Plastic. In fact to see a project I did, inspired by Jana, just click here!!
Now...take a look at what one artist in the United Kingdom has done to put a real 2000 spin on it!! It's back with a bang! And.... OH! is it so fun to work with!!! Meet textile artist and Friendly Plastic Queen - Liz Welch . I introduced you to her briefly in my CHA show summary. Just look at photo's of her work with Friendly plastic and textiles! WOW!
Liz features an unique way to incorporate friendly plastic metallic designs with textiles to create stunning wearables. I was priveleged enough to receive a beautiful - Totally 2000 necklace and earrings from her. So you say....masks....wearables arent your main interest? You like scrapbooking and paper crafts???? Well...check out Liz's ATC cards too!

Friendly plastic can be molded and cut with alphabet cutters to create stunning titles...think Texture.

I really enjoy the challenge of giving "older" products a NEW Up to the Minute look. All it takes is a little creative inspiration and a little thinking out of the box. Some days...i know...we get stuck in the box! So if you are one of those who have a stash of Friendly plastic laying around...why not ressurrect it??? And challenge yourself to a little creative "up to date" project.
Check back to see what I've created with FIMO using Liz's masquerade costume as an inspiration. It's a walk on the wild side.........
(all photo's featured in this blog are the work of Liz Welch)

Monday, August 13, 2007

This weeks Art Buzz Hot Links

Here's a list of this weeks featured "HOT LINKS" that I found interesting:
  • Love to create Jewelry but just don't know where to begin?? Check out my latest book BEAD TECHNIQUES - Clay Jewelry with a bead roller. I feature kits for every budget, from the basic "get addicted" to the totally addicted on my website - Linda Peterson (By the way...hubby's...these make great "just because I love you gifts")
  • How To TV Online - on demand craft TV featuring projects from your favorite PBS series shows. The Kids Channel features a beginning clay series complete with a teddy bear project
  • Polymer Clay People - A great mix of talented people who will share anything they know about clay with anyone who wants to know something about clay. If you have a question - someone will have an answer. There are well known pc artists members as well as those who are just starting out.
  • National Polymer Clay Guild - Great resources of information from tutorials, workshop information and national events
  • Katie Hacker - of course my beading buddy always has interesting and creative ideas to share, this week she features her blast from the past.
  • CF Originals - she combines my love to characters into my new love of art jewelry and beads - what a work of art!
  • Carol Duvall Show ONLINE any time - check out this weeks featured segments - click on Crafts then Carol Duvall
  • Polymer Clay Productions - New video working with alcohol based dyes and an interview with one of my mentors and friends Maureen Carlson
  • HGTV Polymer Clay Projects - Here's a listing of all the polymer clay projects you've seen on Carol Duvall along with all the project sheets for the shows.

That should give you enough reading and surfing for a little while...I'll be back to share what's happening in the studio this think I'm going to explore creating focal beads with caning techniques...

Have links to share?????? Post a comment and I'll include them in the next Hot Links

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

That was then....this is now....

Thank goodness the days of the cow earrings are a thing of the past. That was then.....I now focus my polymer clay work into creating unique and mostly one of a kind art jewelry.
I replicated this pendant to simulate cinnabar from a piece I purchased in China Town a couple of weeks ago while I was in San Francisco. I paid a higher price for the original than I normally would have because I really wanted the design and could see a lot of potential.
The focal bead is quite a bit bigger than the original and is more of a large puff bead - hollow in the center. I decided to keep the stringing very simple to keep the focus on the beautiful design of the focal pendant. I'll be featuring this technique in my upcoming book "Making Beads". If you are interested placing your name on a reserve list - please email me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Say it isnt so?!?!?!?!?.......................................... Were cows really the craze back in the late 80's - early 90's? I'm afraid they were.

Katie Hacker and I were talking over dinner a few weeks back about our early beginnings. Be sure to check out her story on her blog.

It's true, mine started with a bunch of t-shirts with Cows and watermelons painted on them (or pigs and watermelons if that was more your type) and sold at craft shows all over Missouri. Now don't laugh.... they were QUITE the fashion statement of their time. Not only for our wardrobe...but also for home decor' as well. It seems that everything had the black and white spotted cow theme - towels, canisters in the kitchen... you name it. (I didn't go that far really -but I did have a chicken and hay border in the kitchen).

I began my humble beginnings painting this design on t-shirts. Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately none of those are still around for me to photograph for you today, but I did happen to run across this picture of a chalk drawing I drew in the children's play room at the hospital during one of Mariah's hospital stays. It's a good replica of what the shirts looked like.
So picture this cow and a few of her friends holding watermelons on your t-shirt. (Lovely...) Well....we just cant stop there, we must accessorize....and what's a t-shirt without a pair of matching earrings???? Yep - you guessed it...the same "head" you see on that cow were made into FIMO polymer clay earrings! And I sold them by the herd.!! Couldn't make them fast enough.
What??? You say... Cows are not your animal of choice??? You like...Pigs???? Well...we had those as well - exchange the cows for pigs and you have your very own Pig and Watermelon ensemble complete with matching earrings. (I also painted this design on kids onsies - but they had matching socks and tennis shoes).

I was kind of cheap back then. I was determined that I was only going to buy two colors of Fimo -White and Pink. Then, I splurged and bought black. I painted the spots and the eyes on the earrings and each was fashioned with a bow on it's head. In time I got tired of pink bows so I bought another color of Fimo and another color...and another.... and then one day...

My aunt came to visit and so I thought -"I'll make her a gift. I bet I could try to make character dolls with this stuff". And I did. I made five of them. (Those are the ones I need to get to mom's house to photograph - I would describe them as "a face only a mother could love..."). I had so much fun making those dolls and characters, that the very next craft show, we sold out of all of our wearables and went into making Fimo clay dolls and miniatures.

So....long story short....if it hadn't been for Mariah being sick in the hospital....and me doing crafts in the hospital for therapy....and the nurses who would buy all my stuff and tell me to do craft shows.....then actually doing craft shows....and on and on and on..... I dont know if I'd be where Im at today.....
It's amazing where I've come from....and how far I've progressed. The best thing about it is, it's been an incredible journey and I've met some pretty incredibly talented and creative moooooooooover's and shaker's in the craft industry. (sorry for the bad pun I know)
Gone are the days of cow and pig earrings, now I'm into creating classy upscale jewelry and home decor with polymer clay and other mixed media. Check out my book - Bead Techniques and please post a comment and share your funny story....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Has it really been THAT long ago???

At dinner last night we were chomping down on some delicious sweet corn on the cob (ooohh so good!). Now, whenever I eat corn on the cob, I always think about the "Looney Tunes" cartoon where the chicken is pecking at the cob like an old manual typewriter - sounds and all. I've typed many a term paper on our old manual typewriter- it's all we had. I mentioned that to my husband and he laughed. Then I said to the girls, when I was in high school, we didnt have keyboarding classes we learned to type on electric typewriters. Elise's reply? "What's an electric typewriter????" (I never thought they wouldn't know what that was....)

Oh...has it really been that long ago that we've given up the typewriter? Now today, Im seeing manual typewriters being taken apart and their parts used in Heritage scrapbook pages. I must be getting old. Computers are now an integral part of our lives and I certainly can't get by without mine.

It does'nt seem "that" long ago that I started my art career, but it has been over 15 years ago. My mother has alot of my beginning work. Hopefully this week I'll get over to her house to photo some of those vintage pieces to show you. We all have to start somewhere and it's amazing how we improve and evolve.

Stay tuned for the blast from the past...

Friday, August 3, 2007

An up and coming artist makes her debut in Art Jewelry Magazine

Let me introduce to you the youngest of our four kids....This is Julia and she's 5. (6 in November). Julia loves to work with Fimo clay and make jewelry. She's getting pretty good at making beads and she loves drawing on her magna doodle. She was the inspiration for the Transferred Memories class that I gave at More than Memories a couple of weeks ago.

A little while back she was doodling on her magna doodle and drew a picture of "our wedding day". I instantly snatched the doodle, captured a photo and digitized it making jewelry pieces and charms from components of the picture. When I showed her what I did with her art, she was even more inspired and created "TULIPS".

Amaco featured "TULIPS" (called "Pewter Tulips") in their ad campaign which appears in the September 2007 issue of ArtJewelry magazine. Please check it out. Project instructions for the necklace are located on the website.

"Our Wedding Day" and "Fashion Diva" drawn by 10 year old Elise are both scheduled to appear the up coming issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.

Since Julia's first drawings I've nicknamed her "Picasso" or "Pic" for short. She nicknamed me "pigasso"or "pig" for short (lovely nickname) I don't think she understands that Picasso is a compliment! Oh well...after all she's only five. (Thats - four fingers with the thumb popped out or so she tells us)

In any regard, artwork seems to know no bounderies or age limits....maybe you have a young inspiring picasso living in your house too.....Bet this will give you a whole new perspective at looking at their artwork!

Julia's in the house now drawing more artwork....better get inside to see what she's created for me......

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Featured links of the moment

Featured links of the "blonde" moment: (because I forgot some of those I was going to post...AHHH!)

  • Girlfriendology - a blog created by my friend Debba Haupert celebrating girl-friendships
  • GirlfriendologyToo - Debba recently started this to share creative ideas and inspiration on gifts to create for those special girl-friends (Psssssst....I love handmade gifts..hint ..hint)
  • PolymerClayTV - new videos and interviews of talented clay artists just posted
  • Katie Hacker's back from vacation and back to blogging. She shares a bit of how she decorates her studio..... (thanks for making me feel at home..) Check back because Katie and I are going to take you on a real "Blast from the Past". Ohhh....are you in for a surprize......
  • Comparison test on all brands of polymer clay: This information was originally posted on yahoogroups: polymer clay people. I found it the results of this third party test interesting. The liquid clays were tested every which way possible. Fimo Gel came out a winner! (this was the one I couldnt remember to post......)

The Buzzzzzz on New Polymer Clay and Jewelry books

Im back home now...... well....sort of. We're in Columbia, MO for the night so Mariah can go to the doctor. We took a trip to the mall and spent about 2 hours in Barnes and Noble. I haven't had time to just sit and browse the books available...especially the new ones featuring jewelry and polymer this time Im spending is quite a treat!

Let me share with you what I found:

  • The Art of Polymer Clay - Surface Techniques by Donna Kato - (my good friend....she calls me "kid"). This book is a delight for the senses. Beautiful pictures of jewelry are laced throughout the book and Donna graciously showcases the work of many talented jewelry artists. The techniques featured are simply amazing, easy to understand, allowing for exceptional results. I particularly enjoyed the section she has on creating her own molds. (Something I explored yesterday in the studio before I read the book). She gave me lots of creative inspiration on how to create your own mind is spinning with ideas. You MUST have this book! You won't be disappointed. It's like having a Donna in your studio whenever you need her....

  • Fabulous Jewelry and Found Objects by Martha LeVan: I perused this book with awe. The inspiration inside is simply magnificent. It certainly makes me think about objects in a whole new light.....who says you can't use old, distressed pencils for jewelry or parts of "pop" soda cans for bracelets. I appreciated the variety of artists featured in this book as well. A very talented group of people. If you are looking to take your jewelry pieces beyond the ordinary...then you'll certainly want this book!

As for the status on my "Making Beads" book, Im developing projects in the studio. Yesterdays feature was creating molds to make focal pendants and beads along with creating semi precious stones. If there's a technique you would like to see in the book, please share your ideas..

A couple of quickies.......dont forget to tune into PolymerclayTV tomorrow for part two of the Bottles of Hope ceremony at the AMACO book at CHA.

Also, please take a second to fill out the survey along the side...just curious what "buzzes" you.

And finally, Im having trouble with the subscription service thru feedburner. It's not showing any of my subscribers. If you subscribe by email, would you kindly let me know that you received this edition of the buzz??? Thanks a bunch!

Thats all for now......................stay tuned for the next edition of the Art Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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