Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cool Pendants and a Friend In Need

Tree of Life and Owl Pendants

These very cool pendants are now mine.  I purchased them for an insanely low price from my friend, Moriah Betterly an extremely talented doll artist who is now also creating wonderful ceramic jewelry.  She offers these for sale in her Blu Mudd Etsy shop.

Moriah, is also the friend in need that I refer to in the title of this post.   Some serious financial problems have recently befallen her family and she is desperately trying to raise some money.  Along with her Etsy shop, she is also selling off craft and art supplies and books in her Piperblus shop on Ebay.  Check it out - some great deals with more being listed every day.

Unfortunately Moriah realized this was not going to be enough, and has been forced on going public with her plea.   Asking for assistance is tough and Moriah is including a self-crafted thankyou gift for each donation received (see blog for details)

 The "About Joel" section of the blog that Moriah has just started, explains in great detail the circumstances that this young family has found themselves in.

 Please visit and read this blog

I know that times are tight for many of us - but every little bit helps.  $10 here, $15 adds up!
People helping one and it forward
Your heart will thank you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pages and Pins them!  Bless my two daughters because they know that books are high on my wish list whenever gifts are called for.  This year I received several wonderful books - a large tome on contemporary fashion/designers; a beautiful coffee table book on historical gowns - all made of paper;  and...
... my favorite, hands down is Savage Beauty, which was published by the MET in conjunction with their Alexander McQueen exhibit.

The book grabs you from the cover, which is a holographic image of a skull, which morphs into McQueen's face.  In light of his tragic passing last year, I find this cover poignant, and just a touch creepy.
above image courtesy of (I could NOT capture this with my camera last night)

Tilt the book slightly and Alexander's face appears
 I find this image haunting, perhaps because of his death by suicide, but the pain and conflict he must have been going through seems so apparent.
The body of this large (240 pages) book is packed with stunning images of his genius in design.  There is also text, however I confess that I have not read any of it yet.  Here  is just a tiny sampling:

The second book that I wanted to mention was given to me this weekend by my daughter Keara.  She and her bf just returned from a week in Vegas where they took in a Cirque du Soleil show.  If you have never seen one of C du S's shows, do yourself a favour and go!  And, if you do go to one, pick up this book as it is packed full of inspiration for figures and costumes...
25 Years of Costumes ...152 pages profiling the extravagant costuming in their various shows over the past 25 years.  Eye candy!

 My passion for books like this is two fold.  They feed my love of fashion (particularly vintage which influences so much of contemporary fashion) and they also provide so much inspiration for my dolls.

As to the "Pins" part of my blog title.  Yesterday I joined Pinterest.  Amazing, amazing site!  There is so much to see and be warned that time will quickly slip away from you.  It is addicting.  The great thing is that if you see an image or idea on the internet, you can 'pin' it to your own personal virtual bulletin board(s) so that you have instant access to it.  I often see things that I bookmark, and then have trouble finding since my list is so long (and NOT very organized).  You can also view 1,000's of other members Pins from everything from food to art to decorating to crafts,  and repin to your own board if you wish.  Very, very cool!  Check it out.  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Having Fun.....However.......

At this rate, I will be purging, tossing, sorting and shifting my 'new' studio space for the next couple of months.
I'm stumbling on items that I had totally forgotten about.  Just in one basket tucked at the side of a closet yesterday, I found...
this beautiful beaded antique bag.  It was packed in an old stationary box that I was about to turf, when I realized that there was something in the box.  I don't even remember when I got this bag, but am sure glad I found it! LOL

A ziploc baggie with these hanks of antique bugle beads and seed beads.  Such a pretty bronze colour!  Not sure why I got these or what I will do with them, but they certainly do appeal to my 'magpie' eye!

This tiny fabric covered matchbox sized box (again, I had no recollection what if anything was inside it).  Opened it up, and ....

nestled inside was an antique minature china doll's head.  So cute.

I'm totally surprised this was not in pieces.  Part of a wasp's nest that I (at some point in time) stuck in a baggie and then for some reason placed it in this basket - and promptly forgot about it.  I know at the time I found it, I had plans to do a woodland faerie piece and I will definitely have to revisit that!

I keep finding things that I totally forgot I had - an old 50s wedding gown, packed in a bag at the back of the closet; a bag of antique baby gowns that are basically trashed, but fabric and trims can be salvaged.  Some old bags of lace ...and this is all just from the bottom of the closet in the room I want to move into.
Has my self-created mess decreased at all?  No, not really, but I sure am having fun finding all this 'new' stuff!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

(it's been so long since I've posted on a Wednesday, I almost forgot about Wordless Wednesday)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

From Cave to........This????

I have written before about my tiny, 8 x 8 windowless cave/closet of creativity that I call my "studio".  "Studio" sounds so artsy, high-falutin', and almost posh doesn't it?  In reality, my little area is anything but!
If you are a messy worker (like me), it is impossible to keep tidy, and if you are the least bit claustrophobic (like me), it is also not very conducive to creative thoughts and actions.
....taken from the cave doorway this morning - the one advantage?  Everything is within reaching distance!

Now that both daughters have moved out, my plan is to take over one of the spare rooms (which at the moment is being used as a catchall/storage place) and convert it into a proper studio space.   I will have approx. 3x the room footage I have now AND I will have a nice big window!  Let there be light!

In order to empty proposed studio room so I can do the studio shift, I have to find room for all the stuff that is currently in it.  For the past couple of days, I have been clearing things out of another spare bedroom to make room for bins, etc. while still keeping a few fundamentally important pieces of furniture (bed, bookcase, dresser) in that room.  Deciding what should be trashed and donated is time consuming! LOL

This is what that room looks like this morning.  

Boxes are Paul's stuff, bins are vintage clothing and linens from my days selling on Ebay and Etsy.  I still plan at some point getting back to my Etsy vintage shop,  so don't want to really get rid of too much of what is in the bins.  This room will obviously be a redo project at some time in the future ("some time" being the operative words LOL)

On Facebook this morning, I mentioned that I was getting ready to don my suit of armour to venture into my planned studio room to tackle the monstrous, chaotic mess that I created there yesterday.

I'm not kidding.......

This shows just part of the room.   The cat, that is not usually allowed in this room and of course always wants in, sauntered in and promptly left in disgust.

A job that I thought I could tackle in a couple of days is now looking just a bit more daunting.  Previously, I thought the biggest part of my planned move would be lugging stuff from my downstairs cave up to the second floor.  That could turn out to be the easiest!
I also wanted to strip the wallpaper and paint, build some shelves and have everything looking just like it should be featured in "Where Women Create".  I think just getting things moved and organized will be all I will get done at first.

For now?  I'm going to venture into 'the cave' and play with some clay.

The dump run can wait until tomorrow.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Finally Got Off My Butt

I finally listed a couple of items in my Etsy shop this week.  It was bad enough that I hardly did any creating at all last year, but when I finally did get back to it, I hesitated offering the pieces for sale.  Not sure why, but I had this fear that I had
1.  forgotten how to sculpt
2.  forgotten how to 'use' Etsy
3.  the pieces were stale 
4.  I hate taking pictures
(because I really need some photo tips!)
I was much more positive feeling about the gift items I was working on.
Anyway, I thought "enough!" and put two Kindreds and one full body sculpt art doll up this week.  Like riding a bike, it wasn't that scary or difficult once I actually got my butt on the seat.
Zara, a Ghost Kindred

A Place In Time 
Sophia Isabella - A Kindred

I'm thrilled to say that Sophia Isabella is traveling  Stateside to live  with Pearl.  Thank you so much Pearl - your purchase of this piece gave the boost to my confidence that I desperately needed!

I had planned on starting a couple pieces for Valentine's Day today, but got sidetracked cleaning my work table and sorting through some trims.  It doesn't take much to throw me off course LOL. Tomorrow for sure I'm getting back to work!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Some of the Giftee Things I Made for Christmas

I have a lot of fun making small little figures and ornaments for gifts and thought I would share some of the pieces I made this December.

 These two little guys were sculpted from paperclay over a lightbulb base for the body and a styrofoam ball for the head.  I may make some (and maybe some owls too) for my etsy shop next year.  They certainly were fun!

 For this version of a belsnickle, I used an old paper mache yarn cone as the base and covered it in polymer clay - sculpted the face and arms and then painted and!  Also hoping to make some variations of this for my Etsy shop next year.

These two little guys have styrofoam balls as the base for their heads and bodies, dowels for their legs and chopped-in-half styrofoam balls for their feet.  Covered in paperclay, painted and glittered.  Their 'twig' arms are cut from some veiny stuff I purchased last year from Michaels and are actually wire coated to look like twigs.

My little 'music man' was sculpted from polymer clay.  I love the work of Surya O'Shea and have used his enchanting illustrations as inspiration for two pieces that I've done - both of which have been for gifts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Couple of Give Aways

Who doesn't love the chance to win a wonderful giveaway?

I'm sure most of us do (and if you don't, well don't read any further).
Two of my artist friends are offering a sample of their creativity and we all have a chance at owning a piece of their work.

This lovely art quilt, by Lisa Lectura is offered to celebrate her 4th year BloGIVErsary:

For a chance to own this, please go to her blog:

The other wonderful giveaway is from Jo at Cart Before The Horse. To welcome in the New Year,  Jo and Dylan are offering a chance for you (although I hope I am one of them), to win one of three of these  adorable little Alice figures.

 Please visit Cart Before The Horse blog

Two separate different giveaways from two very talented artists.  So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012

 2012....a brand new year

A time for a fresh start, new beginnings and hopes that this year will be the best ever!

Best New Year Wishes to Everyone!