Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Just reading the title of this post it's easy to conclude that this is not going to be a happy read, but ive been having a really crappy day (weeks?) I need to rant.

First, I can't make ANYthing. Seriously. Everything I've made so far feel like major fails. It wouldn't bother me really if I were just experimenting, or looking for something new and fun to do. But I have a deadline, which I might not be able to meet, i now realize. Most of the time, last minute panic fuels creativity and becomes fodder for some seriously inspired work, but, man! My brain feels like a sun-baked stretch of desert; dry and blah. {insert guttural expression of absolute frustration}

Then 2 nights ago, my dogs fought and one of them came out with a couple bites on the forearm, which swelled so much the following morning I thought it was getting infected or that it got fractured. It was a relief that after a couple days of cleaning the bites and giving extra pats, hugs and food, he's feeling much better. I am reminded that there are blessings we can still be thankful for even during times when we feel sh*t's hitting the the fan at warp speed.

And the cherry on top is my old phone finally saying sayonara. It would not charge and upon inspection, i found out that one of the pins in the charging port was missing and the plastic base it was attached to looked like it was starting to disintegrate. My heart ached watching the battery drain slowly as i frantically tried to transfer all my important files (doggy pictures & videos) to my SD card. I'm gonna miss that phone. It served me well.

Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine. I hate disposable stuff. I'm all for recycling and being kind to the environment, but having everything made biodegradable has its pros & cons. I Miss those times when electronics guaranteed to last a lifetime actually last a lifetime. I miss true craftsmanship, I miss the attention to detail and the dedication to quality. Perfect examples are my dad's old photography and archery equipment. Save for a several small dings, scratches they are still very much functional. Everything nowadays is disposable, it's scandalous how much we're paying for stuff that will last only a few years. And I don't just mean gadgets, clothes and shoes, too.  Have you ever bought a pair of shoes and after a few months you find the "leather" starting to peel and flake, or the sole has come off because it was only glued on? Ok, i hear you. Maybe it was a cheap pair, they were cost-cutting, you get what you pay for, it's not real leather, etc. But that's not always the case. Ive had a few pairs that were definitely not on the cheap side and they still fell apart like a jenga tower. Things are just not made the way they used to be and it's a really sad thing to realize that quality is set aside for profit.

It's sad and infuriating, but what i realized while washing my doggies' bowl before retiring for the day and thinking how absolutely herculean a task it is to meet my deadline is this: what does all this craziness trying to teach me? What can I glean from this? Maybe I can gain something positive from all this drama.

Yes, I am one of those people who try to see the glass as half full. I try, even if life makes it hard to do so.

I am still thinking.

How about you? Ever had one of those really crazy days/weeks/months/years you just want to sleep through or do-over? What did you learn from it? I'd love to hear your story and maybe we could share our misery and at least get a laugh and a lesson out of it. God knows the world needs more laughter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tip Tuesday

I'm started a series on my Facebook page today.
Hopefully the tips I can offer can help some of you guys.
--and hopefully can keep this up :)

If you have suggestions or questions, just leave me a comment below. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

MIstakes: they're part of the learning process

Lately I've been feeling bored because all I've been making are flowers-- and I'm not even a girly-flower-wearing person. They're all made-to-order stuff made in different color schemes as my previous works and that just takes away the fun in making things. It's like running on auto-pilot, which is nice sometimes when you don't want to think about what you're doing, but I miss kinda miss the giddy feeling that makes my hands shake. Sure, these flowers brought attention to my page and what I do. I got some mileage from them especially when my lockets were featured in The polymer arts (right next to a piece by once of my all time favorite artists Kathleen Dustin. Color me STARSTRUCK!), and then I had several people asking me to make a tutorial about my flowers. I was a good ride, but you know what they say about good things.

I even took a pottery class (a future post, maybe?)  thinking it might turn on a magic switch in my brain and make me create like crazy in the studio. It didn't. It gave me a few ideas though and those Saturdays were fun and relaxing, but nothing jumped at me and told me: "You HAVE to make this with polymer clay!!" So while it was fun and while I was able to make some cool stuff I'm excited to use once they finish firing, I'm still stuck at a crossroads with polymer clay.

So after a couple  several weeks of just moping and hoping I would just bump into my old friend Inspiration while lying on the couch binging on chips and The Walking Dead, I decided to tackle that guild challenge I had coming up. I knew I've always wanted to try using power tools with clay, and I had one lying around just begging to be used, and I wanted to try paper cutting but with clay.. so I got of my butt and moseyed down to my table. I was genuinely excited, to be honest. I had my mask and my goggles/old pair of glasses and a cloth to cover my work area. I even posted a photo on my page just because I felt silly and even before I started I was having so much fun already.

Funny thing, though. When I posted this, a lot of people began commenting that I was going to create another masterpiece or that I must be up to something so out-of-this-world complicated and that they can't wait to see it. Well, first of all thank you for the ginormous boost to my confidence, but I must say that really put the pressure on me. I didn't even know what I was going to make, I just wanted to post a little BTS action. So there I was.. maybe I just got carried away and maybe set myself up for this because I made people expect something I wasn't ready to offer. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What happened next was a series of events that (i'm being honest here, i'm not trying to reason my way out) that just left me with a few hours to finish this "masterpiece". It was a Saturday so I had my pottery class in the afternoon. Puppy duties in the am and we had to pick up my brother from school at around 5, picked up my parents afterwards did a grocery run and when i got home it was almost 8 pm and the puppies were begging to be let out. By the time I sat in front of my table it was close to 9 and the 12mn deadline slowly ticking its way closer. It was kreyzee! but I finished it, sort of, but I wasn't happy. At all. It failed soo many times. I made multiple mistakes because I wasn't thinking. I wasn't thinking because i didn't have enough time. I didn't have enough time because well.. I was too busy watching the Walking Dead. So perhaps this is a good time to say: Stop cramming! lol

Kidding aside, the point I want to make is this: It's not about getting your head out of the creative black hole, or creating a masterpiece. It's making something that makes your heart race and your hands shake while holding a buzzing power tool. It's smiling like a silly goose while covered in dust. It's going for something that pushes you to be brave and not care about results. It's okay to make mistakes because that's when you really learn. You don't learn anything when you approach something with surety because then your mind is set. If we want to learn and grow, we must make room for the boo-boo's and oh, shit's ;)                

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New lockets, Flowers galore!

Seeing as I have't posted much of the things I've made lately here's a compilation of my favorite recent works.

A personalized cake server and knife set and a couple of champagne flutes all in a pretty carnation pink palette.

This photo is from Diane, a client who also asked for a 
custom cake server and knife set for her beautiful wedding.

A playful lock and key I made for our guild's 
"Sweet Pairings" March challenge

some new "experimental" flowers

dainty pink flowers and a monogrammed heart for a wedding

pretty and colorful custom hair combs and clip on earrings for a chorale

black and white flowers.. so pretty! i loved the tulle and bead center 
my sister made for them.

a Stroppel jellyroll in the works. I just LOVE making these. 
They're useful, versatile and I get to use all the "stale" canes I have in my cane drawer.

Some new lockets


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Video walk through

hey, there! I made a short video about how I make my funky ladies. watch it below :) hope you guys like it!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

In defense of PC artists

An artist friend recently told me about a thread she read online which, in a nutshell, said that unlike other crafters, polymer clay artists are madamot  in sharing their techniques. There were some good points raised on that thread and I wish I was a member of that group so I could have participated in the discussion, but since I'm not I'm having my say here. Share your thoughts in the comments below.. i don't bite :)
People who know me know that when I began working with polymer clay it was at a time when the Internet was still a magical place few men have gone. We had a computer but what it really was was an electronic typewriter (remember DOS?). Craft books, tools and supplies were hard to come by unless you had generous and thoughtful relatives abroad. Forget about e-books. What I had was a bag of clay samples, a little slip of paper with baking instructions, my hands, my imagination and my eagerness to learn. This makes me sound so old, but I did start roughly 20 years ago.

I began making gifts for my friends and my family. Selling my work was far from my mind. The happiness I found in making things with my hands and giving them away was good enough for me. As you get older, however, you begin to entertain the romantic ideology of selling your art and living off the profits and becoming a full-fledged artist like the painters and sculptors of yore. And so you gather your courage and jump into the entrepreneurial pool. When you do, you realize that, Hey, it's not so bad! And there's a market for it, too. So you start to create your brand, your image, and you slowly, slowly discover and develop your own definitive style. Eventually people start to take notice and after a few scary months you realize you're actually making a profit and not just breaking even. Huh. Who knew, right?

Now, after all that, imagine a friend telling you she just saw your work being copied by another crafter, marketing it as their own. How does that make you feel, honestly?

I don't think it's about the unwillingness to share but rather a desire to protect what you've worked hard to create. I gladly share tips with beginners and enthusiasts, but ask me how I make my pc flowers and you'll probably just get a sheepish grin from me. I hear complaints about clayists being madamot, you should hear me rant about unethical crafters. What you're asking from them, from US, is not just a simple technique, it's months or even years of experimentation and brainstorming. That's why there are trade secrets. If everyone just gave away free information we'd all be too lazy to think for ourselves and everything we make will end up looking like mass produced horrors. I happen to like looking at other artists works and wonder how they thought of making that particular piece, and that thought, that little spark of inspiration inevitably spurs me to try to better my own work and maybe in the process I might end up making something mind-blowing. I don't think ingenuity ever came out of just copying someone else's work. That's mimicry, not artistry. I understand if people try to copy someone else's work, after all isn't that the highest form of flattery? I did it before and I still do it now to get a feel for the technique, to free my mind and to see if I can incorporate it into my own style. However, selling it and passing it off as my own is a definite no-no.

I understand how overwhelming it is for beginners to be faced with deciding which tools to buy, what clay to use, or what books to read. That's where workshops come in. Workshops are not money-making ploys, especially if you take them under reputable clayists who've been around for a long time. Here's a tip: If you want to attend a good workshop where you'll go home with your head swimming with ideas, don't expect pay cheap --unless you're friends with the artist, then she might be nice enough to give you a discount :) If you're interested in learning about polymer clay but are unsure if it's the right fit for you, get lost on the Internet. There's a ton of free information and tutorials there for anyone willing to learn.  

There's also something to be said about the kind of people you share your secrets to. There are people who appreciate and respect the hard work behind each piece, and then there are the unscrupulous few who don't. Respect is a factor of course. The lack of which only opens the door to intrigue and discord. I've shared quite a few of my secrets but only with people I know and trust will take care of that bit of knowledge and use it well. I've made the mistake of being too open-handed with what I know so now I know better. Maybe that's it. It's choosing who you share your little tricks of the trade with. It may sound elitist, but the illusion that we are not so generous with what we know stems from a certain sense of self-preservation. We only share with the few people we know are, first and foremost, artists. I can tell you right now, in our group you can ask anything and you'll get tons of tips you wouldn't even know where to start. If you think the PC world is an immature bunch, I'd say you probably don't know us. Yes we may sound like a cartload of chimpanzees when we have events because of the boisterous laughter (maybe that's what makes us seem immature or perhaps intimidating?) but the heart of each and everyone is exactly where it should be.                      

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Mom's Day Sale this week!

Just a short post today since I should really be finishing everything for the sale tonight. Here are a few of the things that will be included, a link to a quaint little playlist of songs used in a cooking show I just recently discovered ( I love it so so much!) and an interesting article on the seriously labor-intensive process that the Japanese grow -and sometimes brand- their apples! Amazing!



See at the Sale! :)

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