So, here is part of what has kept me from my keyboard the last month or so…these dolls were supposed to be Christmas presents, but they just would NOT cooperate. Fortunately the lady who ordered them is very, very nice. She told me she wanted happy dolls, with no stress sewn in to them. At last they are done and delivered. (Actually, they’ve been delivered for a week or two…I’ve not been on the ball with uploading photos, either. Sigh.)
It always amazes me how they come out with their own personalities, even if I’m using the same pattern! I used the same basic pattern for the three smaller ones, and they couldn’t be more different. The two henna dolls started out the same, too – but the blond is definitely sassier than the brunette, don’t you agree?
This week’s Smoosher is Chris Newcomb, aka EagleHawk. Chris lives in Cypress, Texas (the 2nd largest state…;) ), with his wife (“the most wonderful woman I know” he says! Isn’t that sweet?) and two daughters. He is primarily a woodworker. Something I love from his Art Fire shop‘s Artisan Gallery is this wonderful decorative violin:
More representative of Chris’s work is this gorgeous little scrollsaw ornament, which he says is “perfect for little hands to hang on the tree.” Living as I do only a few miles from the North Pole, I had to include this one!
How does this work make Mr. Newcomb a Smoosher, you ask? Well, although Chris is relatively new to polymer clay, he has come up the great idea of inlaying some of his woodwork with polyclay, which has resulted in some very cute keychains.
Using wood and polymer clay together can be problematic, because of wood’s tendency to shrink and expand. It is nice to see someone experimenting with the combination, though, because there is wonderful potential for creating beautiful items. This is my favorite of Chris’s keychains – I love the combination of the poplar with the pearl polymer clay:
I hope you’ll have fun browsing at Chris’s Art Fire shop!
This week, the Smooshers spotlight lands on Jennifer, of Crafty Baby Hope.
Jennifer uses her Art Fire profits to fund treatments for secondary infertility – hence the name of her shop. You can read about her story at her blogs, Jewelry for Hope, which is where she shows her creative side, and A Look Into My Life which is her forum for discussing her hopeful, if frustrating, experiences with MTHFR, PCOS, and endometriosis…and an active little Boy Scout called “Boober.”
She does lovely wirework, as well as polymer clay work. I love this little bird’s nest pendant:
And this bracelet is just stunning:
Of the many adorable polymer clay items in her shop, I think my favorites are the “kawaii” things. I had to look up what that means – “kawaii” is the Japanese word for “cute” and refers to the culture of cuteness that has developed in Japan since the 1980s. This is the trend responsible for Hello Kitty and Pokemon, though even everyday items and food can be kawaii. Here are some of Jennifer’s kawaii items:
I hope you’ll take the time to visit Jennifer’s shop and blog. She is a strong lady with a lot of hope, and she makes really cute stuff!
This week, the guild spotlight is on Dori, of Sassy Clay Creations. Dori has perfected the trick of layering clay to build up lovely and fun textures on her jewelry and home decor items.
This mirror would cheer me up on the worst bad hair day!
I love this little glittery white bowl. Working with white clay is a HUGE challenge for me – mine always ends up mainly white with flecks and smears of other colors and fuzzy with dust. This little bowl shows Dori’s meticulousness and patience.
And just look at this pretty little pin! Reminds me of childhood vacations at the ocean. (Sigh – the nearest ocean to me now is the Arctic! Br!)
Dori’s blog is Sassy Clay Creations – check out the wonderful tutorial on making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) from polymer clay. Her Art Fire shop is SassyClayCreations. I hope you’ll spend a little time browsing through her lovely products and admiring her creativity.
Tonja Lenderman, whose blog is Polyclay Corner, has been hosting the most amazing swap for a very long time. The idea behind this swap is that we all have stuff that we’re not going to use, or beads or polymer clay pieces that we’re not happy with, or that just aren’t right for some reason. Tonja came up with the idea to fill a box with her “trash,” send it off to a swap participant and have them take what they wanted (up to 25 items). That swapper would then replace the removed items with their own “trash,” then send it so the next person on the list. We had something like 25 people on the list…and wouldn’t you know, being up here in Alaska, I’m the last one before the box goes back to Tonja. This box has been on its way here for a LONG time. (And if you want to follow its travels and travails, Tonja’s been blogging about it since the start – and restart.)
Soooooo, it FINALLY GOT HERE! YEA!
All that fit in a medium flat rate box!
Here’s what I took out (except the 2 Polymer Cafe magazines I kept – which are already on my nightstand):
Canes I took
And here’s what I put in:
Non-cane stuff I put in
Canes I added to the box
This was so much fun! Thank you, Tonja, and BJ (who helped the swap get going again after a theft).
Wow – have you ever had one of those mornings when you need coffee just to make the coffee? First I forgot to put the coffee in the maker – so I was just heating up water. Then I put in too much (I guess – it’s REALLY strong). Then I poured it on my cereal. Sigh.
Well, at least my cane making has been going better than that – WAY better! Long ago, I tried making a rose cane that, well, looked cool, but was not very rose-like. So, last Sunday I spent some time studying the lovely roses that Marcia Tzigelnik makes. It took a bit of concentration for me to get the idea of how to make these flowers look 3D, but I really like how they came out.
Purple Rose Cane
Peachy Rose Cane
I used the scrap from my purple rose experiment to make some nice springy filigree pins:
And then, yesterday, I suddenly HAD to work on something I’ve wanted to try for a long while. The Kuna people (the women, anyway) of Panama wear beautifully vibrant reverse-appliqued fabric panels on their blouses. Here’s an example:
Check here for more fabulous examples!
Since I was introduced to this lovely craft (in a Piecework magazine article, years ago), I’ve wanted to make one. Thing is, although I love needlework of all kinds, I’ve never had the patience to try it in fabric. Somehow, I have more patience for fiddly stuff in polymer clay, so here’s my first pc mola (I decided to try one a bit less complex than the example above):
Parrot Mola Cane
The small picture in the upper right is the image I was copying. Needs some work, but I’m really happy with it. Can’t wait to start the next one…but I have to go get some more clay first!! 🙂