Wow! All I can say is wow! This year was our first annual North Texas Polymer Clay Guild Bottles of Hope challenge. For those that are not familiar with Bottles of Hope, it is a charity program where artists cover small glass medicine bottles with polymer clay which are then donated to cancer patients and survivors as a symbol of hope. As the chair of this program for our guild, I was both excited and nervous about our first big event. We had 23 gorgeous submissions that were truly some of the best I’ve ever seen! I thought I’d share the winners with you below. Pics of ALL of the bottles are available on our NTPCG website . Enjoy the talent of these amazing ladies!
Best of Show – Elpida: Keeping Hope in her Heart by Dotty McMillan
Best Expression of Hope – 1st Place: Raising Hope by Lisa Pate
Best Expression of Hope – 2nd Place: The Cow Jumped over the Moon by Nina Owens
Best Expression of Hope – 3rd Place: Wings of Hope by Tricia Dewey
Nature – 1st Place: Mr. Mushroom by Nina Owens
Nature – 2nd Place: God’s Garden of Hope by Dotty McMillan
Nature – 3rd Place: Rainforest of Hope by Lisa Pate
Texas – 1st Place: Texas Armadillo by Nina Owens
Texas – 2nd Place: Texas or Bust by Sherri Sneed
Texas – 3rd Place: Cowboy Courage by Lisa Pate
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of taking a 2-day polymer clay workshop from Donna Kato. For those of you that may not know Donna, she is one of the pioneers in the PC world. Not only has she developed her own line of clay, but she is an incredible artist and designer. Her work is always professional and finished perfectly to the smallest detail. During the course of the workshop, we learned how to make fluid caned bracelets as well as a variety of organic pods.
Here are some of my creations from the two days.
I stretched myself and used pretty bold colors that I might not normally work with…
Here’s a side view with some of the canework…
I made a matching pendant using a mirror image technique:
And experimented with a “squiggly bead”:
And finally, here’s a beautiful pod brooch I purchased of Donna’s:
I’m looking forward to trying some of the techniques I learned on new creations soon. Will post them when I do!
I had every intention of posting some new card designs this week but haven’t had a chance to photograph them yet as I’ve been prepping for CHA. They will be coming soon. 🙂
For those of you that are not familiar with CHA, it is short for Craft & Hobby Association. The winter trade show is the main event of the year & is currently held out in Anaheim,California. Imagine walking into a convention center & seeing product booths from every manufacturer in the arts & crafts industry…around 3,000 of them! It can be overwhelming at first, but is always a blast, and it’s great to run into familiar faces of designers I’ve met through the years. There’s always a chance to make new friends in some of the fantastic classes they offer as well (can I tell you how excited I am about taking Kelly Rae Roberts creative collage class?!?!!!).
CHA is also a great chance to get a pulse on the year’s upcoming trends, see new product releases, etc. I’ll be taking a point & shoot camera with me, so I’ll try to take a few shots of my fav items to share with you. Check back for the full report next week.
In a time where there is a much-needed focus on “being green”, I’ve been thinking more & more about how to use the existing supplies around my house before running out to buy something new. In fact, I may start some new weekly challenges to that effect.
To start off with, I thought I’d share one of my latest “recycled” creations.
I found this beautiful mahogany-colored basket in the attic of my mom’s house. I decided it was begging for a new life… and what better way than to use some polymer clay to spruce it up again!
I think it will make a great gift basket for someone (perhaps with a bottle of wine & some cheese), or maybe it will see life in a bathroom holding washcloths, towels, etc. Who knows?!
Here is a close-up…
For those that are interested, this is very simple to make. I used Studio by Sculpey polymer clay (made by Polyform) in Clover, Coffee Bean, & Iris along with a grape leaf template created from a chipboard cutout from one of my Cuttlebug Fall Leaf dies that looks like this:
The leaves were rolled out to about a #4 on the pasta machine, then I used a craft knife to cut out the shapes. The spirals were snakes of clay wrapped around a knitting needle, then gently removed & attached to the leaves before baking. The grapes are just small round balls rolled to approx the same size & placed on an Iris-colored backing sheet. I added a small loop of clay to the back of each bunch of leaves/grapes so that after the pieces were baked & antiqued with brown acrylic paint, I could insert a piece of dark wire, and attach them to the basket. What do ya think? 🙂
I sculpted this jolly lil’ guy last year using a mixture of Fimo red glitter & Premo! black, beige & white Polymer clay. He can sit on the edge of a shelf & likes to spread Christmas cheer. 🙂
One of my co-workers collects Santa Clauses and had her eye on this one…so he ended up in her Christmas gift bag this year. I’m sure he’ll be hanging out with his new Santa buddies this weekend. 😉
The belt buckle was a Tim Holtz/Junkitz metal frame made for papercrafting. I used some metal embossing wheels & a round stylus tool to create texture on the clothes, beard, & cap. His cheeks were made rosy with chalks & his eyes were painted on with a black gel pen. TFL! 🙂
I took a great workshop today from Ginny Henley. She is a talented member of our local Polymer Clay Guild and a wonderful creator of art jewelry. Be sure to check out the above link to her webpage or you can see more of her work on this Art 251 gallery page.
In this particular workshop, we learned how to create textured brass & silver bezels that showcase polymer clay surface treatments. Here is the necklace I made during the class:
It featured a striped cane placed randomly on a backing sheet of mica clay to create geometric shapes. Though it wasn’t intentional, the end result came out with a Native American flare with the turquoise & brown hues. Here is a close up of the beads which were strung on brass wire.
I recently purchased a butane torch & am looking forward to making more bezels in sterling silver at home. Just need to make sure I pick up a fire extinguisher first. *LOL*
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!