Tuesday, April 12, 2011

March Polymer Clay Smooshers Challenge

The theme for March's Smoosher's Challenge was "tribal".  I was inspired to create some "faux bronze" some pictures I found of some ancient Celtic artifacts

I created a mix of copper and black Kato polymer clay.   I used a few basic tools for making pendants and beads.  The needle tool and sandpaper are invaluable for adding texture.  The little orange bit is a triangle shaped template made from orange card stock.

Here are a few of them after being cured in the oven.  I "abused" them quite a bit with the sandpaper and needle tool.

After curing I Added some acrylic paint to age and highlight the details.  I first used thalo green - brushed it on and rubbed it off.  Then I hit the highlights with metallic bronze. After that, I did a quick 10 minutes in the oven.

To better emulate ancient bronze, there should have been more green in the final product.  But, I am pleased with how they turned out.  Note in this closeup, the crack in the round pendant. (The penny is there for scale)

And here is a picture of the final necklace.  For the blue, black and white beads, I created a simple cane.  I purposely made sure the cane slices were not round and did a little color blending here and there.  I attacked with sandpaper and the needle tool.  Patina and age was added with burnt umber paint.  Inspiration for the beads came from this page of Celtic artifacts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aussen Wolf Designs

Aussen Wolf Designs, is featured this week by the Guild,  "Shops with less than 10 Sales".  More information is on the Guild blog.

Aussen Wolf's jewelry is sophisticated and beautifully crafted. This necklace one of my favorite pieces!  I love the color combination  and wire work in this  blue turquoise and white magnesite necklace.

I really like the shape of these copper fan earrings.   Besides that, I am partial to copper and red!

Gotta love a necklace that can be dressy or casual.  I'm thinking this black and silver multistrand necklace needs to be worn with dressy black jeans!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nearly Done with New Banner

I've been working on a new banner for my Artfire studio and  my blog.  I think I've been working on it forever! Originally, I had planned on using watercolors, but I ended up using color pencils instead. I've been having quite a bit of fun with them.  Although, I do get frustrated with them when sharpening - they tend to break real easily.

The art for the banner it is too large for the scanner bed.  I'm hoping I can get a good photograph of it.  Also, I see from this picture a lot of the details are getting lost when shrinking it down.  But, I think it will still work.  I am almost done with.  After that I need to do the avatar.  Once I finish both, I'm going to do some revamping of my Artfire Studio. 

But, spring is slowing me down!  The weather is nice and the outdoors keeps calling me!  Like right now. . .

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Spring Day in the Garden

Spring is here, and my forsythia is blooming.  Today was beautiful with some wonderful 70+ degree weather.  I think I finally thawed out.  Maybe I can finally put my long johns away!  

Some of my fruit trees have started to bloom.  They are pretty young, so I haven't gotten a lot of fruit off of them yet. 

This year, my Santa Rosa plum is covered with blossoms!  This is the first year it has had any substantial blossoms.  I'm hoping for plums this year!

Peaches and nectarines are blooming as well. I'm hoping for a decent crop of Red Haven peaches this year. My other peach and nectarine are too young to yield much this year.

I have quite a bit of work to do this year - I never did get all my fall clean-up completed.

Today, we planted another peach tree and 6 merlot grape vines. We have another pluot tree to plant.  We may get anther peach tree to plant (not sure yet).

I'm a little behind on my spring veggie planting.  I've planted a few potatoes and Walla-Wall onions.  I really need to get peas, lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips and any other random cool season crops planted.  Maybe tomorrow!