Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Latest and Greatest Here at CLB...

I know...I know.. I'm so sorry to be so late in posting something here. It's totally not like me. But my schedule has been absolutely packed for the month of September..and it seems to be quieting down now. So, while I have a bit of a lull...I'm going to fill you all in on what is going on.

I had recently approached a new age shop close to my home to see if they would be interested in my little dragons and pendants. At the time I walked in a reporter/photographer was there looking to interview someone for an article. And...at that exact moment as well, about 3 other people walked into the shop. Busy, Busy Busy...grrrr...not an ideal situation to start peddling my wares. I waited for a bit of quiet...smiled and passed over a basket of goodies...my goodies. The one owner Kate said she would show them to Morn the other owner and asked if I could leave them there for a day. ... so I did. I came back the next day..full of doubt and ready for rejection. However, it was quite the opposite reaction that I received. Both Kate and Morn loved them...and at the time there were a few other people in the store that also were excited about them. I was handed a contract then and there and was given the invitation to bring them in whenever I liked. Yessss! So...I am now working on a few dragons to be sold only at their store.

I also have received a custom order for a few dragon head pendants...and have finally finished those. (pictured here) These were fun to make. One, the clay was soft and mushy..hard to sculpt because it would just melt impressions of my fingers in it whenever I would work on it. The other, the opposite, the clay was super hard and crumbly and had to be worked into other clays to soften it up. It was very resistant to manipulation but seemed to have held some really sharp crisp lines. All in all, they both turned out well and will be on their way to their new homes. I asked the buyer to forward some pictures of them once they are all strung up as necklaces. Hopefully she wont forget to send them and I can post them here.
Ok...well ...that's all for now.. ...Thanks so much for viewing...!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Artist Interview- Fairyrealm

During some recent down time, I had the wonderful opportunity to come across an amazing art doll creator. I was enchanted with the wonderful expressions, costumes and skill that went into these creations. Curious as to who this person is, I contacted Fairyrealm's artist and asked if I could do a brief interview. Rima was delighted to participate in the questioning. At first I had about 5 or 6 different questions to ask..however, when she sent me her response it was way more interesting than cut and dry answers. So, it is with great pleasure that I post her story here exactly as it was sent to me, may I introduce to you...Rima of Fairyrealm....

"I had worked for years with ceramic clay. I began to try my hand at sculpting small intricately detailed clay figures but was not happy with the results. One day I came across photos (online) of Wendy Froud's work. I was amazed and inspired. I became determined to teach myself some polymer clay techniques so that I could create my own version of the world of fairy. After some mistakes (and a mermaid whose head rested on her left shoulder for lack of an armature). I began to buy books and recently purchased a DVD created by Wendy Froud. All of these have helped and inspired. Best of all purchases was Wendy's DVD.At some point I stop and look at a piece and see a million thing that need improvement but know that I really need to stop before I ruin or over do it. I just have to make a mental note of the things to be improved and say "I'll do better next time". Somehow it's never better enough!I find the art works of both Wendy and her husband Brian Froud to be two of my greatest sources of inspiration. I also love the writings of J K Rowling. Her stories are steeped not only in mythology and folklore. What an extraordinary imagination she has. I love the fact that her books are multi leveled and can be read not only as wonderful modern day fairy tales but as sensitive insights into human nature and social conditions with a smattering of political commentary too.", "Here is the link to my etsy store-http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5142095 "

If anyone would like to contact Rima, you could either drop me a line here and I will forward the message along, or visit her profile at her Etsy shop.

Thanks for viewing!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

PCAGOE's August Challenge is Under Way!

Take a look and vote at http://www.pcagoe.com/ in the August Challenge. There are some VERY nice entries this month.... Unfortunately I was unable to enter, but check back in the next few months. The secret is out for the next three challenges...I know for sure I will be entering Octobers challenge.

Check out my interview...

Yup...I had the opportunity to be featured on PCAGOE's website...here's the link.... http://pcagoe.com/2007/08/25/clbcreations-featured-artist/

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Product Testing

Recently I had been awarded the opportunity to try out Sculpey's new Studio Line clay through the PCAGOE group. I had received one package of the torquiose color and had written up a small little article in regards to my findings after I worked with the clay. I had decided that maybe I should share this will all of my friends ...so here goes...

Originally Posted on PCAGOE (8/7/07)

"OK...well...I've played for a few hours with this stuff....here's what I think... I received the turquoise blue color. Nice vibrant color too. As far as the clay, well...I'm not sold just yet. It prob has it's place in the claying world..just like all the others..but what that place is ..not sure yet. When I first opened the package it seemed like it was very pliable..or soft to work with. I left it on my worksurface over night to pick it back up again today. I almost think that letting the air get to it may have dried it a bit..but not sure exactly on that one. It was a bit stiff to knead, so I put it in the pasta machine. I put it on the 1st setting..it rolled fine. I put it on the 4th setting...again fine. However, I did notice an almost powdery feel to it after it went through the machine. Almost like a powdery residue on my fingers. But all it all...the clay seems like it holds up well to finger prints if you don't knead the heck out of it. If you do, it gets softer like a regular polyclay. Oh..and one other thing I noticed is that it seemed lighter..kinda like those super light clays they sell now..compaired to Fimo or Sculpey. I used it to make a couple of pendant blanks...it was a piece of cake to smooth down the edges without distorting the overall shape too much and I was able to stamp into raw clay with out a release powder or water.. I also made a few figures from it...I call em my blue meanies.... It was a bit tough to get them into shape...and a little difficult to blend seams. However, that being said, I didn't experience much saging when they were baked. Another good point is that I didn't experience much of an oily feel on my hands...but there was a residue of some kind. A couple of downfalls I noticed, it seems to rip easy and it was hard to achieve a super smooth surface with you fingers.Now I don't do canes..so I don't know how it would react to that process. It may do good..I don't know...or it would prob. be good for beads too.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mica Shift

I previously posted about a technique called Mica Shift. At that time I invited fellow artists to send me their pictures of what they have done with this cool, yet simple, way of working with clay.

Maureen of "Maureen Thomas Designs" , Gina of "Mosaico" , Lori of "Cutesis" and Polly of "Snowdovedesigns" all happily provided me with pictures of their interpretation of Mica Shift. You can see more of their work at all of their Etsy shops, links are provided above.

And The Winner Is.....

The results of the voting tallies are in...the winner is BeeTreeByMe with her wonderful rendition of lightening bug memories...you can see the official results here.

Congratulations to all who entered!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Latest...

Hello Friends...well, I've been a bit behind lately and I'll tell you why.

I have managed to take on another roll at PCAGOE and have volunteered for the Managing Position for the Store Standards and Guidelines Committee. This will initially be a big task getting things underway and organized, but it can be done. As soon as the ball is rolling, routine tasks should seem second hand and should take little time on my part as well as for my fellow committee members. And let me tell you, they have been a big help in this adventure.

So, as a result of all this new work I'm doing...I haven't had much time for my other clay tasks... But as a litte tid bit to tide you over, I have added a couple of new links that are geared towards beginner and intermediate skill clayers. One is simple, something that most of us need to do, it's how to clean your pasta machine. No, no...it's not "get out a wipee and go over the machine"..there's quite a bit more to it than that...check it out down in "Clayers Links". Also, there is a link to take you to a site where they explain how to do the Mica Shift method. Very interesting indeed. If you decide to try out this technique, email me with a picture of your item and I will post on my blog here along with your contact information.

Alrighty...good luck and happy claying!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


The PCAGOE Monthly Challenge for July is up and runing. Please visit the PCAGOE website to see all of the entries and to vote for your favorite. All voting entries will be entered in a drawing to win free prizes. Good Luck everyone!
Also check out the Etsy Treasury for the Challenge... http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=4112

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PCAGOE on Etsy

Check out my Etsy Treasury list I made for the PCAGOE group. It's also my entry into the Etsy poster contest. The contest is a pretty neat idea to not only get the word out about Etsy, but to give some promotion to shops too. Here's the link explaining the contest... and here's the link for the actual Treasury List... "Poster of PCAGOE Beauty" Check it out, it's a great way to see the wonderful talent of my friends on the PCAGOE group.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July PCAGOE Challenge...

Voting will start on the 26th..so mark your calendars..it's coming up fast. I'll post here when it's time to cast your votes. This months entries are really quite good, so it's going to be a tough fight for all the entries.

Please visit http://www.pcagoe.com/

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm in another Treasury!

Cool! Check this out...this listing is independant from the PCAGOE group I believe.


Let's hope our little dragon finds a home this time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Entry for the July PCAGOE Challenge

Summertime Memories...

Meet Cicada George. He's my entry for PCAGOE's July challenge. I hope you like him. See the story behind George HERE .

The voting for this months challenge will be hosted at http://www.pcagoe.com/. I will post as soon as I know when the polling is open. Good luck to all the entrants and good luck to those voting!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Am I Working on Today?

Having missed the last PGAGOE entry deadline, I've decided to jump in on this next one. The theme for July's entry is "Summertime Memories" and I have a wonderful idea that I'm working on diligently.

The only hint that I will give everyone is that it is a sculpture, since that is working out to be my specialty at the moment. It will probably be around 4-5 inches in height in total.

The idea was born from a wonderful memory of my daughter. It is actually from this summer, and makes me chuckle every time I think about it...gotta love em. Kids can be so strange sometimes. One minute they're grossed out by the slightest little thing, then the next minute they're grossing you out and thinking nothing of it. I'm sure there are quite a few that can relate to this.

So, I will not be posting a picture of my entry until I have submitted it for the challenge. Once that is done, I will post a picture here with an explanation of the story and a link to the voting on the PCAGOE website.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tool Review: That Silver Thingey Over There...

Okay..who wouldn't accumulate tons of the "latest and greatest" tools if presented with unlimited funds. Right...exactly...the key term here is unlimited funds. Even with my "Limited Funds" I have to watch what I spend, so I kept that in mind as I headed off to the Marley Flea Market last month.
My intention was to be open-minded and focus on finding something that would work as a wonderful tool for my claying. I knew ahead of time that there would be those "Guy" booths selling, so I marched right over to them. You know the kind, they sell all sorts of items...files, electrical plugs, wire twisters, plastic levels, cheap paint brushes and rejected dental tools.
Yup, you read right...dental tools. I don't know how, I don't know where they get them, but they do. They had a few different styles not limited to the normal jab your gums kinds of picks and mirrors. But they had some that resembled small spackling knives and others I can't even describe properly. However, I did find one that seemed like it would work well.
As I examined this tool I noticed it had a good balance in my hand and a comfortable grip. On the one end it had a sort of spear type shape where the edges were softly rounded to an edge. On the opposite end it had an angled shape with a rounded end. One side was completely flat the other was domed and curved softly to the edges. I also noticed that the symmetry wasn't completely perfect on both ends, but it wasn't anything drastic. Perhaps the best feature, I noticed, was the price. It was selling for a whopping 2 dollars. ("Cha-Ching...SOLD!") I thought in my head. I handed the vendor his money and tucked that baby in my purse, anxious to try it out.
When I had a chance to test drive this little gem, I noticed it would indeed work well. Both ends were perfect for blending due to their round tapering nature. One end, spear end, was perfect for detailing finger nails or for scoring lines and the other end was ideal for removing excess clay. Being that it was made of steel, it's hard surface was perfect for unforgiving, merciless pressure when needed or for gentile finesses as called for. The slight symmetry flaws that I previously noticed were easily correctable by light sanding with a foam sanding block and polishing with an emery board.
This dental tool is fitting in well with the rest of my collection of tools and is used pretty much every time I clay. It fit well within my budget, worked precisely and was a good "multi-tasker".
If you are on a budget, I highley recommend you keep your eyes peeled in unusual places. Don't think of looking for traditional mass produced claying tools, think of what function you want to accomplish, what is your goal? With an open mind,a function as a goal, and limited funds, you can pretty much find a claying tool anywhere you look.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Work in Progress...

A few months ago I was contacted by a wonderful person in England who wanted to commission me for an Alice in Wonderland Doll. So, I took her up on the offer and it is turning out quite well. She'll be jointed at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. She'll also have her trademark locks and dress as well. But so far this is where I am at with her.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Voting is Over...

Thanks to all who have participated with entries as well as with voting...it was a close one.

Marcia from marciapalmer.etsy.com was the winner for this months challenge. Jump over to http://pcagoe.com/ to see the runner ups as well as to who won for participating in the voting.

Keep checking back to see what the next PCAGOE challenge will be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Win FREE Stuff! Vote in the PCAGOE June Challenge

Ever wondered what a PCAGOE artist looked like? Come find out by voting in our June Self-portrait Challenge. PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artist Guildof Etsy)is having it's monthly challenge and you can vote and be entered to win a polymer clay supply kit from our sponsor: http://www.polymerclayproductions.com/

Come check out the entries and vote by noon Etsy time on June 28th!http://pcagoe.com/

You too can be a winner!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou...

I had a wonderful time out at the Old Campground Craft Show in New Lenox. Even if the weather did play havoc with the crowds and vendors...I still enjoyed the experience. I will definitely be back at the next show there.

I wanted to thank all of the people who had visited my booth, you were all such a joy to chat with. Being an artist, you tend to be a harsh critic about your own work, however I received so many compliments on my work yesterday. Thank you. Words of encouragement are what make you go on to do what you do best..and I definitely enjoyed hearing them all.

Some guests were asking if I had a website. With that request I directed everyone either to this Blog or to my Etsy site. I will be updating my Etsy site with new items shortly. And as always, if you have and idea for a dragon or another subject, please don't hesitate to contact me. I always love doing custom designs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Artist Interview - Lori Degenstien ...

I came across Lori's site while searching through Etsy. I was very impressed by not only her creativity but also her skill and execution. Lori's pendants are definitely something you should check out.

1.) Do you have any links you wish to display? (etsy, ebay, blog, etc)
Please display my Etsy store link: http://thecharmlady.etsy.com/ (My blog isn't up and running yet, but the link is http://thecharmlady.blogspot.com/)

2.) How would you describe your artistic background?
I've never really considered myself an artist. I just love to make stuff! My mom used to sit my sister and I down and let us do crafts so I guess that's where it all really started. Over the years I've done so many different things including crochet, knotted hemp jewelry,beaded jewelry, custom Italian photo charms ( I still do Italian charms from time to time) and now polymer clay.

3.) What brought you to using polymer clay?
I began experimenting with polymer clay about 10 years ago. I used to make myself all sorts of fantastic beads to use with my hemp jewelry.I had a hard time finding beads that would fit onto hemp twine so I decided to make my own! It wasn't until about 6 months ago that I got into the pendants and rings.

4.) How would you describe the item(s) you make? And what is the inspiration for these items?
I make clay pendants and rings using a transfer paper technique which bakes the images right into the clay. I am inspired by the colors and textures in nature, florals, paper and fabrics. Polymer clay is so versatile and wearing poly jewelry is such a great alternative to the typical jewelry you see in stores today.

5.) If you could give some advice to an up and coming poly artist,what would it be?
My advice to anyone just starting out with polymer clay would be to do a lot of research and definitely experiment with all the types of clays and techniques out there. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find all the materials that worked best together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Clay Shaper Tool

Always looking for the latest and greatest claying tools in the claying world, I was briefly introduced to clay shapers in an instructional booklet. It was listed as one of those , “when you become really involved in it” kind of tools.

So, off I went to the stores to search out for this most excellent tool. I soon discovered that the Clay Shaper (originally double ended now single ended) is not easily available in regular craft stores in the suburban Chicago area. After a few phone calls and a few weeks of waiting I was finally able to obtain one from small art supply store by special order only. Which is a shame, because this brand of tool has so much to offer in the claying world.

Ok, enough of the “Ah Ha!“ moment and onto the facts. The Clay Shaper is manufactured by the Royal Sovereign Line of Products which is a part of West Design Products from the UK. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It basically consists of a silicone tip attached to a handle similar to a paint brush. This company also produces a Colour Shaper which comes in 5 sizes and 3 types of firmness.

The clay shaper is available in the following shapes and is promoted by the companies website to do the following : Cup Chisel (Adjust contours and edges. Carve and remove clay) . Taper Point (Carve patterns through slips and glazes. Create clean linear strokes and make broad forceful marks). Flat Chisel(Apply and carve clay. Create flat even strokes) Cup round (Smooth throwing and scoring marks. Create soft edge strokes) Angle Chisel (Create expressive strokes. Work from thick to thin and make precise marks).
All versions are available in sizes 0,2,6,10,16.

I had purchased the #2 Taper Point for around $8 (US). Normally I’m a bargain shopper looking for the lowest cost possible, but let me tell you…this was $8 well spent. This little shaper works excellent for blending seams, poking of a variety of hole sizes, applying small pieces of clay where fingers are too big, blending liquid clay with color, application of liquid clay, shape contouring and a bunch more.

This is definitely one tool that is soon to become a series of tools in my work bin. I highly recommend it. And if you can find the original double ended version, grab it, because there are not too many left on the shelves or in dealers stock. The best places to find these tools are either through a special order at your local art supply store or through the internet. There are numerous websites that carry these items, however you may have to pay shipping.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Features for Fellow Clayers

Along with artist interviews...I have added some more features that fellow clayers would be particularly interested.
To the right I have added "Clayers Links". There you will find links with subjects that run the gamut from setting up a table at a craft show to suppliers to local interests.

In the main column of this site, I will also be featuring "Tool Reviews". This will be a short little review of handy tools that can either be purchased, made or found. This ongoing review will address the issues of functionality, affordability and practicality in the world of claying tools.

And as always, if you have a link that you think other artists would love to see OR if you have a unique or unusual tool that you would like to share about..please drop me a line and I'll post it on the site.

Happy Claying!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coming Soon....

Polymer Clay Artist Interviews

I will be interviewing fellow "poly" artists and posting their stories here. This will be a wonderful way to meet some great talent in the cyber world. And what better way to meet someone then to pick their brains about their talent and skill?

I am currently contacting a few different people and working on what the heck I'll be asking them. This should be an interesting adventure, and I look forward to meeting all kinds of new faces.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Big Thankyou...

I would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful bunch of artists at PCAGOE. What a wonderful bunch of people and so very talented to. They are a great inspiration to me sparking not only design ideas in my head, but sparking the professional end of things as well. Thank you.

And, from time to time...it is my wish to interview a resident Etsy Polymer Clay Artist and put up their interview on this blog. It may be a monthly post, or perhaps bi-weekly, but in any case the post will be linked to several other lists, sites and blogs if possible.

So, if you know of a wonderful polymer clay artist that needs a little exposure on the web, please feel free to email me ..I would love to consider them for the post.
Also, like several other members..I will be including links to fellow members sites. I'm trying to add the links in my spare time..however, it's possible I may miss some. SO...if you would like your Blog or Website to appear to the right here.. --> Please contact me so I can update my list.

Posting will now appear here...

this is a test post for setup

Yeah....I made it here...

Please bear with me as I start to setup this new blog....I had experienced some problems with yahoo360 and decided to start anew here.


Thanks so much