Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vote & Win

My Etsy Street Team, PCAGOE is holding their monthly challenge and you can vote and win one of 2 incredible Polymer Clay Prize Packs listed below and valued at over $50 each!!!!


All you have to do is vote for the winner at http://pcagoe.com and you will be entered into a drawing for a fabulous polymer clay prize pack created by the talented members of the PCAGOE (polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy). Take a look at all of the entries for Mixed Media Challenge. Keep in mind the challenge of using at least one other medium in the polymer clay creation and how well the piece meets this challenge. Once you have chosen your favorite, please complete the form at the bottom of the post and submit it. Two winners will be randomly chosen from all of the voters. You can vote once between noon on May 29th and midnight (etsy/eastern time)on May 31st. The winners will be announced on June 1st.

This is not an endorsement for my entry, please look at all of the entries and vote for your favorite!! There is some incredible polymer clay talent in this group.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Charmed Life

Have you ever wondered about the lives of trees? Well I have. If you have ever looked at my Etsy shop, you would see I have a bit of a tree fixation. Think about it. As a seed you get to fly through the air, once you find the perfect piece of real estate (no closing costs) you set down your roots and start your upward climb. You get to sleep through the winter and wake to spring where you can show off your new spring colors. Your friends are birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees. A charmed life indeed.

Well I decided to create a little wall art homage to the charmed life of a tree. The PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy) has a monthly challenge and this month was a mixed media challenge, so it was the perfect time to bring my little tree to life. I have had the idea of this tree in my head for a while. I love to recycle boxes into shadow boxes (great for the trees), so that's where I started. I thought using the recycled boxes was also a little statement about recycling and saving trees which only added to the theme. I wanted the tree to be coming out of the box portion of the shadow box with it's roots and branches reaching out. The tree ended up a bit bigger than I planned with only it's trunk sitting in the box, but I still like how it turned out. I added the charms to represent the creatures that live in the trees as well as the leaves and blossoms. The charms are twofold in that they are in fact charms which is clever with the title of the piece, but also that each one represents something special to the tree. I used the vintage sheet music as a background to represent the sweet music of the birds that the trees wake to each morning and since the tree lives a charmed life, the sky is blue and the grass is forever green.

A second meaning to this piece is about gratitude. As with most people, I tend to forget all the blessings that I have in life and only focus on the things that go wrong. A tree doesn't do this. It keeps reaching toward the sky no matter what happens to it. Have you ever seen trees who are curled or bent because of a strangling vine or another obstruction? They persevere despite the set backs and obstacles. So the tree is a reminder that no matter what our struggles, we too live a charmed life.

I love the way the piece turned out and I won't be adding it my Etsy shop. It will have a home in my kitchen where I can see it everyday and be reminded that I too live a charmed life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Journey Begins

Have you ever seen those little dandelion seeds floating by and wondered just where they would end up? I have been seeing them everywhere and of course they have inspired me to create a little something for my etsy shop. This pendant is called "The Journey Begins" and is a dandelion seed beginning it's journey to find some fertile ground and start it's new life. The carving was pretty simple, just a few lines and I tried to keep it as true to form as I could. The finishing is what makes it interesting. I used several shades of brown and green and layered them, then distressed them and finally added some copper over the top to add a metallic sheen. I would love to see this pendant given as a gift to a new graduate, a new mom or someone starting a new job, to commemorate the beginning of their journey. Where would you go if you were that seed with all the possibilities ahead of you? I think we should consider each day a journey and embrace the feeling of the infinite possibilities of the little dandelion seed.

My journey today takes me to the etsy showcase. Stop by and check out all the sellers featured today!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Create a Little Something Everyday

One thing I try to do is create something every day. It doesn't matter what I create and it isn't always something for my Etsy shop, but I always feel better after creating something new. I have tried to pass this bit of insight on to my kids. My oldest son, Trey, who "hates art", even he feels proud when he has drawn his favorite animals. Creating is great for stretching your imagination and seeing things a little differently, plus the sense of accomplishment when you complete a project is great for self-esteem. On Tuesday, Kyle and I created a little sidewalk art to share with our neighbors. Not a lot of expense involved ($1 for the whole bucket), not a lot of preparation (sweeping off the sidewalk), but so much fun. There is a bit of clean-up with the chalk dust everywhere (and I do mean everywhere), but it is so worth it.

I often wonder where my son gets his inspiration. I've asked, but I don't think he quite understands what I am talking about. He just tells me it came from his head. This masterpiece is an art museum with a very blue sky over it. We have only been to one art museum, so it was pretty cool to see his interpretation of what one looks like. I think it is a museum of modern art.

I was a little less creative and went with a flower and bug scene, but inspiration came from my surroundings where all the flowers are in bloom, the grass is growing taller and taller and all the little bugs are out again. The rain has already washed away our masterpieces. Springtime indeed!

Remember to create a little something everyday. It's good for your soul!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Mother's Day can be a rather strange holiday for me. My mother passed away when I was 5, so the loss weighs heavy on that day. For many years we just acted like the day didn't exist, but now that I have my own kids, I can't really pretend anymore. Luckily, I have been able to create some wonderful memories on Mother's Day, so while I acknowledge the loss, I can now celebrate being a mother myself.

Here is one memory that was made this Mother's Day that I will cherish. I was in bed and my 4 year, Kyle, came in and told me it was time to get up. I asked if i could just sleep a little bit longer. He quickly said "Oh yeah, it's Mother's Day, so you stay in bed because I am going to make you something and I will wake you up when I am done." He ran out of the room, and less than 2 minutes later, he was calling me to get up, so I could get his clay out so he could make what he wanted to make me. So much for sleeping in. Here is what he made me:

They are reversible and I helped with the bail and the ribbon, but he did all the stamping and painting (Can you tell I am proud). It was definitely worth waking up for. I also got a palm plant, tulips, 2 wonderful cards and $100 gift card to spend on clothes (not art supplies). Mother's Day will always be bittersweet for me, but each year the sweet gets sweeter and the bitter gets a little less bitter.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Artistic Inspiration

Welcome to my new blog. I am a SAHM to 2 boys (7 & 4) and an artist. I am very new to blogging, so please bear with me as I get the hang of it. I have a little etsy shop, www.blockpartypress.etsy.com where I sell my wares. My focus is mainly on wearable art, accessories and ACEO's. I utiIize handcarved stamps to create texture in polymer clay, and then I use paint to add color and distress them to further bring out the texture. I would like to use this blog to explore where artists get their inspiration. I know I can find inspiration in the smallest things, and I would love to find out how other artists turn their inspiration into beautiful works of art. Along the way I will include info about my inspirations and the fun of balancing art and family.

I am very inspired by nature, and I try to take as many pictures as possible when I am out on walking and hiking trips with my boys. They hate it because I stop frequently to take pics and they would rather go, go ,go. On a recent trip to a local park I noticed tons of plants that I want to convert into stamps. These star shapes plants were dried out remnants left over from the winter, but their shape and texture were really inspiring. I made several carvings and
have turned them into pendants and rings. I took the basic form of the flowers and created a more modern look utilizing circles and lines. The modern shape required a modern color pallette, so I decided on the gray background with the circles being filled with bright yellow, orange and lime green. The circles filled with color remind me of enameling. I am planning on getting into pmc (precious metal clay) in the very near future (I am sure I will blog about this in detail later) and I want to recreate this image and use enameling to add color to the little circles. I used pale blue in the larger pendant because I just liked the way the blue looked with the white and gray and I wanted it to be a bit different than the smaller pendants. All of these items will be available in my etsy shop and I love to customize, so if you would like a different color scheme, please feel free to convo me and I will make one to your specification. Thanks for reading my first post, and come back often to get some inspiration of your own!


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