Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A New Beginning

There are few things I love more than a brand new sketch book!  It sort of reminds me of back-to-school days, when you got new spiral notebooks and number 2 pencils and a fresh box of crayons!  Nothing sweeter in my mind!  All things full of possibilities! 

This morning I pulled a fresh sketchbook from the drawer so I could begin sketching the 2015 Christmas ornament collection.  (I am well aware that it is June 10th.  I am well aware that most of you are thinking about swimming pools and baseball games and flip flops and all things summer.  Being an artist that sells HANDMADE holiday decorations, I have to be in a different mindset this time of year.)

 
I prefer small, spiral bound sketchbooks.  They are easily portable, and you can fold the book back on itself.  This one is 5.5" x 8.5", a perfect size for me.  I try to catch them on sale so I can have a back-up on hand.  And while a simple number 2 pencil is great, these days I like to use mechanical pencils.  This Pentel .7mm is my favorite. 

 
The first blank page.  Oh, the possibilities this holds! 

 
And here you have it!  The first sketch of 2015!  A sneak peak, if you will, of my ornament collection.  I've never done any ornaments with owls, and they are so popular right now, I thought it was time to try them out.  I have high hopes for this sketch.  I think it will make a really cute one!
 
 
As I've been sketching, I've had yesterday's production in the oven.  Snowmen.  I do KNOW it's summer!  (In fact, in Omaha yesterday we were flirting with 100 degrees!  The thermometer on my card read 100 for a split second!  UGH!!  Last week at the same time we were 64 and raining!  Talk about being all over the place, weather wise!)
 
It's time to get back to the studio.  More snowmen are calling my name!  Have a wonderful SUMMER DAY! 
 
Lisa


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cute Little Cats

Hi, friends!  Remember when I used to blog about 2-3 times a week?  What happened?  Well, LIFE happened I guess!  I'm finally getting back to the studio, hopefully getting back on a really productive schedule, so maybe I will get here more often to share new pieces with you all!

Lately I've been working on some non-holiday pieces.  I get so wrapped up in creating Halloween and Christmas dolls that I tend to neglect all the everyday characters that I have running around in my head.  I'm so happy to be getting some of these pieces done, finally! 

I've always liked making cats, but usually they are just plain black cats, undressed, for Halloween.  I thought it might be fun to make some cats in pretty dresses for a change. 

As I was sculpting this calico cat, I wasn't sure I liked it all that much, but once I got her dressed up and detailed, I actually love this little cat.  I hope you do, too.

Meet Posie Patches...


 
 
She is all dressed up in a pretty spring dress and carrying a bouquet of lovely flowers.  Isn't she precious?
 
 
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Some of you may already know that I lost my beloved cat, Penny, suddenly in January.  I knew I would want another cat, and I searched the Nebraska Humane Society obsessively a few times a day looking the that purr-fect feline for our family.  With the young puppy, Rudy, in the house, I knew I couldn't get a shy cat.  I had a few 'near misses' before I found this young beauty.  (The NHS is a first come-first served shelter, and people before me adopted cats I had my eye on TWICE, and one other time the cat I thought I wanted had a 'fearful of dogs' remark on her chart.)  Well, it was worth the wait, because the right cat came along two weeks ago.  Here is a picture of the newest addition to the family, taken right before I brought her home. 
 
 
Lily is a 6-month old tortie, with a TON of personality!  She is sassy, and likes to talk a lot.  She is a championship cuddler, and she already has Rudy learning his place!  She is not one bit afraid of him, and I think they are going to be great pals.  Rudy is feeling very jealous, so I've tried to give him lots of extra love and attention. 
 

 
She seems to be settling quite nicely into the studio!  (Her belly is shaved from her spaying surgery.) 
 
So, that's what I've been up to.  How about you?
Lisa 
 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's SPRING!

It's amazing to me that the last time I was here I was posting about Christmas, and now Easter is just days away!  Where does the time go? 

Mostly, I take the month of January off from working, since I usually am so crazy busy making custom orders right up until Christmas.  Last year was no exception, and I finished my last order at about 3:30pm on December 23rd!  Cutting it a little too close, I know!  So, January was a deserved month of rest from the studio!

I have been making my way back to work, and itching to get busy with all the new ideas I have banging around in my head.  But this week I had another custom order to work on, and I'm going to show it to you today.

A customer who purchased several snowmen from me at one of my fall art fairs contacted me about making a group of Easter bunnies for her.  Since I didn't do any spring shows this year, and I've been slow to get back to work and get things listed in my etsy shop, I wasn't sure I would be making any spring pieces.  It was nice to have to do these.....they were so much fun!

This is Ellie.  She is a small girl, about 6-1/4".  A pink or purple dress was requested, so I did a bit of both.  The polka dot fabric reminds me of Easter eggs, so I pulled the pink out to make her clay bodice, and then trimmed it with purple ribbon, crepe paper and Swarovski crystals.  She carries a basket with little eggs.

Tessa is wearing a teal dress, with a floral patterned skirt and clay bodice.  I didn't have crepe paper to match this color, so chose to use white.  I added the white lacy ribbon to balance the collar.  She has eggs and little yellow ribbon roses in her basket.  She is much taller than Ellie.

Vivian is much like Tessa in both size and the way she is dressed.  I love this vibrant violet color.  The little purple flowers in her basket are a nice match.

I was asked to create one little boy, wearing a short blue suit, and here he is.  I named him Will.  After taking this picture, I decided he needed a little 'something', so I added a lavender felt flower with a yellow Swarovski crystal center to the lapel of his suit.  It is s subtle but nice finishing touch. 
 

These two pictures show the difference in the sizes of the bunnies.  The client asked for two small ones and two larger ones.  The small girl and the boy are for her grandkids.  The bigger girls are for her daughters.  I will be delivering these tomorrow.  I hope she loves them as much as I do! 
 
 
I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure am ready for spring!  We didn't have that much snow in my neck of the woods, so we were lucky in that regard.  But we had some very bitterly cold weather.  Personally, I would rather have the snow!  Of course, someone from Boston or one of the other cities that got nailed really hard would probably disagree!  But now it's over, the trees are budding, tulips are blooming, and my lilac bush is about ready to pop out full of wonderfully fragrant blooms!  We had a nice rain storm last night, and the grass is even greener this morning!  It's a wonderful rebirth!
 
I hope you all have a joyous Easter!  I promise to be back soon!
Lisa
 
 
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Oh, one other thing to share with you.  This is one reason why my studio time has been compromised in recent weeks.  On December 6th I got the best Christmas present ever!  An adorable Brittany spaniel.  I named him Rudy. 
 

This is what he looked like a couple days after I got him.
 
This is what he looks like now!  It's amazing how fast they go from roly-poly puppy to looking like a real dog!  He's a handful, but a ADORE him! 

 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Christmas Ornaments

Hello!  Yes, I am still among the living!  I can't believe how fast this whole year has gone by, but November was a complete and total blur!!  Christmas is quickly approaching and I haven't posted ONE THING I've made yet!  Shame on me!  Well, I'm going to make up for that right now.  Get ready for picture overload! 

Some of you already know that every year since 1990 (yes, you read that right!) I've been making polymer clay Christmas ornaments.  I design and create each one individually by hand.  Each design is limited to an edition of only 5 ornaments.  Someone recently asked me why I only make five of each.  Well, a couple of reasons.  One, I only have so much time, and I would much rather have a variety of designs than a dozen of one.  And two, to be honest, I'm pretty much 'over' the design by the time number 5 is finished....I'm ready to move on to another design. 

This year I started out the season with 12 designs.  Unlike previous years, I worked really hard for a couple of weeks in JULY and got ALL FIVE of every design finished so I wouldn't have to be scrambling to get them done like I have in the past.  I used to start by making 3 of the 5, and then filling in as they sold.  Well, I'm so happy to have done it differently this year!  It made my studio time much less stressful knowing that they were all finished. 

Here are photos of the first 12 designs.
A STAR FOR CHRISTMAS

BRIGHT CHRISTMAS

DEAR SANTA

GINGER ELFIN

HAPPY SNOWBALLS

JOLLY JINGLE

MITTENS AND SKATES

NORTHWOODS SANTA

PENGUIN PALS

RUDY

WINTER WONDERLAND

SANTA'S BIG BUNDLE
 
I'm thrilled to say that only ONE of these ornaments remains available!  Thank you so much to my wonderful customers who snatched them up so quickly.  So quickly, in fact, that I had to get busy and make some more.  You see, I have a BIG family.  And they all EXPECT to have one hanging on their own trees come Christmas.  As the supply was dwindling, I did a count and realized that I didn't have enough to cover my family, keep a couple for myself, and still have a few to sell at the shows I still had to do.  So I added four new designs.
 
FALLING FLAKES

FROSTY FLAKE

LITTLE SANTA, TINY TREE

MERRY CHRISTMAS TRIO
 
And then I added another one for good measure:
 
LIGHTING UP CHRISTMAS
 
And because I sold a few more of those than I expected, I decided to add two more!
 
HAPPY CHRISTMAS

POLAR PENGUIN
 
And now I am FINISHED!!  I am NOT making any more 2014 ornaments. 
 
I still have a VERY LIMITED number of these ornaments left, and I listed them in my etsy shop last night.  If you want one, you better hurry! 
 
Show season is finally winding down.  I have my last show this weekend at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  If you are in the area, come and see me! 
 
Even though shows are about over, I still have plenty of work to do in the studio.  So I better get to it! 
 
Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
Lisa


 
 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

WINNERS!! WINNERS!!

IT'S TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS IN THE 2ND ANNUAL WITCHES OF GIGGLESWICK BLOG HOP!! 

 
And the winner of my Happy Haunt Jack is............
 
 imsteelefullofscrap! 
 
 YAY!!  Congratulations!  You will need to email me your mailing address ASAP so I can rush this adorable jack o'lantern off in time for Halloween.  My email address is apieceoflisa@cox.net
 
Thank you to everyone who followed along on the hop and entered to win one of our great prizes.  I hope you all had fun and I hope that you discovered some great artists and fun blogs along the way.  I look forward to hearing more from all of you!  The hop was a big success, and we all have YOU to thank!! 
 
 
 
Here is the complete list of winners:
 
 LORI PLATT
won the prize from Carly Smith of Boggy Bottom Bayou
 
 LYNN from Life on the Weinee Ranch
 won the prize from Arlene Sander of Dreamed by Arlene
 
 CRYSTAL BOWEN
won the prize from Becky McClure Federico of Federico-Fantasy-Art
 
LEEANN E.
 won the prize from Brenda Griffith of The Rusty Thimble
 
CHICKZILLA
 won the prize from Chuck McClenning of C.R. McClenning Studio
 
DARLENE
 won the prize from Cortney Arndt-Rector of Cortney Rector Designs
 
 T. JOHNS from SC
 won the prize from Darla Walk of Dark Forest Folk Art
 
DOGSMOM
 won the prize from Marguerite Noschese of My Witchy Women
 
IMSTEELEFULLOFSCRAP
  won the prize from Lisa Ammerman of A Piece of Lisa
 
 JOE. M
 won the prize from Karen Blevins of Witch is Why
 
AUTUMNWIND
 won the prize from Jean Wheelock of Treasures 'n Whimsy
 
 SARA ANDERSON
 won the prize from Heather Milliott of Witch Hollow Primitive
 
 JANICE MOORE-PETTY
 won the prize from Debb George of HalloweenJinglesbellsBoo
 
 WENDY @ RAVENWOOD WHIMSIES
 won the prize from Susie Kirchbaum of The Irish Witch
 
FRAN CASWELL
 won the prize from Sheryl Parsons of Mother's Dream Artworks
 
GRIFFINWYSE
 won the prize from Karen Brady Hammontree of Brady Bears Studio
 
 DEANNA WARD
 won the prize from Joyce Tenay of Ragpatch Prims
 
BRENDA from PUMPKIN HOLLOW PRIMITIVES
 won the prize from Jorge de Rojas of HoHoHalloween
 
WICKED FAERY QUEEN
 won the prize from Patrick James Gill of  EveryWitchWayLane
 
 CHERYL BARCUS
 won the prize from Faith Conroy of The Primitive Black Hat Society
 
 SANDI @ THE PRIMITIVE SKATE
 won the prize from LeeAnn Kress of Charmed Confections
 
I hope you all enjoyed the hop!  We sure had fun sponsoring it!  If you are one of the lucky winners on this list, please go to that site, contact the artist and make arrangements to receive your prize!  CONGRATULATIONS to all of our winners!  And, again, THANK YOU to everyone who hopped along!
 
HAPPY HAUNTING!
Lisa


Thursday, October 16, 2014

THANKS FOR HOPPING!

Well, the 2nd Annual Witches of Giggleswick Blog Hop wrapped up at midnight last night.   We are now in the process of tabulating the entries, verifying results and the 21 lucky winners will be chosen very soon!  Thank you so much for participating!  I'm thrilled to have gained so many new followers and I'm pleased that many of you who have been following for a long time have tossed your hats in the ring for the prizes as well.  I wish each and every one of you GOOD LUCK!  There are so many nice prizes up for grabs!  Here is another look at what I am offering:

 
Soon HAPPY HAUNT JACK will be making his way to his new home!  Stay tuned to find out if it will be yours! 
 
Thanks again for making our blog hop a big success!
Lisa

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Second Annual Witches of Giggleswick Blog Hop is Here!


Welcome to the 2nd Annual

Giggleswick Halloween Blog Hop!

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 5th – Wednesday, Oct. 15th

All 21 lucky Winners will be announced

on each of the participating blog sites on Sunday, Oct. 19th!

 

 
I'm Lisa Ammerman, the artist here at A Piece of Lisa.  I really enjoy creating whimsical, one-of-a-kind figurines and art dolls.  Each of my characters is individually hand sculpted from polymer clay, and then embellished with a variety of materials that bring out its unique character.  Halloween is especially fun, because I can let my imagination run wild!  Anything goes for Halloween!
 
I'm so happy you've stopped by to join us for this blog hop!  There are many talented artists participating, and I feel honored to be among them!
 
Twenty-one lucky followers will win one of our terrific prizes.  This is what I am offering.  Happy Haunt Jack.  He looks like he's been spooked!
 

 
HERE ARE THE RULES:

To be entered into the drawing you will need to hop to all 21 blogsites and do Steps 1 and 2 below. 

Step 1 - Follow this blog -- Look for the blue Google "Join this Site" link.  It's located over on the right side bar.  Click it and follow the prompts....it's as easy as that!

… next …

Step 2 - Leave a comment below this post telling me that you are a new follower or that you are already following my blog. 

PLEASE NOTE: 

To be eligible to have your name in the drawing, you need to visit all 21 blogsites, follow them through Google, and leave a comment on each site. 

If you fail to follow through on your 21 visits, your name will not count in the drawing. 

Below is the list of blogsites and links for you to follow: 
 
Carly Smith
LeeAnn Kress


Debb George
Darla Walk


Marguerite Noschese
Karen Brady Hammontree


Susie Kirchbaum
Brenda Griffith
Heather Millott
Arlene Sander

Joyce Tenay
Lisa Ammerman
Becky McClure Federico
Jean Wheelock

Chuck McClenning
Jorge de Rojas
Courtney Arndt-Rector
Sheryl Parsons

Patrick James Gill
Karen Blevins
Faith Conroy

     

Good Luck and Happy Haunts to You!

 

Like me on Facebook!  Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/APieceofLisa When you click this link, click the "Like" button below my banner.

If you have a blog, add me to your favorites list and mention this giveaway! This Giggleswick Witch will be most grateful!