Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favorite #3--Angela Moulton, Pratt Creek Art

Today we are visiting Pratt Creek Art.  I first discovered Angela's delightful artwork when I found a treasury in my activity feed featuring this group of four wonderful robin paintings:

four robins original oil paintings by angela moulton each 6 x 6 inches 15 x 15 cm

I clicked on these charming little birds and was delighted by the other work I found in her shop.  I love her painterly, impressionistic style.  I love how much life and movement each painting has.  There is a lot of energy in her work, and I adore it.  The quick brushstrokes.  The lively color.  How it seems she mixes her colors on the canvas rather than the palette.  Each piece has a wonderful personality, and I am so pleased to share her art with you today.

Angela paints with oil, and in her shop you will find both original paintings and prints of her work.  None of her pieces are very large, so you are bound to find someplace in your home to tuck one of these delightful little works of art.  She has a nice range of subject matter as well---birds, flowers, landscapes and still-life scenes.  There is something for eveyone!  I particularly love her birds and flowers.  I've narrowed my choices down to these few pieces. 

three barn swallows print by moulton 5 x 7 inch

cerulean warbler no. 12 original painting by moulton 5 x 5 inch

oriental pink poppies original painting by moulton 12 x 12 inches

orange rose in cobalt bottle open-edition print by moulton 8 x 8 inch 20 x 20 cm

little robin on branch open edition print 5 x 5 inch by angela moulton

I really do adore Angela's paintings, and I hope you will follow the links to Pratt Creek Art.

Have a wonderful weekend!

I couldn't resist adding one more piece.....this cat is really wonderful!

sleeping cat open edition print by angela moulton 5 x 7 inch

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Polymer Project---Patriotic Pins

Fourth of July is right around the corner.  (Where has the year gone??)  I thought it might be fun to share a simple little patriotic polymer clay project with you all.  Whip up these two easy pins and show your patriotism as we celebrate our nation's birthday.

You will need to gather the following supplies: 

(I tried at least 10 times to rotate this picture properly.  I took it horizontally.  It's stored in my file horizontally, but for some reason, it would only download vertically. WT*!! I finally gave get the gist!)

Red, white and blue polymer clay (I used Premo Pomegranate, Premo White, and Sculpey III Blue with a bit of black mixed in to make it a bit darker)
2 one inch bar pins
super glue (I prefer the gel variety)
index card to cut patterns (the square is 1-1/2", I drew a heart freehand and cut it.  You could also use a cookie cutter)

Don't think you need fancy tools to work with polymer clay.  I've been working with clay for over twenty years and have never felt the need to buy a pasta machine!  Go figure!  Here are the basic tools you will need for this project:
an x-acto knife, a needle tool (a pin will work just fine), tiny star cutters (or cut a pattern from the index card), a rolling pin (mine is actually a tall skinny glass bud vase I bought for a buck at Walmart!  Anything smooth and flat will work---a glass, a bottle, etc.)

You will also need something to bake on.  I have a pyrex pie plate that I use exclusively for clay.  You won't want to cook with whatever you use, unless you line it with parchment paper.   A ceramic tile would work just fine. 

Start by conditioning the clay.  Just twist and knead and pull and squeeze until it's consistently soft and you feel you can work with it easily.  It might take a few minutes. 

Next, roll out the red clay to about 1/8" thickness.

Place your heart pattern on the clay and cut around it with your x-acto knife.

Roll an even thinner slab of the blue clay and cut another heart.

Cut this heart off about 1/3 the way down, at a diagonal.  You won't need the pointy end.

Place your blue piece on top of the red heart so it matches up nicely.  Trim around it if necessary.

Roll out a thin slab of white clay and cut three long skinny stripes.  I just eyeball mine.  You could use a ruler or straight edge of a card if you are not confident in cutting a straight line freehanded.

Place the stripes evenly spaced along the red field.

Trim off the excess.  Then cut a little star from the white clay.

Place the star on the upper left side of the blue field. 

You can stop now it you like, but I like to add a little bit of detail with my needle tool--put some little stitch marks along the edges of the stripes and along the bottom of the blue, and put little dots on the edge of the star.

Now bake your pin at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.  Once it has completely cooled, glue the pin to the back with super glue. (Don't want a pin?  Put a magnet on the back instead!) 

To make this cute little square flag pin, follow the same instructions as above, but use your 1-1/2" square pattern, cut a 3/4" square for the blue field, and use the larger of the two star cutters.

I hope you found my instructions simple to follow and you now have a couple of really cute pins to wear for the holiday! 

God Bless America!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paper Pleasures--Wedding Cards

I may or may not have mentioned that I am a paper addict.  I LOVE paper.  It all started back in college when I did letterpress printing and bookbinding.  I have sheets and sheets of lovely handmade papers.  Quilters can relate---it's much like hoarding fabric.

In recent years, I've discovered a much more budget friendly paper.  Scrapbooking paper is cheap by comparison to lovely handmade paper.....except, of course, that I tend to buy SO MUCH of it that I suppose it all balances out in the end.  (Honestly, probably not.  I've traded one for the other, and the new obsession has probably cost me loads more in reality. Oh well!  There are worse things one can spend money on, I'm sure.)

Several years ago my niece and I started doing some very simple scrapbooking.  We bought a multi-pack of solid colored card stock and thought we were going to be satisfied with that. Well, not for long anyway.  Soon I discovered all the lovely patterned paper, and I couldn't quite leave well enough alone.  It's a sickness, I know.  I can hardly leave Hobby Lobby without a few sheets. 

And then, of course, there are the embellishments!  Ribbon!  Buttons!  Charms!  Oh, my!  Soon those started piling up as well, and I had to start doing more with them than a few random scrapbook pages.  I thought, "Why not make some greeting cards?", and suddenly a new enterprise was born. 

I LOVE making cards.  I make cards for all occasions and have been selling them at art and craft fairs for the past eight years.  I go on card making binges when I spend days stockpiling my inventory.  It almost doesn't seem like work, I enjoy it so much!

Since wedding season is upon us, I'm sharing with you a few of my current favorite wedding cards.

Inside message:  In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities
(I found the inspiration for this card here on Pinterest.)
Supplies used:  white, grey, red, peach cardstock (Hobby Lobby)
black ribbed cardstock (Archivers), white floral embossed cardstock (Doodlebug Design)
white metallic paper (Reminesce),  black and white satin ribbon, red flower (Hobby Lobby)
vintage 'pearl' seed beads, "Lasting Quotes" acrylic stamps (Fiskars), black ink

Inside message:  Wishing you a Happily Ever After
This card is a gatefold design.
Supplies used: peach cardstock (Hobby Lobby), black ribbed cardstock (Archivers),
white metallic stripe paper, black metallic paper (Hobby Lobby),
 glittered floral cardstock (Doodlebug Designs),
black and white satin ribbon (Hobby Lobby), black mini brads (Spare Parts),
white pearl bead string, white organza flower, white paper rose (Walmart)
rubber stamp (Wordsworth), black ink

Inside message: In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities
Supplies used:  grey, red, white cardstock (Hobby Lobby)
white dotted swiss cardstock (Doodlebug Designs),
clear square gems, red heart buttons (Hobby Lobby)
Bride and Groom rubber stamp (Stampendous), black ink
"Lasting Quotes" acrylic stamp (Fiskars)

Inside message:  This is a day to celebrate new love, new hope,
 new dreams....a new life
Supplies used:  peach, light green cardstock (Hobby Lobby),
white embossed cardstock (American Crafts),
wedding cake 3-D sticker (Jolee's Boutique), white orgnaza ribbon (Hobby Lobby),
rubber stamp (Endless Creations, Inc.), olive green ink

Inside message:  Wishing you a happily ever after
Supplies used:  white, pink, light blue, black, red cardstock (various sources),
blue swirl metallic paper (unknown), lace, white dotted ribbon, pink satin ribbon (Hobby Lobby),
organza flower, blue bow (Walmart), gemstone brads (Archivers),
 black ink, rubber stamp (Wordsworth),
computer fonts (Blackadder ITC, Century Gothic, Papyrus, Bradley Hand ITC)

I think a lovely handmade card is a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together.  Any couple would be thrilled to recieve one of these cards, perhaps with a gift card tucked inside!

Wishing you a happily ever after....

P.S.  My cards are not available in my etsy shop, or anyplace else online.  But if you are interested in any of these, or in cards for any other occasion, please email me at


Monday, June 25, 2012

Harry Potter

I love Harry Potter.  So much so that my husband says I'm obsessed.  And my niece (who incidentally introduced me to Harry and his friends) thinks I'm a dork.  Perhaps they are both right. 

I've read the books five or six times, maybe more.  I was THRILLED earlier this year when J.K. Rowling finally released them on e-book, and I immediately downloaded them to my kindle.  Now I can carry Harry with me wherever I go!

I watch the movies at least twice a month.  You see, I don't have cable TV in my studio, so my television options are very limited.  I tend to put movies in my DVD player while I work.  I get more accomplished if they are movies I have seen before.  I've seen all the Harry Potter movies so many times that I don't need to watch them anymore---I only need to listen.  I practically have them memorized!  I know, it's a sickness.  I can't help it. 

Those of you who have read the books probably understand what I'm talking about.  They are so wonderfully written and the characters so well developed that you truly do get lost in that wonderful (and dangerous) world of magic.  Each time I read them I'm amazed that I discover something new I hadn't noticed before.  The messages of these stories are very powerful--friendship, loyalty, bravery, sacrifice and love. 

And while the movies are not exactly like the books, I think they have been done really well.  I shudder to think what they would have been had J.K. Rowling not insisted on British actors!  Can you imagine some spoiled, overindulged American actor being Harry Potter?  NEVER!  The beauty of the movies is their continuity, how they were able to entice the same cast to keep returning. 

As I've been reading the stories again the last several days, I've been wondering if I should create some Harry Potter characters to add to my collection.  I searched around on etsy to see how other artists have been inspired, and I thought I would share a few of the things I found.

Harry Potter Tiny Trio Polymer Clay Sculpture

This tiny little trio of polymer clay pieces is available from PapercraneFlint.

HARRY POTTER and friends - 5x7 prints - Set of 4 - Whimsical and Delightful - Wall Art - PQ 84

I think these little paintings are very whimsical.  They would make great kids' room decor.  You can find them here.

Harry Potter Fan Art - Honorary Gryffindor

I love this illustration from The Order of the Phoenix.  It's available at HallieLuYa.

Do you share my love of Harry Potter?  Which is your favorite book?  Who is your favorite character?

"Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light."--Albus Dumbledore


Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favorite #2--Karen Hansen, Polka Dot Clay Studio

I adore polka dots.  Always have.  I don't know why, but I do.  Some of my favorite dresses over the years have been polka dotted.  I think they are fun and whimsical, and they always make me happy.
Imagine how delighted I was when I came across a shop on etsy called Polka Dot Clay Studio!  How could a girl not love that?  And when you look at this wonderfully whimsical pottery you will understand exactly what I mean.
Karen Hansen, the artist behind Polka Dot Clay Studio, makes really imaginative ceramic vessels.  These are NOT your grandma's flower vase, for sure!  Each piece is a really unique piece of art.  I love the out-of-the-ordinary shapes she chooses, and of course, the polka dots reel me in, big time.  She has a really terrific sense of color as well.
I have not yet purchased a piece from Karen, but I have my eye on a few, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of them showed up on my doorstep in the future.
Here is a sampling of Karen's work.  Be sure to go to her shop and check out her complete collection.  You will not be sorry!

Tall Purple Polka Dot Vase

White Canister

Jaunty Lavender Vase

Teal Spiral Canister

Red Dotted Container

(THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE!  I think it's the daisy that makes me swoon!)

I really love all of Karen's work.  I hope you will take a minute to browse her shop.  It will certainly bring a smile to your day!

If you have a favorite artist on etsy, I would love to know about it.  I'm always on the hunt for unique talent!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Honey

All Buster Brown Bear wanted was a little bit of honey.  He found a beehive and thought he would just poke his paw in really quick and pull out a handful of his favorite sweet snack.  Much to his surprise, the bees were at home, and came swarming out around him. 

Now he doesn't know what to do......should he cut and run?  Should he swat at the bees?  Or should he try one more time to get that delicious honey from the hive? 

He does look a little perplexed.  But I bet he gives it one more try....Buster just can't resist this sweet summer treat.

( Buster Brown Bear is available in my etsy shop ) 

What's your favorite summer treat?  I hope it's easier to get than fresh honey!

Have a sweet summer day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Favorite #1--Robin Wade

There is so much WONDERFUL work on etsy.  Every day I'm amazed by the talent you can find on every page.  I'm always popping something into my favorites folder, and it's fun to go back from time to time and have a look at what I've saved.  It's kind of like when I used to bookmark pages in the JCPenney Christmas Wish Book when I was a kid. 

I've decided that on Fridays I'm going to pull something from my favorites folder and share it with you.  I have a wide variety of items, mediums and artists saved, so these posts will be very diverse and more often than not, having nothing to do with polymer clay. 

Today I'm going to share a fabulous jeweler with you.  Robin Wade makes the most interesting angels from silver and other objects.  Each wonderfully detailed piece has a very precious story behind it.  I LOVE her work so much that I purchased this one for my BFF Marian for Christmas last year:

Angels Margo and Mia Embrace To Fly - Re-purposed Sterling Silver And PMC - Pendant - 520

Marian is an amazing friend and has helped me through some very difficult times in my life.  Without her, I don't know what I would have done.  I really liked this particular angel from the first look, but it was this quote and story that inspired me to click the button to buy this one:

"We are all but angels with one wing and only by embracing each other can we fly." Luciano DeCrescerizo

Angels Margo and Mia are full of love and light. Life can sometimes be difficult so both pull together and support each other through the ups and downs. Margo and Mia can remind us that by asking for help and embracing each other we all have the ability to fly.   

Isn't that a fitting sentiment for a wonderful friend? I thought it was perfect! 

Robin has so many fabulous pieces in her etsy shop, robinwade, that it was extremely difficult to choose a few to show you here.  You could close your eyes and click and be certain to find something wonderful.  But here are a few of my very favorites:

Angel Havannah Is Feeling More At Home - Re-purposed Sterling, Brass, And PMC - Art Jewelry Pendant - 747

Angel Havannah

Angel Bailey Is Blossoming - Pendant - 475

Angel Baily

Angel Stevie Has A Heart Of Steel - Pendant - 254

Angel Stevie

Angel Emma Feels Energized - Art Jewelry Pendant - Repurposed Sterling, A Typewriter Key, And PMC - 758

Angel Emma

Angel Barlow Celebrates Living - Repurposed Sterling, Bingo Piece, And PMC - Art Jewelry Pendant - 693

Angel Barlow

PLEASE take a minute to go look at Robin's work.  You will be completely enchanted!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lady Bug So Small and Red

"Ladybug so small and red, creeping through the flower bed."

I have that cute little phrase painted on a stepping stone in my garden.  Two of my favorite things to find in a garden are ladybugs and daisies.  Those two things inspired this adorable creature.

This sweet little love bug is hand sculpted from black clay over a wire and foil armature.  Her red wings are dotted with tiny circles of black clay.  I feel the personality of any piece is in the details--the curly wire antennae, the darling satin bow on her head, the crepe paper collar, the sweet little fabric daisies---all these things make her the precious little darling that she is. 

My clay figurines are each lovingly handmade, and while I might repeat an idea or a design, no two are ever exactly alike.  What's the fun in that? 

I hope this sweet little bug brings a smile to you day!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Witches of Oz

In a previous post, I told you how my Wizard of Oz figurine came to being.  I was thrilled last week when someone purchased one from my etsy shop.  I received a message from her asking if I made Glinda the Good Witch and The Wicked Witch to go with it.  I had never even really thought about that before, but hey, why not?  So I told her I would be happy to make them for her.  I think they turned out really well.  I especially love Glinda.

I'm always open to suggestions about new pieces to make.  While I have hundreds of ideas rolling around in my head, someone can still come up with something I hadn't thought of before. 

These pieces will soon be available to everyone in my etsy shop.   I think the Wicked Witch would also be great for Halloween, don't you?

Thanks for following me back to Oz!