Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Year Ago Today....

I waded into the world of blogging with this post, telling you a little bit about myself and how I came to be an artist.  I had NO IDEA how to blog and I was very nervous about starting.  I had talked about it for over a year, but was a bit intimidated.  Then my niece, ever fearless, started her own blog and said, "What's the big deal?  Just WRITE something."  And I did.

Now, a year later, here I am.  It's been a slow process, and I have not been as consistent with my posts as I should be.  I wish there were a few extra hours in the day, or perhaps one more day in the week, for me to accomplish all these 'extra' things that go along with having an online presence.  I remember the good ol' days when I could just go into my studio and create little works of art all day, then load them up in my truck and go to a craft show.  Times have changed.  I still do shows, and they still represent the biggest part of my business, but I'm slowly building a following online.  I've 'met' some really great people that I never would have come across in my normal life. 

As a thank you to those who have followed me from the beginning, and also to those who have just recently discovered my work, I have decided to host a little giveaway to celebrate my year of blogging.  YAY!! 

This is what you can win:

He's pretty cute, right?
OK--here are the rules:
1.  YOU MUST BE SIGNED UP TO FOLLOW MY BLOG, either by email subscription or through google.  If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for?  Now is the time to do so!  It's easy.  Either put your email address in the box at the top of the right sidebar and click submit (you will get an email to confirm your subscription, and you will need to follow the link provided.)  Or click on the blue button on the sidebar that says 'join this site' to follow through google.  Easy peasy!! 
2.  YOU MUST COMMENT ON THIS POST!  This giveaway requires your active participation, so please leave a comment below.  If you have been reading, but never commenting, now is the time to comment!  You could just win this ADORABLE Frosty!
Pretty simple, huh? 
Also, as a favor to me, I would appreciate it if you would share the link.  Either email it to a friend you think might enjoy it, or post it on your facebook, or just tell your next door neighbor.  I would love to build a bigger following, but I need your help! 
Next Wednesday I will randomly draw a winner and I will announce who it is here on the blog. 
Good Luck to everyone, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for following me! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Itch for a Witch

I've been itching to create new Halloween characters, but I'm in the middle of lots of 'non-work' work, so I haven't had a chance to sit down and go for it yet.  I'm hoping to get back to work really soon, because I have lots of fun spooks haunting my thoughts.  For now, I'm going to show you a witch I created last fall.  She never got a chance to be featured here on the blog, and she is still waiting for someone to claim her as their own.

Portia the Potion Master is wearing a black top, purple stockings and black boots all sculpted from polymer clay.  The boots are adorned with purple Swarovski crystals.  Her black and white skirt is hand-sewn from printed cotton and trimmed with a wide satin sash. I cut crepe paper for her fluffy collar.  Her tall witch hat is made out of paper and covered with black velvet.  A coordinating purple bow finishes the look.  Portia wears a pewter chain with a clear crystal charm.  She is carrying a tiny hand-sewn book with the ingredients for her toad potion handwritten on the pages.  A small glass bottle is filled with a sample of the potion.  I love the quirky look on her face and her big yellow-green eyes.  I used black curly wool roving for her wild hair.  Portia is fairly tall, at 7-3/4".
Stay tuned for more Halloween characters! 
Have a great day!
P.S.--Potent Potions has been relisted in my etsy shop.

Monday, May 20, 2013

While I've Been Gone...

Time sure has a way of escaping me!  I can't believe it's the middle of May already, and I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged!  I need to get back in the swing.

I've been really busy.  I wish I could say I've been cranking out new clay characters, but honestly I have not.  I NEED to get back to work, or I'm going to be regretting it in about 2 or 3 months' time when I'm in serious crunch mode preparing for fall shows.  However, I think I have a pretty good excuse.

My niece, Hilary, whom I ADORE is getting married in June.  She is very special to me.  Since I have no kids of my own, I have sort of 'adopted' her as my own.  I guess more honestly I would say that she is one of my best friends.  She lived with David and me for nearly two years while she was going to college, and we became very close.  What we have is not a typical aunt/niece relationship.  At least it is nothing like any relationship I have with my aunts!  As I said, I adore her.  And she has been very sweet to include me in lots of her wedding plans.  I was even invited to go with her and her mother to choose her dress!  It meant the world to me that she would include me in such a special event in her life.  ANYWAY!  Last weekend two of my sisters and I hosted a Mexican Fiesta themed bridal shower for her, and it was a BLAST!!

I don't have as many pictures as I would like to have.  I gave control of the camera to my sister, Dana, and some of the shots were blurry and some things we just failed to capture in pictures.  I'm sorry about that, for more reasons than just not being able to share it all with you.  Hopefully Hilary has some more good photos I can add to my scrapbook (or the box of photos that will SOMEDAY BE a scrapbook.)

So, it started with the invitations.  I made them, of course!  More work than I would do for an average Joe, but this is Hilary we're talking about, so I stepped up.  I chose an array of Mexican-inspired colors and cut bands of paper to make stripes.  I used my Cricut Walk in the Garden cartridge to cut out the flowers.  All the text was done on my computer.  I thought they turned out really cute, and set the tone for the party.

We hosted the shower at the house in western Nebraska that my sister Dana and I share.  It's a beautiful Arts and Crafts home, and was a perfect backdrop for a Mexican fiesta party.  My mom and I spent an entire afternoon putting up the decorations.  Dana had already arranged the tables and chairs in the seating area.  I used paper lanterns, crepe paper fan flowers, an assortment of patterned tablecloths, and a few mini piƱatas. 
The dining table with paper lanterns.  All the food was Mexican style appetizers.  Hilary's favorite food is Mexican, that's why we chose the Mexican theme.
A close-up of the yummy food.  I painted a terra cotta pot to match the invite and planted it with Gerbera Daisies.  It was Hilary's party favor.
We opened one of our cabinets to set up the Margarita station.  We used these adorable Mexican-tile-styled dishes Dana found at Walmart (they are plastic!!) and her green glassware.  (We also had a Sangria table and a table of lemonade for non-drinkers, and a cooler of Corona on the porch.  We tried to have something for everyone!)
Yummy mini cheesecakes topped with fruit and mini key lime pies. 
A view of the living room with the fiesta table cloths and more paper lanterns.

Paper fans hanging in the windows and a view of Hilary's great haul of loot!  She got some FABULOUS gifts. (I wish that someone would start a tradition of throwing showers for women who have been married 25 years!)

After we had eaten, and lots of drinks had been consumed, and Hilary had opened her presents, we played a really fun game of creating a wedding ensemble for Hilary.  I had gathered lots of supplies from my stash--tissue paper, lace, tulle, doilies, gems, ribbon, etc.  The bows were saved from the gifts to create the bouquet.  I wish I had a better picture of the dress, because it turned out really cute!  But those are the ones that were blurry!  DRAT!!  It so happened that Hilary's Dad happened to be across the street at my brother's house, so of course, we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a Father-of-the-Bride photo! 
We had a really great time!  I know this comes off sounding like I put this all together myself.  I did not.  I took charge of lots of the visuals, and I made a lot of the food.  But my sister Lynda made lots of food too, including a mango salsa that was my favorite thing on the buffet.  My brother's girlfriend, Candis, also helped with food prep and getting things set out on the table.  Dana helped with finishing touches on the food and took the lead on the drinks, keeping the margarita pitchers and the sangria bowl full. (And the sangria was a BIG HIT, so that was no easy task! LOL!)  Mom pitched in with decorating and did more than her fair share of clean-up.  It was a team effort.
Things that didn't get photographed well:  I painted mini terra cotta pots in bright, solid colors and Mom and I planted them with hen and chicks to give to the guests as party favors.  We also had two strings of tiny paper lantern lights hung on the front porch.  They looked really cute.  And I wish we would have gotten a group shot of all the guests.  We had a nice crowd of 18. 
Some of the recipes we used were from Pinterest, including the key lime pies, taco bites, individual 7-layer dips, Southwest Eggrolls, and a yummy Gallo Moscato Sangria.  You can find them on my board Party Food, along with a recipe for mango salsa that is similar to the one Lynda made. 
Whew!  That was a long one!  See what happens when I don't post for awhile?? 
I will be back soon!