Monday 31 December 2012

AJE Component of the month reveal

I was a lucky winning participant and eager to get my hot little hands on a labyrinth pendant from Jenny Davies-Reazor as part of the December Component of the month on the ever inspiring Art Jewelry Elements blog.  It sure is perfect imagery for this last day of the year.

I ended up with this long necklace featuring Jenny’s focal and complemented by my polymer beads, a little glass and some wood rounds.   The idea of a labyrinth had me looking at things I do all the time looking for patterns. Like how I brush my teeth, how I drag a tea bag around and out of a cup, and how I do many things working with polymer.  That lead me to wanting to include overlapping infinity symbols since that’s a motion I seem to fall into naturally.  So I started with a bunch of rich blue beads and a snake of cream clay and well, no two are alike in the end.  I then “glazed” them with tinted liquid polymer.

I also found that I have a sand labyrinth that I’ve never tried out. 

Wishing you all lots of inspiration and all good things for 2013.  I hope you will join me in seeing what everyone else created.  Thank you so much for letting me join in the fun AJE team.

This months guests of honor:
 Emma Todd <- that's me! Thanks for coming!
Lee Koopman
Jess Green
And participating AJE team members:
Jen Cameron Kristi Bowman
 Diana Ptaszynski
 Kristen Stevens
 Lesley Watt
Francesca Watson
 Melissa Meman
Jo Tinley
 Linda Landig
 Sue Kennedy
 Jenny Davies-Reazor, your hostess

Thursday 27 December 2012

Christmas and catching up

Hope everyone had a great Christmas or whatever you may celebrate this time of year.  We knew wrapping up presents we had bought too many for our one 2 year old girl.  I thinned it a bit by donating some, and holding others for her birthday.  Just like my own mum there are always several gifts stashed in the closet.   I wonder how old Averleigh will be when she figures that out?  I had an older brother to show me. 

No picture with Santa Claus this year as I was told repeatedly “I don’t like Santa Claus” each time I asked about it.  I was also told, repeatedly, “I don’t like presents”.  This last one didn’t stand up.   As I type this there are new toys everywhere and there is no sense in cleaning them up since she wants to play with all of them right now.


Christmas Eve is always at my in-laws and we started a tradition of new pyjamas from us so here she is Chrsitmas morning showing off said pyjamas.  We spent about two hours opening gifts since she likes to have everything out of the box to really check it out before moving on the the next.  She actually left four presents still wrapped under the tree telling me she would open them later.  Funny girl.  Then we were off to my parents house for Christmas with my family, there’s eighteen of us.  We spent the whole day relaxing with the family and all was how it should be.

As the end of the year is coming I know there are some things not yet done.  I still have bracelets to make for 7000 bracelets of hope and I will get them done, just maybe not before the 31st.  I have to finish my dad’s Christmas present first.  It was going to be ready for the 25th but I decided I wasn’t pleased with the final execution, it needs a take two.  I’m letting that breathe a bit.  I did make some necklaces for my mum though (and actually give them to her on time).

ruffled iris necklaces

These are very similar, in the end I just couldn’t decide so opted to give her both.  I believe she prefers the one on the right as it is adjustable on the black silk cord.  The version on the left above features sterling chain and some of my all time favourite pearls, hard to see here but they are facetted
ruffle iris clasp detail

The silk goes through that spiral bead on opposite directions making the necklace easily adjustable and it holds very nicely if I do say so myself.

I’ve declared that 2013 will be the year I improve my wire skills.  It’s needed.  I have all sorts of great ideas for polymer with wire but I really need to bring up those wire skills to make some of those ideas reality.  So I signed up for Kerry Bogert’s Aspire to Wire course happening online this January.  I also was lucky enough to get her lasted book under the tree, (no surprise since I “added it to cart” myself practically) and then there was this in my stocking


Ain’t he a sweetie?!  My hubby remembered the conversation where I went on and on about trying to decide if I should invest is some quality wire tools now or keep going with what I have… He just couldn’t remember the actual names of anything I was talking about and the folks at the art store he tried to buy from just stared blankly.  He did remember me saying they were “the world’s most expensive” so that’s what I got.  I now have some Tronex tools on order, I will be very excited to put them to good use.

I have one last blog hop to close out the year on New Year’s Eve come on back to see what I made with one of these awesome labyrinth components from Jenny Davies-Reazor as part of the component of the month from Art Jewelry Elements

Saturday 15 December 2012


Peace.  So simple and yet so complicated all at the same time.  I don’t have many words to make sense of yesterday's events in Connecticut.  All I know is that since becoming a mother these inexplicable tragedies hit me a whole other way.   It seems my mind can take me to being in that scenario oh so quickly and rush back just as fast…
I was thinking of peace and the first polymer connection that came into my head was this

This is a beautiful crane fashioned from polymer by Judy Dunn.  She generously shared her conversion of the ancient origami method to the polymer arena – in video! -  here (since I can’t seem to get it to open here). wait it may actually appear, oh technology!

Judy was also using her skills to shed light on the losses of the war in Iraq, although I haven’t heard news of this in some time, it seems the blog is now by invitation only, so I don’t have current information to share.  Back in 2008, she shared a letter detailing her project to Yoko Ono in beautiful words and pictures.

Peaceful thoughts for all.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

My doors are always open to free beads!

Aren’t yours?!

Well, a little ways back, Lesley Watt of the Gossiping Goddess decided to share the huge stash of lampwork she was gifted from  Kaz Baildon.  I really adore the concept here of just sweeping of the table, so to speak, and sending the work out into the world to make way for a fresh start.
Here is the picture Lesley shared to draw us all in

I know, such a hardship to receive some lovely beads and make something out of them.  Of course I jest, but the little beauties I got sure gave me a few fits, but I’ll spare you much of the drama.

Here they are hanging out at my workbench

photo (10)

I usually start with mixing up some polymer colours to coordinate and you know, they just weren’t coming up as transparent as I wanted to go with these.  Then I realized I really didn’t have to have them in the same piece either (how is it that I imagine rules?) The smaller aqua tube is still on my workbench with plans to wrap polymer around it’s center and make it into some form of wheel.  My first attempt just not working I’m still engineering….

Meanwhile though I changed tactics and took that beautiful Monet-ish bead down to the basement where all the finished beads live.  I figured there must be beads in my stash that needed a fresh look with a new partner. What I found was a whole bunch of beads, but dialed it down to just a few and some yummy silk that was the perfect shade.

new renewed copy

I created the polymer focal and small coins when I did my first Bead Soup Blog Party this summer.

Many thanks to Lesley and Kaz for sharing these goodies and letting me look at my own pieces with new eyes.  I can’t wait to see what gorgeous creations everyone else came up with, since there was quite the bounty to share
Lesley Watt -
Cory Tompkins -
Rebecca Anderson -
Marie Cramp -
Claire Braunbarth -
Heidi Post -
Tiffany Smith -
Sharyl Macmillan-Nelson -
Ailsa Cordner -
Linda Landig -
Caroline Dewison -
Renetha -
Kari Asbury -
Niky Sayers -
Purple Cobwebs -
Cilla Watkins -
Therese Frank -
Claire Ennis -
Emma -  <--- that’s me! Thanks so much for coming!
Kathy Lindemer -
Alicia -
Sandy Huntress -
Lori Bowring Michaud -
Amy -
Katherine Gale -

Monday 3 December 2012

Challenge of colour continued

I just finished hopping around the Challenge of Colour and it’s hard to say what is more impressive, the gorgeous art or all the creations, not that I need to choose.  I’m so thankful that I was introduced to these images by Erin since there is literally a lifetime of inspiration there. 

I didn’t show you everything I created so I thought I’d share now.  As I created the patterns I came up with a bunch of components with no real plan about what I was going to make.  I made a pair of earrings but wasn’t pleased that they looked enough like each other to be considered a pair.

three views of vase

At some point the working volume of clay got a little out of hand.  This time of year there is essentially no horizontal space in the vicinity of my workspace so no where to put down a giant sheet of polymer.  So I grabbed a vase – I’ve done this before – and played with the surface.  Looks like a mountain range to me, rather than a salt lake.

Pardon the blur, this is the pile of beads I was choosing from in creating the mermaid.

Lastly I had to try folding some polymer into Christmas trees.  I’m not sure I could convince myself to make them into earrings, I don’t really feel holiday jewelry much.  On the other hand I don’t think these are hit you over the head holiday.  Maybe they will be little ornaments or a way to pretty up a gift card.

I also didn’t show you the palette I didn’t choose for this challenge.  I would have been the easier of the two for me to work with so I decided to save it for another day. 

atlas mountains

Saturday 1 December 2012

A Winner!

Welcome new followers! It’s lovely to have you here along with all the friends already following.  I really appreciate everyone taking the time to comment and chat with me.  It’s awesome to be able to have feedback from around the world here at my own little slice of the internet.  Ok, enough, you want to hear who won the $25 gift certificate right?
giveaway winner
Luck number 34! (off to count – be right back) that entry belongs to
 Kathy Lindemer
Thank you all again for playing along!  This was my first giveaway and it won't be the last.  Kathy, I’ll be in touch.

Friday 30 November 2012

Challenge of Colour reveal

Welcome!  I’m a little late to the party today.  I’m actually waiting for the sun to come up enough for me to take some pictures to share what I created for the challenge.  This is the third challenge I’ve joined Erin for, and it’s very exciting that she had Brandi join in as a hostess this round.  What a team!  I knew I was going to love working from this challenge starting point, satellite photos from the United States Geological Service that Brandi palettified.  I can’t wait to hop around and see each of the palettes.  Here is my starting point

Normally I would do a little research about lake Amadeus, but I can tell you I didn’t know off the top of my head where it was and I decided to keep it that way.  With this challenge all about the colour I opted to look no further than the image in front of me. 

I work with polymer, so the starting point for me with something like this is to mix up a bunch of colours and see what comes of it.  The only real plan I had was to experiment with some techniques and create a sheet of polymer similar to the picture.   In progress the acid green was a lot brighter, but as I worked that intensity got a bit turned down as the stretching of the process thins the polymer and the darker shades beneath change the colour.  

I love exploring polymer like draping fabric.  I take a thin sheet in my hands and fold and ruffle until I’m happy.   I think I made a mermaid to swim in this lake!

When I was done with this long look on leather, all the parts knotted together I thought it might be fun for it to do double duty and be worn short too.

Now she looks a little bit more like she is swimming.  Of course if I had this plan all along I would have a neater connection for that little swirl of wire acting as a hook clasp.  I think I will go back with more polymer and beef it up a bit. 

I’ll update with some more details later, just posting on my lunch break now.
I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with! 

Erin Prais-Hintz
Brandi Hussey
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer Chrizette Bayman Lori Bowring Michaud Courtney Breul Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsh
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Thursday 29 November 2012

Artisan Whimsy berries and leaves challenge

There is so much going on on the Artisan Whimsy site that I almost missed this challenge entirely.  There is a piece on my worktable that is not all the way there so I was going to give it a miss (just like I gave the last owl challenge a miss).  Then I though, hey, I’ve got a bunch of perfect entries in the leaf brooches I created.  The berry here looks a little wizened, but in a delicate kind of way.

available here

Lots of great inspiration to be found in the many entries for this challenge, click the banner to check ‘em out

Wednesday 28 November 2012

And the sale goes on!

Last night I figured I’d attempt to make a treasury.  I remember, back in the day, you had to wait for a spot to open up before you could create one.  At that time I had no inclination to sit there refreshing a screen and waiting for the magical number to appear for the privilege.  Such a cynic, I know.  Somewhere along the way etsy made it so you just create Treasuries at will.  Treasury made I thought I should probably wait less than five years before figuring out how to share it here.  Again, surprisingly painless (unless of course this all goes to pot once I hit publish**it did, hopefully fixed now**).

With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, uh, Sunday and Cyber Monday done now may be the time for a more leisurely stroll through some of the shops with sales going all the way to Friday.
So I present my first treasury for you continued shopping joy

'Cyber week rolls on with handmade components' by APolymerPenchant

Do you love handmade components? How about jewelry designers who work with handmade components - all ready for gift giving? These gorgeous shops, all with sales continuing until Friday! $1300 worth of giveaways from the Artisan Whimsy Market

From Day to Night uniqu...
Etched Copper Bails, .8...
Handmade Bird Bead, Bla...
SALE Handmade Ceramic S...
Lampwork Glass Bead Set...
forest finery 22 - simp...
Lampwork Boro Glass Spi...
10 x Handmade Ceramic B...
Lampwork Beads - SueBea...
Tree Pendant 1X2 Custom...
Copper Ulu Original Tex...
FIVE Handmade Bicone Be...
Flourish Petal (Enamele...
SHOP SALE Boho Bangle B...
Braided Leather and Cer...
Rudraksha Beads and Pol...
I’m going to keep trying to fill up my shop this week while the 20% off is still in effect, by using coupon code AWHOLIDAY at checkout.  My biggest hurdle is the fact that I don’t have pictures of everything and the sun is not cooperating.  To that end, I bought myself a light box on Monday (… unknowingly messing up my sweet husband’s plans for a Christmas gift).  I know there is much out there you can DIY and various solutions, but I opted for something a bit more robust, hopefully worth the investment.  I’m a little peeved that it claimed it was shipping out of Canada, but I was instantly suspicious when the bill didn’t have any tax.  Later I click the tracking link and it pulls up USPS even though the confirmation says it is coming via Canada post.  All that to say if it shows up at my door with brokerage fees to be paid I will be LIVID.

ps If you haven't entered the giveaway still some time - ends Friday

Sunday 25 November 2012

7000 bracelets for hope reveal

When Sue Kennedy of Sue beads reached out a little while ago about a blog hop for 7000 bracelets I was happy for the reminder.  Earlier this year, I created a bracelet for the cause and committed to make seven before the end of the year.  At this point, I still just had the one made.  I thought this would be a perfect push for me to finish up.  Then as I started I thought well this would be number eight, a bit different from the others (not yet made :)).

I showed you the lovely buttons I found the other day and starting with that flower I decided to keep it simple.  Some of my polymer beads, some Joan Miller porcelain and a little glass beads in mixed blues on grey waxed linen.

bracelet collage

I like the porcelain disks, they look almost black but really are blue with a little gasoline-rainbow look on the surface.  One is two sided – blue/cream – and I love how that goes with the button. 

I have the focals, more porcelain and more buttons to create more bracelets… just waiting on a wee bit of time to get them done and shipped off.  Today I’m at a show and it will be my last of the season so there’s hope for me yet!

I’m very happy to be creating for this cause, please be sure to check our some of the other great bracelets being made by following the links from Sue’s blog

PS. Coupon code AWHOLIDAY for 20% off is active in my shop until Friday.  The jewelry will be with me today but look for new listings starting Monday.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway here

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Artisan Whimsy Market cyber week sale and giveaway

If you caught my last post you will know I’m rushing to get this all set but here it is!

Fabulous Handmade Jewelry Pieces.
The largest Artisan shopping event
for Cyber Week...Ever!!

It starts this Friday, Nov. 23rd thru Friday Nov 30th.
All participating jewelry and component designers will be offering a discount on their stores &
will be promoting a giveaway.
Winners will be chosen individually by the blog owners.
For event wide discount code use: AWHOLIDAY

I will be offering 20% off with the AWHOLIDAY coupon code in my Etsy shop
You will find my handmade polymer components and jewelry. 
The jewelry will be coming with me to a show on the 25th
and starting on the 26th there will be new jewelry filling up the shelves!
Now for my Giveaway
A $25 gift certificate to my etsy shop
You will have three ways to enter and the winner will be announced here December 1st.
1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Become a follower and tell me in a separate comment, or if you already are, just shout out in a separate comment.
3. Help me spread the word! Whatever your preference, favourite my shop, pin an item, share the giveaway on facebook, send your hubby a link (that’s how my wish list comes together).  You get the idea, come back and tell me for a third entry.
and there is more!
Three Exciting Giveaways 
will be hidden throughout our participants blogs.

When you find them, follow the directions to be entered!
AND! Bookmark for Future Artisan Jewelry Shopping Opportunities!

Updating to share the 45 participants offering an amazing $1300 in giveaways

Shows, treasures, buttons, and maybe a sale

See that’s just way too much to talk about.  Hang on tight – here we go!

This weekend I was back at the Navan Arts and Crafts show for the first time since 2009.  I love this show.  It’s smaller, full of wonderful vendors and is partnered with a bake sale each day.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to do any shows this year but when the organizer contacted me in the summer to say she had one spot left, well, how could I refuse?  There is a little “but” with being the newbie – you get the post.
This post  ---- right here----------------------------

Totally bossy and about 16 inches in from one side and oh 3 feet each way.  In a 7x10 foot booth space this eats a lot of real estate.  But this same kind friend came to my rescue with a spare 4 foot table (post panicky “just how big is this post? email).   I was happy with this.  This picture is from the Sunday morning as shoppers were just about to come in so I hadn’t yet fixed up those necklaces looking a little jumbled on the cream.

back and side view of Navan booth

A closer view of the side and back tables.  The black background belongs to my neighbor, she was kind to offer that I could use this side to hang anything if I wanted.   I found the back table didn’t get too much attention from customers but the crowds were good and for a first show back,  I was happy enough.

Onto the treasures

Navan treasures

This sock monkey was originally holding a cookie, and part of the Girl Guides bake sale.  I let Averleigh pick the one she wanted when she came to visit at the end of the sale.  He is sitting next to a ceramic mushroom I did a little trade for with artist Liz Fournier.  The gift cards on the right are hand stamped and have little sparkly bits I didn’t capture.  I’d tell you who made them, but there was no card, too bad.

Then I found Laura Sheppard’s booth and it looked familiar.  I had seen her products listed on the website for the Savoir Faire that, as it turns out, we are both doing next Sunday.  Sunday is the 25th and as soon as that dawned on me I thought of the 7000 bracelets project and the bracelet I’m supposed to be showing off on that day.  So I dived into the beautiful bowls of buttons, digging for blue beauties.  Looky!

As I chatted with Laura and let her know about the cause she made me a nice price and offered I take another in support.  Looking forward to creating with these.

Ok so that’s the shows, the treasures and the bracelet.

Maybe a sale.  I’ve yet to run a sale or giveaway since I don’t think of my shop as ready yet.  ‘Tis the season though isn’t it?  The Artisan Whimsy team is gathering up participants for what is stacking up to be quite the event.  If I can figure out all the details before 10 tonight I’ll jump in.