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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge Week 7

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*Still hopping for the GROW YOUR BLOG 2015? Click here please*

Hello everyone! I fell victim to the winter flu season and have been under the weather for the past few weeks, but I'm hoping that is done, so I can start being creative again (not that I particularly cared about that while ill!) So as near as I can figure, this would be Week 7 (but someone can correct me if needs be). 

**I thought I had posted this last night, but apparently I missed the step of hitting that PUBLISH button**

For Week 7 of Katie Oskin's polymer clay challenge, I am continuing on my quest to use canes I have been collecting or neglecting. This is the case for a very specialized cane I made for a blog hop back in September 2012, for Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Travel. The design came from satellite imagery of the African continent. I loved my Africa cane, but whenever I picked it up afterwards, I was utterly uninspired.



Slightly distorted cane end. Kindly ignore the wrinkles!


Enter the "Natasha" method. Not sure which Natasha this is named for, but she did the PC world a solid:



Beads #1 and #2



Each side of these four beads display a unique mirror image, formed by cutting lengthwise twice and inverting all the inner surfaces to the outside. The final shape is of a four-sided prism surmounted by a four-sided pyramid on each end. I've searched in vain for the "official" name of this 3-D shape... if there are any geometric wizards out there, I'd love to know. Otherwise I may have to make up a name for these. Which could be fun :)



Beads #3 and #4


The pendant was also a quickie method: take a length of cane, torture it a bit to distort, form into triangle, cut, cut, cut... and voila, instant (if very basic) kaleidoscope design:






A very loooong (30"+) necklace design with copper rolo chain. Lately I have been working a lot in sterling, but copper will always hold a special place in my heart :)





Hope to see everyone next week for Week 8 of our challenge (barring more illness, of course)!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Announcing my GYB Winner!

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Here's the giveaway prize:






Thanks to everyone who visited (346) during GYB 2015, took time to comment (104)... and a special thanks to my new followers (34) :) I have been under the weather for the past few weeks, but I hope to get back to normal very soon :)


Here's my winner!


I'm always surprised when RNG selects one
near the beginning or end, as if those aren't
"random" enough for me LOL


Number 3 corresponds to... the lovely Maggie Bryant of Normandy Life. In case you missed her GYB 2015 post, you can read it here :) 



Maggie is an English expat, world traveler, gifted writer and photographer and avid gardener, collector/crafter and foodie. She writes the following about her home base in Normandy, France:


"Home is a 16th/18th century former Presbytery 
situated in a tiny village, 
surrounded by beautiful Normandy countryside. 
I share it with my lovely husband 
and best friend of over 35 years, 
and M'selle Fleur 
our gorgeous Berger Allemand."

Doesn't that sound like a spot you'd love to visit? Well, now you can (at least virtually!) Maggie's blog is a welcoming spot, filled with beautiful photos of the famous, the less famous, the sublime and the engaging. Do drop by for a visit anytime! 









Maggie, I hope you don't mind my sharing just a few of your wonderful photos for the benefit of those who haven't yet discovered your blog :)

Maggie is *ahem* traveling in Cyprus these days, so I look forward to reading about her trip and viewing more amazing photos (a bit jealous LOL).

Thanks again to everyone who participated, commented and/or followed :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Last Day to Enter My Giveaway!

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This is just a quick reminder! If you haven't yet entered, you have until TONIGHT, FEBRUARY 14TH AT MIDNIGHT E.S.T. (Eastern Standard Time, New York) to get your name in the hat. You could win this sterling silver necklace and earring set, featuring the beautiful lampwork hearts of UK glass artist Jolene Wolfe


ENTER BY COMMENTING
(not this post):




**No strings attached! You don't need to follow me, share or jump through any hoops. Just comment at the link to my GYB 2015 blog post above. Gift-packaged and free delivery to any international location!**


Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge Week 4

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*Hopping for GROW YOUR BLOG? Click here please*

For Week 4 of Katie Oskin's polymer clay challenge, I am continuing on my quest to use canes I have been collecting. This was a feather cane from Donna Kato, an older one I found through 52 Weekly Canes FB Group. I've made this one in two colourways (the other is delicious purple, and still uncut) and used it in several projects, here and here. Feathers can be flowers, represent birds... how about a bright angel wing? No really, I've always wanted to make a feathered angel wing LOL.




And eventually, I will reduce more of my feather cane and make the sorta-matching wing :) Not sure how I will use my wings, so I usually bake without holes and drill them later. 




Learned my lesson from last week, and went back to baking in sections, easier to control distortion that way. 

The beautiful texture on the backs of the wings in from Joan Tayler Design, one of my go-to texture plates/rubber stamps called Dragon Parts. It goes right through my pasta machine (with the clay) on the thickest setting.

Hope to see everyone next week for Week 5 of our challenge!


Gratuitous kitty photo (Kramer, AKA Baking Assistant):

Baking?? I thought you said BACON!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

GYB 2015 (Blog Hop and Giveaway)

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Welcome to the 3rd annual Grow Your Blog (GYB) event, hosted by Vicki of 2BagsFullLast year was my first time participating and I had a ball discovering hundreds of new blogs. Though I have had a relatively "quiet" year here on my personal blog since then, I have been a regular visitor to many others. The heart of blogging for me is as much finding out what others are sharing as it is offering my own tidbits (What can I say? I love blogging and being a blog reader!) 

Please go to Vicki's post (link above) for the full list of participants. Thank you so much, Vicki, for the Herculean task you have taken on!

*There IS a giveaway, which is described further down, below the asterisk line* THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN, SEE BELOW*

My name is Monique, and I am so pleased you could visit today. Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have been teaching myself the art of jewelry-making, mostly using artisan (handmade and often one-of-a-kind) components. My blog is primarily a catalogue of my experience as a newbie jewelry designer, but I follow many blogs from around the world, with widely different themes, and I love them all! Perhaps YOUR blog will become one of my new favourites this year :)




I will start by saying I am a bilingual 50-something living in the beautiful Canadian Province of New Brunswick (my town is less than an hour from Québec). Last year I shared lots of old photos (because everyone likes photos). This year I have just a couple, but they are precious to me :) 

*A very special one of my Dad and I in France, circa 1961* Pics of my father are few and far between, as he was usually the photographer. This one was digitally restored by my Sister, who inherited the photography gene to a much greater degree than I :) Dad taught me to be curious, but discriminating, which has served me well in many spheres, as now in my design hobby.




I am often asked why I waited til my 50's to go online, learn to design jewelry, start a blog, etc. These are my reasons:





Four rambunctious boys in less than seven years... believe me, I was ready to do something feminine and artistic after being a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum for 25+ years LOL. 

You can see lots of my designs and challenges by reading back through my posts (perhaps another day, if you choose to return).

*********************************************************************

**THE WINNER IS Maggie Bryant of Normandy Life**

Thank you so much for taking time to drop by my blog. I will end by asking everyone to leave a brief comment. I WILL be having a draw/giveaway February 15th, 2015, chosen by random number generator (from all those commenting on this post ONLY, before midnight EST on the 14th), for this lovely set of handmade earrings and necklace:



The pendant heart is 20 mm (3/4"). Very demure!


ABOUT THE BEAD ARTIST:

This set features a delicious apple-green trio of heart-shaped lamp-work beads, decorated with delicately raised flowers and vines on both front and back. These lovelies were handmade by UK glass artist Jolene Wolfe of Kitzbitz Art Glass, whose work I only recently discovered and fell in love with (though she has been creating with glass since 2007). For my fellow lampwork lovers/designers: **Jolene will be having an online auction/trunk show here on February 22nd and 23rd. Share the love and support Handmade**



ABOUT THE DESIGN:

Well, they do say if you love something, you should set it free! I have finished these with simple lines (so as not to distract from Jolene's lovely hearts) using peridot Swarovski crystals and sterling silver components. The chain length can be between 16-22" (41-57cm) and will be as requested by the winner of this giveaway.



ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY: 
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CONCLUDED*

THERE ARE NO CONDITIONS FOR TAKING PART IN THIS GIVEAWAY, other than leaving a comment and a way for me to reach you if you are the winner (email, Facebook, etc.). You do not have to follow my blog, nor are you even required to have your own blog. I will mail this prize in an attractive gift package, any place in the world Canada Post is willing to ship (and that is pretty much anywhere). You are of course WELCOME to follow my blog via any of the options in the right-hand margin, but again, this is NOT a requirement for the draw.

Thanks again everyone and we shall see you out there in Blogland!

And don't  forget to head to our hostess Vicki's blog for all the links :)


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