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!


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**


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.


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 :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grow Your Blog Event is this Sunday!

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Just a reminder to everyone... this Sunday, January 25th, is the 3rd annual GYB, hosted by Vicki Boster of 2 Bags Full. Many of us will be posting the evening before, so drop by early and join us. Over 600 bloggers took part last year, and we had a ball. Hope to see you this weekend!

**And YES there is a GIVEAWAY again this year, by many participants, including *ME*

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge Week 3

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For Week 3 of Katie Oskin's polymer clay challenge, I am continuing on my quest to use canes I have been collecting. This was a kaleidoscope cane from Donna Kato, which for some strange reason I made with translucent rather than white. The effect is interesting over a base of white. A bit 3D but too subtle really:

Anyway, a learning experience in many ways (slices too thick; next time I will bake the core bead, as is my usual practice; baking in soda did not work for me, but contributed to scratching when I sanded and buffed, etc., etc.) But overall, I like this big bad boy (57mm or 2 1/4" tall) :)

Hope to see everyone next week for Week 4 of our challenge!

Gratuitous kitty photo (Miss Lucy):

Look... I'm a Christmas present!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge Week 2

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For Week 2 of Katie Oskin's polymer clay challenge, I have only manged to squeak out a single little pendant. As I said last week, I have a terrible habit of making canes and then never actually USING them for anything. I'd like to address that this coming year :)

Again I have recuperated a lovely cane design by Cindy Lietz, the beautiful Peacock Cane. This is based on Premo brand clay, which always causes me problems when I use it (not that it's not a great product, just different from my usual, Kato, so needs a different "approach"). Takeaway: remember that some brands take an oven temperature LOWER than you are used to LOL. This was the second version of my pendant. Pretty cool huh?

Hope to see everyone next week for Week 3 of our challenge!

BONUS: Completely gratuitous and unrelated kitty pic. On Juli Cannon's online auction today, she asked us to share a funny photo. I thought my latest shelter rescue, Tristan, looked like Rip van Winkle realizing it was a different world than when he fell asleep *TeeHee*

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge Week 1

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I am a day late posting to Katie Oskin's polymer clay challenge (though Katie kindly added a few extra days grace due to Holiday schedules). I need to keep myself on a strict schedule, however, as I have a tendency to put my OWN creativity behind all other obligations... don't we all?

Without further ado, here are some beads and pendants I have made, using some of my favorite canes. Regular readers will recognize the red rose cane, and perhaps my sparkly blue variation of the brain cane, which I have used in numerous projects shared here in the past. Both cane designs are by Cindy Lietz. The leaf cane is from a wonderful tutorial by Eugena Topina

Hope to see everyone next week for Week 2 of our challenge!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

I'm Taking the Plunge

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Yes, that's right! I am committing to Katie Oskin's year-long PC challenge. While I am a card-carrying "non-committing" party member, the spur here was winning a place in another PC event, Polymer Clay Adventure, with over 800 fellow clayers (thank you Marlene Brady). So, I will have to get out of my creative shell, one way or another! Hope to see y'all along the way :)

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