Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Changes to my blog

I’m in the process of setting up a formal website for the miniatures and polymer clay work that I do. You’ll notice several changes to the blog – categories disappearing, pages deleted etc etc.

There have been some major changes in my life in the last year and a half. I was diagnosed with a muscle disorder which is both painful and at times disabling. I’m having to let go of many of the things I’ve always done. Ceramics, fabric painting, decoupage, beading and wire work, embroidery, crochet – these are just some of the things I am no longer able to do.

The Xmas Cottage is officially closed – it is the area most affected by the above. I no longer teach workshops on a regular basis. Whether I get back to those eventually we will have to wait and see.

For now, I’ve stopped fighting the changes and accepted that it’s time to move on. I’ve settled on the fact that polymer clay and miniatures will be the focus of my art, though on a much smaller scale than before. I’ll probably wind up doing more tutorials and writing the various articles I’ve been requested to do. I’ll still be taking on commissions, but on a very limited basis. The miniatures will all be done as limited ranges, which may or may not be repeated.

There is still set design to be done, though I’ll probably get other people to do the actual construction work in the future. Working with certain tools and equipment aggravates my hands and arms too much, which leads to forced rest for several weeks which is frankly frustrating and annoying. ROFL I’m NOT good at sitting still doing nothing and I get very irritable when I can’t create!

The new website will be live soon. I’ll post details as soon as we’re ready to launch.



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Just Claying Around

I’ve got new toys to play with, but finding time to do so seems impossible! I blinked and the end of the year rolled round.

Cigarette Lighter CoverI’ve been indulging myself on weekends and spending time in the chat room at Polymer Clay Central on Saturdays and learning soooo much! Thanks Jean. Rock purses, inros and these absolutely yummy techniques grabbed my imagination. Budgetry considerations being what they are, I’ve decided to make the bulk of my Christmas gifts. So….. inro influence……crackled effects….. screen printing……polymer clay. Hmmmm…. what should I make?

Both my girls are waitresses and there is a continual hunt for lighters that disappear, pens that disappear,Bottle Opener bottle openers that vanish mysteriously. Add to the above equation and I’ve made them each a holder for their lighters, as well as a bottle opener. I’ve put both items on cords so they can wear them around their necks. All that remains is to make a few polymer clay covered pens. That one leaves me nervous! What if the pens I buy distort when curing? Guess I’ll need to jump in at the deep end and simply try it! I’ve bought the bic crystal clear which are supposed to be good, but I know this fellow called Murphy.

I managed to get Kerry’s set completed before she left on her trip today. Unfortunately she saw me working on it, so no surprise come Christmas. Robyn’s set is started, but I’m toying with the colour combination.

Santa baubleThat done and just for the heck of it, I played around with some el cheapo plastic Xmas baubles and made little polymer santas for the top. Heavily influenced by some very cheap polymer clay ornaments available commercially – I will admit this freely! – but with variations of my own. They’re rather fun, tho’ tricky. Wish I could get glass baubles – much less drama. The first bauble melted, though the Santa survived. (That’s the important part!) I was wracking my brains for a solution and remembered a tip from one of the members at COC – fill the bauble with water! I gave it a try and guess what? It worked! So – 2 completed so far. I’m re-using the same two bauble I’ve used to cure the Santas on. Simply remove the cured Santa and glue onto a brand new plastic bauble – no distortion or blemishes at all!

I’m thinking of a few other designs incorporating the inro techiniques. Things like tassles maybe? Who knows what’s going to come out in the wash? Then there’s the possibility of making table cloth weights – those make a really nice gift!

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Life and it’s quirks.

It’s been months since I’ve been able to get to post any news or even work at anything creative. For whatever obscure reason I’ve developed something called Compartment Syndrome which had me totally immobilised, both arms in rigid splints, for nearly 9 weeks. Talk about frustration! No clay, no art, no work of any kind. With my hands in “crab claws” even turning the page in a book was a challenge. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated. To my relief the condition has been stabilised and provided that I learn to pace myself, I should be fine! I do know that I will never again take the ability to use my hands and arms for granted.

I’m working again! Yay!! Been claying for the last three weeks – making miniatures and got an order done for Jenny – and it’s bliss! Never new how much I could miss doing something. Before getting back to clay (it took a while for me to be able to regain enough strength to condition the clay) I indulged myself totally and created a few new paintings. I’m having a love affair with trees at the moment. I can’t seem to stop painting them! Most of the work is very three dimensional and textured – definitely NOT the traditional pretty painted tree! LOL. I’m working on how to get the texture of really rough bark and beautiful gnarled and twisted roots. I’ll post photos once they’re framed. I took the time to discover new products, to discover how products interact with one another, discovered Paverpol and the multitude of applications it can be used for, discovered Alley Goop – bad, bad discovery that one! Boy that stuff is addictive!! I discovered two new authors and read 5 full series of books!

I still get tired, my arms and hands still get very sore, but I know now that when it gets to a certain point I HAVE to stop, not push on regardless. So, I stop, grab a book, a cup of tea and put things aside till later. I’ve learned that it’s okay to sit and do absolutely nothing if that’s what I feel like and I’ve learned to value the abilities with which I’ve been blessed. I’ve met same amazing people who do phenomenal work and I’ve discovered that there are still people out there willing to help – you just have to ask.

Life is good, even if it is quirky!

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Miniatures & Room Boxes

I’ve finally had some time to work on making miniatures and uploading photos. It’s scary how few photos I have on file of the work I’ve done! So many pieces are one-offs and won’t be repeated and I’ve got no record of them at all. Guess I need to make my camera my new best friend. Even recent miniatures which I made for the auction didn’t get photographed – they sold before I got the chance! I’ll be making them again luckily, so I’ll get those photos done. Looking at what’s in the gallery so far, there’s very little shown of the current range I make.

Don’t know how much time I’m going to have to mini in the next two months. It’s the home stretch for the Bond production and I’ve got LOTS of work to do for that. Yikes!

In the mean time the page tabs will take you to the Gallery page and also to the Dollshouse Miniatures Page where I’ve put the photos of the room boxes I’ve made. Enjoy!

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Miniature Auction and Fair

Well the Mini Auction and Fair has come and gone. Last week this time I was working like a raving lunatic trying to create some stock for sale. I managed to make about 60 items before I ran out of steam at around 2:30am Saturday morning. Set up was at 8am. Suffice to say I arrived late! LOL. No worries – didn’t have that much to set up anyway.

There were some incredible items up for auction this year – oh to be a millionaire! I behaved and didn’t spend any money which I didn’t have! I got the reserve price on all my submissions and managed to sell about half my stock. Came home with some orders too. So all in all it was a really good day business wise. Even better was the fact that I got to see friends I’ve not seen for ages!! Once a year really isn’t enough, but somehow none of us get to travel that much – I’m not just around the corner and don’t belong to the Guild anymore. I’ve been asked to do the miniature fair in September and I think I will. If I keep plugging away at stock I should have way more than the 60 items I had this time around! ROFL

I want to make more items around the Italian theme – ciabatta, pizza, etc. etc. It’s a fun project to work on. And cakes – LOTS of cakes and pastries. I always enjoy doing those.

Aside from that I’m working on getting pictures and prices up so I can start selling items via the Internet. I have a blog – not a website! Wonder if I’ll ever master that particular monster? I’m definitely technologically challenged.


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Happy Easter everyone. Hope it was a good one.

I decided to go ahead and submit a couple of pieces for the annual miniature auction – not without arm twisting by my friend Barbara.

I started out with the intention of making cakes – paged through masses of cookery books, found recipes on the web that were possitively delectable – and didn’t make a single cake. Oh I started! LOL. Made about 30 different cake stands, but not a cake in sight. Not even a crumb!

Instead I woke up Easter morning with a vision of pasta, pasta and more pasta – so, a pasta table it is. Made the table, made fettucine, tagliatelle, fusilli, lasagne, canneloni. Made some cooking, some cooked with sauce and ready to serve, some served and dough being made. I found a way to make empty broken egg shells, found that twisting clay to make fusilli is a LOT harder than it looks – especially to keep it even sized! – and discovered that one CAN get hungry making miniature food from polymer clay!

The Italian theme has grabbed my imagination. All I want to do now is make pizza, ciabatta, salami, pannacotta, panneforte and all the other wonderful, yummy things I like to eat! Plus the ingredients to make them – you know, things like peppers, tomatoes, olives, cheeses etc etc. You can get lost in cookery books – my Italian Bible is full of gorgeous dishes I’m dying to make – for real and in mini.

Barbara popped round to check on work in progress yesterday afternoon and found a sushi platter and a tiered candy stand in my drawer of bits and bobs that I was hoping to keep for my dollshouse! Sigh….. guess I’ll have to make myself another one since those two were also snagged for the auction! LOL. AFTER I recover from the Italian cooking spree I’m on.

For now though, my desk is tidied, photos taken and uploaded to flickr, so if you want to take a look you’re welcome!


I added some photos of the minis I made for last years auction too, as well as the last batch of Christmas photos of the nativity scene I painted for my next door neighbour.

I’m off to deliver the auction items safely into Barbara’s greedy little paws.

Till next time.

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It’s been a while! Life is so hectic this year I barely get time to turn around and the day is gone.

Tonight was the CATA award ceremony in which I was nominated for Best Set Design. Talk about feeling intimidated! I was up against 3 other candidates and tonight I got to meet those people for the first time. They were ALL males and have been in the industry for many, many years and many major theatre productions. Here’s little me, newcomer, first major theatre production and I get nominated along with these guys! Suffice to say one of the other productions took the Best Set Award, but Midsummer Nights Dream took the choreography award, as well as the Best Play! Quite an achievement and I was much relieved I didn’t have to trip up the stage to accept an award.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on orders and getting those done, trying to sell my house and getting nowhere, coping with my daughter and her impossible dance schedule, working on the 007 production and is if all that isn’t enough, decided to follow my yen to start a scrapbooking group on Yahoo Groups. It’s called ScrapCITY and you’ll find it in the links section. I’ll have to go find the URL to post it. Still don’t remember it off by heart! Too much on my little brain! I’ve been talked into becoming co-owner on 3 other groups as well – fortunately none of them require a huge amount of input, so time pressures there aren’t nearly as bad as they could be.

The minis are coming along slowly – need to pick up speed a bit – the auction cut off is around the corner. If I decide to go ahead and submit something this year. Right now I’m in two minds. Too much split focus and I’m kinda wondering if I really need to take on something else. We’ll see. My main focus really has to be on generating income. Still haven’t found another job and the workshops are non-existant! 😦 Think I’ll try and survive this week first and then decide what to do about the minis.


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