Friday, August 29, 2008

Whew, Got Some Sculpting Done

Sorry for my absence this week with posting, but I had some commission items, appointments and necessary studio time that took precedence. I actually had a pretty productive week and have three new works in progress to show you...the Pumpkin Brothers at the Carnival. (notice the carnival theme is still in my mind)

The center figure is the oldest bother, "Gourdon", holding his belly and giving a hardy laugh because of the witch joke they just heard at the carnival. Those Pumpkin brothers do like their witch jokes. "Gourdon" is shown with his two younger brothers, "Sliver" and "Slice".

Close up of "Gourdon" below

"Gourdon" with his younger brother, "Slice, the Bat Toting Pumpkin Brother"

"Slice, the Bat Toting Pumpkin Brother" full figure

Close up of "Slice" with "Count"

"Sliver the Boo-loon Toting Pumpkin Brother"

Close up of Boo-loon and Sliver

Let's just hope that the boys hang onto to those strings tight and that "Gourdon" is able to keep Slice and Sliver in line at the carnival. No spiders in the punch please!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New eBay Listing

Little Stitches on the Boo Box was listed tonight on eBay which will run through the Labor Day weekend. It is my first painting/sculpture piece offered for sale on eBay, and only my second listing so wish me luck!!!

I realize that the holiday listing wasn't the best planning but I am trying to run my auctions starting on a Monday so I just decided to bite the bullet!! I have so much studio work to get done this week I will pop in and out with only short postings.

Thank you for stopping by!!


Increased Text Size

I received a request to enlarge the point size of the font in the blog text so it would be easier to read so if the blog looks a bit different today that might be why.

Not much new over the weekend as far as the studio is concerned. I finished this little "Skelly in a Top Hat with the Whirling Bat" commission to be shipped out tomorrow. He is another version of the smaller pieces I started last month mounted on a base with "critters" flying overhead, mixed with some of my standard dyed/painted raffia collars. I had made a top hat for a snowman in progress. and as a joke I put it on the clay Skelly head and "oh, I think I like it" popped into my brain. I photographed it, sent it to the buyer for consideration and they agreed.
The whirling vampire bat swirls around the top hat trying to intimidate Skelly, but he treats it more as an irritation than a threat with a smile from ear to ear...oops, Skelly has no ears, but you catch my meaning. The base has a painted graveyard entrance gate, moon, bats and stars to add to the pieces interest. I hadn't planned on posting this piece but the cupboards were getting bare so it was the only bone I had to throw...hope you don't mind!!
Need to get cracking, I got a late start today!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Update on the 2 FastMache Santa Clause Figures

Made some progress the last two days with paint on some of the figures you have seen previously in an unpainted state. Below are the 2 bald Santa figures with some paint splashed on them. They do start taking on personalities of their own when the paint starts being added in layers.

One figure will be on a box which I think I will paint like a brick chimney. The lid with Santa can be lifted off of the box bottom so you actually have a small storage box to put something wonderful inside. I like the idea of a diamond jewelry gift box on the inside , but then we all have dreams!! HA! The other Santa is on a small paper mache box base and eventually will have more painted snow on his base and boots

Close up of Santa 1 holding his belly as he giggles. His bottom glove has a hole through it to suspend a small little dolly I made which is just primed and not painted yet.

Close up of the Santa with the bag. I still need to add the tiny bits of blue to form the iris of the eyes and then the box base needs to be painted inside and out.

There are belts on these figures but their bellies hide them.

Side view of the Santa carrying the can also see his round ball buttons on his shirt in this view.

I just bought more of the FastMache (yes, it is one word according to the manufacturer) and plan on using it on a few more pieces. If these had both been celluclay I wouldn't have been able to paint them yet due to the drying time so this new mix is helping me with increasing my output. I'm still experimenting with a paperclay/celluclay blend that does what I want it to, but I'm still messing with the proportions that will give me the textural look of celluclay while decreasing the drying time. I feel I'm pretty close and have used a mix several times that is sort of working, but I think I need to decrease the amount of paperclay just a little bit...I cook like this too. Pretty scary isn't it!

Happy creating and have a great day!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blog Award!!

Isn't this just the sweetest gift!! Kim Hardt, of Kim Hardt Originals, just bestowed this blog award on me and I am so honored!! I adore Kim and her work and getting this from her is like receiving knighthood from the queen!! Thank you Kim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I have to pass the award on to 7 more deserving bloggers that I drool over regularly!

Carolee -- King of Mice Studios

Tonya -- BaCk PorCh PiCkins

Christy --CC's Whimsies

Lance --Crescent Hill Designs

Joyce --Enchanted Productions

Johanna -- Johanna Parker Design

Sheila- Pieces of Me

Thank you for the award Kim, and thank you to the above listed artists that give me such pleasure in viewing and reading their blogs!!

Have a great day...I'm painting the Santa figures and maybe later mixing some clay!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I had a really good time playing in the studio yesterday and started putting the masquerade figure together that you saw earlier unpainted. He had started out as my EHAG carnival challenge piece and when I realized he wouldn't be dry in time to paint, assemble and meet the deadline I put him aside. As I worked on the piece yesterday he came off of the original box I constructed him on and was moved to the base shown below.

When I put the mask on the hand and angled it toward the forehead I thought he looked like he was playing that is his name, "Peek-a-Boo!!" I also did something new for me in this piece. The sleeves and cuffs aren't clay, but are made of ribbon. It allowed me to give a softer look to the clay piece and I think I like it in combination with the feathers and pearls on the mask.

Okay, maybe I got a tad carried away with the mask ornamentation, but hey, if I owned a carnival mask I would want pearls, feathers and jewels on it too!! I had some antique pearls from a broken necklace in a box and they became the "bling" on the mask along with some small facet cut beads. I still have to permanently attach him to the base but I think he is done.

Peek-a-Boo!! Hope you like him!!

Have a great day and happy creating!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

HopHopJingleBoo's Debra Schoch

When I started looking at blogs just over 3 months ago, there were some artists producing bodies of work that I found I was very strongly attracted to. I decided if I started selling my work on the internet, I was going to try to start collecting from some of these artists. I spotted this Halloween Bunny and was so sad to discover it had been sold. I liked it so much that I sent the artist, Debra Schoch, a note telling her I knew it wasn't available but that it just "spoke to me" and I wanted her to know how much I enjoyed the piece. Much to my pleasure, the person that purchased the work failed to pay for it so it was serendipitous, I was suppose to have this magical piece!! The universe had spoken!

Deb contacted me and asked me if I was betcha!! Below is my new precious. Love this piece from the tip of it's ears to the bottom of the mary jane soles of those cute little shoes. The rabbit carries an orange and black swirl carnival sucker and a small trick or treat bag and look at those stockings!!! (love stripes) I just pick it up and smile. The box also came with some other goodies and to say I was pleased is an understatement! Deb rocks!!

I hope to add to the new collection soon!! I'm watching!!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

EHAG Challenge pieces

You have got to go to Joee's blog and see the wonderful EHAG challenge pieces up for auction on eBay. Fabulous, terrific, awe-inspiring, wow-factor pieces!!!

Go take a peek and then go to eBay when you see what needs to come to your house!!

This is going to cost me money I'm afraid!

Great weekend!!

Oh whew, had a pretty productive weekend. I was able to finish sculpting the Santa below with his bag over his shoulder out of FastMache. This is the second full piece I have completed in this material and it has the papier mache texture I like in my works. I hope to paint on the first piece today to see how it takes paint and if it goes well I may be using this material more in the future. Don't mix it with warm water I discovered or it will set-up on you fast like a rock!!

Close up of the face on this Santa with another big moustache and beard. The FastMache holds detail well as it dries and I really like that. I found the celluclay to warp some and a straight nose could become crooked overnight as it dried...which worked for me sometimes and frustrated me other times!!

Side view below shows Santa's coat collar, edge of his bag of goodies, facial profile and round tummy.

The humidity has been really high here with fog in the mornings, and of course means a longer drying time for the clays. I am going to sculpt again today to try to build some more inventory to paint and then paint some dry pieces tonight starting with Santa. I purchased another Ott-lite over the weekend and wonder why it took me so long to get them. They are magic for me!!!

I have a piece from HipHopJingleBoo artist, Deb Schoch that just had to come to my house to live to show you tomorrow. It is my new "precious."

Happy creating!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jacque is on eBay

I have just completed entering my first listing on eBay. Whew!!!! Blogging is much easier and fun for me because I don't have to know any of the HTML stuff, I can just type. Thank goodness for Sandy at Sam I Am Creations and for Lori at Retro Rudolph's for being the nicest people in the world and holding my hand through this. I must remember this in the future so that I reciprocate if I am ever asked...oh my goodness, poor person that would ever ask me!!! HA!

Wow, I feel such relief!! The auction is for 7 days so will end next Saturday. In the future I will post on Mondays and end on Sundays. That's my plan anyway!!

WHOO HOO!! Something new tomorrow!

Friday, August 15, 2008

eBay Delay

I have my HTML listing done for eBay, but still had so many questions regarding my first auction that I sent my questions out to auction veterans for their opinions. I will post later when I have the start date and time for the auction listings. I remember now why I hadn't done this earlier!!! HA!

What a week!! Pieces have gone out of my inventory to new homes, probably cleaner homes than mine at the moment, to begin new lives in Canada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Missouri. I am humbled and overwhelmed with the enthusiasm that many of you expressed this week over the SpookyTime Jingles posting for August. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and encouragement. Obviously some of our STJ artists and their friends have spread the word to their buyers about STJ, and they gave my work a look and enjoyed it enough to purchase the little spooks and jingles. I'm speechless...and that doesn't happen with me as many of you know by now!!!!

I started this journey June 14, and I had no idea it would take me on this path that I am so happy I started. Kim, I know I have thanked you before for telling me to just do it, but something led me to you for me to hear those words and I am forever in your debt.

With that, I am going to the studio for some clay therapy. Too much time on the computer makes Laurie a dull girl! Have some cake as Sam would say, and she also insists that you not bother with forks so use your fingers, but wash the clay off first, please!!!

Have a great weekend and happy creating!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tool Tag!!

Lance, from Crescent Hill Designs, tagged me to show my tools. (Oh boy, am I glad I cleaned last night!!!!!!) Anyway, below are the main tools I use, which are my clay tools. They look a little ragged, but if I sat in water the majority of my life I would look like this too!! When working I leave them in water to prevent clay crust build up on the tools. Besides the wood set, I also use a bone tool to work the clay in corners and to smooth surfaces out. The needle tool is a real popular tool for me too since I love to poke holes in things.

Below are a set of dental tools I use for the really detailed areas (eyes, mouths, etc.), a plastic knitting needle with lovely rounded yet pointy ends, a weaving needle with a rounded end, scissors and tweezers to pick up and hold small pieces.

I'm embarrassed to show my poor palette is from the 1970's and the other is only about 2 years old, but heavily used, plus a pot scraper...not a ceramic pot scraper but a kitchen pot scraper I use in the same way. I have 3 of them from pampered chef and I will never let them out of the studio for domestic use!!! I use all three for smoothing the clay surface.

Below are the workhorses, a multi-tipped screwdriver, pliers, needle-nose pliers, wire cutters and jewelry loop pliers.

A rolling pin...I work a great deal in the slab technique with the clays so I have a rolling pin specifically designated for clay use only.
Some of my brushes. I use synthetic and natural bristle brushes to paint on canvas and the sculpture pieces I make. There are also 2 measuring tapes on the left side of the lazy-susan brush holder, pencils, pens and sharpie markers. I didn't photograph it, but one of my new tools is a true color bench light. I can now paint with greater confidence at night that what I am seeing is the actually color I will see the next morning in daylight. That is a priceless in my book!!!

Now I think I am suppose to tag three more people so I am going to speculate on who Janell and Ann might pick and try not to duplicate:
1. Sheila from Pieces of Me
2. Kim from Kim Hardt Originals
3. Christy from CC's Whimsies

Happy creating

Posing at the Carnival Ball WIP (work in progress)

This will be a quick post today. I have given myself some deadlines to make and I would like to go to bed tonight...HA!!! Below is a WIP that I started about 2 weeks ago and is still in the "I'm deciding" stage. He is part of the Boo Box series and is called "Posing" at the Carnival. This is all of Chris's fault for putting carnival in my brain recently and the fact the theme has such potential for development with Halloween figures!! I had an aw-ha moment last night as I just put my head on the pillow and giggled that I needed one of the new "shock-tails" CK brewed to give me spooky dreams to build on. If you haven't see the "Shock-Tail" yet you have to click on CK Designs on my favorites list and give his work a look!! He does some of the most wonderful linear ink and wash work out there. They are inspired.

Close up of "Posing" at the Carnival below. I'm thinking special makeup needs to be worn by the little pumpkin head and maybe some bling on the mask...feathers, baby pearls and jewels perhaps? We will see!!

Happy creating!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tonight at Midnight SpookyTime Jingles has NEW works!!!

TONIGHT at midnight the new "spooks" and "jingles" come out for August on SpookyTime Jingles marketplace!! I've had some sneak peeks from some of my fellow artists and it looks to be another good month!!!

Set your alarm for 11:59 and have your computer on to view the new works available!!! Happy Shopping!

PFATT piece for August

Thinking outside the box...okay, sit on the box and think. Poor little stitched-eyed pumpkin didn't fully comprehend what the theme could have been, and in his simple mind this is what he came up with. This is the August PFATT work to go on eBay. He measures 6.75" x 5.75" x 5.75", is celluclay, paperclay, paper, fabric cording and dyed raffia on a hinged wood box painted with acrylics and sealed in a satin polymer finish. The pumpkin has brown stitched eyes and a toothed grin as he sits atop a border of pumpkin figures on his "Boo" box.

The box opens to display a printed paper lined lid of a halloween kitty, surrounded by black twisted cording and a paperclay bat on a tiny little black ball.

The lid goes from black on the top and sides variegated down to orange near the hinges.

I'm working the rest of the day on trying to get my eBay sales up and running so wish me luck. I will post when both this piece and Jacque are listed!!!
Happy Creating!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Sorry for the delay in posting a new message but I have been trying to get my SpookyTime Jingle pages fine tuned and ready for the August 13 update, plus PFATT piece for the 12th and EHAG piece for the 15th.

This morning Dietrich von Pumpkin started his journey to Canada to join a new family. I hope he doesn't keep anyone in his new family up at night because my cats have blamed him for a multitude of things in our don't suppose my little kitty angels could have been blaming him for something they were doing, do you?!!!! HA!!!

Speaking of kitty angels...Jake decided to help me photograph this morning. Elwood is one of those cats that could go through a china cabinet with no space and not knock a thing over and Jake is the bull breaking and knocking everything over, so when he decided to get near the new

Santa I was photographing this morning I got a little nervous. So, here is Jake with the new work in progress made in another new clay for me. It is another air drying clay, but sets up faster than celluclay and works similar to paperclay. It has some "bugs" I don't find desirable, like it will set up in a sealed plastic bag so there is some sort of chemical reaction in firming up with this clay I haven't experienced in any other clay.

As far as details the clay works great for me. It sets up just enough you can use clay tools to create texture in the beard, moustache and eye brows of the Santa, and in the smoother areas of the body it has a textural surface like the celluclay, which I like. Bought another bag this morning so I'm done experimenting with this material.

Below is a young praying mantis in my hail torn hosta leaves. He was actually hanging upside down and did not like my camera stuck in his face so I only got 2 shots before he moved. I rotated the photo so you could see him better. I never treat my flower beds with chemicals because of these guys. When they first hatch you can't find them they are so small, and I usually don't see them until they are about one half inch long, but this boy was just over an inch. There is a larger one in the same area that is over 1.5 inches long, but had moved off of the lily when I was looking for one to photograph. In the fall when they are full size I will have both this variety and a brown variety that flies. We leave our tall grasses up over the winter because they will lay their egg casings in the grass and we want them hatched before we cut the grass down.
I really enjoy watching them work in the grape vine and flower beds. Of course in the fall we know what the ladies do to the "fellas" so I would have to call them "Queen" of the insects in my yard!!
Happy creating!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jacque at the Carnival

This painting will be my first eBay auction item. Now you have to remember that I have only been online since June 14 with my work so this is a new hurdle for me!!! I need to thank a whole lot of bloggers for nudging me to get this done, and also apologize for not knowing exactly when this will list, but I am shooting for August 15. AHHHHHHH!! (Just joking)

Jacque at the Carnival is a painting I created for the August creative theme, halloween carnival, for EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artist Group). I am so excited to be associated with this wonderful group of artist that share a love of halloween!! It is pretty intimidating to be in their company and I hope to hold up my end because of the faith they have shown me by allowing me to participate. Very humbling.

Anyway, little Jacque is a pumpkin head dressed in traditional carnival attire (except for boo buttons instead of pom pons on the shirt) and is sooooo into masks that he has both a plain mask on his hat and carries one he just purchased at the carnival. Because it is a Halloween Carnival, he also purchased a pumpkin balloon with a carnival hat and ghoulish smirk. The green hat and tie under Mr. P. Balloon's chin is meant to "soften" the look of his less than cheery disposition, but I'm not so sure having to wear the hat isn't the reason for his displeasure. Mr. Pumpkin Balloon has been seen before in some of the borders of my work and I still feel he needs to be watched carefully even though he hasn't nudged another pumpkin off of the shelf yet!!

In the background is a tent and animal trailer for the creatures at the carnival.

Below is a close up of little Jacque with his silk scarf flowing from the top of his hat and another wrapping his head under his hat. I just thought he needed a ruffled collar to go with his attire so I gave him a nice cream colored one with a black border. Yo-Mo the spider didn't make it into this painting and she is a tad miffed, but the 8" x 10" work was getting alittle tight with all of the other elements so she will have to wait for the next painting.

I'm loving this theme idea...makes me think outside of my little studio world!! Hope you like Jacque and look for him on eBay on August 15!!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Father Christmas Figure

The lightning has stopped so the televisions and computer are plugged back in. From being on the fire department for 10 years I found out you can't trust a surge protector or power strip if your home gets struck from lightning. We entered one house on a fire call and all of the outlets had been blown out of the wall on the first floor and you could see the outline of the wiring through the drywall. Spooky!!! It makes you respect Mother Nature.

Since it is such a dark day today I will probably work on the computer this afternoon getting my SpookyTime Jingles Halloween and Christmas pages done for the August 13 update. things for sale from such a good group of artists?!!!! Below is a Father Christmas figure that I'm considering for the Christmas page. He is made from a clay blend with wood dowel legs...oh, I just realized you can't see his boots and base in either of these photographs...OOPS!! (I'll fix that later) Father Christmas wears a long hooded coat with the bottom edge blown back, and has his hands tucked up his sleeves. He has a textured beard and moustache to hold the darker accents on the facial area.

Father Christmas has light blue eyes and just faint eyebrows that almost match his coloring. His cheeks and tip of his nose are lightly tinted to indicate the effect the chill in the air has on giving his face a rosy glow, and you can also see his rosy lips just above his beard.

I don't know how many more of the Father Christmas or Belsnickels figures I will be making. I have one more started but I'm really a Santa girl at heart and love a jollier figure. No coal or switches ever came from the Santas of my youth, bad costumes maybe, but always a Thomas Nast type Santa !!

Tomorrow I'll be showing my first EHAG piece which will be selling on eBay. I thought I would have all of the eBay sales stuff all figured out, but I need to kick myself in the rear and just do it, learn from it, and try not to be "perfect" the first time out. So hard to get past the Virgo in me!!!

Happy creating!!


Lightning Storm

I'll post late today because we are having a lightning storm and I am unplugging the computer.
Show and Tell later!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jake is Done!!

Jake has his arms and paws now and he is ready to go out for an evening of fun. I gave him skinny little arms and oversized paws in proportion to them and it just works for me. I'm a tad heavy this month on the Halloween side of SpookyTime Jingles so you probably will not see him there during August. The second photo is a close up of the textural surface of celluclay, which I love because it antiques so beautifully. It also shows how some of the larger circles are black with an orange circle around them and then a black wash around the outside of the orange. Time consuming but so worth it!!
This is the whole figure with the painted graveyard base. It has lots of bats, stars, and other spooky characters that are Jake's friends. The finish I'm using is a matte liquitex varnish, but I'm finding it is really more of a satin finish when it dries on the surface.

Well, I need to paint today so I had better get going. Hope you like how Jake turned out and I hope to have Glycerin and Elwood completely painted and finished soon. I think 3 kitties will make a nice presentation ...if I can keep the live ones out of my art materials!!!!!!!!! Elwood is adamant about being on the studio table this week for some reason, but I'm viewing it as a good way to keep an eye on him and my chenille, yarn, wires, brushes, etc.!!! My little helpers!!
Happy creating!