Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ima Giftgiver Snowman

One new piece added to SpookyTime Jingles tonight at midnight!!!! This little guy is "Ima Giftgiver", and he holds a small wrapped gift in his skinny twig-like fingers. He was formally attired, top hat and all, and the children decided to hold a neighborhood rendition of "Frosty the Snowman," and took his top hat leaving him with one of their stocking caps. He took it so well, commenting that at least the stocking cap was the same in color as his vest!! You see him wearing a huge toothy grin and delicately holding the gift he has for his Christmas sweetheart.

There are many more photos available of Ima on my Flickr site, so go give him a look there and on SpookyTime Jingles ... he just might need to come live with you!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fastmache Santa and Paperclay Elf WIPs

This is a busy week with the tree farm opening on Friday and having Thanksgiving here on Thursday, so I won't be posting much. I did manage to sculpt a fastmache Santa using the dish detergent in the clay mix over the much nicer to work with!! The clay isn't sticking to my tools or my fingers nearly as bad since I tried Deb's method.

Below is the second figure I finished up over the weekend as well. It is a new seated paperclay elf with upraised hands and an ornament hanging off of his toe. He has another element coming in the design, but it isn't affixed to the figure yet.

They are almost dry so I will start painting soon. Wow, can't believe that Thanksgiving is only two days away!!!!

Have a great day and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blog Award...thank you Sandra!!

I just got this award from Sandra of Babycakes Cornbread Kids ...
Uber Amazing Blog Award !!
Well, thank you for the award and surprise Sandra!

The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs(can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award
by commenting on their blog.
*" Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from."

There are so many great blogs out there but here are 5 I love....I will limit myself to 5 to let the joy be passed around!!
1. Designs by CK...can't tell you all how much I love his blog and this guys art!!
2. Crescent Hill Designs...such talent in one little body!!
3. Cart Before the Horse...Jo and Dylan amaze me weekly with their new work!
4. King of Mice Studio...Carolee is the Queen of Cool with her painted pieces
5. Bone"Head" Studios...Flora's work delights me and she is so generous in spirit...a little gem!

Now, I left off like 20 people I love, so I'm leaving it up to these 5 to spread the award...I'm leaving this in good hands!!

I'm off to leave them notes to let them know about this!!

Have a great Saturday!!

Small Santa

Finished another small Santa for an order and wanted to share something else with you regarding paper mache clays. HopHopJingleBoo's, Debra Schoch, sent me a note telling me to add a few drops of liquid soap to my clay mix to help with the clays texture and with my hand's getting so dry. I passed that information on to another celluclay artists and she didn't notice much difference in the texture or how the clay sticks to your hands. Yesterday I mixed a new batch of clay and added not a few drops, but a full teaspoon of dish soap to my measured clay water, stirred the soap gently into the water, poured the water over the powdered paper mache material and got the most wonderful clay mix. The clay wasn't as sticky, it tooled beautifully and my hands don't feel like I worked in cement. Thank you Debra for sharing that information with me, and to my other clay buddy, give it another try with a more generous addition of dish soap. It really does work and I will never mix another batch without it.

Have a great day and happy creating!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Elf Done, One To Paint, One to Sculpt

Well, I have one elf painted, one in clay needing paint and one more elf to sculpt yet this week, plus the two Santa figures that need to be done. If you wonder why you aren't hearing much from me that is why. Below is the little elf that was just completed. He is loaded with details and holds both an ornament and a candy cane. Both the ornament and candy cane are independent and not physically attached to the figure, so they can be moved back and forth between the hands if the owner wants.

He has a sweet face without too much mischief in his eyes.

I'm really excited because I may get to meet the owner if her travel arrangements allow for stopping by Kearney on her way to or from Colorado next week. I'll let you know if it happens.

That's it for today. Errands to run, eye appointment, and sculpting on the agenda so I'm off to the races!!! HA!

Have a great day and happy creating!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My New Precious

Janell Berryman of Pumpkinseeds Originals creates the most wonderful clay figures and I confess I have been sort of cyber-stalking her, but in a nice way, and finally made contact with her to purchase an original. This is my new "precious" from Janell. Isn't he adorable?!!!!!! He sits on a shelf with some of my other collected figures and as the days get closer to Christmas I'll share the shelf contents with you.

Look at the detail on this little guy...and the hats with reindeer antlers just crack me up!

Santa even has holly leaves and berries on his the striped pants and stockings too!!

Thank you Janell!!!!!!!!! I will treasure this little guy always!!

Remember, purchase handmade when you can for Christmas. I told my husband this was my Christmas present...he asked me what year, 2020 or 2021?! HA!!! I am naughty about that, I must say!

Have a super day and happy creating!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SpookyTime Jingles Twice As Nice!!!!

Wow, wow, wow!!!! Not only is SpookyTime Jingles marketplace updating on the normal date of December 13...BUT, it will also be updating on December 1--TWICE in December to help our collectors get that special gift in time for Christmas!!!! WOW!!! That wonderfully crazy Dani ran with the idea so I better go get my fingers in clay right now!!!

I'm thinking both naughty and nice!!! HA!

Have a great day and happy creating and collecting!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Second Elf

I finished putting the second paperclay elf together on Saturday so here he is in clay. I have one more elf I want to do, but I have to finish another short Santa for an order so I have to go back to fastmache this week. I also have a lot of painting to get done so this will be a short post so I can get to the studio table!!

This little elf is affixed to the lid of a papier mache box. He can be lifted to allow you to use the box for storing a little "something-something" or for placing a small gift inside. Like I have said before, these are great to use as a gift box for jewelry. (Yes, I have jewelry disease.)

He is holding two little ornaments because the elves are decorating the Christmas tree at the North Pole. The ornaments will be vintage inspired when painted.

That's it for today!!!

Happy creating all...such a busy time of the year for us, but isn't it fun?!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Marie Antoinette Award from Flora

That little Flora at "Bone *Head* Studios" just gave me a blog award called the Marie Antoinette Award, A Real Person, A Real Award!

Here are the Rules for the Award:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them

Let's see, now here is my list of blogs I lose my head over:

1. Designs by CK-Chris
2. Kim Hardt Originals-Kim
3. Chicken Lips-David
4. Pieces of Me-Sheila
5. PJ's Talking-PJ
6. The Holiday Queen-Melissa
7. Fat Jak Originals-Jackie

Love this group so go give them a look!! Now I need to send each of them a message!!
Have a great day and thank you Flora!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working on Elf Figures

Just finished an elf that has inspired me to get a few more done for Christmas. This little guy is already spoken for , but I was pretty happy with the results so decided maybe one or two more little pointed-ear boys needed to be made from paperclay before I switch back to fastmache.

I love making the ruffled collars out of clay. The paperclay works perfectly for this and doesn't stick to my fingers like other clays do while I'm folding the clay back and forth to form the loops. Like most of you working in paperclay, I always have a bowl of warm water beside me to clean my fingers as necessary, and also to dip the clay in if I feel it needs some moisture as I'm working. I looked at the slacks I had on the day I worked on this head, and obviously I use my legs to dry my fingers on after I moisten them in the water!!!! I really need a new work apron, but I keep thinking I will find my old one and so it goes!

Oh, huge tip, never pour your work water down the sink, or wash your clay covered clothes without knocking off the excess dry clay because it will cause problems with your plumbing. I am very careful about that...too many potters have told me horror stories about plumbing bills because of plugged drain lines on their work sinks. I also remember the sewer smell in the ceramics lab one day when I was in college because they were cleaning out the drain line and I don't want that in my house. ICKY!!!

Well, that was a lovely thought to leave in your head as I end this post. I need to get back to the clay!!
Have a great day and happy creating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SPOOKYTIME JINGLES Update tonight at Midnight EST!!!

Just a reminder that tonight at Midnight EST, 11:00 p.m. Central Time, 10:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time; SpookyTime Jingles will update with new works by that very talented group of artists I am so happy to be associated with!!! If you are looking for that special handmade, one-of-a-kind original work of art for that special collector, or yourself, this is the place to look.

Above, are the "3 Jingles" I will have this month on my Christmas page. You can go to SpookyTime Jingles by clicking on the top icon in the right column of this blog... so go take a peek as soon as the marketplace opens in your time zone!!! The works above show in more detail on the marketplace page, and I also provide you a link on STJ to my Flickr page, which has a number of photographs of each piece showing you side and rear views of the works as well.

Don't hesitate, the artist at SpookyTime Jingles have a following and I wouldn't want you to miss that special piece you find and fall in love with!!! There will be something for everyone!!!

Have a great day and happy collecting!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday's Show and STJ!!

Saturday was a home football game day in the Cornhusker State, so the community of Lincoln had it's regular population plus "35,000 of our closest friends" as my husband would say. It was nuts!!!! Many people drive in the night before the game and I had buyers from all over that had stayed with relatives that brought them to the show before the game. Below I am talking to an early customer (the show didn't open until 9:00, but there are always those few that get in to look early) in what looks like a sea of florals. Yes, I am a floral designer of sorts and it pays for my papier mache habit plus works nicely with our Christmas tree farm!

Positioned amongst the greenery are the papier mache figures. Hubby did a Powerpoint of my figures on a laptop and put it on a loop and you could not believe the number of people that stopped and watched the entire 60 image loop run through both finished and works-in-progress images. Many would look up and ask me, "you made these?" there is still that problem with people looking at quality handmade items and not being able to discern they aren't reproductions. Because the Powerpoint was such a hit I am investing in a digital picture frame now to do the same thing for future shows. I think it helped me sell some of my pieces on Saturday.

It was such a gooooooooddd show!! The first three hours were almost too much and if my dear sister, Theresa, hadn't stayed to help, and my husband hadn't continually brought in new items, I couldn't have managed it by myself. I was also thrilled that my sister from Missouri, Cynthia, stopped and picked up Mom to bring her to the show as well. My family is simply the best!!!! They are such great supporters and I just don't get to see them often enough to please me so this was a wonderful addition to the they are just fun to be around!

With the economic news not being the best these days I was thrilled with the end results and couldn't have asked for a better crowd. This show moved into the number 2 spot for my best sales ever at a one-day show, and the show 2 weeks ago fell to the number 3 spot, so I consider myself very fortunate for this recent success.

Here is hoping the rest of you have the same good fortune through the upcoming holiday season. I just keep my fingers crossed that we get out of this mess soon and that sales improve for everyone!!

Well, I need to finish my pages for SpookyTime Jingles today!!!! Remember that at 12:00 a.m. eastern time, in the first minutes of November 13, the pages update so if you are looking for unique one-of-a-kind handmade items for gifts this holiday season, this is the place to go!!!! In a few days I will show you what I got from one of the STJ artists and you will be green with envy!! HA!

I need to get to work!! Have a great day! Laurie

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bye-Bye Peek-a-Boo

Great show this weekend in Lincoln. Lots of traffic and plenty of buyers. I took "Peek-a-Boo" with a group of papier mache pieces to the show and he was purchased early on. I had to box him for delivery so he was behind me, and of course everyone wanted "that" piece. So fun to see collectors, familiar faces and to meet new customers as well. As much fun as I have at these shows, loading in 30 degree temperatures and windchills in the 20s, I am glad it was my last retail show for the year!!!!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and we will talk at you tomorrow!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Open Eyed Santa on Base WIP

I almost have a new Santa finished on a base and instead of painting the base as a chimney I decided to paint a little landscape below the Santa, plus I sculpted him to allow me to paint his eyes open. Not many of my Santa figures have open eyes so this makes him a bit more unusual for me. Santa is made of fastmache and the base is made of wood. He sits freely on top of the base in a slight indentation and his mitten covered hand holds him in place.

Below is the close up of the base with an evening winter scene showing the moon already in the sky above a small home with a snowman and evergreen tree. I may add snow flakes to this today.

Side view of Santa's torso and head below...Santa has a stocking made to hang from his hand, but I don't have it antiqued yet so it isn't in the photograph. I will finish it later today. We are so overcast I hate to paint on these days, but I need to finish him up!!

Close up of Santa's face below with the tassel hanging down to his cheek...Santa can be such a fashion diva!

Need to get to the studio. Lots of little things to finish for the show on Saturday!!

Happy creating and have a great day!! It is feeling and looking like winter is approaching here today! Brrrrrrrrrr

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Told You the Snowmen Were Coming!!

I told you that the Snowmen were coming and here are two more of them for the upcoming winter and Christmas season. Below are the gift bearing snowman and the top hat snowman with candy canes. Both are made of fastmache and are painted in acrylic paints with a matte varnish finish.

Both snowmen are in very decorative vests with red and white peppermint buttons and trims and both also wear decorated head covering. The top hat snowman below has a red and white painted hat band with a sprig of holly and berries painted above. He also has 2 candy canes coming out of the top of his pocket on his vest.

Below you can see that the top hat snowman has on a pair of little black dress shoes with red and white striped laces holding them on his feet. This snowman is built on a box and by lifting his body the lid can be opened and closed on the black box. Great for concealing a special Christmas gift in so that when they unwrap and see the figure you can smile knowing what they really wanted (jewelry or such) is actually in the box base of the figure.

Below is the face of the gift bearing snowman with a stocking cap on his head. The children were really generous with the snow when they built his nose so he has an equally big smile as well.

The gift bearing snowman has on a lovely black vest with a holly sprig coming out of his pocket and a big peppermint button to hold his vest closed. His vest is also painted in a red and white trim that goes all the way around his torso.

I just realized looking at his legs that the boys don't have their striped stockings on so off to the studio table to add more detail to finish them off!!! Oops!

Happy creating and have a great day!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Snowmen Are Coming

I finally am getting back to putting some paint on my papier mache pieces and will continue to do so throughout today. This makes me very happy. I'm always a little surprised with how a piece turns out...I have this idea in my head and as I'm painting a little bump in the papier mache may make me alter a brushstroke here or there, and sometimes they develop their own personalities because of that. I lightly sand the surface prior to putting on paint, but even with the sanding the bumps in the surface eventually add to the character of the piece. The little snowman below is an example of that!!

This is the second snowman that has a base the ball just sits within allowing the torso to be slightly tipped to adjust to the level the figure is displayed on a shelf or cupboard. He has a large nose and holds a holly branch with sculpted leaves and berries.

He has a lovely smile and rosy cheeks, smiling from ear to ea...oops, he doesn't have any ears!!

Left side view.

Right side view above, and full figure with base view shown below. Notice the base isn't painted yet, and I won't show it until SpookyTime Jingles update on November 13!!

I have had a few emails asking me about the TV interview last week and if it could be viewed. You can view the interview by going to:
Go to the label banner and click on "NTV's Good Life", it will take you to the next page and then you scroll down the left side to "Artwork from Monkey-Cats Studio," click on the link and it will play the interview for you....or if your computer will allow you, you can click on the link below and it will take you directly to the interview.

Thank you for your lovely comments, have a great day and happy creating!!