MyStoryART is a delightful, eclectic blog that passionately shares with readers and listeners, wisdom tales and art adventures in mixed media, digital collage, polymer clay, assemblages, jewelry, tutorials, thrifty art tips and techniques. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Character Faces & Dolls in Polymer Clay

Well  it's hard to believe that it has been so long since I last posted!!  It has now been well over six months since my hip operation and I am glad to report that I am coming along just fine. I still can't walk very far or stand for any length of time but I am back to my early morning swims and trips to the gym, as well as dutifully (chuckle) going shopping  spending hubby's money and for the last couple of months teaching myself how to sculpt character faces in polymer clay.

I remember hearing somewhere along the way that it takes about 40 tries until you get it.  Yep... whoever said that was right!!  I have created some absolutely hideous looking faces and heads over the last few months.  I decided right at the beginning of this adventure that I would keep making them and smushing them up until I got one that looked like it wasn't from outer space.  Took about 25 tries and in the end the clay was so absolutely filthy from so much handling that I tossed it out too!

But today, after much trial and error, a bucketful of frustrating moments, a few choice words here and there and hours and hours and hours of practice,  I am absolutely tickled to share with you the fruit of my "labour"!

Meet Sister Mary Catherine, the music teacher and Samson, the music room cat.

Her music stand was easy to make to scale.  A couple of pieces of cardboard, some paint, a dowel and clay and she was in "business".  Her music book is made from some black leather I salvaged from the cover of an old encyclopaedia and some mini music sheets sewn together.

And Samson, the cat... well he's just being a lazy ole cat, lying there being lulled to sleep by the sweet voices in the children's choir the sister is leading in song.

At just 10" high, I think her personality shines through beautifully.  She has the sweetest face.  I discovered that I like to do older faces  They just have more personality.

It has been quite an adventure in costume making!  I scoured the Internet looking for doll patterns for nuns habits and came up empty.  Finally I decided that the only way she would be completed is if I figured out how to make her habit myself.  Well, if there is one thing I am good at, it's research!!  And, being a non-Catholic, what interesting information I stumbled upon along the way. 

Did you know that a nun's belt has five knots in it?  There is a knot for the five wounds of Jesus at his Crucifixion (both hands and feet and his side). 

In Mary Catherine's habit, there are seven pleats across the front for the seven virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, charity (or love).  In a real nun's habit, there are 7 more pleats across the front for the 7 deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)for a total of 14.

She has a set of little keys hanging from her belt as well as her crucifix which hangs around her neck. A gold ring, which signifies her marriage to God, is on her right hand (as some married Europeans do).  Some nuns wear their ring on their left hand (as some married North Americans do).

Her rosary (or prayer beads) with the cross tucks into her belt by her side and has 6 black beads (our Father beads) and 53 little pearl beads (Hail Mary beads)for a total of 59 beads.  If you are interested in finding out more about the rosary and how it is used in the Catholic faith, there is an excellent article here.

So I hope you have enjoyed being introduced to Sister Mary Catherine and now... on to my next project... an old fart and his "new" older gal friend.  This one is gonna take awhile!!

Wishing you an arty week,


Sooke Fine Arts Show 2013

What fun it was to go to the Artists Reception at the Sooke Fine Arts Show last night and discover my piece on display amongst all the other beautiful pieces of art in the show.   When I go to an art show in which a piece of mine is showing, I am rather like Nancy Drew on a mission (grin) wondering in which niche I will find it on display.  What a thrill it is to turn a corner and voila... there it is!  Last night was no exception.

My hip operation was cancelled at the last minute (it is re-scheduled towards the end of August) so I was able to attend the show.  It was made even more special knowing that my  piece had already sold.  

That was the message on the answering machine that greeted me when hubby and I got home from a last minute trip to Seattle to see the Chihuly Gardens of Glass which I have been wanting to see for quite some time now and still get back in time for the show.  

Preview night (the night before the art show officially opens) attracts gallery owners and art lovers who pay a premium to get into the show beforehand to browse and purchase art they are attracted to.  It's quite a thrill to have a piece sell on preview night.

As promised a couple of weeks ago, here is a photo of the polymer clay shoe I entered.  The name of the piece is "Malona Flanick" and yes, it's a pun on a rather famous Spanish shoe designers name... the shoe designer reputed to have created "toe cleavage" in the women's fashion shoe industry.  If you ever watched "Sex in the City" when it was on T.V.... you'll have a good little chuckle as you make the connection!

When you first see the fruit on the "flan" part of the shoe, it looks very real... almost good enough to just pick one of the mouth watering berries off and pop it in your mouth!  What fun I had making that shoe.  Having it turn out exactly the way I had envisioned it right down to the colour of the "custard" on the "crust" and the "blue-black" of the blueberries and blackberries was a real bonus.

Thanks for stopping by for peek.  If you live in the Victoria area, make a point of going to this year's show... it's on until August 5th.  This year's show is even better than last year's... and I thought that one was hard to beat!

Have an arty week...


A Cause for Celebration...

It's been a couple weeks of pleasant surprises...

I was thrilled and excited to find out last week that my entry into the Sooke Fine Arts Festival at the end of July was accepted!!  I do promise to post a photo of my entry once the show starts.  Hint, hint, it's another whimsical piece that will generate a few smiles along the way.

Creating whimsy just seems to work for me.  Over the years I have come to realize  that when I am having an absolute blast creating something that just delights me to pieces and makes me laugh during the process, it will likely make the cut if I enter it into a show.  It's a handy barometer that saves me a lot of entry fees that's for sure!!

Unfortunately I am probably not going to be able to go to the show itself because...

My name came up on the surgery list about two months earlier than expected and I will be going in the hospital at mid month for hip replacement surgery.  Can't come soon enough for me!!  Once they fixed my foot a couple of years ago and I learnt how to walk properly again, I started having major problems with the hip on that side.  The last six months have been pure *hell* trying to walk so a "new hip" can't come soon enough for me.  This is a good thing!

But that's not art room mascot, Susie Q, told me there were some more pleasant surprises in store for me.  So who is Susie Q?  Well allow me to introduce you to her.

She is a paper doll that I drew (modeling it after a 1930's cartoon character) and she wears polymer clay runners on her feet so she can stand alone and hop about when the mood strikes her!  She likes to hang out in my art room watching me work but enjoys a wander through the "teapot garden" in the little side garden next to our house on a sunny day too.

You see, recently I sold one of my domain names that I had had for a number of years.  It was interesting looking at the stats before it sold.  Susie Q hinted over tea one day that perhaps it would be interesting for me to find out what kind of traffic this blog has had over the time it has been hanging out in cyberspace too. 

Personally, I don't really pay very much attention to that side of blogging... I just do it...and let people know when I have a new post.  So imagine how far my jaw dropped when I discovered that well over 150,000 folks have stopped by for a visit since I started the blog.  This post, once published,  will be number 191!! WOW!  I was blown away. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine statistics like that when I started down this "blog" path.

So allow me to say thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and your continued support of this blog over the years.  I am truly grateful for all the lovely emails and comments I have received from you and the "friends" I have made through blogging.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

Now It's been awhile since I have put together a give-a-way as a thank you.  I hope you understand that right now I just have too much to do getting me, the house and hubby ready to get through the operation and the next couple months of healing.  However, I promise I will do something special once I am back on my feet again (literally... LOL).  Will give me something to think about while I am recuperating! 

So until we meet again in cyberspace, I wish you a wonderful couple of "artful" weeks over the summer,


If the Shoe Fits...

 Fantasy Art Shoes that will bring a smile to your face and a chuckle to your heart...

Oh naughty me for not having posted since the beginning of last month!  My big excuse... I have been very busy with art *stuff*, doing some spring cleaning and supervising (tee hee) hubby's planting of our garden for this year. 

It is about to get even busier in our household as my hip replacement surgery date was set this week for the middle of next month.  Of course this would happen after I bought my super duper backpack beach chair for this beach this summer!  The sun had better shine a lot in the next few weeks so I can at least get to use it LOL

I did promise awhile back to post photos of the shoes I created for entry into the Coast Collective Shoe Show in mid May.  Of course I meant to post them earlier... before the show began... and alas the show has come and gone BUT I did take photos of my entries. 

The show was delightful to wander through and discover paintings, sculpture, and drawings you could purchase of  vintage shoes, boots, running shoes, fantasy shoes, RCMP riding boots, sandals, high heels as well as real shoes all "gussied" up... you name it, it was there.

I had a real blast making my shoes for the show.  It was a lot of fun and I laughed a lot as they came together.  It's delightful to experience that kind of joy when creating "art"!

The first shoe is called "Meal on Wheels" and the wheels on the shoe actually do turn!  Made from polymer clay, that cheeseburger, topped with a dill pickle and the crispy fries look so real you could almost pluck them off the shoes for a little snack and the strawberry for dessert is mouth watering luscious. 

I was surprised that this shoe "art piece" didn't sell at the show... it is just adorable sitting on a windowsill or shelf in a kitchen.  It certainly brings a smile and chuckle to the faces of people who see it!  Guess it is just waiting for the right person to come along, see it and want to give it a home in their kitchen. In the meantime, it will sit on the top of my pie safe in my kitchen along with Chef Pierre (remember him from a few posts ago?) and look cute!

The second shoe "Which is Witch?" is something to behold when you see it with light shining on it.  The sparkles are glorious... and something that photos just can't seem to capture and do justice to!

This shoe is a combination of many different mediums... a real shoe, paper mache, bookboard, clay, ribbon, acrylic paint, and more glitter than you can shake a stick at LOL. 

Anxious to see what it would look like and being somewhat impatient to get it finished,  I started applying the glitter at my art table.  I just happened to look down to see my little white dog, hovering around my feet,  starting to glisten and sparkle in orange, purple and glow in the dark glitter!  Well outside we went, pretty darn quick I can tell you, to finish the job.  Hubby remarked that we had the only glittering grass in our little village for at least a week. 

Once it was done, I just smiled every time I looked at it.  What a perfect Halloween shoe... I just loved the way it turned out.  Well I wasn't the only one it seems... "Which is Witch?" sold at the show and is now in a new home... no doubt bringing smiles to the face of its new owner.

So there you have it!  There is a third shoe that I did... I was definitely into this... that is just as delightful as these two... actually I think even more so,  but I am saving it for now.  I may enter it into an upcoming show and see if it makes the cut.

Have an "arty" week and see you soon...


The Wise Old Crone....

Allow me to introduce you today to Matilde, the wise, old crone and storytelling muse who has resided in the creative side of my mind for many years. 

She has finally been brought to "life" through the magic of polymer clay and doll making.  She is a "stump" or bolster doll who stands 17" tall with a polymer clay face and hands.  Her arms and hands can move so she can be bent into different poses.  She has a lovely, old and craggy face that I imagine someone who has been around as long as she has (for she is ancient) must have...

She is made from three pieces of beautiful batik fabric in purple, turquoise and green that I had stashed away to save for a special project. They certainly aren't to "scale" for the size of the doll but I think you can get away with it in a doll like this.

Even though you really can't see it in the photos, the front of her dress has a series of pockets in which to stick "stuff"... tiny stories, favourite quotes, little books, dried flowers or small trinkets that hold meaning for me.  Sitting on the credenza in my studio,  in front of the window that looks out onto my "rock garden" on the side of our house, she reminds me each day to ...

Dance like the Maiden
Laugh like the Mother
Think like the Crone

It was a fun project... so much so I am almost (but not quite) ready to make another one!!   

A big thank you to all of you who "liked" this blog last week.  I really appreciate your support in helping me get a Facebook page going!  Now I just have to get to it...LOL

Have a great weekend,