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,


Guess Who's Cooking Dinner?

Okay, so a little mouse told me you've been wondering where I have been hanging out since my last post... well...

March and April have been chock full of creativity... finishing off three pieces for an upcoming art show (sorry can't show you the "creations" yet but according to my friend Karen you're gonna love 'em when you do get to see them) and learning to sculpt mini faces!

Boy, let me tell you... sculpting "little stuff" looks a lot easier than it actually is once you get down to it.  I have probably sculpted 20 little faces and then smushed (that is a word isn't it?) them up to start all over again. But the persistent being that I am, I kept going at it until I finally got one that I thought passed the test. 

A little background...

I first got interested in polymer clay as a way to make "stuff" for a dollhouse.  About five years ago, I could tell I was about to enter into my second childhood when my interest in dollhouses and mini dolls started to tickle my brain.  Well I made some cute little mini stuff... cups and plates, bread, cakes, cake stands, little perfume bottles, chocolates, sushi... a mish mash of just playing around.  I found I enjoyed making "little stuff" and played around with it for quite awhile.  I eventually put together my French Bistro Cafe (photo below) and then somehow got distracted by other projects I wanted to do.  I left minis behind... at least for the time being.

As I was dusting off my shelves just before Christmas, I opened up the box with the mini bistro in it.  I am a real Guy Buffet fan and I just love his chefs and waiters.  "Boy", I said to self, "wouldn't it be fun to try and make my own little chefs and waiters!  I could create a whole little scene for the top of the tin pie safe in my kitchen."

Oh dear, I should never say this kind of stuff to my "self"!  Another big learning curve coming right up....


So here we are TODAY ... hundreds (I kid you not!!) of hours later... and I finally have my first little chef!! 

Meet Chef Jean Pierre.  He's just finished baking a baguette for tonight's dinner.  I just love the smell of baking bread, don't you?  He made some delicious chocolate biscotti this morning for our after dinner latte this evening.  Would you like the recipe??? He'd be happy to share it with you.

 He is 7-1/2" tall (he can stand on his own) and is a regular little flirt with a sexy french accent.  He has studied and worked in some of the world's best french restaurants and I think you will agree, is as cute as all get out... soft, fluffy mustache and all!

See that waiter hovering around in the background?  He's on the list too!!

Well I must say "adieu" for now... Chef and I are about to sit down with a nice glass of wine and discuss dinner menus for the weekend...

Bon Appetit


P.S.  Only one more "like" on Facebook and I will be able to start creating a MyStoryART page.  Please join me on Facebook ... click the Facebook "like" button on the left hand side at the top of this post.  Thanks a bunch!!

Chameleon... a Juried Polymer Clay Art Show

This past weekend, I attended the Vancouver Polymer Clay guild's bi-annual Horizons "clayfest" retreat.  What a fun, interesting and delightful weekend of "artful" play with polymer clay.

My head is still spinning with all the new techniques and ideas I gleaned from the "mini" workshops and demos put on by such expert polymer clay artists as Joan Tayler, Carolyn Good, Ellen Kocher, Olga Osnach and Jem Redlich.

It was a delight for my friend Donna and I to share our table with the highly talented and generous Korean artist, Veronica Jeong.  She brought many a smile to our faces and helped us out with suggestions and ideas for our pieces when our heads were so full we couldn’t think straight!  LOL

By far, the highlight of our weekend (before we got down to some "serious" claying on Saturday and Sunday) was the noisy, laughter filled start early Friday evening as we scrambled onto an antique trolley car to be transported to the retreat's opening reception at the Seymour Gallery in the tiny village of Deep Cove, B.C.

Photos of Deep Cove, North Vancouver
This photo of Deep Cove is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Tucked away in a naturally beautiful corner of North Vancouver, the gallery is currently hosting "Chameleon", a juried art show of British Columbia polymer clay artists that is a celebration of polymer clay as a medium for artistic expression.  Although polymer clay has been available to artists for over seventy years, it has often been thought of as a craft medium for children.  Over the past twenty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the art world as more and more artists and serious craft people have turned to polymer clay as a medium for their artisitc endeavours..

I was thrilled to bits that my piece "AllSorts of Claying Around" piece was chosen to be displayed in the show.  As many of you know, I made a dish of clay allsort candy for my father in law for Christmas.  It was definitely a winner and the source of more than a few chuckles with him and my mother in law when he opened it up.  It took some convincing to get them both to believe that they weren't real.

One of my "arty" friends who saw the dish of "candy" before it was wrapped up for Christmas giving, suggested that I make another one and enter it in the Chameleon show.  I must admit, I rather procrastinated getting it done and had to scramble to get it entered for jurying, pretty much at the last moment and just before the deadline. I'm glad I did.  It never ceases to give me a little case of "goosebumps" when I see my "stuff" displayed in a gallery show.

The show was put together by well known polymer clay artist Joan Tayler and features western Canadian polymer clay artists Carolyn Joy Good, Rachel Gourley, Tina Holden, Gera Scott Chandler, Wanda Shum and Joan Tayler, as well as a selection of work by other fellow claying members of the Vancouver and Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Guilds.

The diversity of pieces displayed in the show will take your breath away.  For a quick peek at a tiny fraction of the many faces of clay and some of the pieces in the show, you can visit the Chameleon blog

If you live in the Vancouver area or are visiting Vancouver from other parts of the country, this is a must see show that runs every day from 10am to 5 pm until March 2.  Just drop by the Seymour Gallery website for some quick directions on how to get there!

Thanks for stopping by,


Bet Mr. Levi never thought he'd see these...

cute jean place mats with bandana napkins sitting on the kitchen table...

If you've got an old pair of jeans hanging around that have seen better days, these place mats are super easy to make in a couple of hours.   I made these mats a couple of weeks ago from new jean material and attached two back pockets from an old pair of my hubby's jeans.  You could cut the mats from the jean legs if you wanted to... you may need to adjust the size.  Here's what you need if you want to make a pair of mats like mine:

Jean Place Mats

3/4 yard of jean material
gold coloured thread
twin needle (optional)
3/4 yard of fusible batting for the back
2 jean pockets... you can also use the pockets from kids jeans... they are somewhat smaller

If you are using new material, make sure you wash/dry it before cutting it out. These instructions are for one placemat.

Cut one piece of jean fabric 20" x 18".  Sew a pocket  to the fabric on the right hand side, Place approximately 3-1/2 inches from the bottom edge of the fabric and 1-3/4 inches from the side.  Sew around the pocket to attach it to the "placemat:" using gold coloured thread.

Serge all four edges of the fabric.  Fold under 1" on all sides. Press with an iron.  Cut the batting 18" x 16".  Fold back the fabric and iron the fusible batting on to the back of the jean fabric.  Fold the "seam allowance", miter the corners , fold back over the batting and pin. On the right side, sew all around the placemat in a double row.  You can use a twin needle or do each row approx. 1/4" apart.  You're done!

Bandana Napkin

1/2 yd, red bandana fabric
1/2 yd. blue bandana fabric

This is enough fabric to make 4 napkins.

Cut a 14" square out of both the red and blue bandana fabric for each napkin.  Pin wrong sides together.  Serge around the outside edge.

Tuck a napkin into the pocket on your place mat and you're done!

Now throw some beans in a pot, get a pot of chili brewing and break out a cool brewskie!


You Be The Judge...

Well here we are at Day 8 and I will let you be the judge...

By George ...  I do believe I got it!!  Can you see me stealing a peek around the corner??


Who Says You Can't Draw Day 7

Well here we are at Day 7 and this is the day that I absolutely impressed myself  with my own drawing.  Never again will I say, "I can't draw a face".  Even though she looks like she's about to fall over... a little bit too tilted...Look at that nose... WOW... and I love the shape of her face.

Drawing by looking at a "model" is definitely a lot easier ... I noticed how much more attention I paid to the size of the eyes and particularly the iris.  Squaring off the lower lip and making the bottom lip larger than the top was a first.  I could have put the eyebrows up a bit more.  I paid much more attention to the placement of the lips below the nose this time round.   All in all.. it's been a week of real learning in how to draw a face.  Time well spent... I'm pretty surprised and pleased with my results!!


Who Says You Can't Draw? Day 6

Yikes... look at those Barbra Streisand eyes would ya? Or is that Lady GaGa?   Like the hair though... and hey at least she has a neck now!  Still pretty "mouthy" though... TEE HEE Tomorrow we get to draw with a photograph or favourite picture as a model and to do a "side drawing".  WHEW... at least I have made it this far without giving up... ...pat, pat on the back.


Who Says You Can't Draw Day 5

Well I really like the hair on this one and the glint in the eyes is much better even though those eyes are still big, the neck is rather large and that chin is rather pointed!  I don't seem to notice these things until I go back and look at the drawing a day or so after doing it. Hubby says I am improving with every drawing... and he is impressed because I don't have anything to refer to while I am doing it!  I hope he just isn't being nice...


Who Says You Can't Draw? Day 4

Well I gotta tell you ... I am surprising myself.  I can actually draw a face that doesn't look like she's been bashed up in a car accident!!  I can do this... WOW... gotta work on those big eyes and lips though!


Who Says You Can't Draw? Day 3

Well, here we are at day 3 already and by golly that gal actually looks like someone I know!  BTW did I tell you that we have to draw these ladies without looking at a photo or picture?  That's what making it challenging but I also suspect that is what is contributing to some good learning.  I notice I am paying more attention to where certain facial elements are, the shape of the face, nose, eyes and lips, the distance between the eyes and so forth.  Don't you just love that big hair and those penetrating green eyes???? TEE HEE!


Polymer Necklace and Buttons to Match...

This year's Christmas sweater from hubby (he buys me a special sweater for Christmas each year... lovely man) was an Irish knit patchwork sweater.  Instead of the traditional creme colour, he bought me one in a favourite colour... Aubergine.  The sweater is very similar to this one... just shorter.

 I fell in love with it, the minute I saw it.  It is definitely "my kind" of sweater.

As it happens I was making some buttons in the same colour to bring to the shop where I sell them. I quickly decided to make a pendant to match my new sweater and fulfill this month's "obligation" in one of my Flicker groups... 12 Polymer Clay Projects in 2013.

It's a perfect match in colour and the first time I have tried embedding tiny marbles into the clay.  Was an awful mess doing it... those miniscule marbles go everywhere... but it worked and it looks great on.  I've also sewn a couple of the buttons on one of the patchworks in the sweater as well.... makes for an interesting look!

Wishing you a fun, arty week,

Who Says You Can't Draw? Day 2

Boy yesterday I had to hit that publish button really quick in case I changed my mind about posting my drawings!   Well the cat's out of the bag now and on to day 2...

Now she's looking a lot better!  Only after I did this drawing did I notice how wonky the eyes were in the first drawing and how everything was somewhat "out of kilter"!  And hey... that nose actually looks like one... yippee....


Who Says You Can't Draw? Day 1

January has been a busy month!  As usual, I bit off more than I could chew and have been trying to play catch up all month long.  One of my big bites was to jump in, pencils first and prove once and for all to myself and the world that I can't draw.  Ya, ya, I know.  You're supposed to choose positive, uplifting goals for the year.  But ya know, sometimes it's better to find out when to quit banging yourself on the head over something.  This one is it.  WHEW... it took some (inner) convincing to get me to sign up for a drawing course but there I was ready to tackle the challenge...

Well I have decided that I am going to let you be the judge (brave huh????) over the next eight days as I do some "drive by blogging" (you know the kind that only takes a few minutes) and post my progress in learning to draw a face.  Please comment if you like (but be nice eh!)  Today's offering is my first attempt at it a week or so ago.