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...