Sunday, May 31, 2009

Details ,details.....

I'm trying to learn to take better photos for my ETSY store listings. I suppose the word "better " implies I am trying to improve photo quality. That might be a bit fact I'm trying to learn to take a picture that has a recognizable subject matter!
Fortunately my daughter 's hobby is macro photography . Unfortunately she does very little in door photography !My cyber friends have kindly offered some very helpful sugestions . There is also a surprising amount of help to be found all over the inter-net.
I 'm trying to find the proper balance between showing the product and making a pretty picture . It's tempting to get carried away with the artistic composition . That's the fun part for me! But too much "fun "in the photo and the product doesn't stand out . My photos ,like my life, have to maintain a practical side. But, not too practical !!! I need a bit of art and laughter in my pictures and in my life ! But, in all things ,we need both the serious and not so serious elements.

How do we find the proper proportions of ,
productive and playful ...serious and silly... facts and fantasy ?
In my quest for the right balance ....
for today ,
I 'm just going to concentrate on the details and hope the rest just happens on it's own !
:) m.e.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

free with every purchase

Think about what medium an artists uses...what materials are included in a piece.
It's never just the clay,paint ,paper etc.... it is also a little bit of heart and soul .
A part of ourselves goes into each and every creation .Even our simplest design needs a bit of the artist in it . I don't think the best techniques and supplies can produce any real creation without a bit of the artist mixed in . Sometimes this makes us feel vulnerable to criticism . Hard not to take it personally when your efforts are misunderstood or not appreciated.
But, WONDERFUL when you can share your inspiration with others !
I feel so gratified when even my tiniest creation let's me share a feeling or a smile with someone .

Maybe buyers don't stop to think that a little of the artist is included free with each purchase .
I guess it's the secret ingredient you don't really notice, like that like pinch of salt in the stew.
You may not see the heart and soul my daughter put into the photo above...but, look more closely..... she's in there !
;) m.e.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No's to Nose

Most of my creations are made with color blends dreamed up for the design I happen to be working on. I really love the freedom of playing with colors that suit my mood . However, custom orders almost always call for specific colors . For exact matches, snippets of fabric, paper etc can be snail mailed to be used as a guide . But, there are times I must rely on my monitor.
Case in point ...can't send a dog nose through the mail ! The photos for this bride's nose made it look gray( top photo shows nose #1 )
In fact, bride is a "red nosed" pit .The customer requested I change the nose color if possible . Ahhhh, the wonder of polymer clay ! With the help of a surgical blade ,liquid clay and a little re-baking ..nose job complete ! Nose # 2 ( bottom photo ) is the now correct shade !
I have worked with dogs for many years and presently work as a veterinary receptionist .
I decided to match my "nose clay" to a dog at work, instead of going by the picture on my computer screen . The human bride was pleased with the result. Her wedding cake topper is on it's way to her right now . A happy outcome for customer and me !
but, it does make me think ...
in life
should we be influenced by what something seems to be ...or as we believe it to be ?
Is reality what is is or what we think it is?

who knows how a nose got me thinking about this........
:D m.e.

Add Image

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Voilets are Blue

Violets are blue? Are you sure ? This one looks more purple on my monitor !
Would you say its a shade of amethyst ... or lavender,lilac ,mulberry,periwinkle ,plum ?
Color blending is my favorite part of playing with clay . I never use a "recipe '' I just add a bit of this ..a bit of that til I get what I like or I get what I need.
Then comes the puzzle of putting the colors together . What matches....what contrasts ?
When is a match too boring and predictable ? When is a contrast too jarring and abrasive? Sometimes it's best if shades just slowly combine without any distinct line between them.
Other times the colors might stand side by side creating a nice balance and harmony.

The rhyme says violets are blue.But, it may not be that simple. We should stop and take a better look. We have so many choices.
What are the colors of life?
How can we best mix ,match and contrast them ?
:) m.e.

ps :the photo was taken by my daughter Annie...we are busy choosing some of her work for a new line of gift cards

Monday, May 25, 2009

WHAT did you say !!!

The internet has created a whole new interpretation of the rules of etiquette.
We are now able to easily communicate with people all over the world !
We have an amazing way to sell,trade ,share and develop friendships.
I can sell something to a lady in Paris, share clay designs with someone in Israel ,chat about craft techniques with someone in Australia...all while sitting at home in my PJ's drinking my first cup of morning coffee !

But ,there is one thing to keep in mind ...our cyber friends can't see our expressions ,read our body language or hear our tone of voice. What we think we are communicating, may be totally misinterpreted !
This photo is of my dog Willy and new kitten Poly .
It looks like Poly is frightened to death !
But ,in truth she was just yawning when the photo was snapped !

So my friends ,if I think I am writing some very funny stuff..and you think I'm being rude..
Please forgive me .
If I think I am writing something brilliant and you think I'm writing something stupid
well...................I still may believe it's brilliant ! LOL!

As you browse around your wonderful cyber world ... if someone upsets you ,
take moment to reflect before you respond .
You might be getting angry when you really should just be yawning !
:) m.e.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Take time to Remember

This is Memorial day weekend in the USA, a time to remember those who have died in military service.
The holiday weekend has become the traditional time to welcome Summer . I find it a fitting tribute for families to spend the weekend together ,celebrating a way of life others fought to preserve.
People will enjoy cookouts and picnics,swimming pools will open,children will begin a count down to the last day of school .
However ,in the midst of the merry making, I hope we will all take a moment to remember our fallen heroes .

I'm spending part of my weekend finishing a custom wedding cake topper.
I'll post a photo next week .My daughter is on summer break from college .
My photo classes can begin!!! WOO HOO !!!

Happy weekend to my friends all over the world !
:) m.e.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One Thing leads to Another

Now that I started rethinking my "Tussie Mussie" brooch design ...I can't stop making them!!!
In somebody's world practice may make perfect...but,in my world practice makes new things to list in my on-line store! I have many, many new items just waiting for a photo shoot with my daughter !
For me the process of creating is partly about a planned concept ..partly just diving in and seeing what happens. Sometimes I think I want the clay to go one way ..but, it tells me it would rather go another.No,I don't hear voices in my head! I just start off thinking the clay should go a little like this ..and then realize it would look better a little like that ! These brooches really lend them selves to a "go with the flow" design process .Very relaxing to let go of control and let the medium be my guide.
Most days we have to swim ..some days we have to swim up stream...once in a while it's pleasant just to drift awhile...
:) m.e.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

Happy Monday!
No, you're not bleary eyed from the weekend....this photo is really fuzzy!!!
Only a few more days until my daughter finishes her exams.Then she has graciously promised to give me photography lessons ! Thank goodness !!!

Friday's rainbow turned into a "tussie mussie" brooch.
This brooch holds enough water for a tiny bouquet . I "borrowed " the buttercups from my neighbors lawn!
When I first started using polymer clay, I was selling herbs at local farmers markets. I created these pins as a way for my customers to enjoy fragrant herbs wherever they went. That was long before I knew about skinner blends ,or any of the myriad of fancy and faux techniques I love to play with now.The rainbow inspired me to rethink my original design .Same concept ..tweaked and tinkered with !
Old ideas given new life ideas being born ..ever dreaming of the next compelling project...
Art maybe like chasing rainbows
if we think too much about that pot of gold ..we risk overlooking the true wonder of the process
:) m.e

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Capture a Rainbow

It's been raining far to long at my house.I'm longing for some sunshine . But ,I do like a rainy day now and then.I find them rather restful . I think the sound of rain falling is soothing . Gray sky's and dampness seem like an invitation to relax ...put chores on hold til the weather "clears up "
Can't weed the garden or work outside... can't really notice the dust build up inside... good excuse to play with clay all day! And best of all ,the magic of clay let my capture a rainbow !!! Now that I have hold of it ..what to make ??? What can one make out of pieces of rainbow ? I wonder what mother nature does with all of her used one's ? Maybe she makes butterflies.....

I'll be back Monday to post some sort of rainbow creation .
if anybody is out there reading this ...
Happy Weekend to you !
: ) m.e.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Indirect Inspiration

Not every source of inspiration is obvious.
Less than a hour ago I took this photo of geese grazing in the field right out my front door ! Today I will not make a clay goose.I will not make any items in green ,blue or tan shades. The art work I create today will not seem to be connected to watching these geese at all .
that moment spent connecting with nature has surely inspired me .
It has changed how I feel this moment .It will in some way influence everything I will be creating ...everything I think and do today .

before I become too serious...
let me add,... the experience has also inspired me
to have my daughter give me some intensive photography lessons this summer !!!
:) m.e.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'll be making some changes in my ETSY shop in the next few weeks.
I'm excited about trying new ideas.BUT, rethinking my marketing strategies has a stressful side. and....when I'm stressed I want to eat!!!!
I pulled out this photo taken two years ago ..before I lost 50 lbs!
I do NOT want to gain it back . This photo is a reminder!
Also a reminder of a dream come true . A memory of an afternoon spent at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys. One of the most awesome and amazing experiences of my life!
Today I'll be thinking about the need to remember the past ...the good and not so good parts
and the need to embrace the future .
:) m.e.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Several years ago I learned to scuba dive.It is THE most wonderful way to experience the magic of the ocean ! There are unbelievable sources of inspiration under the sea! Creatures with glorious color combination's ,amazing patterns and unbelievable shapes !
A coral reef somehow combines a feeling of peace and serenity with a sense of energy and excitement. How that can be ???
The photo is of me and my hubby doing a "shark dive" last year in the Bahamas.
Most dives fill me full of ideas for creating new art. But I have to admit,diving with sharks was more like practice for on-line selling !!!!
:D m.e.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inspired as an Infant!

Here I am a bit younger ! Guess I've always loved the beach!
The ocean shows up in my work constantly as a theme.
I think it influences me in less obvious ways as well.
The colors ,movement and shapes of the sea keep coming into my designs.
Was I just born with this attraction to the ocean
or did it slowly develop over time ?
How do we decide what things we are passionate about ? Do we really decide ?
Does passion just happen? When we create art, do we always knowingly
call on our favorite inspirations ? Or do our inspirations guide our hands without our even realizing it?
Goodness ! I'm feeling pretty serious today !!!!
Maybe all this deep thinking will influence me to create masterpiece !
I'll just have another cup of coffee ...
and think about it some more......
:) m.e.

Monday, May 11, 2009

come see cute kitten !

things to do today :

figure out
how in the world you get people to read your blog ?
do you just say to your friends ...
" I'll look and yours and you look at mine " ?
WAIT !!!
I think we used to call that playing doctor !
when I was five my mom told me NOT to do that !!!
I know ..
nobody can resist an adorable kitten
and I just happen to have one !
meet the newest member of my family " Poly-mewer "
"Poly "for short
I apologize for the overly cutesie name .. if I had adopted a male I would have named him Clay

Poly is my littlest helper

my fur family is a big source of artistic inspiration and moral support
I wonder ...
why can't we claim pet food as a business expense ? ? ?
:) m.e.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

where am I ???

yikes !!!
I'm trying to create a blog !!!
I have no clue what I'm doing or where to start !
oppps ..posted a picture !
a clown should be good representative of how I'm feeling !

who's really going to see this anyway?
oh well..
as a Mom I'm used to talking my head off
while nobody listens !!!
guess that makes Mother's Day a perfect day to start this venture
Happy Mother's Day
to me and to Mom's everywhere !
all that great advice and interesting conversation
wasted on kids who just answer
"uh haaa...yeap...right ...sure...."
just nod their heads or completely ignore us !!!
but hey ... with a blog I can pretend people ARE listening !
COOL!!!! this might be fun !
if I can just figure out how to use it.......................