Monday, September 27, 2010

Sometimes A Girl Just Needs To Feel Sparklie

Once in a while when I get together with my best girlfriends, my Ya-ya's, we get silly and wear wild head gear. I've been meaning to make myself a tiara for these special times, but haven't had the time. This weekend I made time. For the flowers I cannibalized some wire-wrapped earrings that I've had in inventory forever. Special sale pricing proved ineffective at moving them, so I used them for this bit of Sparklie Goodness...

OK, Girls, I'm ready for our next meeting!

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the contest to name my newest collection of clay jewelry is (drumroll please):

Her contribution to the name pool is Morrocane Magic. I love this... a play on words and it's catchy. Thanks to everyone who participated.

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

While Mining Netflix, I Found A Gem

I'm still stuck on the sofa. My back is improving, but flares up quickly if I'm not careful. Daytime tv selections are dreadful, so I've been watching streaming Netflix... a LOT. While trolling through the many, varied choices over there, I found Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School.

The title was so cumbersome, I was skeptical about how good it would be. The cast is stellar: Mary Steenburgen, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), John Goodman, Marissa Tomei, Donny Wahlberg, Adam Arkin, Miguel Sandoval, Ernie Hudson, and Danny Devito. My God, with a cast like that, why didn't this 2005 movie get more press?

I found myself delighted and deeply touched as I watched. This is a heartfelt, poignant story of a widower thrown into a tragic situation that inspires him to change his life. The actors move through their parts gently, working to avoid out-shining each other. In particular, John Goodman demonstrates he is a mature and skillful actor with his touching performance.

The script was very well written. The story flows through present and flashback scenes so easily, that it never leaves you feeling lost. The plot and subplots are woven together so well that the actors are able to bring these characters to life. You clearly see their transformations without proclamations or huge speeches.

You won't find action scenes, obvious, gratuitous sex, or beautiful people; these are tragic figures who find direction. A sleeper film, but what a treasure! I hope you'll try it... you won't be disappointed. (Oh, and lest you be put off by the idea of ballroom dancing, actual dancing plays a verrry tiny part in the plot.)

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall is in the Air

The days are getting shorter, the sun is lower in the sky, and squash is in season at the Farmer's Market.

I roasted a funky looking squash (can't remember the name... sorry) - the farmer told me it would be a good pumpkin-like flavor. It is. To mark the onset of Fall, I made pumpkin pancakes this morning.

What a fabulous recipe! You can find the recipe at my cooking blog.
In other news, I'm slated to participate in our local church's Alternative Gift Market again this Thanksgiving (I'll be the one with all the jewelry! :) . I'm SO looking forward to this event. People come ready to buy, as the proceeds go to charity, and I really enjoy representing my work personally to the customers. I'll post more about it as we get closer. The dates are November 20-21, if you happen to be in the Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh area.

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Polymer Clay and That Thing That Happened...

There I was, being a Good Girl and resting on the sofa. I spent the past week making the blog rounds, rearranging the furniture (so to speak) on my own site, and watching a LOT of movies from streaming Netflix. My back is beginning to feel marginally better and I started to get bored.

For the past few days I went into the studio for a short while and found that something wonderful had happened.

I decided to make some pins and earrings using really old canes. The slices I made were cracked and crumbly (we're talking 6 months old here). So, thanks to Alice's advice, from Polymer Clay, Etc, I reduced the canes down: small, smaller, and smallest. I had no idea these canes, originally about 1.5 inches square, could go down as far as 1/4 inch. They made beautiful borders.

I began building my brooches with a single large slice. As I played with my new mini canes, I realized that I'd need to add some contrast between the center area and the borders. I textured some 18 karat gold leaf-covered clay and cut it to fit. Add on the borders and... "Wowzer!"

While reducing some of the canes, I stopped at about 1/2 in and tiled slices together to make a larger kaleidoscope design.

This I cut into several different shapes and added black and gold leaf borders. A few slices from my favorite flower petal cane added an exciting detail to these new earrings and necklace.

I also had some regrettable "junk canes" sitting in a drawer. I'd mish-mashed some scraps of clay together and added some blue and white as borders. The final result looked uninteresting, to say the least. I reformed the round cane into a rectangle and cut some slices. Add some black, gold leaf, and bright border cane slices... NOW we're cooking. The final touch: a single honey-colored Swarovski crystal in the center of the junk cane slice.

I have no idea where these new pieces came from. I guess I should take more time off!
Now I need to come up with a name for this new series of pieces. They remind me of old-fashioned tapestries and/or Persian carpets. What do you think? The person who comes up with the name I decide to use will get a special prize - a pair of these pretty earrings:

So spread the word to your friends. All ideas are welcome! Just be sure to leave your contact info in the comment you leave here. The contest will end on Sept 25 and I'll post the winner in a blog entry shortly after that. Thanks for your help. :)

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl