I STARTED Early--Took my Dog--And visited the Sea--
The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me
--Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some thoughts on my latest quilt canes...

I made quite a few quilt canes a month or two ago.  It's odd how different they can look when reduced and recombined.  Here, let me show you....

Take a look at this one:

Now I think that the beige color triangles will make quite large squares when reduced and recombined.  So I thought I'd break it up a bit...I inserted orange and red squares in the corners near the center:

Well, that part worked, but now I have a different problem.  The blue center seems to overpower the rest of the colors and dominate the quilt cane.  That's not exactly what I wanted.

If I did this cane again, I'd probably sswap the dark blue triangles with the light green.  Or just leave the beige triangles alone.

Here's another one:

The blue is predominate, but the white isn't too far behind...they seem to balance each other somewhat.  If you look at the block before it was reduced and combined, you can see that the blue triangle and the large white triangle on the opposite corner are the same size, so it makes sense that they balance each other to some extent in the recombined cane.  Darker colors can overpower lighter colors, even if they are the same amount in a cane.  When I look at this recombined cane, the blue seems to pop out more.

Still, I like it well enough, but it's not my favorite.  I'm not sure what I'd do differently if I made this one again...perhaps break up the large blue triangle.  Maybe put a smaller, lighter blue triangle within the larger blue triangle.  Or perhaps even white?

 Let's look at one more:

I like it best of the three.  It has good balance.  The dark and light areas don't overwhelm each other, yet the quilt pattern doesn't fade into the background and look blah:

A lot of it is personal preference, I suppose.  I don't know--which one do you like best?

Heh.  Bonus points if you know the quilt pattern names....

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What a difference a little color makes...

Finally, there is this commission:

I did the one on the right a year or two ago.  It's white and translucent with the thinnest line of gold.  The one on the left was made for a commission this year.  It, too, is white and translucent--but with the thinnest line of silver.  It makes a HUGE difference....

Monday, December 29, 2014

Angel Commission...

Another commissioned piece (well, pieces):

Jewel box quilt pattern

Kaleidoscope quilt pattern

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Vespa Scooters...

Another commission came out of the blue...a lady at church and her husband collect Vespa Scooter ornaments and she wanted me to make one for her husband.  A quick google shows that there are a surprising amount.  Here's my version (well, versions...my first turned out awfully big, so I made a smaller one--she wanted both, so Yay!):

Sorry for the poor picture quality...I can't seem to remember to get pictures of these things until I deliver them.  Oh well....

For the record, her husband liked them. 

New Computer!

Sorry I've been away so long.  I needed a new computer and they are not easily afforded.  But I've finally got one, and I've updated my photo service, so I should be good to go.

I've been EXTREMELY busy!  I've had several commissions as well as the usual Christmas ornaments.  Now that Christmas is past and the commissions have gone to their new owners, I feel free to post pictures.

Here's the first one:

I've gotta say...it turned out much better than I planned!  Isn't it cute?  Here's a couple more views:


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More leftovers...

After making the angel ornament from the first limited edition cane I did for the quilt museum, I looked to see if I had enough of my other limited edition quilt canes.  I had enough from the two "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul" canes and they turned out pretty good:

Saturday, October 4, 2014


I've been trying to come up with an ornament that was relatively simple.  Here's my first go 'round:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Silk Screen Beads

Silk screening on polymer has been around a while.  I finally broke down and bought a small kit and some paint.  There is some really lovely acrylic paints out there, so I bought a nice set of metallic paints.  I hurried home and applied it to a stencil I had, since I hadn't picked up the silk screen kit yet.  I waited for the paint to dry.  And waited.  *sigh* And waited.  Apparently, some acrylic paints do not work with polymer and remain tacky and not very usable for my purposes.  So I bought the kit and used the paint in it.  Huge difference.  And it turned out quite well:

I used two screens on the kimono...one screen with gold paint and one with silver and just silver on the obi.  And oh, I like the way it turned out!

Of course, I couldn't make just one:

And I tried those metallic paints again; this time with a silk screen (I was hoping it would work this time).  Still a little tacky, but it baked okay and didn't smear too badly.  I'm not sure if I'll try it again.  I figure I'll find some use for the paints.  They really are beautiful colors.

I bought some of those cheap little sets of acrylic paints...you know, those ones in the little tiny tubs.  They worked like a charm, so I'll have to use them next....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey, look what I did with a leftover limited edition quilt cane!

I had some leftover cane from that first limited edition quilt I did for the Quilt Museum.  It wasn't really usable as an ornament, but there was enough of it to make one of my Kimono Angels:

I used my new stencils and paint for the obi.  It was a little tricky, as the clay was almost four years old and took a while to be made pliable.  So it's a little distorted in places.  I don't care, though...I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

And it's for me!  Although, when I showed it to my mom, she asked if I was going to make her one.  I think I might have enough left....

Beads, beads, and more beads!

I finished that batch of kimono beads I was working on.  I  made some two inch ones:

And some smaller ones, one inch or so:

Boy, when you blow them up and put them on the blog, you can see every little flaw.  I think I need new glasses...I'm still happy with them, though.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New technique...

I got to go to the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild meeting this month.  They're such a great group of people and I always have a ton of fun.  Joanne and I car-pooled, but I still managed to get lost and make a couple of wrong turns and got there late.  At least we had a great time when we got there.

The last thing I need is for some new technique to grab me and shake me and make me run out and buy a bunch of new supplies.  Oh well, it stretches me artistically, so there is that.  I've been resisting the whole silk-screening/paint on polymer thing, but one of the samples I made looked so much like tapestry cloth that I couldn't resist making it into a Kimono Angel:

Sorry for the poor quality of the picture...I used my daughter's old camera and it just didn't work well.  It's among the ornaments at the quilt museum, so I couldn't get a good picture as I didn't have my new camera yet.  I've made a couple of beads with this process, but I'll save it for another post....

Finally! A camera again...

So my camera died on me a while back and I haven't been able to afford a new one until recently.  It was used, but still works well.  One teensy little problem...no data cable.  I finally got a card reader--so back in business!

I've been making kimono beads in a couple of different sizes.  This one is about two inches tall:

And this one is about an inch tall (isn't she cute?!):

I've got fifteen more in progress:

Hopefully, I'll finish them up tomorrow.  The quilt museum is going to sell them in their gift shop.  It's a bit of a departure from the Christmas ornaments, so I hope they do well.  I took up a bunch of ornaments--there's a quilt show the first weekend in October and there was some room in the gift shop for them.  So excited!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


So I made this ornament a few weeks ago:

On my way home from work the other day I thought about making this one:

The good thing about making lots of canes?  You can indulge your impulses.  And sometimes it even turns out....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another one...

Remember these?

I finally reduced them one more time and slapped borders on them:

And turned them into Kimono Beads...I finished a necklace with the red/purple one:

And the yellow/green one is in progress:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Angelic Variations...

So I made this cane (Hope of Hartford quilt block pattern)...quite a bit of it actually.  For me, anyway.  I don't tend to make a lot of any one cane.  I decided to make one each of the angel ornaments that I make:

I'm not sure which is my favorite...I tend to go overboard for a while and then get burnt out with a design.  Right now, I'm really liking the Kimono angels.  Although, the bell ones never seem to grow old....

Monday, July 28, 2014

Size matters?

I have the hardest time making ornaments of a consistent size.  Intellectually, I know that if the cane is a certain size, the ornament will be a certain size.  But when it comes to making the canes...sometimes I reduce to far, and other times I can't bear to make the cane small enough.  It's a problem.  Or is it?

Here's the various sizes I've done over the last couple of months:

The one on the left is the largest...about five inches tall.  I added a couple of little touches--different hair ornaments, a fan, and an obidome (a little ornament on the sash).  Most of the Japanese ornaments I've done are between three and a half to four inches tall.  It seems to be the optimal size for a Christmas ornament.

The orange one is a little smaller, three inches.  There's a reason for that, but we'll save it for another post.  And finally, there's the one on the right.  It's about two inches tall and I made it that small on purpose...ta da!

Heh.  I took it up to show my mom.  She liked it and said, "Is it for me?"  Um...sure.  Really though, I never know quite what she will like, so I'm happy to give her something she admires.  I have a couple more Japanese Kimono beads...it will probably take a while to string them into necklaces--I have the hardest time winnowing down the beads to an acceptable amount.  We'll see....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Japanese angel ornaments...

Remember this one?

 I wasn't real thrilled with it, but I was showing it to the lady at the quilt museum, and she asked me to make 20.  They had an exhibition of Japanese quilts coming up and she thought they might be a good addition to the gift shop.  So I tweaked the idea a bit, and also tweaked the one I made for my mom a couple of years back:

And came up with an ornament that I liked quite a lot.  I'm getting ahead of myself, though.  I grabbed some canes I made over the last few months:

There were a few that were the right size, so I carefully (but not carefully enough, alas), cut a bunch of slices for the ornaments...and ta-da!  Japanese angel ornaments!

Well, it was a little more work than just ta-da! but I'm very happy with the way they turned out.  Here's a behind the scenes (no pun intended) look at the back of the ornaments (before the hair went on):

I delivered them to the quilt museum, and they seemed to like them.

Here's a couple of close-ups:

I've made a couple dozen more since then..various sizes and different types of detail.  I'll post pics over the next couple of days....