Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My On The Wings of Beauty Comes Home

Yesterday when I came home from work "My On The Wings Of Beauty RR" swap block came home. After a very long day at work this beauty brought a big smile to my face. I did the Newbie RR swap with an online group called Crazy Quilting International. Four other ladies beside myself worked on this block. I would like to thank everyone for their lovely stiching. Now to figure out to included my first CQ block into a project.

Check out my Slide Show!

Monday, October 29, 2007

CQ Rose Garden Fairy Spirit Doll

This year I have explored many different hobbies and Rose Garden Fairy includes several of these new learned techniques. They are Crazy Quilting, Beading, Hand Dying Lace and Ribbons and creating Clay Faces. I started creating Spirit of Friendship Doll in May of this year. I truly enjoy creating them and have given them to family and friends. "Rose Garden Fairy" I have made for me. I especially love my "Rose Garden "so "Rose Garden Fairy" is a reflection of my gardening passion. I hand dyed the rose lace around her waist. Her sweet face I created with Kato Polyclay and I painted it with PearlEx Pigment Powder . Beading is also a new found passion so I created many of the flowers with beads. She has several Silk Ribbon Roses surrounding her "Lace Beaded Heart". Of course you always see butterflies in your garden so My Spirit Doll had to have one too. Her wings are took from a silk ribbon flower arrangement I found in the basement. vbg I loved how they make her sparkled. I plan to hang her in "My Creating Room" to admire while my fingers are busy creating more Spirit of Friendship Doll, Crazy Quilts and heaven know what else. vbg Creating pieces of art brings a big smile to my face and makes me feel good. I hope my special gifts to others will also bring these same feeling to them too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Three Wonderful GrandChildren

Hello Everyone, My DIL's just send me some very cute pictures of My Three Grand Children. The first one on top is Pirate Ethan ( just about 2 1/2 yrs old) with his dad waiting for the train ride at Cross Road Village and Huckleberry Train Ride. The village had a day of letting the kids dress up and they could trick and treat at the village. Neat idea. The middle picture is of my very lovely Grand Daughter Morgan all dressed up for her Homecoming Dance. She is a senior this year has been an honor student during her time in junior and high school. The last picture is of My youngest son Shane and his wife Jenny and their daughter Chloe 16 months old. Thank you Kari and Jenny for these wonderful pictures. They always make me smile alot.

Norway Maple Golden Autumn Colors

I love all the seasons of Michigan but my favorites are Spring and Autumn. We have this very grand Norway Maple whose golden colors are just spectacular today. Soooo I took a picture for you all to see this majestic tree. I love to change my decorative flag with each season and this one is My Autumn one with Pumpkins and a Scarecrow. The Big Autumn Leaf I had made by a florist in Germany. This is the place my sweetie and me call HOME. I love it here in this small tourist village along the white sandy beach's of Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Tutorial On Making Polymer Clay faces

Hello Everyone,

I have been asked how I make my Polymer Clay faces that I use on my "Spirit of Friendships Dolls". This is my third go at making clay faces and through trial and error the following is the method that works best for me. I have never made a "Tutorial" before and I am certainly NO expert but I am Happy to share with you the process on how I make "My Clay Faces". I have Six Pictures in the message before this one that show the stages I go through.

(1) First I gather all my "Stuff" which includes a Pasta Maker, Face Molds, Kato PolyClay in the colors of Translucent and White, ( there is also Fimo and Premo Polymer clay brands) varies sizes of brushes, Clay Cutter, Sculpey Acrylic Clay Roller, Pearl Ex Powder Pigment Series 2 and 3, Sculpey Glaze in Satin.
(2) I prepare my molds by putting them in the freezer of my refrigerator for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. I also place in the face mold itself a weee bit of corn starch and then brush it all out before putting in the clay. These two methods I use because it helps the clay faces come out of the mold easier and the molds are very clear with no imperfections most of the time.
(3) Then I take a small cutting of clay and start rolling it between the palms of my hands. I make several different sizes of clay balls to accommodate the different sizes of face molds.
(4) Sometimes I also use settings 8 and 9 on my "Pasta Machine" and roll the clay through the machine. Depending on my the size of the face mold I take the rolled clay and start placing it inside of the mold. Then I take my "Acrylic Clay Roller" and roll and press it over the clay which really pushes the clay deep into the mold and the faces come out much clearer with no imperfections.
(5) To clarify, I use the two above process in placing the polymer clay into the face molds. I have found that "Most of the Time" I just use the small sizes of round clay balls and press them into the molds with the "Acrylic Clay Roller". I try to not over estimate the size of the clay balls. Because if you use to much clay for the face mold size you end up cutting away the excess clay around the faces. This process is a trial and error process until you learn to estimate the amount of clay your molds really need.
(6) I take my clay faces and place them on a foil tray which came with my toaster oven. The photo of "Clay Faces" in the first two rows on the "Left" side of the tray I used the "White Kato Polycaly"and the 3rd and 4th rows I used the "Translucent Kato Polyclay".These are my favorite two colors of clay.
(7) Then the fun begins and I start brushing on the Pearl Ex Powder Pigments. I always use the Pearl Ex before "Baking" the clay faces. I have chosen colors from Pearl Ex Series 2 and 3. I used "Pearl White" to get the sparkling look of my faces. Sometimes I put blush on the cheeks and lip color with "Blue Russet". For the eyes I use "Sky Blue". When I use other colors for the faces I "Always" use the "Pearl White" over them to give them that sparkle I like. The Pearl White also warms the colors so they are Not so bright.
(8) Then I place them in a preheat "Toaster Oven". I do not have a regular oven for just baking faces. All the polymer clays and sometime the colors have different temperatures to bake them at. So you always need to check to make sure how long you should leave them in the oven. For the Kato Polyclay the baking time is 10 minutes. I watch them very closely because just in a matter of seconds the faces could burn.
(9) After they are baked and looking wonderful I let them set to cool. Then I use "Sculpey Satin Glaze" to cover all the faces. Let them totally dry to touch. Then these lovely faces are ready to use on my Crazy Quilt Beaded Spirit of Friendship Dolls.

I hope this Tutorial and Photos below provides a good guide to making the Polymer Clay Faces for those who would like to try and make them. I am sure there is many other ways to make these lovely faces but this is what I have found works for me.

My Tutorial On Making Polymer Clay faces

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wired Silk Ribbon Doll Hat with Beads

I was asked to provide an upclose Pictures of the Wired Silk Ribbon Doll Hat. Upon looking closely at the hat I notice that Inge has two Wired Silk Ribbons gathered and placed on top of each other. One being closer to the front of the head and the other place a bit back making the Hat a bit bigger. Then Inge held the ribbons in place with beads in the middle. A very lovely Hat for the "My Rose Flower Garden Spirit of Friendship Doll". She warms my Heart everytime I look at her and reminds me that Truly Friends are the Flowers in Life's Garden.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A visit from My Friends/Neighbors In Germany

On October 5th my good Friend Ulla my neighbor when I lived in Germany came to visit with her DH Harry, Anjana and Josh. It was sooo great to see them again. While I was living in Germany they were among several families who was always there for me to chat and visit with. Anjana was a foreign exchange student two years ago and was place with a very nice family in North Dakota. Soooooo this visit was to come and visit me and to take Anjana back to North Dakato to visit her American Friends and Host Parents.

Our first evening we sat for several hours just chatting and catching up. Very nice. On Saturday we started off early to explore the beautiful shores of Lake Michgian. Our first stop was at our local park where they could see the White Lake Lighthouse which is across the channel from the park. The channel allows boats in and out of our White Lake to Lake Michigan. The first picture in the slide shows us all together. The next picture is Harry, Ulla, Anjana and Josh enduring the strong winds at the Ludington Lighthouse which is approx. a mile walk from the Beach along a long break wall. The next picture is our visit to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Everyone was very brave and took on the challenge of climbing them. After the kids got to the top Ulla decided she could climb them too. vbg Then Harry went and DH decided he was not going to be left behind and up he went tooo. Moi, climb them many years ago but pass this time around. LOL We also visited Muskegon Lake Channel. Silverside Submarine a (WW2 Vintage Sub) is the only floating submarine dock for visitor to go inside and have a look. Harry, Josh and Anjana went aboard while we all watch boats come and go. While they were on board the USS Manistee Coal Frieghter was heading back to Lake Michigan and it was very cool to see such a big frieghter sooo close up. The final picture is of Harry and Ulla while we were in Grand Haven. A very nice picture. I truly enjoyed our visit and it was sad to see them go. Thanks Harry, Ulla, Anjana, and Josh for taking the time to visit us in Michigan.

Check out my Slide Show!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Spirit of Friendship Doll From Holland

I received this Spirit of Friendship Doll from a "Dear Long Time Friend" Inge from Holland yesterday. She is a Garden of Roses Friendship Doll with a very Happy Artistic Lovely Face. We have been Friends for over 11 years. When I was living in Germany the first placed I visited was Inge in Hoorn during the blooming of all those very colorful fields of Tulips. This Spirit of Friendship Doll represents the "Time" of our Friendship, The Bright colors represent the Happiness Our Friendship has brought both of Us" and the lovely vine of "Silk Ribbon Embroidery Roses and Beads" represents my love of gardening and the Tulips in Holland. She has a lovely hat made from "Wired Ribbon and Beads". She is also holding a gorgeous "Pot of silk ribbon flowers"!! One of my favorite color is purple and her scarf is sooo elegant looking. The beaded hair of flowers is just Beautiful. Thank You Inge from the bottom of My Heart. I love her.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ribbons Lace Beads and Fabrics

My DH and I went on a get away weekend and he took me several wonderful places. First stop was my very favorite Fabric Shop called "Yards of Fabrics" in Mason Michigan. Unfortunately, Jeanne is not online but her telephone number is 517-676-2973. Here I found JBM new Fabric line called Ornamentations which is incredibly beautiful.. I bought the velet cotton Ercu, pictured with the ribbons and beads. I also bought some very lovely ribbons and laces at Jeanne shops. Jeanne told me she had order the whole JBM Fabric line but it had not all came in yet. I also showed Jeanne the picture of "The Excellent Japanese CQ" I wanted to make sooo she help me pick out some other lovely fabrics she had in the shop.

Then we went on to the American Sew Expo in Novi, Michigan. There was many vendors which I enjoyed shopping at. Shirley from "The Stitching Well" from Bay City, Mi. had her kits available from the class she was teaching called "Stumpwork Dragonflies" so I bought one of those. I bought some silkies from Ribbon Smyth booth but I did not get a chance to talk with Victoria. I also discovered "Helen Gibb's" booth which I found some lovely French and Italian ribbons that had been marked down soooooo I was quick to buy them. vbg I shopped until I was about ready to drop soooo we left to go visit my sons, DIL's, sweet grandchildren and my Mom where we had such a very nice time visiting.

On our way home we stopped in Franenmuth, Mi. to shop at "Bead Haven" and collected some very lovely beads to add to my first Crazy Quilt. Soooo all and all a wonderful getaway weekend but we are always happy to come home. As my collections of things increase, I am getting more excited all the time about starting my "Frist CQ"..

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