March Challenge Entry #1

Baby Bison by Doreen Neilley

March Challenge Theme is Spring!

The first entry for the March Challenge is this sweet baby bison pendant by Doreen Neilley.

Artist: Doreen Neilley

URL: http://www.facebook.com/DragonflyDesignsByDoreen

About the Entry: “Because I’m a bison farmer, for me, Spring has arrived when the first little golden baby is on the ground for the year. The other day, I couldn’t wait, so I made one that I can have always. This will be a pendant, when I decide whether I want to drill a hole and string it on leather cord, or glue on a bail.”

Creative Block Buster #12

What is a creative block buster? It is a simple exercise that can be done in just a few minutes or more that will hopefully jump start your creativity.

Creative Block Buster #12 – Color & Size

Creative Block Buster #12 - Color and Size
Today’s creative challenge is a two-fer.

  1. Mixing colors is a great way to get started. And let’s face it…getting started is the hardest part. Need some help mixing colors? Be sure to check out my polymer clay color recipe ebooks.
  2. Focus on size. If you usually make very small things, make something in a larger scale. Or, if you create works that are large in size, make something small.

March Challenge

March Challenge

Spring!:

Ah…Spring!
A time for growth, renewal, robins, flowers, green grass…

The Challenge is to:

  • Create something that represents Spring.
  • You may use any color palette.
  • Can be polymer clay or mixed media.

Note:

This is completely optional and you are under no obligation to enter. There are no prizes or winners for this challenge. However, entries will be displayed along with a link (to your shop, website, FaceBook page, etc.) here on my Crafts by Chris blog and Facebook page.

To Enter:

Send an email to: chris@craftsbychrisonline.com with the following information by no later than March 31, 2015.:

  • your name as you would like it displayed (can be your name and/or your business name)
  • URL you would like to link to (this can be an online shop, FaceBook page, etc.)
  • a photo of your entry
  • any other info you might like to share about your entry, such as inspiration, techniques used, etc.)

Evolution of a Design

evolution of a design

The Evolution of a Design

Or a look into the crazy inter-workings of a creative mind. I thought I would combine #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) with some thoughts on the evolution of a design. Often a design pops into your head fully formed and you take it from there. Other times, an idea evolves and changes over time as it did with the polymer clay beads in the above photo.

Inspiration

Let’s journey back to February 2011. You can read the original inspiration post, but short version is that it began with carved wood designs, which somehow made me think of carved jade, which led to the green beads in the upper left-hand corner of the photo. As you can see, I wasn’t totally happy with it, so I antiqued the one on the left.

Set Aside

The beads were then set aside and basically forgotten about until….

…almost a year and a half later, June 2012. I went on a shopping spree and purchased Christi Friesen’s line of Swellegant metal paints and colorants. Of course, I wanted to play with them immediately and didn’t want to take the time to make something. So, I started digging through my cured beads and and came across the green beads. The bead in the upper right-hand corner of the photo, shows the bead with silver metal paint.

The Final Design

While I liked the silver look, it still wasn’t quite right. So, I added a darkening patina, which was better as it added more definition to the flowers. Then, I decided to highlight the flowers with some color (bottom photo). I’m not sure whether that decision was because I thought it needed some color, or because it was my first experiment with Swellegant and I hadn’t tried the dyes yet. ;)

Epic Fail

Epic Fail

Epic Fail Weekend

Saturday

So…last weekend I decided to work on my February Challenge vessel. The plan was to get started right after I threw in a load of laundry, which is when everything went to hell…

I go down to the basement to start a load of laundry and notice the floor is wet in the next room. I peek around the doorway and there is water spraying out of a tiny pinhole….AND…..it’s hot water. Now, our house was built in 1900 and the basement is only a partial basement, the rest is crawl space. It’s kinda icky down there, so unless I have a reason to go down, such as laundry, I don’t. Needless to say I hadn’t been in the basement for several days and have no idea how long the water has been spraying out. I can hardly wait to see my next water and gas bill. *sigh*

After we had a water pipe break in the upstairs bathroom several years ago and the resulting waterfall around the living room ceiling fan, I now know where the main water shut off valve is. I’d seriously like to know why these things always happen when my husband is at work. Anyway, I shut off the water and notice that it’s still spraying out of the pipe. Well duh, it’s coming from the hot water heater, which is still full.

I call my husband and tell him to come home. Then, I remembered that my granddaughter called me that morning (ok, she’s three and her mom did the calling) wanting grandma to cut her bangs. So, I call my daughter and tell her now is not a good time. I do a google search to see if we can temporarily fix it to get by until Monday. We tried a couple of things, which were also epic failures. Time to call a plumber. We live in a relatively small town and trying to get a hold of a plumber on the weekend is almost impossible. Finally, we heard back from a plumber and he came and replaced that section of pipe.

Sunday

So…I decide to get started on my vessel, at least the base, before my daughter and grandkids show up. I have the whole thing worked out in my head and it’s going to be fabulous. The round container I wanted to cover was plastic and I know I should have tested it to see if it would hold up to curing temperature, but the plastic was pretty hard and I thought it should hold up. So I get it covered with polymer clay, smooth the seams and add texture, which all took some time to do. It goes into the oven just as my daughter and grandkids show up.

Well, you can see from the photo at the top what happened….

….even though I’ve been playing with polymer clay for well over 20 years, I still make stupid mistakes that result in an Epic Fail.

February Challenge

February Challenge - Vessels

Vessel:

as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary

~ a hollow container for holding liquids
~ a container (as a cask, bottle, kettle, cup or bowl) for holding something

The Challenge is to:

  • Create a vessel using polymer clay.
  • You may use either the January or February color palette* or a color palette of your choice.
  • Can be any size.
  • Vessel can be created free-form or by covering an existing container.

Note:

This is completely optional and you are under no obligation to enter. There are no prizes or winners for this challenge. However, entries will be displayed along with a link (to your shop, website, FaceBook page, etc.) here on my Crafts by Chris blog and Facebook page.

To Enter:

Send an email to: chris@craftsbychrisonline.com with the following information by no later than February 28, 2015.:

  • your name as you would like it displayed (can be your name and/or your business name)
  • URL you would like to link to (this can be an online shop, FaceBook page, etc.)
  • a photo of your entry
  • any other info you might like to share about your entry, such as inspiration, techniques used, etc.)

*The January and February color palettes can be found in the 12 Months of Inspiration e-book, which you can get for free along with the first month’s corresponding polymer clay color recipes when you sign-up for the newsletter here.

want to know the secret to busting through creative blocks?

The secret to busting through creative blocks

The trick to getting un-stuck is…

…you have to make yourself sit down and play with the materials, mix colors, revisit past work, etc. Anything to get yourself started. It’s that simple and that hard.

Help for getting started:

Mix Colors

Mix some pretty Spring colors with my polymer clay color recipe ebooks, available for Premo, FIMO Professional and Kato brands of polymer clay. You can find them in my Etsy shop.
Kato Spring 2015 Color Recipe Ebook

Make It A Game

Deal yourself a dose of inspiration with my Deal-A-Muse cards. Pick a card or two without looking and challenge yourself to create something using the card or cards chosen. A brand new set of 60 Deal-A-Muse cards (set #2) was just added to my Etsy shop.
Deal-A-Muse set #2

A Year of Inspiration

The Color.Creativity.Design membership site has been revamped with more levels to better suit your needs. Right now you can save $10 on any level….you can get a year of inspiration for as little as $19. Introductory sale ends February 18, 20115.
12 months of inspiration

Wishing you a colorful and creative year!