Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PCAGOE October Monthly Challenge

The theme for this month's Challenge is "Southwest". I thought long and hard about what I might want to do. There are so many great colors in that part of the US. Turquoise, coral, bright yellows and golds. When I think of the Southwest I also think of Indians and their culture. I was googling "southwest" and came across some gorgeous Indian blankets, and so that is how my creation was born.

I first started by building a box. I covered an ordinary square jewelry gift box with scrap clay and baked it. After it was baked I popped out the gift box and wah-lah, had a handmade box. While the box had been baking I was making a Bargello cane to simulate a pattern I had seen in one of the blankets. After the box cooled I covered it with a sheet made with my new "blanket" cane. I smoothed it on, then extruded a rope to afix to all the edges for a more finished look. Next I drew a picture of a Kokopelli in the center of the lid. Then I cut out the drawing with my exacto knife. Next I backfilled the Kokopelli shaped hole with black clay. The tee-pees are slices of a cane that I had made for another project about a year ago. I just cut out the shape of the tee-pee and then inserted a slice of the cane. Baked, then sanded in 5 grits of wet/dry sandpaper. To describe the process doesn't take long, but actually doing it took me the better part of two days. I'm really happy with it. In my humble opinion, I believe it represents the Southwest pretty good.

The entries are all in...see them here. Voting starts on October 1st and goes through Midnight Eastern of the 7th on the same website. Five lucky voters will win one of these great prizes donated by fellow guild members and I. My contribution is the purple millefiori pendant in the second row.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Fall Here in the Great Northwest

Fall has officially made it to my neck of the woods. It seems as though we hardly had a summer and it is already over. This time of the year seems to go so fast too. Before you know it, it will be icy and cold. One good thing about this time of year are all the wonderful colors. The leaves all turn the most gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red. The fall flowers are all blooming too. My garden is full of mums in beautiful shades of lavender, crimson and gold. And don't get me started on all the gorgeous sunflowers. All the beautiful colors inspired me to created a few fall themed things.
First I made a few borderless canes in some fall colors. Here is a charm bracelet made with a yellow sunflower cane.and some buttons with a caramel brown sunflower caneThis is a barrette made with Autumn colored leaves. So many things to make and so little time to do them. It is almost time to start thinking about Christmas too. Lots of ideas swirling in my head.