Monday, May 23, 2011


Any other May I'd be thinking of warm, sandy beaches and lazy summer days just on the horizon...this year, sand holds a completely different definition!  Oh, how often we allow time to just pass us by?  Never on purpose, and never foreseeing what the future holds, nor do we even have an inkling that the sand is steadily slipping through that hourglass.  While we take every chance available to spend time with our children, and relish in the childish laughter, giggling, funny faces, their point of views, their outlook on the world, accomplishments and good night hugs and kisses; I'm here to tell you IT'S NOT LONG ENOUGH!!!!

Saturday marks the high school graduation of our eldest daughter.  Our first born...the one we made all the "first time parent" mistakes with, swearing that it wouldn't happen again!  I swore she'd be graduating with a pacifier still plugged in her mouth!  How could have18 years simply passed me by?  When did all of this happen?  I swear I only looked away for a second!  The last thing I remember I was  dropping her off for her first day of kindergarten...yet come Saturday, I'll have a high school graduate on her way to VCU!

Who do I need to call to stop this insanity?  I swear she's still wet behind the ears, and I'm suppose to release her to the hounds of this world come August?  One thing's for certain...we both have a lot to learn about letting go and learning how to fly!

Saturday will be here all too soon for one of us (and it isn't her!) and while I know she's worked hard and is excited about starting a new chapter in her life, I'm still stuck back on the introduction page...and I like it here!  While many see a bright, young lady, ready to move forward, I still see the two year old who still needed and wanted me there for everything. So, please excuse my blogging absence for the next few days while I cram in all the should haves, could haves and would haves...before my sand starts running out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Mixing It Up Is Good For The Soul

I finally have gotten around to snapping a few pictures of my new work...kinda grungy, but I like them in gypsy-ish, woodsy kind of way!  Not my usual sort of work, but I like branching out, and attempting new ideas.  Granted, there are still kinks to be worked out...and they are time'll see where this path takes me!

"Brass" polymer clay bee hollow medallion with brass chain and findings and mysterious aqua faceted stone (I have no clue what it is...I *think* it might be candy jade) and aqua shell spear dangle & robin's egg blue ceramic round charm.

Close up of the bee.  Many, many layers of started out as a grayish brown clay.

Honeycomb "brass" polymer clay lentil

Carved (completely by accident, as I was trying to shave of the roughness and my knife slipped & decided to go "whole hog" on it) clay toggle clasp.

Fleur De Lis pendant.  this one is still in the works...just not happy with the finished look of the necklace.  Hollow polymer clay "brass" lentil with teal cut glass and peach marble accents.'s missing something...I just can't put my finger on it it's hanging out (literally) in my view while I mull it over.

Stamped polymer toggle.  Aged & distressed.

Silver hollow polymer ginkgo pendant.  Pearl & Swarovski charms.

Carved & distressed toggle clasp.

So, while it's a far cry from a PMC finished'll occupy my creativity...for now!  And because I have an addictive personality, I just ordered 10+ patina colors!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

What?? No Swarovski on Tuesday???

I love the look of PMC (precious metal clay) and it's versatility, and have wanted to branch out from strictly working with polymer clay for quite some time.  I've spent my spare time (HA!) in the last week researching, and, well...right now it's just not a feasible option for me...financially, that is.  It could be a viable option if I could find an appropriate second hand kiln...but then I face the dilemma of where I'm going to put the darn thing!  I've read that you can also fire PMC with a torch, but again...with 4 kids in the house, it's a house fire waiting to happen!

But, I wanted to share with you the possibilities...endless...

See why I'm so enamored??  Do a quick search on Etsy for PMC and you'll find many talented artisans...the above are just scratching the surface of amazing talent and creativity.  So, after rechecking my bank account, pants' pockets in the laundry basket, and even under the couch cushions to no avail, I set about creating a "poor man's" version! 

I worked endlessly today on this little project of mine.  While, by no means does it look even remotely close to the exemplary models above...I think I like it.  It's polymer clay, meets PMC, meets metal work.  A 180 degree about face from my usual dainty, sparkly pieces that I've become too accustomed to making.  But, while talking to my dear friend Kim, she brought up a great point..."that some would never wear Swarovski on a Tuesday!"  Pure blastemy we both agreed...but she may be on to something. 

My demos need a little tweaking before I share, but I may just have something I'm happy with....stay tuned and hopefully I'll have picture worthy pieces by the week's end!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sweet As Cupcakes

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; if you've never had the opportunity to participate in a Relay For Life event, you are missing out on an amazing experience!  A sense of community, camaraderie, and most importantly...hope.  Something, that no matter what your personal situation and tribulations (and we all have them), we crave.  Where almost everyone has a story, which in turn, creates a bond amongst all of us involved. 

Today was our local Relay event.  The weather, as predicted, was ominous...rain and storms were headed our way for the duration of the day.  I won't even try to say I wasn't slightly disappointed when the weather was forcasted, because to tell the truth, my heart sank - if just a smidge!  Tents, tables, activities and excitement just aren't as much fun in a downpour, right?  But, this morning while drinking my prerequisite pot of morning coffee, and while the house was quiet and still, I dug a little deeper into my thoughts and reasonings (hey, it happens to me occasionally.)

I rewound my memory back to when my own mother was sick, and came to the conclusion that the weather and cancer went hand in hand.  It was a whirlwind 14 months for all of us, to say the least.  It seemed that a thick black cloud hung over every activity, every holiday, every day...until the very end.  Our family's storm, if you will.  The survivors...well they can't be anything other than the rainbow after the horrendous storms have passed, and the warmth of the sun shining is most definitely organizations such as Relay For Life/The American Cancer Society.  This quickly changed my attitude about the day's events...if we weren't all willing to walk through a little rain, then how in damnation can we ever conquer something as devastating as cancer?  Perfect analogy.  Shoes on!

Luckily, the weather was quite cooperative until 5 p.m.  The luminaria event will be held at a later date, which we will NOT miss.  Come hell or high water, even if I have to drag myself there...I will attend!!  Personally, while the survivors' walk is beyond a hopeful and inspiring jump start to the day(which we all need), the luminaria ceremony is where my heart lies.  After such an upbeat, encouraging day, it's that last lap completed in silence and darkness, with only candlelight to light our way, that speaks to me.  The sheer volume of luminaries is harrowing, and it's a time to remember those storms our loved ones endured...not in vain, and in turn, gives us all the will to fight until there is no longer a need for luminaries or even relays at all!!

Here's a few highlights from today:

What's a Relay without a relay??

Sack race anyone?  These girls have a hard time just walking...Grace is not either of their names...throw in a sack...and well, you have a video montage material for sure!

The one on her knees?  Yeah, she's mine *face palm*

Who doesn't LOVE cupcakes?  Sweet as sugar... Welcome to the cupcake eating contest (a dozen of them each)!!!!

Ok...these two seemed a little "cocky" before the contest considering the were the only adult females, the youngest and were outweighed by at least 50lbs...we'll see....

On your mark, get set...wait a that apprehension I see?

And they're off...although not glamorously!

The look says "Hey, 'Riah...maybe this wasn't such a great idea!"

And after coming to terms with their defeat...there's nothing like a little friendly cupcake fight between best friends!

Wonder if I can interest my girls in a cupcake?

So, if you take nothing else away from this tonight...please do yourself a favor and treat yourself to the experience of Relay For Life....oh, and that cupcake eating contests will immediately crush your love of cupcakes FOREVER!!! ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Window Shopping

I love to spend hours of my life perusing Etsy, sometimes with a specific genre in mind, other times I just wander.  It's window shopping at my fingertips!  And when you live in a town where the only shopping experience is Dollar get my point!   Here's where my wandering lead me today (while I should of been in the studio):

Love, love, love this leather cuff!! 

I'm all about some ballet flats, and these look SO comfortable...and vegan to boot!

Painters fascinate me...which could probably have a lot to do with the fact, that painting (even walls) is definitely not my niche!)  I want this hanging in my house!!!!

From:  MamaPainter

Lampwork beads.  Enough said!

From:  ModernTrails

This would look great in my teal, orange & gray schemed bedroom, that I've yet to get accomplished!

And I'd have to have an orange one to go with the teal, right?  This fits the bill.  I love to mix dainty, frilly, girlie things with more organic/rustic items...

From:  LivyCreation

That concludes today's window shopping excursion....

You Know What They Say About Opinions

As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short. 

Photos of our booth at The Heart of Virginia Festival this past weekend.  Please excuse the shoddy photography.  I was snapping quickly, so I could finish setting up!

Hadn't quite finished setting up when my husband proceeded to wallop his head on the corner of my sign.  It was promptly relocated to a safer's position in the picture.  While not the best spot to was better than Chris knocking some sense into him all day!

Still not finished setting up...

I've got to do something about the sheerness of my table coverings...

Now...after alot of is my PERSONAL review on the festival...take it for what it's worth.

1.  The crowd was great!  We received compliments hand over fist throughout the day...not only for our products, but also for our booth presentation.  After quickly perusing other vendors later in the day, it seems that most just didn't care about their first impression.

2.  It seemed that although this was classified as a "juried" show, that rule didn't apply to some.  While I don't have any issues with non juried shows, please make me privy to that beforehand, and may I suggest a separate section for them?

3.  Evidently it was bad form for me to introduce myself to neighboring vendors...non jewelry at that...who knew?

4.  Music and activities kept the crowd hopping, and upbeat...we had a to die for space directly across from one of the stages, and they kept us entertained the whole day!

5.  Wooden pop guns should be banned.  End.  Of.  Story!  This also includes said pop gun vendors! :)

6.  I despise my tent!  :) LOL!  It is the first thing on my list to be replaced!!  It's not that it's hard to put up, it just gives me a complex that I akin to not keeping up with high school fashion.

All in all, I had a great day!  Profit wasn't what I expected, but I learned a lot, and had a great time!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'm On My Way

I know, I know...I've been missing in action for the past week.  I had just worked myself in to a frenzy over my show today, that I thought it was best for all of us that I take a little blogging break.  Well, that and I don't think I could have strung a coherent sentence together if I wanted to with only a couple hours of sleep a night, and restless hours at that.  Like everyone else in "the biz", I tend to have "I can't go to the show without these, or the earth will fall off it's axis, and how has anyone lived without these?" design epiphanies the week leading up to the big day! Usually for me, it doesn't work out, and I end up with a two pound ball of scrap clay...I'll save that story for another day. a kid on Christmas morning, I bounced out of the bed this morning at 5 a.m.  Thankfully my careful (or at least in my mind) planning left only loading tables on the agenda this morning!!  As usual I was a nervous wreck...I'm talking like a sinner (keeping it clean, my friends) heading to confession, wreck.  Set up just rattles my nerves.  What if  I forgot something?  What if something blew off of the truck, and I was too exhausted to notice?  What if I'm abducted by aliens?  All irrational.  All typical me!

It was a beautiful day.  Tons of activities for the pip-squeaks.  There was an impressive eclectic mix of live music all day.   And people out in droves...they just weren't buying...anything! 

It really gave me a complex at first.  We have redesigned all of the signage, displays/layout, I have for the most part stuck to one "genre" of intricate clay work, and we added my husband's upcycled jewelry to the melting pot...something for look at! :)

We both received enough compliments, accolades and jaw drops to have us both reaching for a slice of humble pie.  So, regardless of profits, I felt great about what I created, and of the overall aesthetics of our booth.  One sweet lady told my husband "that I looked familiar", and asked if I was the art director at Longwood University (where the show was held)?"  I wish, right? 

Today also made me think long and hard about where I am artistically, what I want to portray, the potential cliential I'd like to reach, and where I need to show, geographically, to pull my plan together.... I have a long journey, that much I know...and let's leave it at that for the day....

Hopefully, I'll have pictures edited and blogged tomorrow...but this day has been a long one...eye opening and physically and mentally exhasting! 

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Did Anyone Lose A Rope?

I'm so busy this week I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse! 

Deadlines loom, and as usual I'm hustling.  I promise a real blog entry with pictures and everything tomorrow!