Monthly Archives: April 2013
Gabriella, a four-year old Bichon, is my trained therapy dog. She comes to my Psychiatry office several days a week. The patients love her.
She loves sitting in their laps. We are still working on her pausing for a moment before she leaps into their laps!
She is a happy, kind-hearted dog. I have a few patients who refuse to come in unless she is here.
It was one of those weekends with little pressing on me.
This morning I got the idea of making a flag cane to put little flags on beads.
First I made the stars, adapting a technique I learned at the North Texas Polymer Clay Guild last month. Randee Ketzel of Austin taught us to make a Snowflake Jade cane. You can see my star cane on the left.
Then I made some stripes and reduced the star cane to fit into its place on the flag. You can see my flag cane second from the left.
I reduced my flag cane by half to fit onto my beads and then cut wafer thin slices to go onto beads for Beads of Courage, (www.beadsofcourage.org). (reducing the cane means making its cross section smaller; the cane gets longer in that process)
I made about 50 flag beads all told, praying for the kids with cancer who would be receiving my beads all the while.
It’s time to mail the beads I’ve accumulated off to Beads of Courage. I have 3+ quart of beads in Mason jars.
Last night I found a wonderful free tutorial on making tubular beads. I immediately saw the use of these for Beads of Courage. This morning, after a dance with my cleaning muse (I cleaned the bathroom), I sat down to make tubular beads in wild and wacky colors. It was a hoot.
Then I turned to making beads of stacks of colors that pleased me. Finally I made another two canes of four leafed clovers and used one to make the bowl of green beads in the photo.
I used up all of my scrap clay making these beads. It was very freeing to use it for good.
I prayed over every bead.
I am storing the beads in quart Mason jars until I mail them to Beads of Courage. I have three quarts of beads ready to go.
It is so interesting to me that I don’t get tired when I make beads for kids with cancer.
Here’s the tutorial I used for the tubular beads: http://2goodclaymates.blogspot.com/2011/10/candy-cane-tube-bead-tutorial.html
Now I have to make a blueberry buckle for a church supper.
Well, the cleaning muse left me right after I wrote my earlier post. Back to the clay!
I decided to make some Beads of Courage, for kids with cancer.
I had made a four leafed clover “cane” of polymer clay the other day. I am a baby cane-r. This one was a simple jellyroll of many colors of green clay, pressed in four places toward the center with a blunt edge. Almost every layer of the cane had mica, a shiny mineral, in it, to make it twinkle.
I used a “tissue knife”, a polymer clay tool borrowed from pathologists, to cut paper thin slices of the four leaf clover cane.
I mixed up some green clay and added green glitter to it. I then made balls of the clay; these would become the beads. I applied two slices of the cane to each ball and rolled it in my hands to meld the slices into the balls. I let them rest a while and then pierced each one to make a hole for stringing.
I held each bead in my hand before I placed it on the parchment paper and prayed earnestly for the healing of the child who would claim my bead as her own.
All 32 of the fresh baked prayer beads will be going to Beads of Courage, a group that gives kids with cancer a handmade bead every time they have a needle stick or other procedure.
I have been making Beads of Courage from my scrap clay and from my learning clay when I am exploring a new technique. Sometimes I just sit down to make beads for the kids, like today.
If you are a clay-er I hope you will go to http://www.beadsofcourage.org and click on “Artists” and see how easy it is to donate beads. I hope you will begin to make some beads for these deserving kids. Just use your scrap clay at the end of the day, or if you like, just sit down and make some beads for kids with cancer.
I have just come out of a creative frenzy lasting two weeks. I have made about 150 beads, most of them for Beads of Courage (for kids with cancer). I have also, in the process, innovated some beads for my Etsy shop, LadyFlowersbySusan. I hope to photograph them and post them later today.
But first it was time to clean up the mess that accrued during my creative frenzy. I deep cleaned the kitchen, even running Windex-soaked q-tips between the buttons of the blender! I put vinegar soaked cotton pads over all of the places around the sink where lime had accrued and after a bit, scrubbed away the lime deposits. My kitchen is sparkling clean again.
I had read on Pinterest how you can root the bottom of celery and grow more. I was intrigued by this. I normally only buy celery for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, to make Mother’s stuffing. I saved my Easter celery bottom and put it in a saucer of water. In about a week it started to grow new celery sprouts and in two weeks I could see fine white roots.
I potted it up today in the re-ordering of my kitchen. I have actually harvested two small stalks already for some beef stock I was making. I pried the tiny stalks from the outside edge of the new growth and put the stalks and their flavorful leaves in my stockpot.
Now for the bedroom and bathroom. The bath mats are already in the washer…
A few weeks ago, I accepted the challenge of Jeanne K. Dukic (http://www.jkjewelry.com) to take one of her unsold pieces of jewelry and do it over into something new.
Jeanne sent me the necklace in the first picture. When I disarticulated it, I had the components you see in the second photo.
I was really flummoxed! The components were far from the components I ordinarily use. Finally a design began to emerge after many nights of sleeping on it. I began to see a bib-style necklace with earrings to match. I painted the silvery items with copper paint. Some needed six coats! I ordered some large copper colored aluminum jump rings, large enough to link the rings.
I already had on hand the copper partial necklace, copper chain and wire. I also had a supply of copper Swarovski pearls.
Finally I screwed up my courage and sat down to create. As is usual, my brilliant plan had to change to accommodate the reality of the components.
You can see my final design in the third photo.
You can hop on to the blogs of the other participants if you follow these links:
Donetta Farrinton http://simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com/
Last month the North Texas Polymer Clay Guild had a bead making workshop in lieu of our regular program. We made all of the beads you see here that day. The beads were on display at our meeting today. The beads have been baked and are ready to ship to Beads of Courage. Children who are very ill (often they have cancer) are given one of these beads for every procedure they undergo and every milestone they come to.
Would you like to make polymer clay beads for this worthy endeavor?
to learn how you can participate.
Briefly any bead that is harmless to kids is OK. The kids string them on a cord, so the preferred hole size is 3/32″, but the program is flexible. Beads should have no sharp edges or parts that could break off.
I hope it will bring a tear to your eye to know that some kids have bead strings ten feet long.
I will be using the scrap clay from each project to make one or more Beads of Courage. I have laid in a supply of plastic coffee stirrers to use to pierce my beads. They give me just the right size hole. I make one or more at the end of every claying session.
I have found it super easy to do this.
This one is just a ball of silver glitter clay rolled into a shooter marble size. I put dots of colorful clay on the surface, rerolled it and baked it. This bead is going to make a child very happy.