Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Road Trip - Alamosa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge


Peter and I just returned from our summer road trip to the Great Sand Dune National Park in Colorado.   I'll be sharing some of the sites along the way in the next couple of blog posts and hope you enjoy them.

Alamosa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge(  https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Alamosa/about_the_refuge.html )
This is a wildlife refuge that covers 11,169 acres and has a mission to enhance the wetlands and desert habitats while providing protection for migratory birds.  It is located in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado.


It wasn't until we drove into the visitor's center and followed the scenic trail that I realized what diverse habitat existed in this area.  The road followed the Rio Grande where we saw a Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage.  I love the male's blue beaks! 

Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage

At the visitor center there was a large milkweed plant that was different than the ones we have.  I did not see any Monarch butterflies but the bloom was lovely.

Milkweed
There was a pair of Brewer's Blackbirds building a nest.  I rarely get good pictures of black birds so I'm pretty happy having these.

female Brewer's Blackbird

Male Brewer's Blackbird


We also saw Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds!  Seems lots of birds like pass through this area!

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

2 White-faced Ibis in flight
On the way out of the refuge we saw these Ibis flying and I think they will somehow work into a design for jewelry!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Design Transfers on Jewelry

I like a more free painting technique 
Polymer Clay Universe 2017 has some really fun online classes and I'm learning different techniques for polymer clay.  I want to share the results of one class I've enjoyed.  It's titled  'Mini Masterpieces' with Syndee Holt.  This is the link to the site in case you want to check it out!  https://createalong.teachable.com/p/polymer-clay-universe/

Syndee shows how to use the Jelli Plate, design transfers, silkscreens and alcohol ink pens for coloring.  She also demos ways to finish the jewelry pieces and attach cords. There is so much information and Syndee explains the steps completely.

For years I've been experimenting with ways to use my personal photos in jewelry and now I have another to add to my list.  I can make a black and white laser copy of my photograph and size it in Photoshop, repeat it and then transfer the finished design directly to polymer clay.  That will be another post!

For this project I used a design that Syndee furnished in her class.  This one gets transferred to clay and colored in with alcohol ink pens.  If you like to color, this is a great class and technique.  There are many painting styles to experiment with like the one at the start of this post.  I tried several.

One of the designs I transferred to clay
Ready to finish these colored pieces

The finished pieces

The 2 pair of oval earrings use the same design as above
Finished Earrings










Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lizards on My Journal

Finished piece

It's been quite a while since I tried to sculpt anything but it's been in the back of my mind for a time.  After watching tutorials by Aniko Kolesnikova better known in the polymer world at 'Mandarin Duck', I just had to try sculpting a journal cover.  This is a link to one of her tutorials that you might like to see.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2QLifZkONI

Of course I had to try lizards...specifically young Bearded Dragons!  I have 2 live ones and was able to check on details often.  I'm sure 'Willie' and 'Mario' wondered why I was so interested in their parts.

This picture is of the flat sheet of shaded brown polymer and acts as the background for the sculpture.  It is important to make this the actual size you want for the cover.  It can be trimmed when you are done but it's difficult to make it bigger.  This one is 8" x 11".  


Background
It took some time and a failed lizard before I got the hang of forming lizard parts.  I started with the head and scaled the body to fit.  Bearded Dragons have a distinct triangular shaped head with high bones above the eye sockets.  They flatten their bodies when relaxed and basking and they have cone shaped spines that outline the body.  

First lizard basic body
Finding the right texture to represent the individual scales was fun.  I finally decided to use some metal leather stamps.  After texturing, the cone spines were added.  Talk about time consuming!


First lizard textured with spines.  Waiting for his buddy!
 I made the second lizard and placed him on top of the other.  When I go to Reptile Shows there are always baby Bearded Dragons stacked on each other on a log.  Pretty cute!  They just like to be together.  That changes as their hormones get going!



After making this and having such a good time, I'll do more.  But I have some concerns about using this as a journal cover.  When I write in my journal, I like to have it open all the way and it might be on my lap or a table.  My concern is about the raised sculpture getting in the way or having to be careful not to damage it.

I like this so much that I may put it on a board instead of on the journal and hang it someplace - maybe on the front porch!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Road Trip - Alamosa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge


Peter and I just returned from our summer road trip to the Great Sand Dune National Park in Colorado.   I'll be sharing some of the sites along the way in the next couple of blog posts and hope you enjoy them.

Alamosa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge(  https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Alamosa/about_the_refuge.html )
This is a wildlife refuge that covers 11,169 acres and has a mission to enhance the wetlands and desert habitats while providing protection for migratory birds.  It is located in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado.


It wasn't until we drove into the visitor's center and followed the scenic trail that I realized what diverse habitat existed in this area.  The road followed the Rio Grande where we saw a Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage.  I love the male's blue beaks! 

Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage

At the visitor center there was a large milkweed plant that was different than the ones we have.  I did not see any Monarch butterflies but the bloom was lovely.

Milkweed
There was a pair of Brewer's Blackbirds building a nest.  I rarely get good pictures of black birds so I'm pretty happy having these.

female Brewer's Blackbird

Male Brewer's Blackbird


We also saw Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds!  Seems lots of birds like pass through this area!

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

2 White-faced Ibis in flight
On the way out of the refuge we saw these Ibis flying and I think they will somehow work into a design for jewelry!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Design Transfers on Jewelry

I like a more free painting technique 
Polymer Clay Universe 2017 has some really fun online classes and I'm learning different techniques for polymer clay.  I want to share the results of one class I've enjoyed.  It's titled  'Mini Masterpieces' with Syndee Holt.  This is the link to the site in case you want to check it out!  https://createalong.teachable.com/p/polymer-clay-universe/

Syndee shows how to use the Jelli Plate, design transfers, silkscreens and alcohol ink pens for coloring.  She also demos ways to finish the jewelry pieces and attach cords. There is so much information and Syndee explains the steps completely.

For years I've been experimenting with ways to use my personal photos in jewelry and now I have another to add to my list.  I can make a black and white laser copy of my photograph and size it in Photoshop, repeat it and then transfer the finished design directly to polymer clay.  That will be another post!

For this project I used a design that Syndee furnished in her class.  This one gets transferred to clay and colored in with alcohol ink pens.  If you like to color, this is a great class and technique.  There are many painting styles to experiment with like the one at the start of this post.  I tried several.

One of the designs I transferred to clay
Ready to finish these colored pieces

The finished pieces

The 2 pair of oval earrings use the same design as above
Finished Earrings










Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lizards on My Journal

Finished piece

It's been quite a while since I tried to sculpt anything but it's been in the back of my mind for a time.  After watching tutorials by Aniko Kolesnikova better known in the polymer world at 'Mandarin Duck', I just had to try sculpting a journal cover.  This is a link to one of her tutorials that you might like to see.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2QLifZkONI

Of course I had to try lizards...specifically young Bearded Dragons!  I have 2 live ones and was able to check on details often.  I'm sure 'Willie' and 'Mario' wondered why I was so interested in their parts.

This picture is of the flat sheet of shaded brown polymer and acts as the background for the sculpture.  It is important to make this the actual size you want for the cover.  It can be trimmed when you are done but it's difficult to make it bigger.  This one is 8" x 11".  


Background
It took some time and a failed lizard before I got the hang of forming lizard parts.  I started with the head and scaled the body to fit.  Bearded Dragons have a distinct triangular shaped head with high bones above the eye sockets.  They flatten their bodies when relaxed and basking and they have cone shaped spines that outline the body.  

First lizard basic body
Finding the right texture to represent the individual scales was fun.  I finally decided to use some metal leather stamps.  After texturing, the cone spines were added.  Talk about time consuming!


First lizard textured with spines.  Waiting for his buddy!
 I made the second lizard and placed him on top of the other.  When I go to Reptile Shows there are always baby Bearded Dragons stacked on each other on a log.  Pretty cute!  They just like to be together.  That changes as their hormones get going!



After making this and having such a good time, I'll do more.  But I have some concerns about using this as a journal cover.  When I write in my journal, I like to have it open all the way and it might be on my lap or a table.  My concern is about the raised sculpture getting in the way or having to be careful not to damage it.

I like this so much that I may put it on a board instead of on the journal and hang it someplace - maybe on the front porch!