Welcome to 2018, finally!

Wow. Time flies when you’re sick and productive. I see I left all of you hanging at Week 30 of the #2017pcchallenge, yet I continued to create up to the end of the year.

Here is some of what happened:




I also spent time opening an Etsy shop. Ok, my husband basically set up an Etsy shop for me, but still, there’s an Etsy shop.  I found that I was making items that were just sitting, and supplies don’t pay for themselves. Hence, Etsy. SunshinyShadows is the name of the store.  You can find it here if you are interested in any item that you see being made on this blog.


I am participating in the #2018pcchallenge, so there will be plenty more items to add to the store as the year progresses. Happy 2018!


Week 30 Stage 5


It seems as though I’ve dropped off the map. Health again, but still got some clay work in over the past few weeks.


At first, it was too much effort to think through the color rules that I was imposing on myself, so I converted to free play. I played with cane to see how to incorporate them into pieces. Some things worked, many more didn’t. If the initial cane was unattractive, redemption was hard to find. The texture provided by most canes do not match well generally with added texture in a finished piece. The piece becomes too busy and the beauty is lost.

I ended up throwing away a lot of clay creations.  The editing was helpful, however.  I now have some pieces that show focus, with which I struggle, and cohesion.

May peace be with us all in these days.



Week 27 Stage 5

Hello all.  I skipped posting for awhile, but I have continued working and learning.  I returned to basics in my cane work, and was pleased to find that my skill had increased.  My box skills are also improving nicely, with fewer air bubbles and better seems.  I’m very excited, and far more confident that this year of study will take me to the tile and mosaic work that is my real goal.

Off to make some more canes, delving some into the greens that are assigned to this stage.

Peace to you.



Week 24 Stage 4

It is kind of an inevitability that, on average, each year I lose a few weeks to health challenges. The past six weeks will hopefully be this year’s sole donation to my inner health demons.

I have done some cane and some color work this past week.

In the first set of three pictures, I used a pink marble cane with white to create one round cane, and blue triangle canes to create the second round cane. Sculpt was used for both canes, but I will be making another round cane in Fimo this time, in an effort to sharpen my lines. I have discovered, as in any art, the higher the quality of your materials, the higher the quality of your product. Fimo offers a more consistent polymer strength than Sculpey. Time to graduate my materials.

Also with these canes, all of my trig lessons suddenly made sense.  Watching triangle canes act as the basis and unit of measure for my triangles, squares,circles, hexagons, rectangles, etc suddenly made the lessons all make sense  Why didn’t they do this in class?

The fourth pic shows the construction process of a lace cane that I created using primarily a large ocean blue center bullseye with orange, copper and black rings.  The first cane in the picture shows this bullseye cane. The lace effect is created by combining multiple canes. What surprised me when creating the cane is that the predominant blue clay was hardly visible after being reduced and combined so many times.  I will explore this phenomena further with other colors.

Lastly, I was playing at creating checkerboard cane. My cuts and combinations are off. This cane also needs additional practice.

This week I plan to continue using basic cane skills to explore colors. My next palette is green, I believe. I need to confirm this.

Peace and health to all.

Week 18 Stage 4

Heading into the blue palette!  I love working in blues.  I feel canes and boxes and tiles, oh my, all about to burst forth.

This past week was focused on some project completion. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I think I say that every week. Goals vs reality. My challenge is that I really wish that I could realize my goals once in awhile, but that’s another story for another day.

I created some scrap clay creatures, just for fun.  I ended up focusing my real work on three boxes, which I’ve moved along quite a bit.  They do still need some detailing, sealing, and lining. Another couple hours, tops.  I lost a couple hours searching for some detail gems in the drawer that should never be opened. Totally worth it!  I found the gems, a tooth and handprint from my now grown baby, and the drawer is now safely renamed as the drawer with all the cool stuff.  Plus, I added another gallon bag of crap to go to the local art supply recycling store.  Love that store.  My studio only has stuff I’ll actually use thanks to Starlandia Creative Supply.

Being late with this blog post, I’ve already started doing some blue work, along with this week’s  surface treatment, image transfer.  I created a blue and cream box for my Mom.  Mother’s Day and all. The box is very simple and dainty, with a picture of her children featured on the front.  I think she’ll like it.   I hope so anyway.

This week I’m going to keep plugging along at finishing some earlier work  In keeping up with my color studies, I’ll also mix my colors for this stage.  I think I have enough blue, but I need to check stock.  If not, I’ll have to visit Starlandia.  I hate when that happens…..not, lol.

Peace be with you this week.


Week 17 Stage 3

I’ve been on an odd roll this week.  Lots of forward movement, but mostly in pink, not green.  That said, working with the pink provided a huge breakthrough in my understanding of greens, and secondary colors in general.

Meg Newberg’s Polymer Clay Workshop this month included water lily and pad canes.  Always tempted by the most difficult canes available, I opted to try the water lily cane to embellish a green marbled tin cover on a tin box I had started.  With this, out came every shade of pink I own.  I followed the steps for making the cane, but in my impatience, feeling ill, I did not condition my clays equally.  My Sculpey pinks were too soft in the humidity, and my Sculpey 3 translucent clay was possibly slightly cooked and definitely under conditioned, thereby creating a cane that was very difficult to work.  While I created nothing that resembled a water lily, I do like what ended up added to my box.  With some acrylic paint and additional detail, I think the box will come together as a solid addition to my green works this Stage.

Speaking of green.  I wanted to make a green cane for tile to complement brown/orange tile created in Stage 1.  I was playing around with my color green mixing, and the realization came to me that when dealing with secondary colors, you need to alter tones by using color in opposition to your dominate color.  I used orange/yellow to brighten green.  I used purple/blue to soften green.  I used brown to darken green.  Finally, with these mixtures, I was able to differ the tones of green in play, as opposed to pulling the green tone together, as was happening when I mixed varying tones of green, only to achieve virtually the same color of green.  Textbook discovery, I know, but still a milestone for me.

Also this week, played with scrap.  Scrap canes, scrap box covers, scrap color mixing, you name it.  I’m excited at the directions my open play are taking me.  I will be continuing my play, just because I can.  I do need to do finishing work on Stage 3 items so that I don’t have a bunch of unfinished stuff sitting around.  Must. Do. Finish. Work.  Yeah that.

Pics of cane cuts and boxes below.  Created one Blue box with pretty pink confetti bottom, but blue lid was destroyed in an experiment with liquid Sculpey that came in contact with an errant air bubble.  Some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t.



Week 16 Stage 3

Now that studio cleaning is done, I am finally getting back to my clay work.  Green is still the predominant color this week, and I had a lot of small pieces of varying shades of green, so I decided to just play with it.  I’m really pleased with what is coming from that play.  My work is beginning to gain a bit of depth, which has me wanting to explore more in surface techniques.

This week’s work has produced two ornaments, a label charm that will redesignate my toaster oven to a kiln.  The label is mainly so guests will not cook food in the oven.  A spoon crept out of a lovely leaf cane I created from all the small bits of leftover green.  A jar has been started with last week’s black ornament.  Finally, a box is popping out of inspiration from Meg Newberg’s monthly, Polymer Cane Workshop.  Her monthly cane tutorials are a $5 per month subscription on Etsy, and usually include 3+ cane tutorials each.  I highly recommend them if you are attracted to cane work.

I will be working on Meg’s canes and doing some finishing work this week.  What will you be working on?


Week 15 Stage 3

Late post from busy week.  Spring cleaning studio.  Did work on some ornaments in the background.  Thinking I’ll play with surface treatments this week, along with a cane or two.  As well as finish putting my studio back together.  

Peace to all.

Week 14 Stage 3

I’m so excited!  I created something that is absolutely adorable.  But first, a run down on last week’s progress.

  1.  Created my first butterfly cane using my green shades with a translucent background.  I learned quite a bit about reducing a hand sized cane, and also a bit about making butterfly’s.  My first attempt missed the mark, sadly, but I’ll try again soon.  I was shocked that the background took 8 oz of translucent clay.  Will have to restock.
  2. I was cleaning my studio desk, and I came upon my scrap collection.  I don’t keep much scrap because most clay I reblend and use.  This collection was too muddy to be useful, or so I thought.  In a playful mood, I took a shot at reblending the mud towards rusty brown, brownish-yellow, and a clay colored red.  I took the new mud colored blends and created a simple flower cane with a transparent background.  The cane will have a limited use value, but still, it has enough clarity that I can see some use for it.  I love play learning.
  3. An adorable green leaf jar was created from an empty glass glaze jar.  I think I will add sand and offer it as an incense jar.
  4. I finished my crosses.  The flowers on the earrings overtook the cross, which can no longer be seen.  The ornament/pendant is ok, but I wish that I had done some shading and more texturing.  Layer your details.  Someday I will remember that rule.
  5. Green border cane was created for my jar.  Loved the result but note to self: need to figure out new border cane designs.

This week, I will work with green again.  Probably green tile cane to match the brown and orange tile cane in Stage 1.  We’ll see how it goes.

Peace be with you.





Week 13 Stage 3

Green.  Multiple shades of green.  I’ve mixed some shades, and no matter what I do, everything turns similar shades of green.  I’m now, therefore, intrigued.  How will I create in shades of green, as an artist who loves to use every color in existence on every creation?  At least where I live, the year passes with the flora maintaining varying shades of green with purple and brown highlights.  So I am familiar with seeing life in green shades.  That said, this Stage will present me with an interesting challenge.

My first task was to find every shade of green that I have stock on, five, and along with some yellow blue, mix my variant greens.  I’m sorry that I forgot to take a pic of the results, but understand please, that the differences in mixed shades was slight, from one to another.  For this Stage, I will actually be better off not color mixing, which just seems like theft to me.  ( I know that it isn’t ).  I always start a session with color mixing, so that what I create is all my vision.

Right now, I’ve started a couple of canes with the greens that I did mix.  One is a butterfly cane and the second is a spiral cane for use in a leaf cane.  Before, I was commenting on cool house/hard to work clay.  Well, as promised, today is already warm house/loosy goosy clay.  Not looking forward to hot house conditions at all.  So, canes are resting, as we speak.  Also, took ends from butterfly cane to start a pair of earrings, if finger pressure doesn’t crush the soft clay, smh.

This week, I’m planning to spend time making a vessel or two.  I also hope to start on a mosaic.  Something simple to start.  Lastly, there is one other simple cane that I want to attempt.  We’ll see if this is too much to do.  If so, there is next week.

Peace to you all.