Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Crochet Hook Sale - in time for Mother's Day!

I am disappointed, but not surprised, when I got a call that my stove would not be arriving (a month ago) and that it was again on back order.  The next date was possibly in 2 more weeks from now but when I checked, I was told that it could be a very long time yet before I would receive it.  Apparently this appliance shortage (among many other things) is much bigger than imagined.  So I decided to do something about it and went in search of any stove (with a convection oven) that was available and was fortunate to find one in stock here in town.  It will be arriving next week and so I can finally get back to baking my clay (and food without burning it) very soon.

In the meantime, I do have plenty of items in stock that would make excellent mother's day gifts so I am starting right now with all my (individual) crochet hooks at 30% off.  These are already made up and in stock and since I cannot create any new ones at the moment, I will not be taking any special orders as of yet.  These are a popular item of ours and so once a size/color is gone, it may not be back again.

If you know someone with arthritis or carpel tunnel and has difficulty crocheting, these hooks are ergonomic and very comfortable to hold in your hand.  They are my own design and many customers have shared with me how much they love them. 

The sale on our crochet hooks ends this Sunday, April 18, 2021

Use the coupon code:


at the checkout to receive your 30% off discount

Shop Now

And we have many other items on sale (overstock and clearance) in our online store.  Simply click on the "Items Option" tab (left hand side) and click on the "on sale" box.  These items have already been reduced so no coupon code is needed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Still Settling in -- Somehow

So I am back and things are finally progressing with unpacking my studio and all.  Wow, how did I end up with so many things?  And so many little pieces!  As I unpacked I did my year end inventory count so I wouldn't have to go through everything all over again.  I also sorted out a lot of items that I don't really need or want to use anymore so I need to photograph and list in my online store so look for some great specials soon.

It has been months since I have actually done any claying and now chomping at the bit to get back to creating again.  Unfortunately it will have to wait as I have nothing I can bake in yet.  I love the apartment condo I purchased together with my mom.  It is very spacious (2 bedroom, 2 bath plus studio) and is more than 1300 square feet.  An apartment this size is hard to come by.  It is in an older building that has been recently upgraded and totally updated.  Unfortunately, the apartment itself has not been updated and is still in it's original 30 year old form.  So before moving in we had to deal with some necessary updates which has taken a lot of time and effort.  The photo below shows one end of my kitchen that I did myself - before and after (except lay the new flooring).  It still isn't finished as you can see by the old cabinets at the other end which I am working on right now and will share later after I am done.

One of the items that required attention was the old appliances.  The fridge and stove were very old and fortunately still functioning but don't know for how long.  On purchasing some new ones, we discovered there was a major shortage and nearly every appliance in every store was out of stock and on back order.  This was because many of the factories were shut down last year due to covid.  When they started up again, they were working at a much lower capacity than before.  Another reason was that many Canadians couldn't travel south for the winter this year, so decided to put the money from their trip into their homes instead.  So after buying our new appliances, the fridge finally arrived 3 months later.  Unfortunately we were informed that our stove was still on back order.  We just received a call, however, that it is now suppose to arrive this Friday!

So I cannot bake any clay until my new stove arrives.  Let me explain why this stove/oven is so special.  A few years back, my late husband Dave had bought me a new stove.  It had 2 ovens that were both true convection.  I absolutely loved it as I could bake my clay in one oven and still prepare my food and bake in the other at the same time!  This oven was great as I could bake a lot of items at a time as well as larger size pieces.  And to keep everything "food safe", I always baked in pans that were tightly sealed so no fumes would escape.

I really loved that stove and probably should have kept it and replaced it with another when I sold my house in Chase but I felt I could easily buy another one later.  I just didn't realize how long I would have to wait.  So I am hoping it will still arrive on Friday as scheduled -- fingers crossed!

My studio is finally getting more organized.  At least I can now see my counter tops!  The above photo shows my standing corner where I condition my clay and mix up my colors.  I wanted it in the corner under the huge windows so I could look outside while working.  I have two other work areas (sitting) in the room that I will show you later.  I also realized I couldn't fit everything into this room and so set up my jewelry making station in our sunroom.  I have a feeling that my desk in the sunroom and this corner work station will be my favorite spots with so much activity to see outside!  Besides all the ducks (see last post) we have had some deer pay us a visit several times.  They had wandered into the courtyard -- probably by crossing the stream -- and seemed to really enjoy themselves.  It is difficult to believe we are so close to downtown with all this nature around us. 

So, I will keep you posted on my new stove if/when it arrives.  In the meantime, I am thinking it is not too late to start mixing up some new Pantone Spring colors!  I totally missed mixing up the colors from last fall.  This wasn't intentional but a result of all my supplies being packed away and in storage for several months between all the other chaos of moving.  I just took a peek today at the new colors and hoping they will be a great way to add that spark that I need to get back into my creative groove!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Welcome 2021 and Good Riddance to 2020

Happy New Year everyone!  I can hardly believe my last blog post was May of last year.  So much has happened -- where do I begin?  2020 was off to a very rocky start and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, Covid-19 was out of the bag and running!  My dad passed away in January and my mom was living alone in a senior complex in Alberta.  When Covid hit and there were lock downs, my mom could not see any family.  Her meals were brought to her room so she couldn't even visit with her friends within the complex.  She was so lonely and I was worried that she was a high risk of catching the nasty virus.  We had talked about her coming and living with me after dad was gone and so I decided that it was time to go out and bring her back to stay with me -- at least as a trial run or until all of this blows over.

She stayed with me in Chase for several months and we then decided to relocate together to the city of Kelowna (about 2 hours away) where my brother lives.  Things have been a blur ever since --  preparing my home to sell, packing and putting most of my belongings into storage until we could find a suitable place to live.  Fortunately my brother and sister-in-law have an Airbnb suite which happened to be vacant (lots of cancellations due to Covid), so we were able to stay there for several months while looking for a new home.  After a lot of searching, we managed to find a comfortable condo-style apartment that was spacious enough for us to live as well as have an extra room for my art studio.  This photo shows a sneak peek at my new studio before moving in.  We have since put down all new laminate flooring plus still doing some other updates which I will show you later when it is all done.

My art studio took up 2 rooms in my previous home which meant downsizing to 1 room in my new place.  This has been a real challenge in organizing the space to make it as functional as possible.  I like the large corner windows which allow plenty of natural light without direct sun. This is the view from my window and if you look close enough you will see one of the many ducks swimming in the stream.

The other day my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were visiting outside (so we could social distance) and a bunch of ducks came up to check us out to see if we had any food to offer.  They were so polite and I felt bad I didn't have anything to give so I am planning a trip to the Wild Bird store to pick up some proper food for them -- especially to help a bit for over the winter.

So, back to my studio -- or lack thereof at the moment.  To make more useable space I had to acquire some new cabinets and shelving which meant a lot of building.  I love Ikea furniture but I tell you, I have come pretty close to learning to swear in Swedish!  I managed so far to put together a dining room buffet, 2 dressers, a nightstand, some kitchen cabinets, several shelf units and 4 Alex drawers.  So now that I am almost done, I can unpack the remainder of my boxes.

I have found I really like living in Kelowna.  It is a large enough city where it has pretty much everything and yet not too large and overcrowded.  I also love the underground parking and so no more snow shoveling or yard work to deal with anymore.

So I promise I will get back on track as soon as possible.  I am anxious to finish unpacking and get back to my art work again as it has been way too long!  I have had a lot of time to think so I have lots of new ideas brewing and looking forward to sharing them with you soon.

In the meantime, good riddance to 2020 and all the best of health to you for a new year!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pantone Spring 2020 Fashion Color Clay Recipes Summary

Sorry this is so late but here is the review of the Pantone Fall 2020 Fashion colors.  Click on the photos below to see the clay recipes using Kato clay.  If you would like to see more clay recipes for the past Pantone fashion colors, go to the color recipe page at the top of this blog.

Color of the Year:  Classic Blue

Flame Scarlet, Saffron

Grape Compote, Faded Denim, Cinnamon Stick, Coral Pink

Here are some recipe cards with these Pantone colors ready to print out on 4" x 6" index cards. They have the colored dots on them but are ready to add your own baked clay chip samples.

Click here to download and print out by following the instructions included.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pantone Spring 2020 Fashion Colors Grape Compote, Faded Denim, Coral Pink and Cinnamon Stick

Updating items in my online store is taking much longer than I had hoped so bear with me and eventually I will be having a big sale -- but need to be sure everything is up and running first.  In the meantime, my tutorials are all available and I am having a sale on those -- you can see the details at the end of this post.

I quite like these last four colors -- but then again, maybe they are just growing on me!  I do find inspired mixing up the new shades.  I know some people told me they find mixing the clay colors takes too much work.  They want to just open a package and get playing.  But I find the whole mixing process is a great time to think.  It actually gets my creative juices flowing and as I mix up each color, ideas are running through my head.  I have time to think things through and plan.  It really is a spring board for what I am going to make.

One of the colors I actually didn't have to mix up at all.  I was working on a recipe for the Cinnamon Stick when I suddenly realized that the Kato Copper is a perfect match!  Just to make it more workable, I like to mix in some transluscent.

So here are the recipes for the last four Pantone Spring 2020 Fashion colors using Kato clay.  I hope you have fun with them and find mixing them up to be inspiring as well.  I hope to play with the new colors as soon as all this computer stuff is out of the way!

Grape Compote
6 parts Dark Purple #10-2 *
2 parts Ecru Mix #2-8

Faded Denim
1 part Navy Blue #9-7 *
1 part Kato Silver
2 parts White Mix #1-2 *

Coral Pink
1/2 part Kato Magenta
1/2 part Kato Orange
1 parts Kato Yellow
4 parts Ecru Base #2-7 *
3 parts White Mix #1-2 *

Cinnamon Stick
Kato Copper clay
add some transluscent (optional)

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.

So now for my sale....  Something to give you inspiration and take your mind off all what is going on in the world for the next few weeks!

All my tutorials, including my Clay Color System, are 30% off.

Just use the coupon code at the check-out.  Discount is on my tutorials only and the sale will be on until next week Friday and you can come back and use the coupon as many times as you want.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pantone Spring 202 Fashion Colors Chive, Biscay Green, Mosaic Blue, Orange Peel and Sunlight

I am currently updating my online store and ran into a major hiccup.  While transferring my items, many were lost and none of the photos loaded.  This has caused me a big headache as I have to go in and fix every single item and when you have several thousand, it adds up to a lot of hours!  And of course things never run as smoothly as hoped and the site keeps crashing every so often.  So if you are looking for something there and it is blank, bare with me for a bit.  After all is done I hope you will find it to be a better shopping experience.

So in the meantime to speed things up, I will share with you five more clay recipes for the spring Pantone colors and the last four tomorrow.  I am sure many of you are keeping occupied with your clay right now while at home more and practicing your social distancing.  I know it is nice to have some good distractions from all the covid-19 stuff we have been bombarded with.  The main focus is to stay healthy -- physically and mentally.

So here are the recipes using Kato clay:

10 parts Kato Yellow
4 parts Kato Green
1/2 part Kato Gold
3 parts Kato Black

Biscay Green
3 parts Kato Green
1/4 part Kato Blue
6 parts White Mix #1-2 *

Mosaic Blue
6 parts Kato Turquoise
1 part Kato Green
1/2 part White Mix #1-2 *

Orange Peel
Same as Orange Base recipe # 5-2 *

1 part Yellow
2 parts White Mix #1-2 *

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.

And I would still like to hear from anyone who is interested in these clay recipes.  (See my previous post here). Sadly I only had 2 responses so if there are not many more comments here or on my facebook page, I may continue these recipes by only sharing through a private e-mail or facebook group.  Thanks and hoping for more of a response.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Pantone Spring 2020 Fashion Colors Flame Scarlet and Saffron

It seems to be taking me longer than usual to finally mix up these new Pantone colors.  I am quite sure it is due to all of the distractions lately regarding the Coronavirus.  It is rather unsettling and probably even more so if you have a large family or kids at home.  So I am sure many of you are waiting for the clay recipes for the new Pantone spring colors so you can preoccupy yourself and create something new.   I have to say though I am finding the spring colors not so inspiring -- at least not compared to past seasons.  I actually find some of them rather boring and a repeat of other years -- just in a different combination.

So I thought I would start off with 2 of the brighter colors.  Flame Scarlet and Saffron.

I noticed that the color Saffron is so similar to last years spring color, Mango Mojito, that I decided it was hardly worth tweaking a recipe that really didn't need it.  So in mixing up the polymer clay, just stick with the mango mojito color and you won't go wrong.  You will find the clay recipe in a previous post here (or click on the link in the recipe below).

In the meantime, here are the recipes using Kato clay:

Flame Scarlet
1 part Kato Red
1 part Kato Orange

Mango Mojito (Spring 2019)

For some of you who are not familiar with my clay recipes, these are all mixed up using the Kato clay which comes in the true artist colors.  I created my Clay Color System many years ago and then published it to share with others in 2011.  It is a method for not only mixing up clay colors but also a whole way of organizing and learning how to create various blends and color groupings.

I keep getting asked if I still organize my colors in a photo album.  I quite liked this system but since I keep adding so many new recipes I have since expanded into a "recipe box" which is actually a small drawer organizer on my clay mixing table.  I wanted to share this with you to see in case you like that idea more.

I am also wondering how many of you out there are still using Kato clay and really look forward to these new color recipes?  I am interested in any feedback and please leave a comment telling me what you do use or switched to and if you would like to see these recipes in another clay brand.