Friday, September 26, 2008

Friendly Plastic Lovers... we have news....!

Shown here an assortment of very useful friendly plastic colours:(top to bottom) colour burst, confetti, swirl on blue, rainbow black, metallic mauve

Last night I received an email announcement of a NEW design challenge using Friendly Plastic! This morning there was a new comment on my blog from Michelle about the re-introduction of Friendly Plastic to the world!


Here's the challenge information....:

ANNOUNCING THE AMACO(R) FRIENDLY PLASTIC(R) OPEN CHALLENGE FOR CHA 2009Deadline for Entries December 1st, 2008 See entry form for details Help us celebrate AMACO's 90th Birthday in 2009, make a Friendly Plastic(R) project, and come to a party! We'll celebrate at the Craft & Hobby Association on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 11 AM in the Anaheim Convention Center. As soon as we are assigned a booth number, we'll e-blast and post information. We will also celebrate on-line with a projects gallery, anecdotes, photos, and blogged remembrances of shared AMACO history. All Challenge entries will be shown on Former winners of AMACO Bottles of Hope Designer Challenges are welcome to enter. Charitable Creative Work This year we will have a category to honor "Bottles of Hope" again with donations to founder Diane Gregoire's Hasbro Children's Hospital, as well as introduce a new charitable project brought to us by Event Coordinators Helen Bradley and Michelle Zimmerman. The Butterfly Project at the Holocaust Museum Houston is seeking 1,500,000 butterflies for an installation honoring the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2012, for all to remember. We will have other categories that focus on Friendly Plastic(R) Jewelry, which will be donated to a women's shelter in Northern California to be selected by our Event Coordinators. Leading Industry Editors Will Judge Awards for Prizes
All entries will be published in an on-line gallery at the NEW websiteNew website coming November 1, 2008
All entrants will receive Friendly Plastic(R) Designer Sticks
Winners will be presented an etched crystal award at AMACO's 90th Birthday Party at CHA on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 11 AM, Booth # TBD
Winners will receive $100 personal check from AMACO
Winners will receive a matching $100 check to be made payable to your favorite charity
Winners will have their entries published on-line in the AMACO(R) Craft Library
Winners will receive enough Friendly Plastic(R), tools and mixed media materials to host their own craft party for 8. Parties are not required and can be donated to charity with AMACO items appropriate for age group.
Party pictures will be featured in special edition e-blast to designers and editors to showcase new and original designs Entry Categories for Open Challenge Awards For this challenge, we are re-introducing you to the 80's retro modeling medium
Friendly Plastic(R). You may remember it from CHA 2008 where Jana Ewy demonstrated her technique for creating a dichroic glass-like effect. Because the medium is inexpensive, colorful, easy-to-use, and addictive, we think this is the ideal year to have fun with a new/old friend like Friendly Plastic(R), made by AMACO(R). The categories are:
Best Bottle of Hope
Best Focal Bead Jewelry Set Made with AMACO Bead Rollers
Best Valentine's Jewelry Ensemble
Best Butterfly Entry for Holocaust Museum Houston
Best of Show Entry Requirements Feature Friendly Plastic(R)
The requirement for a jewelry set or ensemble is that entries must feature a minimum of two coordinated items (a pair of earrings equals 1 item).
"Focal" bead(s) must be made using an AMACO Bead Roller.
The bottle dimensions for a Bottle of Hope entry covered with Friendly Plastic(R) is any glass bottle 4" in height or smaller (with no requirement for diameter).
Bottles of Hope must have accompanying message of hope featuring Friendly Plastic as medium or embellishment.
Butterflies should be two dimensional and no larger than 8 inches by 10 inches. Please do not use glitter or anything perishable on the butterflies.
All Entries must be postmarked by December 1st, 2008 For great background history and tips on how to make a bottle of hope with polymer clay-remember only Friendly Plastic may be used for this challenge, visit
this site. For more information about the Butterfly Project at the Houston Holocaust Museum, please visit To learn more about AMACO Bead Rollers with technique videos, please visit this page, and to see projects, you can click here. Learn About Friendly Plastic(R) Now Available at Hobby Lobby October 1, 2008 Friendly Plastic(R) softens easily in hot water, with a heat gun or craft oven and can be molded, marbled, textured or twisted! The possibilities are endless. To help you get started, please visit our on-line Craft Library for tips and techniques. Where to buy Friendly Plastic?
Hobby Lobby will carry the Friendly Plastic(R) Designer Sticks as of October 1 with all 34 colors, in all stores!
Sunshine Crafts [
visit site]
Munro Wholesale [
visit site]
Rings N Things [
visit site] [
visit site] When you enter, we will send you free Friendly Plastic(R) designer sticks to replenish your stash as our appreciation for your participation! To help with projects, AMACO also makes modeling tools such as, the Marbling Comb, Friller Tool, Needle Tool, Work Mat, Beadmaking Tool Set and PolyCutters, available in craft stores and on-line at For more information, contact Helen Bradley and Michelle Zimmerman at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

October Bones

October brings Canadian Thanksgiving! Turkey Day!

This took some doing to set the bird up just right.

As an artist who has had to draw the human skeleton more than once, I notice the disconnection of this arm bone from the elbow, yet it seems there is an armbone there holding the frying pan.. maybe the extra armbone belongs to the guest? Guess they've stepped out for a minute. Or maybe more fingerbones were needed to manage that frying pan. Whatever the reason, the image still works.

On a walk at noon

This afternoon I took my camera on a walk down Slater Street. I was looking for images for a few school assignments and found this broken light along a very prominent bridge that leads to Slater Street. The broken streetlight with the Canada logo behind it just said something to me, perhaps about the election coming up, perhaps about the economy and uncertainty and broken systems. Maybe we are ready to break out or break apart. Maybe we already have.

I was really focusing on signs and this official sign next to the unofficial tag caught my eye.

After leaving the urban jungle I found myself beneath a very awe-inspiring maple tree, red leaves highlighted against the bright blue sky. It's really Fall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Old Ottawa South Art Festival - Saturday Sept 20...

This Saturday you can find me at the Old Ottawa South Art Festival. It's in Windsor Park.
This map will help,
Looks like a great place to walk to
And walk around in.
It's good to go somewhere new and to try new things.
This will be my first time at this show and my last Art in the Park of the year.
Where did the time go?
Let's enjoy this last outdoor show and may the sun smile upon us.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Back at the Ottawa Market

I'm back at the Ottawa Market, and it's back at Lansdowne Park since the Ex folded its tents and moved off for another year. We were set up beside these guys who somehow manage to grow Texas sized melons in our Ottawa climes... very impressive... and I was thrilled to see a Moon and Stars melon. Always wanted to grow one.

Things I made this month and how some things happen to be made

All August I felt like I was just spinning my wheels. After extreme disappointment at having to cancel my vacation this year, and moping about that off and on for a good three weeks, I still managed to get some things started, some completed and some heading off into new directions. Here's what I'm talking about...


This month I read a book about the work of James Christensen, looking closely at his big fat bodies. Thanks to Laurie C., and her enthusiasm for this artist, she kept telling me I had to read it, that I would love it. And yeah, she was right. I do love it. I didn't know what to do with it, except enjoy it, and then I gave it back.

I had to start getting ready for an art in the park so I began to get the creative juices flowing by returning to a series of panelled works I've been doing for 5 or 6 years now. I made a Many Moods of Birds painting,

and as I worked on it I started staring at the bottom bird and his big forehead and his large lower body. The feeling of the Christensen bodies took me over and I wanted to make them really big and fat...big fat birds. But then they just started to become characters. Sometimes it just happens. I sketched a few out very quickly

and put it all aside for another day. Within a week I had these two compositions completed.

The Relative

Making Plans

I also painted First Flight over this past weekend
and have 3 more sketched out. I love the big fat birds. They're going to be around a while.

And if that isn't enough, Laurie C. gave me this quilting fat quarter... ROBOTS! I love the robot...
I'm thinking astronauts, robots, aliens, big fat birds and cats.. and insects and secrets... much to ponder.

Other Things In Progress

Ceramic Buttons

I framed and submitted new work to the school boutique including

colour reduction woodblock print My House My Rules

etching and aquatint Today's the Day

etching and aquatint Through

and this painting called Ma Mare has been vexing me for a few months. I have painted, and repainted, it a few times and this weekend I brought it to Carp and all of a sudden, it was ready and I finished it within an hour. I put it on display and had 6 people express interest and then it sold. Fresh work.

Also this month I submitted this work, called One Small Step, to The Bay at Bayshore as part of their Live Artfully promotion. It's on display in their store!

Dog Days of August

I met several dogs over the month. One was smuggled into the Carp craft building (no dogs allowed!) and I managed to get his picture...

The others were all visitors to my booth at the Outdoor Art Show. Being a real neighbourhood dog park, all the dogs were quite comfortable in their surroundings and I was amazed at how many decided to take a load off in my booth. Guess they I was in their spot.

Imagine. All these dogs are descended from the wolf. Fascinating.

August and September Bones

So here it is, the 1st of September. The ancient Celts held this to be New Year's Day and it always feels that way to me, whether you are getting ready for another year of school, as I am, or just shifting gears from summer to fall.

I have lots to post and I'll start with this guy. This is August's skeletal offering
Fun and sun and summer outdoor activity...

And here we are, it's September

Back to it. The long shadow is very appropriate.