Google+ StrebeDesigns: 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mini Box for Treasures

Well, this was truly a challenge! It turned out exactly as I envisioned, but OY! what a ride.  This little round trinket box is 2" high, and 2" wide.  Perfect for your purse or to use as a colorful fun decor item.  The process was long and tedious with lots of reworking, redoing, and rethinking.  I learned a lot, so hopefully next time will be lot smoother.

The beginning: Surface painted with Golden Gold acrylic paint.

Other colors come from Luminere Metalics, alcohol inks, Inka Gold, and chalk ink stamps.  The ginkgo leaf stamp is from Creative Journey Studios in Buford, GA. And more views: 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Statement necklaces ... fun! fun! fun!

I have learned so much about making rustic jewelry components from two fabulous polymer clay artists, Ginger Davis Allman  and Marlene Brady.  I am combining what I have learned to come up with my own take on their techniques.  These will be cruise wear ... dinner dress will be a basic black dress with a change in necklaces!! I'll be making more for sure!! 

50 Shades of Gray 

The beads for this necklace are made from Sculpey Ultra Light so the necklace is very light weight and comfortable to wear.  The fish beads were formed by a handmade mold, the others were textured with texture sheets. I then painted the white beads with black paint and wiped off the excess to expose some of the white. Then I highlighted the beads with pearl and silver metallic paints. The necklace is 25" long and the polymer clay beads are reversible so there is no wrong way to wear it.  Glass black and gray beads separate the large beads.  The large polymer clay beads are about 1 1/2" in diameter. The textured end caps are a great way to cover up the cord knots and add a cohesive look.  

Something's Fishy

Made for the October 2015 PCAGOE challenge "Interpretation of the same artist". This piece is inspired by the painting "Sailboats!!! Bebe!!" by Wyatt Waters. From the row of sailboats, the idea of a necklace came to me.  I started out by the simply making sea-like components in the same palette as the painting. I decided I would just build something when the components were complete, playing around with how they might fit together.

This necklace is made from Sculpey Ultralight painted with Lumiere metallic acrylics. The necklace includes findings made from polymer clay and hand wire work for the chain and closure. The necklace is approximately 24" long and the pendant grouping is 5" long and 4" wide.

Sailboats!!! Bebe by Wyatt Waters

Emerald and Gold

This necklace is also made from Sculpey Ultralight painted with Lumiere metallic acrylics. I have not used the Lumiere paints before and I just love the look! I'll be using more of these for sure. The necklace is 34" long including the pendant.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Very Cool Stuff tool container

I am really tired of looking at all the soup cans, peanut butter jars and other boring things that hold my crafting tools.  So I am on a mission to replace them one by one with arty, rustic polymer clay containers.  This one is my entry in the September PCAGOE challenge "Fun with ABCs" .  Since I have been putting corny/cute sayings on my containers, I figured why not use one as an entry.  I am really enjoying getting back to my artistic roots of painting with these newer pieces.  This is done with acrylic paint, alcohol inks, and chalk inks applied to a white polymer clay base.

This container is about 5 1/2" tall and holds some of my favorite tools.  Ball tools for sculpting and shaping, Christi Friesen tools, texture rollers and Sculpey Etch "n Pearl.  The container says "Very Cool Stuff" on the front and "Creative Zone" on the back. The sailboat comes from one one of my own stamps.  Sailboats are significant in my life; I sailed with my favorite uncle as a kid so the sailboat reminds me of him.  That makes this more special to look at while I am creating.

In progress view before the colors are applied.  You can see my toothpick holder and other sculpting tools containers (click on the photo for an enlarged view). These are made from ecru polymer clay and it is harder to get bright colors over tinted clay, but I do like the muted pastel-look you can achieve.

The back of the "Very Cool Stuff" container:

Another one just finished, for a smaller ball tools set:

My work area is getting cheerier every day!  
Thank you so much for stopping by.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Judge

The Judge is approximately 8" tall.

The idea came from: I came up with the idea because I am currently watching the series John Adams on Amazon Prime video, and I find the wigs fascinating.  So I thought it would be fun to do a character with one of those wigs with the rolls they wore in the day.

Construction: I started with the head.  I made a flat sided ball from aluminum foil, placed the face (made from a mold I made) on the flat side and covering the rest with Original Sculpey.  The Head was mounted on a 1/4" dowel for handling and shaping.  I cured this, and then added the wig with texturing.  When cured, I formed the body shape again with aluminum foil wrapped around the dowel and covered again with Original Sculpey, textured and added belt, collar, etc.  Cured and then colored with chalk and alcohol inks, acrylic paints, gold and silver pastes.

In Progress: Scarey!! The "antiquing" is done in bright magenta.  I thought what have I done? A pink judge!

Next I started layering in color with alcohol and chalk inks.  Feeling a little better about the magenta. In fact I am happy with it, because it added a warm feel to all the colors. 

Notice I avoided the face ... I always avoid the face! 

More views of the finished piece:

Thank you for stopping by and visiting me and the Judge.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fairy in a Bottle House

Fairy in a Bottle House is made of polymer clay over a sake bottle.  It is about 10" tall and is purely for fun.  It has no function but to make you smile.  Yet another piece of my work inspired by Lisa Renner's class in the Polymer Clay Adventure.

One word: WHEW!

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate in this month's PCAGOE challenge "Fairy Houses". And it was for a good reason.  We adopted this wonderful seven year old cat and made the choice to pack up my studio area in the guest room to make it her safe room, to keep her separated from our lovey home cat Gemma who is six.  But Heidi is worth the disruption, don't you think?

Her owner passed away and she ended up at the local shelter, which BTW, is a fabulous, caring, no-kill shelter.  Now, happily, she is ours.  She turned out to be such a well behaved young lady that I was able to unpack enough to make this entry. 

Oh, but I digress, this is about my fairy house. Well, I am going to digress a little more.  We love sushi and we love sake with our sushi.  One brand of sake we buy comes in these wonderful little slightly twisted three-sided bottles.  This photo shows one bottle uncovered, and the same kind of bottle covered with the beginnings of my fairy house.  The mesh wire is the form for the roof.

After completing the fairy house in clay and curing, I applied a rich blue acrylic paint as the "antiquing" layer.  Next, ready for color ... my favorite part.  Away go the slicing blades and carving tools and out come the alcohol inks and chalk inks!

More views:

Thank you so much for stopping by! Would love to hear any comments on my very first Fairy House!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): July Challenge winners "Texture Plates"

Thanks to everyone who voted and continues to support our group. It means a lot to all of us. And a big thank you for voting for "Ms Cat in the Hat". She came in first in the public vote, and shared first place with two others in the member vote!

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): July Challenge winners "Texture Plates": The winners in the PCAGOE July Challenge: "Texture Plates" are: Top entries selected by the public 1.   "Ms. Cat in the...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): July Texture Plate Challenge

The PCAGOE July challenge "texture sheets" is up for your viewing and voting. Fun discussions ensued on this challenge. A few of us in the group were new to making texture sheets. I sure learned a lot thanks to my fellow guild buddies. I was able to make a few to use on "Ms Cat in the Hat".

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): July Texture Plate Challenge: To see larger images visit : For our July challenge we are featuring Texture Plates. Each e...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ms Cat in the Hat

"Ms Cat in the Hat" is 9" tall, and I made her for the PCAGOE July challenge "texture sheets".  The objective was to make your own texture sheet(s) and to create a piece using your texture sheet(s).  

How did Ms. Cat in the Hat come about?

It started with the virtual workshop given by Lisa Renner as part of the Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat.  During her workshop I learned her technique to build an art doll.  It was pivotal for me. I come from a painting background so I was excited to learn about her use of materials and techniques for applying color.  But the sculpting aspect ... I will just say WOW!  

This is Margaret, the Bathing Beauty art doll I made for Lisa's workshop.

I was very pleased with Margaret and I loved being able to do a sculpture, so I knew I had to pursue this further and to apply the techniques I learned to this challenge.  Fast forward, my youngest daughter and I are at a flea market near closing time.  I pick up this little cat bank and the vendor begs me to take it.  Starting at a dollar, the price keeps dropping as I am thinking and I end up giving her a dollar and walking away with the bank.  Yup, made a mold from the face of that cute cat bank and went from there.  

Made a face from the mold; built the head; applied the face; put on a hat and ears.  Built the body; shaped the legs, cushion and tail; attached the parts and the piece is ready for the first curing. My plan to apply texture sheets directly to the sculpture at this point mostly fell through. The ones made from polymer clay cracked and broke so my fall back was to use two-part silicone material to make stamps. 
The texture sheets, three from silicone, two from polymer clay (one glued back together for the photo).

Starting to apply texture sheets on the cured piece. 

Texturing complete and cured, the antiquing layer is applied using burnt umber oil paint.

The fun part deciding on and applying colors with acrylic artist's grade paint, alcohol and chalk inks.

More views.

Thank you for stopping by to see Ms. Cat in the Hat come to life.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): June Retro Challenge Winners

Thank you to everyone who voted in the this month's PCAGOE challenge.  I am so very proud to have taken first place with my jukebox in both the public and member votes.  Such an honor with this extremely talented group.

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): June Retro Challenge Winners: The winners in the PCAGOE June Challenge: "Retro" are: Top entries selected by the public 1.  Retro Jukebox Music Box  by Be...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Retro Jukebox Music Box

Added a little more detail

I made this little jukebox for the June Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) challenge "retro - 50's through the 80's".  It plays "Yesterday" by the Beatles.  It stands about 6" tall and is about 3 1/2" wide.

When thinking about what I would make for this challenge, my mind went back to my high school years in the early 60's.  Memories took me back to the lunch times my friends and I would share at the local diner and how much fun we had playing the jukebox and singing while we ate lunch.  Fun times.  I wanted to recapture those times in this piece.

The drawing.  At first I was going to make a box, then no a night light, then no a bank, then BINGO a music box with retro music!!

I really REALLY struggled with the frame. As I would add sections the others would collapse in the oven.  After days and endless hours of frustration, I finally found the right supports.

For the bottom a small square jewelry box shimmed with outdated business cards.  For the top I cut a section out of a round carboard tea container as a permanent support. (part of the deal forever).

Last peek at the music box before gluing on the bottom.

No more in-progress views.  I was under a tight time crunch to meet the deadline for entry.  But I did want to mention that for the speaker grill area I used the "Holo Effect", a technique developed by Ginger Davis Allman.  You can find the tutorial here Holo Effect Tutorial
Isn't it cool?  You can use this in so many ways!

More Completed Views

Thank you so very much for stopping by.  I would love to hear your comments.