Monday, December 10, 2012

So, whatcha been doing?

Sorry I haven't been around posting. I would love to be able to post from my phone but I haven't figured that magical bit of mobile technology out yet. I have been working too much. I don't like it, especially since its not fun work. Its not art work. I have been sneaking in some art here and there, and I have been enjoying the little bit of cupcake decorating I've been able to do at the newish job at the big blue box store. I made some cute panda cupcakes for the kiddo's birthday

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn


Nom nom pandas
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn

Ive also been making some more tentacly steampunk items. I sent a few items off to be oogled at TeslaCon. Unfortunately they are coming home. I was hoping they would find new homes there.

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn

Im crafting like crazy for holiday gifts. And since they are gifts I don't want to ruin any surprises. But I plan on using every single craft project as fodder for a blog post!


Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making cup cakes at the new job

Making cup cakes at the new job
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
It seems as if Ive been ignoring my blog. Nope just no time. And I really cannot figure out how to post from my phone!.
Ive taken on an additional part time job. As much as I dearly want to make my living as a jewelry artist, right now reality is, it isnt even cutting it as a supplemental income generator.
So I have zero, zilch extra time to do the things that make me happy, and functional. Fortunately my husband does the laundry. Because I seriously have no time right now.
Anyway the extra job is in the bakery at my local Wallyworld. I get to sling bread dough and decorate cup cakes.
Im having fun with the cupcakes, but man, my hand hurts from using icing bags!

I will try to get back on here and post more frequently, even if only to show off what cupcakes I managed to make this week. I do miss making jewelry, but at least my artistic self is being satisfied playing with the colorful icings!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Whats on the bench this week?

cleaning up
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
Right now a lot of space. I've been really having fun making some cute little dragonses, and a lovely steampunk Victorian kraken necklace, but man the work space gets to be a mess fast.

Im trying to improve my work practices so that meant today was clean it up so I have some work area to make more dragonses and more tentacular steampunk goodies.

I also have a load in the kiln right now--I hope it all worked, and I have new copper goodies to show off tomorrow. dragonseses Dragonses

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lots of vending coming up!

There are a bunch of great upcoming events where I will be vending!

Saturday September 15
Greenway Art Festival
10am to 4pm
Murfreesboro, TN
at Old Fort Park

Sunday September 16
Hendersonville Arts council Summer Music Series
7pm to 9pm
Hendersonville, TN
Monthaven Mansion

Saturday September 29
Arts 'Round The Square
9am to 4pm
Paris, TN
city square, downtown

Saturday October 6
Art in the Park
10am to 5pm
Springfield, TN
J.Travis Price Park

Saturday and Sunday October 27-28
Alabama Renaissance Faire
10am to 6pm Saturday
12pm to 5pm Sunday
Florence, Al
Fountain-On-The-Green, commonly known as Wilson Park

Friday, September 7, 2012

whats on the bench

whats on the bench
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
entirely too many in progress pieces!!

Lets see we are looking at polymer clay for the dragons, and the manta-ray piece that has a few touch up spots then needs to go back in. A copper hair stick, where the stick broke and is being repaired--again, and a few pieces at the bottom that need to be polished, and patina-ed.

Im going to try the LOS on copper with this bunch, and see how that is versus flaming the piece to bring up color.

Oh and the new love of my life, thank you Wanaree for introducing us, Paste Maker. I love that stuff!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Color stage for shooting tutorials

I made a stage for shooting tutorials. Its a neutral grey base. I used half a card board box, a plastic tray lots of modge podge and tape.

Tutorial shooting in my future!

And it hides the rest of my desk very well!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Creativity in cake

This past weekend was the progenitor's 50th wedding anniversary (my parents). They had a little shin-dig during their church's social hour. Dad asked for my help in getting cakes prepared. Easy you say? Well not really, you see we are gluten free (for a variety of reasons).

Initially I was going to just coordinate and purchase the baked goods. But that was before I found out the two main GF bakeries in town have basically shut down. One closed, one changed the nature of the business, and no longer offers baking services. So baking cakes was my job.

A few years ago a friend and I started to play around with baking cakes, and decorating them. Over the top decorating. While we worked we had fun and a very steep learning curve, but we didnt care. Our mantra was "what would Duff do?" As we tried to channel Duff from Ace of Cakes.

well this project didn't call for wacked out fondant creations, just some decent decorated cakes. So the plan was purchase the gluten cake, and make the GF cake. That is until I priced them out. Ouch. Im too poor these days to fork over 30 bucks for a sheet cake when box cake mix costs a buck. (Of course the GF mix is $5 a box, but hey Im just so happy it exists!)

 So the plan was spend a chunk of Thurdsay baking, Saturday decorating, Sunday eating. My plan worked well. Thursday morning went quickly. The cakes were 2 layers chocolate and vanilla each. The bake order to minimize contamination was vanilla GF, chocolate GF, chocolate then vanilla. This order also helped me to minimize excessive cleaning.

A dozen eggs, a pound of butter, four boxes of cake mix, 1 can of frosting and an hour and a half later, I had 4 cake slabs. (this is what the cakes looked like by the time I finished Thursday morning). Im well known for NOT cooking, so I was thrilled how easy that part went. Cakes went into cold storage and I went to a Duran Duran concert (Oh heck yes Im going to mention that cause at the end of the show as everyone was leaving there was a white SUV pulling out, and from where that car originated it could only be the band, everyone was getting out of the way and Im thinking its the band! Well it was and John Taylor was in the front seat and I was frozen to the ground gawping at him. He turned around and waved at me!! Hes always been my Duran favorite, so I was thrilled beyond belief--took me back 30 years in giddy!)

So after a thrilling 5 seconds of eye contact, and a long drive home on Saturday it was time to decorate the cakes. As I mentioned I have done the crazy fondant type of decorations before, after all it s simply edible polymer clay as far as my fingers are concerned. But these cakes were going to be simple basic frosting decorations.

 The first cake I did was the gluten cake. I wanted to do a yellow basket weave on the sides but using spray can icing and really not knowing what I was doing resulted in a bright yellow side with fork lines in it. I did manage to get the top ALMOST perfectly smooth.

The GF cake wasn't as tall but I did manage to figure out how to do a basket weave. And I attempted it. it actually came out pretty ok. My dad was impressed at least.

In the end I would say the cakes were a success, they were eaten!

As an artist I find it fun to play with different mediums. Maybe thats a problem, in that Im not very pin pointed in what I do. But with some many creative outlets available why be limited?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What's on the bench today?

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
A whole lot of "needs to be finished" and these. I got an itch last night to make glow in the dark tentacle beads. So, here they are. Ive managed to squeeze in a small set and an ear cuff. Really no time for this today, as I have grading I *should* be doing, but I just had to have some creation time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's on the bench this week

polymer clay roses and stuff
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
My kids have taken over my work space. In an effort to not be bored, and to hide inside away from the gross heat, they have been playing with polymer clay.
Here are some of their goodies waiting for me to cure:
a purse

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The big give away

Using a random number generator I selected my two winners for the "please come like my Facebook page" give away.

My Winners are Anderia Hu, and Sara Carmolingo Bloomfield.

It was really fun to type in the names from Facebook into a spreadsheet. it was fun because I was amazed at who of my friends actually liked my art page (my husband was not on that list), and all the people I do not actually know.

And then I learned that as a fan page, I cannot actually send messages to individuals, and since one of the winners isn't someone I know, I have to find her and send a message via my profile. So this is cool, I get to make a new friend!

If you haven't already liked my fan page, please do. I will have more give aways:

And if you think you have liked the page, do me a favor and double check. I have friends who helped me out and promoted my give away, but they themselves never clicked that "like" button.

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Class: Introduction to Metal Clay: Layered Copper Pendants

Introduction to Metal Clay:
Layered Copper Pendants

Beginner level

This class is great for all levels, but geared towards those who have never worked
with metal clays before, and those who have never worked with copper clay before.
In this class students will make a layered pendant using texture stamos and molds.
Students will learn basic composition planning by sketching and making molding clay
mock ups of their ideas. Using dry assembly techniques students will create a
layered pendant featuring a swing bail.

Historical Monthaven Mansion
Saturday September 8
12:30 to 3:30
Class fee $75
30 grams of Metal Adventures CopprClay
class use tools:
kiln ring
tumble polishing of pieces
additional clay will be available to purchase from instructor
Class size is limited,
please contact Hendersonville Arts Council to reserve:
Hendersonville Art Council
PO Box 64
Hendersonville, TN 37077-0064
615 822-0789

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's on the bench?

This week I'm finishing up a few steampunky pieces, and reworking earrings.
And I finished a pair of copper clay and gear earrings.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Making Etsy work for you

How to Make Money using Etsy by Timothy Adam

So apparently this is the guy that also started Since I have only poked around at this will not be a compare and contrast.

This is a good overview book.
If you have never used Etsy before and are thinking about it, or you are just getting started and the process of setting Etsy up is intimidating this is a good book.

There are chapters that walk you through setting up your site, how to place items for sale, and explains the bill.

This book has some good overviews on how the SEO process works. And setting up key words, and how to make use of strong key words.

I have been on Etsy since it was in beta--yes I was a beta user. My sales are pitifully low and pretty much always have been.  Im specifically looking for those tips that will increase traffic to my Etsy site.

This book has those.
Yes I said it, this book has those. But only a few of them. It really walks you through the process of creating backlinks, and promoting yourself via social media.

This book also has a lot of interviews with successful Etsians. There is actually some useful info hidden in those interviews.

Key take aways from this book:
Leverage social media to drive traffic to your Etsy site and increase views
Use Paypal shipping

This book is available from Amazon:

I got my copy from the library.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Facebook give away

Hi my name is Laura, I'm an artist and this is my pitiful plea to increase my fans on my Facebook page. On my Laura Medeiros-Art stuff fb page you will witness my trials and tribulations, and experimentations, and successes with my jewelry art. I use art clays: polymer clay and metal clays to make sculptural art jewelry.  I am not above transparent ploys such as bribery to increase my views. As a matter of fact I embrace bribery, but instead we will call it a "promotional give away".

So go over to my Facebook page (pleeeezzz): and like it.

On August 1, 2012 I will throw all the names of my "fans" into a hat and pull two winners.

I have two wonderful promotional giveaways:

July Facebook give away #1

The steampunk give away: a copper metal clay heart and gear pendant, and a tentacle pendant from polymerclay in pink and green with peachy colored suckers

Under the Sea give away: A copper pendant featuring a sea horse and an olivine cubic zirconia, and an acorn fairy house for a beach loving fairy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Starting some great promotions (I hope)


Im working on new stuff. Some of its jewelry and some of its marketing!

Coming soon:
Blog promotion give away
More vending ops
More blog posts
twitter and instagram

On right now:
10% sale at my Etsy store:
use coupon code: birthday

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pricing, and learning this business

I am moving forward on learning the business aspects of my business. I am slowly--too slowly in my opinion--working my way through a stack of small business and art business books.
I had this one in my stack from the library for a while. Its due back soon so I figured its time to read it.

Originally published in 1997 some of the price structures may be a bit dated. One thing I did not like is it spent too many pages on this type of craft= this type of pricing structure. Especially since they all sort of equalled the same amount. I think a nice generic list and description would have worked nicely. I didn't like this because I had to read through a lot of redundancy before getting to those little gems of information. Like which crafts actually need to be priced differently, and why.

And this book has gems of information! The biggest and shiniest being establishing a studio rate versus just paying yourself an hourly wage. The second biggest gem is value vs. price.

There are lots of great and useful forms in the back of the book, there are at least two I will be making copies of to use.

Yes this book is worth reading.

I borrowed this one from my library--love the library!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday was full of win!

First of all Friday was my 21st anniversary, that was great.

then I found out that  my Chicken Hutch, or "shack" as they called it won first place in the CoolTools Antiques Mold contest!
They gave me a lovely write up on their blog:
Blog on CoolTools about the antiques mold contest

By calling it a shack I have started spinning up some other ideas of little houses along a theme.
They took some lovely pictures of my chicken shack also!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Learning Business

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
My personal collection of art business books. 3 in this stack are library books that I keep checking out and one day will purchase. There are a few persinal meaning/law if attraction quantum books in there because these help me to find my focus. The rest are busimess sales and marketing. Time yo start reviewing them learning and applying.

The first book I am reading through is a little magazine supplement the dos and don'ts of Etsy. So far nothing new: take good pictures, be as descriptive and detailed as possible. I purchased some craft magazine to get this, and its not been helpful to me. Its good for a complete newbie, but not someone who has been on Etsy for a bit and has already learned this.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I've been playing with hinges based on the online class by Wanaree Tanner from CraftCast, and I cannot recommend it enough!

I've modified the concept a bit, but I'm not making anything dramatically uniquely me (these are still obviously based on Wanaree's book design model), I am learning and practicing a technique and seeing where I can go with it. Im rather loving hinges.

Im also rather loving this whole CraftCast thing. Its a lovely conglomerate of my love and my studies. You see, I've spent the past 2 years becoming an "expert" in online distance education. I am 2/3 of the way through a Masters in DE program (I've received two graduate certificate in DE, and currently am "done" with the school bit). And of course crafting. I love teaching craft classes, better students, after all they want to be there.

Alison Lee is brilliant having gotten into online hybrid delivery of course materials. Hybrid, thats the mix of synchronous, being there when the class is recorded, and then asynchronous, being able to download and access the course at any time. Makes me wish I had thought of it.

I haven't signed up for any more classes, but that is a function of having to finish finals and write papers, more than anything else.
I have my eyes on the classes by Michael DeMeng -I love his book Secrets of Rusty Things.
And improving my resin with the glowing effects presented by Patrik Kusek

Im excited I have chosen to stop pursuing one education (the MDE) for another (improved jewelry making skills and marketing).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So excited the table is clean!

So excited the table is clean!
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
Its May and I'm back!

I've learned a lot these past two semesters. With the bulk of it this most recent semester. I am more educated, but in reality I have no further interest in using my degree. (Not too good since I paid for it out with my dime.) I realize it has not, and will not in the foreseeable future add to my employability.
I have also discovered its time to find out how to really make what it is I want to do a reality. A viable reality.

So I will be using this blog for that journey, because that journey involves art daily: crafting and painting and clay. It involves teaching creativity to kids, and finding it for myself.

This journey involves actually learning and applying marketing and business techniques.

My goal is to get back to art.

As Picasso said "art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

Well I have discovered that art soothes my soul, and can bring me back from deep dark depression. This says to me it is not a luxury but a necessity.

And it all starts with a clean desk.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Annual Valentine crayons

So this year we made crayons again!
Not so many since kiddo #1 is now in middle school.
We did manage to create the most awesome rainbow crayon, only to not be able to repeat it again.

We made a great mess as usual

But we also made a lovely collection of crayons, they are always a surprise since they do not look the same when in the pan-all the cheap wax rises to the top and blends

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Making stuff

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
I've been making stuff, art stuff, jewelry stuff, clay stuff. Im really enjoying the process.

I know quite a few polymer artists work in the same processes, but I thought I might share anyway.

I love the bright colors of clay, and they mix all together and make other colors

Sometimes I leave the colors alone, like I did with these cute little squirrel and acorn charms

I really do fall in love with the colors. Sometimes I have a hard time determining if I should keep the straight colors or if I should take them to the next level.

polymer pens out of the oven
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
These pens were just yummy combinations of color when they came out of the oven. One of the things that was so fun about these, they all worked out so well, and they were all made from my scrap cup collections. I have a few yogurt cups that I toss small left over bits of clay into. Sometimes I blend those scraps together to make other colors, sometimes they are just that blended bits. The pens are sitting in an accordion of folded paper board I use to support them while curing in the oven.

Well after staring at the pens for a few days I decided they needed to go to the next level. Im always a little nervous taking my work here. Especially if I fall in love with it in straight colors. Once of the reasons I think its nerve inducing is I take those wonderful colors and completely cover them in paint. I use acrylic paint. Sometimes I use black, like I did here, and sometimes I use brown or purple, or rust. Ive even tried white, but those never seem to work the way i think they should. SO I cover them completely before I go back and wipe off the exces paint. I really only want it in the crevices. I use a combination of paper towels and magic erasers to do the job.

They really start to begin to almost glow after cleaning the pain toff. The colors are framed and begin to pop! If I want brighter colors I will scrub over them again with the magic eraser some more.

After the paint dries I buff the work over with gilders paste. Sometimes I use more than one color. There used to be only a few metallic colors available at the craft stores, but now there are a wide selection of colors available online. So these final pens have been buffed up with the metallic paste and coated in polyurethane to seal it all in.
And once this entire process has been done Im always glad I did it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

looking back, looking forward

I don't do new year's eve well.
I never get to go to any of those fabulous parties, and my husband heckles the TV coverage too much for me to enjoy just sitting back and watching it. Im too tired to enjoy a good cut throat game of Risk of Cattan, so I usually just chuck it all and go to bed early mildly depressed.
I have a bad habit of focusing more on what didn't happen instead of what did happen.
Of course it doesn't help when I run into someone doing what I really want to do, and could do better but I lack the moxie, the supportive backing and the funds, and the karmic luck.

My past is blurring together and I can't remember if its this past summer or the one before that, I had my cards read, and both times it was mentioned I have too many irons in the fire. Too many options to focus on. And I could be good at any of them, I just have to figure out which ones to remove from the fire.

How do you decide what goes when what is in the fire is what makes you sane?

Iron: Art Blog: its not monetized, I don't have hundreds of followers, I cannot maintain it the way I really want to, School got in the way and I wasn't even able to post the weekly hay thats a cool art thing. So does that mean I ditch the whole thing?

Iron: Im in grad school for distance education. Being an adjunct instructor and online course developer is my "day job." My day job has no benefits (other than a pay check and nice resume line listings), and because I am adjunct I do not know my course load until the beginning of the semester.

Iron: Madame X Costumes: my most popular pattern went out of print but its back with a smashing new cover, I should redesign the existing covers, I need to update the website and I have projects I have not yet managed to get to. I don't wear my own costumes half the time, and I the past few "new" designs have been brought out by big commercial companies before I manage to get mine completely designed.

Iron: Illustration and design, I thought I had the opportunity to go back into this full time, I really enjoyed the work, but it fell through. Yet every time someone wants a quick little design Im all for it

Iron: art painting and shrine boxes, kids craft things, scrap booking, or is it....What exactly is it I do, and what is my medium?

Iron: Jewelry: polymerclay, metal clay, or wire wrapping? Do I have to focus on a medium? or do I make little sculptural thingies and chatchkies?

So, from my list of Irons (and I mostly listed the cons) you can see there is quite a bit there. I didn't even mention maintaining my health, trying to lose weight, or house hold and family management!

Which Iron to I pick up and nurture and pound on and quench and thrust back into the fire so I can pound on it and shape it some more? How do I choose?

And this is why I don't do NYE very well, this over whelms me.

So lets look back at what I did do this year:

I entered Fire Mountains Polymerclay and natural beads competition again. This year I entered 3 pieces, one did make it to advance judging. I wont know until April. Last year my Chapeaux de Neptune made it, place silver and was on the back of Polymer Cafe! It didn't even spark a rise in hits on my etsy site, but it did prompt me to clean up my regular website!

I finally redesigned the cover for the mermaid Skirt pattern, and I really do like my new dancers, I really enjoy drawing and the process. I ended 2011 working on a barbarian for my brother in law's corporate sales meeting t-shirt. (the barbarian is not quite done-I will be finishing him up today).

I joined the Ring A Week challenge on flicker Some of the most amazing rings were made. I won't say mine were amazing, but I did do all 52 rings in 52 weeks. My 52 rings And I even managed to sell some of them!
I also joined Thing a week, and unfortunately was not able to keep up with the group.

I learned how to solder! its not silver solder, not there yet, but basic soldering.

I won some really cool stamps on a Facebook enter and win thing.

I went back to grad school. I am studying distance education, the degree I am moving towards is a Masters of Distance Education Technology Specialization. So far in the program I am maintaining a 4.0. Im still trying to figure out what I want with this degree. So far it has opened additional job functions for me, but on a contract basis only.

I cut back vending drastically. I had one commission cancelled and one that I have to cancel, since I just cannot get it to work. I did not excel at con art shows as I had hoped, actually I tanked. I did however, have my best year ever at the Alabama Renaissance Festival and am looking forward to going back this year.

So whats in store for me this year?

Im back in school this semester. I am contemplating taking a break after this semester. I will have earned a graduate certificate, but not the entire degree. A lot depends on what is offered over the summer, and how this semester goes.

The day job has kicked it up a bit, giving me some extra courses I have been wanting to teach for a while, I am very excited by that.

I am planning on entering Fire Mountain's metal clay competition, and wondering if there are other competitions or call for entires I should pursue.

I have joined the Four a Month on flickr, to create 4 related pieces a month, this should be fun.

And I'm going to continue to work on my Masters Registry, even if I have not yet officially joined the program

I have a big long to-do list that I just keep chipping away at, hopefully this year I will get all the old stuff crossed off.

Positively stated goals:

My Etsy store earns an abundance of money, I have more than enough to pay off a specific debt and to assist in the payment of other debts, I have more than enough to pay for my new tattoo.

I am on top of all of my projects, and know what I can and cannot conquer. Commissions are taken selectively and not because I feel any sort of desperation.

I have built an amazing reputation for creativity and quality, as displayed by my many winning pieces of art jewelry.

I excel at my day job and bring creativity properly into education.

Heres to a fabulous new year!!