Friday, December 17, 2010

In The Navy Now....

This has been a crazy week and one thing has really turned me all around. My eldest daughter, Becca, joined the Navy and she left for boot camp on Tuesday. My youngest daughter was in the Marines and I completely expected it from her as she is a big time tom boy. But Becca, she is my princess. She is the one that loved to be in dresses and be all pretty. So to image her being in the dirt and mud has really pushed at me. Becca isn't a delicate flower, far from it. She is a very strong willed and very independent person so I know she will exceed at this, it's just taking me some time to swallow all of it. 

When she is done with boot camp she will go to school for Avionic. Planes? OMGoodness. My baby working on Planes? What the heck is going on? This isn't my princess anymore that is for sure. 

I know she is probably scared and tired and freezing as she is at Great Lakes, Illinois. I really want to go to her graduation, another reason this house has to sale soon because if it does I will definitely be able to go, if it doesn't I won't. I was there when Tash graduated Marine Corps boot camp and as a mother it is pulling at my heart to definitely be there for Beccas. 

My hubby, Chuck, was in the Navy for many years and as Becca said "I am following in my dad's footsteps." He would be so proud of her. We have never pushed the girls to join the military, but the pride I feel for both of them makes my heart swell. 

Have to run to get to work, but could everyone out there say a little prayer, light a candle, send some positive energy to my little princess out there as she goes through the hell of boot camp. I'm sure she could use all she could get right now. And maybe a little my way to sale this house so I know I can go to her graduation. Thank you to everyone and I'm sending you all love and light on this glorious day!!!

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One of my ornaments

Here are the ornaments that I am working on for this holiday season. Finally got my camera working, amazing how new batteries make something work. lol. 

Click for larger image.

Quick little how to on making these...

Still a few things I have to do to them, but if you decide you want to give them a try this will at least get you to the point I am at right now. 

Things needed:

Snowflake cookie cutter
Polymer clay - pearl (I prefer Cernit, but any brand will work)
Ultra Light Polymer Clay
Pool Blue Acrylic paint (Apple Barrel Brand)
Thin paint brushes
Glitter Speciality Glaze (Making Memories, it's actually meant for                                                                                                                            scrap booking)
Flat back rhinestones or pearls (also usually meant for paper crafts)
Liquid polymer clay or white glue
Usual polymer clay tools: Pasta Machine, acrylic rod, blending tool, etc. 

I used the Ultra Light because of it's weight obviously, I wanted them to be a bit more substantial in width but not have the added weight. 

I worked the Ultra Light with my hands until it was softer and then rolled it out with the acrylic rod to flatten it so it would fit through the pasta machine. 
Then I rolled it through the pasta machine at the thickest setting. 
Using the cookie cutter to cut them out. 
I then baked it following the manufactures instructions. 

I then worked the pearl polymer clay until soft and pliable. 
Rolled that out with the acrylic rod as well to fit the machine. 
I then rolled it at the thickest setting and worked through each setting until it was down to the fifth largest setting. 
Cut out shape using same cookie cutter. 
I found the Ultra Light had shrank just a little enough to be able to use the same size cutter. 
Then I spread a little liquid polymer clay (can use the white glue for this step, it's to help the raw clay stick to the baked UL) on each side of the Ultra Light pre-bake snowflakes.
Using 2 of the pearl snowflakes, I placed one on each side of the Ultra Light snowflakes.
Using the blending tool or your finger blend the seams around the edges of the snowflakes to get the two sides of clay to blend together. Encasing the UL in the pearl clay.

I usually will take cornstarch or Armor All at this point and coat everything and start to work all the blemishes with my fingers. I can feel where any fingernail marks may be or any little bump and pits. The cornstarch or Armor All allows my fingers to slide over the surface easier and helps a little with not adding too many more fingerprints. You want some fingerprints, it's that homemade mark. :)

Then bake at the manufactures suggested temperature for about 20 minutes or so.

**Few notes on baking.... I have an oven that I use specifically for my clay so I tend to just grab the timer on the oven and spin it without looking. It's usually for me about 30 minutes, but it varies. Depends how strong my hand is that day. lol As long as your oven is calibrated properly and the temperature (always use an oven thermometer) is correct I found that it doesn't matter how long just as long it is more than the minimum the manufacture suggests. Some pieces I have done have been in and out of the oven so much that they have baked for hours before I am finished. As long as it doesn't go over your clays temperature it shouldn't burn. (I say shouldn't, but be prepared for something to burn, it happens even to the best of us.) I also put a tent of aluminum foil over everything I bake, not sure what it technically, scientifically does, but it works with even heat so I go with it. 

Turn off oven (mine goes off automatically when the timer goes off) and let cool in the oven. 

When completely cooled I used the paint to paint on the lines. This was completely freeform. Just started in the center and went out to the points. Then just basically doodle away however you want them to look. 
Once the paint has completely dried use the glitter glaze to trace over the lines to give it that little sparkle. I used a thin paint brush for this as well, and yes it will ruin the paint brush, so I made sure to sit down and do the glaze at the same time to only ruin one brush.
This glaze is sticky enough that it held the rhinestones on, but for more security you could wait for the glaze to dry to use a tacky glue to adhere them in the places that you would like them. 

I haven't drilled the holes to hang these yet as I am trying to decide how I want to hang them. Don't really want to go through the front of them and ruin their look, but going side to side might be a bit difficult and make the tips weak, so not sure yet. Also thinking about painting and glazing them on both sides in case they should happen to flip over on the tree, but again not sure so haven't decided. 

Loved how the rhinestone sparkled in this picture.

This was my first tutorial type of thing. Always wanted to do one, now I have. :) Hope it was enough information and not too much either. Enjoy!! 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask using the comment field below. Any comments are always welcome!!!

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!

Still feeling blessed...

I woke up this morning still feeling extremely blessed and honored. First thought in my head was "He talked to me and the universe is an amazing thing." I won't ramble on again how Chuck getting a message to me has completely changed my life and given me such peace, because I could really write a book on it now. But, I do need to ramble on about the universe being an amazing thing and my spiritual path. 

My Christian upbringing has been a big struggle for me on this path and trying to meld it all together in my head. Since this wonderful thing happened to me yesterday, I don't know it's weird, even hard to say exactly what it is, but I do know that the Goddess is real and She knows what is best for me. 

That was something I wasn't too sure about being that a "male deity" was the only thing I have known, it was hard for me to wrap my brain around a female one. But it's like.........She sang out her song to me and I heard her loud and clear. I don't care what "name" she has or from which origin she comes from, all I care is that she is out there and that she cares about me. I want nothing more than to honor her with the blessings she has given me. 

I don't feel the struggle that I felt anymore. I am ready to take it all in and just let it flow. 

I'm not saying that the God isn't important too...maybe to put it like this. He stepped aside so the Goddess could step to me and help me to see. I don't know that this is even making sense. Thought it would be easy to explain but it isn't, really hard actually. lol. 

I'm listening to music as I type as I always do. A friend of mine had exchanged external hard drives and she had a lot of Pagan music on hers and I have really come to love this music. My daughter will come home and find it playing a lot of time and say "Mom, not the Pagan music again." She's 21 and only listens to pop music so she doesn't get it. LOL. Well the first song that came on was one that just said it all for me. The words are not a lot but it is how I feel right now. 

From The Goddess

We all come from the Goddess
and to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain
Flowing to the ocean
Isis Astarte Diana Hecate
Demeter Kali Inanna
Goddess is alive, music is afoot.

Like a friend said to me "just let it flow into your life" (Thank you Marie, you were right!!). Well it just did. Now I'm not saying that it was completely the reading that did this for me, but it definitely was a big part of it. I think because I opened myself up to the reading, I also opened myself up to the Goddess as well. I was forcing it open in the past and it wouldn't open. Once I stopped and let it open on it's own it flowed in like Niagara Falls. 

Well I won't go on too much more on this. Still have a Christmas tree that needs to be finished and a house to be cleaned. So back to work. 

Many blessings to you all and may your day be filled with smiles.