Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year Blessings and New Challenges

Some thanks for last year and New Year blessings are in order.  Right before Christmas I had the honor to be featured on the Polymer Clay Daily website (curated by Cynthia Tinapple), for my recycled Christmas Tree (seen in my last blog post).  Again, this is a huge honor for any polymer artist, and I am so thankful for it!  Speaking of honors, I must also mention that the same piece (recycled Christmas Tree) was chosen in the top 3 votes of both the public and the PCAGOE guild members in the January challenge!  This is a huge honor as well, considering all the wonderfully creative pieces that our members produce each month!  Many thanks to anyone who took the time to vote!

For some reason every start of the calendar year brings a desire to reorganize and restructure.  This year, my major restructuring is the project of my studio space.  Because I like to recycle items, my studio supplies are outgrowing their designated space, and in the process, driving me crazy.  Sadly, last June a small room in my house became available.

Sadly because, for the last 14 years this space was home to my beloved cat who had to be put to sleep in June.  If you don't know the story, you might wonder why a cat has his own room... long story short, I had 2 cats (read furbabies) when I met my husband.  Husband is asthmatically allergic to cats.  Every time while we were dating/engaged that the subject of getting rid of the cats came up, I was reduced to a puddle of tears.  So, my brilliant hubby devised a plan that worked... we built a room into the basement of our new house plans, with a door that had outside-only access (no air exchange with the rest of the house).  It was a process, to spend time with my cat(s) every day, of changing clothes to snuggle with them, keeping a sealed container for clothes worn into the room, laundering all cat-room related items at the laundromat, and bathing immediately after a visit. But for me and my baby(ies), it was worth it.  I lost my pretty girl, a tiger long hair who resembled a Maine Coon, 9 years ago.  The last one, a flame pt. Himalayan - my sweet boy, is now gone.. so I began the process of turning this space into a spare studio space.

This is my baby, sitting on his bed by his window,  just one month before he was put to sleep and before I knew anything was afflicting him, beyond old age.  I had just painted the room the color of raspberry ice cream (before that it was a khaki color) to make things more cheery for him and me...

The room was always drywalled.  But, it was the only "living space" in our house that had never been trimmed out with baseboards or window sills/door jam trim, as you can see (the exposed plywood window frame) here:


So, late this fall, once I felt I was ready (emotionally and after healing a broken ankle) to turn the space over to it's next purpose, I made a trip to the lumber yard and picked up what I needed.  Thanks to a loan of my dad's mitre box, the trim is mounted, caulked, and ready for a new coat of paint.  The trim and door will be a darker shade of the wall hue.  A trip to the local furniture thrift store outfitted the room with a large desk, 2 filing cabinets and a vintage art deco wardrobe closet (all for under $200).  I'm anxious to have things completed, and should have the trim painted by next week (I hope).  I'll share photos of everything when it's done!

Oh, and I'm challenging myself to do a few other things this year: #1 be more active and heath conscious, #2 get more studio time, #3 keep things organized (once I'm finished with both studio spaces) #4 write those tutorials I've been promising (and perhaps consider writing a project book on recycling with polymer) and #5 blog twice a month.  Let's hope I'm able to meet these challenges!  Have you decided to challenge yourself to do something new this year?  Tell me about it in the comments!


  1. Beth, I applaud your challenges for this year. I await that book. I always love your ideas. personally, I have decided to blog more often, I'm thinking once a week. Time will tell. My other challenge is to make bowls. I want to make 52 bowls, one a week and really explore the shape, the concept. What can I make using that shape, how can I change the shape and still have it called a bowl. I know that come November and December I'll probably be too busy or tired to be making many more but for now, that is the challenge. I'm journaling the whole experience and will probably use that for blogging. I also want to work on photography skills. Personally, I need to move more, be part of the world outside my studio. I wish you luck in your challenges and look forward to your work. It is always thought provoking!

    1. Thank you Line! I'm really looking forward to seeing your progression of bowls... that's such a great personal challenge idea... and 52 is quite ambitious, WOW! Wishing you luck with that endeavor! I too need to work on my photography. Stealing my hubby's photoshop class book, once he was finished with it, helped me a great deal with editing, now I need to work on better original photos! Here's to broadening our skills in 2014! :)

  2. Congratulations, Beth! Your recycled project really was amazing. I am so sorry about your kitty - he was beautiful!

    I am still trying to make good on many promises to myself during 2013 (that I failed many times, and continue to fail) to get back to corresponding with people, to be part of the PCAGOE group in a much more active way, and just generally get back on track. I admit that I might be coming to the conclusion that, for now, all three may be just about impossible, but still, I hope I'll start moving in that direction again.

    Have fun with your new studio space! Glad you're moving forward with a positive outlook for the special kitty room. Hugs to you, girl, you're amazing. :)

    1. Thank you Jackie! I have let correspondence slip off the radar as I focused on other things in the last few months (sorry for my silence via email). Just the fact that you are still trying to achieve the promises you made to yourself is enough. Your life has changed in such a dramatic way, you are doing the best you can and you are amazing. Just getting back to creating (both with your nature photographs and your polymer work) must have been monumental hurdles, and I have been so happy (and cheering you on) to see the new photos and creations you have posted. Beyond that you amaze with your incredible sense of faith, and you set a great example for others. Big hugs to you my friend! :)


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