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Playing with Fire.. and Sand

Playing with Fire.. and Sand

Delft clay casting (a.k.a. sand casting) has been on my to-do list for ages and I finally did it! :) Sand casting is an ancient technique where the moist sand is used to form a single-use mold for pouring metal. I had a bag of Delft clay sitting on my studio shelve for about a year but I still needed a few other things and just kept procrastinating. Thinking back, my major obstacle was the clumsy mold frame I got with the clay. I did not like it at all. Typically, Delft clay is sold with a set of small aluminum rings but...

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September Update: Some Mushroom Love

September Update:  Some Mushroom Love

Summer has come and gone in a heartbeat. Ironically, much of it was spent waiting for the "proper" summer to start as it was rather cold and rainy most of the time. On the positive note, it seems that mushrooms are loving the less-that-perfect climate this year. And I love mushrooms :)  The stunningly beautiful blood red Amanita muscaria (a.k.a. fly agaric) I've captured in the picture above is of course inedible (classified as poisonous!), but it's a true jewel of the forest. So bright and pretty! These iconic mushrooms stand tall and proud and can be easily seen from a distance.  ---...

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Smelling Metal Flowers

Smelling Metal Flowers

For the past ten days or so I've been living with a nasty common cold. This time it is all about the nose and I think it's been the first time when I completely lost a sense of smell for almost three days (while still being able to breathe normally through my nose). It's so distressing! Eating became a frustrating experience. With no sense of smell, there's no flavor. We take it for granted.. but take the smell away and everything tastes the same. Even cooking became complicated - I've blissfully burned my lunch because I could not smell a damn thing.. Thankfully things...

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Spring Petals Story. a.k.a. A Custom Design That Grew Into Something Else

Spring Petals Story. a.k.a. A Custom Design That Grew Into Something Else

 Like many artists, I have mixed feelings about custom work. It usually takes tons of time and it doesn't always work out, but when it does, it is an immensely rewarding experience.  I absolutely love it when I can make someone happy by helping them shape an abstract idea into something tangible. I also like a good creative challenge. Custom work breaks the routine and encourages you to explore new shapes and test new ideas. Concentrating on the fresh task from someone else's head gives you a new perspective and a focused direction that you probably would not choose otherwise....

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Free Tutorial: Simple Cross Stitched Pillow Pincushion With Tassels

Free Tutorial: Simple Cross Stitched Pillow Pincushion With Tassels

This beginner needlework tutorial was first posted on my old blog several years ago. Many things have changed since then :) I no longer have time for embroidery, but I keep promising myself that one day I'll get to play with all those colorful boxes of meticulously sorted floss bobbins and a stash of beautiful linen fabric.  I still have the pictures, so I'll attempt to recreate this very simple visual step by step tutorial how to make a square pillow pincushion with tassels attached to all four corners. The number of tassels and the embroidery design (or any other decor!) are...

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