Friday, September 29, 2017

Not a frequent poster lately, because....

Sorry for not being a frequent poster on the blog lately. I am working on a few too many things to find time to post here as well. But soon you will be reading more interesting things on the new website, as I am slowly populating it.

In the future, actually, you will find most of the instructional materials there, and here just various announcements, things that are going on, and various awesome, gorgeous or exciting things I find in my virtual travels on the world wide webz.

But yes, I finally got the website up and running, slowly organizing it (almost done, actually) and slowly installing more functionalities. The basic ones are actually up and running. What I still have to code and install are :

- the downloadable materials section (the paid tutorials doh). I want to do bundles and coupons, that takes a bit of coding.
- the member area - as in sponsor area. Even if you will have to register when you buy (it will be much easier for me to act in case something happens with your order on the way there if I have all information) that will be different from the sponsor-member area. That is where all the goodies will be for my sponsors.
- A solid photo gallery
- a few more gadgets, that are more or less my own benefit, because they pertain to SEO and social network interfacing.

Also, it's rained here for three days. That messed up my plans because what I had scheduled was mostly translucent clay-based and in high humidity it plaques.
Also, rainy weather increases  my level of pain.

Ok, to end this up, check this artist's dolls. They're beyond fabulous.

Alissa Filippova - the Dollery

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pushing buttons

I'm sorry, but I started finding really amusing how easily manipulated is copycat girl.

I got her to pull an all-nighter to "up" on me for the handful of 2-3 minutes long beginner videos - that honestly I had even forgotten I had scheduled to become public, they were essentially uploaded so I could populate the "for beginners" section on my website.

Now, copycat girl, let me tell you a secret: I got over 30 videos that are uploaded and unpublished. If I publish them all at once, what are you going to do? Work yourself to death to try to catch up?

Keep visiting here and my website. Yes, I can see you from the back end. But keep visiting, you never know what surprises I got in store from you.

Also, send my regards to the fiverr guys. Despite them recommending you (again) as one of their most successful clients, I politely declined (again) their offer to get me so many thousands of views and so many hundreds of subscribers in a week for only $50. See, not only do I consider myself a real artist that doesn't have to buy success, but I respect my sponsors too much to cheat them and buy views and subscribers instead of materials for tutorials.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

News that saddened me

Ok, maybe I shouldn't feel so affected emotionally. But I am.

Just thinking about how devastating it would be.

This morning in the subscription section of my youtube channel, a video popped up with the face of a youtuber I have been following. The title was "House gone". You can imagine I clicked on it right away.

She's not a big name - at least not that I know of. She only has 200+ subscribers. She posts sparingly. But I absolutely love the work she does. I have a soft spot for thing that look ancient, and she achieved the look.

Her house burned. She lost everything. I don't even understand how she could talk so calmly about it.

My heart weeps for her.


Friday, September 22, 2017

faux turquoise nugget beads and more


If you didn't manage to see my tutorial yesterday on youtube, here it is:



The nugget beads will be part of the necklace with the focal bead with blue background. Obviously, lol

Found online a company that makes leather stamping things. Not very expensive (walmart carries them too, so if you search on google shopping, or straight on walmart, you'll be able to get them for cheaper). They make all kinds of stamps, all kinds of models, and if you didn't know, the stamps for leather are deeply etched and the lines are very clear, so they're about the best that can be on polymer clay. Check them out. The company's name is Tandy Leather.

I'll have to swing by the Dollar tree and get a couple of shakers for the Sunday live. I'll be posting the necessary materials here in a jiffy, on the discussion board on my youtube channel as well as on the live event created - which I will share on my facebook page.

Slowly making way with the website. I am not happy with the overall design, but that might have to wait a day or two so I can start fiddling with the template. Right now I am more interested in what I am installing. Almost done setting up the image gallery, comments and a few other modules.
You will find soon sections in which all my youtube videos are grouped by categories, each with a small article attached, so you can find even more information than on the youtube tutorial.

If you follow my page on facebook, you know I have a dragon with a broken foot in the "emergency bay". Friend has this absolutely awesome wall decoration, one of the handsomest dragons I've seen. Some mishandling (which would be easy to happen as it's so HUGE) resulted in a broken foot. So I'm fixing it. Drill holes, put pins in, JB Weld and some loctite, 2 parts Apoxie and then some acrylic paint will make it so you won't be able to tell.





Maybe I'll post today one more tutorial. Not sure. We'll see. Got a lot on my plate and my hands are still hurting.

When I got the shot in the right wrist last month it was fine, and it helped. The shot in the left wrist though... it's still mighty bruised and not only I didn't get any relief, it actually hurts worse.

This is how the wrist around of the base of  my thumb looks like now. Sigh.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Busy-website-tutorials-lots of stuff


Sorry for not posting for a few days. I've been very very busy and trying to do many things while battling the fatigue. As I wrote in my past entry I had a lot on my plate. I started slowly getting the issues solved

Paperwork for the probate has been mailed.

Video recording software glitch has not been solved yet.

I did manage to wipe the old glitchy platform and rebuilt the website from zero. It's far from done, but for now there is a section that has some information for beginners. Still far from being finished, but it's a start.

I have a lot more to add, of course. But it's a lot to write and a lot of coding.

I did install the online store part but it's not set up yet. Hopefully in a couple of days. It will take a few days, definitely, to upload all the pieces I have for sale and the paid tutorials (the ones that are done, of course)

I am also going to install a photo gallery as well as the possibility that you leave comments on the site.

There will be a member area as well for my sponsors. No more having to deal with the whims of youtube and facebook.

Look out for a few tutorials on youtube that don't seem to be tying in to anything, just put out there - they are not.

I have posted the part 1 of "how to create wearable art". Well, all of these tutorials that follow will be necessary to create an element of one of the three necklaces. Also, for elements for pieces of the other mokume gane techniques that I have posted to date.

Also almost done with the series of tutorials for my sponsors for the month of September.

So yes, I have been very busy.  You are in for a lot of surprises, haha.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bits and pieces of tutorial work



Just as a little preview - bits and pieces of various tutorials on what I'm doing with those pretty mokume gane veneers. And some other stuff.

So let's call it eye-candy

combining the mokume gane from part 4 with the faux fluorite yes, that piece has a hollow thing in there

combining the mokume gane from part 4 with the faux fluorite

set with the "reversed colors" hidden magic

more of the green and violet mokume gane

reversed colors hidden magic bracelet

now THIS is not for a tutorial. I just wanted to see if I can make a rainbow mica powder bracelet

final experiment for essential oil diffuser pendant. Hopefully will be able to do the tutorial for you soon. I thought it would make a great Holiday gift for someone

heh not for tutorials. Just a set that needs finished

bracelet from the "not for tutorials" thing

bracelet "painted" with mica powders to get a faux heat patina effect

another "not for tutorials" thing

this is actually for a tutorial. I got a lot of requests for "Goddess pendants"

I used to make loads of Goddess pendants back in the day. Both with gemstone inclusions like the one above or like this, and other ways too. Now all my Goddess pendants are sold through the local metaphysical store, and only through that store. Owner is one of my best friends and she got monopoly on them lol

Frustrations on catching up


So my frustration and stress levels are piling up. I'm trying to catch up but it's like some unseen forces are trying to stomp me down.

Let's see:

1. Still battling the fatigue. I do manage to stay awake more, it seems, at least I did in the past 10 days or so, but considering everything else that happened, it was rather useless.

2. The whole paperwork I have to deal with for the probate court case I have in Romania. I have an attorney who I think bites more than she can chew and is extremely disorganized. As a result, it's always "we need this paper right now" just a few days before a hearing in Court. And I'm 8,000 miles away. And every piece of paper that I have to send has to be apostilled by the Secretary of State otherwise the Court there doesn't accept it. And every piece of paper is money. That I pretty much don't have, so I have to cut here and cut there. If I could have notice ahead of time to be able to budget... but nooooo. Enter airheaded attorney. Why I still have her as my attorney? Well because I paid her and because I don't have money to go there and hire someone else.

3. My online store (read website) built on an opensource started hiccuping. As a result, I decided to completely remove that platform and use another one. When I tried to do that, suddenly everything went haywire. I spent almost 7 hours last evening and this morning until I was finally able to call the hosting company and discover that "oh well we made some changes to the control panel and still working on updating the links". W. T. actual. F.

4. My recording software - that everybody loved as it made better quality videos - suddenly, after getting past the trial version, and purchasing the license, started hiccuping too. In the most frustrating way. All of a sudden, at one point, the "record/pause/stop" buttons would grey out and I'd have no way to stop recording a video, save it, or close the program otherwise than by force close with task manager. You have no idea how much clay (and time) I wasted because I had to re-do several times videos for tutorials. Because even if I stop in-between the "baking breaks" and start a new recording after the piece is baked and cooled off, if this happens towards the end of me making a piece, I have to start all over and make a new piece because I can't show you how I start with a piece and end with another one, right? I was never able to do things the same one after the other, I'm an artist, not a crafter.
I contacted them. They asked me to provide more information (and every single time I have to go on their website and re-enter the whole story) among which to provide my DxDiag. Ok this will get very technical, but I'll still say it. When I saw that requirement, I immediately thought "you bastards, you are going to try and say that it's my fault and my computer is not powerful enough to handle your crappy software. Good luck with that" as I know my big Stormtrooper is an EIGHT core i-7 3.7 Ghz processor, with humongous memories all over the place (just to not get too technical), a graphics card good for NASA and all that (not boasting, just remnants from my former life before cancer). I reverted the updated driver on my graphics card as the latest version has some glitches, and I was sure that, finding nothing to say, they'll say something about that. And guess what? That is exactly what they did. I replied with the explanation why, and with asking them if they keep at all up to date with the latest developments as they should have known this, and also "I would believe you if I would have gotten this issue when I was still in the trial version - but I didn't. So it's your software that has issues, not my computer". Then gave them an ultimatum to give me a solution or I'll just file a claim with Paypal to get my money back.

5. I said before, the chemo unfortunately robbed me of the capacity I had before to multitask to unbelievable levels. Right now I go through - start working on something/phone rings I need a new paperwork/dog wants out/cat wants food/neighbor at the door asking about something - and there you go I'm all thrown off track and takes me another hour to get back to what I was doing.

There's more. But I'll stop here.

So in a nutshell: I am working on several tutorials at the same time. I got most of the stuff taped and will have to edit. I want to make them of good quality - otherwise I could just tape myself working and talking nonsense but I don't consider that quality tutorials. So, sorry, you'll have to wait for a couple of days until I get the other stuff fixed. Might be Tuesday or might be Wednesday. I don't know. You know at this point I can't make promises.

One thing is for sure. I was cursed with the need for order and quality. I cannot and will not present to you a product (i.e. a tutorial)  that is not of good quality. I will not get off the planned path - to give you an example, when I make tutorials, I always go - one more basic, one more intermediate, one more advanced/master class level, one for my sponsors. I will not get off that path, and no matter of the level or status, everybody deserves the best I can give. I will not sacrifice quality for "fast fast fast" - I am not in the run for subscribers, fame or self-image enhancement. I am and always will be in this to share what I know, to teach, and help people develop and grow as artists.

I hope you can bear with me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mokume gane part 4


So that one is up. I'm still working on stuff but I'm starting to get tired.

As I said in the tutorial, not sure if I will be doing the 3d effects first or a couple jewelry pieces. I am running out of places to put the mokume gane veneers, and they might start getting dry.

I also do have some other things to do - nothing pertaining to the polymer clay world, just some official paperwork that has to be done but it stresses me out and stress makes me more tired.

Aren't you tired yet of hearing me complaining that I'm tired? Tehehe.

Check this Russian artist out. Her dragons are exquisite

Secret Jar

Oh yes and here's the tutorial


Cranking


Sorry for the MIA. I got to crank that pasta machine for a while to condition clay. Will post more later and post some photos too, I promise. Also, you'll have part 4 of the mokume gane tutorial
today.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

How to make kawaii ghost rings + bonus Zero!


So today in the "Clay with me Sunday" there were some cutesies made, a pair of kawaii ghost ear rings and then, while they were baking, one of the subscribers asked if I could make Jake Skellington's dog Zero, so I went ahead and did a charm with him too.


Bummer...


Well, I worked today on part 3 of the mokume gane tutorial.

Unfortunately, a  brief power outage made me lose the footage of the first part of the video. I tried and tried and tried to recover the file (usually when the computer shuts down unexpectedly and you were just taping and hadn't saved the video, the file is damaged) but it was impossible - I only recovered about the first 1/3 of it which still made it unusable for the purpose of the tutorial.

So, I am finishing the part 3 only with the second part of the video. I will be re-doing that first part and make it in part 4. Maybe it's better this way, as part 3 with that first part would have been about 40 minutes long. Now we have a part 3 of about 15 minutes and we'll have a part 4 of about 25 minutes.

Yes, there will be a part 5 too. And then there will also be pieces made with all those pretty mokume gane veneers and at least one of them will be combined with some translucent canes.

So. I will be finishing this part 3 and posting it tonight. Because tomorrow I have a dr. visit, so probably I'll be super-tired by the time I get back home, so the part 4 won't happen til Tuesday.

I'll update this later with the link to the
video.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Betrayed by the mouse


So, as I was sitting here working on some stuff (read: drill holes for jump rings in stuff) waiting for the UPS to bring my polymer clay in, after I had realized that no, I can't do any mokume gane because I THOUGHT I still had white clay when in fact I didn't have a smidgeon left, I decided to go ahead and do another tutorial today. Even if said tutorial was pretty much scheduled for more towards the winter holidays. At least I knew I had enough clay for it.

So I started, went through all the beautiful steps for it, when it came to the final steps, UPS was at the door. I paused the recording, got my package checked it then went to finish the tutorial. Clicked the unpause button, did all the steps, tadaaaaa! wanted to stop the recording and that's when I realized that my mouse had run out of battery (I have a wireless) and that when I had clicked on "unpause" in fact... I hadn't clicked. And in my hazy poor eyesight I didn't realize that I wasn't recording.

So I guess that you are, indeed, supposed to see this tutorial for the winter holidays, not in September.

Well, let me just give you a glimpse of it. It's not a biggie, just a faux silk brocade appearance (yes, those pearlescents are mixed with other color) that looks like kimono silk, in the winter holiday colors. I know, I know, there are no dragonflies in winter. So what? That's the only silk screen that I have that wasn't mandala.
PS - both the red and the green are stronger, I just took the pics in the door, and it's sunny outside.
PPS. Yes. The clay is here. I'll do the mokume gane part 2 tomorrow early in the morning!







Good news


Well, my clay is in town and the tracking shows "out for delivery" so it will arrive sometime today. As the UPS site says "Friday before end of day". I hope it doesn't mean 11:59 pm haha

I finished the last tutorial on malachite jewelry for my sponsors - this one is a bracelet cuff with faux malachite on a base of faux (well yes, faux, encore faux, because it's polymer clay) so faux met
al mokume gane. It's a poem in gold, with a delicate chain fastening.






As soon as I upload that (which shouldn't take more than 15 minutes total) I will start working on part 2 of the mokume gane tutorials. The methods of stacking, layering, etc. I decided that Hidden Magic deserves a separate video for itself. In this one I will show you various methods of constructing the layers - and of course, deforming them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

No clay til at least Friday


Well, that is no new clay. Thank you, sculpeyproducts.com. NOT

Anyway, yes I still have some clay, I'm not completely out. But I don't really have any more translucent, horribly low on both white and black. Which are all necessary for the translucent canes tutorials I had in plan.

I have my big desktop right now in full maintenance - it has to be done from time to time and considering how huge it is in terms of memory, hard drive, and all that, might take a while before it's done.

So, as soon as it's done I'll do something for you with the clay I still have. Just no translucent canes.

This leaves me time right now to work on things that need to be finished. I'll be posting photos in a bit

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

O hai


O hai. long time no see, sorry, I did not go MIA, I was just super busy trying to finish things.  I did start about half a dozen times to write an blog entry but something happened each and every time and I never finished.

As you can see I posted two new public tutorials; one on a Halloween theme (as promised) and one that is the first part on a mokume gane journey. I will link them at the end of this post.

As a little bit of a better news, I managed in the last week to stay awake about 8 hours a day. Awesome. Hopefully it will improve more and more.

My next blood tests are scheduled for the 15th of September. That is when I go do a bone density test too.

I also go on the 18th to get shots in my left wrist. The ones on the right wrist worked great, the hand hurts way less and I am able to do more stuff with it. And the splint helped tremendously.

I finished three tutorials for my sponsors and have only two left (well, one is actually partial of one of the other three, I divided one in two parts to be easier to watch as it was a set).

So I guess I didn't do that bad, in terms of productivity.

Where I'm behind - of course as usual my own pieces that need to be finished and photographed and posted in the online store.

House keeping.

Grocery shopping.

Bummer. Then I got some paperwork to take care of for my probate in Europe and also schedule a house viewing (after I do the housekeeping) for the sale of the house. Yes, I've been trying for over a year but no serious buyers.

I've been doing some research too on various techniques. Hopefully will be post something soon.

Still have to finish the enamel thing. I need two hours of not falling asleep
Still have to do the glitter tutorial.

The translucent canes have to wait a few days, y'all. As a piece of advice.

DON'T BUY STUFF FROM SCULPEYPRODUCTS.COM.

I should have listened to my gut instinct that told  me that a website that doesn't give you the shipping amount until AFTER you enter your payment details has something shady going on. But I didn't.

It took them three days to put my shipment together. That is, they put it together in the fourth day. And it didn't get to UPS until the evening of the fourth day. That was yesterday. So I have big doubts I will get the clay by Friday.

And this was on a $150 order. My BFF had given me some money to get something for her too, so yes, this is how they handle orders, even larger ones. When I commented on the delay, I got some mumbled excuses about "we dont' want the clay in transit during the week-end" - what is the difference between the package being in transit during the week-end and during the week? I pointed out that mail actually does travel during the week-end too. At which they asked me if I wanted to cancel the order. Yes, y'all, after waiting since Friday (I had put my order in a little before 6 am, so they could have processed it Friday) til Tuesday, they offered for me to wait for my money to be refunded, then order from somewhere else, so get the clay maybe two weeks after I had initially ordered it?

Yea, don't get enticed by the prices. You'll wait and wait and wait. Well, unless you don't mind waiting. I looked then for reviews. Yeah. I'll add my own to the one or two star after I get the package.

What next? I don't know. Honestly, I don't. We'll just go with the flow.

Here's the two tutorials:



Ah yes, and I did an intro on the malachite tutorial that is on the sponsors group





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Live today and other stuff

I woke up as usual at 4:30, and by 5:30 had enough coffee in my system to start working. I am finishing the "silver" set with faux malachite that will be part of the faux malachite tutorial that you will be able to find in my online store.

Then I will make the faux malachite necklace tutorial for my sponsors.

Then take a short break

Then get ready for the "clay with me Sunday" live.

After that it depends. I might be falling asleep, or I might be able to still be awake and work on stuff.

I decided to do the enamel tomorrow morning. I am afraid that if I try to do too many things this morning I'll be too tired by the time the "Clay with me Sunday" rolls around.

I promise to write longer and more informative posts next week.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Live today at 9 am

Today I will be doing my monthly "chat with you all" live. I didn't do it Friday because I thought that it would be better Satuday, even if it's the 2nd not the 1st, as more people can participate.

I will tell you all the news then. I'll try to keep it at max 1 hour, hopefully not that long!

If you have any questions before then, please post them in comments here.


What's on my list of buys you ask?

Well, from my "monthly chats with you", you already know that my "must" to buy that are planned and budgeted, and very i...