Friday, January 24, 2014

GROW YOUR BLOG Party ~ And Three (yes 3!) Giveaways!

This is my very first GROW YOUR BLOG party so I'm putting on my best dress.

Meet Fifi Fashionista. Just like me, she needs to clean her room and finish some of her projects. Like this sketch that I had planned to "someday" turn into a collage painting.

Hi, I'm Cindy and I think I have a pretty wonderful life. Its not perfect mind you; its just, well, pretty wonderful. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Seriously though, I'm over the moon excited about today's GROW YOUR BLOG party! Do I have your attention now? Ok, then, read on.....

Thank you for coming to my party, and if you are a fellow blogger joining in on the 2 Bags Full GROW YOUR BLOG party as well, I may just dash over and visit you, too! Now lets get this party started!

When it comes to blogging, I'm just a baby.
I've had my blog for a while now, but I had a bit of a "train wreck" occur soon after I created it so I had to put it aside for a while. I still consider myself a baby at blogging, but I'm back on track now folks so I have lots of goodies in store for you. Now, I won't be posting often, just a couple times a month maybe, plus (drumroll please) I design a monthly FREE downloadable desktop calender. But you gotta remember to come back and visit if you wanna get it. (Hint: This is where JOINING MY BLOG would be useful!)

Now for a sampling of those goodies.

How about a cutesy recipe card you can download and print out?
Or a tutorial on making snow globes?

Have a passion for gardening and garden books?
Well, as you can probably tell by now, I am an artist and a crafter and a gardener. I love to cook and I love to play and I love to make new friends. 

A peach orchard a couple miles from my new home.
And I love my new home. I've recently moved back to my home state of West Virginia - rolling hills and valleys full of orchards. This was not planned, mind you. I married my high school sweetheart in 1980 and moved to Richmond, Virginia where we stayed for 32 lovely years. I never thought I'd ever move back here, but fate has a way of turning the tables on you, so here we are.

Welcome to My New House....I Mean Home
My world for the past 18 mos or so has been very small, but doors are opening....slooooowly....and I'm finally settling in here. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to meet new friends and expand my circle in the blogging community.

So you see, although my life may not be perfect (is anyone's?), I still thinks its pretty wonderful!

Warmest thanks to Vicki of 2 Bags Full for hosting this party! And especially to Jill of Fiberluscious for, among other things, sharing this opportunity with me. Now, don't run off yet, cozy into your chair because its now time for not ONE, not TWO, but THREE


Enter to win these Ceramic Buttons from Cynthia Cranes Pottery and a Very Special Pincushion by Fiberluscious!
Speaking of Jill, we collaborated on a GIVEAWAY earlier this week which is still going on. So check out this post for the details and to enter to win. So that's 2 Giveaways! Now for the 3rd:

To celebrate my very first GROW YOUR BLOG party I'm having a special GIVEAWAY CONTEST today! The winner will receive an 8 x 10 archival print (unframed) of my "Baby Great Horned Owl Sleeping" watercolor painting, a Victorian style necklace made with a small print of my "Proud Parents" owl family watercolor painting, and my handbuilt and handpainted "Tiny Tia" porcelain ceramic plate.

This Contest is open to anyone and everyone both near and far. All you have to do is comment on this post and be sure to leave me an email address to contact you if you win. The Contest closes on February 15 and the winner will be announced soon thereafter. Good luck everyone and thanks for coming!

***How to Comment: I use Disqus and the comment link can be hard to find. It will say "comment" and is either red or gold. When the comment screen opens you have the option to comment as a guest by clicking in the tiny box at the bottom of the screen. Then you'll need to put your email address in the comment of separately email me (claybakin247 at Yahoo dotcom) so I'll be able to contact you when/if you win.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

GIVEAWAYS! From Cynthia Crane's Pottery AND Fiberluscious!

WE HAVE A WINNER! A little late I know, so sorry but my computer crashed on January 26 and I've had a devil of a time mail ordering a new one to will arrive in working order. Thank goodness I was able to get my old laptop repaired in the meantime! 

Jeremy McLaughlin

This is your lucky day! Thank you so much visiting my blog and I hope your mama loves her new buttons!


Originial Giveaway Post:

I'm excited to announce my first Giveaway Contest of my porcelain ceramic art, which I'm doing in collaboration with a separate Giveaway Contest from my talented friend Jill of Fiberluscious. I first met Jill last spring when I purchased one of her lovely pincushions for my studio in my new home. I was preparing to re-open my Etsy shop and jump start this blog, which I'd had to put on hold during a lengthy and exhausting move due to my husband's job transfer. Our friendship grew from there and I owe her a great debt of gratitude for her warm spirit and support over the last several months. Jill creates the most gorgeous ready made and made to order pin cushions as well as other lovely fiber art creations, available in her Etsy Shop

Jill's Giveaway is a very special pin cushion she created exclusively for this Giveaway using one of my porcelain buttons. And what a stunning example of her amazing workmanship! Be sure to visit Jill's Blog to enter her contest.

Now for my Giveaway Contest: One lucky reader will receive 2 Button Cards, a total of 4 handmade and painted Porcelain Buttons. The buttons come on cards (as shown below), which are small prints of a design I created. To enter, simply comment to this post and be sure to include your email address in the contact info section in the comment (viewable only by me).

My Giveaway Contest ends on February 2 and is open to EVERYONE, both near and far!

To be notified of more upcoming giveaways from my blog, just subscribe to my blog by email (recommended) or join my blog using one of the services shown on the right-hand side.

***How to Comment: I use Disqus and if you prefer not to register you can comment as a guest. After you click the "comment" link, just look for the tiny box to check at the bottom of the comment screen. You'll need to include your email address in your comment or separately email me (claybakin247 at yahoo dotcom) so I'll be able to contact you when/if you win. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow Globe Tutorial with Ceramic Miniatures and Micro Glitter

Homemade Snow Globes have been an easy and popular winter project for quite some time now, but I only learned about them recently when a customer ordered 4 custom made ceramic miniature houses from my Etsy shop. She and 3 of her friends have recently purchased their first homes so she made Snow Globes for them as Christmas gifts. Isn't that a wonderful idea! So, since we've been seeing record breaking lows and lots of ice and snow lately which has kept me cooped up in my house, I decided to try one myself and share what I learned.



1. Distilled water

2. Glitter (I used iridescent white Micro Glitter since I had some on hand.)

3. Assorted jars (I used a Cherchies Champagne Mustard jar.)

4. Decorative miniatures or sculptures. (Be sure that any paint on whatever miniature you use won't fade or dissolve in water.)

5. Foam circles to give a little height to the bottom of the jar, especially if you want the lid to be on the bottom like my Snow Globe. But you can have the jar upright if you prefer. I used some packing foam I had on hand, but some people use Styrofoam, and I think craft foam would work just as well, too.

6. Household adhesive sealant or epoxy glue. I used the sealant since I already had some and its made for aquarium use.

7. A measuring cup or some other clean container for mixing your solution.

8. Glycerin, available at most any drug store. (My grocery store did not have this.)


1. Cut your foam circles to fit inside the lid, as you may wish to raise up the bottom of your Snow Globe so that it matches the thickness of the lid. Make sure you cut the circles small enough so the lid will still fit on the jar. 

2. Glue one foam circle to the inside of the lid making sure it is centered, then continuing to stack and glue the other circles until you have the desired height. (I only needed 2 circles for my project.)

3. Next, put a generous dollop of glue on the bottom of each of your miniatures and press them down onto the foam disk. Clean up any excess with paper towel and let dry and cure for 48 hrs.

4. Pour some distilled water into your jar leaving a 1/4 inch or so to allow for the displacement of water when you're ready to assemble your snow globe. Then pour this water into your measuring cup.

5. Now its time to add a few drops of the glycerin to your water. About 4 drops for every 8 oz of water will do. Too much glycerin will make the water cloudy and could cause your glitter to clump and stick to the bottom of the jar.

6. Next add your glitter, and here is where artistic license comes into play. A few sprinkles was plenty for my small jar, which only held about 7 oz. of the distilled water.

7. When the mixture looks like you want it, give it a little stir then pour it into your jar.

8. Then just carefully tip your lid with the attached ornaments and screw it onto your jar, being sure it is as tight as you can get it. Now turn the jar over and watch your lovely handmade wonderland come to life! (If desired, you can run a bead of glue around the lid next to glass to prevent any leakage or evaporation.)

If you don't like the color of your lid you can either paint it with model paint (or another other paint for metal) or glue a decorative ribbon or piece of trim around the edge. If painting, I would suggest doing this prior to assembling your jar.

A note about storage:

I recommend storing your Snow Globe in a temperature controlled room or closet.

These are the custom ceramic miniature houses I made for my customer.

And here is one of the lovely Snow Globes she made for her friends. How lucky they are to have received such a wonderful handmade gift! 

Please feel free to share your Snow Globe tips, projects and links by commenting to this post, or share this post using any of the links below.

And be sure to follow my blog (see links on the right) to be notified of more upcoming tutorials and giveaways of my prints and ceramic art. My next giveaway will be announced very soon and will be held in collaboration with my wonderfully talented friend Jill of Fiberluscious.
And here is a sampling of some of Jill's wonderful handiwork, available in her Etsy shop.