All images and contents of this blog © Ginny Baker. Please don't use without permission.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I'm going to try to get back to my old posting schedule, now that things are simmering down a bit. I've got all my holiday orders completed, and can relax and enjoy the holiday decorating, baking, etc.

I haven't given up on trying to do the tutorial either. I just have decided I want to do a video tutorial on a DVD, so it's taking me a little while to figure it all out - especially since my video camera is just about as old as my daughter! (17) My digital camera will take video, but only for about 5-7 minutes at a time. LOL Would take quite a while to piece together a video tutorial that way!

Here's a bloodhound that I did for a very nice lady recently:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I want to thank Cathy of Cathy's Creations for the Marie Atoinette Award she gave me. She actually gave it to me weeks ago, when I was lost in novel-writing bliss. LOL So I didn't get the chance to post it, or thank her, til now.

According to the rules, I'm supposed to pass this award on to 7 other bloggers I admire. I would be happy to do this, but in my experience, as well as that of many of my blogging friends, very few people seem to even read their comments, let alone respond to them! So they never even see that they've been tagged! So I'm not going to tag anyone this time around, but I do thank Cathy for the lovely award. I'm honored, and she is definitely a lady I admire. :o)

Things are finally slowing down a bit, I'm caught up on orders, etc., so I can finally start decorating and actually ENJOYING the holiday. Every year, Christmas sneaks up on me so fast, because I'm so busy selling on ebay, filling orders, and so on, right up to the last minute, that I almost miss the sheer enjoyment of the season. This year, I intend to relax and enjoy the holiday!

Here's one of the last minute figurines I did for ebay:

Hope everyone else is enjoying the season as well. :o)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Last week I showed the beginnings of a Halloween jar I was working on. Well here's the finished jar. It turned out much differently than how I had originally envisioned it but I'm quite pleased with it all the same:

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Monday, October 20, 2008


Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.
-----Napoleon Hill

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.
-----Eleanor Roosevelt

There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, 'How good or how bad am I?' That's where courage comes in.
-----Erma Bombeck

I'm proud to be a dreamer. How about you? :o)

And just for fun, here's the cutest video I've seen in a long time. Perhaps these little pups had pleasant dreams after being sung to sleep with this sweet lullaby. My mom and I bred and showed Boxers for over 10 years before she passed away, so this video really brings happy memories to mind for me. Hope you enjoy it! Dream BIG dreams! :o)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sometimes I get these great ideas, and I'm all excited to create them - until I sit down to actually DO it and remember that what I planned to do presents a bunch of challenges! For example, I purchased these really cute and inexpensive pumpkin-shaped treat jars from Wal-Mart with the intention of covering them with clay, and then creating bas relief Halloween scenes around the center of the jar. It's been a while since I took on one of these projects, so of course while all caught up with thinking about the darling designs I wanted to sculpt on these jars, I completely forgot what a royal PAIN it is to cover curved surfaces like this! Especially when the piece is narrower in some places then others. UGH.

I contemplated taking them back, but I really wanted to use them. I just didn't want to spend hours working on them driving myself over the edge into insanity (a short drive I admit) while doing so. So I altered my plans a bit. Instead of covering the entire center of the jar with one continuous piece of clay, or having to seam several pieces together to create the background for the scenes I wanted to create, I decided I would do little vignettes instead. I have a large square cookie cutter with a decorative edge and I decided I would do 4 squares with little scenes in them instead. I did however cover the entire lid of the pumpkin with orange clay. I have to say that after trying a brand of clay that shall remain nameless to cover that lid and having nothing but problems with air bubbles, stickiness, etc. I decided to try Studio by Sculpey clay. I had a bunch of it on hand that Polyform Products had graciously sent me to try. It worked FANTASTICALLY! It was a dream to roll out, no air bubbles, and the seams blended smoothly. I know this stuff is controversial in the clay community for reasons I won't go into here, but I have to say it was wonderful to work with for covering the glass jars. This clay has an interesting feel to it, almost powdery. It's hard to describe. It's soft right out of the package but not overly so. It bakes to what the company calls a suede-like finish. It doesn't really feel like suede but it does feel different from other polymer clays when baked. It was a pleasure to work with. :o)

This shows one of the jars in progress:

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008


What's on my worktable today? Some custom orders and some adorable glass pumpkin jars I am covering with clay:

But what's on my list of things to do is growing longer by the day. Being a self-employed artist, we do it all - creating the art, photographing it, editing the photos, uploading the photos, writing up the ads, listing items for sale, wrapping, packing, shipping, billing, bookeeping, customer service, creating the website, promoting the art, and on and on it goes. I love what I do but it does get a bit daunting at times when you add on the responsibilities of being a mom, running a household, etc. I get tired just thinking about it all!

I've been enjoying working on the Halloween items. It's one of my favorite holidays to design for. Here's a cute little candy jar project I did for a magazine a couple years ago:

Monday, September 29, 2008


The Law of Attraction has gotten much attention in the past couple of years. But the idea behind it is much older than that and wasn't always referred to by that name. Basically it is the power of our thoughts to create our lives, and the underlying principle can be summed up as "What you focus on expands." Another side of that is, "What you resist persists."

What you focus on, you get more of, but also what you resist you get more of as well. The reason is because the focus when you're resisting something is still on that something, so you draw more of it to you. For example, I had an ongoing problem with noisy neighbors. They carried on til all hours of the night outdoors, making it very difficult for anyone in my household to sleep, and repeated attempts at asking them to cease and desist on this behavior got us nowhere. They would apologize and agree to keep things down, but in reality would not change their behavior in any way. It got to the point that the only way we could get the behavior to stop temporarily was to call the police. So of course, all of this was very aggravating, and you can imagine that it was uppermost in my mind day after day. But the more I fussed over it all, the worse the problem became. It did not stop til I could take my focus off the problem, and focus only on what I wanted, which was peace and quiet.

That is the key. Take your mind off what you do not want, and do your best to keep it on what you do want. You will not attract money if you are focused on the lack of it. You will not attract success when you are focused on the lack of it, etc. All things have two sides. If you don't want a particular thing it's because you DO want its opposite. Focus on that.

It's not only a matter of what you think about, however. It really comes down to how you feel. You can think you are focused positively, but inside you are still feeling a great deal of negative emotion. It is the feeling that attracts, more so than the thought. You need to try to focus on the feeling that the desired outcome will bring to you. How will you feel when you have peace and quiet in your home instead of noisy rude neighbors? How will you feel when more money is flowing into your bank account than out? Focus on that feeling, and take your thoughts and feelings off the opposite aspect entirely. That is Law of Attraction in a nutshell and that is what will bring you the desires of your heart.

Friday, September 26, 2008



1. Figurines-Sculpture
The website of Peter Holland, master sculptor for Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester, Coalport, Wedgewood, etc. Peter Holland is an amazingly gifted sculptor who shares sculpting tips on his website. I was thrilled when Mr. Holland left a lovely comment on my blog recently. Kind as well as incredibly talented!

2. Elvenwork Tips and Techniques
Katherine Dewey is well known in the polymer clay world. She has written a couple of books on sculpting with polymer clay and also provides tips on her website.

3. Polymer Clay Sculpting Tips and Tutorials
This Squidoo lens contains sculpting information along with links to many other sites with sculpting tips as well.

4. Dog Portrait Sculpture
This artist gives tips and techniques for sculpting a bust of a Pit Bull.

5. Learn to Sculpt a Corgi Dog
Artist Aleah Klay shows the steps involved in creating a Corgi dog in polymer clay.

All great sites! Hope you will enjoy them! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


On my worktable today are more miniature dog sculptures in little Halloween scenes. I am having a lot of fun with these. They are only 2" tall and about 3" in length. I just love tiny things and I see a lot of people share that feeling.

I'm still debating on the tutorial I had been working on. I don't really care for the pdf format. Would much rather do a video tutorial but not sure how to go about it just yet, so that project has been on the back burner lately.

In sculpting though it's really just a matter of forming basic shapes and then blending them together. It's the refining, and the details added that make the difference in taking those basic shapes and transforming them into something special. It's adding clay to a piece or taking it away, and refining it til it looks the way you want it to. At least that's what works for me. I have seen in a book where someone tried to say they developed this method of sculpting with clay, to the great amusement of myself and many other clay artists, because it's the method we've all been using since we began sculpting with clay! The refining and the details just become better with experience.

So what begins as a little lump of clay has other bits of molded clay added to it, and those pieces are blended together, and the whole piece is refined and detail is added until we have the finished piece.

Starts out pretty rough, doesn't it? Hard to believe that blob is going to turn into anything recognizable, but it will. :o)

Still a bit more refining and detail needed, and a tail as well, but the little Bichon Frise has come a long way from its humble beginnings no?

Monday, September 22, 2008


A couple weeks ago, I told the story of a wish I had had as a teen to hold and play with tiger cubs, and how some years later, through no action on my own part, other than going with the flow of my life, that wish was fulfilled. Today, I want to tell of another similar happening in my life which further illustrates the point that it isn't always about the action taken on our own part, but more about trust and belief.

From age 10 I lived in NJ about 20 min. from the beach. As a teen I dreamed of one day living near the beach. My ideal was to live in one of the apartments in Sea Bright that were across the road from the beach. Now there were large stone walls all along the road in this area to hold back the ocean when the Jersey shore was hit by hurricanes or severe storms, so unless you had an apartment on one of the upper floors, you weren't going to have much of a view of the ocean. Most of the apartments also did not even have beach access. Nonetheless, this is where I desperately wished to live. These apartments were very definitely out of my price range at the time. Again, I didn't let this bother me. Just as with the tiger cubs, I just dreamed and believed that one day I would live near the beach.

A few years later, as a 22 yr. old married woman I found myself living in base housing in Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach, Florida RIGHT ON THE BEACH! Base housing on the BEACH! I couldn't believe it! All I had to do was go out my back door, a short walk up the dunes and there was the ocean! It was like the beach was my backyard! I could hear the waves in my bed at night. I got to go out my back door and watch the launching of several Space Shuttles from nearby Cape Canaveral. MUCH better than those apartments in Sea Bright, NJ! A funny sidenote on this story, is that as a kid watching "I Dream of Jeanne" I always thought it would be cool to live in Cocoa Beach as Major Nelson did. LOL Who knew that would become a reality for me when I grew up!

Again, what did I do to make this dream come true? Absolutely nothing. Just dreamed, with no resistance to the idea that someday, some way, I would live near the beach. Well I not only lived near it, I lived on it! So again, God/the Creator of the Universe gave me much better than I had even dreamed.

My point in all of this is that yes, we do need to work towards our dreams and goals, but sometimes what we need most is to have faith, trusting belief that anything we want can be our's. Sometimes we fuss and fight and strive so hard - and get absolutely nowhere. When if we would do our best to remove the doubts, and the need to MAKE the things we want happen exactly when we want them to, in precisely the way we want them to, etc. and just go with the flow, they can come to us in ways we would never have imagined, and end up being even better than we could have dreamed. The Creator of the Universe delights in giving us the desires of our hearts. We're very often the only thing that stands in the way.

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, September 08, 2008


Today's Quote:

Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon... must inevitably come to pass!
---Paul J. Meyer

I like this quote, and I do believe it to be true. It is the vivid imagining of a goal, dream, wish, combined with ardent desire, and sincere belief, enthusiastically acted upon that does seem to bring success in most cases.

Yet there have been times when something I dearly wished for came to me through no deliberate action on my part. I think sometimes it's easier to have a wish come true when we're just going with the flow, believing, but not trying to MAKE things happen.

When I was a child my mother told me a story about how, as a teen living in Manhattan, NY, she had taken care of a pair of lion cubs. I thought that was the coolest thing ever! But I had more of a thing for tigers, so I wished that some day I could play with tiger cubs. It was just something I thought about from time to time over the years, something I knew I would really enjoy, but it wasn't anything I actively pursued. When the thought would pop into my mind, I would think maybe someday, and then go on about living my life, without giving it any further thought. Whenever I did think about holding and playing with little tiger cubs, I would feel excitement and joy at the idea, but I never once thought about HOW I could MAKE this happen.

Years later, I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and working as the office manager for a small veterinary clinic. One day I stayed home because I was sick, and when I went to work the next day, my fellow employees very excitedly told me that two tiger cubs had been brought in the day before! I was so upset! Tiger cubs??? At our little clinic? We were just a small low-cost clinic that only treated dogs, cats, and ferrets, and primarily did low cost spays and neuters, shots, etc. We did not handle anything exotic, nor did we treat emergencies. What had happened was that this lady had called asking if we could treat a torn ear on one of the cubs. She had two 3 month old cubs, and one had been mauled by a 6 month old cub she also owned, and it's poor little ear had a gouge that needed stitches. Apparently she was licensed to own these animals and use them in commercials and print ads. We didn't treat tigers but of course my fellow employees weren't going to tell her that! So she had brought them in, the little ear had gotten stitched up and I had missed the whole thing! Well I devastated. But then one of my coworkers told me, don't worry, she's bringing them back Saturday and you can see them then! So my wish to hold and play with tiger cubs came true through absolutely no action on my part! Not only did my son Josh and I get to see them and play with them that Sat., but I got to see them several times over the next month while the lady lived and worked in Albq. Their names were Samson and Goliath and at 3 mos. old they already weighed around 45-50 lbs.! They made the cutest sounds that I can only describe as huffing. They were very strong and very playful! Just the most beautiful, incredible creatures and I will never forget the thrill of getting to hold them and play with them numerous times over that month.

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I apologize for the crummy quality of the pics. All I owned at the time was a little instamatic camera. I'm just glad to have pics at all. How do you like that '80's hair? LOL I was also wearing a sweater that had a tiger and stripes on it. LOL I was really into tigers back then. ;o)

Anyway, my point is that this wish coming true, and another one that I will write about next week, are what led me to believe in the Law of Attraction, or the power of thought, or whatever you want to call it. It also showed me that God/the Universe (they're one and the same for me), always gives us even better than we originally wished for.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I just love creating items for the holiday seasons, though for some reason, I never seem to do much in spring for Easter! Don't really know why that is. I guess Halloween and Christmas just bring back such happy memories from my childhood. Easter wasn't as big a deal I guess, just going to church, and having the Easter basket. I have to get myself in bunny mode really quick here though because I have some due for a swap I'm in. I've been fortunate enough to be part of a wonderful swap group for quite a few years now. Some of the best creators of darling whimsical clay critters are in this group - several of whom have authored some of those adorable clay books by Hot off the Press and Design Originals, most of whom are well known on ebay for their wonderful creations. They are an awesomely talented, sweet, fun group of gals and I'm thrilled to be part of such a talented group!

So here's what's on my worktable at the moment. I'm working on an ornament featuring an Irish Setter I sculpted recently. On the tile I'm working on you can see my three absolute favorite tools. These are the tools that I cannot seem to work without. The purple one is a knitting needle that my husband cut in half and then ground the one end into kind of a rounded triangle to help me shape the clay. Then the flat half moon shaped one is a potter's rib. This tool has a myriad of uses such as getting under unbaked pieces and lifting them up without distortion, or popping baked pieces off the tile carefully, or cutting pieces of clay - much safer than a blade! Then the last tool is the needle tool which I use a lot for adding detail. I have a ton of tools but these are the three I usually use. I also like to use small cutters to help measure out pieces so they're uniform, and also use Kemper cutters for detail pieces like hearts or stars. I like to buy ornaments like the one here on the tile on clearance from the craft store. They make wonderful bases for clay ornaments and when they're on sale or clearance you can get them really cheap, like 20 cents each.

I use the little square cutter to make my "sort of" holly leaves. They obviously don't look exactly like holly leaves but they give enough of an impression of holly that it works. I use the little Kemper heart cutters or circle cutters, whatever's handy, to cut out small pieces that I will roll into holly berries. This makes it very easy to keep them all uniform in size. So the idea is to put the "holly leaves" all around the sides of the ornament with the dog in the center. Sort of like the English Springer ornament pictured. Not sure this is how this Irish Setter ornament is going to end up, but that's one of the things I've been playing around with today.

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Monday, September 01, 2008


Today's quote:

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
-----Langston Hughes

Sometimes it's really hard to hold onto our dreams. Particularly those that seem the most impossible to achieve, or when we have no idea what steps to take to even begin to achieve them.

Were you one of those kids who was reprimanded for being a "dreamer" or told to "get your head out of the clouds and come back to earth"? I was. Obviously, I didn't listen! I can't imagine life without having dreams and goals and yet, there are times I find it very difficult to hold onto them. There are so many things that seem determined to rip them from our hands. The mundane everyday chores that have to be done, the bills that have to be paid, the family's needs that must be met. It is so easy to get so bogged down in "what is" that we lose sight of our dreams. Sometimes they seem so very out of reach.

But life is empty without them. I know people who are content to just go through life with their only focus on getting through the work week and getting that paycheck, whose only goals in life seem to be in buying the latest toys and keeping up with the Joneses, or sitting in the lazy boy in front of the TV once the work week is through. They have no ambition beyond that. Maybe they're happy that way, and that's enough for them. But I'm glad I'm not, no matter how frustrating holding on to my dreams sometimes is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As I mentioned last week, I've been doing some refurbishing of some pieces lately. So that's what I'm still doing today, but I thought it might be fun to actually show you in a short video. My friend Michele and I have been talking lately about how great it would be to be able to offer tutorials in video format, rather than in pdf or something like that. How much better if we could actually show, step by step, how we create a piece? So knowing my digital camera also has video capabilities I decided to play around a bit today and I came up with this dorky little video showing how I go about refurbishing a pin.

I attach all the elements of my pieces very well, so they're not going to break during normal wear and tear, but as I say in the video, I have just learned over time how to carefully and gently pry pieces off and I can usually do so without damaging the original piece. I then use a little bit of liquid clay to attach the new elements I want to add and I have a new, and very sturdy piece.

Hope you enjoy the little video. I'm hoping to be able to do more in the future. Unfortunately my digital camera does not have a ton of space on the memory card so I can only do short little videos using it. My camcorder is as old as my youngest child which is now 16 1/2 yrs. old. So I'm not too sure about using it either. But doing videos is something I definitely want to play around with some more. :o)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today's quote:

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.

---William Arthur Ward

I know this to be true. I had a desire to learn to sculpt. I had no idea where to even begin. I was definitely no prodigy, LOL. I remember when I was a kid and my mom would take my brothers and me to the local mall, they always wanted to check out the toy store. I wanted to spend hours in the collectibles shop. I was fascinated by the variety of figurines there. I knew, somehow, that was what I wanted to do. In a way I felt it was what I was meant to do.

It wasn't until some years later I actually began to try, and though I met with some early success, I can't say it came all that naturally. I took one very basic clay class, and the teacher did say I had natural talent, but I sure couldn't see it then! I went through tons of frustration, put the clay down and walked away many, many times, but I always had to go back. The desire to create, to sculpt, was much stronger than the frustration at not being able to do so the way I wanted to yet.

But all along I imagined myself to be an artist. I dreamt of being an artist. I held a vision of myself being an artist who sculpts with clay. In time, my reality matched my dreams.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


One of the things I love so much about polymer clay is it's adaptability. Even after a piece has been cured in the oven, you can make some changes to it. You can add more clay to a piece and bake it again, or put the piece on a background, etc.

So one thing I have learned to do over the years is to reconstruct pieces that either did not sell or did not turn out the way I had originally intended. This quality really endears this material to artists who are not independently wealthy! All is not lost if a piece was not successful in its first form! I have taken pins and turned them into pendants, ornaments, placques, etc. that have then sold successfully. Or taken a pin and added a little something to it, and then it sold, etc.

For example, I did some pins like this Westie, just sweet and simple with a little ladybug on their noses in a variety of breeds:

But I guess they were a bit too simple and plain because only a few of them sold. So I decided to take the ones that didn't and refurbish them a bit. And this is what I came up with:

These sold very well. Some things of course you can't change once they've been cured, but as long as you are happy with the overall piece you can learn to make simple changes and renovate a piece into something that will sell better, or that you're happier with. On this Westie it was just little changes in detail because I was very happy with how the Westie itself had turned out.

So that's what I'm working on this week. Taking some simple pins I did and turning them into pendants and ornaments. I'll have pics of those next week. :o)

Monday, August 11, 2008


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

--------William Hutchinson Murray

This quote means a great deal to me because I've experienced what it speaks of, more than once. Years ago, when I decided I would like to do a clay project book I had absolutely no idea how to go about it. All I had was the desire and a fairly good belief in my ability to do it. When I made up my mind to pursue the possibility of doing a project book, I am still amazed at the series of events that occurred to make it happen.

I just "happened" to notice another clay artist in my area on a clay-related forum, then met her in person, then she just "happened" to be going to a big crafts industry trade show that was just weeks away, and invited me to go with her. While there I met Suzanne McNeill of Design Originals, showed her photos of my work, and she offered me a book contract. I know it sounds all too easy, but really, everything just fell in line like dominoes, one after the other, once I made the commitment inside myself to do a book. Next thing I knew, I had done a clay project book for Design Originals.

It is true that once we begin, once we take those first steps, Providence/God/the Universe, whatever you choose to call it, steps in and paves the way for us, opening doors we didn't even know were there, forging paths where we couldn't see a path before, etc.

So whatever you think you can do, or dream of doing, take those first steps today and watch how, if you trust and believe, the path will be made clear for you, one step at a time.

Belief is the key though. Trusting faith. I noticed that in this case, for me at least, ignorance really was bliss. When I started out, I didn't know what was possible or what wasn't, so I just had blind faith that I could SOMEHOW do what I wanted to do. Sometimes the case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing is proven true as well, because the more we know or think we know about HOW to do something, sometimes the less possible it seems. So just begin and trust that the rest of the steps will be made clear to you as you go along.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I've been tagged by my fried Cathy from Cathy's Creations to share 7 random things about myself. So here goes:

1. I've been married twice, the first time way too young at 20 yrs. old and then again at 32.

2. Because of that, my kids, Joshua and Caitlin, are 10 years apart in age.

3. I am currently separated from my second husband after over 20 yrs. together, 16 1/2 of them married. This past year has been a really rough one on me emotionally. We are still very much in love with each other. Not sure how it's all going to end up though.

4. I have strong faith in God, but absolutely no faith in church. I spent many, many years searching through so many churches trying to find truth and all I ever found was that each one manipulated scripture into their own "truth" to suit their own selfish purposes.

5. I do, however, very much believe in the power of our thoughts to create and effect our lives. I believe this is a gift God gave to all of us. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of it or don't understand it. I find the study of all of that, whether you call it the power of thought, law of attraction, whatever, to be absolutely fascinating. I have seen much evidence of it in my own life.

6. I used to be absolutely horse crazy when I was a young teen, to the point that my Mom started fining me a quarter for every time I said the word horse, she was so tired of it all. My parents told me I could have one if I could save enough money to buy one. They thought I would lose interest. I saved every penny I could. I made a whopping $1.00 an hour babysitting back then, so I baby-sat about half the kids in our neighborhood for a while there! I also saved every bit of money I received for birthdays, Christmas, etc. A year and a half later I had $150 with no sign of giving up, so my parents took pity on me and kicked in the other $100 (unbelievable that you could buy a horse for $250 in 1974 huh?!) and bought me my horse. I named him Shane and I had him for just over a year, from age 14-15, before my parents said all the upkeep was just too much and we had to sell him. He was sold to a lovely lady who let me come visit him and ride him for a while after she bought him, but after awhile I stopped because he just wasn't "my" horse any more. I haven't been on a horse since!

7. I'm claustrophobic. I wasn't when I was a kid, but I sure am now. I had to have a couple MRI's because I used to suffer from wicked migraines and the last one I had was one of those closed tube things. The only way I could get through it was to do it in 10 min. increments! I will NEVER have another one, unless they knock me unconcious!

Oh boy, now I have to tag 7 people as well. Okay here's my list:

Michele of Michele Lynch Designs
Jenny of Kind Clay (trying again Jenny! LOL)
Helen of Helen's Clay Art
Debbie of Deb's Creative Ramblings
Cat of C.A. Therien Polymer Clay Art
Amanda of Confessions of a Craft Mom
Darleen of Darbella Designs

Thursday, August 07, 2008


1. Well I'm not quite ready for a Felting Friday yet. The needle felting is still taking a backseat to the polymer clay which is the primary medium that I create my items for ebay and custom orders with. But I have been collecting felting books and here are a couple new ones that contain cute and simple animals:

Little Felted Animals by Marie-Noelle Horvath

Wool Pets by Laurie Sharp

2. Still plugging away on the tutorial when I can find the time.

3. Just added a whole bunch of new polymer clay blog links. I really enjoy seeing what other clay artists are up to, so I enjoy having the blogs to check out. I'm sure you'll enjoy them too. I've also linked to some wonderful children's book illustrators' blogs. I haven't given up the dream of one day illustrating a children's book in clay. Thanks for exchanging links with me everyone!

4. I still have SO much to learn about promoting myself and my artwork, my blog, etc. I'm always on the look-out for new information on the best ways to do that. I really enjoy blogging because I enjoy writing and sharing, but I also want to promote my artwork and let people get to know me and what it is I do. I like to use my blog to share stuff about me and who I am, and what I create. I like to get to know the person behind the artwork so that's what I try to share about myself as well.

5. I said I was re-visiting the Diana Gabaldon "Outlander" series in my reading recently. Oh boy. What a controversial bunch of books those are. I was given "Outlander" to read by a well-known clay artist friend (who shall remain nameless LOL) while on the way to my first ever HIA (now CHA) show in Dallas over 10 years ago. What an eye-opener that book was! LOL Like every other woman I know who read this book, I fell head over heels in love with Scottish Jamie Fraser. But I have to say, honestly, I could have done without the whole Jack Randall thing in the first book. I don't want to give things away but, if you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. But even so, I couldn't help feeling it was a rather bold direction to take this type of novel into, and I was amazed at the author's audacity and felt she handled it all pretty well. Well I did not read the second book in the series until over 10 yrs. after reading the first. I still enjoyed it. The whole series is kind of fantasy (time travel) mixed with romance, mixed with a historical novel, mixed with I don't know what. I thought Diana Gabaldon was a very good writer as far as her ability to create characters that were interesting, yet very human, flaws and all. She had quite a knack at drawing you in and making you care about these characters and making you feel the raw emotions they felt, etc. But I just finished reading the 3rd book, and boy did I find it disappointing! And there are now SEVEN books in this series??? WOW! I just felt the author really dropped the ball with the third book, and felt that she did not stay true to her characters in it, and just overall felt that the quality of the writing was nowhere near the first novel that drew so many of us in. My daughter and I are fans of the Harry Potter series and with seven books there, I feel that the quality of the books stayed high throughout the series. Just goes to show you that just because you CAN write seven books in a series doesn't mean you SHOULD! Just my opinion of course! I just found the whole thing interesting after revisiting the characters so many years later. It's interesting to me how books like these get kind of a cult-like following. I see the same thing with the whole "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer. Weird but interesting books those are too. OK, went off on a tangent there but I just was amazed to see the quality so low in the third book knowing four more books came out after it! I won't be reading any further in the series myself.

OK, that's all I'm up to on this fine Friday morning. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Wow, already? It's already What's On My Worktable Wednesday again??? Oh boy.

Before I get started on that, I wanted to mention that I figured out how to keep my playlist from automatically starting as soon as anyone accesses this page. I know not everyone cares to hear it, and that some people will be listening to their own music when they come to my page and probably won't want mine interfering. So now IF you want to listen to what I'm listening to, all you have to do is click on the arrow to start, and then you can just let it play as I've got it listed, or click on any individual song to hear that one instead.

OK, so what's on my worktable this morning is a custom order. A very nice lady ordered a pin with a pair of German Shorthaired Pointers for her mom's birthday. So this morning I am finishing up the pin. The sculpting of the doggies themselves was a breeze, it's determining how to join them together without the pin being huge, or the dogs getting distorted that gave me a bit of a hassle. The customer left it up to me to decide the style of the pin.

Since the dogs are so dark, a rich liver brown, I thought a really pale soft pink pearl would look really lovely as the background. I really didn't want a lot of the background to even show, so the dogs themselves are the focal point of the pin.

So here's what I ended up with:

I'm very pleased with the finished product. :o) I have to thank my 16 yr. old web wiz daughter Caitlin for her photo editing on this pic.

So I still haven't finished the poor patiently waiting little sheepdog figurine unfortunately. Custom orders have to come first. But soon!

Monday, August 04, 2008


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson

That is one of my favorite quotes. It just really hit home for me the first time I stumbled upon it. How many of us, when wanting to achieve something, have encountered that "what makes you think you can" attitude from others, or worse yet, from ourselves?

As much as the fear of failure is alive and well in most of us, I think the fear of success is even more insidious. We manage to create something wonderful, and then we worry, now what??? Are "they" going to expect even more from me? Am I going to be able to live up to the expectations? Can I DO this?

I think most of us have encountered people in our lives who were threatened by whatever measure of success we have achieved. Perhaps we have felt guilty about this, or perhaps they have tried to knock us down a few pegs so we're the ones now feeling insecure instead.

But as Marianne Williamson's beautiful quote above so eloquently states, playing small does not serve the world. We are meant to shine.

Have you ever witnessed someone else shining and been inspired to shine yourself? I have on many occasions. Here is just one of them. This quiet unassuming man had a big dream and yet he felt who was he to think he could achieve it? This video gives me chills and makes me cry every time I see it. Watch the looks of skepticism from the audience turn to looks of awe, and then to joy for this man as he lets his light shine:

Paul Potts, Winner of Britain's Got Talent Show

Never be afraid to let your own light shine.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Starting a new weekly feature today, What's On My Worktable Wednesdays. So what is on my worktable (had to look that up to see if it is actually a legitimate word - it is!) today? Well, as usual, a mess.

I have an entire room upstairs devoted to just my crafts. You'd think that would be pure heaven for me. For a short time, it was. But then I realized that I like to be downstairs in the middle of everything, close to my daughter, the phone, the computer, the kitchen, etc. So my craft room is for the most part neglected. There are times I do enjoy being able to go up there and close the door, put on my music, and work completely undisturbed. But more often, I end up carrying stuff downstairs and working on the dining room table. I just feel too isolated up there sometimes. That's where I'm at this week.

My dining room table also doubles as my photo area. I have a small lightbox that I use for taking my photos. It's great because when I don't need to use it, it folds up like a portfolio and can be stored in the closet. It came with the small lights pictured, but the bulbs they contain really are not bright enough. It also came with a little tripod and four different colored backdrops. The whole thing with shipping cost me around $50.00. Here's a similar one on ebay if you're looking for one: Light Box.

So on my table today is the light box because I've been taking pics of polymer clay books that I plan to put up on ebay. I'm cleaning out my closets and getting rid of things I no longer need or want. Check my ebay auctions later this week if you're looking for any clay books. I'm very fussy with my books and keep them in like new condition. :o)

Included with the books I'll be listing this week are several Japanese clay books. I got them when I was invited to Plaid Enterprises' headquarters just outside Atlanta, Georgia along with 11 other craft designers to work with some products Plaid was exploring at the time. What a blast that was! We were treated extremely well by Plaid who flew us there, put us up in a lovely hotel, provided wonderful meals for us, and also paid us for the privilege of working with some wonderful products for several days. There were two very talented Japanese ladies there to work with us. I must say that the Japanese make some of the most gorgeous clay flowers I've ever seen. These books contain a vast array of lovely clay pieces in addition to the flowers. Plaid Enterprises is one of the biggest craft manufacturers in the U.S. for those who don't know.

Also on the table is the rough start to a poor little Old English Sheepdog figurine that has been laying there patiently waiting for weeks for me to get back around to it. Ever start something full of inspiration and about halfway through it lose interest? Story of my life, :oP.

Yes that pitiful blob WILL actually become a sheepdog, someday anyway. Things go through some pretty awful looking stages as we're working on them don't they? But you have to start somewhere. Now I'm going to have to actually FINISH it to prove it actually CAN be something cute! LOL

When I'm not going to work on a piece for a while I just drape a piece of tin foil over it to keep the dust off.

As you can see, I work on ceramic tiles of various sizes that I place on top of a phone book to raise it up some so that I don't have to bend over to work, thereby straining my neck and shoulder muscles something awful. Sometimes I use two phone books stacked on top of each other to raise the tile. Just depends on what I'm working on, but it really helps to cut down on the strain on the body. I also sometimes prop my tile up on an easel if I'm working on something flat. Since the clay sort of sticks to the tile, it stays put when the tile is propped on the easel.

Since I haven't actually been working on that poor OES figurine, my pasta machine, and most of my other tools are not currently on the table. That mess in the corner contains a drawer from one of my storage bins upstairs that I hastily threw a bunch of tools in and carried downstairs. It also shows a slew of finished pieces from my recent show sitting on top of the tub I keep my family's Christmas ornaments in.

So that's my first Worktable Wednesday. Not too scintillating so far no doubt, but as I go along I hope to show you more of what I'm working on. I think it's interesting to see the stages pieces go through. Anyone starting out with sculpting shouldn't feel discouraged when they see their piece go through some of those stages! Those beginning stages can be pretty rough. It's perfectly natural. :o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've last updated my blog. I've been going in a variety of directions, trying to enjoy summer vacation with my daughter, amongst other things.

I am working on the sculpting tutorial, but finding it slow going for sure. There are hundreds of recognized dog breeds, so of course I can't even begin to scratch the surface in attempting to explain how to sculpt them all. So I am focusing my first tutorial on the basics of sculpting some of the longhaired breeds like Yorkies, Maltese, Shih Tzus, etc.

I've developed my own techniques over time to aid me in sculpting many different breeds, but what works for me may or may not make sense to or work for someone else. Also I don't always use the same techniques for the same breed. So it's making writing the tutorial an interesting challenge. I'm really just going to try to break it down to basics so someone reading the tutorial can get started but also develop what works best for them.

The tutorial will focus on sculpting flat pieces, just the heads and necks of the dogs, for use as pins, pendants, ornaments, etc.

Other than that, I've been on kind of a break from sculpting for ebay or anything. But now I'm gearing up to do some holiday pieces for Halloween and Christmas. My favorite!

And my daughter and I are looking forward to the Coldplay concert this weekend! WOO HOO!

I'll try to update again soon!

Recently sold Maltese pendant

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Trial and ERROR

Well as a self taught artist, learning things through trial and error is something quite familiar to me. I had another taste of the error part yesterday while working on a new technique I'm excited about. The piece looked gorgeous right up to the point where I had to put the glass-like finish on. Then my gorgeous piece rather quickly turned into a piece of garbage. :o(

I know every artist out there can relate. Since we work hard to develop our own designs, we usually have few guidelines to follow. Such was the case with me and this new technique I am so excited about. I am not used to working with varnishes as I usually prefer a matte finish on my pieces.

So I was quite unprepared for the tear-your-hair-out experiences I had working with the particular finish I was using. The culprit? Glossy Accents by Ranger - HATE IT! Air bubbles galore no matter how careful I was. Stored the bottle upside down, opened it upside down, worked with it upside down to try to avoid shaking it up. No luck. Does give a gorgeous finish if and when it dries without all those bubbles. But it's so thick that bubbles often do not make their way to the top of the piece until it has dried and there's nothing you can do about them. :o( It doesn't matter how long you've been working with a particular medium, trying new things brings new challenges. Those new challenges bring a need for greater than average patience. LOL

Well as my fellow artist friend Michele reminded me, Thomas Edison once remarked "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Thank goodness it usually doesn't take me quite that many tries to figure things out. LOL

While I wait to perfect my new pieces, here are some recent pendants currently on ebay:

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well I've been temporarily sidetracked by a new technique - new to me anyway, but something many polymer clayers have been doing in one variation or another for quite some time. I'm talking about faux cloisonné. I have always loved the look of enamels and cloisonné, and just recently I came across a wonderful tutorial by Eugena Topina and just had to try it. Eugena's work is absolutely sensational. There are lots of different ways you can achieve the look of cloisonné using polymer clay, but her's is one of the easiest and she has a tutorial available via her website or Etsy shop. I'm still learning so I'm trying to work the bugs out of my technique, but this is definitely something I want to do more of. Here's my attempt at a cloisonné flamingo pendant. Wish I had made the flamingo's neck longer, but hey it was my first attempt and I'm not at all used to working with wire. This technique uses wire, and mica powders encased in a clear dimensional glass-like finish to simulate cloisonné. I also added three Swarovski crystals that have a pink tone to them. Lots of fun, though working with tiny bits of wire can be frustrating!


I've received many emails over the years asking if I had any tutorials or a book available on how to sculpt dogs. I'm now working on a tutorial that will most likely be available in a pdf format and hope to have it ready soon. Of course there is no way I could cover how to sculpt all the many different breeds there are in any tutorial. So what I plan to focus on is the basics of sculpting just the heads of the dogs to use for pins or ornaments, etc. Watch this blog for updates.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I really haven't blogged much since finishing the dog show, and on top of that, managed to delete several posts and the lovely comments I had received with them. Geeeez. Sorry about that folks!

Today I'm just in one of those moods. Feeling the need to vent about some things I guess.

For starters, custom orders. I am happy to do custom orders. But I need to fit them in with everything else I have to do, and there is a downside to doing them. I am not a machine, and I say this, not to be snotty, or unappreciative of the orders I receive, but to try to explain. I am an artist. I don't pump out mass-produced items. I don't use molds. Everything I create is one at a time, and one of a kind and begins with a lump of clay. Some people value that, some people don't. I'm also human, so I have my ups and downs. There are times I am tired, don't feel well, have too much on my plate and I'm stressed, or depressed, etc. Sad to say, the mood I'm in, or being sick can adversely effect my ability to create my art, but it's a fact. Just like writers get writer's block, there are times an artist is blocked too - which makes it difficult to get all those custom orders done! I know many people don't understand this and feel that when they order something from a "professional artist" the piece should be pumped out immediately, and unfortunately, that's not always possible! I know I'm not the only artist who goes through this, as I have artist friends as well, and it's sometimes a struggle to complete work in the time frame given, etc. I have never missed a deadline, but man sometimes it's hard!

Also the maybe not so funny thing is, I've noticed when I have forced myself to make things when in a not so positive mood in the past, the work takes on my mood! So if I'm grumpy when I'm working, I can easily end up with a grumpy looking dog, etc. LOL If I'm depressed, at times the finished piece takes on a forlorn look. It always makes me laugh when those things sell because I have to wonder if the person buying them is feeling what I was feeling when I created them! But it's not a good thing when I'm working on a custom order. LOL

So I hope people who custom order things from artists will try to understand the process and realize that we can't always work as fast as they may like, etc. As a working artist I've gotten better at being creative on demand, but there are still times when that is a struggle.

Another thing that I have to admit frustrates me is people who write to me asking me to tell them how to sculpt my creations. I have no formal art training. I taught myself to sculpt through MANY hours of trial and error over the past 20 YEARS. There were a few books along the way that helped a little bit, but there was nothing available to teach me how to do exactly what I wanted to do, especially when it comes to the dog art. But I really wanted to learn, so I dove in, and started. The first things I made were a far sight from what I create these days, and there were many many times that I threw clay across the room in frustration, or worked on something for hours just to ball it up and throw it away because I just could not get it to turn out right.

So it is rather frustrating to me that people think I can teach them to do what I learned to do the hard way, over a long period of time, in a few paragraphs in an email! I can give a few guidelines to help someone get started, but no way can I sit and type out full instructions on how to sculpt something! I also have to say that it's rather unethical to ask an artist to teach you how to create THEIR designs, so that you can turn around and profit from their hard work! Not only that, but the inference that my time is of no value, and I should spend it giving away what I have learned is rather annoying if I'm being blunt. I used to do how-to projects for magazines and I did a book for Design Originals, and I was paid quite nicely for my designs and how-to instructions. So when people feel I should spend a few hours of my time giving them that info for nothing, well it gets a little old. If people feel that is arrogant on my part, well I'm not really sorry because I must say I feel it's rather rude on THEIR part. This is my occupation, how I earn my living. If an artist chooses to teach their art, or sell published instructions, that's one thing. They are being compensated for what they're giving away.

Now please don't get me wrong because I am happy to help with general advice when I can. If someone asks me a question about baking the clay, or how not to get fingerprints all over their work, or what can they use for eyes for their characters, etc., I am more than happy to help out. I think the polymer clay community is one of the most sharing and caring there is. I've also had the same experience with the needle felting community. That is not what I am talking about. I'm talking about when someone asks me to tell them, step by step, how to create one of my designs and feels that I OWE it to them to do so!

Where does one draw the line between trying to help a fellow clay aficionado get started, and having someone take up your valuable time expecting you to make everything easier for them because they don't want to put the time in to learning that you did?? Definitely becoming a bit of a pet peeve of mine. In the past, I have spent hours typing out all sorts of information in answer to someone's questions, only to never receive even a thank you or even acknowledgement of my efforts in return. That was time I could have put towards my own PAID work, and it's frustrating to me to say the least!

See what I mean? This little Yorkie looks a bit grumpy doesn't it? LOL Still cute though if I do say so myself! (and I DO!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Lou of Hunters Designs (which I will be blogging about sometime in the next couple days) tagged me.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as their blogs.

Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Fact #1 - I used to be very shy and quiet, to the point that I barely spoke to anyone at school, etc. I'm the total opposite these days.

Fact #2 - I'm a shrimp - 5'2". These days I seem to be growing horizontally rather than vertically. :oP

Fact #3 - I once took Wilton cake decorating classes. I LOVE the "Ace of Cakes" show, and still think sculpting with fondant is very similar to sculpting with polymer clay.

Fact #4 - I secretly (well not anymore I guess) lust after Jake Gyllenhaal, who is not a whole lot older than my son. But then again I was a child bride the first time around. ;o) But can you blame me? Look at him!

Besides, I believe age is just a number and a state of mind and I'm all for May/December romances. (I believe that more and more with each passing year. LOL) Pretty bad though when your (at the time, she's 16 now) 12 year old daughter's friend offers to cut pics of Jake out of her teen magazine to give to you. Which leads me to fact #5....

Fact #5 - I don't intend to age gracefully. I love rock, alternative rock, some heavy metal, etc. I intend to be like Tina Turner and still be rocking well into my 60's. :o) (I've got quite a few years to go til I'm there though!) So far, thank goodness people always seem to think I'm too young to have kids the ages they are. The day they don't blink an eye when I say their ages is the day I worry. LOL

Fact #6 - I believe in the Law of Attraction. I could tell you some amazing stories.

Fact #7 - I have a major thing for Scottish and Irish accents - though I don't think accent is the right word. Must be my Irish/Scottish bloodlines. :o)

OK my turn to tag 7 people:

1. Kind Clay
2. Chickie Girl
3. Stormy Designs
4. DivaDea
5. Chicki
6. LucyBlueStudio
7. Tina T

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Items on Ebay

I've listed some adorable tiny figurines of various breeds on ebay for Valentines Day. These are miniature original sculptures which are no taller than 1 1/4". Here are the Schnauzer, Old English Sheepdog, and Maltese:

There are many more breeds available with more to come. To check them out please click here: Designs by Ginny Baker