First Show


This past weekend, I participated in an art/craft show for the first time.  It was an eye-opening experience!  Although small, local, and not very well-attended, it was reassuring to have favorable responses to my polymer clay and metal embossing artwork and jewelry :) .  I also met several very friendly exhibitors, one in particular who was quite generous with information for doing more shows, where to purchase supplies, and general encouragement.  I consider it a success!  Good feedback, helpful suggestions, and some experience in setup, etc. 

I've yet to download all of my photos, but we'll start with a selection from the jewelry.  

This is a style often referred to as embroidery.  Although meticulous and somewhat time-consuming, the effect is stunning and I love making these.  Some would find it tedious, I am sure, especially creating dozens of tiny balls of clay that are arranged then creased or manipulated with a variety of tools.  But the intricacy of the designs is very rewarding.

These next two examples are a couple of my first wire-wrapped pendants.  After watching many videos and trying to follow them step by step, bend by bend, I finally just relaxed and found my own way around the clay with various gauges and types of wire.  You Tube, blogs, websites, books and even catalogs are a tremendous help with great tips from experienced clay and wire artists.  But eventually, it's time to develop your own style and technique - that's when it becomes fun.  I'm very grateful to my online teachers and will be adding links to the sidebar in the near future in case you are inspired to give these techniques a try yourself.  I have my favorites, and I look forward to pointing you in their direction :) .  Here are a couple more wire-wrapped examples:

This is one of my favorites - I don't think this one will be up for sale :) .  I'm a huge fan of earth tones and the coppery browns with a couple of splashes of color is just the kind of marbled clay that I love.  And it's a double dose of copper with this wire!  

Another with a slightly lighter shade of copper wire.  I've primarily wrapped marbled clay cabachons - sometimes, I'll take scrap clay and see what I can come up with.  Other times, I've chosen colors specifically to get the desired effect.  Marbling can be tricky - too much blending and it's a mucky mess.  But I like the challenge of coming up with a good balance of swirls and colors. 

Now these two are a bit more unusual, eh?  I think of this as a sort of freestyle organic doodling technique.  This is right up my alley - anything goes.  The first pendant has embedded wire for the bail, and is all clay - no metal bezel.  I did some texturing of the background and then added various organic shapes and a glass cabachon wrapped in clay.  These pendants and many of my projects, jewelry and otherwise, are colored with mica powders (Perfect Pearls).  I love that metallic sheen.  In the first pendant, the clay is entirely black which really shows off the shimmer of mica.  The second pendant has a variety of clay colors but the mica powder still adds a depth and sparkly quality.

Here is another of the organic freeform pendants - in this case, the bail is part of the clay pendant.

This another favorite style of mine to make - faux cloisonne.  This picture was taken before a coating of resin was added - the dimension, finish and shine with the resin is lovely!  I'll upload a new photo soon.  The middle heart was one of my favorites - and it sold on Saturday!  I never realized that it may be difficult to part with some of my creations but I hope the new owner is enjoying it.  I could always make another, right?

And for my last photos of this post, here is a technique that I made up (at least I didn't learn it from anyone else).  These also have since been covered in a layer of resin - wow.   Hopefully I'll be able to get some good photos of that, but the technique is more apparent in the pre-resin state.  

To create this style, I filled the pendant with clay and then leveled it off with my blade.  I added bits of colored clay for the flowers, leaves, butterflies, and pressed it into the white base.  Then I shaved it off again, leaving bits behind.  It looks much like the paper lampshades, etc., that were in style some time ago with leaves and petals embedded in the paper.  I'd repeat this process until I was happy with the composition. 

Hope you've enjoyed this peek into what I've been up to.  I'll be working on more illustrations for my stamp line with Inky Antics, but still getting my fingers into some clay, too.  I'll be back with more photos and work on those links soon.

I am finding that working with a variety of materials is inspiring across the board, so you'll be seeing a little bit of everything here!  Thanks for joining me on this creative adventure!

'til next time ~

2015 - A New Year

Welcome!  I hope you and your family enjoyed the Christmas holiday and are welcoming in a wonderful new year!

I thought it was high time I stop by and revive the blog!  There has been big news behind the scenes at Inky Antics.  My boss, creative director Jackie Wamhoff, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and I could not be more thrilled for her and her husband!  Little Will is a very lucky little one and they are going to be over-the-moon wonderful parents :) .

I have also added the latest Inky Antics catalog to the sidebar!  I am SO happy with my new collection and I hope you enjoy it too.  I cannot pick a favorite - these animals are all special to me, and the sentiment and font choices are stunning.  They have tracks, too - a little bit of fun for accents, borders, backgrounds, etc.

View Nature's Wonders in this new edition:

In my absence from the blog, I've also been venturing into new media including polymer clay, metal embossing, and most recently I took a short class in pyrography!  It's all been a lot of fun to learn, and I'll be sharing some of those art projects with you here on the STS blog, too. 

I'm excited to be adding some variety to Shady Tree Studio and to be able to share that with all of you.  Page tabs under my blog header and links in the sidebar will be coming soon.  I may even knock myself out and finally start adding labels to my posts ;) .

So... thank you for stopping by and I look forward to exploring stamping and other artistic pursuits with you in 2015!

New Discount Code

Hi  Blog Friends!


I hope to be back soon with projects I've been working on and some new designs from Inky Antics... but for now - there's a new code in the sidebar for 10% off at Perfect Paper Crafting:  nbaier


A special offer for the month of November:  A free cutting mat with every order over $20!

Bye for now :) .

New Catalog is here!

Welcome, blogland friends!

The new catalog is hot off the press, and you'll find a link right over here -----> .

Today, I'm happy to share a card made with one of my favorite stamps, from the new cling-mounted rubber collection, Beautiful Backgrounds.  Introducing, Woodland Background:

I love the versatility of this stamp collection - 
it can be a background in the truest sense of the word, 
creating a great landscape for other stamps and sentiments; 
elements can be featured like the yellow bird in the previous post; 
and I love this spotlighting technique. 

Here, a few elements were emphasized by coloring 
with alcohol markers. 
A little sponging around the edges 
enhances the effect. 

And be sure to check out the rocker style stamper from Inky Antics.
I used that tool with all of these stamps and love it.

Along with the SIX new 5-1/2 x 5-1/2" cling-mounted rubber 
Beautiful Backgrounds stamps, there are four sets, 
each with three "strips,"
which coordinate with the backgrounds. 
I'll share more about those later, 
but be sure to check out the catalog link at the top of the sidebar!

AND ... for your coordinated sayings, Inky Antics has provided
two photopolymer stamp sets with terrific sentiments:

 I hope you enjoy the new catalog as much as we enjoy
bringing you new designs for your projects!  

I'll be back soon - thanks for stopping by!

New Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps

I've had a bit of a vacation, haven't I?  Summer is like that, and I know it is for you, too - but I'm excited to show you a sampling from my recent release at Inky Antics.  They are in stock now at Ellen Hutson LLC, and be sure to check with your local stamping/scrapping store!  Also, they will soon be available on the Inky Antics website.  

This is a pretty special group of stamps because there are six 5-1/2 x 5-1/2" cling-mounted rubber "background" stamps, and four sets of coordinating "strips" that measure 1-1/4 x 5-3/8" .  So many design possibilities!   Unlike a lot of background stamps that are simply a pattern, these are standalone images unto themselves.  So you can easily use them as a background because their size will fill your card base area, or use them as a main image for your project.

So today, I'll introduce my yellow bird, some flowers and butterflies :).

 This was the first card idea I had after drawing this stamp, Bird Background. 
Although it's hard to resist coloring in these line drawings, 
I love how the detail looks simply stamped, and couldn't wait to "pop up" 
this little bird.   The coordinating strip is a stamp from a trio
of strips called Small Blooms and Butterflies.

Bird Background:

Small Blooms and Butterflies:

As I'm sure you've guessed, there is also a 
Large Blooms and Butterflies stamp, 
so you'll have just the right proportion for your creations:

So speaking of butterflies, 
here's another fun way to use the strips:

Here I've used the Large Blooms and Butterflies strip cut into 
three squares, and a main image from another of our "background" stamps, 

Butterfly Background:

This is definitely an appropriate one as butterfly season is upon us!
I just love to see them fluttering by on warm summer days.  

As you can see, lots of detail that looks great colored 
but also is interesting enough to leave simply stamped
with maybe a pop of color.   I look forward to showing you
more of this collection with other techniques in the coming weeks.

Thank you for visiting, and I'll do my best to be back again soon!

~ Take care and happy stamping ~