Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If I Only Had the Time

I've had to learn recently to just say "no". To invitations, to things I want to buy, to responsibilities I want to volunteer for and participate in. I always want to be a part of EVERYTHING, and the problem with that is, I wear myself too thin. I get tired, I get cranky, but more than that, with so much on my plate, I can't give any one thing my all - there simply are not enough hours in the day. And when I do things, I like to do them right, and all the way.

In the past few months I have parted with a lot of craft supplies. Piles and piles of fabric (which went to good, creative homes), beads I'll never use. I have some of those colored sheets of foam and about 5,000 stray crayons all set to donate to my church's youth group/religious ed room. I've stepped down from some administrative duties.

For the most part, I have decided to focus on and only on my photography, photo restoration, house restorating/decorating, and my polymer clay. Oh, and crochet, but that's something I do when I'm not really doing anything, like when watching a movie, so that doesn't really count, IMO. I need to learn to leave all those other fun projects to others. I need to remember that it's not only ok but REALLY good to buy handmade from others instead of looking at something and saying, "cool - I could make that!"

In the spirit of buying handmade, and/or letting others have the fun, I present to you a few cute projects, links, and general things I have fallen in love with lately. Maybe you'll find a project here you can make for someone for a holiday gift, or buy for someone knowing that it was handmade from the heart.

How About Orange: Tiny pincushion tutorial

(made from plastic bottlecaps, which aren't recyclable - but they ARE reusable!)

I'm also in love with lots of the fabrics and products in this blogger's shop:

While we're at it, here's an awesome idea for making a wreath from those same bottlecaps, courtesy of monkeydogstudio.etsy.com,

These earrings are made of wire and thread - big, but not heavy!
Treehouse Earrings by FunkyLobez

Wild Aqua Mushroom Plini by magicbeanbuyer.etsy.com

Hand-felted pea pod brooch by vaivanat.etsy.com

A fellow member of the PCAGOE and an amazing artist, OrganicOdysseys.etsy.com uses textures found in nature - leaves, seeds, etc. - to texture her polymer clay pieces - AMAZING!

Bok Choy Switch Plate by OrganicOdysseys.etsy.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been? Good question! I've been around, but obviously not blogging. Sincere apologies to my five readers. ;p

First order of business: Time to vote for the PCAGOE Challenge! This month's theme is, of course, "Winter," and there are MAD PRIZES to be won this month, so don't miss your chance to vote and be entered to win!

Visit www.pcagoe.com between now and midnight (EST) on Thursday, December 4, 2008 to vote, and be automatically entered to win one of SEVEN prizes!

Next up, a small request - instead of buying the same old stuff this year from your local big-box retailer, consider buying handmade, or buying local, or visiting your own town's mom'n'pop-owned stores. Or... DIY!

And third, something funny I received in my email this morning. I'm on Lee Silber's mailing list (an author who everyone should check out - he writes about organization, management, etc. for the creative person and he's GREAT!) and his newsletter included a link to this list:

The 10 Dimensions of Creative Complexity (or, "10 Reasons that Creative People Drive Us Crazy")

1. Creative individuals have great physical energy, but they become extremely quiet when they are at rest. This restful period can lead others to think that they are not feeling well or that they are unhappy, when the truth is they are fine.

2. Creative folks tend to be both highly intelligent and naive at the same time.

3. Creative people are disciplined and playful simultaneously. In some creative people, this can mean that they are responsible and irresponsible at the same time as well.

4. Creative minds move between a spectrum of fantasy and imagination and a firm grounding in reality. They understand the present and need to keep in touch with the past.

5. Creative individuals seem to be both introverted and extroverted, expressing both traits at once. An image to explain this might be that they are shy showoffs, if you can picture that.

6. Creative people are sincerely humble and extremely proud in a childlike way. It requires ego to have a risky, fresh idea. It takes self-doubt to hammer it out to a workable form.

7. Creative folks don’t feel as tied to gender roles. They feel distinctly individual. They don’t feel the barriers of authority or the rules of what they are “supposed to do.”

8. Creative individuals are thought to be rebellious. Yet, in order to be creative one has to understand and have internalized the traditional culture. Therefore creativity comes from deep roots in tradition. Creative people are traditional and cutting edge.

9. Creative people are deeply passionate about their work, yet can be extremely detached and objective when discussing it.

10. Creative people are highly open and sensitive, which exposes them to pain and suffering, but also allows them to feel higher values of joy and happiness.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

PCAGOE Monthly Challenge - Dia De Los Muertos


It's that time of the month! ;) No, not THAT time of the month - it's time for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) Monthly Challenge!

This month's theme was "Day of the Dead," or "Dia De Los Muertos," a Mexican holiday that focuses on remembrance of friends and relatives who have died. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Yours truly actually got her act together in time to enter this month!

Please take a minute to vote on your favorite entry (you don't have to vote for mine!) and be automatically entered to win a great prize package featuring work from PCAGOE members.

You can vote once between now and
midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, October 3. Winners will be announced on October 4th. To view the entries close-up, visit the pcagoe siteand click on the mosaic to see it larger or click on the slide show below the mosaic to see the entries individually and read the artists’ descriptions. To purchase an item, or to see what else the artists have to offer, click on the shop names listed below the entry photos. Thanks for voting, and good luck!

Hey, and be sure to pass it on to friends!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Today Only! Last Chance!

I need these books OUT OF HERE! Today only, then they're gone.
Priced to sell - make me an offer if you're interested in more than one.

Shipping via Media Mail unless otherwise requested. Please comment here or email me ASAP at pollyhyper@gmail.com if you are interested.

The Practical Encylopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, v. 1 (A to AME)
$3 + shipping

The Practical Encylopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, v. 4 (BOO to CEN)
$3 + shipping

Creating a Look (Hardcover) - Inspiring DIY interior design ideas. $4 + shipping

c. 1989, 96 pages. Lots of instructions for different techniques/stitches with color photos.
$3 + shipping

Greystone's Creative Hands - The Complete Knitting, Dressmaking, and Needlecraft Guide,
Vol. 3, c.1975 $3 + shipping
Embroidery on Tulle
Fashion Flair
Home Sewing
Machine Knitting
Pattern Library
Care of Fabrics & Fibers

How To Profit From Flower and Herb Crafts
by Ellen Spector Platt
c.1996 $3+ shipping

- finding your niche
- selling at shows
- setting up your own shop
- effective advertising and promotion
- pricing
- professional attitude

The Arts and Crafts Marketing Book
Mark Publishing "Be Your Own Boss" Series
by Steve and Cindy Long
c.1988 $3 + shipping


From the front cover:
"You Can...
- learn Steve & Cindy's Money-Making Secrets
- turn your hobby into cash
- start from your own home for a few dollars
- make extra cash or have a full-time business

216 pages.


  • The Encyclopedia of Household Hints & Dollar Stretchers by Michael Gore, hardcover (missing sleeve, otherwise good condition), c. 1977, 472 pages. $2 + shipping
  • This Old House Kitchens: A Guide to Design and Renovation (Paperback) $3 + shipping

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

PCAGOE July Challenge - "Personal Hero"

Time for the July PCAGOE Challenge! This month's theme was "Personal Hero."

Please, I beg you, take a moment or two to vote on your favorite. As a member of the PCAGOE, it is my duty to recruit views and votes! And it's fun! And you can win cool stuff!

Click here to go straight to the site and vote (scroll down on the site to below the list, below the pix, to vote)

The entries:

The prizes

Friday, May 2, 2008

PCAGOE May Challenge - Vote & Win

Please visit the PCAGOE website between now and midnight EST on Sunday, May 4th to vote for your favorite entry in this month's Polymer Clay Challenge!

This month's theme was flowers.

The entries...

the prizes - you can win just by voting!

The fame
the fortune
the GLORY.
and tell a friend!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PCAGOE Challenge - PC Covered Eggs - Vote & Win!

So I was supposed to be entering this month's challenge, but covering an egg is a lot tougher than I thought, and I just plain ran out of time! But never fear, there are tons of amazing entries - this month's theme, polymer clay eggs, was very popular.

PLEASE take a minute to peruse the many amazing pieces, and choose your favorite - when you vote, you are automatically entered to win one of the awesome prize packages shown above. VOTE NOW - THANKS!

Support handmade!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Getting To Know Me, Getting To Know All About Me

I've been tagged by Chicki!

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.

I always draw a blank when I try to think of interesting things about myself!

Fact #1: I'm a homebody, more and more every day, and particularly since we bought our dream house almost 5 (!) years ago. There are plenty of days when I don't leave the house at all (except to go out in the yard) and I'm perfectly happy. Some of those days I'm home alone. I really enjoy alone-time, although I also love spending time with my friends and family.

Fact #2: Most of the guys I've dated or crushed on in my life have had a name that started with a J. I married the last one.

Fact #3: I really hate talking on the telephone, but I'm all about email and other online communication.

Fact #4: I have a great love for Indian food, and I really wish some nice Indian family would move into the neighborhood and offer me food in exchange for... polymer clay jewelry? Garden veggies?

Fact #5: In addition to tooling around with polymer clay, I also do digital photo restoration and retouching, and some art photography on the side. Check out my website: http://www.secondimpressionphoto.com

Fact #6: I live very close to the beach, and I LOVE being in the ocean. I'm not big on sunning myself on the beach. My friends tend to call me a "fish."

Fact #7: My birthday is 7-11. My husband is so lucky - how could he ever forget that?!

I tag...

Stormy Designs
Rubarb Polymer Art Designs
Folk Art From The Heart
Polka Dot Creations
Camida - ArtVenturing
Iris Mishly

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Time once again for the monthly PCAGOE challenge. This month's theme is "Animals" and there are all kinds of animals represented in the entries. Choose your favorite and vote at our website, pcagoe.com. Voting closes at midnight on March 3rd, and the winners will be announced March 4th on the site!

I myself didn't enter this month (although I plan to get back in there next month, when the theme is polymer-clay covered eggs!) but one of my pieces (the butterfly pendant in the top center) is included in this month's prize pack, which will be given to a lucky voter chosen at random:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bottles of Hope

The Bottles of Hope project began in 1999 when Diane Gregoire, a cancer survivor and polymer clay artist, put her talents to use to spread hope to others going through chemotherapy and cancer treatment. Using polymer clay, she decorates small glass medicine bottles similar to the bottles that the chemotherapy treatment comes in, and gifts them to other patients as a symbol of hope.

The Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy is active with the Bottles of Hope project and I have just completed six bottles to donate - I have a feeling I'll be making more, as they were a lot of fun to make! The bottles I made are sealed shut, because I made sure to fill them with hope and wishes for good health and happiness for their recipients!

(click to view larger)
Bottles of Hope made by Pollyhyper.etsy.com

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Think Warm!

I shouldn't complain, as I live in a fairly mild climate, but man, it's cold out there! I think that it feels especially cold because I'm comparing it to the recent unseasonably warm weather. Regardless, I'm ready for spring, and it appears I'm not the only one with springtime on the brain...

StormyDesigns is waiting for these little ladies to come back out and frolic in the spring blooms.

Pair of Sculpted Ladybug

Button/Ponytail/Cellphone Charms- $9 at StormyDesigns.etsy.com

Mosaico's lightswitch covers will make that indoor light a little more bright and sunny until the real thing comes back.

Evening Sunflower Decorative Switchplate - $12.50 at Mosaico.etsy.com

Clayspirits' flowers remind me of childhood days filled with sunshine and flowers and candy!

Spring Flower Necklace - $48 at Clayspirits.etsy.com

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Artists' Lounge - Making Progress!

Since I'm being a real perfectionist about it and it's going to take me FOREVER before the Artists' Lounge is what I would describe as "finished," I am responding to requests for "during" pix. I apologize for those of you who have trouble loading this picture-heavy post - I don't know how to do a cut on Blogger. If you know, comment and let me know, and I'll hide them.

First, let me introduce the family.

Pippi, ever-willing, props up Jeremiah's arm while he tests out his new oil pastels, his reward for accompanying me to the Michael's (I gave him my extra 40% off coupon and told him to get whatever he wanted.)
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Hummus, my main man (don't tell J!) checks out the new arrangements.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Eddie LOVES the "new" shag rug. (Not new, actually - it used to be wall to wall in my grandparents' sun room. I grew up playing on this rug, and when the moved I had them tell the new owners that if they didn't want it, I'd love to take it.)
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Luna, Queen of the House and Resident Evile. "I want you all to get OUT of MY ROOM!"
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Now, the room.

It's already a much more productive work environment!
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Many hours and cursewords later, I fixed the mat (I fixed it, alright!) and hung the pic. Awesome artwork, but very silly un-standard size. If you look closely, you can see some of my handiwork. As a rule, since art school, I NEVER EVER EVER cut my own mats, but what can I say? I'm broke!
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

This corner is my workstation for "crafts" vs. "art." Mainly for polymer clay, although I will most likely be found getting into other sorts of mischief here on occasion.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

I used my 40% off coupon for this spinning paint organizer - I totally needed it!
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

My ribbon.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

New/old (thrift score) sewing box to be used for findings. More notes on Flickr.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

More storage. More notes on Flickr.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

This area will be the office workstation, where I can focus on my photo restorations without the distraction of the fun clay supplies. ;) TV, DVD player, and mp3 player ready and able.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

These shelves are actually, for the most part, much more organized than they appear. Click on this pic to see Flickr notes.
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

THIS is what's left to organize! HELP! Just kidding, it's not so bad considering how much I've already done!
Artists' Lounge - IN PROGRESS

And, of course, I scored a car full of random art supplies the other day, so I have to find room for even more stuff!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Every year, my husband and I make Valentine's for each other. That's the rule. We can't spend any money on gifts, although we do often (as we did yesterday) go out for a nice meal or date of some kind. But there are no diamond pendants or other expensive gifts. I can't imagine it any other way. I now have a collection of amazing mementos of our years together. Each one was made with so much love.

Valentine - Jeremiah to Holly (Outside)
This is the front of my husband's valentine to me. I unfolded it to show the whole picture at once. You can't see in the scan but the moon and stars are metallic silver.

And the inside...
Valentine - Jeremiah to Holly (Inside)

The front of mine to my husband...
Valentine - Holly to Jeremiah (Front)

and the back...
Valentine - Holly to Jeremiah (Back)