Precious Metal Clay is absolute magic in a tiny package. A little lump of gray mush that, when fired, turns into fine silver in any shape you choose.

I tried a Precious Metal Clay class about 10 years ago but found it daunting (and sticky). This class was different! Cindy is a great teacher and we had a blast. She made it easy. We talked about what we each wanted to make and she helped us engineer it. Every student in class made several really nice pieces!

Roll it out super thin, add texture, cut into shape, dry, clean, fire, patina and polish. Add a necklace or bracelet finding and voila! Gorgeous jewels!

Precious Metal Clay Bracelet

WHAT I LEARNED: Precious Metal Clay is a serious sculpting medium. You can make the most intricate carvings and capture the tiniest details. It is a bit spendy, so the class is a bargain! I think I will keep taking the class instead of buying the tools, kiln and supplies. Cindy has so many options for textures and she is so generous with her findings, tools and encouragement that it makes it more than worthwhile. You could take her class over and over and make something new each time.

WHAT I LOVED: I love wearing my PMC jewels. I get tons of compliments. The class was nice and relaxed with some chat time during firing… a great day! Thanks to Jillybean for sharing some photos.




breaking all the rules



fibers banner

1st rule broken: always wear gloves
 2nd rule broken: measure carefully
 3rd rule broken: use urea
4th rule broken: always tie fibers loosely so the ties don’t ruin your smooth color transitions. I loved breaking this one– the light stripes the ties made on my yarns make me very happy. 

Playing with Kat Allison is always an adventure. She is a rule breaker, trouble maker, fab fiber artist, swirling creative vortex, good friend and adjective slinger.

On this year’s first spring outside-type Saturday we met at Terri’s house for some fiberful fun. We filled 5 gallon buckets with fabrics and yarns of all kinds of natural fibers. We mixed up concentrated Procion dyes and started pouring! After a few minutes of joking about how we should have maybe measured…. (nope) we dumped in some soda ash fixative. Then we added another layer of fibers and did the whole process again. At the end of the day, each bucket had 5-6 layers of dyed goods in it.

The only rule we did not break (I swear) was leaving the buckets alone for 48 hours to batch so that the colors would be super vibrant. When we finally got to wash out the dye and sneak a peek, everything was beautiful!

WHAT I LEARNED: Really, you have to leave it to batch for 48 hours (or longer). The colors were amazing. I always cheat and wash it after 24 hours cuz I can’t wait.

WHAT I LOVED: Playing in the sunshine did my heart a world of good! Kat is a fab teacher and a positive force on the planet. Terri is a really good sport too — we made a mess!



diving into drawing

Class: Contour Drawing  /  Teacher: Jill Tiderman

Location: Rawls Museum Arts, Courtland, Va

teacher JillybeanPeople tell me all the time… “I can’t draw.” The truth is that drawing is a skill anyone can learn but it takes practice to get good at it.


I used to draw as a kid when I had more time on my hands, but now i want to get right to the paint! Slowing down to enjoy the drawing process requires patience, but contour drawing is fun and fast. In contour drawing you render the outlines of your subject without picking up your pen or pencil. Ideally you should spend most of your time looking at your subject and very little time looking at your paper. Lines overlap and become loopy and loose. In blind contour drawing you do it without looking at your paper at all, which makes for a Picasso-like rendering… always a surprise when you finish! We did each drawing with a timer set for just a few minutes. The class was fast-paced and super fun!

WHAT I LEARNED: Drawing can be so fun and anybody can learn it with practice.

WHAT I LIKED: I really enjoyed blind contour drawing and loved how the drawings turned out so funky. I also loved meeting new folks, taking turns modeling, throwing perfectionism out the window, Jill’s enthusiastic and energetic teaching style, and learning about Lenore’s bucket list — how she is learning to swim at age 47!



say yesMy name is Sandy and I am an art class junkie and a lover of artful adventures…

I love to take art classes, absorbing every little tidbit the teacher has to offer. I dive into each project with my mind open wide, focusing on learning the processes and not worrying one bit about the finished product.


My friend, Creativity Coach Lesley Riley told me that I needed to teach. I fought it tooth and nail. Eventually I meandered my way into it and have been doing it ever since. She also told me I needed to find my teaching niche. I thought about this one for a really long time. I bounce from medium to medium and really enjoy that, so I couldn’t figure out how to stick with just one specialty. I LOVE painting for a few months, and then I LOVE jewelry making for a while, and then….

After years of soul searching, I came to the conclusion that maybe my niche is not a medium, but a vibe, an attitude, a feeling, a fleeting thought, a way of being, or a way of making people in my classes feel about themselves and their journey of creativity.

So… no restricting myself to one medium or even two. I can’t help myself. I want to dabble in them all.

Welcome to my addiction.