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    Small Talk

    Here are four ways to support your favorite makers-of-things, without filling your shelves or emptying your wallet.
    "I LOVE the [Wake-Up Call] cat sculpture. I see you do custom work and was wondering of you could do one similar. I want to give this special gift to my wife so that she will always have something that is exclusive to her as a memory of her and our cat."

    Today I'm upping the ante with ideas for anentire, glorious afternoon to yourself. It may not happen often, so let's make the most of it, shall we? These ideas actually mix and match nicely both with each other, and with the half-hour ideas. And lots of them have a pseudo-productive vibe, so you can feel all proud of yourself for accomplishing something.

    The unique qualities of cast stone make it ideal for tabletop sculpture, so I'm surprised it's not more widely known. Collectors quickly go from curious to delighted when they handle cast stone, though, and for good reason: there's nothing quite like the feel of stone in the hand.

    If you're like many collectors, you're probably more familiar with cast stone than you realize.

    Every now and then a collector shares the story of how they came to choose their sculpture. These stories never fail to delight me, and they've become my absolute favorite part of what I do (so keep them coming!). Lisa and her kitty, Sydney Crawford, gave me one such story after Book Rest went to live with Lisa.
    I love romantic, sappy gifts, which probably doesn't surprise you, given what I do. So this year, I created a romantic, sappy "I love you" book for my wedding anniversary. And in the spirit of spreading romantic, sappy goodness all over the place, I'm sharing a DIY so you can make one, yourself.

    Because I sometimes sculpt sympathy gifts, I witness some of the thoughtful, caring things people say when they send my sculpture. I also recall some of the kind words from friends when I've needed them. 

    All of these have helped me understand how I might be able to help when a friend is grieving. What I've learned to say:

    When I have five minutes, or a half hour, or (delightfully) an afternoon, it's easy to fritter the time away. I go online to check the weather and ten years later...Or I'mjust going to respond tothat one email... So completely unstructured time doesn't work for me if I want to just. breathe.

    My sculpture is starting out 2017 with a bang, with new designs now available exclusively on UncommonGoods. I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of their wonderful catalog (yes, the print catalog!). And that's not all.

    All this started because I wanted to have a dessert party to celebrate, well, okay just to have a party. I thought I'd be super-clever and have a champagne bar with choose-your-own adventure cocktails. Pour some champagne in your glass, pick a flavored sugar cube, and drink!

    Clever on ideation, less clever on implementation.

    At last I'm ending my long intermission. When I began transitioning to cast-stone sculpture (from polymer clay), I didn't realize all the layers of work I was setting myself up for. But boy, do I love the results.

    Here's what's changed (and what hasn't)...

    Ever since my modest success withDIY garden markers, I've been looking for other ways to make fun things with polymer clay. Since I love terraria and all things tiny, I decided to make fairy houses for my terrarium of tiny plants.