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    Small Talk

    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.
    Have you run across the watercolor tutorials from Inkstruck Studio's Zakkiya Hamza, maybe on Pinterest or Instagram? She creates delightfully approachable projects that appeal to even the 2-dimensionally challenged like me. But what if they're a whole lot harder than they look (you know, like ballet, baking, and pretty much anything involving a glue gun)?

    I gave this project a try one lovely weekend, when I felt creative but didn't feel up to sculpting something new. Sometimes you have to shake things up, right?

    The original idea for these clay garden markers came from Wit and Whistle, who has a lovely guide to DIY Garden Markers, that is sadly no longer available. Hers are prettier than mine, for the record.

    You know how when you take time away from a habit, it can be tough to get back in the groove? You sit down after a long break to, say, write or sculpt or something that used to be utterly routine, and... nothing. Nada. Zip.Wait, was that the fridge calling? I think I need to walk the cat. Did I remember to pick up dental floss at the store?
    [Update: This post describes my sculpting process in polymer clay, which the attentive reader will remember is my former medium. My new, cast-stone sculpture has another approach, but you still might enjoy seeing the polymer come together.]
    There are people who effortlessly create the most gorgeous floral displays. They use words like ikebana, floristry, and "elements of design." I am not one of those people, and if you are, please send me pictures of your creations.
    When guests visit my art studio, or when I first tell people that I sculpt, the same seven questions seem to come up. As a socially-awkward introvert who composes lists of questions to ask strangers before networking events, I find myself wondering if they're collaborating ontheirlists to ask me the same seven questions. While this seems unlikely, who knows what extraverts get up to in their free time?

    Especially retentive readers may have noted how much I appreciate anything by Amy Maricle. Amy is a licensed mental health counselor and art therapist, and her passion for bringing "the magic of art to everyone" is infectious.

    And today, Amy is making a special guest appearance in Small Talk.