Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cat Angel Christmas Tree Ornaments from Polymer Clay and Animal Shelter Benefit

Red Angel Cat Christmas ornament

My husband, Sy Brandon, recently held a book reading and book signing to benefit our local humane society (more on that later on in the blog post.) At the book reading I set up my table beside Sy and sold pieces from my Cat Collection with the profits also benefiting the Humane Society. The day before the book reading I had the Christmas tree display already decorated and waiting to be transported when I realized  that the top of the tree really needed a special ornament...... something like an angel. That's the story of how the new Cat Angel ornaments came to be added to my Cat Collection.
Green Cat Angel Christmas tree ornament

Below is a photo of the Christmas tree displaying the Cat Ornaments just before the Humane Society sale began. Both Christmas Cats and Angel Cat are available for "adoption" in a variety of hanging ornament and jewelry versions along with cats of other colors at: MelodyODesigns at Etsy

Our family's Christmas tree decorated with holiday cat ornaments and a cat angel at the top.

My husband's book is called 'Life Is a Hammock'. It's an enjoyable tale of two cats that travel around the country on camping adventures with their adopted parents. It combines adventure and humor with photo cartoons to keep the reader smiling as they read. It is told through the voice of Stormy, a black cat with a small white patch on his chest and a deep Siamese voice who emigrated from Mexico to Tucson, Arizona to find his new home in the early 1970’s. All the profits from book sales benefit the Kreutz Creek Valley Library (PA) and the Adopt For Life Center for Animals in Cottonwood, Arizona.  

It makes for delightful light reading and is the perfect gift for any animal lover. A  Stormy's blog can be accessed at
The book can be purchased at my  online shop MelodyODesigns at Etsy. Sy has made the book available on consignment at cost to Humane Societies around the country to use as a fund raiser. For information on this program please click on:  Life is a Hammock  and read down the right side of the home page.
Life is a Hammock by Sy Brandon
Sy recently had a book reading/signing to benefit the Verde Valley Adopt For Life Center (aka the Verde Valley Humane Society) held at Hooked On Books.  Hooked On Books is a terrific used book store that includes a large selection of books for children and also houses an extensive and AMAZING collection of vintage jewelry dating from the late 1800's to the present, all of which is for sale.  The proprietor, Larry Wolfe, really supports the local author and artist community. Hooked On Books is located at 148 S. Main St. in Cottonwood, AZ. Stop by the next time you're on your way to Sedona, say hi and check out his cool and unique shop.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Christmas Cat Jewelry and Ornaments from Polymer Clay and Studio Photos

Here in Arizona the temperature was over 100 F. until just a few days ago, but holiday merchandizing and gift buying have already started. So lately, being a cat lover,  I've been spending many hours in my own version of Santa's Workshop surrounded by hues of bright red and green as I designed the prototype pendants, brooches and tree ornaments for the our holiday Cat Collection. I thought it would be fun to show photos of my workshop as I unveil the photos of Mr. Christmas Cat, himself.

First I conditioned a whole lot of artist-quality polymer clay with a dead blow hammer and kept two pasta machines busy as I made a large selection of canes using different colors, and color combinations. Then the canes were then reduced to of variety of different diameters and shapes. Caning is a labor-intensive construction technique borrowed from glass making similar to making jellyrolls, where colored rods of clay are laid horizontally forming a complex pattern from which a thin slice is cut allowing the pattern to be seen.

The next step was slicing up a whole passel of thin cane slices cut with a tissue blade.
(My favorite tissue blades are those sold by Carolyn Stearns  at Carolyn's Clay Creations)
Then the body and head pieces were cut out of sheets of various clay thicknesses using an oak tag template and a craft knife. The body is 2 dimensional, but the head which is eventually attached to the body is gently coaxed into 3 dimensional features by the addition of tiny logs and balls of clay on the back side of the head. Then the contours of the face are gently sculpted with rubber shaping tools and fingers encased in rubber gloves.
I also use one of my favorite tools made from ball bearings glued to a piece of bamboo to help with the sculpting process. I use the 1/4" end to help with the eye sockets.
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for.........Drum roll please............ta's Mr Christmas Cat. The version below is that of a pendant style necklace that easily converts to a brooch by removing the satin cord. He and his friends come with either a red or green body in various jewelry and Hanging Ornaments in several styles and  colors are now available for "adoption" and gift giving at MelodyODesigns at Etsy 

To read more about the making of the ornaments please click Ornament Blog Post
Mr. Green Christmas Cat

Worn as Brooch

Clever jewelry  finding that converts from pendant to brooch