Red White & Blue *Artful* savings!!!

Wow this is great!  Timing is everything right?

If you have been wanting to attend the new fabulous Art Is You West Coast retreat in Petaluma, here is something to sweeten the pot!  Tomorrow, July 4, is the day to register because the registration fee will be waived completely!!!

Stay tuned for the super secret coupon code . . .

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Yes “JULY4” is the coupon code to use tomorrow, July 4!!!   Thank goodness there are not “silliness fines” assessed for such things or I’d be in big trouble   : )

Here are the classes we’re teaching at the fabulous ART IS YOU retreat.   We’d love to have YOU join in the fun!!!

Ghost Box ~  This eerie creation blends art & science into one of the creepiest and fun projects you’ll likely ever see.  You’ll learn many awesome construction techniques in this class that can be used for sturdy and customizable assemblage, jewelry and so much more that you’ll have the confidence to whip nearly anything together without power tools.  Yay!!!  Learn more here!

Mechanical Bird ~ By far our most popular class and it’s filling up quickly so hurry!  Here is a rare chance to learn the simple mechanism to make flying mechanical art masterpieces!  And great news — you don’t need to be mechanically inclined to do this.  This design is our own and is very special because the wings are connected inside the bird (other similar pieces have a rod that connects to the wing on the outside of the bird– not the most natural looking to be sure!).

Very few artists that know the secrets of making automata (mechanical toys for grown ups) are willing to share.  You will learn everything needed to create your own flying machines.  This class even includes an online workshop showing every step with free support after the class is over.  Learn more here!

Secrets to Reveal ~  Learn to make a custom keepsake locket using novel and fun techniques from my “Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams” book to work with the amazing art material, epoxy clay!  Keep what you love dear to your heart in this lovely reliquary.   More here!

There are so many more unique and fun waiting for you on the Art Is You site here!
I wish you the most happy of times this weekend.  There is nothing better in life that celebrating our independence to be free to share and create and just plain experience the best of summer.
Be safe and enjoy!!!


The Raven King Automaton now available

I think that I’m emotionally ready to let this very special bird fly away to a new home.

So I actually listed him for sale.   Yikes!


It’s one of those things where you kind of hope he doesn’t sell.  But I think if he does then he’ll be going to the right home.  Of all the things I make I spend the most time with my automata pieces so I get really attached.

Anyway you can find him in my shop here.  Phew!  Can’t believe I listed him!!!

Online & Live Mechanical Art Workshops

As you may have noticed we LOVE artful toys and most especially mechanical art.    My very favorite site along these lines is done by automata artist, Dug North.  We were so jazzed when he featured our mechanical Raven around Halloween last year and HOORAY we are on there again.

Dug’s Automata Blog really is the BEST as far as seeing all kinds of automata both new and old as well as cool tools, fun toys and much more!



He has kindly mentioned one of our two workshops (the one that still has some spaces left) at the upcoming Art & Soul retreat in Portland, Oregon.  We also have the one that sold out Portland still available in Las Vegas here!


If you will be in the area and would like a beginning workshop on how to make these very fun pieces, this might be the ticket!  But if you find you can’t travel but would like to learn this please do let us know and we’ll notify you when our online automata workshop(s) are up.  Just write to (at) and we’ll let you know!

risque mermaid

A while back I posted this about a new zine by Alicia Caudle at Altered Bits that I had a piece in.

A good friend of mine lives on a wonderful 80 acre farm which is quite perfect in nearly every way . . . except that she has a painfully slow internet connection. The poor girl is understandably reluctant to go to very many sites.  I would not want to endure the pain of waiting forever for pages to load.  So anyway, she hasn’t been able to see my risque mermaid.

But if you are fortunate enough not to be connected to the internet over a piece of barbed wire spliced into a Cat 5 cable with duck tape and you’d like to see the entire zine which is cool and free it is right here.

So, Judy, here she is just for you!  I’m sure it will still take quite a bit of time for this to load so maybe now is a good time to go feed the chickens.  ; )

risque-mermaid, mixed media, sea grass, silk, resin clay, paper clay, acrylic, seahorses, mechanical mermaid, automata, risque, erotica, sexy

You can’t see by the photos but she is actually a mechanical dancing mermaid that through the magic of Photoshop (and with Alicia’s help) all the connections to make her move have vanished from site!   When she moves into her new theater I think her seahorse friends will by then have swam off into the audience to watch the show.

Her hair is made of wild seagrass that was washed upon the shore and her tail is made of reclaimed silk. Her tail will likely look quite different when she is finished.


I love it that there can be two very different pieces from this.  Thanks to the digital thing she is captured in this pose with her seahorse friends. And when the automata piece is done I’ll make a video of her dancing.

3 Bird House on You Tube

OK! I finally got the 3 Bird House video edited and uploaded. The new video editor is just grand!!! Now I just need to get a video camera and the next ones we make should be a lot better.

Wow, an historical moment just happened as I’m writing this– our first African American president has been elected. All politics aside, that just feels good to me like a type of healing for so many wrongs that have happen and continue to happen. I hope more “firsts” like this will be coming soon and that things improve for our country.

Mermaid Theater

It is our pleasure to extend a special invitation to attend this Aquacade Extraordinaire – the first ever show in our new theater . . .

Ladies, Gentlemen, may we present to you a performer that scales well to any venue . . . our lovely dancing mermaid, Raine’.


I had wanted to make a mechanical mermaid and by happenstance recently made an unexpected trip down to Sacramento. I needed a walking break during the long drive so what better place to stop than an antique mall. I knew as soon as I saw the extremely cool antique floor lamp with three beautiful maidens in flowing gowns that it would work perfectly as my model.

When she is standing still it doesn’t look that she would move at all since her scales look to be sculpted together. So it is rather a surprise indeed when the sprightly lass starts dancing to the amazement of onlookers.

Jewelry Show at the SAGE

We posted the news of this upcoming show a while back and I promised to get some pics up afterwards.

I had wanted to get shots of more of the jewelry and the great view out the back of the gallery but it was quite a bit more busy than we thought it would be. I guess that’s a good thing except for the missed photo opportunities.

Here is a shot of the gallery during a slower time.

And another. That QT over there to the right is my DH Charley standing ever diligent at our display area.

Here is the first peek at our newest creation. She was a big hit with all the visitors (even though they came to see jewelry and not mermaids!!!)

You can probably guess that we’re calling it “Mermaid Theater” since it sez MERMAID THEATER right on top. Charley and I both love our little mermaid SO MUCH. She swishes her tail around and dances. Sometimes things turn out far better than one could even IMAGINE!!! We’ll be posting more pics and a movie of her dancing soon.

Here is one of the artists showing off a really nice wire wrapped ring. It’s hard to see in the photo but it’s quite beautiful work. Good work, Dehlia!

Another Bird Takes Flight

I recently met Kim Nugent and was very inspired by her Raven art. The birds she creates have human eyes for a really cool effect. You can visit her gallery and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, lately ravens have been coming up in so many random conversations and I really was drawn to make a flying raven to join our flock of mechanical birds. It was a little tricky to finish her since I made the first one waaaay too big and it got much too heavy to get off the ground (so to speak). Anyway, it wouldn’t fly due to technical difficulties. We’ve made a lot of mechanical birds but hadn’t ever tried to make such a large bird before so it was a learning experience (isn’t everything!!!).

So the second one was a bit smaller but still much bigger so we learned some things along the way and I really like her. She has a crown of quartz crystal hand carved arrowheads that we recently found at Bandon’s Cranberry Festival.

I started using resin clay in place of grout in mosaics several years ago. I used this on the base for the raven (which holds the mechanism to make her fly) and it’s the largest area we’ve done so far. I think it complements the piece pretty well. The finishing details were influenced after learning of a Black and White show at a local art association, Umpqua Valley.

It just seemed to be a good fit to do it all in black in white to have the look kind of like an old time photo. And it’s always great to have one piece that works for several different thingies. We submitted this bird along with another piece to that show so perhaps one or both of them will be juried in.

We’ll be posting the other piece “3 Bird House” very soon. It is another mechanical art piece which we really love to do. It is so much fun!

Raven side view

Raven side view


If you want to see this raven fly you can see it on You Tube along with some of our other birds.


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