Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Blog Anniversary Week 4: The Final Winner

At the beginning of this month I invited my readers to join me in celebrating my blog’s four year anniversary with weekly giveaways. Each week on Friday, I announced the giveaway items: books, jewelry, artwork. The response to these giveaways has been great and I am deeply touched by your participation.

Today we come to the final drawing for the last giveaway of the month: one of my Fortune Pyramids. And it only seemed appropriate that this final drawing take place with a larger pyramid.

The Dream Pyramid is made from blue pearl clay. Three hand carved words are featured on each side of the pyramid: Dream, Create, Self. This pyramid is 4″ all around and stands on three scrolling legs. It is part of my personal collection.

The names of the participants were written on paper, folded and poured into the Dream Pyramid

I shook the pyramid to mix up the names.

I reached in and pulled out one name.

And the winner of my silver and black Fortune Pyramid is…..

Jean Webb!!!!!

Congratulations Jean.

Thank you again to everyone who has participated in the giveaways this month. May you all have good fortune. And have an excellent Labor Day weekend.


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Blog Anniversary Final Giveaway-Win a Fortune Pyramid

For the fourth and final giveaway in my blog anniversary celebration, I am giving away one of my Fortune Pyramid Boxes

I first learned how to create unique shaped vessels in a workshop with Kathleen Dustin. The pyramid shape was one of my favorites. It still is.

There is a lot of symbolism associated with the pyramid shape. It can symbolize heaven, the sun, and the earth. Often it appears as a site of worship. The triangular shape is also associated with the Trinity and the four elements. When inverted (downward pointing) the triangle represent woman or the feminine.

What I love about these little boxes is the curious merging of heaviness and lightness. People believe the triangle is solid and heavy. Then they pick it up and “ooo” and “ahh” over its lightness.

My Fortune Pyramids are also unique because they contain a special quote inside the lid. The quotes are removable so you can replace it with another quote or prayer or wish.

This pyramid is created with polymer clay. The surface design is made with silver and black clay using the Mokume Gane technique. Three solid columns balance the pyramid. It measures 3″ tall and 3″ wide on all sides.

The number 3 represents perfect harmony; the union of unity and diversity.

Open Pyramid

Pyramid with Quote

The quote associated with this pyramid states “Friends are Treasures.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to value my friendships much more than I have in the past. And the response to my weekly giveaways has shown me my friends are both close by and far away. In person and virtual.

If you’d like to enter this final giveaway, just leave a comment on this post and share a quote you might put inside the pyramid if you win it. Please include an email address when you leave a comment so I may notify you if you win. The pyramid ships in a gift box and includes a description card.

Comments will remain open till midnight EST on Tuesday, August 30. The winner will be chosen on Wednesday. Giveaway items will be shipped via USPS and limited to U.S. residents. I apologize for the restriction on shipping.


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Blog Anniversary Week 3 Winner

I am now 3/4 of the way through my blog anniversary celebration. Only one more giveaway to be conducted this month. Before introducing the final giveaway this Friday, 8/26, let’s see who won the week #3 giveaway…..

This giveaway had a jewelry theme, so what better way to choose the winner than with a Tiffany gift box.

All the names of those who left a comment were written on piece of paper and placed in the Tiffany box.

Then the box was shaken. Shake your head up and down. See the box move up and down.

And the winner of a copy of Debbie Jackson’s book “Polymer Clay Jewelry” and my Mokume Gane pin is…..

Mokume Gane Pin

…Diane S

Congratulations Diane!

Thanks to everyone who participated. Check back this Friday, 8/26, to see what you can win in the final week of my blog anniversary celebration.


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Blog Anniversary Giveaway Week 3: Win a Copy of Polymer Clay Jewelry

I’m half-way through my blog anniversary celebration. I’m having a good time. I hope you are too.

This week, I’m giving away a copy of Debbie Jackson’s lovely book “Polymer Clay Jewelry: 20 Projects Plus Techniques” and one of my Mokume Gane pins.

First, Debbie Jackson’s book:

Jackson’s book is a great resource for the polymer clay beginner, for someone returning to polymer clay, or for anyone interested in using polymer clay to make ethnic inspired artwork. And that is one of the beauties of polymer clay. Versatility!

In the book, Jackson shows you how to create artwork inspired by Asian, African, European, and South American cultures. The projects focus primarily on jewelry such as pendants, brooches, bracelets and earrings. However, you’re a creative being and you can certainly adapt the techniques to other projects such as vessels, home decor, and sculpture.

The techniques you’ll learn in Jackson’s book include: Mokume Gane, building canes, making a push mold, making a Skinner Blend, carving, and using liquid polymer clay. Her step-by-step instructions are detailed and accompanied by clear color photos.

And my Mokume Gane pin:

Mokume Gane Pin

Pin Detail

Along with Debbie Jackson’s book, one winner will also receive this Mokume Gane pin. The pin was inspired by the colors of late fall with hints of Asian design. It measures 5 ” long and would make a lovely addition to any blazer or coat. The Mokume Gane design in the center features copper, gold, and black polymer clay. It is framed by textured black polymer clay and accented with copper Pearl Ex.

I rarely make jewelry anymore so this is truly a collectible piece.

If you’d like to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post sharing one of your favorite sources of creative inspiration and why. Please include an email address when you leave a comment so I may notify you if you win.

Comments will remain open till midnight EST on Tuesday, August 23. The winner will be chosen on Wednesday. Giveaway items will be shipped via USPS and limited to U.S. residents. I apologize for the restriction on shipping.

The winner of this giveaway was Diane S. This giveaway is now closed.


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Blog Anniversary Week 2 Winner

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on the Week 2 Blog Giveaway post. In keeping with the medieval theme, I chose a gold drawstring bag to place the names of those who entered the week 2 giveaway. And I also had some special help this time around. First the names were placed on top of the gold bag. Purple paper, gold bag. Nice medieval colors.

Then the names were placed in the bag….

No peeky…shake the bag

Then my assistants provided their approval.

Pippin Inspected the Bag

Woody Approved the Bag

The winning name was pulled from the bag…..

And the winner of Cris Dupouy’s book, Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry and one of my art doll necklaces is….

Marlea A

Congratulations Marlea!

Thanks again to everyone who participated. Check back this Friday, 8/19, to see what you can win in Week 3 of my blog anniversary celebration.


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Carcassone Part 2: Gargoyles, Angels, & a Sundae

Last week I posted Part One of our trip to Carcassone. To read Part One click here.

Carcassone has many of the things I love about medieval villages: sculpture, religious artifacts, and gargoyles. This post is less about the story of Carcassone and more about the interior images of Carcassone.

These two large concrete heads greet visitors inside where you pick up the audio guide.

I loved this bas-relief sculpture of monks. At first I thought it represented the Seven Deadly Sins…but then realized there are only six characters. Maybe they left off one of them.

This anteroom may have once been a private chapel or prayer room. I was drawn to the large sculpture of the crucifixion.

Crucifixion Sculpture Front Side

Right Front Side

Crucifixion in Center of Sculpture

Back of Crucifixion Sculpture

Mary

Angel

Gargoyles

Gargoyles are my favorite exterior sculptures on European churches. It is always fun to look for the ugliest, the cutest, or the strangest creature. These gargoyles can be found on the exterior of the church on the grounds of the walled village.

Hear No Evil

Look Up

Can you spot the laughing head in the image below?

This guy definitely gets my vote for smallest and cutest gargoyle.

The Cemetery

Outside of the walled fortress was a lovely cemetery. It wasn’t particularly old but it did have some great sculptures. Most of the cemeteries I’ve seen in France have family crypts. All above ground. They remind me a bit of the cemeteries in New Orleans.

Okay, I know cemeteries are supposed to be places of quiet reflection. Yet, when I saw the image below, I couldn’t help but chuckle and think the angel was commanding the person to “Rise, Darn It.”

Finally, no visit to a lovely medieval village is complete without an ice cream break. Even the deserts are presented creatively.

Until my next post.

A bientot.


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Blog Anniversary Giveaway Week 2: Getting Medieval

I love almost anything involving the Medieval age and the Renaissance. Old castles, tapestries, religious artifacts, knights, The Pillars of the Earth mini-series.

And then there is the lovely jewelry that adorned some of the women during these time periods. Stunning necklaces of gold and exquisite jewels. Head pieces with precious gemstones and pearls. Even some of the men were adorned with jewels. And if they weren’t wearing them, you might find them holding a jewel encrusted sword.

Following the medieval theme started in my last blog post on Carcassone, this week’s blog anniversary giveaway features Cris Dupouy’s lovely book “Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry: Taking Inspiration from Great Museums Around the World.”

In this book, Dupouy uses select artifacts as the source of her inspiration to create jewelry. Her sources of inspiration span the time periods from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance to the 20th century. For each piece, she provides a brief history, a picture of the artifact (often being worn by the subject in a particular painting), and instructions for recreating the item.

Though Dupouy’s medium of choice in this book is polymer clay & gemstones, it may be possible to recreate the items in a combination of mediums such as polymer clay, metal clay and gemstones or metal clay and gemstones.

Along with Dupoy’s book, you also have the chance to win one of my first art doll necklaces inspired by my interest in the Medieval age.


If you’d like to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite period piece, such as a movie, mini-series or book and why. Please include an email address when you leave a comment so I may notify you if you win.

Comments will remain open till midnight EST on Tuesday, August 16. The winner will be chosen on Wednesday. Giveaway items will be shipped via USPS and limited to U.S. residents. I apologize for the restriction on shipping.

The winner of this giveaway was Marlea A. This giveaway is now closed.


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Medieval Village: Carcassone, Part 1

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France must be the medieval fortress of Carcassone. Carcassone is a double-walled, nearly impregnable fortress, founded by the Visigoths in the Golden Age. First signs of settlement in this area date back to 3500 B.C.

Legend has it that in 760 Pepin the Short took southern France from the Saracens. Except Carcassone which he could not breach. Pepin assumed the people of Carcassone would eventually starve and surrender. However, Dame Carcas had another plan. She fattened up their last pig and had it thrown over the city’s ramparts.

Pepin and his army believed that if the inhabitants could waste such an animal, they must be well-stocked and ready to fight for a long time. Eventually Pepin and his army retreated. Dame Carcas rang all the bells in the city in celebration. She had saved the city from invasion. And hence the name “Carcas sone” was born: Dame “Carcas rings” the bells.

In 1853 Carcassone was restored under the guidance of architect Eugene Viollet le Duc. It attracts millions of visitors each year. We visited mid-week and the crowds weren’t too bad inside the walled city. Outside, however, on the cobblestone streets, it felt a little bit like Disneyland. Lots of souvenir shops with kitschy gifts. If you can get beyond that aspect, Carcassone is a curious place to visit.

In part one of this post, I’ll share mostly exterior shots.

As you enter Carcassone, you’re greeted by this rather large sculpture of Dame Carcas.

Horse carriage tour. Love the hats. Very chic.

Carcassone on approach

Love this sign near the ticket window. I’m sure this is a necessary reminder on really busy days.

Inner walls and covered walkway

As we walked through parts of the fortress, Eric looked up and noticed these dead birds. Netting had been suspended in various areas to keep the birds from flying down off the rafters. Apparently some of the birds fell or got stuck in the netting and were left to die. Feeling medieval yet?

View of the city from the fortress

Narrow window view

I hear strains of J. Geils when I see the shot below.

“Hey Reputah, Hey Reputah the Beautah, flip me down your hair and let me climb up to the ladder of your love….”

Just what is a whoober-goober anyways?

Can you name the J. Geils song I’m referring to?

Until my next post,

A bientot.

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