Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Cat In Striped Pajamas and Angel Talisman

This is Woody


Woody is our oldest cat; 10 years young. Both of our cats are very special to me. Woody, though, has a special spot in my heart because he helped me through my grief when our first two cats died six months apart. I’m sure he figured he was getting lots and lots of attention because he’s so darn handsome.

A few weeks back I sculpted some cat heads using both Woody and Pippin as my inspiration. Today I am happy to share with you the first completed cat sculpture using one of those cat heads, Cat in Striped Pajamas (aka Woody in Striped Jammies)

First, here is how this piece looked before clothes were added.


My first idea, if you saw my sketch book, was to create a hinged body similar to one I made in France. (Yes, I still need to share those pictures…really, we did make some art in France.) However, I wasn’t happy with the way the construction was going, so I switched to the shelf sitter idea. The scrap clay body parts gave me an idea of how the finished piece might look.

And, Viola,(oops) voila, Cat in Striped Pajamas


Cat in Striped Pajamas is a solid core polymer clay sculpture. He sits approximately 6.5″ tall. His head is sculpted polymer clay. The color was created with soft pastels and his eyes are hand painted. His whiskers are bristles from a scrub brush. Cat in Striped Pajamas arms are secured with buna cord (rubber cord) and accented with rhinestones. (Every cat needs a little bling, right?) He is hand sanded, buffed, and finished with an acrylic wash. Cat in Striped Pajamas resides in my personal collection.

Angel Heart Talisman

At the spring Paradise City show, I introduced a few Heart in Hand talisman. They were quite popular. While I intend to create more in a few different colors for my fall show, I had another idea for a very specific talisman which I’ve named Angel Heart Talisman.


Similar in construction to the Heart in Hand Talisman, these pieces have the addition of tiny faces and one wing. All are stamped with the word Angel.


The Angel Heart Talisman can be removed from its base for use as a wish stone. If desired, the Angel Heart Talisman can be personalized with a name or date on the back. Each talisman is hand sanded, buffed, and finished with an acrylic wash to bring out the textures. Size: 2″. Retail price: $35.00.

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New Soulful Sprites and Hearts in Hands Talisman

Soulful Sprites

Two new Soulful Sprites, Joy and Luck, have been added to the collection.  Joy’s stone is in shades of pink and red. Luck’s stone is in shades of green and includes a small shamrock.


Each Soulful Sprite comes packaged in a clear box and sits on a nest of green shred. A story card is included.

Price: $25.00 each.

Hearts in Hands Talisman

New this spring are the Hearts in Hands Talisman. I made these small hearts months ago and had not decided on a good way to display them. Naturally a week or so before the Paradise City show the muse hit me to place the hearts into clasped hands. They were quite popular at the show and I plan to make them part of my line.

Each heart is made from polymer clay and stamped with inspiring words. Each heart is hand sanded, buffed, and finished with an acrylic wash. The Hearts in Hands Talismans have words on both sides and are removable from the clasped hands. Carry the heart with you, in your pocket, backpack, or handbag.


Current word pairs available: Heart/Soul, Heal/Hope

Each Heart in Hands Talisman comes packaged in a clear box nestled on a bed of green shred.

Height: 2.5″

Price: $30.00


The Dwelling(s) Series

A month or so back I listened to a “Dream Call” teleseminar on dream analysis. The teleseminar was hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas and featured guest speaker Lianne Raymond. I’ve always found dream analysis to be an interesting and sometimes silly venture. A good reason for that is my original explorations with dream analysis in high school and college. At that time every book I referenced considered various dream images to be sexual, phallic, or some other description that, to me, seemed way off the mark and irrelevant to what happened in the dream.

So I listened to the Dream Call with interest and a bit of skepticism until Lianne described the process she uses to analyze dreams. Her process incorporates the work of Martha Beck and asks the dreamer specific questions about what specific dream symbols mean to her. This was groundbreaking for me. Here was someone telling me that you can find your own symbolism in your dreams. That alone was a breakthrough.

That night, and for several consecutive nights, I set an intention to dream and to remember the dream upon waking. Using techniques to help me remember a dream or segments of a dream, I started to apply the process.

The majority of my dreams (at least those I remember) take place inside building like structures. It might be my home, or a less than realistic version of my home, a dorm room, the mall, an old home; always some sort of dwelling. And it was this recurrence of dwellings, of place, that inspired me to create my new series of work.

The Dwelling(s) series is inspired by dreams of home or home-like structures. In this series I contemplate what our dwellings mean to us. Are we boxed in? Constricted? Hemmed In? Secure? Are there aspects of ourselves that we dwell on?

Dwell (v): to live as a resident; reside. to exist in a given place or state. to fasten one’s attention; to treat at length.

Dwell (n): a place to live in; abode.

The first two pieces in this series are shown below:

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Contemplation is made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is gold polymer clay and features carved symbols and wire wrapping. The talisman is hand-sanded and buffed. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 7.0″

Price: $300.00

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Security is also made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is faux bone polymer clay and has been impressed with various textures. She is lightly buffed to reveal a natural brightness. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 6.5″

Price: $325.00

I’m quite excited about this theme and this new series of work. The possibilities are many and the interpretations numerous. Tomorrow I’ll post another piece in the Dwelling(s) series.


Carry a Small Grape

Carry a Small Grape is the title of the third story in Chapter 3, Intensity: Say Yes of Life is a Verb by Patti Digh.

In this story, Patti describes her youngest daughter’s obsession with carrying around a small object.  Tess carried her little object wherever she went; outside on the swings, in her bedroom (where it slept under her pillow, of course), on the seat next to her in the carriage.

What was the object?  Two small bars of hotel soap lovingly preserved in a ziploc bag.

Digh goes on to tell of the same affection her daughter developed for a tiny grape that she found during snack time; how Tess gushed over the tiny grape, how fragile the tiny grape was to her, how teeny-tiny cute it was.  The grape was also carried around by Tess and given a place of honor in a bed of toilet paper placed inside the lid from a bottle.

These small objects are Tess’s talismans; her good luck charms.  They bring her joy and she, in turn, treats them with great reverence.

We all have talisman; a rabbit’s foot, shiny pennies, a favorite pen, a piece of jewelry, a pair of socks, a feather, a shell, a rock or momentos from a favorite vacation.  These are items that bring us joy, bring us luck, bring us comfort.  We cherish them and, perhaps, feel a bit of sadness when they fall apart or when we lose them.

Sacred Space

Sacred Space

In my studio I have a small, sacred space.  In this space I have a statue of Buddha, feathers, shells, pictures, and other small trinkets that I’ve collected along the way.  Here I can sit, meditate, contemplate, and enjoy these trinkets.  However, I don’t carry any of these items with me, like Tess carried her tiny soaps and grape.

At the end of the story, Digh encouraged readers to think about their “grape”; the item or items that create wonder in us and that bring us joy.  Then she challenges us to create a collage or drawing or poem of these items and to make that our personal talisman that we carry with us.

I finally got around to making my talisman this weekend.

Joy Talisman

Joy Talisman

My talisman, my “grape” includes a picture of Eric and I, Woody, Pippin, and a picture from our trip to Santa Fe.  It came together easily, except for choosing a picture from one of our vacations.  I decided on the shot from Bandelier because it symbolizes the awe with which I view our world.  We are but a tiny portion in the immense universe.  And the words are some of my favorites.

This talisman is the size of a standard playing card or ATC.  It fits into my purse so I can carry it with me wherever I go.  And when I’m in need of a little grounding, of a little wonder and joy, I can pull out my talisman and breathe.

What is your talisman?