Category Archives: Retreats

Back to Work, But First…

Billet-doux by Barb Harper and Mari O'Dell
Billet-doux by Barb Harper and Mari O’Dell

Have you ever just fell in love with an object? Well it happened to me at a retreat high in the mountains last week. And no I was not light headed even though I found it difficult to breathe from time to time. (flatlander you know)

We were able to see this object a day or two before the auction on the last night of the retreat and that’s when it happened. I know you know that feeling I’m talking about. When you first see something and stars appear all around it and you hear music. That was me when Mari O’dell and Barb Harper first shared their colaboration with the group.

 

Billet-doux by Barb Harper and Mari O'Dell
Billet-doux by Barb Harper and Mari O’Dell

This incredible piece, including the box, were hand crafted by these two talented woman, The inside polymer stucture was made by Barb and sent to Mari. Mari then covered it with a veneer of faux ivory and faux metal. Magic wonder works with polymer clay.

The box was created by Barb including the bee button closures. Barb is a bee keeper and often incorporates bees in her work.

Barb Harper - bee closure detail
Barb Harper – bee closure detail

The hand lettering was Mari’s, I continue to  wish I could letter like Mari.

Mari O'dell
Mari O’dell

When they announced  it would be in the auction I knew I had to have it. The bidding was fierce and many tried to appeal to my softer side and sway me by whispering in my ear that one bidder’s 50th wedding anniversary was that weekend and it would mean so much to her. I felt bad for a minute until I realized that I have been married for 47 years and was shy her romantic reason by just a couple of years. Ha, I was not budging.

Another said that it was meant for her home studio, not so said I.

If you should ever visit my Studio 215 in downtown Sebring, FL, you should ask to see this amazing piece. But then again you probably won’t have to ask for it will be front and center.

Mari teaches in her treehouse studio and has lots of beautiful thing to show you on her site. Here’s her Facebook page.

Barb can be found on Facebook

Thanks so much Mari and Barb for creating this beautiful piece and for letting it go home with me.

 

New Jewelry for Sale

Alice Stroppel

Graphic earrings.

Alice Stroppel

Cane mapped fish pendants

Alice Stroppel

Cane mapped pendants using forms made from

Helen Breil’s book Shapes

I’ve been working on a few new pieces for the Studio.

 I’ll also be taking quite a few things to sell at Sandy Camp next week. Sandy Camp is  annual retreat by the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild and I’m trilled to be teaching a Master Class at the opening of the retreat. Then I get to let my hair down and enjoy the rest of the event.

I’m also prepping for a workshop on Saturday at the Studio. Building a cane inventory is what we will be working on so we can move on to classes  for cane mapping. All fun!

Houston Polymer Clay Guild’s Lone Star Retreat

Houston Lone Star Retreat

Whew, I’m home after a jam packed weekend in Texas teaching at the Houston Polymer Clay Guild’s Lone Star Retreat. It could not have been better, many thanks to everyone involve in this sterling event.

I was honored to be teaching along with Randee Ketzel and Sarah Shiver. My only regret is that I could take the classes with these talented ladies.

All along the communication from Lanette Holland was helpful and timely. When I arrived at the airport I was met by Ann Wagner who was assigned to be my “angel” for the weekend. She and her husband Dean were so very nice and helped me sail through the weekend and beyond. When Ann was in the other classes I had the other instructor’s “angels” Betsy Fraser and Theresa Abell on loan while they were in my class. Thanks you, thank you!

Goodie bags for all and a special welcome bag for the instructors were overflowing with supplies and goodies. Thanks Joey Barnes.

Paula Kennedy, you are amazing. Brenda Stanley made sure there were some spectacular auction items. I’m lucky to have made it home with a piece from their President Bob Wiley.

All the students were a joy to work with, thank you for such a wonderful welcome. I taught my Cane Mapping Technique and I was blown away by all the beautiful finished pieces. These are just a few, I wish I’d been able to get pictures of all of them framed. I’m sorry I don’t know the name of all the artists.

Lone Star Retreat
Deb Hart
Lone Star Retreat
Kim Schlinke

Lone Star Retreat

Lone Star Retreat

Lone Star Retreat
Lone Star Retreat Joey Barnes

Thank you all so much for all the work and effort you put into producing a stellar event. And thank you for choosing me as one of your instructors this year.

I’ll be teaching this technique in my downtown Studio 215 but in an extended form starting with Build Your Cane Inventory on Oct. 3 and later in Oct (date to be determined) we’ll have a full day of cane mapping.

I’m delighted to be the instructor for a Master Class  teaching Cane Mapping at the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild’s Sandy Camp on Oct. 7th.

Do you think I’m having fun? Know that I am.

There and Back Again

I’ve been away on a Polymer Clay retreat and as always it was great fun,  I enjoyed my fellow artists, I learned new things and I now I’m ready to jump back into my studio and get to work.

Weed Pots Alice Stroppel

While I was on retreat I continued along with my bird theme. Oh… you didn’t realize I had a bird theme? I posted about it on my other blog, Polymer Clay etc.

I made bird bowls for an exchange with the other retreaters and a large bird for the wall. Here’s the Link.

These guys above are prototypes. I’ve always wanted to make wall pockets since my friend started collecting vintage wall pockets years ago, but I never got around to it.  A short while ago artist Marie EvB Gibbons had a sale in her Denver Studio and online. She was selling  these wonderful “Weed Pots” and I bought three of her darling baby pots.

I asked her if she minded if I “borrowed” the name for my, oh so much different than hers, weed pots. She graciously said yes. So I just started play and since birds were on my mind…

These, obviously, are not wall pockets.  I’m working toward the wall, and these do hold weeds, so the name applies.  Stay tuned.

I also had to make something for the annual auction at the retreat and I made one of my P C painted faces.

Alice Stroppel Face 8-15

I’ve also been experimenting with Canva a free app. that allows you to make cool graphics in the perfect sizes for all your social media needs. It’s very cool and a great way to add your name to those items you want to upload to Pinterest or Instragram.

They even have templates for Facebook graphics.

Meanwhile, I’m having a great group into Studio 215 on Saturday for a Profile Face Cane Class, so look for pictures.

I’m teaching at the Houston Polymer Clay Guild’s LoneStar retreat later this month and I’m excited to be meeting new people and string my Cane Mapping technique. I’ll only be gone a couple of days, so look for new classes coming soon at Studio 215.