17 03 2017

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Creative Arts Fests is going on 11 years of bringing first rate instructors to you.  We’ve had 10 Cabin Fever events, soon our 5th Master Class Camp, and two years of Fall Foliage Festival.  We’ve seen some of the work up close and personal, but we’d like to see how far you’ve  come too!

If you’ve attended any of these Creative Arts Fests events and want more people to see what you’ve accomplished, send us your pictures! Photos of your work may show up on our blog or Facebook page!  A number of our earlier students have gone on to teach and have their work published in magazines or on PCD.  We are so pleased and proud of you all!

So, if you’ve got something you want to share, send your .jpg photos to: creativeartsfests@yahoo.com with the subject line: (your name) and title of your work.  Please include info on what event you attended, the year, and who your teacher was.  Don’t be shy – this will help encourage others to explore their talents.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve done!


10 04 2013


Difficult to believe it’s been nearly two months since CFCF ended, but we are already planning for next year!  So, those who are interested in joining us in February, start saving up and we will posting info in the next month or so.  In the meantime, check out some photos from CFCF 2013 and what fun we had!


Follow this link for more fun photos!




8 02 2013
Ottman-Pantone Spring 2013 Color Chips

Ottman-Pantone Spring 2013 Color Chips

Hey all.  Have been busy mixing colors (recipes available for purchase), packing goody bags and printing things, but thought I’d share these short little videos with you.  If you’ve ever wondered what to do with those dull clay blades, here’s a tut on how to clean and sharpen them.

Here’s another regarding safety and your blades.  Mark the dull side with a bright color nail polish!

  • And, as long as we are on YouTube, here’s a little inspiration for you caners out there…this guy is truly amazing – the quantity of clay and size of canes is amazing! This artist, Adam Thomas Rees, has got a lot of videos that might be of interest…lots of fun if you’ve got some time to spare and are tired of the news and the TV dramas!  See this caning video here.  Watch another fun video here showing the process of covering a large sculpture.  Wonder what his oven looks like!


3 02 2013
Some CFCF goodies

Some CFCF goodies

I’ve struggled for the past two days to write this post but things keep happening!

As I prepare for CFCF to begin in less than two weeks, I realize I am really ready to be creative once again.   As many of you  know, I had a precious little boy 2 1/2 years ago and being a single parent, there is a rare moment that I have time to go into the studio to create.  He’s up at 6:30 AM and is a whirlwind throughout the day, sometimes not ready to sleep until 9 PM!  By that time, I am ready for bed myself, but push myself to work a bit. Needless to say, it is a struggle sometimes.

My home is being overrun with boxes at this point!  Three delivered early last week, then another thirteen large boxes (yes, 13!) last Friday.  Then six boxes on Tuesday, four on Thursday and again a large one from the Netherlands on Friday.  We are going to have a lot of happy campers this year!  When I’m not entertaining or chasing my little man around, I’m busy printing schedules and tags, organizing supplies, packing goody bags, sending follow up emails to instructors and attendees, posting on social media sites, writing vendors and artists for auction donations, and answering lots of questions.  Somewhere in there I fit in all the other requirement of the day, but I do have fun!

Despite the reality of my life, I have worked hard each year for six years to put together an event that is educational, affordable, and fun for attendees and instructors.  The instructors, my fellow artists, are, of course, the key to the success of CFCF and I am grateful for the passion they exude and attention they provide their students when teaching their workshops.  Attendees most always walk away with a renewed sense of confidence in themselves, their work, and a few new friends who look forward to their next time together creating.

Kruglak Blue Octopot

Kruglak Blue Octop

Over the years, we’ve also had a lot of talent among our attendees – those who have earned notoriety in their own right.  Ann Kruglak has attended CFCF every year, and even though she’s only been working with polymer since 2008, she’s been recognized in American Style Magazine , has been a Progress and Possibilities winner several times. Some of you who’ve attended CFCF may have donated your scrap clay to her and it should be noted that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of her work is donated to earth-related charities.

Julie Eakes is another attendee who has gone on to do great things.  She attended the first three CFCFs before I asked her to teach at the PCCAF Fall event in Wisconsin and eventually teach at CFCF (see this video interview with her by CFCF attendee, Alison Torres).  We haven’t seen Julie since then, but just check out this amazing video of what she’s been up to and her work on a unique mosaic piece. She’s also written a book and continues to find time to teach around the country.  Just amazing, Julie, can’t wait for you to come back and see us!

SILAS: Wired Enamel Illusions

Silas Enamel Illusions

Another CFCF attendee, Carol Lessans, was recently mentioned in Cynthia Tinapple‘s weekly Studio Mojo newsletter  Carol’s been experimenting a lot and her unique use of stamps, color, and guilder’s paste makes for a beautiful (and useful) piece of art.  Check out her recent project here.

There are many talented artists among us and I’d like to highlight more. Cindy Silas, who has attended CFCF a few years, has also taught at CFCF several times.  She’s gone on to be published in several magazines and books, and has presented at a metal clay conference and is a finalist in this year’s Saul Bell Awards (for metal clay artists). She was pleased to share that she has her own book coming out in Spring 2014, to be published by Lark.  Looking forward to that!

So, the moral of the story is, not everyone wants to be published, or to teach, or even to sell their work, but CFCF has something for everyone. Whether you are a newbie or professional, you’ll have fun and learn.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be teaching at CFCF someday!


16 01 2013
Nan Roche's Loop-In-Loop Chain

Nan Roche’s Loop-In-Loop Chain

Just one month til the 6th Annual CFCF begins and I see some “all-nighters” in the near future.  Being a single parent of a 2 1/2 year old has it’s magnificent moments and then there are those times when … well, you probably understand.

My home is quickly becoming overrun with supplies, goody bag stuffings, and auction donations.  I hope that it will again be an enjoyable experience for each of you who are attending. A lot of work goes into putting on an event like this and we want you to be comfortable, make friends, have fun, and learn lots.  That being said, there are many workshops to choose from and depending on your focus in polymer, metal clay, or mixed media, we’ve got a lot to offer.

Nan Roche has been working with polymer since the late 1980s/early 1990s and began using the clay extruder early on.  She developed several techniques (extruded mosaic, loop-in-loop, Celtic knots) and her workshop on Loop-in-Loop Chains is definitely a favorite for those interested in fiber/woven techniques.  Space is still available in this pre-conference workshop on Friday, 15, February.  Click here for more info and the registration form.

Kassel Bird Ornament

Kassel Bird Ornament

Doreen Kassel is one of the most prolific artists I have ever met (she and Christi Friesen). Her background in illustration has helped her to develop her little characters, working carefully to sculpt the detailed features and feathers.  Her works are all one of a kind, and I love that each one has it’s own personality and unique cuteness!

She was a NICHE Award winner last year and is a NICHE Award finalist in two categories this year.  She has taken ornament making to a whole new level.  She is teaching two classes at CFCF, one pre-conference Ganesh Triptych workshop and a Birds and Beasts 4-hour workshop.  Space is still available for you to join her.  Click here for more info and the registration form.

FRIESEN - Chrysophrase with Swelligant

FRIESEN – Chrysophrase with Swelligant

Christi Friesen has been all over the map, literally!  She’s been traveling the world for years now, sharing her unique talents and all-around bubbliness (is that a word?) Her two workshops offer a different take on stained glass or intro to her new product, Swelligant, turning your polymer into metal coated marvels!   Come join Christi – click on this link for more info and the registration form.

HOWELL - Old Lady Face

HOWELL – Old Lady Face

Tommie Howell enjoys the process of sculpting each unique detail on his character’s face.  Eyes, nose, mouth, expressive features – all carefully and lovingly worked and reworked until the face comes to life.  You can almost see into the soul of this old woman…  Tommie is teaching only one 4-hour workshop and he’d love for you to join him.  Click here for more info and the registration form.

TINAPPLE - Sea Glass

TINAPPLE – Sea Glass

Cynthia Tinapple is best known for her daily blog on polymer clay, but she is also an artist who loves exploring nature and recreating it in polymer.  She and her husband work on collaborative pieces…he turns the bowls and she creates the extruded mosaic inlays for the rims…beautiful pieces.

For her CFCF 2013 workshops, Cynthia will be teaching her fail safe techniques that she has developed for recreating stones and sea glass. The “rocks” really rock…it’s difficult to tell the real from the faux.  The petroglyphs take you back in time, wondering how they did that!  If you are interested in joining Cynthia, click on this link for additional information and registration form.


2 01 2013

CFCF 2013 Postcard Flier2The holiday season is nearly behind us and as we move into the New Year, I take a few moments to reflect on what has passed and what I hope is to come.  This past year has been one of trials and tribulations, disasters and deaths in the world, but also one of hope, renewal, and rebirths for many.  I move forward, learning again to not be so concerned what others think, but rather what I think and do to make my life and my son’s life more valuable and fulfilling.  So, moving forward, I have promised myself this year to continue to grow as a mother, mentor, philosopher, artist, and friend.  Take time to reflect and make a plan for yourself for this New Year, which is truly just one new day after another.  Take baby steps, careful yet adventurous…explore the new things out there and tear down the walls holding you captive with your creativity.  And, play nice…don’t forget to share…it becomes much more meaningful when you share.

On that note, begin your creative journey this year with a few days spent learning from incredible talents at Cabin Fever Clay Fest in Laurel, MD in February.  We still have space for more friends to join us, so why don’t you?  This is a hands-on and inspiring event…tiny lectures and lots of sensory work.  You will make some new friends who you may be able to encourage as well.  Join our journey to inspiration’s peak! Information and link to registration forms and workshop descriptions is below.  See you soon…and welcome to the New Year of being You!

******   Download registration forms here and detailed workshop information here. ******

Pre-conference workshop availability:

  • Rosa Martha Celorio Aceves – Appliquéd Bisque Bead Pendant  – AVAILABLE
  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Glazed “Stoneware” Beads   – CLOSED – FULL
  • Lindly Haunani  – Translucent Innovations – Exploring Folded Bead Forms (2-day)  – 10 SPOTS LEFT
  • Doreen Gay-Kassel – Ganesha Triptych  – AVAILABLE
  • Ellen Marshall – Color, Surface Treatment, and a Little Bling  – 8 SPOTS LEFT
  • Iris Mishly – Skyscraper and Flakes   – 4 SPOTS LEFT
  • Nan Roche – Loop-In-Loop Chaining  – AVAILABLE
  • Sarah Shriver – Intricate Kaleidoscope Caning with a Twist   – 5 SPOTS LEFT

Conference workshop availability:

  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Wruffled Whimsy    Mon. 8AM  – 2 SPOTS LEFT
  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Wruffled Whimsy   Tues. 8AM  – 4 SPOTS LEFT
  • Christi Friesen – Spectacular Stained Glass Pendants Wed. 8AM   – 5 SPOTS LEFT
  • Christi Friesen – Fe Fi Faux Fabulous Wed. 1PM – AVAILABLE
  • Lindly Haunani – Bodacious Bubbles: Keepsake Blade Holder      Mon. 1PM  – CLOSED – FULL
  • Lindly Haunani – Bodacious Bubbles: Keepsake Blade HolderTues. 8AM  –9 SPOTS LEFT
  • Tommie Howell – “I’ve Been Framed”  – AVAILABLE
  • Doreen Gay-Kassel – Sculptural Birds and Beasts    – AVAILABLE
  • Iris Mishly – Brocade Hemisphere   – Mon. 1PM  – 6 SPOTS LEFT
  • Iris Mishly – Brocade Hemisphere   -Wed. 8AM  – 10 SPOTS LEFT
  • Kathryn Jo Ottman – It’s About Coordination!  – AVAILABLE
  • Marie Segal – Between the Space Canes Tues. 8AM  – 2 SPOTS LEFT
  • Marie Segal – Shadeplay Caning Wed. 8AM  – 10 SPOTS LEFT
  • Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg – Hooray for Polywood! – Mon. 8AM  – 9 SPOTS LEFT
  • Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg – Hooray for Polywood!- Tues. 1PM  – 7 SPOTS LEFT
  • Sarah Shriver – Mini Acorn Earrings and Pendant – Mon. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Sarah Shriver – Mini Acorn Earrings and Pendant – Tues. 1PM  –  CLOSED – FULL
  • Laura Tabakman – Polymer and Wire Earrings – Mon. 8AM  – 6 SPOTS LEFT
  • Laura Tabakman – Polymer and Wire Earrings -Wed. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Cynthia Tinapple – Join the Rockettes – Tues. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Cynthia Tinapple – Join the Rockettes -Wed. 1PM  – AVAILABLE


30 11 2012

Giving – it is one of the most satisfying things to do and most times, it is a reward in itself – knowing that you are helping others. And this is the season of giving.  Lehocky Christmas HeartsAll of you who have participated in the CFCF silent auctions either by donating your work or product or by bidding on items at the celebration party have helped us to raise nearly $7,000 for our charities over the years.  You should be proud that through your efforts, we have been able to help the Wounded Warriors, the American Red Cross, the Children’s Defense Fund, and others.  We are seeking donations from all interested in helping us to continue this tradition.

Please use this form to submit your donation of handcrafted item(s) or supplies, craft book, etc.

For 2013, two charities have been selected. the NICU at Holy Cross where tiny babies struggle for life in their first days and are sometimes there for months, and Ron Lehocky’s Hearts Project charity.  To date, Ron, a pediatrician and polymer artist in Kentucky, has made over 20,000 hearts which he sells for $10 each and donates 100% of the proceeds to the Kids Center in Louisville, KY.

Lehocky Hat HeartsApparently, what began as a one-time project to help fundraising efforts for the Kids Center Fashion Show grew over the years and has generated nearly $200,000.  Ron has had much support from the polymer community, particularly in donations of clay scraps from artists like Lindly Hauanani, Maggie Maggio, and many others.

Ron will be sending some of his hearts for sale at the CFCF store, if you are interested in purchasing.  We will also be collecting clay scraps to send along to Ron, so he can continue on his journey with great support from you all.

On another note, going in to our 6th CFCF in Laurel, Maryland, I can honestly say that it has been a challenge, but so rewarding.  CFCF began small, an opportunity to bring  in more that one instructor at a time to deliver quality workshops to local guild members.  It has grown over the years to include attendees from all over the world including Alaska, Mexico, the UK, Israel and as far away as Australia!

In addition, CFCF was the first public event to recognize and honor some of those unsung polymer clay heroes in our community, presenting the Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award to some who who have inspired us and encouraged us recognize the possibilities of the medium.  Past recipients include Nan Roche, Judith Skinner, and Marie Segal.  Lindly Haunani is the 2013 recipient and we hope that you will join us in thanking her for her contributions. Congradulatory notes can be sent to cabinfeverclayfestival@yahoo.com, with LINDLY in the subject line.

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