I spend a lot of time when I'm not in my crafting area dreaming about what I'd be making if I were in my crafting area. I call this daydreaming brainstorming. My day job is about as fun as having a root cananl (I type pretrial reports for people who get arrested, anything from petty theft to murder, so I try to keep a seperate block of my brain focused on more pleasant things). I think partly due to the nature of the job, I've taken my imagination to other areas. This last few weeks I've been pipe dreaming of a sort of quiet little area in the forest where I met a little fellow named Bilpin (whose name means Forest in Burmese, if I remember correctly.) Here's a peek at Bilpin's first time on a swing....
Bilpin is made of polymer clay (except for the flowers which are made of cold porcelain) and comes with everything seen (or scene) here. He's ready for adoption in my Etsy shop and comes with the main tree, three flowers and a seperate tree. I love to hear your comments/feedback!
For years I've been trying different things in crafts - I need 16 arms and a MUCH larger craft area to accomplish all my desires. :)
I've analyzed my diversity in crafts and found that no matter what I try, I always go back to clay, in some form or another. There's something about working with a squishy, moldable medium that enthrals me. Even as a kid, all I wanted to play with was Play-Doh and mom's scrap pie dough. Wonder what an anaylist would have to say about that...
I hate to see summer end. I prefer warm weather, however fall and winter do have their perks. The cooler weather and clouds that already prevail make it easier to stay in doors and on task, creatively speaking.
Hanging out with artsy friends has inspired me to continue to expand my repetioire and recently I dug a little deeper into my rekindled shadowbox/diorama fascination. Breaking out the sewing needle, paper, and polymer clay led to this exploration in miniature (and the discovery that miniatures are harder than they look!) This tiny room measures 3"tall x 1-1/2" deep and can be found in my Etsy shop.
Along the same lines as the tulip shadowbox necklace made for my friend, Gayle, (found in an earlier post) is a smaller version, approx 1" x 1.5", made on special request.
Does anybody remember making dioramas/shadowboxes as a kid in school? Usually from a shoebox or tissue box? I used to LOVE doing this (I remember doing one for a book report on Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express). This is a soldered shadowbox that I designed for a friend of mine. The flowers are polymer clay and it measures approx 2 x 1.5 x 1.5". I was sort of testing the idea out and I really enjoyed it. She can use it as jewelry or as a home decor item. Currently I'm working an a custom order for a smaller one (approx 1 x 1 x .5") with blue flowers.
Watched a couple of older movies today: Dirty Dancing and Grease. My husband told me they're planning to remake Dirty Dancing?! Why? I'm not thrilled with the idea - some things are better off left as they are, especially this, in honor of Patrick Swayze. What do you think?
And as long as we're talking about viewing the boob toob, I'm wondering who to credit the brilliant idea of "respecting the roll" and trying to peddle ugly toilet paper roll covers. Honestly, who's offended by seeing a roll of toilet paper? And why should I respect it when it's not on the holder? Considering what it's designed for, I think 'respect' might be a strong term. Just sayin...
No, it's not what you think. I've been happily married for 18 years...but I did fall in love with another form of jewelry. Took a class on this collaging images between glass and soldering, which I enjoyed thoroughly and this is what I turned out in the class:
Next I'm going to widen it out a bit and make some deeper shadow boxes using a similar method. I like this form of 'scrapbooking' because it's less intimidating as it's a smaller project. Plus there's the added benefit of JEWELRY! (something I appear to be addicted to)
In a prior post I halfheartedly mentioned something about submitting a handmade entry to the fair. Well, shock of all shocks, I DID. And not only that, I placed on both my entries! I received Honorable Mention on the teapot which is actually a 1920's teapot (grandma's) filled with a bouquet with a variety of my clay flowers. The other entry, cherry blossoms, placed 2nd. Once the fair is over in July I'll get $15 dollars plus the ribbons. Hey, it's not a huge win but every little bit counts, right??
Hubby entered as well with his plethora of Disney pin collection and memorabilia. He didn't place which made him sad (can you tell by the look on his face?) but he'll do another entry next year (with a little helpful advice from one of the judges...shhh!)
The theme this year was "Race to the Fair." I don't think you can get much of a race out of this little thing but it's very economical and silly looking. It's 9" narrower than a standard Goldwing motorcylce. It does seat two, however I envisioned driving with my shoulders attached to my ears in this little thing. Definitely not a comfort vehicle -
This was in the gem and mineral portion and upon closer inspection, everything is made from rocks! Pretty ingenious.
A couple of crazy rides (barf machines) and after walking around for hours, this next pic is pretty much how I felt:
You have to admit, he does look like he's contemplating something, doesn't he?
My computer crashed!! Currently I'm using my husband's teeny tiny laptop (formerly mine but he spoiled me with a large screen).
Over the past couple of weeks I had a little retail therapy. I decided I needed some new black shoes. Here's the result of that shopping trip:
I've been working on a cuff bracelet now for awhile and finally got it done a couple nights ago. Hundreds upon hundreds of tiny little seed beads. I love the netting effect on it though.
I have another seed bead project underway as well as a polymer clay bead project. I'm also trying to make something with my clay flowers to enter in the county fair this year. Hmm...given my history of procrastination, I'd be shocked if I made the deadline. But I'm gonna try. I've already got my first entry of a cake top 2/3 of the way done. That's a miracle in itself!
Goodnes, I apologize for lagging on my blog! Sometimes life just gets in the way and those of you who work a day job and are creative, are familiar with the little gremlins who not only misplace valuable items (socks and beading wire) but literally steal hours, thereby turning a 24 hour day into a 16 hour day.
My husband actually made me carve out time about a month ago to go to a bead show, which I haven't been to in eons! I was delighted to go to Pasadena show which I haven't been to before. I found it to be a really nice blend of supplies and gorgeous finished work. Plus it was in the Hilton Hotel which is carpeted and much easier on the feet and back! If you live locally, it's definitely something I'd recommend doing. Beader or not, it's educational and a true feast for the eyes. And no....I couldn't walk out empty handed. I managed to get some of the most beautiful beads I've ever seen including rivolis which I've been wanting to work with. Apparently working with them and seed beads is easier said than done - it's still a learning curve for me. But I think those are some of the most beautiful projects.
I did manage to set my clay aside for awhile and pick up my beads. They managed to call out to me and drag me back into their addictive clutches. I'd been sitting on a particular group of beads for some time now, probably a couple of years (I'm embarassed to admit). They were ones I'd purchased at a bead show long ago and I knew I loved them, yet they failed to tell me how to bring out their maximum beauty. But much like the prodigal son, they came around. They remind me of the beach with the soft variegated ripples and swirls. So without further ado here's the new bracelet entitled "Sandy Beaches". This bracelet can be purchased here (just click on the Shop Now tab) and until Febuary 5 is 10% off so hurry to take advantage of the discount. Oh, and free shipping too!
Despite the prediction of rain, we decided to go see the floats from the Tournmanet of Roses Parade held in Los Angeles, CA every year on Jan 1. We bundled up, grabbed the umbrellas and away we went.
I've been to see the Rose Parade live and in all it's glory once in my life, it was 1984, I think. I remember getting down to Colorado Blvd at around 5 a.m. and freezing my butt off while waiting for the parade to start. It was an amazing experience to see if live, however, I think seeing them the day after is a definite must do. (If you plan to visit CA at this time of year, put this on your itinerary-the cost is $10 to get in and you take a shuttle bus which drops you off at the floats)
I couldn't fathom the idea of being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of flowers. I loved the fact that I could spend as long as I wanted lingering around the floats, absorbing every detail and admiring the color combinations. The one downside is that you don't get the experience of seeing all the moving parts, but if you watch the parade on TV, you already know what it looks like. We did get to see inside the floats at the driver's seat, which didn't look very comfortable at all!
All of the floats have to be covered in either flowers or organic material; dried beans, nuts, oats, etc., which makes them all the more remarkable. Here are some close-ups that show the material used:
This depicts a fountain on the Beverly Hills Float. And here is a closeup of the base of the fountain:
I love butterflies!
Here are some more of my favorites. We took tons of photos, the rest of which can be viewed through my Flickr site
There was one float that featured waterboarding dogs and dogs that did "dock diving" where the trainer/owner threw a toy in the air and the dogs would jump to catch them, landing in a pool of filled with water (it was heated to 70 degrees for them). This float won the title of heaviest float which weighed in a 85,000 lbs.
Approximate 100-150,000 people visit the floats every year.
Here are more of my favorite pics. We took tons of them - feel free to see more on my Flickr site
I thought these books looked really interesting, as well:
Crafting has always been a passion for me. I have yet to stick with any particular medium, as I love to switch it out and try new things. This blog is sort of a testament to that fact. Hope you enjoy...