Sunday, July 15, 2012

CGS Raffle Gourd

As part of the "Baskets and Gourds: Containers of our Culture" conference in April, the California Gourd Society gave each local patch a large gourd with which to make a basket to fill with little decorated gourds.  These baskets were to be raffled off for a fundraiser.  I made the basket for the San Fernando Valley Patch.  We all agreed that the gourd had a womanly shape, so here's what I came up with:

I wanted to keep the design simple in the interest of time.  Her arms are separate cut-outs attached with wire.  I used some scrap fabric to cover the connection and add some trim to her dress.  A couple spare buttons finished her look.  For her hair, I used brown yarn which I tied into bundles.  I lined up the ties to give her hair a natural-looking part.  The basket was filled with small gourds decorated in all sorts of styles by the other members of the San Fernando Valley Patch.  You can see some of them displayed in front of the basket in this photo.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.   I hope whoever won it is happy with it, as well.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dance solos

In March, I had the privilege of dancing at my friend's birthday bash.  I had already been practicing a routine for Anaheed's Dancers' Swap Meet and the birthday party was the night before that, so I did the same routine.  To spice things up a little, I added a sword dance.   I got to break in a costume I had bought at the last Dancer's Swap Meet.

The party was at a great venue - a private Moroccan-themed room at a nice restaurant.  It was a really relaxed atmosphere (the martini didn't hurt ;) ) and I was feeling carefree.  The performance went great!  I felt really good about it and had lots of fun dancing.  We danced all night and stayed up way too late.  It was LOTS of fun!  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my performance, though my hubby did get a shot of me fooling around with my scimitar towards the end of the night:



It was not as much fun the next day when I was the first performer at the Swap Meet.  I wasn't hung over, but I was VERY tired.  I felt draggy during my performance and it showed very clearly in the the video.  I haven't yet perfected faking perkiness when I just want a nap.  Here's a few of the better screen grabs from the swap meet:


 

Notice:  I'll be performing a more-perfected version of this same routine on June 2nd at 11:45 at Cairo Caravan on the Queen Mary (Luxor Stage).  I'll make sure not to stay up until 4am the night before this time!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Phrases of the Heart

Every year for the past five or six years, the Greater Los Angeles Polymer Clay Guild has done a "phrases of the heart" swap.  We each make a piece that somehow references a phrase containing the word "heart" or about matters of the heart.  This year, I chose the phrase "Hearts afire."  Here's the resulting brooch:



I received this striking brooch titled, "Heart to heart," from Aviva Nizani.  She used a transfer on one and texture on the other, all topped with glossy resin.



Some of my past entries for the swap can be found on my Flickr page here, here, and here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rose Parade floats

Every year since my Hubby & I moved to L.A., I've gone to see the Rose Parade floats, either at the parade or at the after-parade viewing.  This year was no exception.  I love being able to see them up close and see what materials were used and the detail in the arrangement of the various seeds, barks, fruits, etc.

My husband and I have been lucky enough to have helped decorate floats a number of times (I think I've done it five times now.  It's FUN -- a gigantic craft project that millions of people will see!   It's also a lot of hard work, involving getting dirty and sticky from glue for long hours in a cold warehouse or tent.  On taller floats, I've had to climb rafters and get into precarious positions to glue seeds or what-have-you in tight places.  It's wonderful helping on the last day when all the fresh flowers are attached.  All the floats really come to life with the vibrant petals and sweet scents.  Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to volunteer in the last five years or so, but it would be fun to do it again someday. 

Here's a few photos of this year's floats:


There are a few more float photos in my Flickr photostream.

Guild holiday swap

As always, the holiday season was a busy, crazy blur.  I can't believe it's been almost three months since I last posted!  I'll start the catching up with showing you what I made for my polymer clay guild's annual holiday gift swap, back at our December meeting.

At the time, I had a stack of clay sheets in a nice palette left over from my guild demo on "Lizard Tails" (from Julie Picarello's book).  Her book also covers makume gane techniques, so I decided to use one of the small stacks for that, using my square and rectangle clay cutters for the impressions.

We currently have one male member, so I always try to make something unisex.   I decided to make a nice, chunky key ring, using the makume gane as a veneer.  The result is below.  I sanded and buffed to give it a nice feel.  I ended up not liking the metal key rings I had, so I made kumihino cord in matching colors as a loop and added a tassel on the end.  Not your typical key fob, but I like it.



I received the lovely little box below made by Celeste Mouchebouf.  The whole top slides off from the base with a nice snug fit.  Celeste demo'd her technique for making those at the January meeting.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Glass blowing in St. Petersburg

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I posted anything.  In that time, along with my usual doings, I took a vacation to Florida, had a week-long bout of pink eye (not fun!), and learned some new choreography and performed it (with pink eye, ugh!  Luckily we were in pirate bellydancer garb, so I just wore an eyepatch to cover one eye.  Aargh!).

One of our stops in Florida was St. Petersburg, where Carl and I each signed up for a half hour "Glass Experience" at the Morean Arts Center Hot Shop.  With the assistance of one of the resident glass artists, we got to make our own glass items.

Since it was not too long after Halloween, one of the choices of things to make was a pumpkin--we both chose that.  I chose traditional shades if orange for mine.  Carl went for purple with yellow.  Not bad for a first try.  I'll stick to polymer and gourds for now, but it was definitely a fun experience.  And now we have our very own hand-made blown-glass pumpkins to remind us of our trip.


If you're ever in St. Petersburg, FL, check this place out.  They have a nice gallery and run a separate small Chihuly museum.  There is also an excellent Salvador Dali museum nearby, which I highly recommend.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 I wasn't going to bother carving a pumpkin this year, but a few hours before Oct 31, after watching an extreme pumpkin carving show on the Food Network, I got inspired.  I felt like doing something goofy, so here's what I came up with.

I love Halloween, not for the scary stuff or dressing up, but for the pumpkins and decorative gourds.  We finally got out to Forneris Farms, a 5-min drive from us.   They have a great Harvest Festival with an excellent corn maze.  Of course, we didn't get out of there without buying pumpkins and gourds....lots of pumpkins pumpkins and gourds.  Our house now has pumpkins all over.  We keep them as decoration for as long as they'll last, which is usually until Spring.  Here's a sample of what our home looks like at the moment:



We have more pumpkins spread around the house.  I may have a slight addiction.  Thankfully, my hubby likes them, too.