Thursday, July 30, 2009

Being Resourceful and using what I have

This weekend I will be at another summer event where I will have an opportunity to meet with lots of old friends (well they're probably not as old as I am) and spend some time relaxing in the evenings. It's been a hectic couple of weeks here, and I am kinda glad that we haven't been having really hot weather. The dress code for the day has been time to spiff I'm glad that even when I go outside to buff the few pieces that need to be done, that it's cool enough to be comfortable in that attire.
As for this neckpiece, I got the inspiration from a Polymer Clay site...and just had to try the summery colours of a piece I saw there. The whole thing has been a challenge and I've been working on it on and off for over a week. First I had to find a suitable mandrel to form the beads on. Easy enough--I took apart an old wind chime and used a pipe from that. Then I had to drill the beads...easy enough again. I placed each individual bead on an open page from a years old phone book, and drilled straight down. Finally, I had to figure out a way to buff the beads on the bench grinder. If I had just put them on a needle, they would have spun around like crazy and I just can't hold stuff in my hands for that long to hold each one and yet move it so as not to over-do it. I found the perfect 'tool'. From my collection of weaving stuff/antiques, I selected an aged wooden spool and it was ideal for positioning the beads in front of the buffing wheel.
Stringing the beads posed a bit of a challenge too, since I generally don't do many necklaces of this type. I got out my trusty bead tray (actually took it out of the wrapper) to help sort and position the many little glass beads that go in between the polymer ones. I needed way more beads than I first imagined! Even got to use up some of my 'for future consideration' beads; you know the ones that you just make, never knowing where they'll end up.
Hopefully this will end up on someone...and if it doesn't, I have just the pair of sweats that it will co-ordinate with.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sarah N. Dippity

Omagosh! Sometimes things happen just the way you'd like them to happen all the time and of course, there are times when nothing goes right. Well, fortunately, for moi, a couple of things happened just right today as I am in the final stages of preparation for a big event this weekend. Just hope all the other preparations go this well!

I have not been doing any knitting for the last year or so, but when I was in the ironing room, ironing paper for another project, I saw this purse hanging over the East Lake dresser. It needed a bouton. I had previously taken the bouton off for another sale, go figure. Naturally, once removed, {no I'm not talking about a cousin}, I didn't sew another on. Then, as I was going through my boutons for this weekend's show, I espied this one and wondered? would it? could it? And then, when I put it up against the bag, I couldn't believe mes yeux! It was as if someone upstairs was playing with the colour wheel and found the right fibre to match the colours in the little cane in the basement and they came together and danced on the main floor. INCROYABLE!
Oh yes, another wondrous thing happened rather late last evening. Normally, I don't clay after 7 pm, as the light in the 'sub-main-floor', aka poorly lit basement, is just not conducive to working. But I put the Ott light right over the work space on the table, and set up another floor lamp close by and managed to get a few things going, like the animal that I'll post later (when s/he's cured).
I had an aha moment and found a new use for the Klimt canes that were all the rage a while back. They're the canes that come right out of the extruder and you just slice, dice and layer thrice and you get that sheet of awesome integrated colours that are so marvy. I'll be sticking my neck out so I won't say any more about it...It might get the curse and burn or something so I'll wait until later to share my ecstacy with y'all. Or I might go downstairs and see it in a better light today, and it won't be the right colour!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Martini anyone?

A friend who has a "wine accessory shop" isn't that a lovely occupation...asked me to make some olives for a corner of her display where she has accoutrements for other libations, like martinis. So here are some pretty cool olives that I fashioned the other day. I told her to post a sign nearby saying they're pretty hard to chew upon, and not nearly as tasty as the much more costly and real Manzanillas. (We know you're never supposed to eat polymer clay!)

As an aside, having 'factice' or dummy merchandise just might be something that marketing-savvy experts could try, in efforts to dissuade those loathesome passersby who "help themselves" to just a little sample of the produce as they shop. Like the lady who snitches one grape, then a cherry, and then heads over to the blueberriesand scoops up a small handful. By the times she's finished shopping, she's ingested an entire fruit cocktail. Methinks that if she were caught she'd be caught...purple handed, to match her dress. Wouldn't you know, if the savvy marketers actually used fakes in their displays, she'd also be the one who would end up breaking a tooth on a freakin' factice. I wonder if a situation like that would ever get to court and if so, what would the outcome be? Sounds like the makings for a good little skit or play for next year's Fringe Festival. HMMM,,, now there's a thought. Of course, I already have the name for la petite pièce...OLIVE ME!

Ah yes, there is an upside to all this ridiculousness. I have made these olive things many times, and finally in my infinite wisdom, remembered to record the recipe so I don't have to conjure it up from scratch all over again.

Post script...I scraped off the tiny little sea-green speck off of the accidentally speckled olive, but next time, think I might make a few that are speckled for real, but with realistically coloured spots!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beach Blanket Buttons

It's been years since I've actually seen Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco. Dinah Shore (well that is a pretty beachy name) was even parodied in that particular production; but her name wasn't the name of a local beach as one might think is indicated by the title. It was, I recall, a reference to something Jurassic Park-ish...wait for it...oh you've guessed it. A Dinahshore. (Sho, just whosh been drinnnnnnnking too mmmany mmmargartinis?)

What brings me to that intro? Well the Saturday sale at the Beach was incredible. There were new vendors, and some who had taken a hiatus for a while. Good variety too. And crowds. People started pouring in before the actual opening, and aside from a brief slowdown at lunch, they kept thronging in right until closing. The next one is in mid August, so I'm gearing up for that.

At Saturday's sale, as luck would have it, I was located right across from the gals who had all those tempting tasty things to try...But I resisted until ten minutes before teardown. Then they motioned for us to come and clean up all the samples with pretzel sticks. (I quashed the urge to double dip). They had new stuff; but moi, being a creature of habit, limited herself to purchasing just the Oh So Garlic Dip/Spread maker. Made some was plenty garlicky!

As for the Beach Blanket Buttons...I used that little crazy-pieced fabric collage as the backdrop for some of the buttons, to show how the buttons complemented/co-ordinated with different types of fabric. The collage, although smaller than a regular throw, reminded me of the old days when people sewed together all their fabric leftovers to make a beach blanket. I think I'll make another of a different palette for the next show. It serves the purpose so that folks can see what the buttons look like against the fabric backgrounds.
I think I have enough fabric for ummm, several blankets, maybe even my own Beach Blanket Production. Watch out Fugasi Street...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Victoria Beach Saturday

Oh I am just hoping the weather will be nice tomorrow! For the last three Saturdays, weather has played a very uncooperative role with the Market Sales, and even though I'll be indoors tomorrow, it would be nice to have a pleasant weekend weather-wise. Although I don't usually like the hot hot hot days of summer, we have not had any to speak of this year. And this week, it's been downright cold or windy and yes, rainy too. So, come on Mr. Weatherman, "BE NICE!"

During this cool spell, I've been making some new things--some interesting metal-look pendants and of course lots of buttons. Deciding I needed some summery-shades, I made the tiniest Skinner blend in delicious colours and got scads of buttons from the blend.
Maybe pushing the summer button on the weather channel will help to warm things up!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When the fisherman's away the fish will clay

I found some silver wire in my 'storage area' and decided to try making a ring. I used (of all things) the end of a pool cue for my mandrel and wrapped the wire into a shape and then hammered it a bit to give it a 'distressed look'. Then I wrapped a smaller gauge wire around the 'join' and secured it under the copper coloured polymer clay fish. I left a little bit of the design showing above and below the fish, just for fun.

Then I made another one, and this time used a simple coil, like a beehive with a slightly decorated cap for the showy part. I guess it's nice to have free time and just play. Maybe I will use some of my 16 gauge sterling wire that I have been saving when I have practiced my wire work a little more. Last time I tried using the sterling wire, I wasted about $80 worth of it, so I am reluctant to bend the stuff. Of course, I guess a meltdown might salvage some of it if I can still find where I threw the scraps.

Friday, July 3, 2009

All the city in the village

Wow! The village was so crowded on Canada Day. At least half the city must have passed by at some time or other! Of course, I was right next to the Mini Donuts truck, and although tempted, didn't have time to eat them being so busy watching the parade.
The weather was gorgeous and not as hot as last year. It was a bit tiring, and even though we had great intentions of watching the fireworks at 11 pm, our bodies said,
This Saturday morning, we are slated to be at the Selkirk Waterpark Farmers' Market and I am busy replenishing my stock of buttons, and lots of other items for 'exposure'. I hope the weather is better than the rainout last week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I love a Parade

Happy Canada Day! Today I will be joining the other members of the Medea Gallery outdoors at the Osborne Village Gathering. The weather is looking gorgeous, not too hot, and there will be plenty going on.
The event provides the gallery members with an opportunity to meet the public, and describe their specific works. As well, we'll get a chance to see the other art that will be on display, namely the passers-by. If things are anything like last year, the folks will be dressed in all varieties of garb, sporting maple leaves painted, sewn or stamped; frolicking around the village. As the day will wear on, the spectular 'sights' will become more evident, culminating with the huge fireworks that we plan to take in at Assiniboine Park later on in the evening.
Hope you all will have a wonderful day celebrating the 142nd birthday of our great land!