Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's Face It...It's Crunch Time

These little gals are all set for their annual trek to Dryden to participate in the Holiday Arts Festival this weekend.  Some of them look pretty bundled up, and I understand that warm weather is being forecast, so hopefully they won't experience any hot flashes!

I made several of the little faces, and then chose some to be book club babes, some to be little finger puppets and this glee club grouping is a set of twelve buttons.  The buttons can be sewn on to clothing, especially winter hats, to make cute little additions, or they can be sewn onto premade muslin dolls.  Then they can be adorned with beads, costumes, jewellery, and made into any doll of your choice.  I like to call them the Maharincess of Franistan Faces, because one or two of them actually look like Lucy Ricardo in her early series with bandleader Ricky.  If you remember that series, or even the reruns, Lucy got herself into plenty of trouble.  Thing is, these ones don't have any 'splainin' to do.

We will be packing up the van tonight with hopes of getting an early start out tomorrow so we can drive leisurely, without having the time element being an extra burden. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Box and Book Presentation

For the past couple of weeks I have been making items to present in a few upcoming shows, the first of which will be this weekend in Dryden, Ontario.  Since I wasn't in the Sioux Narrows Arts Festival this summer, I hope to see some of my friends in Dryden, which is about an hour drive (or so) away from there.  The weatherman is forecasting sun and slightly above normal temperatures so the drive through the Canadian Shield should be wonderful.  Of course we will be taking chaperone Bichon Molly, who will accompany DH during showtime and perhaps they'll explore some of their favourite haunts that they've come to love in and around Dryden. Since she is now totally blind, I am hoping that she will use her other senses to recall her familiar places there.  She loves being out of doors with us, and I think she can still sense the sunlight because yesterday when I was out buffing beads, she just wanted to sit on her cushion on the chaise lounge. 

As for my polymer work, it has been extremely varied of late, as is usual for crunch time just before a show.  I've made several new items that haven't been in my usual repertoire, including many mixed media pieces.  This one, for example, includes a bit of needle felting, a covered box in luscious turquoise, blue and purple, a little handmade journal with an organza drawstring bag to keep the book inside the box.  There certainly were a lot of elements that went into the creation of this little collection.   It required a fair bit of planning and crossed fingers, to make sure that all the colors in the grouping went well together. 

I began by painting the interior of the papier maché box in a deep blue with Lumière Paint, and then adhered the collage of blended polymer on the outside.  You can't see the impressions on the sides of the box in the photo, but I think you can see the little metal scrollwork (thin strips of polymer with gold leaf) on the sides. The book covers also carry on with the colour theme and the Coptic binding is finished off with a mixture of beads made from the blended clay, separated by glass beads. I opted for a blue binding for both the bag string and the binding which I fashioned from 6 strands embroidery floss that I waxed heavily so that it would be strong.

The bag and book fit nicely inside the box.  At first I was just going to fold the organza and nestle the book in it, but I thought it looked a bit untidy when the book was out, so I chose to make  the little drawstring bag.  I just happened to have some organza in a subtle blend of teal and ultramarine, and it goes together so nicely with the colors in the book and box. 

The top of the box is festooned with a couple of needle felted balls that I had made in the spring.  I threaded them onto some purple wire which kinda looks like the box might be able to receive satellite signals from who knows where.  All in all, it is quite a project.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fish going Globe Bowling...Part Two

If you haven't seen Part One of this little video, please go to the previous post where the elements that make up this little puppet show are explained.  Not too much detail, but a glimpse. 
This is about the umpteenth time I've tried to load and process this video.  As you can tell,  I ended up having to do the video in two parts because Blogger just couldn't do it all in one.  I am not that savvy when it comes to making movies.

In any case, I made and baked the inner fish on a little copper wire, and right now, it just dangles inside the globe.  For the exterior, you can see where I covered the vase with the bowling balls (which hid where I had to nip the glass) and also adhered the premade, but unbaked fishies to the outside of the crazy-quilted exterior.  When all the exterior collaging was done, I baked the vase for about 45 minutes.

The little wire which suspends the fish still isn't attached so I will be finishing it off a little.  Similar ones I made last year were suspended by some fibres around the rim of the vase which coincidentally helped to hold the wire that controls the little puppet fish inside.  In this way, the vase can be placed on a table or suspended according to one's whims. 

My idea of  Clay Mation or is it Motion...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Fishing Expedition Part 1

I did  further 'retakes' of the video I published yesterday, and although it is still not of Motion Picture Quality, the sound and pictures are quite a bit better in this third attempt.  The Blackberry video camera on my phone isn't of the greatest quality so I chose this other option.  This time I used the digital camera, a Fuji, and used the video application.  There are still a few blurry spots where I got too close to the objects.  Also, holding the work and the camera requires a high degree of ambidexterity which, unfortunately is not one of my fortés. This is evident especially when there are little 'movements' that you want to tweak with one finger inside a vessel. 

In this first part of the video I have the glass ball and the clay requirements.  They are pretty visible.  In the next post, the finished item will be visible.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two, two, two posts on one day

Some time ago I tried to make a clown fish cane.  I started with an incredible drawing, only to find that the useable part of the cane was very small.  In my efforts to reduce it, the shape was just too convoluted so I only got about twenty good slices of fish.  Or would those be filets? 

In any case, last weekend I made a little drawing of a dog, and decided to give another animule a chance at becoming a cane.  Now this could go a lot of places.  Since my little bichon Molly is blind, a  'white cane' might be appropriate.  Not that she could ever carry one or learn to use it in that constant contact method that vision impaired people are accustomed to.  Molly would rather use her nose.  She sidles up against walls to help her negotiate the familiar walls in our place, and that keeps her away from the stairs she abhors (she has fallen down them twice).  When she wants to jump onto the sofa, she does the 'nose' test by touching her nose to the front of the sofa seat, and then hurdles her way up the premeasured height.  It is almost tearful to watch her get 'lost' in the house, but in some of those adventures, she has discovered where the bag of dog food is kept.  I've even seen her get on her hind paws and stuff her face right into the bag for a few extra goodies.  Nope...she doesn't need that kind of cane to get around.

To get back to my original idea for this post, I did want to mention that I almost succeeded in making this dog cane.  Not that it looks anything like Molly.  With her being totally white, it is a little difficult to make any kinds of facial demarkations, and those are rather necessary in making good canes.  The contrast between features is critical to making a successful cane.  So, I put a little greige in here and there on her face to kind of indicate the contours of her face.  Unbeknownst to me, one of theose greige lines came between her 'eyes' and it almost looks like she's wearing glasses.  Now if any dog wants to make a spectacle of herself, it would be Molly.  She loves being the center of attention, so now, I will go and give her a cuddle and end this post. 

Oh yah, I have used this cane.  I also encircled it with other surrounding colors...some blue, some pink and some grey, which I believe is the only thing she sees.

The Lights of Fall

It is really noticeable with the frost on the cars in the mornings, that we are experiencing FALL here.  Following an absolutely fabulous summer, the cooler weather really hit hard almost overnight.  So in keeping with the season, I decided to imitate the colors of fall in these crazy-quilt patchwork light switch plates.  I recently went and purchased a good selection of blank plates and will be busy covering them in the hopes that they find happy homes at some of the sales that I will be doing in the coming months.

I am not one for production, but with the huge events I will be attending this fall, I have to succumb to that line of 'work'.  The upside is that although I will be working with similar palettes for the covers, at least I can make each one slightly different.  When doing these I actually put the completed ones in another room so that I don't 'copy' my work so that they can stay dissimilar.  

The next few months should prove to be 'interesting' as I will be integrating substitute teaching, some travel, and concentrated efforts in completing several large projects in polymer, so I may not be posting as regularly as I would like.  The leisurely hours of sitting at the computer are one of the things that will have to be whittled off my days so that I can be more productive.  And with the noticeably shorter days and my eyes not attuned to working when it's dark, I need to make light switch covers (among other things) while the sun is still shining. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Beachy, Just Beachy

Beach, Beach, Beach!  And I mean that in a good way.  This weekend will mark the final Victoria Beach Art Sale for the season, so I chose to include this as a tribute to what has probably been the best summer for beachin' it in YEARS!  Yes, there were difficulties, in particular with the high waters at the start of the season and the erosioin of the shore line, but as for weather, sunny days, no rain and mosquitoes, this has to be a topper for them all.  At least as far as I can recall. 

In July, I did manage to spend three lovely days (except for my aching back) out at Victoria Beach and had hoped to spend a few more on a weekend in September, but alas, I think that is not to be.  Schedules and preparing for heavy duty fall commitments has left little time to idle at the beach.  However, I do think that taking a day off here and there would do wonders!

I've done lots of market type events this summer; almost one every weekend.  At the most recent one, (The Morden Corn and Apple Festival) I encountered Breanne, who is also a polymer clay person of sorts.  I say that tongue in cheek, because she is also an aeronautical engineer. (Yah, really) but she has a fun side to her, that makes an explanation of why the extrusion of a Klimt Cane in mathematical terms makes sense; in terms that a mere regular science type can understand.  (Watching too many of  Big Bang Theory Lectures I think!)   Anyway, last year I had made a few of these light switches and she asked for a couple more, so I'm showing this one here, before it's gone.

This weekend I'll actually be at two 'events'.  On Saturday I'll be at the "Christmas in September" Art and Craft Sale at the Victoria Beach Sports Club, and then on Sunday we'll be setting up the tent at the Locks Market under the bridge by Skinner's in Lockport.  Two weekends ago they celebrated the Lockport Dam Festival there and in spite of a cruel wind on the Saturday, the Festival was a great success. Unfortunately, Hubby's $20 000 tagged catfish wasn't caught (again) this year, but the committee did see fit to award some substantial merchandise prizes to a few lucky participants who entered the contest.  Those tagged catfish are swimmin' around somewhere wondering, "Why am I wearing this tag thing on my dorsal fin?"  I wonder just how many of those dam catfish have similar 'garb'? 

But I digress.  It's almost daylight here (5:35 am) and I need to get to actual work.  I have many projects in the nearly complete stage and if I am going to have enough items to fill my spaces over the weekend, I'd better get off this chair and into the one in my workspace.  So I'll just turn lights off in this room, pour myself a cup of Joe and get to work.