Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tempest in a teapot

How bizarre life and the world can be sometimes.  Here we are in the desert southwest, having just returned from a little side trip to Sin City and the weather today is windy, rainy, downright cold (the heat is on) and our friends back home in the great white north are reporting temps in the 80's! (like 27 degrees Celsius). Go figure!

It's so cold here today I can't even go to the "shed" aka my workspace, to condition clay.  So all I have to share in this blog is a picture of this teapot I covered a couple of weeks ago before we went away.  I have been invited to a tennis tournament to display my arty stuff (don't ask) in a couple of weeks, just before we go home, and I was planning on showing the teapot there, as well as submitting it as an item for entry into a show that I would like to take part in this summer.  I guess I will have to make another one because someone at the park was walking by and wanted it then and there.  That is the way things go sometimes. 

As far as life happenings, for the past week, my niece came here for her spring break, and so we spent the week travelling which meant a well-deserved break from long days of claying.  We toured some of the desert and visited a couple of antique towns and then headed (at the end of the week) to Las Vegas.  During that time, I hardly even thought about clay.  I was so 'overtaken' by the shops in the Miracle Mile (Planet Hollywood) and the Venetian/Palazzo that I didn't dare think of my work. It seems a bit 'small' compared to some of the fabulous art work on exhibit there. A couple of the galleries were so fantastic that I was speechless.  We just had to stand and gaze at  the works in a couple of them.  One had phenomenal photography in wall-sized (I am talking 8 feet wide) frames and we simply marvelled at the splendor of the images. Another gallery featured more 'casual' art..but still very appealing to the eye. Some of the kitchsy stuff at a few of the shops was definitely just that, and other stuff was overkill, but the real ART was amazing.  We took in the light/music show at the Fremont Experience the first night and saw a lot of sights both in the 'sky' and at ground level.  For people watching, that sure beats Walmart.

We barely touched some of the other Vegas sites and had no time for shows, but I would have loved to see Il Divo or was it the Canadian Tenors who were performing.  It's hard to take in a lot over the  two days we were there. Of course, we had to do some accessories shopping, so much of our time was spent trying on shoes and other things. Luckily, I found a pair in light turquoise that are just perfect for so many of my clothes.  The style is nothing special, but they're cute and comfy and they fit.  My niece got a few awesome outfits and shoes to match.  They were out of the ordinary and very stylish, but don't know if I could wear that syle. be young again.

As far as restaurants, in Las Vegas, we only went to the Outback on Thursday and took in the fabulous Seafood Buffet at the Rio on Friday.  If you are a seafood aficionado, that's the place to go.  Other than that, we had not much interest in eating, although there were plenty of great places to indulge your culinary palate if you so desire.

We did stop at a little "Canal Cafe" while at the Venetian and enjoyed a glass of wine while watching the  gondolas float by.  I think that the gondoliers must have to pass a singing test before applying  for that job.  Although their voices didn't match some of the Tenors or Il Divo,  they definitely could carry a tune and the acoustics of the canal (even though it's very staged) helped to promote the audibility of the songs.  Speaking of operatic voices, unfortunately we didn't get to visit the Aria, a new place on the strip, but in two days, you can only do so much.  Must put that on my bucket list.

As I look out the kitchen window, I see it is  still windy, thundering and  raining, ...buckets...again, so I will probably devote the rest of this day to rest.  I have a bit of a sniffly cold; my resistance is down after visiting all the bright lights of the big city and staying up w-a-a-y past my normal bedtime!  Or maybe I'll just plan another little teapot...who knows, maybe I can come up with a tennis theme rather than this one that I call Black and White with Purple Pink-a-dots.  The colours are definitely reminiscent of the masquerade shop I saw in Sin City.  Ya think the title sounds kitchy enough?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Give it up for Lentils!

Once again, life has gotten in the way of keeping up my blog.  Yikes. Never a dull moment around here.  Yesterday, we had to get to the Country Store by 8 a.m. and at 7:30 the battery in our car gave out.  But thanks to a helpful neighbor (who will be  getting a 6 pack of MGD), we got a boost and then hubby and I made it to the Country Store just a few minutes late.  DH then went and bought a new battery. It seems  even the inside dash lights are brighter now.

Speaking of bright lights (big city), Bonnie, one of my fellow members of the AZPCGuild, made a swirled lentil bead from my head dress cane that we had swapped a couple of weeks ago.  She does an awesome job of swirled lentils...I gave that up, lol.
You can see the gradation of colors that I used and part of what I call the window pane cane.  I don't know if that is a real name, but that's what I call it.  It is the part that's sort of squarish (in the original head dress cane) and is one of the three options that I put in the cane between the 'swirls' part.  One was the window pane, the other was a checkerboard and one other was a graduated spiral cane that I cannot name.  All I know is how to make it.  I like doing taxonomy, but since there is no taxonomic key for polymer clay canes, I will just have to think of a name in future. Playing name games.

And what's in a name anyway? Earlier this week, we spent some time with my California Cousins...I only get to see them once a year, but this year is different. We usually see them when we visit Arizona and they bring their gorgeous motor home and park it a few miles from here.  We schedule a few get togethers to play 'games' or trivia or dominoes, the usual.  Later  on this spring, after we return nome, they will be travelling up to Canada where her dad will be inducted into our province's Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was a pitcher in the minor and semi-pro leagues back in the late forties and early fifties. The entire clan will attend the dinner and  induction ceremony and the next day we'll go to  a  Baseball Game and my cousins (and their father who'll be honored posthumously) will be out in Center Field. That day the Goldeyes will be playing..sound a little fishy?  The Goldeyes is the team name.  It's named for a favorite fish that thrives in our local waters. 

And just to make things more convoluted, just the other day I completed binding a book with a gold fish on the cover. (Well actually, it's kinda orangey.. How Koi!!!!)
I drew a picture of a fish and then used the crackle technique.  It wasn't an entirely new technique for me, but just a revisitation of something I've been working with.  It's kind of a bird's eye view of the fish and I am not quite sure if that's discernable in the photo.  The book  has watercolor paper in the interior, and like almost all my books is bound using the coptic binding technique.  It measures about 4 1/2 inches wide and is just over 4 inches in height, which seems rather small for a book, but I find this is about the biggest I can make the sheets of clay without having to worry about any slumping.  I did use Kato Polyclay for the covers and find that it is quite sturdy and doesn't have the 'bendiness' of some of the other types of clay after it's finished baking.

Like all my other books, it takes no time to read, lol.  But if a person desires, it can be filled with lots of interesting stuff.