Friday, November 30, 2012

In the Studio

I am back in my studio this week but this time I am working on a costume for the Reno Santa Pub Crawl. This year they expect to have about 7000 (yes, seven thousand) Santa’s roaming the downtown Reno area.  I will be one of them!
I love to sew and when I sew, since I am a punk rocker at heart, I often sew to really loud music.  My guy laughs when he hears me sewing to Nine Inch Nails or Rise Against. Sewing is a completely different outlet for me than sculpting. When I am sculpting I tend to listen to more melodic music, Telesma and Wendy Rule top that list, but when the sewing machine is running, fast passed, loud, guttural music just makes me happy.
 I have a Santa Suit, it’s cute but this year I needed to step it up so I am making a cute little camisole to go under the jacket. Dancing in a full Santa suit gets hot, this way I can take the jacket off and still be “in costume”.
Here is the Santa suit I currently have – this was a couple of years ago and it was lots of fun!

Here is the pattern I am using to make the shirt

This is my Scarlett O’Hara curtain shirt to test for size – I didn’t use curtains to make it, I used left over fabric from the curtains I made for my kitchen J so it is kind of a curtain shirt.

Here are the trimmings. The shirt matches the suit and will have the same white furry trim. Additionally it will have a black leatherette belt with that cool diamond shaped button in the center instead of a buckle.
 I hope to have it done this weekend so I can make any changes that need to be made before the 15th.
I'll post pictures of the final shirt once it is finished.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Bewitching Home Blog Party - Winter Redux

I just signed up for the Bewitching Home Blog Party - Winter Redux being hosted by The Witch of Howling Creek. This is a lovely winter Blog Party focusing on domestic witchery in all its glory.

I was admittedly a total slacker for the fall version of this and I will be making up for that this time! Check back on February 2, 2013 for a view of some of the simple witchery that enriches my life.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  I had 2 of my kiddos home for the holiday along with my good friend and her family. We’ve been spending Thanksgiving together for about 10 years now and it is one of my favorite days.

This year I felt so much more prepared. After the whirlwind of my October I decided that I was not going to let the holidays and the traditions that matter to me slide by again. So I decorated my house, made pumpkin bread and whole cranberry sauce, even a crust-less pumpkin pie (it is much better than it sounds!) and most of all I enjoyed the holiday with my family and friends. It was awesome!
Today I am packing up the autumn decorations and starting to decorate for Yule.  Next up… the search for the perfect Yule tree. Check back soon for some pictures of my tree cutting adventure.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In the Studio Update: One Down, One to Go

Much progress has been made this week! Here are a couple of pictures of my Woodland Elf

I have a couple of tiny details to add and he is complete!

Next up: Woodland Fairy.
Stay tuned for more pictures!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful Journey

I have seen a lot of people writing about things they are thankful for. Each day they list something and will do so for the entire month of November. I like the idea, I think it is nice to recognize things to be thankful for rather than focus on things you want.

While I am not able to post daily, I'd like to post a couple of things that I am thankful for:

The Goddess - my spiritual journey has been tied to the Goddess for as long as I can remember. I find strength through the path that I have chosen and know that it is the right one for me.

My family - without their support and love I would not be able to be the person that I am nor would I be willing to stretch my creativity in the many ways that I have. They watch me as I grow as an artist, as an athlete, as a friend and more they engage in what I do. My boyfriend and children often come in to the studio to see "What strange thing Mom is working on"; they share their ideas and let me bounce ideas off of them. They support me as I create, as I explore, as I try and especially when I fail.

My friends - wow, where do I start? I have the most amazing friends. A while back I went through some pretty dramatic, life altering things and when I came out the other side of that dark time the friends that were standing with me were the best there are, full of love and strength, supporting me when I need them and leaning on me when needed. The people I count as friends are amazing. While they may not always understand or even approve of something that I do they will be there to support me or tell me I am a dumb ass, but they don't judge, they don't lie and they don't talk about each other or me. They tell it to me straight, they laugh, they love and they create. I am stronger for having them as my friends and my life is so much richer because they are in it!

Lastly, right now, I am so thankful for my art, my ability to create and share some of the things inside my head. I am thankful that I have the ability to create and the time, energy and space to delve into the many mediums that I work in.

To my family and friends, to the Goddess and creativity, thank you! My life would be empty without you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In the Studio - Progress

This weekend I managed to get quite a bit done on the two pieces I am working on for the Arts Festival. They need to be costumed and ready to go by next Sunday.
The bodies are made from aluminum wire. To simulate bones I tape wooden dowels to the wire in the position of the upper and lower leg and the upper arm. This keeps them from bending at weird angles.  Once the “bones” are on I then wrap the bodies with strips of wool batting to flesh them out and add the “muscles”. The final phase of the body work is to add a body suit skin. This is my least favorite step but it really holds the muscles in place and allows you to add more padding to the bottom and breast as needed.

Here they are with the armatures in place. As you can see the fairy has an added area of clay on her back. This back piece will support her wings which will be removable for shipping and storage.

Here are some of the hands that I created. I always make a bunch and then match them up as necessary, usually I end up with 2 amazing left hands so then I go back and sculpt a couple more right hands. Eventually I end up with a pair that works. For feet I generally sculpt boots or shoes and cover them with decorative fabric or thin leather.

As I stated previously, the heads have been complete for a while. Here they are with bodies, bones and muscles – finally. Let me tell you, they were both VERY happy to be able to stand on their own feet!

So here is where I am now. I need to flesh out the fairy a bit more and then I have one more body stocking to sew in place. Next step is hair and costumes! Yippee!
I’ll post more progress pictures as I can.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In the Studio

This weekend I am finishing an elf and a woodland fairy for the Gray Eagle Fine Arts Festival. My polymer clay group has a booth there (this is the first time polymer clay will be featured at this juried show) and I really would like to have a couple of finished pieces in it!
I have the heads sculpted, they have been done for over a year, in fact I am pretty sure I have posted pictures of them here before, and this weekend I hope to finish them.
My elf is a sweet little guy with a freckled face and a strong jaw. He’ll be sporting a jingle belled hat and wearing earthy themed clothes, I have some crushed green velvet type material but he scoffed at it!
The woodland fairy is a companion to him. She is a feisty little thing with deep green eyes and a hint of a smile. She also scoffed at the velvet. We’ll see what she thinks as I dress her. She will be getting a wreath headdress full of berries and ribbons and filmy wings to match - maybe.

Here are some of the supplies I have laid out. Today I’ll be sculpting hands and feet and fleshing out their bodies. These sculptures have soft bodies which cover a poseable wire armature and the I hand sculpt the head, hands and feet. Their costumes are designed and made by me as well. These are truly one of a kind! I have only parted with a couple of my pieces. For a while it was because they just were not good enough to give away, seriously, only a mother could love my earlier work, but I have since given or traded a few but always with someone I feel confident will care for them well.
When you put your heart into a figure, something that you have breathed life into from a simple block of clay, you really want their new family to love them as much as you do. As I venture into the market of selling my work I realize that this may not always be the case. With this show, I may just have to put a steep price tag on these little guys until I am ready to take that chance…
I’ll let you know how it goes and post some progress pictures along the way

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fitness Update

St. Pete's Beach Florida

When I get stressed, overly tired or out-of-sorts, I think of the beach and last month I spent a lot of time thinking about sandy shores and clear blue water. Even though the Fitness Challenge has been cancelled, I am working hard to get healthy and fit. After coming to the realization last month that my diet is directly related to how I function on a day to day basis I have tried to step it up when it comes to my health.

Until recently I was half-assing it with the healthy habits. I do work out 3 - 4 times per week and I was mostly eating healthy but I wasn't balanced. Since I am hypoglycemic that is not good enough. This has been brought home to me in a rather irritating way. If I eat in unhealthy ways, if I skip a nutritious breakfast or if I load up on junk or fast food, my ability to think dwindles and my ability to create - gone! Nothing like the Goddess to give me a swift kick and tell me to get it together or be a scatterbrained, uninspired, nut - hmmmm, I think I'll eat better!

I've lived with hypoglycemia for most of my adult life. I never had too many problems, if I forget to eat I end up in lala land but since my family recognizes the signs they usually remind me to eat(I have been informed that I am very much like the "Horseless Headman" in the Snickers candy commercial - when I don't eat). Unfortunately, making sure I eat is no longer enough, now I have to eat things that are good for me! Fortunately, there are a lot of good, tasty foods that are also healthy.

So, with that wake up call still ringing in my head I have cut my diet Coke consumption to 1 a day and am slowly weaning myself off of it. I no longer eat artificial sweetener and water has become my friend.

This lifestyle change isn't easy. Sometimes I would really rather have fast food but it just isn't worth it. I refuse to spend the rest of my life, how ever long or short it will be, in a daze because I chose not to eat healthy.

So there is my health rant/update for the week.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Zombies In Storybook Land Swap

Here is the doll I created for the Zombies in Storybook Land swap. My partner liked Little Red Riding Hood, among others, and since I immediately thought of Red carrying a basket full of wolf parts I HAD to make her.

And here is a close-up of her basket
I had such a great time with this project. Such, gruesome fun!
This swap has definitely inspired me to make more Storybook themed zombies. The next one will be little Bo Peep and her Zombie sheep.
I'll post pictures once I get her started - which I anticipate to be sometime after the holiday season.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Yarni Gras! Annual Ornament Swap

One of the things I was able to accomplish this weekend was to complete the ornaments for Yarni Gras! Annual Ornament Swap. Here is the glitter Santa ornament I made. These ornaments are stunning in person. They are a deep rich red and they shimmer in the light. They are fairly simple (though messy) to make. What you'll need:

·         Red ink - I used Stampin' Up!'s Real Red re-inker
·         Fine cut iridescent glitter (I used Stampin' Up!'s Dazzling Diamonds)
·         Flat Christmas Ornament (available at most craft and Hobby stores)
·         Black grosgrain ribbon
·         Glitter paper
·         Rubber Gloves
·         Funnel
·         Tiny cups (to drain excess ink and glitter into)
1) Carefully remove silver ornament cap and set aside.
2) Pour approximately 20 - 25 drops of ink into the ornament.
3) Slowly rotate ornament to coat inside with ink. Do not shake.
4) Once inside is completely coated, drain excess ink into small paper cup.
5) Place funnel into the ornament top then pour some glitter into the ornament.
6) Cover top of ornament with gloved finger and shake to coat inside of ornament with glitter
7) Dump excess glitter into another small cup
8) Let dry and then put cap back on the ornament.
9) Glue black grosgrain ribbon around center or ornament.
10) Cut buckle shape from glitter cardstock and glue onto ribbon
11) Tie bow around ornament cap
12) Enjoy
If you are making several of these you can re-use the excess ink and glitter. Just keep pouring it into the same cups until you have enough to use.

Of course every Santa needs his reindeer so I also made a silly candy cane reindeer to go with each Santa. I have great memories of making these deer out of real candy canes with my kids when they were young and when I saw these plastic candy canes I had to get them!
If you haven't checked out Yarni Gras! blog yet you really should. She hosts some fantastic swaps.

An Entire Month has Gone by Since I Last Posted!

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Wow! I didn't realize that the month of October could be so busy, and not necessarily in a good way. I had planned on having a nice, relaxing month, really focus on the holiday, my favorite holiday! Unfortunately that just didn't happen.

What this past month has made me realize is that I need to stop the madness and focus on what is really important. My family, my friends, my art, this blog, you know, the things that make me happy.

I am sad that I missed two blog parties that I joined. I will be posting some of the things I had created for them later on this month.

I missed reading about what everyone is doing. This week is the first time I have truly been in my studio and working since September. I have had starts and stops, some great ideas but I have been too scattered to actually focus on anything until this weekend.

Once of the good things to come out of this month - I realized that there is a direct correlation to my diet (the food I eat, not a weight loss plan) and how I function on a day to day basis - yeah, I know - DUH! Anyway, the healthier the food I eat and the more balanced a diet I get; the better I am able to think and create.

So I am back and it feels really good to be here! I  hope to catch up with everyone this month.