Not My Work

This wasn’t something that I did but I’m wicked proud of it. My daughter has never sculpted in her life but asked if I could pick up a chunk of clay for her.

She sat on the couch with a pointy toothpick for a tool and made this nearly perfect little miniature head.

She’s working on a bust for it now.

I finished the back of the POGU and assembled some of the polymer bracelets with elastic.

Playing With My Buttons Today

That almost sounds dirty. Obviously I meant it literally.

I’m not really one to do the country theme or anything really close to it but it sort of lent itself to a heart.  I’m going to play with the colours a little but I was going for an analogous theme with the yellow, green, blue combination.

I’m trying to tone down the perfectionist nonsense and stop worrying about that lone little green button on the top right.  It’s a glaring little dot to me.  Damn little dot.

This is probably one of my favourite colour combinations found in nature.  Blue flowers with a few yellow ones and a lot of green to balance it all out.

Ode To Chelly’s Cookie Wall

One of my cake students has this well established cookie business and set aside a whole portion of her kitchen for it. One of the things that she had was this bulletin board for all of her cookie cutters. One of my personal failings is that I really like to see the stuff available to me. I mean, I hate drawers, cupboard doors, all of that stuff. I used to fantasize about my rooms lined with bookshelves with everything within plain sight. I know, I have to live with me.

Anyway, I run the risk of buying a lot of duplicates when they’re hidden away in a drawer because I honestly forget what I’ve got (more than one person has made the observation that babies forget what they can’t see too).

I spent the better part of the day putting this up and it was a lot fussier than it should have been (this is where I confess that I actually started it a couple of weeks ago and stalled when it didn’t go according to plan).  Doesn’t matter, I came back to it and finished.

It took me approximately two days before I couldn’t resist using them and made cookies.

Goofing Around

There are two things in my life that I would dearly love to be able to do with skill and precision and flair (I’ll settle for two out of three on anything else): I want to juggle and I want to fold origami.  I can do neither except in their simplest forms.

Meag bought me a book on origami for Christmas. I have at least six books on origami. Still can’t do it.  Some in this book were possible though.  Like this breakfast.

I Played The Piano Today

And it was awesome in the truest sense of the word. I cleaned it off yesterday because I knew that if I did there would be no way that I could resist it for long.  When I worked at the Conservatory, I used to take piano lessons with Eric Lussier. I love him fiercely and miss him like I would miss my foot.  He is a truly talented harpsichordist but he is a gifted teacher: that he got me to possibly maybe entertain the notion that somewhere deep down there was a chance that I might actually be talented (I said that last word in a whisper) speaks testament to that gift.

I started off doing what he used to call finger yoga, a series of stretches for my hands that I feel all the way up to my elbows. Follow that with a sort of stretching speed drill for each of my ten little fingers and my hands feel like they’re about to fall off. (I love my hands and have actually written poetry about the strength in my fingers but these stretches totally kick my ass).

I didn’t play much, just a couple of little exercises but I think I only ever played one of them before.  This is significant because I have a long history of memorizing music for short term rather than actually reading the music.

This was good.  I avoided the memorization trap and was actually active in the reading.  I was still trying to play it about twice as fast as I needed to but it didn’t sound half bad and I also managed to stay fairly close to tempo even when I made a mistake. I really must do this again.

Nothing New But I’m Still Proud of It

This is a lamp that I made a couple of years ago in a stained glass class.What you don’t know is that the lamp is not the prominent part of this picture.  Yes, I love the lamp and actually spent most of the evening that I brought it home sitting on my kitchen floor admiring it lighting up my stove (remember, floor sitter from way back).

And no, it’s not the little purple shuffle sitting forlornly on the edge of frame.  It’s not even the dusty mess of incense ash that has been there much longer than I care to admit.

What you are supposed to be admiring is that slim and sexy little chain hanging right about dead centre of the shot.  The reason that the chain is just so awesome is because earlier in the day this lamp did not work at all.  I actually hauled my ass to the hardware store, plunked down my $6 for a new socket and switched them out.  What put it over the top cool (for me) was the change from a slide through socket to a chain pull.  I have an unreasonable fondness for lights that go on and off by chain.

I mixed and matched the socket pieces as well. I used the cardboard liner from the new one because the lead screws weren’t in the same place and I needed to make sure that they were covered. (I once spent an entire winter with bare wires on my bedroom floor because Meag dropped my air conditioner out the window and the drop pulled the cord out.  It never occurred to me to check that she had unplugged it from the wall.  She hadn’t.  I go barefoot a lot.  It was a little chilling to think about how that could have played out and, because of that, I’m a little fussy about electricity.).

I used the outer sleeve from the old socket because it matched the finish on the lamp.  I am so smart ;D

My Work”space”

It’s sort of a running joke for people that have seen my desk (those rare times when I’ve had a job that afforded me my own desk). It just seems that the busier I am, the smaller my actual space becomes. I do have that usual cluttered defense though in that I am very aware of the geography of my desk and can usually put my hands on whatever I might need within seconds.

In this case, the lack of actual surface area is offset by the fact that the sugar paste flowers that I’m working on are usually less than an inch across so don’t really take up that much space.  I’ll post some of the detail pictures of those over the next couple of days maybe.

I had a lot of fun getting lost in it though.  I’d forgotten how much I like working with finicky stuff.  The little tiny details… yummy.

Calla Cakes

I’m helping one of my students with a wedding cake. She’s make the cakes for each of her children and this is the last grandchild that she will have to make a cake for The problem being that she had surgery on her hands and, as she puts it, they “completely forget how to do this”.

So originally it was a wedding for about 30 people and the bride “didn’t care” what the cake looked like. We were just going to sit together and do the sugar paste flowers for the cake.

Now it’s a wedding for 300 and the bride wants calla lilies and the colour aubergine. Nancy’s hands are still really weak from the surgery and she figures that she’ll be able to cover the cakes with fondant and not much more.

Personally, I think she’s nuts (not that I don’t plan on making Meag’s wedding cake if she’ll let me).  She’s going to have a lot of cake to cover and I’m not 100% certain that she’s up to it  I think I’m going to look for an aubergine ribbon for her to use as a shortcut  .  Yay, I get to play with ribbon!  I’m also going to make a few callas in advance that she can hang on to should she like them.  I’m more intrigued by the different shades that these flowers come in.  I mean, isn’t that gorgeous?

Post Office Park

That’s not the real name of course. I went walking down the street with the grand old houses heading down toward the river walk. It’s been mucky for days so I was pretty sure that my chucks weren’t up to the slippery slopes by the river (and I sure didn’t want to take a bath in the Red).

Apparently this was the site of one of the grand old post offices (as in keeping with the grand old neighbourhood I’m guessing). They tore it down at some point to build the big one downtown with the awesomely complicated conveyor system that you can see moving sometimes. Thousands of mail sacks dangling (please don’t read that line out loud).

I’d actually like to recreate some of this using fusible interfacing and a range of greyscale batiks.  A little more on the detailed side with the fabric rather than picking it up with thread painting or surface treatments (although I reeeaalllly like surface treatments).  I could even try a little trapunto if I was so inclined.  Who knows?

There are more pictures of this little adventure.