Friday, June 5, 2009

A bit of This and That

We are back from the lake where we attended the annual Couch family reunion. DH Joe has three sisters and two brothers. I have one sister who has homes in Idaho and Iowa. A very long way from Oklahoma. We see each other very rarely but Joe's delightful siblings have more than filled the gap. All three sisters, Patsy, Barb and Judy, are unique and a ball to spend time with. The brothers, Jerry and Joe are equally friendly and good natured. (Yes, my husband Joe has a brother named Joe, but that's another post.)

In my last post, I was making polymer clay covered pens. I made more pens and took them to the reunion for the sisters and sisters-in-laws.
The next pen I made was a very different style. The barrel color was deeper and more subtle. It just cried for a simple five petal flower. Eager to try a new leaf cane, I created a subtle, shaded leaf. This pen quickly became a favorite.

The next two are completely different. Both started with a skinner blend, one bright and one delicate in coloring. It soon became evident that fancy roses and leaves were not going to go well on this brightly colored pen. Another cane was necessary. For a long time I've wanted to do the black and white stripes and that strong pattern would show up better on the bright colors.

Tiny hearts and twisty black and white threads and pin wheels decorated the bright blend pen.

The delicate pen called for even another cane, a blended bullseye from left over skinner blend, wrapped in black and white stripes. In addition to the bulls eyes, the simple flower fit into the design beautifully.

The results were ooohhhed and ahhhhhed over by the sisters as they got to choose their pens.

After returning home, we once again hit the remodel house hard and heavy, working daily to finish the job. Since we will be moving, I am cleaning out my studio to down size it a bit and prepare for the move.

I ran across an old photograph album from the mid 80's with photos of many of the miniatures that I made using fimo.This one is a picture of a real penny. Yes, an actual US penny. In front of the penny are two tiny bears that I made for doll houses. Note the millefiori patterns in the tiny bears. The one on the left is a quilt pattern, you can still see the tiny swirls in the block with the roses in it. The bear on the right has a printed "fabric" with tiny teddy faces with red bows. Even at that amount of reduction, the fimo details are clear.

During the late evenings at the lake, when everyone is tired out and headed to bed, there is always an opportunity to play with clay. This trip was no different. This fall I plan to teach sculpting flowers. The first choice was an orchid. I am not happy with the too dark color of purple, but other than that, they turned out OK.

My grandparents were early settlers in Miami, Florida. My grandmother loved orchids and, over the decades, built up a wonderful orchid collection. Some of them took thirty years to grow from seeds before they bloomed. Whenever there was an orchid blooming, she would bring them into the dining room and hang them from the chandelier over the table. I've eaten many a meal with a most fantastic spray of brilliantly colored orchids embellishing the table. When she was in her 80's she sold her home and donated the collection to a museum.

The project will teach the basics of flower construction. These orchids are 'growing' on an old piece of wood and will make nice pendants or pens. The bright throats are colored using oil pencils.