MECO Show and Sale

MECO Show and Sale
2016 Show & Sale will be the Saturday 14th May 2016 held at the Peachland Community Centre in Peachland BC. contact person Barb Janes-Yeo at 250-757-2842

Sunday, 7 April 2013

And then it Rained

April showers are upon us now. Personally, I don't mind the rain, I have no issues with jumping on my bike and pedaling through it, as long it is not so cold as to freeze my hands, nor  so windy as to push me into the ditch. It is funny, though, how others around get upset at the rain, treating it like the enemy that will cause them to melt if  falling water dares touch them , much like the witch in Wizard of Oz

Totally Melting and Chewing the Scenery

What a world, right? Had I been the witch in that castle and water was something that could harm me physically, I think I wouldn't keep random glasses of it around - but that is just me. 

Others, though, think of rain with reverence. Last year, during unprecedented rain storms in the area  and before it was cycling season,  I rode the bus one day with a lovely lady from Belarus, who told me a story of her childhood days, the memories of the rain in the area, going out to pick mushrooms, bringing them back to her mother's house, and  hanging the mushrooms from the rafters to dry. She spoke with much fondness of those memories, remembering the smells, the sounds, the anticipation of those days now long past, summing up the story with a much heart-felt declaration of love for the rain. Of course, as a miniaturist, I look for inspirations where ever I go - she gave such a vivid account, I had a very definite image in my mind of her memory, and  I have a shadow box ear-marked for that memory one day.  

This week  has been a little hectic, what with shenanigans involving naughty computers,  computer techs who are now avoiding me, technical difficulties all my own and - to top it all off - I managed to miss Dr. Who because the sneaks who schedule such things put it on an hour earlier than I was expecting - so in other words, a regular week. Happily, one of those was issues has since been remedied i.e. I got my DW fix after all, and that is pretty much all that mattered.

Work continues in my quest for the Washtub Cottage. This week I built a small Medieval chair. 

Medieval Chair

Front View

I am really quite impressed with this pattern. The carved look of the back was achieved by cutting out  an "M" shape with diamond accents (diamonds, of course, being a girl's best friend) and then gluing that to the chair back. The back and the seat were cut out as one piece. The arms were interesting, in that the were cut out as a rectangle, but in the very centre, a hole was punched. The rectangle was folded in half, and voila, perfectly centered curved legs. It is so simple it is brilliant. Of course, the real brilliance in these pieces is the paint job, that will make or break a piece, but that is always the way. 

I decided also this week to give my hand to the feathered tree that Joanne Swanson  showcased on her site. 

From Joanne Swansons Blog
 It is made with chenille, matboard, glue, and a lot of swearing. 

I started out on the pattern with cutting the tiny bits of Chenille. I honestly believe Canada gets different Chenille than is available elsewhere in the world, because it doesn't seem to behave as well as others claim. Mine, of course, is just from a package of cheap stuff that I got at the craft store. 

Matboard prepared and Chenille Cut
 The original pattern suggested a circle of matboard be cut for the base, and where as that looks rather pretty, I made my base a square, because 1. my new circle cutter doesn't quite go down below 1 inch circles, and 2. it is easier to cut a square than it is a circle. Note I have found my centre point of the square by the time honoured method of drawing from corner to corner and catching the middle in the cross hairs. I dug out a little pit in the middle, in which the Chenille would be glued. 

Chenille in the Base
 The next step was to cut the little branches out of Chenille. I "guestimated", because it was a little hard to actually exactly measure. This is the pile of carnage I was left with after I cut down my Chenille

Little Chenille Cuts
 I kept my piles separate, as it was difficult to tell if there was an actual size difference - literally sixteenths of an inch in difference. So, we must organize to stay sane
The Tree being Put Together

 Interestingly, it is rather difficult to photograph what is essentially tinfoil on a stick, even on a "no flash" setting.  This was a tricky part - well, really, the major part - of the construction. It was suggested to use an Cyanoacrylate-based  glue (the so-called "Krazy Glue", famous for sticking a poor construction worker to a girder via his helmet - no one ever mentioned if they got the poor sod down, so I imagine he is still hanging around, calling for help), and a white tacky glue. The reasoning is that if you put your tacky glue on the stem and add a little "Krazy Glue", the latter will hold just long enough for the former to make a more lasting bond. That is the theory, anyway. I did a lot of juggling to stop myself from becoming too attached to the situation, either way.

My suggestion in working with a cyanoacrylate would be to a) have plenty of ventilation so you don't go froot-loopy on the fumes, b) have a release agent (generally acetone ... nail polish remover) to save yourself from whoopsies, and c) if you do happen to glue yourself to something or yourself, never pull the stuck surfaces apart - this type of glue is best on porous surfaces, and will bond most happily to skin without any regards to your feelings on the matter whatsoever. If you try to pull glued fingers apart, you will take your skin with it. For the love of Benji, if you get in a real sticky situation where you have glued yourself to something you can't solve (or dissolve) with the acetone, go see a doctor for help. Just a friendly motherhood reminder that just because they sell it to you without a license doesn't mean it is 100% safe. 

Florist Stems
  You might remember the above from my botched attempt at a flower a few weeks ago. These are going to be - or were intended to be - Easter eggs for the tree. I am not sure who decided that Easter needed its own tree, but that is marketing for you. 

Egg Painting

 Since my stamens were white, I needed them to be something less eggy and more colourful. I believe the original pattern called for pearlized stamen tips, but any port in the storm, or possibly Chablis. 

Egg Onna Stick
 Okay, you know that I will find any excuse to to use glitter, but this was one of the better ones.  In general, these were supposed to be glued to small rings of buttonhole thread, but again, I don't have any. I cut the little eggs from the stem, and proceeded to glue them to the tree. 

 Okay, once again, I have to say, wasn't really feeling it. You can see the blobs of glue, and the eggs look more like mushrooms. I am I ripped off the mushroom-eggs off again. 

Peddlar's Stall, now with roof!
 As it was time to regroup, I decided to get my Peddlar's Stall going again. I printed a pattern from Jennifer's Printables, who has a wide selection of free printie papers for all sorts of projects. I chose a striped paper for my canvas. I wish I would have gotten the stripes going the other way, now looking at it, but it isn't too bad. To hide all the seams, I added some charming lace that I had in my stash
Side of Stall

 Still, the stripes match the sides, which it wouldn't have if I had the stripes going the other way. I tried to do a soft varnish over the paper (which I had previously sprayed with a matte fixative), to give it a more canvas-sy look, but unless you have a better printer than I do that affixes the ink to the paper, I wouldn't try it again - things got a little runny at the end. It did give kind of a worn look to it, I suppose, so it would fit in to the feel of it all. Yes, that is it, it must have been on purpose. Aren't I clever...oh yes...wait, is that a look? Stop giving me that look! Oh...okay fine, yes, really, next time, I will spray it with a varnish instead, which will prevent the "runs" as it were

Reworked Tree
 Well, I gave my tree the once over again. Still not feeling it. What I did in the end was glob glue at the ends of the branches, and glitter them (glitter hides all). I do like the look I got, but looking at this tree close up ... it just isn't pretty, too many glue blobs from where I had the joins between bough and trunk. What I think I may do is rework this for a Christmas project, add some camouflage to salvage it. One must never be afraid to try something new, though, and perhaps I will give this another shot on a day where I am not quite as clutzy with the glue. 

So, that is it for another week. Hopefully the rain brings with it lovely flowers, and will remind those who would lament the presence of the rain that it is necessary to bring the world to life

In closing, here is a short video on how to make a basket of bellflowers. They are quilled, but they seem interesting. If you have access to quilling paper, etc., this might be a fast little filler flower idea for your garden, or other. 

 And finally, a poem...


I fell in love –
Taken by the innocence of
Child-face daffodils:

Their perky April fanfares –
Clarion calls from yellow-ochre brass bands
Presaging, rejoicing, calling us:

‘Here we are! Here we are! ’

We will meet, once again, dear friends, in one week's time...take care!


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