Monday, March 29, 2010

What Color is Heaven

If you are looking for Play Date Cafe entry, please scroll down.
I have skipped church a lot lately. I got sick and couldn't go, then got used to being lazy on Sunday mornings, and felt I still couldn't go. But, I love my church and so I was always torn between my natural laziness and the happiness I feel when I go.

Last Sunday I went to an International Palm Sunday service in which around a dozen nationalities were represented. The Marshalese, Samoans, Chinese, Portuguese, and Navajo performed, and each song was so uplifting.

We seem to take for granted how our particular culture or religion expresses itself, and at first the ways of others may seem odd. For instance, the Marshalese sang and danced from a sitting position imitating the motions made when rowing a boat. They smiled rowed, slapped their chests and thighs, and had a general good time. A Navajo woman dressed in traditional garb used Native American sign language to "The Lord's Prayer." I came to tears several times during the service because of the joy that was expressed by each group, and by just looking around at the beautiful native costumes worn by many scattered throughout the congregation. There were several African women, but all wore different types of dress identifying them as from this area or that. The Island people broke their palms and wore them in their hair. A couple of young women floated down the aisles in their gauzy saris.

Sometimes people wonder why they would believe that there was something special about the life of a carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago. That's just it! After 2,000 years, not only SOME people believe, but people from nations and languages around the world.

I have to watch myself that serving God doesn't just become ceremony. But these people, especially the ones who come from war torn or impoverished countries, throw ceremony right out of the window. No quiet, reverend head bowing for them. Like we yell and cheer for our sports heroes and celebrities, they yell, cheer and sing at the top of their lungs for their savior.

I poured some of my beads into a jar and noticed how pretty the layers were. I even took a picture as you see above. Once the beads were mixed up, they didn't look as interesting or even as pretty. I love these different cultures and although some people wish they would just mix in and become "American", I think they should be poured in like the beads, but keep their identities a little separate from the norm--a layer upon another layer--so rich and interesting!

The Tree of Life from I Got Wired

Hello! If you are looking for the Play Date Cafe entry please scroll down.
A few weeks ago I won a beautiful Tree of Life necklace from the I Got Wired blog written by Cindy Gutierrez. She is very talented, and my pendant is gorgeous! She also makes it in copper wire. I couldn't decide which one I wanted, but upon seeing the sparkly silver and amethyst beads, I couldn't be happier. You should go to her blog right now and load up on these for Christmas. She is not asking much and if you could make someone else as happy as I am right now....well.....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Play Date Cafe: Grey, sky blue and magenta

Just taking time from my mask and crown obsession to play with the gals at Play Date Cafe! More melted crayons glitter and vintage ladies, Ladies.

Welcome to the Masquerade Called Life

I TOLD you I am obsessive compulsive, and perhaps I have a little ADD? I can't seem to focus on one type of craft, one genre, one medium, or even one craft supply outlet. Every new idea I see in the craft blogs out there in blogland, I feel I have to put my own spin on. I am stuck on masquerade masks right now (that would be about 3 days), but have decided that princess crowns would be fun.....
Above are some of my new masks. I'm going to put them on Etsy if you'd like to see more. I would like to arrange an Alice in Wonderland type tea party. Wouldn't these be fun for the guests to wear?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dollar Store Placemat Masks

I have been wondering what to do with all of the junque I have collected and stashed in my craft room. My obsessive compulsiveness sends me to the craft store every time I get a new idea, but I've determined to use up some of the stuff I've bought that is gathering dust. You know those plastic padded place mats that you can buy at Dollar Stores? Or that you have stashed away because you do not want to decorate your table with Sesame Street characters or Christmas joy? Well, I thought up this idea after seeing some pretty girls dressed up for a masquerade ball the other night in front of Trolley Square. Lizzie-Bee, my darling daughter-in-law, pointed out that one was busy throwing up her dinner, but all I could see were ribbons, feathers, and glitter. Above is a tutorial as to how to create a mask. I started out with a simple template, but I found some more complex ones online. I glued black and white paper to the padded side of the mask and decorated with bits n pieces, odds and ends from there. I even added a brooch I found at an estate sale. With more practice, I can begin to add more complex decorations like fringed trim, feathers, and sequins.............see ya' later....I'm off to the craft store again!  This post is shared with SNS

Monday, March 22, 2010

Market Yourself Monday

I've just joined Sumo's Market yourself Monday. Here are the melted crayon shapes I have been working on since being encouraged by bloggers and friends Kelly and Stacey (plus family).
I've already blogged about finding some of my silicon pans at Thrifttown, but found the little hearts in the most odd place and for cheap-cheap: Urban Outfitters! The large hearts are real tins from Abode. Cheap crayons were found 64 for 1.00 at Big Lots. Another weird factoid is that one of the light blue colors from this off-brand of crayons turns red when heated! You can purchase these cute reshaped, sturdy crayons on Etsy for use at any party. I think writing greetings and well-wishes on a paper tablecloth would be a fun activity and nice keepsake for any event! I take special and customized orders!
Also, I've got to share a laugh. I talked before about my rocker son. To his chagrin (and ESPECIALLY mine!)his band, Bird Eater, is often introduced as "the spawn of Satan." I am not Satan, despite the rumors! They have recently done work to help save homeless pets. A radio station did a spot about them, but called the band "Bird Feeder." That really makes me giggle since it definitely takes the hard edge right away from them. Imagine Ed Sullivan screwing up the names of the bands he introduced: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Beach Toys! Ladle of Filth! The Beagles! The Rolling Bones (hey! that kinda' fits!).
Another reason for misnaming the band might have bee because the DJ thought, "No way could animal lovers be called Bird Eater! Imagine...actually eating birds!?! Their name MUST be animal friendly! Bird Feeder is PERFECT!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Play Date Cafe Challenge of pinks and yellow

Here is my newest card for the Play Date Cafe weekly challenge. Again with the melted crayon background. I am really into melting crayons lately! This card is in honor of my favorite poem by Wordsworth. It makes me feel like I have just turned a bend and have stumbled upon a treasure trove of flowers, butterflies, and blue waters in the freshest spring breeze imaginable.
Thanks for the suggestions a few of you sent concerning my crayon melting supply dilemma. I stopped over at the local Thrift Town and guess what I found! A whole set of silicon pans. They are not in the shapes of bunnies or chicks, but I have thought of a way around this! I can't wait to try out the suggestions of going to a place called NPS Market Square, DI's and various Dollar Stores. I could spend all of my time collecting (which means buying, so I am limited) craft supplies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Investigative crafts

Crafting is really part imagination and part science. I am always getting new ideas to try out, and some of them work, and some of them work and are not practical, and some of them don't work at all.

Take, for instance, melting crayons into those very fun cupcake or muffin "tins" made of silicon: a rubber type substance that can withstand very high temps. The outcome is very cute. You can make new pink bunny crayons or a white and gold marbled snowflake crayons that would make adorable, durable gifts to fill Easter baskets or put in the center of a paper covered table at a party. The guests could write greetings and well-wishes to the guest(s) of honor. Too darn cute.

Here's where the trouble began in my investigation. Each of these silicon tins cost about $10.00. Kind of expensive and each tin of 6 wells only has a shape or two. You can usually only buy one holiday at a time because that's when the grocery stores (not craft stores around Utah) have them for sale. Also, the cost of crayons has gone WAY up. I found a box of 64 at one store for around 5 dollars and the same box at teacher's supply store for 7 dollars. There are many red, blue and green shades that you can throw in together for red heart or a blue bunny, but not many yellow or white crayons in the box. I wanted to make a yellow chick!!!!! I had to buy a four dollar box of 12 thick crayons and it only made about 3 chicks. Let's see, 3 chicks divided by 12 crayons at 4 dollars equals......AHRGGGG! And would you pay more than a dollar or two for a chick shaped crayon.? Somehow I think not. Heck with science, now we get into MATH!

The long and short of it is that I've spent about 3 or 4 days investigating the feasibility (do you like this big word) of this recycled crayon project and I pass the baton on to a more patient, less cheap soul than myself.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Play Date Cafe Lavender and Green Challenge

I have joined a group of ladies in the "Play Date Cafe." Their current color challenge is lavender and green. I also participated in their blog hop. What a bunch of amazingly talented gals. I love their blogs, ideas, and warmth. Above is my entry. The background of the card-more like post card-has been colored with melted crayon and glitter. The vintage image came from my files. I loved this technique so much that I made a dozen or more different cards in one sitting! I will probably post them in my FLICKR account also under Loosesparrow. Maybe I will sell a variety dozen on my etsy account. Just thinkin'.

My sweet hubby is finally going back to work this Wednesday. He has had a hard time taking it easy since he is a hard worker and very HYPER! Asking him to lie down or sit quietly during his recovery has been useless. He didn't go out to play in his new garage (like a good boy) but he PACED constantly! I like to rest, lie down, snooze, snore, faze out in front of the boob tube all the time....for no reason...even when I'm not sick, so I have a hard time understanding his energy. Let's face it....I'm jealous. If I had his energy I can only imagine what I would do--work 8 hours then take a walk or swim, teach more community classes, write a book, keep a cleaner house, sell my wares instead of piling them against every wall in the house. The possibilities are endless!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Comment in the form of a question, please.

My poor, darling husband has his nose operated on today. Shortly after we met as teenagers, he broke his nose working on his car (he thinks it will make him look dumb if I tell you that he was pulling his steering wheel). He's had trouble with it since, but just now got around to getting it fixed. Nothing like surgery to make you think about how much you care about someone.

He does have at least one fault, though. He comments in the form of questions, and questions I don't know the answers to. "Doesn't that car run on 6 cylinders?" "How much are waterheaters at Sears?" "Wasn't that guy we just saw a vagrant at one time?" I usually shrug my shoulders but I am really thinking in a shrill irritated voice, "Heck if I know!!!!"

I have told him he should begin these questions he knows I can't answer with "I wonder if....?" Then I wouldn't feel so pressured to come up with an answer to his strange inquiries.

But after today, a full day of worrying and watching over my miserable honey, I can bring myself to just hum the tune of the tone of voice we use when we say "I don't know," without thinking bad words in Spanish at the same time, or punching him in his newly reconstructed nose.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How do you pronounce "Crayons"?

I love playing with language and realized lately that people say the word "crayons" differently depending on where they are from. "Crans" was almost as popular as my pronunciation "cray-ons". You can try this with words like "garage," "mountains," "ignorant," even "caught vs. cot."

Might have something to do with a "Utah or Mormonese accent." of the schools I worked for had a little griddle type apparatus used to melt crayons on paper. The kids loved it and I always wished I had time to play with it, too. So, I invented my own version. (I am always re-inventing the wheel, so this is probably a well-known invention to everyone but me) I covered an electric pancake griddle with tin foil and set the thing on low. Then, placing my paper on the surface, I began to draw with my cran, I mean crayon. At first, it was hit and miss. I was able to make patterns and simple shapes. With practice, I was able to actually draw. Sometimes I added outline with marker or sprinkled glitter as an accent. Elmers' chunky glitter glue is fabulous fun! The finished product needs to be sealed with modpodge, especially if you use a greasier crayon like oil pastels.

There is something so soothing about the feeling of the melting crayon...much like popping bubble wrap.