Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pigs on Parade

A little more than a month ago I celebrated my Blogoversary and posted a challenge of sorts involving some papier mache pigs that I had found while attempting to clean up my craft room.  I offered the pigs to those who would like to have one to decorate with the following stipulations:  1) they had to have them done by March 31st, and 2) they had to send me a picture or post it on their blog so I could share it.  I was thrilled to have 7 requests from far and wide - Sabrina in Ireland and Sunshine in New Zealand, Clare in California and Michelle in  Colorado, Lauri in Connecticut and Dawn in North Carolina, and Dorrie a fellow "Jersey Girl".  (The participant's individual blog posts will be highlighted below.  Please visit them to see the details up close and personal.)

And of course I kept one for myself to decorate too.  

So without further ado, let's get the Parade going!  Get your seats in the Grandstand.

Leading the parade we have Dorrie's Pig.  Dorrie, like me, is from New Jersey and we are both in agreement that there is a lot of talent here in this small state.  You'll see what I mean.  Dorrie's Pig comes complete with her own carrying case and she is holding a little purse in her mouth.  Now I'm quite certain that since this is not a silk purse, it was not made out of a sow's ear, so the rest of our parade participants should not be afraid.   Don't you just love her little headpiece!

Dorrie's pig has a wonderful little traveling home also.  The flowers on top match her wings and headpiece, each one lovingly rolled and placed so perfectly.  (And if you look closely at the left side by the handle you can see a beautiful array of charms that are so meaningful to me!  A lighthouse, a jingle bell, a flying pig, a teapot, and a bird.)

The sides of her home each have a picture and some even have a pig-related quote.

The inside is a wonder also.  Look how snug and cozy she is.

Thank you Dorrie, for your wonderful entrant into our parade today.  She is stunning and I love her.

Next, coming all the way from the "Fringe of Heaven" is Shona, aka Sunshine's Miss Piggy.  To quote Sunshine:  "Here she is, all the way from Titirangi! It is called "The Fringe of Heaven" because I live high up on a ridge on the edge of the Waitakere Ranges. Titirangi is the highest point around & I can see both the East Coast & West Coast of NZ from up the road. I live on a very narrow part of NZ & am surrounded by beaches, which I love."

Miss Piggy has quite a pig persona.  She's a star with those golden locks and sunglasses.  

And, she has a curl in her tail to die for peaking out from that too too cute tutu!

What pig wouldn't love a cute button nose and golden hooves?  

Thank you for your cute and clever little Miss Piggy, Sunshine.  She has made me smile and giggle and is so much fun.  (I just may take you up on that visit someday!)

Coming up next, from the State of Colorado is a figment of Michelle's imagination, and what a wonderful imagination she has.  This little piggy is ready to Take Flight all right.  She is beaded and sparkled and full of whimsy and fun.

Michelle chronicled her process of trial and error in decorating this little pig.  She is not afraid to take chances and certainly is not afraid to fail.  But what I think is that we have learned here that we can benefit from our failures.  

Afterall, the flying pig is a symbol of persistence and boy, did this persistence in creativity pay off.  From the nose to the tail and those beautiful complimentary wings, this is a sparkly spectacular pig.

Thank you Michelle, for your creative perseverance.  I love the way you've "tethered" the pig.  She'll let your imagination FLY for sure.

Next we have another international entrant.  

Sabrina sends us Papillon all the way from Ireland.  I've never seen a more beautifully landscaped pig!

And..... she comes complete with a nose ring and those beautiful butterfly wings.  (I heard from a very reliable source that Sabrina gave up one of her very own gold earrings for that nose ring!)  

Each time I look at these pictures I see a new detail.  It's like finding a little treasure.  How sweet is the tiny butterfly on the necklace!  

I imagine a wonderful field of flowers with butterflies galore  when I look at this beautiful pig.  What amazing camouflage that would be.  I can only think that Sabrina got some of her inspiration from the beautiful scenery around her and the superb photographs that she takes and shares.  I am so lucky to have virtually visited so many beautiful places with her.

Thank you for adding your amazing pig to the parade Sabrina.  It was a small canvas to work with, but you did wonders with it with your breathtaking vista.  (And the eyes are gorgeous!)

Our next entrant comes from one of our southern states, North Carolina, and the very talented Dawn.  Dawn has a special place in her heart for pigs and didn't want to miss out on this parade.  

Having grown up on a pig farm, taking care of the pigs taught Dawn the meaning of hard work and determination.  You can see the fruits of Dawn's determination to get this pig prettied up for the parade today.  What a lovely "coat" of flowers she is wearing along with that precious bow.

Thank you Dawn, for sharing your creativity and hard work.  I'm thrilled to hear that you will be passing this on to someone who needs a lift in their spirits.  That means a lot to me.

Our pigs are flying in from coast to coast and this one is from the west coast.  Specifically, California.  

This is Clare's pig in a pink party hat and she is so precious.  She comes complete with rhinestones, and sequins, and flowers, and glittery wings to compliment the penwork.  Clare, who also has a blog dedicated to folding paper cranes and her 1000 paper crane project, I did not know you were a zentangler too!  

And I didn't miss those bluebirds under-hoove either.

Here is an aerial view.  (Hey, I didn't realize the MetLife blimp was covering the parade on the west coast!)

But, didn't she get some great shots, and just look at that face!

She sure looks all puckered up and beautiful.  Thank you Clare for sharing such a sweet and delightful creation.  The pink touches are perfect with your black and white penwork.  I love it.

Our caboose pig from Connecticut will be by shortly.  Poor Lauri's dog has been sick and family definitely comes before fun, so we hope the dog will be well soon and Lauri will join in later.

To round things up, here's one more glimpse of my pig.  I promise I'll post how I made her soon.

Like most of the participants, I found that this was fun and challenging at the same time.  Our starting product was only about 6" long, so we were limited to using things that would fit that size and not overpower the shape of the pig.  And didn't all of these ladies rise to the occasion!  They are all uniquely beautiful and so, so, creative.  I couldn't have imagined anything better.

Thank you all for being part of the Pigs on Parade.  You have no idea how much I have enjoyed reading each of your blogs, e-mails, and letters regarding this event.  And to see the finished projects was just the icing on the cake!

Today, as it turns out, is not only my birthday, but also my 1000th post on this blog.  What a journey it has been and what remarkable friends I have made through it.  Thank you for making my day special and for sharing so much with me throughout the years.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Search Is On

This flying business takes a lot of practice.  I hope I don't get stuck here.  I think I'll try again.

Ahhh.  That's better.  I can see a lot from here.

Oh yeah!  Looks like a good place to land over there.  I might be able to get a little bath in before the parade.

Well, I guess I was wrong about that.  This is bone dry.  Let me circle back a little.

Oooh, this is wet, but it looks like a lot of yucky stuff in there too.  Maybe I'll just check out more of the sights like that roof over there.

This actually looks like a pretty neat place.  You know I don't mean clean neat.  After all, I am a pig you know.  Let me see if there's anything over there to eat.

I'm not really in the mood for these greens right now.  I'd much rather find some friends.

Hey, you girls are sure pretty and I'd love to play with you, but I was hoping to find some of my pig friends around here.  I heard there was going to be a pig parade tomorrow and I didn't want to miss it.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teapot Tuesday 191

Oui, oui.  We are going to France for the tea party this week.  Or at least we're pretending to go to France where we might see something like this......  

We have a guest hostess this week, Philsmom.  You can visit her gallery by clicking here.  She has written a lovely poem for the challenge this week and asked us to bring things that are French.  

The card that I came up with is a conglomeration of images that came from sets that had French images or names, like Carte Postale (retired) and Artistic Etchings.  I used the retiform technique.

My color choices for this are Marina Mist, Wisteria Wonder and Rich Razzleberry.  I sponged and stamped on a piece of Very Vanilla cs and then layered onto Rich Razzleberry and a Wisteria card base.  

The lace was added by punching a couple of small holes and taking a stitch at the corners of that center shape.  I just taped down the ends of the thread on the back.  

I should be visiting the gallery and commenting but I have had a very trying day week and I'm going to get some rest.  Hope you will check it out.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teapot Tuesday 190

As Cindy says, there is no limit to the number of teapots out there.  Just look at this one.  A black, white, and red beauty.  Just take a gander at that butterfly.  How sweet. 

Bring a butterfly she said, so I did.  I used one of my new Memory Box dies after I made a mess creating that background.  And let me say, it, or rather I was a mess.   I know that I did not do this technique as it was meant to be done, but I found a piece of transparency to do the fold, smash routine and in the process made a  glorified mess of myself.  

Note to self:  When working with ink refills, try very hard not to sneeze.  A sneeze will cause the ink to disperse where you don't want it, and further, where you don't want it may not just be on the project.  It could be your face.  And you might not find out about it until your color-blind husband notices it.  Oh yes, red ink under the chin and on the cheek.  Not too pretty!

But, I think it made a pretty background.  What do you think?

I stamped the flower from Creative Elements in black Stazon and then added the butterfly and the black stripes. Gave it a layer of black on a Pretty in Pink card base.

See how dimensional the butterfly is.

Join me as I check out the teapot gallery this week.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pig Updates

First I want to share a card that I received from my blogging friend Dana in Florida.

She sent me this "just because".  And believe it or not, she drew this image from something she saw.

She is quite a talented artist.  Inside the card were all these additional images - some colored and some not.

Looks like I've got the makings for some pretty piggy cards!  

Speaking of pigs, back to the update.  

I have been working on my pig.  It has been a bit of a process as I have something pictured in my head and now the chore is to be able to create it in real life.  I spent part of today working with a new tool as part of the process.  And my pig has gone through several different "paintings".  I started with a couple of coats of gesso and then decided to add color.  The initial color was too dark so another coat was tried mixed with some gesso.  Well, that too was too dark, so yet another coat was slopped on.  It's not quite what I had pictured at this point, but it's getting there.

Also, I have heard (and seen) that three of the pigs are completed!  And beautifully I might add!  We shall see them all in a little less that two weeks and I am so looking forward to that.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This was an asparagus fern that we saw at the flower show last week.  The different shades of green were so gorgeous.  And all that texture just added to the wow factor.  I'm not sure you can see the text I added to the picture though.

After the show I like to stop into the Reading Terminal Market across the street from the convention center, mainly to pick up some delicious mint candies they have in the shape of shamrocks.  They just melt in your mouth.  Well, guess what?  They don't have them anymore!  I was so terribly disappointed not only not to have the mints but to have fought the crowd at lunchtime to walk all the way to the back of the building were the stand is with my hip screaming at me the whole way.  So I tried to find a recipe to create something similar and came up with these Cream Cheese mints. 

The recipe is very easy and doesn't involve any cooking and though they were not exactly what I was looking for, they were tasty.  I did not have a mold to make the shamrock shape so I attempted to create my own by rolling the candy paste into three little balls and a stem.  Unfortunately, when they became too warm, they fell apart.  You can find the recipe I used with this link.

My treat today was a shamrock shaped hot pretzel and a shamrock shake from McDonald's.  I'm afraid the points value for these two things alone puts me over my limit for the entire week but I was looking forward to a little treat.  

Actually, a parent came in to school yesterday afternoon and brought me some Irish soda bread that she made from her grandmother's recipe which she said was authentic because she made it in a cast iron pan just like her grandmother did.  It was full of raisins and currants and was delicious.  (More points overage I'm afraid!)   That was a special treat also.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Triple Play - Teapot Tuesday 189, Jingle Belles - JB12:06a - Neutral Noel, and a Birthday

The Queen of Hearts is ruling over the tea party this week.  I think she might have dismantled Princess Beatrice's fascinator.  

Well, I happened to have an extra-large crown left over from last week's party that didn't fit the queen cat, but it certainly fit the Queen of Hearts.

The heart is a Memory Box die cut that I cut out of watercolor paper and used my aquapainter and ink to color.  (The red and green is the die.)   I decided to play around with the embossing of the background and I didn't want any of it under the heart die cut so it would stand out, so I turned the die over and traced the edges to make a heart pattern the size of the die.  Then I cut two card size pieces of lightweight cardboard from a discarded cake mix box and glued them together.  I carefully centered the heart pattern in the center and then traced it and cut it out.  This made it possible to emboss only the area surrounding the heart.  

The first time I tried this I did not use any ink on the embossing folder and while it didn't look bad, it still didn't appear to have enough contrast, so I added ink with a dauber to the area that would be embossed.  You can do this by holding the pattern under the folder so you can see the area that doesn't get the ink.  Making the sandwich of paper, folder, and plate was a little tricky but I got it done.  

In fact, I liked the way that this came out so much that I decided to used the same background - without the heart however - for my first Jingle Belles card this week.  Looks as though I got a little heavy handed with the dauber on this one.

We were to make a neutral Christmas card based on the photo below:

Neutrals for Christmas.  I really like this.  

Truth be told, the card below started out as my Jingle Belle card but I felt the heart was not right for Christmas.  I happen to need a birthday card for a friend who is celebrating one of those monumental birthdays and thought this would work out fine for that.  

I added the pink ribbon and the sentiment in a pink label and put the panel on a pink base.  (Geez, I sure hope she likes pink!)  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Philadelphia Flower Show 2012 - Hawaii

This was the welcoming entrance to the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Convention Center that HWNSNBP and I attended on Wednesday.  The theme is Aloha - Hawaii and depending on your computer, you will either see this with the lovely shade of deep blue that it was or purple.  (My laptop shows me the true color, but when I look at it from my work computer it is purple - bah!)

The ceramic koi below were quite effective swimming through this display.  (But at $80 a piece in the vendor area I just had to pass on them!)

Again with the blue and purple!  The glass cylinders at the base of this display were filled with blue water  and lit from below and the effect was heavenly. 

Got on my knees for this one.

I loved the white anthuriums in the rainbow-hued cylinders on this next display.  I don't recall ever seeing pure white anthuriums before.  They also had a splendid pink one I'll post at another time.

Several of the competition displays involved walls with niches.  They ranged in size and this was one of the entries from the medium niche category.  Those bubbles are suspended as is the curled matter. 

This wall was covered with leaf lettuce.  Talk about sustainable gardening!

Another competition area is for window displays.  This Art Supply Store window caught my eye.  I think they must have had Georgia O'Keefe working there at some point.

It was so hard taking pictures in the low-light inside and though I took about 4 or 5 of this next display, this is the only one that came out half decent.  It looked just like a lava pit - or what I would imagine a lava pit would look like as I haven't had the real experience.  It was a combination of red plant matter with lighting behind it against the black rock border - stunning.

This is only a portion of the pictures that I took, but we were very lucky to have been able to get in before the crowds came giving me the ability to take pictures without people in them.  

Thanks to my son for the Christmas present of the tickets and a school friend for the early-morning passes.  It was a lovely time.