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Showing posts from 2010

It's Funfetti Time Again

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This is Lina's birthday cake. I admit, since we are packing and doing the million and one things necessary to transition to another state, that I cheated on this one. I really really was going to do it all by myself. And then I realized that that was both stupid and crazy. So I bought ready-made buttercream roses and butterflies made out of feathers to decorate the cake, rather than making them out of fondant like I was going to. But I did paint every rose with sparkly pearlescent glitter powder, and carefully placed lots of edible blue pearls all over the cake. If you want to know why there are both blue and pink roses, it's because Celina wanted blue ones and I thought pink would look better. So I compromised.  I put the pearls on there because I remembered my own mother putting those magical silver nonpareils on my cake at least once in my youth, and they were sooooo good. They were also apparently toxic, and now almost no one makes them anymore. So I thought pearls would b…

The Hills are Alive! - Celina's Louisa Dress

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Ok, so I started this last year when the girls watched a lot of Sound of Music. There is this one scene where Julie Andrews and all the kids are in a carriage (during the song Do-Re-Mi) singing. The scene struck us as odd since it's the only one in the whole movie that they wear orange and purple (they wear yellow, brown, green and blue mostly). Anyways, Celina loved Louisa's dress in this scene. And being the nice mommy that I am, I offered to make her one like it, particularly since she's so picky about what she wears. And looks like a homeless Punky Brewster most of the times. A dress would be a welcome addition to all those jeans and T-shirts. Problem one:
THE DESIGN

I looked in the book that accompanied the movie, I looked online, I looked everywhere and nowhere could I find a still or a sketch of the costume or even that scene. It's so short I guess it's really not worth mentioning. So I took the remote and paused the movie while I studied the dress.
Louisa is…

unfinished Business - The Big Mama Jama part 3

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I considered throwing in the towel. Really. Maybe I was getting too old for this kind of stuff. But then a quick online trip to my old friend, John Neal Bookseller revealed that somebody else was selling their size online and it was pretty much guaranteed to work. So I bought it, tried it out tonight, and although it was a bit of a rush job, it seems to be working! Back in business. I can't believe how LONG this takes....
It's hard to tell from the photos, but it is OH SO NICE and shiny (it is 23 karat gold, after all).

Unfinished Business - The Big Mama Jama part 2

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Ok, so after I redrew MOST of it, I got worried that my progress would get smudged or messed up, and well, I was ansty to have some REAL progress. So I decided to start inking. My confidence in my design skills was (foolishly) enough that I thought by the time I got to the part I hadn't re-drawn, I could just wing it in ink and save myself some time. Not so much.
Second problem: My glorious ink, Sennelier Encre de Chine a la Pagode, did not weather the double cross-country trips well. Rather than wait for a few weeks to order some more, I went out and bought the only ink I could find: crummy Speedball Calligrapher's Ink. I figured it would be ok since it's what I used to use when I first started doing illuminations in the first place. But it looks awful next to the nice, dark shiny lettering. Darn.
Third problem: in an effort to console myself about my stupid purchase, I decided to start playing around with the guilding aspect. Which brings us to yet another problem: how t…

Unfinished Business - The Big Mama Jama part 1

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So, I found this old piece I had started back in, oh, say, around 2002 or so. It's one stanza from a poem by Padraig O Maille about being exiled and missing home. I had planned it out, done all the lettering, and sketched out most of the border and decorations. Then I stopped. My memory is such that I can't remember why I stopped (my guess is school?) or why I was doing it in the first place (fun, probably). But as I looked at it, I remembered what fun I used to have doing these insanely complicated illuminations. So, as a challenge to myself, I decided to finish it. Easier said than done. I can't even remember what I had in mind for some of the designs (they were apparently ones I made up all by myself), and my plans were nothing more than a rough sketch. No help there. I did manage to find some parts of the illumination in various books of mine, so using those as a guide I began filling in the blanks. I had NO IDEA how hard that would be. Let's say my hands were not …

Just For The Fun of It...an Homage to Mary Blair

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It's fun with pastels night...pay no attention to the fact that my sense of perspective is lacking. I decided to do a landscape of La Encantada Mall in Tucson, Az, in the style of Mary Blair. For those of you who don't know her, she's responsible for the look of films like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland (disney), and the ride "It's a Small World".

And so I begin again...

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After seeing my brother with his little moleskine for a while now, I've decided that even tho' I can't draw on location, or heck, even draw every day, I'm going to get back into the swing of things. As long as my poor hands can take it, I'm going to re-learn drawing, painting, and hopefully even the calligraphy I was once famous for. A recent trip to Disneyland has re-kindled a long-forgotten spark of a dream to be an artist of some, or any sort. So, the Blue Sky Cellar's the Limit! Even if I'm as old as Carl Frederickson when I get there, it'll be worth it!

So, to begin, I chose a fairly simple subject to practice on... an old stock photo of a Burmese woman smoking. I figured it was appropriate, both because she's as old as I will be by the time my hands heal enough for me to have a career, and because she's still livin' it up even tho' she's old. I hope soon to start drawing from photos I've taken, or still-lifes I can set up my…