Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rose Parade floats

Every year since my Hubby & I moved to L.A., I've gone to see the Rose Parade floats, either at the parade or at the after-parade viewing.  This year was no exception.  I love being able to see them up close and see what materials were used and the detail in the arrangement of the various seeds, barks, fruits, etc.

My husband and I have been lucky enough to have helped decorate floats a number of times (I think I've done it five times now.  It's FUN -- a gigantic craft project that millions of people will see!   It's also a lot of hard work, involving getting dirty and sticky from glue for long hours in a cold warehouse or tent.  On taller floats, I've had to climb rafters and get into precarious positions to glue seeds or what-have-you in tight places.  It's wonderful helping on the last day when all the fresh flowers are attached.  All the floats really come to life with the vibrant petals and sweet scents.  Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to volunteer in the last five years or so, but it would be fun to do it again someday. 

Here's a few photos of this year's floats:

There are a few more float photos in my Flickr photostream.

Guild holiday swap

As always, the holiday season was a busy, crazy blur.  I can't believe it's been almost three months since I last posted!  I'll start the catching up with showing you what I made for my polymer clay guild's annual holiday gift swap, back at our December meeting.

At the time, I had a stack of clay sheets in a nice palette left over from my guild demo on "Lizard Tails" (from Julie Picarello's book).  Her book also covers makume gane techniques, so I decided to use one of the small stacks for that, using my square and rectangle clay cutters for the impressions.

We currently have one male member, so I always try to make something unisex.   I decided to make a nice, chunky key ring, using the makume gane as a veneer.  The result is below.  I sanded and buffed to give it a nice feel.  I ended up not liking the metal key rings I had, so I made kumihino cord in matching colors as a loop and added a tassel on the end.  Not your typical key fob, but I like it.

I received the lovely little box below made by Celeste Mouchebouf.  The whole top slides off from the base with a nice snug fit.  Celeste demo'd her technique for making those at the January meeting.