Saturday, December 20, 2014

Journal 52, Week 51: Sing a Song

This week over at Journal 52, Chelle's 51st prompt is Sing a Song.  After I finish my journal page this week and link up at Chelle's, I'm off to a friend's for a party we are co-hosting.  She lives in the country and has a huge, sprawling home.  We are hosting an Ugly Sweater Party, so I need to find an ugly sweater before I leave.

But for now, let's sing a song.  I went old school.  Although I didn't really get into Pink Floyd until the 1990s, I fell in love with the harmony, the rythms, and the overall sound.  I'm not sure I ever really listened to the words of the songs, but I fell in love with their "voice."

I used two songs they were famous for, "The Wall, Part II" and "Wish You Were Here."

If you love Pink Floyd as I do, you'll be singing along with these two songs for days to come.  I've tried to listen to Christmas music and that still didn't help.  I am STILL singing these two songs!

I tried to create a few "faux" bricks.  I wish I had the embossing folder that makes bricks, but I don't, so I just tried to create my own with brick colored pigment ink.  Sadly, I smeared the ink when I assembled the vintage sheet music to my used file folder.

Sing these songs.  I dare you to get them out of your head, now.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some assembly required

I recently sent out my Christmas cards and gifts.  Those who know me, know I'm often unable to finish a piece, or if I do, I struggle beyond words when it comes to tying knots.  My hands simply don't work that way.

After I mailed three international pieces, and hand wrote a note inside the card, my hands cramped so much, I couldn't finish the job.  But, I knew all my friends' hands were in much better shape than mine.  And if they weren't they had significant others who could perform the job.

But, allow me to start at the beginning.

I confess I stole  copied  borrowed this technique from my friend Helen (Stamping by H).  Rest assured, I warned her I was going to take this technique and run with it.  I started by running my new stamp pad I got on clearance at Mrs. O'Leary's over the paper.  Now that is nothing new.  What IS NEW, is this was done on copier/printer paper.  It was the perfect thickness for the cards I wanted to make.

Next, I made several masterboards.  Now these aren't all that popular in the States, but my British friends have embraced them for a couple of years.  I began with the snowflake stamp I picked up a few years ago at Michael's for $1.49 (US), along with two never used snowman stamps.  This one was too large for the job,

but this one was just right.  After stamping the snowflakes in white pigment ink and allowing them to dry overnight (yes, pigment ink takes FOREVER to dry, but I've never found white in anything other than pigment based ink), I stamped the snowmen.  I don't care how many of these I make, I somehow always make some silly stamping mistake.   These were made for my international friends and all but one were long gone before I shot the next photos.

The next day, I started the assembly process, which meant even more stamping.

I still can't get it right.  I'm calling it ARTISTIC GRUNGE.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I was tired of all that stamping, so I printed the insides using my word processing program.   I picked a font I hoped went well with the sentiment.

I had cut the masterboards 1/2" smaller than the overall size of the cards, giving me a nice border.  I never measure, going with my "gut" when I place things like this.  However, I have a rather uncooperative guillotine cutter, so the cuts aren't always straight. 

These eight are now finished and ready for the next step. 

I created a smaller, thinner version of my Tea Tales by sewing a piece of my eco-dyed fabric from my first batch.  These were made using a very thin white bed sheet, and were the perfect thickness.  At the top, I hid a piece of balsa wood to keep the quiltlet from sagging when hung, and used my crop-a-dile to cut holes in the top.  I added a bit of embellishment, then the tea bag holder and tape transfer assembly I sewed on top of the embellishment.

I suspect I'm getting ahead of myself, though, because I have to show the back, which I also made from another masterboard I created during a MOO-Mania session.  Now you see why I don't care for my handwriting.  I believe this one went to Cindy in Canada, but I can't be sure, since I sent hers a day after I sent the ones to my British friends that I didn't bother photographing.

This one went to my friend Halle, and it was so obviously wrinkled, I had to do something about the rest of them.  Of course, I was fighting the clock, and was taking shortcuts at this point.

After I ironed the very wrinkled fabric, I tore it to size and began the assembly process again.  However, I completely forgot

to add a small embellishment behind the tea bag holder on two of these.   It took me that long to remember what I had forgotten.  My blonde moment was showing.

Thankfully, I remembered it on this one.

It always saddens me that I can't get the shine and glare out of the photos, so I tried a different angle to show you truly can see the tea tale beneath the bird.

Although the last two I sent I haven't heard back from yet, I will show the last of the birds.  When I ran out of birds, I allowed Bleubeard to pick some of his favorite animals, but failed to photograph them, because I was trying to get them in the mail before it was too late to send them. 

The UP SIDE to this tale that required my friends to assemble the ribbon hanger I included with their package is: the card, the quiltlet, and the typed letter I included (since my hands were no longer capable of hand writing the messages) all went for a SINGLE postage stamp each.  So, why send just a card, when a small, thin gift will go for the same price?  After all, I AM the Queen of Free, and the quiltlet was sort of a freebie since I was sending the card, anyway.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope this has inspired you, just as some of my internet friends have inspired me this Christmas season and throughout the year.

And please remember, Google is the Christmas grinch.  You DO NOT have to include the word verification numbers when you leave me a comment.  Simply hit publish and your comment will appear.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A visit to Exploration Place, Part 4

There is much to see at Exploration Place, but these are the final areas I visited.  By the time I had seen the last exhibit, I had spent over four and a half hours here.  Since I arrived shortly after it opened at noon, I knew it was time to leave.  The museum is only open from noon to 5 pm on Sunday, and I wanted to leave before I got caught in the mass exodus from the parking lot.   Let's now return to that day back in November, when the sun was out and there was a warm autumn feel to the air.

Back outside the Kansas Miniature exhibit, I joined more kids in the hallway that originally led to the miniatures.

Among the wall of exhibits, it showed how Wichita Omnisphere and Science Center and the Wichita Children's Museum joined forces to become Exploration Place.  This area is known as Making a Landmark, and you saw part of it in Part 3.

From the hall that explained how Exploration Place was born, we now enter the large meeting hall called Big Mouth. In the background is the long hall known as Bridging Art and Science, where you saw the exhibit called Beauty and the Bugs I showed in Part 1.  This is aptly named because this is the linear bridge that connects the two parts of the museum.

This was the traveling exhibit I had wanted to see. 

Hosted by, of all people, Carrot Top, if you step up like I did, Carrot Top welcomes you as the "back soon" sign disappears.   According to the brochure I got when I first entered the exhibit, I could learn about the
relationship between parasites and humans as you get up close with creepy creatures including tapeworms, fleas, lice, mosquitoes and ticks.
Originally, I thought the Beauty and the Bugs exhibit was this one.  Boy was I fooled.

I thought Bleubeard might like to see an image

of a flea up close and personal.

You have to step onto a platform on the floor (in this case the star) for the exhibit to activate.

I got distracted and somehow spaced off all the displays on the right side of the exhibition, including whatever was in that caravan.

This is supposed to be a scalp you walk through, just as head lice are able to do (although I'll have to take their word for it).

The image in the mirror appeared and disappeared, but the background of people never stopped coming and going.

In the middle was a display of movie posters featuring parasites.

I was not about to reach into those holes and pull out the tapeworm, part of which can be seen above the canopy/tent.

You may have noticed, I skipped the area called Where Kids Rule.  I featured it when I accompanied my friend Sally as her caregiver.  This is where kids meet Knights in shiny armor and ride wooden horses.  Instead, we will end our journey in Keva, a place where you can build your mind.  Adults and kids alike love this area, where everyone can create different structures using 4 ½" (11.43 cm) wooden planks.

Some very smart and capable individuals have put these together to inspire everyone.

Aren't these just WONDERFUL?  I suspect you know how much I love wood.  Of course, that Christmas tree got me in the Christmas spirit.

One final look at the enclosed part of the river,

and it was time to head home.

I stood and watched a few minutes in amazement as people still continued to enter the building, even though there was not more than 20 minutes left to visit that day.

My friend Chris asked me how far I lived from Exploration Place.  I live less than 5 miles (less than 8.1 Km).  The general admission cost is $9.50 for adults.  It's more if you want any of the activities, such as the dome theater, mini golf, or other events.

This actually qualifies as a Stay-cation, where I travel less than 80 miles round trip and spend less than $15.00 (US).  I hope this was as much fun to visit as it was for me.  Thanks for joining me and thanks for your wonderful comments.  It makes all that time I spend uploading these seem worthwhile.