Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Melted crayon art with kids, and more...

I've been looking at melted crayon art online and this past weekend we had a go. Not sure how it would work, I'd bought a cheap $2 box of crayons and a book of water colour paper. I already had a heat gun (of course). The crayons surprised me - they melted easily and the colours were quite vivid, but the downside was that the wrappers, which had to be removed, (or so I thought at the time,) were incredibly hard to peel off. We ended up with hundreds of tiny scraps of paper, everywhere. Our first effort on water colour paper was a disaster. The paper curled from the heat and the wax left a nasty grey blur around the edges. Into the bin for that one. We pulled out a $1 stretched canvas and that was much more successful as you can see. Eddie excitedly said "That's a cupcake with a candle on top", so that's what it is.
The children then rushed to find canvases they'd already painted, in order to add some wax. From top left clockwise: Eddie's, the group cupcake, Sophia's, and Lucilla's. Much to my relief no child or grandmother was harmed in spite of the hot wax and the heat gun in use. Whew! Next time we'll try putting the crayons into the hot glue gun!
Triumphant hot wax artists! Perhaps triumphant isn't the right word for this photo...
I'm doing Keith Lo Bue's on line class Poetry in Motion, making mobiles and stabiles a la Alexander Calder. As usual, I'm lagging way behind, mainly because I am an expert at breaking the tiny drill bits needed, but also because I'm away from home a lot. (Tomorrow I'm off to Gloucester and Newcastle for 4 or 5 days to visit friends, go to a male choir recital and maybe even the Stitches and Craft Show.) But back to making things. My son, Andy, has made me a great outdoor workbench, so that I can hammer as much as I like outside, instead of in my inside studio. Andy recently found me some vintage vice/anvils, and two of them are attached to the bench. As you can see it is right beside some of my collection of lanterns and other rusty stuff. And cobwebs.
Just a close up view of my wonderful anvil.
And the very old vice with tiny anvil.
Oh, and Poetry in Motion is just fabulous! Keith is a gifted and generous teacher and as if that wasn't enough, he's also hilarious.

It's winter here down under, but you'd hardly know it. Chilly at night, which is lovely, but the days, with a couple of exceptions, are warm enough for t-shirts, and the garden is getting a bit confused. Buds are appearing early and I'm hoping we don't have a sudden cold snap to burn them off. There are even some baby birds around, chirping madly. My azaleas are thriving, which is as it should be right now, the cliveas are bursting out and the bromeliads glow with their amzing pink and blue spikes.
A visitor this week was the Black Jezabel butterfly, a female. Just gorgeous!
The chooks are enjoying the garden too, scratching everywhere, including new plantings, but doing a great job removing snails and slugs. I love this follow the leader thing they do. Lizzie in front, Ginger and Ruby II. Two more out of shot. All still laying well, I don't think they've noticed it's winter so far.
And just because I'm really excited, I'm popping in a photo of Suzy's new shop. Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher is ready to open, just waiting for the Water Board to give her a new water meter and thus the go-ahead. Yes, this photo of a cow's head is unusual for a vegetarian shop but there is nothing usual about Suzy Spoon. For one thing she has a great sense of humour and her take on the cow's head, so often a feature in 'real' butchers' shops, is that we don't eat cows so this cow is an honoured visitor in her shop. The cow actually has a sign saying "I'm a vegetarian!" 24 King Street, Sydney, corner of King and Queen Streets. Cool address.

 And for those wondering why it is called a Vegetarian Butcher, Suzy makes vegetarian sausages, schnitzels, bacon, pies, burgers - in fact, almost anything that she is asked for. And if you're wondering why a vegetarian would want to eat a sausage, well, why not. Sure, we eat lots of fruit and vegetables, in many delicious ways, but there is no rule that says we we have to stick with salads and steamed vegetables. My favourite food has always been Wiener schnitzel but now I can eat it, and Suzy's version is delicious, knowing that no animal has died for my dinner.  I don't mind who else eats meat, I just don't want to. Suzy's vegetarian cookbook is off to the publisher soon as a first draft and hopefully by mid 2014 the book will be published, chock full of great vegetarian and vegan recipes.