Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oops, I've been a slacker!

Ummm, here it is Sunday, January 31, and the last post I wrote was on the 27th.  No excuse, I've just been a slacker.  I've been doing things around the house, but don't really think you want to see me cleaning the bathroom or folding our clothes, do you?  No, didn't think so. . .

One thing I did was graduate Snuffles from her little Ex-Pen area to the entire end of the "den", so she's in our computer area with us, loose, for the most part.  Along with her freedom and "advanced age", she is starting her training, with "crate training".  Since she will travel with us on vacations, she has to not "just" use the potty box whenever she wants to, she also needs to learn some control of those "functions".  So, at night, she has to be in her crate and if we leave the house, she has to be in her crate, but otherwise she's loose with us, now.

We spend most of the day (at least one of us does--the one of us who is at home during the day, LOL) in the den, as that's where my clay "studio" (isn't that a fine sounding title) and our computers are located.  She is also wearing a collar with her rabies tag and an ID charm with her name and phone number, and she doesn't much appreciate that jingling going on, LOL.  She is pretty much over her surgery now, has to get her stitches out next week, but is running around and jumping around normally.

Speaking of computers, (remember, when I was talking about Snuffles being loose in the computer area of our den???)  I also have to confess, I've become absolutely addicted to 3 Facebook games.  My favorite is Farmville (if you're a Farmville Farmer, look me up and become my neighbor, please).  I also play Zoo World and could use some more friends there, too (as well as a lot more gift animals, the limited variety, if possible, LOL).  My third game is Tiki Farm (but it's not demanding, because if you're busy and don't get your crops harvested they don't die on you).  You get a bonus if you DO manage to get them harvested as soon as they are ripe, but there is no "punishment".  It is on an island and there is a sandy beach to play/build on, as well as lots of tropical plants and trees, so if you want an easy, relaxing, non demanding game, come on over and join me, my daughter B, and my daughter-in-law M on Tiki Island, LOL.    

In addition to housework, I've also gotten my clay table all cleaned off and yesterday started my class on Sculpting the Fairy Child.  As expected, I had no trouble making the armature(s) (I'm doing 3 different sizes at once, I know, I'm an over achiever).

I've started the heads (which has always been my "bugaboo" where sculpting is concerned).  I can do the bodies, legs, arms, even the feet and hands fairly well.  But the face. . . After redoing a mermaid's face for about the 25th time, I actually got so frustrated I threw a tantrum and threw her head against the wall.  I was mortified I had done that, I'm a VERY controlled person.  I don't throw tantrums, I rarely show anybody but my husband how I truly feel about many things.   I hardly ever cry and almost never raise my voice (even when I had kids home. . . notice, I said ALMOST, so if our kids are reading this you can't say, yeah, "never???").  If I cry, you can be pretty sure whatever caused it is really overwhelming.  Oh, Mr. C. reminds me to say, I "leak" on occasion (silent tears dripping down my face) but that's usually from a sad song or extreme pride or missing our kids and grandkids--did I ever tell you we have 5 absolutely wonderful grandkids, being a Nana is fantastic, at least when they're around.  Our kids are both AirForce spouses, so they and the grands don't live near us and we usually only get to see them once a year.  We were fortunate to have 3 of them living with us when they were born and for at least the first year of their lives (and two of them were here with us for 3 years).  So, I miss them a lot.  But, I digress. . .

Anyway, back to the throwing of the poor mermaid's head.  I'll repeat, I was mortified and just sat there in shock for a few minutes before very quietly picking up all the pieces, carefully wrapping the mermaids body (which was perfect, in my opinion) up and putting her in a box.  I picked up all the pieces and decided I needed a time out and I have not even attempted to sculpt since then.  BUT, it's my overriding "thing" I want to learn and want to be able to do.  As you've probably noticed from my Mom and Sister's comments, in general crafty, cooking, sewing types of things come very easily to me.  Caning comes very easily to me.  So for me to find something I "can't do" (other than drawing and painting, which I won't even attempt, LOL) has been very lowering for me.  It's a real challenge, which makes me want to "master" it all the more, LOL.  (What's that saying about "Pride going before a fall" or something like that, LOL.  But the mermaid incident happened probably over 8 years ago and I've never attempted a sculpture since.  At least a sculpture of a "person" type thing.

I do Christi Friesen type sculpture and her methods are very freeing, since they are representational or "stylized" rather than realistic, I have a blast with them.

Here's an example of one of my pieces a la Christi Friesen.  She is such a fantastic person, teacher, artist, and writer.  She encourages people to use their creations any way  they please (even selling them) but asks to be given credit for the inspiration.

This is actually a hidden jewelry box, and I thought it was good enough to send it in to a contest at PolymerCafe and it not only got in, it was the first one listed and had a full page spread.  I felt pretty special, I can tell you.  So, why can I do this kind of stuff but can't make a "FACE" for heaven's sake.  We all  have faces, we look at them everyday, why can't I seem to sculpt one?

So, I've decided no more excuses, I AM going to learn how to sculpt.

So, back to my class.  I got the armatures done, got my clay all mixed (by hand, it isn't as likely to cause moonies--little placquing places in the clay that look like little moons and not something you want on a doll's face, LOL).

Today, I started the faces.  One is about an 1 1/4", the second is about 1", and the third is about 3/4".  So far,  they look just like the instructor's examples, except for the mouths :-(  I just can't seem to get the feel for how to "turn up" the top lip.  So, I decided to come write my blog and let them cool down again before I try the mouths again.  I've only had to redo the big one once and the little one once (one because of the mouth, the other because of the nose, she's supposed to be a fairy, and she had a huge honker, LOL).  They still have a long way to go, as they are just roughed out, at this point.  But so far I feel pretty positive.  Here are pictures of them.  They look kind of like aliens right now, and aren't nearly as smooth as the instructors, but I'm satisfied for my first try.  I'll submit them to Kori (the instructor) tomorrow and let her critique what I have so far.

 I also have my eyes ready, which I think is the next step, I'm trying not to look ahead as I don't want to get overwhelmed and discouraged.

Tomorrow is Mr. C's "weekend", so we'll be running half the day and so I probably won't get more done tomorrow, but I'll let you know how the teacher's critique comes out on Tuesday or Wednesday.

So, until then. . . Have a wonderful Monday.  Smiles, S


  1. Glad to hear Snuffles is finally feeling better. Remember sculpting is a challenge for you, you will only get bored if it is toooo easy...take lots of deep breaths. And if that doesn't help, do what I did when the computer was acting up today...I put it to sleep and went and did something else for awhile. Not sure whether I put it or me in time out, but it did work.

  2. What a cute little puppy!!!!
    Ah sculpting people....I am glad to know that I am not the only one who can sculpt things without a humanoid face, but has trouble with the people. BUt then again by the looks of these they are coming along nicely! I wish you wonderful things with your 'people' sculpting!!!

  3. The sculpting looks good to me but you are the one to be pleased. Seems the mouth might be harder than the eyes but you'll get it. Looks like progress to me. I imagine the smaller people are more difficult too. You love a challenge!! :)

    Interesting blog and think Snuffles will be happier now she can be in the larger area. Has she mastered the chair or is she still barking at it?

    Take care. Luv. Mom

  4. Sue, the sculpts are coming along well! I think you will do it just fine this time, and 8 years of feeling bad about the mermaid is enough! Sometimes we have to vent, that's all.

    Have I told you I love your puppy and I WANT him?? Yes I do, it's the strangest thing for a non-animal person like me. Except that I had a sweet little dog once... he was taken... and he was really great. Snuffles has the same look in his eye.

    Your undersea piece is so good! I love it, the turtles and fish and seaweed are fantastic.

    Talk to you soon!! Nice blog post, don't worry about slacking - you're right, we didn't want to see your piles of folded clothes, lol.

    Big hugs, Jackie