Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moon Pies and Coca Cola

Last week, I found a huge galvanized tub at a local thrift store. This is the quintessential background prop for every great antique-y country magazine spread that I ever drooled over, and I was thrilled to find it. We were hosting my mom's birthday party that weekend, so I decided that Coca Cola and Moon Pies would be waiting for our guests when they arrived.

As we prepared for the party, my husband, who grew up in the country, was completely puzzled and wanted to know why a container that "probably held horse feed" at one time was suddenly the star of my party. He suggested that it might be better to put it on the floor, or better yet, outside, because it might leak.

I informed him that I had thoroughly scrubbed and bleached it, in case it used to hold, I don't know... body parts or some other farm-like thing that they never show in the magazines, and that it hadn't leaked at all. We compromised and put it on the side table. 

When my family arrived, everyone was thrilled to see coca cola and moon pies on ice in a big galvanized tub!  Hah! And my sisters and I had a nice long conversation about how great it was. I think my husband learned his lesson: Don't mess with your city-slicker wife and her faux country sensibilities.

On the main table (where the lowly galvanized tub did not belong)  We had a centerpiece, cake and presents. My daughter Sylvan made this cool explosion box to hold birthday greetings. My neighbor Jill showed us a totally awesome explosion box that she'd made for her dad for Father's Day, and Sylvan and I  had been wanting to try it. Sylvan put one of her handmade miniature cakes in the middle. I think it turned out great.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Custom Jewlery and Skelly Heads

I just got finished with one of my favorite types of custom work. My client brought me a beautiful, long strand of ivory-colored carved beads, and gave me no deadline, and no restrictions on what I could do with them. She had been told they might be ivory, but I think they are carved ox-bone from China.

This is the first necklace and earring set. I added raku donuts, ceramic donuts and fancy jasper. At first, I didn't realize that the raku beads didn't have holes in them.  I ended up attaching them by making loops of seed beads closed off with crimps. The second piece has a carved bone donut in the center. I attached it in the same way.

 Here is the completed second piece:

And here are some fun skeleton heads that I made for a new shop in downtown Fredericksburg called Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. It's the type of shop that I loved to go to when I was in college. It has all kinds of vintage clothing items, records and cool retro home furnishings.
It is a little unsettling for me to go in there, though. Most of the vintage items were brand new when I was in college! I guess that makes me vintage, too!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Rainbow

A few weeks ago, we got a golden ticket in the mail. It was an invitation a Fourth of July party hosted by the Amazing Alice and her equally amazing and pyrotechnically talented husbad. This is an event not to be missed.

You know those magazines that have pictures of picturesque Fourth of July celebrations, with red white and blue plates and floral arrangements with flags in them and adorable children in matching tie-dyed red white and blue t-shirts? I always look at those pictures and think, "Who does that?" Now I know: The Amazing Alice, that's who!

Each family was asked to bring a dessert or a side dish. I decided this would be the perfect time to try to make rainbow jello. I remembered my mom making it when I was a kid. We hadn't had it in years. Now I know why. It takes hours and hours to make. But look how pretty it turned out!

My daughter and I had a great time making it, too. In case you want to try it, this is what we did:

  • Mix up a 3-ounce box of red gelatin according the the package directions.
  • Pour into the bottom of a large glass rectangular pan. Refrigerate.
  • Mix up a package of knox gelatin with one cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Add 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk. Let the milk mixture cool on the countertop.
  • When the jello mixture is soft-set and the milk mixture has cooled, GENTLY spoon the milk mixture on top of the gelatin mixture. If you try to pour it on top, it'll splash big holes in the soft jello. (Guess how I know that?) Allow both layers to set up in the refrigerator. This takes about an hour.
  • Then... repeat all those steps with orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

We started our jello on Friday morning, and added the last layer on Sunday afternoon.
I think the next time I have the urge to pour, stir and wait in order to make something beautiful, I'll do it with ice resin!