Monday, October 3, 2016

Food & Art

Thursday September 29, 2016

Today my husband and I attended the Oktoberfest being held at the Crowne Plaza just down the road from where I work. I first heard about it when my friend, Anthea (who works upstairs) gave me a flyer she had received. I’m glad she thought of me since my company never received any notice, so I guess it wasn’t too heavily advertised (and not too heavily attended either from what I could see).

Last year we had a warm, sunny day and sat out in the courtyard listening to music while watching one of the employees grill burgers for the patrons. This year it was cloudy (but still fairly warm), and no one was grilling (but there were still sliders). We felt quite conspicuous sitting outside by ourselves as we pretty much had the courtyard to ourselves.

The food was pretty good, though the veal schnitzel was a little tough, so I left most of it on my plate. Andrew and I both enjoyed the “Wellingtons” (beef wrapped inside a pastry crust) and our sliders. As you can see I didn’t skip any courses – cheese & crackers, fruit, and cute little (very crumbly) cheesecakes. Stephanie, who is the program manager there, even gave me several cheesecakes to bring back to the office.

After work I had my weekly Bohemian Thursday art class at my neighbor Jennie’s house. Tonight we finished painting our daisy canvas from last week and started on another one. I had a hard time choosing colors, but ended up going with a sort of teal background for one and fuschia for the other. All in all I am pretty happy with my efforts (no, I didn’t draw the daisy; those were silk screened by Jennie). I love everyone else’s canvases and would have quite happily hung any of them in my house. I might hang my two in my bathroom.

Saturday October 1, 2016
Today I attended an “Artful Books” workshop being held inside the gallery at the Upper Arlington Municipal Center. Local artist and high school teacher, Brooke Hunter-Lombardi was our instructor, and there were four of us in attendance including one of the artists, Jennifer Evans Kinsley, whose work was on display in the gallery. Funnily enough, I had photographed one of Jennifer’s pieces and posted a photo on flickr which was favorited & commented on. I had to tell the person it wasn’t my piece and that I had forgotten who the artist was. I can now amend the situation.
Ms. Hunter-Lombardi started out the workshop by demonstrating various transfer techniques (for transferring either text or art from one piece of paper to another). I had seen and even tried most of the techniques, but enjoyed watching her demos. She also showed us how to tea or coffee stain a piece of paper to give it an antique look.
The second hour was spent with us working on various projects. Jennifer was cutting a space in a book like Brooke had demonstrated, while the lady sitting across from me was doing a sort of diorama inside a book kind of thing where she cut out a cat and wanted it to look like it was coming through a door or something. I didn’t pay too much attention to everyone else’s projects because I was too busy cutting out the pattern pieces for a book purse I was making. I knew there was no way I was going to get it done in an hour, and would have preferred to have been out shopping (for more project supplies that I’d never have time to use), but I soldiered on and managed to get all my pieces cut out. When I left, everyone was still deeply involved in their projects, but as sewing (on a machine) and gluing were next on the agenda for me, I felt that was something better accomplished at home.

I managed to get my two side panels sewed up before I had to get ready for church and then left the project in a pile until Sunday.

On Sunday I went out to get some PVA glue as recommended by Brooke, which I used to glue down the inside panel (that covered the handles and inside cover). After that was dry I used a hot glue gun to attach the side panels. According to the instructions, I was supposed to glue in the side panels and half the inside panel at a time, but that seemed too fiddly, so I did things slightly out of order. Not sure it was any easier doing things out of order as I seemed to constantly burn myself on hot glue, but I eventually got the first side panel in to my satisfaction. I then realized the second side panel was going to be a bit too small, so I grabbed my leftover material and ascertained there was enough to make a new panel, so I got started measuring and cutting before taking it downstairs to sew on the machine (after which I made two more panels for another purse I am making). I was a bit miffed about having to take the extra time, but figured it would be worth it for a nicer looking purse, and I am definitely pretty happy with the final product.

All total I would say the purse took about six hours to complete. I anticipate the second purse to take a little less time, hopefully (it’s a little smaller). I have already decided, in spite of Jennifer’s suggestion to make this into a cottage industry, that this is a one-off (or actually two-off) project. The hardest part is definitely gluing in the side panels. If I was going to mass manufacture these purses I’d have to come up with an easier way. Either way, I’m really glad to be done with my dictionary purse. Can’t wait to fill it up now!

Have a good week everyone!

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