Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Holiday Tribute to My Brothers

This month my polymer guild's challenge theme is "Beads and Baubles", which basically means anything Christmas or holiday related.  It's no small wonder that my thoughts of "Christmas or Holiday" lead to my family.  Some of my most cherished Christmas memories (as with most people) are centered around my childhood.  30 + years later, I can still recall the anticipation and excitement I had as a 5 year old waiting for the big day to arrive; Can still see myself twirling around on the hardwood floor, pretending to be Dorothy Hamil, whilst my mom's favorite Christmas albums played in the background.  Can still feel the thrill of the annual search at our favorite tree farm, to tag THE perfect tree well in advance of the holiday season.  I can clearly remember decoration sessions which ended with fighting over who got to put the peacock ornament on the tree... and many countless other Christmas related moments.



Because I am the youngest of 3, I have fond memories of sharing those times with my siblings.  I have 2 older brothers who certainly played a big role in most of my childhood remembrances.  While there are some recollections that are sweet and dear to my heart, there are others that make me think of the dynamic of our family which give me a chuckle.  Because I am the youngest, and only girl, my big brothers (who share my father's ever-mischievous character) delighted in tormenting me in many ways.  One of their chosen methods of teasing was to tell tall tales which, to their fairly gullible baby sister, were taken as truths.  Our poor mother had to soothe many a tear, and banish a few nightmares, over some of the stories that wreaked havoc with the imagination of the youngest of her brood.  It was the memory of one of those tales which was the final key to bring my challenge piece together this month.



You see, I had decided that for this challenge, I would create a snow globe.  I had a lovely tear-drop shaped glass honey jar.  I had decided that this bottle should become a penguin.   I wanted to leave the belly area of the jar open and have the inside be a snow globe.  At first I had thought I would have perhaps a Christmas tree inside his belly with some fish and snowflakes swimming around.  When I thought more of the snowflakes, I thought of putting a snowman inside his belly.  But then I thought, why would anything like a tree or snowman be inside a penguin's belly?  This is where my brothers' story comes in to play.


One summer when I was little, probably in the 5 to 6 year range, my family had gathered at my grandparent's house for a picnic.  We were all enjoying eating large slices of watermelon and spitting the seeds out into the yard.  I was eating my slice of watermelon and I accidentally swallowed one of the seeds.  I mentioned that I had swallowed a seed and my brothers pretended to be really concerned, and they said something like "Well you know what that means don't you? Your belly will get big and fat because you'll start growing a watermelon in your tummy."  I'm sure I'm not the first child to be told this tale, and surely not the last.  So my ah-ha moment with the penguin idea was to turn that tall tale into a story of eating snowflakes:  Poor Penguin so enjoyed catching snowflakes on the tip of his tongue and eating them that he didn't heed his older sibling's warning that he would grow a snowman inside his belly and now look at what has happened!



The snowman is polymer clay sculpted over some aluminum foil.  A bed of snow fills the bottom of the jar, and snowman is secured onto the snow with a small metal rod and some liquid polymer.  They are secured to the inside of the jar with epoxy.  The penguin is a glass tear drop shaped jar that has been covered with polymer to create the penguin.  About 20 small polymer snowflakes were made and they are inside the snow globe area.  One of the polymer snowflakes is in the beak of the penguin, as if this is the last of his captured snowflakes.



The snowglobe is filled with distilled water, vegetable glycerin, the polymer snowflakes and some white glitter.  The bottom of the penguin is embossed with a snowflake and my tiny signature stamp.



The size of this piece is about 6" tall, about 4" wide and 3 1/2" deep.  You can see the scale of him in the photo of my hand holding him below.  The head of the penguin completely unscrews to allow for refilling of the water solution. 






He was so fun to make; after the acorn idea and this one, I am now saving interesting jars for future projects and other ideas... this could become a new storage problem. ;)  What do you think about my latest little creation? 



Voting for the new challenge will, as always, begin on the first of the month (December 1st 2013) and ends at midnight on the 7th of December.  I'll try to remember to post a reminder with the link and a photo of the other entries here, but can't make any promises... as always December looms heavy with gift creating responsibilities and projects galore!


15 comments:

  1. Hi Beth, I love your snow globe and the story behind it! What great memories to share...
    I collect interesting shaped bottles that I plan to create something out of, but my "hoard" has surpassed my time limits and my ideas! Thanks for the inspiration. Good luck in the challenge and have a great Holiday season. - Kathy, your newest follower

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    1. Hi Kathy! Thanks for the sweet comments and for the follow! :)

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  2. Very cool project! I'm a new follower as well :-D

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    1. Hi Tammie! Thanks for the comment and for the follow! :)

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  3. Great story!! He's much bigger than I pictured. I love how you take on these challenges with gusto!

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    1. Thanks so much Marie! I admire your gusto with the challenges too! ;)

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  4. Hello Beth! I too am a new follower and your snowglobe is my pick for 1st place in this challenge!

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    1. Hello Barbara! Thanks so much for the comment, the vote, and the follow! :)

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  5. Beth, I had to check out the details of your snow globe construction - very innovative! (Love the back story, too!)

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  6. Where is the best place you have found to collect interesting bottles if I may ask? Of course I wil be looking though my kitchen first!

    Shirley

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    1. Hi Shirley! Thanks for the comment. Nearly all of the jars that I save for crafting come from my kitchen. I'm big into upcycling items into pieces of art. Occasionally though, I will find a cool item at the local thrift shop that catches my eye and begs to be purchased, brought home and transformed into something new. ;) Oh, and if I tell my mom to save me certain items, I'm usually inundated with them within a short period of time!... so use your networks, tell your closest friends and family (you know, the ones who won't think you're crazy for wanting used jars) ;) ...explain what you're looking for and why, and they're usually more than happy to help! If you make one, come back and tell me how it went, and if possible post a link to where I can see a photo of it! :)

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  7. What a cute story and a clever penguin!
    Merry Christmas.

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