Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DEMO: Green Juice, Green Cup

I've recently gotten a juicer, and have been making and drinking a lot fresh green juices!  I take the juice with me in these mason jar sippy cups I made - and everyone has been asking where I got them. (It's not a new idea - there are other tutorials on-line, but I can't find the ones that initially gave me the idea - otherwise, I'd link to them!)  

Folks have been suggesting I sell them, but the great crew over at Cuppow have already got something similar going.  So, instead, I decided to share how to make them yourself!  

I start with pint (16 oz) wide-mouth mason jars with bands and lids, 1/4" rubber grommets, and metal straws. (Follow links to find the items on Amazon).  I like the wide-mouth jars because they're easier to clean.  The pint jars will also fit into a standard car cup holder, which is a bonus for me!

Then, I punch a 3/8" hole in the lid.  I use a metal punch, but you could also use a 3/8" drill bit.  Don't worry if the edge is sharp: the grommet will cover that. I punch the hole close to the edge because I find it makes it easier to use the straw to get the last bits of juice out, but you can certainly punch your hole in the middle!

These are the rubber grommets that I use.

I just push the rubber grommet into the hole.

Once I do that, the back, the front, and the cut edge of the hole are covered by the rubber grommet.  The straw will still fit through, with just a little gap, but won't make an annoying rattling sound.  (This is an especially good thing if you are using the sippy cup in your car cup holder!)

And you are ready to go!

If you need a larger container, say for water, the 24 oz jars that Bionature brand organic strained tomatoes come in work well.  You need longer straws, though, like these. But, they still fit in a car cup holder!  Either way, the sippy cups are grown-up and green, and the whole thing (even the straw!) can be washed in the dishwasher.  Nothing gets thrown away! And the only plastic in the whole thing is the rubber grommet and the lining on the seal of the jar.

And it's so easy!  You could even do some glass etching to personalize the jars. Or, paint the glass and/or metal bands with Pebeo Vitrea paints - after baking, the paints can even go in the dishwasher!

So what's in my green juice?  It varies, but I always juice these things:
  • A bunch of kale (yes, a full bunch)
  • 4-8 stalks of celery
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 1" piece of ginger (I like ginger!)
  • 2 granny smith apples
Sometimes, I'll add spinach, romaine, parsley, or even a little filtered water to the mix. And, I use organic produce whenever possible!  The granny smith apples take away the bitterness of the juice without jacking up the sugar content too much.  

Let me know if you make one!  And if you decorate it, I wanna see it!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Sacral Chakra

Last month, I was working with the sacral chakra.  (You can read a bit more about chakras in my February post on the root chakra, and get a summary of the chakras here). This energy center is all about feeling, creative generation, balance, flow, and enthusiasm.  The color is orange . . . I did the collage above last month - the ripe vegetables, the orange rock with the cleft, the boat, the pencils, the jumping figure, the sensuous reclining Mondigliani figure . . . all of these say creativity and flow and passion to me.

I did this one last month, too - somehow Christina Hendricks just embodies everything sensuous! The matches are symbolic of creative inspiration for me.  I was also really playing with the idea of balance in this one - the way I try to balance my desire for contradictory things: nesting and flying, achieving and rebelling, ritual and experimentation, structure and newness, control and flexibility, busyness and calm.

I also updated the altar in my studio, filling it with water symbols and images of ripe fruit.
This is a collage I did for the sacral chakra back in 2009, featuring a bit of an image by Egon Shiele.  I like how simple it is, but how all the sensuous qualities of the chakra still come through.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo Safari: Bosky Dell

Last month, I went on a field trip to Bosky Dell Natives - it's a native plant nursery in West Linn, Oregon.  I went with the owner of Independence Gardens, the folks who are helping me put raised beds for a vegetable garden in my front yard. We were shopping for some shade-loving native plants, including edibles to put in the back yard. 

This is not an ordinary plant nursery - it's more like a crazy fairyland garden full of amazingness.

We did end up buying plants for the garden, but I also had a wonderful time taking pictures.  

 And thus, a household errand turned into a full-on artist's date.   

We were there over an hour . . . and I found these sheets of corrugated metal that are in the process of oxidizing - it looks like the metal is being rusted or patinated on purpose, to be used for siding.  I was struck by the colors.

And the amazing textures.  I love these warm yellows, oranges, and reds mingling with the cool grays and turquoise and minty blue-green. 

 I think this is likely to turn up in some encaustic work sometime soon!

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Octopus was Harmed in the Making of this Cardigan

Can you tell I'm wearing an octopus?

A while back, I saw a black and turquoise octopus sweater at Think Geek - and I wanted it (along with a bunch of cool Doctor Who gadgetry!).  But I really didn't want to pay for it. And then they sold out. 

All hope seemed lost until I remembered that I had an old black cardigan, lightweight and tightly knit, along with a love of applique and massive fabric stash . . . a plan started to come together.

I put a piece of butcher paper over my old sweater and started sketching out an octopus. I was inspired by the cardigan I saw online (which you can see in the picture above), but mine quickly took off in a different direction . . .in part because I wanted the mantle to look at least somewhat realistic.  I based my drawing on images of the Giant Pacific Octopus, like the ones here.

I labeled and cut out the pieces of the sketch to create a pattern.  I raided my stash for some old t-shirts and stretchy fabrics and used the pattern to cut pieces of fabric out. I used a lot of fabrics with dots as a way of referencing suckers.  

I used Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 (a fusible webbing with a light tack) and my iron to attach the fabric pieces to the old cardigan. 

I love the way that it came out almost as though the octopus is camouflaged, and a little tough to see, since that's part of how octopus hunt and survive in the wild.

I stitched around the edges, just to secure it, and to outline the mantle and the curling of the tentacles. One of the tentacles wraps around the arm, and a few more curl around to the back.

Now, of course, I'm wondering if anything else needs an appliqued octopus on it . . .