Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Painting the Roses Red

Thought I'd share the starting pictures of my current project...the rose tree from the 'painting the roses red' scene in Alice in Wonderland.

Obviously this is the very beginning and it will look nothing like this when I am finished...I hope :-)

It is basically made from 32 gauge wire that I twisted, twisted, then twisted some more....I set it into a piece of brass tubing for stability.

This is the image I have been given to work from and
when it is finished it will look something like this...

As I mentioned this is the very bare bones of it....I will prime it then paint it to hide all the twists and turns....then I'll trim it to shape and start adding the leaves and the flowers.

Considering it was the roses that made me nervous I actually now think they'll be a doddle compared to making this form...this was maybe my 4th attempt. Still at least I now have other tree forms ready to go.

Thanks for all the comments on my workroom piccies.....I think it is fun to see where everyone works....guess I'm as nosy as the next person :-)

Now.....hands up...who zoomed in for a lesson in splitting the atom ? We've gone all science crazy here....even more than normal...since our visit to New Mexico.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Tallulah HQ

Since most of my commissions are finished and in the mail I decided to clean up my workroom.

So while it was tidy I thought I'd show you piccies of my new space...I was going to do it once we'd moved all the new furniture in but it was never clean enough to show :-)

Ignore the fact that the photos appear to have a curve to then...no... I don't live in some kind of funky Alice in Wonderland world...I stitched them together using a panorama program I haven't completely learned how to use yet. It is a fairly small room and I can't get far enough away to get much in a photo which is why I
stitched them together.

For the nos
y amongst you...and you know who you are...:-) if you click them they should enlarge...if not just ctrl + and they'll zoom in pretty well.

Micks area.....and mine when I need to work antistatic. In the bottom right hand corner you can see a wrist band...just pop that over my arm and I'm good to go. As for the rest of the stuff, aside from the microscopes I have no idea :-)

My main work corner...right in front of the window so I can watch the critters outside. Oh and that is my super dooper expensive chair...told you it looked noting out of the ordinary...Mick has left his name tag on to remind me I only have it on loan :-).

My white board.....originally for my to do list it is currently covered with a lesson in Nuclear Physics :-)

Drawers....lots of drawers...finally all labeled.

The map is all of our road trips....except for the last 2 years or so when we haven't put them on....must do that soon.

And a bit more storage....how do we get so much stuff !!!

Now....I have to go make a rose tree :-)

Friday, 26 June 2009

Need clay / sculpting help please

For my birthday I got a very nice gift certificate to
Morezmore on ebay.

And I don't know what to spend it on lol. I do really want to have another go at sculpting.

I've been using regular Super Sculpey and have some of it left but I find it so mushy, I have warm hands naturally and combined with the heat of the desert here I find it very hard to work with.

Although I can add the details to it I find that as I am adding detail to the face I am squishing up the back of the head. And I cannot imagine how I might make hands from it.

So I am considering trying another clay.....Morezmore sells either Pro Scupt or Puppen Fimo and I don't know what to go for.

I have heard that Puppen Fimo attracts lots of dust but that it might not be a problem in the darker colors.

Living in the desert it is very dusty here so I am wondering it pro Sculpt is the way to go.

Oh decisions, decisions......anyone have any suggestions ?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Wanna come for a ride ?

Thought I'd use some of my vacation piccies to show you where we went and the beauty of this little corner of our planet.

I'll only put small pics in here but if you click they should all get much bigger.

Although it is true that most of this area is classed as desert...it is often not what you think of a desert looking like. We spent a huge part of our vacation up in the mountains.

When we take visitors on trips around here the one thing that always stuns them is how green everywhere is. We have many, many forests and mountains here in the southwest...and lots and lots of trees and greenery. Of course a lot of it is unnatural with the assistance of sprinklers etc but that is something you don't want to hear me rant about :-)

We wanted to explore as much of New Mexico as we could so we
flew up the freeway to Vegas for the first night before heading up into Southern Utah.

One of my favorite part of the USA.....I just love driving down roads like this one.

We skipped Bryce Canyon and although we drove through Zion we didn't stop. We visited there less than 2 years ago so decided to head on.

In the Dixie National Forest, just outside of Cedar City, Utah we came across Cedar Breaks National Monument. Right up at the top of the mountains at 10,000 feet. Pretty awesome huh. Although smaller and much less visited than Bryce, it was equally as stunning.

From here we headed back down the mountains, past the Vermilion Cliffs

and into Page, Arizona where we stayed at Lake Powell.

From here we decided to take a trip to see Antelope Canyon. In the back of this pick up truck. Part of the ride was on road but we then had to go off road for about 20 minutes. Rather bone shaking :-)

Antelope Canyon was discovered by a young Navajo girl tending her sheep. It is on tribal land so access is only allowed with a Navajo guide. The Navajo consider it a very spiritual place and as such do not want people just traipsing round it showing no respect.

Apparently it is the most photographed slot canyon in the Southwest. You can see why. It was extremely hard to get a photograph due to the lighting conditions and I am amazed these have come out as good as they have. I had to adjust my ISO setting a lot which is why they appear grainy.

Our Navajo guide was a real darling and told me where to stand and where to point the camera to get the 'National Geographic' shots. Considering I don't have their equipment and was battling against the other tourists in there I am kinda pleased with these.

They do actually offer photographic tours where you can take your tripods, lighting etc....perhaps I'll do that one day.

What I'd really love to do is go there alone with just the Navajo and discover it's true meaning without a bunch of tourists clamoring to take pictures. The guide behind us was playing pipes and I just wanted to boot everyone else out and sit and listen to him play.

From Arizona we headed out into New Mexico. We spent the night in Albuquerque then went back North to Santa Fe and then up the 'hill' to Los Alamos.

Los Alamos is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded to undertake the Manhattan project.

To walk the same streets as such minor historical figures as Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and Niels Bohr was humbling to say the least. Even more so for my mad scientist of a husband.

You can't visit the lab obviously but there is an excellent museum there.

This is the view of New Mexico from the top of the hill.

From here we headed back down south to check out Roswell, where even the street lamps were aliens :-)

There was a pretty cool UFO museum there and they had this clock on display which I just loved. Need to catch me some rattlers for the ribs :-)

And then it was further south to check out Carlsbad and the caverns.

Halfway up the mountain there we found a little walk down to an Indian cliff dwelling.

Just had to watch where you were treading :-)

Imagine living here !

And then down into the caverns we went. There is an elevator that takes you down 750 ft and you walk back up.

Again, due to the poor light it was hard to get a really great photo.

The largest cavern here is called The Big Room and at 8.2 acres, is the second largest cavern in the world. It is huge and impossible to show in photos.

New Mexico as seen from the top of Carlsbad.

And coming back down.

From here we weren't sure whether to go to El Paso or back North into Alamogordo. We decided to stick with the nuclear bomb theme and head back north.

Unfortunately, the Trinity site, where the bomb was detonated is only open twice a year to the public...next time is October. We will very likely be making another trip over here to see this.

In the photo below you can just about see the White Sands National Monument on the horizon.

Alamogordo has a pretty impressive Space museum too.

American Avocets and a Black Necked Stilt we just happened upon in a lake by the side of the road. Waders make me smile...their long skinny legs don't look as though they can support them.

We decided to take a drive around the White Sands National Monument. Pretty awesome. Shame the weather wasn't brighter though.

And from here it was really time to start heading back west :-(

We took the scenic route as much as we could though.

Through the Gila National Forest.

And back into the desert. We had to wait for the Santa Fe train to cross the tracks...these things are miles long and don't go fast.

I always know we aren't far from home when we hit the
Mojave National Preserve.

Still a little ways to go though....and all desert.

The road we take here is part of the old Route 66. Such a shame how it has deteriorated since the freeways were built. There are many old motels, stores and gas stations on this route that have been derelict for years :-(

The infamous shoe tree in Amboy, California which has since been joined by a bra and knicker tree. We come through here fairly often and every time I forget to bring a spare pair to hang up

And then we were home :-(

Only until our next trip though...not sure if we'll take the 10 all the way from California to Key West, Florida....which is my choice...or head North up the Pacific Coast Highway though Oregon, Washington and into Canada....Mick's choice.

I have only posted a selection of photos here...if you want to see more please feel free to check out our myspace vacation log.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed your little trip around the Southwest......
normal service will be resumed soon.