Circus-A-Day Project: Week 4

Circus-A-Day Recap of Week 4

Day 22: Merriment Powder Pendant (K) & Mini Organ Grinder (M)

So, K’s first idea couldn’t get finished in time for the deadline, so I decided to put some whimsy in my circuspunk. I asked myself, “How do they get all that fun and magic on the midway?” With a little help from the Magic Midway Merriment powder! And I learned about working with glitter (lesson: don’t).

M had a similar problem with her original idea taking too long so she looked around her living room and used some of her favorite things to create a little vignette for the day. My cuddly sock monkey (a gift from my Bestie), a member of the String Doll Gang (a gift from my mommy), and the mini music box I bought in Paris (it plays La Vie En Rose) were the winning combination. Voila! A Mini Organ Grinder and his dancing monkey!

Day 23: Steampunk Showgirl Pencil Drawing (K) & Stuntwoman Bustle Skirt (M)

Today did not start out auspiciously, with K vomiting for the first half of the day. So, I decided to stay “simple” with my art today. Yeah, right. It’s been a while (years) since I drew anything more than stick figures or tectonic art (don’t ask), so it turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected. I am reasonably happy with my girl, but I have even more respect for all you real pencil artists out there. I will probably profane your art again this year, but I will hold you in high regard while I do it!

M tried to finish her original idea from day 22 for day 23, but it wasn’t in the stars apparently.  I had to fight the sewing machine all the way and finally the machine won when the needle broke and then refused to be removed and replaced. The Steampunk Horseback Stuntwoman’s Bustle Skirt will just have to wait until I can muscle that pesky needle out of its home and replace it with a new one. Sometimes you just don’t get to make the rules.

Day 24: Green Circus Hat Band (K) & Steam-Powered Elephant (M)

K’s contribution for the day: a bright and cheerful hat band for your circus tophat. Made from ribbon, an ostrich feather, a large pocketwatch face, and some brass findings. The ribbon crimps, chain, and brass wire hook allow the had band to be adjusted for different sizes of hat.

M’s contribution for today: a Steam-Powered Elephant! (Thanks to a few friends for the idea, help getting the supplies, and dinner!) Made from my very own whistling tea kettle, grey felt cut into ears, googly eyes, a mini top hat and double stick tape. (Disclaimer: this is a temporary art piece, all plastic and flammable items were removed after the photos were taken and prior to me brewing my next pot of tea!). Yes, that is the cuff bracelet from Week 3 masquerading as a hat band.

Day 25: Bottle Cap Charm and Glass Charm Starts (K)

K had the worst art day EVER today. I’ve discovered that I’m creatively crippled without my round-nose pliers. Also, I didn’t have the right tools to do the resin casting I planned for today. Then, my UTEE and crackle-paint bottle cap charm was a total DISASTER, with the paper floating and scorching, the crackle paint mixing with the UTEE, and the whole thing coming out a mess. So, I kept working on the fortune-teller necklace I have planned. I’m ready to solder the charms made from old fortune cookie fortunes I’ve been hoarding. That’s as far as I got today.

M is totally admitting that she did not complete anything for Day 25. I have no excuses that will be satisfying enough for anyone, including myself. I simply apologize for being a slacker and will do better in future. (It’s okay, I know I am. I am working on that.)

Day 26: Hat Frames for Gear/Sprocket Mini Top Hat & Bustle Skirt Prototype

K called it early tonight with a template and two buckram frames for mini-tophats with a gear-shaped brim. The template is made from paper, and the frames are made from two different weights/stiffnesses of buckram. The next phase involves cutting and sewing fabric covers for the hats and final assembly, for which K needed M’s expertise and generous forbearance!

M’s contribution for the day was to make a prototype of the adjustable bustle skirt she wants to add to the line of apparel carried by I used an awesome mid-weight striped cotton fabric. The skirt consists of two “puffs” and a tail. The two puffs are adjustable via ties in channels sewn along the seams. I am still working on how to make the vertical side gathering adjustable. Too many channels and it becomes like origami and you have to know what order to do it all in to get the right effect. It isn’t perfect and will probably undergo several modifications before it passes approval for production. But not a bad start, if I do say so myself! (which I totally do!)

Day 27: Gear/Sprocket Mini Top Hat of Wonderment (K & M)

M and K had to join forces to complete this little wonder. It’s made from the stiffest buckram we had in our arsenal, and awesome (but totally irritating), flocked polyurethane fabric, and it took hours of hand stitching to complete it! The brim is shaped like an 8-toothed gear or sprocket. The removable hat band consists of tulle, velvet ribbon, and leopard-print polysatin, with replica gears attached with Swarovski pearls. The focal piece of the hat band is antique brass drawer hardware and an old Czech glass button we found at an antique market and three of our peacock feathers. We LOVE it! It exceeded our expectations, and K thinks it makes up for her crummy art day earlier in the week! M is quite pleased with her hand-sewing skills and believes that whatever price people put on handmade hats is probably too low!

Day 28: Snow Lion (K &M)

So, we moved from our first-ever hat to our second-ever giant snow sculpture. (Last year, when we got more than a foot of snow dumped on us, we made a giant Buddha). Our life-sized snow lion briefly resided just outside of Main Vine Studio on East Vine Street in Mt. Vernon, OH. Our sculpting weapons of choice: a butter knife and two spoons! To enhance his steampunkiness, we added some 1920 Antique Glacier Goggles (it just seemed appropriate). M and K shown for scale. Unfortunately, there are actual jerky punks in the world and our little lion didn’t last but a few days.

K’s Insights from Week 4: I rely on a lot of different tools and materials for most of my artwork. Making art on the road is going to be a big challenge! I’ve realized that I have a lot more skills that I normally give myself credit for. And I’ve also realized that I have a lot more skills to learn to reach the level of artist I want to be!

M’s Insights from Week 5: Sometimes it is okay to ask others for help and for ideas, but I should know I will be expected to execute the actual doing mostly by myself, unless K is around! It is important to have back-up equipment. I can’t believe I let that sewing machine kick my @$$! When K and I work together – Holy Awesome! – very cool stuff is created! So glad she is my partner in crime!

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