Saturday, February 28, 2009

Decoupage Project Done & I Don't Believe It *@**#

Ever have one of those days when you are sure the patron saint of internet challenged Twits has forgotten about you!!?? Yes? Well last night I had spent hours editing pictures to use in my post, then writing a pithy slightly humorous text. I was down to loading the very last picture,which is no small feat as it take forever to upload pictures to my blog :( That's when the power went off, since I had the lap top I didn't shut down. I waited a couple of minutes to make sure it wasn't a hiccup, check to be sure that Blogspot had saved my posting to draft (yep just before the power went off) then in all confidence shut down the lap top and went to round up the flash light and candles. Booted up this morning went to my drafts to upload the last picture, kiss my posting on the forehead and send it on it's way :) Oh NO followed by a terrible potty mouth coming of my side of the room when all that I found in drafts was the title;) No text, no pictures, nada now tell me how did that happen??

Soooooo let us begin again. Remember back a few post (here) my neighbor gave me her husband's and her graduation pictures and asked me to put then on a ratty looking piece of picture board? No?? Well you can read it Here . Then I asked her if she had a few Wedding pictures I could use also, since this was to be an anniversary gift from Nari. I finished the project and I think it turned out pretty darn good. Want to have a look?? :)

I had a couple of prints, one with a cross, candles a bird nest and eggs, and a simple green ivy wreath. The other was a candelabra with pink candles a little lace and buttons, a rusty plaque with the word Love on it.Over the top of those I printed out a couple of wedding prayers in Spanish. I tore them into different size pieces and glued them down for the background , Then placed the pictures of Nari & Gerardo on the bottom half of the plaque. Across the top I placed the pictures the wedding pictures of Nari & Gerardo, their aunt and his grandmother.Then in the center I placed the picture of the couple being presented to the congregation.

Three layers of super secret decoupage medium ( white school glue and water), when it was dry I glued 4 different Milagros around the couple for blessings and protection.

Gave the outside edge of the plaque a rough coat of white paint. Sanded it back a bit and applied the most amazing antiquing medium ( Kiwi shoe wax in light brown)

Just so it couldn't take itself to seriously I added a wire to hang it by, with a few curly cues and beads :)

Well here I am again, my posting is all written out & it's time to hit the spell check. Look it over once more just in case I forgot something Then hope the power holds on long enough to push the publish button and have it magically appear on my blog :) Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009

As Promised The Second Carnaval Parade

There are always two Parades. The beginning of Carnaval has the Night Light Parade. Then on the last day of Carnaval is the day parade. The street is just as packed and getting picture of anything other then the backs of peoples heads is almost impossible. So this year we had a plan. We went with another couple (the ones who have the condo that the firework pictures were taken at) so we decided we would walk the floats while they were being staged. Then when the parade started instead of going down the street where the parade would end we stayed up where it started. It worked perfect. All the crowd was down waiting at the other end so we could stand right on the curb to see them go by. The only thing we missed by doing it this way was being covered in confetti or having candy thrown at us. :)

Okay just a little cultural note about beauty contest here. There are beauty queens for every organization, company, store, and school starting with preschool! So by the time you get up to "The Carnaval Queen" contest many girls have been competing for most of their lives. It will cost the family of each queen around $300,00 pesos each princess $200,00 pesos ($20-30,000 US). The average monthly income is about $250-$300 (US) for blue collar workers. Families will sacrifice, take out loans at 45-50% interest rates, what ever it takes. The contestants are expected to raise that money so they go table to table, door to door, stand at intersections, have car washes, bake sales what ever they can think of to find the money. If they can't raise it all they don't earn enough votes.

And why is this done ? Because it will insure that the girl will marry well. Even though Mexico is a Matriarchal society, the woman's place is in the home taking care of her family. You do not win a husband by going to college, being intellectual, independent,or having a career. The beautiful women find husbands. Girls are taught this from toddlerhood. Thus the beauty queen obsession.

Back to Carnaval. Every float will have a queen, some will have a king also. The only float with no queen or Princess is the Carnaval King's float.

SO off we go on a tour of the parade. Oh and yes this is like Mardi Gras Some say it's the third largest in the world. I'm not going to get sucked into that mess. I only know that there were 800,000 this year and this wasn't considered a huge year!! The last day is on fat Tuesday and then Lent starts. The difference is Mexico is all about Family. Carnaval is a celebration for the whole family. The wild partying and drinking is in a fenced off area of the street and is at night. Kids are not allowed in.

This is my favorite float. The Giraffe makes me laugh, But the little monkeys are way beyond adorable!! They are all around 3 years old ;)

This is the King and his court. The king and little princess are chosen by the amount of money they were able to raise not by votes.

These are past queens some where Carnaval queens in the early 50s!! Once a queen always a queen and for most of these women this was the pinnacle of their lives.

This is not the Carnaval Queen but she is a queen of.....

This isn't her either

These are queens from other Mexican and Latin American cities, also Haiti and Cuba. Remember Mexico has no embargo with Cuba

Yep this is the 2009 Mazatlan Carnaval queen. LW says he apologies just as he snapped the picture a breeze (ocean is only 30 ft away) blew her veil across her face :(

I think I fit quite nicely into that description :) Have an audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good By To Carnaval For For Another Year

Yes another Canaval has slipped by with none the to worse for wear. The dogs all did really well with the fire works. No one ate the sheets became catatonic or shook until their teeth rattled. We just all crammed into a 4ft square all huddled up :) LW said the fire works were as impressive as ever. I think he even got a few really good shots with the new camera. What makes them so cool here is the ocean water is almost a black mirror so the fire works are reflected off the water.

See down at the bottom of the picture those are what people look like when you are 18 stories high :)

There were 5 launch stations along the bay so every where you looked there was sparklies

LW also used the new camera for the night parade. Those pictures didn't turn out as well. With the floats moving and the people on the floats moving then factor in the crowd was GInormous and there was a ton of jostling for the best spots. I think there were times when it took all his concentration to remain upright, and the only one walking on his feet. :)

This was the size of the crowd about an hour or so before the parade started. All those chairs have had dibs on them since around noon :)

Neither one of these queens are the Carnaval queen LW didn't get a good shot of her float. But this is the land of Beauty Queens. Every Every little girls dreams of being a queen of something. Every mother grooms her daughters to compete to be a queen. Even if it's just Queen of the Library. More on the process when I post the day time pictures.

The Carnival here in Mazatlan is very unique and really there is nothing that compares to Carnaval. The entire city is involved Anyone can enter a float, There are try outs for all the schools to participate on the floats. I'm sure that there is not one inch of felt, lame, or bling left in the entire city :) They figured that there was 300,000 people there for the parades There is only about 400,000 people in the municipality. No kidding I don't think there was anyone in town that wasn't involved with the event !!
The daytime parade yesterday we went early and took photos while they were staging and the very beginning of the parade I'll post tomorrow or Friday. Those need to be cleaned up a bit for their debut!

So today is Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent, which means Easter is only 40 days away!! Yikes ya better start giving the girls in the hen house a pep talk to step up production :)

Have a most audacious day or evening in Bloglandia depending on where in the world you are ;)

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Finally Here!! :)

Remember ages ago when I posted that I had signed up For Karla's of Karla's Cottage Valentine tag swap?? So I got all five made to mail off at the last day or two of Jan, so they would be there in time. We stuffed them and a return padded envelope into a nice big padded manila envelope took it up to Post & Ship blessed it and just to be sure rubbed my lucky faux rabbit foot over it :) And then I waited and waited and waited. I didn't give up hope mostly cuz I hadn't heard from Karla that she never received my tags. Some times we can send or receive mail within 8-10 days of mailing it. Sometimes it can take 2 weeks, and sometimes 3 weeks :( It kinda all depends on how the patron saint of custom agents is feeling :) Mail can also be opened and search at either or both borders. Our mail is carried up to Laredo once a week on Mondays. We can receive mail on MWF.

Finally on Friday all my patience payed off!! LW came back from the postal box with a padded manila envelope with our address printed on it in LW's hand writing, Woo Hoo :) But to make things even more special was this is the first swap I had ever tried doing!!! And boy am I feeling good about it. Even well planned out give aways can be stressful. You might have noticed I have passed my 100 posting and not done a give away ;( I'm not comfortable doing one until I know I have a "mule" that can carry it up to the States to mail it for me. Even when you think you have it all figured out it can go south. I thought I had my OWOH gift all figured out until the friend playing "mule" had to return to the States early :(

Jeez I think that's about all the whining I can tolerate tonight. Even paradise comes with a price. If this is the price for mine it's a darn small one to pay!! :)

Have a look at my Puppy Love Valentine tag book :)

Sooooooo how come all my pictuers are side ways tonight??? They were all right side up on the camera, and then when I downloaded them. So why now are they side ways?? Help just when I think I'm getting the hang of this some gremlin comes and pulls the rug out from under me!! :(

LW is up at friends condo watching the fireworks for Carnaval. I'm home pulling pup duty. So I better be signing off cuz when the noise starts I'm going to have 3 large dogs and two tiny ones all crammed under my desk ;( We do not like fire works. Ha and we live in a country that LOVES their fire works!!

Have a most audacious day or evening dear Bloglandians depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A necklace Interpretation -- Life Lesson

For me half the fun in any project is coming up with substitutes that will produce the same effects as the original piece. Deryn of Something Sublime creates some of the most amazing and beautiful jewelry. :) I'm constantly amazed at her ability to incorporate wrapped wire in her creations. She is also one of the most generous artists! She often will share tutorials on her blog and she has a way of making it look obtainable for us Bloglandians who can't seem to master wrapping a ball of string :)

A while ago she posted a fun flippy necklace she calls Love Letters. She had created it as a tutorial for Teresa Mc Fayden's zine. I decided to try making the necklace without the tutorial, mostly because I knew there was going to be a mess of things I would have to substitute and rework. Deryn had taken very good pictures so I could see what to do.

So here is a picture of Deryn's "Love Letters" and to follow are pictures of my interpretation ;) If you squint turn your head sideways while looking through an empty toilet paper roll it even kinda looks like Deryn's. Just don't look to closely at the soldering or the wire wrapping :(

Deryn used a really soft pink ribbon. The only pink satin ribbon I could find was more coral and over an inch wide. I love the look of brown and pink together so I went with a brown satin ribbon She also had 2 soft pink stones she wired to her ribbon. I found 2 quarts crystal rustic cut pink beads

I had this rhinestone crown pin in my stash so I used it in place of the circle that Deryn had. One of the biggest dilemmas was the anagram game pieces. I didn't have any and there was no place I was going to find them here. I did have lots of my scrabble letters stash, but some how they just couldn't pull it off. I also had a really cheap set of wood dominoes. Numbers not letters but sure look much better then the scrabble pieces. :) Instead of trying to drill a straight line through the much longer domino I glued two together with a wire between them, so it appears to be "strung"
The wire was really my biggest hurdle. I really despise sterling silver here!! With the heat and humidity causing one to "sweat like a pig" (do pigs sweat I wonder??)silver will tarnish a nasty color of black within days :( Because it's such a problem the bead/findings store carries an imitation (alloyed) sterling silver wire. Only it came in just one very fine gage. Not near strong enough to for jump rings and other attachments. I did have a nice heavy wire but it turns your skin black :( So what I did
was use the heavy nasty wire to do all the grunt work and then covered it up with the light silver wire by wrapping the heck out of any exposed areas :)

Lastly I wanted my domino to hang below my "shelf" where as Deryn's would have hung off my "self ;) But when I lengthen the ribbon there was a whole lotta naked brown ribbon. So I placed a carved rose quart heart on each side.

So there you have it two necklaces with different interpretations. And that right there is the life lesson how do you live happily and successfully in a foreign culture. There is no way you can duplicate the life you had in your own culture in a foreign one. But you can adapt and incorporate the two cultures. If that will work for you then you have a much better chance of success as a happy expatriate. If on the other hand you really need to duplicate the way you lived you have a far greater chance of never finding happiness living in a foreign culture.

Have a most audacious day or evening depending on where in Bloglandia you are ;)

PS. First Carnaval parade is tomorrow evening promise to have pictures :)
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