Friday, March 13, 2015

It must be Spring...

Spring is here.  Difficult to tell in Honolulu because the seasons don't really change except for a slight chill in the air during winter.  So, how do I know?  I'm in the mood to clean and freshen everything in sight, including my online spaces.

And if that wasn't enough to deal with, the other day a friend mentioned that I really should get on board with Instagram and Twitter.  "What for?" I asked.  I truly was not interested in adding to the time I already spend on the internet.  She said, "You're missing out on stuff, some really good stuff."

She was right.  I've spent a part of this week setting up and getting lost in my Twitter and Instagram accounts, enjoying every minute!  Twitter was a foodie's paradise - every person and publication related to the food world is there!  The same may be true for Facebook but Twitter's format seems less distracting to me.  Think I've found my internet bliss.  Ha ha, the old dog learned a new trick!

Photos courtesy of Lorraine Loots

There's nothing new to report about my work today.  However, while on Instagram, I was able to catch up with an artist that I've been following for the past two years - Lorraine Loots.  She may not be new to you either, but for those who are not familiar: Lorraine paints in miniature.  On January 1, 2013, she launched her genius "concept" project, 365 Paintings for Ants, in which she committed to painting a miniature image each day for the entire year.  Subjects were random, sometimes relating to significant events of the respective date.  In 2014, she rolled out the project's 2nd phase; this time focusing on subjects relating to her home country of South Africa.  I was happy to learn yesterday that she has embarked on yet another year of daily paintings, this time with a twist on themes.  She's truly inspiring; her paintings are thoughtful and beautifully detailed.  Lorraine archives her work on Tumblr; check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Margherita, not Margarita

Another day, another project!  I'm juggling two at the moment, which works out to be a good strategy for keeping boredom at bay and creativity fresh.  Inventory production took precedence during the past week and part of the focus was on pizza.  A favorite of mine is the Margherita, heavy on the mozzarella and sauce, please...

1/1 scale peas and cilantro leaf and 1/12 Margherita pizza.

Every now and then I'll receive a message with a miniatures-related question. Today's questions answered:

Which clay do you use?  After experimenting with just about every brand of polymer (heat-cured) and air-dry (polymer, resin, paper) clay, I found that Fimo (any type) and Fimo Liquid work the best for me (ask other food miniaturists the same question and the answer will likely be different every time).  Early on I also used certain colors of  Cernit but disliked how rock hard this brand got after a year or so and didn't like its consistency when reconstituted with softeners.  Fimo gets dry and crumbly after a while but it will become usable with this simple hack:  Drop the crumbly mess in the corner of a freezer bag, fold the bag over twice, place on a towel and use a hammer to pound the crap out of it.  Unfold the bag, gather the flattened clay in a ball, fold the bag twice, and pound again.  Repeat the routine; add Fimo Mix Quick or Fimo Liquid if necessary.  After about 5 minutes, the clay should be pliable and ready to go.  This process also works well when conditioning a lot of clay at once and will save wear and tear on your hands and/or clay rolling machine, as well as time and effort saved not having to clean the machine.

Will you post a photo of your clay stash?  (??!!)  Okie-dokie.

Why don't you offer tutorials?   A major reason - there are a zillion polymer clay food tutorials on the internet, as well as books on the subject.  Information galore.  After researching what's already out there, I think the only other factor that would determine one's success is one's aptitude and talent.  Also, if demonstrating or sharing techniques or projects, I'd prefer working and interacting with others in person.  Finally, I've found a good balance doing what I do now - research, planning, production, photography, marketing, sales, shipping, blogging, social media, email, eating, sleeping, filing taxes, general living :^)  Something's gotta give if I add tutorials to the mix!

Kudos to all of you who can manage their lives AND produce tutorials :^D

Have a great week...