Bloomingdale's skeleton costmetics

 

Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate display
Bloomingdale’s Cosmetics department

Costa Mesa, California

Posted by: cassymuronaka | May 5, 2014

Stephen King would love this

LV mailbox

 

Residential mailbox
Las Vegas, Nevada

Posted by: cassymuronaka | May 3, 2014

Malta envy

coral 2

 

I’m not usually one to let the green-eyed monster get the best of me, but it has been a little tough to view all the spectacular photos coming out of Malta from the EuroSynergy polymer clay conference.  The weather and scenery make me long to flee the toasty desert-ish cage of Los Angeles in exchange for a nice breezy day while I pound the cobblestone streets of the Mediterranean island.

Actually, are there cobblestone streets in Malta?  It seems like there would be.

Instead of thinking about all the awesome classes and information exchange I was missing, I decided to conduct my own polymer clay class.  With one student.  Me.

The earrings that resulted from my trying to avoid sitting on the Pity Pot came out of not just envy but unbelievable procrastination. First, I was avoiding chores I promised myself I would finish Thursday.  Secondly, I was constructing jewelry that would match a blouse I had planned to wear to a friend’s wedding.  Only, the wedding was last weekend.

The one guideline I set myself was not to go make something in the same colors that always attract me. That’s the Cool Color Place: blue, green, purple, yada, yada.   So, I picked a palette of creamy corals. By the way, the warm hue would have looked great with that shirt I wore to the wedding last Sunday.

The inspiration for my project was a pair of earrings that Cynthia Tinapple made and posted about in 2012 on her always-stimulating Polymer Clay Daily website. The earrings were called “Stacked Polymer Shards,” and they resemble smooth beach glass: Cool Color Place beach glass, which is probably why I’ve been mooning over them for a couple of years.

What kind of clay did I use for my project? Everything.  Old Classic Fimo orange, current Classic Fimo red, Kato translucent, Premo translucent, probably even ancient Fimo Art Translucent.  The process of making my earrings was not unlike how a thrifty French housewife cooks her winter stew: set the stove’s back burner to Low, and just keep throwing leftover vegetables and meat in the soup over a period of a couple of days.

Once the coral shades were mixed up from the various kinds of clay and the beads shaped, I set them in to cure at 275° in a preheated oven for 22 minutes.

Putting the earrings together was kind of like playing with a Rubik’s cube or going through a corn maze. Initially, I wanted everything to balance and the two earrings to look similar, but there was a reason I made the oval beads in varying sizes and thicknesses with bead holes not always placed dead center. So, the perfectionist in me had to chill out and go with the uneven flow.

Were the earrings successful? Did I forget about Malta for a few minutes?  Well, yes I did, and my 24-year-old son, who never has a problem sending a zinger my way, said they looked very good on me. And when I wore them to Starbucks yesterday, the young barista serving me wanted to buy them off my ears.  I didn’t sell them, but I did go right back home and assemble a second pair.

 

Coral 1

 

Posted by: cassymuronaka | May 1, 2014

The soirée of the season

taxidermy 2

 

Downtown News (LA) item, week of April 24, 1914

Posted by: cassymuronaka | April 30, 2014

Can the NBA commissioner stop these too?

If you live in Los Angeles, you are subjected to what sometimes seems like a non-stop barrage of newspaper advertisements where Donald T. Sterling pats himself on the back through a foundation that he founded whose object mainly seems to pay for publicity.  I don’t know what the going rate for a full-page LA Times ad is, but it’s probably enough to feed a small Nigerian village for a year. But I suppose that money now will be used for legal fees.

Poor Marilyn, Poor Elvis.

donald t. sterling

 

 

Posted by: cassymuronaka | April 27, 2014

All I can offer is a new “dogs” photo

This poor blog.  I neglect it, and I have nothing concrete to show for the time where I should have been posting a few words or photos.

I could make excuses….    I have been ruthlessly sorting out and taking things to the Goodwill and Salvation Army.   The weather has been an unpredictable and my mood been corresponding with it.

I can’t really expect to get any sympathy from anyone living east of the Rockies on that last one, though.

I am babysitting my sister’s labradoodle again. So I offer a photo of him and my ancient border collie/lab mix lying on the old blanket I put on my bed to keep my new bedspread in good condition and protected from dog reek.

Covering the bedspread with a ratty green blanket sort of defeats the purpose of having a nice new blue bedspread, though.

But it’s too late to train Lola or Toby “Off!”

dogs

 

A smidge of cow

Living Spaces
Monrovia, California

Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 8, 2014

I wouldn’t have chosen this name, but hey, if it works for you

Rot Room, 2013

 

California Science Center
Los Angeles, California

Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 1, 2014

Massaging the persimmons

persimmons hanging

After spending a couple of weeks drying a lot of our Japanese Fuyus in a dehydrator, I now am hanging them to dry in the traditional Japanese way.

Ours is a happy tree and it had a happy year, so there is a a lot of fruit.  I’ve have had to get creative in dealing with the harvest. We gave a lot of it away, mostly the fresh stuff. A few select people who would understand the effort of cutting up and dehydrating 10,000 Fuyus received the gift of dried persimmons.

I discovered a few years ago that dried Fuyus taste like fresh dates.  I’m fairly indifferent to fresh persimmons but I love dried dates. I passed my big discovery along to some friends, along with some dehydrated persimmons.  Everyone who has tried the Fuyus agrees that dried Fuyus taste like dates that arrived straight from Indio.

So now I’m on to new drying techniques.  Or rather, one very old one. I skinned and hung about 17 persimmons on Friday night, after I stole the towel rack out of my husband’s bathroom. For the “sunny spot” the drying instruction requires, I pushed my couch out from the big front window, where the sun hits the hardest. Now the whole neighborhood can watch the show being put on by the demented woman hanging fruit in her living room.

After leaving the persimmons alone for a week, I am supposed to start giving them little massages to get the sugar moving.

I would imagine that there are people in Japan who spend years learning how to give the right massage — the fruit version of sushi chef training — but my persimmons are getting the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants American rub-down. Loving, but possibly very clumsy and inaccurate.

I thought I was done after hanging those 17 persimmons in the front window, but we still have persimmons.

I went back and looked at the traditional Japanese drying instructions.  I read that if a persimmon tree branch is unusable for hanging (or your husband went crazy tightly clipping all the persimmons off the tree close to their bases), you can simply add a screw to the top of the fruit, thereby creating your own metal “branch.”

persimmon with screw

I have successfully done this with two persimmons.  And now it is going be my New Year’s Day past-time, along with Round Two of getting ready for taxes, and watching my TiVoed Rose Parade.

Posted by: cassymuronaka | December 19, 2013

Great sunset + Christmas lights = good photos

Christmas lights on St. Alban's, vertical
St. Alban’s Avenue in San Marino, home of the giant decorated deodar trees
December 2013

St. Albans christmas lights

After sunset

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