Friday, July 25, 2008

Heat and Humidity - not a friend of Paper Mache

Well I thought I'd be finished with the three hot air balloons I started two weeks ago and I would have, if it weren't for the weather we've been having in New York. And it doesn't help that I don't have central air conditioning in my home. When I make my balloons, I sometimes use a fan in a window to speed up the drying process. Big mistake this time. Not only did the balloons not dry faster but the heat and humidity also caused them to cave in. Anyway, after a little tweaking and much more time spent, I'm at least back on track but way off schedule. I get so frustrated when I have a jumble of creative ideas in my head but clouds get in the way (literally and figuratively).

Here's a picture of my current work in progress. I hope to be finished in about a week or two.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WIP - Time Forgotten Hot Air Balloon


Lisa Bagherpour is a wonderful Photo Manipulator and has been in touch with me as we share an attraction to hot air balloons. Above is one of her manipulated photographs including a hot air balloon that I am currently working on replicating. I am naming it after her photo, calling it "Time Forgotten" Hot Air Balloon. You can see more of Lisa's work at

Here is a Work in Progress picture of three balloons. This shows the second layer (out of three) of paper mache in the drying stage. My balloons usually take 1-2 weeks to complete. Check back next week for the completed Time Forgotten Balloon!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Muppets and Sesame Street

This coming October brings a lot of changes for my family and I as me and my husband are expecting our first child! Everyone is over the moon and I'm getting real excited. I can't wait to start setting up her room!

Thinking about the the baby has me reminiscing often about my own childhood and what I grew up with. Today I was thinking about how I used to love Sesame Street - and I still do. Actually, anything having to do with the Muppets is a favorite.

I've always wanted to own an authentic Muppet (or at least a pretty good replica). I remember years ago, FAO shwartz had a certified replica of Kermit the Frog. It was waaaay too much money so I decided to make my own Muppet. He's small, easy to make and not so well known, but he IS a Muppet. He's Slimey the Worm.

Slimey the Worm (also simply known as Slimey) is a light and dark orange striped worm that is the pet and friend of Oscar the Grouch on Jim Henson's Muppet show Sesame Street... His small size does not affect his attitude of being one not to wince at the sight of extreme activities. As Lou Berger, head writer for Sesame Street, put it, "Slimey shows viewers that even the smallest creature can be the most heroic, and that's an important thing for kids to see." Slimey is not only the pet of Oscar the Grouch, but also the only character with whom Oscar admits being friends and liking. Slimey is said to bring out the best in Oscar. The friendship between the two is understood, where they do not express their feelings for each other but act in a manner which shows their strong relationship. Oscar likes Slimey because they share common interests like the love of rain, mud, and soil, and the fact that Slimey doesn't talk to him when he is trying to sleep. The two do many things together, including taking mud baths and just hanging out." - Excerpt from Wikipedia

Here is my Slimey and a picture of him with a caption from the book, "Sesame Street Unpaved" by D. Borgenicht 1998.

I always laugh at the scene in Muppets Take Manhattan when Kermit is diagnosed with Amnesia. But it was only confirmed after he was poked, prodded, twisted and legs turned behind his head. Hee Hee.
Here's another favorite I've come to appreciate as an adult. It's hilarious! Janice always gets the best one liners. (You may have to click the play button twice). Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mother Goose Rhymes and Stories


Mother Goose Rhymes and Stories have always intrigued me as they always seem to have a hidden meaning. For example, you have probably heard various versions of the story behind Humpty Dumpty. One such translation suggests the following: According to an insert taken from the East Anglia Tourist Board in England, Humpty Dumpty was a powerful cannon used in the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War. It was mounted on top of the St Mary's at the Wall Church in Colchester defending the city against siege in the summer of 1648. Although Colchester was a royalist stronghold, it was besieged by the Roundheads for 11 weeks before finally falling. The church tower was hit by enemy cannon fire and the top of the tower was blown off, sending "Humpty" tumbling to the ground. Naturally all the King's horses and all the King's men (royalist cavalry and infantry respectively) tried to mend "him" but in vain. Other reports have Humpty Dumpty referring to a sniper nicknamed One-Eyed Thompson, who occupied the same church tower. - Excerpt taken from

For more information on Mother Goose, Wikipedia goes into detail about the history at

For other Mother Goose nursery rhymes and their meanings, there is an excellent website at

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Humpty Dumpty Jack in the Box


Here is another version of my fan favorite, Humpty Dumpty JITB. There are four Mother Goose illustrations including Goosey Goosey Gander, Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet and This Little Piggy.

Materials used include paper mache box, acrylic paints, various papers, paper mache egg, beeswax, bells, buttons and a spring.
Box measures 10 1/2" open 6 1/4" h x 5 1/4" w. - $100