Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Golden Ram-Sam

He's done!
My Golden Ram! 
At last!

But why did it take so many months that I'm not even willing to guess how much time has passed since I started building this creatureAnd what will I do with him now?  More time will tell, maybe! 

Some years ago, I decided it would be fruitful and interesting to work on the story of Psyche.  At first glance it's a romance, but deeper down it's a female hero's journey.

I was in the midst of a mask-making furor, so I thought I'd make some masks of characters in the story.  Maybe I'd use them in a performance, maybe they'd be just for me. 

In the myth Psyche has to prove herself through a number of impossible labors.   One of her tasks is to fetch fleece from the golden ram--a creature who is beyond fierce.

So ... my task:  create the ram.
I started by making a clay mold so I could use it to form a sturdy papier mache face and head.  For horns, I made frames of aluminum foil and wrapped them in muslin soaked in wallpaper paste, and painted the results.

His ears are natural leather.  His eyes?  Well, I'm not telling (you'll recognize them, I'm sure).  His fur?  Golden Fleece, of course.

About the fierceness.  All right, already.  I know I know I know.  I can't help that he won't scare anyone.  He's been tamed, see?  Psyche did it when I wasn't looking.  Not my fault.

Now there's one more half-done mask remaining on my table:  Cerberus, the three-headed (fierce) dog that guards the gates of Hades.  You don't even want to know how not fierce he's turning out.   For those who need to know:  tune in here later.  Much later.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ornamentally Yours

I know people who make sure to take their Christmas trees down before New Year's Day, so they'll have good luck during the New Year.

I figure I'm ahead if I get it done before March, though the truth is, I do feel a poof of exhilaration for getting to it before Epiphany because then I, too, get to be on for a clean start.
But more than that, I love revisiting favorite ornaments as I put them away.  Each one brings on such memories!

This Christmas I was gifted with two new ornaments.
This one is in honor of the fact that a penguin has always
been our icon on the back of handmade Christmas cards.
It holds mini-jelly beans.  I don't want to tell you what part of this penguin dispenses the jelly beans.

I so wish I could demonstrate this elephant's propellers because he is truly the most adorable guy ever, as he bicycles through the labyrinth that is our mantle during Christmastide.

This straw goat makes me giggle.  A friend and I went to a lecture about children in Sweden being visited by Christmas goats.  We were all a-shiver thinking about the bad goat arriving in a sleigh (earthbound, drawn by horses), demanding presents from misbehaving children.   Happily, this red one, who was given to me by that friend, isn't grumpy.

You know how your memory plays tricks with the truth?  I remember how eager I was as a child to be allowed to set up the manger scene at Christmas.  The set is mine now, but to my surprise, it turns out to be a completely mismatched set containing multiples of wise men in a telescopic array of sizes, and very few other characters.  Thank goodness there's at least a baby Jesus.

Oh, but the angels!  These little wooden, music- creating creatures from my childhood are every bit as alluring I remember!   I'm even charmed that a couple of them have misbehaved over the years, and lost a wing.

And that would explain why I'm a sucker for adding to my collection of wee wooden angels in highly unsubtle colors!

This Christmas tree ball is from my sister's tree.
Here's to spending holiday time with family and revisiting childhood stories.

Happy New Year!