Gilded trinket tray

I’ve been doing a lot of crafty stuff lately. 

On my long to do list is sharing them with you because frankly, they’re cool and original and they make me happy to make so they’ll increase my happy to share. So here’s one:

A few posts back I mentioned how I was painting on my front lawn and one of my oldest friends in the world whom I’d lost touch with randomly walked by. 

She invited me to her daughters upcoming bat mitzvah. When we met her daughter was wearing a t-shirt that said “sparkle is my favorite color”, so ya know, my people. 

I thought about what’s a good thing to give a 12 year old girl that she’ll really appreciate (besides cash) and decided that something sophisticated and unique and personalized would be what I’d want and since I basically have the same tastes as a 12 year old, I got to work. 

Since I don’t know her kid at all, I based my idea on the small bit of knowledge I did know about her, and that came from the design of the invitation:   

Shockingly enough, I already owned washi tape in similar colors and with a similar pattern to match her invitation. 

I also happened to have a lovely yet simple white ceramic candle/trinket tray, still wrapped from a gift I’d rec’d but didn’t really have a great spot for. 

Excellent. Let’s get started. 

First, I laid the wide washi tape around the four sides.  After that I laid the skinny washi tape about 1/4 in from the first washi tape. Sorta a layered look. 

 
Some technical notes: 

I made sure to leave a reasonable sized border of plate on the outside edge of the wide tape. This helped the the tape conform to the curves of the plate without having to work too hard. 

I created those mitred corners really easily. I laid the tape edge to edge in each direction and then just sliced through both layers from corner to corner. 

Here’s a pic of me doing it w the skinny tape:  

   

What was unexpectedly cool was how much the tape looked like it was part of the ceramic, especially the tape with the white background. 

Ok. After getting my washi frame in place I got to work on the name. 

At first I’d wanted to use Swarovski crystals to write it but I also knew I wanted to seal the whole thing for durability and sealer on top of swarovskis is a disaster. 

I was going through my “muchification drawer” (a real thing) looking for gold glitter paper. I was gonna print her name backwards, glue it to the back of the paper and then carefully exacto out the name and glue it in place. But, as luck would have it, while rifling through the muchification drawer I came upon the perfect solution: itty bitty little gold sequins with subtle pink accents.  

Because seriously, who doesn’t have that just hanging out at the bottom of a drawer somewhere, right?  

So, I got to work. 

I used a white pickup pencil because I had it within arms reach and i could rub it off. I free-handed her name in the same style font as it’s written on the invitation.  

 
Then I used jewelry epoxy to carefully glue the sequins in place.  

 
That thing was sparkleriffic, let me tell you! 

After the sequin glue dried I pulled out the elmers glue and a foam brush to reinforce and seal the washi tape to the plate.  

 Truthfully, I probably shoulda done that step before the sequins but I was impatient to start the sparkle. I just made sure not to get the glue on the sequins so it didn’t dull their shine. The glue goes on white but it dries clear. I also used a tweezer to pull up the edges of tape to glue underneath as the corners had started to pull away from the ceramic around the curves. You can sorta see it near the mitred corner in this pic:

  
When that was all good and dry I was ready for the last step- the most exciting step besides the glitterfication. The pour-on epoxy sealer! 

  
This stuff is the best thing ever- it makes everything it touches look like glass. It’s just brilliant and you can use it a bazzilion creative ways. 

Basically, it’s two liquid parts. You combine equal amounts of each and mix it up really well and then pour it on stuff and it’s like sealed under “glass” forever.  

 
  I used a sponge on the tape areas, I didn’t need or want it super thick there, just enough to seal it in place. This also let me control its placement along the perimeter of the plate without it dripping off in the wrong direction. I started w the perimeter so the epoxy would fall into the cavity of the plate. You can see it there in the top corner of the picture dripping onto the cavity. 

I was a bit nervous to use it because when it’s poured over crystals the crystals just lose ALL their muchness, so I thought the sequins might too. But they didn’t. So then I just poured the rest over the sequins.  

 
I spread and flattened it with the sponge. It was totally level and smooth, no sequins were protruding above the epoxy and the washi tape looks absolutely etched on there. 

As the epoxy dried it did roll down the edges into the plate but enough stayed put to act as a sealer and protector. The sequins look embedded in there. It’s really quite gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 

Here’s some more pics because they’re free. 

   
    
Reflecting the sunlight on the sequins and glass-coated finish. 

   The tape as etching up close. 

  

Gluten free- no eat hamentashen!

Yesterday I decided I wanted to bake hamentashen with my kids. Hamentashen are a traditional triangle cookie eaten on the jewish holiday of Purim.
Yay me. Mom of the year.
Only one problem.
I don’t bake.
No particular reason why, I just don’t. (Probably has something to do with the clean-up… And sugar, which we try to not use by the cup full.)
Anyhooo, someone recently sent me a link to an etsy shop that sells tiny polymer clay fake foods and inspiration hit.
I present:
NO EAT HAMENTASHEN KEYCHAINS!

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(Like the fruitcake on the goyim, they can never be too hard and they last forever!)

Ingredients:
1- large block of beige polymer oven bake clay. (Also known as “Caucasian skin to the doll making population)
2- small block of red, purple orange, brown polymer clay. Choose whatever colors will work for your “filling” of choice

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3- brown piece of chalk
4- rolling pin
5- 1.5″ or so round cookie cutter/glass/Prozac bottle
6- aluminum foil
7- cookie sheet
8- jewelry parts
-I loop (I think that’s what they’re called)
-Jump ring
-Key ring

Directions:
1- roll the skin clay thin but not too thin.

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2- use the cookie cutter to cut circles.

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Lay them on foil on a cookie sheet.
3- roll the jelly colors and make equal sized little marbles. We used a different cookie cutter to get them sized correctly.

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4- form the jelly into a fat lil triangle and center it in the flesh colored circle.

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Tap it with a toothpick to add some jelly texture.
5- fold up the three sides and pinch the corners.

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6- insert the I-loops into the tops.

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7- scrape the chalk into dust and use an old paintbrush or makeup brush to dust an uneven layer of golden baked goodness on your hamentashen.

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8- bake according to packaging instructions- about 275 for about 15 minutes.

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9- (not shown) after they cool, spray them with an aerosol gloss sealer.

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…..oh, shiny!
10- apply jump ring + key ring

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KEYCHAINS for the whole class!!

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11-remind your kids who the coolest mom in town is! (They need constant reminders. I’m certain by the time they are teenagers they’ll totally believe me, right?!?!

PS- last week I made teeny tiny ones that went on necklaces. Same process, smaller cookie cutter.

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That video I promised you!

So, while away for my nieces Bat Mitzvah I still needed to “show up” for the fashion design class I’m teaching. I made them this lil’ resume video, so I thought I’d share it with you!

Tova Portfolio style video… from Tova Gold on Vimeo.

I’ve also, for the first time since 1996 picked up some colored pencils and actually started drawing again… Here are some things that fell out of me that I truly didn’t know I was able to do:

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This whole experience has reminded me about so many of the things I’ve accomplished in my life- so many of the talents I’d forgotten I have, and passions I didn’t know still ignited me. It gave me an idea for a new project that I am REALLY excited to get started with…. I’ll keep you posted!!

Have an amazing week!

xo,

Tova

The hardest interview of my life.

Yesterday, I went on the hardest interview of my life. Ironic, considering I already had the job.

This semester I’m gonna be teaching a fashion design bootcamp to a group of 6th-8th graders at one of the local schools. While I’ve taught art to kids before, it was always as a “visiting artist” and the primary teacher was there to keep the kids in line. This time it was all on me, and let me tell you, if I was feeling the need to tap into my grit, this’ll be it. This Muchness journey I’m on…. taking me to all kinds of unexpected places…..

Let me first say, I am SO EXCITED to to do this. I LOVE teaching. (who knew?) When I was working as an art director in the fashion industry I always had to hire recent graduates and teach them and there was nothing better than watching that spark of understanding come to their eyes and the pride that came from looking at something you created that you didn’t know how to create just a little while ago.

I can see that most of the kids in the class are so eager to soak up¬†the info I have to share… and the ones who talked a lot and distracted everyone else, I plan to win them over as well. ūüėÄ

So, for some reason I was MORE nervous about this class than I was about some of the talks I’ve given to rooms full of adults. I couldn’t figure out why, until I got there, but here’s the thing- when you talk in front of a room full of adults, they WANT To hear what you have to say. They WANT to absorb it, or they wouldn’t be there. So they sit in their seats and silently wish you luck and welcome you.

These kids, they were gonna make me earn it.¬†They asked me to recite my resume. They wanted a detailed description of what we were going to cover in the class, what products I make, where they are sold. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna¬†check my credentials— I wonder which have googled me and are reading this right. now.

I kinda loved it. Hold my feet to the fire, try to sneak out for too many bathroom breaks….. that’s OK…. keep me on my toes, that’ll be just fine.

At the end of class I briefly pulled out a bit of my portfolio that I brought to show them “just in case” I ran out of stuff to talk about and the craziest thing happened…. rather than run for the door when the bell rang, they were huddled around looking at the pictures with more interest than I’d seen during¬†the the entire class. That gave me an idea….

Next week I can’t be there. I’ll be traveling for my nieces Bat Mitzvah. (Don’t think this is an opportunity to rob my glitter palace…. someone will be home!!!)

I was planning to record a lesson via video and have them do it while I’m gone, but I decided instead to make the video about ME! One of the kids in the class told me I “talk like a YouTuber” – whatever that means—- I kinda feel like it could be a compliment. (Like, I’m animated, yo!)

So I just spent some time in my basement taking pictures of my fashion portfolio from College…. and I even found some drawings from my very first portfolio which I started in 6th grade after going to a Bob Mackie fashion show.

Here are some of my 6th or 7th grade fashion sketches:

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I’ll share the video I create for their class once it’s complete… then you’ll get to see all kindsa Pre-Muchness Muchness that lived in the mind of the self-proclaimed Muchness Queen.

It’s funny to look back with some adult perspective on what you did as a kid and think “damn…. if that was my kind I’d be like “girl, you are talented.” and not feel braggy about it. Makes me wanna reach as high as I want my kids to reach someday.

Incidentally, after leaving the classroom, I walked through the lunchroom where there messages were stenciled onto the wall:

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Very Muchness Indeed. 

Muchness Craft Time!

It has been SO long since I’ve shared a craft here. I’ll bet so many of you don’t even know I do crafts. I¬†do. I¬†totally do crafts. Sometimes, I even write horrible poetry about the crafts I do. Because, why not?

Before I share this craft with you I just want to say for¬†the record that when Molly turned 4 I made her an awesome Disco themed party and totally planned to blog all about it and share the pictures of the disco balls the kids made. It was total Muchness. I never shared the pics. She’s six and a half.

OK. That’s been weighing on me. Now that I got it out of my system, maybe I’ll share it… eventually.

Moving right along….

I cleaned out my garage and basement! It started as part of the curriculum of my 8 week Finding Your Muchness After Babyloss program… sort of a “clearing the clutter” part of the program, ¬†but quickly escalated to an all-out call-your-uncle-and-beg-him-to-help-you-get-the-shit-out-of-your-house event.

It culminated in this beautiful sight:

Nothing like the feeling of dumping 500 lbs. of trash in one fell swoop.

But during the clear out I found my stash of FIMO clay from back in my college days!

I loved that stuff. I used it to sculpt some masterpieces…. with which to smoke from.

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(Nicotine products only. What?!?!?!? ¬†—seriously- everyone thought I was a pot head because I…well, I’m not sure why – any ideas? But I totally wasn’t. I thought it was stupid to use drugs in order to act “cool” or”weird”… I was totally those things already! Score! As an adult, I know better. )

Anyhoooo, Molly wanted to do a project and she and Liat were tired of totally ruining my patio while I recorded the horror in parental pride.

So I pulled out my fimo and the pasta maker that went with it and we got to work:

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Then, Molly had the brilliant idea of filming us doing it! …but sadly, the mic¬†on the camera wasn’t working… which in one way was good because it saved me the headache of having to edit the whole video for you. I just slapped it up on The YouTube as is, seeing as it was beyond repair anyway.

So, look at the pretty finished bowl!!

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It’s missing a “tooth” at the top, but we think that just adds character.

Following this project, Molly asked me to use an entire $45 gift card she received for her birthday to buy an assortment of FIMO clay for her to make more stuff with.

I gladly obliged. So much better that than more Hello Kitty crap to fill my house. Though, she could probably make her own little Hello Kitty Figurine to match the little Kero Keroppi one I made sometime before the turn of the century. photo 5

Of course, hers won’t have smoking paraphernalia¬†shoved up its butt.

Weekend Muchness Project. Paint will set your MUCHNESS free…

When Molly was three we bought a copy of the movie Annie. The kids watched it, as kids do, over and over and over and over again. Molly know the songs backwards and forwards and sung them under her breathe or in whispered hums in the back of the car. If anyone acknowledged her singing, she immediately stopped.

Nine or 10 months later a local group was putting on a production of Annie and I decided to take Molly. She was excited to be going somewhere special with me but didn’t really know what to expect. She perched on my lap with her back straight to get the best look and when Annie came out, boldly and clearly singing the opening lyrics of “Tomorrow” Molly spun around in my lap and, eyes wide, exclaimed “She has an AMAZING voice!” – those words, out of a four year olds mouth, with that much passion- I loved it.

From that day on, Molly would belt out tomorrow at the top of her lungs from the backseat of the car. Or, in the shower, or living room. It was like she’d suddenly been granted permission to use her voice. If only as adults we just needed that little bit of reassurance, right? A few weeks ago, I saw a YouTube video about this 5 year old painting prodigy,¬†Aelita Andre. The beautifully artistic video of her gracefully yet playfully painting in her studio made her appear etherial and angelic.


I think what was so compelling to me about it was that she was just doing what she wanted to do. No rules, no worries about using too much paint or making a mess or getting it wrong or staying in the lines…. the kind of freedom that only a child can capture without trying. So this weekend, I showed Molly and Liat this video and asked if they wanted to do it too. Like the singing, I knew that seeing someone her age express herself so freely would inspire Molly, who has a tendency towards shyness and has been known to freak out if she colors outside the lines. They were psyched. I printed out my Michaels 50% off Memorial Day coupons and we took a family trip to the craft store. before Then we went down to the basement and got busy! Here’s a “before” pic and video of the action. I loved making this video- It made me laugh out loud doing a “knock-off” of the very serious vid above.

Truth? As the girls painted, it was hard to stop myself from offering guidance or directions. I wanted to say “Try it this way” or “Don’t mix those colors together” but I didn’t. I just let them go for it. I put out the paint and I put out the glitter and I let them figure it out. It was so tremendously relaxing and so amazing watching them just explore the paint, the colors and their creative freedom. I wanna do this. Maybe together with some friends, some wine, and some music, this would be a totally amazing way to tap into a Muchness that has been feeling stifled for far too long…. Who’s in? :)

I had to share these fish- Amazing Art

all photos by Dominic Alves (installation view at ICN Gallery)

Those fish are not fish. They are paint and resin. I swear. Insane. Click to see more pics and watch a video of how the artist, Riusuke Fukahori, creates these. 

There is like a little spark of Inspirational Muchness that goes off in me when I see someone tap into something so random & unique and so much of an expression of themselves. That is what this feels like to me. I mean, this guy must REALLY LOVE FISH…. and you can feel that through his work.

The goldfish, writes Fukahori, was my salvation…

Riusuke Fukahori Goldfish Salvation | Spoon & Tamago.