Last year several of us got together the morning of Thanksgiving for a little game of competitive but mostly hacker football. This year, Katy, who works for me and my cousin Monica got a team of girls from Portland together and things got a little more serious! They even brought 3 guys to ref us!
We talked trash, had to make a logo (above), got real flags from Big 5 and had 26 girls show up!
We played the Sunday before Thanksgiving to make things easier and less hectic. The weather was gorgeous! This is my team above. Mostly made up of 35 yr. olds and UP.
And Katy and Monica's team, the oldest player being 29!
I'm 36, I want to have as much of this kind of fun as I can while I'm still able! How about you? I know some of you wouldn't consider this fun at all, but some of you probably got married, had kids and somewhere along the line thought this part of you was in the past never to be seen again.
Last year I made these which were inspired by this and was overwhelmed by how much work they were. This year I had more than twice as many to make (for each of my daughters classes) so I decided to make a little piece of art to try to make things a little easier. I'm not sure if it turned out easier or not... But I do think they turned out super cute.
I first printed them out, folded them at the top then cut them. I actually dyed my toothpicks orange with foodcoloring, which I probably didn't need to do since most of the toothpick was in the cupcake or up in the turkey. I used Mod Podge to glue it together and the tp's in but I think some good dbl. sided tape would be much faster and easier!
Here is a FREE DOWNLOADof these Allen Designs Turkey Toppers available for just for YOU!
I can't believe I'm saying this but all my samples are done! I truly thought I was cutting this trip too short only being 7 days to the normal 11-12 days. "More preparation ahead of time DOES pay off." say I, the master of PROCRASTINATION! lol.
So, with a few hours to spare I headed off for shopping in one of China's largest cities, Shenzhen. Above is a street vendor skillfully making these ambered candied animials. He was selling them for 5RMB=about $.80 or so!
Another street vendor selling mini fish in heart bags.
I've been drinking instant coffeee this whole time and was beside myself with glee seeing Starbucks! They even served it in mugs. Why don't they do this in the US?
I spent most my time in bookstores and office supply stores searching for little goodies to use in art projects.
Something I've been trying to work on is looking for patterns and design in everything and taking pictures so I can remember to apply them later. Just something you may want to try if you aren't already. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt!
Shenzhen from up high in a building.
I'm happy to say that I'm heading off to the airport and returning home! I can't wait to hug and kiss my family, go running and cycling with my friends, prepare for the holidays, go to church, drink real coffee, breath fresh air and prepare for my studio sale!
Thank you my friends for partaking in the journey once again. For helping me through the lonesome times with your emails and comments!
I have had quite a bit of trouble with my outgoing mail and I've been getting a lot of "notices" I don't understand. So, if you have commented and never got a response from me I'm really sorry it may have gotten lost in cyberspace.
I really wish I could show more of what's being created my friends. Unfortunately, there are people out there that make it their business to go around and copy other people's art and take it to market. So, that said I will gleefully reveal all these delicious new designs after the Atlanta Gift Show in January. pssst. I will probably show you one finished piece by the end of this trip, just cause I can't help myself!
For lunch today we went to a small street side noodle cafe. The English to Chinese translation went haywire and I ended up with BLACK SLIMY NOODES. They probably didn't taste too bad but I could not get over the sliminess, for the first time I asked for something else. On this table you will see cucumber, seeweed (yummy), bk. slimy noodle on lower right and some kind of translucent noodle that I was told potato (i'm not totally sure about that). After returning the bk. noodle this was a very good meal!
Here's the outdoor kitchen where I'm assuming our meal was prepared.
Oh and remember how I said yesterday, "things have become on the mundane side"... we were returning from the factory at night and we were on the freeway and there was a traffic back up so our driver decided he wasn't going to wait. He proceeded to turn the car around and head back down the freeway AGAINST ONCOMING TRAFFIC AT NIGHT! uhg! Can I say "thank you to all of you who have been praying for my trip and my safety"! lol!
Hope your weekend is going super dee duper!
If you get a moment check out this creative. She's from Madrid, Spain and has a great sense of whimsy and style.
My daughter asked me this morning how it was going. (Skype is a wonderful thing! And, noShannon I still don't have a camera for video chat!) It was once exciting and adventurous and I guess I've been here so many times that it's becoming more on the mundane side of things. I guess mundane can be good... it's safe, no surprises. I'm trying to savor the small things. I'm sorry, I'm probably babbling! Expressing what I'm feeling has never come easy.
This factory, once busy, has lost many of their customers. Largely due to the world economy and partly due to the lack of resin products being produced.
And now to the FOOD! Okay, just so you know... they think I'm CRAZY. Always pulling my camera out to take pictures of the food. LOL. Only for you my friends, only for you : )
This is a dish of all sorts of mushrooms. Actually quite tasty.
Have you ever had Bamboo? My first time. I'm not too into it. ick.
And for those of you who have eaten with me, you know this would be my favorite of the day. SPICY fish. I could have done without the large amounts of bone. There were also these cute little tied up clusters of egg noodles, if you look close you can see them.
I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite blogs. Enjoy!
I don't know if you remember this little one from before? She's grown so much and is just as cute as can be. Everytime I went to snap a picture of her she quickly threw up her fingers into a peace sign! So darling.
A little peak of a new Allen Design clock in the sculpting process. I think this is my favorite so far.
Oh beautiful paint. I can never get enough of the rainbow of colors that God created. Each one lovely, I don't think there is a color that I don't like.
Today, we completed the painting of 5 out of 23 designs. I generally stay for 11 days at least so a 7 day trip may be pushing it! Pressure is on.
And now to the food. Usually the most dreaded part of my day. Not knowing if we're going somewhere gross and if they'll order anything that I may find flavorful. So far this trip, food wise, has been better than times before. Although, I'm still not used to taking the eyeballs off the shrimp myself. How spoiled we are in America. Seriously. And how wasteful are we? From what I can see here they waste nothing. Down to knawing on chicken feet, fish head, chicken head etc.
This was really yummy. Scallop (sorry for all you shellfish haters) with noodles, garlic and a little octopus. My tummy was full. : ) No shelling of the lbs. today!
Up this morning at 3AM and just couldn't go back to sleep. I'm sure I'll be suffering later. Actually it's almost 8AM and I'm starting to get a little droopy. It's going to be a LONG day! The factory will be here shortly to pick me up for a fun filled day... (insert sarcasm) But, I wanted to say "hi" and thank you for all the wonderful comments and entries into the giveaway. YOU are what makes the Goody Giveaway fun.
What I've been doing since 3AM! Having some fun on journal pages. Playing with patterns, doodles and acrylic paint. My inspiration on this piece was the fanTABULOUS artist, Jesse Reno. Not that you can probably tell it by the end.
This journal page was from last night and yesterday at the factory when I was trying to escape from my stress. I'm feeling better this morning. It's a new day with new... I was going to say challenges but opportunities would probably be more optimistic?
Knee How! This is "hi" in mandarin. I'm pretty sure this is not the spelling!
I made it to China safely and with only a one hour delay on the flight. The hotel is nice enough. The bed is basically a piece of plywood with a cover being the thickness of a sleeping bag. Probably good for my back but not good for a full nights sleep.
But, good news is I CAN access blogs and Facebook! Hooray! Last time I was here the government blocked all access to those types of sites. China's making progress!
Like I've said before, the sculpting part of my product development is my favorite part. Watching something go from 2 dimensions on paper to 3 dimensions in clay is so much fun. The three guys on the left are the talented sculptors.
The guy on the right on the other hand, is the guy who has caused me much frustration today. He's the Quality Control (QC) guy. I remember now why I make this trip. To remind them of how important it is to make the best quality product that we can make.
On a good note, we went to probably the nicest restaurant I've been to here in China. This guy was doing all these crazy acrobatic stunts with the teapot. It was quite impressive and entertaining! Maybe it's a sport here? If not it should be.
Very edible! Tofu, cucumber, green beans, shrimp on sticks, some fatty pork I didn't even try!, and fish head that hadn't arrived by the time I took this picture. Which also was something that didn't make it to my plate.
All in all a good day. I'm safe, the factory is going to make improvements, a few sculpts approved and moving onto painting and I'm heading to bed!
I'd love for you to leave me a comment telling me the most interesting or grossest thing you ever ate? (your comment will also enter you in our fun giveaway :)
hi and welcome!!! i'm so glad you're here! my name is michelle. i'm blessed to be a wife (to gary) of 18 years and a mom of two girls; alexis(16) & jess(11). i've been a full time artist for 15 years. i made my start at Portland Sat. Mkt. and art fairs around the country, and then headed into wholesale shows when our oldest began school. i love ART-ing, art journaling, running, cycling and downing junk food!