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 Highlights Index 2006

All blog posts will be un-linked. Two blogs disappeared when I changed webhosts 4/2012.

November and December of 2006 have been used for edits on the website due to the merging of two sites into one. For details on what all that is about check 12-16-06 Wazzup?

12-26-06: Today is the first day of Kwanzaa, originally an
African celebration that is now popular in America
among the Afro-American community.

That's a website that is devoted to Kwanzaa and I
admire the principles that this celebration honors.
The principle I admire the most is to honor

"Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. "

As artists we are the cultural glue in our community. When we allow ourselves to be creative we are making our individual communities more beautiful.

It is the focus of CITY-o-Clay to nurture and encourage each list member to believe it is not only their right but their duty to be creative. In so doing we are making the world a better place.


Review of Mixing Colors

There's 12 colors you can use to mix a wide  assortment of other colors and hues. Start with the primary colors and mix your secondary colors. Mix gold, pearl and silver with those and you'll have more color possibilities than you'd find on the arts and craft store shelf.

Review of Ice Water Dunk and Translucent Clay

The Ice Water Dunk is also called "Quenching" by some clayers. The Ice Water Dunk or quickly cooling clay makes ones cured item stronger. It also makes translucent clay become more clear after curing.

12-17-06- Review of Clay "Fabric"

Clothing your sculpted figures with clay "fabric" is easier than sewing. Take cane slices and press to a sheet of clay, cut out your clothing patterns for your sculpted figure. Trick of it is to have your figure raw and able to be posed with the Easy Breezy aluminum foil armature technique. Putting clay fabric on a posed cured figure is just too much bother.

Winter Holiday Review Page

Happy Chanukah for our Jewish List Members.

Everyone has some sort of mid winter celebration and the Winter Holiday Review page has some examples of how we can celebrate with a bit of polymer clay. If you're wondering why there's Iced Lemonade on that page, remember our friends south of the equator. ClayMates "Down Under", in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa are sweltering. Something cool and refreshing is what they need in December.


12-09-06: 'Holiday Stress' Post to the ClayMates:

Whether you participate in the holiday activities or not there's bound to be
some level of stress. One might think it odd that stress can come from not
participating in holiday activities but let me tell you the peer pressure is
intense. My husband and I don't participate in secular manifestations of the
winter holidays. It's not that we're all "Bah Humbug" about it it's both
economical and philosophical that we celebrate in ways that are not stressful.

All the activities that take place around us are made up by somebody a long time ago. Retail businesses have a vested interest in making us feel the need to spend money. Family gatherings can have their stressful moments because often it is like the old saying, "God made your friends and the Devil made your relatives."

Just as all the holiday activities and the expectations that when not met lead
to disappointment, we can free ourselves from being slaves to expectations we absorb from our cultural environment. We can make our own traditions. When my two younger sons were little we held "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" parties. A regular birthday party where we celebrated the birth of Jesus. Our "gifts" for giving were watching movies, reading books, and talking about the teachings of Jesus and yes, we're Muslims. It's difficult not to be exposed to all the Christmas energy, so we'd participate in ways that fit in with our beliefs. We would make ornaments to hang from the ceiling in a tree shape since we couldn't afford to buy a tree. There's family activities like making cookies with the children so they have something to do and learn how to cook in the process. I'd sneak in learning about fractions by cutting the recipes in half. "So if we need 3/4ths cup of sugar and we're only making half a batch of these cookies, how much sugar do we really need?"

Since my older sister and her family had more money to spend on the gift giving I figured I'd take my sons over there to visit the day after Christmas or a couple of days after, so they didn't feel bad during the "Shark Frenzy" of gift unwrapping that they weren't a part of. The secular manifestations of Christmas are hard on the poor. So I opted out because of economical reasons. That didn't mean we couldn't have fun or celebrate the birth of Jesus. It didn't mean we couldn't give our energies to those who were more poor than we were. It meant we needed to rethink the whole process and celebrate in a way that left us feeling enriched in our hearts.

We, my younger sons and I, created our own winter holiday tradition. One of them was reviewing the icons of the secular manifestation of Christmas and trace them back to their pre-Christian roots.

Where did the yule log come from?
"The origins of the Yule Log can be traced back to the Midwinter festivals in
which the Norsemen indulged..."

Why do we bring trees into the house?

Where did Santa Claus/Father Christmas come from?

Where does Winter Solstice come into the picture?
"Christmas combines Christian religious ceremonies with traditions and customs mainly influenced by ancient winter festivals, such as Yule and Saturnalia. Popular secular traditions include emphasis on themes such as family, goodwill, giving and compassion."

Who the heck brought in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? 1939 Montgomery Ward department stores created him.

The celebration of Christmas wasn't done in the early days of America. It was considered pagan and a vestige of Popary. As late as 1847 there were no
Christmas holidays in American colleges.

It's all made up out of the brains of those pesky humans of the past.

We can make up our own celebrations based on what time, energy, funds and values we have. If spending money is out of the question then volunteering to feed the homeless at a soup kitchen would be a wonderful way to realize that being poor is really relative. If your family makes you crazier than you are left to your own devices, there's a lot of old folks at nursing homes who never get a visitor at all. Even a visit from a stranger, on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, someone to talk to, someone who is willing to hold your hand, that's a gift that's worth a million dollars to someone who is lonely. I visit my elderly Jewish neighbors on Christmas, sit and kibitz with them for a while. That's my gift to them.

The best gift we can give is our love, time, energy and compassion. It's a gift
that can be re-gifted without guilt. It's a gift that grows each time it's
passed along. As for me, I'm making cookies to give to my neighbors. My family knows I opted out of the Frenzy of Christmas in a secular way. My Mother-in-Law, who I cc'd on this post, and I will exchange email celebrating her Savior. Hi Mommy Michal! It's a time for reflection, love and kindness. We made up our own traditions that fit in our budget and our beliefs.

So if you're finding yourself stressed out this holiday season check the links
below and they'll help you gain some sense of control and calm in your life. Canadian Health Net: Managing holiday stress

All this is my winter holiday gift to all of you and it is given with all the
love I have for all of you.

Some thoughts about Christmas from 2001 I've been reminding the ClayMates for years that they have control over their holidays and it starts with a bit of brain massage.

Review of Faux Stones 12-01-06: The current Newbie Box Swap is "Faux Stones" and this is one of the posts I sent through CITY-0-Clay nattering about what we can do with Faux Stone.

September and October 2006: Alice from Holland's visit, finished Gold and Brown Inro, Snake Tin, Chubby Dancer and Kneeling Monk revisited, 1999 Mix Bag O Pix and Grey Hair Initiation rebuilt, Day of the Dead links.

August 2006 - Knees and more Chop experiments

July 2006 Bread and Chop experiments

May and June 2006: For the last two months I've been working on a series of experiments using powders used in the cosmetic industry. End of June there were mini donuts.

April 2006: Epson album, Flower and Leaf indexes. Cone cane for different size leaf slices. Butterfly sample from Plumeria cane. Review of Flowers.

March 2006: Review of Eggs, Chop Spring Pendant, Rambles on "creative process".

February 2006: Chinese New Year Fire Dog, Tongues of Fire Cane experiments, my Mini Food in Judy Belcher's Book, review of Heart Mints mini candy, ClayMates Pets.

January 2006 : Face sculpting, Chinese New Year Fire Dog beginning, rebuilding old stuff, mini food, and Tomato Cane of Grave Disappointment.


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