Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Plaster of Pumpkin

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 12:05 am on Sunday, October 30, 2005

I learned how to use plaster of paris in my sculpture class at Cal STate LA. We had to use a condom and fill it with plaster and then shape it into cool forms. The end product is very satisfying, no matter the shape. It hardens in about 10 minutes and then you get this cool, limestone-ish rock. So For the next craft project for the WLAKC arts and crafts group I had an idea to make a pumpkin tea light holder/candle holder. After working out the logistics with Shin and getting his feedback we were off to the .99 store and Home Depot for the supplies. After an extremely MESSY and interesting experimentation with proportions of water to plaster powder we came up with the 3 pumpkins. The first one was too much water. Here it is:

The third one had too little water.. and we wanted to make it smaller. It hardened so quickly we didn’t have time to put string around it so Shin made an “expressionist” version. Here it is, looking very artistic:

The second one we put away our plastic gloves and mixed it with our hands.. everything went perfect. Here is the final prototype:

In a few it will be done steaming and ready to paint, and might I add, a Wonderful gift to give to my mother-in-law and mom and a GREAT craft for the girls.

TIMEOUT: That was last night. I came across some huge technical difficulties trying to paint these. First we tried acrylic, only to discover that they scrape right off and the acrylic peels off the way I used to peel enamel paint off my bedroom door. Then we tried a number of different combinations of clear gloss under and above the coat of acrylic, mod podge under and below the acrylic… and this morning I tried spraypainting it. The plaster may not be fully dry yet, or that may be the general condition of plaster. So we’re still discussing some ideas… what about giving the formed pumpkin an extra layer of skin.. paper mache…adhesive gauze that you can paint over, tissue paper…Shin is busy looking it up online. So far, he discovered its possible to add color to plaster, although difficult. Apparently there are atleast 10 different kinds of plaster……

Well, its Sunday morning and I go to church today.

Perhaps white pumpkins may be the best alternative. They’ll match the corelle dishes, or in some cases, Lenox.

Mini pie box

Filed under: Arts & Crafts,Design — Annie at 1:57 am on Sunday, October 23, 2005

Designed for Arts & Crafts ministry group at WLAKC.

The Case of the Violin

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 2:17 pm on Friday, October 21, 2005

Some of my friends know that when I was in the 5th and 6th grade I had close ties with a consignment shop near my parents house. The owner, Becky, was really fond of me. On one of my birthdays she gave me a an old violin. Its a little scratched up still- one day I hope to have it refinished. But it sounded much more beautiful than mine in some way. It’s a copy of a stradivarius- which is quite common, but I’m aware that a lot of the copies tend to be well made. The original case she gave to me was falling apart. So eventually I just left it in my parents garage and never took it with me. So this violin has been without a home for a while. It’s been on top of a shelf, standing in a corner… everywhere. Until I decided I ought to invest in one.

So I did research- alooot of research into the early morning sometimes. Originally I was going to get the cheapest one out there. Which was.. $39.00. But when I called to ask the company about it, the owner informed me why it was good and why it was just so so. So I upped my standard a bit, since this case will never be traded in or sold. I was looking for a “mature” case. An oblong, or a half moon with a nice, luxurious interior, and a matching blanket.. basically, as Shin put it- “One of those typical cases that the korean kids carry around their hakwons (afterschool tutor programs)” Yea.. haha. I didn’t want the plastic, or the student kind. I almost purchased one called the Centurion for $58 from It was between that and $99 Regency Signature from I went with the Regency. Here’s a picture of my runners up.. It’s so gorgeous I can’t wait till it comes on Monday…

The Winner!!

Here’s a picture of the $58 Centurion violin case

And then don’t you just hate it when you find something even better after you made up your mind? I overlooked this one, and it looks good, or better than the Regency, with a suspension system and the works. But I’ll just have to put it out of mind and stop the search! Here it is for those curious.

$94.95 Centurion Weathergard Pro

On the topic of violins.. I was looking for a case on ebay and all I came across were mostly sets, and people sell violins for starting bids at 9.99. A lot of people also sell old ones on there too. So I was tracking one.. but I got outbid. That’s probably for the better. But ebaying is still a fascinating sport. If I do get one I’ll post it. And maybe outfit it in the better Centurion. Just kidding.

Concluding thoughts: AFter the initial purchase I was thinking to myself how funny and odd it is to have this beautiful case, and then open it and out comes this beat up violin. And then the next twist.. that it sounds more beautiful than it looks. I would rather invest in learning how to play it well, instead of the case it came in.

Woe to my materialism.

Sleep and other things

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 1:52 pm on Friday, October 21, 2005

This morning Shin and I went to Ralphs together to get some breakfast foods. While we were walking down the cheese and candy aisle he talked about how sleeping early helped him review certain things. One of them was our honeymoon. But before he could finish I had to interject because I was thinking about our honeymoon too!! Specifically, how, after we got home it was really late at night, like midnight or so. We took a taxi back and, for some reason (which I was pondering in my half sleep) he asked the driver to drop us off at the parking lot of Ralphs, which is two blocks away from our home. So there we were, wearing our matching Hawaii print clothes and sunglasses-still very much in vacation mode and unready to come back to la life- rolling our suitcase behind us like a radio flyer wagon, over the sidewalk cracks, under the streetlamps… (me fearing a driveby) – it was quite funny to me in retrospect. I think my mind has been in Hawaii ever since… *sigh*

Baby Tiger Cub

Filed under: Dreams & Nightmares — Annie at 6:27 pm on Friday, October 14, 2005

This dream is sort of along the same lines as my tortoise dream.
There was a baby tiger cub. Sometimes it was ambiguously infant-like, and then a cub again. I held it in my arms on its back and bottle nursed it. On the floor, there was a row of body parts of an adult tiger. The paw, the nose and mouth, a leg. It wasn’t a complete tiger- and I don’t recall seeing the head. And it wasn’t bloody or mutilated looking, just.. disconnected pieces. And when I put the cub on the floor, it stroked the larger paw with it’s own, like it recognized it. Then I took the large paw in my hand and stroked the cub’s paw with it. I was happy to play with it, but I also felt weird. Perhaps its maternal yearning…

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