Taffy Tower

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.


January 2019
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January 24, 2019

Cat Bullet

Happy New Year

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 3:31 pm

I hope all of my readers had a safe, healthy and fun holiday season and have been enjoying a Happy New Year!

So… how is the Octopus progressing?  Funny you should ask…

When last we spoke, I was enthralled with my Octopus Garden project.   A little too enthralled, actually.  I spent a lot of time over the holidays applying the kit fabrics to the sticky fusible material, and a lot more time carefully cutting out intricate fish and seaweed and other briny denizens to get them ready to apply to the project.

Only to find out that was the last part of the project that I was supposed to do!!  Oops.  And then the paralysis set in.  As usual.  *grumble grumble*      According to the directions, I, apparently, have to start with the background first, from the bottom up, but once I get to the area where there are tentacles, I need to put them down first, but not permanently, and work the background behind, but not too much behind the tentacles so that there aren’t too many layers and… and… and…

*crickets chirping*  *head banging on desk*

What???   Her instructions just didn’t make practical sense.  Not at all.  She has some videos on YouTube, which I watched and re-watched and which made sense at the time, but when I went back to my fabrics and my project, just didn’t seem to translate.

Frustrating.    However, as luck would have it, I was in a quilt shop in mid December  (stop laughing.  I said I would TRY to stop buying so much fabric; I never said that I would completely quit) and in the course of completely normal conversation, was informed that there was a Laura Heine collage class being offered in January.  I decided to sign up for the class in the hopes that it would provide practical help and explanation of the collage process.     I looked at the selection of patterns that they had on hand and selected a Flamingo called “Pinkerton” as being fairly simple and straightforward.  I figured that it would be a good place to start.

One thing that I neglected to look at was the size of the pattern.   Which I didn’t open until the start of the class, at which point I took it out of the envelope and unfolded it (and unfolded it and unfolded it and unfolded it).    It is more than 5 feet tall!!!!!!    That is a lot of pink.   Yikes!!

So, here I am, picking up an easy and quick class to figure out what the heck is going on with the Octopus and now I have another big huge and unexpected project that I’ve dumped on myself.

Be careful what you wish for.   Also…   read the pattern size before you purchase, dummy:-)

So, where does that leave me?   The first day of class started out a bit chaotic, but quickly started providing tidbits of useful information.  Lots of those lovely “Ah HA!” moments that I was needing for clarification.

I started with the face, because that is what I do, and putting down what is called the “underlay” layer of base color.  It will be overlaid with frilly flowers and other fluffy things so don’t be too shocked by the solid light color line across the head…  That will be masked, eventually,

Her Underlayers continued to develop…

Back home, alas, my supervisor seemed unimpressed.

While I was working, I found a rather weird thing happening, though.   Whispering in my brain was a feeling that this was no simple “Pinkerton” but rather “Florinda, the Fabulous Flamenco Flamingo” and that she was going to be more than a little bit out of the ordinary.

This was evidenced when I started working on her tail feathers…

I am inordinately proud of the basic shape that evolved for her tail…  She was really telling me how she wanted to develop, that was for sure.    It was at this point that I headed off for the second day of class.

She did not disappoint… LOTS of fluff.  Lots of bright colors. There are butterflies and mice hidden in her feathers, which I find very amusing.   I need to figure out how to work in a fish or two, just to keep my normal thing going (I always try to have at least one fish hidden in every project).   I still need to do a bit of work on her tummy (the light colored area that doesn’t have any embellishments) and really work on the neck and face.  I also think that her headpiece needs to be more… MORE, if you know what I mean.    But all in all, I’m really pleased with how she is developing.  I’m going to redesign the legs because they drive me nuts the way that they are currently (crooked).

The pale hummingbird that you see floating near the top left is going to be worked in the background of the final piece somehow.  I have a plan for that, actually.    I’m working on developing Florinda’s life story, and want to print or write it out and attach it to the front so that everyone will appreciate her for the strong individual that she it.   I think the hummingbird and its reversed sibling will support the scroll just like cupids in a Renaissance painting.

I’m collecting “f-words” (GOOD ONES) like fantastic, fluffy, flowery, flittering,  so that I can really have a lot of fun with the story.  There are a few aspects that I have already.  I know for a fact that she auditioned for Swan Lake but was refused because she made the other dancers (who were only plain boring swans) look very short and pale.   I also know that she identifies strongly with Jonathan Livingston Seagull because she believes in doing her own thing rather than following along with what everyone else is doing.  I know that she fell in love with Flamenco because of the quick movements and bright colors and sense of joy…

So that is what is going on in my crafting life right now… and unexpected twist and a detour into a completely unexpected direction.

  As John Lennon said… “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”


P.S. Lest you think that I’m completely off my rocker, I would remind you that flamingos do, in actual fact, dance.



P.S.S.   did I mention that there will be shiny crystals added to her feathers???




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