I was not alone in falling in love with these one-of-a-kind huggable monsters made by Jean Mullenaux and had a hard time choosing, but by the end of the day at last weekend’s Ajijic Society of Artists show, nearly all of her loveable creatures had found a home, as is evidenced by these photos of just a few of their new Moms.
At the rate of two per day, she gives birth to each, then sells them and gives all of the proceeds to Operation Feed, a local charity that supports 600 needy citizens of the town I live in—San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Jean is the last person pictured and the picture before hers is the picture of the huggable creature that went home with me, seen decorating one of my tables at the Ajijic Society of Artists show last weekend. Bless you, Jean, a truly remarkable artist with a more remarkable heart!!!
This cheerful group of young ladies from San Juan Cosala visited me today to see my art boxes for inspiration for the ones they are creating for a competition I’m sponsoring.The show will be held a Isidro Xilonzochitl’s studio in San Juan on January 22. That’s Isidro in back.
These are the boxes with bases that I bought to give to the participants.They will need to add a back before creating their own response to the challenge.
Here are a few of the boxes they saw at my house. These are all by me. Click on photos to enlarge.
And here is another one by Belia Canals: Can’t wait to see what these young ladies plus the four women who couldn’t come today create for the January show. This will be the first in a series of challenges and workshops I hope to conduct this year.
I had friends over to make these recycled flowers yesterday. We still have at least one more day to go, but these are the ones I stayed up all night last night finishing…Fun.
Click on any photo to enlarge all:
If you are curious about the process, this is what we did. You need egg cartons or dividers for the flowers, toilet paper rolls or other thin cardboard for leaves and stems and vines, large sharp scissors, a glue gun or white glue, paint, paper towels and patience.
I prefer egg cartons, but what we had available were these large sheets of egg dividers.
This is the reverse side.
Cut strips directly down the middle of each dividing line between the separate cups.
Then cut each cup away from the strip, remembering to center.
Cut down the four sides to the corner of the bottom of each cup,
Fold open your “flower” and cut petals to whatever shape you wish. This is a sampler of four different designs, although there are a limitless number of shapes you could use.
Paint your flower, or if you prefer, paint the strips before you cut them apart. I prefer to do the individual flowers because you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry.
Then cut strips of a thin cardboard–either the lid of the egg carton or toilet paper rolls or any other unwaxed cardboard. It is best to use plain cardboard with no printing so you only have to do one layer of paint.
Cut into a fringe to form stamens and pistils of the flowers. Paint and roll, then affix with hot glue. If you wish, layer the painted petals to form various flowers and hot glue in place.
Cut branches, vines and leaves out of flat cardboard to embellish the flowers.
A “retable” or “retablo” was originally a frame or shelf enclosing decorated panels or revered objects above and behind an altar. It has since come to also designate the painting or other image it encloses. In Mexico, it is common for families to have smaller versions of the larger pieces seen in churches in their homes. At the time I moved here in 2001, I could buy the undecorated, unpainted ornamental metal frames for retablos in a local artisan market and I started making retablos myself that paid homage to saints, Mexican legendary figures, artists, family members and friends. Over the years, my subjects have grown, as have the retablos. Here are a few of the hundreds I’ve created over the past 16 years. Recently, as the metal frames get harder to find, I have started using simpler boxes which I have constructed for me.
“We’ll Always Have Paris”
Santa Cecilia (Patron Saint of Poets and Musicians)
Every year, my mom helped us make May baskets to fill with candy and leave on the doorsteps of our friends. As mentioned in an earlier post, we’d ring the doorbell and run. If the recipient caught us, they could kiss or pinch us—their choice.
Some years we bought fancy handled nut cups from the dime store and used them, but I liked best to make my own. One year, my mother showed us something special to use for May baskets. Her family knew how to make these incredible tissue-paper ornaments that, with a cupcake liner filled with candy glued into the bottom, hung down in a web-like form. We’d pin them at the top and when you held them up they would fall down in a lacy accordion effect so they were a foot or two high. The only way you could really get the effect…