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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crafty Maiden 2011

Dode gives me the world
Who doesn't want a man to give them the world?  I'm participating in the Crafty Maiden cookie exchange/gift swap for the 2nd time this year (thanks mom for the ticket!) (link to 1st year here) and wanted to do something with the event theme of "Christmas around the world".  I think they were planning for people to choose a country and do a craft and treat from that country.  I chose to think more globally (I love how that word works in two ways in this case!)   Thankfully I have an in house draftsman who can do amazing things with maps.  Dode thought he could build me a big globe.  He drafted up a map of the world which he printed on huge paper at work.  He had to use math to figure out the angle of each piece.  He knew his angles weren't 100% accurate so he designed to globe to be "artistically" gapped.

He bought acrylic which my step-dad Greg cut in the 12 pieces using the map Dode created.   Once the pieces were cut out, they needed to be bent into a spherical shape.  Dode built a form to bend them over. 

He also built an "oven" out of a sheet of drywall.  He used our heat gun to heat the oven up to 280 degrees.  After spending 15 minutes in the oven, the plastic was pliable enough to bend.  It was a two man project, with Isaac and Dode working as a team.  They spent several days practicing on scraps of plastic before they were ready to try the actual pieces.  There was no room for error since they only had twelve pieces for the final globe and needed each piece for the finished project.  We're able to count Isaac's time on the globe towards his "Handyman" high school class. 

peeling off the protective plastic after bending a practice piece

The oven ended up being useful for more than bending plastic.  I was in charge of rolls for Thanksgiving.  I usually use my breadmakers (yes, that's plural on purpose! It takes two breadmakers to keep our family going.) to make dough in because it provides a perfect environment for the bread to raise in.  I needed to make three batches of dough to make sure there were enough rolls for everyone and worried that the batch made in the kitchen-aid mixer would be difficult to handle.  Dode had just finished bending plastic and the oven was still warm.  The mixing bowl fit perfectly inside the oven.  Drywall is a pretty good insulator.  That "oven" stayed warm for over an hour!

You might be wondering what I'm going to do with a big globe.  We tried to figure out a way to hang the necklaces on the globe but wouldn't come up with anything.  With a week to spare, I found an idea online for displaying jewelry in a shelf.  I had Dode build me the shelf.  I lined the shelves with old maps and displayed the globe on top. 

my shelf

Dode's Autocad skills came in handy when we were deciding how big to make the shelf.    I'd roughed up a sketch of the different cubbies but when Dode put them into Autocad, I could see that the proportions were off.  We used the "Rule of thirds" to decide how tall and wide the boxes would be.  We were also able to determine how deep the shelf needed to be in order to make it in scale with the globe.  It's a lot deeper than I need for my necklace display but if it was any narrower, the globe looked like it was going to topple off.  I put false backs in the shelves so they didn't seem like black holes.

the globe becomes a sphere. 
At this point, it still needs the protective plastic removed, a pipe put in the center to make it stand up a little rounder, and the continents put on.  Dode was so happy to get it to this point. 

Dode planned to etch and sand the continents on the globe but when he tested it on a scrap piece, he realized it wouldn't work.  Up until this point, the project had been entirely Dode's.  At this point, I became heavily involved in the project (against my wishes).  We bought adhesive back vinyl (like people use in a Cricut, cut the continents out of them and applied them to the globe.  (More correctly, I traced, I cut, we applied).

We put the acrylic panels on the map and traced where the pieces went.

Our last minute change from etching to stickers led to a headache!

This is Saudi Arabia and Egypt, notice anything wrong?

This is how it's supposed to look.  We'd traced everything backwards, and had already cut out half of the continents when we caught the mistake.  After starting over, we successfully attached the continents, mostly where they belonged!.  Then, we realized that we really needed lighting.  We used strip LED lighting from to light the shelves and the globe.  I'm hoping we can re-use the lighting in our cargo trailer.

 polishing the many fingerprints that showed up when we turned on the lights.

We really broke the rules with this globe!  Usually when Dode does a project, 90% of the items he uses are scraps and pieces from things around the house.  With the globe, 95% of it is new.  The only things he re-purposed was the power cord and power supply.  He used an cord that at one time went to something but no one knows.  Our power supply was the battery from Miriam's power wheel.

My items for the Crafty Maiden
At the Crafty Maiden, you need to make an edible item and a gift.  My gifts this year were necklaces.  I've never made jewelry before so my mom had to teach me how to use crimp beads and how to get the beads on the wire.  She even let me use her bead box.  I put them inside decorated boxes that I decoupaged maps to the lid of, with a cute pun on the inside.  I used maps from our trips and it was fun to revisit in my mind those places from the past: Lovell, Rapid City, Los Angeles.

For my treat, I renamed "MMM" Sauce to "World Class Sauce".  To tie it to the theme, I cut out maps to put on the lids.

These ingredients combine together to make a very tasty sauce.

Ready to go with maps on the lids.

Finally, the big day!

Last year Crafty Maiden fell on a produce Saturday and it was just my luck that it once again happened the same day.  Last year, I had difficulties with a malfunctioning septic tank and lights that fell off my display everywhere.  Dode wasn't able to help because he'd had to take Isaac to a school event early that day.  This year, Isaac had a school event at 10:00 so Dode was able to go to the hotel to help me get my things set up.  And, the septic worked great and although some lights came off my display, they were easily fixed.

The event has been held at the Tulalip Resort Hotel the last two years.  (It's nice to know that some of the money received from registrations is helping to make up Dode's pay check!)  I was really nervous to go to the event because I learned of a rule a few days prior that big displays were a no-no.  I was pretty sure that my 36" shelf and my 24" globe would be considered big.  I made Dode come down to the event with me so he could take some heat.  As he walked in the door holding the globe, one of the ladies in charge said, "36 inches" (the length limit of the area we get).  Dode smiled, nodded and continued on. It turns out I didn't need to worry about being too big.  The ladies who are in charge of the event each came up to me and thanked me for going above and beyond on my presentation. 

I'd done a dry run at home so I knew just how to set up everything once I got there.  The tables were more narrow than I'd planned on but it worked out fine.  It was hard to set things up because people kept coming up to me to exclaim over Dode's globe.  They didn't realize that it was hand made so I put a small sign under it that said, "Globe hand made by world's best husband."

at the event

My mom and Millie were there too.
(In fact, my mom paid for Millie's and my ticket to get in.  Thanks again mom.)

Millie won this lovely door prize.  It will probably last five minutes before one of her dogs uses it as a chew toy!

The meal everyone but me had.  Very fancy but also very small.  A tiny chicken leg with one carrot stick, one asparagus spear, one slender okra, one slice of squash, three blueberries, one blackberry, onions.

The vegetarian meal I requested.  Butternut squash filled ravioli.  The filling was amazing!  I've already requested the recipe, we'll see if they'll share!

Once everyone has their displays up, the participants go around and vote for: best cookie, best craft, best other (non cookie food item) and best presentation.  The organizer of the event is an artist and in the past, she's awarded a custom mural worth $1000 to the winner of best presentation.  Since that was the only category with a prize, that's the one I went for.  Years ago, the pediatric unit my mom worked at had a mural artist come in and paint animal images randomly on the walls.  A bird building a nest atop a door frame, a squirrel walking along the floor molding, a butterfly fluttering along a wall.  I've been wanting to re-create the look ever since.  I've even researched hiring someone but it's never been in the budget.  I figured, here was my chance to finally get it.  And.......

Both my mom and I were winners. 
 My mom won best cookie. 
Me?  I got it!  Best presentation!
We're wearing our winner's aprons, both say 1st place.
The organizer of the event sews aprons for the winners each year.
Winners wear their apron with pride during the event.

I look a bit orange in the photos but it's not makeup or fake tanner.  I think I've been eating too many carrots!  I made carrot salad for Thanksgiving and there was A LOT left over.  I've been eating at least two cups every day and finally finished it off yesterday.

I got home and got out of the car to show off my apron to Dode.  He read the 1st place designation and said, "Way to go girl!"  I think it was his globe that helped me win.  I've broken the 2nd place curse!

What I won. 

It turns out that last year (when I won 2nd place for best presentation) the person who won 1st place cheated (she stuffed the ballet box!).  It left a bad feeling with the organizer and she decided that if she was offering something so valuable that people who be tempted to cheat at a cookie exchange over it, she needed to re-think things.  She has a fancy machine embroidery sewing machine so she made the squares and her sister-in-law who is a quilter quilted them up.  The 1st place winners in each category got a quilt.  Since I got the grand prize, I got to pick first.  I want so badly to travel the world.  I can look at the landmarks on the quilt and dream! My mom picked a Disney theme one that will be coming to Miriam for her birthday.

Tera, I am beyond jealous at what you get to see!

I won these as a door prize.  Just what every Mormon girl needs!
I'm going to try my hand at hand painting them and turning them into special goblets to go with our "You are special today" plates.  (We'll need four because things have a way of getting broken around here!)

I'd been kind of nervous about my edible contribution.  Everyone at the exchange gets to go home with 12 different items.  Each person who contributes cookies brings 12 dozen.  I figure people get a bit overloaded on cookies and would appreciate something different.  I made my dip because I believe it's really amazing.  I felt like kind of a dork setting it out since it's not very pretty.  But, it was appreciated.  I was sitting at the table waiting for the event to begin when a participant came up to me and said, "Are you Stephanie?"  When I told her I was, she started gushing about how she's allergic to everything now and has to eat a vegan diet and had thought about not coming to the exchange but decided to anyway and having my dip there absolutely made her day.  Later, when Millie and I were browsing, she had to bring another participant up and say, "This is Stephanie, the one who made that great dip!"  I didn't feel like a dork any more.

When I left, I made sure to thank both the woman who made the quilts and the lady who is in charge of the whole event, and who came up with the idea 20 years ago.  The lady who made the quilt said that I chose her favorite one.  She's debated about donating it but in the end, decided to buy $100 worth of raffle tickets in hopes of winning it back.  (Before I got to pick, they had a raffle where one person could pick a quilt.)  She didn't win the raffle and I got the quilt.  The event organizer told me she can't wait to see what Dode comes up with for my display next year.  The theme is "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  The pressure is on!

Nothing Dode builds around here ever gets a one time use.  I end up finding a way to get more use out of his hard work.  I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with the big shelf, but the globe is already headed to it's 2nd use.  Wednesday, December 7 is GIS day at Dode's work.  It's a day for his department to showcase what they do (design maps).  He's bringing the globe there to display it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Stephanie! I am glad your hard work paid off!!