Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Green Christmas of Eva

My sister knows of my love for all things green, so she sent me a few photos of an incredible Christmas tree that her good friend, Eva, created with the help of her students.

Eva Márquez is a high-school art teacher in the city of Écija, near my hometown. She proposed to her senior class the creation of a Christmas tree made with a variety of recycled materials. To begin with, they built the frame with long wooden beams

After the frame was ready, they covered it with greenhouse mesh

They gathered a bizzillion plastic bottles, cut them vertically, punched a couple of holes on the top, and threaded them with strong fishing line

The long threads of bottles were attached to the mesh like ruffles on a dress

Once the tree was completely covered in bottles, it was spray-painted in green and splashed in many different colors, in Jackson Pollock-fashion

Meanwhile, they decorated the tree topper

This styrofoam head was a dumpster find!

The tree was crowned with the head

Final touches to the masterpiece

 A nice closeup of the bottles

This lady-tree is so cool!  When I was in high-school, we never did anything remotely similar.  I can't even remember what we did in art class, which means it surely was lame and boring

A project like this has tremendous value.  I am sure that before this, many never saw a plastic bottle beyond its function as a carrier of soda or water.  This tree opened the eyes and the minds of a lot of people!

 And here are the proud artists!

My sincere thanks to Eva Márquez for allowing me to share her story, her tree, and her wonderful photos!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hello and Housewarming card


I'm not ready to mothball my blog quite yet.  I did promise to post occasionally, so this is one of those moments...

For a winemaker in the northern hemisphere, the months of September and October are the hardest, because of the grape harvest.  There are vineyards to visit, picking decisions to be made, fermentations to monitor...  Apart from all these duties, life back at the winery goes on: the last quarter of the year (what we call OND) is when most of the wine sales are made.  So on top of everything I had bottling blends to coordinate, assemble, test and refine, and it was insane.  The good news is, if you like California wine, vintage 2013 will be one to seek.  The wines are going to be spectacular, but yours truly earned a few white hairs in the process!

So now life has finally slowed down, and I can decompress by playing with paper, glue, corks and brushes.  It is amazing how much I relax when I have the opportunity to create.  This happens to all of us, don't you agree?

One of the things in my embarrassingly long to-do list was to send wine to our dear friends Ashley and Brian.  They recently purchased a new home, and with the holidays coming near, we thought they could use some wine for the many parties they will surely have.  Why, oh why did you have to move to Texas?!?!?!  We miss you so!!!

Some time ago I pinned this cute image, made with coffee sleeves.  I thought it would make a good housewarming card to go with the wine.  Check out my version.

I still like the original better.  There's something Picassian about it.

I defrayed the cost of one or two Starbucks mochas by not having to buy a Hallmark card.  True savings!

Thank you for reading, and if you're in the US, Happy Halloween!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine Exchange 2013

I am making it a tradition to participate in Aunt Peaches' Annual Valentine Exchange.  This is the second year in a row that I have joined, so that's all I need for a tradition, I guess!

Since I was a little girl I have loved exchanging mail.  It perhaps started with my mother's postcard collection.  All those beautiful images from far away locations, the beaches, the monuments, the "I wish you were here" sentiments...  I was a girl with a vivid imagination and a notorious daydreamer.  These postcards were windows into possible dreams.

One year while in junior high, our entire class got pen-pals, and oh boy, I embraced that with such energy that rare was the week I didn't get a letter.  Somewhere I have a huge box of postcards from all over the world.  I really should unearth it one of these days.

So when I come across things like this fabulous handmade Valentine card exchange, it is impossible for me to resist.

I love to use recycled materials in my crafts, and for this year's Valentines I grabbed my old financial statements and turned them into colorful hearts with the help of watercolors.

Inside, I wrote a fitting quote

The Valentines are on their way, and I really hope they make someone happy.