My First Paper Mache Project - Fruit and Bowl
My first project was making fruit and a bowl to hold the finished fruit as a centerpiece for the dining room table. The second project engaged the making of puppet heads. And the third project was creating props for a theater performance.
The first project introduced props of balloons and an old bowl wrapped in plastic. The second project called for making mush out of the paper strips. The props for theater use called for more advanced techniques and imagination.
Balloons are handy and easy to do as you cover the balloon to meet the requirements of the project. After completion just pop the balloon which releases the item.
Fruits can be covered with the paper mache. The fruits are left to rot after which a slit is made in the paper mache to remove fruit. Cover the balloon halfway to mark the edges of the bowl. After it dries, pop the balloon and trim away the rough unwanted edges of the bowl.
Stabilize the bowl with a flat circular sheet of cardboard cut to fit the bottom of the bowl. Attach the cardboard piece to the bottom of the bowl and add paper mache strips until both the platform and the bowl are fastened together. After the paper mache has dried thoroughly finish the product with acrylic paints. For added security spray with a fix-it agent or varnish.
Paper mache recipe
Mix wood glue and water. Apply strips to the foundation. After a thorough drying finish with exterior paint and protective coating against water and humidity.
Puppet heads are not made with the strips, but rather with wet papers beaten up to form a pulp. The head sizes will vary depending on the type of puppet. The puppet may be a finger, hand, or marionette type.
Paper mache can be used for making many theater props a well as objects for every day use or home decor.
Belly dancing was first introduced to America during the 1950's and made popular introducing it as a way to entertain your husband.
However, many years have passed since its introduction and there are now many different styles of this dance as well as costuming.
There are 3 categories
The traditional cabaret is a glamorous costumed performer who may perform in restaurants or stage performances. It continues to be the stereotyped vision of belly dancing.
Folkloric and Ethnic
Folkloric and ethnic costuming is very modest and its clothing design would indicate its origin. Folkloric represents a particular style such as the Egyptian Ghawazee or Romanian Gypsy. These two styles are very different from each other because they represent a specific people and region of the country. Ethnic dancing would represent the dominant dance style of the country.
Modern variations include other dance styles lacing or overlapping the basic movements of belly dancing. Other dance influences include Flamenco, Ballet, Spanish, Ballroom, Eastern oriental, Gypsy,,Jazz, many others, and American ingenuity.and creative originality.
The dancer in blue in the photo to the right is an ethnic performer. She is wearing a simple tunic dress with a plain hip scarf. Her head piece would be considered Arabic.
This tunic style of costuming is ideal for public street performances. It is family oriented and appropriate for public performances of mixed ages and gender and an audience who enjoys international dancing.
She is performing a stick dance. Women use the stick to imitate the men.The men use the sticks in their dance demonstrating aggressive martial art maneuvers.Women soften the movements adding flirting gestures
This dance is called Raks Assaya. Raks means dance and Assaya means stick. This dance is often called Saidi which represents upper Egypt. The cane and the stick are the every day tools for sheep herders.
This young girl is wearing one of the modest modern costuming. One can see the influences of Spanish, Flamenco, Gypsy, and a touch of Gothic.
The first time you see these new costumes which range from modest to more revealing and bizarre one would question ...Is this belly dancing? This is not what I saw my mother or sister wearing when they were belly dancers.
The music is also different. Any music can be used; Middle Eastern or other. The dancers have an open range of creativity. There are many styles to choose from. Often it is best to learn the traditional Egyptian and Turkish basics, then try other outlets which have been created by American women.
The identification of belly dancing ranges from modern to vintage. There is tribal fusion, ATS (American Tribal Fusion) and there now seems to be a trend of naming styles according to the music selected. For instance, India belly dancing, Turkish Belly Dancing, Egyptian belly dancing, Greek belly dancing, etc.
Regardless of your interest this dance art is still very interesting and popular. Read more
Why would anyone want to grow plants in a building?
I would guess that the idea of a greenhouse came about because people needed a method of growing edibles in a protected area away from blistering heat or extremely cold temperatures. They were probably disappointed when large animals, small critters, and bugs ate their crops. It appears survival was the motivation for devising methods to safely grow vegetation.The improvement of building materials, electricity, plumbing and ingenuity has made the greenhouse essential for amateur and professional gardeners. Residential and commercial growers enjoy the benefits and rewards of this horticultural aid.
Greenhouses are made from all types of building materials. This includes wood, concrete, stone, brick, plastic, aluminum, and steel, The choice of materials will vary according to the needs of residential or commercial users. Other considerations would be location, weather, and size.
What plants will you be growing?
Greenhouses range in size from mini to very large. There are diy kits, easy assemble, or structures which need professional assembling and installation.
The benefits allow for enjoyment of gardening.
Read about free standing greenhouses
Spring has arrived and you may be experiencing a sense of restlessness. Winter has been spent with indoor activities, shoveling snow, or winter activities and warmer weather beckons for a change of pace. Reduce this sense of restlessness traveling locally, nationally, or internationally to explore new wonders.
It is amazing how just taking a casual walk can awaken our senses for adventure.
Traveling is Sensual
Traveling may be defined as sensual because you use all six senses. Going to, being at, and leaving your destination will have you experiencing sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and your sixth or instinct sense. Travel satisfies the physical, mental, and spiritual restlessness within our being. It’s fun.
Your finances will govern traveling choices. Do not let a low budget discourage you from traveling. There are many activities sponsored in local communities ranging from free to just a few dollars.
If you live in a tourist state, I recommend visiting those attractions which tourists come to see before leaving your state. Often times when traveling you will meet other people and they often ask the question, “what is your home state?“ And then they will ask about a specific place to visit. They are very disappointed when they learn that you have not been to that site or activity.
National traveling fulfills the desire of the grass being greener on the other side and seemingly offers more excitement than your local area. Plan your trip to include what you want to do as well as a backup plan or substitute if for any reason your want cannot be possible.
An example of this happened to us when we went to see the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. It rained and visibility was extremely poor. We picked up some post cards and went to another choice. For most of us vacation time is short, time marches on, and every hour is valuable.
A camera is a must when traveling. Capture on film whatever gives you visual pleasure. Or you may wish to sketch or keep a written journal.
International traveling is for the experienced traveler. Are you a rookie? I recommend joining a group. It is safer and the tourist company knows the popular attractions which foreign guests are interested in.
Read more about sensual traveling.
The art of belly dancing is an exciting dance to learn. Many people have a romantic notion about this dance and when they take classes their initial response is often “this is harder than I thought”. There is a change of attitude and a respect for those women who have accomplished this form of dance art.
Entertain Your Husband
In the 1950’s belly dancing was promoted as a way to entertain your husband. But, it has come a long way from that idea. Today there are many different forms of belly dancing and each style will have its unique name.
A friend may refer you to their style of interest and later you will learn about others. After reviewing the many styles I would suggest that beginners start with the traditional Egyptian or Turkish cabaret style or inquire about Middle Eastern Folk dancing in your local community.
After learning the basic fundamental steps and movements and the origin of these movements you will find yourself more prepared to learn about other styles.
Regardless of your interest a mirror becomes a necessity. In the classroom a beginner is often intimidated by a mirror, but this feeling soon passes as you learn that the mirror is your best critiquing friend and a necessity for improving movements.
Because of the romantic notion, people never realize that this dance requires muscle control. If I were to rename it I would call this dance “Sensual Muscles”. As beginners try to master this dance art or master their muscles they soon learn that there is more to this dance than its beauty and costuming.
Practice and Rehearsals
This dance is more than what you do in the classroom. You will need to go home and practice. As you practice there will be physical, emotional, and spiritual results in a matter of weeks or months.
As you move your body you can feel the motion of the muscles, but it is the mirror’s reflection which helps you to see, identify, and confirm the accuracy of body positioning and movement.
All dedicated students of this art form have one or more mirrors in their home practice area or in their in-home studio.
Mirrors are emphatically needed to rehearse individuals or troupes in readiness for performances.
Most teachers do not like to instruct unless a mirror is present. The reason is the student can see the teacher’s movement as well as their own at the same time. The teacher can see the student’s movement and offer correction or tips to improve it.
Learn more about mirrors click here.
April - Kite Flying Month
The month of April has been designated as Kite Flying Month because it is the first month of Spring and most people are ready to leave the winter months and dive into sunny warm days of fun activities for the upcoming months.
It’s Spring fever and the outdoor life is calling us into activity. Kite flying is the answer for many people who enjoy outdoor activities. Or you may have been doing your annual spring cleaning and discovered the kites which were tucked away neatly in the back of the closet.
Flying kites is a great way to visit your local beaches. The ocean water may be too cold for swimming, but the sandy shore and trade winds offer kite flying conditions. The grass is growing in many open fields and offer inviting conditions for kiting.
American Kite Flyers Association
More information may be found at your local clubs and organizations or at the American KiteFlyers Association kite.org/ which is the largest kite flying club in North America with 45 other locations.
Use last year’s kite or try a new style for this upcoming year. I have found many online locations which tell you how to make your own kites or you may choose to buy. It’s a fun project regardless of your choice.
Upon your arrival at your kite destination you will find all ages of people participating in this sport activity. Children, teens, young adults, and adults up to age 90 are busy entertaining themselves watching their personal creation or watching other interesting kites being flown by others.
People will fly their kites as a recreational activity for a day or two, on vacations, participate in kite festivals, attend clubs and organizations, or join competition contests. Most communities have local kite functions. Kiting is popular throughout the United States and International countries.
The impression I have to date is that there are more elaborate kites flown in International countries than in America. Kite flying appears to have originated in China about 2000 years ago; I guess this gives International countries a head start.
In my research the American Indians were the first peoples to use a kite. It was used to catch fish.
Why People Fly Kites.
Building Models is Fun, Educational, and Entertaining
Building models is a lot of fun and is very educational, informative, interesting, and self-rewarding.
This activity is not restricted to children, adults can assemble their interests as well.
A model may be made of any type of material. Do-it-yourself projects are great for those with a keen sense of creativity and imagination. Make your model of choice from paper, Styrofoam, sand, clay, wood, metal, and modern plastic products.
Models may also be purchased. It appears that this is how most people get started. Models are available in plastics and wood. Children get a head start because they receive them as gifts for their birthdays and other special celebrations and occasions.
I remember my brothers and neighborhood boys receiving gifts of airplanes, cars, and ships. I had an uncle that specialized in balsa wood airplanes. Another friend of mine had interests in wooden ships and wooden ships in a bottle. Another acquaintance of mine has an interest in military figurines and plays war games.
Visiting model hobby shops or the toy department in many other stores will reveal that models are available in many different categories. There are rows and rows of boxed models to choose from. Adults returning to making models usually start with one of their childhood memories.
Here is a short list of some categories:
Building models is not just for the boys and men. Girls and women can also assemble models.
When building models you may choose to build one or many, specialize, or build an entire theme or community around the model.
For instance building a train on a track is the beginning, but a theme of seasons of the year, community, countryside, or an industrial area may be completed by adding all of the other models and landscaping to complete the theme.
Building a doll house may be expanded into decorating the interior, and landscaping the exterior. Some people are happy to specialize and master one type of model. There is something for everyone.
Building models may be a solo or a group activity. Family members and friends may want to share the activity together. An individual or a group may be interested in joining a local club where they can share their interests and have fun with other people who have the same interest. If competitive you may wish to compete for prizes, ribbons, or cash rewards.
Read more about models at https://hubpages.com/games-hobbies/Building-Model-Kits-Plastic-and-Wood.
Indoor and Outdoor Acrylics
Acrylic paints are useful for indoor and outdoor arts and crafts projects. This paint is very versatile, water based, available in large containers, plastic tubes and plastic bottles, and very affordable. It is great for people who are allergic or sensitive to fumes and toxins associated with oil or petroleum based paints.
The main difference between water and oil is that oil will wear better and last longer. Your choice of paint depends on the project and your allergic reactions. The argument for the different paints seems to be personal.
When I first started to paint with acrylics I did what is typical of painting. I bought the student grade acrylics and recommended tablet paper, made sketches of portraits or landscaping and started painting. However, as you gain knowledge and confidence of painting with acrylics many projects come to mind and you wonder if acrylics can be used.
Types of Acrylics
Any surface will receive acrylics. All types of paper products, wood, metal, clay, concrete, and textiles. If the surface appears in our physical world it can be painted.
Practice and experiment with different types and brands of these tints. You will discover your favorites for the different art and craft projects you are creating. These paints may be used alone or mix and match.
Benefits of Primers, Mediums, and Sealants
Read more about painting with acrylics at https://hubpages.com/art/Acrylic-Arts-and-Crafts-Paint-Projects.
Read about other hobbies and interests
Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument
As a child I took piano lessons and loved it. Until we could afford a piano I had practiced at our local church. Synchronized swimming was introduced to me and my interest changed. Later in life I took a few classes in drumming to understand assorted rhythms for my dance classes. While in college I selected voice lessons. I have always been surrounded by music or musicians for most of my life.
Listening, playing, singing, or dancing to or with musical instruments share many of the same benefits.
Types of Instruments
Regardless of the name of the instrument or what country they originate from there are four categories.
Playing an instrument can be accomplished at any age. As adults we usually know what type of instrument we would like to play. However, if in doubt piano appears to be the instrument of choice for both children and adults. By tradition the piano is considered to be the foundation or starting point.
Selecting a Musical Instrument
Music appreciation begins in preschool or kindergarten where students have hands on experience with various types of instruments.
A child watching the instructor play a piano or guitar to lead the group may be influenced to try these instruments.
Children enjoy blowing whistles; perhaps this is an indicator that children who enjoy whistling will be interested in woodwind or brass instruments.
Family members who play an instrument as a hobby or who are professional musicians will have strong influences over family members. The children who inherit genes for this endeavor have a head start created by nature.
Do not be discouraged if you did not inherit family genes for music. You are still able and capable to take part in musical endeavors.
To find what instrument is best suited for your personality type; try these ideas.
I selected the piano as a child
I tried a flute which my friend liked and discovered I did not have the lungs for it.
As an adult I sampled the guitar, but the steel strings cut my fingers.
Later I enjoyed the drums because I wanted to learn different rhythms. Because I have participated in Middle Eastern dancing I played the doumbek in order to learn the different beats associated in this dance art. Many belly dancers have joined drum circles to better their understanding of the different beats in order to enhance their dancing and to enable a more accurate dance display with musicians during live stage performances.. Musicians appreciate the professional belly dancers who have mastered the beats.
I am not a musician but I do respect people who have mastered playing one. The main importance of your selection is that you love it and you enjoy it.
Are you having problems selecting a musical instrument? Learn more about instruments here. .Are you interested in other hobbies? Click here.
Most people know if they are truly shy or not. But, when you are considering belly dancing classes and unfortunately you hear negative comments, your shyness shines brightly. Belly dancing is exactly the type of dance which removes shyness.
Shyness is removed because:
There are physical, emotional, and spiritual changes
Self-esteem is recognizing your personal accomplishments. For me this dance seemed natural and with practice it seemed easy to me. However, to many women it is a difficult dance to learn. Others find it challenging. However, when you have accomplished or mastered the movements and rhythms you know that you have accomplished the rewards of perseverance and you can take pride in your accomplishments.
There are many misconceptions about this dance by those who do not understand.or lack knowledge. They are missing a great personal adventure of wonderful experiences.
The professional dancers in this industry are performing artists. They bring an uplifting and positive status to belly dancing. Accomplishing being a dancer in this industry is a part of your being and self-worth.
The movements used in this individual dance style requires focused attention in order to execute successfully. This brings attention to the body and how it works. The physical movements help the individual to lose weight or firm their curves.
The student notices the physical changes in her body and confidence emerges with these changes. Negative self-image is removed with positive proof of figure changing benefits and she feels better about her female body. Self-confidence emerges which in turn changes mental attitudes, emotional problems, and spiritual renewal..
There are other arts and crafts projects which partner with the dance movements.
This list is what I know, but, there are many other arts and crafts activities which support this dance interest.
Women are Unique
Women are very inventive, imaginative, and creative and these are three of many reasons as to why this dance removes shyness.
Read about the sensual art of this dance.