Cement Leaf and Margarita Party - - August 20 and 22, 2012

report by Eve Jacobs

Have you ever wanted to get down and dirty with dirt, plastic, cement and more?  Well, that’s just what happened on August 20 and 22 as some of the garden club gals bonded with each other over this fun, messy and creative craft. 

We arrived at Joan Keye’s garage to see it set up with tables upon which there were large mounds of dirt with plastic over them.   Hmmm…  How is this going to work?  Then Wendie, our project leader and a dear, old friend of Judy Jenner’s, started explaining what we were going to be doing.

“Ladies; make your mound how you would like it to be”.   Hmmm…Okay. 

“Choose a very large rhubarb leaf or hosta leaf or another leaf and place on top of your mound…..and then get the mound….the way you want it”.  Okay!!!  

So were placing this leaf on top of this mound of dirt to make an impression all the while the dirt is slipping away!  Then here comes Gary Jenner with a large shovel full of cement to throw on your mound.  I’m not quite ready, but here comes the cement.   OKAY!!! 

“Now work that cement with your (gloved) hands to get that leaf in the position you want it in to form your cement leaf”.   Sounds easy right?   NOOOOOOOOO it’s not. It’s a bit tricky.  

As I am doing this, the leaf is moving underneath the cement and the dirt is slipping away from the bottom and I am constantly moving the dirt back into a form to hold this up.  And the plastic is moving.  But wait….the leaf needs more cement.  Oh Gary!!!!  Speaking of Gary….what husband would spend his day mixing cement for us ladies and being patient with us for the duration of this project.   We need more Gary’s in the world! 

We are all talking, laughing and asking Wend

ie for help.   This takes some time to do this and yes you get a bit messy…we are all dressed like you don’t want to see us….  Once you have played with this cement pile till you think you’ve got it just right you’ve got to rework it.!  After all this you need sustenance in the form of food and drink. 

We sit down to a small feast of sweets and salts the perfect combination and enjoy much needed Margarita’s in Joan’s lovely enclosed porch.  We are dirty and sweaty but are encouraged and can’t wait till Wednesday to see how these castings have turned out.  Some of us have also made stepping stones out of old plastic containers and put real leaves in to make a casting of them. 

Wednesday finally comes and we are amazed by the results.  Plainly these castings look fabulous.  Now the real fun starts…  Paints of all colors are brought out and we are all transformed into Picasso’s, quite literally.  We are using brushes and paper towels and mixing colors.  Everyone is getting quite seriously into this.  I can’t seem to get enough of this!  This is really fun!  

After a long while it is once again time for food and drinks and more conversing.   Each finished casting is more beautiful than the next and we are admiring our work…….Wendie sends us off with much love and a sealer product to put on in a week.  

Did I mention Gary helped again cleaning up Joan’s garage….what a great guy!  A big thanks to Joan for hosting this event.  A big hug and kiss to Wendie and her sister Jackie for bringing the creative forces out of all of us.  And a super huge thanks to Judy Jenner for bringing Wendie down from Eagle River to do this project with our group.  Lots of fun….a great time had by all!

Our Fall workshop once again returned to Jan Stefan's home for a session of wreath creativity and fun! On arriving at Jan's home, visitors were greeted with an array of beautiful Halloween decorations, props, and fall colors. Inside, the "Treat Table" was fully stocked and delicious. We all got to meet Linda Lutz's Mother Brenda who was visiting from Scotland; she was a delight.

Merle, Elaine, and Mary Lou worked together on some great design ideas, and as a result, the wreaths looked fantastic. Jan worked on a beautiful pumpkin centerpiece. And, there was even a wreath created for our Annual Benefit by Linda. Be on the lookout for it at the benefit, it's wonderful. Thanks again to Merle for bringing so much material for the wreaths and Jan for hosting the workshop.

Fall Wreath Workshop - - October 16, 2011

Our second workshop of the year turned out to be both a creative fantasy and fun! Thanks to Merle for bringing all those silk flowers and baskets, Denny for her creative juices, and Jan for hosting the workshop. It was a great start on Spring, bringing a lot of early beauty to our homes. And as Lisa's daughter said, "That was awesome fun"!

Wreath Workshop - - March 19, 2011

Our first workshop of 2012, Cracked China Picture Frames, was graciously held at the home of Kathy Boss, our workshop leader.

Conceptually, you would think it's a simple process: pick your favorite old chipped china, then break it in a bag; find a flat-faced picture frame; pick out pieces of broken china that have the colors, shapes, an uniquenesses you want; glue them on the picture frame; let it dry, then grout and polish.

Well, to watch Kim, Jane, Barb, Linda, and Jan work on those frames, you would have thought you were back in 1st grade. Their focus was fixed, hands working with fun tools like hammers and cutting pliers to get the pieces to fit, and every once in a while, a tiny bit of tongue would stick out as they frustration, intensity, and finally exhilaration increased.

Thank goodness there was wine and chocolate available as these creative and artistic ladies produced multiple gorgeous picture frames. I wonder who will be the lucky recipients?

Cracked China Picture Frame Workshop - - January 22, 2012

Our Third workshop of the 2011 - 2012 year followed our regular April 21 General Meeting. After the presentation on Backyard Birds, Rick Sanders guided over 25 people through the creation of a Tweeter Feeder. Using old picture frames, wire screening, staples and the odd bit of hardware here and there, and then cutting, stapling, drilling, fastening, and chaining, everyone successfully created a hanging platform feeder. There was the keen focus of Master Craftsmen on the faces of the crowd, and based on the giggling, there was a lot of fun as well.

Tweeter Feeder Workshop - - April 21, 2011

Our first workshop of the 2011 - 2012 year provided an exciting and fun opportunity for nine LGC members to enter the world of the scarecrow. From your typical ghost to the Princess of Spring, the costumes were varied and the expressions truly different. It was a great day to be outside, so all of the creations expressed the colors of Fall. 

Scarecrow Workshop - - October 17, 2010