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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 03/18/12

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MAKE YOUR OWN POLYMER CLAY!

   This diy comes from www.thenewnew.blogspot.com .  I very ingenious idea if you love to mess around with clay and sculpt your own holiday figurines and other misc. items.  It's also alot cheaper that buying fimo clay (they are the ones that make most of the polymer clay you find at arts and crafts stores)  at the craft store. Have fun and make something today!


Homemade Polymer Clay


At different points over the last few years I've played around with different kinds of homemade "clay." My favorite is a polymer clay also known as cold porcelain. Its main ingredients are cornstarch and white PVA or Elmer's glue. I like it because it's smooth and a little bit elastic to work with and dries extremely hard. It's also relatively non-porous so it takes paint really well. And it doesn't degrade over time like baker's clay or salt clay does. I've used it to cover blown-out chicken eggs for Christmas ornaments, as well as to make various and sundry bowls, boxes and pendant blanks, among other things.


But it took awhile to get the recipe right. Most of the ones I found online resulted in a compound that was way too sticky to work with. So I experimented with different proportions of glue and cornstarch and the inclusion/exclusion of various secondary ingredients. What follows is the fruit of my experimentation. Lucky you!

Materials
  • 3/4 cup white glue
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons mineral oil (I used baby oil but reportedly even vaseline will work)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Non-stick pot
  • Wooden spoon
Steps
Add cornstarch to glue in a nonstick pot. Mix together and then add mineral oil and lemon juice. Blend well.


Cook over low flame stirring pretty much constantly (you can take a quick break or two if your arm gets tired, which it will) until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.



Remove from heat! Squirt a little additional mineral oil around the top of your mashed potato mass and with your hands, remove it from the pot. Knead until smooth. It's best to do this while it's still as hot as you can handle.


Pull off a bit to work with and put the rest in a re-sealable plastic bag with the top about half-way open until it's cooled down a bit. Then seal the bag (with as little air in it as you can) and store in the fridge.

Let dry about 2-3 days, then paint, or not.

Until next time --

Enjoy!

TOP 10 HOLIDAY FEARS!!!






The Institute of Holiday Studies has released the top ten fears that people face during the Holidays.





Parkaphobia- The fear that you will circle and circle the parking lot for ever, never actually making it into the mall. You will run out of gas on the 100th time you circle and you will slowly starve to death in your car.





Planeaphobia- The fear that someone in your family will actually expect you to pick them up at the airport, when you even offer to pay for their taxi, no matter know much it costs. Similar to parkaphobia, you will be doomed to circling the airport for ever, while their plane is an hour late, they stop for a Latte' on the way to the baggage counter, then spend two hours looking for their lost bag, which will come in tomorrow, meaning you get to make another trip to the airport.






Giftaphobia-You and your new boyfriend are exchanging gifts for the first time on Christmas. You both promised to keep it simple. But what does "simple" mean to your boyfriend. Will he give you a diamond and all you give him is a CD of his favorite band. Or will he give you a blender, severing the relationship for ever and forcing you to find a new date for New Years.






Treeaphobia- You constantly check the needles on the tree hoping they're not too dry, knowing that your family is doomed and will die in a blazing inferno when the tree catches on fire. A characteristic of Treeaphobics is they buy the tree the day before Christmas and dispose of it on Christmas afternoon.






Turkeyaphobia- Every year you have to check the Internet to see how many minutes per pound you need to cook the turkey. Lurking in the back of your mind is that the turkey will be undercooked and that you and your guests will all be writhing on the floor dying of salmonella poisoning. You always make the dog taste the turkey first.






Bargainaphobia- You search the ads, circle the best buys, show up at the store five hours before it opens, but in the back of your mind, is the fear that your sister-in-law has out bargained you again and when you proudly show the computer you got for $400 dollars, she will announce that she got the same computer off the Internet for $250. A common characteristic of bargainophobia is resisting the urge to strangle you sister-in-law.





Elfaphobia- The fear that your fiance' will turn into an elf after you marry him and you will be forced to live with him forever because of that darn "till death do us part" bit that the minister snuck into your wedding vows.





Cancel phobia- The fear that all the football players catch the swine flu at the same time and all the Holiday Bowl games are cancelled forcing you to actually sit down and TALK to your relatives, including Uncle Joe who lives in a shack in Montana and has pictures of the Uni-bomber all over his walls!





Roofaphobia- The fear that Santa Claus will actually land his sleigh on your house. All twelve reindeer weight at least one ton and scientists have estimated that Santa's sleigh and payload weights over 300,000 pounds. Not to mention Santa himself, who is no lightweight himself. This weight will not only ruin your roof, but totally crush your whole house.







Fruitcakeaphobia- You dream that you made a bet with your brother-in-law on who would win the football game and you lose, thus being forced to eat an entire fruitcake in 10 minutes, washed down with some moldy eggnog.

THE IDITAROD, THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH! PART 1!!!






 





 You can't compare it to any other competitive event in the world. A race over 1150 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forests, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that, temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod.
From Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, each team of 12to 16 dogs and their musher, cover over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days.





    It has been call the "Last Great Race on Earth" and it has won worldwide acclaim and interest. German, Spanish, British, Japanese and American film crews have covered the event. Journalists from outdoor magazines, adventure magazines, newspapers and wire services flock to Anchorage and Nome to record the excitement. It's not just a dog sled race. It's a race in which unique men and women compete. Mushers enter from all walks of life. Fishermen, lawyers, doctors, miners, artists, natives, Canadians, Swiss, French and others, men and women each with their own story, each with their own reasons for going the distance. It's a race organized and run primarily by volunteers, thousands of volunteers, men and women, students and village residents. They man headquarters at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Nome and Wasilla. They fly volunteers, veterinarians, dog food and supplies. They act as checkers, coordinators, and family supporters of each musher.



Northern Route


The Spirit of Alaska! More Than a Race...a Commemoration

    The race pits man and animal against nature, against wild Alaska at her best and as each mile is covered, a tribute to Alaska's past is issued. The Iditarod is a tie to a commemoration of that colorful past.
    The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elm, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.
    In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in...again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard driving dogs.
    The Iditarod is a commemoration of those yesterdays, a not so distant past that Alaskans honor and are proud of.

Southern Route

An Event for All Alaska

    Anchorage is the starting line...a city of over 250,000 people, street lights, freeways and traffic. From there the field of dog teams which grow in number each year run to Eagle River, Checkpoint #1. After a restart in the Matanuska Valley at Wasilla, the mushers leave the land of highway and bustling activity and head out to the Yenta Stations Roadhouse and Skewentna and then up. Through Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, over the Alaska Range and down the other side to the Kuskokwin River...Rohn Roadhouse, Nikolai, McGrath, Ophir, Cripple, Iditarod and on to the mighty Yukon...a river highway that takes the teams west through the arctic tundra.







    The race route is alternated every other year, one year going north through Cripple, Ruby and Galena, the next year south through Iditarod, Shageluk, Anvik.
Finally, they're on the coast...Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Elm, Golovin, White Mountain and into Nome where a hero's welcome is the custom for musher number 1 or 61!
    The route encompasses large metropolitan areas and small native villages. It causes a yearly spurt of activity, increased airplane traffic and excitement to areas otherwise quiet and dormant during the long Alaskan winter. Everyone gets involved, from very young schools children to the old timers who relive the colorful Alaskan past they've known as they watch each musher and his team. The race is an educational opportunity and an economic stimulus to these small Alaskan outposts.






    The "I" logo, a trademark of the Iditarod Trail Committee Inc. and the Iditarod Race, was designed by Alaskan artist Bill Devine in the early years of the race. The design is done on a white background with blue thread for the dog and inner outline. The Outer outline is done in red. The design is used on a shield and was used on wooden trail markers in the earlier races.

On the Trail

    Every mushers has a different tactic. Each one has a special menu for feeding and snacking the dogs. Each one has a different strategy...some run in the daylight, some run at night. Each one has a different training schedule and his own ideals on dog care, dog stamina and his own personal ability.





    The rules of the race lay out certain regulations which each musher must abide by. There are certain pieces of equipment each team must have...an arctic parka, a heavy sleeping bag, an ax, snowshoes, musher food, dog food and boots for each dog's feet to protect against cutting ice and hard packed snow injuries.
    Some mushers spend an entire year getting ready and raising the money needed to get to Nome. Some prepare around a full time job. In addition to planning the equipment and feeding needs for up to three weeks on the trail, hundreds of hours and hundreds of miles of training have to be put on each team.
       There are names which are automatically associated with the race...Joe Redington, Sr., co founder of the classic and affectionately known as "Father of the Iditarod". Rick Swenson from Two River, Alaska, the only five time winner, the only musher to have entered 20 Iditarod races and never finished out of the top ten. Dick Mackey from Nenana, who beat Swenson by one second in 1978, to achieve the impossible photo finish after two weeks on the trail. Norman Vaughan who at the age of 88, has finished the race four times and led an expedition to Antarctica in the winter of 93-94. Four time winner, Susan Butcher, was the first woman to ever place in the top 10. And of course, Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod in 1985.