Category Archives: Volunteering

Working on Piñatas: “Evergreen Santa”

In the summer of 2018 I’ll be teaching several adults-only workshops on making and decorating tabletop piñatas.  The first four classes are called “Monumental Piñatas” events (because they’re based on creatures and plants found in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument), and the last two classes art called “Art/Nature Fusion” events. All of the classes are two-day workshops (on two consecutive Saturdays) during which I teach participants how to build their own piñatas “from the balloons up”, and then teach them how to decorate them.

I’m volunteering my time for these workshops, and all of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to support Tuleyome’s Certified California Naturalist program.

Before the classes start, however, I needed to create the sample piñatas to use for advertising purposes.  What you see in this post is my “Evergreen Santa” sample piece.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just about everything about the piñata is made of recyclable, biodegradable materials. The form is made of recycled newsprint paper, flour, salt and water and is built up around balloons (which are popped and properly disposed of once the form dries).  The exterior is decorated with tissue paper, light poster board, art paper, construction paper, and water-soluble glue.

Santa’s boots and pants were done in a flat-application technique where the tissue paper is glued flat onto the piñata form in strips.  That technique allows for quick coverage of an area, and can be layered to give it less translucency if required.

The jacket and faux fur was done in the layering technique I use for most of my own piñatas. I tried several different kinds of evergreen plant leaves and needles, and although it’s kind of a cliche, I settle on using holly leaves. That choice also allowed me to give the Santa holly leaf buttons and cufflinks which I liked.

The hair and beard were made of regular 20# white copy paper.  I chose that paper and weight because it’s relatively easy to curl (running the paper strips along the edge of the blade of a pair of scissors, like curling ribbon) and it’s light enough to cut somewhat intricate patterns.  All of the curls were glued into place first, and then the cutout layers of the beard and mustache were added last.

Final touches included a stocking cap made of tissue paper, and accents of “icicle” glitter and a sprig of mistletoe (made of cardboard, tissue paper, and faux pearls.)

Like all of the piñatas I create, the Evergreen Santa doesn’t need to be smashed to get to the goodies inside of it.  Instead, the hat on the top of the piñata can be removed to fill it up and empty it out.

If you would like me to do a workshop for your nonprofit, business or group, please contact me at thechubbywoman@gmail.com

Working on Piñatas: Nature’s Egg

In the summer of 2018 I’ll be teaching several adults-only workshops on making and decorating tabletop piñatas.  The first four classes are called “Monumental Piñatas” events (because they’re based on creatures and plants found in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument), and the last two classes art called “Art/Nature Fusion” events. All of the classes are two-day workshops (on two consecutive Saturdays) during which I teach participants how to build their own piñatas “from the balloons up”, and then teach them how to decorate them. One workshop encourages participants to come with their own idea for a piñata, and the other one focuses on an “Evergreen Santa” piñata.

I’m volunteering my time for these workshops, and all of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to support Tuleyome’s Certified California Naturalist program.

Before the classes start, however, I needed to create the sample piñatas to use for advertising purposes.  This one is the “Nature’s Egg”.

This “egg” form is covered using a variety of techniques, and displays some of my favorite plants and critters: an oak tree, California Poppies, a water feature with a rock that has a tiny Pond Turtle sitting on it, Pipevine, Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars, eggs and butterflies, wildflowers (Baby Blue Eyes, Tidy Tips, Hawksbeard, and wild onions),  some Turkey Vultures, a little bit of jelly fungus and lichen.

Like all of the piñatas I create, the Nature’s Egg doesn’t need to be smashed to get to the goodies inside of it.  Instead, a cap on the top of the piñata  can be removed to fill it up and empty it out.  The sample was finished in early October… and there’s what it looks like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just about everything about the piñata is made of recyclable, biodegradable materials. The form is made of recycled newsprint paper, flour, salt and water and is built up around balloons (which are popped and properly disposed of once the form dries).  The exterior is decorated with tissue paper, light poster board, art paper, construction paper, and water-soluble glue.

If you would like me to do a workshop for your nonprofit, business or group, please contact me at thechubbywoman@gmail.com.

Working on Piñatas: Mother Earth Owl and Owlet

In the summer of 2018 I’ll be teaching several adults-only workshops on making and decorating tabletop piñatas.  The first four classes are called “Monumental Piñatas” events (because they’re based on creatures and plants found in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument), and the last two classes art called “Art/Nature Fusion” events. All of the classes are two-day workshops (on two consecutive Saturdays) during which I teach participants how to build their own piñatas “from the balloons up”, and then teach them how to decorate them. One workshop encourages participants to come with their own idea for a piñata, and the other one focuses on an “Evergreen Santa” piñata.

I’m volunteering my time for these workshops, and all of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to support Tuleyome’s Certified California Naturalist program.

Before the classes start, however, I needed to create the sample piñatas to use for advertising purposes.  The first one is a “Mother Earth Owl and Owlet”.

Like all of the piñatas I create (except for the owlet which is a simple single piece), the Mother Earth Owl doesn’t need to be smashed to get to the goodies in her belly.  Instead, her head can be removed to fill her up and empty her out.  The sample was finished around September 2nd… and there’s what it looks like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just about everything about the piñata is made of recyclable, biodegradable materials. The form is made of recycled newsprint paper, flour, salt and water and is built up around balloons (which are popped and properly disposed of once the form dries).  The exterior is decorated with tissue paper, light poster board, art paper, construction paper, and water-soluble glue.

If you would like me to do a piñata craft event for you, contact me at thechubbywoman@gmail.com.

Stink Bug Nymphs

I attended the 4-H Sparks Fair at the University of California, Davis campus with my Tuleyome coworker Bill Grabert. Since Bill knew the campus better than I did, we went to the fair in his car.

Before heading out, we stopped by a rose bush in his front yard to check out the circles cut into the leaves by Leafcutter Bees.  As an added bonus we found some Green Stink Bugs nymphs, probably in their second or third instar, standing beside the eggs from which they’d recently hatched.

You never know what you’ll find out in nature — even in your own front yard.

Tabling at the Sacramento Zoo

It’s Day Eight of my Vacation, but I did actually worked today.  I got up about 6:30 am and then headed over to the Sacramento Zoo to table all day for Tuleyome at the zoo’s Earth Fest.  We had a great spot – right next to the tiger’s den – and the zoo personnel were fabulous.  They set up tables, chairs, and a pop-up for us so we didn’t have to lug any of that kind of stuff back and forth; they came by with bottles of cold water throughout the day to make sure we stayed hydrated; and they gave us free passes to the zoo to use in the future!  Several of their docents and volunteers also stopped by our table to hug our Big Day of Giving bears and to sign postcards of support for the Berryessa Snow Mountain national monument.  Just great people.  I really enjoyed it.  One highlight of the day was when a father came by the table with his two sons and read the postcard of support to them.  Then he asked if they would like to ask President Obama to support the project, and they said yes, so he showed them how to fill out the postcards.  It was impressive to see that kind of family “activism” right before our eyes.

Lot of folks came by to hug our Big Day of Giving spokebears, Berry and Essa, and several people asked if the bears were for sale or part of a giveaway… and a couple tried to abscond with them!  Hah!  The little bear, Essa, also got to meet an oral hygiene dinosaur and “Barkley”, the spokestree for the Sacramento Tree Foundation.  So that was fun, too.  I took mini breaks throughout the day to snap a few photos of the animals nearest to our display table, and to get my face painted.  (I am SUCH a kid at heart.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The weather cooperated all day, too: it was about 47° when we got to the zoo in the early morning, and then didn’t get over 71° by the late afternoon.  I left about 4:00 pm and was home around 4:30.  Just a lovely way to spend a mid-vacation work day…

@SacramentoZoo @SacTree  #BIGDoG2015