Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christi Class Day 2

The polymer classes were held during our "at sea" days.  That way, when we are in port, we can leave the ship and take an island tour, go have fun on a sailboat, snorkel or explore on our own.

The claydies (+ one gentleman) were divided into 3 groups.  Each group meet with a different teacher on class days.  I was in Group C, and my first class was with my favorite clay lady ... Christi Freisen.  I have been lucky enough to take numerous classes from her and she has never failed to entertain while instructing.  We had several people new to clay in our group, so it was great that they started their intro into the polymer world with someone who makes learning so easy.

      The first time I met her was on the 2009 Polymer cruise. I was having so much fun, that I hardly wanted to leave the classroom to go into port.  Lord Opuson talked me into it one morning, but it was sooo hot and humid, that we quickly went back the ship.  I went back to the classroom and my hubbie got bored without me. Christi  was in the classroom too and  she actually talked my husband into trying his hand at clay sculpt. First time out, he made a dolphin! So impressive, as my hubby is NOT physically artistic ... he can use words like a paint brush when he writes,  but give him a real paint brush, and all the paint will end up on him, the walls, the floors ...  anywhere but the canvas.
    I ramble, but the gist of what I am saying, is that if you want to learn clay and be successful the first time out ... take a class from Christi Freisen.

Christi's theme was aquatic life.  We made little underwater themes.  (I apologize for the picture quality - I have taken better pix now that I am home, but can not find my camera's download cable anywhere. These pix were taken in the classroom with room lighting)
Love this technigue for making jelly fish

Christi's instructions for Octopi are sooo good, I made this
cutie first tme out  

 The instructor's moved from table to table each night, so everyone would get a chance to eat with them.  This was Christi's night at our table.  If you look closely a my neckline, you can just make out my Leopold necklace that I made from her focal.

As I alluded to in previous posts, the ship was chocked full of art work.  I must have taken hundreds of pictures.  Ispiration everywhere! Doesn't this piece look like it was created from extruder cane?
And every night we would come back to the cabin to be greeted by the wimsey of Andrew, our steward....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Polymer Cruise Day 1

Sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.  A beautiful day for it.
 The boarding process went very well.  Hardly had to stand in line at all.  I have been on cruises before when I thought I would NEVER get on board. Royal Caribbean has it down to a fine art. 
  We originally were all to meet on the Lido deck, but since the Oasis does not have a Lido deck, it was decided to meet in the Windjammer Cafe.  Unfortunately for us, everyone else headed to the Windjammer too.  Several people tried to save spaces, but it was frowned on because there were so many people trying to get in and not enough seats for them all.  But so much food .... let the weight gain commence. Diet, what Diet????
The Windjammer one afternoon when the ship was in port.
Usually you can't see the food for all the people.
 There were soooo many good places to eat.  A lot of them were "free" - ie included in the cost of the cruise.  There were other specially restaurants that charged. I understand they were quite good.  There was even a Johnny Rocket's aboard.  They served breakfast at no charge, and during the rest of the day, you could have all you could eat for a minimal charge.  My only problem with that was that they were on the Boardwalk section of the ship, which was outside ( not air conditioned), so was too hot and muggy for me to be comfortable.
   Lord Opuson soon discovered the adult only section of the ship, and the Bistro there. Not as much food as the Windjammer, but a much more relaxed atmosphere and lots of seating. We ate there a lot, esp. in the morning.
All these plants are real.  The gardeners make constant rounds to
ensure that all plants are at their peak health.
 Central park was my favorite part of the ship.  A floating garden.  Spent a lot of time walking here, snapping pix of the flowers, sitting on the benches and enjoying the scenery. 

Saturday night was opening ceremonies for the Polymer portion of the cruise.  We all met in the conference center (yeah, good lighting and open space!!!).  Meet and greet occurred, with lots of fun and laughs. 

Maureen Carlson opened the ceremonies by blowing a blast on a conch shell.
She is talented in so many ways, but who knew this was one of them!
We had been given our goodie bags at the hotel the night before.  Everything other than the pasta machine and work surface had been included.  We were told what items to bring to class in the morning.   Then there were awards - crowns for the polymer princesses who have cruised twice before, and lovely sterling pearl necklaces for those of us who have cruised 3 or more times with this generous group.

Then we were free to pursue other shipboard interests, or be like me and go to bed since the first class started at 0900.  I am not a morning person, so it was hard for me to adjust. I found I was getting up at the time I normally went to bed.  I find that even now that I am back at home, I am still waking early. Have to get back into the j.o.b. groove and stay up past 10 pm. LOL

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Polymer Paradise

I have been sadly neglecting my blogging of late.
First, I was cleaning and getting ready for my trip.  Having a house sitter coming in was great inspiration towards getting rid of all the dust and cobwebs that have accumulated over time. I am NOT a "good" housekeeper by any means. My mother was fastidious to the point of white glove clean, and as a result her children (being of creative natures) feel there are more important things to do in life than clean.  Needless to say, there were lots of nooks and crannies that had been ignored for a while.

Then, the second honeymoon and polymer clay cruise began.  Got back Thursday night. Spent Friday unpacking, and resting up. Vacations can be so tiring.  Today I was organising the over 900 pictures I took on our two week trip. My camera got a real work out.  If you had a chance to look at my photo album, though, you might wonder a bit about my subject matter.  Of course, I was taking pictures of the scenery, people, etc - the usual vacation pix. But, there are numerous photo of flowers, and trees, and houses, and textures, and artwork on the ship.  There was an historic cannon that I saw in San Francisco and my first thought was "ooooh, look at that PATINA!"
I wonder how I can duplicate this patina.....Swellegant, maybe???

For those who are not familiar, Lisa Pavelka and her business partner, Lisa Lambright, organise cruise vacations that also include classes.  In this instance, the classes were in polymer clay.  They invite great teachers to accompany them and a fun time is had by all. This was my third cruise with them, and so far the best, IMHO.  The instructors this time out were the marvelous Christi Freisen, the legendary Maureen Carlson and the lovely Lisa herself.

Our trip to Fort Lauderdale went better than I expected.  It was long, but there was only about 10 minutes of bumpiness on the whole plane ride there.

We were put up at the Spring Hill Suites.  
I always try to plan for the unexpected delay (the last time we flew for a cruise, we got stuck in Dallas overnight due to weather. We would have missed the ship if I hadn't given us an extra travel day).  Because we got in a day early, I was able to meet a few other of the early birds, including the energetic Lisa Lambright.  It was nice to get to know her a bit outside the hectic pace of the class room.  
Christi Freisen and Lisa Pavelka checking in.  

Saturday morning -  we were off, a short shuttle ride to the ship.  I had heard and read about the Oasis of the Seas. I knew in my mind that it was big, but did not really grasp just how HUGE it was till I saw it.  
   There is an ice skating rink, rock climbing walls, and a zip line.  Not to mention the usual pools, saunas, stages, food courts, gyms, bars, casino and other cruise ship amenities.  Right now, it is one of  the largest ships afloat, until next year when the Quantum of the Seas is launched.  
  This was the first time that the polymer cruise was going to be held on a Royal Caribbean ship.  It was nice to have one big room with good lighting set aside only for us.  No moving from room to room every day. 
Can you get an idea of just how BIG this sucker is??