Clay Carnival 2010

Diana's second year to attend this concentration of classes expressly for the art of Polymer Clay manipulation. Diana's very good at this but there is always new and exciting ideas and techniques arising in this venue and she loves the interaction with some of the top artists in this medium. Las Vegas, every November, is the place to be for such a "hobnobbing" with fellow artisans. Noel is just along to drive, cook and support Diana's fun :)

Left from Windsor, 5p and hightailed it to Grand Junction for a stay at the America's Best Value Inn. $5 more than Motel6 but always has frig and microwave. Perhaps a tad better beds, too. Sink in bathroom had no water, though. no biggie on a quick stop. Up not-too-early Wednesday and on to Las Vegas. Arrived about 4p, checked into the Emerald Suites on Cameron (2 in Vegas). Had to take 2nd floor (no elevator) and we hauled 4+ trips of stuff up for our 5 night stay. Nice, clean, simple place. Cheap too . . . $55/night average which included two show tickets! More on that later . . .

We get settled in and used a couple of hours of "free" time to find some Squished Penny machines that are new to the Vegas area this year. Always new and exciting places for us to visit with a new Squishing in the offing . . .

Diana in our suite's bedroom

The kitchen . . .

. . . and living room (as seen from the dining area)

Along our walk of the strip, about dusk

Statue in front of Ceasar's Palace

Fountain and sculpture outside Ceasar's

Diana Squishing Pennies at a shop in Ceasar's

Bachus in the Fountain in Promenade Shops of Ceasar's

another fountain statue

The Nascar section of the Sahara and Diana at Squished Penny machine

A 2nd Squishing Machine . . .

The fair at a Squished Quarter Machine

Diana Squishing a Quarter

A Squished Penny's offering

Another machine's variety

A sign that seemed most approriate

Thursday 11/4 - Registration a 8a and she's off and running! Each class is 4hrs. Lunch then another 4hrs. Students stay in place (lots of equipment we had to bring along) and the teachers rotate. 8 instructors, 4days . . . Noel makes lunch (and breakfast and dinner) in the kitchen, picks Diana up and shuttles back and forth 2 1/2mi, about 20min with traffic and hiking through the casino and shops from parking ramp to classroom and back. This works great for us. No hassles trying to find appropriate meals for Diana. Noel makes just what she needs and likes!

Instructor Donna Kato

Sizzling Rice

Examples from Judy Belcher's class

The little balls move!

She taught this too

Judy B's class - Diana's optical illusion cane ready to be cut

Spinner Pendant - two trys to get it right!

Julie E: Diana's Version

Julie E's version in light blue and red

This night we see Vegas! the Show . . . We dress up in our finest and go to Planet Hollywood and one of their many theatres. We didn't hold high expectations for the quality of the show, though have read and heard some very good reviews, but was very pleasantly surprised. A true variety show, Vegas style, with magician, comedian, dancing girls, singers and live band. They simulated some of the biggest headliners and well known acts from Vegas' past. A few younger folks we saw leave early but we enjoyed it.. Much younger than us and you wouldn't know who Liberace or Dean Martin even is :)

A picture of the picture they took of us entering the show

Diana and Noel self-portrait whle waiting for the show to begin

Friday 11/5 - Up with waffles for breakfast and over to the Imperial Palace for Diana's next day of classes. IP is about the oldest hotel/casino left on the strip and shows it. However, it's old hog-pog style allows for some back-alley ways in and out and Noel has learned them all. Makes our travels even easier and more fun. Diana not feeling up-to-par in the afternoon so skips class to sleep and recover. A quiet night in has her raring to go tomorrow! Besides Bridge on the River Kwai is on TCM!

The Imperial Palaces Sports Book area . . . we sat up top and watched the games sometimes while resting . . .

Saturday 11/6 - Both feeling chipper and ready for the day, Diana does her Polymer Clay cavorting and Noel explores his artistic side via camera . . . . Diana's is purer than Noel's, by his admission. She's creating . . . he's just capturing, albeit from a unique angle, someone else's art. Morning is for laundry, though. Evening for rest. Easy to tell we are both exhausted - there is a Baskin-Robbins across the street and a hot tub down a flight of stairs but we don't have the extra energy for either! We gain an hour tonight (changing off of Daylight Savings Time) lose it back again tomorrow when we cross the NV-AZ border.

A very popular cane that EVERYONE wanted a slice of :)

step-by-step . . .

. . . almost there

Some of the projects almost finished

Instructor Judy Belcher

Noel love's this stretch of I-15 in Arizona. You can't get to it without going into Utah or Nevada first - 30 miles of no-man's land. I think the Arizona Highway Patrol should promise to stay off it and let's see what a wild place it can become! A free-state within the United States; sort of a desert version of Escape from New York . . . or maybe Mad Max?

a Christmas present idea . . .

Some more imaginative T-shirts

Sunday 11/7 - Noel preps for an early departure tomorrow as Diana learns more and more. Both of today's classes are given by instructors she's never heard of or seen work from. Rumor has it one of the classes is "tedious".

A new instructor this year from Spain - Natalia

Example of color work and blending

Lizard tail by Julie P.

Julie P. necklace

Pod by Julie P

More Julie P work

Diana's Lizard Tails

Julie P's inspiration

Natalia's funnel bead bracelet

Some of Diana's work ready for baking

Scrap clay always comes in handy

Pizza Party after classes tonight. Prizes and giveaways and raucous fun for the ladies. They all exchange "poker chips" they made before coming to Vegas (Polymer Clay art, of any style but roughly the size and shape of a poker chip).

An instructors husband helped MC

A couple of Pizza Party gals having fun

Diana's received "poker chips"

Monday 11/8 - Off at 8a PST and a somewhat rainy day but no ice or snow and made it to Johnstown in just over 12hrs. Yay! our own bed :)

Captured on the way out of town . . . the New City Center along the strip

Sign at the hotel Diana and Noel honeymooned 4 years ago.

A wider view of the, now closed, hotel

A sign next door to our Suites motel

A collection of post-Clay Carnival pics . . .