Saturday, April 21, 2012

my paper heart

Things tend to be relative, and unconnected or seemingly unconnected things can hold some amount of influence over other things... There's currently a story popping up on various sites that I frequent about a woman in New Zealand who drank a gallon of Coca Cola a day or something ridiculous like that. Evidently she ate very little and also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and then died of a heart attack. You know, really, no sh**? *sarcasm* Duh, that's unhealthy.

At 32 years of age I'd love to know where my universal healthcare is. You know, like the stuff they have in England or Canada. I'm insured through my employer, but my insurance company for whatever reason would like to keep my premiums low by having me enroll in some (expletive deleted) non-specific diet plan... I mean why the (expletive deleted) would I not want to log onto the internet every day to have to report what I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on some random form compiled as statistics in some computation storage file somewhere on the internet.  *eye roll* 
Evidently keeping my premiums low involves wasting my time.

Regardless, a couple years ago I attempted this diet plan (expletive deleted), and well, 25 extra pounds later I can tell you that it didn't work. Funny thing, before I started "adjusting" the food I consumed — I had never gained weight that quickly. The form for the enrollment in the new year is due at the end of the month. I'm not wasting $20.00 + a day of fasting to do this crap again. I'll just wait for my universal healthcare and continue to feed the pyramid scheme that is insurance — considering my average of 2-4 doctor's visits a year (2 of which are almost always for some form of cold that I picked up at work).

Anyway, the one thing that my dentist (insurance actually worth buying) established years ago was that I drink too much pop. Yes, that's what we call it here: pop. Ironically, my carbonated beverage of choice is Classic Coke. I sure as hell don't drink a god damned gallon of it a day— you hear that, dead lady from NZ? But I also don't drink coffee, so it is my source of caffeine... when it's on sale. Otherwise, I will settle for Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, or A&W Cream Soda (which I was surprised to recently learn contains caffeine).

However, pop was eroding my tooth enamel, so my consumption needed to be curtailed.  And so, I became one of those people who drinks tea, at least while at work. I'm not sure calorie-wise it's healthier, but apparently it's non-acidic and otherwise not eroding my tooth enamel.
When it comes to tea I'm particularly fond of:
With the exception of the Red Raspberry Herb — I usually make them all with a dose of vanilla coffee creamer.  I like the Red Raspberry Herb with Torani Vanilla Syrup. Yes, I know: it's sugar.
 I accumulate 5 tea bags a week. And at some point it occurred to me that tea grounds were an art supply waiting to happen... because way back when - before people hated Nickleback - in the days of grunge music I was a teenager and I did this project for my AP art class that involved making worms out of polymer clay. Fast forward 15 years and I spend my spare time thinking about making artsy-craftsy stuff, and well, polymer clay worms entered back into the arena of possibilities... So, the tea grounds were how I was going to having feces-free dirt. In other words: tea grounds = simulated dirt.
 So, I have a supply of spent tea grounds. Yeah, no, those are not Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes, that is my canister full of tea grounds, in the event that anyone is poking around in my studio and thinks that I have some treats sitting around. And one day while I was catching up on episodes of American Horror Story and emptying out the dried-up used tea bags - I happened to notice the pattern on the tea bag filter papers.  And I thought "well, that's cool... I bet I could make something with those." And so, I saved a bunch of them and put them in a pile somewhere, and a couple months later I was probably supposed to be doing or thinking about doing something else and I came up with a project for my tea stained filter papers: paper hearts.
 I made a heart template, and then sat there on my breaks at work tracing hearts onto filter papers and cutting them out with tiny scissors...
The coloration on the filter paper really is created by the tea.  The dark pink color comes from the raspberry herb tea; as does that bluish color. I'm not precisely sure how or why - but when I put the raspberry herb tea bag into hot water it gives off this blue-purple cast first before curing as 'tea colored.' So, when I glued the hearts to the illustration board - initially the blue cast returned to the paper — although later on it subsided again...
I had to format my project into something stable and useable... I decided that 5X7 inch pieces of illustration board would do the trick. I actually considered a litany of things from painting to collage to assemblage, but ultimately settled on the simplicity of illustration board.  Of course, it's not pictured, but in order to get everything standardized — I made a template.  So, while every heart is unique in its own way — it's positioned the same on the illustration board.
 I decided to finish them with paraffin wax. I'm not precisely sure why, it just seemed like the thing to do.  In retrospect I suppose I could have just used varnish... but, well, I didn't.

Relatively speaking, this project began with a healthcare form and a blood glucose test... and relates to something completely different — my worm assemblages — which originated some fifteen years ago from my enjoyment of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and ceramics classes I happened to be taking in high school. Life and art random and relative like that.

Enjoy your weekend, but don't drink an entire gallon of Coke or smoke a pack of cigarettes in one day. I'd probably skip the cigs altogether (as a lifelong nonsmoker)... anyway, enjoy your weekend in responsible adult-like insurance company approved moderation!
; )


Out on the prairie said...

Some days I feel like I need a gallon of caffeine.i have at least 1-2 sodas daily.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Insurance companies...the vampires of the new age!!! Then we have werewolves...HR people. Ha
Me, my drug of choice is diet Mountain Dew. And there you have it,

Catherine said...

I can't believe that your employer would make you log what you eat every day. What some companies won't do to save a buck.

On the plus side, your hearts are beautiful Sarah!

Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!
xo Catherine