Point #39- Why Living with Me Sucks.

3 Jan

The events about which you are about to read happened one random morning, but are representative of any given morning in my household. I had the sudden, urgent need to share them here.

I have awoken. My fiance, Josh, is still lightly sleeping next to me. I am bored.

Me: ::flops teddy bear arm over Josh’s face::
Josh: ::sleeps::
Me: ::places arm more firmly over nose::
Josh: ::opens one eye, visible over furry bear arm::
Me: Heehee.
Josh: Stop that. ::mildly, for he is used to this::
Me: Hello. ::moves bear arm firmly over mouth and nose::
Josh: ::moving arm:: Stop smothering me.

A small tussle ensues wherein Josh moves bear arm, and I replace it, only to have Josh tuck bear arm tightly under his head with a slight “Ah HA!” flourish. After a moment or two, I simply flip entire bear onto his face.

Josh: ::giggling a little:: STOP IT! You’re smothering me.
Me: ::exerts more pressure::
Josh: Your sense of humour manifests itself weirdly.
Me: How is that?
Josh: You’re trying to kill me.
Me: Don’t be silly, I would stop before you die.

Bear is removed and there is peace for a few moments. I cannot have this. And so I start poking my finger into the edge of Josh’s nose. He groans irritatedly and flops over onto his side, little spoon fashion, upon which I start fluttering my fingers at his ear. He squirms and says, “Stooooop iiiiitt!” I take pity on him for a short while. Then I get over that.

Me: ::hugging him tightly:: My lil spoon.
Josh: ::suspicious, but enjoying hug::

Under the covers, I very lightly tickle his tummy, where he goes berserk and starts squirming madly. I have, in the past, managed to squirm him off the bed with this.

Josh: Stop TICKLING ME!!!
Me: Don’t be silly. This is simply an early morning ritual of advanced yoga moves for the hands.
Josh: You’re full of shit.
Me: No, dude, there’s a book, called Yoga for the Hands.
Josh: I believe that. I don’t believe that is what you are doing.

A pause. I have stopped tickling him and have my fingers up by his ear again. I flutter my fingers at his ear once more.

Me: This one is Fluttering Moths.
Josh: AHHHHH! Stop!
Me: ::stops:: ::long pause:: ::places finger directly into ear::
Me: Piercing Arrow.
Josh: :;appears dangerously close to forcibly locking me in closet for the rest of day::

I subside. But I will return with my Fluttering Moths of Doom and Piercing Arrow of Annoyance.

Point #38-No Place Like Gnome

2 Jan

I am going to go out on a bold and daring limb here.

Buy gnomes.

You know…garden gnomes. I think gnomes are going to be big this year, mostly because I have become mildly enamoured of them and am willing them into popularity with the power of my brain darts. They are fun, easy to personalise, and can be found for a song at yard sales and thrift stores. I found several at a yard sale recently and went to town making them a bit weird for the enjoyment and “WTF?”-ery of others. For my West Indian father, I painted a gnome as a tourist visiting our home island of St. Vincent, complete with tropical printed overalls and a gnome hat painted with the Vincy flag. The end result was a certain something that art critics the world over have dubbed “tacky” and “odd”. I take great delight in this being in my dad’s yard. He and his girlfriend seemed to enjoy the off-putting charm of it, though, and that is all that matters. Another gnome has gotten the Steelers treatment, complete with eye blacking and wielding a large hoe. Haha! That must be a Ben Roethisberger gnome, amirite? *fist bump left hanging*

I think that there is a lot of scope for imagination with gnomes, as well as other plaster critters and folk. My niece found a little ceramic bunny at a thrift store once that, well, it could only be described as “possessed by demon lords from the depths of Hell”. It appeared to have been painted for a young child’s room. I am assuming Rosemary’s Baby. My niece (thirteen years old and charmingly morbid) decided this little gem was just terrifying enough to make…more terrifying. On Thanksgiving, a holiday, of course, traditionally marked by the giving and receiving of horrifying statuettes, she bestowed upon me her completed efforts: a vampire bunny in full bloody rage, blood on teeth and paws and with bits of brain and stitching scattered on his Gothically ruined body. *sniffle* The psychotic little nippers grow up so fast, don’t they?

Thus, I recommend that you wander the aisles of your local thrift store for whatever strange little creature you can and see what you can make of it. It fact, just now, I have decided I want see them. How’s that for spontaneous? Let’s get an informal little linky party going here. Link back in the comments to your best thrift store creature redux. Scary or sweet, silly or artistic, I want to see what you can do with that creepy ceramic cat. Post your creation by January 16th and I will select a winner. The prize will be awesome. It will look stunning in your garden.

Point #37- A Boot Up My Rear

2 Jan

Which is what it will most likely take in order for me to me productive again.

Hello.

Long time no see.

After several months of some pretty difficult experiences that have kept me away from anything remotely creative, I have some solid goals for the New Year, including starting a podcast, committing to a new post each week, and getting in some guest authors to the blog.

Oh, yeah, and I am going to make stuff.

Point# 36-Yay! Clay! Hooray! A Review.

7 Oct

I used to play with polymer clay a fair bit. I made some really cool athames (ritual knives…NOT for cutting anything physical) that had a Moon Goddess handle, as well as little seated Goddess offering bowls, which one of my friends dubbed “gum holders”. Yeah. I don’t talk to her anymore.

I stopped farting around with polymer clay, well, mostly because it’s hard to really fart around with polymer clay. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to fiddle with casually because even if you are just futzing with it, once you have done the three dimensional equivalent of a doodle, then you pretty much have to bake it and keep track of if it has baked properly, and given that you have to bake it 15 minutes per 1/4 inch so math is involved…bah, makes me want to nap. (Editor’s note: No, she is not kidding. Yes, she is this lazy.)

Recently, though, I was at the local craft emporium (ok, Michael’s) and found that next to the little slabs of Premo, and the slightly littler slabs of Sculpey III, there were Sculpey III sized slabs of a third option. Turns out the very groovy Craft Smart brand (which I guess is Michael’s sort of generic brand?) has made their own brand of polymer clay. Normally, the cost is not so low compared to the Scupley III blocks-about 1.29 vs 1.99, but not bad if you have to get many blocks. It was on sale, however, and at 88 cents a block, was worth purchasing to try out.

Other reviews have not been kind, and I must clarify that I do not use a pasta roller to blend colours, nor do I make canes or tiny things with PC. Either of these things may be compromised by the lesser quality of this no-name brand, but for my purposes, it was exceedingly adequate. The colour choices are poop, only about a third or fourth of the colours available to the less cheap consumer, but again, I tend to paint my creations anyhoo, so that did not overly concern me. I bought a white block (by the by, different colours seemed to have different textures) and figured I would paint whatever I made.

Tonight, I felt like farting with polymer clay. I doodled around with it and made a flower, the laughable and clumsy results with which I shall entertain you in a later post. I was very pleased with the clay itself and will share a completed project. No need to thank me.

My mushroom.

With cat foot in background. Macy likes to have quality time with me when I am in the bathroom, and he thought this was one of those special moments. I just needed the light.

Dammit, Macy!

So, there. Mushroom. I like it. It’s a take on the traditional red with white polky dotty doohickeys, but has the important distinction of matching the crap in my house better.

Point #35- Your Brother’s Old Furniture Sucks

22 Sep

There comes a point in your life where you should not be getting hand-me-downs from your YOUNGER brother. When that brother is (sorry, Alastair…not that he will ever read this) of typically dubious taste (as a young bachelor should be), the suck increases exponentially. I know I am a dumpster diver, but getting my brother’s old dresser, by way of my sister, who had it in my niece’s room, gah! It seemed just a little too “Please, sir, may I have some more…sketchily painted and sadly handed down cheap pine bedroom pieces?” for my liking. Ya know, if Oliver Twist was having trouble furnishing and decorating an en suite.

It isn’t a bad little dresser, save for one slightly wonky drawer. It just belonged to that that 90s school of thought that says absolutely everything is better with a light white wash stain, including furniture, pets, jeans, your dreams, and the economy. It’s certainly a roomy creature, having six big drawers and four small ones, with a lovely big top to hold all of one’s little knick knacks and doohickeys. And all kidding aside, I was pleased to have it.

And so it sat, with a deep, profound sitness, performing the important function of being the place I always intended my clean laundry to be put into but usually ended up wearing right out of the rumpled basket, and gathering assorted detritus on its top. One day I decided enough was enough, and resolved to paint it black. Unintentional Rolling Stones reference notwithstanding, I thought it would work well in my bedroom.

Quick explanation: I have settled on the theme of “vampire bordello” for my bedroom. I wanted a rich, cozy, low light nest with ornate details, Asian and Eastern influences, a little Victorian, definitely sexy. Like someone had lived a long life, travelled much, and surrounded him/herself with the resulting trappings of same. Lots of red and purple, black accents, texture, colour, etc.

So I got the dresser about half painted before I thought to take before pictures. Whoops.

The bottom half is the original “This would look awesome with my Friends poster!” white wash finish.


Aw, fart…it’s sideways, but you get the picture.

The black was just plain craft paint, which in addition to being a bad idea texture wise (I never sand crap, remember? It shows) was too flat to be appealing. I figured I would eventually polyurethane it and that would fix the problem. Again with the sitting for months.

Recently I decided to kind of start over and cover the black with a nice dark reddish purple glossy paint. The first coat, streaked like a glaze with the black just peeking through looked so cool, I went with it. I am lazy, so the painting process took the form of “whenever I damn well feel like it” meaning essentially a drawer or two…read my book…a drawer or two…work on another project….a drawer or two…take a nap, and so on. This went on until this past weekend, when, the dresser almost finished, I took a trip to IKEA and found some gorgeous purple napkins that I knew I could decoupage on SOMETHING. I wasn’t thinking of the dresser at the time, but when I came home and took them into the bedroom to find some inspiration, I realised the colours were perfect. And so:



I can’t really say that the flash does or doesn’t make it look lighter or darker, because while it does make the glaze “hot”, to borrow a theatre lighting term, so does natural sunlight hitting it right. The colour is immensely changeable, which would normally bug the crap out of me, but perfectly fits in with the look I am going for.

Mod Podging with napkins can be tricky, you want to have your placement pretty well set before you squish it down and smooth out the bubbles. Make sure you remove at least one ply from the napkin (I suggest, at least), although I left a second one to give it heft. Even the wrinkles work when you smooth it down…gives it a cool fabric or even leather look.

So that is my first big furniture redo. It only took the better part of year to get around to. Remember, if it’s worth doing, it is worth involving a lot of naps.

Point #34- Pimping a BAD Day.

16 Sep

I was checking my blog stats and was getting this monster (for me on an average day) number of views and so I checked the referrers and saw that my buddy Rana, whose marvelous blogs on her awesome work can be found in my blogroll (check out Definitive Designs) had posted a comment to a post over at Epbot. Consequently a whole loada folks came and checked me out. I wanted to thank Rana, Jen-the amazing talent behind not only Epbot but also the immensely wonderful Cake Wrecks, and the folks who swung by to give me a view.

Jen at Epbot talks in this post about a crushing disappointment which led her to find solace in the laughter that reading other people’s brings her and invited commenters to link to their go-to belly laugh providers. She also challenged readers to turn a day of disappointment, sadness, or fear into a B.A.D Day (Blogger Appreciation Day Day…yes, the redunancy is part of the joke). I thought it was a cool idea, and felt it really odd that it coincided with my rare serious post about finding happiness where you can.

So turn a bad day into a B.A.D. Day when you can.

*toots a clown horn*

Point #33- Emo is Lame-o

15 Sep

I have done a lot of tutorial-y type entries lately and I like that I have turned in that direction overall on my blog. But I do occasionally plan to get back to my rambling bloggy roots, and lucky, lucky lucky you, this is one of those entries.

It was completely by accident that this particular entry ended up being #33, which is my adult lucky number (as opposed to 21, my number of choice through child- and young adulthood); it just turned out that way.

I have been crafting like a mad fiend lately, and it is good for me. I have some times where I get very low, and when I don’t think my life is going terribly right, and making things helps with that. I think that is true of anyone. Doing things you love makes you happy. Stop the damn presses and alert Deepak Chopra; what a flipping novel concept. But while it may be evident, it isn’t always easy.

I have recently realised that there are some folks in my life, along with me, that find it hard to be happy at times, no matter what is happening in their lives. I call it “waiting for life to begin” syndrome. I am guilty as hell of it (wow, just remembered my wedding song is going to be “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin Hay…meta much?) Heed the words of John Lennon: life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

So I am immersing myself in craft. It’s awesome. What a lame phrase to encompass such a strong feeling. But it is true. It is awesome, in the most literal and original sense of the word…awe inspiring, huge, majestic, and just. It makes sense that what we create should inspire feelings of awe. Part of my whole “Points for Creativity” philosophy is the concept of expressing spirituality through creation; most religions have a creation story-even several. Even humanists and many atheists believe in the power of human intelligence to manifest something greater than itself.

I was not planning for this to be serious. I was expecting that I would do more of a “tooting a clown horn every thirty seconds” type post like I have in the past, but it ended up taking a more introspective turn. I’ll leave you with this, and then tomorrow I will toot a clown horn and post something pretty again, I promise. These are five things that have made me ridiculously happy in the past few weeks that I realised are the type of thing that is the whole point of living. Not suggestions for you to do, necessarily, but goofy things that *I* did that made me realise “I need no other plans, this IS my life, there is no need to make it begin.”

1. Bought a cheap VCR (yes, I said VCR, for seven dollars, why not?) and stacks of cheap, sometimes out of print, fluffy, did I mention cheap Disney movies. I had a ton and don’t feel like necessarily rebuying them all on DVD or BluRay and have since picked up a buttload more at thrift stores.

2. Have made it a habit to wander the toy aisles at any store I go to. There is something about playing with action figures, bouncy balls, and foam swords that makes it impossible to be unhappy. You may not be incredibly popular with the WalMart staff but hell, where else can you do this:

3. Paint something. Anything. A picture, a piece of furniture, a wall. Whether painting is your craft of choice or if you even do crafts at all, paint stuff. It’s soothing. It’s fun. And you can almost paint it over if you mess up.

4. Make art of toilet paper rolls. More on that soon, but trust me, it’s fun.

5. Hanging out with my niece. There is something amazing about spending time with a little version of you (she has my nose) that you can boss around, listen to, be farted on by, mildly torture in public, and ultimately give back. Being an aunt is wonderful.

That’s all. I will return with more wacky hijinks soon, but for now, here’s tooting in an introverted and emo-y way at you. Imagine My Chemical Romance playing if you’d like.