Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm totally counting them.

So I finally figured out that weekly updates might be a bit beyond me. This is mostly due to my crippling laziness, I think. I HAVE been working on things - the very things referenced in the title of this post! - but the whole getting out the camera and shooting pictures and logging onto the Internet while avoiding the allure of adorable cats or beautiful vintage frocks or (Deity save us all) PINTEREST is waylaid by logging onto the Internet and NOT avoiding said seductions. Now you get a wrap-up post! Aren't you lucky.

I have decided to add a few rules to this self-challenge, mostly so that I spend more time creating and less time flagellating myself over how far along I'm NOT. At first I wasn't going to count baking or cooking projects, but the Valentine's Day extravaganza of four dozen sugar cookies flooded and sprinkled for the 2nd grade sugarpalooza made me change my mind. So the sugar cookies count. So does the heart shaped pizza we had for dinner, and the chocolate fondue we had for dessert. I don't have pictures of those. I was too busy trying to keep the 2nd grader in question from covering everything in the house - primarily the felines and me, her own mother - in red royal icing and/or warm ganache. But those count for my 3,4,&5 out of 52.

I also wasn't going to count finishing projects that were started before the first of the year. But I needed the embroidery hoop that was sitting on the last of this pillowcase to start a different project, and these have been 75% done since I took my children to California (ahem. in fall of 2010). It took the work of one evening to complete them. And then I decided to cut myself some slack. UFOs need love, too! 6/52.

the dude zombie is mine pillowcase, the lady is Z's

Then I thought that the cards I made for Valentine's Day for the kiddoes shouldn't count because... I don't know why really. Because I'm dumb, and this is exactly the sort of thing I am trying to stop doing. Of course they count. I only have a picture of the Cap'n's, because HRH is using hers as a bookmark. Hers is, of course, the more amusing of the two.

the other card featured a dinosaur and the poem:"roses are red, violets are blue, i'm really glad you're not a Tyrannosaurus Rex because it'd be super hard to hug you with those tiny arms." yes, i know i'm an epic poet.

Valentine's also brought a request for special headgear for the princess (An aside: I use this term derisively, because I really, really, REALLY want to not raise an awful entitled mess of a girl. She's not actually very princessy, though, to my everlasting gratitude, and as long as they stay requests instead of demands, I don't think giving in to a hair doodad now and then is a big deal.) I made her a quick headband with glitter craft foam and hot glue. I'll let the cards be one project, and that makes 7 &8.

this ffffffabulous picture is courtesy of my aforementioned crippling laziness.

The one place I'm failing MISERABLY is my February postcard project. A fatal combination of working on a day off, a holiday, and then a debilitating cold just knocked me right off track. I am planning to do last week's and this week's both today and hopefully hit the reset button.

Lastly, I have been obsessed with these pieces from Wicked Minky on Etsy. I wanted to make an homage piece out of shrink plastic, but I have been having a tough time with it. The plastic is... really shrinky. They are less chest piece sized than hidden-behind-the-ear sized. I am still going to string them up into a necklace after they finish drying because I spent a long time on them. Then I will probably just break down and buy one of the fabulous chest piece necklaces from her.

Not bad, huh? I'm better than caught up! I'm AHEAD! I can just slack off for the next two weeks!

No? Sigh. See you soon, then.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I'm better at crafting...

than I am at blogging, apparently. I really have been working on projects (although finishing them is, as always, the bane of my existence), but because they were all "in-process" rather than what I like to call "done" I figured I would wait until I actually had something to show for all my hard work.

I got lots of great Christmas presents this year. Seriously, my loved ones spoiled me rotten with the types of things they knew I would adore. My sweet son, told I needed new earbuds, bought me ones emblazoned with Kermit the Frog eyes. My manfriend (there has GOT to be a better term for this. No joke.) showered me with coelocanths and new bass string and embroidery patterns and an antique banjolele. And the delightful Ms. S. got me this. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It need a frame worthy of it, though. S. couldn't find one she thought was suitable, and told me she'd leave it up to me. She mentioned that she thought that a Mexican folkart style one would be perfect.

So I made this one.

I got the frame at the White Elephant on a half-price day, so I think I paid $0.50 for it. I also got Dolly Parton's greatest hits on vinyl that day, but that's neither here nor there. I took the time to sand the frame, which generally I am far to impatient to do. Good thing I had a new Dolly Parton record to get me through! It also took me two Wanda Jackson records, all of Willie Nelson's Red-Headed Stranger, The Stray Cat's Rant 'n' Rave, and the first half of the first side of Kenny Rogers' The Gambler. That is a TERRIBLE album.

It took me a few days to decide what color I wanted the frame itself to be, so in the meantime, I took out my stash of glitter craft foam - an obsession begun when I was turning HRH into a comic book character for Halloween - and began cutting out a sacred heart. Well, first, I spent about seventeen gazillion hours looking at Mexican folkart online and pinning the shit out of it. THEN I cut a sacred heart of glittery craft foam. And then I decided that it looked cheese-tastic and faintly commercial, so I painstakingly drew and cut a Shure-55 style mic head to paste over it.

Once that was done I decided to match the color of the Gocco print in the paint and did the whole damn thing twice over in what my son referred to as TARDIS blue. There are a startling number of items in my house that are precisely this shade of cobalt.

The next conundrum was what to use for embellishment. I had chosen the deep frame specifically because of the possibilities of gluing weird shit on and calling it art. What weird shit, though? I loved the idea of bottlecaps, so I charged Zed with the task of bringing me home some. I found the perfect 45 record clipart on Etsy (from here)but couldn't figure out how to make my ancient and cranky Macbook resize it. So I just used the label portions covered with these awesome epoxy stickers that were made just to fit inside a bottlecap. Then I used fine black glitter glue around the edge and into the ridges. I wish I had flattened the caps first, but I didn't realize I wanted to until they were already glued to the frame. Then I liberally interspersed the bottlecaps with star-shaped and regular tiny sequins. I went back on forth on the idea of adding the flowers, but ultimately decided it seemed more finished with them. Then I hung that bitch on the wall right next to my front door. I can't stop grinning when I look at it.

Bam! Two finished! It only took me five weeks! Oy...

I did a good job working on a great project I'm excited about, though. I decided to send 28 handmade postcards in the month of February - yes, I know this is a leap year, don't judge - but instead of sending them all to one person, I went with seven friend each receiving a postcard from me that I mail every Friday this month. I put the first batch in the mail yesterday. I was too excited to mail them to take pictures, because I'm super lame. I won't count this project finished until the last seven cards reach their destinations, and I hope that the friends I chose like being a part of my year-long adventure.

That's it til next time, mes petites choux. I have a question, though. Would you rather I updated no matter the status of my various projects, or do you prefer seeing the destination rather than the journey? Also, how on EARTH did that Smilodon drag that enormous coelocanth out of the ocean's depths?

Have I mentioned how dearly I adore the man who bought these for me?