30 June 2011

Thinking in Swatches

Never thought I would get up on the interwebs and sing the praises of teal and gray. Yet here we are, a week after I took this picture, and I'm looking to insert these colors into everything in sight. Last night I started wrapping a butter yellow napkin around to my old green garden hose because they looked so pretty together. So now my hose has a stylish neck-kerchief.


Now, I like to think I have always been sensitive to color, but this whole 'thinking in swatches' is new. If I get arrested for putting pink peonies in navy blue post boxes, I'll blame it on Color Collective.


27 June 2011

I love any excuse to wear a hat. Doesn’t matter if it’s a pipe cleaner tiara or an old scarf wrapped around my mangy hair; give me a legit excuse to wear a hat and I’m there. Parties are good, but parties where all people are encouraged to wear head gear are the best

 So when my friend Brendan asked if I could help with his daughter’s seventh birthday party, and it was going to be tea party themed, and the girls were all bringing their dolls, I said “I’M ON IT.”

What a perfect excuse to use up some of my craft stash and put a new twist on an old classic: paper plate hats.

If you have ever attended a bridal shower where the gift ribbons get stapled to a paper plate, you know what I got the idea for this project. Of course, when my BFF got married last year, I went all over-achiever and made her ribbons into a rose bouque, thereby missing out on all the paper plate and ribbon fun. Until now....

Materials (for each hat)
  • one paper or plastic bowl
  • two pipe cleaners
  • one headband (they sell five for $1 at my Dollar Store)
  • six strips of tissue paper, roughly 23"x10" 
  • Fun stuff: Stickers, ribbons, feathers, etc... I suggest you route around your cupboards and empty out all the little bits from leftover projects. Hush now, you know you have some.
This makes a great party craft for a wide window of age groups, but could certainly be done on a one-on-one basis too. The flower pinching/twisting process is a pretty easy concept to grasp for kindergarten and older, although some kids, even, ahem, big kids, may appreciate a hand with a delicate touch when it comes to pulling apart the tissue paper. The best part is that every hat comes out in its own special way, and the munchkins feel special when they wear it.

Sound good to you?

Let's get started...

24 June 2011

Dear Tomato Plants

Guess who is going to be getting busy in the dirt this  weekend?

I am attempting to compensate for my black thumb by leaving love notes to my garden lovelies.

Don't laugh.

It might actually work.

Happy Weekend :)

22 June 2011

The Planter Purse

Raise your hand if you have a kooky neighbor who uses boots and suitcases as planters.

Raise your hand if you are the kooky neighbor who uses boots and suitcases as planters.

Ah Ha! Thought so.

So, I didn't have any boots around this summer, but this cheapy old teal green faux patent leather purse had seen better days. The zipper was gone and the lining was grimy...time to try something new!

So I punched some holes, filled it with dirt, called it a day. Some leftover Styrofoam peanuts at the bottom should help with drainage, assuming I don't kill the poor thing first.

21 June 2011

First off, I need to tell you that the best part about blogging is forming new relationships and receiving positive, constructive feedback from people all around the world. Nothing beats a kind word from a stranger. Nothing. Sometimes I fear, well, perhaps it is narcissistic to post the things I do and to crave your responses as much as I have. Perhaps by admitting that here I can keep my ego in check.

Help me Rhonda, I’ll try....

That said, you can imagine my astonishment last December when my inbox was flooded by comments and emails that referred to one of my posts as “slanderous garbage” and called me a “white devil jew who does not know anything of people in the world besides yourself and your kind.”

That was fun.

The best was when someone was nice enough to send me a photo of a dead cat.


Nothing, nothing, could have prepared me for the hornet’s nest kicked up by my post Dinosaurs: A Disco Christmas in Saudi Arabia, mostly from individuals outraged at my description of the Saudi Arabian legal system, and the civil liberties of Saudi Arabian women in particular...

20 June 2011

Warning: This post is 90% gratuitous cat photos and 10% craft tutorial for people who enjoy gratuitous cat photos. If you are a dog person, feel free to click away and see what Perez is doing today. Try back again tomorrow.

17 June 2011

The world is divided into two kinds of people: left brains and right brians (see description).

So, I was recently at an event that was swanky enough to require me to wear pantyhose in 90degree heat. It was awful. No one was having a good time. Somewhere in the mumbles of small talk, a guest tapped their spoon to a glass and said "I have a party trick!"

You play along at home...

Think of two numbers:
*The year you were born
*The age you will be on Christmas Day of this year
Now add those numbers together.  (For example someone born in November 1982 would add 82+29)

 Have you got it? What is your magical number?
Abracadabrasiskbbombah, your magical number is 111!

Yes, somehow, everyone ends up with 111.

Right Brain Reaction: Holy cow, how did you know my number? That’s amazing! OMG I have to tweet this ASAP!

Left Brain reaction: Um, that’s a simple math problem. I thought you said there was a party trick? 

So, are you a left brain or a right brain?

15 June 2011

A Mermaid Parade for Munchkins

Anyone going to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade this weekend? Lucky you!

Although, if you have a munchkin at home like these little ladies, I’m guessing the answer is no. Sadly, despite its name friendly name, the Mermaid Parade isn’t exactly munchkin-friendly. Hello tattooed bearded lady! Did you paint that bikini all by yourself? 

So for everyone who can’t make it to the parade this weekend, for whatever reason, I thought it might be fun to make some mermaid hats.

I heart hats. I heart craft foam. Tada, a parade is born!

09 June 2011

Hello, Inigo Montoya!

Just a mock up. This frame is far too ostentatious.  
Good news y'all.

I did it.

I finally found a place in Mexico that is preserving the fine art of black velvet painting.

Their name is, and I'm dead serious here; From Scary Clowns to Republicans ~ The Tijuana Black Velvet Painting Galleries
of Indignico Inc.

Because who wants a scary clown to hang in the bathroom? Everyone. That’s who.

Do you really need an oil painting of Dick Cheney over the mantel? Shut up. Of course you do.

And here is the best part: THEY TAKE CUSTOM ORDERS.

For years, and I’m not joking here, I have dreamed of owning a black velvet painting that captures the Latin flair of Inigo Montoya, as portrayed by the award-winning and always effervescent star of stage and screen, Mr. Mandy Patinkin.

Years, y’all. And now it can be mine.

Hello, Inigo Montoya!

UPDATE: Don't bother with that Tijuana place--turns out, the image above is a REAL BLACK VELVET PAINTING! And now it is mine!

08 June 2011

Guys, meet Wolfy. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing* and, as pictured above on the left, a gift from my fourth birthday. As you can see, I also got a Snoopy Sno-cone Machine** that day. It was a very good year.

Wolfy was one of the few stuffed animals I truly loved as a child and one of the very, very few that I managed to keep all these years. Cloaked as a simple lamb, his job was to sit at the foot of my bunk bed and guard against monsters and bogymen, ready to bust out of his disguise, bare his teeth, and rip apart any potential source of danger. Sort of like Twilight, except everyone kept their shirt on.
*Note, I only recently learned that the expression A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, is a bad thing. Apparently it comes from the Bible and is something one is supposed to avoid (Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves)...Does everyone know this except me? And if so, why would they make stuffed animals of false prophets? This is slightly disturbing, but somehow, it makes me appreciate Wolfy (and Twilight) a little more.
**Speaking of false prophets, I have a critical news flash: SNOOPY'S SNO CONE MACHINE IS STILL IN PRODUCTION.  Buy it here and you can have it in hand before this blessed heat wave is over. Your welcome. 

05 June 2011

The Glittering Bacon Lamp

Please note, I did not set out to create a lamp that looks like glittering bacon.

Yes, I'm weird, but not that weird.

Yes, okay, I have a painted sofa and keep chocolate in the bathroom...

I have been known to eat pie for breakfast...

My favorite color is possum fur...

But I give you my word, I did not set out to make a lamp that looks like glittering bacon.

It started out something closer to a fruit leather chandelier, but sometimes things take a new direction and you are left with something that resembles "the peeling paint off an old truck" or "rusted roof shingles" or "the scales of a fire breathing dragon" or "the bellies of koi fish" or "glittering bacon!"

And, well, with options like that, you just know the bacon had to win out.

Old truck my butt.

Craft Fail or Happy Accident?

I have to be honest and tell you that this project did not come out anything like I expected. I had worked with resin in the past and loved the results, so when ETI sent me a box to try out, I jumped at the chance to experiment. My previous experience working with resin led me to believe it would peel away from aluminum foil. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Initial Plan: Pour blobs of resin on aluminum foil, let it dry, peel away the foil, then hang the remaining pieces on an embroidery hoop like illuminated pieces of fruit leather. Sounds cool huh?

Reality Check: The resin stuck to the 80% of the foil. It peeled away from the 20% where resin was laid on really thick...and even though that was really frustrating, the end result was far cooler than I expected. Whoooopeee! The foil's rippled texture showed through the resin and the jagged shapes looked like dragon scales. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

  • Envirotex Lite High Gloss Finish. This includes two 8oz bottles of Resin and Hardner.
  • Measuring cup and disposable spoon
  • Paprika
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chicken wire
  • 28 gauge wire cut into 2" pieces, or leftover ornament hooks
  • Light chord kit
  • REQUIRED: open window and a working fan

03 June 2011

The Donkey Display

It’s a very creative donkey display, don’t you think?

Hard to believe they have been dead since before you were born.

That's the hallmark of quality taxidermy you know—they look younger than you.

It's depressing.

Actually, I once had a job working for a taxidermist.

And by job, I mean eight hours spread over two days in a basement full of freezers while wearing a gas mask and listening to Fleetwood Mac.

And by taxidermist, I mean an artist who specialized in bodily restoration.

That’s what he called it: bodily restoration.

It sounds like something on a spa menu but the reality is closer to a plate of sloppy joes...

01 June 2011

Note: I am not a quilter.

Y’all have to see this.

I was clearing out an old box last weekend and unearthed this old thing; it’s a cathedral window valance I made ages and ages ago. Note: I am not a quilter. Also note: as someone who struggles to complete simple tasks like opening mail and putting on pants, this bad boy is a masterpiece.

Each one of those squares took an hour or more to make, BY HAND. Not machine. HAND. That means every little square is snaked with 100% cotton thread soaked in my saliva and the trails of bloody thumbprints.

Wait here, you’re telling me you have a red and purple quilted window valance AND it’s soaked in bodily fluids? Why on earth would you keep that in a box? Shame on you, Peaches. Home decor that sexy deserves to be on display.

So true. Shame, shame on me.

That aint cat hair you're looking at.

Why don’t you include an instructional tutorial on how to make this, so I can have my very own red and purple quilted window valance soaked in bodily fluids?

Gosh, I would love to show you how to make these, but alas I am at a loss. I learned how to make cathedral window quilt squares from my Aunt Pat many years ago, who learned it from her mother-in-law years earlier, who learned it from hers, and so on, and so on, and so on. It appears to be one of those ‘cottage arts’ that is being lost through the generations. Just now, I found lots of stuff on the interwebs about making cathedral window quilts by machine or using shortcuts (I adore her voice on this one--I could listen to her for hours!) but the end results do not appear to be the same as the style featured here. Maybe it’s a Mississippi thing. Maybe it's an Aunt Pat thing. Well, bottom line is I have no clue.  If anyone has a good tutorial, feel free to link up in the comments. I for one would not mind a refresher course :)

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