Monday, September 9, 2013

Pipe Cleaner Art

My agency's awesome training guru (and also my good friend), Polly, fully understands the needs of tactile/ kinesthetic learners like me.  Most of our classes are, by nature, hours and hours (and hours) of lecture, power point presentations, and sitting on your butt. 

If you know me, you know:
  1. I want to learn and UNDERSTAND anything I am taught.  I need to internalize it, and
  2. I get ants in my pants. 

So thank you, Polly, for always providing tactile tools for us to play with while listening. Not only can I listen and actually focus on what's being taught, but I end up with bonus art work. For example, this vase of flowers complete with a bee, a spider in a web, and a ladybug. I was pretty proud of it.


I hear through the rumor mill that the new training people don't much believe in providing these sorts of materials.  No biggie really for me, because I can always doodle, but I think it's a shame.  I know it works for me, and I appreciate the training department's efforts to incorporate all types of learning styles. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Errrrings

Last night I ran by my new friend Vickie's house with my realtor/ friend Billie who had, earlier in the evening, dragged me to my very first ever real-live yoga class, which was AWESOME.  I loved it.  LOVED.  I feel so stretched!  It was yoga for serious beginners, and there were only 4 people there besides the instructor, so no need to feel embarrassed or intimidated.  PLUS it's right around the corner from my house so I can walk there.  I'm stoked.

So anyway then we ran by Vickie's, where Billie made the mistake of showing me the new JEWELRY Vickie has been making and omg I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!  It's metals and pearls and copper and metal enamels that she burns onto the copper with some sort of alchemical process, and it's pretty and funky and feminine and a little rock and roll. 

I bought a pair of earrings, but I saw about 20 other things I wanted.  It's hard to get a good picture of earrings when they are attached to your head.  Did you know that?  But I tried, because I wanted you to see how cool they are along with today's Kameleon necklace/pop.  So not the best pic, but you get the idea.

She is selling her pieces on Etsy:     Vickie's Etsy Shop.  I know she is also planning to be at the Peter Anderson festival.  That is, of course, unless I purchase her entire inventory before then.

LAWD save me from my jewelry obsession. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Christmas Trees

As promised, my Christmas tree project! I have always LURVED this little bottle-brush Christmas trees in funky 50's colors that are generally a bazillion dollars in antique stores and are in varying stages of decay.  At some point one of my relatives (grandmother? aunt?  who knows) had some of those little old cardboard sparkly covered cottages with some of these trees, and I coveted them.

Never could bring myself to buy any because they weren't $.10.  Y'all know I'm cheap.  ENTER PINTEREST.  Oh Pinterest, how I love/hate you. It is an obsession.  Low and behold, you can find 8,000 different ways there to MAKE YOUR OWN FUNKY CHRISTMAS TREES!!!

And so I went on the hunt for a giant bag of bottle brush trees.  First I sent my Mom to look for a bag since she was at a Hobby Lobby, but she didn't really know what I was talking about, nor did the sales people.  Then I looked at a Hobby Lobby or Michael's (I don't remember which) and they actually HAD had them, but they were out. 

I tried to bring myself to order some online, but I couldn't find any with free shipping and I'm just too cheap for that.  FINALLY I ran across some in the Christmas section of one of the craft stores. It was a bag like this --------->
I got the flocked ones, and just dumped them in some warm water and OxiClean. Most of the flocking came off, but it was fine anyway.

At first the trees just turned BLACK, and I thought I had messed up.  But I just needed to use a little patience (I don't have much.) 
 Here's what I guess you'd call phase 2.  Still a little color. I ended up changing out the water several times, adding more OxiClean, and finally I poured a little bleach in there too. 
 And here's what they look like once they were all done and dry.  Then the fun part - decorating!  The how-tos I found on pinterest recommended RIT Dye, but I didn't feel like going to the store, and I didn't want to buy a whole thing of RIT anyway to dye a few trees.  So I turned to another fun project I saw once on pinterest.....
 Alcohol inks!  I just took some rubbing alcohol, put it in some Ball jars, and cut open a couple of sharpies I had lying around. I dumped the sponge-y doodad from the inside of the sharpies into the alcohol, and VOILA!  Just dunk the trees to dye! And, yes!  Yes it did dye my fingers blue/ green which lasted several days.  Perhaps, in future, tongs...

Then the super fun part began!  I dug through my supplies of sparkly bits, mardi gras beads, glitter, powdered snow, and sent to town!  This was a blast.  I ended up wanted a few more colors and didn't feel like making more alcohol ink, so I actually colored some of the trees (the purple ones, specifically) with a HIGHLIGHTER.  Yep.  It worked just fine!
So here they are all finished.  I just love them to DEATH. I packed them away carefully, but I'm anxious to see how they hold up after being in the attic for months and months. 

And of course I had to sketch them.  Cause that's how I do.
Make some for yourself and let me know how it goes! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some Kid's Stuff

I know. I don't have kids.  But I have 4 nieces and a nephew and they may eventually like cool old stuff, and also, so what?  I like cool old stuff too.  At the beginning of the year, I had to work in Huntsville for a couple of weeks.  On the way home, I stopped in Hartselle, AL to run through some antique stores.  I didn't actually buy anything, but I was tempted by this 1955 board game called

""BUZZ  A Honey of a Game"

It was in super good condition. I absolutely love the colors and art work. The board itself, of which I can't find a decent photo online, was SUPER cute as well.  The instructions were quaint and 1955-ish, and the box included a pamphlet with descriptions of some of the company's other games which were pretty funny.  My thought was that I could frame the board for my guest room (AKA K.E.S.'s room), and that would have been great, but since then I have changed my design scheme for that room so I guess it's ok that I didn't get it.  Still, the game itself actually looked fun and involved MATH, so I will keep a lookout on ebay for one in good condition. 

 A few weeks later, I saw this AWESOME set of 1950's Libby carousel glasses and I WANTED WANTED WANTED them!!! HOWEVER.  I don't need any more glasses to have to STORE, AND, they were ex-pen-sive (over $100?  I don't remember exactly, and I don't remember where I saw them). 

A search on e-bay today reveals sets ranging from $40 for 8 to $250 for 8. I still love them. I still don't need them.

Blogging about all this junk I didn't buy is a surprisingly good substitute for actually buying them.  My checkbook thanks you, and my husband is thrilled I am not bringing more stuff home.