Archive for August, 2011

Lights On

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Ugh.

So, here’s what happened after my last post…

  • Stocked up on ‘hurricane essentials’ – bottled water, salty snacks, chocolate, wine, calamine lotion (don’t ask).
  • Listened to the rain.
  • Put a pretty good dent in the ‘hurricane essentials’.
  • Listened to more rain.
  • Lost power (damn).
  • Tripped over several toys that were not picked up before power loss.
  • Spent several restless hours lying in bed listening to wind roaring.
  • Waited for tree to fall on house.
  • Got up at daybreak to assess damage (i.e. crap blown all over yard and power loss).
  • Uttered the following phrases numerous times ‘No, we can’t watch TV. We don’t have electricity.’ ‘No, we can’t listen to music. We don’t have electricity.’ ‘No, you can’t turn that light on. We don’t have electricity.’  ‘Sure, stick your finger in there. We don’t have electricity.’ (I kid.)
  • Was granted a brief reprieve by friends who still had power and were kind enough to invite us over for the day.
  • Returned to darkened house and refrigerator filled with spoiled food.
  • Consumed more ‘hurricane essentials’ (read: wine).
  • Purged refrigerator.
  • Dreamed of power coming back on.
  • Cursed another electricity-free morning.
  • Purged freezer. Argh.
  • Was granted another reprieve by friends with electricity.
  • Succumbed to stress and went on an art supply buying binge.
  • Stared lovingly at new Koi pocket field sketch box until bed time.
  • Slept in air conditioned comfort.
  • Started getting sick (throat on fire, so very tired)
  • Accidentally turned our hosts’ patio furniture over to trash collector (again, don’t ask).
  • Received text from neighbor – ‘We have power!’
  • Returned home to chisel/scrape/scrub melted popsicle from bottom of freezer.
  • Began daunting task of replacing all of the food that had to be thrown out.

That pretty much brings us to today. We still have very little food in the house, as I just don’t have the energy to tackle the enormous task of completely restocking the fridge/freezer. At the moment, I barely have the energy to keep my eyes open. We do have the ingredients for macaroni and cheese and that is enough to sate Sir’s appetite, so that’s good enough.

We were lucky to come out relatively unscathed, but I must say that the very thought of throwing out all of that food (much of it unopened) still turns my stomach. We filled the freezer and refrigerator with blocks of ice ahead of time, but it just wasn’t enough to save everything. Such a huge waste.

And there are still over 100,000 people in our area without power. It is estimated that they won’t be restored until Saturday. Awful.

photo : Koi watercolor field sketch box by yours truly

 

More cool stuff:

With a Wooden Spoon

Friday, August 26th, 2011

So, despite my (and apparently, Mother Nature’s) utterly craptacular mood, this week hasn’t been all bad. In fact, I won not one, but TWO giveaways this week. So, I have been anxiously watching my mailbox for each of my little prizes to arrive. And, today, one did!

My karmic pendulum just happened to be swinging in the right direction when Sarah Welch of Wooden Spoon Editions drew the winner of her recent blog contest and before I knew it, I was eagerly pulling the strings off of this little package to reveal the awesomeness inside. BEHOLD!

Lovely, isn’t it? Makes me want to run to the wine cellar (a.k.a. that shelf in my dining room) and uncork a bottle right now. This print, like all of Sarah’s prints, was hand carved and burnished with a wooden spoon. I love the simplicity of this style of printmaking. It’s so crisp, clean, and unfussy – just the way I like things.

You can read about Sarah’s work on her blog. You can also see and buy her work on Etsy.

More cool stuff:

Friday Favorites : Influence

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I don’t know what it is, but I have been in a foul mood all week. Perhaps it’s the inevitable ‘coming down’ after having a really, really good week or it could be the earthquake-with-a-shot-of-hurricane natural disaster cocktail Mother Nature is serving up to my little corner of the world, but I am not a happy camper.

I have accomplished nothing this week (unless reading the Regretsy archives, scowling, and dropping a lot of f-bombs can be considered worthwhile accomplishments). And being unproductive makes me very unpleasant to be around.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, because Cranky Ruth is extremely hard to please. And yet, Cranky Ruth found the following Illustration Friday submissions worthy of her crabby/grouchy/I-want-to-punch-everybody-in-the-face approval. And that’s a feather in your cap!

So, here it is, this week’s Friday Favorites : Crankypants Edition.

 

Influence by Sophie Corrigan

Chaos and a bird. Cool.

 

 

Rain Maker by Helen Wheeler-Shaw

Another nicely rendered bird.

 

 

Influence: Thank You Jack by Hazel Ang

A very lovely tribute.

 

 

Influence by Adrienne Trafford

Such a gorgeous, rich color palette.

 

 

Influence by Moira Birch Swiatkowski

The heavy lines and limited use of color make this a very striking image.

 

 

Influence by Jennifer Orkin Lewis

A great interpretation of the topic.

 

 

Influence by Tanya

Check out the animation. So cool.

 

 

Influence by Rod MacGregor

Warning: Naked people. Heh.

 

 

The Queen’s Influence by Eric Barclay

Awesome and adorable.

 

 

Influence by Pat

Yup.

 

To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.

 

More cool stuff:

Toddler Art : To Make Art, One Must BE Art

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Now that the pee puddles are finally starting to dissipate around here, we are finding ourselves surrounded by rain puddles. Sir is already getting antsy and, with Hurricane Irene headed our way, we have at least 3 more days of this ahead of us.

So, once again, we turned to the art supplies to keep us entertained.

I set Sir up with his fancy-schmancy paper plate palette loaded up with several colors of paint (which would quickly turn to goopy gray once he started stirring things up with his brushes), and we were off to the races.

He was very vocal about his painting today, so I decided to try to get a little video interview going. I managed to get a few good clips, but then he stopped cooperating and I was just distracting him. So, I decided to just sit back and let him work until I was beckoned to roll out new paper or refill his color supply.

As I glanced down at my phone to read an email, I heard a little voice say, ‘I paint my knee.’ I looked up to find Sir with a lovely paint splotch on his left knee, which he then insisted on wiping off with a paper towel. He went back to work on his easel for a moment and then…’I paint my knee.’ This time, he covered his entire knee with a big circle of paint.

Now, usually my raging OCD would kick-in at this point, but for some reason I decided that instead of freaking out and grabbing the nearest wet washcloth, I would just to let him go with it. And go he did.

He proceeded to paint his fingers. Then he put a large stripe up each arm. He painted his nose, his toes, up and down his legs. Then he sat down and started to work on his pièce de résistance.

He loaded up his brush, contorted himself in that way that only toddlers can (how in the world can they be so flexible?) and proceeded to paint the bottom of his foot. It was quite a process and sight to behold. He was determined to cover the whole thing, and he probably would have if it hadn’t been for that pesky detail of having to stand up to get more paint. Every time he stood up, the paint would come off on the rug (and I did NOT freak out! Can you believe it?). So, then he would sit down and start all over again.

When lunch time rolled around, I had to literally tear him away from his paints (and give him a good scrubbing in the tub). The whole thing left him feeling pretty satisfied with himself as he recounted the story at the lunch table, naming each body part that had previously been covered in paint.

Here are a few photos I managed to shoot during the event (which I’m sure will repeat itself at least one more time this rainy weekend).

 

working on a toe

reloading his brush

taking a moment to work on his actual painting

touching up his arm

arranging his brushes after finishing work

photos : sir’s palette & the great body painting escapade by yours truly

More cool stuff:

National Eat a Peach Day? Okay!

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

I would be lying if I said that I actually knew that today was National Eat a Peach Day here in the good ‘ol USofA. I had no idea until I saw it on Twitter this afternoon. Although, it could explain why I felt compelled to get a little crazy at lunch today and ‘invent’ a recipe using peaches in a somewhat non-conventional way and why I found myself drawing peaches this afternoon.

Honestly, I’ve never been much of a peach fan. As a child, I thought peaches only came out of a can – all mushy and covered in sugary syrup. Just the thought of eating those slimy things makes me cringe now. Then, when I got older and saw what a peach was supposed to look like, I was completely turned off by the fuzz. What can I say, I have texture issues?

Now that I have a little Fruit Monster in the house who demands any and all types of fruit, I have found myself buying a lot of things at the farmers’ market that I really have no experience with. Yes, that means peaches.

A couple of week’s ago, I made a peach crisp – something I had never made nor eaten. After kind of winging it on the recipe, I was surprised to find that it was actually quite delicious. Today’s peach experiment also went over quite well. So, I decided to try and illustrate them for They Draw & Cook.

This meant a) having to end my months-long drawing hiatus and b) figuring out how to draw a peach (among other ‘top secret’ ingredients). So, after avoiding my art supplies like the plague (mostly because I had somehow developed a fear of them – is that weird?), I busted out the pens, brushes, and paints and got to work on some peach sketches. You can see my progress below (don’t mind the little tub of cream cheese, he’s just hanging out for now).

photos : peaches by yours truly

More cool stuff:

Vintage Makeovers and a Collection of Oddities

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

In keeping with today’s vintage theme, I thought I would share the latest vintage Etsy treasuries from Box Full of Awesome. As always, just click the image to go to the actual treasury on Etsy. Enjoy!

 

Everything old is new again

 

We all have our quirks…

More cool stuff:

Vintage Craft Monday : How to Draw Pre-Teen Angst

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Ahh, here we are, facing yet another Monday. Does it make you feel grouchy, grumpy, crabby, angsty? Yeah, me too. Maybe a little 70s-style creativity is what we all need to get us going this week!

You see that kid over there? The one with the dour expression. The one with the erupting skin. The one who may or may not be a young Eminem. Yeah, I guess we’re supposed to draw him.

Hmm, I don’t really see how that’s going to put any of us in a better mood. I mean, look at that poor kid. He can’t be more than ten or twelve and he already has frown lines for god’s sake!

I bet his mom is one of those stage mother types. She probably answered some not-quite-on-the-level ad to get him this craft card photo shoot gig. He probably kicked and screamed all the way to the studio. Probably sat in the waiting room praying they wouldn’t choose him so he could get back home and lie around his room brooding and fantasizing about Cheryl Tiegs.

And then they picked him.

He made his way grudgingly down the hall while his overbearing mother repeatedly spat on her hand to wet down his cowlick. He was forced to sit on a hard metal stool like on school picture day, while some guy with a Bob Ross ‘fro combed down his mom-slobbery hair. ‘Okay, now smile.’ he said.

‘Screw you, buddy. Screw you.’

So, um, anyway, feel free to find your own surly kid to draw. Or, if you find today’s youth as frightening as I do, just draw the kid on the card.

If you give this craft a try, please let us know how it turns out by leaving a comment or emailing yours truly at hello @ hello7arts.com (include pictures if you have them) and I will gladly share the results of your efforts with the group.

Looking for vintage craft supplies? Check out Box Full of Awesome!

 

More cool stuff:

Making Crayons : A How-To

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Friends, I am happy to announce that, with regards to crayon making, I have redeemed myself!

After ruining my first batch of crayons (read all about it here), I decided to change my methods a bit and give it another go. I learned three very important things from my first failed attempt at crayon making:

  1. Plain Crayola crayons work much better for this purpose than Washable Crayola crayons (I have no idea why, but it may be the difference in texture).
  2. Molds with small/thin parts (tips of stars, fish tails, etc.) are far more likely to crack than chunky shapes like circles and hearts. Honestly, the stars were a complete loss even on the second go-around. I won’t ever use them again.
  3. Crayons must be left to harden for 2-3 hours before being removed from the molds – the longer the better!

Take heed, people, and learn from my mistakes.

Okay, so, you want to know how to make crayons for real this time? Well, here goes.

Depending on the size/shape of your molds, this will make about 12 small crayons or 6 crayon sticks (if you’re using the silicone molds from IKEA, like I did). Adjust accordingly for the number of crayons you need.

What you need:

1 box of 24 Crayola crayons OR broken pieces of crayons you want to recycle
1 silicone mold with shapes like hearts, circles, etc.  (I bought mine at IKEA for $1.99 each)
non-stick cooking spray (optional)

 

What you need to do:

If using new crayons, peel the labels off and then break the crayons into small pieces (I broke each of my crayons into about 4-5 pieces).

Pre-heat oven to 225°.

Spray molds with non-stick cooking spray, if desired (I did this with the first batch and not the second and noticed no real difference when it came time to release the crayons from the molds).

Place crayon pieces into the molds. You can mix colors however you or your little ones please. Put enough in that they are stacked slightly over the top of the mold.

Place your mold(s) on a foil-lined cookie sheet and put them in the oven.

Watch crayons closely. They should melt fully within 10-15 minutes. If wax begins to smoke, remove from oven.

When all wax is evenly melted, carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool undisturbed for at least 2 hours (the longer the better). Note: some instructions suggest putting the crayons in the freezer to speed cooling, this DID NOT work for me and I think it may have been part of the reason for all of the cracking.

After crayons have hardened, remove from molds. Patience is key here – slow and steady wins the race (or, in this case, doesn’t end up with a bunch of broken crayons). Carefully stretch the molds around your crayons to release them. You may here some popping/cracking sounds during this process. Once all parts of the crayon are released, they should pop right out. Some instructions suggest running warm water over your molds to loosen the crayons, but I didn’t find this necessary the second time around.

If any of the crayons crack, place them back in the mold and re-melt the wax. Let harden again and remove them from the molds as stated above.

Other things that are helpful to know:

If most of your wax is melted, but there are some lingering chunks, carefully mix them in with a toothpick. They should blend in quickly and easily.

Wax will stick to your molds. To remove it, fill mold with water, microwave for about 1 minute, dump water, and wipe molds with a paper towel. I would still recommend using molds that you do not intend to use for any food-related purposes though.

Wax can also be melted in the microwave (although, I’ve not tried this method) for 1-2 minutes and then poured into molds. Just be sure to watch carefully so as not to overheat wax.

 

What to do with them:

Give them as gifts (we will be passing ours out to Sir’s classmates on the first day of school).

Use them as birthday party favors.

If your child’s school doesn’t allow food treats for birthday celebrations, pass crayons out instead.

Keep them for yourself and color, color, color!!!

photos : our lovely homemade crayons by yours truly

More cool stuff:

Friday Favorites : Swell

Friday, August 19th, 2011

So, this week was kind of exciting for me for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that the Illustration Friday topic that you see up there in the title of this post was contributed by none other than Yours Truly!

I know. So exciting. For me, anyway.

Having my suggestion chosen meant that the link to my humble blog was on display on the Illustration Friday web site for a whole week. And that meant a huge influx of visitors! I’m really hoping some of them decided to stick around. If it’s one thing I know how to do well (and there’s a very good chance that there is only one thing I know how to do well), it is take care of my readers. Right, readers?

(This is the part where you all say, ‘Right, Ruth! We love you!’ Or something. Heh.)

But, enough about me. After all, this is Friday Favorites and that means it’s all about the awesomely talented people who creatively illustrated this week’s topic (MY topic! Okay, seriously, enough about me.) And here they are…

 

Swell by Robyn Jorde

Everything about this little illustration is so fantastic – the colors, the perspective, the little bit of backstory – wonderful.

 

 

Swell by heike

Love the progression shown here and the way this fish quickly becomes a bit too big to fit in the frame – oops.

 

 

You’re Swell by Kaitlyn McCane

The characters, the colors, the swirling waves all combine to make an adorable illustration.

 

 

Swell by Joanna Pass

Simple, clever, and very well done.

 

 

Swell by Valerie Lorimer

Gorgeous details. Gorgeous colors.

 

 

Swell by Hajnal Fekete

Sweet and simple.

 

 

Surfer by Matt Richards

I love the retro feel in this illustration.

 

 

Leave it to Beaver by Mary Reach

A wonderful homage to classic television.

 

 

Swell by Deniz Yegin

These girls come up with the most unique ideas (if you don’t believe me, look at this) and their submission this week was no exception.

 

 

Misadventures in Confectionery by Amanda Pollard

A great illustration with an equally great story.

 

 

Swell by evans mbai

I just cannot look at this without laughing. I just looked at it again. And now I am laughing.

 

This week I have to tack on an honorable mention. It goes to Elizabeth Rose Stanton of Penspaper Studio for Most Creative Commenting. I’m pretty sure she managed to work the word ‘swell’ into every single comment she left this week. Bravo! (psst, she’s also very talented, so be sure to check out her blog).

 

To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.

 

More cool stuff:

Making Crayons : A How-Not-To

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Do you ever get tired of those people who seem to be able to do freaking everything AND do it well? You know, the Martha Stewart types who get everything just so on the first damn try and never, ever find themselves cramming the remains of a failed crafting attempt into the deepest recesses of the trashcan, lest their failure be visible to the world.

Yes?

Well, you’ve come to the right place because, friends, I am NOT one of those people. To put it bluntly, I f*ck shit up. All.The.Time. And today was no exception.

Several months ago, an art teacher friend of mine posted a link to a crayon-making tutorial. Ever since, I have been diligently picking broken pieces of crayon out of Sir’s supply and squirreling them away until I had occasion to make these oh-so-easy recycled crayons. I even bought some silicone molds from IKEA in preparation for the big crayon-making extravaganza.

Sir will be headed back to school in just a few short weeks and I have been planning on putting together some little gifties for him to share with his new classmates. This would certainly be the perfect opportunity to bust up and melt down a bunch of crayons and turn them into super cool, super cheap, super colorful AND super easy gifts for Sir’s new friends. Right?

(This is the part where you say, ‘Right, Ruth! Sounds like a brilliant plan! And I’m sure that in your capable hands everything went swimmingly and you now have several perfectly molded crayons ready for gifting!’

And then I burst into tears and tell the story of what really happened.)

I began peeling, breaking, and dropping crayons into the lovely little star-shaped molds. I also made sure to photograph the whole process so that I could tell you all how easy it was and give you my brilliant pointers on how to make crayons yourselves…you know, because I’m nice like that.

I popped my filled molds into the oven and watched the colors melt, mix, and swirl until they were completely liquified. I then pulled them out and carefully placed them into the freezer (narrowly avoiding disaster in the form of a broken foot when some random frozen chicken breasts tried to make a break for it) to harden. I could hardly wait to get to work on writing up my tutorial and posting a lovely photo of my brand new flawless crayons. With a great deal of ill-conceived hubris, I even posted on Facebook and Twitter about my crayon-making prowess while I awaited the unmolding of the Perfect Crayons.

Finally, after spending the proper amount of time in the freezer (fraternizing with sweet potato fries, ice cubes, and popcorn chicken), they were ready to be released from the molds to fulfill their destiny as the Best Crayons in the Entire Universe! Or something.

And I just KNEW they would slip effortlessly out of the molds because I had taken all the proper steps to make them do so. Not only had I sprayed the molds with non-stick cooking spray, but I also ran them under warm water to loosen them up (tips from two different crayon-making sites). But, slip they did not. Break, however, they did. Every.Single.One.

Yep, all of my beautiful star crayons cracked. I held out hope for the crayon sticks though. They were much thicker and sturdier. They couldn’t possibly crack.

But they did (all but one of them, that is).

Maybe I didn’t let them harden long enough. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I now have a significant amount of crayon flotsam lying around my kitchen that I need to find a use for. I’m thinking of giving this crayon thing another go, possibly with some less detailed molds (circles, anyone?). Or maybe I’ll just bury them in the deepest recesses of my trash can. Nah, I’ve already shown this particular failure to the world. Speaking of which, here are some photos taken before things took a turn for the worse.

Editor’s note (that’s me, I don’t really have an editor – heh): I figured it out! Learn how to really make crayons here.

photos : the great crayon catastrophe by yours truly

More cool stuff:

What I Like Wednesday : Mentions & Niceties

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I’ve had kind of an exciting week. So, rather than focusing on one particularly inspirational person or thing, I thought I would share a few of the good things that have happened this week and the nice people who made them possible. Enjoy!

 

 

Last week’s Friday Favorites featured an etegami illustration by Deborah Davidson (a.k.a. dosankodebbie). In addition to leaving a very nice comment, she was kind enough to give me a little shout out on her blog.

Her work is pretty amazing (as evidenced by this peachy illustration) and I would highly recommend checking out all of the beautiful etegami on her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

I also won a book this week, which was a totally awesome surprise! I can hardly wait to be the proud owner of an advance copy of They Draw and Cook’s new cookbook!

If you haven’t checked out They Draw & Cook, do it now! And don’t forget to pre-order your very own copy of the new book (at a 35% off discount, no less).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sketchbook Project post from yesterday received a very nice mention on Sketches and Jottings today.

That was a very nice surprise and I was happy to find out that many people found the post helpful (the link was also shared by the Art House Co-op)

 

 

 

 

I also received some very nice comments from some of my favorite bloggers/artists/illustrators – Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Shirley Ng-Benitez, and Deirdre McCormick. Please do check out their work!

 

More cool stuff:

The Sketchbook Project : The Sketchbook That Almost Wasn’t (or How to Re-bind Your Sketchbook)

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

For someone whose life and well-being rely upon order and carefully made plans, I sure do find myself in a lot of How-Did-I-Get-Myself-Into-This situations (typically, without a proper exit strategy).

Such was the case with a recent attempt at working on my Sketchbook Project.

Spurred by some recent comments on Twitter, I decided to finally buckle down and get to work on what I had committed to buckling down and getting to work on months ago. Heh.

Conscious of my tendency to get a bit overzealous with water (and alcohol*) in my work, I knew that the sketchbook’s current pages were not going to stand up to my aqueous abuse. So, I decided to pluck out the staples and replace the thin pages with something a little sturdier.

And pluck, I did (the results of which can be seen in the photo at left)! Then, I got to work on cutting some new pages from watercolor paper and a large sheet of black paper I acquired during a recent art supply buying binge.

After cutting (and subsequently tossing onto the scrap pile) about 7 billion crooked sheets (damn my wonky eyes!), I finally had all of my pages ready to fold and staple back into my sketchbook. Excellent, right?

Wrong.

As I (quite literally) dusted off my trusty (dusty) stapler, I discovered that my new heavy-duty pages were too thick for my wimpy little staples to penetrate. Damn. And here I thought I had it all figured out.

Back to the drawing board (also known as issuing a plea for help on the Internets).

Nothing that I was finding in my book-binding searches was proving helpful. That’s when Jessica Mack of Brown Paper Bunny fame came to my rescue with this video on how to make a stitched notebook. If you don’t want to watch the video, but want to try it for yourself, here are the basic steps.

  1. Fold your cover over the new pages (make sure everything is nicely/evenly folded).
  2. Using a ruler held along the main fold of your pages, mark the middle of the fold with a pencil. Then measure/mark in 1″ increments in both directions to establish your ‘poke holes’.
  3. Hold your cover and all of your pages firmly and poke through the marked spots using an awl or paper piercer.
  4. Thread a large needle with embroidery floss and sew through the top hole from the inside, leaving enough of a tail to tie up later.
  5. Use a running stitch to go through each hole. Then, go back through in the opposite direction (it will look like a backstitch).
  6. On the last stitch, tie the ends of the floss together tightly, so the knot sits firmly on the inside of your sketchbook.
  7. Snip off the loose ends and you’re done!

If any of this is confusing, the video will make it clear. Again, you can find it here.

My sketchbook was back together! And the peasants rejoiced!

Yay.

Honestly, this method was much easier than I anticipated (especially since I didn’t have a paper piercer or an embroidery needle and had to improvise). I will say that I kind of messed up the cover during the process, but only because I may have forgotten to properly clean my work surface after using pastel sticks and there may have been pastel dust everywhere. Oops.

Now that I have this newly-bound sketchbook, I suppose I should think about what I’m going to put in it. Meh, it can wait. My brain deserves a break.

* rubbing alcohol, not drinking alcohol – heh. See what I do with it here, here, and here.

photos : the sketchbook that almost wasn’t by yours truly

 

 

More cool stuff:

A Little Monday Night Eye Candy

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Thought I’d share a couple more Etsy treasuries that I created this week. Just click the images to see the actual treasuries on Etsy. Enjoy!

 

Copper and verdigris…naturally

 

Wooden it be nice?

More cool stuff:

Vintage Craft Monday : Booze & Electricity

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Okay, kids, I know it’s been a while, but I’m back with another fantastic(ally awful) throwback craft! This one combines two great tastes that taste great together – booze (yum!) and electricity (zesty!).

So, let’s see here…well, I guess the first step is to empty a bottle of hooch (or some fancy Chianti, if you’re feeling all high-falutin’). I’m guessing that a bottle of Colt 45 (Premium Malt Liquor) would work in a pinch, but don’t quote me on that.

Okay, has everybody emptied their bottle?

Uh…hello? Hey, hey, you under the table…get up, it’s time to craft!

What? No, I don’t want to arm wrestle. We’re supposed to be making a lamp here.

Okay, where were we…ah, yes, empty liquor bottles. Now, what we need to do next is fill the bottles with…um, what does it say here? Fish tank gravel. Seriously? How tacky. Okay, well, whatever. Who has the box of fish tank gravel? Oh, here it is…

Ugh, ewww…who vomited in the fish tank gravel? It smells like a rotten candy-cane! Peppermint schnapps? Really? What is this, some lame high school party? Honestly, people, let’s take this seriously. After all, we are going to be working with e-lec-tricity here.

Hmm, well, the fish tank gravel is out. What can we fill these bottles with? Hmm, I got nothin’. Let’s just wrap some of this straw crap around them and call it good. Beautiful. Lovely. What’s next?

Electricity! Of course! Just pop your lamp adaptors in and we’re ready for light bulbs. Uh, who has the light bulbs? Light bulbs, people! What happened to the…oh, here they are. What the? Who sat on the box of light bulbs?

I give up! You sots are on your own! When you finally take those lampshades off your heads, I’ll be long gone! This is the last time I try to teach you people anything.

If you give this craft a try, please let us know how it turns out by leaving a comment or emailing yours truly at hello @ hello7arts.com (include pictures if you have them) and I will gladly share the results of your efforts with the group.

Looking for vintage craft supplies? Check out Box Full of Awesome!

 

More cool stuff:

Toddler Art : The Naked (From the Waist Down) Artist

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

We here at hello seven headquarters have found ourselves knee deep in the *ahem* flood waters of the most-dreaded of all toddler-parenting responsibilities. Yes, we are potty training!

Shoot me now.

No, no, no! I kid (no, I don’t). It’s really not that bad (yes, it is). By far, the worst part of the method that we have chosen to employ is being confined to the house (thus close to the toilet) for at least three full days. Well, that, and cleaning up all the puddles.

This particular method requires that Sir be naked from the waist down during his waking hours. That pretty much puts the kibosh on any plans outside of the house, lest we become the subjects of an investigation by Child Protective Services or end up on People of WalMart. That has left us with the task of trying to fill long spans of time with interesting and enjoyable activities (other than taking a whizz on living room rug, which, judging by what I have seen thus far, is a lot of fun – must be a guy thing).

When the usual go-to activities – reading, playing trains, delivering pizza (yes, one of my son’s favorite imaginative play activities is to pretend he is a pizza delivery man) – ceased to keep the little piddler entertained, it was time to bring out the big guns. I cleared out a space in our breakfast nook (which, involved moving a freaking dishwasher, thankyouverymuch), and set up a brand new easel, fully equipped with paints, brushes, chalk, and a big roll of paper.

Sir.Was.Thrilled.

He spent hours making art, mixing up paints until they turned a deliciously muddy black/gray/brown, demanding new sheets of paper when he was finished with a painting, covering himself in chalk dust, and generally having a fabulous time  (until his parents had to interrupt him with the inevitable trips to the potty).

Here is one of my favorite paintings from yesterday. So perfectly abstract. I’m not sure, but I think it may be a toddler peeing on the floor…

 

Après moi le déluge by Sir

 

More cool stuff: