Friday, December 23, 2011

Unsolicited Product Endorsement

I've been calling this eraser The Trojan:

because it looks like little warrior helmets lined up there. Also because calling a little rubber thing a "Trojan" = Comedy Gold. Anyway I've had this thing over a decade, and I'm here to tell you it will erase anything off of anything. And look how much is left after.... I just did the math, I think we're going on 16 or 17 years here.... AND BARELY ANY IS GONE.


I'M ONLY A LITTLE BIT EXAGGERATING. I'm here to tell you it is the Greatest Eraser Ever Invented. And every time I misplace it (a lot) I tear my hair out and destroy the house until I find it again because I have had no idea how to get another one. It's really hard to get information when the only thing you can put in google is "trojan," "rubber," and "white."

So last week the husband and I were at Office Depot. Caught up in the giddy whirlwind of markers and labels and adhesives and such (again, not exaggerating) I dorked, "Geez, I really wish I could find out where that damn Trojan came from." I turned around, and I'm not lying here, I swear on a stack of James Randi books, THERE IT WAS ON A HOOK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!

SWEET HOME ALABAMA!! THE STAEDTLER! It has a name!! It's still being made! And bless its little heart, it's German. Leave it to the Germans to engineer the Greatest Eraser Ever Invented.

From the website:
You’ll be astounded ...
... by the erasing performance offered by our premium STAEDTLER Mars plastic product.
It removes graphite marks from paper, matt drafting film or overhead transparencies, virtually residue-free and with only minimal crumbling.

This ‘Made in Germany’ quality product is equipped with a slide sleeve for convenient handling. The eraser is highly impressive thanks to its extremely long service life and is both phthalate and latex-free.

Oh, you will be astounded. I implore you, get this product immediately. You will never need another eraser. Unless you lose it, so get the four-pack or you'll have night sweats like me when I can't find it.

Awesomely, as I'm freaking out and hopping up and down in the aisle making a scene, my husband remarks, "Well yeah, I could have told you that." I've been whining about this for 16 years -- you couldn't mention that you knew where I could get more? Thanks a pantload, Chet.

That's enough shilling for now. Merry Festivus and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just Like Mom Used to Make

Can you believe some folks don't like jellied cranberry sauce out of a can? Me neither!! Are you kidding? What's not to like?

I had the opportunity to be a part of the BZA's first Thanksgiving last year, and I made sure to have canned cranberry sauce for the occasion. I later commemorated the event with this painting, if you will recall:


Sometime back in April, a good friend of my sister-in-law happened to be viewing my terrible blog and saw this painting, and asked what my plans were for it. She said her father loves canned cranberry sauce in a major way and would probably really appreciate the painting. I told her if she paid the cross-country shipping she could have the damned thing. Seriously, my house is filled to the brim with this stuff. The deal was struck and off it went!

This morning I checked my email. Imagine my delight at finding a real live Action Shot of my painting enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with Dad!!


There's Dad, proudly hoisting this year's magnificent trophy. Hooray! This man and I are kindred spirits and I couldn't be more pleased.

Thanks for painting the wall the perfect background color, Dad. You went above and beyond.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!!


This one hurts.

When certain family members, who shall remain nameless, finally put us all out of our misery by having the courtesy to die, I clapped and cheered. For one member I did the Risky Business dance in my underwear. For others I have said, "Who?"

But when the MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE died on May 20, 2011, the MACHO KING, BONESAW McGRAW, the MADNESS, the fringe-covered, Slim-Jim shilling, bazillion-time WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION... well that one sucker punched me. I am sad beyond words. I still can't believe it. But I guess Macho Man burned so brightly that he had to cut out early.

Behold the burning:

I promise I'll stop after this one:

My heart is broken. Macho Man is irreplaceable.

So I was moved to commemorate Savage's Miami Ski Lodge wardrobe legacy with the following inadequate tribute:

The frame I chose was the most ornate I could find in funereal black; I didn't want any gold to detract from the gloriousness of his ensemble. Even he can't look directly at it:

My husband said, "That painting makes me happy. And sad." I was still more sad than happy, so I decided to dedicate my left thigh to the Macho Man, or more specifically, to a character he voiced on Dexter's Lab: RASSLOR!!



We miss you, big guy. Thanks for everything.

Blast from the Past

Ages ago I did a painting for a friend of my brother. Did I take a before photo? YES!

This is one of a pair of massive 2'x2' paintings that are more 80s than my Barbie Dreamhouse. If you'll recall, I turned the other one into this:

I stuck to the dinosaur theme on this other one, probably because it seemed logical since there was so much space to fill at the top. Did I take an after photo? NO! No, I did not.

Why do I have this block? Why is it so hard to remember to take photos? Why am I such a dumbass? I was ready to post two other paintings today, and I can't because I failed to take photos of both of them. Or I did take them and they are lost in the computer somewhere, but you and I both know that's probably not the case. I truly do not know how to solve this problem.

So I hounded my brother for a while until his inaction forced me to move on directly to the friend, who promptly sent over this murky shot from his phone:

Frankly this is about as good as I manage most days, and it's better than the photo that I failed to take, so I'm not complaining. But I really need to get my head out of my ass and take some damn photos.

I wonder if this is related to that time I dropped out of photography school.


Gnome Sayin'?

My friend Kay handed me a yard gnome and told me to go to work on it. He was a regular old yard gnome, dirty from being outside, with inset eyes and a gaping hole in his left foot due to something having broken off, possibly a shovel. (Ask me if I took a before photo. Go ahead, ask.) I stared and stared at this thing for months, trying to decide what to do with it. Then one day Kay's husband said "He needs a blood-soaked beard." That's when it occurred to me that this gnome was a raving psychopath.

I immediately popped his eyes out, grabbed my trusty can of Krylon black spray primer, and coated the little bastard. I decided the best approach was to go ahead and repaint him with commonly accepted "gnome colors," you know what I mean, and then cover the clothes with mud and gore as if he's been psychopathing really hard all day.

But now he had two gaping holes where his old "normal" eyes had been! Enter Tohickon Glass Eyes, a taxidermy company with the most cooperative search and order feature I have found yet. I chose 8mm eyes, dropped them in, and glued with E-6000. (There's no post or anything on the back of the eyes to hold them in, but the E-6000 should be fine.)

Here he is in all his psycho glory:

Oh and before I attached the eyes I coated him with two coats of poly varnish. Here's another view:

Let's talk about the shovel:

I needed to put something in the gaping hole to help him stand up, as the broken shovel or whatever was clearly load-bearing. I decided a brutally sharp metal shovel would be in order, so I went to the Salvation Army store and found a butt-ugly cheese slicer with a resin picnic basket attached to the handle (grapes and baguettes and everything - just really fucking hideous) which I smashed off to get to the metal slicer part. (Turns out I could have just worked around it, but whatever. I did the world a favor.) I used my Dremel to shape it into a shovel and file down the edges so it wouldn't kill anyone (at least not accidentally...) and then I stuffed the hole in the foot with black Crayola Model Magic air-dry clay and stuck the shovel into that. I really wasn't sure this plan would work, but it went pretty well:

This shot is kind of dark, but I mostly just shaped it into the sole of the shoe and the top of the shovel (which you can see better in the top photo). After it dried I painted it to match, and I think it turned out well. Also that piece sticking out of the back of the foot is some plastic covered wire, which the contractors that rebuilt our fence helpfully left lying all over our back yard, and which I used during the painting process just to prop him up. (You can see that better in the second photo from the top.) But it worked so well and stayed in so firmly that I decided to color it black with a sharpie and leave it in there. I'm not sure the air-dry clay would be sturdy enough to support him, so it's just extra precaution.

This project was a success in that I found a fantastic supplier of freaky eyes, and also because I signed up for the free WASCO taxidermy catalog which I highly recommend. HIGHLY. It's dense, too -- I'm only about halfway through it. And I'm totally using it to write my Xmas list for Santa.

BZA Birfday

Let's see if I can get caught up. The last post was right before the BZA's first birthday. I decided to cross stitch a David Bowie back panel for a wee denim jacket. I specifically like the weird high-contrast makeup in the Blue Jean video:

But how does one get a cross stitch pattern for this? It turns out if you upload a photo to Picture Craftwork and pay them $7 via PayPal, they'll do it for you! (That's how I did the Orlando Bloom postcard too. Shame on me for not mentioning that before.)

Here's how it turned out:

And then I got a rad little jacket from Baby Gap, folded the edges of the piece over, attached it with fabric glue, and then stitched around the sides with my sewing machine:

And here it is in action:

YAY! It works! I love to put time and effort into a project for someone I love that really deserves something special.

Which is why the BFF, who is an asshat, got this:


That took like half an hour.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Killamari...If You Will

I mentioned I have taken up cross-stitching, yes? Well I found what I believe to be the only cross-stitch book I will ever need: Makato's Cross-Stitch Super Collection!

I can attest that it is Not Lame! It's Very Cool! Of course Mr. Oozu follows fiber-art book Standard Protocol by providing a cross-stitch lesson and some tips, and adds ways to cross-stitch on some things you didn't know could be cross-stitched on. But mostly it's packed with a whole bunch of tiny rad patterns for things like robots, dinosaurs, skeletons, this swordfish I keep forgetting to make, all kinds of dope little stuff. I wish all books were this awesome.

The patterns are quick to stitch up, and are easily adapted if you need a color substitution. And it turns out you can combine them to create a hideous affront to God:

THE HORROR!! Dear SyFy Channel: I know what you're thinking. And you really do owe me for the countless hours I've wasted watching your terrible shitty movies. But this is not a Sharktopus -- it's a KILLAMARI!!...if you will.

I buy those tiny frames at the craft store for a couple of bucks and keep them around so I can whip up a quick gift. That weird lump on the left side of the frame is where I took out the hook and screwed it into what I decided was the top. Not attractive, but neither is DEATH BY KILLAMARI!! And if anybody has a suggestion on how to put the damn frame on in the first try, or even the third try, I'd like to hear it.

I also typed "AC/DC font" into google so I could make this for my friend who I hope doesn't actually read my blog because I haven't given it to her yet:

Kay, if you're watching, act surprised.

The BZA's 1st birthday is coming up and I've got something in the hopper right now which, with any luck, will also be an affront to God. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 4!

Well I kind of forgot to mention the Swap this time. Oops. The theme this time was "bloom." Here's what I received:

From Frankie in England

Frankie in Nottinghamshire (Royal Mail is the best) says the fabric is hand dyed, then stamped, then machine embroidered, then hand embroidered. It's beautiful, and way more work than I put into this abomination:


Can you believe this thing? Hey Julia, I HOPE YOU LIKE ORLANDO BLOOM. A LOT. Yeah, so I recently took up cross stitching. So there's that. Here's the back:

My last Swap postcard never did show up on the flickr group. So I figure she either didn't receive it or was so disappointed that she torched it and swore to never sign up for another Swap. I have a feeling this one might also get "lost in the mail." I wouldn't blame her one bit.

I dedicate this postcard to my hero, Daffy Duck, who taught me to always look out for Number One. Bless you, Daffy.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Squid Box

Here's the second High School Musical hat box:

And here's my shit-eating Better Homes & Gardens shot of both together:

Look how murky! I live in a cave.

"I Don't Do 'A' Material For Charity." -- Krusty the Klown

Oh Krusty! You cad.

Lately I have donated several pieces of my terrible shit "art" to raise money for charitable causes. The first was to raise money for a coworker's sister's kidney transplant. Apparently she gets to live if she can raise $10K. I donated the following two paintings that I had lying around the house:



I don't think they sold because after the sale one of the ladies cheerfully told me, "And the stuff we DIDN'T sell will go into the next yard sale!" So that's comforting. I hope they at least generate the $20 each I spent getting them framed. In case you're wondering, yeah, that's the Hoff. Who wouldn't want that??

The second charity event is an auction being held because a friend of a friend moved home to help out his terminally ill mother and then died in a motorcycle accident. Money was raised to cover his funeral expenses, and this round of fundraising is to help his mom pay her bills. I am donating the following three ceramic pieces:




That last shot is terrible. It's 2" high so I had to use the stupid macro setting. Look at the detail in the muslin. Sure, that's what I wanted in focus.

The auction is here on Facebook: James McNish Memorial Benefit and bidding starts Monday the 27th. Go buy some stuff.

I would like to say I do 'A' material for charity, except I hardly do 'A' material at all. Maybe B-. You be the judge.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Each year I like to make the BFF's birthday more magical than the last. Sometimes he actually provides the opportunity through the blessing of Drunken Texting. He may actually have been sober when he texted these old song lyrics to me, but there's no way he was sober when he wrote them. I kept them in my phone and, when the time was right (the Birthday time!), I took paint to cheap shitty canvas panel and let the glory spew forth:

I wrote the words on with Sharpie because there was a lot of text to get through and painting would have been very sloppy. Also it turns out we're dealing with two different songs, but it came through in the text as one giant ramble so I assumed it was all the same song. The BFF assures me it is much better this way.

And here he is receiving it:


I made him wear rubber gloves because it is fine art and I didn't want his greasy mitts to ruin it. He's not to be trusted. Happy Birthday, BFF!!

I did find time to make one other birthday special; my friend's nickname is KC/DC, so I decided to wrap her present in a special KC/DC box:



See how shiny it is? That's when I realized I hadn't grabbed the can of spray primer, I was actually using spray paint. Oops. So I just kept going with the black, then masked out the KC/DC with the shelf paper I use for etching, and spray painted that yellow. After that was done I did a couple of coats of spray varnish and called it a day. It wouldn't look as spotty if it had been primer, but it also wouldn't have been as Rock'N'Roll!!! Right? Am I right? Meh.

Happy Birthday to everyone!

Quite Literally the Mouth of Madness

A friend of mine with a fiendishly keen eye spotted this abomination sitting in a garbage pile in her neighborhood. Of course she thought of me when she saw it. And of course I framed it and hung it in my kitchen:


Double you. Tee. Eff. Seriously, I was only like mildly unnerved by clowns before. YEESH. I sort of hope that by possessing this talisman I will ward off any future clown attacks, sort of like holding up the Evil Eye. I suppose only time will tell.

Mount ATHF + HSM

This request started off as Elvira. Somehow we came around to Meatwad, then all three foodstuffs, then the carving needed a fourth so that's how Carl ended up there. But don't tell him that.

It's way lighter than that IRL, and I attempted to fix it, but I had about six different fights with flickr, the Mac, and the relationship between the two, somehow deleted the only good shot, etc. etc. and here we are. Screw it.

Once upon a time I found these horrible High School Musical hatboxes at TJ Maxx for like $2. They're huge, so I decided to get two of them and just sit on them a while.


I sprayed them with black primer (before I took the picture, natch, so only the lid is unpainted here) and this is what I painted on the first one:






Also I swapped out the yellow nylon string with some thin rope that I got at Michael's.

I'm sure I've complained before about the state of Michael's and how it's such a disorganized mess in there that I'm surprised they don't sell livestock. But for a year I've been going to a gym that shares a strip mall with one, and in the interest of convenience they finally wore me down. It's still a hot mess, but I'm able to navigate it a little better and I'm saving gas.

Anyhoo, that's the first hat box and I've started working on the second one. Let's just say I'm sticking to the theme.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 3 - Continued


Here's what I received from Australia!!

Look at this beautiful quilted postcard. The background fabric is designed to look like notebook paper and the trees and flowers are quilted on. I know absolutely nothing about quilting, so you won't get any fancy terminology out of me. All I know is it's gorgeous. And has a ladybug button on it!!

But not only did I get that gorgeous quilted postcard, I got loot too!

A lovely fabric swatch covered in Australian fauna (that paper koala is the tag), a keychain shaped like Australia with kangaroos on it, and a beautiful explanatory notecard from the delightful Hilary. I scored this time. Yay!

Here's what one Canadian lass may or may not have scored, since I have yet to hear anything:

Ooh...whatever could this be?

(As you may have guessed, once again I blew the whole "stitch" part of the project by painting on balsa wood and had to salvage at the end by knitting an envelope. I'm not sure I'm qualified for these projects.) So intriguing....

Aaaaand Captain Bringdown strikes again. That's right, love is a disease and should be avoided at all cost. The End.