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.