Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tray Chic

I bought a whole pile of bamboo trays at the Goodwill recently. This is also helping me to solve my uncloseable accordion file problem.

I may be selling these for charity purposes, so I tried to make a couple that were less pornographic and/or Satanic. I mean, I gotta be me, but everyone has kids now and it's getting harder to unload that stuff. I'm all "My brother will LOVE -- oh, right. The baby. Sigh." So I need to provide a few "less offensive" options for this venture:

See? Glitter! Kids love glitter! And dogs! And Rodney Dangerfield!

And then I remembered I have a whole envelope of really sick photos I cut out of Fangoria, so I made a whole tray of just that, and I'll get a shot of that one later because it still needs another coat of mod podge. Also I got a free bamboo tray at an antique shop, but it needs a whole lot of TLC before I can begin decorating it. I have to glue in half of the little sticks.

BTW the last two posts are my effort to kill time because Dragon*Con starts tomorrow and I truly could not be more useless today. If you thought I was useless yesterday? Boy, you ain't seen nothin yet. Maybe I'll just keep typing until I clock out. Nope, I'm out of ideas already. Okay. I'll go pace around the building. That should kill 10 minutes.

Postcards, Ahoy!

This postcard swap got me thinking about postcards again. Since my husband accidentally ordered that package of flat cards instead of folding cards, I have piles of those things, along with an accordion file of magazine clippings and stickers which I have to struggle to close. So I decided it was postcard time.

I decorated and mailed out 25 postcards to friends and have only heard back from 12 people. I hope that means the other folks are just busy (or lazy) and not that the cards got lost in the mail. NOT THAT THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN. So I will post photos of a few of the cards that I know for a fact have been received:

I knew Gaby would appreciate a photo of Courtney Love crying.

Geez, you can really see through this one, huh? I hope that's a camera trick. Sorry, Patti! I promise I'll do better on the next one.

And this one made it through with all the eyeballs intact! More than I could have asked for. Hey, what a great blurry photo!

This next one was my test card. I knew if this one got through the mail service, everything else was safe:

Success!! I hope that image kept a sorter from hanging himself...if only for a day.

I also hope that this blue mailbox near my job is still in service because about half the postcards went into it. It's totally faded, but it's in front of a bank, so I hope it's not retired. Whatever, if anyone is offended that they didn't get one I can just say, "Must have gotten lost in the mail!" I win.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Postcard Swap - Received!

Yay! I received the loveliest package from my postcard swap buddy in England! Her name is Laura and she is from Lancashire. (Have I mentioned how much I love Royal Mail? It's delightful!) The theme was "Discover," so Laura sent over a package of items to help me discover the area where she lives. She sent two stitched postcards, one little stitched card, several photographs, and a gorgeous screen print, plus a note with a detailed description of everything. Here it is in a beautiful pile:

Gorgeous. The first postcard depicts the Queen Street Mill:


The second is of the bridge at Wycoller Country Park:



Laura sent many photos of the mill, the park, and other places of interest around her area. And she sent this beautiful screen print that she did which I believe is also the Mill, but I stupidly did not bring her notes with me to work, so I will confirm that when I get home. [Edit: It is a screen print of Pendle Heritage Center.] I'm going to have it framed:


It was a wonderful package and I was delighted to receive it. I hope she likes her postcards of Tesla and pile of Stone Mountain souvenirs. Not really a fair trade for her I'm afraid.

Thank you, Laura!

Happy Birthday! Love, America

I try to make Shiffy's birthday special every year by sending cigarettes and Cheetos to brighten up her damp little island. But the shipping to England is putting me in the poor house, so I punked out this year and went handmade:


The Statue of Liberty pattern can be found in the most awesome cross-stitch book ever, MAKATO'S CROSS-STITCH SUPER COLLECTION!! The fireworks and tender sentiment are of course my own addition.

I tossed in some Stone Mountain souvenirs because I'm not sure I had those when she visited. Also I clued the BFF in and asked if he wanted to add anything, to which he responded with what I imagine is the Australian National Anthem, because that joke never gets old. I unwisely encouraged him by printing it out and gluing it to a nice card which is way more than he deserves. The husband added a Captain America sticker, making this the most glorious birthday package I'm sure the Shiffster will receive this year. If she ever receives it at all, since she informs me that after the (yet another) bank holiday, she's going to Chicago. As always, I have full confidence in the postal service. :(

Happy Birthday, Shiffy!

Yer Blowin it, Joe

If you haven't seen the movie "The Stöned Age," go watch it right now. I'll wait....

It's awesome, right? A friend and I were discussing it at Monster Bash this year, and by discussing it I mean drunkenly shouting out quotes and laughing. He mentioned that another mutual friend of ours loves the movie as much as we do. That's when I decided to paint this:

FYI - My first car was a blue '73 Squareback with white interior, and I currently own the same couch as the Chicks From Up North. That means I'm awesome.

Way Better than "Hellraiser: Revelations"

My brother Dennis gave me a ceramic doll that his baby daughter and wife both hate. Ha. He encouraged me to do something horrible with it. Since he handed it to me after we were well into our second or third round of cocktails, I immediately tore the hair off and got to work. Hence no before picture. But you see these things everywhere, so you can imagine how it started out.

Like I say, I tore the hair off first, which exposed a plastic cap mounted into the ceramic head. I removed that, then immediately began trying to pry the eyes out. That took a while, but I managed to remove the glue using an exacto knife and a pair of needlenose pliers. It was a bitch. But I had these Tohickon glass eyes leftover from the garden gnome project and I was dying to use them. I think these are the 124-B - Blended Aspheric Feather Band Bird Sandhill Crane:


Of course this photo is after I had sanded/goo-goned the last of the hair off and covered her with white Krylon primer. I filled the head with black Crayola Model Magic and stuck the eyes in by sealing them from behind with the model magic. This stuff is great filler because it is light as air. If I filled the head with regular clay the doll would never stand upright again because the head would weigh a ton. I filled the head in a few layers so the model magic would dry completely, then I formed a model magic brain to cover the open cap. I let it dry, then dry brushed pink/gray paint over the top and later varnished it.


My Cenobite was coming along, but she needed some clothes. So I kept checking at the craft stores in the doll section where they sell what I imagine are off-brand American Girl Doll clothes. They sell little cheerleader outfits and hats and stuff, so I found a nightgown, tore the lace off, and added a combination of red paint and leftover wet coffee grounds:

I wanted it to look like she'd been wading through the hell-muck all day, micromanaging the torture and whatnot. It came out okay and also had a nice coffee scent for a while.

Apparently American Girl dolls have huge feet, so shoes were a no-go. So I just painted her feet red and brown. That works better anyway. I kept checking the doll clothes and one day I found this super boss fake fur coat. It ruled, but the arms were too long, so I removed the cuffs, took about an inch off each sleeve, and then replaced the cuff. (Oh, I make it sound so easy! I was literally almost in tears after hand-sewing the same cuff in the wrong direction THREE TIMES. If you've ever sewn cuffs on you know what I'm talking about, but that's still at least two times too many.) It was worth it for this level of pimpness:


I found another smaller but very similar doll at a thrift store that came in a rad box with two gingham dresses (which are going straight back to the thrift store) and a pair of shoes, and I'm currently working to get all her hair off. She's smaller and I don't know if I'm going to be able to get her eyes out. Whatever glue they used on her is way stronger than the glue on this doll, so I might have to soak her head in some kind of solvent. We'll see if that one works out, but I might have to go another direction.

In conclusion, "Hellraiser: Revelations" is complete garbage and is so stupid that it cannot hurt me. DOUG BRADLEY 4 LYF.

Squids and Bacon and Dirty Shellfish

I amass things and stare at them until I can find a use for them. Such as this box I found at the Salvation Army:

I like the green but the pears are dumb. Luckily I've been hanging onto a Cartoon Network calendar for a few years, and I thought the artwork on the Squidbillies page matched it perfectly, so I decoupaged them on the top of it:

Similarly, I found this box with the sappy sentiment all over it at TJ Maxx:

(seriously, why do people buy this crap?) and decided it would look much better covered in bacon:

Both sides are now 100% more delicious! I covered the edges by gluing that lace edging stuff on with E-6000. The inside is just a nice pattern so I left it alone.

I feel like I should preface the next one with "If you are easily offended..." but you would have stopped visiting this page a long time ago if you were, right? Right! So I found this Kuntry Krafty stupid looking tray at a thrift store (that overpriced churchy one that I probably won't go to again) and thought it might have potential. Or porntential, rather. I hunted through my pile of crafting porn, and I thought the quilt in the background of this shoot would lend itself nicely to the silly flowery country stupidness going on around the edge of the tray. Combined with a pamphlet I got at the grocery store regarding the Dangers Of Undercooked Shellfish, I think it worked out okay:

NOW it's something I am proud to have around my house! Score another one for hoarding.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Postcard Swap Update

The theme for this Postcard Swap is "Discover." Know who's a good discoverer of things? Nikola Tesla! I turned again to Google image search and my trusty old work printer (shh) to produce some quality Tesla Action Shots with which to construct a postcard. If you'll recall, I recently "discovered" glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss. When I saw what Google had on offer I decided that floss was a good fit for this project. Even though the glowing is not very impressive.

My husband accidentally ordered flat cards for a project instead of the folding kind, but I assured him I could make use of them one way or another. It turns out they are perfect postcard-size. I cut out my Tesla pictures, used modpodge to adhere them to the cards, then poked holes where I wanted to embroider. I did one card for the back and one for the front, then sewed them together because otherwise it would just be a giant mess. Please note the "stamp":

Only the white floss on the front glows in the dark. The other floss is just regular olive green.


I'm pretty sure I sent this one ^ and the one above it to my swap partner. I made two each of the three postcards pictured above and one of the following:

... because I printed out two of each picture but that one was small so I stuck both on one sheet. These are the most mature entries I've ever produced for this swap! I hope she likes them. Frankly, I just hope she receives them. Don't get me started again on the postal service.

Aliengel? Angelien?

Whatever it is, it's perturbed.


I decided on her planet they don't wear shoes. And I was thisclose to writing "To Serve Man" on that book but decided there wasn't enough room. That's about all I have to say on this matter - I've let a bunch of things pile up and I'm trying to get them all posted.

See, I have been sick as a dog for the past 2 1/2 weeks, coughing and lying around on the couch drinking toddies and watching b&w noir films on Netflix and I really really really really hate being sick because I have waaaaaaay too much shit to do. So I was on fire the second I was mobile again, making up for lost time. Anyway that's why there's three posts so far today and probably more to come. I have three completed projects that I have been unable to photograph due to crappy lighting, so those will come later. Huzzah! Diving back into flickr....

United We Ham

Don't tell Kay I made these for her because I haven't given them to her yet. It's cool, she doesn't read this blog.

Kay's a big fan of the West Ham United football club.


I know very little about soccer. But Kay leads me to believe that West Ham is kind of like the Washington Redskins of soccer, based on how hard they suck, and she and I have bonded over our shared hardship. We have often wondered if each team signed up for soccer/football confused about which game they were actually playing. We figure maybe we should send West Ham to Maryland and the Redskins to England and just see what happens. Couldn't hurt, right?

2 Legit

My friend Kay's father was a very talented artist, and he has passed away. Kay asked me if I would like to inherit his easel. I told her I would be proud to own it. Here it is in my studio/Conserve-a-tree(tm Shiffy)/sunroom:


Understatement of the Year: I AM NOT WORTHY.

I sent a thank you card to Kay's mother and also one to Kay, to thank them for choosing to let this part of their family history slum it in my house. I made a pair of tiny paintings and affixed each one to a card embroidered with a poor representation of the easel.


My husband asserts that this is the best thing I have ever painted in my life. "No, really. That's the best thing you have ever painted in your life." I can hardly disagree.

Surely this little guy is a solid contender for second place:


Here's a blast from the past -- a while back I gave this painting to Kay to hang over her guest bed. Her current guest is not pleased. She hates it so much that she demanded I take it home with me (she was a little drunk), but instead I made her pose in front of it so that I could document her displeasure. Behold:


I love action shots.