Saturday, April 27, 2013

Decoupage Pile-Up

I'm constantly purchasing and spray-priming empty boxes and containers to prep them for the inevitable decoupaging. I pile them up and pile them up until the day finally comes when I can no longer stand to look at them, which is when I bring out the folding table and the Mod Podge.

Some back story on these projects:

Once upon a time there was a thing called a "newspaper." I've been working in IT for a long time, and I used to stop for coffee and the paper on the way to work every day. There's plenty of downtime working IT because we're basically data security guards, so I had time to kill. I would read the whole thing cover to cover.

One of my favorite sections was the comics page. But not because it was funny... you ever read Judge Parker? Mark Trail? How about Mary Worth? These are some of the most stuffy, boring, hilariously out-of-touch comics you could imagine. Every day I would laugh heartily at their ridiculous depiction of "cool" teenagers and drugged-out hooligans. I began cutting my favorites out and piling them in an envelope for later. Sometimes the whole strip, but most times just one bizarre panel, made even weirder by being removed from context. I have tons of them. I loved these comics so much that I even participated in a petition to keep them from removing Judge Parker from the paper!! HA! Then I pretty much switched to the online paper and stopped buying it. But we won! My voice was heard! Ahh. It was a great feeling.

So I finally put those strips to good use. This is a wooden tray I've been hanging onto forever.

It's just too much to photograph and post every panel, even though I wish I could. But here's a closeup of one of my faves:

See what I mean? Hilarious! I arranged them into a kind of pseudo-story so that one panel sort of flows into the next. It's not perfect, but it makes me laugh every time I read it.

I trimmed out some scrapbooking paper to put on the sides because I felt like putting more comics on would be too busy:

That's yet another box behind it that I'm still trying to find a use for.

I also have this jewelry box. This is the first time I've removed hardware, decoupaged, and replaced all the hardware, and I seem to have done it correctly! Hooray!

The woman right of center is saying "I don't need my "A" game to beat you, Muffy!" EVERYONE IS NAMED MUFFY. (Except everyone that is named Cookie. Hilarious!)

I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out. I purchased a set of shelves at Goodwill that I'm using as an "Outbox" for all this crap so I have somewhere to pile it all before it goes wherever it's going. These went into the Outbox to await their fate.

I also covered this dumb twee heart shaped box with black spray primer and panels from a free comic I got somehow. The comic wasn't good but the illustrations are, so I just removed all the wording and used only the pictures.

It's hella grim and depressing. I cut out the title and the name of the illustrator and pasted them to the bottom of the box. Credit where credit is due:

While digging around in my clippings, I found a disappointing rap magazine that I have had forever. It had three useful items in it:

1. A picture of Tupac, which I mailed to Gaby;

2. An interview with Method Man, which I considered keeping but then mailed to Gaby; and

3. An interview with Fat Joe, who I love to death, with an accompanying tiny photo of Joe in the corner of the front cover.

I cut his tiny Fat head out and crammed it into this blank pendant base, securing him with Mod Podge:


The husband thinks he looks like Confucius. He's not wrong. Then I wore it to work to see if anyone would notice.

They didn't.

One last item, and it isn't decoupage, it's just paper and a glue stick. I was regifted "The Book of Bunny Suicides." The recipient didn't think it was funny, and she had already tried to unload it on others with no success. I didn't think it was funny either, but the illustrations were good, so I took it and tossed it on the pile with a shrug.

Then a couple weeks ago I talked myself into buying a $10 craft magazine at Publix and now I can't remember what it's called. But one of the crafts inside involved making paper flowers with a big scalloped hole punch. I immediately thought of this dumb book, and how I could make gift tags out of the pages. I grabbed my 40% off Joanne's coupon and dashed over to purchase this miraculous tool! Of course the Martha Stewart section had a hella expensive version. (Pro Tip: Check out the Martha section to see what sort of crafting supplies the store sells, because it's a pretty good indication. Find what you're looking for, then head out into the rest of the store to purchase the less expensive version. Trust me.) I found a cheaper brand, got 40% off, went home, poured some whisky, put on "Spookies" (thanks, Brah!) and made a whole pile of these:

I punched out one piece of bunny page and then one piece of scrapbooking paper stock for a backer because the book pages aren't really very stiff on their own, and just glued them together. Then I punched a hole with a smaller scalloped punch that I already had. Later I'll tie them to gifts and write on them with a brightly colored Sharpie. The papers don't match up perfectly, which was a disappointment, but whatever, I'm only using them for gift tags. And I made use of the regift! Huzzah! (In my excitement I drunk-texted the wrong person, proudly attaching a photo of my accomplishment. She congratulated me and suggested I text the person that actually gave me the book. Then she decided to take full credit anyhow. She's a criminal mastermind.)

If I remember later I'll put the title of the craft magazine in here, because it had several useful ideas in it, and there were virtually no ads, just some crafting supply places and jewelry making conventions. I'll happily pay $10 for no ads. Especially when it helps me kill a few hours at work.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bracelets and a Birthday Monster

I promise I've been busy. Mostly knitting ever more baby devil hats because everyone is pregnant, and also working on one section for a group blanket project. But mostly everyone really needs to quit having April birthdays because it is KILLING me. I need to get new friends.

I made this for yet another friend with an April birthday:


Of course all I did was add the Montauk Monster on the beach there.

Luckily she knew what that was. Or at least pretended to. Happy birthday!

I recently saw a photo online of some leather bracelets adorned with badges saying tripe like "LIVE YOUR BLISS" and shit like that, and I thought, "I can make that!" Michael's Crafts sells plain leather bracelets, and, being the worst vegetarian ever, I stocked up! I also purchased grommets and a leather hole punch. I used ring blanks for the stamped badges because they were a good proportionate size for the bracelet. Then used my metal hole punch to make a hole on each side of the ring blank, punched two corresponding holes in the leather bracelet with the leather punch, then grommeted the whole thing together. I used rounding pliers for some light shaping on the badge after it was attached.


It says, "If I'm crazy, then you're boring." It's a quote from Henry Rollins, but I ran out of room so I put H.R. This was my first practice one. I promise to do better.

I had no idea how the grommets worked. I figured maybe you just put one piece inside the other and mash it with a hammer? This seemed to work! Hooray!

Confident in my amazing proficiency at leather working and grommeting, I decided to make one for my four-year-old friend Lucie. I asked her mom to measure her wrist for me. "4 1/2 inches" was the response. Look at how small this thing is:

AAAHHH!! Can you believe it?? So tiny!!

I trimmed off a good bit of the bracelet length and used the leather hole punch to make new holes for her wee wrist. (And that screwback button right there is what I'm going to search for and purchase a ton of as soon as I hit "publish" on this post. Mental Note.)

Here's Lucie sporting her new bracelet, politely holding very very still for the camera:


Check out that sweet ink. She rules.

April Foolishness

I'm working on more benefit stuff with the BFF. He sent me a partial manifesto which I have been mining for projects such as this:


...and this...


These are the rough drafts. I like the way muslin looks, but I don't like how the floss shows through from the back. I bought some new fabric that I hope won't have the same issue.

The BFF's Manifesto is also being mined for a glorious secret project that is currently in the works. SQUEE!! I'm very excited about that. And I hope it does not break me financially. We shall see.

Yeah, so Gaby's birthday! I made her a bracelet out of lyrics to "Clan in da Front" by Wu-Tang Clan, one of her favorite rap songs, which I cleverly gleaned by asking her, "What is your favorite rap song?"

I practiced first by making myself a bracelet with the lyrics to "Let the Devil In" by Sargeist:


I also made Gaby a trophy she can proudly display in her office:


Everyone at work will know that she is not to be trifled with. Oh, and that backwards "3" in "2013" was unintentional. I am a dumbass.

I put the bracelet in this gold box:

And stuck that gold box and the trophy and all the other crap I gave her into this gift box on which I spray painted a hot pink chimp:


...the stencil for which I got out of the Stencil 101 book. I'm slowly stenciling everything in my house with chimps. It seems like the proper course of action.