Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Resolution: Eliminating UFOs

Alternate Headline: Organize Your Organizing Organization. 

Do you ever feel like your magazines are judging you?  Yes, I know I have a sink full of dishes that need to be done, and half of my bank statements aren't even opened, let alone filed, but I bet I'd be more organized too if I had a table of contents, geez.

Seriously though, this time of year everyone is all about fresh starts, getting things in order or generally just not being such a big old mess. And frankly, I don't know if I can commit to the full on organization movement. The goal I have set for myself is, however, sort of tangential to organization so I'm kind of proud. Baby steps people, baby steps.

In crafting there are these things called UFOs or Unfinished Objects.  Things you started but never completed, or in my case, things you started to start but never actually started, so you maybe have the supplies sitting there waiting for you to finally get motivated.  Every knitter has a box full of yarn, every crafter has a bin full of supplies, and every pinterester has a board full of projects just waiting to be made.

But the concept of UFOs reaches farther than that.  I have so many great books on my shelf I've never started reading, lots of recipes I've torn out of magazines I've never made.  But I keep popping to the library and trolling Smitten Kitchen.  I feel like somebody who has been researching a paper forever but never gets around to actually writing the thing.  Enough already.

So my resolution is to try and eliminate as many of these UFOs as I can.  I'm not saying I'll stop adding on to my endless To Make (Read/Cook/Do/Whatever) List, I could never stop doing that.  I'm just going to try and put as much effort, if not more, into crossing items off of it as well.  Maybe it isn't as impressive as completely organizing every drawer in my apartment, but at least it sounds more fun.

So, yeah, Happy New Year everybody, I hope it is a good one.  And let us bid 2011 farewell with a youtube video of my favorite guilty pleasure song of the year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Upcycled 3D Glitter Party Glasses

3D glasses are awesome.  There is obviously the movie or whatever, but then afterwards they are a total crafty blank canvas.  Pop the lenses out and they are perfect for costumes or props.  You can make Kermit Eyes with them, I've even wrapped some in yarn (for some reason).  But, like most awesome things, they may be at their best when glittered.

Once we hit the big time we hire real models.
That is my promise to you.

To make these you will need a pair of 3D glasses, sand paper, modge podge, fine glitter, some plastic stars and hot glue.  First step is to disassemble your glasses. Pop the lenses out and pop the arms off.  Next prep your glasses by roughing them up with sand paper, this will help your glitter stick. Lay them on wax paper to be glittered.


Mix up a paste of equal parts modge podge and glitter.  Then, working in sections, coat your glasses with the mixture.  I used a foam craft brush for this, and tried to apply it kind of like I was icing a cookie.  Not too thick, you can always add more layers.  Let the modge podge dry then flip them over to do the other side, the top, bottom and inside where the lenses were. Basically cover the entire thing, but be sure not to glitter the joints where the arms connect to the glasses.


Once all your glitter dries you can check for bare spots and add more. Try to avoid globs, but once the mixture is mostly dry you can gently (seriously, gently) press any bumpy spots with your finger to smooth it down.


If you just want a pair of glittery glasses you can stop there, but I wanted these for NYE and my awesome friend Kristin suggested stars which sounded perfect, so I found these plastic glow in the dark ones.  I like that the pack came with lots of different sizes, and I covered them in glitter using the same method as the glasses. I actually did some of the stars in silver, just to mix it up. Once your stars and your glasses are covered, let them cure overnight.



When the glasses are fully cured use some hot glue to attach the stars to the frames, snap the arms back on, and you're done. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas


Christmas, so that happened.  All in all it was pretty nice.  It was weird because it never snowed, but I guess now we have a whole year to look forward to another one. This is my new friend Bobble Head Ralphie, Santa gave him to me (to match the "major award" nightlight that adorns my bathroom each year), it is pretty lifelike and kind of creepy, which actually may be the point.

Elsewhere on the gift front my mom and stepdad exchanged firearms, while they gave Sam and I a book on homemade soda and a Martha Stewart Loom Kit respectively.  I'm pretty sure they think we should just start a commune and get it all over with.  I never thought I'd have to say "no laser sights near the Christmas tree," but I stand corrected. 

Seriously though, Christmas was really great, it was very nice to be with all the beautiful, strange people I love, and I got to see The Adventures of Tintin in 3d with my little brother, and the animation was so good it almost made me seasick!  Guns, Looms and nearly puking, what more could you ask for?  Next up 2012.  Check back tomorrow for a cool New Year's Eve upcycling project.  I hope your Holidays were the best!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Hey guys, just thought I would share some pictures from the awesome Annoyance Christmas Pageant.  The cast did faithful staged recreations of two holiday classics, Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and it was amazing.  So proud of Sam Locke and the whole cast for creating such a surreal, nostalgic, fabulous show!

Charlie Brown confirming that he has not received any Christmas Cards.
Lucy and an exasperated Schroeder.
Loo loo loo loo.
Hermie, the Elf who wants to be a dentist.
Clarice bats her eyes at an in disguise Rudolph.
The Bomble menaces Rudolph and his family while Sam the Snowman narrates.
The Bomble chasing Yukon Cornelius.

Can I just take a moment to say how great all the costumes and props in this show were?  Especially the Bomble, which was made by Sam in his living room with paper mache and hot glue. It is really amazing the things you can create.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Felt Roll Up Ornaments


At this point in the holiday season, there are two ways things could go.  You're usually either "Christmas, yay, pass the candy canes" or "Christmas, boo, wake me when the groundhog gets here."  I'm happy to report that this weekend was definitely a funtimes holiday extravaganza.  There was a party with carols, the closing of the Christmas show, and I even saw the Holiday Train! It was awesome.  So what better way to hold on to that holiday high than to make some new ornaments for my tree?

When I originally bought most of my ornaments I tried to stick pretty closely to a red theme because I was worried clashing colors would make it look ugly.  Since then I've changed my mind and decided I'd rather have an eclectic tree full of funky ornaments that I love, and I thought that these would add some much needed color.  Here is how to make your own:


To make these you will need some colorful felt that you will cut into strips.  I made mine an inch wide, and the lengths can vary (you can use the shorter strips on the inside of the roll and the longer ones on the outside).  They key here is just to try and cut them as straight as possible, that way your roll will look neat.


Next take one strip of felt in the color that you want to be your center.  If you'd like to fold it in half this will make it easier to work with, then roll the strip up (kind of like a sushi roll, or a little sleeping bag) and dab some hot glue on the end to secure the felt to itself.  You should now have a little roll of felt, this is your center.


Once you have your center, keep wrapping strips of felt in alternating colors to make your roll larger and larger.  Secure the felt by periodically adding dabs of hot glue to your roll.  You want to make sure that you line the felt up so that your roll stays neat and all the colors show.  When you're happy with the size of your roll, use some hot glue to secure the end.  Insert a needle in under the outermost felt layer, and sew a little loop of embroidery thread for hanging. Make a ton in lots of colors and admire.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paper Snowflake Roundup

It isn't snowing here, it is raining.  What is up with that?  I think if I want a white Christmas I'm going to have to make it myself.  Here are a few cool paper snowflake tutorials in case you're bored and feel like cutting up all your printer paper while you watch netflix.


Michele made me has a good primer on how to cut ornate snowflake designs. Plus she made hers out of junk mail, colorful and sustainable.


Use this template from Crafty Lady Abby to make snowflakes covered in skulls.  Your Grandma is going to love that.


Matters of Grey has templates for four different Star Wars snowflakes.  Kinda fun.  Star Wars isn't really my thing, but I think I might make some of these to adorn the presents of my so inclined friends.  Plus you can easily adapt this template to any shape really.  Cat-flakes? Robot-flakes? Mustache-flakes? Yes to all of those.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things I Didn't Know They Made But Now I Kind of Want Them

Do you ever find yourself thinking "wait, that is a thing"?  I totally do, and that thought is usually immediately followed by "I've always needed that thing". Time for some imagination shopping.

Push Pop Containers
First up we have push pop containers.  Did you even know you could buy these?  Sure they're kinda pricey, but they look like they can be cleaned and reused so I guess you could consider them an investment.  Gourmet push pops could be the new gourmet popsicles.  That is my official summer trend prediction.
Shimmer Twins Silver Star Lashes
Previously I confessed how I never quite got the hang of Cat Eyes, but here is another fancy girl eye thing I've never tried: fake eyelashes.  I've never really had the occasion to wear them, but ASOS sells ones that are totally fancy that you could probably wear on New Years without looking too wacky.  There are stars and heart sequins. They also have ones that look like deer antlers with butterflies perched on them, which I'm sure would be appropriate for some event, like a drag queen taxidermy party.  I never know what to wear to those.

Marimekko Memory Game
Recently I've been on a total nostalgia kick. Grown up versions of little kid games are just about my favorite thing.  This amazing Marimekko Memory game is definitely for adults, since I'm pretty sure the onslaught of crazy patterns would probably blow a developing child's mind, rendering them unable to remember anything for the rest of their life.  It is a far cry from red circles and blue triangles, is all I'm saying, but that is what makes it awesome. 

Tattoo Socks
Tell me this: have you ever wanted a giant peacock feather tattooed on your leg, but only for like a day?  Well you do now, because these awesome tattoo tights let you do just that.  They just look so cool, I love them. But what do you pair these with to make a sexy octopus tattoo look demure?  Ballet flats?  Yeah, probably ballet flats.
Junior Mint's Peppermint Crunch
Okay so technically I did know these were a thing, but not until last year, so I'm still counting it.  God these are good, and I think they only come out at Christmastime, so I'm buying as many as possible.  Seriously in about six months you'll see me on an episode of hoarders, and I won't be able to get out of my bedroom because I have been trapped by a giant tower of candy boxes that has toppled.  At least it would be delicious.