I wanted to share some projects I have not exactly finished yet or that didn’t pan out as planned and never made it past beta testing. I apologize in advance for how many words are below.
“Paper isn’t leather” Inspired by this leather and canvas bind storing screen printed scarves in the SCAD store, I tried to make a similarly mixed-media bin with brown paper bags and linen. We still have it as a home-base for our stapler, but not surprisingly, it’s about as durable as a soggy paper airplane and probably won’t last one humid Carolina summer.
“Over-coastered-hostess” Before a barbecue at our house, I compulsively bought a lot of felt and spent too much time cutting it into coasters. The guest to coaster ratio was probably 1:20. But I didn’t just stop there, I took the leftover felt and sewed it to other leftover felt to make a “matching” table runner. The runner was just bumpy enough to make each dish wobble as people tried to serve themselves. Hostess success!
“Winging out” Last year, I saved several dried out cicada I found while walking Oliver. One day before starting surgery, I tried to delicately cut off the wings with blunt craft scissors, made a mess and lost my fine-motor-confidence. Did you realize that I didn’t say what the wings were for? I still don’t know.
“Rotten soles” I wore these shoes through and then, naturally modge podged them with fabric. But what you didn’t know is that I then filled them with dirt and tried to plant grass in them. I left them in the front yard, rotting and molding and not growing anything, for over a year before I (or maybe Grisha) tossed them. It looked like we once had a scarecrow who decided to run away but couldn’t make it out of the mud in kitten heels.
“Grilling 101: The Book” The greatest indefinitely-postponed, semi-failure project has been a book my brother and I conceived for my cousins birthday a few years ago. When we were younger, we used to love asking my cousins’ boyfriends questions like, “How many chest hairs to do you?” and “If you could have any tool in the shed, which one would you eat spaghetti with?” To us, these were important questions and we named the process of sitting down a boyfriend and asking him to bare his silly soul “grilling” . We wanted to write a book of some of the questions accompanied by absurdist photography in our very own style of absurdism. We started one day with the question “Where do you fall on the waffle-pancake continuum?” so we naturally made a breakfast spread trying to spell out the word CONTINUUM.
This took place in spring of 2013. That’s how long ago we started and paused this project. Hopefully, sharing it will revive it’s momentum in time for Eitan to visit again for spring break. Cross your syrupy fingers for us!
We got an inch of snow yesterday and the whole town shut down for a little bit. It made for good fun walking/skating Oliver around the block this morning.
Grisha has been busy with important home renovation projects. I have been using his “left over” supplies for a few projects of my own.
I mixed up extra grout until it had the consistency of whipped cream that makes soft peaks. Then fill snack bags about two thirds full, making sure to squeeze grout into the corners.
Squeeze the grout into all the nooks and then seal the top with as little air as possible in the bag. Then place cups or candles where you want their nook to be and weigh them down with coins or books. After 24 hours, the bags will start to feel hard to the touch. When they no longer give to the pressure of your finger, remove the weights and crack the snack bag open. I left them to dry open for another two days and then took them out of the bag completely to dry for another day. That may have been overkill.
Make sure to sneak these into the construction zone! How deceptively comfortable they look!
I also placed one into the master bath. No scratches or perilous falls so far. I would consider adding a strip of non-slip fabric to the bottoms if the porcelain is their permanent home.
Eitan came into town, so we had a big latkah-fest with the family on the 6th night. Grisha and I arrived just in time to point out how crooked and fire-hazard-y the candles were in my parents menorah.
The boys made fun of me for taking pictures with my PartyParty App, which I recommend if you like annoying people by sending gifs instead of photos. This year we tried latkahs with pepper jelly, which was a winning combination and will be back in the future.
We got some artisan gelt this year as a gift. Below could be the mash up that summarizes this years Hanukkah: Eitan, fancy gelt, Eitan and fancy gelt.
We’re heading up north to see Grisha’s family next! Maybe we’ll even see some snow to top the flurries we had in North Carolina this weekend.
Grisha’s maternal grandmother used to keep track of all the cookies she made each year for Christmas. All dozens and dozens of them. She’d write down the recipe and the quantity and sometimes timeless notes like “so-so.” When Grisha’s parents visited, I asked them to bring the cards so I could photograph some of these cookie-cards to make dishcloths.
I took pictures of the cards on white foam board and then used iPhoto to overexpose the background. This might be a misuse of the word overexpose, but it is definitely the misuse-slash-haphazard strategy that makes real artists and designs sick to their stomachs. So in an effort to let my language reflect my abilities: I basically just wiggled the controls until the background was white. You could probably do it too!
Then I put the pictures into a powerpoint that was sized to be a yard of fabric. I adjusted them so that there could be two dishcloths per yard. I then clunkily saved this as a PDF, and then saved that PDF as a jpeg and then uploaded it onto Spoonflower.
The fabric arrived. I snipped it in half (Grisha would model the half, not the snipping), and hemmed the edges.
Viola! New dishcloths. Now only if I had a new stove to go with them.
We save all the letters and postcards we get. For a while we displayed them on the mantel, but overtime it was getting full. We couldn’t whittle down favorites, so we decided to put them in a book and initiate the coffee-table-book-phase of our lives. I had tried to finish this before Grisha’s parents visited because his mother is a card-making-rockstar and I wanted her to see how much we appreciate her cards.
I got my book at the PTA Thrift Store in Carrboro. Make sure it’s a hard cover book with a width smaller than the diameter of your binder rings. I got a book whose title I liked and whose contents could be used in other projects.
For the drilling, I made a paper template of where I wanted the holes. I chose the spacing to fit the majority of my cards. Grisha drilled straight through the book and there was some fraying on the exit-side. Next time, I might ask him to go halfway through on each side to try and reduce that. Next time of course depends on filling this one up, so keep those beautiful letters coming. :)
Grisha has this heavy duty hole-puncher that his grandfather owned. I think its one of those beautiful they-just-don’t-make-them-like-they-used-to pieces.
Enjoy! Click on the picture above to see the book in stop-motion-action. Maybe you’ll even see one of your masterpieces!
Grisha’s parents visited this week, just in time to scrub the deck clean for staining and build a heavy duty retaining wall. We sure are a fun couple to visit, especially if you like hard physical labor. We did have a few good afternoons and even got to visit the Orange County Studio Tour.
In addition to experiencing lots of art, the tour is a good way to see rural parts of the county, who owns horses, and who has sad-pumpkin faces.
Every year we try to visit Peg Bachenheimer’s encaustic studio, which is surprisingly very clean and filled with educational cards about the encaustic process that always make me want to go home and melt candles on canvas (it’s not that simple).
In addition to touring, there were Oliver snuggles, tropical drinks at Straw Valley, and an epic re-potting. This plant was in the corner of the deck and had to be moved so the deck could be cleaned, go figure. Once we got it upright, it was evident that the corner provided the perfect environment for all the leaves to grow crookedly towards the sunshine. Now the entire head of the plant is about 60 degrees off mid-line from the trunk. Perfectly positioned to give passersby paper cuts from the spiky leaves. Again, so much fun to visit.