Friday, December 27, 2013

Welcome to my Process.

 What an awfully pretentious thing to say!!!  But everyone has one, and mine is sometimes very strange, even to me.  This time it revolved around some ribbon, some sand, and some glitter.  It always comes down to glitter at Christmastime.  Anyway, I had some lime green and turquoise ribbons, wide ones, and although I know it's a really popular color combination, it didn't strike me as very Christmas-y.  Then I noticed I had lime green and turquoise glitter in my stash, which was very pretty, and it occurred to me that somewhere in the little shop of chaos there was colored sand that I acquired from goodness knows where, a long time ago.  Cut to a Sunday night, when I was going to pick up a pizza, and as I drove around the back of the pizza place I spotted a large container of enormous red Christmas balls, waiting to be brought inside to decorate for the holidays.  For some unknown reason the cylinders in my head clicked into place and the project was suddenly clear, and something totally unrelated to large red Christmas balls came to me. It's a garland, made from styrofoam balls covered first with colored sand, then decorated with glitter, and strung on the wide ribbon.  Of course, though, it didn't get finished.  But that's ok, it will.  Also not finished were all of my skates; I still have 4 left in progress, along with two polar bears and 7 penguins.  I am addicted to starting new projects. 

Here's a fun new project; Santa brought me a Yamaha keyboard.  It's such a pleasure to play, after trying to do stuff on a Casio; it's a very nice Casio, not a cheap one, but the keys seem so cramped it's hard to play with both hands on it.  And I don't have big hands, and I certainly don't have the long fingers that would serve a piano player well, but I still need room to move around.

So Christmas is over, and I have already begun to prepare for spring.  Last year I posted a lot of regalia pieces for sale, not realizing how much in demand they would be RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PROM SEASON.  I was not able to keep up with demand and also keep up with prom alterations.  So this year, I'm going to be prepared. 

If I can pull myself away from the keyboard long enough.

Friday, December 6, 2013

So There I Was...

 ...sitting at Sparky's table, up to my elbows in Mod-Podge and soot, and my phone went "cha-ching", the noise it makes when I make an Etsy sale.  We had to wait until the project was done to see what sold!  Tortuous.  Anyway, this was my first ever attempt at decoupage (I guess I missed that part of the 70s), and surprisingly enough, it was a success!  I have had this skate and the book of Christmas carols set aside for like 3 years, I kid you not.  I knew just what I was going to do with them, not really sure why it took me so long to do it.  Maybe I was unsure how to proceed, although I understood the technique well enough, because I had never done it.  In the end I just dove in with both hands.  The idea was simple enough; antique the sheet music with tea (which really proved unnecessary as it toasted quite well as I scorched the edges), rip it into pieces, scorch the edges with a candle without burning the house down, and plaster 'em on there with Mod-Podge (which I had never used before, although I guess it has other applications besides this one).  Seriously, I had had this project hanging around waiting to be done for SO LONG that the big jar of Mod-Podge had hardened.  Fortunately, Sparky had some.  Great stuff!  Now I'm wondering what else I can decoupage.  No blank surface is safe!!  And today I will find out if it can be used to stiffen the bases of treetop angels.  I guess I will owe Sparky another jar!
So I've gotten the majority of my skates done, there are still a few left to do but I had to stop and do something else for a while because...well, you HAVE to.  Here's another experiment I did, wanted a rustic Americana kind of look so I used crackle medium and then antiqued it with wood stain.  Of course nothing is complete without a little glitz, even if it is antique bronze instead of shiny gold or silver.  Seemed to go better.
Notice two things about this picture;  one, I have no nails.  Well I mean I have nails, but they are very short and unpainted.  Fussing with my manicure is not in my schedule.  Also I find longer nails get in the way.  Secondly, there's a cup of tea.  There's ALWAYS a cup of tea.  Nothing much gets done here without being fueled by tea.

In other news, I now have bifocals!  I know some people balk at the idea because of the age thing, but I am so excited I just can't tell you.  They laughed at me when I picked them up yesterday at the eye doctor's because I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  Gone are the days of taking them off and sitting on them, looking over them, putting them up on my head and putting them back down, etc. etc.  What a pain in the ass that was. I put them on when I picked them up and didn't touch them again until I went to bed last night.