A little creative reuse led to these spooky holiday decorations. Earlier this year, I bought a half-dozen frames that I intended to use for wall art. Often frames will come with both a wall hook and a fold-out arm so they can be used on the wall or standalone on a surface. These particular frames are mostly wire so the fold-out arm was plainly visible and looked wrong. I carefully wrenched them off of the back of the frames and the metal hinges holding them. I like to reuse materials whenever possible so I stared at these for a little while to figure out if I could do anything with them. I noticed the shape looked a bit like a stylized coffin, and they’re covered in black velvet. Perfect opportunity to try out velvet painting!
Since the coffin shape was a bit off-kilter, I thought the skeletons should be too. I decided they should all be striking poses a la Vogue. I used white acrylic paint on a very dry brush – any amount of water, including water leftover on a freshly-washed brush, kills the effect. To further spiff it up I added a sparkly silver border with washable Crayola sparkle glue. There was a small amount of black ribbon attached to the back (formerly to provide tension to the fold-up arm) that I folded back on itself and sewed into a small hanging loop. Styling!
I’ve noticed a pattern in the things in that catch my eye recently.
In the last few months, I’ve taken pitifully few photos–a side effect of fixating on wanting to feel fully present rather than documenting events. After the fact, of course, having some photos would have been nice…so I need to swing that pendulum a bit back towards the center. Yesterday morning, I was compelled to take some photos of a particularly lovely scene at breakfast. Starting a few months ago Alan’s been cooking up a storm, including breakfast nearly every day, so I’m glad to have at least one visual reminder of that. Maybe I’ll get some action shots if I’m more coherent one morning.
As I looked at these photos, and the dozen or two I’ve taken in the last few months, I realized the best ones all have similar compositions, with the primary subject is on the right (and cut off), and interesting things happening with light glimmers.
I’m not a knitter. I gave it the old college try, and two hats, a wallet, and a scarf later I’ve realized I’m just not into it. I had two rectangular-ish pieces from a half-done knitting project that’s been languishing for the last year that was supposed to become a little backpack. But alas, the backpack was not meant to be.
So, their second life began: I decided I would make little bags out of them and felt them. I’d felted once before using a kit to make zippered wallet-type bag with sushi on it. It involves agitating the heck out of the piece in the washer with hot water until it shrinks. I ran it through once…and again…and again. And nothing was happening. Apparently I forgot to check what kind of yarn it was. Wool will shrink, and therefore felt. Acrylic will not. And the 20% wool/80% acrylic blend I’d been using merely scoffed at my attempt to felt it. The bags, too, were not meant to be.
A few days later, while looking at the decidedly-not-felted larger piece, I picked it up to puzzle over its shape and, inexplicably, put it on my head. And…it fit. And the two corners stuck out like ears, almost intentional. So I grabbed some of the remaining pink yarn from the sushi wallet, filled in the ears, and sewed the ears closed so they’d keep their shape. And that is how this hat came to be.
I’ve been meaning to do something, anything, to my work laptop so I can distinguish it from others. Scott gave me this Skull Candy sticker a little while ago, and I decided to make the skull glow.
I made a few test runs of different faces with little scraps of a napkin, and ultimately decided to stick with the face as is.
After realizing it wouldn’t fully cover the Apple logo, I decided to turn the apple leaf and part of the top into bunny ears.
There’s a bakery in downtown San Jose that has very tasty desserts, and so-so service, that I’ve gone to a couple of times with coworkers. The last time I went, I came across this… creation. It fascinates me. I never thought a cake could be ugly, but here it is.
I honestly can’t tell what they were going for here, between the cross-sectioned slab plastered on the side, those hash marks stuck on at random angles, and that poor sugar decoration that just gave up the ghost. I stared at it for a while and could almost see a reindeer, but not quite. My friend Andrea was equally puzzled. So I took a photo for posterity and mostly forgot about it.
Recently I realized this could be a fun artistic challenge: what is this thing? Something about the layout and the color scheme seems redeemable. So here are three interpretations of it made in Photoshop over the course of one movie (Pineapple Express), and two CDs (Creeper Lagoon, Shivaree). I used a Tablet PC, which is challenging due to the parallax and the inability to easily and precisely nudge things. I’m also using it to write this blog entry via handwriting recognition, an exercise in patience.
Besides being an excellent album by David Byrne, this unintentional tableau became the subject of spontaneous art today. This mirror and the hand-and-eye pen were on the countertop this evening after cleaning up from a neighborhood block party earlier. One of the neighbors convinced the newly-opened fire department down the street to bring a firetruck by the block. I was looking forward to some good pictures, but (1) it left as I was getting ready to go take some pictures, and (2) no memory card in the camera. Whoops. But this caught my eye tonight while cleaning up. So, instead of artsy firetruck close-ups, or idyllic suburban neighborliness, you get surreal oddity. It’s more satisfying somehow.