Thursday, November 28, 2013

of Slackers and Skulls

Maintaining a blog is clearly not my strong suit... but I'll keep trying.

Today I remembered that I ran a contest, well a raffle of sorts and forgot to pick a winner and hand out a prize. Pretty sure my brain went on vacation and forgot to the rest of me.

So here we are, I've picked the winner (random drawing) and contacted her. I'll post the finished skull once it's complete.

(oh yeah the prize was a custom sugar skull, like these)
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

sit down children, and let me tell you an epic tale of destruction

Once upon a time not that long ago, I was tasked to make a koi toy (hehe, that's fun to say) So as I always do when starting I project I ran to the pinterest to begin searching out my target so that I might better complete said task.
Whilst strolling through the many and varied selections, I stumbled upon many a painting of koi in ponds, with all the layers shown, rock, fish, and lilies such as this:
These lovely paintings gave me an idea and I ran with it over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house and back again and the craft store four times due to epic fails...
But before the fails, there was success. For this wasn't any fail, this was a last minute destruction of hours of hard work.
It started like this:

That's a bit of needle felting, various counters, beads and seeds sandwiched between two layers of fabric and stitched in place.
Then it became this:

With a bit of paint and a ruined pair of pants (I never think to change into already messy clothes before I do messy things)
Then after wetting and separating a million strands of floss, stitching them into place, finding and washing twigs and pouring the first thin layer of resin, it became this:
I was super excited and cocky at this point and had also finished the fishes whilst waiting on the resin to set. I added another thicker layer and when it was almost set, added the first fish:
Can you tell that I was expecting this to go well?
I poured another layer over the fish to anchor it in and give more depth between it and the rest of the fish I had made:
He looked so cute and shiny his home, I'm glad he didn't know what was coming.
Between these layers there was a visible line, it was mostly air bubbles that had come to the surface of the previous layer and not popped. I couldn't see them before I added the second layer or I would have figured out how to fix it first (I learned afterwards that a good sanding wouldn't have been a bad idea). So after seeing this I decided I would add the rest of the resin as one thick layer so as not to have a bunch of tiny stripes mucking up visibility.
Big fucking mistake. At this point I'll take a step back and mention I was using acrylic water from walmart, another big mistake. Well to make the last layer I had to mix two case it isn't obvious I have never used resin before this. One of the packages was old. When I mixed them and poured them I filled the boxes and went and hopped in the shower disgustingly pleased with myself.
I came back to this:

see the lines in between layers? Ain't that fucking special?

the resin super-heated and literally boiled the fish up off the bottom of the layer to the surface. Not to mention cause swirly, bubbly gaps everywhere

It's been sitting for over a week and it's still squishy to the touch.
So absolutely crushed, and with the intended recipient on her way home from vacation that day, I decided to start over. I went to the store bought another awesome box and new, expensive resin. I bought a glass measuring cup and wooden stir sticks too, I was going to get this right this time.
Box one, I bring home I paint. I make a new bottom, new grass, start new fish. Wanting to make sure I didn't ruin another bottom, I poured a bit orf resin into the recessed windows. I thought it would be good way to see how the resin would set and not get in the way of the bottom fitting. So I mix and I pour and it turns green. I was so mad I threw out with a shriek of frustration.
I hop in the car, get a new box and start again, this time no paint thinking that was the problem. So I pour a light layer to coat the windows and when it sets it looks like frost...well maybe I had mixed it wrong or there was a reaction with the glue I used to keep the resin from seeping out.
So back to the store, and home again with a new box. Try again, mix everything very precisely, pour a slightly thicker layer thinking maybe it just set too quick. Nope, failed again, this time it looked like thick water drops on glass and had a yellow tint to it (so did the second but I had assumed that was the glue, which I left off this time)
So at this point I said fuck the box, I'm done spending money. I dig around my stash of awesome things and find an empty snow globe with a wooden base. I decided to change up the idea a bit and just use that. Thankfully I had the foresight to try the resin before I started making anything to fit this piece. I again mixed perfectly, and poured into the clean glass dome.
It set yellow, lumpy and cloudy. At this point I decided it was the resin, it was old (don't know if it was just decided to believe it for my sanity). I took it back and got my money out of it thankfully.
So after all that I gave up...sort of. I still had some fish, the rocky pond bottom, and goddamn it I was going to make something awesome with them...just no resin...possibly ever again.
So I went once again to my stash of stuff and dug up a shadow box. Then I made this:

And now I am happy, and soon it will go to it's home with it's new owner...that's right I did all that just to give the thing away for because.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Don't Panic

Ha ha, that's likely. I did a crazy thing, I quit my job - in this crapfest of an economy. What the hell was I thinking? Well mostly that we had a nice fat tax return, my job was giving me an added layer of stress and self doubt in the future of my life's goals, left me feeling like I had no time to really work on anything. So I quit and now I'm riding a roller coast of happy, excited, freaked out, and holy hell what did I do?

During a happy, excited moment I decided I want to open a shop. I want to sell my stuff and find a way to provide affordable vending space to other artists and makers. Ideally  I hope to attract enough sellers to make the place self sufficient so we can keep it going with less stress on everyone {especially me ;)}.
So that's what I'm going for, with the help of Dream Savers. If you've never heard of them you should google Individual Development Accounts in your area if you are interested in opening a business, buying a home or going back to school -seriously it's the best thing you'll ever do for yourself.

If anyone has any advice or a Valium I'd appreciate it...or maybe just a paper bag to breathe into for a minute.

Also here's a cute thing:
This is the first tiny thing I ever made way back in...2007.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's alive! or how anxiety eats your brain.


Life ate me for while and I'mnot  entirely certain it's finished with me yet. But the good news is that I got my crazy, giant, time consuming, brain frying, eyeball melting book all done. My advice to those of you who buy the second book - don't try to make them all back after back after back get the idea. Also use good lighting. I got an Ott light for Giftmas and I love it.

Completing the book was hard, I felt like I was never going to get the time to work on it because I had to take on a part time job that often ends up being full time and then some. That led to anxiety about not having enough time and a desperate wish or two to stop time for a bit. That led to me feeling like a failure because my inner voice is a mean spirited little gremlin. All day long with the 'everyone else has there sh!t together why don't you?' and the 'you're gonna fail, why even try' - and those are the nice things she says.

When I feel like that it's really hard to concentrate, unless it's a facebook game because then I'm all 'hey everyone I ever met on facebook can you send me a (insert asinine, imaginary thing here)?'. I think the devil invented facebook games to suck all your will power, energy, and proper hygiene habits, into oblivion.

Oh and another fun little side effect as a result of the anxiety, gremlins, and facebeast, all your creativity and inherent skills have gone and hid in the basement...or something. So every task feels like it can never ever be accomplished. Yay life!

On the bright side, I finished the damn thing even with all that, and I have better idea of what it is I want out of my life. So there's that at least.

Also I made a ton of stuff, take a look.

That is the current line up of book 2 (there may be additions)

Hopefully it won't be eight months before my next post.

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