Friday, October 15, 2010

Quick Crafts

With most of my larger projects on hold due to various logistical reasons, I turned to some instant-gratification craftery this week.

First, I made a deliciously orange, red, & yellow-y wreath for our front door:

I'm not much of a silk flower wiz, so I usually buy pre-made wreaths at JoAnn's. Over the weekend they were running all kinds of Columbus Day sales, though, so all the good stuff was cleaned out by the time I got there. The best I could find was a sparse little thing which, even at half off, was $20. So instead, I found this plain twig wreath ($3), a silk swag garland thingy ($9 at 60% off) and some yellow ribbon ($3).

Attach the garland to the wreath with floral wire, tie a bow, and BAM! El cheap-o wreath-o!

I really like the way it looks on our blue door, too.

Next, I *finally* got around to making some Epbot thank you cards using Kaaren's fabulous hand-carved 'bot stamp:

It turns out I'm not much of a stamp wiz, either; after less than a dozen cards I was covered in teal and orange ink. Heh. It was fun digging through my craft stash to find the bits and pieces to make the cards, though; the only thing I had to buy were the metal "Thank You" stickers. (Which I just found online for a lot less, dang it. Too bad shipping is another $6.)

Oh, and here's a quick tip to turn any grommet into a flat, paper grommet: use snips to cut vertical slices all the way around the back tube, and then bend the tabs flat after you've inserted the grommet through your paper, like so:

As an added bonus, it kind of looks like a little gear from the backside.

Oh, and if you ever want to adhere a mesh ribbon to paper, I have two words for you: spray adhesive. Everything else leaks through and makes a big ol' mess. (I only had to try three other glues before figuring that out.)

So, what crafts do you guys turn to for instant gratification?

Doo Doo Doot Da Doot DOO!

OooOoooh, look at this updated Mario design I found via Likecool!

It's by MaroBot, who also did this larger version of Mario himself:

I love it! But now I want to play it. Curse you, MaroBot!

Actually, this week John discovered a site where you can play classic Mario Brothers online, using your keyboard. Yeah. That's been greeeeat for his productivity. Although I must admit there are worse things to listen to while you're working. Classic Mario soundtrack = instant nostalgia. Ahh, memories. Of uncomfortable square-edged controllers. Being thrown across the room.

What was your favorite video game growing up, guys? (Keeping in mind that your answers will *totally* tell the rest of us how old you are. Hehehe.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Low Brow Humor

I'd like to talk to you about my eyebrows.

See, I feel like we have this understanding, you and I. We can share things. We can tell each other our geeky dreams, our goofy nightmares, and our girly homicidal urgings. Right?


So, here's the thing: I have these eyebrows. And they're, well, opinionated. They like to be seen. They're also stubborn and pretty kinky, but maybe I shouldn't get into that just yet. Besides, the main problem is the astonishing rate at which my opinionated eyebrows reproduce.

At least, I'm assuming they reproduce. You know, in some bizarre mitosis manner, where when one is plucked out two more spring up to take their fallen comrade's place. Then they scream "death to Jen's forehead!!" in their scritchy little voices and march all night towards ear and nose country.

What, you think I'm exaggerating? Well, maybe just a little. About the scritchy voices. The fact remains, however, that I'm the only person I know whose eyebrows get a 5 o'clock shadow. Seriously! And I don't shave them! I pluck! Let's throw another exclamation mark in here!

So back in my twenties, I declared war. And, ok, I may have gotten a little overzealous. I may have spent too much time watching YouTube makeup tutorials by pretty girls who draw their eyebrows in. I may have thought I could "pull this look off."

I'll spare you the suspense: I can't.

In fact, I spent that phase looking both perpetually surprised and angry. Not a good combo. John looks back on photos of that time and calls it my "witchy-face stage." Also not good.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but occasionally I still fall prey to the just-one-more-to-even-it-up madness. Then I survey the damage and vow that this time I'm growing out some perfect Jennifer Connelly eyebrows.

Is it wrong that I still base by beauty ideal on Sarah from Labyrinth? 'Cuz if so, then I don't wanna be right.

About a week or two later I remember: I look nothing like Jennifer Connelly. (Dang it.)

Not to mention her brow hairs don't curl around to form perfect circles. Yep, that's right: I have Shirley Temples. So in addition to plucking twice a day, I also have to trim my eyebrows. (That, or find the world's smallest flat iron.)

Enough griping, though. That solves nothing.

Instead, let's focus on who to blame.

Personally, I'm gonna have to go with my Jewish roots. My big, thick, dark Jewish roots. Sure, ok, I don't need mascara. But at what price, people? AT WHAT PRICE? (And don't get me started on shaving my legs: I'm basically an ambulatory cactus by the time I towel off.)

Well, I suppose I could wave the white flag. Give up. Go "au natural."


Ok, girls, give: am I the only one with these issues? If not, then tell me your best eyebrow story in the comments; this misery would looove some company.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Fun

Project "Acquire a Real Pumpkin" was a critical success, thanks to John's quick thinking in detouring to a Winn Dixie (because Publix was closed) to find a certain cider (which they didn't have) and overall tolerance of my squealing like a toddler and insisting we get "this one, 'cuz it speaks to me." (I meant metaphorically.)

And now... [rubbing hands together] ...I'll just surf the 'net for a while to figure out what I'm going to carve.

Care to join me? :D

See, I have all these great links and photos that you guys have been sending in, and naturally I can't choose what I'm going to do until I explore ALL of them.

First, I should mention that Pumpkin Wizard has a great tutorial on how to turn a photograph into a pumpkin template. Although I don't really have a photo I want to carve, so... Next!

I can't remember who the first person was to send me the link to 100+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas, but naturally this was the one that caught my eye:

Although he's not technically carved. Heh.