Sunday, November 16, 2014

Half-Baked Writing Advice & New Projects

Hey guys!

Thanks for all the support, advice, and virtual fist bumpage ("bumpage," heh) on my last post. I still have a lot of your comments to catch up on (I've been offline for a few days), but rest assured I *do* read and appreciate them all.

No new updates on the anxiety front yet, but I've been having fun with some new projects:

First, though I make it a habit to say no to just about every interview or writing request these days (lazy), I made an exception for Digital Writing Month, which one of my oldest friends helps run. My article isn't very long, so if you're curious what I've learned from writing both Cake Wrecks *and* Epbot, then check out Half-Baked Writing Tips From the Cake Wrecks Lady.

(Disclaimer: I did not pick the photos. The dog is not my fault.)

And while I continue to resist the urge to start putting up Christmas decorations (willpower... weakening...) I've been staying busy with other small projects. Like framing up new art!

 New steampunk canvas print from my friend Jasmine Becket-Griffith in the dining room.

And a new addition to John's man cave. We usually get boring solid color frames, but this one was too perfect:

Fun, right? The print is by Michael Banks of Sugar Fueled.

This weekend there's been a giant antique festival outside Orlando, and it's been *almost* cool enough to enjoy being outside for it. Anyway, John and I MAY have made a teensy tiny impulse buy yesterday....

WHAT.

We had it in the garage less than five minutes before we started disassembling it. We'll probably just clean it up, refinish the wood, yadda yadda, but I'm open to more... interesting... ideas. :D

Also, I found a small stack of different individual's funeral programs inside it, all from the fall of 1966. Um. Your guess is as good as mine - but if we hear any scratchy music playing in the garage tonight, I'm pretty sure John will be giving SOMEONE a free record player.

And finally, I'm hip-deep in some Potter-iffic craft tutorials, which are coming along swimmingly. Terrible pic, but here's a preview of the first one:


Really excited to write up this tutorial; it's super simple, and all 30 snitches only cost about $3 to make!

Of course, I really need them hanging on a tree for a PROPER picture for the final tutorial, don't you agree? Yes? Aha! I knew it.

John! BRING IN THE CHRISTMAS TREES!!

Happy Sunday, y'all.

41 comments:

  1. EEEEE!

    Snitches! So beautiful!
    Totally doing this, can't wait for the tutorial! :O

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  2. YES. So excited for the snitch tutorial! I ordered some old-style keys I was planning to turn into Christmas ornaments; maybe they'll have to become winged keys, and I can have a whole HP tree!

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  3. My dad had one of those old record players and we had all the fun playing scratchy 78s on it in the basement. Also, Golden Snitches! I'm not a crafter, but that got my attention.

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  4. Ok, first of all, I was going to put off the article for now, but "the dog is not my fault" got me curious. I liked it. (even the dog)

    Now, SNITCHES! Such a tease. Not that I can do anything until I finish my latest project; painting the living room. At least all of the wall paper is finally down (all 3!!! layers), and the gouges from the last person to strip the wall paper (whom I am pretty sure used a chisel) 50 years ago have been filled, along with random mystery holes. Now to the fun part, priming and painting. Then I can get back to my projects that have piled up waiting.

    Huh, maybe snitches will have to bump something on my list when the tutorial comes out.

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  5. Looking forward to the snitches tutorial!!! Does this mean you might have a Harry Potter themed Christmas tree?

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    1. Yes, yes it does. (eeee!!)

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    2. We've been throwing around the idea for a HP tree this year too!! Can't wait to see what you've done!

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  6. That's the spitting image of an Edison disc player a friend of mine had. If it is, it won't play standard vinyl records, but you can sometimes pick up Edison discs at antique markets.

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  7. OMG I love the snitches! Must have!! You have such great taste, your stuff always looks so cool!

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  8. Cannot wait for the snitches tutorial! They look amazing!

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  9. No, no, no, you can't post something crafty and wonderful now! I don't have time to add anything else. *Pout.* I am now mentally scanning my to-do list to see what can be shifted off to someone else or ignored entirely. There's got to be something . . .

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  10. Oh my goodness...snitches! The 9 year old I babysit after school is so into Harry Potter right now, she totally re-did her bedroom to a Potter theme. (well, a bright orange & hot pink Potter theme...with My Little Pony accents. She is 9, after all.) Anyway, I can't wait to see the tutorial! She'll love reading it with me, and then she'll talk about it all the time and explain snitches to my 6 year old son and get HIM excited about it, even though he's still not ready to hear/read the Harry Potter stories yet.
    And I love your steampunk dining room! I am slowly adding steampunk accents to our living room, but we have a long way to go before it looks any good. I like looking at all the photos of your dining room for inspiration and to show my husband that it will fit with our house.

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  11. I envy how you and John are able to restore those sorts of antiques and give them function again! Also, those snitches are so cute--can't wait for the tutorial! :)

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  12. I love your little steampunk nook. I love the little art doll, but I'm surprised you haven't coated him with metal paint to give it a robot look. That would be fun!

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    1. That was our first thought when we bought him - just haven't gotten around to it yet! Maybe someday I'll transform him into a steam-powered marionette. ;)

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  13. AH!! THOSE SNITCHES!!!!! Please please PLEASE post your Potter tutorials soon -- my Quidditch team is throwing a Yule Ball for a fundraiser at the end of January and I would LOVE to make those ornaments to decorate with!! Thanks!

    --- Sophia C. :)

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  14. I walked right by that record player on Saturday and thought about your tutorial and mentioned it to my mother. I'm glad we didn't buy it and that you got it. Now it will be turned into something beautiful. Instead we got some old primitive mirror frames and an old map from the 60's. I love Renningers.

    Sara L.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, a fellow antiquer! Maybe we'll see you there next time; I think they're doing another big fair in January.

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    2. They also do one in late February, in case you miss the one in January. We try to go to at least two of the three every year.

      Sara L.

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  15. Those snitches are so great. Desperately fighting urge to start planning a Harry Potter tree for next year... (this year's tree has been planned since last year's day after Christmas sales. WHAT. Doesn't everybody do that?)

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  16. We put our Christmas tree up last night, so go ahead with yours - at least you can say you weren't the first to put one up!

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  17. Loved your writing advice. I have an incredibly small blog and have been working on improving my writing; your post is one of the most helpful I have read on the subject! Keep being awesome!

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  18. Can't wait to see the snitch tutorial!

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  19. OMG! Love the snitches but I want to talk about the record player.

    Squee!

    1. It looks like there is a ton of mildew on it. You'll have your research cut out for you on killing that off. Definitely do kill it off though.
    2. Be very careful stripping it - if it needs it. You want to keep the patina if you are keeping it natural wood (as opposed to paint).
    3. If you don't want to keep it as a record player, I can see it as a great mini-bar. Take out the record player, insert new shelf and store glasses there. In the cabinet below store beverages of your choice.
    4. The fabric behind the speaker grill is probably very fragile/rotted. You can always dye muslin with tea to get the aged look.
    5. Love, love, love!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips; we're total newbs at this! I do want to keep the natural wood, so we were debating a light sanding vs stripping. Any thoughts on that?

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  20. "Almost cool enough".....I'm going to have to let that one slide, while I enjoy our wind chills in the single digits.

    *to self*

    It's not -50, it's not -50.....

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  21. Kitten Picture! SQUEEEEEEE! :)

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  22. Holy moly! Is that mass of amazing blooms on top of your apothecary cabinet a real plant? Orchids? Man, that is spectacularly gorgeous, and the flowers complement the print and the ray gun so nicely! You (and/or John) must have one hell of a green thumb.

    Loved the writing tips article. So glad you took the time to do that. All great advice, and it was enjoyable to get a peek behind the scenes.

    Those snitches are really cool. Can't wait to see them on your tree.

    Have fun with your record player cabinet and your Christmas decorating! Looking forward to the "big reveal" posts!

    KW

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    1. Aw, I'm afraid that's a fake orchid; I'm terrible with plants! But I'm with you on the colors - I like how the bright fuchsias work over there. :)

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  23. I love that the comments on the article you posted are "Great artic... OMG DOG EATING PEOPLE CAKE!?!" LOL

    It was a good piece though, even with the show boating pup :)

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  24. Can't wait to for the snitch tutorial! I've been looking for a craft for my Christmas party....this may be the winner :-)

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  25. That record player is seriously cool. If you don't care about keeping the value of the antique, maybe create a glass/plexi-glass addition somewhere to watch the gears at work? Maybe add a glass front with a cross-stitch woodwork? The sound foam/fabric would be hard to fix, but inexpensive to replace.

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  26. Yay! Harry Potter!!! I am totally obsessed with the Potter books, ....and fanfictions, and movies, and fanarts, and crafts. :P I just ordered a snitch bracelet from etsy and I'm planning on getting/making quidditch themed earrings and a necklace eventually. I can't wait to do your Potter crafts. ♥

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  27. I am SOOO excited to learn how to make those snitch ornaments! I had the best time last year making metallic, glittery nutcrackers based on another one of your tutorials, so I'm looking forward to another simple craft to tackle over the holidays :)

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  28. Would you please, please, pretty please take the doors of of that and the shelves out and either make a) a pretty cage for an exotic creature like one of these http://wood-splitterlee.tumblr.com/ OR b) make it into a neato-cool glowy steampunk experiment. Because that would make me super-duper happy. And hopefully you'd like it to. But revarnishing it would be pretty too... Anyway, this is my first comment and I like both your blogs a lot :) Your crafts are lovely and I approve highly in your taste in films (The Princess Bride for the win). Thank you for letting me live vicariously through your con pics as well :D

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  29. Love this post! I had to re-read it several times to give each portion its due attention. The writing article was wonderful, so very YOU. I cannot wait to see your work on the cabinet and the Christmas Snitches. I love the steampunk corner, and the newest addition to John's man cave. Because I share a house with my sister and we have very different tastes, it took some time to agree on a decorating style. I will never be able to have those fun nooks in my house, so it makes me happy to see yours! (I do think I may be able to sneak a few Snitches on to the tree, though)
    Thank you for building this lovely community, I just adore visiting you all!

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  30. Almost all elderly people I know collect the funeral programs of the funerals they go to. Maybe the former owner lived in a senior community - I imagine if the community is large enough funerals are probably quite frequent. And maybe that is just the last stack s/he collected and didn't get to sort into some box or album. By the look of it the cabinet spent the last half century in some basement, so that would fit the timeline too.

    When we cleaned out the house of my hubbies grandpa (that was owned by the family for a couple hundred years, and was probably not cleaned out by the former owners either), we found some really cool old stuff in all the rubble. Like a forged lock where you need two keys and know the proper tricks like hidden latches and turning in different directions in a specific order to open it. Even though both keys and half of a handwritten instruction where attached to the lock, we spent the better part of the day to figure it out. Compared to todays door locks this is high security.

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  31. My mother has the same Victrola. Does it have the crank? Does it have a stylus? They're a wonderful piece of history. I hope you plan to restore it.

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  32. If that record player can't be restored for... record playing... what about a steampunk dry bar? Between you and John, I'm sure you could find a way to make the turntable into a lazy susan full of (maybe crafted/embellished) bottles. Maybe an antique seltzer bottle too? Although I feel like you could recreate one of those too if it's just for show. Of course, you'd have to be sure the top will stay open. That could be a good reason to add extra decorative hardware.

    The shelves inside could easily hold glasses, bar tools, and some towels. Then again a towel bar made from aged copper pipe on one side would be pretty sweet too. And ooooh, that filigree front would look awesome with some soft glowing neon lighting behind it... Of course, if you don't want to use it for a bar- that turntable would be a pretty sweet place to display your Halloween vignettes.

    Cannot wait for the Snitch ornaments tutorial... what a fun idea!

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  33. Oh, please, please, *please* don't do anything beyond restoration to that record player! Antique furniture, especially anything pre-1920s, is getting exceedingly hard to find in good condition. Have you ever been to a flea market and seen a beautiful piece of wood furniture that someone in the 80s covered with ugly gray paint? I know you have excellent taste, and I know that whatever "interesting" thing you'd do would probably end up looking good, but you don't want to look at it in twenty years and think, "Hm, maybe that wasn't such a good idea." Conversely, I think restoring it and cleaning it up is a great idea; it'll look beautiful among everything else in your house! (Not to mention that a fully restored record player may be worth something someday...)

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