Monday, February 21, 2011

I've been busy.  Between trying to get away from campus before 5 (which hasn't been happening, due to painting, mostly) and studying for Spanish or Genetics or Chemistry or something, I just haven't had time to create.  I guess I could technically post pictures of my paintings, but they're horrible.  Really.  They look like the very elementary Beginning Painting paintings that one would expect of someone who has never handled oils before... or much painting at all.  So no cookies for you.

On the other hand, my mother has acquired temporary custody of my pony alphabet and that pastel horse portrait, and won't stop showing them off every chance she gets.  /sigh.  I hope she gets prints made soon so I can get that portrait pushed on to its commissioner...

I've bought more books, yes.  Naughty me.  Goodness, I need some relief in the form of shelvage!

Also, my man thinks I have Brown Recluses shacking up with me.  Can't get a decent photo, but here's a sketch I sent to a buddy who happens to be an insect enthusiast...

I draw really lightly.  I'm sorry.  It doesn't scan very well.  And it was a quick ID sketch so it's not exactly glamorous.  Brown Recluse?  Mebbe.  I hope not.

Also, I've been nominated for the Stylish Blogger Award!  Really?  I guess they're scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point.  I really think I'm the last person in blogland to recieve this... and as such, have no idea who to pass it on to.  So let me know if you haven't gotten it yet, and I'll be happy to pass it on!

Thank you MMBCreations for the nomination.

There are rules that go along with receiving the award.
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!
So here goes...

!.  I'm 25, and a senior in college, studying both Art and Biology, and hope to go into Genetics, because it's sure to pay a whole lot better than being an artist.

@. I'm wierd, and tend to be really nerdy.  I can definately nerd out a the average person on a number of subjects. 

#.  My drug of choice is books.  (are books?)  Classics in general, fantasy that tends towards high fantasy, plus the occasional Michener and Anne Rice.  If they're hardback, and cheap, it's just unfair... I have to have it.

$. I also adore kitchen stuff.  Do I cook much?  No.  But I like to think that's just because I'm usually only cooking for myself, since I live with my little brother, who is perfectly content to huddle in his room with some Easy Mac.  I have plates and bowls and cups coming out both ends.

%. I am hopelessly impulsive, and my man has been carefully chosen to balance that trait out.

^. Speaking of him, he gets annoyed with me for decorating his otherwise very bare apartment.  I come home with stuff for him as often as myself, and can take credit for pretty much all the aesthetics there.  He secretly loves it.

&. I love to know how to DO things and MAKE things.  Crochet, leather braiding, sewing, carpentery, metalwork, painting, crafting... It's an obsession.  To be able to MAKE your own clothes or MAKE just the right decor thingy, or to MAKE just the right piece of horse equipment, or to even able to change your own oil (which I do), is incredibly satisfying (and definitely cheaper!)  My man's the same way, and that makes me happy!  He understands! 

So that's it.  Like I said, I have no idea who hasn't gotten this already.  I think pickings are a bit slim when they get this far down!

Sorry I'm a bit dry today.  Just slightly exhausted from workout soreness, walking around campus, and just knowing that there are impending genetics and chemistry problems to tackle tonight.  I know I'll be getting some decent sleep tonight, so you do too! Adios!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homemaking Pillow!

Goodness, I am having a wicked chocolate craving right now.  Flipping through my Google Reader is just torture, since everybody is going full blast with the Valentines treats.  There were picture of chocolate-on chocolate donuts, and chocolate drenched cookies, and chocolate goodies everywhere... Evil evil evil, and me trying not to eat sweets!  Come on, people!  Trying to LOSE the muffin top here, not add to it!  Gotta keep fitting into my size 1 Cruel Girl jeans! (which, by the way, I only fit into right now because I DECIDE I can fit into them. I never said it was attractive.  And before you gripe at me for saying "size 1" and not "size 14", I can at least say that this is the only brand in which I wear a 1!)

Anywho, I got busy yesterday.  Washed and dried and draped the couches in the canvas I'd gotten for them.  It's a HUGE improvement.  Though at some point I'll need to get a third canvas and form the arms and some pleated skirts, to trick the unsuspecting into believing that my couches are not hideous.

And suddenly the matching pillows don't look quite so bad.
Ok, yes, I know, but I did say "quite."  I never said "nice".


I thought it was interesting that the Home Depot canvases were whiter than the Lowes ones, which I've been using for the other projects.  But still washed up to be nice and soft!

Also, I tackled that pillow that I've been desperately trying to come up with.  I visited the last fabric store available, and it had even less cooperative selection than the others.  So I gave in, and decided to FORCE the fabric to bend to my will.  

I basically copied the shape of the case that was already on the body pillow...

Dying the canvas.  You're looking at a test strip.

Drying in the sun.

 After this, there was a period of sewing it altogether into the pillowcase, and then machine washing it (cold/cold). I didn't wash it BEFORE I sewed, because I figured the edges would shred WAY too badly, which they were already trying to do in the dye bath.

And then I painted stripes in an acrylic paint that I had lying around (Liquitex, "Red Oxide", about 13 years old and stretched with water). Maybe at some point I'll add the finer lines that made the original look that much more awesome, but I'm a little unsure of my straight-skinny-line-making skills.  So I stopped here!

That's my copy of Vanity Fair sneaking into the pictures.  I just finished it today, and I'm now a little horrified at how the movie altered the story to make Becky LIKEABLE!  Let me make it clear, if you've not read the book but seen the movie, that she is quite definitely a villain, with only one redeeming action in the whole book, which she then stomps on, or rather, dances on top of merrily with spike-treaded boots.

Anyhow, just my ranting.  I hate movies that take ridiculous liberties with plot (*coughcough* Dawn Treader *coughcough* Golden Compass *coughcough*).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Freakin' Cold!

 But at least it made for some pretty awesome picture taking.  This is my baby girl playing in the snow, wearing the blanket that I fixed up for her last month.  You can kind of see the black fleece that I sewed into the shoulder so that the blanket edge wouldn't cut into her spine.

Most of this is already gone, but I think this was her first time playing in any snow, and she was SO excited!

But that's it for today! I did manage to clean up a bit and do a workout video since I couldn't get to the campus gym, but that's not going to interest you at all.  Ciao!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Sew an Ottoman Slipcover!

I decided I'd had enough of my horrible orange Walmart ottoman - not only was it not a pretty color or design to begin with (I hate ORANGE and YELLOW), but it was actually saved from a dumpster behind one of the dorms on move-out day.

Read: dirty.

Hello, box.

So I sewed!

And then staged a picture! (I can hear the few of you that have seen my previous posts sighing in relief. Honestly, I don't know why you come back, my pictures are that bad.)

It's all really wrinkley, and the couch behind it is just draped with the rest of the canvas, but I'm happy! And I love my new book set :3 And my new Minnie Mouse sketch mug (for the illustrator in me). I think that all in all, including the props, which I may have spent $13 on... I spent $13 on this. LOL I already had all the material left over from the wingchairs!

I couldn't find any tutorials for it, just wrapped the top like half a Christmas present, tacked on some trim, and then did this trial and error bit for the skirt. Seriously, I couldn't find a single tutorial that would admit that anybody could be stupid enough to need a supersimple box pleat skirt explained (like me?). So if anybody wants a tutorial... while I will admit that I'm noobish and really just winged it, I did document the process.

(Post-Note: I just noticed that Much to Do With Nothing had done an eerily similar project on her blog. As I am a follower, I may have seen this and had the image burnt into my brain, but forgotten the source.  I thought I was doing pretty awesome though!)

Also, remember when I stuck it to the man last month? I bought ALL THOSE ART BOOKS and this little happymaker?

I loved Marguerite Henry growing up - I read every one of her books that was in print, and adored the Wesley Dennis illustrations. He is a huge influence on my more realistic drawings even now.

But you see this? That little "A" below "Edition of 1950"?

That means first edition.

Oh yes. I paid 50 cents for a $95 book (according to eBay). SCORE!

So yeah, just wanted to share that little win with you. Along with my awesome slipcover (if I do say so myself).

Some Wesley Dennis love!

Linking up!

Catch a Glimpse Button

Black Kats Design

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Testing, testing, 1 2 3...

Do we see potential? These are just some dropcloth scraps that are nowhere near big enough to cover the couch (the plan is to slipcover my ridiculously orange dumpster-save ottoman sometime soon with this) but at some point I'll be draping the couch with this same material...

And the question is: the pillow fabric - does it work? I just found it at Goodwill today, and took a risk and snagged it.

See, I have been obsessing over this picture that somebody posted on their blog a little while back (no idea who, I tend to just mindlessly save pictures for inspiration), and THAT PILLOW! I went right out and grabbed a body pillow, which was a very unfortunately cute blue graphic print, that didn't work at all. But that's ok, because I'll cover it (as) soon (as I find the right fabric).

I'm personally wondering if it doesn't have enough contrast to it, but I dunno. I really haven't been seeing many other great stripes at stores (they're SO underappreciated, apparently). But I don't know!

Also, it's really wierd that the wall looks green. It's definately more of a suedey brown color. Just sayin'.

Storage Situation: Solved.

This is where ALL my arts and crafting things go. Well, they did, back when they fit... since then, they have rolled over into ottoman storage and china cabinet drawers, with some of the bigger things just sitting out on desks. I've been trying to convince myself that since my sewing machine has a cover, it's perfectly acceptable to look at.

And those books I keep mentioning? Here's less than half of them. Another quarter of them are BEHIND these.

And here are most of the rest. I used to actually be able to use this for stuff other than books - it actually used to function as my entryway table. See my little purse just barely hanging on up there? And don't judge the terrible pictures, I'm really not a photographer.

Enter my lack of satisfaction with my space. I can't put things away because they simply don't have a home, and everytime I bring home a new book, I have to break my heart trying to figure out what to do with the other ones. I've got all my Marguerite Henrys piled in the back of those shelves, and that hurts my feelings. And those ART SUPPLIES! There's nowhere to put them all! Just plain nowhere!

So I went shopping, despite how much I loathe shopping (wait, did I say loathe? I might have meant adore.)

And found this gem!

It's not entirely what I was looking for, style-wise, but those drawers are perfect. FOUR ROWS of shallow drawers, deep enough to hold artwork!

Of course, now only a quarter of the woodtones in here are the mahogany that I want them to be, but after settling this in my man's apartment over the weekend due to weather, and seeing it against that white paint on his walls, I think that at some point I'm going to definately want it just the way it is.

Until then, it's not hurting my feelings.

No, it didn't actually do anything to alleviate the book situation, but man, I can organize my room now. O Happy Day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Visciously Attack My Closet.

I'm on a roll! With the home stuff, anyway... I should probably be studying Chemistry or something... but ANYWHO...! (who really wants to study Chemistry anyhow?)

The before. Well, this isn't actually MY closet... I kinda got REALLY overexcited and this just kind of happened really quickly, so I was way over and done before I realized I'd forgotten the before pic.

But anyways, here's the matching, nice little closet from my brother's room... with tiny skinny doors... wait a second, that looks like my clothes in here too! (teehee...)

Except... WOW, that closet seems to go on for ages in either direction! How do you even GET back there?! (Yeah, a man designed this whole apartment. But you could already tell that, couldn't you?)

Basically, the closet is about 7 feet wide, and as deep as a clothes hanger, with one tiny little 2 foot wide door. Trying to get to that sweater that's hanging by the wall is an actual physical exertion, because you actually have to DIG and WADE through your other clothes. I ended up savagely pruning my clothes collection because I simply couldn't get to half of it with all of that in there.

But I was sitting there last night, angry at my closet for sucking so badly, glaring daggers at it, when a lightbulb came on. I knew how to fix this ridiculous situation.

And After! (No judging the bad painting job or the wierd stripe... that's there because we removed a shelf support that really wasn't doing its job so that we could put some brackets up.)
Yep. I put rods in the sides. You could almost call this a walk-in closet now. I can now easily access the entire length of the shelf, so I can keep my boots and purse basket neat.

And just to show how much space there was in here, I stood with my back against one wall of hanging clothes and took a picture of the other wall. And there was all this space!

So that's it! I don't know about you, but I'm totally excited. I also got some possibly-totally-redneck plastic shrink-wrappy stuff to put over my horribly drafty windows (have I mentioned that there are only 2 windows in this 3 room apartment? And they're both in the living room. Yeah, no blackout curtains for me!), but I'm CERTAIN you don't want to see that. So toodles!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ugliest Couches. Ever.

Part One!

I have the ugliest couches. Oh wait, you say. How can you have the worst kitchen and the ugliest couches? Aren't you just making yourself a tad too special?

Oh. OH, you say.

The... the print... you manage to stammer.

Okay, okay, I'll stop. I can hear you retching from here. Can't be getting my poor, broke, student behind slammed with cruel and unusual punishment charges.

But the point is this: they're ugly. And I'm stuck with them. I may have mentioned this in the last post, but there is a LOT of my landlord's stuff in this apartment, above couches included. Now, it wasn't so bad when I moved in. There was actually a set of brown microsuede overstuffed couches here then, but somebody accidentally locked one of the barn cats in here for a week while I was gone on vacation (it actually was not me, Mr. Landlord and his family sometimes use my washer and dryer if theirs are acting up) and next thing you know, the bigger couch glows rather brightly under a blacklight. Yes, I say. No! you insist. But yes - barn kitty had used it as his toilet.

I begged for several months to have it removed. I attacked it with pet stench removers and cleaners. Finally, the smell just got bored with hanging around. Life returned to happiness.

Then I came home one day to find THESE monstrosities. We replaced the couches like you wanted! they cheerfully stated. ....Thanks........a lot.....

They smelled like old people.

They ... lurk. Like a decaying pile of overstuffed Navajo poo.

But you already know this.

If they had simply removed it, like I asked, I would have been perfectly happy with one less couch in my rather over-couched living space. Or I could have thrifted a cute little replacement that was NOT overstuffed. Because good lord, if there is something I have realized in my time in the South, it is that I HATE overstuffed furniture.

Ah, the what-ifs in life.

Part Two!

I went to Goodwill the other day. I couldn't help it. The little art store is in the same shopping center and I had to stop by for school supplies, and Goodwill was begging and pleading and threatening to kill itself if I didn't stop in. You know me, it whined, I have books! I relented, not wishing the poor store to do itself in, but didn't find any new books. (Trickster!) I did, however, find a rare collection of textiles. A gallon-sized ziploc bag STUFFED full of colored floss, for which my man's daughters (and my man himself too, shhhhhh) will go crazy for... and fabrics! I guess some crafter had just cleaned out their fabric collection, because there were actually a lot of BIG bundles of fabric. I snagged two wintery fabrics: a grey and white-specked woven of what I'm going to guess is a wool, and a kind of mauve-colored tweed. I was kind of debating about what I'd do with a mauve tweed, but I have this crazy tweed fetish so I grabbed it. I mean, it was a HUGE bundle, and it and the grey were BOTH $3.

Part Three!

Ok, so maybe I need to be a little less obvious so that there can actually be some surprise involved. This is like 1+1=2, isn't it? But even so, I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I was kind of thinking of upholstering a headboard in the gray, but this looks like a happy home for it in the meanwhile.

It almost looks like jersey from here, but it's not. It's all hairy and stuff, like what I think of wool being. Or maybe the previous owner just used it for a doggy bed. I dunno.

Peskykitty even gives her approval. And no, that's not her real name. She gets called a lot of things. Phoebe... Retard... and before you get upset, let me tell you: I had to tell her to stop chewing on an open container of pins. It's not licking windows, but it's pretty low IQ. I mean, you're a little less likely to stab your brain licking glass.

Not as crazy about the mauve tweed, but I am going to insist on it being an improvement. And I know you're envying my shiny gold map of Middle Earth, but you can't have it. It was totally an awesome present from a friend of mine.

I wish my curtains looked more ... right... in this situation, but they'll get some love later. There may be dropcloth slipcovers in the future for these couches... something that would properly envelope the totality of their awfulness. And I want to find the right warm-colored stripe fabric for the pillow.

There is a plan here. I promise:

Draping the couches in canvas (not worth slipcovering them, since they're not mine, and someday I'll have my own lovely couches that have SHAPE)

Tan and red (like the curtain red) stripe fabric on the body pillow.

PILLOWS in comfy looking colors and textures!

Better wall arrangement.

Basically, I want my scheme to fit the curtains and the rug. I love my curtains :)

Right now Peskykitty is doubling as a laprest for my keyboard. Yep, the name fits.