Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Yeah little ones, I've been neglecting you. Though I'm about to enter another one of those sporadic "one week of a new post every day" kind of periods because I am motivated, that's why.
This post is just to let you know that the temporary dearth of posts is because I've been trying to get all my Spring cleaning done. It is apparently a feeling as old as the human race. When the temperatures start to rise, I suddenly have this urge to clean out my closet, use q-tips to polish my silver and even reorganize under my bed. Notice how sparse my dresser is... yeah, that's the fruits of my reorganizing labor. No piles of junk or stacks of things to sort through here! I'm all straightened out.
Oh and I generally think of each room in my little apartment as corresponding to a certain season. My bathroom is summer, my living room is winter, my dining area is fall and my bedroom is spring. So I wanted to post a picture of the fresh spring colors that fill my bedroom. In the deepest, coldest part of winter (not like you'd have too much pity on a Texan in winter, that cold time I speak of is something hovering around freezing on a bad day, not like the coldness of winter up north), having a spring bedroom lifts my spirits so.

Almost as much as the fact that baseball opens in one week (well, less than that...). I'm all smiles. Oh and this year MLB is selling team-themed gnomes. Really, I'm pretty sure that just about sums me up in one ridiculous item. A baseball themed gnome.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Brr-Rrrr, Heavy Traffic

When I was a child back in the days of "C:/" instead of today's visually intuitive computers, my daddy bought me (or maybe he bought it for himself, fuzzy memory) SimCity. I'm not going to say it was the very first ever edition of SimCity, because I really don't know. Alls I do know is that I loved that game. LOVED. It was so fascinating. I could build a whole town. And then destroy their power plant and see how long they'd live without electricity. In many ways, SimCity might just be what started it all. From there I graduated to home design software (I'd try to fit all the essentials -- stove, fridge, toilet, shower, bed, door -- into 100 square feet or less. I think the best I ever did was 80 square feet, in a house where the bed was stacked above the fridge and stove, which, obviously, would be a really pleasant place to live). And from that software, I started to read interior decorating magazines, study art history and ultimately become a craft blogger. Wow, what a progression...
And you may wonder why I am mentioning SimCity in conjunction with a picture of my kitchen. I'll tell you: in the SimCity of my youth, when you had traffic congestion, a radio helicopter-esque voice would say, "Brr-rrr-rrr-heavy traffic." Or at least that's how my dad and I interpreted what the guy said. And it joined the Henry family lore as a family phrase -- brr-rr heavy traffic. It's right up there with "tit-titilly-boo," "teeka-teeka," or "fiffffty." And if you know much about we Henrys, you may well have heard these phrases. Well, when I was painting this piece of glass (detail shown below), I could only think of one phrase, "Brr-heavy traffic." I don't know why it reminded me of a busy SimCity, but it just does somehow.
I painted this 1 square foot piece of glass over the weekend. I thought I'd tuck it in behind my kitchen CD player and radio to create a little vignette right there under my canned goods cabinet. It's about three layers of paint deep, so it's pretty busy. Good thing it is nice and small. The color palette is a range of colors of the rainbow between orange and blue -- all my yellows, greens. It's like Mediterranean citrus colors, the palette of a bottle of Orangina (seriously consider clicking on this link, if nothing else than for the cute little Vespa graphic). All the swirls, curls and zigzags are very tightly wrought. And there are dots on top of dots. Plus I used lots of shimmery and glittery paints so that the whole thing really sparkles, much like the fizziness of a bottle of Orangina sipped in Italy... (cue some Dean Martin and daydream with me).
Frankly, its been a long, long time since I last presented a painting. This is partly because I didn't bother to post my last three paintings and partly because I thought ran out of glass and keep forgetting to order more. But over the weekend I found this pristine little piece and pulled out the paint trough. It felt so good to get back into the paint-covered swing of things. I found three other plates of glass -- all so well organized that I just forgot how neatly tucked away they were -- so I have lots to work on. Keep your eyes peeled for more.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ahoy! Welcome Prince

I'm just plain kicking myself for not taking better (or more) pictures of this craft project. What was I thinking? Just two decent pictures to show and only four pictures taken in all. And I'm so proud of this project. Today and, well, sometime soon I'm showing pictures of some crafts I created for a baby shower for a lovely lady from my church. Today I'm showing off the nautical theme flags. I see these sorts of stringed pennant flags in Pottery Barn kids catalogues (seriously, buy something from them once and you're on the list for years) and in Martha Stewart magazines and I was dieing to give them a try myself. Most of the flags you'll see are sewn. And I have a bit of a phobia about dusting off the sewing machine so I tried to think of how I could do pennants without using a sewing machine. And here's the recipe I came up with.
I'm a huge fan of liquid starch. It's uses are limitless. I completely saturated the fabric (approximately 2 yards) with the sticky stuff and hung the fabric over my shower bar to dry overnight. And when dry, the seersucker was like paper. I was able to cut it with scissors for paper and paint on it with poster paints. I cut an isosceles triangle out of a box of Ritz Crackers, leaving two little inch long tabs along the top of the triangle to use to attach the flags to the rope. And here's a true essential for something like this -- I created a template for where and how large to place the letters so that the lettering was consistent from "W" to "O" and each letter in between. I used the same box of crackers to cut out a box for the letter and I made sure that each letter touched the top, bottom and sides of the box when it was placed over each flag.
I used scrapbooking brads (cheap from the craft store) to attach the flags to the rope.
This is something worth doing for a party because it provides some great craft bang for your buck. I should also mention that a trio of Command Adhesive hooks anchored the project to its walls and came off with no problems. This project cost around $13 in total:
  • Fabric -- $5 from the Harry Hines fabric outlets
  • Brads -- $3 for 80
  • Rope -- $2 from the hardware store
  • Liquid Starch -- $3 from any old grocery store, near the fabric softeners and detergents.

And from that I have plenty of starch and brads left. The compliments came pouring in as the guests arrived for the party.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can't Stand To See Them Go

St. Valentine blessed me with a pair of flower arrangements this year. What can I say, I'm a lucky girl. Oh that and my Granny loves me (aww, Arkansas!). And while the bulk of the flowers in the arrangements lasted a good week or more, when it came time to throw out the flowers, there were three white carnations with life left in them still and a heck of a lot of greenery that still looked nice and fresh so I decided to do a quartet of mini arrangements. I have a little collection of baby glass jars/vases and I thought they'd pair nicely with some bone china candle holders. I tinkered around with a lot of destinations for the four little flower holders and after a stint in my bedroom, bathroom, desk area, kitchen, living room window sills, they found a good home atop my light-up liquor table. I had to turn old Queen Victoria on an untapped bottle of Bombay gin on her side to prop up one little vase, you know, to give the arrangements so height variance.
I was pleased with my camera's treatment of these pictures. Usually shooting candles and twinky lights can be dull. I thought the colors turned out pretty vibrant (and I cheated with a bit of dramatic photo toning). So I am showing three pictures. Below is a shot of a single vase and then a view from above.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanks for Voting!

Sixteen of y'all voted on my wall arrangement. Thanks! And the winner from the get-go was B. So B it will be.
I had to mess around with the blog's layout to accommodate the voting and I'm glad it is back to normal, though with updated "spring" colors. I was getting tired of the old font color scheme. And I'm really looking forward to spring this year; I don't know why exactly since summer follows spring and that's never any good in Texas.
So enjoy it. It's March and we're rocking some bright, refreshing greens and blues over here in my corner of the internet.
And thanks again for voting. I would promise to upload pictures of the wall when it is all finished, but I'm not very good on following through with these promises so I won't promise. I'll just say I'll try. Happy Monday...