Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oh yeah!!

And I made these bangles out of the band holding a wooden ammo box shut!

And I got a tiny bird bath!
The End.


Be Nice To Strangers strikes again.
I'll make it short.
Furniture for sale advertised on the board in the mail room.
Text the number to see if he has smaller stuff and/or fish supplies.
No luck on the fish stuff but he has a storage unit he can meet me at the next day to see if there are small things I'd like to buy.
I'm friendly. Get him talking. Have a lovely conversation. His computer is being weird.
He's got a car jack and stands that AFB wants.
I set up a barter. AFB fixes the computer he gets The Goods.
I ask what the problem is.
Ohhh, I can test that in about five minutes.
You live in the same apartment complex I'm assuming?
Awesome, I'll be right over.

So we end up hanging out with this older gentleman for quite a while.
Conversation across the board. Naturally it comes up that I'm looking for stuff to re-purpose. He mentions making dogs out of tennis balls. I say that sounds adorable.

Next day.
Meet at the storage unit.
He has made me my very own tennis ball dog. I squeal and say how much I love it. AFB points out that he has made my day.
Anyway, to digging.
I find a few little things I like (two little C clamps, cake pans, trivets, a rusty old trowel, etc) but the gem...
This terrifyingly old wood engraver. I fall in love.
Done digging.
I ask him how much for The Pile of Things.
He looks it over, looks at AFB and asks "So the dog made her day, huh?"
AFB tells him that he doesn't have any idea how much.
Guy grins over to me and says "Well then have a great day. You can have it."
Needless to say there was hopping up and down and tail wagging and a hug.

Oh yeah! And he had a few peg board hooks! So here's how the peg board and entertainment center ended up!!

Ugly, brown, ew

Slightly better, flat black (it's what I had)

Inside, organized with egg cartons, mail holders, betta fish containers and whatnot.

So you don't really get an idea of it being pretty cute once I put all the stuff on it (there's a fish where the TV would go) but I promise it's cute. I'll have to make a post of Finished Projects here soon.

I also loved the silly social statement it made. An entertainment center is expected to have a TV and other electronics. I used it for crafts, fabric, books, fish, and Things. I guess that's what entertains me.

Peg Board of Amazingtown

 Ugly, dirty pegboard.

Adorable, purple pegboard perfect for hanging in the kitchen

I even hung it all by myself!! Had to email my dad about finding studs. Yes I have The Whole Internet but it's nice to get that bonding moment.

And just think, I have three more pieces left.

Philosophy Proves True

Also entitled...
The Trail of Things

I've got this philosophy.
Be Nice To Strangers

That's it. Let me clarify to make sure you read that correctly.

Be Nice To Strangers 
does not mean
Don't Be An Asshole To Strangers 

You shouldn't be an asshole to anyone and you won't get any awards for simply NOT being rude.
Not being/doing something that you shouldn't be/do just means you aren't a dick.
Being nice to people is a step in a good direction.

Now that we've got that cleared up. *dusts hands off*

Why I Do This

Say you're nice to a cashier at Wal-Mart (those poor people need love).
You come back in a few days to make an exchange. Shit. You forgot your receipt.
No problem! You complimented that girl on her hair color and made small talk. She remembers you. She does your exchange without the receipt.

This is a small example. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that. Sometimes people are rude. Sometimes you brighten someone's day and they're never in a position to do something nice for you. Sometimes you're nice and they don't care. Regardless, it makes you feel better and it doesn't hurt so suck it up and say "Hey man, nice pants" every once in a while.

Bonus fact: I jam out to my music set to shuffle while I write. As I'm writing this post I'm also merrily singing along to I Hate Everyone by Go Set Go

Okay so on to The Trail of Things and Times When This Pays Off

I'll admit it. I cheated. I broke a rule. My living room was a mess of boxes and crates full of Stuff but we had NO WHERE to put anything.We needed storage. Badly. So I cruise Craigslist and find an entertainment center for $50. Talk them down to $40. So we go to pick it up (with two friends following in a Jeep to haul it).
Hello there strangers selling furniture. Let's chat.
We all got along just fine and had a grand few minutes of Get To Know You.
Apparently they clean out houses and sell what's inside at a big "estate sale" (yard sale prices) inside a warehouse downtown.
Entertainment center has turned into a lead!
We go to the estate sale.
Make out like bandits.
They'd been selling some small pieces of peg board, but I didn't get any.
Regretted that.
Next weekend I text them to see if they still have it.
"Sure do! Come on up to the house and get some! $1.50 apiece, how may do you want?"
They live on some PERFECT land out in the country. I'm talking house, barn turned house for their parents, two workshops that I can see, and what used to be a PETTING ZOO. They had to get rid of the animals but SO much space for little critters or gardens or whatnot. Get to talking to the guy, mention learning to weld but not having many scraps to practice on.
"Oh scraps? We have a miniature junk yard in the back. Just go around that house and grab what you want."
Cha ching! Three sevens across the board, snake eyes, Yahtzee, pass Go and collect $200 and an extra $100 for being fabulous.
Only found a few little practice pieces... but I did find THIS.

I spell Love T-O-O-L-B-O-X

I LOVE THIS THING. I have grand plans for it. You shall see it when it's done.

Anyway, to make my point, by simply extending as small a nicety as making conversation you can foster a connection that comes in handy later down the road.

Next Post

Pictures of the Entertainment Center
Another example of this working out and the Cool Things I got
Pictures of Peg Board

Horrible At Blogging

I am horrible at this blogging thing. I totally space on updates even when MILLIONS OF THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Maybe that's why I've spaced on this for, what, a month?

I have been busy and productive though!

AWOL, our salvaged cat, had a SLEW of little fluffers.

 Pile of Fluff

And I got THIS little beauty (thanks AFB!!)

Horrible picture of me. It was late.

AFB, our friend Sick and I were at Home Depot to pick up a few things. AFB had planned on getting a vacuum but I talked him into the torch instead. Score.
If you get a punk a blow torch, she's gonna want some solder.
So we got the stuff for me to solder with. Luckily Sick knows how and was a doll and showed me. We began an epic project I'd had waiting to do (needed the torch for bending metal) but solder wasn't cutting it (wrong kind of metal).
Luckily... SICK HAS A WELDER. So the next day I bring my little project-in-the-works over to his place and we finish...
This is Tyrone. He's made 100% out of Salvaged Things (you can do a scavenger hunt in my pictures of junk if you'd like) and he is outstanding. He's made from a a gasket thingy (his base), a pair of kitchen tongs (feet and wings), a beater from a kitchen mixer (body and neck), a hose clamp and smaller gasket (head and crown), and a weird piece of twisted wire (tail). I did it all myself except Sick gave him eyes and welded the crown on. I wasn't skilled enough yet for so delicate a process and he had to be perfect. He was an early Mother's Day present for (you guessed it) my mommy. I had her call me when she got The Package of Amazing so I got to hear her (literally) scream with joy when she opened him. You are missed, little bird, but I'm glad you have a good home.
I was so proud of him that when two of my neighbors walked by, waved and said hello, I made them come onto the porch to admire him. They glanced around at the breadbox full of scraps on the half painted desk, blow torch, tools, and spray paint and gave me this gem...
"So, are you one of those... you know... weird artist people?..."

Tyrone did a funny thing for me. I was so 100% in love with him when he was done. He was the first time I'd ever created something and not just seen a million flaws. He lit a spark in my heart with his goofy feet and fancy tail that's still going strong. He gave me the motivation I'd never had to create things and sell them.
Everyone had always encouraged me to dos o but I blew it off as kindness. In Tyrone though?
I see it.
I rock.
Since he was my vision and my handiwork (with some help) I suppose I had it in my all along.
I just never saw it.

He's sparked a flurry of ideas so expect many wondrous things.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Two out of three spool tables

Okay so I was gonna wait 'til I finished all three tables (from the spools) but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want the third one to be.
So here they are!
First, the tiny, citrus-y green one.
I've always been in love with colorful doilies so I finally had something to do with these two (they used to just be pinned up on a door frame in my old apartment). I've had the red fringe trim for a while but wasn't sure what to do with it. I am officially obsessed with fringe trim. I NEED MORE. I'm almost out. :(
This one is really really small because the area next to the couch is a walkway from the front door, but we needed a table there. So it had to be a very specific size. Luckily, this spool was that size.
Just right!!

Then we have a larger spool used to make a bedside table! Yay for slowly getting rid of the boxes-as-furniture look!
Okay so I know this one looks the same green color as the tiny table... but it isn't. It's actually a wonderful sunny yellow, my camera was just being a jackass. I'd painted it yellow, wanted to use the red trim, but needed something else. I had that curtain stuff, but it was a hideous off white color and had some weird stains. So I used some black dye a friend gave me and dove into my first attempt at dying. Seemed to do well! I then noticed those playing cards from some days ago and hey! They matched! So I glued those down flat. The screws sticking out the top needed to be highlighted so it wouldn't look like I was trying to hide them. I dug through my flat-backed gems and found red, white, and purple in the sizes I needed. I was thinking red, then maybe white, but didn't want it so matchy matchy. AFB was actually the one that suggested the purple. Huzzah for input! The black needed some sprucing so I dug out some giant purple gems and stuck those on the dips so that it'd hang right and Be Fancy. Totally looks like a fortune teller's table.
Close up of the top!

I'm wicked in love with both of these in a mad crazy kind of way. I'm thinking of going a different direction with the last one though... I'm almost out of fringe and have other plans for the bottom of the last. I can go a little more experimental since it'll be my nest-side table (why bed down when you can nest?). AFB seemed to be hinting at wanting this one, so...

Cozy Toes

One fact of life that I've noticed in my years of moving from place to place that has held true across state and cultural lines is this... If a boy lived here first there will be a towel for a bath mat.

Go home towel, you are drunk.

Gentlemen? This is a towel. Used for drying things. It is not a mat. Have you ever washed a towel that'd been soaking up water on the floor for a few weeks? Gross.

This, on the other hand, IS a bathmat. What, you don't see it? Okay let's break it down.

 Strips of t-shirt hem I had left over hotglued on to keep it all together.
Some of that weird no-slide rubber netting you put in your cabinet to keep your glasses in place.
Voila. Bathmat. That doesn't stink. The furriness hugs your toes like an army of tiny mice forming a sock around your foot. It's delicious. It makes you wanna go pee all the time just so you have an excuse to stand on it.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spools of Happiness (And also Crafts)

The internet has been wonky. This is upsetting. Since AFB got off early on Monday we went down to the cable place to see what was up with that. I stayed outside to poke around the streets downtown to see what I could find. Behind a locked gate (psht, locks) at the cable company there was a PILE of those spools that wire comes on. I stare longingly and move on, as it's business hours and they have our address.

But wait! What's that?! A man unlocking the gate? I bound over, startling the poor guy, and ask about gettin' me some hot spool action. He says I may not can have any 'cause someone just asked about getting some and he wasn't sure how many they needed. I wilt. Then AFB jogs over with a "Hello sir, I'm the one who asked about the spools." YAY!! So I got spools. Three. One rather small one as we need a table for the tiny area between the couch and a walkway. We're currently using a box. This is unacceptable. In fact most of our tables are boxes. There's even a fish tank on a box.

So yesterday was spent cleaning the kitchen, spray painting Everything, and then crafting some Things. Fear my hot gluing skills.

Not pictured are the plastic filing thingies and green organizer from the previous post. Don't worry though, they got painted too.
Unfortunately those spools soak up paint like no body's business. I can see it now "Don't use Bounty or other big name paper towels! One wire spool will soak up all your family's messes and lasts a lifetime!" (Insert clip of a lady wiping up juice with a wire spool)

So this means you gotta wait to see the finished products of the Four Things pictured here. To tide you over, you can see the mad organizing I did with the plastic things and some milk crates!
Because this is what "organized" looks like to me. Belts are hanging on the far side.
Yes that would be a Jackalope, marmot, and possum. Made the Jackalope, the marmot is Charles Chester Buckingshire III, Esquire (Buckingshire for short), and the possum is Aplin (he came from the WORLD'S LARGEST CONVENIENCE STORE, right here in Texas).
Tiny cup is a yogurt cup I cleaned and painted purple. I needed something to put spare change in.