PunkconformityLife, history, and the pursuit of knitting.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

El Elefante

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The Boy and I had a conversation the other night, and it went a little something like this:

Him: What are you doing?
Me: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
Him: …Try me.
Me: Baking an elephant.
Me: Yes. His ears have mocked me one too many times.

(Not without result has Miguel teased me about my big ears all these years.) But I was, in fact, baking an elephant.

Awhile back I saw a really cute wooden elephant ring holder at World Market, but they wanted an outrageous $12 for it.

Rather than fork over all that cash for a piece of balsa wood painted to look like an elephant, I took this crappy camera-phone picture with the intention of making one myself when I got home. Well, needless to say, as is the case with so many projects that require the use of Daddy’s tools, that never happened. So the other night, I sat down and made one out of some of the Fimo that we had in the studio.

It took three of the small, trial-sized blocks of Fimo (in three different colors, no less) to produce this baby, but I think he’s absolutely adorable. I didn’t like the way the ears were just painted on the other one, so I attached a pair that stick out the way elephant ears are supposed to do. I baked him for about 17 minutes at 275, and he came out perfectly.

Then I painted him dark grey, with black eyes. He looks just like a little baby elephant enjoying his bath, which means he fits perfectly in the center of the blue dish I use to hold my post earrings, which is exactly where I wanted him to go.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Maybe we should up and leave this town..."

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It is too hot to knit. At least, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why took me three weeks to finish Steven’s golf club covers, when it should, by all rights, have taken me three days. We’re trying to save money by not turning on the AC too early, and thus, by the evenings, the temperature upstairs (where I usually do my knitting) more nearly resembles that of the surface of Venus than any place on earth. Now, I’d rather be too hot than too cold, but I’m not going to exacerbate the issue by knitting when my palms are already too sweaty to hold onto the needles. So needless to say, it’s slow going on getting all my knitting-for-other-people out of the way. I think Adin is about to despair of ever getting his mitts.

The woes of house-hunting have come upon me. I am not complaining about having to look for a place – that aspect of the whole experience is wonderful, as it means I am employed, something I could not be more grateful for and excited about. I’m complaining about the fact that it is next to impossible to find a decent place, in a decent neighborhood, with a fenced-in yard. Who knew it would be so difficult to keep big dogs in a part of town that does not have drug-dealers, murders, and thieves? Apparently – according to the rental home industry, at least – only sketchy people have dogs larger than 25 lbs. And supposing you do find a place in a decent part of town that claims to have a fenced-in yard, this is no guarantee that the area that is fenced will in any way resemble a “yard.” I looked at one place the other day with a “fenced-in yard” of – I’m not exaggerating – two feet by two feet. What kind of dog can you keep in that, a tea-cup Chihuahua? But I have until the end of June to have found and moved into a place, so I’m trying to have patience and keep looking.

Something I learned recently: Milk paint is difficult stuff to work with. Or, let me rephrase.It is difficult stuff to use on furniture that has already been painted. It’s hard to get the mix to come out with the right consistency, without lumps, and close to the same color as the previous coats. Even after following the instructions, sanding my side-tables down to almost bare wood and using the extra bonding agent, I’ve still had to put on four coats of the stuff to get it to even remotely resemble paint. The problem may only be that I’m trying to paint something with spindles, which is never easy, no matter the paint, but it’s hard to even get the flat surfaces to come out right. And the thing that bothers me the most about the whole experience is that it cost $30 for a pint of the stuff, and it’s not even coming out the way I want. I feel really bad about wanting to wuss out and use real paint after forking over all that money for the milk paint, but I would also like to get these tables painted some time before I die. It’s a conundrum. I suppose I’ll wait to see how it looks in the morning before I make my final decision.

Here. Have a picture of the puppies to make up for all the whining.

What I'm listening to: "A Little More" by The Audreys
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Necklace Holder

In case you were wondering why I've only been blogging about the things I'm making/fixing, it's because that's really the only interesting things going on in my life. Not much happens when you live at home with your parents. I could tell you all about the applications I've turned in that have been totally ignored, or the interviews I've had that have gone nowhere, or all the laundry I've folded, but who wants to read about that? I sure don't. Living it is boring enough.

There was an interview two weeks ago that I'm pretty excited about, with the advising center I worked with previously. Getting it would mean I'd be getting started on the career path I've been dreaming about for years, not to mention I'd have a reason to move back to the 'boro, which I really want to do (despite the fact that so many people have moved away in my absence). I'm fluctuating between excitement, nerves, and total uncertain misery. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and I feel marginally stupid for being that invested in just a possibility, but it's my dream job, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.

With all that boring, whiney stuff out of the way, let's get on to the latest project. My necklace holder.

I took an old picture frame, painted it white, drilled some holes roughly half an inch apart along the top and screwed in some small brass cup hooks. I had originally intended to knit a lace insert for the middle of the frame, but the list of knitting projects is already miles long, and what with the recent slow-down in knitting output, I decided a picture would be the quicker option. So I played around on Photoshop using some images from the Graphics Fairy, some old jewelry ads from the 20s, and Dorothy Parker's poem "Observation," until I came up with an image I liked.

I printed it out on a piece of fabric-covered cardstock (I really like the texture that gives the image) and fitted it into the frame.

Unfortunately, now I have to repaint my earring holder because the whites don't match. Ooops.