Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Avoiding the unavoidable

Don't panic, I haven't turned into a super blogger who writes long, important and correctly spelled posts every other day. I am simply avoiding doing something that needs to be done by doing absolutely everything else but that task. I do this all the time and I'm fully aware of what I'm doing and I don't like that I do it but I do it anyway. Is anyone trackin' with me or am I all alone out here?

The sad thing is that I'm not avoiding a root canal or anything like that. I simply need to pick up my beads and junk that I have spread out all over my art room/guest room and put clean sheets on the bed in there for Taylor's house guest who will be here tomorrow. It will probably take me less than 30 minutes to get it done...if I can ever get started.

I am fortunate to have an extra room where I can store all my art supplies and crafty doodads but when I get into a creative frenzy like I'm in right now, I tend to completely trash the whole room which is a slight problem on that rare occasion when that room needs to serve as a guest room.

When we were getting ready to move here from North Texas, the company Jayson works for sent a moving van to our house to pack up all our stuff and haul it here. That was a very cool thing since it saved us a lot of time and work and expense. There were some things we didn't want the movers handling so we packed that stuff up ourselves but for the most part we let them handle it.

The movers were 3 Hispanic guys from some moving company in Houston, which was odd since we weren't moving to or from Houston but we weren't paying for it either so they could have been from Mars for all we cared. Only one of the guys spoke English which ended up making things pretty darn entertaining. These were experienced movers, they knew what they were doing so they really didn't require much from us. One thing the supervisor guy (the one who spoke English) asked was how I wanted the boxes labeled from my art/guest room there. I told him to just label them 'art room' and that would work since they'd be going into another art room after the move.

We got all moved (and not one single thing got broken or lost) and when we began the process of unpacking all the boxes, I saw that the boxes in the art room had been labeled "Arte Room". For a while we referred to the art room as our son, Arte's room. Taylor had some peacock feathers in her room that the movers had carefully rolled up in some heavy padded paper and they labeled it "Girl's Room--Chicken Hair". We got a lot of mileage out of Taylor's chicken hair.

It might not be so bad if all I had to do was straighten up the art room but really "art room" is a misnomer. It's more of an art storage room since I don't actually do any art in that room.  I just store my art stuff in the 2 big closets in there.  The lighting, flooring and available space are just not conducive to a studio environment so I get what I need from the art room and drag it all over the house to work on it. Picking up the stuff I have strewn out all over the rest of the house is the task I will be avoiding after I get through avoiding this one.  I really don't need to put everything away, I just need to confine it to one area so we can at least appear to live like normal human beings, which I'm sure our guest will appreciate.

Since I still need to be able to get to all my little jewelry making supplies but I can't keep them spread out all over the guest bed and dining table, I decided to clean up a couple of printers tray/shadow box thingies that someone gave me a while back. I think I got these from Lacey Herbstler but I wouldn't swear to it. They've been tucked away for probably a year just waiting for me to decided what to do with them. They were pitiful little trays but they had potential so I held on to them. Since I'm in avoidance mode and didn't have unlimited free time to work on these, I decided to give them a quick sprucing up with some Old English scratch remover stuff.  It worked great. The dry wood soaked it right up making it look like I had stained them but I didn't.  I love the way they turned out.  I wanted them to still look sort of rough, not all sanded, finished and polished.  There's a drip on one of them that looks just like bird pooh but it's not. I checked. I think it's a paint drip. Apparently at some point someone was painting something in a lovely shade of bird pooh.

Have you ever noticed how when you say you will never, ever in a million years do something, that's the one thing you are guaranteed to end up doing? Most mothers probably think that most boys are not good enough for their daughters and most of the time they're probably right. That was the case with my mother but she took it to another level by doing everything she could to dehumanize the poor, unfortunate young men who had the bad luck to catch her daughters' eye. Any time my sister or I would start talking about a boy, our mom would never refer to him by his name. She acted like he was so insignificant that it wasn't even worth her time to learn his name. They were all called Whatshisface or THAT boy and make no mistake about it...she called them that to their face. Boys were never afraid of our 6'4" dad, but our mother was legendary scary. I swore I would never be that kind of mother and I really don't think I am but lately I've caught myself slipping a little. Take for instance Taylor's house guest. He has a name, I know his name, but I keep calling him House Guest. Since this seems to be the result of some kind of deep psychological scarring, I'm concerned about my ability to not call him House Guest once he gets here. What will happen if he gets here and I say, "hi House Guest, it's nice to meet you"? What if he goes to church with us on Sunday and I introduce him as Taylor's House Guest and never even mention his real name? What if he's reading this and starts making frantic calls to the airline to get his ticket refunded before it's too late?  Taylor would shoot me.  My name would be mud. Or THAT mother.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Serial killers, rusty metal, and a text from the White House

Has it really been 10 days since my last post?? I wish I had a good excuse but all I can say is I forgot to blog. Well, that and the fact that nothing has happened to make me think oh my gosh I can't wait to write about this, so technically it's not my fault. It's yours. I can't help it that all the people in my life are boring and not doing anything blog worthy right now. Although I have a feeling that will be changing shortly since Taylor will be having a house guest over the weekend. This is a young man she met on the internet who is flying in to meet her in person and will be staying with us. I can't even begin to describe the weirdness of it all. This could be a very bad thing or it could be a very good thing and I am equally concerned about both outcomes. I honestly don't believe this guy has misrepresented himself and will turn out to be a 40 year old serial killer or anything like that. But just to be on the safe side Jayson has stocked up on ammo and pre-dug a shallow grave in the backyard. We're just good parents that way.

For the past week or so I've been busy making pendant necklaces out of hardware, rusty metal, junk I've collected over the years, and these sparkly vintage glass rhinestones that I found on eBay. I love how they're turning out and I'm having fun making them. I usually don't sell the stuff that I make because then it feels like a job and sucks the fun out of it. But I've made an exception for these and put them on Etsy because, really, how many necklaces do I need?

Hopefully someone will come along and take these off my hands so I can move on to the next project. But not until I use up some of the cool plumbing and electrical parts I picked up at Lowe's today. Lowe's is just one huge art supply store for me.

When I finished at Lowes, I had a couple of other errands to run and found myself driving up Cameron on my way home. Cameron is a street that has a lot of industrial businesses, used car lots, salvage yards and other unattractive businesses that might be out of place on prettier streets. It also has more than its fair share of abandoned warehouses and other buildings which can serve as a really good source of free art supplies. It was an overcast afternoon and I had some free time so I pulled in next to a row of abandoned buildings with gravel parking lots and spent a good hour or more scavenging for treasures.

I didn't find a lot of stuff I could use for jewelry since most of it was too big. But I could probably use it to make some fun assemblages or something like that.  I found a couple of bottle caps and washers, several bolts and lots of chunks of unidentifiable broken rusty metal.

I'm not sure what it is about rusty metal that I love so much. It might be the colors. I'm fascinated by all the different colors and textures in a piece of rusted metal and how nature created them all by itself. I like how some metal corrodes and starts to break down when it rusts and other metal builds up layers and layers of rusty gunk until you can't tell what the original shape was. It's just beautiful. And playing with it forces me to keep my tetanus shots up to date so that's practically a health benefit.

Any time I'm scavenging or dumpster diving I tend to lose track of time and before I know it a couple of hours have passed. I tell myself that I'm allowed to stay and keep digging until I come across something that grosses me out. When that happens, I take it as a cosmic sign that my time is up and I need to go home. I almost always run into an animal of some sort but I'm usually okay with that unless the two of us are confined together inside a dumpster. When that happens, I leave and give the critter their house back.

Today I didn't see any animals but I did hear a good bit of scurrying when I got close to the bushes. Then my imagination took off without me and I started weighing the odds of me finding a dead body on one of my adventures. How gross would that be? I wondered if I would freak out or if I would be calm and I wondered what I would say when I called 911 and if they would play that recording when the incident appeared on Forensic Files and would I have to appear in court when the murderer was found and goes to trial and if so what would I wear? Then I was horrified to think that maybe the police wouldn't let me keep my rusty metal treasures since they were found at a crime scene and they might even get confiscated for evidence and how cool would it be if I just happened to pick up a piece of metal that contained the forensic evidence that solved the whole case?! Then I would be famous and everyone would know me as that woman who solved that murder case while looking for art supplies then all the best art galleries in the country would be calling me and begging me to let them do a show for me at their gallery. And then the White House would text me to try to commission an original sculpture for the White House lawn but of course I would refuse and when they said I could name whatever price I wanted and they would pay it, I would tell them that they must lift the drilling moratorium and compensate everyone who lost their job because of it and Obama would have to hold the biggest press conference ever where he would admit to being a total jackwagon and he would have to use the word jackwagon and look genuinely remorseful while doing so.

Right in the middle of Obama's press conference I got jolted back to reality when I ran across my cosmic sign that it was time to call it a day. My sign was not overtly gross (like the occasional condom or syringe that I run across) but it just looked like it could represent something potentially gross. It looked like one of those tyvek wristbands like you'd get at a bar to show that you're of legal drinking age. So I've heard. But this one had "XXX" on it which made me wonder if it was from some kind of sleazy adult theater or something and why would they need wristbands and did I really want to explore this line of thought with the mood my imagination is in today? Not so much. I tossed my goodies onto a towel I keep in the floorboard of the backseat for just such occasions and pulled out into traffic. I was satisfied with all the fun stuff I found but didn't give it much thought since my mind had already locked onto the next errand for the day. I simply had to find something decent to wear to court.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to get nowhere near rich as slow as humanly possible

Sunday after church we went to a new (to me) Mexican restaurant called Maya's.  Since moving to Lafayette 7 years ago I have learned that any time someone asks you where something is located, you are to give them directions based on where another business used to be.  It does not matter if that business closed a year ago or 20 years ago, you are expected to know its exact previous location.  You need not bother yourself with learning street names.  They change all the time and no one ever uses them anyway.  So, if you'd like go to Maya's it's where the old Evangeline Steakhouse used to be.

If you're looking for Tex-Mex you will be disappointed.  However, if you're in the mood for authentic Mexican, you're good to go.  The food was good and the salsa was not outstanding but it was good plus they serve it in those little individual creamer containers which just makes it fun.  Their chips are fantastic, by far the best in town.  You can watch Mama make fresh tortillas while you eat and I'm thinking they might use those for their chips.  The queso is also well worth the trip.  It's a white queso with really good flavor and just the right amount of kick. 

We rode over there with the Thibodeauxs in their new swagger wagon with a dash that resembles the cockpit of a 747.  Jamie drove and I sat up front next to her, Chad and Jayson were behind us and the kids were all the way in the back.  It was as it should be.  When Jayson got in the backseat, Jamie turned around and told him she thought we were all close enough now that she felt comfortable telling him that his junk was showing.  Well, technically it was just his undies which happened to be blue that day.  Jayson just crossed his legs and said, "yeah, I know" then started babbling about the gila monster and unleashing the beast and other completely ridiculous guyisms that made me and Jamie roll our eyes.  Apparently Jayson came to church well aware that he had a gaping hole in the crotch of his jeans and he was perfectly comfortable with that fact.  The only thing that could have made it worse for me is if he was wearing the underwear that had a matching gaping crotch hole.  Or a thong.  That's the stuff nightmares are made of.

After lunch we hadn't been in the car more than 5 minutes before Collin and Emily were overtaken by a post-Mexican food coma.  It wasn't long after we got home that Jayson and I looked pretty much the same way, except for the seatbelts.

This morning I was a little concerned about how my day was going to play out since it got off to a rocky start.  Me and mornings don't get along but unfortunately they can't be avoided.  I rolled out of bed at the crack of 8:30 and stumbled around in the bathroom during my morning routine.  I wear glasses but I take them off to put on my makeup and dry my hair so for most of my morning routine I'm flying blind.  Normally this isn't a huge problem since I know where everything is but there was one small out of place element that cause me some trouble this time.  I felt around in the drawer and found my toothbrush then remembered that I had squeezed the last possible drop of toothpaste out of the tube last night.  This wasn't a problem since I often have one or two little travel tubes in my drawer.  I grabbed one of them and squeezed it out onto my toothbrush, wet the brush then brought it up to my mouth and almost started brushing.  I guess it's true what they say about when one of your senses doesn't work properly, the others will kick into overdrive to make up for it.  Without my glasses I couldn't see what was on my toothbrush but just before it hit my lips my nose smelled it.  It was NOT toothpaste.  I put on my glasses and saw that I had loaded my toothbrush with Monistat.  It was the little separate tube of cream (that's exactly the same size as a travel tube of toothpaste) that comes with the yeast infection kit.  I still shudder to think how close I came to brushing my teeth with that.  That's the kind of yucky you never really get over.

Fortunately the rest of the day was uneventful and the evening was a lot of fun.  I was invited to a party at Painting With A Twist to celebrate Lane and Lacey's birthdays.  I'm so glad they invited me, I've been dying to try this place out.  I have to say, it was a lot of fun.  There was another group there besides us so it was a full house.  The painting we were doing was a zebra striped fleur de lis.  I liked the basic design, but the colors just would not be happy in my house.  Several of us brought our own paint colors to share so our group could have a few more options.  When we were done, we saw that everyone in our group changed either the colors or the design or both.  Everyone in the other group painted an exact replica of the sample.  I don't think their group brought enough wine.

Maizy came to the party with me so she could give my painting either a happy face or a sad face.  So far, she's giving it a happy face but it's not quite half done.  I did what I could while I was there but I really needed more time to add some more layers of paint for texture and I also desperately needed my Sharpies since the brush they gave us for outlining wasn't nearly small enough.  I'm going to continue to work on it and see what happens.  I'll either end up with something I can live with or I'll gesso the whole thing and start over.

It's looking better than it did at first, I'll say that much.  The stripes make it look sort of like a bumble bee right now but that'll change when I add more doodles.  It's definitely an improvement over where it started.  Before I added the black stripes and outline, Lisa and I both agreed that the top part of the fleur de lis looked like a vagina.  I'm just sayin'.
I sat next to Melanie, whose Indian name is Little Brush, which was a good thing since we both tend to get into the zone when we're painting so there's no socializing required.  Not that she'd get much out of me anyway but at least I had the zone excuse this time.

I gave Lacey and Lane some notecards I'd made out of some of my drawings as their birthday gifts.  I felt a little weird about it, I guess because it's the first time I've photocopied my art like that. I've given away originals before but for some reason this felt I was cheating or something, I don't know.  Anyway, I hope I can get over that since I've sent off one of my doodles to be professionally printed onto notecards that I'm going to try to sell on Etsy along with a bunch of other stuff.  Jayson was very excited since he's always nagging (he calls it 'encouraging') me to sell my stuff.  I then had to explain to him the reason for the phrase "starving artist".  I've sold a few of my things in the past as part of my 25 year long get-nowhere-near-rich-as-slow-as-humanly-possible scheme.  I just really, really don't like doing that.  I'd much rather give it away but unfortunately that won't pay Taylor's tuition.

Marti also made some special cards for Lane and Lacey.  They looked suspiciously like party napkins but I think that was part of the artistry.  You those fancy cakes they make to look just like a designer handbag?  Napkin cards could be the next big thing.

It's been a long day so I'm turning in.  Don't worry, I've learned my lesson so tonight I will look very closely before I brush my teeth.  With Jayson's toothbrush.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Adventures in Carencro

Last night Jayson and I went over to Mona & Ernie Fontenot's house to look at the progress on the man cave and give Mona some decorating ideas.  Okay so that was my reason for going there, Jayson just played with the dog.

Mona & Ernie live in Carencro, LA which is a tiny little town just north of Lafayette.  It has a lot of beautiful rural areas but that can make finding someone's house a little difficult.  Mona gave me her address but said that her street is sometimes not on the map so she gave me the name of a cross street to help find her.  That should have been a warning.

The sad part about it is that they live one street over from where Rhett & Michelle LaFleur used to live.  And although we'd been to their house several times, neither one of us could remember exactly how to get there.  Both of us also had a vague sort of maybe-maybe not memory of someone mentioning that the Fontenots lived close to the LaFleurs.  But neither of us could remember for sure where we got that idea so we decided not to rely on it.

The only reason Jayson was on this little journey with me is because I have no sense of direction and can get lost backing out of my driveway.  I'm actually very good at reading a map and navigating but I can't do that and drive at the same time.  I also have trust issues so even though I sometimes use the Garmin, I'm convinced that it's lying to me.

Jayson really didn't want to be there, not that he doesn't like Fontenots, but Ernie was at band practice and Mona & I were talking paint colors and fixture finishes which doesn't exactly excite him.  Jayson is one of those guys who if I said I wanted to paint our whole house in pink and green polka dots and buy inflatable furniture, he would say, "okay, whatever".  I do love that man.

When we got into the car Jayson handed me the Garmin so I could enter Mona's address.  I looked at it as if he'd just handed me the remote control to the DVD player.  This may not make much sense to you and even I don't fully understand it, let's just say that I have some sort of a mental block that will not allow me to learn how to operate a DVD player.  This is strange since I'm actually pretty good with most electronics.  I can hook up computers and stereo systems, I can figure out complicated software, I'm even fairly handy with power tools.  But no matter what I do or how many buttons I push I can never get the DVD to go back to the start menu and this has a profoundly negative impact on my life.  No matter what I do I get the same message: "not permitted", "not permitted", "not permitted".  There are 42 button on that dang remote and every single one of them are NOT PERMITTED!  What IS permitted?  It never tells you!  For the preservation of my sanity, I never touch the DVD remote and the Garmin is one step behind it.   

I explained to Jayson about how Mona said the Garmin might not find her house and she gave me the name of a side street but I don't think he was paying me much attention.  He just asked for the address, loaded it into the Garmin and it found the address.  As we got into Carencro we knew something wasn't right when the Garmin sent us to the other side of the interstate from where the LaFleurs old house is.  I mumbled something about this not being right but Jayson had complete faith in the Garmin and followed its best he could.  It took him a couple of tries to realize that when the Garmin said, "turn right", he's actually supposed to turn right.  One thing we heard a lot was, "recalculating....".

While Jayson was following the Garmin's directions on blind faith, I pulled out my iPhone and looked up the cross street that Mona gave me on Google Maps.  Then it has that thing where you tell it to get directions and it magically knows where you are and puts a dot there and another one at your destination.  I know it's some sort of GPS thing, but I don't understand how all that stuff works so it's just magic to me.  Like wireless internet.  And how the gas pump stops when your tank is full.  How does it know?  These are life's mysteries.

We arrived at the Garmin's destination which was an abandoned barn on a dirt road.  I had seen pictures of the man cave, this wasn't it.  Jayson muttered some colorful words at the Garmin and asked for the name of the cross street.  I gave it to him (again) and he programmed it in.  I told him it was on the other side of the interstate like we both thought it should be.  He said, "how do you know??!!"  Then I showed him my phone and he said, "if you have that why am I even here?!?"  I told him I can't drive and navigate at the same time.  He had to be there so that I could tell him when he went the wrong way.  Duh.

So, after listening to what was now known as the %^$#_) Garmin say, "recalculating..." a few more times, we turned around and got headed in the right direction.  Jayson was mumbling about certain landmarks as he got his directional bearings and then said, "this is taking us straight back to University!!"  I said, "that's right, see?", and showed him my phone.  I said, "you just go back to University and turn at that same place where we turned to go to Rhett and Michelle's house.  I remember it now."  Jayson was so distracted that he missed a turn and again we heard, "recalculating...".  Then I made the mistake of saying, "oh you should have turned there."  The glare he gave me caused my eyebrows to burst into flames but I suppose I had that coming.  Then he started calling the Garmin some names that were not very flattering and he said if either one of us said one more word we were both going to be walking home.  Having no great love for the Garmin, it was a little awkward to suddenly be on the same team but we both wisely kept quiet until we pulled up in the Fontenots driveway.

Mona asked, "did you have any trouble finding the house?"  And Jayson and I both cheerfully replied, "oh, no, not at all!" 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Stuff I Like

I spent a quite a bit of time trolling the internet over the weekend and I thought I should share some of the goodies I found so that you can join me on the cutting edge of...the...cutting edge.

I often get asked how I find some of the interesting things that I find and I have to admit that it's completely by accident.  If I'm killing time, looking for nothing in particular, I use either StumbleUpon or Alltop.  You tell them what you're interested in and they tell you where to find the good stuff based on your interests.  You have to register at both sites but they are free and the registration is so that you can customize your web surfing experience for maximum personalized yield with minimum oh-my-god-get-me-away-from-this-site-NOW trauma.

I find myself visiting fewer and fewer websites these days.  Blogs are where it's at.  I'll admit that I don't actually "read" a lot of them, I just look at the pretty pictures.  A lot of blogs will have a blog roll or a list of links that they like.  If I find a blog that I like, I figure I might like what they like so I visit some of their links...then some of their links...then some of their links, etc.  Same thing with Flickr.  I'll look at the profile on some of my Flickr contacts and visit their website or blog or Facebook page.
JustGano (Just Get A New One) is an interesting concept.  It's a jewelry site where you pay a monthly membership fee and build up a wish list of their jewelry that you want.  Every month they send you 1, 3 or 6 pieces from your list, depending on your membership level.  Shipping is included and the lowest membership level is $7.95/month.  That's not bad at all and some of the jewelry is pretty decent.  Taylor will probably get more use out of this than I will but I couldn't help trying it out.  The picture is of the first item on my wish list, which is on its way.  Even if I don't like it, $7.95 is still a heck of a deal just for the jewelry parts I can scavenge from it.

Thinking about Christmas right now makes me sweat but occasionally I run across things to bookmark for later.  I'm always interested in really different Christmas trees and decorations.  Not that I ever actually do them, I'm just interested in them.  I love this butterfly tree I found on ShelterPop.  This could make a really cheesy old white Christmas tree look elegant.

I saw another Christmas idea at The Long Thread.  These are a little more folk art looking than I usually go for, but I still like them.  I wish I had known about these 19 years ago.  My cat, Hymie (God rest his soul) was not at all happy about Taylor's arrival into the world.  For two years prior to that, he was was king of the castle and got all of our attention.  That changed after Taylor was born, and Hymie decided to get his revenge in the most heinous ways.  If we would leave shoes lying around, he'd pee in them.  If we left a pile of clothes anywhere on the floor, he'd pee on them.  If we left stuffed animals or any kind of plush toy where he could get to it, he'd pee on it.  If I left my purse open where he could reach it, he'd pee in it.  This was frustrating, but on the upside it forced me to keep the house picked up all the time.  I thought I had solved the problem by eliminating his targets until I was cleaning out some stuff in Jayson's closet and was hit with that very distinctive cat pee smell.  Since we lived in North Texas and we had winter for about 10 minutes every year, we often pushed our off season winter clothes to the back of the closet.  Jayson had a bunch of really nice sweaters that he kept folded up in a plastic laundry basket on the floor of his closet.  I discovered that Hymie had been using the basket as his own personal litter box for quite some time.  He saturated about a dozen sweaters, several were wool, one had leather strips on it (it was from the 80s) and I cried over a cashmere one that I bought for Jayson while we were dating.  The dry cleaner did what they could but whatever toxic acid is in cat pee had broken down the fibers in most of the sweaters so they were ruined forever.  Had I known about this little project, I could have some lovely little Christmas trees.  I can't remember exactly what we did to Hymie to discipline him but it must have been bad because he never did anything like that again until he got old and incontinent but you can't very well blame him for that.  He lived 21 years.  I miss him.

Okay, enough about cat pee.  At Craftstylish I ran across these topiaries made from little paper drink umbrellas.  How cute is that??!  Cheap, easy and adorable, especially for the summer.  I just love using things for a purpose other than which they were intended.  That sounds grammatically off but I think you get the point.

Handmade Charlotte is one of my favorite sites and I found this funky swing necklace on there.  These are handmade in Germany from either wool felt or beechwood and the prices start at $1,000.00.  I can think of a lot more fun ways to waste $1,000.00 but having a huge necklace hanging from the ceiling is sort of eye catching.
How About Orange is another favorite and they had some pictures of paint chip projects by Matthew Sporzynski.  You can see more of his stuff at Real Simple.  His sculptures are so realistic you have to look twice to see that they're made from paper.

Another paper item that I'm crazy about right now is Japanese washi tape.  It's a paper masking tape that comes in lots of decorative colors and patterns.  I can just think of all kinds of cool stuff to do with this tape, I wish I had a boatload of it.  Visit HappyTape and just try to resist.

I'm honestly not sure how I ended up there, but I spent a good deal of time at CBGB & OMFUG's website.  CB's was a punk/alternative rock club in New York City from the 70s until just a few years ago.  Although I'd heard of the club, like I've heard of Studio 54, I didn't know much about it other than it was a punk rock mecca.  If you have delicate little sensibilities, you might steer clear of this one.  But if you want a dose of in-your-face punk culture click on the link and take the virtual tour, but bring hand sanitizer.  The entire interior of the club, and I'm talking every single available surface, is covered in graffiti.  This is not the pretty, artistic kind of graffiti you might see on city walls.  This is the stuff you'd see on the bathroom wall of an old Phillips 66 gas station on I-35 just outside of Laredo...on acid.  The whole club is gross...but fascinating.  I think I got hepatitis just by taking the virtual tour but I couldn't look away.  It's sort of a shame that it doesn't exist anymore, it's the kind of place I would like to have visited some day.  In a hazmat suit.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Art Tart

Today I had planned to go over to Mona and Ernie Fontenot's house to check out the progress on their man cave and give Mona some decorating ideas.  I knew that Joel was going to help them float sheet rock and I thought I might go at the same time since having an extra person there increases the chances that someone will do something either stupid or hilarious that I would want to document.  Joel texted me at 7:30 this morning that he was on his way over there.  I really like Mona and Ernie but not enough to drag my butt out of bed at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.  I decided to wait until late in the afternoon since I was feeling crafty and wanted to try a couple of things I'd seen on the internet recently.  Wouldn't you know it?  Right when I was ready to head over there it started pouring down rain and again, there are few people that I like well enough to go slogging through the rain for.  The poor Fontenots just didn't make the cut today.

I spent most of my day today (okay, all of it) doing artsy/craftsy things.  That made it a very good day.  While I was trolling through Flickr, I ran across this cool looking paper flower thing and followed the link to a website with instructions.  I discovered something I'd never heard of before called origami crumpling.  The gal on this website used magazine pages to make flowers but I decided to use some decorative napkins that I had lying around.  They turned out pretty cute.

On that same website there was a link to a YouTube video with instructions on how to make mushrooms out of tissue paper.  Since you just never know when you might need to make a mushroom out of tissue paper, I watched the video and tried it with some tissue paper that I had lying around.  Yes, I have a lot of stuff just lying around.  I suppose if I did less art and more housekeeping this wouldn't be the case, but then where would I be?  I would be going insane in some institution while Jayson's new wife enjoyed my clean house, that's where I'd be.  So, you see, making tissue paper mushrooms isn't really an option for me, it's necessary.  They're cute, but I don't know what to do with them.

I finished doodling on my new purse.  I guess it would be more accurate to say I've reached a stopping point for now.  I may add more to it later but for now I'm bored with it.

Someone asked me the other day why I don't blog about my art.  I guess it's because I don't really have anything to say about it.  I don't even think about it all that much.  It

I guess I could show some works in progress.  I'm working on 3 doodles right now.  The first one looks a little bit like intestines at this point.  I'm hoping that once I add all the other elements (that I haven't thought up yet) it will lose some of its bowelishness.  If not I will send it to my sister who suffers from Crohn's disease and she can throw darts at it.  Or suppositories, which are a big part of your life if you have Crohn's.  Hey there's an idea for a game for those with bowel diseases.  Throw the suppository at the...bullseye.  It's times like this that I wish I wasn't a visual thinker. 
The next one is sort of a diamond shape that is my version of a shape I saw on some graffiti on Flickr.  I wish I had bookmarked the page or saved the picture where I saw it but I didn't and now I can't find it again.  Anyway, I have the bones drawn but I haven't decided where to go from here.

The third one has been nothing but a beast.  The background pattern was so tedious and confusing that I kept screwing up and ended up drawing some of it on the swirly parts where it didn't belong.  I sketch everything out in pencil first but that's just a rough guideline.  The design comes together when I put ink to it.  This one started to fall apart as soon as I picked up the pen.  Usually when I make a drawing mistake I can just thicken some lines or add an element to cover it up.  That wasn't the case with the mistakes I made on this one.  There were a couple of areas that desperately needed white out but that won't work in a Moleskine sketchbook.  I needed cream out.  So...I mixed up some craft paint to match the Moleskine's pages and used that to cover up my boo boos.  Now I'm in the process of coloring the image which will help to camouflage the mistakes even more.  I don't need it to be perfect, I just don't want the imperfections to be so dang obvious.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of YouTube demos on felting and I'm just fascinated by this.  I love all the colors of the fluffy wool and how you just kind of add water and rub it and it turns into a purse.  Actually I'm more inspired by the abstract wall hangings where they've added bits of silk and threads and other stuff to the wool as it was being felted.  I'm also intrigued by yarn spinning and would love to give that a try...on someone else's spindle.  I don't think I'll be investing in the equipment for that since it looks to me like I'd also be required to give up wearing makeup, shoes other than Birkenstocks, and clothes that are any color other than gray.  I think I also have to move to a farm and raise my own sheep and goats. That's just my observation. 

That's all I have to say about that.

Speaking of movies, have you seen any good ones lately?  We almost never go to the theater but we'll do Netflix or On Demand pretty regularly.  Last weekend we watched Alice in Wonderland but I think I'm the only one who liked it.  Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter was good but I was absolutely blown away by Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen.  Every little expression on her face and inflection of her voice was perfect!  And, of course, the whole movie appealed to my visual brain.

We also watched The Lovely Bones which I had already seen and Taylor had read the book.  I really love this movie even though, as a parent, it's difficult to watch.  Visually, it makes me think of what parts of The Shack might look like if it was a movie...which makes sense since the stories are similar.

At some point last week we very reluctantly agreed to watch New Moon with Taylor since she hadn't seen it yet.  She liked it.  She was the only one.  Twilight was one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time and New Moon comes in a close second.  Maybe I should have read the books, I dunno.  The weird part about it is that I love vampire movies.  This should be so right up my alley and it so isn't.  My sister says it's all about the love story.  These are high school students.  I can't get on board with a love story about high school students.  They all just need to be grounded.  And Edward...ugh.  The boy, bless his heart, looks like he's been hit in the face with a shovel.  And that sparkling thing he does is just plain gay, there's no nice way to say it.  Bella has one expression and it's the one where she looks like she just smelled sour milk.  Her boyfriend is a vampire but she still manages to accidentally cut herself every time she's around his family which tends to cause a problem.  So, her boyfriend Edward leaves her for her own good and she turns around and hooks up with Jacob who just happens to be a werewolf, the mortal enemies of the vampires.  After Jacob cuts his hair, he is much more pleasant to look at than Edward but evidently Bella has been blinded by Edward's sparkles and only has eyes for him.  Does this girl not see that she doesn't make wise choices when it comes to boys?  Who will her next boyfriend be, the Swamp Thing?  And she's not the least bit phased by it all. Yeah, I'm not a fan of the Sparkle Tart.