Friday, April 19, 2013

Man these fairies are difficult

My pride and joy.

As you know from this post, I am venturing into the world of fairy houses.  Since this is my first time, I have been experimenting with some ideas and failing at quite a few of them, which has been incredibly frustrating. I've found that it helps if I envision a pissed off little fairy bossing me around, at which point I obviously sass back, and this turns into a full blown confrontation and the only benefactor of this is my cat, who no longer has to deal with me yammering away at him all day.

Anyhoo, progress is moving along on the fairy houses, and I no longer feel like throwing them at the wall.  Not to brag or anything, but I think the boy fairy house (above) is looking somewhat decent.  Last I checked in, the house was a cream colored mess and kinda lumpy.  I decided to smooth over some bumps and add texture with some papier mache:
I kinda mashed it around with my finger to make it look like tree bark, and to my shock and wonder, this actually kinda worked.
Then I needed to stain it to look like wood, and I decided on a nice caramel color to contrast with the darker wood door and window frames, which was a terrible idea, because the entire house looked like ass.
Here's where I wanted to throw it at the wall.
But then I found a darker mahogany stain, and I swear I hear birds chirping when I took my first stroke because it was so damn perfect.  I was also outside, which could be the cause for the chirping, but I still refuse to believe that I'm not secretly Snow White.  From there I sealed it and made a cone-shaped moss ceiling for the main house and turret and forgot to take pictures of the process, and it is so frickin adorable that later on, when the zombies come and everyone is so depressed about everything, I'll reminisce about my very successful fairy house and people will be like, dude, you're supposed to be patrolling the campground and I'll be like, this is not a task I'm suited for, how about if I make you a fairy house?  And then they will be like, get out, and I will get cast into the dangerous outdoors where I am promptly devoured by bears, because they get just as hungry as zombies.

Here are some more of the pics - I just need to decorate the inside (possibly a chimney in the works?) and add some more moss to hang down over the side:

OK, in real life and up close, it really does look like tree bark, but in these picture it doesn't.
And now for my little niece house. not turning out how I envisioned, but all is not lost.  I made one section of it, and decided to embellish it with some clay:

One quick bake, another layer of papier mache, some ombre paint to match the lilies, and then a quick addition of some interior vines:
It kinda looks like a weird Greenman face, which I didn't intend, but I kinda dig it.
Oh, did I mention I made a fairy bed?  I made a fairy bed out of a seashell, floral wire, feathers and an old earring for the headboard and I want a human sized one.
The problem is, I had planned on something a little more intricate, so I made another little hut with a proper door and window, but now I am a bit at a loss for how to arrange them because I am a little bit OCD about arranging in threes, and also I am trying to establish a purpose for the rooms, and also I don't wanna make another because what is it used for?  Her hookah lounge?
Clearly not finished.
My idea is that the main house will be where the fairy cooks, and the Greenman hut is where she sleeps, and maybe putting the main house up on a riser and creating a spiral staircase out of seashells but is that crazy?  It seems crazy.  Like, if you are a little kid, are you like, this fairy is certainly high maintenance.  I don't know, I need to think about it.

On a side note, during this post, I had run out of wine (I had a stressful day, ok?), and I just looked over and it had refilled, so either I had refilled my wine on autopilot whilst thinking about Greenman, who is awesome, or the fairy is trying to make nice with me to get me to build her a hookah lounge.  Well played, fairy, alcoholic bribes are definitely the way to go.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My heart is in Boston...

The beautiful Boston Common
Befriending the locals
I rarely write about serious matters on this site, preferring to broadcast a facade of mediocre wit and self-deprecation, but Boston will always have a special place in my heart. Ever since first visiting, I fell absolutely in love with the charm and history of the city, and the vitality of the people, whether they are swearing and shaking their fist at you for not driving aggressively enough or graciously helping you find your way around an unknown city (true story on both counts).  I had once planned on moving there, and still do, but other circumstances came to fruition that led me on another path.

My heart and thoughts go out to the friends and family of all those killed or injured in the explosions today, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who becomes overwhelmed with emotion upon seeing the aftermath of such a selfish, incomprehensible act.  However, as I speak to one of my best friends who lives in Boston, who is currently having early contractions, it is such a heartfelt reminder that for all the bad there is in the world, there will always be more good.  Two innocent lives were taken away today, and some may find their lives to be changed forever, but new souls will be born, and thousands of other lives may be saved by the vigilance that will ensue following such a devastating act.  For every terrorist, bully, and murderer, there are hundreds, thousands of those who give their lives to shield their students from a gunman, who stop to save a battered and abused dog, who defend someone who cannot defend themselves, or run in to the scene of an explosion to bring people to safety.  And whether it is a small deed of good or a lifetime of greatness, every act shows how strong, resilient, and innately giving humans are by nature.  My faith in humanity does not waver because of a tragedy like this, it only grows stronger.  All my love goes out to Boston right now, and many thanks to those who risked their lives today, and all other days.
The moonlit, warm glow of a great city.

Fairy Houses!!

The fairy door that mysteriously appeared in Golden Gate Park, which has now mysteriously disappeared because the fairy was receiving too much attention and had to move.  Or because some a**hole methhead took it and will be burning in hellfire for all of eternity.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my lovely sister-in-law about possibly switching my focus over from mobiles to building fairy houses, because let's be honest, fairies are the best, and I would prefer to live the majority of my life suspended in a reality where fairies do exist but will settle for living vicariously through the innocent eyes of an excited young'in.  At that point, it was still in the "I've had a few drinks this is a great idea" phase, but being the ever-supportive sister she is, she promptly commissioned me to make one for my niece and nephew, which is fantastic, but also prompted an "oh crap, I need to learn how to make a fairy house right now" freakout.

I have been brainstorming for awhile, and testing out some ideas, so I figured I would show the process here, and also because my SIL is probably wondering what the f&%* is taking so long.  For my hippie, lovable niece, I thought I would do something involving lilies as a roof, and for my super-smart nephew, something a bit more masculine with branches and moss.

Here is the progress of the flower child house.  I could swear I took some photos of the in progress, but that's why your mother said swearing is wrong, because I didn't.  But basically I made a papier mache house with two windows and a door, and will be adding some vines and other accents, and maybe work on a few other towers to accompany it possibly?

This doesn't look good yet, but it will.  Oh, it will.

And for my nephew, I decided to make the entrance and windows out of branches, and I had the idea to make the entire structure out of branches and clay and would cover the clay with a moss roof and oh my God not a good idea.

Looks promising, right?
Errr...maybe if I just adjust...
Nope.  This is awful and quite possibly the worst thing I have ever done.
So, after that disaster, I decided that fairies would probably not like a branch home anyways because of the drafts.  I kept the idea of wood door and windows and built around it with thick paper and clay.
Fairy window and paper walls
It's a bit of an odd shape, I will admit, but I built up the clay around the bottom to try to make it look a bit more less weird.
Fairy door.
And the pièce de résistance, a tower à la Dumbledore's office.  
Complete with window for a miniature Fawkes.
I baked it, and will be layering papier mache over it to create a more natural texture, then possibly staining it to match the wood.  Still not decided on this as I kinda like the ivory color but I think it would be for the best.  Stay tuned, I will be posting updates as I continue work on these bad boys.


In my last post, I told you all that I was getting a beautiful new blog with a fancy new address,   That is still happening, but not the way I thought it would.  Due to some aesthetic disagreements with Wordpress, I am now looking at Squarespace and Jimdo (Weebly has also been strongly recommended to me by someone with impeccable taste, but my research tells me that it may not be the most SEO friendly one to use.  It does look super easy to use though and has a lot of great features.)  Let me tell you, as someone who is mid-to-low spectrum in terms of being technically inclined, these sites are a godsend.  Do it all, with an e-commerce option (something I am thinking about for the future).  Squarespace has some incredible looking designs as well.  I promise, I'm not being paid to promote these sites, if I was, I would probably prattle on a little bit longer.  Just letting you all know that if you are thinking of starting up a website and feel a bit lost (like I was), these options are worth checking out.  Oh, and my new website is in the works, but is still at least a week or two away, so hang tight.  In the meantime, here is the best cat video you will ever see.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Back but kinda not...

This duck is very annoyed that I did not blog about his transformation yet
After receiving gentle nagging from multiple sources, I feel the need to clarify why I haven't posted in awhile.  It isn't for lack of things to blog about, because I have been on a DIY frenzy, but awhile ago I decided that I should get my own fancy domain name and move my blog over to wordpress if I'm gonna do this for reals, and for some reason decided that I shouldn't post anymore until I do because I figured I would have to manually move everything over and I also didn't want to keep directing traffic to a site I was no longer going to use etc etc.  Joke's on me, because it turns out that moving everything over took like 10 seconds.  Lesson learned.

Anyways, now I am just working on designing a proper site and it is taking a bit longer than expected because it turns out that being a picky bitch is not conducive to quickly and easily designing a website when you don't know how to code.  If you would like to view a site that is under construction and is constantly changing due to the fact that I don't know if I should just fork over money to Elegant Themes, feel free to go to my brand spanking new site,  I will begin posting again shortly, so stay tuned for such riveting posts* as garage sale transformations, DIY fairy houses, and how to adapt when your big toe gets radioactive poisoning and becomes some kind of freak "supertoe" and what kind of material** you should use when making a superhero cape for said toe. 
*One of these posts may or may not be happening.
**Cotton, obviously.  For breathability.