Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Objective: Make My Mommy Cry

… geez, never thought I'd ever think something like, "this better make mom cry," but I'm working on a mothers' day gift and my goal truly is to make her cry, either tears of joy or sentimentality. This project has kind of taken over my time and sanity, so other projects are being shifted to the back burner, but a quick update of my previous projects:

  • I have managed to almost finish my spoon wreath. It has taken a lot more time and energy than I had anticipated, mostly because, as usual, I've managed to take the most difficult route possible. I chose to use spray paint for the spoons even though everyone else advised to paint them individually after gluing them down, but I thought that would be tedious… how wrong I was. I also decided to add a flower made from melted and manipulated plastic forks, but it's making this project a whole lot more difficult since I have to melt the spoons heads to fit around the flower, but then I have to re-paint them after melting since it messes with the paint and so on and so forth, ugh why do I have to be so damned creative! It's a gift… and a curse. Anyway, I'm on the home stretch with this project and since my mom wants to show off the finished wreath when she has friends over this Friday for cards, I'm on a deadline. Fortunately for me, I work best under pressure and even better under an oncoming deadline so I'm sure it'll be done in time. My mother better thank me for this, I know my lungs will after all the spray painting I've been doing with little ventilation (shhh don't tell my parents)
  • I have also stopped my the Oak Park Women's Exchange shop to drop off my application and assorted pieces for jurying. It wasn't the same place I thought it was (I mistook it for a cute little boutique in the shopping district of Oak Park Avenue) and it's actually, well, to be honest, dumpy. It's full of some really craftsy looking stuff, not to make craftsy a dirty word, but everything looked like grandma's doilies and quilts or kind of, well, amateur looking jewelry. Not that I'm a pro by any means or that crafts aren't worthwhile, but a lot of the jewelry looked like something you'd make with a kit from the kids' section of a craft store or just strung some nice beads on a wire. When I left my pieces with the ladies on duty at the time, they were a bit ditsy or clueless and I just didn't feel like I fit into the style of the place. I wasn't going to say anything, but even my mom thought  was a little too good for the store. I may still go with the plan to join the group just to give it a chance and see how it goes. Even if it's a little disastrous, maybe I can get a whole bunch of supplies with their wholesale discount and leave after a year. But, all one all, I left with my heart in my stomach since it felt like such a let-down, oh well.
  • The rest of those projects are still in various stages of completion, or non-completion if you want to take the pessimistic look at it, which I always do. One of the most difficult parts of trying to sell your art/crafts seems to be the last couple steps, mainly photographing the pieces. First of all I'm terrible at photography and since I'm such a night owl I have few hours of good, natural light in my waking hours. And, of course, I have to lug out all the "staging" supplies like my bulletin board and neutral sheet to photograph everything against. It's all such a pain in the ass so I try to do as many pieces at one time so it means I have a bunch of stuff waiting until I have the motivation, which seldom happens since my Etsy shop (and most endeavors in all things crafts) have been monumental failures. Blarg.
Whoops, got way off topic again so here it is, my mothers' day project: a Scrabble and picture frame charm necklace. My mom loves Scrabble, I mean, LOVES it. She plays it online with as many friends as possible and whenever I ask her if there are any chores/tasks I can help with her first reply is always: a 100 point word for my Scrabble game. Always. And any time she says "shoot!" or lets out a sigh of frustration it's because one of her opponents took her perfect spot for a bingo word (a word that uses all 7 tiles at once and get 50 bonus points). So I thought I'd get some tiles that say "I [blank] YOU MOM" using the blank to carve a heart and make them charms on a necklace. Adorable, no? Yes, that answer is yes it's adorable. Well, as per usual, this idea evolved, or rather, snowballed, into: what if I decoupaged pictures for charms? into: how about little charms of Shrinky Dink pictures (you didn't think I'd forget about using the dinks for this project, did you?) then, how about I put the dinks in frames somehow? and of course I'd stay awake at night brain-storming the perfect way to combine all these ideas and finally arrived at my current plan. I am drilling holes into the Scrabble tiles, then using mixed metal eyelets in the holes to make them look more finished. I used the inkjet Shrinky Dink plastic to print old pictures of the family when my brother and I were still cute to make little charms. I then cut out metal frames, used my Dremel to remove the inside of the metal blanks and engraved designs into the metal to look like real picture frames. I glued the pictures behind the frames and the final step will be to use an epoxy resin to "dome" or glaze the pictures to bring out the colors and make them looked finished. I've never used resin so that'll be a new adventure for me.

I'm still between steps for finishing this project, it'll be a few more days at least until this necklace is done since it has to be perfect or I'll lose even more sleep over this. I'll keep you updated on my progress and if the resin experiment works out so keep checking in!

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