Some Awkward Crafts

Good Day to you, my friends. Did everyone have a most excellent Presidents Day? I did indeed! Who is your favorite president? Mine is Grant! Not Ulysses, Fitzgerald. Who dat?

Oh just the fictional POTUS on the ABC television masterpiece Scandal. What you thought I’d pick a real person? Do you even know me? To be fair, Fitzy G seems like a pretty terrible president and generally awful person BUT he also has copious amounts of intercourse in and around the Oval Office and has a secret dark side and looks great in a navy blue suit. So 4 More Years Fitgzerald Grant!

Whatever. I'm just not a political gal. Know what else I'm not? Asian. Also: crafty.

Crafts are a realllll thing these days, especially in the blog world. Everyone's got a Pinterest board and knows how to screenprint and makes wreaths and table runners and hand stamped lunch boxes and just generally DIY's the hell out of life.  Me? I'm more D-I-Y-Do-It-Yourself-When-You-Can-Buy-Something-Better.

Ba dum bum, ping!

I mean, I want to be crafty. But  I also want blunt bangs. Some things just are not meant to be.

My pal Jamie is a crafty gal AND a crafty blogger, you can check out her scene over at 128 John St, where she shares lots of yummy recipes and DIY projects and general adorableness. What I think sets Jamie apart from other craft/cooking bloggers (aside from her clearly excellent taste in friends) is that she never ever takes herself too seriously or acts like she's Ms. Perfect and it's just the easypeasiest to whip up a homemade batch of pumpkin cheesecake on a Tuesday night. She makes giant messes and admits when something she tries turns into a disaster and I love her for it. But she's also actually talented, don't go thinking her blog is just a huge hot mess. Like, say, mine.

Jamie sweetly invited a group of girlfriends over a few Saturdays ago for a Valentines Themed Crafting Brunch complete with all sorts of cutesy stuff that I would normally scoff at (because I'm totes jeal) but in this instance, I approved:

vday sammiesYes, those are heart shaped chocolate and banana sandwiches on homemade pound cake. I ate about 37 million.

 approached the day with great enthusiasm (it might even have been my idea?) but quickly learned I was not cut out for this world. The night before brunch I met Jamie and our other equally craftastic friend Kathleen at Michael's Crafts to get some supplies. The two of them ran around the store like they were on goddamn Supermarket Sweep scooping up all the latest and greatest in crafting supplies and I just sort of followed Kathleen around and bought whatever she did and became increasingly despondent that I was in over my head, have no creative vision and will never have the DIY hipster wedding I dream of.  Finally we settled on our purchases and headed home, but not before I made a quick pit stop at the Whole Foods wine store which sells 365 Brand wine for $3.

This has nothing to do with the rest of this story, I just felt like I needed to pass on that information.

Ok, so! Crafterday! It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Brooklyn. The first project Kathleen decided to do was to spraypaint old tins to use for storage. Here she is getting started, isn't she pretty?

20130126_143559I decided to copy her and make tins for my tea since I keep pretending to give up coffee, maybe I'll stick to it if I have some cute tea tins. We set ourselves up on Jamie's balcony and I immediately ran into trouble. I was trying to open a can of spray paint and somehow managed to shoot the lid right off of the balcony and into the neighbor's backyard. Um, sorry, neighbors. I then quickly learned that I had a faulty can of spray paint - the only way it would spray was to press it down hard with both thumbs until my hands were numb from the pressure. Instead of smooth, easy painting, my tins were clumpy and streaky and blotchy and you can still sort of see the original paint underneath. They also continued to smell like spray paint for dayssss afterwards, so my tea is probably quite poisoned.

I did come up with the genius idea to apply some pretty stickers to label the tins:

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eeeeeh? I'll give them a 6 out of 10.

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But if you look from far away, they are actually pretty charming, no? Two for tea and one for "stuff" whatever that means. It would be the perfect size to hide my drugs, but sadly I'm a real DARE kind of gal. Maybe I'll just use it for bobby pins or pennies or something.

The tins were 99 cents each, the stickers $4 for a few sheets and the spray paint was $12, bringing this project to a total of $17.98. Could I have just purchased much more attractive, less toxic tins for a smaller sum? Probably. But it was fun! Ish. It was fun ish. I would not really recommend this project, in the end, I think it turned out to be pretty dumb.

So! After I finished up this mess I turned to my next project which was making little clothespin magnets. I bought teensy clothes pins and some magnets with self-stick on them and applied the magnets to one side of the pins, then painted them with paint I borrowed from Jamie.

Here's me looking super artistic with my painters palette which I initially bought as a joke, because I think I am just hilarious but actually turned out to be a helpful tool for paint storage. 20130126_154054Once I was done painting, I washed the brushes and palette in the kitchen sink and proceeded to get paint all over a bunch of dishes, whoops. I can only imagine that this is not great for health and now, in addition to poisoining my own tea, I'm pretty sure I've also poisoned Jamie and all of her roommates.

Sorry, guys.

So, how'd these turn out? Not bad!

20130126_174712I am actually pretty proud of these puppies - I made one for each of my roommates and a gross one for Brian that says "L <3 B", and I'm particularly proud of that one with the lil red hearts.

I'll give this one a 8 out of 10. The clothespins were $5, magnets were $3, palette was $1.50 and paint was borrowed, so all told this came to under $10. I WOULD recommend this project for novice crafters and for children. It was easy and fun and if I could handle it without f-ing up, I'm pretty sure the average five year old could do a real bang up job.

Basically all of the projects I took on that day were kindergarten levels of difficulty while my more technically able friends were going to town with more complex projects.

Here is Jamie hand painting glassware:

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And here is Kathleen delicately painting cursive lettering onto a tote bag:

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But don't worry, guys, I can totally cursive too. Here's my last and probably best project, a hand made valentine for my mom:

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That's just some cardstock, sparkly stickers and the most awkward handwriting on the planet. Does this not look like it was made by a third grader with one hand? Be honest, I can handle it. This looks like the kind of nonsense you'd bring home from the elementary school Valentines Day party and your mom would hang on the fridge in a really dark spot where no one could see it before "accidentally losing it" a few days later.

But no, this is the home made card created by a 28-year-old lady with two perfectly working hands. WHY don't I have my own Etsy shop yet?

I did manage to salvage some scraps of this project and pulled together four pretty decent V-tines, one each for my mom, sister, brother and Briguy:

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I'm sure you can guess which one is for Brian, hah. The one with just the heart in the center is for my bro. I wanted to make him a more manly valentine but I only had glittery heart stickers so I made him that and the message inside said "Have a very sparkly Valentines Day!"

So manly.

A few pieces of card stock cost me about $2.50, the stickers were $3.99 for a sheet of 12 and I used markers & envelopes that Jamie had laying around, bringing this project to about $6.50. Even if you had to purchase markers & envelopes you could do this on the cheap and I know my valentines really appreciated the handmade effort so, despite the shaky start, I would give this craft a 10 out of 10 and recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone! Adults, children, animals, everyone.

And that is the story of my craft day! Aren't you impressed with me? You should be.

The best parts of the day were tangentially craft related. The first being when I split my pants in half before going out to dinner and drinks (remember that?!) and the second being when I arrived at said drinks and a bouncer asked to search inside my bag. You see, when creating my plan to go from day crafting to night partying, I forgot to take into account that I'd have to lug my supplies and finished products around with me for the full evening. I also did not take into account that I might be wandering around town with an exposed hoo-haa. Instead of all these dumb tins and magnets I should have been crocheting a crotch patch - like an eyepatch for your crotch! You could carry it around with you in case of any pants ripping emergencies and then would tie it around your waist to cover any exposed bottom bits. So basically an apron. But still, copyright me, this moment, you can't steal it.  Anyway, I arrived at the bar with a huge totebag full of idiotic stuff. Each of the painted tins was wrapped in a plastic shopping back, lest they get any of that toxic, still slightly wet paint on my tote bag, and the bouncer asked me what was inside.

"uh...craft supplies?" I responded, unconvincingly. He made me hold up the line showing him everything I was lugging around. Oddly enough he did not get down on his knees right then and there and BEG me to make him hand made valentines for his friends and loved ones. Your loss, bouncer man. I am a creative genius.

And that, my fine friends, is my adventure into the Wide World of Crafting. I just need an outfit post, a few recipes and a baby and I can be a real blogger!

One Cleverly Sexy Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! Just a few short weeks to finalize that perfect costume. For many of my ladyfriends, Halloween means one thing, and one thing alone: Slut Time. As Tina Fey so elegantly put forth in "Mean Girls": “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Well, this girl has a few things to say about it. Each year as I witness parades of Slutty Cats and Slutty Police Women, Slutty Cinderellas, Flight Attendants, Taxi Drivers, Cookie Monsters, et al, my blood begins to boil. Seriously, gals? This is what we’re wearing? Great.

But WAIT! Before you get up in arms about a Woman’s Right to Skank It Up allow me to clarify: I agree!  I’ve worn little more than flesh-toned lycra and rhinestones the past two Halloweens, I am all aboard the Skank Train. It’s not the lack of clothes that bothers me, it’s the lack of creativity. Every year costume companies sell the same pre-packaged, uninspired, occasionally ridiculous costumes and we’ve reached a point where most of these sexy costumes are expected, unsurprising, boring and just lazy. As a Halloween Obsessive, I can not allow this to continue!

Halloween is the one time a year to bust out the big guns, to stand out, and the best you can come up with is a pre-packaged, pleather French Maid outfit?  I am sorry, no. First of all, snooze. Secondably, I have been to France (#humblebrag) and I’m quite positive that no maids dress like that and finally, I guarantee you’ll see at least 15 more ladies sporting the same get-up while out on the prowl for some tricks -n- treats. Would you be happy if you showed up at a party and 30% of the other guests were wearing the same outfit as you? Probably not. So why settle for same-ness on THIS of all nights?!

Now, I understand that the pressure to come up with a fab costume might cause some to panic and head right for the Hottie aisle at the nearest Ricky’s, so allow me, a self-proclaimed expert on creative skankery, to help you out. Here are a few simple yet out of the box ways you can show off your box this coming All Hallows Eve:

1. Sexy Sriracha Tiny red tank with the sriracha rooster logo, red booty shorts, red eff-me heels and pointy green cap. Spicy!

2. Sexy Hipster Wedding Wear a birdcage veil, an old-timey tweed vest with nothing underneath, ruffly little shorts, and cowboy boots. Carry a mustache on a stick & a mason jar and you’ll be looking at a Best Man/Maid of Honor style one night stand faster than you can say ‘I Do.”

3. Sexy Christmas Tree Green mini dress. Loads of tinsel. A star on top. You’ll look as easy as this one was to put together!

4. Sexy Lighthouse This one takes a little more work, but the payoff would be great. Either get a tinsy striped dress OR if you’re feeling bold, wrap yourself in nothing but ribbons. Make a little hat out of...something, I don’t make these, I just dream them up, and stick a flashlight or one of those little battery operated push lights inside. Voila! Land Ho indeed!

5. Sexy Double Rainbow A pairs costume! Grab a friend, two matching rainbow striped dresses, rainbow knee socks & make a cloud hat.  Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaah, it’s a double rainbowww!

6. Sexy Downton Abbey A fun group idea! If you simply can not part with that Dirty Maid outfit, round out your theme by gathering a group to defile Masterpiece Cinema’s Hottest Period Drama, Downton Abbey. Think big hats, clean white gloves, parasols ...and lingerie. Add some maids, a few men in shirtless tuxedos and you’re looking at the Crawleys Gone Wild.

7. Sexy Mona Lisa On top, a work of art. On the bottom, a total tart! (Sorry, sorry, I know!) Make like this clever gal and frame your face, either with a homemade frame or something cheap from the store. Drape your top half in something cloak like & maintain a serene expression, but below the frame: hot pants and fishnets!

8. Sexy Olympic Torch I’m imagining London 2012 will inspire many a costume this year, so why not skank up the Games’ official and literally hottest symbol: the torch. This year’s torch was gold, shiny (and hello! hand delivered by Becks) and is so beyond easy to recreate. Gold lame mini-dress, tissue paper flames and a gold medal for good measure. McKayla will be impressed.

Those are just a few ideas, there’s a whole world of creative partial nudity out there if you just put your mind to it. Before you walk into a Ricky’s or a Party City, take a look around and ask yourself “is there anything out there I can recreate using little more than a bikini, some construction paper, Elmer’s Glue and thigh-highs?” The answer will almost always be “Hell yes.” With my help and some inspired thinking, I promise this Halloween you can be slutty, oh, so, so slutty, but never ever boring.

Trick or Treat, everyone!