Saturday, October 20, 2012

Handmade Christmas: First Try

To tag on to my last post, I signed up for another craft show. (Indoor, this time. See? I'm learning!) Anyway, it's one of those XMAS XTRAVANGZA type shows, so to get myself in the spirit, and also just because I love Christmas, I'm about to write a string of blog entries about Handmade Christmas.

You might think, "Oh, this girl just wants to make all this stuff to sell it at her next show." You would be wrong. It's also because I'm super poor and cannot afford to buy Christmas decorations, so I'm stuck making all of my own. Fortunately, I am a well-educated liberal arts Art major, so I have the skills. (Yeah, take that "practical" majors.)

This week, my goal was to figure out how to make clay Christmas tree ornaments. As it turns out, it wasn't that hard. The mosaic pieces were a little tricky on the first one, but the balls retained their shape quite well. Plus, these clay ornaments are super hard to break! Which is even better, because the worst thing about glass Christmas ornaments is the whole shatter-when-they-drop-things. Nothing like having to pick up and vacuum 5 million tiny glass shards with sharp, stabby edges. Even if you managed to break one, these clay balls will not threaten to injure you. Yay!

A couple hours, and a little trial and error and Voila! My first tree ornaments! Two inches in diameter, hard to break, and they look good on my tiny Christmas tree!

Look at us! We're all fancy with our gold centers and lace background!

So the first set of three went off without a hitch, but my tiny Christmas tree was going to be pretty bare if I just stopped with the red ones. So I made gold ones, at about half the size of the first set. They were way easier, being smaller, since the mosaic surface area was a lot less. And I thought the gold and green was pretty together :)

Look here, we have a regal color pallette. We can't be bothered with your humdrum "holiday" musings.

So finally, I have enough ornaments made to decorate half of my 24 inch Christmas tree! Good thing I'm starting now. Anyway, here's my little tree, in all of his half-decorated glory. At least I'm doing better than Charlie Brown!

 Party on the Christmas tree!

 I ran out of funny captions for this guy...

Well, that's all for now. Tune in next time for another exciting edition of Whatever I Feel Like Writing! Just kidding, I really will keep writing about handmade Christmas stuff.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekend of Fun #1: Carbondale Street Fair

Hello, loyal readers (all three of you)!

I was hoping to get around to writing this sooner, but it's been pretty busy around here lately. I started work, had a couple eventful weekends in a row, and got another pet (RJ jr, but more on that later). But alas, Sam has to go to a dinner with his advisor, so now it's just me, my computer, and a glass of my favorite cheap moscato. What else is a girl to do except blog?

 Seriously, it's Barefoot Moscato. Sorry to all the wino's who are rolling their eyes right now.

So to catch up on all of the goings-on, two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of selling at my first craft fair ever! I spent whole week doing nothing but making mosaics from the show. Making earrings, necklaces, window mosaics, and business cards all morning, day, and evening! Sam was ready for it to be all over. My house fell into disarray; I stopped showering and sleeping; I started talking to myself and even making up alternate realities and storylines for all of my pieces!! Okay, that last sentence was a lie, but my house did get really messy.

And this was just my workstation. Imagine what the rest of the house looked like!

We finally got there, and it was a... learning experience. There were quite a few "less-than-ideal" things about the show, but they were mostly balanced out by something good. So, in typical Alyssa fashion, here's my list of the bad/good things about the show:

1) Not very many people came to the show, and most who did were there for the wine, BUT I did make over twice my entrance fee! Plus, everybody wanted to touch my mosaics, so at least I know they are interesting!
2) There was a weird giant metal wine glass in front of us, but all of the drunk people loved it and took pictures with it.

It's just a big wine glass! I don't get it!

3) The music was local and the first band consisted of high schoolers, but those kids were seriously talented.
4) It was extremely cold, but one of the wineries gave us warm sangria for sharing our power strip!
5) It was also super windy, but none of my displays blew over because they were just open frames!

 So there it is. My first craft show. All in all, I wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact, it was so not-terrible, I signed up for another show in November! All for now, later, kids!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome Home, Comango!

This weekend Sam's parents came to visit. It was super great for several reasons, 1) they are fun to hang out with; 2) they made of lots of good food and also filled our fridge; and 3) THEY BROUGHT OUR PETS!!!

Granted, our pets are a fish and lizard. Not super cuddly, but they are still pretty cute, and I LOVE having animals around.

So, my friends, meet I Don't Know, Finn (Finn for short) and Comango.

As you can see, I Don't Know, Finn is a beautiful betta fish. He currently lives in a lovely little dish on our kitchen table. His hobbies are floating around in his bowl, eating fish pellets, looking at people as they move around the room, and occasionally making a bubble nest at the top of his dish.

 So regal.

He also seems to enjoy spending time with his fake plant and traveling from one end of his dish to the other. He's truly a joy to be around. His name is a story I'll tell some other time. Or maybe I won't. I don't really know.

 He loves that plant.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: Comango! He's an excellent desert gecko. He has fatty stores in his tail, and it looks like his head. Hence, Comango. Say it out loud, if I have to explain it to you anymore, it's not just worth it. Well, dear Comango enjoys sleeping in his cave, sleeping in the sand, sleeping near his rocks, and once in awhile, moving.

 Comango's Crib.

 He's a little cuddly!

His moving often involves crawling slightly outside of his cave and eating crickets. Unless the crickets wander in to his cave, in which case, he does not leave or really move at all. He's just the greatest lizard. He also has adorable feet.

What a sexy lizard!

The cutest feet!

Welcome home, guys! It's great to have you :)