Glitter Monogram

I’m currently in the middle of whipping the office/craft room into shape. I have a lot to show you over the next few months, but here’s one little project I had fun doing.

I adore monograms. If I had any money, I’d cover my bathroom in monogram towels. They would be everywhere. Nothing stops me dead in my tracks like seeing the alphabet on some random object.  Maybe it’s because I like to have my vanity stroked, or maybe it’s simply because I’m a huge fan of words, language and most expressions thereof.

So, when I saw these wooden letters at Target, I snagged a K for my office. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted it. Later, I remembered I had gold glitter in my horde, and that was that.

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First, I painted the background gold. Using gold paint from this project. But it was inevitable that I should have gold paint. A match made in craft heaven. 

Then I used a whole lotta Mod Podge and stuck a whole lotta glitter to this thing. Then I Mod Podged over the whole thing again.

Pro tip: do not dip your brush into your whole container of ModPodge. You will leave glitter in it. I found this out. Pour some out into a small bowl or on a paper plate or some shit.  
Let dry. Then display in your office (which mostly your kids use to watch YouTube videos, but that you like to pretend you have ownership over). Then spend some time cleaning up all the excess glitter that went everywhere. But it was worth it for your very glittery monogram.

The finished product:

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Look at that pretty glitter!

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Look at it!glitter-2

I am so pleased.

 

Pots for Spring

I have a black thumb, and I regularly kill plants. I’m just terrible with them. However, I got some succulents for Christmas, and managed to keep them alive so far. I’m very pleased.

So, I thought I’d get a few more and put them in pots around the house.

I started out with just some plain pots.

I decided to do two sets: one cheerful set for spring and one more serious ombre set. I started by painting them all white.

Then for the ombre set, I loaded half my brush with white and half with grey paint. I did a video of the process:

They ended up so cute!

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For the spring ones, I first mixed a little grout with some white paint and did a base coat. This gave them some great texture. Then I painted them with paint mixed with a little water to do a more washed look. They are so cheerful, they make me a little sick.

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I’m very hopeful that I can keep them alive. At very least, the cactus won’t end up dead.

Breaking Up the Crust

I recently discovered that my heart had grown, without me noticing, a thin, little crust.

I don’t mean that I’m cold hearted or unable to feel. If anything, I err on feeling too much. Every injustice in the news makes me angry. Every story of suffering makes my heart squeeze with the pain of it.

No, what I have is the result of my mental illness, not from my nature. I was born wearing my heart on my sleeve. I would throw full on tantrums at age twelve. I spoke my mind a little too much. I was an over-sharer. I hadn’t even realized I’d developed this crusty heart, until my therapist kept asking me, “Do you hide your depression?”

No, I told her. I don’t hide it. I talk about it on social media. I’ve blogged about it. All my friends know.

Then I sat with the question for a little bit longer.

I do hide my depression. I call it being strong. I call it not bothering people with my bad mood (that’s lasted years). I hide it when someone asks how I’ve been and I lie to them. I never talk freely about my bipolar disorder to anyone, really. I talk about it sometimes in the past tense, like it’s something that’s gone away, instead of the black dog it is, always by my side.

I realized why though–why I don’t talk about it and why I’ve got a crust. Because here’s the truly terrifying thing about depression. Being depressed is like having a hole. A hole of emotional need. The natural thing to do is to look to other people to fill it. And when you look to other people to fill it, it doesn’t work. At least, not much. Because depression is a bitch, and it can’t be placated with things like a nice snuggle or a good talk with a friend. You battle depression in your head, by yourself, using tools you don’t have and willpower that depression itself has sucked from you. It’s an impossible scenario.

Pretty soon into depression, I talked myself into believing that if I didn’t want to be a soul-sucking, leech of a mother, wife, friend, that I had to keep my depression to myself. But keeping it to myself made a crust of isolation and an independent, stubborn, strong streak. Because I wasn’t meeting my emotional needs, for years at a time. Having untreated bipolar disorder closed me off, and it made me reluctant to be vulnerable with people.

Now, I’m slowly learning that the world doesn’t end if I talk about it. That I’m still loveable even if I’m depressed. It’s not easy to trust that I don’t need to be so strong, such an impenetrable fortress. I’m stepping away from my self-induced isolation, and slowly, I’m breaking up the crust.

Office Makeover Sneak Peek

David and I have been hard at work making over the office/craft room. We used to call this the “junk drawer” because anything we didn’t know what to do with would end up in here. Now it’s well on its way to being a very functional space where I can sew and craft and where the kids can do their homework.

 Just this weekend we bought a great countertop height chair for this space. So, here’s a bit of a sneak peek at the space. More updates to come! 

 

Episode 1: Topicless Carwash

David and I have started getting slightly tipsy and then recording our conversations. Our first attempt I posted on Facebook–I’m sure it will show up here sometime.

This episode is all about that Boom Boom Pow. We discover something new about it using the Google. Also, sex robots? Enjoy!

Texture Sun Painting

I’ve needed some art to finish off my bathroom for ages. I’ve done this technique before, and I love the texture it gives. 

Here’s a time lapse of the whole process:  
I used joint compound for the texture part and then let it dry for 24 hours before painting it.  

The finished paintings:   
Close up of the texture:

 

Negative Image Pillow

I have a thing for throw pillows. In fact, I have a Pinterest board dedicated just to throw pillows. However, this love isn’t reflected in my house, because whenever I see one, I always think: I could make that. Then I never do.

However, I got this idea for a pillow and just had to try it. The idea for this pillow came to me at night when I couldn’t sleep–which is when I get a lot of my craft ideas. Insomnia, at least you’re good for something.

It’s a negative image pillow. The concept is pretty simple to execute; it just takes a lot of patience and some time at your machine.

I did my two pillows in black with gold thread, but they would be equally as lovely in any two high-contrast colors.

STEP ONE: Prepare materials

I printed my pattern on some left over packing paper. You can also print on tracing paper. Basically, you just want a simple guide on easy to remove paper, because you’ll sew right over it. The first time I tried this, I just drew a basic shape by hand. You want your monogram in the middle and stripes diagonally across the paper.

You’re also going to want to adhere some interfacing on the back of your fabric. This will stabilize it and keep it from warping as you sew.

STEP 2: Pin and Sew

Pin your paper to the front of your fabric that’s been lined with the interfacing. Line the paper up and center it, but it’s not necessary for the paper to go all the way to the end of the fabric.

Start sewing from the center. Line up your needle where the outline of the letter and the stripe intersect and sew out towards the edge. Then turn once you get to the edge and sew back towards the middle, stopping once you hit the place where the line and the edge of the letter intersect. Then lift past the letter, pulling the thread with you, then continue sewing the line, leaving a break in the line where the letter and line intersect.

Basically, sew the lines, but skip inside the letter.

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guide-lines

STEP 3: Continue to Sew

Finish sewing on the lines, leaving the letter as a negative image. Once you’re no longer interrupting the lines with the spaces, it’s easier if you take off the paper and use your machine sewing foot to figure out the spacing of the lines. See photos to see what I mean:

 

STEP 4: Trim and Remove Paper

Trim all the strings on the front from leaving the negative space. Remove paper.

STEP 5: Sew into Pillow

Using your preferred method, sew into a throw pillow.

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