October 27, 2011

Upcycled Cardboard skulls

Dia de los Muertos - one of my favorite celebrations is coming up! Every day I'm trying to  do a little something for it - and these large cardboard skulls are just the beginning. They're super easy - just cut out a skull shape from some cardboard and decorate with pen or poster paint, acrylic or my favorite, Crayon d'Ache - which are water soluble crayons that are so fun to work with and you can body/face paint with too. 

Glue and glitter, pipe cleaners, feathers, bits and bobbles can be added for a super cool skull, or calaveras as the decorated ones are called. If you did add a bunch of beads lets say - you would wait till the glue was dry (puddles of elmer's in strategic spots with mounds of shiny things drying in them can be very exciting) , and say before you add feathers, you can (not necessary but if you want them to LAST a good idea) paint the whole thing with a matt or gloss acrylic varnish to add a transparent skin that will hold the whole thing together nicely. Watch out though because the crayon d'ache will smear if you brush over it too much. You can ask about a spray varnish too at an art supply store.

Have fun! Next up, flowers! Woo hoo!

October 25, 2011

Children's Room

Making a mural for a child's room doesn't have to be intimidating. You don't need fancy tools or buckets of acrylic, oil or house paint. All you need is a little audacity, some tape, Elmer's glue, a sharpie and a kids watercolor set, and some paper - either construction colored or water  color.

I realized last year that you can decorate windows with  drawings on cut out construction paper and just dab the back with a glue stick in one or two points, press it on the glass and it will stick for a year if you want. To clean it off - just use hot soapy water. 

I did the same to a little girls room recently, only I used tape to stick the cut outs to the wall. 

"Thank you for turning my room into the monterey bay aquarium Holly!"  she said the next time  I saw her.

"Oh sure thing!" I responded. I'm glad she liked it because I did it one night when i couldn't sleep after mistakenly eating a Crunchie at 1am. WHEN will I learn about chocolate and sleeping?
SO now there are these fish on the wall and the potential for us all to add to them with more drawings if we want.

It's such a simple idea, and it can be as temporary as you want, but judging by my window experiments - it could stay up for a long time too.

October 24, 2011

Upcycled Christmas #1 - Ornaments from old clothes

I live in this house with a very cool little family. My daughter loves them very much, although she's now saved $68 from selling her chickens eggs, in order to buy me a house. "Is that enough mom?"  She's extremely serious about the whole thing.

If I ever do get my own house I want it to have a heating vent in the kitchen like this house does so my daughter can have her cereal in front of something  so yummy as a jet of warm air on her back on a cold day.

It's also great for gladiator sessions. " Sisterrrrrrrr!!!!!!!! You're taking up all the spaaaaaaaceeeeee!!!"

As the girls were loudly  competing for the best position tonight, I interjected "Child in front of the heater...what is your favorite thing to draw?"..."I guess dresses and stuff" came the soft steady voice.

I'm all about doing the opposite of what I'm supposed to, so in the face of business plan meltdown, making an upcycled collaborative christmas tree ornament prototype with hot air thief number one, suddenly became essential.

After consulting with said 6th grader I made this EXTREMELY good feeling, upcycled christmas ornament. 

Some of you may even recognize the plaid. It's a pair of pants that I LOVED - oh how I loved them, that I wore for years.
and now it's an ornament!

I used Elmer's glue and cardboard from the back of some paper I bought recently and my one fancy tool (I am usually against fancy tools...probably because I  can't afford them) scissors  with a jig-jaggedy edge.

Oh my gosh  I'm so tired. There are so many things I've been doing that I just haven't had the time to get up here. Ok, I will.

October 17, 2011

Cardboard Upcycling

One of the easiest ways to decorate and up-cycle for any event is to grab a bunch of old cardboard, a sharpie, some watercolors and go for it.

Or better yet, get your kids to do it! You could even collaborate. "Hey child of mine, you're not SUPPOSED to, but.........do you want to use giant permanent markers to draw something for occasion X today? 

"Oooh yes please" - they'll cry if they're anything like my child who will jump at the chance to do something she's not supposed to.

Then,  if they need to go play tetherball or jump on a trampoline or play a game baby doggie in which one or more of them gets captured and put into a hard labor camp and has to be actually tied up for the duration of the game, well that's fine - because then you get to do the water coloring! 

Water colour works great directly applied to cardboard or you could splurge and get some Crayon d'ache. They are these REALLY NICE french crayons, with prices that reflect the cost of each one getting it's own seat on the plane...flying first class, BUT ITS WORTH IT! They are water soluble things and are yummy squishy and loaded with pigment

You can use them as face paints too...at least I was told that when I worked at an art supply store years ago...and no one has had to be hospitalized  yet.

October 3, 2011

producta the un

I have some fairly large philosophical differences with one of my closest friends. Philosophical shopping differences are what I'm on about now.

 Indeed - these differences sometimes make me feel like someone poured battery acid in my sensitivity (wouldn't that be so much easier if there was just this place called 'the sensitivity' and you could tune it with a pitch fork and a little twist of a knob?)
My sensitivity gets SO messed up!! Even more so when this person stops responding because I'm jumping up and down like...I'm being burned with battery acid...and it's not something they want to deal with at that moment. 

"It f-ing hurts!!!" I angrily assert,  "thats it, I can't take it any more" I blurt out with the strength of a tornado and the conviction of someone who's said this before, and has clearly taken more. "Why do you take it so personally??" they ask.....DUH!!! Why???...I'm sure that's got to be the most annoying and STUPID question ever. Why. Why...what?

(think fast holly...jesus......why why why.....the word begins to form a fractal...SNAP out of it)
BECAUSE....shopping gives you cancer...it makes you fat...ummmmmm....it messes up your love life, it gives you warts and gas and eats up your retirement fund. Baby animals probably die because you shop...the rain forests are diminishing because you shop...ITS JUST WRONG!

Oh...why? Why is it so personal. My own stupidity only augments my rage.
Then the calm...
"Dude...check out my blog!"
"your consumerist tendencies are antithetical to my very existence!" This is a problem, one not helped by my very ungraceful  address. Note - anger is NOT the best persuasive technique.

But it's huge! Hand V machine. Creator V consumer. Big pocketbook v never had a pocket book to rub together...

So...what AM I on about?
I'm saying that it is WAY better to make stuff if  you can, than buy it. I think it's better for everyone, especially the children, who are so creative anyways, and will benefit SO MUCH more by your un-purchased items.

 I'm saying that buying stuff (especially if it's a routine of toy buying and not saved for special occasions) is probably more about YOU parent, than the child. It's probably about the time you don't have to spend with them, or your guilt, or your childhood - because if you stopped and looked around (the planet) I might think that your choice of activity with your child might be researching charities, or organizations for needy children, and giving some of your stuff away, or helping someone who needs in a way you can give. Getting your child excited about that instead of  the location of every nearest gift store seams SO much more...right.

Yes - I butt in, I say what's on my mind, I piss the people closest to me off ALL the time. SOMETIMES I can just act. In this case I did a bit of both.

 His daughter wanted to buy the pond that was on the box cover of her latest acquisition - some plastic african animals. I said we could make a better pond ourselves...and that indeed anything she had her eye on, we could make a better version of. So - we sat and we cut and she placed and designed while I stapled and glued, and her dad tossed a helicopter at me and said try making a better one of these then.

You can expect to be seeing a totally superior helicopter here made from recycled materials in the next week. In the mean time, our pond turned into a savanna and is WAY better than anything she could have bought. Some of the fish even have long eyelashes.

And really...It looks great with those little mas-manufactured animals in it. I love that stuff too - just in moderation.

I like juxtapositions...allot. Maybe that's why I like my evil consumerist helicopter chucking friend so much. I have to justify MY narcissistic, do goodie rants to him - and that makes me a better person, and more important...my argument stronger. Ah Ha!