Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Does the Magic Lasso make pixles never lie

One of the nice things about having a new laptop that has more memory than an old gameboy cartridge means I can at nonexcrutiatingly jell-o time use my new photoshop program (from 2006).

I'm finally familiarizing myself with all the new buttons and fancy whatchamacallits and doodads.

What does this all mean for you? All those goofy little inside jokes, random brain flights of fancy, and just general ways to waste time can now be wrenched from my brain and put to an approximation of what I was thinking.

And the best part, instead of taking 3-4 hours of my meticulous trimming, cutting, manipulating and erasing by hand it's now more of a 30 minute wham bam, thank you ma'am. Leaves lots more time for studiously avoiding that commissioned painting.

Anyway, I thought someone might enjoy some of the recent photoshop endeavors I've gotten myself talked into.

This was something born out of a dull car ride with my husband (as are about 73% of all my crazy ideas, we should really go to more exciting places or on racing camels).
You could call it an observation on the fact that while people claim that the airbrushing of smaller and smaller models has lead to a fantasy view of women's bodies in fact society has demanded women go to such extremes as squishing vital organs in the name of beauty for a long time.

Or I just wanted to use the horrible pun. Take your pick.

Dungeons & Dragons seems to be partnering with just about anything it can find. From Jones Soda to a game sound track from a company that specializes in Halloween music.

What if D&D were to team up with something a bit more mainstream? Thus was born the affair between Dungeon divers with Dragon hunters and fortune cookie Dove Chocolate Promises.
Finally, because no post of mine is complete without a painting. Here's one of a dark summer night:
And that's my humble contribution to the wild world web of interneting people. Hope you enjoy it all Library of Congress, suckers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy as a Buzzing Thing

I've been busy like a little bee attempting to take over the world (I'm trying to pitch the script but everyone just keeps saying Jerry Seinfield and shudder uncontrollably).

First on the soap front. Someone who purchased one of our lungs contacted me asking if she could get a mirror image of the one she'd bought. Well, the thing is we didn't have a mold at that point.

But no matter I put my husband to work and tada now we have a double lung option for anyone that wants it. And it couldn't have come at a better time, for less than 24 hours after the mold was finished someone else contacted me wanting 12 lungs!

Twelve lungs to one mold = one major headache. But with two molds suddenly making 12 lungs doesn't seem so bad. I am clearly trying to delude myself but it's actually been a lot of fun, at least it was right up until I ran out of dye:
Here's my line of lungs completed so far. You can see from the side that I tried to use a different dye but alas the lungs came out more red than hot neon pink. So the 12 lungs shall have to wait til I can get in a trip to the Hobby Store.

But digging up sudsy body parts isn't all I've been up to (I have to be on so many FBI watch lists by now). I've also been painting like mad.

I got a wedding dress from someone who saw my feature on Offbeat Bride back in July. It turned out pretty cool because I got to include a tree in the background and a sort of foresty look:
I had to put my ongoing mountain project on the back burner while I finished up the wedding dress in time but now that it's done and on its way today I was finally able to finish up what I've been slowly working and building on for the past two weeks.
The mountains and the trees were created using my trusty pallet knife to give it some cool texture. Which also meant it would take hours for each part to dry before I could add the next layer.

And because I still like to make sure my pendant making skills aren't rusty here's a raven flying through the air.
And that's what I've been up to for the past week or so. Posting's been a bit light because all my creative juices had to be fed into the paint machine instead.

I know, instead of the bee movie I'll pitch a script where people are used to feed machines but they aren't aware of it. I'll call it The Grid.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm watching you

It's not easy being introverted in this extroverted world.

It was doubly dubious with a extra dose of annoyance thrown in growing up in the 80's/90's when one of the worst possible things you could be labeled was shy.

Shy was a mortal diagnosis for your future. Parents shrieked in horror, teachers hung their heads and kids just shrugged their shoulders and went back to their math homework.

Everyone is so sure that because you're not outgoing with a billion friends that you'll turn into some loner living in a shack contemplating whether you should have the leg of squirrel or roast road opossum for dinner.

Since I live more in my head and get exhausted from social situations I was declared damaged and had to attend incredibly stupid class workshops to get you to open up and be bubbly and happy and cause people to seriously contemplate that you are on something and how to best acquire it.

Sorry, but no amount of friend workshops and activity sheets is going to get me to turn into the Progressive lady.

Why is it so hard for extroverts to understand that not everyone is like them? You go and have your 20 random acquaintances hanging off your every word. I'll stand in the corner talking quietly to my husband and observing everything in my head.

I'm not hurting anyone by not being the belle of the ball and having 1,000 facebook friends.

But some extroverts even when faced with an introverts body language screaming at the top of its toes to "LEAVE ME ALONE!" still don't get it.

So for those days when you are tired, not feeling well and just want to get home to recharge before dealing with more people but the cashier won't stop trying to strike up a conversation here's a t-shirt I whipped up that should help.
If they're still so scared of us "shy" introverts might as well give them something to really be scared of.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bye bye Brain

It's been a long week. For two days I watched a 5 year old as his mother had work stuff to do which included a night staying over.

It was his first time away from any family so things didn't go so well. There was a lack of any fun kids to play with, an overabundance of a puppy who only knows to play by jumping and a cold wet dreary outside world no one wanted to go into.

I captured the experience in twitterville and also a few pictures here and there. It's, I'm sure, a very entertaining read for anyone who has children and a chilling vision of what's to come for anyone who doesn't.

As I'm still trying to revive myself and my brain that was rotted on cartoons (I can never look at another crappy CGI "Can you spot the yellow zebra" treat the audience like they just got a lobotomy cartoon ever again without shrieking in horror) here's a little something the boys whipped up in the lab.

What if Hell used Stationary.
It's perfect for birthday's, Christmas, labor days, and any other holiday where you want to thank that special someone for letting you have a taste of their soul.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shrimp Panzanella

I remember the great Salad revolution. When, much like chicken, the collective unconscious suddenly decided that anything put onto a bed of lettuce instantly became calorie free and like munching down on a tub of One a Day Vitamins.

And as is the human condition we took it far to the extremes with people touting the "salad crew" as being incredibly healthy and perfect and anyone who ate anything else pure evil while dropping two tubs of cheese and bacon onto a head of iceberg to make it palatable. (Iceberg is the Antichrist of the food world).

So salads became this feminine and bipolar food source. Lettuce councils would drill into your head that eating one would give you good skin, you'd instantly drop 20 pounds and live to be 150. But at the same time you were a food prude if you ordered a salad with dressing on the side instead of the 2 pound hamburger, denying yourself all of life's little joys and not really living.

I have never understood the point of moralizing food. A stick of butter isn't going to hold up a bank while a leaf of cabbage won't bathe homeless people. It's just food. If you're in the mood for a salad eat that, and if you want some french fries eat those.

It's when you start polarizing and dividing things into good and bad that something becomes forbidden fruit and one it much less likely to have any sense of moderation.

Anyway, that long intro was to introduce you to a nice light salad I found that is really tasty and perfect for summer. It also falls under my "Yay it takes about a half hour with little to no work to make" header.

This is the Shrimp Panzanella made out of, you can probably guess, shrimp, some veggies (I left out the peppers because they do evil things to me), some olives and tasty tasty homemade croutons.
The only hot element involves baking the croutons which could be done beforehand. So this is the perfect salad for a hot sticky miserable summer day.

The dressing is really light. In fact I'm thinking I might add more of the vinegar to give it a stronger kick next time, and maybe add in some lemon juice.

There ya go, tasty salad anyone can enjoy unless they hate shrimp. Then you're on your own.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paintingware Update

Painting has been a bit spotty at best, but I haven't been low on creativity.

I've been working and messing with the idea of putting some of my trees on things. First I tried painting them onto a milk carton, but they didn't really stick thanks to the cold. Then there was the attempt at etching it into a bar of soap, we're never seeing that thing again. Maybe next time I'll let the soap dry before I attempt that.

The dog wouldn't sit still long enough to let me get the white so I had to fall back on the old safe traditional t-shirt.

I've been wanting to keep it stark and simple. A sort of back to basics as it were but give the trees emotions. (Yes I know I'm crazy, trees can't have feelings they're too busy betting on the fall of sparrows. Trees are jerks).

This one is a mother's love. You see the large tree holding onto the branches of its two saplings.
You can make out the intricate entwining of the branches better here.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with these. I really like how this one turned out and can't help but think it'd look pretty cool framed with a few others to create a collage.

But for now, lookie tree stuff.

Now for the not so much serious and more goofy side of creativity.

You know those insipid stickers on the backs of SUVs so that people can broadcast to the world just how many beings they have trapped inside their house? I decided to make my own:
They're actually each modeled upon a real sticker design one could have. Just with more undead added.

Your Painting has been updated. Quit or Restart your machine?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Watching You

The big day is, let me see, carry the one . . . what's the derivative of pi? . . . about five months away.

And just what big day is this? I have no wedding to plan then give up on, no bun being baked as it were. Why Halloween of course. Really what else would my husband and I be counting down the months too?

We went through a bit of a malaise during winter, not having too many projects grab us by the ankles and try to drag us to hell. There was one point when I made the fairy, another when we created some specimen jars; but so far it's just been a combination of "we have months til we have to think about it" and "what do you want to do?"

But then our Halloween club (did I mention that we're in a Halloween club? Yes I think I finally have the "Biggest dork of the year" award in the bag this time) had a meeting to work on making fake stone masonry out of foam and our creativity was sprung anew.

Last year we hit up the after Halloween sales and snagged a few masks on the discount pile we had some ideas for.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first project I tackled was to create eyeballs using nothing more than some paint, epoxy, and a roller ball out of deodorant.

You know it's surprisingly hard to find roll on deodorant anymore. I guess it just isn't cool enough. I remember in highschool when all the kids wore roller deodorant on their necks and made someone guess what scent it was. Or did I dream all that?

Here's the link where I found this awesome technique. It was pretty simple, I did it in a half hour while listening to Belgian Bill Corbett on Red Nose Net and I must say I'm rather impressed with how they turned out.
This is before the epoxy to make it look shiny and wet which really brought it together. But for being completely home made from a roller ball it looks pretty cool.

Now for the other half of my plan that didn't just crash and burn it took down a few cannibalistic soccer teams while at it.

The plan with the mask was pretty simple, you tape up the back and any big holes then fill it with *dun dun DUUNNN* spray insulation foam.

This is where you gasp in horror and maybe someone in a tight corset passes out.

Spray Insulation Foam and I do not have a good history. There was this craft plan involving it and feet which then lead to panic, screaming, an impromptu haircut and us huddled over in the Wal-Mart parking lot coating our hands in carb cleaner to get that sticky goo off our hands.

But I'm much older and wiser now. I came prepared. I realized the only way the mask would keep its shape while the foam did its job was to hang it off the line. Good way to make sure the neighbors never talk to you as well.

Then, sliding a box beneath it and slapping on the work gloves, I broke out the bottle.
At first it was okay, no major leaks or cursing. But I fear I got a bit too greedy.

Because while the bottom part of the mask dried, harden and took on a lopsided look the top of the head didn't. It stayed squishy no matter how long I let it hang there.

Then the dumb ideas pounced on my brain singing that sweet song of madness. I started to fill the nose and mouth with foam in the hope it'd get to the bottom half and fill in some holes.

As you can about imagine this created a giant mess as foam snaked out of the open orifices landing all over the place. I may or may not have swore openly at the head, threatening it with an arc welder.

Eventually I accepted defeat and well it's supposed to look like a science experiment gone horribly wrong so why not just embrace the lumpy skull and the super wide cheekbones.

I added the eyeballs and then painted all the foam residue on the mouth and nose red so it'd actually look a bit less disturbing than the yellow pus hue it had before.
And that was what I did on my weekend.

Now we all know, never ever ask me what I do in my spare time. It'll disturb you for years to come. Have fun in therapy.