Friday, July 27, 2012

July Creation

Tada! A creation for Scarlett-- as I said, it's a mobile. The original idea is from this Russian woman. Her ballerinas have bigger tutus, which is nice. I would have liked to have put these ballerinas at more differing heights, but I wasn't feeling picky (for once).
 They actually twirl in the air conditioning. :) It's pretty cool.

You can see the cut of their snowflakes a little better without a flash-- 
These might look simple, but that would be a lie. This project was done in steps over the course of several days. It took a long time to cut out the detailed black silhouettes. Those were then traced onto white paper, cut again, and then the snowflakes were made...that's just tiring handwork even with good scissors. I had planned to be awesome and make the tutus out of tissue paper with three layers per ballerina, but the tissue paper looked too gray for me. After leaving them a few days (a week?) to press flat in a notebook, I finally got them out today and got the stringing stuff together. It was sort of a lazy project today, at this point. I didn't feel well today, so it was nice to concentrate on something like this, sitting down.
And this picture is dumbly taken-- it's sort of Scarlett's view of the whole thing (she likes them a lot), but it's also a glimpse of the little 3-armed contraption that makes the whole mobile possible. I had to do some tweaking with it to get it to balance right, and I felt pretty smart when I finally figured it out. :) So I guess it had to make an appearance! 
Even though you can't see the tiny details that make it work.

I love having a little daughter for stuff like this! These would be fine winter decorations anyway, but I like doing girly stuff for Scarlett. I was GOING to do my 16 miles today, but I nearly lost my oatmeal this morning and felt very gross in my stomach, so I thought better of it. I'll run tomorrow, I've been okay the rest of today. Definitely under the weather, but not very sick. I was looking forward to running, too! For once it didn't seem like a big deal besides the fact that I didn't feel well. Nothing like a barf-scare to change your mind...anyway, there you go! 

Snowflake Ballerinas!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

That's What My Brain Does While I Run

You want a glimpse into my brain? I mean, really? Cause here's a glimpse of how ridiculous I get.

This morning while I did my 7 miles, I was pounding it out fast and furiously! I imagined a marathon finish line ahead of me, and I imagined how nothing could get me to slow down or stop. And along that thought, I remembered how much I loved running on the sand in Cannon Beach, and I daydreamed about perhaps the last stretch of the marathon being on sand (not gonna happen). And it comes:
What if a shark JUMPED out of the water and attacked my leg?! YEAH! And I'd punch the shark in the nose, all tough and unstoppable, and people watching (and filming, oh yeah, gotta have a camera catching all of that) would gasp, but I'd be barely aware of what I'd just done because I'd be so intent on crossing the finish line (which I would, very victoriously). I'd have fierce tiger eyes, zoomed in on that finish line.
Well, that was so fun to imagine that I elaborated. Unabashedly, I turned myself into quite the marathon hero: when a drunk driver swerved off the road he shouldn't even have been on, I just jumped up and rolled across the top of the car and kept running (hoho, now that's impressive). And even better? Running on a mountain path, there's suddenly a slight avalanche, but I leap over the first large rocks and manage to get past it all without breaking my stride.
And of course there'd be the shark incident at the end of the race, to top off my awesomeness.
That's as far as I got, but if I kept that up it would probably turn into quite the superhero adventure. When really, running is just running. On the outside, not in my brain (my ridiculous brain).

I would have laughed at myself if I weren't running so fast and hard. That felt awesome, by the way. I pushed myself and when I thought it would be so nice to slow down, I thought "Why? There's no good reason for slowing down!" and I kept at it. Fast, fast, fast. That felt pretty amazing. I think 7 miles in 50 minutes is a pretty good pace. I think I hit my second wind, because when the first while had seemed so exhausting and difficult to keep working through, suddenly I just shoved on and felt really, really good. No pain. It was hard, that's for sure. I was sweating and my breathing was a big, rhythmic POOOFing, hahaha. I felt so powerful...

The music helped--I just have to have the right songs. I listened to Muse's "Uprising" while I finished the last mile or two.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blast From the Past: A Little Story

Today's delightful little Blast is not a story about's a story written and drawn by me. I wish I'd written the date on the pages, because I just have to guess how old I was--probably as old as 14? The story is ridiculous. Truly. It definitely puts my quirky side on display.
For your enjoyment, all four pages of:

Lita and Steveno, Sibling Detectives
Basically, Lita and Steveno are stupid. They just are not smart. 
In case my handwriting is illegible, I've included the story text in these captions: 
Nobody asked them to be detectives; they just do it. They live on the streets, usually in public parks. They have solved every mystery--but never told the police. Instead...they let the criminals loose after finding their they are criminals themselves. They have no idea the police are after them. And, I must add, you can tell I had big plans for these characters. Well, I wanted to write a lot of stories with them, anyway. The funny thing is, my plans died out by page 3. I knew it wasn't going anywhere! Plus, I was lazy with the drawings from the very start! But that's kind of why this story is so silly to me. 

One day, Steveno was out pretending to be busy while Lita fancied she was a mermaid who'd just found some treasure. She'd bound her legs together and was getting better at holding her breath. She knew something was wrong because nobody was telling her to get out of the park water fountain. But she enjoyed being ignored and decided she didn't care if her instincts said she was in danger.
Steveno felt the urge that his sister was in need of help! Having nothing else to do, he ran back to the park-- then remembered to be casual looking. So he pretended to be one of the lunch time joggers. He at least smelled like them.

Steveno finally got to the park and saw his sister boinging everywhere, soaking wet and bound at the feet, trying to get away from a policeman! He picked up his toothpick and climbed a tree.
When the policeman came near, Steveno pounced! And missed. But somehow, he had managed to prick the policeman's bottom with his toothpick. Lita was still boinging everywhere. She was imagining she was a frog to help lessen the stress of the frantic situation.
I never mention it in the story, but I guess when Steveno "fell" from the tree, he hit the ground in a bad faceplant. So much for his help!

Lita boinged into a tree. She and Steveno were completely vulnerable now, but the policeman wanted to go home. He didn't notice them anymore because his bottom hurt. He grabbed his hat and drove away, leaving the toothpick behind. I sure hope Steveno won't use it again, but I'm afraid that's the kind of character he is...oh, I should have read ahead. Pleasant surprise: Steveno woke up at midnight and peeled Lita off the tree. He saw his toothpick but decided he didn't want it anymore. He and Lita stayed up all night eating grass and talking about how brave they had been. 

The End

Monday, July 2, 2012

June Creation

Oops! I forgot to mention this even though I really did do it last month. :)

Michael's mom sent me a link to see a cute little "mobile" thing...oh, it's called a garland. Of course.
Ender got really excited about it, so I figured I'd do it! 
Our version is quite cute, I think. 

Guess what's dumb though? I always forget to use our really nice camera. So, tada, phone pic! 
And...well, why not post some pics of how I did it! Because I did not do it the same way as the original.

I know there are lots of ways to do homemade stamps. Cut into apples, potatoes, super thick foam, carved blocks, soap, whatever. But that wasn't so much a problem for me as ink. I used to have this rather impressive stamp collection-- hundreds of high quality stamps in all sorts of styles. But guess what? I'm just not a stamping person. I tried to be...maybe it's too much like scrapbooking for me. So I gave all my stamps to my nieces, including the inkpads and ink bottles and stuff. Oops, maybe? I don't really miss any of it. 
So my creative solution was to just use foam and a marker. I'd recommend thicker foam if you have it, but I didn't, and we survived. The foam won't absorb the marker very well, so it is pretty easy to then rub the image onto paper, sometimes even repeatedly before you have to re-marker. 
It's messy though. I even tried with gloves on (because I'm just a little snobby about getting my hands dirty with art projects), but that was stupid.

Aren't those prints so cute? I really love how the swipe of the marker shows up in the transfer on paper. Oh yeah, and isn't Ender cute? I'm glad he stayed excited about this project because it had to be extended over two or three days. I didn't realize how much work it would be...I probably should have gotten all fancy and mathed out just how many rockets I needed. But it's okay. And besides, you need two cut-outs for each finished shape. (Cut up halfway in one and down halfway in another and slide together in the slots).
Oh! And I "cheated." Once I had my two main sheets of images, I photocopied them. There was a slight color difference; the marker prints are a bluey black, and the copied prints are definitely black. But in the end, nobody cares! It's not noticeable!

Cutting...that took a long time even skirting around all the details. 
And then stringing them...that wasn't so bad, but make sure your knot is bigger than the hole, or you're asking for extra work. And some minor frustration. 
Um. Depending on your level of patience, heh...

We all really like Ender's space garland! I think he mostly enjoyed seeing how it was made, because once it was all hung up, he went to go play LEGOs. Figures, right? 
Scarlett likes it, too, though. And this month I'm making a little mobile for her (not a garland).
It will be beautiful. :) 

In other news: Scarlett is walking. Yes. She is.