Archive for December, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Frightening
December 31, 2010

Every Christmas, you know it’s inevitable – you will get at least one handmade gift. Most crafters rejoice during the holidays, they get an excuse to spend countless hours perfecting gifts for everyone in their family. Sometimes it’s a way to save money on presents, and other times it’s an excuse to spend money on new supplies with a purpose.

This kind of phenomenon occurs most often in elementary school kids and their mothers day gifts – I see a lot of lumpy clay ashtrays, painted figurines, and handprint plaques at Goodwill in the tchotchke section.  It’s excusable, even charming, in little kids.  Once you get older, more and more people start to hide their sequins and glue when you come over. Unfortunately, it just needs to be said that not everyone has “the touch”… and it can result in some pretty terrible monstrosities.   One such person is my good friend, Darcy.  She’s one of the smartest people I know, extremely mechanical and intuitive when it comes to machinery and the way things work – but the poor girl should not be let anywhere near a craft project.

Now I will say up front, I sort of knew this was coming.  Darcy’s “creations” are something I like to poke fun at, especially since the unfortunate night she came over and tried to use my mom’s sewing machine to make her Harry Potter scarf. (And that’s all I will say about that night… for both of our sakes)  It somehow became this inside joke that she should get a sock monkey kit from work and make me one for Christmas.  I predicted it would come out “with one cyclops eye, and maybe just three arms coming out of its butt.”  Famous last words…

“cute, cuddly, non-mutant sock monkey – do you hear someone crying?”

On Christmas Eve, Darcy hand delivered this beautifully wrapped package, slowly handed it over, and said, “I’ll give you a dollar not to open it.”

Being the glutton for punishment that I am, or better yet, the optimist, I tore into the wrapping. Only to find….

Dun Dun DUNNNNN!!!!!

He looks like a science experiment gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Darcy’s mom came into the store a few days later, and told me, “I’m so glad she gave it to you, we all couldn’t wait to get that terrifying thing out of our house.”  I felt a little scared to go to sleep that night, knowing he was somewhere in my room.  I didn’t know if I should turn my back on him.

Brother from another mother — obviously.

There are so many pathetic aspects of this guy, I can’t bring myself to verbally point them all out.

Eat your heart out, Dr. Frankenstein

“Dude – Theres’s something… wrong with your face.

The truth is, I don’t think I can bring myself to throw this thing out.  It feels like kicking a three legged dog, laughing at a one eyed cat… He knows he’s a hideous sea monster with a transplanted mouth. The least I can do is give him someplace warm to sleep at night.

You’re A Wizard, Harry!
December 31, 2010

If you know me even a little, you know I’m totally dorky. That along with the lethal combination of being able to “totally get into things” is the entire basis for this craft project.

Early October, my friend from work mentioned that she was planning to take her younger siblings to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, pt 1. We got to talking about the books, and at the point I had only read up to the last one, so she lent it to me and I read the entire thing in just under 4 days. Now I will be the first to admit, unabashedly, that I am a grown-up who likes Harry Potter. The books are entertaining and well written, the characters are relateable, and I think the author has done a suburb job of creating this entirely believable wizarding world.  I don’t consider myself a fanatic, but I will admit to taking pleasure in reading the books and getting swept up in the stories.

So you can see where this is going.. I decided to go to the premiere and bring Rian along as well. I couldn’t help it, I knew the hype would be huge, everyone would be so excited and having a great time, and I wanted to be a part of it! But of course, we couldn’t show up in regular clothes, we would be ostracized.. rather than investing in an entire wardrobe, I decided to make Rian and I Gryffendor scarves out of fleece.  The glasses were a last minute addition, which I think turned out to be totally appropriate..

You should be so proud of me, faithful readers, this was my first sewing project! I sewed together all the strips, and then my mom helped with sewing the whole thing in half, because I was having trouble catching the hems in. My sewing was by no means perfect, but this was a great project to start with because once you turn it inside out, you can hardly tell that the seams are totally crooked and my sewing is erratic at best.  So for all intensive purposes, success!

The best part was that Rian got totally into it. One more reason I love him – he’s not afraid to dork out! I’m sure the physique helps, nobody’s gonna mess with an uber buff looking dude, even if he is dressed like Harry Potter.. Yet another example of how my boyfriend is the greatest sport ever.

Even Zowie got into the festivities!

GTL or GTFO
December 22, 2010

Unlike other years, this Halloween I had been planning my costume for a while.  I knew for a while that I wanted to be the infamous Snooki from MTV’s monstrosity of a reality show, Jersey Shore.  When the show first came out, I was pretty disgusted with it and avoided it completely. It looked so stupid and obnoxious, I couldn’t stand to watch a few minutes of it. But then, one faithful day, I must have been sick at home or my defenses were otherwise down, and I ended up watching an episode or two, and I was hooked. I still think it’s pretty gross and obnoxious, but somehow in a funny way.. I tell people it really just seems like another world, that these people can’t actually be real.  It’s become a pasttime for Rian and I, to hang out and watch Jersey Shore and 16 & Pregnant or Teen Mom. So the more I thought about it, Snooki just seemed like the perfect costume – if I went with casual Snooki, I could get away with wearing slippers! So I would be uber comfy. And Snooki has so many recognizeable traits – the pouf, the glasses, not to mention the fake tan – that I knew everyone would know and love it. Rian originally had other plans completely, but I the more we watched the show together, he got dragged into the tangled web and decided to be a guido.  Because he can just pull it off so well!

To achieve the full look, it took much planning and a few hours to complete.  I got this horrid t-shirt at Walmart a few weeks before, and paired it with some shiny leopard print leggings, a gold chain fanny pack, and furry ugg-style slippers. I wore dark black eye shadow and fake lashes (honestly, there is no picture, because my face looked… horrifying)  I wore black and silver fake nails/talons and a huge fake diamond ring. Then all I needed was Snook’s signature glasses – which cost me a few bucks and a mere 20 minutes to make.  The best part is that you can actually kind of see out of them!

Rian’s wardrobe was relatively easy with a tight fitting, Ed Hardy-esque shirt, and jeans. He got a sample of Spiker from his hair dresser – the hair gel Pauly-D swears by. We also used a ton of hairspray and then sprayed his hair with black hair dye, for maximum gelmet effect. We got a fake tattoo from a quarter machine, and a plastic gold chain.

The most complicated part of our prep was obviously the fake tan – we investigated several options, including actual skin bronzer, face makeup, and the creams that body builders use to make their skin look extra dark and shiny. The problem with bronzing cream is that we didn’t want it to last more than for the evening, and the Pro Tan apparently never actually dries, so we would be leaving brown streaks everywhere we went all night. We ended up going with a combination of makeup foundation for a much darker skinned lady, and mixing it up with a squirt of brown face makeup and lotion. The first night of costuming I carefully applied the makeup to our face so it looked more even, but the second night we weren’t as pumped up so we just smeared it all over with our hands. Honestly, the pictures don’t even do it justice – we looked delightfully AWFUL!

my mom said it legit looked like we were rubbing ‘baby poop’ on our faces. :/

I think the only real problem with these costumes was that we went to parties where we didn’t know the majority of the people there, and most of them don’t know our sense of humor so they thought we were being somehow serious.  It was totally supposed to be satire – the skin extra dark, the pouf extra high, the Ed Hardy shirt extra douche-y. These personalities are so far from our own, that we had a lot of fun taking them on and completely altering who we were for just one night. But since most people don’t know us on a regular basis, they didn’t know how completely opposite we had made ourselves. I entered us into a halloween costume contest on a popular blog that I read called ONTD, you can see the image below that we submitted. We didn’t win, but we got a a little applause and snorts of approving laughter.