Live Like a Pixie!

I’m so in love with the idea of these babies:  Tiny Tumbleweed Houses.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately- about my career and where I’d like to settle down once I’ve established myself as a real, God forbid, adult.  *Shudder*.  I was scoping out the prices of housing in my city, a place where there has been an ongoing housing shortage for quite some time, and I was shocked to see that most of the listings seemed, to my untrained eye, obscenely overpriced.  So, I did a little homework and came to find that the average cost for a house in my province was $274, 485.  Even if I get my dream job I couldn’t afford that and I’d be locked into a mortgage for 30 fucking years.  Vomit.

So, a friend of mine sent me a Facebook message and I started scoping out these little pixie houses, Squeeee!  You buy the plans from these guys, you get an estimate of what your materials cost and then you put it together yourself.  Like a gingerbread house you can FRICKIN’ LIVE IN.  Most of the estimated costs are under 50 grand, they’re environmentally friendly, there’s no room for clutter and junk (which, anyone who’s seen my car can tell you would be a refreshing change in my life) and there’s a range of sizes from itty-bitty (65 square feet– not really my cup of tea) to not-all-that-small (874 square feet– more in my comfort range.)

Yep, I’m gonna add this to my “Someday” pile, but considering how cheap it is, it might be considered for my “Someday Soon” pile.

This one’s my favorite:
http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/products/whidbey/#ad-image-2

My God, I could live here.  And have planter boxes full of herbs, and raise my own chickens.  Now, if I could figure out how to get it up into a tree, I’d be all set.

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Christmas Cards and Cardigans: I’ll be Coughing Glitter for a Week

Hey All, This is a piece I wrote last year and had forgotten to post.  🙂  More like Procrastinate-y Bitch, amiright?

So, over the weekend two of my friends had what I liked to call “First Christmas”.  Both of them are embarking on the crazy, fun adventure of moving to Saudi Arabia for a year to work.  So, my amigos, Crowe and Lady J, unfortunately will be spending their time eating McDonalds that can be delivered 24-hours-a-day and soaking up the sun in one of these spicy little numbers instead of shoveling their driveways and wearing 8 layers of clothes to keep from turning into people-sicles.

What actually sucks about their Arabian adventure is that they’ll be missing Christmas, which they are not allowed to publicly celebrate in the land of milk and camels.  The upside is that we are clever girls who have thought of a way to lesson this sting of holiday-withdrawal:  We had a “First Christmas” for them.  “First Christmas” is just like regular Christmas except no one drunkenly falls into the Christmas tree.  We ate dips and yummy homemade soup and hor d’oerves until we felt sick, then we exchanged presents and then settled in for a long winter’s nap, only to awake for turkey dinner.  Anyway, the point of this scpheel is that because they’ve been downsizing their lives to prepare for the move, Lady J gifted me all of her scrapbooking supplies—I was so excited I almost peed my pants.  So, I’ve been spending the whole day making Christmas cards and I figured I’d share my card-making experience with you 🙂

First and foremost, the first thing I learned was that one should figure out a couple of designs and stick to them.  If you try to get too Martha-y with these bad boys, you’ll get overwhelmed and quit after a couple.  Christmas is not the time to reach for the top; Christmas is a time to reach for the bare minimum and have low expectations of those around you, because, man, we’re all fucking tired.  I’ve been there—trying to wrap gifts and bake 3 fruitcakes, all while trying to transform my humble abode into a Winter Wonderland.  Well, I can tell you from personal experience—I ended up with a garbage can full of wrapping paper, 3 fruit-doorstops and my apartment ended up looking like a holly-jolly holiday hell-hole.  Don’t take on too much, my wee Gingerbread people, I worry about you.

Dos

  • Do look around before you buy, especially if you’re planning on sending out lots of cards.  If you’re willing to dig a little at your local dollar store you can find paper just as good as the fancy stuff.  Likewise, scrapbooking snobs will tell you that you “simply have to get the best quality rubber stamp because yadda yadda will deteriorate in such and such kind of ink” which is, to be blunt, a shimmering pile of reindeer-shit.  Usually that best quality rubber stamp will cost you your first-born and aren’t much different from the dollar-store kind except they might be a little more intricate in design.  If you’re fine with the plainer ones, then punch those stamp-snobs in the face and proceed with your day.
  • Do use glitter.  Some people think it’s tacky, these people have Grinch-hearts and smelly faces.
  • Do stray from the norm and find your own bits and bobs:  I like to use swirl candies in wrappers or pretty bits I’ve cut off of old Christmas cards or newspaper print (non-descript, of course, you don’t want your card recipient reading all about the Scranton Strangler, and whatnot).  I’m not going to patronize you by going through every single item you can stick on a piece of paper–my readers are smart.

Don’ts

  • Don’t spend when you don’t have to—Sure, you can spend 8 bones on pre-folded cards but no one is that lazy that they can’t fold paper.
  • Don’t buy the gadgets— The ladies in my card making class raved about their “paper cutters”.  How convenient, she was selling them for only $29.99.  Do you know what they called “paper cutters” in my day?  Fucking scissors.
  • Don’t stick to my designs– If you feel a crafty wind a-blowing, go with it 🙂

A Girly one— Pink! At Christmas!  Well that’s just re-dick!

Think Pink

Think Pink

A Trendy One– Black and purple, like my bruised soul.
302914_10150402429071026_425457008_n

A Classic Folky One– For all those little kittens on your Christmas Card list who hate straying from tradition (all the people you can’t tell dirty jokes to).
310684_10150402428406026_1805253500_n-1
As I said, I had made a bunch in my first attempts but I narrowed it down to these three that I liked the most for reproduction. Here are the others:
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And the final step is just to fill in the guts of the card.  What to write, you ask?  Well, that’s easy, just follow your heart! Ooooor, this website.

Merry Christmas, ya ho-ho-hos!

Geek Chic Without Breaking the Bank

So, as you might have noticed most of my crafty endeavours come from necessity:  I need cheap gifts for my chummily-wummilies, so I make bath bombs; I want a cheap beaded chandelier, so I give it a go.  However, sometimes I just want to make something for the calming effect that comes from mindless crafting.

Before I introduce you to today’s craft I’m a-gonna let you in on the flaming bag of poo that was my day.  In the midst of doing some major research for a school project that I’m thoroughly unprepared for, I got a call from Papa Pete reminding me that I had to renew my car insurance.  Crap.  That was a hefty bill I had conveniently forgotten about.  But, “c’est la vie”, “que sera sera”, “amor fati”—one of those has got to be used correctly.  So, I added that to my mental checklist of things to do, and carried on with my day.  However, my mental checklist had other plans and decided to spin wildly out of control and go on a rampage without my consent.  While driving through our fair city, a pebble, which I’m convinced was a tiny, concentrated lump of evil, was spat up from the truck in front of me and felt the need to make friends with my windshield.  Within the 20 minutes it took me to drive home the misleading chip had turned into a full-on snap-crackle-and-popping, visibility hindering beast of a chasm that had cleaved its way from one side of my car to the other and straight through my wallet.  Fucking awesome.  Add in a rip in some much-beloved jeans, the fact that the rent is due, some heartburn and a cut finger and you’ve got yourself a asshole of a day.  I know, I’m first-world-probleming all over the place, here, but goddarnit, did it have to happen all at once?

Damn touch screen

Just as I was about to have a vicious weepfest, I remembered a quote that someone awesome once said:  “When Life gives you lemons, thank Life profusely because you didn’t have any lemons and can’t find them at stupid Sobey’s.”  The awesome person that said that, my friends, was me.

I put my nose to the grindstone, hopped on the “Gettin’ Shit Done” train and punched my to-do list in the face.  I scheduled the remainder of my day for some non-stressful, cheap craft time and some instant happiness (aka True Blood).

I headed out to the nearest Dollarama and found some cute little ceramic piggy banks.  I figured since I needed to start saving my pennies to put towards my crack problem (might not want to say that in public) I’d get a few and jazz ‘em up.

Supplies:
4 Piggies- $4
Paint- On hand
Imagination- In head
Money to put in piggies- AWOL

Mario Piggy Bros:

I'll be playing Wii Wii Wii all the way home.

Piggy Link:

From Oink-arina of Time

Can't forget the hero sword.

Van-Gogh Piggy:

"Paint your palette blue and grey..."

Missing an ear, are we?


I think I’m going to start a collection of these things.  I can see a Piggy Elvis in my future, Piggy KISS, Piggy Batman, Piggy Darth Maul… my God, the  opportunities are endless.  Now, if I could only find something to put in them.

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Well Hung: Makeshift Chandeliers for the Sassy, if not Classy

So, the hunt has begun for my very own big-people-apartment.  After 7 years of shared bathrooms, divvied-up cupboards, and roommates, I’ve begun looking for my very own place.  I’m not complaining—personally, I think I rather lucked out on the roommate front. But, I need a real home, a place where I can cook naked and let my fuzz-beast run around like the wild-sock murderer he is. Without a properly ferret-proofed home he must be confined to my bedroom.  Look at him, he longs for the freedom that comes with chewing up the inside of boots or sleeping inside a couch:

"Let me be free!"

So, I made a list of things that I’m going to have to buy for the new pad:  couch, microwave, end tables, lamps, toaster, table and chairs, etc.  As you can see, getting settled can cost a pretty penny, so I’m going to have to use some serious restraint when it comes to purchasing the decorative frivolities that I love so very much.    So far, it hasn’t been going well.  I got some cupcake sugar bowls yesterday (although, to be fair, they were a present from my boyfriend who I have dubbed with the very manly moniker of “Panda”), a new duvet cover, some curtains, some embroidered towels– the bill is starting to run a little high for things that serve no practical purpose.  One thing, however, that I really wanted, was one of those cute decorative chandeliers to hang over my bed.  I tried a little online shopping and found that they are, for the most part, super expensive.  I cannot justify shelling out $100 dollars on a mini chandelier that gives off no light and is purely decorative—I did find one however that was the size and shape of a pinecone for $59.99+ $30.00 for shipping.  What a steal! :S

I got on the crafting-pony and rode all over the interwebz looking for help and came across this site. I love that someone took the initiative to put one of these puppies together.  It was super cute and just what I was looking for, but when I ventured out to collect supplies I found that there was not a wire hanging basket, nor mardi gras bead in town.  All I could find was faux pearl necklaces and for 10 dollars a pop I might as well have sprung for a fully functional, crystal fixture.

I was ready to give up on my treasure hunt but I remembered that in a pinch crafty bitches pinch back.  I figured I’d go balls to the wall and try my hand at making one from the ground up, and while it was a lot more time consuming, I’m sure, than using pre-strung beads, I got more of a say over how I wanted it to look.  I figured I’d share with y’all 🙂

Step 1:  Collect Supplies

  • Fishing Line- I found in a drawer
  • Beads-  $3 (on sale) for a pack of 550 at Michaels, I bought three packs
  • 2 Soda Cans- liberated from Panda’s bag of recycling
  • Crafting wire- I had on hand
  • Ribbon- $1 for a spool at the Dollar Store
  • An old necklace- I used the pendant as my dangly-bit and the chain to hang my chandelier, if you don’t have a necklace like this, you can get chain at hardware stores and find a perfect finishing-piece at most crafting stores.

    Legos are Optional

Step 2: Take your Tops off
You want to cut the tops off your soda cans—this is the easy part, just be careful you don’t cut your little fingies, my gems.  Next you want to cut the centre bits out of the soda can tops- one should have a quarter sized hole in the middle of it so there’s enough flat surface to hold a small, battery powered tea-light, and one top should have the entire middle taken out leaving just the rim.   I will from this point forward refer to these as Hole-Top and Rim-Top (creativity at its finest). The cutting can be a little bit tricky, but for the record I found that diet Coke cans have the thinnest metal.


Step 3: Create a Wreath
Loop the wire around a salad bowl to keep it round.

Step 4:  Create a Skeleton
Attach four pieces of wire to Rim-Top and the wire wreath.  This will give you some support as you start to add your beads.

Step 5: Start Beading
 Tie one side of a piece of fishing line to Rim-Top, bead the line, and tie the other end to the wreath.  And I cannot stress this enough: Double knot everything.  Do about 20 bead-strings to start off with.  Make sure that they all have the same amounts of beads, otherwise you’ll have a wonky, lop-sided chandelier.  I used about 22 on each string, but it depends on what sized beads you have.

Step 6: Make a Wire Crossbar
Make sure that it’s tight enough across the Rim-Top that it won’t move around.  This will be what you hang your masterpiece from and it’s got to be sturdy.  I attached the chain from an old necklace then tied the whole thing to an open dresser drawer handle so I can work on it while it was hanging.

Step 7:  Add Your Pick-Up.
You’ll need to tie fishing line from Rim-Top to Hole-Top, letting Hole-Top hang a couple inches below the wire wreath.

Step 8: Cut Those Wires
Once you’ve got about 20 bead-strings attached, it’s time to cut your skeleton wires on the inside.  When these are gone your whole chandelier will be supported by nothing but bead strings and you’ll find it looks more even.

Step 8:  Bead Until you Think you’re Face is Going to Melt Off
In the same way you’ve been beading the top, add bead-strings to the bottom part of your chandelier.   Take a piece of fishing line, tie it to Hole-Top so it leaves two long ends.  Bead these with about half as many beads as you did for your top half of your chandelier, then tie it to your wire wreath.  Repeat.  Continue with adding bead-strings to the top part of your chandelier, as well, until you think it looks full enough.  This is the part where you turn on Pretty Little Liars and fantasize about Ezra Fitz reciting Yeats to you before he ravishes you for hours upon hours.  (Side-Note:  Sorry, Panda!)
 Step 9: Your Dangly-Bit
Once you’re done beading, tie a piece of fishing line to the centre of your crossbar on the top of your chandelier and let it hang down through the middle of the entire structure.  Add something that gives the whole thing an extra bit of sparkle—I used a pendant.

Step 10: Add your Bits and Bobs
Glue some ribbon around the wire wreath to cover up all the bits of sticky-out fishing line.  I added a bow on top of my chandelier which is completely optional.

Step 11: C’est Fini
Be amazed at creating a piece of unadulterated beauty for under 20 bucks, then sit back and revel in your ingenuity and overall fabulousness.

D.I.Wine: Cork the Excuses and Get Down to Business

After  a little vacation, I figured it’s time to get Crafty Bitch back on the go.  So, as my return-from-hiatus craft I wanted to make something that was not only fun and pretty but something with a lot of umph.  So, I made a short list of my favorite things: 1. Makin’ shit,  2.  Reading, and 3. Being a lush.  So the logical conclusion is to make alcohol, which sounds incredibly hard, but if you can read (see number 2) you can do it.

So, I set out into the interweby to see if venturing into the wine making world was for me.  But for some reason the only things I could find were frou-frou blogs and posts from sniffle-y wine snobs which used words that I had only ever heard on Fraiser. So I veered headlong and without any sort of preparation into the wine-making world, but I knew that my love of booze would triumph over my tendencies to let my interests wane and a general lack of determination with these sorts of things.  Most people pick up hobbies that are intended to better oneself, but most people (myself included) begin to make wine so the world just gets a little bit drunker—that, my little meatballs, is a true hobby worthy of my time and effort.

With a little help from Santa Clause I came into possession of a beginners wine making kit from Brewery Lane (which, you might remember, is the store that provided me with the fizzy for my fizzy bath bombs).  This is a neat and compact little kit that has almost everything you need for making vino.  The most important thing is that you read your instructions carefully, as well as take a little cue from one of my favorite books and “Don’t Panic”.

Know your Shit
Juice- This is what becomes delicious, delicious booze.

Packets- they’re filled with stuff that do things that I don’t care to figure out (stabilizers, clarifiers, junk like that).

Plastic Carboy- A lot of my amateur wine-making pal-ios have turned up their noses at me when I say I’ve got a plastic carboy instead of a glass one.  The big thing I’ve been hearing is that there’s a greater risk of oxygen diffusion.  To these Debbie Downers I say, “Well, that’s just impossible because I don’t know what that means.”

Auto-Siphon-  This is a nifty little piece of equipment that helps you transfer your wine from one vessel to the other.  When I first heard of a siphon I, classy lady that I am, thought of pilfering gas out of a car—and that’s pretty much the kind of tool it is, which is convenient if I you up creating a gasoline substitute instead of wine.  It’s not as unlikely as you might think.

Sanitizers- To keep the germies out.

Two very impressive pieces of equipment that are called “Spoon” and “Bucket“.   Anything you can make in a bucket has got the Crafty Bitch stamp of approval.

Ye olde buckette, and ye olde spoone.

Making it Happen
Basically, and there is some variation to this process, you read the instructions and then follow them.  That’s about it.  Even the complex instructions are easy– they’re usually something like put this here, stir, now put it here, stir, stir some more, etc.  I know you’re thinking, “But what if I’ve never made wine before, and I bought all the stuff separately and I don’t have instructions?”  Well, to that I would say, “Go get your money back and buy a kit.”  I’m of the school that believes that you’ve got to learn how to fry up a grilled cheese before you conquer coq au vin.   Anyway, the basic instructions go something like this:

1. Sanitize everything by following the instructions on your sanitizing powder.
2. Put your juice in the bucket followed by water and any other little extras that your instructions say to add (which are clearly labeled, thank Jesus).
3. Stir
4. Wait two weeks
5. Tranfer juice into the carboy using the auto-siphen.
6.  Wait four weeks

This is what you stare at longingly for four weeks.

7.  Transfer wine into wine bottles
8.  Add all the little finishing bells and whistles.  I got some black seals from Brewery Lane (do I love them because of the great customer service, or the adorable pun-name?  Who knows, who cares).  Then I ordered some labels online that cost way too much and are taking too long to get here, before I realized I can get them locally at a place called Brew Craft.  I made them myself with my trusty MS Paint:

 

Hurry up, Mother effer, so I can slap you on my bottles.

There were moments when I felt like a backwoods moonshiner, because, clearly, the very technical fermentation process doesn’t work unless you are barefoot and stirring like a butter-churning fiend.   I also listened to some Bill Monroe and Soggy Bottom Boys to keep in the spirit while getting my churn on.

Just in case you're wondering, no, I'm not a Quasimodo, I'm a sloucher, it comes with the territory of being too hip for posture.

I found making wine was a lot like making bread– people say it’s hard but it’s mostly a lot of waiting around.  Then you present it to your friends and family with a smug look on your face that says, “I created this tiny delicious miracle out of raw materials and a dream, what did you do with your afternoon?”  This is a super fun hobby that involves very little thinking, in fact, you’ll probably even kill quite a few brain cells.  Plus, it’s extremely rewarding (and I mean actually rewarding, not rewarding-by-obligation, like earning a degree, or volunteering).  And if you find it’s something that you’re actually interested in,  you can, you know, start to use your brain and actually learn the ins and outs of it.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some lovely winos who would like shower heaps of praise upon me.  That’s code for “I’m breaking out Buster the Big Glass tonight”.

Song of the Day:

Homemade Gifts or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bath Bombs

So,  I’ve been doing a lot of my Christmas shopping lately and as I’ve been wandering through throngs of people (seriously, don’t you people have jobs or families to go to?) and sifting through shelves of all the useless shit that’s piled up in the big box stores of this city and I’ve come to a realization that some of you little fruitcakes might have already had:  Christmas gift shopping sucks.  I know what you’re thinking: “But, Oh Crafty One, it’s only November, it can’t be that bad!”  But it is… it’s worse.  I like to spend most of my Christmas holidays not wanting to hang myself from the rafters with a piece of tack-licious tinsel garland, so I stay out of stores by getting all my gifts early.  However, I think I might be giving away too many of my secrets because it seems the masses have figured out my ploy and followed me, Pied-Piper-style, to Walmart and beyond.
So, what is a Crafty Bitch to do when you want to please your friendly-wendlies and loved ones and not kill your fellow shoppers in the process?  Why, you just whip together some hassle-free treats, stick on a gift tag, and call it a day.

One of the most underrated treasures in the world is homemade gifts.  Think about all the absolute crap you’ve gotten in your lifetime and how much it actually meant to you.  If I could take all the shitty teddy bears I’ve gotten in my life and get them together, I wouldn’t have a teddy bear picnic, I’d have a teddy bear bonfire.  I don’t know about you, but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t need any more junk, and so are most of my friends, so why should I be throwing away tons of my hard-earned money at the mall finding that perfect something  when my pal-ios probably already have two of them, or they never wanted it in the first place.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the most valuable thing you can give someone is your time, so why not put together a few time-filled goodies.

Bath Bombs
These are super easy to make and I love them because when you throw them in the drink with ya it’s like soaking in a big glass of champagne.

They’re also awesome  because you can lie and tell people they took you all day and they’ll believe you (Remember: The best relationships are built on a foundation of lies).

Ingredients:
1 cup baking soda:
I say sodium bicarbonate because it helps me remember baking soda, not powder.  Also, it makes me sound like  a fancy scientist: “Hmm, yes, I need some sodium bicarbonate for cleaning my flatware… AND MY DEATH RAY”.  You can get this anywhere, I like Bulk Barn because it’s cheapy-cheapy and I can pick up  a shit load of candy while I’m at it.

1/2 cup of citric acid:
… or as I like to call it– Waldo, because it can be pretty hard to find.  Here’s a few little tricks to finding it though that I didn’t really think of when I went out a-lookin’: Know what it looks like:
(I put a tiny wind-up Santa next to it to give you an idea of how big it should be.  Then I realized that tiny Santa’s aren’t exactly a universal measurement, but fuck it, I’m not taking the photo again.)

Secondly, you’ll probably be asked what citric acid used for just so they’ll know what section of the store to find it in.  The answer is- It should be everywhere, but it’s usually nowhere.  It can be used in small amounts as an additive to jams and jellies so it could be found in the canning section of Walmart, it’s also used to ripen cheese so it might be in your local health food or cooking supply stores, also, you can use it to cut heroine so you might try asking your local drug dealer.  Just joking, smack is whack.  Anyway, I thought I could just go out and ask some nice helpful salespeople and someone would have an idea.  However, most people looked at me like I was trying to build a bomb.  Which I was… a bath bomb!  (Just FYI, it’s probably not a good idea to use that one to said suspicious salespeople.)  After 2 Walmart`s, 4 Shopper’s Drug Marts, 2 Dominions (brawl with rude customer service lady thrown in for free), and 1 Sobey’s,  I had a stroke of genius that involved calling around before heading out.  Of course the first place I called was a wine making supply store that had tons of the stuff.  So, I’d look there first.  If you’re okay to wait, I’d recommend checking out Ebay or the Brewery Lane’s online store, Clickabrew, which is the store I got mine from.

2 teaspoons of cornstarch
Easy enough.

4 teaspoons of grapeseed oil
If you don’t know what grapeseed oil is it’s because it’s been camouflaged next to the olive oil at the grocery store for all these years.

A few drops of food colouring
I use neon food colouring because I’m wild and craaaaazy.

A few drops of fragrance
You can get these at Michael`s or any place with soap making supplies.  I’m not usually one who heeds all the warnings but I’ve heard that you must use soap fragrance as candle scent can irritate you body when added to a bath and I always abide by such disclaimers when my hoo-ha is involved ;).

Extras
There are a few extras you can add to your bath bombs, such as vitamin E oil, but really you’d just be spending money to gild the lily.  Some people add sugar, sprinkles, or candies, but apparently these peoples’ mothers didn’t teach them about the pitfalls of women’s health (Thanks, Ma!).

Instructions (Make sure you pay attention, it’s real tricky)
1.  Mix wet ingredients in a cup (this batch is grapefruit flavoured, in case you were wondering).

2.  Mix dry ingrediants in a bowl.

3.  Add contents of cup to bowl.

4.  Smoosh.   Throughout your smooshing process you will need to add more oil, just keep going until you get a sticky-ish consistency– enough so when you shape it it doesn’t fall apart.  Don’t worry if you go a bit overboard, as long as you don’t turn it into bath bomb-slop you can even it out with more baking soda.  P.S.  You will love how your hands feel after this– soft like buttah.

BAM! you got your mixture.  Use anything you want as a mold- ice cube trays, chocolate molds, plastic Christmas ornaments, it’s all good.
I like the little bubble  containers you get from gumball machines.  Pack it hard (that’s what she said) then extract from your mold.  Again, if they are a little powdery or oily just let them sit for a while to harden up.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match colours, some of my favorites are pink and green melon scented, and white vanilla paired with orange tangerine to make cream-sicle.

Put them in baggies, throw some straw or ribbon on it, and give them to all your smelly friends 🙂 .

Oh, and for all my homies reading this right now:  Guess what prezzie you’re getting!  And for all my friends that don’t like baths:  aw well, maybe you’ll get something next year.

Song of the Day:

Pumpkin Carving Magic: All You Need is Bibbidi, Bobbidi, and Booze

So, I was creepily scouring peoples’ Facebook pictures the other day and I realized that sooo many people were getting out in the world and doing fun, autumny things.  Quite a few people were visiting farms and picking their own pumpkins and what not and while my outdoorsy-ness really does only extend to watching my man rake the leaves from the safety of our deck, I got super jealous that I wasn’t a part of all of these corn maze-ing, pumpkin-picking, hay bale-ing good times.  So, while I was at the liquor store I figured I’d take a short jaunt over to Sobey’s and pluck myself up a nice ripe pumpy and have a little carve-fest date with my dearest.  While he’s all about date night, he knows his place– he leaves the crafting business up to me.  So he played a marvelous game of Call of Duty, and plied me with praise and alcohol (don’t tell me that’s not love), while I whipped up a Halloween wonder in the form of Cinderella’s carriage.

Step one:
Punch a hole in that sucker.  Most Jack-o’-Lanterns have their access holes on top around the stem, but I put one in the back so my wee carriage will look sleek.  So many people have asked me how I managed to carve it without putting a hole in it.  I said: Magic.  That’s not me being clever, that is me being saucy.

Step 2:
Scoop out your pumpkin.  A lot of people call the “stuff” pulp.  However, if you look in the trusty Bitchionary you’ll see it’s actually called “punkin guts”. This part is tedious.  so I recommend cracking open a cold one to help you get through it.  Sigh.

Step 3:
Next I decided to have a door and some windows installed. You don’t have to print off the MS Paint blueprints I’ve attached to the bottom of the page,  I assume you know how to draw an oval.  But I do recommend making a little paper stencil for yourself first so your shapes don’t look wonky and mismatched.

 

If you want to be a fancy pants you can add a tiny working door on your carriage.  Just take the oval you cut out for your doorway, chop it in half and  use some wire (or unbent paperclips if you’re going to be resourceful about it) and make teeny tiny hinges.  Shape one paper clip like a “U” and drive it into the pumpkin wall, then use a second paper clip and thread it trough your first one, then drive it’s prongs into the door.  Give the prongs a little twisty-twisty business so they’ll hold in place, and ba-blam! You got yourself a door. If Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater ever comes looking to buy a house for his missus, I’ve got myself a new gig.


Step 4:
Take your little creation into the back yard and and give a good coating of silver metallic spray paint.  I got mine at Michael’s, or as I like to call it, my happy place.   It cost me about 5 bucks and it dries in a nanosecond which is extremely convenient if you’re impatient like me, however it’s extremely inconvenient if you’re the poor little caterpillar that got a thick coating of silver paint in my garden.  I’ve really got my fingers crossed that he’ll turn into a beautiful, silver butterfly instead of the more probable fate of a beautiful, silver caterpillar-corpse.

Step 5:
The last step is really just adding all your fixin’s.  I made some swirls with plain old Elmer’s craft glue and sprinkled on some glitter.  I used Sterling and Crystal Fine from the Martha Stewart 24 vial glitter multi-pack.  You can use any old sparkles you’ve got lying around the house, I just consider myself a bit of a glitter snob.

I also added some wooden horses that I had crafted up for a Christmas project.  If you want to try your hand and painting them you can get them for about a buck-fiddy each at Michael’s (mmm, happy happy happy).   Although the carriage looks swell without them.  Again, I added some Christmas ribbon but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to be at it.

Lastly I found some wire lying around the house and I wrapped it around a beer bottle a couple times to make curly wheels and just jammed their little pointy ends into the pumpkin to keep them fixed in place.  Glue on some fake moss (or real moss if you’re the type of person who likes to go foraging for your craft supplies).

There, now your ready to go to the ball.  Or kegger, whatever you’re into, really.

Blueprints:

Song of the Day: