Christmas Cats and Button Pins

Christmas Cats and Button Pins Christmas Cats and Button Pins

Christmas came around again and as such, so did my annual pilgrimage to the mountains of north-east Georgia to spend time with my family. I took the last day off of work before Christmas vacation to get a head-start on my way to Georgia. I packed the rabbit up with me and headed down the freeway.

I made pretty good time and arrived in Georgia to find the outside cat inside the house. This was the first cat I encountered.

The first item of business for my family was to go and see the new Star Wars movie for my brother’s birthday, actually it was a joint birthday outing for my brother and his girlfriend as her birthday was only a few days later. We first went over to my grandparents house so they could see my niece. This was only after my family taking FOREVEEEEEERRRR to get ready.

Look, if you want to go anywhere with my family, you better tell them the thing starts like two hours before it actually starts so they’ll actually be there on time.

Seriously, if there was a freaking fire, you could run in the house and shout, “Fire!” and they’d probably still take forever to get ready to get out of the house.

“Wait a minute, my pants are still in the dryer. I can’t leave yet.”

Well, your pants are about to be on fire because the house is burning down. Alive in sweatpants or dead in the dryer pants? Seems like a simple choice, but hey, I’m not in their brains.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsAt my grandparents house I got to hold my niece. She drooled on me and farted on me, a lot. I was farted on multiple times by my niece. She likes me pretty well so that’s a plus. We then went to drop the baby off where we had to wait on my brother and his girlfriend. This took another eternity, we’re up to two eternities now.

My step-dad proclaimed, “I don’t understand how it could take anyone so long to get ready.” Really?! Really?!

I said, “You guys do the same thing.”

He said, “No, we do not.”

Yes, you do. You totally do. It takes them forever to get ready.

We went to dinner at Longhorn, where my brother pulled off his hoodie, but ended up pulling up his shirt as well, so he was practically topless in Longhorn. He ordered a Long-Island Iced Tea, but he didn’t have his ID, because he lost it, and my mom had to get it with her ID. The drink was passed around a bit, my mom took a sip and she hasn’t drank any alcohol in years.

Christmas Cats and Button Pins
Darth Vader Cat

Anyway, we finally made it to the movie. We all had to pee. So we peed. Then we went into the theater where there were thirteen year old girls dressed up as Star Wars characters in the row behind us. Weren’t these girls like two-years old when the last prequel came out? The girls proceeded to squeal when the movie started. Really, these girls don’t know anything about Star Wars.

My mother was disappointed in the events that happened in the movie and she let us know it on the way home. I suggested milkshakes, so we went to get milkshakes. Everyone went home.

The next day I followed my mom around shopping, everywhere. We went everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She hadn’t done her Christmas shopping really and I was basically with her when she did it. She even grabbed most of my presents while I was with her. She told me they were for my brother’s girlfriend, but they were really for me.

I got to visit with my grandparents for a while at their house. Their cat was scared of my phone. He’s the orange cat in this post.

Christmas day came around and there was a ton of food as usual. Food, food and more food. My granny made way too much, as usual. There were pies galore. Pie here, pie there, everywhere a pie. There was also turkey, and ham, and pork. We had it all. We had cake. We had brownies. We had corn. We had carrots. We had green beans. If you can think of it, we probably had it. We ate it and then we ate some more. My family knows how to eat and make delicious food.

Seriously, just show up at my grandparents house one holiday and be like, “I’m here with so-and-so,” and there will probably be a so-and-so there, because my extended family is so large, and we’ll invite you in for food. You could eat until you were ready to burst.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsWe finished eating and went back to our respective homes. I made progress with my brother’s cat Binx. He was scared of me, but now I can pick him up and pet him. That’s Binx in the picture. He is a very large cat. He’s heavy. He’s like three or four of my cat, but my cat is a miniature.

On Sunday, I drove home. I attempted to drive home. I thought nothing of my drive home, until I was pulled over by a state trooper. Nice. I got pulled over. I got pulled over for speeding. Apparently, I was going too fast, but it was a speed trap. There were several state troopers in the same area pulling people over like crazy. There was someone pulled over behind me and someone pulled over in front of me.

When the state trooper came to my car he said he pulled me over for speeding, but he looked in my backseat and says, “Bunny!” Yes, I had the bunny in my back seat. Luckily, and very nicely, my ticket was reduced, a bit; it’s still an *ouch* but not as bad of an *ouch.*

Christmas Cats and Button PinsI drove home, doing the speed limit, and started to clean things up. Somebody had contacted me about the bunny, which I was very glad of. I finally got together with her and gave over the bunny I caught in the backyard. She had three kids and they had had a bunny before, but it died of old age and the children missed the bunny. I was glad that the bunny could go somewhere that he would be appreciated and taken care of.

It was odd that I randomly found a rabbit in my backyard, and caught it on top of that, but if a family can have a bunny to love because I went through that, then I guess it’s a good thing.

On New Year’s Eve I accompanied my friend to the vet’s office with her kitty who had a very unfortunate eye problem. That day my Google drive arranged the photos I took while in Georgia and put them together in a story and it asked me to add captions to the photos. As it turns out, almost all the photos were of cats. I went to Georgia and took a bunch of pictures of cats. Cats here. Cats there. Here a cat. There a cat. Everywhere a cat.

I like cats, but my story about going to Georgia makes me look like a crazy cat lady.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsOn New Years Day, I didn’t have a whole lot to do and I had to vacate my house for a showing, so I went shopping. No one was out. Everyone must have been hungover. One of the things I decided that I wanted to do was make myself some pins. I have a few pins, but they don’t always match what I want to wear. I use scarves in a variety of ways and my few pins just weren’t doing it.

I picked up some pin backs, they’re two-dollars at Wal-mart for forty. I also picked up a pack of large assorted buttons. I used hot-glue and a glue-gun to glue the pin backs to several buttons, but I remembered that I had some pendants that I hadn’t worn in a while because they’re broken in various ways, well, I glued those to pin backs as well. Now I have some pretty cool pins to secure scarves and wear whenever I want.

And so my holiday vacation goes…I will return to work on Monday ready, or not ready, to start a new year.

A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of SugarA Spoonful of Sugar

For quite a while I haven’t felt as if I could dress up for Halloween. There were certain gloomy voices that said Halloween was stupid and it should not be celebrated, probably because it was the Devil. I’m paraphrasing of course, but the idea was, “We don’t celebrate Halloween.” It was only this past year, 2014, that I began to ignore those voices and dress up again.

A Spoonful of Sugar
Lady Doctor Who-4th Doctor

Last year, I was Lady Doctor Who, the 4th doctor to be exact. I dyed a coat of a similar shade to the 4th doctor’s, I made my own very long multi-colored scarf, and I picked out a hat. Ultimately, I think I did well. I even curled my hair to be curly like his. Everyone kept asking me if it was my real hair; yes, it was my real hair.

This year, I didn’t really have anything in mind. I thought about being Mary Poppins, the thought just sort of popped into my head, much like Mary Poppins pops into places. I thought about doing a traditional Mary Poppins, but then I thought about what kind of earrings Mary Poppins should wear. She should definitely wear earrings made of spoons. Regular Mary Poppins wouldn’t wear spoon earrings, she was much too classy for that, and thus, the idea for Hipster Mary Poppins was born.

A Spoonful of SugarHipster Marry Poppins is unimpressed, how ironic.

Hipster Mary Poppins came to life with the help of spoons, a towel, some ribbon, and some strategically chosen pieces of clothing.

Look here, if you’re dressing up for Halloween and pulling together your own costumes, buy items that you can wear other times of the year. Try to find accessories and shirts and shoes that will work on other days than Halloween. It’s fun to dress up, but it’s always good to be thrifty.

Pieces of the costume:

  • Pinstripe Fedora(I already owned this)
  • Glasses(because hipsters where glasses. These were my backup pair.)
  • A grey blazer(purchased from Cato and wearable most of the year)
  • White shirt(I already owned it)
  • A red camisole(I already owned it as well)
  • Dark blue jeans(already owned. Mary’s skirt in the movie is actually navy colored, so it’s a good approximation.)
  • Black boots(I already owned these as well)
  • Spoon earrings and spoon necklace(I made these. More on that in a bit.)
  • “Carpet” Mary Poppins Bag(I made this as well. More on that in a bit.)
  • “Flowers” for my hat(They’re made of bits of ribbon I had lying around.)
  • Umbrella(not pictured here, I carried it around all day. It was my usual umbrella, but I have an umbrella with the crook on the end, so it fit.)

“Carpet” Mary Poppins Bag

The “carpet” bag isn’t actually a carpet, although I did think about making it out of an actual throw rug. when I was shopping for thin pliable rubs, I never found anything that really jumped out at me and the name of the game was thrifty, so I wasn’t about to pay anything over ten dollars for my materials. This is where an ugly orange towel came into play. It was the most carpet-y looking towel I could find and it was only $7.99 at Ross.

As you might be able to tell, this towel isn’t really orange anymore, that’s because I dyed it. I took my Scarlet red Rit dye and mixed a bit of black in with it to create the color you currently see on the bag. There are obviously still orange undertones, that’s because the bag was orange to start with. When you dye material and it’s not white or light-colored, whatever the color is will still exist in the finished product to a degree.

I did not cut the towel at all to create the bag.

I folded the towels in thirds, because I wanted to make it like a messenger bag, very hipster-ish. I sewed up the sides creating a pocket, which would be the bag part.

I then folded the sides of the bag to get those triangle points you see in the third picture. The purpose of this is to create a bottom to the bag. You don’t have to do this step, but your bag will have more of a shape if you do. Get your corners and sew across each one, horizontally. You might be able to see where I put pins as my guide of where to sew.

I then turned the bag right-side out and sewed a few pleats in the top, because the flap is obviously wider than the rest of the bag now. The pleats are to give it some interest and take up some of the extra material.

For a strap I used a cheap belt I never wear. I plan on altering this bag in the future to be a little more usable than it currently is adding an adjustable strap and altering the flap a little more and also possibly adding a closure device.

You could use any towel to make a bag.

The Spoon Jewelry

This jewelry was made of real spoons and this was the first time I have ever made jewelry out of silverware. I have worked with metal before, but not many times. Marking artwork with metal is a bit more difficult than paper or fabric arts. Metal working can be dangerous so if you set forth to make yourself jewelry out of spoons, be careful.

Materials for this project:

  • As many spoons, forks, whatever, that you want
  • Wire
  • Earring hooks
  • Small jewelry loops
  • A bit of chain
  • A clasp
  • A power drill
  • A rotary tool aka a Dremel with heavy-duty cut-off wheels and engraving bits
  • Safety goggles
  • Ear plugs

For the spoons, I went to Wal-Mart, where a trip down the kitchen utensil aisle will net you four spoons for 88 cents. I bought three packs of spoons. The earrings are made from the teaspoons while the necklace is made of tablespoons.

I used my rotary tool, which is totally not a Dremel tool, but a rotary tool from Chicago Tools; it’s much cheaper than Dremel and I got a ton of attachments and bits with it. You can find it at RadioShack. I used heavy-duty cut-off wheels and my rotary tool to cut off the spoons where I wanted them cut off. This can be dangerous; sparks may fly. It gets hot. The cut-off wheel is sharp and they often fly off into ten different pieces, so be careful.

For those of you who don’t know, the cut-off tools are used with multiple passes. You cannot cut straight through something with these thin wheels. It will take at least ten passes to cut through each spoon. The best idea is to clamp the spoons to the edge of your work table with a C-clamp so they don’t move.

One of the things I did with my spoons is use the engraving bits on my rotary tool to draw a design in the spoon bowls. Engraving is very loud. Use the ear plugs.

I then used both my rotary tool and my power drill to drill holes in the spoons. If you’re doing this, use the power drill. The rotary tool will work, but takes much longer because it isn’t as powerful as the power drill and you may very likely burn through several bits doing this. Save yourself the trouble and just use the power drill. A regular drill bit will work fine. Don’t do this on your nice table–work bench or piece of scrap wood only.

Once I had holes in all my spoons I strung them together. The earrings only had one hole each and I used earring pieces in those, fairly simple. The necklace is in a bib style. Notice I cut my spoon at different lengths. I also used the handles of the spoons in my design.

In the end, I learned how to make some jewelry from silverware and I now have a pretty fierce spoon necklace and pair of earrings.

Overall

I believe Hipster Mary Poppins was a success. It was a unique idea that was fun to execute.