March 27, 2023

this one: light-hearted & CRAFTY, or my name isn't Ernie, oh- whatever

TROPHY SHELVES AND A FAKE OUT:  While I don't currently looking at friends' FB posts, I troll Marketplace. Remember in '21 when the tornado tore up our neighborhood, destroyed a sizeable chunk of our tree, and upended our swing set?

The girls' room shook like a bowl full of jelly and a week later the trophy shelves ripped out of the wall, apparently loosened by Mr. Tornado. 

*meanwhile I slept like I was in a coma. Thanks, allergy shots. As an aside:  I got my shots on Friday and the nurse could NOT believe my shots make me sleep like the dead. In 28 years she'd never heard that. Am I an anomaly?

Digression over:  I hired a guy to put the shelves in proper-like. Several months ago - maybe October? They came down again. So in my spare time, I peruse used furniture - seeking something suitable to store trophies. My preference? Enclosed in glass. Good-bye dust.

I'm thinking I need to pull the trigger and pick something vs staring/shopping - even changing my location. The weekend we visited Mini in South Bend, I swapped Chicago for South Bend. One never knows what a different city might have to offer. I'm a garage sale guru at heart. 

Mini is brining a few friends home to stay with us Easter weekend. She's asked me multiple times if that's OK. I keep assuring her:  YES. Perhaps she feels the need to check and re-check because she's secretly wondering:


Remember when I said I was bored? I'm not one to fill free time with cleaning, so the mess persists. Ordering the house IS my plan. I think new trophy storage is the first step.

This one seems to be like
 a painting project
but there are others that
 are used as fake babies. I would
do a search for one to prove my
 point, but I don't want to
set off any algorithm alarms.
Any-who, I barely scroll through 'friend' posts before clicking Marketplace, but a few times recently I'm like WAIT, WHAT NOW? Certain 'suggested for you' posts are downright freaky. FAKE BABY posts. Realistic dolls that people apparently pretend are real. It's like a thing, I guess. I once clicked on a post, duped into thinking it was about a newborn, unlike this pic - people were holding the fake baby as if it was real. I don't really remember the details but I was confused. After I read about it, I sat back in my chair and shook my head. Thank you algorithms, for identifying me as someone who enjoys weirdness. 

How do I let FB know that is not my bag?

I DIDN'T KNOW I NEEDED A HOBBY, BUT YET:  Our library has a new dedicated area called a maker studio. 

Sublimation Printer & Heat Press
Other items in this category
Button Maker
Candle Maker
Carving Machine
Cutting Machine: Cricut
Cutting Machine: Silhouette
Cutting Machine: Sizzix
Digital Editing
Embroidery Machine
Knitting Machine
Laser Cutter
Poster Printer
Sewing Machine

(that is a list of some of the [possibilities)

I went to the library with a picture of Ed and his girlfriend a few hours before I was going to go see him for Mom's weekend. I didn't realize that the studio didn't open until 11 am, but an employee was nice enough to open and show me the ropes do my project for me. A lazer burned the image into a thin piece of wood and we had their names burned across the bottom. I made one for each of them and they loved it. 

I wanted to create something out of a photo of Mini and her friends, but Mini poo-poo'd the idea of a t-shirt with their photo on it. After parents' weekend, I was on a group text with her friends' moms. I asked them to kindly send me photos of the girls at college for a photo project I was working on. One mom sent me 35 pictures and I got a handful from a few other moms. I had photos from Mini and from our tailgate. Now I just had to decide what to make. 

How about a photo collage banner? I got the idea from a banner from Step Brothers that hangs in Ed's college dorm. Excuse the naughty language. 

I called the library and asked how big I could make it. The girl was like OH, ANY SIZE. Limitless and I are old friends, so watch out. 

I got busy organizing the photos into a publisher file. Then I decided to insert a Notre Dame logo. Then I decided to insert the photos INSIDE the logo. Then I had an endoscopy and decided that I'd just sit and play with photos on publisher afterward for 15 minutes before bed. Three hours later, I'd created a really cool graphic and I NEEDED to go to bed. 

The next day I decided to be a crazed perfectionist and I zoomed in 400% and made little adjustments and swapped out a few photos/resized/angled them and then created shapes filled with gold to match the outside border of the ND to cover up the edges of photos that were protruding. Then I went to the fabric store to get 100% polyester fabric. Then I went to the library. 

The girl working was so sweet, but really didn't know how to work with such a big project. The heat press (used to apply images to t-shirts, etc.) was 12 x 12 inches. My image:  24 x 24. Uh-oh. The first attempt didn't turn out. I was not deterred. 

The next day a seasoned guy was there. He drew a grid on the back of the printed sublimated image as a guide and we pressed a quadrant at a time. 

BINGO . . . I freaking love it. 

How cool will this tapestry look on her dorm wall? Not sure you can appreciate it in a photo. Trust me - way cool. It's a very vivid copy of the photos on like a scarf-type fabric.

PRICLESS -WELL, ALMOST:  I spent LIMITLESS hours, because I can get lost in a fun project. You remember my graduation videos, right? The library charges $2 per foot of sublimation, so that was $4 a sheet for my project. For $5 I got enough fabric to make 2 banners/tapestries. There are 13 girls in Mini's group of friends in PDUB dorm, plus a girl in another dorm. When we struggled initially to get the small press to work on the large piece of fabric, I joked with the library people (my new friends) that I'd gone from planning to make one for each girl to COME VISIT MINI'S BANNER HER ROOM and only making one. 

The next morning, I was like - I'VE GOT THIS. I have 5 made, 3 more prepped - just need to heat press them. Then 6 more to do after that. AND a house to order. 

Ask me if I've gone on FB Marketplace to shop for used heat presses so that I can start my own business? In all seriousness, I would LOVE to have people send me photos, marking their most important 10, pick a high school/college logo/design - like a word:  'LOVE', and then create an image to burn onto a t-shirt or a fabric, etc. Wouldn't that make a great keepsake for a college or high school graduate? 

Mini walked in after her flight home from Ireland and I had the tapestry hanging up in the kitchen. She was like HUH? HOW'D YOU? 

What can I say, boredom isn't really my favorite flavor. 


Nance said...

It's always so much more fun to get lost in a cool project than it is to clean the house.

(Hey, I don't know if you know this or not, but you already have your own business. Did you forget about your childcare service?)

Bijoux said...

I hope you’re able to find a trophy case. That tapestry is amazing. You crack me up how quickly you put it into action. I’d have spent weeks thinking about it, then probably never do it. LOL!

Libraries really do offer some cool services. Ours has a toy lending library, which I think is neat. The fake baby thing is super creepy! I know on Instagram you can type in words you don’t want posts (ads) about. I’m constantly trying to outwit all the medical and nutrition ads, as they’ve pegged me as a health nut.

ccr in MA said...

You are SO crafty! That came out great and is so clever. Nice job! And yes, libraries are amazing.

Ernie said...

Nance- Amen to ranking a fun project over housework.

Ha. Well you are correct. I guess the difference is one can be done at whatever hours I wish and allows the creative juices to flow . . . and MIGHT add up to a decent paycheck for the amount of energy required.

Ernie said...

Bijoux- It is hard to pull the trigger on the trophy case because I need to get Coach on board with picking it up. Plus what if something better shows up tomorrow. There is a beautiful one priced at $300- much more than what I intend to spend. It is also 'outside my search results', but now that FB has shared it with me . . . I ponder creative ways to get it/afford it.

Thanks, I am excited at how the tapestry turned out. Some projects might sit with me longer, but I got my mind set on doing something current for Mini and her friends.

It would not be fun to be pegged as a health nut, but my current pegging as a fake baby lover is equal parts off-putting. ;)

Ernie said...

Ccr- Thank you. I am excited to complete them and give them to the girls. Mini was like YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE ONE FOR EACH GIRL. She thought each room of 3 or 4 girls would suffice. As a middle child, I could not bide that. Who would keep it after the school year? Seemed unfair. 14 it is!

Libraries are the greatest. Free books and now- so much more.

Pat Birnie said...

I agree that projects like this are so much more fun than cleaning the house. I do love to organize though, so may not have been able to focus like you did. BUT that is SO cool! It turned out beautifully. I’m sure the girls will be so delighted.

Kari said...

You're very inventive! I would never consider making something like that.

I've seen those lifelike babies before. I used to think it was strange until I learned that it helps people who have lost a child due to stillbirth. Now I see it from a completely different perspective.

I love that Mini is bringing home friends for Easter. How lovely. ❤️

Kara said...

Don't downplay this craft! It's amazing! I love it.

Lifelike babies are so weird. Then, there's a whole other subset who uses these dolls to make lifelike baby monsters and mermaids and stuff, and that's even weirder.

Beth Cotell said...

That banner is AWESOME!!!!!!!! And how cool that your local library has a maker's room. There is one at my son's college that they call Makerspace which I thought was a cool thing when we toured the campus. I'm sure, however, that my son will never set foot in it.

Gigi said...

How creative! The banner is perfect.

Nicola said...

I am impressed with your banner! Wow! I am a firm believer in the idea that thinking about (insert area of crafty interest, e.g. sewing), buying lovely supplies for said interest and actually doing the craft are three separate hobbies! Because the first two occur a LOT more frequently than the third... 😂 Is Mini pleased with her banner? I know she said you don't have to do one for all of the girls, but if she chuffed that you did all of that chiefly for her?

Bibliomama said...

The banner is freaking amazing - also "limitless and I are old friends, watch out" lol. I used to make photo calendars for the grandparents every Christmas and would end up looking up from the computer at 4 a.m.
I actually felt like cleaning and ordering the house WAS a fun project last fall. First time ever, and maybe never again, judging by how I've felt since Christmas. I am solo here for two weeks and the house is in way more disarray than it should be. Oh well. I'd rather read a book.

Sandy said...

Holly cow!!! When you decide to do a project you go hog wild. It looks fantastic. I'm sure everyone will be thrilled. I am not one to clean when bored either, but then I really never get bored; but if I did too many things more important than cleaning. I have a friend who used to be crazy about cleaning and suddendly she said she figured out how many hours she had spent dusting and vaccuming and decided she had wasted lots of time.

Colleen said...

Wow wow wow I love that! And how cool that your library gives you access to things like this, I think our libraries only have books, but now I need to do some research!

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Wow, what a fabulous project! I would have LOVED something like that in my dorm when I was in college. Good work!

Ernie said...

Pat - I did a great bit of organzining of the study before Christmas. Keep meaning to blog about it. So, yes - organzing a space is a great project. I love the aftermath, until the piles of crap return. I would still take a creative opportunity over de-cluttering, hands down. If you ever visit me, well- you've been warned. ;)

Mini is super excited about it.

Ernie said...

Kari - It started out as a simple photo project, but when I inserted the logo it became a whole different ball game.

To each their own. I feel for people that turn to a fake baby to cope. I would assume most people fixated on these fake babies aren't doing so because of a loss. If that helps people, wouldn't there be more full sized fake people dolls created to help people cope with loss of loved ones?

I just realized that Curly plays basketball in Milwaukee Easter weekend. Oops. I guess Coach will have to stay in Milwaukee till Saturday while we host Mini's college friends.

Ernie said...

Kara - Thank you. I am super excited about it and can't stop myself from thinking of the many places where this could be utlizied.

I have not heard of baby monsters or mermaids. Just when you think you've seen it all. Ha.

Ernie said...

Beth - Thank you. I cracked up at your son never setting foot in the makerspace on his campus. I like the name makerspace better than maker studio. If I have it may way, the library will rename it Ernie's Maker Place based on me starting my own business and selling banners like this. ;)

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thank you. Some truned out better than others. It is hard to align the press - if you go over the same spot twice, it gets a little blurred or extra dark. Mini has claimed a near perfect one for herself.

Ernie said...

Nicola - Thanks. I'm chuckling at your theory on buying the supplies as a seaparete project. Funny.

Mini is thrilled with the banner/tapestry. She felt bad that I'd spent so much time on it, but is really excited for me to make them for everyone. She knows they'll love it but was trying to save me the hassle. She also knows better than to get in my way once I've set a goal for myself.

Ernie said...

Ali - I hear you on getting lost in a photo collage project. I start thinking, WAIT, WHAT ABOUT THAT OTHER PHOTO? WHERE IS THAT ONE THAT I LIKE WITGH SO AND SO IN IT. It goes on and on.

I did work to organize the study before Christmas. It started out as a small straightening project but it became a more involved thing. It ended the day I got covid- I remember leaning in the closet and wondering why my head felt so heavy. It really needed the complete overhaul and it did feel great to complete it.

Too bad houses don't just clean themselves.

Ernie said...

Sandy- Thanks. I really surprised even myself at how much I dove in got busy. I think that was partly because of the stress of life recently. It was a great distraction.

I have a friend who is constantly cleani g. She also has a daycare and when we have a play date with both sets of kids my house ends up looking better than when it started.

Ernie said...

Colleen - thank you. You should look at your library. You could maybe make t-shirts for your ice cream shop. ;)

Ernie said...

Suzanne- Thank you. It was so fun to create it and to surprise Mini. I loved making photo collages in college and this would've been right up my alley.

Busy Bee Suz said...

How in the world could you ask if you are an anomaly with a straight face?

The projects. You might be the most ambitious or the most insane person I know. Maybe both? Yeah, both.

The finished project form Mini's dorm room and for her friends is fantastic. I had a giggle at the Mom who sent 35 pictures. Is this an only child? Or was she a beauty queen?
I feel like I used to have that energy, but the energy train has left the building, never to return.

I also loved Step Brothers and that poster is nothing short of awesome.

Ernie said...

Suz - Your comment reminds me of when my friend used to tell me that I was either a very good alcholic or someone who thrives on total chaos . . . or something along those lines. Hee hee. I do enjoy a project - especially one that is this much fun and cute and sure to thrill these girls. I'd like to make something similar for Ed and all of his friends for their graduation in 6 weeks. Hmmm.

The mom who sent 35 pics has 4 kids - but this is for her youngest and only girl. I suspect that she and the daughter are tied to the same photo sharing thing, maybe? I was blown away too, but grateful because the rest of us only had like 3 or 4 pics.

I'm laughing at the energy train has left the building.

Step Brothers is a huge fav in our house. That banner was hanging in Ed's fraternity room and we showed up to visit with H and D back in when we were working on adopting them. I kept positioning myself in front of the banner so they couldn't read it.