Just what I needed

Because I’m a terrible bloggess (is that even a word? well it is now) I have probably failed to mention that I am in love with this blog and have been for quite some time. She has dark and twisted ideas for decorating the house (something you’d never suspect ME of liking but I do) fun links to all sort of crazy ephemera around the web and most recently she hosted a Secret Santa Can Suck it swap. This seemed right up my tired and stressed alley- a swap where no actual swapping goes on. Instead we are assigned another blog and we go to said blog, read it (hopefully) and decide from what we see what we would have gotten our partner if we …. you know… cared or something like that. I am loving this idea because it allows me to be as creative and crazy as possible without worrying about a budget.

So without further ado, I received Tomato Blight for my partner and immediately grinned when I saw her blog name- I like tomatoes for one thing- and for another its sounds delightfully twisted. When I first wandered over to her blog this morning (my spam folder ate the email last night that told me who my partner was so I had to go find it this morning) the first post I saw was one on turning a cutesy little bird house into something a bit more…. sinister and now I can’t wait to see how she finishes it.

My gifts to you Tomato?

Your very own repo man. Because I think there are times when everyone needs a little cash on the side and those of us who are of the crafty variety especially need that extra money to better feed our addictions. We have our obsessions that must be kept in check and the best medicine is more stuff. New supplies, new gadgets, new goodies to tear up and put back together as we see fit. Having your own organ lending business complete with addictive drugs to make sure your customers are repeat customers would allow you to finance your crafty business quite nicely. Plus any man who can play the multiple personality thing like that without actually being crazy should be handy to have around when you need a hand say fending off unwanted telemarketers and such.

Merry Christmas!

Pipe Cleaner Poinsettia Tutorial

So as I promised yesterday I came back to share these poinsettias with you. Amazing right?

The idea for these little guys first hit me when I was getting ready to go Christmas shopping a couple weeks ago. I had my warm long sleeve red shirt on under my black More Cowbell t-shirt and was all set to wrap up in my new coat that Jarell got me but I was feeling less than festive. Things as I’ve mentioned have not been great the last couple of months and I really wanted something that would help me feel more like Christmas shopping. In about 5 minutes the idea exploded into my brain. My first thought was pipe cleaner snowflake. But then I saw my red chenille pipe cleaners and a whole nother plan formed in an instant. I wanted a poinsettia for my ponytail. Here’s how I whipped it up.

Step One:

Gather Materials. I used red green and white chenille pipe cleaners from Hobby Lobby. They cost me 77 cents per package making this a very budget friendly craft. The buttons came from my Gramma’s button tin making this a keepsake craft as well- I don’t want to use Gramma’s buttons for just anything but their use in this project guarantee’s it will be extra special. The ribbon came from my stash and also cost me probably less than 2 dollars per roll. All in all if you buy the supplies this project can cost 1 dollar and up. Awesome yes?

Step Two: Grab three like colored pipe cleaners and line up the ends. Figure out where the middle is and twist them together a few times like this. (except less blurry…)

Step Three: Spread out your pipe cleaners like spokes on a wheel

Step Four: Fold in your flower petals. Please forgive the blurry shots- my hands were kinda shaky today and the more I tried to hold still the worse it got so everything has a bit of blur to it.

Wrap the end around behind the other pipe cleaners and secure it around front with a twist. Harder to show and explain than it is to do I promise.

Continue on around the flower until all your petals are made.

Step Five: Shape the petals to look like… you guessed it… poinsettia petals. I use one finger in the middle of the loop as shown to make the end of the petal and pinch it shut with the other two fingers

Repeat around all the petals.

Step Six: Now its time to shape the petals. Again with blurriness but I tried like 10 times and got no better than this.

I curled them around my fingers as shown to give them some dimension beyond that of flat pipe cleaners.

Step Seven: This step is somewhat optional. I have not used it for every poinsettia but I’m adding it in anyway as it looks nice. This is the leaf. Make a figure 8 with a green pipe cleaner if desired and follow the instructions for shaping the petals.

 

Step Eight: String the button on your ribbon or pipe cleaner.

Then wrap your ribbon (or pipe cleaner) around the center of your flower and tie (or twist) to secure. Make sure to include your leaves if you’re making them.

At this point I feel I should mention that you can make your ribbon as long or as short as you want. I made mine long enough to be worn as a headband as well as a ribbon on my ponytail.

So now you have yourself a poinsettia. Woo hoo, right?

Look out! The holidays are coming!

So yeah they’re 11 days away. Ten really because seriously who has time to do anything on Christmas eve, right? So I’ve been crafting my happy butt off when I haven’t been having random meltdowns. Our house hasn’t been a very happy place to be lately. It’s complicated so don’t ask unless you want a long drawn out email from me cuz I can’t go into it here.

Back on topic tho. Knitting. I don’t have pictures. Why? Because I’m an idiot who has forgotten she owns a camera. I wrap the presents and then remember that oh yeah I meant to take a picture of those.  Fortunately I made stockings today and since they’re by nature not wrappable (is that word?) I did manage to take pictures. Unfinished for the most part  but pictures nevertheless.

Pointy toed elf stockings to be exact. I’ll be stuffing the toes so that the toys and goodies don’t get lost. I also plan to have pictures and a quick tutorial tomorrow (altho you shouldn’t hold me to that) for a quick pipe cleaner poinsettia that is adorable as a present topper, ornament or my personal favorite a hair bow.

Things have been insane enough around here that I can’t even remember what else I’m supposed to be making for people. Lots of not talking, no fighting, some slamming doors, one day of almost total phone silence because my dear husband left for 5 hours without telling me. I was not happy and the fact that I couldn’t talk to him meant that I thought he was mad at me. He wasn’t but by the time he got home I sure was.

But I was wandering through blogland today and I saw a quote that made me sit up and take notice. I have not been too very happy lately. Stressed beyond belief. The family stuff has been… really rough to deal with. Money as always is an issue. Christmas and all the inherent expenses isn’t really helping matters. Jarell made it through the Virginia job with slightly more than he would have made if he’d stayed home so that wasn’t much help. And when it all gets to be too much and I need to leave, to get away, to breathe air not made stagnant by all the anger and frustration welling up in me at home… I can’t. I don’t have a car. I was more upset with Jarell the other day because he got to leave when I couldn’t but I wasn’t able to. The truck is not at my disposal the way it is his and I was pissed as hell that I’m not allowed that same luxury. And I’m human. Our *gasp* sex life has been far less than satisfactory lately. He’s stressed and tired too and so he’s not interested. Whereas I being stressed and tired am aparently too interested. Ugh!

But I digress (and probably disturb but that’s neither here nor there since this is my blog and my domain) I was going to say that somewhere along the way I have forgotten to be thankful for my wonderful life, husband, home, and world. I adore Jarell with all my heart. He makes me smile when I’ve forgotten how. His bad jokes have me laughing til I cry. And I need to remember that there is much worse than this. I need to remember that this is in God’s hands and he is working things out. Its just tricky sometimes.

Last night I had a wonderful dinner with the aforementioned dearest husband at the Wafflehouse of all places. It was wonderful. On the way home we passed a man who was holding a sign wanting to hitch hike to Columbia (about a hundred mile drive) We couldn’t help him (taking him with us would have done more harm than good) but I handed him the rest of the cash I had in my wallet knowing that he needed it much more than I did. And I felt that that small simple act may have been a start towards returning to myself. I want so much to be myself again.

I’m not proud of a lot of my thoughts and actions of the last year- they are things which shame me beyond belief- but I hope that by taking responsibility for my actions again instead of trying to excuse them by blaming others I will get things sorted out. It’s going to take some time and some emotional housecleaning, but it will be done. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, others may have no clue and that’s alright. Those who need to know, will and those who don’t … well you won’t. I’m tired of this crap and I’m done taking it lying down.

Happy Freaking Holidays!!!