Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pinterest Challenge

I may be on my own as far as the timing is concerned, but I'm doing the Pinterest Challenge. What is it? you ask. Well, the idea is to find something you've pinned on Pinterest, stop being lame, and just do the project.

You may remember that the last time I mentioned this idea, I had selected this as my project to complete:

...some sparkly, vintge-y Christmas ornaments to complete and hang on the tree next year. Well, my take on it went a bit astray of the lovely Bible verses in an Albrecht DΓΌrer-style font. That said, I'm still not done with this endeavour, so we'll see where else it can end up once all the details are settled on.

I decided that a fun idea would be to have literary Christmas baubles. As a parting gift from Jane Austen's House Museum, I was given a book of Hugh Thompson's illustrations to Pride and Prejudice from the early 1900s. (The illustrations, that is, not the book itself!) At some point, I may go back and buy a copy of this to keep in tact, but I have to confess that I cannibalised it in the name of crafty Christmas cheer.

all supplies gathered together

In the name of having a bit of diversity - and because I wasn't sure I had enough illustrations in my Hugh Thompson book to cover all 6 baubles - I made a run to the charity shops back on the high street of the old neighbourhood and picked up two other books to cut apart all for the princely sum of £1.10. (Actually, for that price, I didn't just snag Roald Dahl's The Twits and Homer's Iliad - both of which I already have copies of - but also a dirt cheap copy of Eat, Pray, Love. I read the sequel ages ago and liked it well enough. I figure for 50p, even if it's relatively rubbish, I could throw the same amount away on a chocolate bar.)

So that's 60p for the books, £1 for the baubles (on post-season sale at B&Q), 40p for the gold ribbon to hang them, and about £4 for the glitter spray paint. (I had the glue and paint brush already, but those only added about another £2) All told, about £8 for 6 baubles...but realistically, I only spent about £3 on this project, since there's enough glitter spray for several other projects when I decide to work on those.

After ripping out some of the pages of The Twits with the best illustrations, as well as some snippets of text, I mixed a bit of water with the glue to get a nice Mod Podge-like solution. Then, I'd paint my paste on the baubles and on both sides of my strips of paper, shellacking the paper to the bauble until I had a good covering...

First half done and drying under the keyboard

my paste painting technique
Of course, I have to point out that your hands still get pretty sticky even with the paint brush. The brush is really just to smooth out the strips of paper nicely without it ripping and sticking to your tacky fingers. Eventually, I just put the ribbon on and let the baubles hang under the keyboard in our bay window and decoupaged them there. Of course, that decision was inspired in part by the need to keep E entertained. He's refused to nap until now today, really, having slept in an additional two hours this morning, so I stuck him in the Moby in order to get the first three of my six baubles completed.

Now, the P&P illustrations presented a challenge. You see, the camber of the baubles was drastic enough that I couldn't use any really big illustrations...for that matter, even the small ones were a challenge. So, I cut out individual characters from the half-page reproductions and then filled in the gaps with the captions.

A very Darcy Christmas ornament

Once all of the hideous silver plastic had been hidden away under a layer of paper, I shook up my can of glitter pray paint, cracked open the living room windows, and went to town with a thin layer of spray. I held up one of the book covers behind the ornaments to keep glitter from getting all over my curtains, and eventually - holding to the Sherry Petersik rule of Lots of Thin Coats when it comes to spray paint - I'll go back and get these things a bit more sparkly. Perhaps more Edward Cullen than Liberace. (That's the only time a Twilight reference is a positive thing.)

Another project I'll get the Husband's help with this weekend? Bread bowls. You see, I decided to go out on a limb and make soup for the first time this week. Not that it ended up being that difficult, but it's always a bit daunting when you haven't done something before.

Potatoes, garlic, part of an onion, and a couple of celery stalks gave us a really delicious soup for dinner throughout the week. Specifically,
4 stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
4 medium potatoes
2/3 of an onion
4 cups water
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Basically, you just boil the potatoes in the chicken stock until soft and cook the celery, onion, and garlic in a bit of butter. (Of course, you've chopped everything up before this.) You take maybe 2-3 ladles full of the chicken broth after 10 minutes and add it to the celery, onion, and garlic, and let those cook for another 10 minutes. Chuck everything into the blender and mix it up until it's smooth (or as smooth as it gets) and then combine everything together, adding the milk and adding as much salt and pepper as you see fit. I warn you: this makes a lot of soup. I had to break out my huge teal le Creuset pot to handle this batch of soup. But the thing is, it's simple, it's tasty, and it doesn't require a lot of time to put together. In fact, I did all the prep with a baby strapped to my front.

So those have been my creative outlets for the week. Hopefully, I can get up to something else fun next week, too. Baby willing, that is.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Pride and Prejudice illustrations! You're going to have the classiest Christmas tree ever this year :-)
    I’ve just nominated you for a Liebster blog award, by the way! All you have to do is post the Leibster Blog badge at your site. Then choose 3-5 blogs with under 200 followers and pass the award on to them by leaving them a comment. Put links to them and to me on your site, and then tell 5 interesting facts about yourselves. Congrats! For more info, and your mention on my blog, visit: Hope you’re all well-see you soon!