challenge update...watching paint dry!

goodness, i'm impatient! and i feel so close to finishing this challenge. but since i'm forced to take a break (and watch/not watch the paint dry), i thought maybe i should throw up some pictures of how this tiny free library project is going so far.

basically my weekends (and week nights) have been filled with building and painting and trying not to lose too many brain cells from the toxic fumes. oil based primer is really smelly!

this has been such a learning experience for me...and not just the construction parts! HUGE thanks to my cousin cindy and her husband for loaning their tools and expertise. (when in doubt, stand on a milk crate.)

my goal is to finish the painting/final touches before April 1st and give the library to ahnna by the end of next weekend...that way i still kinda meet my deadline.

ps. i kinda (not so) secretly want one of these libraries now!
pps. oil painting with your fingers does work, it's just very messy.
ppps. each side of the library has a different kind of (mostly native) wildflower...since it's going to go in a flower bed.


challenge update...THE AHNNA!

OK, it probably seems like i'm not really doing anything related to my march challenge - the little free library. and that was kinda true for a while, but mostly because i felt overwhelmed with the construction part (which in my brain equated to the non-creative part...actually it felt like a math problem and i'm really bad at math) and what i wanted to think about was the decorating part. plus i wanted to create something cool for my dear friends...duh!

simply: decorating = art/fun. building = stress/the chance of screwing up fairly badly.

but wait! i found out that my awesome cousin cindy (props to relatives) freaking LOVES to build things and has offered to help me follow the plans (found at the little free library website) to construct a library that ahnna and bob will not be too embarrassed to have in their yard. well, hopefully they will like it after i do the decorating part AKA "sara flair"!

so to recap:

this is where the tiny free library is going to go...minus the snow.

this is ahnna and a cabinet we are not going to use in the construction. psych.

this is my cousin cindy, who even in this picture exudes an aura of being a capable builder who is not intimidated by reading plans.

we have a build date set and i have decorating ideas percolating in my head! plus, now with cindy's help, i'm really excited to see how this project is going to come together.

stay tuned, yo!

on an randomly related note, when visiting ahhna, her family decided to adopt the creature from my february project. (which had been living in the backseat of my car!) they have gone on to name it "mokiki" and i could't be happier. live long and prosper mokiki!


OCCY 2015...march challenge from ahnna!

another month, another project. this one is from my friend (since the 5th grade kinda) ahnna! pictured above - after she won 1st place in a backyard ping pong championship this past summer.

not only did we try to start a belinda carlisle cover band AND not only did she marry the funny artistic guy from my college printmaking class, but ahnna is flat out no nonsense cool. and she thinks i can build something! a tiny free library! (she apparently does't know that i only own one of those little hammers...and that's my ONLY tool.)

i'm gonna be honest and say that this project intimidates me BIG TIME. but hopefully, a miracle can happen...it's not like i'm building a real library.

this week is incubation time /google research and next weekend is thrifting and a visit to the site AKA ahnna and bob's house to talk about how they can help me - just kidding kinda - although she did say as much on her entry card. in the meantime, if any one has a five foot 4" x 4" post that you want to send my way, i'd gladly pick it up. i'm not kidding about this.


the martha! a sock creature out in the world.

so, it's not a bug as i originally intended. it's just a "creature"...made from mostly socks. and what would creatures do? they would hang out in their natural habitat. which is coincidentally the warmest place i could find in minnesota in february: como park conservatory.

this was a hard challenge in the sense that i've never done anything like this before...basically make a stuffed animal from scratch. and yes, if i had to do it again i would change (improve upon) so many things. but this creature really grew on me...or rather sort of grew out of my rambling imagination.

AND thank you martha (for this challenge)...i hope you are as surprised and delighted as i am about how things turned out!

PS. if you want little kids (and who am i kidding, adults as well) to stare at you with a coy/inquisitive look, lug around a crazy stuffed creature! i could almost hear their brains trying to figure it out, figure me out and also ask me if they could touch it. just for the record a grown man did reach out and touch it when i left it laying on a ledge and another woman told me she thought i was carrying a baby - accidental social experiment!

(the senior picture with creature pose)
PPS. a big thank you to alisun abbott for help with the photos and for making me feel normal about bringing "creature" out of my apartment.


challenge update...the MARTHA!

OK, it might be the -12 weather, but this project has gone a little off the rails. or maybe it's all the podcasts i'm listening to while sewing? or maybe it's the fact that i cleaned out my closet and found a ton of buttons and embroidery floss? but regardless, things got very messy very fast and i'm going to take the next few days to try and reign it in...or maybe not...this is an art project after all. but here is what i've been up to so far...AKA lots of hand stitching!

this is the $.27 pillow that i'm stealing the batting out of. it was on sale at the thrift store...and why no one already snatched it up is beyond me!

buttons you can no longer see!

legs!! but only three on each side, not the originally planned for five...i couldn't figure out how to make that work. i realize the obvious: if i just used my sewing machine or googled how to make a sock monkey this project would most likely be easier. but i haven't done those things and why start now.


OCCY 2015...february challenge from martha!

FEBRUARY! my second challenge is from my friend (and mentor) martha...pictured below looking all windswept. i've known martha since the mid-1990s and i'm so lucky to have her participate in this project.

another sewing/textile related challenge...my mom is probably waiting for me to start using the sewing machine she got me! martha donated a lot of materials to incorporate into the project, so the first thing that popped into my head was some sort of sock creature...which could qualify as both fanciful and crazy! but i wanted to make something that wouldn't normally be soft and fuzzy. AHA - an insect! i knew that my entomology class in horticulture school would come in handy one day. 

i'm still in the incubation stage of this challenge, but it's been so fun making doodles and doing research. i can't wait to create my creature and share the experience with you. thanks martha!!


the wendy! january challenge video...

holy crap, this project was really fun and so out of my comfort zone...from creating the dress, to wearing the dress in public, to ice skating, to editing this ridiculous video...it was a riot. and what a way to kick off the year. i know that i never would have done any of these things without being challenged by wendy!

so here is the final video...wendy you inspired this, i hope it makes you laugh! (embrace the ridiculous!)

thanks again heather...and edith piaf!


challenge update...THE WENDY!

what a fun and exhausting day working on the next part of the january challenge from wendy - THE VIDEO SHOOT! luckily, i finished the outfit last night - pictured above pre-spray paint. onto the dress i picked up at the thrift store (which was my base): i added strips of old catalogs in three layers, fabric from a quilting class i took in 2005, seam binding, plastic from tofu containers and some of my own blood since i was kinda hand-sewing blind for the most part. 

thank goodness that the dress still fit when i put it on! and i'm wearing leg warmers that wendy just sent me in the mail...synchronicity. what a challenge this was...totally out of my comfort zone. but oh boy, i learned from this experience that if you want attention all you need to do is wear a costume. really. and that i love to ice skate, especially on warm sunny days! here are some of my favorite outtakes. i plan on having the video edited and up soon. 

free skate rental anyone??

(a HUGE thank you to my friend/videographer heather...i could not have done this without you!!)

a much needed (post) video shoot beer. sigh.