Thursday, 30 December 2010

All Buttoned Up

Secret Santa games rock. You get to do detective work finding out about someone you may not know that well, and you get to give presents (Noodle likes to give presents) but don’t have to face the embarrassment of actually handing it over to the recipient. Hurrah.
I’ve had a pretty successful sly gift giving season this year, with a very well received workplace Secret Santa. I was particularly pleased with that since the recipient is one of my favourite colleagues, a really lovely bloke. I’ll say no more as (so far at least) he hasn’t worked out the pressie was from me. Score.
On top of that, for another (non-work) secret santa I managed to find an excuse to indulge my other fetish…
I don’t know what it is about buttons, but I just love them. I have jars of them on display, they’re shiny and colourful, every one different, such pleasing shapes and shades. Wooden, leather. Plastic, metal, - all so tactile and … well, just... nice, really.
Plus I get to indulge my inner OCD freak when I sort them. Hmm…. complex organisational systems.... tasty.

Anyway, the results of said fetish are evident in the Christmas pressies I made this year.
I wasn’t sure if the concept would work, but I’m actually really pleased with how these came out - they are just base frames, spray painted and covered in buttons. I actually used leather paint to colour the bases, purely on the basis that I had some left over from repainting  shoes. As with any spray paint the key here is many thin layers and plenty of drying time - if you do more than a little at a time it will run. The buttons I used were just picked out from my jars, allowing me hours of fun choosing nice ones in a variety of sizes and complementary hues.
My sister-in-law and Secret Santa recipients both seemed pleased with these, and, more importantly, there’s now a bit of room in my button jars for me to go haberdashery shopping…
The other frames I decorated are basically simplified versions of the above, made using Paperchase wooden frames, chosen for the interesting angles in the joins, which I accentuated with some wooden buttons I had picked up in Goa.
I started off using trusty superglue, but that started leaving white powdery residue over the polished areas around where it was (I dunno what that is, actually, will go off & research once I've written this), so created a lot of unnecessary clean up work. I swapped to UHUPower, which was a bit more time consuming as I had to hold or vice stuff whilst drying, but otherwise did a good job. To be fair, UHU goes tacky in a reasonable speed so I shouldn't complain, and it was actually quite useful to have a bit of time to tweak positioning. As always it's worth preparing the surfaces before you glue - a bit of light  localised sanding means you get better grip and need far less glue, so less dry time and less risk of splodgy bits.
You can see in the photo at the top that i also decorated a two-sided lucite frame (again from paperchase) with some left over rupees. Though of course taking rupees out of India is illegal, and I would never break such a vital law, so you will have to imagine them on there. 

While you're doing that, can you imagine me a beautiful curvy figure (rather than this dumpy post Christmas one I appear to have gotten instead) and a winning lottery ticket? ta muchly

Sunday, 5 December 2010


I feel weird about celebrating Christmas - hypercritical and slightly guilty. If I could get away with not - just ignoring it, or going away and missing the whole thing - I probably would. But I know that'd upset my family, so I try to make the best of it, and indulge in the good stuff that comes along with the religious dogma; making gifts, eating vast amounts of brandy custard and watching saccharine films.
Thus I settled down on a Sunday evening with Little Women (the June Allyson / Margaret O'Brien version), a bottle of red and a big pile of paper to make cards. This year's design is really simple - I just don't have the free time to do something elaborate (like the iris folded pieces I made last year - below)  - but I like it for it's clarity, and given the 8 inches of white cold stuff outside my front door, it's appropriate!
I've never really done stamping, but it's easy and the 'shabby chic' thing is very in at the mo - not something I give a rat's ass about, but mummy & the sisters in law like to have fashionable paperware to display, so it does have to be taken into account. The card I used was handmade stuff, with some blue petals, which worked with my colour scheme, as well as giving a nice texture to stamp onto. I'm using matching stamps on the evelopes
I'd recommend, if you want to take photos of your cards in the snow, making extra. They get wet and ruined, or lost... though that does afford a good excuse for another evening ignoring the algebra you should be doing and crafting instead.
I'm heading off to Nine Carols & Lessons For Godless People in a couple of weeks, which should help alleviate the seasonal guilt - along with The Atheist's Guide to Christmas of course. in the mean time... happy Winterval*, or whatever...
*you can't even tell that I have eyebrows, they are raised so far into my hairline.