Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas jubilee... in three acts

I. A poem

At long last! My Christmas presents are in the mail.
They'll travel the ocean in the belly of a whale
bouncing around tween its guts and its bones
Till they're dropped off in Alaska and are picked up by gnomes.

The gnomes who were brilliant and the ones who were slow
were sent off to work a long time ago
To the factories that brew up the toilet cake dyes
And to bikini wax parlors for overweight flies

But those who never mastered the Brazilian,
Are now bringing parcels to Northern civilians
They travel by night, carrying boxes and letters
All the meanwhile wearing wool postal sweaters

It isn't that they hate what they do,
but it's no surprise they often break for a few.
So if my shit's late or doesn't arrive
just know that it's tough for a gnome to survive.

II. A craft...s

I am not generally a huge fan of making my Christmas presents because it's a pain time-wise. But, that's what you do when you're poor. So! I found a few pretty righteous tutorials online that I thought were worth a share.

The first one was how to make your own natural dyes. This was not an epic fail for me, but I would gather at least a 65% fail. I made green dye using mostly spinach leaves and parsley, and purple dye using radishes, grape skins and strawberries. They both looked beautiful and rich while simmering in the pot, but the green dye hardly took to the fabric. The little that did just tinged my stuff pissy yellow-green. That is likely the fault of the materials I used and the crap job I did curing the fabric beforehand. The purple came out a lot better, but turned blue after a wash. I will post the link that I used, but would recommend doing a little research into what materials stain well if you decide to try this project. I think I'll definitely have another go at it in the future... let me know if you're interested in trouble-shooting or can offer any good tips.

Makin' dyyyyyyyeeeee!

The second craft are these wood block photo prints.

Ain't them there neat?
 Here's the website I found the tutorial;

Yer mom's a tutorial. heh.

Again, though, many stumbling points. These are the second set I did... the first set is now firewood. If you want to try this project, here are a few useful tips;

1. Use wood with as shallow a grain as possible. Even if you like the look of the deeper grain better, avoid it. Avoid it like Jehovah's witnesses at your door inviting you to bible camp.

2. Don't buy matte finish mod podge (I think you probably want the glossy finish stuff). It started turning opaque white after I applied it. If that's all you have, rub most of it off with a damp sponge while it's drying.

3. The paper is going to rip your entire picture off if you rub it too hard. When rubbing away the paper fiber, pretend you are on a friggen archeological dig. As carefully and slowly as possible. Once most of the fiber is off, let it dry. Go back later to finish getting the rest of the fiber off, either with the wet sponge or your clammy little fingers. You'll be able to rub much harder then and should be able to get the stubborn bits off.

III. A Song...s

I just recently started singing outside the confines of my car/ shower. Never really had much confidence or practice, but I've been jamming more and more with friends recently. Even went to an open mic session a few months back. I'd love to record something real nice and soulful at some point... the following videos aren't really my jam, esp. a capella. But, it's Christmas, so here are some seasonal diddles you can listen to with a fat cuppa nog. There's not a lot of traditional Yule music out there, so they're both church tunes.



Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Child's Indulgence

My mother told me not to touch the dead crow
So I poked it with a stick
And then when she turned away
I jabbed a finger right into its gullet,
Reminding myself to wash my hands before eating again.
Naturally I forgot

Come on, she said, looking at me again
And I tried not to smile as I jammed my hands
Quickly back into my pockets
As though they’d never left.