You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Friday, January 7, 2011

Arts & Crafts

One of my new year's resolutions?  Read more books. 

Specifically, try to average about a book a week.  I just started Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, and I think this resolution will be an exercise in abject failure.  It's a good book; very Franzen.  And if you don't know what that means then you probably think I'm some sort of literati snobby twit.

Franzen is a literary writer.  A literary writer who writes a sentence so beautiful it is now burned into my brain.  Because of its perfect, beautiful, beautifulness.

Here's the sentence:

She walked into the sty of a kitchen, which smelled like a mental illness.

Really, that doesn't even make sense.  How can something smell like a mental illness?  I don't know, but I know it's true.  I knew immediately what that kitchen was like, what it looked it, and it looked like a kitchen my old college boyfriend and his best friend had in their rental house in Winona, Minnesota.  The sticky old vinyl tiles.  Cracked laminate countertops.  It did smell like a mental illness, which I think smells like Jim Beam, Oscar Mayer hot dogs, and day-old ramen noodles stuck to the sides of a greasy tupperware bowl.

God, my imagery kicks ass!

Also, Franzen likes to use the word "fuck".  Not too much.  Just enough.

So yeah, it's a pretty good book.

One of my other new year's resolutions:  Actually do things that I say I'm going to do.

This doesn't sound like much, but you can accomplish a lot if you stick to it.  One of the things I said I was going to do was make a mobile.  For Sena's room.  I looked around at all the mobiles in the stores and didn't like many of them and the ones I did like were really expensive.  I saw a pretty paper butterfly mobile in Pottery Barn and it was sixty bucks and I was all like, "Christ!  I can make a damn butterfly mobile."

So I decided to.  Except, I didn't.  I made an owl mobile.  Cuz, I like owls, that's why.  And I promised that I wouldn't spend any money making it.  I would make it with crap I found lying around my house.  You, too, can make your own crappy mobile.  It doesn't have to be owls.  It could be dinosaurs.  Or ninjas.  Or ninjas fighting dinosaurs, which would be an awesome mobile!

So here's what I used.

Old ribbon
Cardboard wrapping paper tube
Construction paper

You should have most of these things in your house.  If you don't and you work in an office type setting, chances are you could steal most of these things.  Shit, you could probably make a really cool mobile using Post-it notes, dry erase markers, correction tape and Whiteout.

You also don't have to be able to draw, but it helps.  If you can't draw a straight line with a ruler you can probably find a template on the Internet somewhere and use that.  Martha Stewart has some pretty bitchin' cool templates in her magazines.  Just saying.

Or you can be an arteest and do it freehand.  If someone gives you shit because not all your ninjas or dinosaurs look the same you can say things like, "It's handmade.  One of a kind.  Rustic."

I see this all the time in catalogs.  Hand-made and Rustic.  Code words for:  the artist was really high when they did this one!

Here are some pictures.  I still have to figure out a way to hang it from the ceiling.  I'll probably resort to duct tape.

Sena loves her owl mobile...almost as much as I do.  I think I will start on the ninja-dinosaur one next week.

Happy Mobile Making!


Ashley said...

Hey Melinda!

I noticed you were offering to help those in need through The Bloggess site. I don't know if you were matched or not.

I know a family who could really use any bit of help they can get.

The wife lost her husband when he was shot in the line of duty on Oct. 21st, 2010. He was a police officer. She was a stay at gone mom, but is currently looking for work to take care of their 4 young children.

I have the email address that they use for paypal. Any little bit helps.

If you are not able to contribute to this family, then at least send prayers or warm wishes their way.

Thanks so much!
The Perkins Family

Melinda Braun said...

Hi Ashley,

Yes, Jenny (the Bloggess) matched me up with someone for Christmas. Thank you for the information.

Susan said...

Love, love the mobile. It is so cute and I bet Sena is
talking to it every day.