Monday, February 27, 2012

Tuppence the bag

I've been feeding the birds for awhile, using some suet cages in the front yard and a series of bird feeders out back.  And by "feeding the birds" I mean "feeding the squirrels who destroy everything."  After the squirrels gnawed through several bird feeders, I tried a hanging basket that is supposed to be either squirrel proof or squirrel tamper proof.  The first day it was out, a squirrel climbed inside the feeder and got stuck.  I had to go out with gardening gloves and a plant stake to rescue a squirrel from the squirrel proof feeder.

The hot pepper suet feeders seem to work, but they're expensive.  So I realized that I could combine cheap bird seed, something lard like, and hot sauce to create my own.  Take that, squirrels!


  • Crisco from the closet that's probably not toxic since I assume it's mostly plastic and butter flavoring anyway
  • Bird seed
  • Hot sauce
  • The metal cupcake wrappers that I hate
  • Plastic straws
  • Microwave safe mixing bowl
  • Stirring implements
First, melt the Crisco in the microwave.  It will smell like the movie theater from Hell.  And then, once it's mostly melted, add the hot sauce, and it will smell even worse.  You probably think I'm joking, but the smell of melted Crisco and Tabasco sauce has got to be one of the worst things I've even smelled in my life.  It doesn't get any better once you stir in the seeds.

Once this abomination of food-like substances has been combined, pour/scrape/scoop it into the cupcake wrappers.  A cupcake pan would probably help them retain their shape.  Once they're been poured, put pieces of plastic straws in the middle to create holes.  Put the hideous things in the fridge and pray that they don't infuse all your normal food with Hell Popcorn stench.

After chilling and then freezing, I discovered that my cunning plan with straws (to make holes to pass string through) didn't work.  Plan B: drop the horrible little things into a suet cage, hang them from a tree, and never speak of this again.

If I've learned anything from this project, it's that making your own birdseed suet...whatevers is an abomination unto the Lord.  We should all just buy this crap premade as nature intended.  I would just let the birds fend for themselves, but Zoot likes watching them out the window.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moon Prism Power

My beloved Sailor Moon sprite site is dead, so I've been pulling things off the Wayback Machine and trying to actually make them into patterns (for real this time no, I mean it you guys).

At first I thought I could make a row of Sailor Moon's brooches, but the first three are about 33 pixels high and the last two are about 40 pixels high.  After starting to chart one, I decided that I would never be happy with this.  Solution: two rows.

Even better solution: two rows of brooches with Sailor Moon's (in)famous "I'll punish you" speech.  Naturally I've confirmed with Jamel that it's "I will punish you" because I figured Jamel would know.  Also, she was on gchat.

I've already learned that these brooches apparently all have names.  And that the two curly bits on the Cosmic Heart Compact just look like balls on graph paper.  Zoot has learned that a ziploc bag full of colored pencils does not make a good cat bed, but a laptop keyboard does.

I've been having a surprisingly hard time finding actual screen shots with which to figure out the colors.  Apparently everybody and their daughter from the future is making these things out of clay, but nobody's making screencaps.

I'm making the first brooch on a piece of scrap fabric.   This'll help me figure out if a black outline is too harsh or if I need to switch over backstitch.  It'll also help me determine if the larger piece is worth selling (or if I'd have to price it out of most people's Etsy budgets).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sparkling Wide Pressure!

I've mostly been happy with the Sailor V release/Sailor Moon re-release.  Mostly because, like everyone else who was a teenage girl in the 90's, I just wanted Sailor Moon back.  Sure, it would've been nice to sell my old volumes while they were still worth ridiculous amounts of money.  But there's color pages!  And new drawings!  And now I can compare the reprints to my crappy old Mixx/Tokyopop volumes!  Oh, yeah, I already went there.

After I saw the popularity contest picture in the front of volume 3, I knew I needed to use it for paper crafts.  Since I wasn't going to mangle my book by scanning it, let alone cut out pieces of it, I turned to Manga Style.  Which is pretty much where I always turn for these sorts of things. 

This is basically the art of saving an image, cropping, printing, and cutting out using different sizes of very sharp scissors.  To get the white spaces, I recommend stabbing with the tip of your embroidery scissors and then feeling bad about using your good embroidery scissors for paper.

I'd already decided that cutting out these pictures at stationery size would be hell on earth, so I bought a decorative wooden...thing from Ben Franklin.  I'm not sure what to call it because it doesn't have a back (and thus is not a cube).  A block?  I do know that getting the price sticker off the front is a pain in the ass.

Naturally the green is a leftover metallic paint.  Initially I thought it might make Jupiter's skirt and collar look too dull, but a test swatch confirmed that the only other potential green I already owned was horrible.

At some point during my current phase of scholarship, sleep deprivation, and creative meal choices, I thought this needed sparkles.  I mean, obviously it needed glitter of some kind, and what has glitter and costs under a dollar?  Wet n Wild nail polish, that's what!

To its credit, Wet n Wild nail polish is half the cost of paint, but twice the fumes.  Painting the front of my wood thing reminded me of a stupid version of the Intervention episode about the girl who huffs canned air.  It also made me wonder what exactly I was regularly applying to my toenails and then not care because I'm already paying Sally Hansen prices.

I'd already heard that using mod podge on something printed out would only end in tears, so I went with a glue stick.  I would be surprised if my old friend clear packing tape came into the picture at some point.

And a picture where you can actually see the glitter.

I think I might try to attach some sort of hanging apparatus (probably a pink ribbon).  Mostly because I am, as always, completely out of shelf space.