16 June, 2010

New Address!


I just wanted to let you know that I have consolidated my two blogs to one over at wordpress.
Come see me at One Sweet, One Salty . There is a lot more content, and as I said before, the two blogs (the craft blog and the Chiari/health blog) are now one. I have a lot more flexibility over there, but I don't want to lose any of you.

Hope to see you there soon!

-Amber Rae

04 June, 2010

Actual Mixed Tapes.

So, my last post alluded to a music compilation. Well, it did only in the title. This little piece will actually leave you with a list of songs that I like to listen to not only when I am making things, but when I am driving, thinking, doing my makeup, and showering, but when I am doing whatever I want. I find inspiration hits me whenever it damn well pleases to, and tho songs help, the best time for inspiration happens to be the time between waking and actual sleep.

However, that time is the slippery slope that leaves no one the satisfaction the handle of a grip upon which to grasp that pure memory of thought of remembrance once the morning comes around. Therefore all my best ideas go the same place the best dreams go.

I've often thought I should have tried more at acting. I was really into it when I was younger. I was good. It's hard for me not to be good at things I like. It sounds arrogant, but it's true. I am good at the things I like. Passion is part of me just as is skin or bones.
Plus, I am dramatic. Not in the everything is dramatically intense way, but in the everything is incredible in life way. It's just easier that way. I feel everything down to my soul. I can't help it, that's just me.  I've had to learn to live with that, and it hasn't been easy. I have had to turn it off. Sometimes I have to turn feeling off so that I am not so affected.

Anyhow. Some songs to listen to whilst living and crafting:
New Order-Temptation
Nico-These Days
Pela-Drop Me Off
Snowden-Anti Anti
The Strokes-You Only Live Once
Afghan Whigs-Rebirth of the Cool
Belle and Sebastian- Sleep the Clock Around
Broken Social Scene-Superconnected
Built to Spill- Carry the Zero
Delays-Bedroom Scene
Ladytron-Destroy Everything you Touch
New Order-Crystal
Does It Offend You, Yeah?-Epic Last Song

Well, I obviously have a lot more. However, for now, whet your whistle with this. Relax, and enjoy.  Hopefully your best ideas won't go in to the ether once you wake up!

02 June, 2010

Crafting MixTape. (Some Say Mixed Tape)

So, I worked all weekend and even today cleaning the house like madfire. And by I, I mean we. Alex and I.

When I went to Lakeland last weekend to spend more time with datMum, I picked up this spray paint. Its Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze, and I am obsessed with it. Alex has caught the bug as well. Here is a link to an example whilst you are waiting for mine.

I have painted, in no order: two tiny table lamps, a tall stick lamp, a curtain rod that promptly broke under the weight of too heavy curtains, a fleur de lis hook, and my "test it" was a cleaned and saved tin that I am going to turn in to a hanging tea light holder.  I need MORE!!!! I have so many things I want to paint with this. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a person who needs that much cohesion. I feel that if things are too matchy matchy, they look stodgy. But it looks different on everything. I have frames I want to paint, and this lamp my Mom bought me ages ago. Its one of those that hang from the ceiling. You know, a swag lamp. With all the crystals. I think it would look AMAZING with all those crystals sprayed that ORB. And with a soft yellow or amber bulb in the center, the ambiance would be fantastical for a little bit of dutch oven popped popcorn and a nice scary movie and a blankin on the couch.

On a different note, I had a migraine tonight. This happens often. And I say migraine, but in fact they are not really migraines. I suffer from a Neurological disorder, some say disease, called Chiari Malformation. It basically means I have a huge brain and it won't all fit in my skull. So it migrated down to my neck-kinda. And I get this Chiari headaches. Sometimes for now good reason, sometimes because of something I did. Summer in Florida is not kind to me, and the rain is awesome to my garden, bad for the pressure in my skull.

Made me wish for a cute little respite such as this:

19 May, 2010

What I Made and How I Made It.

So I was lurking round on my reader last week (whenever it was Mothers Day, actually. I got to spend some time with datMumloveher) and I came across this little gem.
Naturally, I squealed, and called my Mom over. I had to make it, immediately. For Mothers Day, I had gotten her a 50$ gift card to Home Depot, since she has just come back down to the house in Lakeland, leaving datDad up in DC all alone on his owney, but the yard (all 5 acres or so of it) in Lakeland is in a state that just wont do for Mom. So, we went to Home Depot to help her spend the 50 clams, and to help me look for some things to help me make the toad stool squared. Unfortuantely, there aren't a plethora of concrete forms laying around in Orlando. And I didnt have any luck in Lakeland, but I digress.

Anyhow. She left the damn card at home. Hilarious. We walked around a bit anyhow. I had already come up with a few ideas on what I could use as the "stem" portion of the toadstool since I knew getting my hands on a concrete form would be difficult, and after actually finding a concrete form (a whole one, uncut, and for 10 plus dollars), I decided on my original idea of a 5 gallon bucket.

I spent the rest of the weekend with my Mom, recovered a bit from the pneumonia that I still have a touch of (that's another post on my other blog Particles Of A Past Life) and then came home. I started working on the toad stool that very night, which was Tuesday. LOST night.

I gathered my materials.

Hot Glue gun, and several sticks of glue
thick batting
red wool felt ( i got one yard, but only used half of it)
creme colored fleece blankin my Mom gave me for Christmas ( sorry Mom, I lub the blankin, but I realised I didn't have enough felt, and I just HAD to get the project over and done with. You know how I get)
5 gallon pain bucket (i didnt use the lid, so my stool is hollow when you turn it over. and orange inside!)
2 broken hand sewn pillows, for the batting
old foam mattress pad
white embroidery floss
sharpie marker
sharp fabric scissors
about a zillion pins

I sat down on the floor in front of my tv and just started hot gluing batting to the bucket. I cut the batting first to size. It overlapped the bottom and top a bit, and at the top, I cut it and folded it over like a little flower before it blooms. Here is a photo of all my materials, but the picture shows the bucket post batting/glue gun crazed attack.

What I don't have a picture of is how I came up with the red felt circle. Basically, I bet you can figure this out on your own. Pay no attention to the cardboard circle. That is for a butterfly breeding enclosure Alex and I are going to build. I WAS going to use that as a template, but realised that it is far too small. No, what I did instead was to lay my felt out flat and find the center of the fabric by eyeballing it, imagining two intersecting lines going straight through. I stuck an applique pin in. I then wrapped a length of embroidery floss around my sharpie marker and then attached the other end of the floss to the pin. I tested he length a bit until it seemed just right, and then using the pin as an anchor, drew a circle using the pin and the floss as my guide ratio. Like a gigantic compass, you know? Anyhow. Enough for that lesson. I then took the circle and cut little notches all around, about every inch. I had to fiddle with the deepness of the notches.

So there are two elements two the fabric portion.  The red piece, the "cap", and the cream piece, the "stem".  I used like ten million pins to make all those notches into tucks.

I actually had to take it out a few times, because I would put them in, put it on the "stem" to see how it looks, and it wouldn't be quite right, then have to do it again.

This is the "cap" pinned on the the "stem".  The next step I did was to use a little scrap fabric left from the blanket to make some of the speckles one usually sees on the cap of a toadstool. I used red embroidery floss and a backstitch to attach them.

At one point, my cute silly cat, Fidget, came over to check out what I was doing. She always has to assert herself in any situation. I stopped for the night at this point, because LOST was over. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my days off, and so I knew I would get right up the next day and finish it. My fingers were coated with felt fuzz by the hot glue. 

These were my materials for the second day. It was a set of foam
 circles I cut using the top of the bucket (it was an old mattress pad) and a the innards of two pillows I sewed using cute fabric from IKEA.Right now, the fabric elements are still just pinned together, and I have them on the bucket like you would put a dress on a dress form like a work in progress.

I had to first sew the two pieces together. I used my sewing machine! I used a simple straight stitch, but I used low tension on the longest stitch. I sewed two rows, fairly far apart.

I also made sure that I was sewing in the direction that the tucks were headed. That's an awesome tip that I think a lot of bloggers in the sewing/crafting flied forget to mention. So there you go. After that was done, I took all elevendymillion pins out and flipped the sucker right side out.

I took those foam circles from before and hot glued one on to the top of the  bucket, then I took the other one and sat it in the top of the cap(the fabric portion). Then I stuffed the batting from the broken IKEA pillows in to the cap as well. I shoved it in there, and made sure it was even. It didn't look pretty, because the pillows had broken in the wash, and the batting had gotten all bagigity. That didnt matter though, because the foam circle was making sure the top of the stool was all smooth. Once it was full, I took the bucket portion (which had been waiting patiently aside), upside down, and pushed it into the cap.  I pulled all the fabric portion from the stem up around the 5 gallon bucket and hot glued it into the open end,pulling the fabric nice and taut. That left one open seam along the side. Up until this point, there had been two parts: the fabric, and the bucket. They were now joined as one. The seam just needed to be sewn.

Which I did with a blanket stitch!

And tada!

Red back-stitched polka dots and all!
I love love love it!

19 April, 2010

This Weeks' Time Off.

I spent a lot of time working on arts and crafts, and of course that is never going to end. What I love the most is things for the home. Some of those things look like this:

06 April, 2010

Daily Lurkerage.

I found this AMAZING Steampunk Mod for the iMac (my baby that I miss away at my Mothers) that I really really love here.

A sample picture?

05 April, 2010


I lurk. I do, I'm not ashamed. I go through online resources, I look longingly at blogs and pretty pictures. I get Better Homes and Gardens, I get ReadyMade and DIY Magazine.  My regular trips around the interwebs include Instructables and Apartment Therapy. Those few names I dropped are a sad and sorely edited list, yet one I did so as to look less sad/geeky/lurkery than I am pleased to admit. True, I said I am not ashamed, but I do have limits. I am not crazy, just a nerd.

So, everyone has a style, a "thing. I like pretty much everything. At once. In a jumble. Multitudes of colors and textiles and textures and and and and...you get it. I have visions of how my living and dining rooms should look. I hate what it looks like right now. It's functional and what people would call cute now, myself included. But I hate it. Here is what I wish I could have in it, or at least a sample: