Carnotaurus means meat-eating bull. It had big horns and ate meat. Coincidence? I think not.

One of the reasons I like Swap-Bot is the chance to step outside my comfort zone a little and try something new. That's why I signed up for a mixed media swap in one of the the groups I belong to. The subject matter was completely up to you, with only a few guidelines; your artwork had to be on a small boxed canvas, incorporate at least three different mediums, and explore the color green as well as texture. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? Wrong!

I had so much trouble with it and hated everything I tried. After a few failed attempts at being awesome and original, I grabbed my binder of embroidery doodles in search of inspiration. I probably would have just given up on the whole thing if it hadn't been for a swap. Sometimes I need to be held accountable. Deadlines are always good too.

I think Glitter Skull would be an awesome name for a band. Actually, so would Meat Bull.

I finally grabbed one of my sketches of a Carnotaurus skull and glued it on to a canvas painted green. Then I traced it, smeared some green glitter paint on it, and thickened up the outline with my trusty black Sharpie. Then I began painting a row of white teeth on both the left and right edges of the canvas as a sort of border. I thought I could build them up with layers of paint for a sort of 3D effect. It didn't work out so well though. In fact, it didn't work out at all, so I nixed that idea and went back to the drawing board. I now had a subject at least, and a touch of green, but still no texture.

Small Mixed Media Canvas Series, #1
The bumps! Look at them! They're bumpy!

Then came some more brainstorming...dinosaurs...teeth...horns...bone...skin. Skin! Of course! Back in the day, dinosaurs were always colored in shades of gray and green. Actually, they still are for the most part. How perfect for my green swap! And what does dinosaur skin look like? Kinda bumpy. Texture! Excellent! Bring on the green paint! After painstakingly building up a few dozen dots of paint with 5 or 6 layers, I had something I happy with.

Glitter teeth...of DOOM!

As excited as I was about my epiphany full of little green bumps, I was still bummed about my idea for the textured teeth not working out. My mind kept wandering back to it, until I finally realized that I still had the sides of the canvas to play with. So that's what I did! I painted a row of pointy white teeth on each side, then coated the whole edge with the same green glitter paint that I used on the skull. I like glitter. I also like thick black cartoonish outlines, so out came the Sharpie for some final outlining.

I loooove how it all came together, and I'm very happy to say that my swap partner did too. It may have been a pain in the tuchus at times, but it was totally worth it, and may have even taught me a lesson. Something about being true to myself, even when trying new things. Silly and geeky FTW! Also, dinosaurs rock.


Macramé Monday!

Macramé hangers! Not just for plants and speakers anymore! They work great for fish bowls too!

Photo from Macramé Enchantment Book 5, published in 1980

Photo from Macramé Hang-ups, published in 1973

Photo from Macramé Reflections, published in 1976

I bet those fish in the last picture like to pretend they're aliens in a flying saucer. And the name of that awesome hanger? UMO (Unidentified Macramé Object). True story, I swear!


Beacon Hill Children's Farm

A few weeks ago Mr. Zombie and I finally visited the Petting Zoo in Beacon Hill Park. It's one of the many things that we've been putting off. Well, mostly me I guess, since I'm pretty sure squealing over cute baby goats didn't make his bucket list.

Beacon Hill Park
Mr. Baby Goat and I   (Hey look! I can make actual captions!)

The goats were absolutely adorable! And sooooo many babies! They were all running around willy-nilly and even hopping on any adult who stood still for too long - and I mean any adult, people included.

Beacon Hill Park
Nobody I know. Just a lucky guy with a goat on his back.

Check out this video of the kids playing! How cute is that?

Awww!! They think they're all grown up!

That noise near the end? That would be the peacocks. There are oodles of beautiful peafowl wandering around the park, and holy crap on a cracker, are the peacocks loud! I guess they're vying for the attention of the sexy lady peahens. We only saw two peahens though, not sure if that's due to all the commotion or not. I think the chances are pretty good that they were all loitering in the ladies room gossiping about the boys.

Beacon Hill Park
Mr. Peacock struttin' his stuff  *bom chicka wow wow*

You can check out the rest of the photos here, if you're so inclined. There are shots of almost every animal at the zoo, plus a few others taken around the park.


Macramé Monday!

Photo from Accenting With Macramé, published in 1979

"Sounds of your favorite music accompany the musical splashes as the speakers are kept dry and away from the rivulets of water or spray...The patio is in a party giving, or just comfortable at home mood, with redwood and synthetic fiber combined and designed to hold speakers that weigh 60 lbs. each."

Yep. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Photo from Step One, published in 1978

This design is a real treat! The speaker tables are built right into the lamp shades. It keeps them off the floor and out of the way, and turns a pair of boring speakers into a focal point. You gotta admit, that is a pretty nifty storage solution. And in that yummy mustard yellow oh-so-70s color too!


Record Album Cover Box Tutorial

make a box with record albums
Retro-y box next to my retro-y papasan chair

This idea popped into my head the other night when I was wandering around the apartment wondering what to do with myself. There are tons of different crafts you can do with records and record covers, but the only boxes I've seen are smaller ones made from one cover. I picture this big box as a catch-all, maybe for all the clutter in the living room that I have to hide before company comes over (you all know what I'm talking about). It could be a great conversation piece too, especially if you use really cool albums. Each cover I picked has a blonde on it, so I've dubbed it the Blonde Bombshell Box.

make a box with record albums

5 record album covers
a drill
bulldog clips
hemp cord (not shown)
scissors (not shown)
(shown but not needed are jute cord, a tape measure and a pencil)

I picked out the four blonde ladies for the sides of the box, and one not-so-exciting one for the bottom (that would be The Seductive Sax of Boots Randolph - his sax might be seductive, but his album cover sure ain't). Then I used the bulldog clips to hold them tightly together and keep them from slipping while I drilled holes along each side.

make a box with record albums

On my first attempt I drilled just two holes on each side and constructed the box using a piece of jute cord tied through each set of holes. This was really flimsy though, so I took it apart and drilled more holes (eleven total, but the number doesn't really matter as long as it's the same on each side). I also realized that I didn't need to measure and mark each place to drill.

make a box with record albums

I switched to hemp because it's neater and so much easier to work with than jute. I also realized that I could lace the hemp cord along each corner, just like tying my sneakers! Not only was this a lot less fiddly than tying a bunch of knots, but it makes the box sturdier, and means that it doesn't really matter if the holes line up exactly. Plus, you get those cool looking X's. See how the on the top two holes the string just goes straight across though? If you don't like that look, you need to drill an even number of holes.

make a box with record albums

Here's a shot of the inside. See how in the lower left corner the bottom piece sticks out a little bit? That's totally fine, because I was trying to position the sides so that they rested on top of the bottom part. It's not an exact science, mind you, but it worked out ok in the end. Who says it all has to be exactly 90 degrees anyway?

make a box with record albums

Voila and ta-da! The finished product! Notice the decorative edge along the top? That was actually a happy accident. I guess I got a little carried away, because I ended up drilling along all four sides, when I only needed to do three to make the box. Oops! Doesn't this look like it was planned though?

As seen on CraftGossip.comTotally Tutorials Blog
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It's OK to be Takei

The It's OK to be Takei online shop!

It's a sign!

Of what, I have no idea.

Maybe these guys can figure it out. You've heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, right?

Princess Beatrice's Hat Totally Looks Like The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Many thanks to Aunt Peaches for enlightening me.


Macramé Monday!

Macramé Monday is back by popular demand! No, really. People are actually viewing these posts. I figured I'd better be a little more organized from now on, so I just sat down with all my macramé books and marked the pictures that I want to share with the world. And, because I've been slack, here's a double dose of retro goodness.

Photo from Fiber Form and Fantasy, published in 1977

This isn't an advertisement...I think. There's no information given on how to purchase it, and this page is listed in the Table of Contents. Sure seems like an ad though.

Photo from Macramé Hang-Ups, published in 1973

Just a couple of macramé plant hangers, doing their macramé plant hanger thing. But look at the hair! It's so big and round!


cat and owl playing

How freaking adorable is this? I just hope the cat never actually catches the owl. You know, because of prey drive and all that. Then again, the owl might actually emerge the victor in that situation, with his pointy little beak and talons. He's also protected by all those feathers. Oh noes! Run kitty, run!


Those of you who use Google Reader or have an email subscription might have noticed that some older posts have been popping up. It's probably due to the fact that Blogger was down yesterday. According to Blogger Buzz some posts and comments were temporarily removed but will soon be restored.

So there ya go. :P


Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens

Dinosaurs vs. aliens??? Um...yes please!

Holy awesome, Batman! This is not only going to be a graphic novel, but a movie as well! I feel faint...

via io9 and Deadline


Last night I dreamt I was at a high school dance type thing. I took off my jeans for some reason and couldn't find them later when I wanted to put them back on. I then discovered video footage of people putting them on lots of different animals, like owls, wolves and cheetahs. Dream-Leah would have been fine with that, except they cut a hole in the bum of the jeans for the animal's tails. Dream-Leah was pretty pissed, but Me-Leah woke up before the big confrontation with the thieves/animal stylists.

The weirdest part? The cheetah's ass looked awesome in my jeans.


Dr. Doolittle has nothing on me

I've been a very busy lil' zombie lately, having lots of lil' zombie adventures. They all seemed to involve cute lil' non-zombie animals, though it wasn't planned that way. There were otters, dolphins, belugas, seals, turtles, fish, goats, alpacas, finches, peafowl, pigs, ducks, chickens, mini horses, owls, eagles, ravens, hawks, falcons, and turkey vultures. Oh my!

My laptop is now filled with a gazillion and one pictures that I have to go through. Sometime. Eventually. I'll do it, I swear. Don't you judge me!!! The fact that I still haven't gone through the pictures taken last June during my mom's visit totally doesn't count.

I really hate doing it though. It's really hard to choose which ones to keep, even when I have oodles of different shots of one thing. Nobody wants to look at two dozen pictures of the same bird, even if his head is in a slightly different position in each one. Nobody but me anyway. I definitely want to look at two dozen pictures of the same bird. And I do.

But I digress...

Anyway, I'll put all the pictures on Flickr, but I'll post my favorites here, accompanied with my special brand of witty commentary. You know you love it.