Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leftover Childhood Fears

Today's is an odd post. Not sure what made me think about this one, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Growing up is tough. Childhood fears abound and sometimes never let us go. Some people fear the monsters that live under their bed or in their closet. Hey, remember that clown from the movie Poltergeist?

Personally, I had a couple of different things that scared the bejeezus out of me. Thanks to a "friend" named Julie, I became terrified of one of my dolls at night. The doll was from Vietnam and my father brought it to my Mom after he was stationed over there during the war. Julie, being the mean person she was, told me that as soon as I closed my eyes the doll would begin to grow until she was the size of a real person. Then, the doll's nails would grow really long and she would walk over to my bed and gouge my eyes out. You have no idea how many hours I spent lying in my bed and letting the shadows fool me into believing that stupid doll was growing and moving towards me with her dragon lady nails. Thankfully, that fear disappeared.

The one that lingers in very surprising ways though, is the fear of vampires. Anyone remember that one while growing up? I figured that the only way to combat a vampire while growing up was if you slept with all your covers bunched up real good and tight around your neck. That way the vampire would never be able to get to it to suck the blood out of me. Today, the fear of vampires is long gone, but would you believe that I still sleep with my covers up over my neck? No matter how hot it may be, the sheet manages to be up there and wrapped tight around my scrawny little neck. It's amazing the fears or the habits caused by those fears that we carry with us into adulthood.

So let's hear it. Don't leave me to be the only one out there like this. Tell me some of yours!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Melting Pony Beads

I tried something last night that I've been wanting to try for a while: melting pony beads. In hindsight, this wasn't the smartest thing that I could have tried this week. Perhaps the fumes from melting plastic are best dealt with when one isn't already nauseous from the post nasal drip caused by a recent bout of the flu. None the less, I did it anyway. No one ever said I was the sharpest crayon in the box.

If you try this on your own, please remember to have open windows and lots of fans going. Melting plastic creates toxic fumes that need to be vented and released immediately! I plan on getting a thrift store toaster oven to use on the back porch next time I try this. I will also avoid doing it while already sick. Learn from my mistakes folks. :)

This is a super easy project that can produce some stunning results. For some examples, head on over to Craftster and do a search on melting pony beads. Especially look at the Tiffany style lampshades some people have created.

Here's what you'll need:
Plastic beads, cylindrical object, cookie sheet, aluminum foil, oven

Also, don't forget your oven mitts. You really don't want to touch melted plastic with your bare skin, do you?

Set your oven to 400 degrees, then while it's heating up, make a lovely arrangement of beads on a tin foil covered cookie sheet:

I was planning on making a simple bangle for my first go. I have tiny wrists, so I only made it 6.5 inches long and two of these fruit loop looking beads wide.

Melt it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then, carefully shape it around a cylindrical object. I chose a glass jar.

Now, before we go any further, please know that this project did not work out for the best, but it's really not my fault. Really! Because, immediately after the shaping of the bangle, the Youngest got hold of it.

The pretty bangle now looks like two sets of false teeth for clowns:

So, it didn't quite work out this time. There will be another time for this. Maybe next time I'll try for a pretty bowl or platter and make sure the Youngest is no where near me when I do it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good Things/Bad Things

Quick update (it has to be quick, I have to turn all my stuff in for a children's consignment sale by tomorrow morning and I'm nowhere near ready):

I am alive, but just barely so. This was one nasty little bug that I had over the weekend. The fever alone lasted four and a half days. I still feel weak as a kitten. But, I am recovering. So, yeah!
That's the Good Thing.

The Bad Thing? I found a big 'ol mistake in my knitting project and had to frog about three days worth of work. Not. Happy.

Thanks so much for the Get Well Wishes! They were much appreciated.