bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 12:31pm on 03/04/2013 under ,

Even though we’re no-grain there’s a jar of white flour in the cupboard. It’s a vital part of a lot of my crafting, mostly in flour glue for papier mâché. What I forgot that it’s great for, until recently, was salt dough.

Woo, salt dough.

I used to sculpt a lot, with polymer clay. I still have a good bunch of polymer clay, but most of it is old and pretty much useless (the problem with an attic being your studio, there’s a lot of extreme temperatures). So when I got the bug to sculpt some things some months ago, conditioning clay that had a 50% chance of turning into a texture I liked wasn’t really something I wanted to do. So I checked the proportions (1 part salt to 2 parts flour, enough water to make it a “dough”) and made a batch.

Making salt dough.

It’s fabulous stuff to work with, silky but with a good body, sticks to itself with water, the only draw back is how it takes FOREVER to dry, in or out of the oven. From some of the feedback my snaps on Instagram got I gathered that a lot of folks must have played with it growing up.

One of the reasons I got into papier mâché was that it was a media that didn’t cost anything. I needed to make “art” for school, there are copious free weeklies around a campus and I was baking bread so there was always flour (which is stupid cheap in bulk, anyway). I’ve spent maybe 15 years just collecting junk to make things with, the home craft media of papier mâché and salt dough fit perfectly into my world-view of making things out of what you’ve got (sewing is where this breaks down for me, ohhhh fabrics and notions, you dirty temptresses).

I miss sculpture a lot, it’s what I relate most media to, from sewing to painting. Which, I guess that’s obvious in how a lot of my sculpts turn out. I pretty rarely start with a plan, it’s all enjoying the process of making something.

There is a plan.

Anyway, my point is this. I’ve never seen anyone waste their time playing with clay. I’ve seen fabulously ugly beasts formed lovingly, shapes built and destroyed in endless cycles, the surprising genesis of something amazing. But always there’s something, never nothing, even if you junk it all at the end.

If you’ve got a free evening and a bit of flour and salt on hand (ideally at least a quarter cup of flour), give it a try. The worst thing that could happen is you add too much water and end up with soup. But if you only add a little water at a time you’ll be fine. I mean, if you’re doing this in your home, nobody will see the stupid stuff you make. You don’t have to prove skills to anyone, just let yourself play.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 08:35pm on 02/01/2013 under , , , , , ,

I tend to feel like I don’t make enough or do enough creative work. Compared to the output I used to do, I don’t. I try to remind myself that it’s okay! I work a fulfilling, creative job and sleep more and am pretty much happy. But it bums me out, especially since so many folks I know are constantly pumping out notable, awesome work. So when I sat down with my Flickr archive for this year (because Flickr has been my memory bank for years now), I didn’t expect much. This was the year I stopped doing focus months, I mean, how much could I have done?

Turns out? A decent amount.

Focus month: Branding Ma-Mé. I built and did the branding work for a friend’s site. It was super fun and I got paid for it! I like making other people’s ideas because I just like making stuff more than thinking of what to make.

Non-focus things made:
• I painted a painting that I then slid behind a bookcase, because I couldn’t throw it away, but why keep it?
• A TARDIS piñata for a dear friend. This has been re-Pinned on Pinterest about a million times.
Tardis piñata


Focus month: Airbrush! I have an airbrush and love it, but spent this month really learning it.

Non-focus things made:
Rebuilt arbour in yard.
• Murder-wall anniversary present for Chase.
Anniversary present, murder wall


Focus month: Mending & old work. Cleaned a bunch of stuff, got rid of a bunch of stuff, a really great feeling.

Non-focus things made:
• I did get a wig that is now my web avatar wig. God, I love this fake hair.
• Wrote a short-short.
Finished serialising the first draft of The Audacity Gambit.


Focus month: Chase’s show production, in which I showed you nothing.

Non-focus things made:
• Nothin. But I did start using Instagram.
Found my balloons and pump.


Focus month: Embroidery. Which was fun, but not a lot produced.

Non-focus things made:
• Taught myself eggshell veneer.
First try ay eggshell veneer, not terrible.


Focus Month: Another writing month. Editing The Audacity Gambit and working on the second book!

Non-focus things made:
• Made a sky bison costume for a cat.
• Shot a cover for TAG’s Draft 2 Lulu print.
Shooting The Audacity Gambit draft 2 cover


Focus month: Animatic. Which got extended, due to summer fun.

Non-focus things made:
Swatched my insane nail polish collection.
• Helped manage my workplace’s move to a new place.
• Made Chase a hell of a cake for his birthday.
Chase's petit fours cake, with the colours and pillars he picked out.


Focus month: Animatic, still. Which didn’t end how I expected. I decided to stop doing focus months.

Non-focus things made:
• Research for a friend’s Halloween costume.
• Ridiculous Adventure Time/Breaking Bad drawing.
• Modified a department store ball-jointed doll into a dryad.
Dryad Doll outside


•We bought a car, wtf.
Built rig for San’s cape from Princess Mononoke.
• Wrote lots of TAG book 2
Emily and the hare from book two.


• Got my first hand tattoos
• Made Princess Mononoke costume.
There. Done with San's cape and hood. Ended up going for attatching hood permanently. #fb


• Worked on a thing I hope to show you guys soon.
• Made a ridiculous cake
Surf cake


• Shot photos of cats in both old west and Avedon’s In the American West styles as presents.
Christmas Kitty: Avedon edit Bailey


So, a decent amount of things, I think? And through all of it, trying to keep my nails sick.


Not a bad 2012, let’s hope for more in 2013!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

Only ten days left in the month and I’ve only two of my hoped-for four eyepiece things done.  That is fine! Now that TBA (a ten-day art fest that we went to almost every day) is over I can hopefully whip them out.

The first one I wanted to go as far away as I could from steampunk-ness.  It’s a costume piece, not a useful one, but I like it.  I had endless fun creating the density of surface embellishment.

Feather mask/red lens: 3/4

There’s movement to the red lens, at least, which I like.

Feather mask/red lens: lens up

The second piece is super useful and more utilitarian.
Magnifier glasses: right side

It magnifies like a badass.

Magnifier glasses: in action

Chase took all the pretty pictures and if you click through to Flickr there’s a quick summary of what materials are in each one.

Anyway, here’s the thing.  I made these to make them because I like to make things.  But I don’t want them.  Do you want them? I’m thinking $25 each (which includes shipping) to take these dang things off my hands.  Each one took about a complete day of work to put together, so that’s a stupid good deal. No takers and I’ll toss them up on Etsy.

Update: The feather one is called for!
Update 2: The magnifying one is called for!  Do not be sad, I will hopefully have two more by the end of the month!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:16pm on 02/04/2011 under , , , , ,

This month is my birthday month, so the focus is going to be something I am so all about: nails.

Sometime between 2006-ish, when I was still scared of the makeup aisle and spent evenings pretending I wasn’t following white rabbit hyperlinks about drag, false lashes, makeup and hair falls to the summer of 2009 when I started painting my nails about once a week (though I didn’t start doing it regularly each week for a while), I got over it. “It” being my gender presentation and self-perception. Which is so complicated and all I want to do is explain why getting my nails did is so important to me. Like, Jo’s hair in Little Women important. It’s the thing I’m vain about.

Nails did: 10/11/10

Anyway. I like bling. I like shiny things and the LA look and the crumbs of makeup that I still carried from the mandatory girl-kit of my late teens included a pair of silver false lashes. This month is about nails, not lashes, I know, stay with me. Lashes and nail polish both are something that complete a character, when you’re acting or in an editorial. They’re more decidedly costume and they can be fabulous. And I figured out I could do fabulous. That wasn’t girly, when I still cared about if something was girly, it was just fancy.

I literally dipped my finger into painting my nails. I used to use a little mobile internet thing and grew out the nail on my index finger a bit so I didn’t have to use the stylus. The rest of my nails I kept very short. I started painting just the longer nail, for strength and because it was fancy.  Sometimes I would do them up a little more for events.

I done did my nails

Early summer 2009 Chase and I were in a new apartment, a place with no memory of former roommates, I was figuring some stuff out myself and part of that was a style direction that sort of wove the sunshine fashion of 1980s Miami with the rather sick street looks of LA. I found a blog called The Boobs (now over at The Boobs LA) that would post image dumps of hella nails did, with 3D pieces and sick bling. A couple months later, I was already starting to amass a collection of polish. It helps that Chase is a total enabler.


And now, almost two years later, I’ve been doing my nails every week. I’ve grown them out crazy long on my non-dominant hand, learned to square a femme habit with the rest of me and fallen in love with the tiny canvases that adorn my hands. I have dozens of nail polish colours, an airbrush and a legit obsession. My nails may now be trimmed down now for boxing, but they’re still fab.

So. This month I’m focusing just on the thing that I think I love the most. I want to do at least four different sets of art nails on acrylic tips and get shots of them, like extreme versions of ones I’ve done for friends.

I have a nerdy thing I do where I screenshot nails in a film and then try to replicate them. I’ve already done Ginger’s nails in Casino and I’ve got a file of stills of Nomi’s nails in Showgirls that I need to delve into. Any tips as to other notable movie nails would be awesome.

Other than that it’s kind of up in the air. It’s gonna rock. Local friends who’ve been wanting their nails did should shoot me a line for surely.

Now for the kind of impressive grid o’ nails did from my Flickr:

Earliest nails
Older nails
The latest nails

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 11:07pm on 31/03/2011 under , , , , , ,

So, I did not miraculously turn our apartment into a perfect, finished home in one month. I AM NOT MAGIC. All I have been told are lies.

However, it is pretty much at a point where people I know and love can come over and I know they aren’t judging me. I am not where I could host, like, craft night or something yet because I was raised a certain way. And that way means that a house with a pile of unshelved books and not enough hangers for the coats so a bunch are still in a box or whatever is something that you should be ashamed of. Ongoing house goal is to get it where I can have a birthday party. The Ikea trip for a million bookshelves will happen by then.

Living Room in Progress

But! I sewed the things I bought the fabric for!! Which is awesome. I did not meet some of my secondary sewing goals, but one of the whole points of this damned focus month exercise is to remind myself that I am not a machine. Just because I have more time in my day from not commuting does not mean every minute must be spent doing. I just sat and watched a show yesterday afternoon. On my day off! I wasn’t even like, sewing buttons at the same time.

ANYWAY. The house. The first room done was the bathroom, because a lot of time is spent in there and you are a captive audience for all the little things that are yet undone. (all these pictures click through to Flickr, where there are notes and more commentary and more images).

The new bathroom, it is blue

Then I sewed and installed the curtains. Which? Made all the difference in the living room. I like my curtains. They are sexy. Do not mock me.

Touches of frill

The kitchen is what I focused on next, since I realised the living room still had a ways to go. I like our kitchen a lot. I’ve been cooking in there like a person in a movie. Being in the kitchen does not fill me with hatred because there is no space!

It's not so overwhelmingly green when you're in it

So, things I didn’t get to, and will be poking at as I go over the next month:

  • Linen napkins, but not my fault, they were out of the fabric I ordered!
  • Reupholstering chairs, for both time reasons and because I keep losing my hammer.
  • Drapery over the bed, because we will have a princess bed, dammit, but I’m waffling over approach.
  • A holder thing for arm warmers. I have a lot of arm warmers.


So, really, I did good! I’ll post tomorrow with April’s focus. So excited.


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 02:24pm on 13/10/2010 under , , , , , ,

After the total concert cockblock, we ended up going to Scissor Sisters the next week. It was an amazing show (I did a nail for it) and it answered the question that’s been in the back of my mind for ages, “Would I like clubbing?” Answer: YES. They made us work for the encore, came out with a costume change and right at the climax of the last song the ceiling exploded confetti and it was essentially magic. Drifting down, among the little tissue paper and mylar bits, were three dollar bills (ha) with a q-code on the back that goes to Perfection.

There’s been a kick to ramp up creating, making and being, which has been overwhelming but awesome. Chase has added a bunch of amazing stuff to his site. Things that have been sitting in my sketchbook for ages are getting done, like the Black Metal Eyelashes.

Black metal lashes: spikesouttake1

I’m embroidering again, and not being very good about documenting it, the latest big piece has a happy home and lots of snaps of my obsessive detail. The idea of showing my work at these things called “galleries” isn’t as hateful to me as it has been in the past, I’m dipping a toe in cautiously. The kitchen sink creature, in its tiny gross glory, packed itself down to Bloomington, Indiana, to be part of the opening show at Paper Crane Gallery.

I’m at a point where I feel like I can be “this is who I am,” not worrying so much about making others uncomfortable, or keeping things in my head. It is most probs because the people I share my heart with are all terrible, wonderful people who are in concert with me as to when a round of high-fives need to be served. And who totally approve of my leering about in padded bra and soft-packed pants in an attempt to present androgyny as a smorgasbord of choice.

Here’s something I did this week that made me proud:

I commute by bus and lightrail, about 1.5-2 hours, depending. As a small person I have to sometimes remain vigilant about my space. I don’t expect much, just, y’know, the space that I and my bag (slung in front so it doesn’t hit people unawares) take up. Some folks—let’s not call them yuppies, that would be mean—tend to exist only for themselves and will ooze into your standing or seated space with their elbows and bags and coats.

Due to some malfunction, my full train of commuters had to disembark and squeeze onto the next train behind. Which, sighs, but such is commuting life. So we all find space and stand and I luck out with a pole to hold onto instead of a strap, most of which are a little to high for me. Commuters continue to pack on at each stop.

I realise that the man next to me is taking up more space as time goes on, shifting about, resettling his bag so it swings into people, things that are hard to explain if you’ve never commuted on a full train. In short: being a dick. Resting my arm across the top of my bag, I go into my defensive commuting posture. I am not taking up more space, but attempts to take my space result in an elbow to the back. Which, totally happens. And the guy? Does not care. I was little more than a post to rest against. The drone of a bathroom remodel conversation continues.

Staring into space with loathing for my fellow man, I realise the jerk’s bag is open. And I did not spit in it, though I thought about it. Instead, tucking arms in and trying not to fall as the train hit curves, I pulled a pen and paper from my pockets and wrote a note—”Just because you’re white, male and middle class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the space you take up on public transit.” I folded the note and slipped it into his bag, where it nestled next to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

So I’m learning to be comfortable in my happiness. But I will not be complacent.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:23pm on 03/09/2010 under , , , , , ,

I’ve been blogging for work, helping Chase with his art book and reading the crap out of City of Roses which has been crazy fun, and everything is ramping up to busy season again, so here’s a quick dump o’ stuff:

Best of W, a couple of spreads

Nails did: 14/07/10, just the planets

Ooh casting


Nails did: 19/08/10, Jaws 2

Paring down sketchbooks!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:54pm on 21/04/2010 under , , , , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:31pm on 09/12/2009 under , , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:30pm on 02/12/2009 under , , ,


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