I am painting foxes and bears and rabbits and badgers like a mad woman. Keep an eye out for some fun new projects coming soon. Look for badgers in hats and rabbits with glasses. It's going to be a thing.
Living in DC we go to a lot of museums, a brother or sister or friend is almost always visiting and we walk down to the National Museum of the American Indian for their unbelievable cafe or the Air and Space Museum because everyone wants to see a space ship. My favourite exhibit in the city is definitely the gem exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Aside from the Hope Diamond (THE HOPE DIAMOND) and the Harry Winston jewelry there is the Gem Gallery and all the rocks, gems, minerals and meteorites you could possibly want. After wandering the exhibit I always want to bring home ALL THE THINGS in the gift shop and end up putting pyrite in my terrarium or slices of agate in my jewelry box just to look at. After coming across Leif's gorgeous Gemstone Magnet Set I thought that perhaps the chunks of rock around my apartment could be put to similar use. If you don't happen to have a random collection of pretty rock bits around your apartment Bliss Crystals on Etsy has loads of amazing sparklers and Karma Bead Supply have everything you need.
I had a bit of a hard time because the glue doesn't get tacky quickly so unless you are lying on the magnet on a perfectly flat surface it will slide off so I used napkins to wedge things around so they lay perfect flat and then put a tiny bit of glue on the rock and a tiny bit on the magnet. The magnets are super tiny but strong and one kept the agate and smaller rocks on the fridge but the huge chunk of pyrite needed three and an unreasonable amount of unsightly glue because it wasn't a flat surface . They are apparently super strong little magnets and according to the amazon reviews should be kept away from pets because they are super dangerous if consumed or something, so be aware of that. I let mine dry over night and then went crazy pants on my fridge. Now I want to attach ALL the things to magnets and my fridge, possibly small dinosaurs, and almost certainly sheep and llamas.....
The entire city is blooming.
This summer I'm going to be selling at District Flea. It's the first time I've done a craft fair and after this fall's soft launch (this? what we're doing right now? launching softly), I haven't built up enough inventory for a huge 10x10 space I'll have at the Flea. So I'm sewing and painting and coming up with new products and other fun things to try to make McIntosh & Burke a brand big enough for a hard launch in 2015. So pardon the radio silence and all the Instagrams of smoking bears as I stock pile foxes and badgers. And if you're in DC this summer and want to hang out I'll be posting my Flea dates soon.
We had a snow day, a half day, and a weekend all in a row. The blog suffered but I wanted to catch you up in one quick post. Clockwise from the terrarium:
1. My little sister and I made terrariums (another item crossed off my 30 by 30 list). We got our asymmetrical fishbowls and charcoal at Petsmart and everything else at Home Depot. They took no time but we both went running to our mother at a certain point because the cacti kept pricking us and we needed an adult. So far they are still alive.
2. We don't have a car in Washington right now and our vet is out near my parents’ house in Pennsylvania so the pets went to spend a week with my parents which is both sad because there is no one SO happy to see me when I come home from work first and also incredibly luxurious to not have to go for that last 11 pm walk.
3. I made a custom rabbit in a school uniform with a plaid skirt, navy blazer and a backpack. And she is UNREASONABLY cute.
4. Last year while Christmas shopping, I went mental over these Minimergency Kits. The little kits were so cute but didn't really have exactly what I wanted. I came across a bunch of DIY kits but nothing really caught my eye. Right before Christmas I was at Target buying an insane amount of candles that smell like Christmas Trees and I came upon these tiny little pouches for a buck each. I thought they would be perfect for corralling ibuprofen and bobby pins and chap sticks. I made one for each of my sisters and my mother and could pick things they actually might need instead of a generic lady kit. This weekend I stuffed them and wrapped them and gave them away. I included tiny emery boards and breath strips and stain remover and pain killers and a bunch of other things I wish I had in my purse all the time.
5. I made the teeniest tiniest knit tie (does one stitch wide count?) for a mini badger. Coming to the shop this week.
6. For Valentines I got a mug with Hilary Clinton on her phone. I gave my husband this card. Ladies on their phones feature prominently in our lives.
In between sewing little jackets for little badgers (there will be new little badgers in the shop soon!), I've been cutting tiny little hearts out of polymer clay, baking them up and painting them with nail polish. I made heart rings, heart hair clips and heart pins. And stars. A bunch of stars.
I started by rolling out a wee ball of white polymer clay using a brayer (you could just as easily use a rolling pin but I'm a bit paranoid about not using things I use for food with clay). I used some old cookie cutters to cut large and small hearts and stars out of the clay and popped them onto parchment paper and then into an oven for 20 minutes at 275° (check your own clay for baking instructions, your polymer might have different directions).
Once they had dried, I very messily painted them with nail polish (getting both the parchment paper and my fingers completely covered in nail polish). I let them dry for a couple of hours and then used Gel Super Glue to attach pin backs and bobby pins and ring backs that I got from the craft store. After a few hours they are ready to go. Three pins are on their way off to the Aunt Peaches Valentines Exchange and my little sisters are all getting some bobby pins. Now if only I could find a way to let the foxes wear heart pins.
This morning there is a new bear in the shop. Jane Bear's outfit may or may not be indictative of my desire for spring and the warm weather. I redid the animal pattern for legs so she has sweet little feet and a funky water colour skirt. I'm dreaming of summer weather and pretty skirts but for now I'm living vicariously through small wool bears.