Make this Easy Faux Coral Sculpture!(Video)

coral-sculpture-hero

Image: Maya Marin | eHow


IN THIS ARTICLE:
I loves me a bargain; When it comes to decor, faux can be your friend


I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I’m cheap, y’all. Unless we’re talking about dog food (my dog dines better than I do, no question) or paying/tipping people for friendly services well rendered, I’m always going to figure out how to get the most bang for my buck. This means I will either: a) find a way to make the wanted items myself or b) patiently search high and low for the best deals.

Truth be told, my love for making stuff stems as much from my characteristic thriftiness (which I’m pretty sure I inherited from my mom) as it did my innate desire to create.

All of this to say that I’m not opposed to faux organic decor (including plants — check out my post on how to make fake plants look real!), if that means I’m saving money and/or time by going faux. But it does NOT mean that I will settle for having stuff in my house that I’m not 100% aesthetically pleased with.

Case in point — my DIY’ed faux coral sculpture which I proudly display on my living room bookcase:

Image: Maya Marin | eHow

It’s a huge (el-cheapo) IKEA bookcase that’s a whole lot darker than I’d prefer it to be, so I really wanted to add pops of color to the shelves (to draw attention away from the overt IKEA-ness of the bookcase). I love the shape and hue of red coral, but buying authentic coral (as much as I’d love to have it) was out of my price range.

205-euro-sculpture.jpg

Do you know how much premium dog food I can buy with €205? No thanks. (Boulesse.com)

So, I researched my DIY options, and found this genius method (on Ohohblog.com) for making faux coral using wire, hot glue, and paint — stuff I already had in my craft stash anyway. If you make stuff on the regular, you probably do as well. If you don’t, these materials  are very affordable and can be used for literally hundreds of other projects.

I pitched a faux coral video tutorial to eHow and they loved it. So I made it, and now I present it to you. Hop on over to eHow for my full tutorial.

To obtain this lovely shade, I used mostly Delta Ceramcoat Deep Sea Coral with a few drops of Americana True Red.)

        

Dude, Where’s My Cardigan?: Husband’s 2012 Christmas Gift Progress Report


IN THIS ARTICLE:
Making good on your promises to those you love
even when life gets weird.


We’ve got loads of reasons for leaving business unfinished. Like, there are some things that you don’t finish out of a crippling perfectionism — the kind that tells you that if a thing won’t be perfect, it isn’t worth finishing. Or there are some things you don’t do because you’re really busy and they’re not as high on your priority list. And then, of course, there are the things you leave unfinished out of sheer laziness. All can be shame-inducing.

But there’s a special kind of shame reserved for when you’ve promised to make something for a loved one for a special occasion that you had every intention of finishing on time for that occasion, but you don’t.

Such is the case with this cardigan I promised to my husband for Christmas. Christmas 2012.  It is now October 2017. Or, wait a minute — maybe I promised it to him for his birthday? Who knows, I can’t even remember. All I know is that I started making the thing five years ago and have promised to finish it every subsequent year, but life got weird. Weird how? Work stressed me me out. Work stressed him out. We were stressing each other out. Resentments festered. Etc.

#FBF to that time in 2014 when I posted on Instagram about how I was making progress. Ha!

To make matters worse, this isn’t just any cardigan — it’s the “Dude” cardigan. Yep, the famed ’70s Pendleton worn by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski. An article of clothing I chose to DIY for my husband because he’s been a HUGE fan of the Coen brothers since he was a youth growing up in a small town in Northern Ireland with this crazy, far-fetched ambition to one day move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. Such was his love for the big screen. And the small screen. All the screens.

#TBT to that time, in 2016, when I said I just might “actually be able to finish” it. Double ha!

With much hard work and persistence (on top of natural talent, of course), my amazing dude uprooted his life and moved halfway across the world to make his goal a reality. Even when life got weird.

Image: The Big Lebowski | Gramercy Pictures

I, on the other hand, chickened out of my childhood career ambitions, moved a mere 30 miles from where I grew up, and I can’t even finish a lousy cardigan for the person I love most in the world.

Of course, I could continue using the “poetic” excuse of taking the same laissez-faire attitude while making this cardigan as the Dude himself took throughout the film. That is, “the Dude abides” unchanged as all hell breaks loose around him.

But, and I’m going to be super frank now, one of the biggest reasons I didn’t put in the time and effort to finish this cardigan for my husband was resentment. I was depressed and dissatisfied with my life. Consumed by a job that was only leading me farther away from where I wanted to be. He was busy with a career that was blowing up. And resentment manifests in all sorts of ways — like being unwilling to put in the extra effort at the end of a tiring day to make good on a promise years ago. And, in more ways than one, this cardigan seemed to epitomize his success and my (perceived) failure. Resentment makes us conjure up crazy symbolism like that.

A month ago, it was two pieces of knit fabric. Now, it’s an actual vest! A wearable thing. Two sleeves and a collar away from done.

But no more. I hereby proclaim THIS to be the year. Not just for finally finishing this cardigan, but for making a greater commitment to finish what I start. To actively pursue and take responsibility for my own happiness. To love my loved ones like there is no tomorrow. Unconditionally. All of those things we know we should do but don’t — until tragic things happen in the world that remind us that tomorrow is never, and was never, guaranteed.

The back.

So Los Angeles had better have a cold, cold winter this year, especially after the record-breaking heat we’ve had throughout the fall. Otherwise, my husband’s going to be sweating buckets wearing this thing on Christmas morning.

This terrific knitting pattern can be found at andreaknits.com/dude.

Oh yeah, and I think it’s also fitting to announce that 10 years ago on this day, we got married inside a Toyota Prius in a drive-thru wedding ceremony in Vegas.

Here we are, driving down the aisle.

Love, American style.

And ordering. I think we had the dinner combo.

One wedding please, supersized.

Looking forward to 10 more years with my dude.