Showing posts with label Fail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fail. Show all posts

9 Nov 2012

Heads or Tails?

This was the little project that couldn't.  I tried, and tried, and tried to make it work, but these little animals were having nothing of it.

I decided way over a month ago that I was going to make some fun magnets for Fin.  She loves playing with the magnets on the fridge and rearranging them a million different ways.  The poor kid had to play with free magnets from the dentist and pizza place.  The least her mother could do was make her some decent toddler worthy magnets.  I had seen a few pictures of plastic animals that had been cut in half and then had magnets attached....so they were little heads and bums.  Seemed simple.

The first challenge was actually finding the animals.  I seriously must have looked at 10 stores for plastic animals.  Finding animals that were solid (not hollow) and reasonably priced was a challenge.  I finally found a pack of them at the dollar store.  They were a little more comical looking than I would have preferred  but I just went with it (like I had much choice!).


I took the little guys out to the garage and performed a little animal surgery.


Sawing through plastic animals is not an easy feat.  There was a lot of swearing and a few band-aids involved.  A veterinarian I am not.

Eventually I ended up with 3 heads and 3 tails.


I have no idea why the lion head is not in the picture above....it was probably the start of things going downhill and I didn't even know it.

Once I had the animal halves, I then used a sanding block to lightly buff the raw edge to remove the plastic shards.  Then I used hot glue to attach some little disc magnets.  So far, so good.


Cute, right?


Next up was painting these suckers.  Since they were for a little girl, I wanted them to be a fun colour (surprisingly enough, I didn't even care if they matched the kitchen).  I had some purple sparkly spray paint sitting in my craft cupboard that had been included in a $1 Michael's grab bag.  It was a sample size, so I figured it would be perfect.  It was a brand I didn't know, but I didn't stop to think too much about it.  

I laid out all of the animals and sprayed away.  An hour later the paint still wasn't dry.  Oh well, I figured it was some weird kind of spray paint and it would need overnight to dry.  After work the next day I checked on my animals and they still weren't dry.  Crap.  Clearly this was 100% grab bag junk.  

A few days later (when they still weren't dry), Fin and I took a trip to Home Depot to pick up some hot pink spray paint.  Rustoleum florescent pink.  I have used Rustoleum spray paint a hundred times and it always works.  When I got home I gave the very sad looking animals a fresh coat of hot pink.  Then it  all went horribly wrong.  In my head I thought that a fresh coat of paint would just cover up the wet purple paint.  Huh? Dumb.  When the hot pink paint started to crack, I knew this had just gone from bad to worse.  Then I made it WAY worse.  Since everything was still wet, I figured I would just try and wash the paint off and start from scratch.  The hot water didn't do much, so I pulled out my trusty magic eraser and gave that a go.  This is where you cue the gong.


It's like a badly sunburned elephant missing his bum.  So sad. Please note the pieces of magic eraser stuck to his ears.  Ya.....the horrible paint actually ate through the magic eraser. The worst part is that then I went to yoga that night and the pink/purple mixed spray paint that was stuck to my skin came off of my hands all over my yoga mat.  I still haven't even attempted to clean that.

3 animal heads and 3 animal tails took a little trip to Trashville.  (I used a steak knife to pry the magnets off first....super safe activity!)

Give up then?  Oh no!  A few days later I hoofed it back to the dollar store to pick up another pack of animals.  Once we got home Fin spotted the pack of animals and wanted to play with them.  I figured what the heck, she can't wreck them, so I opened the package and gave them to her.  That night I went on a hunt to find the new animals so that I could start surgery again.  I found the giraffe.  That's it.  No elephant.  No lion.  Seriously?  We tore the house apart and nothing. 

At that point I needed an animal break. 

Almost a week later, we went out for a little walk and lo and behold there were the missing animals - in Fin's Chariot stroller.  The places she manages to squirrel things away....

Ok, back on track.  This time I asked Mr. Swell to saw the animals for me (so that I could save on band-aids).  I resanded and attached the magnets again.  Then came the painting....again.

This time I went straight for the hot pink.  After 2 coats I had this....


What?  The coverage S.U.C.K.E.D.  Someone throw me a life-line here.  

I had already spent enough money on these suckers (2 packs of animals, magnets, hot pink spray paint), so I was not spending any more money on new paint.  Enter my trusty gold Valspar spray paint (as seen here and here).  The coverage on this spray paint is amazing.  I figured if anything was going to work, it would.

And guess what? It did.


Not hot pink like I had imagined, but good enough.  Fin would just have to deal with the gold (like she cared).

I put them all on the fridge and waited for Fin to wake up from her nap.  I was so excited for her to see them when she came downstairs.  



Here's the thing....they were still sort of sticky.  I had let them dry for 2 days after the gold, so I convinced myself that they weren't really sticky and it was just the feel of the plastic.  After moving them around a bit though, and then taking the pictures, I noticed that I had gold finger prints all over my camera.  Ya, they were bleeding gold.  I carried on.  I figured they'd stop bleeding after a while (dumb, dumb, dumb).

Fin spotted them as soon as she walked into the kitchen.  And instantly fell in love.  


We played with them for a good 5 minutes (that's a LONG time in her universe), and then she moved on to other things.  That's when I noticed that there were gold streaks all over the fridge.  Upon further inspection, she had gold on her face and all over her fingers.  I am sure I would not win mother of the year for allowing chopped up plastic animals to bleed gold spray paint all over my daughter.   

3 more heads and 3 more tails took a trip to Trashville.  Weeks of work (well, off and on for weeks) for 5 minutes of gold covered play.  

2 minutes later our fridge was back to this....


And she was just as happy.  


27 Jul 2012

A Decent Recovery, I'd Say....

This is a keepin' it real post.  I am not afraid to admit when something gets the better of me.  

A few weeks ago I showed you this coral canvas that was sitting in our basement, all blank and just begging for some personality.


My original plan for the canvas was to make a giant picture on the cheap.  I had seen it all over Pinterest and it looked like it would be a cinch.  I picked up the canvas at Michael's (with a 30% off coupon) and then used a mixture of Behr's Fiery Red and Indian Dance (a concoction, if you will) to slap a coat of paint on it.  The painting part went well.  I had actually started out thinking I'd just paint the sides (as that is all that was supposed to show), but I had extra paint left over, so I painted the whole thing (very glad I at least had that stroke of genius).

I then took one of our wedding photos, put it on a flash drive and took it into Staples to have it blown up.  I asked them to blow it up to 24" x 36" on their blue print printer.  For $9, I was amazed at how good it looked.


See how happy I look there?  Ya, it didn't last long.

The plan was to use mod podge to attach the picture to the canvas (and have the cute coral peek out the sides).  It didn't take long to realize that I had a great big disaster on my hands.  The paper started wrinkling with the mod podge and the ink was coming off all over my hands.  Then the freaking paper ripped.  I tried to save it, but seriously, I couldn't piece our faces back together.  The idea of making some kind of strange mosaic crossed my mind, but eventually (before the mod podge dried), I just decided to get all the paper off the canvas and call it a night.

So, that's why the sad canvas sat in the basement for about a month.  I couldn't figure out what to do with a mostly painted, half mod podged coral canvas. 

Well, when you don't know what to do with something just hit up Pinterest.  Waste a couple of hours and you're sure to find something inspiring.  I pinned a quote so that I wouldn't forget it.  "If you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen."  It seemed like the perfect quote to have in an office/playroom.  Inspiring for both Mom and Munchkin.

So...back to Michael's I went, but this time to pick up some vinyl letters.  I moved the mega blocks out of the way and claimed a place on the carpet to work on my masterpiece. 

I cut all of the letters out so that I could space out the words as best as possible.


At this point it just looked a little stalker-ish.  Also, apparently my camera doesn't like coral.  The canvas really is coral, not a weird orange.  I blame it on bad basement lighting and the camera, not on the operator. 

Then I used the trusty yellow level as a guide while laying down my letters.


Working from the bottom up and the right to the left, it only took a couple of minutes to stick all of the letters on.


I was going for more of a reverse image sort of thing, so I hauled out some white paint and applied a coat of paint over the top of the canvas.  I started out with a foam roller, but it wasn't working very well.  Part of the problem was that the canvas was covered in mod podge, so it wasn't smooth.  It had clear little ridges and bumps.  I switched out the roller for a brush and just slathered on the paint.  Then I used a rag to sort of smoosh it all around.  A very technical process.


Oh ya, did I mention that for some stupid reason I painted on top of my deep freeze? I have no idea why...I think maybe it was close to the foam roller???  Anyhow, that's why the pictures look like they are taken in a deep dark hole of the basement.  It's because they were.

Before the paint had a chance to dry I used an x-acto knife to peel off the letters.



Looking pretty good at this point, so I left it to dry for an hour or so and then hung it up on the wall.


And then, because I sometimes don't know when to leave things alone, I decided it needed some tszujing (think Carson Kressley style) in the form of some butterflies.


Nope, butterflies were NOT working.  Ripped the butterflies off. De-tszujed


So there you have it.  A DIY disaster, redeemed.  I really like it now.  It's simple but packs a big message that I love reading every day.

If you missed the big office reveal, you can check it out here



27 Mar 2012

When Things Don't Go Right

I have been working on a project for a few nights now and am in the final stages, which requires me to figure out some picture frames.  The prints that I have are 8.5" X 11" and I didn't really want to cut them down to 8" X 10", and I for sure didn't want to pay $10 a frame since I need 4 of them.  I found some document frames at Wal-Mart for $1.97 each and figured they would be great. Easy to spray paint and 8.5" X 11" to boot.

I'd love you to think that everything I do is great and I just whip these things up in a few minutes, but let's be honest here - that is the furthest thing from the truth.  And perfect is boring, right?  I am a bit of a spaz sometimes, and many times I don't have the patience I should, which results in some pretty epic fails.  Last night was one.....



Here's what I learned:

1.   When you see $1.97 frames in Wal-Mart it's probably too good to be true.

2. Cheap frames are just plain cheap! I am sure I just chucked them in the cart, the cashier chucked them in the bag and then I probably dropped the bag on the floor when I got in the door.  All of this chucking and dropping  resulted in two of the frames being cracked.

3. Hot glue and cheap plastic are sort of like oil and water - they don't want to be together.....at all...no matter how hard you will it.

4. When you let the dog out just before you are ready to go out he will poop right in your path to the garage. Flip flops, snow and dog poo also don't mix.

5. Turn the heater on in the garage BEFORE going out to paint.  March in Alberta at 9 pm is still cold, especially in dog poo covered flip flops!

6. Spray painting on carpet is a bad idea. We had just recycled all of our newspaper and I needed something to spray paint on, when I spotted some old carpet in the corner of the garage (it was headed to the dump).  I spread it out and had a big debate with myself if I should put the carpet side up or the backside up.  In my head I was thinking "I bet the frames would be better on the fluffy side, they could just rest on the fluff".  Seriously, not my finest thought...and the painting hadn't even started yet so I can't blame it on the fumes.

7. Shag carpet sticks to wet paint. 'Nuf said.

8. Layering on the paint really thick will NOT fill in the gaps created from the cracks and the copious amounts of hot glue.



Once I calm down enough about the disaster that is the 4 cheapy plastic document frames I will work on fixing them or come up with something altogether new.  If all goes well (which isn't looking so good at this point) I'll have a finished project to show you by the weekend.

Have a great week, I hope it started off better than mine.





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