Black Friday Withrawal

Black Friday is only half way over, and I am not sure I will survive it. I’m NOT shopping today. Seriously. Remember how I set all these goals for myself in the post And So It Begins? I said I wasn’t going to buy all the shiny pretty new things this year in favor of upcycling gifts for my family. Well, not shopping Black Friday SUCKS! It’s a shopaholics Mardi Gras, St. Patty’s and 21st birthday pub crawl all rolled into one day.

I NEED HELP!

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I’ve got signs of withdrawal: Itchy-crawly skin, irritability, poor concentration. But I’ve done well so far. I haven’t been trolling the online sales, or even opened up the newspaper print ads. But I want to.

Oh Good God how I want to

I want to be out there with the masses, giant shopping cart in full throttle, elbows out ready to block poachers and encroachers. Sending my grown Black Friday shopping experienced kids to crawl and shimmy their way through the fox-hole and mine ladden fields in the Wal-Mart electronics departments to root out the discount treasures to be had if you are spry and sneaky enough to get your mitts on it first.

I miss the smell of sweat, adrenaline, desperation, cheap plastic and dirty diapers. I miss the thrill of the deal. I miss the exchange of shopping warrior stories that would be shared after a successful retail mission.

Aah…But this too shall pass. I have faith, this too shall pass.

On the other hand, if you want to stop by after your shopping trip I could make you a big cup of cocoa and let you put up your tired achy feet for a little recuperating nap…

While I open every single one of your shopping bags, caress the tissue paper wrapped treasures and repeatedly breathe in the holiday retail-y scents.

Hahaha Just kidding. I would never do that.

(I am such a liar…)

I’m a shopping junkie on the day after Thanksgiving. I’m already eating cold turkey today, so I’d kinda be a hypocrite to say I’m quitting cold turkey, right? Help a girl out! Whatd’ya get? Tell me in the comments your best or worst Black Friday score or story. C’mon man, I neeeeed it!

Faux Taxidermy: The space in home decor where lodge style meets Hogwarts

Apparently Harry Potter has so affected the psyche of pop culture that droves of trendy home-fashionistas had no idea they were placing Patronus Charms in their homes. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Potterhead myself, but I never made the connection until today when I saw this Expecto Patronum t-shirt tutorial.

The post was from July 2011, the same month the final movie of the Harry Potter series was released. Fall the same year brought us Faux Taxidermy as the hot new trend in home decor. It was everywhere – Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and adorable little upscale boutiques all over the country. Coincidence? I think not!

How the crap did I not notice the connection until now?? How has no one I know pointed this out to me? I can’t be the only one to have noticed it!?

Before today, I viewed this trend as a response to the societal shift away from inhumane treatment of animals. I mean I would way rather have a resin or paper mache deer head on my wall than real dead animal parts.

But now my eyes are open – Because the crafters, all the little maker elves in the blogiverse, don’t jump on crafty bandwagons without there being an element of whimsy, even if the whimsy is subconscious. And I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: We’ve been some Patronus-Charm-casting fools and didn’t even know it.

Deer Head Dictionary art print, 8x10 Floral Deer Wall Art, Dictionary Paper print, illustration Vintage Book Print Wall Decal, Wall decor

If you’re a crafter of faux taxidermy or a product following that trend, I challenge you to go look at your deer head again with this new insight. I bet you suddenly see a Patronus Charm.

I did find what I think may be the exception to my Patronus theory though, I’m calling it the Disney Shift. This crafty tutorial calls for decapitating gold foil craft store reindeer as the quick route to faux taxidermy.

I have to admit I love the finished project. But I can’t help but wonder, as the upcycler I am, what she did with the headless gold foil deer bodies afterwards? It makes me a little sad, like the first time I watched Bambi…  and Boom! That’s the Disney Shift.

So what do you think? Are you a Patronus Charm Caster or part of the Disney Shift? Don’t be shy, let me know in the comments. I am truly curious!

What Would Bill Murray Do? Part Two

If you missed part one of this story, quick, read it here, catch up!

The Quints, the golf clubs, I have to tell you are in pretty bad shape. The shafts are straight and the grips are all good except one, but the full head, soles, toes and faces all looked like they had been doing demolition work on a rock wall. Before I hooked up with Bill Murray on this journey my research came up with beautiful upcycles for the clubs with acceptable heads. Here’s a few examples of applied creativity and craftsmanship in upcycling:

Etsy artist millesimedesigns used reclaimed wood and vintage golf clubs to create this charming coat rack

Another Etsy artist, TheLuckyDuckClub, crafts these beauties from reclaimed wooden golf clubs

Another Etsy artist, TheLuckyDuckClub, crafts these beauties from reclaimed wooden golf clubs

This is on Etsy too from Junkfx

This is on Etsy too from Junkfx

Oh how I wish I knew how to do metal work. This would be an amazing piece of yard art for a golfer! It’s not for sale, I just found it on pinterest and loved it.

Oh how I wish I knew how to do metal work. This would be an amazing piece of yard art for a golfer! It’s not for sale, I just found it on pinterest and loved it.

None of these lovely ideas fit the Quints, but I found a large number of people using golf clubs in gardens to support young trees or as plant stakes. I made a few phone calls to locate some local gardens but hadn’t heard back yet. But now with Bill Murray as my wingman, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying a little harder.

So the first leg of our journey took us to The City of Plano Community Gardens. Bill and I drove up ready to rock the Quints into an organic garden home. Sadly, they were closed that day.

Not ready to be defeated, I climbed back in the car and drove around the municipal area looking for signs of life. We found something very interesting… A Household Chemical Recycling and Sharing Center. They were closed too, but I had no idea this even existed. I will definitely have to check back into this. Bill Murray wasn’t too excited about the idea. He was mumbling something about “Who ya’ gonna call?” and that “They always say it’s going to be an easy pick up.” I think Bill might have been drinking a little when I wasn’t looking.

No Thanks, Lucy. Been there, done that and got the t shirt.

No Thanks, Lucy. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

I felt like Bill could use a little fresh air and there was one more stop nearby that I wanted to check out. I hoped they might have some coffee for Bill too. So I took a detour on our journey to upcycle the Quints by pulling into the parking lot next door which just happened to be the City of Plano Animal Shelter. Hee Hee, Bill Murray was not thrilled.

To Be Continued

Be sure to come back and find out what the heck happened!

What Would Bill Murray Do?

 

Let me say this first, I don’t know the real Bill Murray, the actor/comedian, or pretend to know what the man would do about anything. The Bill Murray I’m referring to is the man pictured on one of my favorite t shirts. (It was a Goodwill score late last spring in perfect condition for 50 cents!)

Sure, it’s the same face, but the Bill Murray I know is just an amalgamation of characters he has portrayed ever since I was sneaking out of bed as a little girl to watch him on Saturday Night Live. I don’t even really know which movie this shirt’s graphic is from (my apologies Mr. Murray). It doesn’t matter. I love this shirt because it reminds me to look at “now” differently. To just chaWP_20141026_004nge my perspective and get unstuck, out of my own way, and enjoy the greatest show on earth: Life.

I was feeling very stuck. So many ideas in my head and not enough completions with little check marks and happy face stickers. A little glitter would have been nice too.

You see, it all started with these golf clubs. I got an email from a community member asking me to come pick up some garage sale leftovers they thought could be upcycled. I showed up, gratefully accepted my box of donated materials. Then I spied some golf clubs next to their trash can. They had been deemed worthless and ready for the garbage heap. I offered ” Please, let me take these before you throw them away. Yes, I can find a good home for these, give them another turn at contributing to a better world.” Ok I’m sure I didn’t say it like that, but that’s where my heart was. So after I got the crazy-eye from the home owners, they relented and let me take the clubs home too.

I had no idea at the time, but I had just become the proud foster-parent of a set of previously abused quintuplets: 2 clubs and 3 putters.

I unloaded my trash to treasures box from the car, going through my normal routine of sorting and cleaning the donations for upcycling. I went back to the car all la-di-da to take the last bit out, the Quints. But the Quints didn’t come inside the house. Nope. I propped them up outside my front door and left them there. No inspecting, cleaning or even taking a moment to brainstorm a possible repurpose. Just drop and go. This was unusual.

A few days passed, and the Quints remained silent sentinels at my door. As the days passed my creativity slowed. I told myself it was all good because I was having lots of ideas of how to grow Repsychol’d By Lucy and working on the business end of doing good deeds. But deep down, I knew. It was the Quints. ~Sigh~ The Quints.

I googled upcycled golf clubs. I asked eco-minded people for suggestions. And still the Quints stood at my door mocking me in that specific way only inanimate objects can do. It was Karma. Bad Mojo from an unfortunate incident involving me, some golf clubs, an unfaithful lover and a fiesta. I knew I had to be the one to repurpose the Quints, and that it couldn’t be for something in my own home. And my holiday gift list doesn’t include any golfers either. DEEPER sighing.

This brings us to Sunday, a full week had passed during which the Quints had remained my unwilling door butlers. And I was stuck.  Couldn’t create, couldn’t design, or even write. Stuck like Chuck. I decided it was cabin fever and charged into my closet to get dressed for a hike around our local nature paths. I reached for my grubby skull covered stay-away-from-me shirt I often don for such outings. By happy coincidence I had hung my shirts inside out. Right side out now is Bill Murray staring at me through surreal 3D glasses.

Bill Murray's Two Cents on the situation

Bill Murray’s Two Cents on the situation

And I thought, “Yeah…Let’s do this. NOW!”

I threw Bill over my shoulders grabbed my bag, the Quints, took a few pics, then Bill Murray, the Quints and I got in the car.

“Honey. I’m going out, don’t know when I’ll be back”. Honey replied,” I could kinda see that, what are you going to do?” I looked him in the eyes and said “What would Bill Murray do?”. From my rear-view mirror I saw him laughing and blinking in bewildered amused acceptance as I drove off into the noon-day sun, with the Quints tucked safely into the back, Bill Murray as my wingman…

To Be Continued…

Bill Murray work with anybody

My Blog Sucks… and that’s ok

I have no idea whatsoever what I’m doing when it comes to this social media thing. I intentionally dropped off the face of the virtual reality world a few years ago for personal reasons before I ever learned about tags much less #hashtags.

But that’s okay.

Because I’m slowly learning. S L O W L Y

My major focus is right now is the hands on creative projects I’m upcycling. Most of my first projects are going to be gifts to my family so I haven’t posted much on the subject. However, I do have a few badly photographed pics of what I’m doing.

A scarf I made from a recycled tshirt

A scarf I made from a recycled tshirt

This thin scarf-necklace was alot of fun to make. I didn’t take any before pictures of the shirt because I made this before I decided to start the blog. When I make another I will do a post about it.

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This is a work in progress using recycled magazine pages and a lot of patience. I saw some folded paper projects on pinterest that inspired me to try some experimentation. I’m making a lot of these coils and then trying different finishes and treatments of them. I’ll (again) update you on what I figure out that actually works and what doesn’t. (Spoiler: the scotch tape method soooo does not work)

I’m also working on T-shirt Rag Rugs. Google em… they’re adorable. But since I’m working off of solely donated recycled materials I have only short stacks of similarly colored t-shirts waiting for more matching or at least coordinating materials before I start butchering the fabrics. I don’t want to limit the possibilities of an upcycleable until I know I have enough to finish the project. I’m not trying to create more waste. #counterproductive 

See what I did there, hahaha. I guess it would matter more if I were actually on twitter. It will happen, just

S    L    O   W    L    Y

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any comments, suggestions or mad ramblings you want to send my way, feel free. I’ll probably just try to upcycle that too…

Lucy

Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe

Today was all uphill. Pushing, pulling and prodding. We are down to one car at the moment, and one of the kids is on crutches and pain meds for a bad knee sprain. I spent most of the day picking up the slack at home. Washing, drying, folding and feeding the slack, and finally fell into a hot bubble bath hoping to soak it all away and emerge fresh and ready to create. Instead I emerged into fresh hell of the teenage step-daughter variety (The one with the crutches). While I was angry and displeased in the moment, post-crisis I was moved to dabble my toes into Abstract Painting. While the technical skills aren’t there yet, I gained a new perspective on the situation between Crutches and myself and gained more appreciation for the Abstract style. My strokes were expressive but not pre-planned. And I knew when I was done only because I felt the emotion I was expressing change as if I were satisfied, finished with my statement. And then I looked at what I had created and saw so many nuances of our real life story played out in symbols and swipes. I finally understood what people really see that appreciate Abstract art.

I gained creative knowledge and experience, I found a healthy outlet for my feelings at the time, gained some insight into a relationship and kept my promise to create everyday. I call it a win!

My first attempt at abstract painting

My first attempt at abstract painting. You kinda had to be there to appreciate it.

And so it begins…

I’ve always enjoyed thinking creatively. I’ve been good at inspiring, directing and down-right bossing around people into creating things. But doing it myself? Hmmmm, that’s not always been my strong suit. And I have plenty of excuses to give when the need arises:

I don’t know how to do it.

Or

I don’t have the materials and tools to complete the project.

Or

I really enjoy shopping for ready made items.

Or

If I had that kind of time available, I should donate that time and energy to a good cause.

Along the same lines,

 I find it very rewarding to be involved in encouraging others to express their creativity.

And finally, the unspoken clincher,

I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse who suffers from PTSD. I’m stable today. If I open that door to express my own creativity I am afraid of what will come out.

And there you have it, the “list”. And now it’s time to Upcycle this jumble of excuses and fears into something new, beautiful and purposeful. So I have set some goals, long and short term, to create this Upcycled life.

  1. Create everyday. Something. Anything. Don’t judge it, just do it. Over time, my skills and confidence will improve.
  2. Try to use as much recycled material as possible.
  3. Notice the details of ready made items I would normally buy for my home or wardrobe. Develop an aesthetic I can apply to my own creativity.
  4. Create things for the people and causes I love.
  5. Continue encouraging creativity in others by my own example and share my journey on this mission with others so they might be inspired in their own lives.
  6. For 1 year I can accept no dollar payment for anything I create. Year 1 is about building foundations for my own growth and development as I explore my own creativity.

This is what Repsychol’d By Lucy is all about.

I have no idea what I will create tomorrow, but I’m really excited to find out. I welcome your comments, suggestions and advice. Thanks for stopping by!