Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jump (For Batgirl's Love)

Last Thursday was my own personal version of the Oscars.  Not the winning awards part.  Before that. The red carpet.  In this Oscar chronicle, I was the designer sitting at home having an anxiety attack over seeing Carissa rock my garment on the red carpet.

The night before, I was a bundle of restlessness in bed.  Awake hoping that the neck hole in my cape (capes are the new black) wasn't too constricting. Then fearing it was too gapey and would hang off her back. Comfy bed, warmth of Mr. Schatze slumbering close by, a belly full of Nighty Night tea...that I just wanted to throw up all over myself analyzing every stitch, pleat placement, Carissa's accessories and her comfort.

When her text came in at 5:03 AM Arizona time, I still had at least 3 hours of sleep in me making up for what I lost in irrational worry.

Carissa: I have never been so excited to go to work in my nine years of teaching!

I saw it once I finally woke up. And then I saw her radiant smile on Facebook.  And then I turned off my distress and became very excited.

Carissa promised her students that if they saved over 100 lives for the American Heart Association during the jump rope for heart event 'Jumping To Be a Heart Hero' that she would dress up as a super hero. 

They did it.

And I was honored when she called to give me the exclusive on her female super hero design.

Carissa chose a classy, elementary school appropriate Batgirl.

And upon receiving her measurements, construction began.

Cape pleats got pinned.

Eye holes got snipped out of masks.

Goodwill boots got spray painted.

Bat logos got jig sawed.

And the finishing baubles all fell into place.

 Carissa was exquisite.  Is exquisite.  A hero to the core.

If adolescent chubby-cheeked me would have been in class that day, I would have been glued to the floor in a pool of shock and delight.  I would have dreamed about growing up to be confident and enthusiastic - and able to wear super hero costumes around town - all just like Mrs. Carissa.  Anxious to see what surprises were in store for me at school the rest of the year.  And I would have felt proud about actually saving lives with the money I raised and my jumping.  Believing that I did a good thing and because of it people are going to live. And I would believe it in my heart because Batgirl told me so and Batgirl doesn't lie.

And then I would rush home and make Mrs. Carissa an Oscar award for Awesome.

...with the Pointer Sister playing in the background.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Genius: YOU and Your Cover Photo

March 30th. That's the deadline Facebook keeps giving me before forcibly switching me to the timeline format with the cover photo.  I'm comfortable with the current set-up, so I wanted to just wait it out.

I mean, what's the point?

Creative genius is the point.

I changed my mind when I saw these creative profile picture / cover photo melds.


Want to make your own? There is a Photoshop template here.

I used it myself to make something snappy for my new heidi schatze page. That's my profile picture below. Check on Facebook to see the coordinating cover photo.

Oh, and I would love it if you liked my page.  Love. It.

Via: Twisted Sifter and Dude Craft

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Stealers

I've had issues with stealing things. 

I could justify it by saying that most of the time, what I snagged was free-ish or at least inexpensive. But, no matter how you wrap the package, I still took things that didn't belong to me and really didn't need.

When I lived on Main Street in Luverne around age 12, my friends and I stole a potato and a few veggies from a neighbor lady's backyard garden to make a gourmet lunch. The bitty didn't have a fence, so what do you expect.

In my one year of college in Wisconsin, I stole a decorative pineapple from the salad bar in the dining facility. Oh, and then maybe I took a few whole pies back to the dorms too. For sure two lemon meringues. I made friends quickly.

From my time behind the counter at the Days Inn in Tempe, AZ? Small bar soaps, a towel, pens and about 3 inches of butt fat from all the continental breakfast muffins I mooed down. Hey, I was on a college budget!

In 2010, the day my friend Leah got married, I stole her wedding vows.

She had them written out on a small sheet of paper and asked me to take them before she went down the aisle. I had no intention of giving them back.

Months later, after recovering from the wedding cocktails and dance floor fatigue, I attempted to paint the vows for the couple in Leah's handwriting.

I blew up the scanned paper, penciled them lightly on the canvas and tried to follow the flow of her penmanship with paint.

They used chic-tastic little monogram logo on wedding accessories that made it onto the canvas as well.

I put the original copy of the vows somewhere safe so I could return it when I gifted the painting. It totally cancels out the stealing when you return it later.

Yup, I hid it from myself.

I know I will find it someday though. Maybe in time for their silver anniversary. Then, I WILL give it back in order to cancel out the steal.

Not like that TLC CD that I never returned to Leah's sister in high school. I sold that at a garage sale a few years back. There is no canceling that one out.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Do I Smell Wahlburgers?

Excuse me if I yawn. I've just come off of a rambunctious weekend spent with Mr. Donnie Wahlberg.

Technically, I guess we could drop the 'Mr.' since the Donnie I frolicked with might still be in his teens.

I got the photo above from a shopper on Etsy who was hoping that the Jordan Knight heart stand was available in other NKOTB members. 

She didn't mention Donnie or include the photo in the first message. I was going to be an ass and ask, "Oh, are you interested in a Danny Wood stand?"  

No offense to Danny. He is lovely, but I've never met anyone who said that he was her/his favorite. I thought that she might be my first though, so I decided to reign it in.

Step 2, Wear a huge bandana so when your sweat mixes with all the gel and hairspray it doesn't burn your eyes.

Wait. I already feel bad about the Danny thing. Now I'm going to have to make something in his honor. It only feels right. Someday.

I like how Donnie's eyes follow you around no matter where you are, like one of those creepy haunted house paintings.

Donnie: La-la-la-la-la-la tonight?
Me: Sorry Donnie, you're headed off to a new special gir-iry-iry-iry-iry-irl.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brain Constipation

My brain is bloated and encumbered.

Sometimes it is just what happens when I have a few projects up in the air and I lose the ability to focus on the one that I am working on right at that moment. Everything on the list tries to cram in and ends up clogging my synapses.

Individually, my head computer should be processing:

~ the final art project for Viji's
~ my first ever bridesmaids dress alteration
~ Jen's baby quilt, baby shower and custom dinosaur room adornments
~ the vines a craft fair acquaintance is having me paint on her decorative plates
~ the NKOTB Donnie Wahlberg stand request I got on Etsy

This morning, it was all swirling into a jumbled mess.  My eyes glazed over as I envisioned a beautiful vine wedding arch framing the lovebirds Viji and Donnie. The silky fuchsia fabric was running through my fingertips reminding me that I needed to design and sew a bridesmaids dress in time for the ceremony. Then I heard the sound of helium filling a balloon, only to turn and see that Donnie was suddenly 11 months preggers with Jen's baby dinosaur.

I've got issues.

In a past job I had a giant whiteboard that I would write all my ongoing projects on with their little sub tasks. After completing a task I could glance up, see the other priority items and then choose the next task.

What should I use now? I've tried some online to do lists and project management things, tried Evernote, and still use my thick notebook for notes and planning, but it isn't the same. Maybe I just need to get a giant whiteboard for home. Maybe it is just the way I operate best. Like I take normal dumps on the toilet, I need to take brain dumps on the white board.

Before I got to the point where Donnie was ready to deliver this morning, Roldy brought me back to the present. He needed to take care of business too, and there was a heavy patio door standing in his way.

As I watched him take care of his number one and number two priorities, it became clear to me that Viji art, Ivy plates and Donnie stand were my priorities. And in that order.

I am back in business.

But I still want any tips you have. And eventually a giant white board.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Genius: Hong Yi

So, what are you up to?

Working on that TPS report? Waiting for your baby to self sooth? Trying to combat your stress tears with enough java to keep you coffee-shake-flailing until the end of the Mayan calendar?

Good luck with that.

How about you harness some of Hong Yi's awesomeness and use that coffee for an art exploit instead?



And in only 12 hours.

I know this is wrong. It is just that I really love a good cup of untainted black coffee.

Yup...I kind of want to lick it.

VIA: Laughing Squid

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pain In The Glass

I finally made it down the way to pick up my fused glass efforts from February.

The bowl is pretty. I have love for it because I bled over it.

But, it isn't the love that makes me gasp and have a visual asthma attack from the shiny enchantment.

Nope. Not from my bowl.

That would be what happened when I saw Jonathan Adler's Puppy Uppers Canister.

Visually, of course, beautiful and amusing.

Personally, though, funny because Mr. Schatze is diligently trying to train our naptastic snuggle dog, Roldy, to play. He gets a treat when he runs and noses the ball after it has been rolled across the floor. Another treat when he carries the rope toy back to Mr Schatze after a toss...carries on his back after I gently place it there because he refuses to pick it up with his teeth.

If anyone could use some puppy uppers it is Mr. Schatze. Roldy just wants a tin of 'Owner Cuddle Mints."

My bowl does match the glasses nicely. I just wish I wouldn't have tried to do an exact match of the styles. Instead maybe doing a pattern with the different colored thin strips like the red around the border. 

If this were a garment, the judges of Project Runway would tell me that I was way too literal in this adaptation. Agreed.

The pendants are kind of merry. Merry in a "I don't have enough gray hair to actually wear them as a pendant but will turn them into fridge magnets" sort of way.

Is it wrong to store your puppy uppers next to your glitter? You know, for cross contamination purposes?

No, not that way. I just don't want any crumbs in my glitter. It actually might be kind of magical to have a dog racing around the house farting out a glitter poof every few minutes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Isaac's Crib: He Got Striped

Teacher Jen is having a boy. That isn't news to most of you.

Isaac is the name that they are going with. It is a beautiful name. That they need to stick with now, for sure--because I am entitling my adventure in making over his nursery: Isaac's Crib.

Here is your first glimpse into Isaac's crib.

Thanks to Dad-To-Be Jeff, the room walls recently became that brisk Dunn Edwards - Below Zero paint color that you see.

The irony will not be lost on Isaac--that he will likely be born with outside temperatures over 100 degrees and come home to a room painted 'below zero.' He will think it is hysterical. I am sure of it.

Our first mission was to set up the accent wall. After talking about different murals and designs, we went with stripes. Jen liked stripes because it was something that he could grow into and wasn't something over the top annoyingly cute.

We pulled some colors out of the fabric that she chose for bedding and curtains and got busy researching stripes. Word on the internet is that vertical stripes add height to a room while horizontal stripes make the room seem more spacious. When we initially decided stripes, we both assumed vertical. After looking at a slew of examples, we decided that horizontal seemed more calming and pleasing to the eye. We also realized that walls with bountiful colors and tiny little stripes made our heads want to explode. Not the feeling Jen is going for in the nursery.

I put together a wide stripe pattern from the colors, pulled a similarly sized nursery picture off the internet and then made a rough mock up with Photoshop of how the striped wall would look.

Jen approved. Jen loved.

I had the placement and stripe width already calculated (Shown on the left in pink in the photo below). When we got started we marked off the wall starting our measurements from the ceiling. Our thought process was that since the floor and ceiling didn't seem to be even, that we would rather have the crookedness show on the bottom floor stripe rather than the ceiling stripe.

The black column shows at what point a marking needs to go on the wall when the top of the tape measure is butted up against the ceiling. I know it is obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway--to get your distance from the ceiling as seen in black you add the current stripe width to the combined width of the previous stripes.

For the most part, we followed the instructions from Young House Love. The only difference is that we made more measurements along the wall to make sure that the tape didn't sag in the middle. In the photo below, where there is a pink line, that is where we marked to help place the tape. There would be another pink line at the leftmost part of the wall that can't be seen in the photo.

We were pretty ecstatic when the tape went up because it confirmed our love for going horizontal.

The orange and green stripes were only 4.5 inches wide so we got away with using the $3 sample sized containers from Behr. We got quarts for the light blue and dark blue. Throw in a roll of painter's tape and it came to about $36.

We did green, orange and dark blue in the first session. We may have rolled over the tape in a few spots too. Oops.

Rather than put down tape onto the freshly painted green and orange strips in order to paint the light blue in between them, I just did the edging by hand. I figured that I would just want to touch it up anyway, so I might as well not waste time taping it.

Jen thought I was crazy when I told her how I was going to touch up all the edges to cover up the paint bleeding. It makes such a huge difference though. 

Clean edge to my left, bleeding edge to my right and a snarly bird's nest in the middle.

Jen didn't know how fast I am.

Wicked fast.

We finished the entire wall in a day. Yes, that is including the time spent snacking, running to Ace for some mini roller covers and complaining about how this season of the Bachelor is terribly infuriating. Worse than vertical stripes.

Everyone was pleased. But, no one more than Jen. She was amped to finish the rest of the room. That very night. What's a couple more hours to get the crib put together, the closet organizer set up, and the baseboards installed?

I got out while I could.

I obviously can't keep up with my 5-months pregnant friend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

School Days: Math is Wicked Hahd

Last Friday, I got to read The Lorax to 3rd graders for Read Across America day. It has been my go-to story, but now that the movie is out I need to retire it from my arsenal. I can't compete with Danny DeVito. The only two 'voices' I can do for stories are a raspy Marky Mark, which I used for the Once-ler and an uptight British chap that occasionally slips into an East Indian accent unintentionally, for the Lorax.

I wonder how Yertle the Turtle would sound as a throaty Mark Wahlberg? We'll see next year.

After the read fest, I checked out the status of the Math Facts Pizza.  At the beginning of the year, Teacher Jen wanted a big paper pizza for the wall that the kids could use to measure their math progress towards a class pizza party. I gave her huge, cloth and stuffed crust from fabric that I had on hand at home.

Each pizza ingredient represents one of their tests, so when the kids get a 90% on their 3-minute 100 problem addition test, then they get to add some cheese.  Pineapple pizza is my favorite so it earned the renowned division status.

This class of kids are meeting their math goals faster than any other year. 

I like to think it is the pizza. But, I know it is because they are just a ridiculously sharp group of future leaders.

They jumped into multi-facts test after Christmas and asked if I would make them sausages for the pizza.

When I checked on Friday there were already five greasy sausages on display.

A few Fridays ago when I dropped off the sausage chunkers, Teacher Jen showed them to the kids. I overheard this conversation as they were getting their backpacks after the meaty announcement.

Tall-snarky-whippersnapper that reminds me of myself:  Wow. Those sausages are pretty disturbing.
Tiny-blonde-Jenny-on-the-Spot: Hey. Be Nice! You are going to hurt Mrs. Heidi's feelings.

I laughed to myself and pretended not to hear.

Smart AND compassionate? Watch out world.

Friday, March 2, 2012

DIViji: Ba, Ba, Ba, Bird, Bird, Bird.

We haven't visited Viji's since January. It isn't because I haven't been working on things for her, it is because I was busy carousing with two of my sisters in San Antonio. Err...I mean, remembering the Alamo? Too late, the truth is out, definitely carousing.

In between the Texas tacos (puffy), house guests, and the ceaseless festivities of February, we did finish up the artwork for the nook in Vji's landing.

We made it from scratch. Sized everything out--Mr. Schatze cut the wood segments perfectly (while wearing ear protection, safety glasses and likely a mask for debris) and I primed and painted.

I feel horrible though, because here is where I would insert the link to the original design that we copied, but I can't find it anywhere. I bookmark everything, but apparently that extra click for this would have just been too exhausting. I think that it was a ready to purchase online item that came in black, was smaller, and had the exact same bird design. If I can find it again I will share it.

They got three coats of red enamel paint. I used chalk to draw out the design and then paint, paint, painted on the white.

The white paint was a more robust acrylic, so you can see the distinction of the paint strokes up close. I didn't want it to be too flat and look printed. And let's be real, I wanted some meat on the bird bones. 

Plumpish birds remind me of my feathered friends that frequent the patios of our local Mexican restaurants, waiting patiently for a corn chip to plummet. They don't even need to break them down, just fly away--their beak muscles trembling from shouldering the weight of a fried treat the size of their wings. I like to think that after happy hour they head to the fro-yo place for waffle cone crumbles.

Mr. Schatze made hangers and helped me adhere them to the back with wood glue.

This was the nook before.

Before the house had seen any action at all.

Before I had clung to that very railing you see while ugly sobbing about how I was going to die before the banisters were finished being painted. "This will be my Crazy Horse!"

And after paint.

It is hard to see, but the brown in the nook is one shade darker than what is on the walls.

And with the silhouette art.

Viji's accent spotlight adds a nice touch. Sometimes I forget that the shadows from a piece of art can be just as influential in showing strength and dimension as the work itself. 

Sort of like the Cointreau in my Blood Orange Margarita from the Iron Cactus in San Antonio. Now, if I were a patio bird, that would be an artistic elixir that I would come take a bath in every day. Every. Day.

Have you heard? Bird is the word.