Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

McKenna's still trying to figure out all these weird traditions people celebrate. This isn't her first Halloween, but it's the first where she actually notices the abundance of pumpkins and skeletons and spiders and such.

Sage showed her how to scoop out the guts.

See? No more guts! (He's soaking in it.)

If you see my Halloween blog post from last year you'll notice a similar picture, only without the little girl looking on.

Sage wanted "one mad pumpkin and one silly one." He drew the outlines and Erik cut them out.

And here they are all lit up:

And here's the one I did:

(I just couldn't have an Obama-free blog post.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

October is almost over.

One of these days life is going stop being so hectic. The next few months don't show any signs of letting up, either. At least it's a good hectic. Last week my parents came to visit all the way from Columbus, Ohio. They probably thought they were going to get a break from the non-stop partisan politics that bombards their battleground state. Ha! Instead they got a daughter who made them watch CNN and debate every issue with her, who took them on field trips to the Obama headquarters and the Democratic headquarters, and who recruited them to help give out bottle cap Obama pins to anyone who seemed sympathetic to the cause. It could have been worse though. . . I could be supporting McCain. Ha!

We did other stuff too, like Costco, and Disneyland:

We also did a studio tour of NBC studios (a.k.a. a giant warehouse). We got to see the Tonight Show stage (it's tiny!) and peek into the sets of Days of Our Lives (big whoop). They wouldn't let us take pictures though. The next day we got a much better tour of Disney Studios from Erik, who works there. He let us take pictures:

Here's McKenna with Bolt, coming soon to a theater near you.

And here she is with Rhino the hamster:

Friday morning, after seeing Sage get "Student of the Month" at his school (which thrills me, especially after a rough year of kindergarten) my parents headed home. Later that day we met Sage's friends to go trick-or-treating in he business district of Atwater Village. We've been doing this for years, even though we all now live in opposite ends of the city.

Sage is a vampire this year, wearing the cape my mom made for my brother to wear 30+ years ago. McKenna's costume was thrown together at the last minute. She's wearing a Holly Hobby patchwork print dress and apron I wore in the 70s. Add some rosy cheeks and a triangle on her nose and Viola!:
A ragdoll. Speaking of ragdoll, check out that handmade Raggedy Andy hanging out above her. I got it for $1 at a yard sale last weekend. $1! 100% made-by-hand!

Sage enjoyed teaching McKenna about Halloween and we got a kick out of hearing her say, "Ticky Tee!"

I also like eating her candy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sage's butterflies

Since McKenna was the focus of my last post, I thought I'd give Sage a little airtime too. He got this "Butterfly Treehouse" for his birthday in August, and in September we sent away for the caterpillars. A few weeks ago they arrived in in the mail and we watched them grow a little every day and then form their chrysalids. Last Friday we found butterflies fluttering about inside. Unfortunately, I didn't think to photograph this process, but I did manage to capture some pictures of him releasing them this weekend.

I'll let you play "Where's Waldo?" with these pictures. . .

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A morning with McKenna. . .

We interrupt our coverage of Election '08 to bring you this folksy human interest story. Breaking News! McKenna is cute.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bottle Caps for Sale!

By popular demand, my bottle cap pins, magnets, and barrettes for Barack (which were recently featured on The Obama Craft Project blog) are now available online in my Etsy shop.

For each item sold I will donate $1 to the campaign at Last weekend I sold 21 pins and magnets, came home and donated $30 to the campaign and got a free t-shirt. Not a bad trade!

Except it's not as cool as the ones I've seen at craft shows. Own a piece of handmade history! This is only the most important election of our lifetime, you should get something to remember it. Or make something and send it to me. If you send me something I'll send you something. Deal? I have a lot of bottle cap buttons to get out there.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Eagle Rock Music Festival. . . a success!

Last night I packed up the car with kokoleo and set up shop in a tent at the Eagle Rock Music Festival.

I shared the booth with Gina Harth from All A'Board Boutique.

She was the one who told me about the event and asked if I wanted to do it with her. I was reluctant at first because I was afraid I wouldn't make enough to cover the the fee ($150) but I figured it would be nice to expose kokoleo to a new kind of crowd and hang out with her for the night, so I agreed. I'm glad I did. Not only did I make the booth fee back and then some, but I sold a bunch of my Obama bottle cap buttons, met some new people, listened to good music, and had a great time with Gina.

Despite the cloudy skies, which turned into a drizzle and then a short downpour, the streets were crowded. This was taken at the very beginning; there were way more people later on:

Our booth was like this most of the time:

Christine Haynes stopped by and bought one of my Obama buttons. She told me she saw them on Flickr the other day and made it a point to find me so she could get one. Yay! Thanks Christine!

(That's a 7-11 in the background. She's not wearing a striped pill-box hat.)

I was happy to see I wasn't the only vendor promoting Obama. Out of the 10 or so vendors there, I counted four others with pro-Obama stuff. One lady saw my display and shouted at Gina and me all huffy-like, "What, no McCain?" and we laughed and said, "Nope!" To which she gave us the thumbs down and made a farting noise. Ha! I wonder if she was equally as obnoxious to this guy, making on-the-spot Obama silkscreens:

Or this lady, selling these funky flowers:

I gave her $10 and a barrette for one of those which is now planted in our front yard, freaking out our neighbors.

The vendors weren't the focus of the event though, since it was primarily a music festival. There were multiple stages set up along Colorado Blvd. featuring lots of local indie bands, and there were lots of rock star-looking people rushing about. We were too busy to check out the stages down the street but I did snap this picture of the stage closest to us:

and we occasionally caught a passing brass band parade:

and freakshows like this:

You don't see that every day!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bottle Caps for Barack

All the handmade Obama stuff I saw at the Abbot Kinney Festival last weekend inspired me to get crafty and help out the campaign too. I've always wanted to make casting resin bottle caps so this week I taught myself how. It's easy! Albeit messy and not necessarily cheap. But I like how they came out. You should make some too. Here's how. . .

First, get this stuff:

Clear casting resin, a bottle of the catalyst (which makes the resin harden), a measuring jar, gloves, and some bottlecaps. (Thanks to the NoBar in North Hollywood for giving me a few nights worth of their bottle caps. I have enough to last a while now.) Make sure to do this outside or in a well ventilated room, otherwise the fumes will make you loopy.

Next, find the image you want to encase in the resin. Now, normally I'd encourage people to make their own damn images and not swipe other people's off the internet, but I wanted to use the easily identifiable ones so I google-imaged "Obama logo" and picked out my favorites from the campaign. I hope whoever created them doesn't mind, since it's to promote the cause and all. I doubt Shepherd Fairey will sue me for wanting to further his propaganda.

The first batch I made I printed on regular paper and cut them out with scissors. Those didn't turn out so great. By the second batch I realized that glossy photo paper looks much better, and by third batch I got this awesome circle cutter to pop them out in no time. Now, set these aside.

Also, gather up and set aside these:

Glue, pins, magnets, barrettes, and whatever other attaching devices you can find.

Now, start the process by mixing your resin and catalyst (8 drops of catalyst per ounce of resin). I used 3 ounces for about 35 bottle caps.

Next, fill them halfway.

Go do something else for a half an hour. . .

then come back and insert your circles. Press them down hard to push out any air trapped underneath.

Now, mix up another batch of resin/catalyst and slowly fill the rest of the bottle cap. The line between underfilled and overfilled is tricky, so be careful.

Once you've got them all filled, go do something else for a few hours. RESIST the urge to touch them. You will get your fingerprints on them or bang them into each other and mess up the nice glossy sheen they get if you just LEAVE THEM ALONE. Go run some errands, eat dinner, watch the debate, and when the kids are in bed you can glue magnets to the backs of them, like these:

I used a couple juice bottle lids to make to those big ones and they came out nicely, so feel free to think outside the bottle cap. The bottom row is my first batch. Here's a closeup of the difference between using photo paper and regular copy paper:

I also made some barrettes:

And pins: So there you have it. Now go make your own Obama bottle caps to raise some cash for the campaign at your next rally/fundraiser/craft show. Or, just give them to people so they can promote the cause. They'll either think you're really awesome and thank you or tell you to go to hell with your eastern elite liberal ideals. Either way it'll get people talking.

If you want one of the ones I made, come visit the kokoleo booth this Saturday night at the Eagle Rock Music Festival, visit the Obama phonebank in North Hollywood Park next weekend, or check out my Etsy shop in a few days (kokoleo is currently under construction). $1 from the sale of each bottle cap will be donated to the campaign at I'll get them all out there somehow! Hopefully, in four months you can wear one to his inauguration.


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