Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shrink Plastic

Yes, shrink plastic, aka Shrinky Dinks. This is not trademark Dink, if I recall, but it's all the same stuff.

I had an idea for a larger swallow pendant in bright red. So I got it all colored and cut out and chucked in the oven. As I watched the magic happen, some extra magic got thrown in -- the bird was not shrinking and flattening as predicted. The horror! As I watched the thin pointy tail curl up and start to stick, I thought ruined! Then I rethought, no wait, it actually looks pretty cool. Yoinked it out and let it cool. Turns out I was right, it IS cool.

I strung it up on some relatively fine silver chain, gave it a star (which is closer in color than it looks in the photo) and called it done. I actually like it quite a lot.

For the record, when shrink plastic curls or does not flatten, it's actually not ruined at all. It can be reheated and pulled apart with a toothpick, and if it is not flat (and you want it to be), you should press it under an oven mitt immediately upon removing it from the oven. No big deal, in reality.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Critter Wednesday

If turtle has shown up, you may need to ask yourself some questions. Are you not seeing what you should? Are you not hearing what you should? Are you or those around you not using discrimination?

Walking down the path from my home to my car on my way to work this morning, amid the leaves and sticks and recently-dropped berries, a tiny prehistoric shape caught my eye. It wasn't moving, just sitting there on the pavement. It's funny how vividly living things can jump out from general detritus.

I knelt down to take a look and found a perfectly miniaturized version of the giant turtle who had visited me two summers ago.

The details on a turtle are amazing. Although this one is clearly brand new, they always look a million years old. I was worried, at first, because the creek behind my house is a couple hundred feet away -- what was this tiny fella doing all the way on the other side of the house? But, recognizing that he and his fellows had survived millennia without me to carry them down to the creek, I resisted that impulse that all children have when they find a baby bird, and left him to his own. Well, almost. I had to get a good picture of him first.

He had hopped up into the grass and was rather quickly making his way north (the creek is east). I pulled him out just for a second, and was surprised to find his shell slightly soft (not to mention quite dirt-caked). The tiny feet and claws swam through the air, but never withdrew into the shell. His beak already looked sharp and powerful, but he never opened it. I took a couple of quick close-ups -- couldn't resist the tail, medieval-weapon that it is -- and put him back where I found him, where he quickly made good his escape.

Most people would probably like to think of a tiger or a stallion or even a kitten as their totem, but I swear if I had a Patronus, it would probably wind up being a giant snapper.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Open Call: "Cyrano" at Haberman Fabrics

I don't know how many people get to this blog from links at other locations, but this call goes out to anyone in the Detroit area who is interested in sewing or theatre.

Next month, Haberman Fabrics (Royal Oak) is having an interesting-looking event showcasing and discussing the costuming for the Michigan Opera Theater's upcoming premiere presentation of the opera "Cyrano." I don't know much about theatre costuming, by which I mean I know nothing. So, of course, this event is pretty irresistible. (That they are giving away tickets and backstage passes to the performance is a good bonus, because I think this is one I'd like to see.)

So! Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 7pm, at Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak. Advance tickets are $10, or $15 at the door.

Details at

Friday, August 10, 2007

Surprise Package

When I came home tonight, there was an unexpected package awaiting me on my doorstep. And for once, it was not:
1. Misdelivered
2. Notice of audit/lawsuit/etc.
3. My stuff being returned from a friend who is going underground.

This time, to my delight, the box contained a new Panasonic DV camcorder with a note of congratulations from the Mountain Dew summer sweepstakes, which I enter maybe 2 or 3 times a week (whenever I drink a diet Mt Dew).

Who's the porn queen now?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Doe and Fawn

I know this view looks familiar, but this is actually a new experience at the house.

Last night I was sitting in the living room watching TV, when once again, some motion in the front yard caught my attention. Initially I just saw the big doe standing there, rather still, not doing much of anything. Since this has become fairly commonplace, I went back to watching TV.

A couple of seconds later, though, I saw the speckled little fawn stroll across my windows. This is why we get this "quick, get the camera!" view looking through my living room and out the front windows. (Yes, that couch really is that orange, by the way.) If you look at the full view of the pic, you can see the little fawn munching on the tree right next to the walkway to my front door, while mama stands in the background, keeping an eye out.

They spent a bit of time around my place, pulling on various leafery. The fawn was almost unbearably cute, but difficult to photograph because he kept moving, and because it was after 8pm, so getting the light was difficult. He would pull some leaves off and then flap his big ears, scratching with a rear hoof, then trot around looking for more of... whatever it was he was looking for.

Eventually, they moved around to the back of the house (with me stalking them from the inside), preparing to move back down the ravine. That was when I noticed the doe's side. I don't know much about deer, but it looks to me like this could be molting. I was much more alarmed when I first saw what looked like scars on her side. I do, after all, have a pack of coyotes living back there, too.

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