This was a crafty kind of weekend. I tried a couple of artsy projects that have been on my radar for a while – with varying degrees of success – and also perfected the craft of making a superb Pimm’s Cup. I want to share all three with you – the good, the so-so and the delicious.
Remember the paper clay barnacles I shared a couple months ago as a DIY I was dying to try? Well I finally did, and it was FUN. The full tutorial can be found over on Design Sponge, but I made a few discoveries and modifications along the way that worked for me.
The original tutorial includes directions for making the paper clay mixture at home, but while the place we’re renting for the summer – used mostly as a vacation rental for visitors to wine country – is amply outfitted with martini shakers and wine glasses, it’s a little scant on actual cooking implements. Even if there were a mixer here, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable using it to mix glue and joint compound, so I was excited to find a ready-made mix at JoAnn Fabric that worked for this project.
This stuff is really easy both to make and to clean up after. You mix the powder with water (they provide some measurements for different consistencies, but it’s pretty intuitive) in a ziplock bag and massage it around until it’s uniform. It didn’t adhere easily to the balloons, so I laid out a piece of plastic wrap and spread it out (below left) then just wrapped it up around the balloon and smoothed it with my fingers.
I really like how they turned out – I’m planning to put air plants in them when I’m back home – and the total cost was about $7 (for balloons and mix – I used a coupon) with lots of both left over.
Barnacles have a special place in my heart. In fact, they’re one of my favorite animals. They may seem inanimate, but they are living some extraordinary lives out there in the ocean. Their life history is a tangent I could wander down for ages, but I’ll just share a couple highlights.
Those are BABY barnacles! Well, barnacle larvae. They’re released into the ocean looking like the little critter on the left, where they drift around and eat before metamorphosing into the bean-shaped cutie (essentially a teenage barnacle) on the right. Its job is to crawl around and find other, adult barnacles (by smelling for ’em) on rocks, docks, boats, whales – wherever they might be. Then – and this is where it gets crazy – they secrete a cement out of their head, stick it to the rock, and build their shell around them. They are doing a headstand for THEIR WHOLE LIVES and eating with their legs. Seriously awesome. Next time you’re at the ocean, belly up to a tidepool or the edge of a dock and watch their hairy little legs comb the water for food. It’s mesmerizing.
Okay, back to crafting. I had a less successful foray into the world of porcelain pens, though I’m going to blame user-error rather than the product itself. I’ve been wanting to try these for a while and I ordered a black and a white one from Amazon.
I picked up two plain vessels – a planter and a vase – at the thrift store for about 99 cents each. The paint goes on quite thick (I found it was thicker with the black pen than with the white) and dries quickly, so it’s pretty easy to work your way around without smearing the part you’ve already done. As it turns out, though, drawing straight lines on curved surfaces is HARD. I might try a more free-form design next time, or Cameron had some ideas for how to use our lathe to turn the pot so I could just hold the pen in one place to get a straight line.
Pimm’s Cups have been our drink of the summer, and I’m happy to share an easy recipe that we’ve perfected with plenty of practice. These are refreshing, slightly herbal and not too sweet. Just right for sipping in the backyard on a hot evening.
- Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
Muddle (smash) three slices of peeled cucumbers and a quarter of a lemon in the bottom of a glass
Add a two to one ratio of ginger ale to Pimm’s. We put in 1/4 cup Pimm’s and 1/2 cup ginger ale. Stir, then add ice and garnish with sliced cucumber and lemon. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading along! Did anybody else do some weekend crafting? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!