Working On My Arts and Crafts Merit Badge

So it's been arts and crafts time here in the House of Quirk, and I just wanted to show you what I've been up to recently.

(It's not quite up to the same standard as macaroni glitter necklaces that I did when I was 5, but you should still feel free to ooooh and ahhh at appropriate intervals).

So I saw this in this month's copy of Creative Ideas Magazine. (This magazine gets me into lots and lots of trouble because everything looks so cute! And so easy! And before you know it, I've run out to buy lots and lots of supplies to do said easy and cute things and then the next month's magazine comes and I forget about this month's project because the next month's projects look even cuter and easier and it's all just a vicious, vicious cycle. And I'm sure that is the exact intent of the editors).

But not this month! Because this month's really was cute and easy and FAST, which means I was able to finish it in one day as opposed to it taking me slightly longer than never to complete. Behold, the rock bath mat:

This is the magazine's mat. They suggested purchasing shelf liner, 2 5lb. bags of rocks, a bag of pea gravel and 3 tubes of clear waterproof sealant for an estimated project total cost of $40.

This is my mat. I bought the shelf liner, 1 tube of Goop plumbers glue AND sealant, and 5 2lb. bags of rocks from the dollar store. My cost was $9.50. (This is the part where you ooooh and awww appreciatively. If you want to break out into spontaneous song, I'm okay with that too).

The rest is pretty easy. The Creative Ideas site has the full instructions if you want 'em, but it isn't exactly rocket science. Just play around with your rocks until you've got them how you like 'em, (hey now! Quit snickering, gutter-brain. This is a family blog!) and then glue them into place on the doubled-over piece of shelf liner. (You need to double it because the glue goes through the first layer. In fact, some of it went through the second layer, so I'd suggest covering your work surface with plastic). Then trim away any visible parts of your shelf liner from the edges (obviously my picture is pre-trim, but you get the idea). And...well, that's it. Creative Ideas shows the mat outside the tub, but I think I'm going to put mine inside the tub for that full spa standing-on-random-river-rocks experience while I shower.

Or, you know, use it as a door mat outside. Either way.

The other artsy thing I've been doing is trying my hand at oil painting. I figured it would make for a nice, albeit messy, hobby. (I've done some acrylic before, but this is my first attempt with oils and I must say that they are completely different animals). So far I'm working on a practice board which I will probably pawn off lovingly bestow on my sister and my big canvas that I'm going to hang in the living room when I'm finished (even if it does look like it was painted by blind monkeys because it's mine and I did it and I don't care what you think so there). I'd show them to you, but neither of them are finished and suddenly I totally get why artists hate for people to see their work before it's done because even though I know where it's going, at the moment it looks like crap. I'll show you step-by-step pictures when I'm finished though. (That way you and the blind monkeys can pinpoint exactly where it all went horribly horribly wrong). Until then I'm totally having a blast with it, even if each stage does take roughly 700 million years to dry. In the mean time, a totally random picture of my paints:

Click here to comment-all the cool kids are doing it.