Big & Little cutting mats, tape, glue, and craft knives, all living together peaceably! (And they said it couldn't be done. Puh!) Big mat (or Big Matt, to his friends) is from my art school days. YES, IT'S THAT OLD.
A breakdown of the above:
1. Cutting mat was made from a piece of cardstock; lines made with a silver poster paint pen. Ideally, this should have been made from a sheet of craft foam, but I didn't have any on hand (shocking, I know), so I made it from what I DID have on hand. Namely, paper.
2. Tape was made from one strip of quilling paper, wrapped around my pinkie to get it started (use your own pinkie, mine will not be available), then glued as I went. The paper started off being yellow, but interestingly, when glue was added, it turned orange. Why this happened is another mystery for the ages.
3. Bottles of glue were made using white polymer clay, which were baked, painted, and had stickers added to them. A finishing touch for the top of the orange cap: a dot of white.
4. Paintbrushes were made from the hair dye samples that my sister gave me. (I had been debating about using some of the gray samples as the impetus behind creating a geriatric motorcycle gang or cheerleading squad, but until that happens...) I cut the "hair" down to size, then wrapped polymer clay around the metal handles. Then poked a hole through the clay that coincided with the gap in the metal handle to emulate the look of *real* paintbrush handles.
5. Books were made from a collection of handmade papers I have. I did a little research on the art of bookmaking, and so knew that I wanted to make the inside pages in the same way that "signatures" are made. I gussied up the look of the books using quilling papers, embroidery floss, and a button harvested from a doll's garment.
6. The bone folders were made from polymer clay. This color and shape would also work well for a little plant marker.
7. The awls were made by wrapping a tiny bit of polymer clay around little nails.
8. Spool of thread was made by wrapping... thread... around a small wooden spool (which you can get at most craft stores). Needles were formed from super skinny wire.
9. Rulers were made from a snipped bit of a wooden coffee stirrer, which was "painted" with a silver Sharpie, with rules drawn on with a black pen.
10. One toothpick became both a pencil and a craft knife (see image). Pencils were then painted. Craft knives were finished with handles being formed from polymer clay, then were baked, then a snippet of a tin stitching tile was glued on to create the blade. I've used tin stitching tiles before: to create dog tags for my gnome characters. My tin snips need to be sharpened, but happily, I have the hand strength of a lowland gorilla, so muscling through was not an issue for me... not to brag or anything...
11. Foam brushes were made from a dentist's giveway (see image), which I cut the foam from, then colored with the juice of a black Sharpie. The handles are skinny dowels.
So there you have it! Lots of stuff, explained! Need a better explanation? Let me know via a comment, and I'll try to help you with your craft dilemma.
1. When lifting particularly wet/heavy snow, be sure to bend at the knee. If you can bend at mid-thigh, then you have a strange & wonderful talent that you are now duty-bound to share with the World.
2. If you are a Jeffery, and have what we euphemistically refer to as a "very efficient cooling system" (i.e., we sweat like hogs the moment we engage in any form of physical activity), it may become necessary to go inside 1/2way through shoveling to change into dry clothes, before the sweat freezes and makes you uncomfy. If, however, you are STILL a Jeffery, and are already WEARING all your clothes (because of being 3 parts freakshow to 1 part clothes-shopping-phobic), you may not HAVE other clothes to change into. In this case, you have 2 options: A. Throw everything into the dryer and wait to finish shoveling 'til later (REALLY unacceptable to a Jeffery), OR: B. Soldier on through 'til the job is done, wetness be damned.
3. If you don't like shoveling snow, here are some alternatives:
A. Move someplace where it doesn't snow, duh. B. Marry someone who doesn't mind shoveling. Or give birth to Future Shovelers. (Doesn't matter if THEY mind or not; they're gonna do it.) C. Pay someone else to do it. D. Work from home; wait until spring to leave the premises.
4. Clearing flat roofs of snow is only a good idea if you are coordinated enough to do so, and you have someone standing by, finger poised and ready to dial 9-1-1. For the rest of us, the certainty of a tragic mishap far outweighs the relative benefit of having rooms with ceilings.
5. Nose dripping WILL occur. And that, dear children, is why God made mittens.
6. While shoveling, I find myself thinking about subjects both profound (Eskimos' many words for various types of snow), to the mundane (whether or not my sister got a new battery for her watch). I have no explanation for why it is that I do this, other than to say: "I am both intellectual AND boring."
7. Shoveling after a blizzard, I recommend a hot bath with Epsom salts, then applying Icy/Hot to whatever parts of your bod are likely to feel the pain later. For me, this = forearms. For you, it might be other parts. As long as these don't include your eyeballs and the insides of your nostrils, the sky's the limit.
Photo and writing are the work of Megan E. Jeffery. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.