Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Cursed Pen

This turned out to be a long post, and rather than make it three different posts, I've divided them in sections.

1) My "Woe is me" story :)

I tell you, sometimes things just don't go the way you want them to!
Yesterday, I decided to have fun with Polymer Clay. It had been a while, and I had been inspired by this display and by the tutorial "Covering Pens with Polymer Clay: Bamboo Skewer" here on Youtube.
So I get some clay out, the purple and pink are right there, as is my translucent and pearl, sounds like a good mix. Looking good. Tutorial instructions are good, I'm doing great, baking goes well, nothing burns (Yay!), I take the skewer out (no problem there) and place the first "ink pen bit" inside to see what it'll feel like... ok, feels great, let's remove the "ink pen bit"... OH HORROR!!! The METAL bit of the "ink pen bit" comes out, but not the plastic bit containing THE INK!!! it is starting to come out - oh, and yeah, I'm right in the middle of making dinner at this point and have meatballs about to get a bit too cooked. Ok, don't panic, put the pen on some (hopefully) scrap paper, go and turn over the meatballs, and insert a skewer to see if the plastic bit will just get pulled out by some kind of magic, why not, my logic is wood bit inserts into plastic bit, sticks cos of the gooey ink, and it all comes out a treat. NO! IT DOES NOT! And I didn't use a crap brand, I used Paper Mate?!
what can I do, it's disgusting..... I have visions of the mess!!!
Ok, CUT a bit off the pen at the other end, and push the plastic-inky-bit out...
Get my blade out, try to do a nice straight cut so that it'll be easy to glue back.
OK, cut is made, and oozing blue ink (YUK!), push out the plastic bit, ok, put it in the bin, make sure it's in the big bin, the one lined with a plastic bag, and thankfully it's rubbish night that night!!!
Ok, check on dinner, all's well, nothing burnt, I try to rinse the pen shaft and yeah, looks like the water comes out clear. *phew*... serve dinner, eat dinner, yum yum yum...
after dinner, glue the bit I had to cut off back on, with Supa Glue... I am scared to death each time I pull out the Supa Glue! I won't want to end up looking like Edward PenFingers or anything like that! Ok, that works well. Can't think of any elastic I have on hand (nor could I find any I would have thought of) so I opt for a Buna cord to tie the lid. Good idea. Ok.
Sand, first off to sand off the ink on the OUTSIDE of the pen! Luckily it works great. Sand, Pledge One Go, one coat, two coats, yup, I'm on a roll.
Pen assembled, little eyelet glued on too, though I hesitated there because I wondered ... how long my pen would last. IT promised to be a kilowriter, i.e. to write more than 1000 words (hmmm, well, in this age of computers, it's not too bad? maybe?), oh well, it'll last as long as it'll last and I'll probably lose it before the ink runs out!
Wow, it works great, I showed it to hubby and I got a "that looks like stone or something" rather than the "I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say" when I present him with strange projects like an altered bottle (I can't blame him!).
This is my pen:

Well, this morning, I take it out of my bag to make a phone call (need to take notes during this particular phone call) and, you'll never guess what, it is not writing words anymore! nope, none, nada, done, dead... AND SUPA GLUED IN THERE!!!!! *sigh*
That's pretty much the end of this story. I now have a gorgeous pen that I can't even use!

2) My "My Megalomania Inspired Me" story

Well, you know, sometimes you're just in a funk, you can't create, you create and things like the story above happens, or you just don't have time to create, or even maybe you question why, having no time and no inspiration, you still don't want to pack everything away or put everything up on eBay. Other than the fact that 1- I'm too much of a scavenger/pack rat, and getting rid of my supplies would mean I wouldn't "have" them anymore, and putting them away in boxes would frustrate me if I ever want anything from out of one of those boxes (let me tell you my new storing method is not making me very happy, even if it has cleared up a bit of the kitchen! I always have to go to the other end of the house to look for something I've put away (seriously though, it is an improvement, but it doesn't have to always make me happy, does it? at least now we have room for our dishes in the cupboards!). Anyway, having everything packed far away would not suit me, and my other reason is that if I don't have time to create, why would I have time to put my craft stuff on eBay? And if I'm going to have time for eBay, wouldn't I be much more satisfied if I took this time to create...
Another angle to this story requires me explaining that I wanted a screen saver for my computer because my screen was too bright, and given the position of my computer and the position of the hallway and our bedroom, it was bothering me to see this bright screen when I have insomnia. Yes, I can turn the screen off, but those new screens can also stay on all the time... (some argue that turning off the comptuers for the night is also a good idea, but not when you have downloads trickling in!) ANYHOW... that's when I decided on my current screen saver:
I have all my scanned artwork in a folder, so I used the Microsoft "Slide Show" Screen saver option (don't quote me on its name though), and pointed it to the folder where I have my artwork. At first I thought "hmmm, isn't that a bit weird, having your own artwork up there?" and then I thought "it's the only organised enough folder to be able to do this with!".... well, seeing my artwork when I get up, or when I've not been at the computer for the amount of time it takes for my screen saver to kick in (dunno, can't remember, but it's adjustable) I get inspired, seeing old creations, recent ones, ones I'd completely forgotten about, seeing stamps I'd forgotten I'd owned, stamps I sold and was happy to have done so, background and stamping techniques I'd forgotten.

example, this piece from February 2004

or this one below from October 2003

Hmmm, I do like brown tones, I guess!

These little Collections squares from the end of 2006 bring back memories

and this bright cheerful About Art Accents card from the same period was also fun to see because of its simplicity and cheerfulness:

I have found it very inspiring, and it has motivated me to try and find time to create. So yeah, sometimes a little bit of self-centered-ism can be a good thing! Although every now and then I think "ooh, poor so-and-so, I remember sending them this awful card... didn't seem awful at the time, but that was years ago" sort of thing! Keeps me modest.

3) My work

Many of you are curious about the type of work I do. I am an Assistant Analyst (that's what the job's advert said)and I work for Mining Industry Consultants. I do a LOT of work with Excel, play with LOTS of numbers, and also I receive samples which I have to prepare to send to laboratories, most of which are Iron Ore, I see very pretty colours, though most of it is of a dark brownish red colour. I get to wear a lab coat on the days I play with the pulverised rock, and a mask (so I don't breathe too much in). I feel like I am in a hospital, or that I'm part of the CSI team! LOL! Hmmm, the original CSI probably? Dunno. TBA! hehehe!!! I don't do much analysis myself at work, but I do prepare things for analysis, and once in a while they let me read a report, it's been almost 5 months! And I'm still enjoying it. So I hope that answers your questions, dear friends :)

As a silly segue and to show some eye candy, here's my "rock", a ring, made with polymer clay, and the small one of AM236 XXLge Oval Set from Krafty Lady. That one was made with Pearl, Translucent, and Maroon clays (Sculpey III), and some Duo Red-Blue Pearl Ex, and my trusted Pledge One Go (if only I used it on my floors! hehehe!)

The ring looks crooked but it has been glued on straight. It was just a wee bit big for my Hand Model this morning, so it sort of slid to one side.

I think I'd better press the "publish" button now!


leelooboo said...

Bravo, le résultat du stylo est sympa ! Je suis contente que la technique te soit utile; Bonne continuation.

Julie H said...

France the pen story made me alternately laugh, nod in understanding and groan in frustration. What a gorgeous pen! You should make more, umm, perhaps pencils? another brand? too beautiful to give up on.

France said...

Glad it gave you a giggle, Julie, that was the whole point! And thanks for understanding some of my rave! I did try Bic today, with many hurdles and some success, story to come a bit later!