Raarrr! Masks: a DIY

Raarrr-masks-1-doodled

Who goes there? Coronavirus Raarr MONSTERS?!! Let’s get our growls out!

I decided I’m going to share this. It’s hard giving up good ideas (remember Merbaby?). I hate it when I’m shopping and I see something I thought up in a box on the shelves but it is what it is and I am in no position to copyright and patent and trademark anything right now. If you want to do it for me you know how to contact me. Also, it’s not like someone else hasn’t thought of this already. If they haven’t, why not!?? If you have kids who like “teef” as I do, you should get busy with your sewing machine and make one of these! It’s very fun and what else are you doing? Watching Tiger King? Just get your sewing machine out already and do it.

I know I say everything is easy but really, this is. Except for step six. I hate step six. I guess I’m just not that experienced as a seamstress. But whatever. Now’s a great time to polish up my skillz. Woot.

Raarrr-masks-supplies 2

So here is what you’ll need: 

  • a 9×16 inch piece of solid cotton fabric (Prints just don’t do the “teef” justice.) (Smaller if you are making for a child. I’m not going to do the math for you because I suck at math. Just wing it down a third or so, depending on your kid’s face size. What can I say, some kids have BIG faces!)
  • white craft foam (Who knew! Everybody has some stuffed in a craft drawer somewhere. If you don’t, get some already!)
  • the bottom cut off an old t-shirt
  • a sewing machine (Everyone else might as well pass on this whole post.)
  • sharp sewing scissors (You don’t have any? It’s about time you ordered some!! And when you get them put some tape on there that says FABRIC ONLY. It’s time to adult up.)

Okay, let’s, get to it!

Raarrr-masks-step-1

My Aunt Keren was a professional seamstress when I was growing up. She taught me to sew. I used to spend long hours in her sewing room. I got my first Barbie doll (and only Barbie doll until recently.) at age 14 and I used to make clothes for the doll with the scraps leftover from my aunt’s sewing projects. I had a whole drawer in her sewing room that was the Barbie doll’s apartment. Wallpaper on the sides of the drawer, a check box for the bed. It’s hard to believe I was so into that doll at age 14. I guess that’s what happens when your mom won’t let you have Barbies as a young child because she’s worried about body dysmorphic disorder–which I totally got anyway despite her best efforts.

My Aunt Keren taught me how to harmonize. We used to sing hymns together to the sound of her whirring machine and her bird, Jasper, singing in the background and mumbling about what a pretty bird he was… oh memories!  Anyway, one of the many lessons that my aunt taught me was to iron and be tidy when you are sewing. Snip your threads as you go because lose threads later are signs of a mess. So I do that still and I have pride in it. Funny how these lessons stick. Just like I always wash my paintbrushes carefully… teach your kids these lessons, they stick!

Okay, off soapbox.

Step one and two are to sew a 1/4 inch hem on the short ends of your 9×16″ rectangle. This will create the finished edge of your filter pocket. Then fold your rectangle in thirds with the hemmed edges overlapping about an inch. Cut your 1″ inch thick ring of t-shirt fabric and cut it in half.

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Step 3: Take your two lengths of t-shirt string and pin the ends into the corners of your rectangle. These are going to be your straps that you tie the mask on with. Yes, they are way too long but that is good because it leaves plenty of room to customize later. The most important part of this step is to make sure that the straps are out of the way of where your side seams are going to go.

If you are having trouble visualizing where these straps go, just scroll down and take a peek at the finished product. They are kind of like two very long mirrored “Cs” (Coco Chanel style) that are going towards the center with their ends stuck in the corners.

Confused yet? Sorry. I should have just made a movie but my laptop is out of scratch disk space so I got no time for movie editing until I fix that problem. So basically pin everything together and sew a 1/2 inch seam down the short ends of your folded rectangle. AND! Don’t forget to remove your pins before you sew over them and break a needle. Been there, done that a few times. It sucks.

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Step Four: Turn it inside out! Now do those long straps make sense? Then iron everything, like Auntie Keren says.

I should probably mention that I don’t think you should iron craft foam. I think heat can melt it. This does create a sanitation problem (I also don’t recommend washing in hot water or worse putting in the dryer) but we all know this mask is for fashion and not for doing surgery. It will keep you from touching your mouth. It won’t keep you from catching COVID. It just slows the spreading. Capeesh? Okay. Moving on.

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Step Five: Add the TEEF! Maybe this could have been done earlier in step two. Yeah, that would probably be smarter. Hopefully, you read all the instructions before you start and you will do that but if not, Have no fear! It’s still doable at this step. How do I know? Because that’s what I did! :P

Raarrr-masks-step-6

Step 6: Now it’s time for the hard part: sewing pleats. I don’t know why I struggle so hard getting my pleats even but I do. It doesn’t help that the pocket section makes it even thicker in the middle. I think putting aside your perfectionism is the best approach here. Just add three pleats as evenly as you can and sew it. A good tip is to NOT use contrasting thread. It’s gonna be messy if you are a beginner level sewing non-expert like me. Get over it. Maybe someday I will be better at this step.

When you are done with the pleats you are done!

Raarrr-masks-finished

If you make one of these please send me a picture! I would love to see all the coronavirus monsters out there killin’ it!

 

Good Mood for Daaaays

funny-fashion-b

I know I’m going to jinx myself by saying this, but I have been in a good mood for days. Maybe even months. It’s really weird. Tomorrow, a piano-sized cloud of doom will probably fall on my head but in the meantime I just wanted to raise my hands in the air and say wooo hooooo! This is really cool!

I don’t know what to credit it to. More serotonin from my medication? My hormones have leveled out for a brief moment? Money problems have sort of straightened themselves out temporarily… etc?  Knock on wood. Is it that I found a new thrift store and bought a passel of new (cheap) clothes? Or is it that I’m participating in Inktober this month and having a lot of fun? I don’t know!dragon-breath

I love Inktober. It’s humbling to see how many artists are out there doing such a better job than I am. But at the same time it’s really really good to force myself to draw everyday.   I haven’t drawn something every single day in October but I’ve hit a lot of them. It’s been eye-opening.

I’ve found that my biggest challenge is slowing down. I always rush my drawings. I don’t know why I think I need to draw like my sketchbook is on fire. I can barely stop myself from scrawling through them, spelling mistakes, smudging my ink…skipping detail work or shading,  and then worst of all just posting carelessly without fixing lighting problems in photoshop or just scanning correctly. I’m  in a mad rush, always. I think I’m afraid that if I slow down, the drawing in my head will never happen. Or maybe it’s just that I think my drawings are really funny and I can’t wait to share them. I think it’s more that.  But the problem is that after I post them and check obsessively to see what everyone else thinks, I find all my errors all day long and kick myself. I’m very good at kicking myself. I am my own worst enemy.

overgrown

In spite of my messiness and carelessness, some of the drawings I really love. Like this one of Bug with all her plants. She actually only has two plants but she dreams of getting more. The inktober prompt was “overgrown” so I drew her with an overgrown room full of plants. I love drawing my day dreams.

space-kitties

This was of the space kitties that I’m trying to make a *thing*. I should probably give it up.

ornament

This one I actually hated so much I archived it minutes after posting it. It looks better big but in my instagram feed it looks messy and stupid. I was trying to draw someone trapped inside an ornament (the prompt was ornament) but I could not be bothered to slow down to draw some depth. FAIL. I got the smushed nose right though, so there’s that! Heh.

kramer-the-ghost

This one I like even though it lacks shading and depth. Ghost was the prompt so I drew our “Garage Ghost” acting like Kramer from Seinfeld. The back story is that we always make jokes about the garage ghost because our garage door always swings open for no reason at all as if a friendly ghost were just swinging by for a quick chat.

I draw about the dogs a lot. They are my new kids now that I have teenagers who don’t like to be documented. Now I understand why there are so many crazy pet people in the world. I have drunk the kool-aid.

playing-ball

Right after I drew that one this happened:

cody-ate-the-chuck-it

Cody ate our chuck-it thing. We left to go to a concert in LA and we let them stay outside all night (it was totally mild weather and they were just fine) and apparently Cody got bored so he somehow got the chuck-it thing off the counter we have in the backyard and chewed it all the way down to the handle. I know he’s fine because he’s been acting completely normal and there were little tiny bits of orange plastic in his poop for two days afterwards.  Dogs, man.

Here’s a photo of the giant ball:

spreckles-big-ball

Spreckles is so cute. My parents are coming home November 1st to get her. Even though I loved having her I’m kind of excited to see how she acts when she sees them again. I think she misses them a little bit. She’s a little tired of Cody and Whiskey.

I-can-survive-concert

About that concert, last weekend we went to a concert in LA and Payam surprised us by getting a hotel that night on Sunset Blvd instead of driving home like we usually would. It was super awesome for me because I love adventure and staying in a new place. Payam on the other hand regretted it and wished he was home in his own bed.

LA-Sunday-Morning

The next morning I dragged everyone to a Harry Potter-themed coffee shop. I was so into it. The kids were not. Are they ever into anything anymore? It seems like we have officially entered the stage of bershon. In a way it’s a good thing we took them because if Payam and I had gone alone I would have been moaning and complaining that this was perfect for the kids and I would be so sad that we didn’t take them. This way we did take them and guess what? They were meh! Ungrateful hooligans. But secretly I think they did like it. They just can’t let on that I have a good idea now and then because I am so dreadfully un-cool.

ancient

So that prompted this drawing for the word “ancient.” Is it the kids photographing skills or am I just getting old? I joke of course. I don’t care really. In spite of my drawings I have actually been in a really good mood for a long time and ancient filters on photos aren’t getting me down. I take tons of pictures of myself that I actually like. I think the secret is really smiling and having a genuine good time. It doesn’t matter if I’m fatter or wrinklier or this shape or that shape. I think it’s fun bubbling up from inside that makes a good picture. So that’s my goal. More fun. Let’s keep this good day thing rolling! Maybe I’ll have to make November and December a combined Inkember.