Good Mood for Daaaays

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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:

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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.

Wild Space Kitties!

Space-Kitties-titleshot-alphamom

Calling all Wild Space Kitties! Here’s a costume that is purrrrrfect for you.

(This was supposed to appear as a DIY costume craft on alphamom.com but it turns out that Space Kitty is a beer company and not appropriate for a parenting site but guess what? I can totally post it here! Beer, schemer. Let’s make Wild Space Kitties a thing!)

First off a warning: This costume is ridiculously easy and ridiculously difficult at the same time. If you’ve never sewed with faux fur then this would be a great project to start with because guess what? You CAN do it! It was my first time sewing fur and I did it! Go me! But it’s also ridiculously messy, so check your OCD at the door.

Space-Kitty-supplies-alphamom

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 yards or more of faux fur
  • thread (color doesn’t matter because it does not show up in this wild mess of fur)
  • a sewing machine
  • fabric scissors
  • a wire coat hanger
  • a large dowel or broom handle to wrap your coat hanger wire around (This was Payam’s brilliant idea.)
  • ribbon or long skinny piece of t-shirt fabric (leftover fabric from this craft works great)

Space-Kitty-cutting-alphamom

Lay out your fabric fur-side down. You can create a pattern from a paper bag or some paper or you can free-hand it. Your pieces need to roughly look like the drawing below: 2 head pieces, two paws (one piece each) and two tail pieces.

Print

Faux fur is such a mess when you cut it. The loose fur floats all over the place. Just accept that it’s going to make a mess and make the best of it. Think of it as magical dust floating all around you making everything pretty and fuzzy. Sew somewhere that is easy to vacuum later and keep some packing tape on hand. You can even tape down where you are going to cut first and control some of the mess that way. (If you have any OCD tendencies I would definitely recommend using tape to control the fuzz.)

Okay, now that we have that out of the way let’s just get in there and make a mess. It’s worth it.

Space-Kitty-pieces-for-sewing-alphamom

Cut your pieces. Then lay them out how you are going to sew them.

Fold the paw pieces in half. Lay the front of the cat head (fur facing in) on top of the back of the cat head (fur to fur). Lay your tail pieces together, fur to fur. Pin. (Or don’t. I lived on the wild side and didn’t pin. My fur slightly crept askew as I sewed but I found it didn’t really matter that much. I just trimmed the uneven parts at the end and it didn’t show anyway. Fur is very forgiving.)

Now get ready to sew! Set machine to a zig zag stitch and get in there!

Space-Kitty-sewing-1-alphamom

Sew the outer edges of the cat head together like you were creating a cat-head pillow while leaving the inside head-hole un-finished. Fur doesn’t need a finishing seam. Win!

Sew your tail together, leaving the butt-end open. This is where you will insert your wire later.

Sew around one side of your paws, leaving the bottom open to insert hands into.

After you are done sewing, cut your threads and trim off any excess fur that might be sticking out. This will make it easier to turn inside-out later. Snip your rounded corners with a small snip, being careful not to snip over your stitches of course.

Then turn everything inside out.

Space-Kitty-inside-out-alphamom

Remove any lose fur. Shake it out. Do a little dance. Fur everywhere!

Next is a really important step that was thought up by Payam and I failed to photograph it because he did it in the garage for me while I was sewing. Take your coat hanger hanger and un-bend it. (Pliers will help.) Then carefully wrap it around a thick dowel or broom handle to create a long spring-like coil. This is the magical wire that will make your space kitty tail pliable and yet stiff and not pokey and sharp like normal wire would be. Thank you Payam!

Space-Kitty-tail-attachment-alphamom

After you’ve turned your tail inside out, insert this coil into your tail. Then close up the end and sew your ribbon or t-shirt string over the closed ending. This tie will make it so you can tie your tail around your waist like so. Wear a big hoodie over top (Because hoodies are a very important Space Kitty wardrobe piece. I will make this a thing, I swear.) and you’ll never know it was just tied on and not actually attached.

Then put on your hat and fur mittens, draw on a kitty nose and whiskers with white eye-liner pencil and you are now a space kitty!  Light-up blinky space boots optional.

Space-Kitty-glamour-shot-alphamom

Happy Trick-or-Treating!