Today, while I was searching online for Shiny Brite-style Christmas ornaments in colors that match the Mondrian wall, I found a 7-foot silver tinsel Christmas tree for $60.
A 4-foot vintage aluminum Sparkler like mine, for which I paid $50 in 1998, IIRC, will run somewhere around $150 to $200 on Etsy these days. A 7-foot Evergleam like the one I passed up for $70 on that same shopping trip two decades ago will cost you $500 if you are very lucky and $800 or more if you aren’t.
Fairly convincing replicas of vintage aluminum trees can be found online for $200 to $250.
The tree I ordered is neither an original nor a convincing replica (it’s basically a shiny silver version of the green Walmart special I bought to decorate my first classroom in 1997), but to the untrained eye, it will look pretty good, and I didn’t have to listen to Ron grumble or sigh about the price. WIN.
When my sister bought me a set of KISS Lego figures for Christmas last year, I assumed that was as weird as it got. Clearly, I was mistaken, as evidenced by the Lego Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega figures you see pictured above. My friend Jeffrey found them at Hastings on Monday and promptly bought them for me to glue on my dashboard. I have no idea who thought the world needed Pulp Fiction Lego figurines — or why — but that person is obviously a genius and deserves a Royale with cheese and whatever is in the suitcase for coming up with something this brilliant.
I had yesterday off in exchange for working New Year’s Day, so I seized the opportunity to install Jules, Vincent and some other characters I’ve acquired in the past few months:
Hope your day was filled with fun stuff worthy of gluing onto your dashboard.
Y’all. Y’ALL. I just fulfilled a dream 17 years in the making.
Once upon a time in 1997, I drove past a parking lot in northern Illinois. On the parking lot was a man selling velvet paintings from the back of a truck. At the time, I owned a fiberoptic lamp and a bean-bag chair, both of which were displayed prominently in my living room, so when I spotted a velvet painting of dogs playing poker, I was certain I’d found the Holy Grail of Bad Taste.* If I’d had $60 on me at the time, I’d have bought it. I’m still not sure why I didn’t proceed directly to the nearest ATM to secure the funds for this masterpiece, because it stands as one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.
I was thinking about the Grail tonight. And then as I got on eBay to search for the Grail again, I thought of that painting.
I didn’t find the Grail. But I found some guy named Jorge who lives in northern Mexico and creates hand-painted replicas of that painting I passed up.
I knew I should have bought it when it was only $60. A thing like that can only appreciate in value, which is obviously why a velvet art dealer is charging $100 for Jorge’s work.
Painting ships Monday. I’m still trying to decide whether it’s worth another $25 for an ugly pine frame similar to the one on my velvet Elvis.
This weekend was all about clearing projects off my plate. Most of them were little projects (moving the quail, putting bird netting in the garden to protect my tomatoes, and starting a new batch of beer), but the big one I’d been meaning to finish involved the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar.
I’ve been neglecting the car for about two years. Oh, not the mechanical stuff — I take it in to have the oil changed and the tires rotated and various belts and filters and things replaced at all the appropriate times — but what makes the Dreamcar the Dreamcar is its Amazing Technicolor paint job, which becomes decided less amazing and decidedly less technicolor after a few months in the sun. To look its best, it really needs to have its hood and roof repainted about once a year.
Last time I repainted it was a couple of days before we left for vacation in 2012.
After spending the brutal summer of 2012 in the Oklahoma sun, it was pretty faded out, but before I got a chance to repaint it, we moved, and I was too busy to mess with it. I also managed to leave all my leftover spraypaint behind when we moved, and I couldn’t really justify spending the better end of $50 on a glorified craft project while we were paying for two mortgages. By the time we sold the house in Tulsa, it was October, and then the holidays hit, followed by ice storms, a rainy spring and a stormy summer, and … well, yesterday was really the first opportunity I’ve had to do anything with the car, so I took advantage of it.
While I was working, I installed a few of my recent acquisitions on the dashboard:
I painted a TARDIS on part of the car last night, but the sealer I used on it this afternoon interacted badly with the paint and ran all over the place, so I’ll have to sand that area off and start over as soon as I can shake free.
I’m pleased to report that my Shasta daisies are finally blooming, my spearmint came back and seems to be thriving this season, and the lawn ornament I bought a couple of weeks ago at a feed store in East Alton continues to be creepy as hell.
I spent a happy Saturday geeking it up in the garden. I got a few practical things done — most notably, Ron and I inspected the hives this morning, and after he left for work this afternoon, I reconfigured my irrigation system and planted a few tomatoes to replace some of the seedlings that didn’t make it — but this was my major project for the day:
After I finished my work, I made a big cranberry-peach-banana smoothie and sat next to the pond, which has tons of toad eggs in it. They seem to be growing. I imagine we’ll have tadpoles by next weekend. The duckweed seems to be increasing a bit, too, and the fish have gotten braver — they play in the shallow areas now, provided I don’t get too close.
Notes from our hive inspection: The bees seem to be settling in. The Carnie hybrids built a lot of burr comb that had to be scraped off — much to my regret, as it was full of brood — and the Buckfasts are drawing out comb and packing in great stores of pollen, although the queen hasn’t laid any eggs yet. It’s still early for them. We’ll check again next weekend and see how they’re doing. The girls are bringing in a lot of bright red pollen, which is interesting.
Hope your Saturday was full of satisfying projects and friendly dogs, wherever you are.
I’ve been dinking around with filters and layers for a design project I’m doing at work, and while I was figuring out a shortcut today, I ‘Shopped up a photo Ron shot of me yesterday at Daily Star Comics in Metropolis:
Don’t look too closely, or you’ll see where my lines got a little wobbly on a couple of spots I was trying to enhance by hand, but I think it’s still a fun photo. Way better than Bitstrips.
Too bad I didn’t figure out the shortcut before I spent 10 hours tracing posterized edges by hand to convert photos to cartoons. -_-