wfh: Peep chaos edition

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I’ve been wanting to make a Peep diorama for years. I remember making a diorama (of the Peepless variety) for a 6th grade school project, and I really enjoyed the process. (Wish I photos of that–it was of a scene from a Nancy Drew book.) Anyhow, I may possibly not have made another diorama since then.

A few weeks ago, I decided this was the year. And I had the idea I wanted to go with. I may have told a few people that my biggest fear* was that someone would beat me to the punch with the idea. (*Not actually my biggest fear.) And I’ve been working on it here and there for about the 3 full weeks. (I ordered the Peeps on Amazon, since I wasn’t sure we’d be able to go out to get them.)

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It was really quite therapeutic to work on the little details. I made these bunny slippers one morning while everyone else was still sleeping.
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I made the portraits on the wall by photographing the “family” in front of a landscape painting.
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An early stage of the diorama. This box appeared to be an excellent size for a Peep desk.
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The coffee cup was one of the final details. I just made it this afternoon. You can sort of make out the cookies (made from felt) and the colored pencils (made from toothpicks.)
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The curtains are made from some old torn pajama pants. Rather fitting, I guess.
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I was also quite pleased with the armchair, which I made from cardboard, foam, and fabric from some long-departed corduroy pants.
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I couldn’t  quite capture the whole scene from one angle.
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Yes, I did walk around the house taking photos of peeps in different locations for the zoom meeting.
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I was rather inordinately pleased with my grocery bag, amazon box and laundry basket.

One of the things that also pleases me about this project is that is was almost entirely made from materials we had around the house. The only new items were the Peeps. There are a few items that were small toys, but most of the things I made from materials from our recycling and scrap fabric.

Ceci n’est pas une peep.

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Ceci n’est pas une peep.

Or, perhaps, the Treachery of Marshmallows. (After Magritte’s Treachery of Images, in case you don’t recognize it.) ceci-nest-pas-une-peep

A few years ago I had a sudden inspiration to create this image, by posing a Peep on a piece of card stock, and writing with a brown Sharpie.  A few weeks ago (though it also feels like years), in a fit of stress-induced work avoidance, I decided to revive and revamp the design. I cleaned it up a bit to make it into an image I could put on a t-shirt in time for Peep season.

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In case you need more surrealist t-shirts in your life, too, you can find it on TeePublic. (I ordered one for myself, and it came at least a week ago. But I haven’t washed it yet, and almost forgot about it. What with life taking on its own surreal quality.)

Pie Another Day

Today is Pi Day, a day on which I like to celebrate pie. While my traditional Pi Day Pi Pie is not yet in the oven, I have been baking up these tasty pie treats for ages.* Plus, with the new Bond movie’s release delayed, along with so many things these uncertain days, we could use some certainty. And we can certainly use some pie.

I share with you the selected pie-filled adventures of British Pastry Service’s elite secret agent, DoubleCrust7.

Dr. NoBake (1962)

In the first film of the saga, Agent DoubleCrust7 battles mysterious Dr. NoBake, a megalomaniacal chef bent on destroying the U.S. baking industry. DoubleCrust travels to Jamaica, where he finds beautiful Honey Pie, and confronts Dr. NoBake in his massive ovenless kitchen.

From Russia with Crust (1963)

Agent DoubleCrust7 is back on the menu, this time battling a secret Russian organization known as KURNIK. Out to snatch a secret meringue whipping device, KURNIK uses the ravishing Tartiana to lure DoubleCrust into helping them. Will DoubleCrust escape without getting his crust burnt and his filling whipped?

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The Spy Who Loved Pie (1977)

Globetrotting agent DoubleCrust7 eats pie in jaw-dropping locales, from turnover on the cliffs of Dover, to plunging into deep-dish in the deep sea. Pairing with dessert-loving Russian agent Anya Pavlova, he must defeat megalomaniac pie magnate Karl Strudelberg, who threatens to destroy New York City’s bakeries with inferior ingredients.

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For Your Pies Only (1981)

DoubleCrust7 is dispatched to recover Britain’s strategic pie-baking plans before they fall into the hands of the Russians. When the secret recipe for the Queen’s favorite steak and kidney pie goes missing, DoubleCrust joins forces with the vengeful Greek beauty Spanakopita to find the key ingredients.

A View to a Quiche (1985)

After recovering a microchip from the half-eaten dessert of a deceased colleague in Russia, DoubleCrust7 discovers that the technology has the potential for sinister culinary applications. DoubleCrust faces off against the unsavory bakers, who are scheming to cause massive destruction of crusts to eliminate the quiche-baking competition.

Pie Another Day (2002)

Having survived a bleak and pieless prison, DoubleCrust7 is released to seek justice and pie. DoubleCrust knows he’s been double-crossed, and suspects agent Crumbtop has turned turnover. Pairing with NSA agent Cherry BerryPie, he uncovers Crumbtop’s plot with British millionaire Spotted Dick involving a highly deadly pie server.

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No Time to Pie (2020)

In this highly anticipated new feature, DoubleCrust7 returns to rescue a kidnapped pastry chef. Following the trail of crumbs, he tracks down a mysterious pie-eating villain who is developing his own killer recipe for a devastatingly addictive blueberry pie.

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Where will DoubleCrust7 show up next? We can’t be sure, but we know that the devious villains will always get their just desserts.

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*Indeed, it was back in November that I started this. Back when I was preparing to pie for Thanksgiving. We ended up getting a frozen pie crust that we decided not to use. We decided to pie another day. Naturally that led me to this.

fashioning a fascinator

I’m rather fascinated by the term fascinator. It’s a much more fanciful expression than “funny little fancy hat.” In any case, I fashioned myself a fascinator from a fluffy little friend. Well, really, I just took one of our many spider decorations, and fastened it atop my head. I felt it worked just fine.

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I don’t often post photos of myself on this blog, but when I do, there tends to be some sort of creature on top of my head.

The 2016 Republic of Pants election

The time has come once more for the Pants Republic to change its pants. Another 4 years have passed since the re-electon of Corduroy O’Bloomer to the Seat of the Pants government after his first election 8 years ago. This year, after another embarrassing fashion show, the Pants Republic’s two major fashion houses have chosen their candidates: Pantsuit Linen and Doubleknit Trousers.

Pantsuit Linen is a garment of a feminine cut as yet not seen covering the Seat of the Pants Republic. Pantsuit Linen is well known to the public eye, known first nationally as the First Raiment to previous Pants President, Twill Linen. Pantsuit, as her supporters like to call her, has also had other important roles in the National Pants Governement, both as elected garment, and as an appointee to the O’Bloomer Wardrobe. Pantsuit has long fought for the representation of skirts and shorts in the Republic’s wardrobe, as well as access to laundry care for all.

Doubleknit Trousers is known to the public eye for more for his showiness and his attention-grabbing appearances in commercials and catalogs, rather than for any material contributions to Pants society. Trousers boasts of having deep pockets and the best tailoring, but his claims have been unsubstantiated due to his refusal to show either his pattern or content tags. Many are unimpressed by the flashy gold stitching of Doubleknit’s style. While his fans claim his tendency to come unzipped in public show that his pants are relatable, others have been embarrassed and offended by what lies behind the zipper. It has been shown on many occasions that Doubleknit’s orange polyester fabric is threadbare, that it snags easily, exposing the tacky and often indecent fabric of his lining. His tendency to come unravelled at the slightest provocation is not only unflattering, but has demonstrated that his cut is unfit to cover the Seat of the Pants Republic.

Both candidates have been accused of breeches of decorum, and many rumors fly. Doubleknit was responsible for weaving rumors that O’Bloomer is a muslin and was sewn abroad, in spite of the manufacturing documentation to the contrary. Doubleknit has further torn the Pants of the Republic apart through giving priority to Pants of the traditional cloth and color of the Old Chaps Club, and devaluing pants of more diverse origins and hues or imported styles. On the other leg, many Doubleknit supporters question the integrity of Pantsuit’s construction, in spite of decades-long inspections of her fabric, thread, and stitching. Pantsuit’s sturdy tailoring has stood up to many attempts to shred her fabric, but she has not shown herself to be impervious to stains on the fabric of her character. Many feel that she has revealed too much of the warp and weft of the Pants Nation’s Undergarments, and much attention has been paid to her Briefs. Her biggest detractors argue that she should be belted.

Overall, the Pants of the Republic are stretched thin and uncomfortable around the waist, and all are ready for this election to be over. Shopping for pants is often demoralizing, but it has never been harder to for this nation to find a pair of pants that fits all.

Tonight I am grateful for laughter, and thankful that I can still find humor in these stressful days of the US election.

Grocery Store Wars

That’s no moon. That’s a melon.

Still tired, still busy, still apparently not feeling inspired to post original content. But here is a YouTube video that follows nicely from yesterday’s food animation pick, specially given the recent release of the trailer for the new Star Wars movie. (And also the Wes Anderson version.) Please enjoy “Grocery Store Wars,” from 2005.

You’re welcome.

thought police tow zone (friday foto finder: notice)

I confess that when I first read this sign, it made me think about blocking the loading dock. Thank goodness they didn’t catch me and tow me away! Even now, so many months later, when I read this sign, I find myself thinking about ways I could block that loading dock. I try to come up with creative ways to block it. I could set up a lemonade stand in front of it! Or maybe sculpt a statue of a clown in front. Or make giant origami installation. My thoughts are in clear violation of this notice. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why…

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “notice.” To see what other notices have been noticed, haul yourself over to the fff blog. (But whatever you do, don’t think about blocking this loading dock.)

8 simple tips for effective web design

Web design has come a long way in recent years, and the many varied themes and templates can make much of it easier for the casual web designer. But before you get started, it’s still helpful to know a few basics of web design that can lead to a more effective web site.

  1. Clarity: Probably the most important element of web design is clarity. The strands of content should be clearly highlighted, and easy to discern and interpret.
  2. Simplicity: too busy a web design can make it difficult to find the critical content, and visitors may not even know where to land.
  3. Effective use of space: A more effective web design makes better use of space put the content in focus, and make the navigation structure clear.
  4. Integrated designs: Another type of web design is for smaller sites that are integrated into larger sites. This clever design makes use of a small space in a larger layout. Its sparse but elegant lines integrate well into the aesthetic of the larger site.
  5. Background: One simple but important detail of good web design is background color. In this example, the web designer tried to make use of too bright and bold a background, making the important details of the design hard to spot. Designs like this are more likely to draw attention to the web designer herself, rather than the web content, which is a deterrent to most website visitors.
  6. Visual elements: Choosing the right images for your web design is also key. Choosing a unifying theme, repetition of design elements, and subtle use of color can give pleasing harmony to the web design.
  7. Stickiness: One of the main goals of good web design is to get visitors not just to fly through, but to land and stay. This web design may not look like much at first, but its structure has great elements to get visitors to really stick.
  8. Upkeep: One also must not forget to maintain one’s web design. It doesn’t take long for a web site to start to look dated. Even if a web site has compelling visual elements to attract visitors to the site, multiple broken links will guarantee that visitors will take off soon and land on more frequently updated web sites.

When you start out on your own web design, try to keep these points in mind to make your site more effective. Of course, never lose sight of the ultimate goal of web design: to trap visitors and drain them of their bodily fluids.