Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ahhh, A Diversion!

I return with distractions! Disclaimer: I have not yet baked in my new apartment. It's just been crazy looking for a house and getting used to my job and basically adjusting to life. However, I have been doing a couple of crafts including a fit of Pinterest-related insanity last night. So I thought I'd share this with you to give you something to read to procrastinate with. And maybe to inspire you to do something crafty! Also, this post title comes to you from one of my favorite Lord of the Rings quotes of all time. It occurs in Return of the King when Aragorn explains his entire complicated plan for drawing the troops out of Mordor and it's said as a dramatic speech and then the response from our exposition device, Legolas, is "Ahhh. A diversion." Because the audience was too stupid to understand that without Legolas telling us. It cracks me up every time I see it. In fact, let me crack up about it right now. You can join me:

Ok, LotR sidebar over. Let's get to crafting!

This craft is brought to you by Pinterest. I saw this cool pin for a piece of artwork that was nails hammered into wood to create the shape of New Jersey with a heart in the middle and then string going from the borders of NJ to the heart. That makes it sound lame. Anyway, after a little searching, I found someone who had some step by step instructions for building this. The link to the blog is here. Although, I have an intense dislike of Ohio and I barely followed these instructions, I feel the need to credit it. At the very least, it made me feel like it was possible for me to do myself. So, after work, I went over to Walmart to acquire the tools I would need.

Easier said than done. Picture me wandering aimlessly around Walmart trying to figure out how to make this craft. I was supposed to be getting a 12x12 inch wooden board that I was apparently going to sand and paint. False. I also needed small nails, string, painter's tape, and small nail hammer assistants. Lies. First thing I found in the store was the string. I was all like, "cool, red string!" and felt like things were going pretty well so far. Next stop was the nails. I didn't find small ones but I found white ones! So that worked for me. Now, I wanted to find some wood. I didn't want to have to sand and paint wood so I wanted something that was like a wooden plaque that was already finished and ready for me to craft on. How ridiculous of me. That doesn't exist. I toyed with getting a picture frame and taking out the glass and hammering into that but it seemed like a fantastically bad idea. I went though all the aisles of Walmart twice. It's a pretty big store. Sighing and giving up and heading outside, I walked past a random aisle that had a canvas drawer organizer. It seemed pretty thick and of good quality so I figured, what's the worst that could happen?

So I went home, printed an outline of New Jersey and set about my task. Step 1 was cutting out my New Jersey template. This would have been SO much easier if I was from Colorado. Stupid intricately complicated state lines. I did my best but let's just say the barrier islands didn't make it. Next I had to tape down the template on my wood canvas drawer organizer. I oddly enough found some old painter's tape that was barely sticky but it worked. Then I just had to hammer in the nails around the outline. This took a long time and I had some OCD issues with the heights of all the nails being even but I managed. My wrist was a little tired by the end. Then I had to hammer the nails in for the heart. I wanted to put the heart over Nutley but it would have made the entire thing look weird so it's a little more west than it should be. I also had a lot of trouble because the heart isn't that big and it was hard to get the nails in the right shape to get it to look right. Eventually I just called it good enough and moved on.

Then I just had to string all of the nails. I quite enjoyed this task. It's good for people with tiny fingers and a lot of patience and a joy of monotonous activities. So basically, me. I had some struggles because the shape of NJ is really not conducive to this task but I think it turned out pretty nicely. There was an issue with the heart wherein by the time I was done stringing, it looked nothing like a heart. After trying to adjust the nails a bit and failing, I realized that if I just removed the nail that was the top point of the heart, it would look much closer to correct. Tell me what you think:

The pictures don't make it look great, but trust me, in person, it looks fantastic. I really love it. It was pretty easy, it only took about 2 hours and 10 bucks, and my quick fix for having no wood actually really worked. I stood it up on my bedroom dresser and it makes me smile and think of good ol' New Jersey.

So that's your entertaining diversion for the day! Hope you enjoyed! Hopefully I'll bake soon but otherwise I have one other craft I may blog about. We shall see. Maybe this weekend I'll make some brownies....Mmmmm brownies....