Saturday, January 30, 2010

Papier-Mâché Dress Form

Caitlin loves to make dresses and skirts and has made some really great pieces in the past but has always wanted a dress form that would help her make her creations. A good dress form usually costs more than $100 and we both figured it would be a lot easier to try to make one ourselves. We found a site that suggested we use papier-mâché to make a mold of Caitlin's body. We would then wait until it all dried, cut it up one side, and glue it back together. We both hid the fact that we didn't have high hopes for it from each other and faked our confidence in our ability to do it correctly.

We didn't want to get flour and water all over Caitlin's clothes, so I wrapped her in saran wrap, and, as she asked me desperately to turn down the heat, we were surprised to find how insulating saran wrap can be. We shredded a lot of newspaper (more than we needed), mixed up the papier-mâché, and got started. Even though we used warm water, the mixture was pretty cold when I actually started layering the strips of paper on her, but there was nothing we could do about it. We also didn't give much thought to the fact that she was not able to move very easily without ripping some of the paper, so I had to hold her cup as she drank, let her use my head as a balance, and rip newspaper off of her feet when she got stuck. Also, even though we were smart enough to lay newspaper on the floor, I managed to get spots of flour and water everywhere - oops!
At this point in the process, Caitlin was suffering from a bit of claustrophobia due to the fact that she couldn't get enough air into her lungs, but pushed through it by telling herself she'd be so happy when it was done. Having her arms stuck to her sides and in one position for about an hour also started to take its' toll. Her hands were getting really cold (as was the rest of her body) and she started getting pains in her arms due to the lack of movement. Again, she advised me to keep going because we had already come so far.


Now, we had to blow-dry the first layer of newspaper to make sure it hardened like it was supposed to. This was when we realized that the dress form would not be sturdy enough as-is and we would have to put a second layer of papier-mâché on! Caitlin's positive attitude was starting to wane as her back and legs became sore from standing, her hands turned red and her veins stuck out and she started to get a little crazy from being so constricted for almost two hours. I felt really bad about starting a second layer, but Caitlin had already suffered too much to throw it all away!

We finished the second layer, blow-dried it again and then set to cutting it off. Even though we knew the first layer wasn't completely dry, Caitlin told me that she couldn't handle it anymore and that I needed to just get it off of her. For some reason, neither one of us thought through the fact that I had stuck the newspaper so close to her body and would now have to shimmy scissors in between her body and the form without being able to fully see what I was doing. I was successful in not cutting her or her clothes, but she did get poked with the end of the scissors quite a few times. Luckily, she was so frustrated with her restricted breathing and movement that she didn't mind a few harsh pokes every now and then.

We are still waiting for the form to dry completely so we can assemble it and we really hope it comes out the way we want it to and she can actually use it. If it works out: this method was awesome! It was basically free because we already had a bunch of newspapers waiting to be recycled, flour, and water. It took about 2 1/2 hours to create, but we both thought it would take a lot longer. If it doesn't work out: this method was stupid and a waste of time. It definitely was not worth the discomfort and shallow breathing that Caitlin had to do for 2 1/2 hours and would have been way easier to have just saved up money and bought a dress-form.


Check out the results of this project here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hot Air Balloon!

It is probably very scary to be so high up in the air and realize you are standing in a basket, your life depending on what is, essentially, a large scale version of something you get at a birthday party - but it would also be so amazing.

Deep Sea Fishing!


This man is living every part of my deep sea fishing dream - complete with marlin!

Zipline!


How great does that look!? We're planning on doing this this summer in New Hampshire and cannot wait until August gets here!

Prospective Adventure - Hoosac Tunnel

Until we get some more adventures going, we are going to be putting up pictures of places we would like to go and/or things we would like to do.

First up, the Hoosac Tunnel:
We've written about the Weird New England and Weird Massachusetts books before and how they were the reason for going to the Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine and the Wilhelm Reich Museum, which are two of our favorite and strangest stories. We have also read about the supposedly haunted Hoosac Tunnel (North Adams, MA) in one of them and really want to check it out because even if it isn't haunted, the idea of walking through a creepy dark train tunnel and scaring each other would be fun enough. The only thing that's holding us back from going right now is weather, time, and the fact that the tunnel is still in use (although rarely) and being in there when a train comes through is not something either one of us really wants to do, especially when remembering those horrific train-safety videos they used to show us in elementary school.

The Hoosac Tunnel is still on our list, though, and we're sure we'll visit it soon enough.


Friday, January 15, 2010

How Did You Get Here? Vol. 2


The adventures have been few and far between lately, so we decided to take another look at how people are finding our blog and address these fun and fascinating (we're sure) people:

1. "absurd encounter with fear"
-Although we have many absurd encounters with things and peo
ple, we have never thought of any of our adventures as an "absurd encounter with fear." However, it is such a FANTASTIC description that we are surely going to use it in the future, so thank you, whoever searched for this!

2. "what did our lady of fatima look like"
-We're going to assume that you were not satisfied with our account of our trip to the "Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine" and we apologize that you didn't find what you were looking for here, so we found an illustration of her for you. We also hope that seeing the kookiness of giant murals in a man's back yard was interesting enough for you.
3. "is spider gates cemetery haunted"
-Maybe.

4. "on our way to stardom"
-It's usually pretty obvious how the mix-up occurs when someone searches for something and accidentally finds their way to our blog instead. This one is not that easy. We're obviously poster children for being on the way to stardom but other than that...we hope you found what you were looking for!

5. "i thought you said i'm alright spider"
-There have been so many people who have searched for this and got our blog! Once again, Goodfellas.

6. "alien communication 2009"
-We're not sure how much alien communication changes from year to year but in 2009 we definitely made contact with an alien and we are lucky to still have control over our own minds.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reality TV Star

Chances are good that you watch, or at least have heard of, MTV's new reality show, "The Jersey Shore." It basically follows a bunch of people from New Jersey and surrounding areas as they live through a summer on, you guessed it, the Jersey Shore. But, we probably didn't have to give you that short synopsis because we know you watch it - because everyone watches it. You might be that fan who has embraced the show fully, admits to watching it, has a favorite, and quotes the show in different situations, or, you're the person who only watches it "to see how degrading and stereotypical it actually is"...whatever fan-type you identify with, you're watching.

And so are we. So, when we heard that one of the most well-known characters, DJ Pauly D, would be coming to a club near us, we had to go! When we found out we laughed about it at first, imagining the type of people who would go hoping for a chance to meet him or take a picture. Then we thought of how funny it would be if we went and got a picture with him. Then, about two hours before the actual event started, we thought that there was no way we could possibly miss it and actually got ourselves pumped up about getting to see him.

We headed down to Club Universe and got in line behind a bunch of very young-looking people. We knew it would be an all-ages event but assumed that there had to at least be a minimum age of about...14? At 21, I was definitely the oldest person waiting in line and we both felt a little awkward when we saw that we were much more covered up than some girls who must have been 12 years old. When we got in, it was a typical club night...so, basically, ridiculous, funny, and weird and we kept trying to figure out if the DJ was Pauly D or not, but decided that his hair was definitely not high or hard enough to meet the Jersey Shore standards.

After about an hour of thinking that this may have been a pointless, but still fun, night, Pauly D came walking in! With an entourage and everything. He walked right in front of where Caitlin and I were sitting, followed by the entire population of the club - mostly girls - running, screaming, crying, and holding up their cameras. We almost had to question if there was a more famous person who walked in behind him that we just missed, but no, it was just Pauly D and his team of security.

We got into an extremely long line to get our picture taken with him because we had to have photographic proof that we were dumb/awesome enough to actually go. Unfortunately, we were not able to try to infiltrate his hair nor were we able to look like normal, healthy human beings next to his skin tone. We did, however, succeed in getting our picture taken with a marginally well-known star of an MTV reality show that we can show our children with pride in the future.