Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Fabulous Cow Chair! (and Moose Skull)

Here is my latest project....the Cow Chair! It was an old 1960's teak chair that was sitting in Rich's parent's basement, rotting away. It was dirty and covered in a boring burgundy fabric. It was originally covered with an orange, black and gold plaid, but 20 years ago it was re-covered with the plain, burgundy polyester. The teak legs looked great though, so I knew we had to salvage it.I originally wanted to use REAL cowhide, but that is VERY expensive. Instead, we found some fake, fuzzy cow print (on Ebay) that we felt would do the trick.
So here is the finished project which took me approximately three days to complete. It isn't perfect, but it looks SO much better than it used to!
Here's something else that took a few days.....the moose skull!
After soaking it outside, (covered with a metal garbage can at night to keep raccoons away) for roughly three days and nights in "Amaze" and warm water, it became easier to clean. The moisture softened the beef-jerky-like flesh that still hung onto the back of the skull where the cervical vertabrae were still clinging on. I STILL had to use a sharp X-acto knife to cut and scrape it off.
At this point, the skull smells like a dead dog, and it's not very pleasant to be around...which is why I kept it outside.
After rinsing it with the garden hose for a while, I soaked it in a very diluted mix of bleach and water. I soaked it in the basement overnight, then left it in the sun for most of the day. Flies kept on coming around, so I put it on my sunny livingroom windowsill.
It doesn't look pristine, but believe me, it's a LOT cleaner now, and I don't mind having it in the house. I used too much bleach on a deer skull once, and now it's crumbling. I didn't want to make the same mistake with this one. The best way to learn how to do something is to do it more than once. (Also reading tips from others on the internet and in books) That's how I've learned how to do a lot of my hobbies and crafts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mosaic Addiction

Here's the latest. It's really only my second mosaic project. This is right after cleaning off the grout haze. I just have masking tape around the edge for now, but I'll be adding a leather edge. I had a miserable time with an aluminum edge which I ended up tearing off again. Let's not go there right now.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What's Suzanne Up To NOW?

Last weekend, Rich and I went to a friend's house in London Ontario. This friend has known Rich since before High School, and he is now an emergency room doctor AND a coroner. We had dinner and went swimming and had a great visit. During that visit, the subject of skulls came up......and to make a long story short, he ended up GIVING me this moose skull he and his sons had found on a hunting trip a couple of years back! After searching the internet on how to clean skulls properly, I started to work on the jaws. I haven't done the actual skull yet, but that's next on my list.
I soaked the jaws (and cervical vertebrae) in a warm solution of "Amaze" because I couldn't find a product called "Biz" here in Canada. It actually DID clean the bones quite well, although it smells like you're giving a very smelly, wet dog a bath. It was kind of disgusting when a large mass of white, spongy-looking material came out of the main canal in the jawbone. I figured it was the remainder of the vein or nerve that runs through to the teeth.
Anyway, here are the jaws drying in the sun. I didn't want to leave them outside because they were attracting flies!
I'm also working on another mosaic. This time it's a whole coffee table that I picked up at Goodwill for $10. Ironically, the tiles cost more than that!
I've also been trying to complete a little mural for my son's bedroom wall. He chose these particular Dr. Suess characters, but now he wants me to add some Pokemon. I don't really want to. And, of course my daughter is asking the same thing. Kids just don't understand what a unifying theme is.
How does she do it all, you may ask? Well, we don't own a television! That's the key. If you want to spend more time being creative, don't watch T.V. It eats up a huge chunk of your time.