Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Crazy Crafty: The Manic Monster Mash

At wacky tacky headquarters, wintertime means more than just decking the halls, one-horse-open-sleigh rides, and slurred verses of "Auld Lang Syne."  Granted, we are fairly traditional when it comes to celebrating the season's major holidays but for us, winter also means that it's "open season" for birthdays.  Clustered tightly around the holiday festivities, the many family birthdays only compound the manic level of expectation and obligation already on high alert.  It's intense.  

Running low on energy, inspiration, and funds, I was about to resort to everyone's personal favorite, the homemade coupon book.  It seemed an ingenious idea because, while I am loathe to wash a car or issue a foot rub, those ephemeral little slips of construction paper bound into a booklet by craft yarn are so easily misplaced and therefore, rarely cashed in.  Furthermore, the fine print that I always include on the back of said coupons legally exonerates me from actually having to perform any literal acts of service.  My scheme was BRILLIANT!!!  The more I thought of it, the more I realized that I had plenty of resources with which to make a few heirloom-worthy gifts that would seem at least slightly more inspired than a few lousy coupons with looming expiration dates...or maybe I just ran out of construction paper.

With a far-out family, I knew I could get away with some far-out gifts.
Fully aware that Halloween was long behind us, I decided that the mash-up of the
birthday and Christmas seasons was the perfect inspiration for a MONSTER MASH! 

Made from the furry, green remnants of a long ago project, the first
monster I made was the Color-Wheel Christmas Birthday Monster!!!

Can you tell which one is the monster and which one is the birthday boy?
Happy, if slightly confused by the gift, he knows that it is as the button says,
"I Am Loved."

The next monster in our manic monster mash was loosely based on an illustration created by the recipient.  While less detailed, I think the three-dimensional monster captures the googly-eyed essence of both the art and the artist.

Would you believe that I also had remnant pieces of a fuzzy,
black faux-fur in my monster mountain of a fabric stash?
Like the first monster, the details of the mouth are achieved through layered
pieces of vinyl and the eyes are stacked buttons.  I must say, I thought it was
pretty clever to use buttons of different diameter to enhance the wonky eyes!

Call him ugly if you dare, but with an I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I
sensibility, his button reads, "So's your old man!"

The final monster in our series may look sweet and innocent but don't be charmed by those long, beguiling eyelashes.  They belong to nature's reject, one of the most repulsive freaks of the modern sideshow, none other than... 

Yo-Yo the Frog-Face Boy!!!

Scary, right?
Yo-Yo is made up of forty yo-yos created from fabric scraps with an
overstuffed head balanced lazily on top.  The embroidered nostrils gurgle
as his soulless, buggy, black eyes scan the crowd for his next victim.
The foul pink tongue is permanently poised to lash out and snatch your face!!!

Okay, okay...it's just a cute frog.  But I made it and wanted to include it in this post.

In the end, I realized that I can simply never be sure if store-bought gifts would have been more well-received.  Either way, I tend to think that hand-crafted gifts are the best...at least on my pocketbook!

"The Monster Mash" - Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Cryptkickers

Did you make any gifts this holiday/birthday season?  Do you prefer homemade gifts or store-bought?
Now that I've exhausted my frightful, gift-giving creativity, don't be surprised by an even scarier gift season next year; it's back to COUPON BOOKS!!!  Muah, ha, ha!!!


Mr. Tiny

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