Friday, January 13, 2012

Rescued Table

I found a table on the street. It was all broken and in pieces but I dragged it home. Here is a picture of two of the pieces:

As you can see, it has very ornate, elaborately carved details. You can't really tell in the photo, but the finish was really scratched up and ugly. I considered painting it some crazy color, like lime green or bright coral, but I decided I wanted it to look like driftwood instead. I liked the idea of the opulent carving in contrast with weathered wood.

So I stripped the stain and varnish off. It was a messy job, but someone had to do it.

Then I made a concoction of steel wool and distilled vinegar. Why did I do that? Well, the top of the table was just plain light wood. It looked brand new and was much lighter than the carved table legs. It looked weird, so I wanted to treat it in some way. And what's almost as cool as driftwood? That's right: weathered barnwood. I searched online and found instructions for how to give new wood the look of aged grey barnwood. I made this special potion and brushed it onto the top of the table. It turned the wood a nice faded grayish-brown, which is exactly what I'd hoped for.

Here is one of the stripped carved pieces next to the grey treated tabletop. I love the color of both and the fact that they're not a perfect match.

And here is the table all put back together again:

Here you can see a close-up of the most intricate part of the carving:

So, for the cost of some steel wool and a container of Citristrip (and a little elbow grease), I now have this amazing table that I love. It's a perfect place to display a shell, a jar of ribbon, and this awesome rose painting (which, by the way, is by this artist).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Last Unicorn

I had never seen this before. It was really sweet, sad and hopeful. Populated by a host of creatures who are not what they seem, The Last Unicorn is all about finding and being true to your genuine nature/essence, even when most of the world either wants to trap and control you or is completely incapable of seeing you at all. Of course it's also about love, immortality and death. And all this, accompanied by delicate, glittery animation and '70s AM-radio-style songs with some very pretty chords. This movie contains a lot of Knowledge, but no spiders.

Amalthea: "I can feel this body dying all around me..."

Schmendrick: "But -- but it's only for a little while, I promise you! Soon you'll have your true shape again forever!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life on Mars?

My favorite music video of all time. David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" from the album Hunky Dory (1971).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cloud #1

Hello, welcome to my blah. I mean blog!

So, I'm trying to both streamline and expand my empire. The Mellowtraumatic website will stay active, but I have dismantled the Antoinette's Revenge online store. The CD versions of both of my full-length albums are sold out, and since downloads are available from so many places, it just doesn't make sense to host a store anymore. At some point, though, I will be setting up an Etsy store, and I'll make an announcement when it's open for business.

As some of you know, it has always been difficult for me to manage the many entities that contribute to the Mellowtraumatic website. Due to time constraints, I've always outsourced the main site operations to Kansas Mayhem and the Splinterglass sisters, among others. All of them are well-intentioned and do their best, but they have a tendency to get into trouble. They throw tantrums, get depressed, go on benders, get into fights and are generally a challenge to keep track of. Unfortunately, this means that it can sometimes be months between updates. They'll still handle the main site, but as an antidote to the madness, this blog will be written by me in an effort to be more current and connected. It will be used for quick Mellowtraumatic updates and it will also be a place for me to store inspirations, interests and obsessions -- both musical and otherwise. Sometimes you might have to put up with me posting pictures of my house, which has pale pink floors. Trust me, they are awesome, and you are jealous.

It's not that I think you should care about my thoughts and opinions, or my pale pink floors, it's just that when I'm in-between recording projects I get very distracted by bright and shiny things, so this will hopefully be a way for me to reign in the chaos. I really need a place to collect links and photos, and it is nice to share. A lot of it will be music-related, too.

Speaking of music, I have been getting a lot of questions asking if I'm working on something new. Here's the deal: For a really long time I was not in the same state as my home studio. I was living in one place and my studio was in another place, very far away. I have now moved yet again, and finally the studio is with me in my new spot. I haven't started recording yet, though. I have a lot of songs that were written over the past few years, and many others that were written earlier that were never recorded or released. Point is, there are plenty of songs around, so I'm hoping to start working on a new project this year. I don't know when it will be finished -- 2012 seems pretty optimistic, but 2013 is looking pretty realistic, so hopefully those pesky Mayans will return to scribble a few more years onto their calendar.

I haven't been entirely quiet, though. I've done a little singing on some fairly recent releases, and there are some other things in the works, but I can't spill any details yet.

And now, I leave you with this cumulus of inspiration: