Saturday, May 12, 2018

From The Depths of the Deep Blue Sea

It's about time I finished this bottle, which I started back at the last craft party.  The contents were done, but I didn't like the lid.  I could've just painted it black and called it a day, but I had a vision and sometimes those bastards are persnickety.

I found a nice simple template for the boat at MollyMooCrafts.   I made mine on a much smaller scale of course. Actually I made two, slightly different sizes, because I wasn't sure what I wanted. When cutting out the pieces, instead of cutting all the way around, I left tabs sticking out here and there to aid in the assembly process.  After all the pieces where glued in place and dried, I set the boats on top of the lid and there they sat.  For a really long time.  A really, really long time, in a slightly mocking manner.

See, being made out of printer paper they were too thin and flimsy to just paint. And the thought of reinforcing their teeny tiny little hulls with paper mache seemed torturous. So they sat.  That is until The Great Nerf War of 2018. 

An epic battle some say, even though the only casualty was a living room wall.  Since I had to get everything out to patch a hole, I decided to also tackle the Father Vs Son WWF Match dent and the Ninja Sneak Attack dings.  The thing is, I live with animals, but as a result I've become a bit of a drywall repair goddess.  So there's that.

When it comes to drywall stuff and paint, I never work out of the original containers, I always just take out a little more than I think I'll.  So after everything had been repaired, I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that leftover.  I felt bad about just tossing it, so I mixed it all together.  It was maybe (didn't measure) 3 parts all-in-one primer paint, which is really thick and creamy, to which I had added some sand texture, 1 part joint compound and just a smidge of fiber reinforced compound.  Well it was all consolidated in one container now, but what to do with it? And there were those two little boats staring at me.

Well it turns out this stuff was perfect for little boats. 6 thin coats, inside and out and my little boats are nice and sturdy, with a uniform thickness I wouldn't have been able to achieve with papier mache.  On a few passes I scraped the side of the brush against the top edge of the boats to make a thick ridge.

The fabric draped over the lid and used for the sail came from my daughter's old mermaid costume.  Sometimes it pays to know someone who's been through a princess phase.  I've been using pieces of her worn to death costumes for years.  They have layers of different textured fabrics that have come in handy more than once.  This piece is some kind of synthetic satiny material. For the sail I distressed it by setting a toothpick on fire, blowing it out and using the glowing embers to burn tiny holes in it.  I started out using an open flame on the pieces hanging over the lid but that was too hard to control, stuff burns like crazy. Which leads me to realize how lucky we were that her "Princess, Sponge Bob, Jellyfish, Snake & Worm Party"*, full of princess garbed little girls, didn't play out like a scene from The Towering Inferno.

*That's the kind of stuff you end up with when you ask five year olds what they want to do for their birthday.

Continuing on, the mast is a toothpick with a few small beads on top, and is set into a small grommet.  The "water" is glue, fabric and tissue paper.  There's a little bit of cheesecloth down the sides.

If I were to do this again I would start with the lid and then add the contents.  As it was I had to cover the jar in painters tape, and keep it upright so as not to jostle the stuff inside.  I was too scared to take the lid of and work on it separately.  Things have grown in there since last year.  I can only imagine the aroma that would ensue from opening that jar. I do love the murky effect.  Yes for once that's not just crappy photography on my part, that haziness has been organically grown.  There's even an interesting line of rusty colored growth.

I rather like the idea of my pirate, decomposing next to his treasure, looking up from the murky depths of the ocean floor, contemplating whether or not it was worth it.


  1. Good to hear from you Donut. This is a very cool jar. The murky depths effect is great. It cracked me up that a nerf war was the catalyst to finish an abandoned craft project. The lid looks very aged, like it has been at the bottom of the ocean for eons. And of course, Happy Mothers Day.

    1. Thank you. You just never know where inspiration will come from. Now if I can only find the right catalyst for the other fifty million projects I started…And a Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

  2. OMG! It's amazing!!! So cool!