Wednesday, November 21, 2012

F1 2012 - Inaugural year in Austin, TX (not a crafty post, but just had to share!!)

Growing up, I wouldn't have thought I would be all that interested in going to anything like a car race, much less make a 3-day thing of it! But, here I am, 27 years old and not only did I get to attend F1 in Austin, TX on our first year running, but I HAD A BLAST!!!!

I'll admit, I've got this love/hate relationship with going fast... I looooooooove going fast!! I've even gotten up to 120 mph in the Mercury Sable I had years ago, but the damn regulator kept knocking me down to 118, but it was sooo much fun! Amazingly enough, I did NOT get pulled over for this! HA! I was even so comfortable, I was using my feet to drive, had the cruise control on, seat as far back as it would allow.... There was even a guy that caught up to me at some point and kept trying to get my attention!! Too funny. My bad experiences however are when I would be coming back up to Austin from taking a friend back to San Marcos or bringing her to Austin to stay the weekend (she schooled at Texas State). When you hit downtown/South Austin is when you really have to watch out as cops LOVE that area on IH-35. What's sad is knowing the 120mph before was no problem, but yet, going maybe 10 over hitting South Austin is what got me a couple speeding tickets... **siigh**

Fast forward to current and now I drive a standard car (2012 Juke, 6-speed manual with turbo) and love it! I love being able to control the shifting and when exactly I'll go this fast or that slow. It's especially much better than the automatic, crappy as all h*ll Ford Focus I had before. That thing could barely get up the hill outside my office! Now handling the hill is a breeze! Anywho, having the Juke and also a Suzuki SV650 motorcycle, I occasionally can't help but go fast! Speed limit is 65? That's nice,... I think I'll go about 70...75...80....I just don't do this very often, the bad thing is the paranoia I get knowing I do not want to be paying any speeding tickets anytime soon!

Anyone reading this ever watch American Dad? There's an episode where Francine gets bored of her and Stan's weekly date night since they go to the same restaurant, the same day of the week, same time, each and every week! She wants some adventure! At a stop light heading home from the restaurant one night, a guy in a 'fancy' car starts revving and makes eye contact with Stan! She says something like "Oh, Stan! That guy wants to race you! You should!!" Stan replies, "I know exactly what I'm going to do.. (light turns green, the guy shoots forward and Stan pulls out his cell phone) I'm going to call the cops, he shouldn't be driving like that!" Needless to say, Francine is a little frustrated but then she's got it in her head that she wants Stan to RACE! She becomes obsessed until he finally uses a friend's help to juice up their SUV, races it for a bit til she realizes they're a little old for that kind of life... I kinda feel her pain in the boredom, but what she maybe SHOULD have done was what we did: go to a race and just watch!!

F1 is a 3-day event full of cars driving around the track as you look on and marvel at the speed, the sound, the shinies!!! The first 2 days are mostly just practice sessions, then qualifiers (which determine best track speeds they use in the line-up order for the actual races) and then finally, the races themselves! Day 1, we sat in our Turn 12 seats for a little bit, but then decided to walk around the track and see what the General Admission areas views were. Impressively, there are a ton of awesome views from the GA spots so we'll probably do those more often than not for all the other races we plan on attending. We got pretty good views of the practice sessions though and I tried taking a bunch of pictures, but apparently my phone camera wasn't as good as I thought. I did get a bunch of videos but will only post my own pictures as you can easily google images and youtube videos that are far better quality than mine! Day 2 was the qualifiers and the first Ferrari race as well as the Historic Cars race. The most exciting part about the latter was that one of the cars spun out right in front of us in Turn 12 to face the wrong way, and we all held our breaths as the other cars behind him came around the bend and barely missed him! If one of these cars gets destroyed, that's thousands of dollars down the drain, not to mention the fact that these cars are 20-40 years old I believe!!!

Day 3 was the Porsche GT3 race, the 2nd Ferrari race and finally, the F1. It was sooo exciting seeing all these cars racing, the F1s are so loud you HAVE to have earplugs or else your ears will hate you! The Porsche race saw some excitement when 2 cars made contact around our turn and one blew it's radiator and barely was able to finish that last lap to cross the finish line! Yikes!! Then there's the F1.... 55 laps of loud!! I didn't know who to root for, but when 2nd place finally passed 1st in lap 43 and kept that lead? That was definitely exciting!

The stats from the day are that about 60K+ attended Thursday, 80K+ people attended Friday and 112K+ attended Sunday!! 80% of the ticket sales were outside Texas and 46 countries were represented in Austin with the people that came out!! Needless to say, it was crowded and there were people! People everywheeeeere!! 

Ok, I'm done blabbing on and will show you the pics I did get. Apologies on the quality as they were with my phone's camera, but, you get the idea of where we sat and what we got to see!

Sign as we were walking the path to get in the stadium. The path was probably about a mile from the entrance to the shuttle station and we realized this was in fact necessary as Sunday after all was done, the line was completely backed up from the shuttles to the entrance!! It was crazy packed and sooo insaaaane!!

We called the one on the left Moose Boy bc of the 'horn' on top! lol

My $12 Long Island Tea in a collectible glass; it's not a pint glass, but I like it! And the drink was pretty good too!

The tower off in the distance...
On the left are the teams tents and prep area.

All in all, it was a VERY fun weekend and I can't wait for next year, when I'll have more knowledge about what's going on and will have decided on who to root for in each race!  TTFN!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Halloween 2012 - The Big Reveal and Pics!!

Here you have it!! The final product of all the work I put in to Halloween for 2012!!


Yet another ghoul I got done and up.... Don't ask how I got him up there without a ladder though, it included a stool.. on top of a chair.... and yeahhh.... surprisingly stable, but will (try) not to do again!

There was fishing line hanging across the doorway to the mini-hall for the bathroom that people had to walk under to get to the bathroom....Hanging fishing line makes for invisible creepies when you're least expecting it!
Welcome to my spooky village.....

It was also my bff's birthday party and thank goodness she had a blast! ;)

I just HAD to have a friend make this for me!! Even though I don't really eat guacamole.... shhhh!!

These are the only pumpkins carved for the contest I tried to do! :(
Hopefully next year's entries will be more plentiful!!! **fingers crossed!!**
Jello shot brain and skeleton heads and fingers!! Yum!!!

 Last but not least, me!! I attempted to be the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, and using my great grandma's dress, a corset that matched and some fake blood....

Unfortunately, since the corset is a real one, with double german steel boning and the fact that I'd been going non-stop that day (had a contest that morning for a group called Toastmasters first thing that day and wasn't prepared for a late start, late end and still had to finish food prep) and had little to eat, I could only keep the dress and corset on for a few hours. Somehow, the idea of getting a really good shot of my whole outfit before taking it off just did NOT occur to me!! :'( But you get the general idea....

Well guys, there you have it!! My Halloween decorations and party for 2012! Lemme know what you think in the comments!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Halloween and my obsession with DIY decorations - Pt 3 - 2012

For the final installation of my Halloween 2012 DIY decorations posts, I will begin with a PVC pipe ghoul! Reference: Making a standing ghoul

My ghoul!! A bit of chain, an old cape used for Renn Faire and the pvc pipe frame! Creepy, no?

I didn't get a chance to make hands, but people seemed to like him as-is. Next year though I plan on getting this guy hands so he can be properly shackled up! ;)

Next, a really simple creepy mirror! Reference: Spooky Mirror

For mine, I used a mirror my friend let me borrow and since I didn't wanna mess it up, I put a layer of crinkled up foil, spray painted it black, taped on the image above, added some web and voila!! It looked a little creepier when you walked by though since it was in a half-hallway through the front door of our house, but a few people did say it creeped them out!

Next, we have spiders!! Tons of them!! Coming out of the fireplace!! This one has no reference as I cam up with it all by my awesome self! ;)

I wanted to make my own spider web and spider but wasn't able to do so due to time constraints and a lot of day job business going on :( The web would have been a braided white yarn with some sort of frame and the spider I was thinking black yarn finger knitted for the legs, and maybe balloons and/or papier mache'd body parts. People seemed to be sufficiently creeped by this alone however, so I called it a success!

The spiders were stuck on the wall with just a little ball of tacky putty and the spider is one of those posable cardboard ones you can get pretty cheap usually. Tape that guy up, make it look like she's crawling down the wall, using the picture frame and curtain rods for footholds, tape and pin up a bunch of fake webbing...done!!

Something small I tried doing that didn't turn out quite like I wanted, again, time constraints.. a Pet Cemetary of sorts. No reference, but here's the picture showing what I did:

Front of the house, Halloween night.
This is more a picture of the front of the house and most of what I did for Halloween night, but we set the 'gravestones' out in my garden. The 'gravestones' were made with little boxes a friend got ahold of real cheap in bulk, about the size of the USPS $5 flat rate boxes that I painted gray and then put names on. I didn't get to put little stories on them, but I had Dolly 1, Dolly 2, Flipper, Seymour (from Futurama), Hooch (Turner and Hooch, movie with Tom Hanks), Cujo (of course!), Grundy (from the DC Comics Universe, a zombie supervillain but bf said he's considered more of a pet so.. **shrug**) and lastly, Old Yeller lol. Spread some webbing on the bushes, strung the cheapie little bag ghosts from the trees, set out the pvc ghoul on the tree and there ya go!

The last thing of real notice I wanted to show is a creepy, cheap village you can put on your counter! Reference: DIY Dollar Store Halloween Village

General haul when I went shopping one day. The porcelain villages are what I'm trying to point out in this one.
Example of the people I got to use.
All laid out, ready to paint!
Spray painted a layer on front and back to cover everything up with some black paint, including the little trees!

After spray painting, including an awesome wire tree I got at the Goodwill for just $1!!
My creepy village all laid out on the bar. I found some black scrap fabric, taped it down, and got some webbing and spray adhesive to spread it out. Then I just set the houses, trees and people around and boom! Spooky Dollar Store Village! I think all this only cost me $11!!
I'll go ahead and end here and next post will be the big reveal and all the pictures I've got from that night!! I wish I had more, but C'est La Vie......

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Halloween and my obsession with DIY decorations - Pt 2 - 2012

In this post, I will show you some of the awesome ideas I found and tried for my Halloween party/decorations for 2012. 

First of all, chain! Those plastic chains you can get at the store for about $5-$10 for maybe a few feet? Psshaww!! That's what I have to say!! The reason being is that it is SO easy to make  your own!! Now, it may not have all the details the plastic chain would, but you can always add your own details later!! The site I used for reference was : Tutorials: Easy Chain Pipe Insulation

And voila!! a 6' tube of pipe insulation = 12.5' of homemade chain!!! Once done, you can just add a slight spray of a light gray paint or even black to texture it up, and you're good to go!

Next on the list? Dripping candles!! Fake, mind you, but awesome dripping candles that you can reuse each year!! Reference? How-to: Making a Faux Dripping Candelabra

I didn't actually use the instructions though, just the idea, so mine didn't turn out quite like I wanted. They still look pretty awesome though IMHO and there's always next year to make them better!!

Grab yourself a PVC pipe (I used a 3" diameter by 6' for about $7.50) and a Miter Saw to cut them

Glue gun (with very old sticks apparently that ended up more yellow than clear!)

Spray paint white to cover the yellowed glue and the blue lettering on the sides of the pipes

Add bases the candles can sit on

Yay fake candles!!

I was actually too paranoid to light these for my Halloween party however as bf was worried if anyone knocked them enough, the styrofoam would go up in flames!! When I fix these up next year, I'm going to try and adjust what the candles are sitting on more like the original post and also maybe find clear glue sticks (see: new) and make them a bit more drippy. Thing is, I can totally see using these guys throughout the rest of the year also!! Red and green for Xmas, brown, orange and gold for the fall/Thanksgiving, pastels for Easter? I might have to try these out as well as maybe different ways to create easy bases/insides so you don't have to worry about lighting them and will let you guys know how all that turns out!

Next on the list? Bats!! And instead of just buying the plastic bats to put on the wall, here's an idea: cut out of paper and put on the wall AND string from the ceiling!! Reference : Flight of the Bats

Tried getting a good perspective shot.

And another.

Closer-up of the bats.

And re-used some of the bats for Halloween night on the wall to our front door.

My bf is the one who cut out all the bats, free-hand no less!! I couldn't believe how good these guys turned out and yes, I'm so jealous he can do that!!! And they only cost me about $5 for the 50-pk of black cardstock, some fishing line and a handful of clear push pins! He adapted the handle of a broom with a socket that the pushpin could sit in with the metal part sticking out, I would reach up and just pop those suckers in the ceiling! The other end of the handle with the loop isn't perfect, but it works in catching the edge of the pins later to get them back down again!

Something easier you can get the kids to help with is Finger Weaving! My brother taught me how to do this when I was younger but a reference for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about or how to do it: How to Finger Knit

I mixed orange and black at the same time. A little harder to do the knitting, but you get used to it.

Works like a charm for using as a type of garland!!
It may not be shiny, but if you only spend the $4 or so each on black and orange yarn, you can easily get many yards of garland to use as you wish!! I wasn't able to measure exactly how long these skeins got me, but the ball when I wrapped it all up was about 7"-8" in diameter!! I only used about a 1/3rd to do this decoration, and saved the rest for next year. 

I'm going to go ahead and wrap up part 2 as this is getting long, and there's still a few more things I wanna show you guys plus the reveal for the full effect later!! 

Craft ya laters!!