Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's In A Name?

Every so often I think about the name of my blog--Suck At Home Mom.  I chose it purposely, because three years ago I was terrible at this stay at home thing.  I was incredibly hard on myself, and I was definitely lost without the constant interaction of the people I used to work with.

But over the last few months I've come to realize how much I'm thriving.  I'm able to write more than I had in years.  I'm working on a novel.  I've been published on The Good Men Project, The Huffington Post, and BlogHer.  I've been involved in writing communities, and I've gotten the hang of being at home with the kids and not needing to do something every minute.  Punkgirl remarked the other day--"You slay at this.  At being a mom at home."  I've shown my kids the workaholic mom--how could they not see it?  They were in the same school where I worked, and felt it keenly every time I chose to finish my work instead of seeing what they were doing.  

This isn't a working mom criticism--it's a working me criticism.  I give my all to any job--and that includes the one at home.  So in doing so, for me, it later came to hurt me.  Because just one comment from Punkgirl--"remember when you went out of the house to work, and you never had time to read our stuff or give us challenges or play games with us?"

That cut me to the quick.  She has begged me not to go back to work, and despite a desire to see other adults and have conversations that don't revolve around diapers or drama, I haven't.  And I failed at that at first...but now, I feel like I'm finally coming into my own.  Like I'm owning the s-a-h-m role.  Like I'm slaying it.  

So without further ado...over the next few months I will be changing my site from Suck At Home Mom's Cranky Blog...To Slay At Home Mom's Nerdy Blog.  I'm going to try to take the two things I love to do--activities with the kids, and all things  nerdy--into one blog.  Wish me luck, and I hope you'll love the new blog as much as the old!  (Feedback is always appreciated!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Make Mine Marvel" (Shoes)

     This week is DIY week at Camp Roffey, and in preparation I bought myself a nice bottle of Mod Podge.  I decided to try out a little project I've been thinking about, and with Boston Comic Con coming up in a few short weeks, I felt like it was just the right time.
     With an old pair of shoes, some Mod Podge, a sponge brush, and a free comic magazine I got at the recent Free Comic Book Day, I was ready to make myself a pair of unique, Comic Con-worthy heels to go with my "Ms. Marvel" costume for this year.

     First, gather your ingredients.  I would add to this photo a pair of plastic or latex gloves, because I used my hands a lot!  

You will need:
-Pair of shoes (I used heels, but you can use flats it sneakers too.)
-Mod Podge (I used matte, but you can use glossy if that's your preference.)
-Heavy quality comic (you can get these in the dollar bins at your local comic shop, just make sure that you get the thicker paper, not the old thin will probably work, but the colors are less vibrant and I suspect you'll need several more layers of Mod Podge.)  Also, make sure you get an extra copy to keep, so you won't feel guilty about cutting one of them up. 
-Tracing paper (I used a large clear plastic baggie and that worked fine)
-Sharpie marker
-X-acto knife (for trimming unsightly edges)
-Sponge brush for the Mod Podge
-The aforementioned gloves

I also kept a wet wipe handy for wiping off any excess Mod Poodge from the shoe...and my hands.

Step 1.  Trace the sides and front (and any other surface you plan to cover) of your shoe and cut them out.

Don't worry--it doesn't have to be perfect, that's why you have an X-acto knife!

Step 2.  Choose your "background" pieces and cut them out of the comic.  I like to leave a nice white trim around any comic panels so that it gives a nice "comic book" feel.  Lay these onto the shoe templates and cut to the shape of the template.  I don't have a picture of this step as I didn't think of it until after I had painstakingly fit the comic pieces to the shoe.  I like to try to make the colors on the outside and front of the shoes similar on both shoes, to give them more of a "matching shoes" feel.
Edit:  Step 2A:  Also cut out superheroes or scenes that you want to go on the top layer, so they are ready and you can place them on the background as you go (see step 6)

Step 3.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the shoe.  Don't cover the whole shoe--just the area where your next piece is going.  The key is to apply it evenly and try to have no big lumps or bubbles.

Step 4:  Place the cut-out comic piece on top of the Mod Podge, smoothing it out as much as possible.
I like to line the top up first, and I like to leave the trim of the shoe visible--but if you don't, you can simply apply Mod Podge inside the rim of the shoe and carefully fold the comic edge over.  Once the top is placed perfectly, I lift the bottom edge and apply a little more Mod Podge.  I smoothe the bottom down as best as possible, and use the X-acto to trim any excess.  I used my fingers to gently work any bubbles out of the paper.  It was messy but oddly satisfying.  Gently lift and re-work the paper if you need to, but make sure to put more Mod Podge on to hold it down tightly.

Step 5:  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the chosen piece, smoothing out any bumps or bubbles.  

Step 6:  After your background pieces are on, and each has a thin layer of Mod Podge Add your favorite heroes on top.  The method is the same--apply Mod Podge, then apply the piece, then apply Mod Podge on top. If you work quickly enough, you can add the top pieces to the existing layer of Mod Podge.

You can see here I've added some of my favorite ladies on top of the bottom layer.  

Continue all the way around the shoe, applying Mod Podge whenever you add a piece to a new area.  Cover any gaps or flaws with a small cut-out hero.
"I'm the best at what I do.  But what I do isn't very nice."

Don't worry--we're going to cover that gap, and any other flaws, with more of my favorite characters.


Now, this is not a necessary step, but I found the back of the shoe to be slightly difficult when it comes to bumps and wrinkles.  I added two of my favorite characters (who I totally still "ship") to the back, and even with the wrinkles, they covered any overt gaps and made me super happy in the process:

Finally, Step 7:  Use your X-acto to clean up any edges (I'm not talented enough to do that and take a picture, sorry.)
Then add at least one more layer of Mod Podge (leaving 15 minutes before applying additional layers.  You'll know you're done when the shoe is smoothe and slightly stiff all the way around.)

To make your shoes waterproof, be sure to spray them with an acrylic spray that says "waterproof" on it.

And that's it!  Now you too can be "Ms. Marvel!"