Monday, August 29, 2011

I did it myself

Yesterday was lovely and relaxing. I spent most of the morning with good friends, then went out with the offspring to get a couple zippers and to look at birthday-related things. Though I'd planned to finish up at least one of the skirts I'd started to make for her, I got on a crayon-making kick. You see, I've wanted to make new crayons from old since I was a wee one and when Crayola finally came out with a crayon maker, I was thrilled and went right out and bought one. Unfortunately, the mold wasn't very sturdy and crumbled after a while (several years, I think) and there aren't any replacements, so I can't make crayon-shaped crayons anymore. I had an idea that one might take candy molds instead, so I thought I'd give it a try. Blending colors is a little different with this process and in order to get the streaks and swirls that the original crayon maker made, you have to start with a base color and add shavings and other bits of color after the hot wax is poured into the mold. It helps if the wax is good and hot so it melts the shavings on contact. If you were to try this at home, only use low heat and good crayon pieces. Crayola and Rose Art are fine, but I wouldn't use anything else.

The results were great! The only difficulty I have now is that I haven't got enough crayon pieces. If ever there was an indication that I need to color more, that's it.

 My other Sunday project was to finally replace the taillights on my car. Generally, I like to have someone else do car maintenance and repair for me, but I had the utmost confidence I could do it. The hardest part was remembering which wires went where and putting the bulbs back in. They're a little fussy, but I eventually managed. It turns out that there's this vast underworld of people who restore Volvos. Who knew? At any rate, this means that I can the parts I need and short of anything that requires me to take parts of the engine out, I can fix things on my car. Woo! Next on my list is the head liner fabric and any of the bits of missing trim I can find. I can even get a replacement hinge for the little door that goes over the gas cap.

Look at that butt

I'm certain there are professionals that could have done a much better job of it, but the brake lights and turn signals all function and it looks a hundred percent better than before. Throwing out the old lights was cathartic and I've been walking around with my head a little higher ever since. Sure, it wasn't a major job, but it was my job and I did it myself.