oh god what have I done

ok so... my build a bass box from The FretWire showed up just a few min ago and I wanted to get some thoughts down here before they get lost...

First thought... OOOH I HAVE A THING!

Then I opened the box

I should have left it sealed.. then it would be Schrödinger's bass in a box

Ok this isn't so bad.. let's start opening it.

Body in the box well it looks pretty enough, but I have to be honest. It's going to need a fair amount of sanding. It's rough to the touch but it's unsealed so that will make it nice for stain prep. the cuts at the neck pocket are a little rough and will need some work. The binding at the neck pocket is a rough as well and I have no idea what I'll be doing with that...

Stay Tuned!


Owie Neck

Let's look at the neck:

Again.. it sure looks pretty

BUT... that nut has to go. It's plastic, ugly, and not leveled. I ran my hand up the neck and yup it needs a good sanding. While I was running the neck I noticed that the fret ends were awfully sharp... wanna guess how i know? It bit me

Yup the damn thing bit me.. At least I didn't bleed on the neck. I'd hate to think what that would do to the attempted finish..

Can one stain over blood?

I'm thinking about leaving it stained wood with no top coat and I hope to be able to figure out how to do a stripe up the center of the neck.

The bottom of the neck needs some love too. It fits nicely in the pocket but there is some slight gaping where they meet in the body binding.

I was afraid that was gonna be a thing. I'll have to get creative

Or better yet.. I'll ask Anne (Oh Honey???)


Have you noticed the plastic bag on the corner? The one I am avoiding?

I know what's in there.. I just don't want to look

all the painI told you not look

but did you listen


this bag has all the electronics, pickups, knobs, wiring, tuning machines and all the little pieces that will make noise

Oh and some strings I will honestly never use. I'll get the heavy gauge strings I love so much when it's time for final assembly. Until then, I'll use those strings for testing, leveling the neck and then just cut them off.



Final thoughts..


I dunno but I'm going to have some fun sorting it all out.



John Bought A Bass Kit


A few months ago a facebook friend sent me a website where you could buy some really cheap basses

I couldn’t believe Pretty Ibanez Bassthey were selling basses for $99 and I found this beautiful Ibanez Artcore AFB200. After a couple days of drooling, I pulled the trigger and gave them my credit card… then guess what happened


At least PayPal refunded my money

Of course, the trackers were paying attention and told Facebook I was looking for a new bass so all my ads were basses, and then Amazon said oh you want a bass? Here are 4.835.798 to look at


THANK YOU AMAZON… cuz they showed me the bass I was drooling over, And they had 5 of them

Now, if you know me at all you know that I have a very hard time buying things for myself… there is always something else that money is better spent on. In the grand scheme of things $549 isn’t a lot. I have some savings, a decent job, and there was a stimulus check coming in.


Another Pretty Ibanez

But I had to talk myself into it and that can take a week or two… by time I was ready to do it they were all gone. ALL gone

I mean not a single one was for sale on all the interwebs.

I guess there was no cool new hollow body or semi hollowbody for me… not that I NEED a new bass

Fast forward into the near distant future (like 5 whole days) and I come across an Amazon ad for a build your own bass kit that I jokingly showed to Anne and told her she can paint me a new bass

We all laughed and laughed and laughed


OH WAIT A DAMN SECOND.. they actually have a semi hollow do it yourself bass

The FretWire Kit

No fucking way

 So I ordered it…

And now I get to wait for it to get here and then I get to take all of those little pieces and make in instrument out of it

But first I have to finish it

Oh shit… you know I’m the tech guy right… I am NOT crafty and I can’t paint for the life of me


HELP ME!!!!!

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links




Making a Mid Century Modern Chair


I decided to try and make a video for my blog today instead of writing my normal novel length post, because to be honest, our YouTube channel needs the boost!



Amazon Affiliate Supply Links:

Let me know on Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit what you think, do you like the video post better than a written one?

Modern Doodling


When I was a kid I would go visit my grandparents at their photos and frames shop. My grandpa was a photographer and would also frame them while my grandma did all the book work. I would sit at a big desk and doodle on the scrap pieces of mat board. To this day my grandma still has some of these drawings. They always gave me confidence that my stuff was SO good even if it was just a heart or star.

Now that I’m older I still love to doodle when I’m feeling a bit uninspired or bored. Since getting my iPad and the procreate app it’s become even easier to do. Different colors and “brushes” are all right there for me with endless possibilities.

My favorite thing to draw are basically a collage of different flowers. It gives me a chance to test out different color combos and the different brushes that come with the app.

Another bonus is that there is literally zero mess that I make on my desk since it’s all digital. There’s fun effects I’ve played with like this “Liquify” feature where you put your colors randomly on the canvas and then you can manipulate them to look like tie dye.

These aren’t really made for a purpose so to speak, which I think is why I love doing it so often. I get to practice using the app and just let myself go creatively, a win/win in my book. 

Another thing I like to do besides the flowers is make my own backgrounds for my phone. I used to search hours on Pinterest for the perfect ones to match the season and my mood. Which yes, I realize sounds a little bit ridiculous but that’s just me.

So yeah, when I’m not doing dot mandalas or my digital portraits, this is kind of my jam. It all kind of intertwines because I discover new color palettes to use for my mandalas and learn new features of the app for my portraits.

Making Things When You're Struggling


So, I’ve been having a rough week. Very little has happened that is actually bad, and the bad that has happened is all very impermanent and surmountable, but it’s been exacerbating the anxious and depressive parts of me. Despite what broody artist stereotypes may tell you, I find it very difficult to make things when I’m feeling like that. I can make art while I'm struggling, but it takes so much more time and energy, and the results are rarely as good as the thing I make when I'm feeling okay. I get frustrated easier by projects and give them up faster when I'm already depressed or anxious. Despite that, I have managed to make a few low energy required things. I tried the glass painting trend with one of my sketchbook pieces (though I didn’t think to take progress pictures).

I’ve made some progress on my cross stitch.

I’ve started up a new embroidery kit while I couldn’t sleep.

And during another night of not sleeping, I drew a piece in the dark that actually turned out pretty cool. Sketchbook painting in the dark is probably something I’m going to try more of.

Working when I’m struggling is tricky. I tend to feel like I shouldn’t be sitting still. Like if I’m not doing something productive then I’m failing. That I’m dooming myself to continued failure. Pausing makes me feel worse, but pushing myself leaves me feeling exhausted. And it’s all so much worse because I do love making things. It makes me feel better if I can manage to do it, but I can’t always make myself do it. I think the trick in those moments (which, by the way, I’m still trying to get the hang of), is to not beat myself up about it.

I know I’m not the only person who suffers from this type of struggle. Some people have it worse, and some have it better. And you know what? No matter how much or how little depression or anxiety or insomnia or other mental illness or physical illness or hurt or whatever you are going through, you are fucking valid. You deserve rest when you need it. You deserve love. You deserve encouragement. You deserve a better fucking tomorrow and an even better day after that. Anything that tells you otherwise- whether it’s coming from the people around you or from that evil little voice that likes to taunt us from within our own heads- is an asshole and should be disregarded with extreme contempt. Give yourself space to feel and be. Take steps forward when you can, and pause when you need to, for as long as you need to. Just as long as you keep going.

We are all valid.

A Whole Lot of Nothing is Still Something


Yesterday I realized my blog post was due today, and I was not prepared. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling remotely human, I worked ahead on a bunch of things for Sketchyville. Then the cyclical anxiety/depression slump hit, and I thought my pre-planning would carry me through. Yet here I am, needing to write a post, with nothing cohesive to share with you.

It’s not that I haven’t been making anything, because I have, I just haven’t been making anything with the intention of sharing it anywhere other than on Instagram. I’m crafting just to make things, and I’m missing the progress photos I like to take when I’m showing you my process.

So, with that in mind, I figured I’d share a project I’m trying to wrap up. Forgive me if this post isn’t as cohesive as some of my other ones.

I follow a miniaturist online who I really adore, and has given me so much inspiration over the last year. Her name is Ara, and she runs Bentley House Minis. She’s really amazing, and if you have any interest at all in crafting miniatures, be sure to check out her YouTube channel.

 After binge watching her entire YouTube channel I subscribed to her Patreon last fall. There, a group project was conceived where we would all start with a book box, and make a project about our favorite book. It’s really fun to see the different things people do with the same materials. It really shows how creativity is limitless!

I decided for my book box, I was going to use a setting from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. It’s about Harry Dresden, a modern day wizard living in Chicago, who fights all the big supernatural baddies that normal humans don’t know exist. Harry has a wizard’s lab in his basement, and that’s what I chose to make for my diorama.

The first thing I did was to decorate the outside of the box.

I did it the same way I made the 2020 Room Box, except instead of cutting out pieces for the front, I cut out a whole panel so the details would look engraved. I also glued embroidery floss to the page portion of the book (an idea from one of Ara’s Patreon livestreams), which I painted over to mimic pages.

Next I did the walls and floor for the inside.

Harry gets to his lab through a hatch in the floor of his kitchen, and the book is very specific about there being stairs leading to the basement. I couldn’t wrap my head around how that would work without him bumping his head constantly, especially since he’s over six feet tall. It wasn’t until after I’d posted my progress photos on Patreon and someone said they were probably “galley stairs,” that I saw how it was supposed to work. At that point I had already superglued my stairs in though, so if you read the books after seeing my diorama, you'll have to picture Harry fighting demons with a perpetual bruise on his forehead.

You’re welcome.

I wanted to make it look like the book was opening up onto this scene, so I copied a couple of pages from one of the books and glued them onto the walls. Then I used joint compound to make a craggy stucco texture on the walls to embed the pages in.

There’s also a part in one of the books where Harry digs up a portion of the floor to bury something nasty, and then cements over it. So a patch of new cement stands out against the old in his basement. I mimicked that by using joint compound in one place on the floor, and not painting it as dark as the rest of the floor.

Add in a ton of aging to make it look like a 100 year old dirty basement, and the scene is set. It’s time to make the furnishings.

I don’t sketch out my dollhouses and dioramas. I’m terrible at sketching and drawing, it just frustrates me because I really want to be good at it, but I’m not. So to figure out dimensions and layout, I use bits of paper to mimic the items I want/need to make. I buy origami paper for this and a lot of my other crafting because it’s colorful, cheap, and easy to fold.

I also keep a list of items that need to be made for the project in an app that I can access from my computer or my phone, it also allows me to check off things when I’ve finished them.

In the books, Harry has an elemental spirit trapped in a skull that he calls Bob. Bob is an encyclopedia of magical knowledge, a bit of a rogue with an addiction to romance novels, and he absolutely had to be in my diorama. The problem for me was that Bob’s eyes glow, so that meant making a battery operated glowing skull.

I’m not good with electronics, but I thought if I gutted a battery operated tealight, I could use that to make him light up. Yea, not so much... It turns out those tealights don’t have actual switches in them, and I wrestled with the problem for two days before I finally went to John for help. He bought a pack of tiny switches for me, and after that it was easy as pie to get this guy working.



A post shared by Anne (@art.and.anxiety)


Next up was a ton of books, some old ones for researching magic, and a few romance novels for Bob.

I made these the same way I showed you in a previous blog post. I cut the spines off of old magazines, glued the covers around the spines, and then trimmed them down to the size of the book.

Then I made Harry’s notebook, which I’m super proud of. When I showed it to John he told me I was insane.

Yea, and?

I gutted a pen to steal the spring, and then measured how far apart the coils on the spring are (it’s 2mm in case you were curious). Then, I cut a piece of matboard to the size of my spiral notebook, and poked holes along the edge for the spring to be threaded through. To fake the look of pages, I took a craft knife and separated the layers of matboard along the corners, then bent the cover portion a little bit to make it look used. As a last finishing touch, I rubbed some pastel powder in strategic spots to give it some grunge.

In the series, Harry ends up taking on an apprentice, and gives her a desk in the lab where she can work on her magical studies. Now it should be noted, it’s mentioned in the books that most of Harry’s furniture comes from thrift stores and garbage piles. So just about everything in my diorama is beat up to a certain extent.

I made the desk out of 3mm plywood that I cut with my laser. I had originally intended to have the drawers open, but I’m still learning design, and I forgot a measurement when I designed it. Future Anne will fix the design sometime when she’s not in a brain fog, but a desk with non-functioning drawers is just fine for this project.

To get the aged look, I painted the desk with three different colors, and then sanded through the layers in different places. I made sure to go completely through the paint on the top of the desk where it would have gotten the most abuse. I also grunged it up a little more with black pastel before sealing it with a matte spray.

Next I needed a map.

Harry tracks Denarian activity (just read the books) on a map of the US in his lab using red and green push pins. To make the pins, I rolled out tiny snakes of polymer clay, and then baked the snakes. Once they had cooled, I chopped them into little pieces with my craft knife, and glued them onto the map.

Lastly, every wizard needs some jars filled with weird things.

These are made with UV resin, tiny bottles, and polymer clay. The green one glows in the dark, just because I felt like it should.

Yea... I need a manicure. Don't judge!

Neeley pushed me into doing the snake, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull it off, but I’m pretty happy with it.

Now you’re all caught up with what I’ve been doing.  I’m about halfway done with this project. I still have another table to build for a miniature, little Chicago. I have the summoning circle made, but not installed yet. I have some boxes made to go under the stairs and in some other locations, but they’re also not finished yet. AND, I have a bunch more items left to make for the tables and shelves.

Here’s what it looks like so far though.

The cat is named Mister. He’s going to get his tail bobbed and a repaint, and then he’ll be attacking a catnip bag suspended over little Chicago. So go ahead and add him to my list of things to do…

So yea, that’s what I’ve been up to. What’s new with you?

P.S. If you’d like a more in depth tutorial of any of the items I’ve made for this project, just let me know on Instagram, Reddit, or Facebook and I’d be happy to do that for you!

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links

Always Add More Glitter


This last week I FINALLY (mostly)  finished a project that I’ve been meaning to get to for probably at least 3 months. I tend to hoard things I can do mandalas on until I feel some sort of inspiration.

Anne had printed me out this beautiful beluga whale that had a top piece with a mandala/henna type design on it and originally I planned to do dot mandalas on the bottom portion. However, because the top piece is so beautiful I didn’t want to take away from it so I came up with a different idea.

First I painted the top whale with black and learned very quickly how fragile this was because I busted off a small piece of the design within the first 10 seconds. Then I used three different colors and ombre’d them together randomly for the bottom whale. This took me a lot longer than I was expecting since some of the colors were less opaque than I anticipated. Once I finished that and let it dry I had an idea to do kind of a night sky and added some “stars”. I took a dry paint brush and dipped it in a little white acrylic paint and used my thumb to almost flick the paint to make small specs (holy shit did I make a mess). Then using a detail brush I went in and made some actual stars which I ended up having to redo later because when I placed the top piece over it, they were covered completely.

To put it together I used wood glue and placed it around the edges of the base piece then secured it with some clips, which Anne gave me from her collection of craft supplies. I tried not to be too aggressive with the glue so it didn’t seep into the middle where I knew I wanted to put resin.

As I worked on this I had a little girl in mind who appreciates whales as much as I do and what does any three year old need? Glitter! Lots and lots of glitter. I took a little white iridescent glitter and put it into a needle nose bottle, then added my resin in after. I shook the hell out of it for a good 10 minutes to get the glitter mixed evenly.

My fingers hurt so bad by the end of this from trying to squeeze the resin out into each individual open area of the whale. I would have to say it was worth it though because I love how it came out. After my first layer of resin I mixed up another batch with even more glitter because you really can never have enough. I let this sit in a window that gets good light for a full day to make sure it was cured.

I still haven’t decided if I should leave the top a matte finish or shine it up. Leave a comment and let me know which one you think I should do!


A Series of Unfortunate Product Tests


Honestly, I shouldn’t be trusted with money.

Like many people in the US, I got my stimulus check this week. And like a (not so) responsible adult, I used (at least part of) it to buy craft supplies. Did you expect any different from me?

It gets worse than that. Instead of waiting for my money to arrive, like a normal person, I put in an order at Culture Hustle last week as soon as I saw that the bill had been signed. That’s what credit cards are for, right?

If you haven’t heard of Culture Hustle before, and you like reading about art drama, I highly recommend that you look up their story. I won’t relay it, simply because I’d be too worried I’d mess it up and somehow get sued or something, but it’s a very entertaining read that involves a good deal of spite, but also an intent to share. Two of my favorite things!

My package of art goodies ended up arriving before my check, so to kill two birds with one bit of financial irresponsibility, I decided to test them all for my blog post this week! Yay!

Well… that didn’t go so well. The products themselves were good, but my method of testing was… flawed. You’ll see.

I decided to test using little engraved wood pieces with some of my designs on them. I’ve been running cut tests on these as possible earrings/pins for my Etsy store, so I have a bunch of them laying around. I thought a lot of the paints and things I ordered would be cool on these wood chips. Oh was I a sweet summer child- the base material fought me in every respect.

To start with, I primed all the wood pieces with matte mod podge. I saw that at least some of the paints worked better on a non porous surface, so I figured that I’d just prime them all and save myself some headache later. Then I painted about half of them with Black 2.0… The first product I was testing.

Black 2.0 is Culture Hustle’s more commercially available and sustainable answer to Vantablack. If you don’t know what Vantablack is, I’m going to suggest again that you look up Anish Kapoor, as well as Stuart Semple’s founding of Culture Hustle. The art spite is *chef’s kiss.* As someone who always wants my black to be a bit darker, I was excited to try Black 2.0, which is supposed to be very matte in a way that makes it appear darker than most blacks.

In many ways Black 2.0 delivered on that. It is super matte. You can see in my photo that the paint utterly obscures the details of the engraving in the photo, and that’s hugely due to its utter matteness. Is it the super dark black I hoped for? Eh. I think in person it looks a touch (but only just a touch) grey. Don’t get me wrong, I think it works great, and for a lot of applications it’s going to work amazingly to sell the look of a super dark black. I think I was just hoping (without ever having been promised so) that the black would be the rich dark black that happens when I turn all the color sliders to 100% in a digital art program, instead of the normal default black. So in summary, it’s a very cool paint, I just have unreachable expectations.

I left the Black 2.0 to sit overnight, and in the morning, I was ready to play with the rest of my new toys. I started with the product I was most excited for - Mirror. You see, ever since Mirror came out, I’ve been seeing gorgeous videos of people pouring out little reflective pools of what looks like liquid chrome.

And guess what? I got my sexy pour moment. It was glorious. Mirror lived up to my expectations, with the one caveat that I feel like this would work better on a smoother surface than I was testing on. On the wood the Mirror picked up every bit of texture, and it dulled the shine a little. A nice smooth surface would highlight the reflectivity way better. I also would recommend using this on pieces where you don’t have to try to work around details. At first I was trying to paint around the engravings on my wood piece, and that didn’t work well. Mirror is a solvent based paint, so it gums brushes up very quickly, making it difficult to paint cleanly around details.

Next, I played with Dazzle, Culture Hustle’s eco friendly glitter. I’m a ho for glitter, so when I saw that Culture Hustle has a biodegradable glitter, I knew I needed to try it. I used their Stick (a sticky medium designed to apply dry media to things) on the areas that I wanted to have glitter, poured the glitter over it, tapped off the excess, and voila! I had glitter all over my living room! The Stick actually worked really well. I got a good amount of glitter everywhere I had applied Stick, and it looked great! The glitter didn’t look that different from traditional glitters, but I noticed that it felt less shard-like than plastic glitters. My only complaint with the glitter is that I wish it came in more colors. Hopefully down the line Culture Hustle comes out with a supplementary set, but in the meantime I am going to have to look elsewhere for biodegradable glitter in some of my favorite colors (like purple and pink.) Again, the one thing that defeated me here was my choice in material to test on. The glitter and Stick did fine on the wood, but I was really struggling to work around the teeny engraved details on my wood pieces. Once the glitter was on, the lettering got a bit obscured. The glitter is gorgeous, just make sure you give it enough space to be legible when you use it.

Next I played with Rainbow…. Rainbow is a topcoat that changes color based on heat. It comes with an intimidating list of care instructions (apparently Rainbow is “living” and has to be kept in the fridge and shaken repeatedly). So, with a careful hand, I painted it all over my Three Eyed Cat design and waited… and nothing happened. At least, that’s what I thought. I gave it time and let it dry, and then checked it again. Still nothing. I brought the piece over to Anne and started to lament the lack of reaction, and then I saw it! My cat was turning green! After wedging the piece between my hands for a bit, I was able to see that the Rainbow had actually worked, it was just slow to change (possibly because the wood is too much of an insulator to change temperature quickly?).

After I left it under the toaster oven for a few minutes

I’m going to have to experiment some more with this on different materials, but it’s a lot of fun to play with! Now I just have to figure out cool ways to use it!

Finally, I pulled out the Pinkest Pink powder. This was the other product I was super excited for. Pinkest Pink lured me in with it’s dulcet neon siren call. I love bright colors and I love being extra, so of course I need the (possibly) World’s Pinkest Pink… I chose to opt for the powder instead of the liquid because I’ve been learning to use watercolors, so wanted the option of using them with watercolors or with acrylics. Culture Hustle’s powder pigments are advertised as being able to be used in a variety of ways depending on what liquid they are mixed with (reportedly, they can even be mixed with linseed oil to become an oil paint). Of course I didn’t take into account that I am terrible at mixing things. I struggled with my ratios. My first mix, using Stynylrez, was way too sheer. My second mix, using water, wasn’t mixed well enough, so it turned gritty on the wood piece. I put the whole thing aside in frustration, then came back later, ready to Goldilocks my way through. I tried another mix with water and added a little bit at a time until the grittiness was gone. Finally, I was able to make a mix that worked, and I painted it on my white primed wood piece.

Holy shit is that bright!

Learning curve aside, I love this stuff. I’m excited to try it in other ways, like in resin pours. It even looked cool dabbed over a failed glitter experiment.

There were a couple of other products I haven’t gotten the chance to test yet, but all issues with my process aside, I’m pretty happy with my stuff. I’m going to have to play with it all for a while to truly get the hang of using it, but isn’t that the fun (as well as the frustration) in buying new art materials?

In the meantime, I have to go pay off my credit card bill…


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