Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Something else I made for Christmas

This post could also be titled "Last minute inspiration for Christmas gift that had been hanging around un-done for months". I'd gotten some simple inexpensive white mugs for my brother months ago which I had been planning on personalizing with some porcelain paint. It took me another month to get the paint. It took me a couple weeks to get everything out and figure out what to put on them. And then? Designer's block. Couldn't think of anything!

Then two days before Christmas my brother sent me a link to a hilarious video of a polar bear playing with a tube. This is very him, to send me little snippets (that often star animals since I love them to pieces) to make me smile. And that's when I hit on what I wanted to make him. Mugs of little internet stories he'd sent me.

A couple close-ups:

Unless you are a crazy animal-story follower like me, you will probably not know these. There's the crow and cat becoming friends story, the polar bear playing with a tube, the baby squirrel adopted by a cat who learned how to purr, and the ground squirrel who popped up in a couple's photo and quickly became an internet-meme, nickname "Crasher Squirrel". All of these stories are true.

Making the mugs was shockingly easy—and they don't have to be that fancy. You could paint a word or geometric shape on one, download patterns, the possibilities are endless. Here is a good how-to link from Re-Nest, but basically it's just this:

1) Buy Pebeo Porcelain paint (either in a pot or as a pen) and mug
2) Clean mug with alcohol
3) Decide what you want to paint on the mug
4) Paint on the mug
5) Let dry for 24 hours
6) Bake in the oven at 300F (150C)
7) Give mug to super-impressed friend or family member

I'd wrapped them specifically so he would reach the polar bear one last, to see if he would get the joke. At first he just thought they were cute, the purring baby squirrel kind of mystified him, and then the polar bear one was unveiled. He stared, and then slapped his thigh and laughed out loud. I call that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

All photos by me, mugs inspired by Le Interwebs

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