September 18, 2012

Adventures in Crafting (Brazilian Style)

Life is harder in Brazil...  I have discovered this after moving into our new apartment and trying to do things that I would have had no problem doing in the states.

#1: I don't drive here, so I generally walk everywhere I go.
#2: There is no Target, so if you have a project to do, it usually takes a trip to about 15 locally owned stores to get what you need.  I am not in the least a part of the locally grown or support the small business band wagon.  If you build a Target, I will come... (And most likely will also spend every penny that I have ever earned on your products.)
#3: We don't have an oven, which makes agreeing to make dessert for a dinner party a little bit more of an inconvenience.
#4: We have very few resources, which makes everything just that much more complicated.
#5:  I still really suck at speaking Portuguese.

So a couple of weeks ago I saw an awesome idea on Pinterest... It was a great idea to make a cheap (see #4) dry erase board that was cuter than any dry erase board I had ever seen using an old frame and a piece of scrap booking paper.  So I decided that I could spare a few dollars to make it so that we could write our to do lists and grocery lists up... Fail proof right? WRONG...

The fail-proof project and goal, cute right?
I left the house with high hopes and a crispy new R$50 in my pocket that I had just earned.  I went across the street to the Brazilian equivalent of the dollar store (no, it isn't called the Real Store, but it should be) to find my cheap frame that I would use for my new white board.  I thought I would be able to find something simple and black, nothing fancy, just plain.  WRONG.  The plainest frame was a beige frame with brown sponge-paint on it (really China? Why didn't you just stick with beige?)  So I decided that I would just buy that and paint it a plain color.  So I bought a jar of white tempera paint.  On to store number two to buy a paint brush and dry erase marker, no issues here...  On to store number three, four, five, and six to find that there wasn't a single store on my street that sold scrap booking paper.  Okay, looks like I am just going to have to use printer paper.

At this point I have spent about $15 on what should been a plain dollar store frame and a marker.  Keeping a positive attitude, I came home to start painting, only the paint that I bought was not white, but clear (see #5)... I really don't know who would want to paint something clear, seems like a waste of time, but no it was clear paint... and when I painted my frame it just made it look like I had wiped vasoline all over it... Ok, this is starting to lose its title of being easy...

I decided that it would be better to clean the frame off than risk it looking like it was perpetually wet in one spot, so I just dunked the entire frame in the sink and washed it off.  Unfortunately, the frame was made of balsa wood or something that mimicked wood, but was actually foam because it swelled up and took on a sponge-like texture and then proceeded to fall apart into 4 pieces...  Without losing my temper, I decided that my $15 was going to be worth it and I was going to prevail.  So I put my white printer paper behind the bubbly film that was supposed to be the glass of the frame and decided that I would use some extra yarn to tie the pieces of wood in a frame shape around my paper.

So I was done with my gorgeous new dry erase board!  All I needed to do was hang it up!  The only problem is that our walls are made of tile and we don't have a drill.  The only nail that I could think of that was at the right height was holding up the non-working telephone.  So I took down the telephone, leaving a gaping hole and did my best to cover it with my new dry erase board...

This is the result... No one can say I didn't try...

Complete and utter Pinterest fail...

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