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INSPIRATION HITS: Love Yourself Custom Bicycle

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Inspiration struck me over the 4th of July and I just could not resist giving in to it.

I have probably had my bicycle for roughly 15 years. I love that it doesn’t have multiple gears, that it has coaster brakes, and that it can coast for a very long time. But everything else about it I pretty much have disliked from the beginning.

The colors are to die for. As in, “I have fallen & I can’t get up.”

I waged a battle to attempt to keep air in my tires for a decade. I changed the tubes. I even had to change a tire. All I could find was a dirt bike tire, but then that affected the cruisability. Finally, I put in tubes with Slime in them, and got a replacement tire that was meant for a cruiser bike. That finally remedied the problem for the time being.

For five years, I had a small child that I would chauffeur around on the back of it. I never realized how much weight he added (more each year) and how much his constant movement threw of my balance.

Until I removed the child seat this summer, that is. Yup, I got him off onto his own little ride with training wheels. My bike could be just mine again. (Kind of like after you birth them and your body gets to be only yours again, except not QUITE that drastic.)

In the process of removing the heinous decals.

It kept bothering me how much I had always detested the colors on my bicycle. Beige and burgundy? Come on, old lady colors. And I may be on my way, but I am no old lady yet. And the fact that it had sticker on it that said “Thruster”? Oh, please.

I remembered that my husband had said he had painted his bicycle when he was a kid. The idea wouldn’t leave my mind. I knew I would have to do it on a day when he was home to help disassemble it for me for easy painting. So, the 4th it was.

First I had to remove the remaining parts of the child seat, the remainder of a broken water bottle holder, and the dog walking apparatus.

How many people have a bike that matches their hair? C’mon, you gotta admit that is some cool shit.

My husband asked me how I settled on the colors of pink and black.

Um, my cell phone case, my hair colors, my key lanyard, the nail polish bottles sitting on top of the television, my shoes, my Utopia dress. How could he miss that these two colors have been taking over my life lately?

After I got the paint on, I decided it really did need a saying on it, but most definitely not “Thruster”. So, I went with my new life motto and cause: Love Yourself.

I used a Sharpie marker to color the white stitching and logo on the seat to pink.

It serves as a reminder to myself, and maybe someone will ask me about it and I can explain it to them. (If you want to read more about it, click here: Mostly I am worried teenagers will make fun of it. Because I have never gotten over the good ol’ days of getting bullied by my peers. (A rant for another day.)

New black handlebar grips are on order from eBay as we speak.

I did learn a few things from this crafting experience:

1. If your fenders don’t rub on your tires, you probably shouldn’t mess with them because that kind of harmony takes a long time to establish.

2. If you are going to spray paint, do at least two coats. This never, ever occurred to me until my husband had the bike pieced back together again. It would have given it a little more durability against scratches.

3. Consider a clear coat to protect your creation. I love the matte/satin finish of my paints. But the original paint job had a durable clear coat that was very good at protecting the original ugly paint from scratches. (FYI–I did sand that a bit with a fine grit sandpaper, followed by a wash before I proceeded with my repaint job.) I spent a whole day creating a masterpiece, and now I constantly worry that one tip over will scratch off all that I have done.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Disco Buddha

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There once was a chick who had a job where she got to enter fun and quirky items such as Itty Bitty Buddha kits into a computer database for future customers to purchase. Sometimes these items would find their way to her desk.

Itty Bitty Buddha Kit, by Running Press

Itty Bitty Buddha Kit, by Running Press

And sometimes an Itty Bitty Buddha just begs to bust out of his boring shrine and live it up with his homies!

Disco Buddha (customized)

Disco Buddha (customized)

When I looked at the plain old Buddha in his cardboard shrine box, I heard a song in my head that went “Disco Buddha, Disco Buddha…” [You have to sing it to the tune of Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”. No, I am not old enough to know this song, but Buddha apparently is.]

But I knew he needed a tiny disco ball.

My dear, sweet co-worker Megan came through with one just the right size. And she didn’t even laugh at the reason I wanted it (much). Then Buddha needed some friends. Karl the pencil monkey and a Homies dog seemed to fit the bill. (I don’t know why Karl’s name is Karl. That is what the person who gave him to me told me that was his name.)

Disco Buddha also needed a poster for his wall. You probably can’t tell in the picture, but Disco Buddha is a Capricorn. (All the coolest people are.) He also loves sick days. (On the back of his shrine is a sticker that says “I [heart] answering my phone in a foreign accent”. But he keeps that one hidden, because it isn’t very PC (the blame for that actually should go on the company who manufactured the stickers!).

And, that is all Disco Buddha has told me. Hopefully no one will find this sacrilegious or anything. It can’t be any worse than Buddha banks or Buddha T-shirts. Disco Buddha just likes to be happy and spread the love.

Disco Buddha preferred sitting on my desk, but as I currently don’t have one, he has to reside, for now, in my kitchen.

Sing it!  “Disco Buddha, Disco Buddha, doodle-dee, doodle-dee…”

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