Friday, March 29, 2013

Fake Grapes and Gold Spray Paint

I know over the past few years I have written posts about the fun, unusual, and sometimes ridiculous things I get to do, and sometimes have to do, for my job.  This is another such post!  Several weeks ago at The Well we asked students to bring items to donate to a food pantry on campus, and we made it a competition between the Class '16 small groups.  Whichever group brought the most items would receive "an awesome prize" at the next large Class '16 event.  That event happened to be the Monday after we got back from spring break, and time just got away from me.  As of 5:00pm that Monday not only did I not have a prize to give, I didn't even have a solid idea as to what it should be!  I headed to Goodwill hoping to find an old trophy or something random I could spray paint gold and turn into a silly prize.  There were no trophies, no weird figurines, nothing.  Then I saw a child's toy shopping basket and I had a plan!  I would get some fake fruit, fill it up, paint it gold, and viola!  The Golden Shopping Basket - the perfect prize for food-related contest. 

At this point I had about an hour and a half to get everything I would need, go home, assemble and paint the basket, get dressed up (it was a tacky party), and make it back to the office to get set up.  So I rush off to Wal Mart to hopefully find some cheap fake fruit.  It turned out to be almost $2 a piece.  I would need several pieces and didn't feel like spending that much money on a silly prize, so I decided to try the Dollar Tree which was thankfully super close.  I made it to the front doors of Wal Mart when I realized I still needed gold spray paint, so I turned back around and super-speed walked to the paint department.  I got my paint, checked out, flew to Dollar Tree and made a bee-line to the fake fruit. 

Once I got home and starting messing around with the fruit in the basket I decided I needed a few other things in it, to make it look like an actual shopping basket and not just a fruit basket.  I went into the kitchen and dumped my recycling container on the floor, sifted through it and found the perfect size jar.  Then I started opening my cabinets.  There was a box of orzo that was also just the right size, so I dumped the rest of the orzo into a container and took the box.  I arranged and rearranged all the items a few times until I found what looked best, and then used a combination of super glue, tacky glue, and toothpicks to hold it all together.  My living room floor was a mess, but 13 minutes after walking in the door, I had created the prize basket.

Now I just needed to spray paint it.  It was raining outside so I couldn't paint in the parking lot, and there wasn't enough room out on the sidewalk/front patio, so I made the logical choice to spray paint it in my kitchen.  It said to paint in a well ventilated area, such as a garage but I figured a kitchen was close enough if I opened a window, turned on the oven vent and the ceiling fan in the living, and brought in a little fan.  I laid down my drop cloth and started painting but quickly realized the little fan was blowing the paint residue directly onto my refrigerator and cabinets.  And the last thing my outdated, mismatched little kitchen needed was gold accents.   But instead of moving the fan, I rigged the drop cloth and got back to work.  The end result was a golden shopping basket that I was quite pleased with!  There were also lots of moments throughout the whole process where I thought to myself, "This is nuts!  Why am I doing this?!"

While the paint dried I put together a very tacky outfit, complete with bright blue eye shadow and a purple scrunchie.  The crazy, whirlwind of an evening was worth it though, because the winning team loved the prize!  I think they said they would keep it out on their leader's coffee table for the rest of the semester!

Getting ready to reveal the winning team...

Number one!

Who wouldn't want this beautiful basket on their coffee table?!?

All of the tacky lady leaders of Class '16

My tacky outfit was made complete with my new rain boots.  Post about them to come soon!

And can we just take one more moment to appreciate the transformation from Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and recycling bin finds to one snazzy looking golden shopping basket?  I swear, add gold spray paint to anything and it becomes magical and impressive!

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