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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Mahogany Cutting Board on: August 15, 2015 10:24:16 AM
A couple years ago, a very good friend of mine came across a large piece of mahogany at a yard sale. She said she knew right away it would make some amazing cutting boards, if she could just find someone to make it. Unfortunately, her now ex-roommate figured he should help himself to said wood and cut a huge piece of out it and DIDN'T make her a cutting board.

Fast forward a bit to Christmas 2014, when my husband and I went to Luray County, VA. The kitchen of the cabin we rented had a cutting board made to fit the sink. I thought this was the coolest little kitchen thing ever and I decided I needed one for our kitchen at home. My husband said he'd make one for me.

Fast forward to July of this year. Nicole mentions the wood and I mention the cutting board I wanted. It turns out that she wanted the same kind too. She said she'd supply the wood if I found someone to make the boards.

I initially didn't ask my husband to make these, because his work schedule is crazy. I was hoping his dad would be able to make them while he was here, but he kept pretty busy. I started looking for someone to cut the board for us, but everyone I talked to said they'd want $100-$140 PER BOARD just for labor.

Ummm, how about, "No?"

Fast forward to this month. Shane noticed the wood in the laundry room, and having forgotten about it, asked what it was for. His dad had gone back home, and I told him about trying to find someone to make it into cutting boards. He told me to stop looking and he was going to do it. Smiley



He got mine finished first, because I only wanted a one basin board. The underside is cut to fit inside the basin, with the top resting on the edges of the basin. Shane also routed off the long sides to give it a little more of a finished look.

I did just minimal sanding on this, because I didn't want to take anything away from the original finish of the wood.

I went to Home Depot yesterday and found butcher block oil. I bought only one bottle of it, because it will last Nicole and I for some time.

To make your own cutting board you will need: untreated hardwood, a circular saw or table saw, sandpaper, food grade mineral oil and a clean cloth. Be sure the hardwood you choose is untreated if you plan to actually use your cutting board for cooking. If you're unsure, just ask someone at your local lumber yard. And for the mineral oil, make sure you use food grade (most are food grade). I did 4 coats of the oil over two days, wiping it on with the grain and letting it dry completely in between coats. Give your cutting board a fresh coat of mineral oil every 3-6 months to keep it looking fresh and new.

The oil gives the wood a nice sheen, even after it dries.

Nicole's cutting board had a quick test fit on her sink tonight. She wanted a double wide cutting board. and it needs about 3/4" cut from various sections to make it fit. After that, it'll be ready to be cleaned and oiled, and it will go to her house then.
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Two New KISS Gnomes on: July 30, 2015 05:42:35 PM
I've finally finished the last two KISS gnomes (at least for me anyway. I've gotten a request to make another Gene and another Paul for family members for Christmas).

I bought a set of four 10" tall rubber Art Line gnomes from someone on eBay. They were damn near perfect: no fading, no staining. I don't think they ever saw the outside world.


Space Ace with a cute little lamb. He did have a tall wooden branch in his left hand originally. Because of the belt and vest, there's no enough room to put it back into his hand. I did keep it though for one of the other gnomes, just in case.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ny6EpStalgU/Vbq-1Fvq81I/AAAAAAAADm4/GSMx2Zkh9bg/s1600/ResizedImage_1438030567782.jpg

This time, there was minimal swearing and complaining, because I wasn't having as many problems with the silver Testor's enamel paint as I did last time.

3  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Cake the Cat Amigurumi from "Adventure Time" on: July 24, 2015 06:53:15 PM
I finished writing this pattern tonight, and she was inspired by Mia Handcrafter's original pattern for Jake. I have to say already, just from looking at her, I do like her but I feel like I should have made her arms and legs a little shorter.



I'm not going to post the pattern for it here, since I write the way I talk: long and windy.  Grin Plus, I've got some extra pictures of her tail online too. However, if anyone wants to make their own Cake the Cat, the pattern is up for grabs.

http://amylynn98.blogspot.com/2015/07/an-adventure-with-jake-dog-and-new.html
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bow Tie For My Dog on: June 11, 2015 06:09:06 PM
Our German Shepherd is 13 years old. We've had him since he was 7 months old.


My husband has always said I am not allowed to dress the dog. I have always maintained that a little doggie black leather jacket and matching hat would make him look tough (and freaking ADORBS!). My husband says no, it really won't, because our GSD is actually a lover and not a tough guy.

And he also doesn't want our dog to be dressed like the lead singer of Judas Priest.

But when I saw a pattern for a baby's bow tie, http://www.dreamcatcherbaby.com/2012/01/baby-bow-tie-tutorial.html...well, my husband's at work, I'm here alone with our dog, and I've decided he's going for the preppie look tonight.


I actually saved some fabric from some pants I turned into capris, especially for this project. I may need help. The crafting might be getting out of control for me.  Roll Eyes

This pattern actually called for interfacing, but since this was going to be just for cutes and giggles behind my husband's back, I left out the interfacing. For the inside of the bow, I put in one extra piece of fabric. The interfacing does have a purpose, which was to give it a little extra stiffness (that's what she said) and I knew the tie would need that, even just for photos.

I think I should have made the center part of the bow a little narrower, by taking off 1/2" in width.


"Orion, what's my afternoon schedule look like? I'm going to need to pencil in  a post-meeting nap around 3."


"Hello! I'm Business Dog! It's time to go to work to make the moneys to buy more treats!"
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Tennessee Titans Blanket For A Friend on: May 30, 2015 06:32:05 PM
And it will FINALLY be on it's merry way to it's rightful owner as of Monday! (I have seriously been working on this blanket for over a year, off and on.) It does need some time to hang a little more, to open up (mostly) the top half, and it's large enough to cover a queen sized bed, with just a little overhang.

The details:
an H sized hook
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in White (larger skein)
partial skein of Craftsmart Value Yarn (from Michael's) in White (smaller skein)
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Soft Navy (big skein)
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Soft Navy (smaller skein)
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from AC Moore) in Soft Navy (big skein)
full skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Black (I found out this is actually a discontinued yarn. It's also a lighter weight yarn than all the other yarn I was using.)
partial skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Black
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Light Blue
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Grey Heather
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Cherry Red
I'm not completely wild with how the helmet emblem came out. It looks wonky to me, but I redid it a few times, and I know it's not a design fault. Somewhere, I kept putting in too many stitches going across so I know it's wider than it should be.



I also wish I had gone with a shade of yarn lighter than the Soft Navy. It's hard to see the black details within the cowcatcher on the front of the helmet, even with the white outline.

And I did take a little creative license with the logo. The "TENNESSEE" in the logo is supposed to be slightly curved into the "TITANS." But I'm enough of a pain in the ass that I decided I was going to change it because I didn't like it like that. In this version, the "TENNESSEE" is completely straight across.

However, I love these patterns. Like the Steelers blanket, this pattern was made by Donna Hammell of New Jersey. It takes a lot of work to get these graph patterns to come out correctly. I've tried a few times and I just can't get the hang of it to make my own.
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Worked a Little on The Vanity on: May 21, 2015 02:49:27 PM
Several years ago, I picked up an art deco vanity from Bill's FX, a former flea market in an old electronics store building in Virginia Beach. It caught on fire and burned beyond repair shortly after I got the vanity.

Over the years, I've noticed the wood veneer was starting to look and feel extremely dry. I don't think it ever had a clear stain put on it. I know I might not be able to keep this thing forever, but I want to try and protect the wood the  best I can.

Since I still had some from my sewing machine project, I decided to take the vanity apart and give it a good coat of polyurethane on it. I started it on Monday night and finished it tonight.


It's a little blurry, but you can see the poly on the middle section, compared to the unpoly'ed left and right sides. It's a huge difference, and I only did one coat of poly. The two pieces sticking up in the back are the supports for the mirror.


Before (on the left side) and after (on the right side) the poly. Again, this is just one coat.

Now unfortunately, I'm feeling froggy to try and fix up the armoire that I have (also art deco). Even though I spent more on the vanity, I absolutely love the armoire and I'm afraid I'll mess it up somehow, because that actually has more damage to the veneer.
7  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 108 ENTRIES / KISS frame on: May 07, 2015 05:05:03 PM


This is a little collage I put together for the challenge. This was the first time I had ever seen KISS and my husband's second time (although when he saw them the first time, they weren't wearing the makeup).

I still had our tickets from when we saw KISS in 2013, as well as some of the confetti they shot off at the end of show while playing "Rock and Roll All Night." (You can see that here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iexAcK253t8, which was not shot by my husband, but whoever this person was, they were close to where we were!).

We had our photo taken with the Dr. Love lookalike before going to our seats...that poor man was literally sweating his makeup off, but he was such a nice guy! Later, my husband turned the camera on us during "I Was Made For Loving You," which is why we are in that blue photo. And since I'm a halfway crazy cat lady, I printed out one of the pictures he took of the drummer, Eric Singer, the current Cat Man.

I've got this hanging up in our bedroom. I had such a good time there, that when KISS came back in 2014, we went again!  Grin
8  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Sewn TMNT and Spider-Man Hats on: February 10, 2015 08:24:39 PM
In January, I saw this post over at Geek Crafts (http://geekcrafts.com/15758-geeky-winter-hat-patterns-and-diys/) that leads to a page over at Instructables, and I bookmarked it because I knew my niece and I would need our own TMNT hats. (She's almost five and decided all by herself that she likes TMNT. Me, I like them too, but I'm just looking for an excuse to wear a fun hat. And well, her love for Spider-Man was a seed I planted.)


Obligatory geek picture of moi and my Rafael hat.

I did cheat slightly and I used felt instead of polar fleece I had an awesome gift card to AC Moore and they sell large folded, thick pieces of felt. It sewed very nicely and it wasn't like the thinner, individually sold felt pieces meant for lesser crafting.

I did find a few things about this pattern I will do differently for an adult sized hat:
  • Make the mask longer and thinner.
    Sew the eyes onto the mask before sewing the mask onto the hat.
    Make the ear flap ties longer.

The directions on the page are easy enough, but it took me a little longer than it should have, because I kept going back to re-read the directions, and I still managed to make a few (fixable) mistakes. And it's easy enough to adapt. While working on the TMNT hat tonight, I realized something else. That pattern is very forgiving when it comes to sewing straight lines.

For example: say you're not the world's greatest sewing (I'm raising my hand here), and you don't get the earflap piece sewn to the beanie part completely straight. If your sew line is a little wonky, it's alright because you're going to put that mask on straight and it will actually straddle both the entire earflap piece and the beanie part at the same time. It's going to hide your wonky lines.


My niece's Spider-Man hat.

The Spider-Man hat is just a variation of the TMNT hat. It obviously doesn't have a mask piece, but the eye pieces are sewn on separately. I first sewed the white "lens" to the black felt with my machine, and then I did a series of tiny black hand stitches around the outside of the black to sew it to the red.

For this hat, there's no hiding a wonky sew line if you get it crooked. But the directions/pattern there at Instructables makes this a wildly easy design to change for different characters. I'm thinking I may need an R2-D2 hat and a stormtrooper hat too.

And tomorrow night, I'll have my own Spider-Man hat as well. Smiley
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Redid an 80's Lamp on: January 29, 2015 04:17:43 PM
I just finished up a lamp I got from a friend of mine. It was actually a trade we made at the end of a yard sale we had in October: one of these lamps from her for a floor/gaming rocker from me, because neither one of them sold.

When she moved into the house she now lives in, it was because the previous owner had passed away in his home after a long illness. His family removed most of his belongings and they said she could do whatever she wanted with the rest. It was some late 70's/80's knick knacks, some coffee cups and some furniture. She had two of these lamps, still with the original large papery shades. She put just about everything up for sale. With my ct being such a spaz in the house, I figured I better get a back-up lamp, because she already knocked one over.


Before: it still had an original price tag on it that read $99.99 from Montgomery Ward.


The brass was very tarnished.


There are 3-4 coats of a textured spray paint that I got from my favorite store (A.C. Moore) that was on clearance.


I had to take the harp off for the new lampshade.


I also used some of the leftover Behr paint from my sewing machine cabinet, and picked up a new lampshade from Target. You almost can't see the lavender, but there's a touch of it on top as well as on the bottom.

I actually figured that she might want me to do this to her remaining lamp, but she said she doesn't like the lamp no matter what is done to it. It's actually a very sturdy, nice lamp, despite still having that oversized, curvy 80's decor body. But then again, I am a child of the 80's so I guess that's why this appeals to me. Smiley

10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Christmas Cards for Haley on: November 24, 2014 05:33:05 PM
Hey guys. I saw this on Imgur and Reddit yesterday. It's not my project but I want to share it here. We need to all send Haley a Christmas card from our own stashes, and we need to do it now. Here is the info from Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/chicago/comments/2mt2cx/request_xpost_haley_a_19_year_old_girl_with/):

Haley is a 19 year old girl with terminal brain cancer. The doctors gave her limited time to live. All she wants are Christmas cards, her family is celebrating Christmas everyday until she passes.

Please reddit do your awesomeness and mail her Christmas cards!

Team Haley 1284 US Hwy 12, #23 Fox Lake, IL 60020

UPDATE::: THANK YOU REDDIT!!!! The community support has been amazing, I am crying as I write this because of the wonderful people here on earth! Here's a news link, the public form is reddit! http://wgntv.com/2014/11/21/community-of-cary-rallies-around-woman-battling-brain-cancer/
Long time lurker, first time poster. I have seen the wonderful things reddit has done, and I hope we can do it again for Haley. She was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor on July 8th, 2013 just days before her 18th birthday. On July 10th she had a craniotomy to remove the tumor. Haley 'celebrated' her 18th Birthday in the hospital on the 12th.

Haley was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of brain cancer - Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma Grade 3 - on July 19th. Of the 4,300 brain tumors in kids each year (only 1,250 in kids age 16-19), only 2% are diagnosed as this type of cancer.

She has endured a lot the last 10 months. First was the surgery, then she went thru egg harvesting, another surgery to have a portacath put in, 6 weeks of daily radiation, multiple MRI's and other tests and did 4 of 6 rounds of PCV chemo.

The tumor has spread to Haley's spine and back in her brain. After going back to the hospital to started an aggressive chemo treatment, sadly, the doctors said there was nothing more they can do. Last Friday her mother was given the devastating news that Haley has limited time to live. Haley is her only child. Haley has fought hard and has shown so much wisdom and courage.

Her favorite holiday is Christmas, so today they are putting up their Christmas tree and decorations, and will be celebrating every day until Haley passes.

We are hoping to make Haley's last days the best, and we are asking everyone we know, and reddit, to send her a Christmas card. Store bought, hand made, made by your kids, religious- doesn't' matter. They can be funny, heart felt, anything.

Her address is Team Haley 1284 US Hwy 12, #23 Fox Lake, IL 60020

She has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HugsForHaley/

Thank you in advance!
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