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1  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.

2  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
3  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!"
4  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.
5  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.
6  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / 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
7  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
8  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

9  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!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re-finished a sewing machine cabinet on: November 23, 2014 07:41:02 PM
Just a few days ago, I finished my second piece of furniture: a Domestic Sewing Machine cabinet. I got it in late 2013, when a friend's roommate dropped it off at my house. It lived in the garage until tonight.



This is what it looked like when I got it. The roommate was getting rid of it because it took up a lot of space in the garage and he didn't have time to refinish it like he wanted to. He actually got this from someone who was going to throw it out.

It's mahogany. Once the lid was opened, the polyurethane or clear varnish on it, was flaking off. There may have been water damage at one time, on the top and down the center of the back.

The machine inside was a Domestic Rotary machine, series 153. The piece originated in Cleveland, OH and was built sometime in the 1950's. 


I used Behr Marquee in an eggshell finish to paint it. The "outside" (lavender) is Composer's Magic (from the Opulence color line), and the "inside" is Prussian Plum (from the Dynasty color line). Behr advertises the Marquee paints cover in one coat, guaranteed. I didn't find that to be the case, as I needed two coats of each color. However, maybe that's the difference between coverage on drywall and on wood.

Because I wasn't going to keep the machine in place, I measured out the top opening and got some 3/4" thick plywood and a bunch of brackets. I flipped the cabinet upside down, cut the plywood to fit inside the opening (thankfully, this was completely square) and bracketed it in from the bottom. Now, it's solid all the way across. I'm pretty sure I could sit on that part of the cabinet and it would support me!


Yep, that's actually argyle printed Duck Tape on the cabinet. I picked up a couple rolls of it when I worked at AC Moore. I knew I was going to find a way to use it with this project...because really, who doesn't like argyle? It actually is on the top and bottom of the cabinet, on the front, back and sides. I didn't put any on the top front though, because I liked that expanse of lavender when the drawers are closed (see above photo). I actually put 2-3 coats of Minwax clear polyurethane over it, per some advice from my father-in-law. That tape isn't coming off anytime in the near future!


I bribed my friend with supper to help me lug this thing upstairs from the garage to my crafting room. I put the drawers in and the top pieces on after we got it up here. I decided to swap out the original drawer pulls with some new Art Deco inspired glass knobs. I did reuse the original hinges and screws on top though. I used spray primer and paint to redo those. For some reason, the handles didn't like that paint and dried very unevenly. I thought that was odd, because I did them all at the same time and at the same temperature.


Inside the drawers, after they were painted, I sprayed in about 5-6 thin coats of Minwax aerosol clear polyurethane. This was leftover from a previous project (which was also the case of the silver spray paint I used for the hinges). Then they each got an additional two more coats of poly brushed on. I wanted to make sure the inside of the drawers were very well protected.

I realized as I worked on this piece, that with the plywood insert on top, this would make a great little desk for a kid, or even a simple desk for an adult. Or if you worked a little longer with it, you could fit a mirror to it, change the top pieces around, and turn it into a vanity for a girl's bedroom. It's definitely a versatile piece of furniture.

I took my time with this refinishing and I'd wildly proud of how it turned out. There were places I should have gone a little more lightly with the poly, and you can see them if you look closely. But this is a solid piece of furniture that I'll have for a long time.
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