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21  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beading on a Craftster OD on: October 17, 2007 10:02:08 PM
After spending a better part of the day looking at fellow Craftsters' hair and tattoo photos, I retired to the couch to watch Comedy Central with my DH  . . . and bead.

My poor eyes hate me right now. Which may have something to do with the less-than-stellar photos.

But before I fall into an Americone Dream-induced coma, I feel compelled to post my efforts and beg for feedback. Not perhaps as pathetic as the dreams I will have about Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman tonight, but there it is.

This little guy came from a friend's stash. He looks kind of sleepy too, come to think of it.

And the close ups.

Have I mentioned my loathing of plastic-wrapped wire?
No matter, this is all for practice.

But I luh-uhv long ear wires.

22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Goooooooooal!!! on: September 07, 2007 01:05:39 PM
This is one of my favorite summer outfits and one of my first recons. I made the skirt in 2004 BC from a soccer jersey, the pattern of which was to glorious for it to be relegated to bike ride gear. (Vanity has me kneeling to obscure knobby knees.)

This is pretty much a no-sew (there are a couple of hand-stitched details.) I flipped the jersey so the tail became the skirt waist and made shoulder to armpit cuts in opposing diagonals along the front and back for an asymmetrical 'hem.'

From the scrap I cut flower appliques for the side of the skirt and the back of the coordinating racer top.

I used strips cut from the collar to make ties at the side for a more secure fit. This is not a full waist drawstring.

The pattern does not photograph too well. This is a detail. It is super stretchy; comfy and flattering.

23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Paul Frank, Andy Warhol and Me -IMAGE FATTY on: September 07, 2007 12:48:20 PM
Chicago 2005: my first visit to a Paul Frank flagship store. (For the uninitiated, Frank started out making wallets from scrap boat vinyl and progressed into a global clothing and accessories brand, best known for his monkey, Julius.) And that season their collection was "Paul Frank Tells the Story of Andy Warhol." I was utterly beside myself. Which is why, as a in-no-way-petite girl, I bought an XS
A-shirt. And was able to wear it once before washing turned it into a Yentl-quality boob-binder. But I had to have the image of Julius screenprinting flowers alongside Warhol in my life. So, a little snip-snip a little stitch-stitch and a $0.50 wool sweater my amazing bargin magnet mom found at Rugged Wearhouse became the hoodie I was honored to have a gay boyfriend try to steal.

Hood up.

Hood down. Pretty, useless pocket.

Not so good at taking pictures of my own back. Not that I did not try  . . .

A tag from the original shirt appliqued alongside vinyl flowers from a cosmetics case and a leather swatch from IKEA.

Sharpied text is the story of Warhol's life as recounted on the tiny trifold tag that came with the shirt. 
"[ . . .] inspired by everyday objects [ . . .]"

Thanks for looking. Sorry about the gianormous photos.
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Distressed Green Orbit on: September 07, 2007 12:16:39 PM

I made these earrings just because I had none that I felt really went with the t-shirt detailed below.
The beads were once gold and have worn in spots to a pale Statue of Liberty green.

The acorn is for scale (no quarters lying around in the back yard) and the cat hair is for, well, realism?

Two questions: What do you think of the use of worn out beads?
-and- Do you feel you have a sense of the craft from the photos?
25  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Rosa Negro on: September 07, 2007 12:05:57 PM

This is a project I made last year when I was a total wire noob. My brilliant friend Rosa, therefore, attached the rose and closure -- teaching me as she went. The beads are from broken grandma jewelry and the rose came from Rosa's stash.
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Le Fabuleux Collier d'AMELIE Poulain IMAGE HEAVY on: September 02, 2007 09:50:32 AM
My Amelie-inspired necklace:

Quirky Cute Fun a la France

The Backstory: I was "commissioned" yesterday afternoon to make some jewelry for a friend of my DH's, whose birthday party we were to attend that night. I do not know the girl and he could not remember if she has pierced ears, so I went for a necklace and had him pull up the birthday girl's My Space page so I could get some idea of her personality, style, interests. She had listed Amelie as one of her favorite movies and I had a "Eureka, I have a gnome figurine!" moment.

From there I was off and running with a French flag color theme, hearts for the romantic element, the two windmills for the restaurant where the title character worked, and two quotes from the movie:

vous n'avez pas des or de verre (you do not have bones of glass)

et

meme des artichauts ont des coeurs (even artichokes have hearts)

I made the hearts, windmills and quotes beads (including the closure findings) from no. 6 plastic, Sharpied and oven-shrunk. I love, love, love the way the text came out:



I shall leave you now with the obligatory 'action' shot for a sense of scale. (See how tiny the quotes script is?)



p.s.: This was a project of many firsts for me: making my own jump rings (need practice, hate the plastic coated wire I unwittingly picked up); making shrunken plastic beads (literally shrieked at the test batch's cuteness); Dremelling and drilling away at a plastic figurine (disturbingly fun.) So feedback is appreciated.

27  UNITED STATES / Washington, D.C. / Free Demin Pieces on: August 23, 2007 08:57:04 AM
Saw this on Craig's & wanted to pass on the good news http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/zip/403988656.html

This is in Capitol Heights, MD.
28  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / rustic ruby window recon on: August 05, 2007 03:21:14 PM
I made this Shabby Chic (does anyone reference Ashwell these days?) 'stained glass' window for my mom from a veeeeeeeery rustic window salvaged from her parents' farm.



The saying refers to my Grandma Ruby's ingenious ways of making do below the poverty line with six kids.

Originally I was planning to incorporate some vacuum lids from her canning jars with their brightly colored handwritten labels along the frame, but decided they would only clutter the piece.

As you can see, I went a little heavy with the glass spray paint on the first panel, but otherwise am pleased with the result.
29  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Breaking the Beading Cherry on: August 05, 2007 03:02:49 PM
While I have been designing beaded jewelry for some time, I always had to hang my head and ask someone else to actually construct the pieces.

Thanks to the local library loaning me Bead on a Wire and my best friend loaning me her jewelry pliers, I picked up a few quick tricks and made earrings for my mom and her twin sister's b-day.

These are the earrings I made for my mom:


and the tin I decoupaged with a picture of her as a girl (printed on the inkjet and sealed with glossy acrylic medium.)



The image is kind of ghostly (it is from a very old, very scratched negative) so I hope you can see it.

Dumb me forgot to snap picks of my auntie's earrings, which were very different looking  Sad Sad
30  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Range Hood to Mailbox (many images) on: July 25, 2007 05:11:00 PM
After a couple of months lurking, I am making my first post. Which means that I cannot imbed the many photos I actually had the presence of mind to take.  If you are so kind as to read on, you will find links to slideshows of the two stages of the project.  This post will make more sense with the captioned photos.  Let me know if the links do not work or if you have any questions.

While I am lucky to live in a cute mid-century A-frame with my DH, the house is not so lucky to have had all of the things it has done to it over the decades. This included having bolted to its clean white brick some off-the-shelf colonial style lamp and mailbox.
 
http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/aa17/thegreencraftster/?action=view&current=5ca3f15f.pbw

When my DH replaced the light with a clean industrial chrome lamp we had picked out, I planned to spray paint the mailbox to match. Once I got it down, though, I saw more ugliness and structural disintegrity than I could stomach. My first stab at trying to move the reinforcements to the inside got me thinking I should just build a whole new box. But with what?

*Insert Lightbulb Here*

We had removed our range hood a few months back while installing undercounter lights. It cast a shadow and, as we have no over-range fan, was extraneous. But I could not toss out all that shiny steel. (At the time I was thinking it would make a great magnet board.)

So, with a lot of tools I had never before used (tin snippers, Dremel, electric drill and pop rivet) and a little guidance, I set to.

I grabbed an old copy of WIRED to estimate the maximum dimensions of any one piece of mail we might receive (the publishers have since trimmed a bit off the side.) From there, I sketched out a basic pattern and made sure the measurements I wanted could be cut from the largest (top) side of the hood. (The other sides of the hood were crimped on and easily popped off with the aid of a flat headed screwdriver.)

Then I set to work with the tin snippers. They are super-fun to use but can make sharp slivers if one leaves off and starts snipping at imprecisely the same point. So I would recommend using gloves and making continuous cuts.

Once I had the template as I wanted it, I cleaned up the edges with the Dremel (it is a handheld rotary too with loads of bits to cut, file, etch, etc; a rasp or appropriate sandpaper could also work) and then made the folds with the aid of a dead weight mallet.

Then my superkind neighbor stopped by to see how the project was coming along and offered to fetch me a pop rivet from his shop so I could hold the box together without any screw threads protruding. (This is the same guy who said encouraging things about my concentric pinecone ring yard art sculpture. So living in the burbs isn't all bad.)

Before I could pop rivet the sides together, I had to drill the holes through which the rivets would pass. While I managed to get the drill through the metal with minimal 'dancing' on the surface, I did make my One Major Miscalculation.

See, the way I designed the box, the bottom panel has short side tabs and the front and back panels have full side tabs. So, the sides of the box have two layers at the top and three at the bottom. All this is to make the box impervious to the elements. (Which in this case --with it to hang slightly under the roof line-- means mostly spiders.)

When I went to drill the holes I clamped the two side tabs together so the drill would pass through them at once. This worked for the top two holes on either side. The small bottom tabs, however, were just bent back by the speeding drillbit.

I semi-managed to brace the small tabs against the long tabs with the dead weight, but one corner is pretty fugly from where I gave up and cut it away with the tin snippers. (So anyone wishing to adapt this idea would do well to cut a brace to fit from some plywood.)

Eventually, I got all the rivets in. The first image is a mock-up I did half-way through to see what it would look like 'in action'.

http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/aa17/thegreencraftster/?action=view&current=6a3f0a4d.pbw

There was enough material from the sides of the range hood to make a new house numbers plate, as well. Which led me to much font obsessing.

I copied and printed samples from a commercial font site. In the slideshow are (from top to bottom) the old house number, the new house number and a template on which I am fucking around with ideas for increased nighttime legibility. (Read: Glitter Glue.)

Brillo Pads, BTW, are excellent for cleaning scrap metal and for use as a Sharpie eraser thereon (much needed in freehand applications as this.)

The last thing I did was to cut an attachment piece and rivet it to the back of the box. I used drillbits two steps off from each other to make the screw slide holes.

Here is the box mise en scene with the aforementioned porch light. Just one trip to Hardware City and I'll have the hinge for the lid and some bolts for the housenumbers.

Thanks for reading. This was a big confidence and skills builder.
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