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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Archaeopteryx Faux-ssil (Fossil)! (Image Heavy) on: November 29, 2011 07:14:24 PM
Soooo . . . . what do you do when the perfect Christmas gift for someone is a one of a kind fossil discovered in Germany in the 1800s? Allow me to spell out the options: 1) Buy it -- not likely, it's not for sale and it would be a bit out of my price range; 2) Steal it -- difficult, museum's have nice security systems and the consequences of jail time might put a damper on the holiday cheer; 3) Buy a replica -- best idea so far, but even the replicas are over 100 dollars and I don't have that kind of cash; 4) Make a replica -- oooh, now there's an intriguing thought . . .

In any case, by virtue of this post being on craftster, you can guess that I decided to make my very own "faux-ssil" . . . and here's the result:


What would a museum artifact be without a certificate of authenticity:


And now various closeups:
The Head:

Angled view that shows the actual colors better:

Closeup of the body:

Closeup of the wings:

Closeup of a claw:


Basic details of how I made it:
I had my husband cut me a piece of wood to act as a foundation and I used original sculpey and rolled it out on top of the wood in a thin layer. Note: I wish I had "upgraded" to one of the higher end sculpey's . . . I had a lot of issues with this one cracking . . . oh well, live and learn. I found a photo of the fossil on wikipedia, had Staples print it off and blow it up close to actual size. Then I placed the photo on top of the wood and traced the major lines of the fossil so that it imprinted into the layer of sculpey below. Some smushing, some scraping, and voila, most of the fossil is done. I took some feathers from my chickens (not plucked, I just picked some up that they left behind in the chicken yard) and used them to make imprints in the wings and tail (just like in the "real" fossil). To simulate stone texture, I used sand paper to imprint a rough texture onto the stone portions of the clay, note: I didn't "sand" it, I just used the sand paper like a stamp -- you could easily use an actual stone to do this, but I had sand paper and suitable stones were hiding from me in the great outdoors somewhere.

My husband added some wall hanging hardware and I cured it in the oven following the sculpey manufacturer's directions, painted it with acrylic paints, and sealed it with multiple (4+) layers of Miniwax Polycrylic High Gloss . . . a satin finish would have looked more realistic (i.e. more like stone), but I already had the high gloss and well . . . you know how it goes . . .

Like I said, I had some issues with cracking (before the majority of the sealing), so I added cyanoacrylate based super glue to the cracks, painted over them, and sealed.

Anyways, let me know what you think (my second sculpey project, so I'm really REALLY interested in tips/criticism), I can't wait to give it away!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Snake Kindle Case on: October 01, 2010 07:42:39 AM
So I finally jumped on the bandwagon and bought myself a Kindle 3  . . . which I absolutely adore, by the way, and I can't get over how much I like it, but I digress . . .

Anywho, it needed a case and my husband, who is cheaper than I am, was appalled at the prices of the cases that Amazon has. I thought they were a little boring myself so I was easily persuaded into making my own.

I used the pattern made by a fellow Craftster member, http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355666.0 but I modified it by inserting some plastic canvas into the cover in order to make it a little bit sturdier. I did it snake themed since I had snake fabric lying around that I was DYING to use.

I embroidered the snake on the cover by hand and added a bead for the eye.

I looked and looked and LOOKED but apparently snake themed buttons are not a hot item (go figure) so I made my own! I have a snake wax seal which I used to make an imprint in wax and then embedded it in resin and fixed a ring to the back. (This was also my first experience with resin, EVER. Woohoo!)

Finally, the inside, with my new baby:

Let me know what you think!
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Snake Buttons on: August 24, 2010 02:42:30 PM
Does anyone know where I could buy snake buttons? They can be shaped like snakes or have snakes on them but I'm not looking for buttons that are just snake-skin themed. I've been searching the internet for roughly a half hour and am coming up empty. Alternatively, does anyone have any ideas for making snake buttons?

-AJ Tongue
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Curtain Fabric Question on: July 22, 2010 07:41:55 AM
Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to decide how to do curtains for my craft room and I need a little help. I've been looking at the home decor fabrics available at Joanns and Hancocks, but, since this is my epicenter of creativity, I am looking for something with a little more, err, pizazz than what I've been finding at these two stores. What I'd really like is something a little brighter. Since I'm relatively new to the whole world of curtain sewing, I came here for help. I'm planning on lining the curtains with blackout fabric so they'll be relatively heavy regardless of what fabric I choose. What I want to know is, can you use "regular" cotton, i.e. calicos, batiks, etc., for lined curtains? Will it look funny? Will it look "cheap" or will it look ok? Has anyone done this?

Thanks guys,

AJ
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Simplicity 5033 on: November 02, 2009 08:29:32 AM
Has anyone ever made Simplicity 5033, specifically the red long johns on the right of the envelope? I was just wondering how they turn out and if it's worth it to buy the pattern.

Thanks,

AJ
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / "Attack of the Anglerfish!" or Fish Bed for a Chihuahua (Image Obese!) on: September 05, 2009 05:25:23 PM
     Kandi, the pomeranian chihuahua, was all alone on a deep sea expedition when suddenly she sensed danger approaching.

She barked and barked for help, but, as she was in the deep sea, there was no one around to save her.

It was a fierce struggle, but since Kandi isn't a real dog and can't hold her own again anything, it wasn't very long before Kandi was overwhelmed and the deep sea anglerfish began to eat her . . .

. . . and eat her some more . . .

Pretty soon she was all eaten up!

The moral of the story is, if going on a deep sea expedition, an iddy biddy dog is a poor choice to fend off sea monsters!

Ok, enough funny stuff, time to get down to business. This is the cat bed pattern from Simplicity 9004. I found the directions to be somewhat screwy in some places (which I've noted other craftsters saying similar things) but some of that may be due to my inexperience with sewing patterns--this being the first one I've really tried to follow in almost a decade. I did alter the construction of the thing a bit, I found that by following the pattern's instructions, you ended up with a big unfinished seam on the inside. Hence I decided to do it the way I thought it should go, which, for once, actually worked and it now has nice seams on the inside. Speaking of which, the inside is lined with light green fleece, the outside is all cotton of one form or another. I added extra embroidery on the outside with glow in the dark embroidery floss and I found a glow in the dark rubber ball (a cat toy from the supermarket) which I sliced in half for the eyes, so when you turn the lights off . . .

Muahahaha! Speaking of which, since I decided to make this a deep sea anglerfish (which do really exist, do have the lure on the head, and do glow in the dark (bioluminescence). . a la "Finding Nemo" http://www.solarnavigator.net/films_movies_actors/cartoons/cartoon_images/finding_nemo_dory_marlin_angler_fish.jpg), I added the lure to the top of the head. The ball on the end of the lure I made by sewing up some of the fabric from the body, and I took glow in the dark puff paint and added a dot on each of the spots of the fabric. Thus, this is the result when you turn off the light:

And on a note on the dog, she has yet to really take to this thing. She had to be persuaded to go inside it. She loves to burrow under blankets and such so I'm somewhat aggravated at her for not loving this stupid fish, it took me 6 months to sew, by hand (off and on, I didn't work on it constantly). Does anyone have suggestions for this problem? Otherwise, it's a nifty yarn holder . . . ;-)

But I suppose its all worth it when this is the result, however persuaded it may be:

Comments? Questions?
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Craft Light Suggestions on: February 05, 2009 02:46:15 PM
Hi everyone!

I wasn't sure where to ask this question, so here I am in the Miscellaneous category!

My boyfriend loves to watch tv/movies in the dark and it drives me nuts cause I like to sew/knit/embroider etc. while I watch tv with him. Does anyone use those mini-craft lights that I've seen sold and how well do they work? I'd really rather get a portable light rather than buying a whole lamp so that I can take it with me when I go other places that this becomes an issue, but if the craft lights don't do a very good job then there's no sense wasting money on them that could be put to better use buying yarn!
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Glow-in-the-Dark Dog Sweater on: November 09, 2008 06:50:00 PM
So . . . my boyfriend has a pomeranian chihuahua . . . big strong man, iddy biddy dog . . . but it offers me all sort of opportunities to torture, err, I mean, spoil her . . .

Soooo, I heard that Bernat was making a new glow-in-the-dark yarn and I know that poor little Kandi gets cold in the winters when she goes outside . . . well, one thing led to another and this is the result:

Side shot:


Front shot (see how much she loves it!):


And the best part is, it's a turtle neck! So with the neck unfurled . . .
Side shot:

Front shot (observe the joy in her eyes over her new sweater!):


I used the Penny pattern from Knitty (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/PATTpenny.html) but I modified it (i.e. screwed up it and then decided to live with it) so that it's ribbed all around instead of just on top.

Note: No dogs were harmed during the making of this sweater. She may hate it now, but she'll sure appreciate it when the snow starts falling!

Comments?
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Guatemalan Gloves! on: August 12, 2008 08:18:53 AM
So here they are, my first set of gloves, well, the first set that I've made anyways.

The artistic shot of one of the gloves being worn:


Both of the gloves together:


Detail shot of the pattern:


So, it's been a while since I started these (about a year and a half ago I got frustrated with the second one and quit for a while), but I believe it's a 100% wool yarn. I don't remember what brand though. I used this pattern http://sasw.blogspot.com/2006/06/guatemalan-gloves.html , but I added a few modifications here and there (like making the wrist longer so that snow doesn't creep up my sleeve). I've never knitted gloves before so it was a learning experience. Any comments?
10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Cloth Pads: Care Bears and Skulls on: March 11, 2008 03:32:39 PM
So I started reading about cloth pads from this post,

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=143557.msg1412524#msg1412524

And at first I was all like, EEEEEEUUUUUUWWWW, that's gross! But I kept reading and people kept raving about them. So I thought to myself, why on earth am I so attached to disposable pads? Hmmm . . . well, the only reason I could come up with was that I wouldn't have to wash them after my period. Oh, but wait, don't they always leak onto my underwear, forcing me to wash stains out of my underwear instead? (Besides, the idea of having colorful pads really appealed to me.) So I went ahead and made some pads using the circle pad pattern from this site:

http://shewhorunsintheforest.googlepages.com/

Note that I haven't used these yet, but I've never been so eager for my period to come before.



Here they are, the two circle holders with the rolls of flannel that you switch in and out of the holders. (Check out the tutorial for more info on how thath works.) The skull holder is upside down and folded as it would be when in use. I used velcro instead of snaps (as suggested by the pattern) on these cause, well, cause I have this irrational thing (kinda like a phobia but not really fear) with snaps . . . yes, I know its odd . . . yes, I know its unreasonable . . . but nevertheless it continues . . . my bf thinks its hilarious to chase me around the house with snaps, but I digress . . .



Here you can see the two holders with the flannel inserted into the loops.



Anyways, I hadn't sewn in years before I made these so the craftmanships a little off, but I think they'll do the trick.

Let me know what you think.  Tongue
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