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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Yet another 'halps for my couch!' question on: January 28, 2012 05:08:20 AM
Hi guys,

I know there are a few 'help me with a slipcover?' type enquires in the archives, but this one's a little different...

I have a sofabed that's seen better days - the fabric itself is sound, it's just faded and stained.  I don't actually use it as a sofa, but keep it permanently folded out and use it as a bedframe.  (This gets relevant in a moment..)

A major reupholstery job is out because I know myself well enough to know I'll be impatient and sloppy and turn a grotty but serviceable couch into a complete piece of crap.  So, I'm thinking removable slipcovers. 

This one in particular caught my eye: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3749/make-a-sofa-wrap 
I really like the two-layer effect, and the bindings mean it has some nice shape definition, so it's not just like I've hidden the couch under a huge sheet.

But... I can't figure out how to make something that will look respectable while the sofa's folded out in bed mode.  Any ideas?

I'm not set on slipcovers, I'll work with anything.  I've considered painting it.  Dye could work, but it's quite dark already so I'd have to go dark purple or black.  Also I have no idea how.

For reference, here's what it looks like folded out:



The fold-out mechanism's joined on to the base of the arms, so basically what I've got to work with is a big rectangular 'donut', high in the back and low in the front, with the bed frame jutting out of the centre.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Covering laminate kitchen cupboards? on: May 07, 2011 06:41:51 PM
Hello all, long time no post!

I have a *very* old house that used to be a rental, so it was renovated on the cheap - think scratchy beige nylon carpets and cream walls!  It also has a set of cheap laminated chipboard kit-cupboards in the kitchen.  They're quite serviceable (well, other than one door that's falling apart!) but very cheap and nasty looking.  They're also beige, and I have an ideological objection to beige. 

I can't afford to replace the cupboards, and even putting new doors on is beyond my budget.  I've put new handles on, put that's really just putting a party hat on a dead horse.

I've looked into painting them, but that special laminate paint's really expensive, and I've heard it doesn't always work anyway.  Would painting them with normal paint work? Maybe an oil-based gloss? Maybe some sort of undercoat, or at least a light sanding, would make it 'stick' better?

My other idea was to cover them in fabric, using white glue as an adhesive - that way, if it all goes horribly wrong, it can just peel off.  But it'd need some sort of sealant over the top, so spills or grubby cat pawprints could be wiped off rather than staining the fabric.... Not sure if some sort of regular varnish would do the job, or I'd have to go for the special kitchen sealant made by the same company as makes the laminate paint.  And it's similarly expensive!

My other other idea was contact, or whatever that sticky plastic used to cover books is called these days.  But would that just look terribly cheap and tacky?

Any advice on any of these options?  Any other ideas?

Ta! 
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Jointed butterfly stuffie on: January 05, 2011 03:04:33 AM
This is a present for a friend of mine, who's going through a rough patch.  I can't actually do anything to help, but I *can* make a useless doodad to show I care. Smiley



I only recently learned how to joint a doll, when I made a poppet for a swap which amazingly actually held together and was still in one piece when my partner got it.  So, I was keen to try out my mad new skills AND my shiny new jointing needles.

This little lady is made from five sections - two big top wings, two smaller bottom wings, and a little lozenge of a body - all sewn, stuffed and sealed individually.  There are two joints, one holding the two top wings onto the body, the other the two lower wings.

I didn't use a pattern, and if I were to do this again I'd change the wing shape.  The top ones particularly could have been rounder, they start tapering to a point too soon, giving the butterfly a flattened sort of look.  It's OK, but I was going for something rounder and cuddlier.

Oh, and I also managed to snap clean through the eye of one of the aforementioned new jointing needles while I was trying to get the joints nice and tight.  Apparently I don't know my own strength.



And here's the back.  The fabric's all random blues out of my stash, with more muted ones on the front and brighter, more fun prints on the back.  I wanted something that looked a bit scrappy, but wouldn't look out of place in an utterly non-crafty house.

(Sorry about the teeny tiny photos, by the way.  You're not missing much - I don't have access to the work camera I usually use, and my own's been dropped a few times and will no longer focus.  So they're fairly rubbish.  But you get the idea.)
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Button tree on: January 03, 2011 08:55:03 PM
Mum's birthday was on New Year's Eve, and as usual I'd left it until the last minute to sort out her gift.  I planned to make something in the lull between Christmas and New Year's, but mother nature had other ideas and threw the biggest flood in 70 years at us.

So, in the breaks between extra shifts at work and general panic, I made her a button tree:



The fabric is all from my stash, and the pattern I worked out myself.  I was inspired by the many felted/sewn/knitted/crocheted Christmas tree stuffies that did the rounds of the internet in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  I wanted something that didn't look Christmassey - Mum's had 67 years of birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper, it's something of a sore point! - so went with something that had less of the pine tree look, and more like the ball-on-a-stick a kid would draw.  I go into tedious detail about the maths behind the pattern over on my craft blog, if you're remotely interested.  But suffice to say it's not so much spherical as sort of bumpy.  The trunk has a jar full of sand in it, for weight and stability.

The buttons and beads are pinned on, rather than sewn.  Partially because it's designed to be used, so I want it to be easy to get the buttons off and new ones on.  But mostly because I was never going to have time to sew them all on.  I used four of those pinwheel containers of fancy pins, and still ran short. Smiley

Nekkid tree, showing one of the few times I manage to get pieces to line up properly:


Thanks for looking!
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Yellow Submarine swap? on: November 19, 2009 02:30:18 PM
In the new year when all the Christmas hoo-har is over with and the bills are paid, would anyone be interested in a swap based on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film?

It's a really visual film, and lends itself to a lot of things, from stuffies and 3d work to prints, applique, things like that.  Plus of course, being Craftsters, people will end up producing all sorts of things I couldn't even begin to imagine!

Would anyone else be keen?
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Four star guine pig condo on: November 05, 2009 09:29:37 PM
I share my house with two of the two most spoilt guinea pigs in the world...

Their favourite activities include eating and growing, and within weeks they'd outgrown their original run, which according to official how-to-raise-guinea-pig data is the right size for two adults.  So, they had a series of cobbled-together extensions and temporary runs, before I put my thinking cap on, gathered hammer and nails, and made their current accomodation.

It's hard to get a decent picture showing how it's put together, so please bear with me.

The room they're in is quite narrow, so I built a 30cm high freestanding mesh wall as long as the room is wide.  At the bottom, the mesh is sandwiched between two slim boards which are nailed together, with a much larger board then nailed to the back (the inside-the-cage side) for stability and strength.  If I want to make the run smaller or larger, I just move the mesh wall forwards or back.

Inside the run is lined with sturdy, good quality lino, which is cut to come up the walls a few inches as well as cover the floor.  The boys are litter-tray trained, but it's better to be sure than have a stained floor!

Here's what it looks like:


Inside, showing the lino coming up the walls:


The lino 'floor' is covered with old towels folded in half, and that covered with a layer of polarfleece.  The boys' are toilet trained well enough that the towels are still clean at the end of the week when I change their bedding, so they just need a light wash to freshen them up.

The big green 'piglo' has a litter tray inside it, and there's also one in their 'kitchen' where the veges are. The run's just been cleaned out and new bedding put in before I took these photos, which is why everything's so clean.  It doesn't stay that way!

And here's what makes it all worth it:


Hello there!
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Anyone here advertised with Google? on: October 19, 2009 03:10:52 AM
Apologies if this has been discussed before - I did a search and while I found some references to putting AdSense on one's blog to earn money, I didn't find it being discussed from the other point of view: using AdSense to advertise your own site.

Has anyone here used it?  If so, how did you find it?  Is the pricing really complicated, or does it all make sense once you start using it?

They offer either Cost Per Click (starting at one cent, and you only pay if the customer actually clicks on your ad) or cost-per-thousand-views (starting at 30 cents, and you just pay if they SEE the ad, whether or not they click on it.)  Which would be better value?  Or are they much of a muchness?

You can also set how much you want to spend in a given day - so if you get to your daily limit by 10am, your ad doesn't appear again until tomorrow.  I have no idea what sort of daily limit to set - I mean, with my finances I should set it to five cents a week!  But what's a realistic figure that's high enough to actually fund enough ads to be useful, but low enough that it's not money wasted?

I like that I can refine it so the ads only show up in certain geographic areas, because my shop only ships to Australia.  I don't know about the more precise demographic services they offer, though - can they REALLY tell accurately whether a certain random google search was done by a 17 year old male or a 45 year old female?  Surely not everyone has a Google account, and stays logged in all the time?

All thoughts and advice welcome.  It sounds like it could be a great idea, or could be an expensive mistake.
8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / 100 vintage rubber stamps! on: September 26, 2009 10:27:15 PM
G'day all,

Pictures follow once the scanner decides to make nice, but I'm very, very stoked about my latest market find and can't wait to share it!

Today at the local old-stuff-and-veges market, I acquired an old wooden box, about the size of a large shoebox.  Inside are four metal drawers, each containing 25 old rubber stamps.  And I mean OLD rubber stamps, used in a school in about 1930.

They haven't been used for goodness knows how many decades, and have never been cleaned or maintained at all, yet remarkably nearly all of them are still usable!

It's a pretty eclectic mix.  There's a huge array of buses, trams, cars, trucks and tractors, a lot of lions and tigers, a few farm animals and a few I think are supposed to be either historical or biblical - people in togas and the like.  For some reason there's also several suspension bridges!

9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Reusing old magazines etc... copyright question on: September 10, 2009 05:53:18 PM
Greetings craftsters,

Apologies if this has already been discussed - I did a search for it, and couldn't find anything, but there are a LOT of different words that could have been used to say the same thing...

I make greeting cards, bookmarks, that sort of thing, using all sorts of interesting bits of paper and images clipped from magazines, wrapping paper, and generally anywhere I can scavenge them.

I'd like to turn this from hobby to business, but am not sure whether this is a copyright infringement.

For instance, were I to sell a set of coasters featuring photos clipped from a wildlife magazine, would I be illegally using the photographers' images?  Or, because I'm not actually reproducing the image - just modifying and reselling an existing reproduction - is it OK?

Who would I ask?  I'm planning to use Etsy to sell my stuff, so there *is* a chance of the photographer finding their stuff online and, if it's illegal, me getting toasted.
10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Posable amigurumi Dangermouse on: March 25, 2009 10:02:01 PM
Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, naah-naah-naah:



I started this for the 'craft your hero' challenge last year, but only finished it lately.  He didn't turn out that great (the photos are from the most flattering angles!) but I'm posting this one anyway because I'm quite pleased with the idea behind it.

There is a firm, pliant wire running up each leg, through the body and down the arm.  So, while he won't stand up in his own, he is posable.   

For the limbs, I wrapped white cloth around the wire and then crocheted over the top, the head and body is your usual crochet-with-stuffing type arrangement.

Looking flat out:



The details were embroidered on after stuffing.

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