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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / problems with stitch length and cams on: July 19, 2014 10:44:39 AM
I hadn't used my Kenmore 158-1756 (I got it new around 1970) for several months, and now it's doing something wacky.  I cleaned and oiled, but it's still crazy; here's what it's doing:

1)  Stitch length is stuck at extremely short--I can adjust the dial, but it makes no difference.

2)  When I tried to use the stretch stitch (two stitches forward, one back), which is controlled by a sturdy metal cam, the machine decided to stitch backward instead. 
     Even when I changed the settings back to normal, it stayed in reverse.  Pressing the reverse lever didn't do anything (I wondered if it would make it go forward, but no luck).
     Fiddling with the mechanism that "reads" the cam got the machine to stitch forward again (and the reverse lever worked right), but switching back to stretch stitch got it stuck in reverse again.

Has anybody had this problem?  I suspect it's a build-up of aged oil; I've heard of taking the whole machine apart and soaking in solvent to fix this sort of thing, but I've never done it.
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / chandelier shapes on: June 12, 2014 09:56:07 PM
that's not a good description, so I'll use lots of words to try to make you understand.

I want to build a chandelier for my deck.  Outside.

The electrical is no problem, I'm going to use strands of LED xmas lights.  I even have a couple of ideas for frames--a plant stand and tomato cages.

What I'm trying to figure out is...
I want to attach sea-theme shapes to the frame.  Like mermaids, coral, dolphins, shells.  The shapes need to stand up to sun and rain--and I live in Hawaii, so we get tons of both.

I'm kinda thinking sheet aluminum cut with a jigsaw, then gently curved to fit the frame.  Another option is all that scrap acrylic sheet I've been hoarding.  That wouldn't curve, but I could use smaller elements. 

But painted details would be great, and I don't know what kind of metal-friendly paint would hold up to the weather.  If I use the clear acrylic, it would be super cool to use a stained glass paint and have it stay translucent.  Any suggestions on type or brand?

Also, I don't think my rivet gun will work with the frames I have in mind; any suggestions for attachment?

I'm still in the early planning stages (just started this morning) so really any suggestions, random thoughts, wishes, inspirational links or whatever would be welcome.  I promise I won't judge.

Oooh, it just occurred to me; I'm thinking about taking a ceramics course.  So if you have suggestions in that realm, bring 'em on!

3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / making resin dull on: March 26, 2014 08:08:09 PM
I recently got a bracelet with resin faces.  I like the style, but the faces are shiny and look cheap. 
this link should be good for at least a while:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/291097270514?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Is there a way  to make the resin dull? 
I assume glass etch won't work (it comes stored in a plastic bottle).
The faces have a lot of detail, so sanding would be more trouble than it's worth.

Any ideas?
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Snake chain findings for "European" big-hole jewelry on: March 23, 2013 09:38:02 PM
I've kind of gotten into this style--I like that I can change out the beads and charms to match whatever I'm feeling.  I'd like some earrings that work the same way, but all I can find are straight drops.  I'd like to make my own that loop, but I can't find the findings.  I just need the pieces that attach to the ends of the chain, I can figure out the rest!

Anybody know a source for just a few of these?  Base metal is fine, need silver color.  And I'm cheap, so they should be, too.

Edit 1:  Uh, they aren't the "screw threads findings" I see on eBay, are they?  Do they actually just screw onto the ends of the chain?  Maybe I should go try to unscrew one...

Edit 2:  Nope, the findings on the ones I have don't unscrew.

5  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / skulls and roses on: February 09, 2013 10:01:21 AM
 I really liked the Day of the Dead bracelets posted  here on craftster at  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=404439.0  and decided I wanted to make something similar, so I went shopping online.

Well, I seem to have ordered LOTS and LOTS of skulls, roses, and Mexican-inspired charms, way more than I need for personal jewelry and gifts.  So, while this isn't exactly recycling, I do need to find interesting ways to use up these treasures. 

Anybody got ideas?  Personal adornment, decorating the house, gifts, whatever!
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / excessive purchase of skulls and roses on: February 05, 2013 09:45:37 PM
 I really liked the Day of the Dead bracelets posted  here on craftster at  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=404439.0  and decided I wanted to make something similar, so I went shopping online.

Well, I seem to have ordered LOTS and LOTS of skulls (around 150, in 9 colors), roses (130+) and 9 different styles of Mexican-inspired charms (230 charms total).  Like you've never overbought!    No, I'm not trying to sell them here; I want to see more inspirational pieces so I can use them up!

Definitely bracelets, a treasure necklace, and several pairs of earrings.  Lots of gifts for friends.  At the end of every year, I do an ornament for each of my friends, most of them would love a day of the dead theme.

Any pix, links, ideas anybody?


7  COOKING / Dessert / What do I do with fudge sauce? on: December 13, 2012 11:10:50 PM
my husband made fudge yesterday.  The instructions said "boil for 5 minutes or to 234 degrees."  At 5 minutes, he insisted on taking it off the heat, even though it wasn't up to temp.  He added the marshmallow cream and chocolate.  Of course, it didn't set. 

So we have 3 pounds of drippy fudge.  Any suggestions for use?  I was thinking dropping a dollop into cupcakes to make a fudgy surprise in the middle.  That would use up...maybe half a pound?

Any other ideas?
8  COOKING / Dessert / showstopper christmas dessert wanted on: November 22, 2012 11:14:37 AM
Happy Turkey Day!

I'm already thinking about the next holiday; I'm bringing dessert for Christmas.

I want to do something outrageous, over-the-top elegant.
I'm kinda thinking of a Buche de Noel (Yule Log cake), or croquembouche (a tower of cream puffs).  Or both, because it's nice to have a choice.  (I am good with recipes for both of these.)
I'm an experienced cook and like to push the envelope.

Any wildly outrageous dessert suggestions?  
9  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Need brilliant turquoise dye on: November 17, 2012 02:38:38 PM
I want to dye a cotton/poly shirt that is currently very pale green, and make it a brilliant turquoise.
I tried Rit teal dye, but it came out more gray than teal.

Rit's website describes Aquamarine as "a color that is a pale bright tint of spring green toned toward cyan."  But the illustration is of bright turquoise blue, just the color I want.  What color is it really? 

Rit is fairly available here, other brands not so much, but I could look if someone can point me in the right direction!!??!!


10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / paper theater resources on: January 02, 2011 12:06:16 AM
does anyone have good resources for making paper theaters (or paper theatres, if you like)?
Can you recommend books, online tutorials, or best of all, free image downloads?
I've really got the itch to do something with this, have a ton of ideas...
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