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1  The knitty knitty bang bang wreath / Crafting under the influence in Winter Holidays by fnur on: October 07, 2009 06:15:13 PM
The final result:



It started with a sale on wreath forms at Hobby Lobby. I'd seen and blogged about some cool wreath ideas that used up scraps of fabric or ribbon, so I picked up a form.

Then I got a migraine that ended up lasting 9 days. Halfway through those days, my doctor tried me on a different medicine to alleviate the pain. All it did was give me the attention span of a hyperactive puppy. Like this one.



(thankfully I did not make that costume for him, or I would have been ticked that he ate it off of himself in 5 minutes flat.)

To pass the time between doses, I decided to craft. The wreath form looked tempting enough, so first I covered it with ribbon. Halfway through, I hated it and covered it with fabric. Halfway through, I hated it and tried another fabric. Halfway through, I hated it and drank some chocolate milk. Then I decided to knit a cover for the wreath.

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn from my stash, and it was my first time using it. I'm not a fan - to hard to keep the stitches clean and the tension even. But it's easy enough to adjust and fake that when it's on the form. I cast on 28 stitches and knitted in garter stitch until I had a 3 foot long scarf. Then I used a kitchener stitch to join the ends, put it on the form, and stitched the edges together (and rotated the seam towards the back of the wreath so everyone on the internet could not see how rusty my kitchener stitch is).

Once on the form, it was nice but a bit bland. I used some scrap ribbon, a large button, some leaves cut from green velveteen cloth (leftover from this projecthttp://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=281303.msg3185864#msg3185864) and scrap yarn.

Why yes, I do have a close-up!



Hope you like it - thanks for stopping by!
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2  Embroidery hoop wall art A.K.A. I DECORATED THE LIVING ROOM FOR A DOLLAR! in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by fnur on: September 24, 2009 05:38:32 PM
My husband and I have been living in our house for over a year and a half, and we still have a woeful amount of blank wall space. I had been wanting to put up some original work, but was having trouble figuring the right piece for the right space. It took Ambers wedding shower and the idea of lots of fabulous ladies spending time in that room for hours at a time to move me to action. Time to fill some wallspace!

(Unfortunately, I did not take pictures during. But its pretty self explanatory, so bear with me)



Tools:

    * Embroidery hoops (I bought a huge batch of them on ebay for dirt cheap. Brand new wooden ones are a bit expensive, but theyre easy to find in thrift stores, craigslist and ebay)
    * Fabric (I had this fabric in my stash it was actually a bedspread from Urban Outfitters that I bought many years ago and used it as an all-purpose picnic blanket/tablecloth/whatever. Even after filling 9 big embroidery hoops, I still have a ton of fabric left over, and I have the perfect project in mind for it. But thats another post entirely.)
    * Hammer & nails to hang the finished works up
    * 30 minutes to spare

1. Snap embroidery hoop over fabric, adjusting so that the pattern shows how you want it to. I adjusted it so that there was at least one full bird in each hoop, and so that each hoops pattern was unique.

2. Tighten the fabric, and tighten the screws of the hoop.

3. Hang on the wall.

4. Hug the dog.





Why yes, that IS a miniature R2-D2 on the left side of the photograph, thanks for asking!

The only cost for me was the embroidery hoops. And I got such a great deal on them that the cost of these 9 hoops was probably $1. Sweet!
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3  Ugly Kitchen Table - be gone! (Image heavy, blargh) in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by fnur on: February 20, 2009 10:03:42 AM
After:


Before:


How it was done (more or less - Im going to leave out the parts where I realized I was doing it wrong, had to sand it off, had to sand it off some more, painted it, repainted it, repainted it, so on and so forth. However, I will add in my DUMBASS TIPS so you dont make the same mistakes I did.)

1. Remove chair pads from chairs and remove the existing fabric. If they are stapled on with heavy duty staples like mine were, I suggest using a flat-tip screw driver and a pair of needle-nose pliers.



2. The table and chairs had a glossy finish before, so it needed to be sanded to allow the primer and paint to adhere to it. You dont need to sand off the existing paint, just scruff it up.  DUMBASS TIP: make sure you sand as evenly as possible so there are not spots where the wood/particle board are bare and others that still have some paint. This will make a difference in the finish when you put the new paint on top of it.

2. Wash the chairs and table to remove all dust and flotsam from the sanding. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.

3. You can use paint from a can, or you can use spray paint. I used spray paint (eventually) because I needed a really smooth finish for the table top - no brushstrokes, please - and to make it easier to cover the bars in the chair backs. First, use a tinted primer thats close to the color of the paint youll be using. DUMBASS TIP: I didnt use primer on the chairs, and ended up needing 3 more coats of paint on them than the table. Save yourself the grief and use primer.

4. Once the primer is dry, use the spray paint. Youll need anywhere from 2 - 6 coats, depending on if you used primer, if it is windy outside when youre spraying, how evenly you spray, etc. DUMBASS TIP: Take the time and do it right with the spray paint - rushing through and doing a sloppy job WILL show. This means even strokes with the can, holding it a proper distance from the work, and doing even coverage. Let dry for at least 2 hours between coats.

5. Time for the design. For mine, I traced a flower from the fabric I was using for the chairs and transferred the tracing to leftover craft paper I had (this is Martha Stewarts crosshatch paper). Once transferred, cut out the design carefully with an X-acto knife. I made the dots with just a hole punch. DUMBASS TIP: Transfer the drawing on to the back of the paper, and cut out there, so its nice and clean on the front where the design is.




6. Once you determine where you want the cut-out to be on the table, brush a layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat (for furniture) on to the area. Carefully put the cut-out on the glue, and smooth out to ensure that there are NO bubbles or ripples. Line the hole punched dots in a row to mimic the design. DUMBASS TIP: Try this with a couple of lights from different angles. It will make it easier to find bubbles/ripples.



7. Once placed, brush a thin, even layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat over the design, being careful not to disturb the paper or move it at all.

8. Once that dries COMPLETELY, spray table and chairs with 2 coats of clear finish spray paint, to protect it.

9. Chair pads - Lay each pad face down on your fabric. Cut around it with an allowance of about 2 inches from the edge. Fold the fabric over slightly, pull to the back and staple it to the back of the chair pad. Continue all around, making sure the fabric is taut against the chair pad. DUMBASS TIP: make sure the fabric is not too bulky, or it wont fit properly when you reattach the chair pad.

10. Once the chairs are dry, reattach the chair pads.

11. Make sure the dog likes it.


Success!
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4  Bathroom Shelf, it's time for your makeover! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by fnur on: February 06, 2009 02:58:13 PM
When my husband and I bought and moved into our home, we discovered that the previous owners had left a small cupboard in the guest/kids bathroom. It wasnt our style, but we left it there until we decided how we wanted to decorate that bathroom. Recently, I used materials I had around the home to give it a makeover, as my in-laws were coming and I needed a place in the bathroom for them to put all of their who-knows-whatsits.

After:


Before:


To accomplish this, here are the steps I took.

1. Remove the doors and magnetic closure. Rough up the surface of the cupboard with sandpaper, to help the paint adhere.

2. Paint the cupboard with a coat of primer, then your selected paint color.

3. Once the paint is completely dry, apply Modge Podge and your selected paper. Use a ruler or bone folder to flatten any bubbles or wrinkles.

4. Once the paper is on, apply another coat of Modge Podge to the paper.

5. Once completely dry, hang and enjoy!

If there are any imperfections in the paper, you can strategically place items in front of it, as I did above. Shh, dont tell anyone!
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5  Holy smokes, I knit something! in Knitting: Completed Projects by fnur on: February 06, 2009 02:50:30 PM
I have always wanted to learn how to knit and searched high and low for friends or family members who were knitters that could share their knowledge with me. No luck. Finally, I said screw it and I taught myself how to do it. I've just completed my first item from a pattern, the Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf from the Purl Bee.



I can not recommend this enough for a beginner. It is an incredibly easy pattern that produces a lovely, soft yet sculptural scarf. I made this scarf in Bernat Alpaca for my husband, and he digs it. Of course, I finished it just in time for the 60 degree weather we're having. The color is a muted brown, to coordinate with his best friend.

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6  So Many Christmas Stockings!! in Winter Holidays by fnur on: December 04, 2008 10:53:51 AM
I suddenly found myself with a lot of time this holiday season to work on lots of crafts (read: I got laid off) and made a big list of things I wanted to do. One of the biggest ones was to make a Christmas stocking for every person/animal in our house during the holidays. That's 5 people and 2 animals.

As usual, I planned out something that was much more work than I anticipated, but I figured that keeping busy was better than sitting around and watching Maury. (Actually, I watched Maury WHILE sewing. 15 guys tested and none of them are the baby's daddy? MUST WATCH!)

So, I only have pictures of 3 stockings because I was so excited to be finished with them that I immediately took pictures.

I made the pattern from scratch, and used cotton velveteen on the body and cotton flannel on the cuff. To jazz them up, I used a blanket stitch around the edge, and embroidered initial tags to show who each stocking belongs to.







This was also my first time doing embroidery, so if it looks crappy then oh well. I won't put it on my resume. (Anyone hiring an event planner in Charlotte, NC?)
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7  YARR!!! THAR BE A PINCUSHION, MATEY! in Completed Projects by fnur on: October 02, 2008 06:59:48 AM
Not too long ago, I was approached by a friend who wanted to learn how to sew. He's a big tough guy who had secretly always wanted to learn, especially so he could make clothes for his dog. We spent an afternoon together at his new machine, and he was hooked. A couple of weeks ago, he proudly presented me with a coat for my dog. Since he's now an official "seamster", I decided to make a gift for him as well.

What does every sewing guru rely on? Their trusty pincushion. But I needed to make him something a bit more "manly". So, I present the pirate pincushion.



I used Heather Bailey's square deal pincushion (http://www.heatherbaileydesign.com/HBSquareDeal.pdf), a bit of cotton fabric, poly-fill, 1/8" ribbon and some buttons I had lying around. This is the first pincushion I have ever made, so be kind.





Thanks for looking!
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8  Cat Bed for Fat Fred in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by fnur on: September 29, 2008 01:15:28 PM
We recently adopted a puppy, much to the chagrin of our cat Fred. To make him feel better about the massive disruption to his regular schedule of eating, pooping, sleeping, and licking his butt in peace, I decided to make a special cat bed for my fat cat, Fred.

To start, it had to be in a box. Fred loves to sleep in boxes. Any size, shape or type - if it's a box, he's in it.



I also wanted to use some fabric I picked up that was PERFECT for him. It's covered in "almost" Transformers, "sort-of" R2-D2s, and a spaceship with the word FRED on it.



I basically made a box from a piece of mat board, decoupaged it in amy butler paper, made a pillow, stuffed it with polyfill and catnip, and put the pillow and the box together.



The polyfill made it too poofy, so I decided to sit on it a while to weigh it down. Also, Fatboy Fred will easily weigh it down.

I tried to get a picture of him on it, but as soon as he jumped on, the puppy came in on a rampage. So, here's the best I could give for right now - Fred inside the not-yet-papered box.



He approves, but refuses to take any more of the puppy's shenanigans.

(Also, made a full tutorial here: http://theneatery.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/cat-bed-in-a-box/

ETA: CAUGHT IN THE ACT!

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9  New bookshelves and a super-sweet crafting desk in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by fnur on: September 08, 2008 01:24:20 PM
I don't mean to brag, but my husband rocks.

About six months ago, we bought a home that was relatively new (built in '98) but needed a great deal of work due to the insane decorating tastes/ bad upkeep habits of the previous owners. One room that we wanted to work a lot on was a dual office. As an IT manager dude and guru of our personal websites, he often has computer work to do. But I luckily don't have work-work to do at home, so I needed a place to be creative. The desk I wanted was one that was at a draft-table height, and had lots of storage places for my assorted craft/art/sewing supplies. My ideal desk was the Pottery Barn Bedford Project Table. http://www.potterybarn.com/products/p5716/index.cfm?pkey=ff034. My husband insisted he could make one like it for much cheaper. I was admittedly skeptical and we bought the PB desk. It arrived... with holes in it. It was a piece of crap! Made of cheap materials and put together with shoddy construction. We returned it and I told my husband to start working on the desk... and it turned out SO WELL.



That's me sewing at what is now known as "MY AWESOME DESK". The baskets were picked up at Target - the perfect size to hold items. He did 98% of the work (I helped sand and prep for stain. I would have done more but I was drooling). I'm obviously using it a lot because I've already got a mess all over it.

The next project was bookshelves. I needed a place for some art/project-related books, but mostly my husband needed a place for his significant sci-fi / toy collection. Take one shortened wall in the office, and a lot of plywood and paint, and you have...





The shelves are adjustable in case we later change our minds on how to display items. The shelves also go down behind the sofa, and we put the less attractive items there (like his C++ manuals and my old textbooks). I helped more on this by doing a lot of the caulking and painting. But this was his design and construction.

Thanks for looking and letting me brag about my husband! Now I've got to go get him to make me some fabric organizing shelves...
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10  First time sewing in almost a decade... in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by fnur on: September 05, 2008 06:22:00 AM
Hi everyone! This is my first project post, so please be gentle.

My husband and I moved into a place that's finally big enough for me to have a crafting area and use my 20-year-old sewing machine. I have not sewn in almost a decade - not since I had to leave F.I.T. before graduation to take care of my mom. I was worried that I had forgotten how to do everything, so I started with something simple that would let me "get my hand back". I chose an apron for my friend Jen, who just moved into a new home!

My grandmother was an accessory designer and left me tons of wonderful old sewing notions and supplies - including this great old apron pattern, from when men smoked pipes and wore manly aprons.



The men's pattern is the one I chose, because I knew Jen would like it more. My grandmother had already cut out all of the pieces, and I imagined her working on her sewing machine and making aprons for herself and her friends, and how proud she'd be of me for keeping the tradition.  Until I saw that she neglected to leave the instructions in there. THANKS A LOT, GRANDMA. (Kidding)



Why yes, that IS Project Runway fabric and it DOES say "Make It Work". Jen is a huge fan of the show. Fun fact: I went to college with Austin Scarlett, from season 1. He was in my draping II class.

I don't have any pictures of the project during the sewing process, but I do have one of the completed project on Jen.



Also, my cat approved.



Now I feel more comfortable behind a sewing machine again, so I can't wait to do more projects. Thanks for reading!
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