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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / My First Three Sister Garden on: July 18, 2014 03:55:36 PM
We've had a terrible time with gardens while living here.  I don't know if the soil is that bad or if it's just us.  We've grown some really nice gardens in years gone by so I don't think we're totally incapable but since we've lived here it's been hit and miss with everything.  A few years back I staked out a little area next to the garage that I thought would be perfect for some grapes.  I've struggled with them ever since so this spring I dug them all up.  While trying to decide what to do that that spot I thought of corn, which I love and haven't grown any for at least twenty years.  And since we got only one pitiful little zucchini last year I though I'd try a Three Sister Garden in my newly reclaimed garden patch.  A Three Sister Garden is where you plant corn, beans and squash all together so that they can benefit each other. So here is my first attempt at a TSG and it looks like I'm going get some corn. Yay!
We've been swimming in zucchini and cucumbers (Yea, I threw a hill of those in too cause last year we didn't get a single one).  From the websites I read, it seems like you're supposed to plant just winter squash but I also planted zucchini and yellow.  We've just started getting some yellow the last couple of days. The corn is coming along very nicely too.

Last year Hubby purchased some plain blocks to make our original little garden patch into raised beds. It seems to be doing better this year than last.  Maybe because I didn't try to cram so much into it.

We're trying some new things this year too like this Itailian Grilling Pepper.  They're humongous and very tasty.
For the last few years I've had a tiny strawberry patch but we only get a handful each year.  Not because there are no berries, there are loads of them.  The reason we don't don't get any is because we have lots of these.....
Despite the fact that I have tried to entice them to stay around the front of the house by maintaining luxury living quarters like this.......

and building them a virtual playground like this........

they still ate all the strawberries.

So I removed the strawberries and planted leeks.

So far so good.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / My Music Corner on: July 02, 2014 06:15:10 PM
For a Loooong time now I've wanted to have someplace to leave my most played and loved instruments "out" somewhere where I could just grab one up and play it whenever I had a few minutes here and there throughout the day.  The problem was I had no place to leave them out so with most everything tucked away in it's case and stuck in the back of a closet they never got played because it was just too much trouble dragging it out for just a little while and then packing it back up. There are a lot of stands that sit in the floor but I don't have a lot of room for those plus I have two wild dogs running around, plus I'm not so good at steering the vacuum cleaner.  I preferred to have them hanging on the wall out of the way. It would be cheaper to just tie a piece of rawhide around the neck and hang it on a nail.  The problem with that for me is that I live in an old log cabin (built in the 40's) with different sized logs so anything I try to put on a wall will not hang straight down but lopsided because of all the knots and lumps and bumps on the logs.  I finally thought up an idea to try and to my surprise it actually worked out pretty well.  Here is my new music corner.

I moved everything out of the corner and started here.

Then I made a trip to Lowes to pick up copper wire, plastic tubing and wire clips.

I estimated how much wire I would need for each instrument, cut it and ran it inside the clear tubing so it wouldn't scratch the instruments.  Then I started bending them to shape a hanger for each one.  Since each instrument is a different size and shape, each hanger had to be fitted to it.

Then the fun part, fitting each hanger to the uneven logs.  Wire clips were then be hammered into place where they wouldn't contact the instruments.  The only thing that touches  them is the soft tubing so there's nothing to scratch or rub the wood.

But then I realized it didn't feel cozy enough because the ceilings are so high.  So I scrounged around the garage and found a piece of old wooden ladder (three rungs long) that was left over from a project long ago.  I also found some leftover chain (from a different project) and painted them a dark coppery color.  I used the chain to suspend the piece of ladder from the ceiling and dressed it up a little with silk flowers from Joann's and some salvaged Christmas lights.  Added some Witch balls I purchased from a glass shop last year and never found the right place for and my little music corner is complete.

Well almost.......I did have to add the instruments........ ..........and my babies, Brando and Monk.
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Cthulhu Woodburning on: June 26, 2014 04:39:37 PM
For the Halloween in June Swap, my partner listed Lovecraftian stuff as some of her favorite Halloween things.  She also listed wall art as something she'd like to receive so I made this wood burning for her.  After burning I added a little color here and there and just a touch of color around the edge.  Then I gave it a coat of Triple Thick Clear Glaze to give it a slight wet look.  I was OK with how it turned out but I didn't have any basswood and instead of ordering some I just went to Hobby Lobby and picked up one of their wooden plaques.  Basswood is so much better to burn something like this on so I need to just keep some on hand.

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crocheted Snake on: August 13, 2013 05:01:01 PM
Craftster is an endless supply of creativity and knowledge and sharing.  You can't come here and NOT learn something.  I just bookmarked fantasticmio's tute on continuous granny square join-as-you-go and I know I'll be using that one soon.

I love to crochet snakes and have posted a few of these before.  This one I made for my daughter to match the rattlesnake bracelet I made for her a while back.

Here's a close up of the head.  I usually just stitch the inside of the mouth with just thread and no beads but thought I'd bead the inside of this one.  Boy did it make for some tight work.  Probably won't be doing it this way very often.

The actual pattern for this snake came straight from Adele Recklies book, "Bead Crochet Snakes: History and Technique." I love this book and it's what got me started crocheting these things in the first place. They are all done in single crochet.


Thanks for looking!
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Photo Restoration on: August 13, 2013 11:42:47 AM
I didn't know where I should post this so I hope this is OK.  There is such a wealth of talent and inspiration here on Craftster.  I have tried so many different techniques and crafts after seeing it done here.  I got my first digital program to work with photographs several years ago to try to clean up some old family photographs.  Removing spots and scratches was about as far as I ever got until I came to Craftster.  Since most of the swaps I've joined as well as other Craftster inspired projects I've done have involved digital manipulation it has given me way more experience.  Joining in on paper crafts such as chunky houses and the like has really increased my knowledge of my program that's been sitting on my computer all this time. 

This is the only picture I own of my Grandfather as a young man. I don't know how or why it got ripped in half.  I have sometimes wondered if maybe there used to be a young lady that was Not Grandma attached at one time.  Grin

I had made some attempt in the past to do something to fix it well enough to frame but was never really happy with how it looked.  But in working on the Side Show Swap I was just in, I discovered a few functions in my program I had never noticed before.  When the swap was over I got Grampa's scanned photo and went to work.  Several hours later and voila!  It's not perfect but it's OK for me.

And here he is all ready for a frame.

Craftster pushes me to learn more, do more and be better than I ever would on my own.
6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 86 ENTRIES / Black Widow Amulet Bag on: May 08, 2013 02:11:07 PM
Here is the amulet bag I made for nicoleburdsall for the OTT HALLOWEEN EDITION 2 swap. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=361914.0.  She had spiders on her list so I thought that would make a good design to do in beaded tapestry crochet. So here is the bag (nicole's picture is much better than mine though) with a few in progress pics and the last pic is "Lucy" who likes to model my jewelry for me.  Hope you enjoy.

, ,
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Two of my Chunky Halloween Houses inspired by "FIDO" on: October 21, 2012 07:24:52 PM
I love to throw together little groupings and scenes from some of my favorite movies or books so this year when two of my Chunky Halloween House partners said they liked zombies my first thought was "FIDO".  It's one of my all time favorite zombie movies and I have watched it so many times.  So I thought this would be a good opportunity to make these two partners (and myself Grin ) some houses inspired by FIDO.  

So here is the War Room which belongs to Zomcon's new head of security.  His war room is his office in his home where he displays his zombie war trophies along with his many framed photos of himself during the war and his framed newspaper clippings boasting of his many kills.  And then there is the specimen jar that holds the head of one of his kills.......Uncle Bob!  It's that specimen jar with Uncle Bob's head that got me started on this one,  I just had to have one.  

Now all of my Chunky Houses that I've ever made have been photoshopped from top to bottom but it took me so long to get Uncle Bob's head right that I almost gave up. In the movie there was only a brief shot of the  right side of the jar and then a longer showing of the front. So I had to take these two shots and put them together in a way that could be stretched and rolled to be placed inside the small plastic tube so that Uncle Bob's head looked like a real head suspended in liquid.  And I wanted it to look right from any angle.  Needless to say, I have a whole envelope full of failed attempts that once printed and rolled just didn't look right.  I think I'm finally happy with the final result though. So here is my War Room and a close up of Uncle Bob.


And a couple more.

My second house revolves around the father in the movie. He was afraid of zombies and wanted to make sue that he could provide head coffin funerals for him and his family.    In the end of course he got his wish and he had a lovely head coffin burial.  My Chunky House has a head coffin containing the Zomcon logo on the front and the front sticks shut with a magnet but easily pulls off for the head viewing.  So here's my head coffin house.

These were really fun to make.  Hope you enjoy!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Double headed snake bracelet on: May 02, 2012 08:31:45 AM
Here is a bracelet I just finished. I have been wanting to try this out for a while now  and finally decided to give it a go. I crochet snakes a lot but for this one I wanted to have a head on each end and have the belly of each one twist around to become the head of the other.  I'm happy with how it turned out and now am planning to make some more. I'd like to try one with metal beads.  Maybe copper and something.  Thanks for looking.

Here in different light.

And here's the back side so you can see the twist to reverse the colors.
9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 71 ENTRIES / Snow and Ice Snake necklace on: February 03, 2012 09:17:27 AM
Some of you know that I like to crochet snakes.  I'd always wanted to make a solid white one to represent snow but when I sat down to start stringing it with the nice smooth uniformly sized white beads I was going to use it started looking pretty boring.  So I started looking through my stash and found a ton of the beads that aren't quite perfectly shaped and sized.  I thought about how when our dogs go out and play in the snow they come in with all these little to large sized balls of snow stuck all over their legs. And ice.  You can't have snow without a little ice here and there.  So here is my vision of a snow and ice snake. Tiny little odd shaped balls of snow and ice formed by slithering through deep winter forest and frozen fields.

Here is the finished necklace. It measures just a hair over 3 foot long. It is a little on the heavy side since it is all glass beads. It was all crocheted in single crochet except the fangs and tail were strung on.

Here is a better look of the top of the head. This is the only part of the snake that was designed out and had to the strung in a pattern before crocheting. The rest of the snake was randomly strung.

Here is closeup of the head.

Here is pic of the snake in progress. Snakes are crocheted from tail to head and at this point the top half of the head is is almost completed.

Hope you enjoy!  
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Window Treatments on: December 01, 2011 03:33:53 PM
I've been looking for something to hang at my kitchen windows but didn't want full curtains.  I already had bamboo shades but they just needed something to hang down each side to finish it off a bit more.  Then I came across a book on interlocking crochet and thought this would be fun to do. 

Here's a close up of the patterns.

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