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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / flower maidens on: June 01, 2014 04:34:53 PM
So my daughter's class was assigned to make items to sell at a school fund-raiser.  Each student was supposed to make 100 items that could be sold for a quarter or two.  She saw a tutorial to make stick puppets at Kleas website.
http://kleas.typepad.com/kleas/2011/07/puppet-camp-final-day.html
But she decided to make them into flower fairies!  We gathered up bamboo skewers, wooden beads, embroidery floss, and fake flowers and got to work.  The first 25 got made without even going to the store, and then we just had to get more skewers and tiny flowers for hats.



She let her sister and I help, and we had lots of fun.  (She also took the photos.)



I started calling them pixie-sticks.



We made 79 in all.  75 to sell, and 4 to keep.  (There were other items to make up the 100.)  Then we had to figure out how to get them to the market on the big day.  We finally decided to stick the sticks in a block of styrofoam.



We fit most of them!  It looked so pretty!



At the market, she kept the block under the table.  She put a handful at a time into each of two vases, which she could refill.  All the little girls loved them, and they sold out well before the end.



My girls are now making more puppets, so they can put on "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / three generation afghan on: September 10, 2013 07:42:08 PM
When my Mom and her siblings went to their parents' house to sort through things after they died, she ended up with a lot of Grandma's crochet stuff, including a crocheted flower square.  She figured it must have been the beginning of an afghan.  She decided to finish it with Grandma's yarns and give it to one of us who hadn't gotten one from her while she was alive.  Me!!!  I told her to just use a mix of whatever colors she had.  Well, Mom made about 35 flowers or so, and got halfway through adding the leaves.  Then her arm got really sore and she was having a hard time crocheting.  I told her I could work on it some until she felt better.  Well, she didn't and it was just an early symptom of her cancer spreading to all kinds of places that it shouldn't be.  So two years after Mom died, I've finally got back to working on the afghan.  And finishing it!  Yea!



I had to make a few more flowers to get it six by seven blocks, which ends up about queen sized.  I put Grandma's square in the center of an X of purple flowers so I could always figure out which one was hers.  I didn't really need to since I didn't bother to get a good match on the white yarn.  But there you go.



The ironic thing is, as I was attaching the last square next to Grandma's square, I discovered that her square had a mistake in it.  Each side should have 16 joining stitches.  That last square had 17!  To fix it properly would mean ripping back to the first round of white.  And I wasn't going to do that!  So I just fudged it in there.  But now I wonder: was that single square still sitting around at Grandma's because it was a mistake and she just throw it aside?  Have I now immortalized her mistake with a proud place of honor?  Maybe.  But I made the afghan to honor my Grandma and my Mom and all their work for others.  And I love it.


3  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / There's a Dalek in my front yard!!! on: July 15, 2013 08:47:44 AM
I have to brag on my husband!  When he said he was making something for me for our Anniversary, I had no clue it was this awesome!



Every time he rides his bike to work, he brings home metal stuff from the side of the road.  We've been talking about him making something from them for quite a while.  A few months ago, he got a crash course on welding from our neighbor who just happens to have a mig welder.  So a couple weeks ago when he started spending a lot of hours at the neighbor's house, I figured he had a project going.  He said it was a surprise.  I told him I hate surprises.  He told me I'd like this one!  Man, was he ever right!

Can you imagine waking up to this in your front yard?!



The only things he purchased were the half-spheres, which are pipe caps.  The eye-stalk in mounted in part of a truck hitch, and swivels up and down.  The arm without the laser is made from a jack, and telescopes out.  The head is a propane tank sliced up, with pieces of our broken garage-door-opener spring on top.  The whole thing is four and a half feet tall.



My husband is awesome!


4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / new vintage dress on: February 18, 2013 07:56:05 AM
I finally decided to stop just looking at all the cute dresses people have made on the internet, and make my own.  I really should step away from the computer more often!



I decided that the key to making a quick dress from a vintage pattern is to find a kimono sleeve.  So I went through my stash and found one from my Grandma.  I think she made the jacket some time, because the pattern pieces were labeled.  It also helped my quick-make factor that there was only one size (mine), and the pattern didn't need to be cut out.  Just slap it right on the fabric and cut!



It only took me a day and a half, but it was a good thing I didn't have too much else I needed to do.  And DH was very good about letting me sew.  But he likes it when I have a new dress--probably because they actually fit me and show off what curves I do have.

Here's that lovely pleated bodice.


5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / cable luxe hat on: August 20, 2012 09:04:24 AM
I hope this is the right place to post my challenge entry.  Being first almost makes me as nervous as being last.



So a couple of years ago I saw a fabulous sweater here on craftster.  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=283624.0  Later on I saw that the Lion Brand Cable Luxe Tunic was free and had a similar horizontal cable, and decided to give it a whirl.  I took it with me lots of places to work on it.  But it seemed like whenever people would comment on it and I would mention that it was for myself, that would stop the conversation.  Strange.

I got it to the point that I could try it on.  It just didn't fit right.  Don't let the photo fool you.  Maybe if I had followed the pattern... but we all know how that goes.



So I ripped it out and tried again.  No good.  Left it for a year.  Ripped out and tried again.  And again.  Aargh!

So much later, I decided that I was sick of the reproachful and forlorn looks I got every time I glanced its way.  I yanked that project bag out of the corner and ripped out everything but the main cable panel.  All that yarn got knit into a small baby blanket for a new neice. 

But I couldn't get rid of that beautiful cable.  So I kept enough to go round my noggin, ripped out what was leftover, and used it to form the crown and rib for a hat.  For me.



And it's not perfect, but it has memories in it from all the places I took it when I thought it was a sweater.


6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / tutu much! on: June 05, 2012 05:41:12 PM
So I get a discount on my daughters' ballet lessons in exchange for sewing some of the costumes.  I mentioned to someone that I haven't sewn any tutus even though I've been doing this for three years.  Mostly just fancy leotards.  And within a month the studio director got a hold of me and said that she'd bought this great new pattern, and could I sew some tutus.  Not just any tutus either.  Real, stick-straight-out, pancake, classical tutus for teenage girls!  I have to say that I was a bit trepidatious, but excited to try!  And so the odyssey began....



I have to say that I never could have done it without the fabulous pattern from Suzanne Deickman!  If you ever need to sew a legitimate tutu, check out her site  "Tutus That Dance."



I was laughing my head off half the time because I felt like I was hugging a big ball of netting.  Once you get all nine layers of netting sewn on, you press or steam them so they flatten out.  But before that....



Now I know why tutus cost so much.  Even the very plain tutus, without any decoration, too 17 hours to complete.  They aren't super hard, just time intensive.  And you can factor in that I'm a newbie, but still.  I made five plain, white tutus for our swans. 



There was a bluebird solo (a variation on the Bluebird pas de deux from the Sleeping Beauty ballet).  It's got lace over a bright satin, with a sturdy twill lining.  Fully boned, but only with the cheap poly boning from the store.  I'm not brave enough to use steel, yet, but see that it'll be necessary in the future.  Decorated bodice and tutu took about 30 hours, but I wasn't so good about keeping track of my time there near the end.



And we had a firefly solo.  This was my favorite tutu, as was the dancer.  The tutu is already sagging, but I made it with a hoop casing, so that won't be hard to fix.



These, with a few leotards and odds and ends, took about three months, working what amounted to part-time.  At one point, I tried to tell a lady from church that I was spending all my time making tutus, but somehow I said tatoos!


7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / securing capelet to ballet costume? on: May 15, 2012 10:01:50 AM
So I'm doing costumes for my daughters' ballet studio.  They're doing Little Red Riding Hood.  I've made the costume for Red, and the satiny capelet.  But that thing slides around like crazy when she dances!  I need to somehow secure it, but it has to be removable.  She isn't wearing it at the beginning of the first scene.  Then the mother puts it on her, and she immediately exits the stage.  This is when something could be fiddled with to secure it, before she goes on in the next scene.



Sorry, the capelet is at the studio so they can practice with it.  So no picture, but it's pretty basic.  Ties at the front neck.  We'll stick bobby pins in to secure the hood, but I need to think of something for the shoulders.



The strap is underneath the peasant top.  I'm sure there's a simple solution, but my brain is a little fried from working on ballet costumes about 20 hours a week for the past three months!  It's a good thing it gets me a hefty discount on the girls' tuition, or the stress would outweigh the fun.  Thanks for any and all suggestions!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / artificial fading? on: December 03, 2010 12:49:53 PM
I bought this abfab 80's dress at a garage sale.  It's all velvety on top, with a satin mermaid skirt including netting underneath for volume.  I want to cut off the poufy skirt to use by itself.  But this stripey fading is only on the front.



The back is the original deep purple without the pink fading.  I think it's probably from sun exposure.  I don't mind the fading, but it looks funny just in front.  So anyone know how I could artificially fade the rayon/acetate satin?
9  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / sunburst in greens and turquoises on: September 27, 2010 11:02:01 AM
So I finally finished the quilt that I started for my brother's wedding...two years ago.  But they loved it, so all's well that ends well.  I got the pattern from "Royal Stars of the States" by Eula Long.  This woman drafted a star pattern for each of the 50 United States.  This is Virginia.  



Most of the fabrics are from my Grandma's stash that I inherited.  



If you can't tell, their favorite colors are green and turquoise.  The fabric for the background and backing are the same as the center medallion.



I've also made Ohio (my profile pic) and Utah, each for a sibling's wedding, each over a year late.  Maybe I'll start another now, even though the two left don't have prospects, yet. =)

(My apologies for the tiny pictures.  Any suggestions on making them show larger?)

10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / kusudama on: May 27, 2010 02:22:55 PM
I saw the kusudama tutorial on foldingtrees quite a while ago, and loved it.  
http://foldingtrees.com/2008/11/kusudama-tutorial-part-1/
It's really simple to do, it just takes time to fold 60 units, then glue them all together.
I used pages from a thrifted Japanese book.



Here you can see the basic unit or petal (farthest right).  You glue five units into a flower.  Then six flowers into a hemisphere.  (I started with papers 4" square.)



Finally, you glue two hemispheres into a ball, traditionally with a string loop for hanging in between, but I used a bamboo skewer instead.  It was tricky getting the two halfs to stay positioned so that all those surfaces were touching while the glue was still wet, so I used bobbypins.



It looks nice in a vase, but in my head I imagine it displayed with the skewer placed between books on a full shelf.  I gave it to a friend for her birthday, and never tried it with the books.

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