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1  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Marceline the Vampire Queen on: January 31, 2017 05:55:30 PM



I made this amigurumi for my mathematical pal, Rebecca ^___^ Marceline is the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time and, hoo boy, was this amigurumi an adventure to make! I started off with the Bat Girl pattern by Ilaria Caliri, which was published in the 49th issue of Simply Crochet. I used Patons Dreamtime Merino 4 ply in grey for Marceline's body and a 2.50mm hook. I did add in extra rounds for her legs and arms though, to fit in more with Marceline's proportions. I added wire to her limbs so she is slightly posable.



Marceline's lush hair was easy but time consuming to do; I crocheted a wig cap and then looped lots and lots and lots of lengths of yarn through each stitch of the wig cap. I used three balls of Bella Baby cotton wool 8ply in black for the hair, but I didn't use up the third ball completely. The good thing about this lengthy process is that her hair is super thick and therefore can totally be done up in different hairstyles without showing a patchy looking scalp.



Marceline's boots are simply tubes, with red bows tied onto them. I put a little dab of pva glue on each bow, to hopefully prevent them from coming undone. I used the same Bella Baby brand yarn for all of Marceline's hair and clothes, by the way. It's a 75% cotton, 25% wool blend and it's very soft and nice to work with.



I wanted to make all of Marceline's clothes removable so that there is potential for making more of her outfits for future gifts. Her pants were a bit tricky since I've never crocheted any dolls clothes before and had little idea of what I was doing. I crocheted two tubes to go up her legs, and then kinda crocheted a big tube around the tops of them. I sewed up the gap between the pant legs afterwards. I didn't write any of the pattern down though, which I totally should have done. A lot of the time when I am trying to create something without a pattern I just end up trying things and frogging them and trying again until I get something close to what I want, and I am terrible at keeping records during this process.



Marceline's top was very simple; it is just a rectangle with slightly curved in sides (to make it fit to the curve of her torso better) and straps made with a chain stitch. I sewed snaps onto the back edges for the closures.



The last thing to do was to add details to her face; I used embroidery thread to create her mouth, her fangs, and the bite marks on the side of her neck.

Overall I am pleased with how she turned out, although I think a haircut might be needed to give her a proper fringe and tidy up the ends a bit. I did attempt a bit of a trim, but then I was worried I was going to mess up her hair (her time consuming hair!!) and didn't go any further.
2  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / A pair of cherries on: January 31, 2017 05:45:18 PM



I made these cherry amigurumi for my roller derby friend Cherry! (yeah, I'm not so original ~___^)



I used a pattern from Amigurumi Food to make these, which a few minor adjustments. I wanted my cherries to be bigger than the ones from the pattern, so I used Lion Brand Yarn's Heartland Thick & Quick and Hometown USA yarns, both of which are a super bulky yarn. I used Heartland Redwood for the cherries, and Oklahoma City Green for the steam and leaves. I also moved up to a 8mm hook and used larger safety eyes; the ones I used were about a 20mm diameter. Instead of embroidering the mouths and cheek blushes, I cut light pink felt to shape and glued it on with E6000 - that felt isn't going anywhere now! ~___^



Because I find weaving in the ends quite difficult with super bulky yarns, I attempted to reduce the amount I'd have to do by joining the seams to the cherries before casting on. I'm not sure that it looks as neat as sewing them on would have looked though, so perhaps I'll have to look into acquiring a super big needle for the future. For size reference, the Fire-King bowl they are sitting in is 18cm diameter, so these cherries are more grapefruit sized ~___^
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Unicorn and T-Rex Roller Derby Trophies on: January 31, 2017 05:32:19 PM
I volunteered this year to make trophies for my roller derby league's end of year awards party. We needed a lot of trophies and they needed to be cheap and easy to make. And they needed to be awesome.



So, of course, dinosaurs and unicorns came to mind! ~___^



I started off with a bunch of plumbing caps; the hardware store had heaps of them, they're cheap, and they're actually a really nice solid plastic. Much more professional looking than my limited woodworking skills could produce in a very short time period. I used my Dremel to sand off the raised writing on the tops of the caps; this produced a ton of dust so a mask and goggles were an absolute necessity.



Then I used superglue to attach the animal toys I found at the Reject Shop (a discount store, more expensive than a dollar shop but still pretty cheap). They didn't have enough horses so I used everything vaguely equine that they had - zebras, donkeys ... if you tilted your head and squinted and it kinda looked like a horse I brought it.



I made a bunch of horns using some white sculpty; I only needed a tiny bit for this so I used some from my stash rather than buying a whole new packet. Once they were baked and cooled I used superglue to stick them on.



Then I spray painted them all gold, stuck on cardstock tags with double-sided tape, and then coated everything with a matt varnish. I am on the fence about the varnish to be honest because I think it dulled the gold colour but I wanted them tags to be coated with something and I find sometimes plastic + spray paint with no varnish can = stickyness.



Anyway, they were a big hit and after it turned out that I was told the incorrect number for how many trophies were needed (d'oh!) I made one more for the person who missed out - and I made it a dinocorn to make it up to them ~___^
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Louise Belcher on: November 08, 2016 07:28:50 AM


Hi all! For Halloween this year I went as Louise Belcher, from the TV show Bob's Burgers. I drafted the patterns for the dress, hat, and bag myself. I found Zoe H's video on her version of that hat really helpful when making mine! The dress is made from cotton drill and has a circle skirt which sits really nicely ^___^



The hat is definitely my favourite part of the costume - not only is it super recognisable, it's also really comfortable and fun to wear! I made the hat with polar fleece and wire (to hold up the ears) and the bag is made with polar fleece and felt.

*



This was a really comfortable costume to wear, and I got to have some fun quoting some of Louise's best lines (and giving the ol' scary eyes expression a go! ~___^)



*no ears were harmed in the making of this costume
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Jake the Dog Plastic Bag Holder on: October 09, 2016 08:25:12 AM


Do you feel like practical things are made so much better with just a touch of impracticality? Like, I have a rice spoon. Boring. I have a rice spoon that is a pastel pink rabbit and its ears are the spoon scoop - excellent!! I decided recently that I really needed a plastic bag holder - and that it should totally look like Jake the Dog.



My Jake has a 65cm long torso and, including his arms and legs, is about 118cm long in total. He is only 14cm wide though; I can't decide if I like the skinny look best (because it kind of looks like he really has stretched) or if I should have made him wider.



He managed to fit in our entire plastic bag hoard, and he really brightens up the laundry room, so I'm very glad I've made him!



6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Harry Potter art canvas on: October 09, 2016 08:16:37 AM


My friend Bec has always said very kind things about my art canvases (which, to be honest, seems like a term which is a bit too fancy for what I actually create), so I decided that she better have one of her very own. I decided on a Harry Potter theme since Bec and I are Potterheads from way back, and making this type of canvas is easier if you know lots of random little things about a fandom.



I made a winged key simply by cutting out two vaguely wing looking shapes from scrapbooking paper and sticking them underneath a wooden key embellishment. I inked the edges of the wings and curled them up a bit to give a bit more texture.



Since woodland themes are just going out of fashion in scrapbooking now, I found a huge kit of embellishments and cutouts at the discount shop for super cheap - huzzah! The wings, blue stag card, and the stag cutout from before are all from the same kit. I stuck the wings on with double-sided sticky foam which kinda makes them look like they're floating - perfect for the wingardium leviosa spell! ^___^ I wish I had brought up on supplies a few years ago when owls were in though, because no owls were included in this particular woodland kit ; ___ ;



In this picture you can see a library card for Hogwarts: A History with (nerd alert!) names and approximate appropriate dates for confirmed canon Hogwarts students, a laminex heart that I made from a sample card from the hardware store, a stag cutout to represent Harry's patronus, and a whole lot of stamping done with my mini alphabet set. I really love this stamp set, and I use it so much; I didn't really try to get the letters straight on this project though because I felt like it gave a more Daily Prophet style feel.



Other things that you can spot on this canvas include a vintage suitcases sticker from a Amy Tangerine remarks set, a silver crown and Union Jack from a Ruby Rock-It Vintedge (yup, that's how it's spelt!) Imprints sheet, two clocks and a pointing hand also from Ruby Rock-It, two chipboard letters that I coloured gold with a paint pen, kraft paper tags that I wrote and stamped on to make the Hogwarts Express luggage tags and the tag under the HP, and a random gold embellished circle gift tag that I drew a lightning bolt on. Oh, and washi tape. Always washi tape.

The most important step of making an art canvas is to mod podge everything down afterwards. Seriously, I tried to skip this step because I thought double-sided tape and glue would be enough. Spoiler alert: it's not.
7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Bee from Bee and Puppycat cosplay on: October 09, 2016 07:43:11 AM


Unlike some other cartoon characters, Bee has quite a few different outfits. I decided to go for her trademark yellow bee embellished top and pink skirt because I prefer wearing skirts to shorts and didn't have the time to create one of her more intensive outfits! When I do a cosplay, I usually write a list of things that I will buy, things I will make, and things I already have. Yellow t-shirt was on the "to buy" list, but I couldn't find one anywhere! So instead I brought a white t-shirt and dyed it using the Procion fabric dyes my mum handed down to me. My dyeing skills are somewhat basic and the t-shirt is not a perfectly flat colour, but it was good enough for the day!



The bee applique on my top is crocheted, using a great pattern by Twinkie Chan. I had all the right colours to make it in my stash and it was quick and easy to make. I attached it to my top with a safety pin because I think I will wear it as a badge until I revisit this cosplay.



I didn't have any luck finding pink shoes, so I wore my black Doc Marten Mary-jane's instead. I found some cute white socks with scalloped edges in Target; they are made of a thin stocking type material so were not too bad for wearing on a hot day!



The skirt was the hero of this cosplay, and I was very happy with how it turned out! I already had a pattern for a circle skirt cut out from my mermaid costume so I re-used that but, since I was using a cotton fabric with not much stretch, I also wanted to add a zip. Zips are seriously the bane of my existence, but I did manage to insert one successfully ... after a couple of goes! ~___^ I hemmed the skirt following this method by Colette although I'm pretty sure I managed to slightly singe the skirt while doing so, so I'm not sure if I'll use this method in the future. I didn't really follow a tutorial for the patch pockets, but I did find a post on patch pockets by Itch to Stitch which was very useful. I made the pocket bows using my hair bow tutorial and pattern and safety pinned them on. I decided against sewing them on because I thought that if I had to wash this skirt, it would be better to be able to remove the bows beforehand.



I always like to have a bag when I'm cosplaying so I used some of the leftover fabric from the skirt bows to make a small tote bag. I applique a felt eggplant on the bag, since aubergines seem to turn up quite a bit on Bee and Puppycat! I used pink ribbon for the handles simply because I had some which was the right colour in my stash. I was worried that they were going to snap during the day, but they held up well!

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / How to make succulent planters from ceramic moneyboxes on: October 09, 2016 07:26:19 AM


My experiments in growing succulents from cuttings and leaves have reached the stage where I have a *lot* of new plants, and no where near enough pots. To remedy this, I headed off to the discount store (because I am nothing if not cheap) but they only had plain plastic pots in their gardening section, which didn't rouse much excitement. However, as I was heading back out via the homewares section, I spotted an amazing unicorn money box. You know what they say, "when life gives you moneyboxes, make planters!" ~___^



I started off with the unicorn moneybox by using a permanent marker to measure out a rectangle shape. I made mine 5.5cm x 3 cm, but the size is really dependent on the shape of your object and the size you want the plant hole to be.  I attached the ceramic cutting wheel to my Dremel (#EZ545, with the EZ Lock Mandrel, for those playing along at home) and started cutting along the marked lines. It cut through the ceramic like butter! Only with, like, a hecka ton of dust. I was wearing safety glasses, ear muffs, and a dust mask during this project which kinda seemed like overkill when I began but, hey, at least I didn't get any ceramic dust in my lungs.



To tidy it up a bit, I went around the edges with a long rounded pink grinding stone attachment (no idea what number is this, sorry!) which really helped make everything look neater and also feel less sharp. Since the moneybox came with a hole in the bottom, I decided just to take out the rubber plug and use that for drainage.



I placed a large flat rock over the hole in the base of the unicorn, and then added a layer of small pebbles. Then all that was left to do was add some cacti and succulent soil, and the plants!
9  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Pizza wall hanging on: October 09, 2016 07:17:37 AM


Ok, so, this project is totally awesome and totally difficult to photograph. If you have a house that isn't 90% brown brick (mmmmm, so seventies!) it may be easier to take photographs that look pretty. BUT - pizza weaving! Yum!  I used my 6.5 x 9.5 inch loom and although when I started I wanted to make it bigger, after weaving all the pizza toppings I think this size was just right ~___^



Before I started, I drew a pizza slice on a sheet of A4 paper which I kept under my loom as I wove. I didn't follow it exactly, but it was good to have a guideline regarding where I should be putting toppings and how much to angle in the actual pizza slice.



Bonus project: Above is the first weaving I made. Now, let's be honest, it's pretty ugly. I started this project with no idea what the finished product would look like and since I was more interested in learning how to do different things rather than making a coherent design it's kinda ... odd.  I did have a lot of fun making it though! ^___^

10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Captain America and The Winter Soldier crochet mismatched fingerless mitts on: September 19, 2016 08:19:46 AM


I have seen versions of this around before, but they were all knitted and since I'm still not a very confident knitter I decided to crochet them instead. I used Twinkie Chan's instructions for a basic mitt pattern to determine the size these should be (as this varies depending on hand size) and used a 4mm hook and some 100% DK weight wool to make them.

For the Winter Soldier mitt I crocheted in the back loops every second row to create a kind of ridged pattern to mimic the segments of his metal arm. The star was extremely frustrating to make because most applique patterns were way too big. I ended up making it up as I went along, but I'm still not totally happy with it.



For the Captain America mitt I just did a plain treble repeat and I used Handy Knitty's pattern to make the "A". The little wings on either side of the A were a little tricky to do, because again most patterns were much too large. I ended up using a similar technique to how Handy Knitty forms their letters. I chain stitched nine, slip stitched in three, chained two, slip stitched in three, chained two, slip stitched in five. The extra chain stitches form the two lower wing protrusions.  The two sides are made exactly the same way, and I just flipped one over once I was finished crocheting. They need to be sewed down to really look like Captain America's helmet wings, but once they are attached I think they look pretty neat.

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