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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: The Grinch in the Christmas Tree on: November 30, 2016 06:36:46 PM
 Cheesy

Oh, wow! Thanks so much!
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: The Grinch in the Christmas Tree on: November 27, 2016 07:14:58 PM
My neighbor and I were talking today and she whipped out her phone to show me something she wanted to make. It was the same picture from Pinterest that my sister sent me!   Cheesy
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / The Grinch in the Christmas Tree on: November 26, 2016 04:01:56 PM
A couple of weeks ago, my sister sent me a picture from Pinterest and asked if I could make it for her daughter, as a Christmas decoration. It's the Grinch, his rear end sticking out of a Christmas tree, as he presumably gets ready to steal it.

Of course, I couldn't find a pattern online for this monstrosity. So, I had to wing the whole thing. 

The shopping was going to be the easy part. I could break down the various parts in my head before I cut a single piece of fabric. I knew right away the Santa coat would be made from a Christmas tree skirt. I picked one up at Target for $15.99. I think it was 48" across.

The 2 yards of green polar fleece, Fiber Fill and wooden dowels came from Wal-Mart. The feathers were from A.C. Moore. The two Velcro ties came from Home Depot. The thread I used was already mine. I even used the leftover polar fleece pieces as stuffing in the body. None of that green fleece was wasted.

The fact that the Grinch is not a regular person took a lot of the pressure off me. I decided to use a variation on the poppet pattern from Good Cookie Creations. I sketched out enlarged versions of the legs (stopping at the ankles), front and back pieces with a Sharpie marker on the fleece and cut them out.

For the feet, I still had enough green fleece, so I decided to stick with his natural green feet and not make Santa booties for him. I traced around one of my Converse Chuck Taylors on a piece of cardboard. Then I enlongated it and thinned it out, giving it a pointed toe. I made one of these for each of his feet, as kind of an insole.

I traced around those pieces, twice each. One piece became the bottom of his foot, and the other became the top of his foot. I used a small rectangle of fleece for the back of each foot. For the sides, I roughly sketched out on the fleece what the sides of Chuck Taylors might look like.

I sewed the front and back pieces together. I think once or twice, I went back over my stitches to take some of his "girth" in.

When I sewed his legs together, I actually ended up making them a little shorter than originally planned. If I hadn't, his legs would have been longer than mine! Instead of using joint buttons, I sewed the legs into the body like I was making a leotard with skinny leggings, and flipped the whole thing right side out.

I sewed the feet pieces together, flipped them right side out, and slipped in the cardboard insoles. I stuffed them firmly, folded over the top edges of the feet and whip stitched them to the legs.

At this point, I inserted a wooden dowel into each leg and started firmly stuffing around the dowels. At the very top of the dowels, I used Duct Tape to attach them to each other for extra stability. While the dowels do go all the way into the ankles, these dowels are really what makes the Grinch stand by himself. I did try stuffing the legs without dowels, and his just fell over. I think the dowels I used where just over 1/4" wide. I didn't trim them for length.

When I got his legs completely stuffed, I started whip stitching the top (just north of his rump) halfway closed. After I had him stuffed completely, I finished sewing him closed. It didn't matter how neatly this as sewn, because it got covered up anyway. I went back and after adjusting the Fiber Fill, I was able to take his hips in a little more, which actually helped to get that booty of his under control.

Once the entire body was stuffed and sewn shut, I draped the Christmas tree skirt over his hips and rump and started whip stitching that into place. There's no real way to describe how I did it, other than just folding and adjusting the skirt as I went, so that it looks like the bottom portion of a Santa Claus jacket.



But because I can't ever be satisfied with something the first time, I hot glued some green feathers to his ankles, just to hide how they are stitched together. Plus, I wanted another texture on him. In watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" this year, I couldn't decide if the Grinch was furry or had feathers. I didn't bother watching the Jim Carrey version for source material, because I wanted this to look cartoony.



I also whip stitched a Velcro tie to each side of his front, to help secure him to the tree, once he arrives at my sister's house. He's going to be shipped out on Tuesday.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: What Happens When I Lust After a Jacket on TV on: June 28, 2016 06:29:16 AM
Nope, didn't do a thing with the length. The hanger in the before picture was plastic and bent, so it made the jacket look pretty frumpy. All I did was hang it a little neater in the second picture. Smiley

I think this is great, but the dyed jacket looks significantly shorter. I even counted buttons! Did you shorten it?

It's amazing how a small change can do drastically modify something! The new purple denim is suuuuuper cute! Well done!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / What Happens When I Lust After a Jacket on TV on: June 26, 2016 02:09:12 PM
Lately as I watch "The Big Bang Theory," I find myself almost coveting the purple jacket that Amy Farrah Fowler wears. I love purple. I don't think Amy's jacket is denim, but it's definitely cotton.

I realized a few days ago that I have an older men's Levi denim jacket upstairs in our attic closet. My husband bought it years ago, and I never understood why. He swore up and down he'd wear it. In the entire time I've known my husband, I've never once seen him wear a denim jacket. I told him he wouldn't wear it, and that I was going to steal it for myself.



Guess who ended up with a nice jacket?

I've worn it quite a bit over the years and just put it away two years ago to trade it out for a jacket my husband did buy me. And had forgotten all about it until I was watching TBBT again a few weeks ago and saw this lovely purple jacket of Amy's.

I love men's jackets because of how roomy they are and they always have plenty of pockets. There's even two pockets on the inside, made from wisely sewing the pocket flaps back. I'd like to point out that even as a kid, with the girl's denim jacket I had, I actually managed to do this with my own jacket, creating more pockets myself.

I picked up a packet of Rit purple dye from Joann Fabric on Thursday and dyed it finally.



Look at it, in all it's purple glory! Look how well it took the color!! I dare say this might be a better jacket than the one worn by my favorite neuroscientist. Smiley I got a "new" jacket for just the cost of the dye, which I had a coupon for, too. Smiley
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: My Very Own TARDIS on: February 04, 2016 06:01:00 PM
Now aren't you glad you didn't just buy one? Cheesy

OMG, YES!!!! Smiley And if anyone asks, my chameleon circuit is acting up a little bit.  Roll Eyes
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Owl Lamp Repaint on: February 04, 2016 04:02:26 PM
 Shocked WOW! That owl turned out super pretty! I saw those lamps just the other day at Wal-Mart and thought they were pretty underwhelming. Your paint job really makes it just POP!

***ROCKS***
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / My Very Own TARDIS on: February 04, 2016 03:54:25 PM
Well over a year ago, while doing some Christmas shopping for the 2014 season, we ended up at a store called At Home. There was a lot of interesting things there but I didn't end up buying anything. However, they did have two different sized TARDIS cabinets that I realllllllllly wanted. (They don't show them on their website so, I don't know if they still carry them in store.)

I talked myself out of either of them, because I need more furniture like I need a hole in the head. But the thought of those lovely blue cabinets never left me. Fast forward to about a one month ago. I decided it was time to transform a small cabinet I already had into a version of the TARDIS. (This whole refinishing furniture really caught me hard, didn't it?)

I spent about $28.50 on this refinish.



This is what I started with. I don't believe this is solid wood, but rather some kind of compressed sawdust kind of thing, mixed with something else. It doesn't feel like pure wood. I've had it since probably 2005, if not longer. It was something my mom bought for me at Hancock Fabrics. I always thought it was fairly homely but it's function was too good. It's been where I've stashed my paints and PS2 games in the past.

I primed it on Christmas eve afternoon. It was a really nice day here in Virginia. I was sitting outside in our driveway with a long sleeved t-shirt on.



I used 1 1/2 cans of Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover.



Sorry for the potato here. I removed the top (unneeded) drawer pull and filled the hole with wood filler. I found the windows, St. John's ambulance, police box signs and public sign on various websites, printed them to fit, and then decoupaged them on with some Modge Podge. The window trim is actually automobile pin-striping tape from Pep Boys.



I liked how the front door of the cabinet had that faux trim and recessed area on it, so I tried to recreate a version of it on the sides. these are $1 wood frames from AC Moore, with thin wood trim, from Michael's, mitered and added to the sides. I thought about adding some simple Home Depot stock furniture legs to it, to raise it up a little bit and give it more of a weight in my room, but I decided against it. I thought it would take away from that perfect "base" it already sits on.

I also tried my hand at some distressing/weathering painting all around the TARDIS. I bought some craft paint in lighter and darker shades of blue. My TARDIS is well-traveled. It's been through a lot.


9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / May the Floss be with you! on: February 03, 2016 07:47:08 PM
Just when I think I can't get any more nerdy...awhile back, I did a swap (I've since forgotten the theme) where I embroidered a hoop of  Bo and Daisy Duke for my partner. I got to thinking that I should do something like that for myself, so I give you...Kit Fisto!!



I found Kit's image by searching Yahoo for Star Wars coloring pages. The fabric is some muslin type that I got from AC Moore, along with the embroidery thread.

I used my front door's glass as a projector on a sunny day, taped the picture and the fabric up to it, and traced the image on with a pencil. It's roughly 8.5" x 10".

I love Kit because I thought he was such an interesting character. visually speaking.
 
My next planned embroidery project will be of William Shatner as Captain Kirk. I think once I get enough of these, I might have to turn them into a blanket of some kind.
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / I Made A Crochet Hook! on: December 20, 2015 08:07:50 PM
I recently saw an article about a woman who knits with her arms instead of knitting needles. I thought it was very interesting and wondered if I could use my right arm as a big ol'crochet hook. I haven't tried it yet, but then that got me thinking about making a crochet hook.

I looked around online and came across Jimbo's Front Porch (http://jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/2006/08/hook-in-progress-gone-to-crick-be-back.html) and his tute for making a crochet hook. Clearly, Jimbo is an experienced whittler, while I'm lucky to not slice off my fingertip when making supper. However, I decided to try it anyway.


Pen for scale, of course!

This is what I started with: a couple of sticks from my front yard. I believe the shorter stick was maple and the longer one was oak. I wanted to have a back up stick, in case one didn't work out, and I was glad to have thought of that. I left them to dry out on my front step for a couple of days.

After I got the bark off, the maple stick was extremely uneven, because the bark had been uneven. After I tossed that one out, I got to work on the oak stick.

I sanded the oak stick with a hand held "mouse" type of sander, with some coarse sandpaper. I don't remember the grit off hand, and I can't go out to the garage to look it up because that part of the garage is off limits to me until after Christmas, per a standing "order" from my husband.

Anyhoo, I sanded off the outer layer of bark instead of using a knife to cut it off, as I did with the maple. This bark was thinner and more brittle, and was probably out in the elements longer. Maybe that's why it was easier to work with. Who knows...I'm not very knowledgeable about wood.

I actually used a box cutter to notch out the hooked end (the "throat" of the hook). This is where I really should have hurt myself, but because I was working slowly, I was fine.

I used a damp paper towel to wipe away the sawdust, and left it to dry overnight in the kitchen. The next night, I sprayed on a couple coats of a clear semi-gloss poly. The instructions on the can said to sand it one more time and then re-coat. So, I hand handed it first and then used a big heavy, workbench-mounted sander in our garage to finish it off.

When everything was done, it was a really pretty blonde wood, very evenly colored. But I wanted to somehow seal it and make it more slick to the touch. I found the stain I used for my bench awhile back (red oak) and rubbed on one layer of it. The wood dramatically changed color, but in a way that didn't make any sense to me. It came out spotted. It didn't matter but I thought it was interesting.

I finished it off with a couple more coats of the semi-gloss poly and now I have a very rustic homemade crochet hook!


This is now the largest crochet hook I own. It's 12 3/4" long. I don't know the size of it, but I do know it's bigger than a Q sized hook.
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