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11  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / This Year's New Halloween Decoration on: October 29, 2015 04:46:53 PM
I have been wanting the life-size animated Freddy Krueger from Gemmy, but I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I already have the animated Jason Voorhees, and only because I scored him on the cheap from K-Mart a handful of years back because he was a display.

I wanted a Robert Englund Freddy, and this one from Gemmy was Jackie Earle Haley from the 2010 reboot. There's nothing wrong with Jackie's version, but he wasn't the Freddy I grew up watching and loving. Robert gave his version (the original) a great amount of snark and sarcasm that really kind of made Freddy lovable to a demented degree. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a life-size version of Robert's Freddy.

So, what does a crafty geek do when she wants something she can't find to buy? She makes it!


This lovely Justin Bieber hair looking mannequin came from eBay. The hair is actually a wig, and it didn't stay. I tossed that ugly ass thing in the garbage right after I took this picture.

Putting him together was just like playing with giant Ken doll. In fact, his name really was Ken!


He stands 6' tall. He has a small pole inserted into the back of his right calf to keep him upright and he stands on a small glass platform.

I went to the local Spirit Halloween store and picked up the mask, hat and glove. The sweater with tears and exposed burned skin came from Amazon. Amazingly enough, Spirit Halloween didn't have this sweater. I wrapped a little bit of electrical tape around his right shoulder to help keep that right arm up. The mannequin was designed to have his left arm hanging down and his right arm barely bent.

The pants and shoes came from the local thrift store. His unseen belt is actually a length of 550 cord because he's so slender, the pants would drop right off him!

The wounds in the sweater were so bright and raw looking, and the wounds on the mask weren't. I went over them with a red Sharpie marker, some red craft paint, and a back Sharpie to make the mask match the chest a little more.

But the pants and shoes weren't quite enough, as is. In fact, the navy blue work pants I bought were almost too good looking for Freddy!

Once I got home with them, I set up a clothes drying rack in my driveway. I threw the pants on it, front side up, and starting staining them. I sprayed them with some aerosol polyurethane, black spray paint, red spray paint, and even a little green spray paint (down around the hems). The polyurethane really didn't do much to visibly stain the pants because of how dark the pants are, but the black spray paint aged them pretty well.

I did hit the back of the pants a little bit too. When the pants were dry, I took a box cutter and slashed and nicked them up a little bit.

I also hit the front tops of the black shoes with some red and green spray paint. They're men's black leather shoes and they were in decent enough shape for my favorite serial killer.

Because Freddy's right hand has all of the fingers together, instead of spread apart, it made putting the glove on a little difficult. I drilled three holes between his fingers. I was able to get his thumb into the glove, and then I threaded the inside of some 550 cord into those holes. I wrapped the threads around the outside of the glove fingers and then tied them on that way.

Freddy will be standing up by my front door for Halloween night, paired with a strobe light and a "scary" flickering attic bulb, also from Spirit Halloween. I'm going to scatter some leaves around the base to help disguise it a little bit.

While my Freddy doesn't move or make noise, but I think he's going to be so awesome. The really nice things about this mannequin are that his eyes really pop inside the mask, and he's got some nice articulation so I think he's going to look pretty damn good. When everything's said and done, I figure I spent about $200 to make him, spread out over 3 paychecks. The animated Gemmy version runs $500-$1,000 online.

He's also going to be easy to store upstairs in my attic once Halloween is over. I can pop him off the platform and then take his upper body off.

In fact, because of how Freddy turned out, I'm going to order another male mannequin after Christmas to remake my Michael Meyers, and a female one to make a Bride of Frankenstein.
12  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / The Last Two Gnomes on: October 12, 2015 06:38:31 PM
Over the last year and a half, I've refurbished a series of gnomes.  I finally finished the last two: KISS gnomes for my aunt-in-law and uncle-in-law. They're brother and sister, and my husband thought they'd each like a KISS gnome for Christmas. Susie gets Stan and Zip gets Gene.




Look at that little hiney!!!


This little guy had kind of a crazy little face before I painted him. I think it still comes through. But Lord Almighty, I am tired of making gnome codpieces out of clay!  Roll Eyes

13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Nightmare Before Christmas Necklace on: September 08, 2015 06:16:39 PM
The Halloween gods and goddesses have smiled upon me (but maybe not on my bank account)! A Spirit Halloween store has opened up down the road from me. I even started following them on Twitter...they're posting coupons there!!!

So as I was strolling around in there on Sunday, I saw a Nightmare Before Christmas necklace, in with the Jack and Sally costumes. I think it was going for $7.99. I thought abut buying it, but I just didn't like the collar. I don't know, it just felt...understated? It didn't feel like Jack to me. (Don't judge me...Nightmare Before Christmas remains my favorite Christmas movie, and I love it for Halloween decorating too.) Smiley



The more I thought about it that night, the more I thought there has to be a better version online. I couldn't find one like this but I found a lot without the collar and just the bow tie bat. And then inspiration struck me...I could just make my own!

Duh! (This is how some of my projects start out: I want...and then I can't find exactly what I want so I decide to make my own.)

I had everything I needed to get started, except for large enough jump rings, which I picked up today on my lunch break from Michael's.



I rolled out some Super Sculpty to about 1/4" thick and cut out the shape of the bow tie. I poked two holes in the top (I wish now I had gone a little further apart with the holes). I sculpted a very simple bat head and did the ears as separate pieces. I smoothed the head and ears together into one piece on the back. I actually used the end of a small nail to trace out the shape of the eyes, gave the ears a little bend forward, and then baked everything.

Once the clay was baked (275 degrees for 10-15 minutes, whatever was on the Sculpty label), I started painting it. I put on 2 coats of regular craft paint for the black, 2 coats of regular craft paint in white for the eyes, white fabric paint in a squeeze tube for the pinstriping, and a little bit of glow in the dark white fabric squeeze paint over the eyes and along some of the pinstriping. Once the painting was done, I used some on the front of the bowtie to affix the bat head.

The pendant is 7" x 3" and is actually quite lightweight. I can't wait to wear it!
14  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Fixed My Cat's Scratching Post on: August 30, 2015 03:38:12 PM
A happy kitty is a well behaved kitty. Smiley
15  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Another Mahogany Cutting Board on: August 30, 2015 03:37:50 PM
It really did turn out so nice! When we got the wood, it was all dirty and beat up.
16  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Live Action Malificent Crocheted Turban on: August 29, 2015 05:09:34 PM
I crocheted this turban for a friend of mine that loves Malificent.



--3 colors of yarn for live action Malificent (all of the yarn I used came from my stash):
     1 skein of black, worsted weight (the kind I used was a very thin yarn)
     1/2 skein of dark grey, worsted weight
     1/2 skein of light grey, worsted weight
--G and I-sized hooks
--Fiber Fill
--Yarn needle
--Stitch marker
--Large bright green button (at least 1" wide)

Horns (Make 2 with G hook)
When you increase and decrease, you can get the horns to twist. If you like the diameter you have, then you need to increase and decrease evenly. For example in any given round you would have one decrease for every increase. Look at rounds 5-7, there are 2 increases and 1 decrease. This is to shape the horns and increase the diameter .

Round 1: magic circle of ch1, 5 sc. Secure with a slip stitch and pull tight. This is worked in the round. Do you chain 1 at the end of the rounds. This is the tip of the horn.
Rounds 2-3: 1 sc in each sc.
Round 4: 2 sc in the next 2 stitches, 1 sc in each of the remaining sc.
Round 5-7: 2 sc in the first 2, sc in the next 2, work 2sctog, then sc to the end of the round
Round 8-9: 1 sc in each sc around
Round 10: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 11 -13: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 14-15: 1 sc in each
Round 20-21: 1 sc in each
Round 26-27: 1 sc in each
Round 32-33: 1 sc in each. Fasten off yarn at the end of round 33 with a slip stitch, leaving several inches to sew to the hood later on.

Turban http://www.hopefulhoney.com/2013/05/basic-turban-crochet-pattern.html
Round 1~ Start of by making a Slip Knot, then crochet 4 Chains. Crochet 11 Double Crochets into the first chain you made. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 4. You should have 12 double crochets now.
Round 2~ Chain 3. Crochet 2 Double Crochets into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 24 double crochets now.
Round 3~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 36 double crochets now.
Round 4~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 2 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 48 double crochets now.
Round 5~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 3 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 60 double crochets now.
Rounds 6-11~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 11 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 12-13~ Chain 3. Crochet 1 Double Crochet into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 14-17 ~ Chain 3. Crochet 1 Double Crochet into every stitch all around, but only through the back loop. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 18~ Chain 3. On this row you will also only be crocheting through the back loop.*Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 11 stitches, then crochet 1 Double Crochet Decrease into the next 2 stitches. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 19~ Chain 3. On this row you will also only be crocheting through the back loop.*Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 10 stitches, then crochet 1  Double Crochet Decrease into the next 2 stitches. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 20~ Chain 1. Crochet 1  Single Crochet into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 1. Fasten off. Weave in any loose ends.

Take your yarn needle, and thread a long piece of yarn through it. You want to use to strands of yarn at the same time. Using your needle, push it from inside of the turban towards the outside right above the 6th last row, or about halfway up the height of the hat. Now wrap it around the edge of the turban and pull tight. Push the needle back through the top again.
Take your yarn needle, and thread a long piece of yarn through it. You want to use to strands of yarn at the same time. Using your needle, push it from inside of the turban towards the outside right above the 6th last row, or about halfway up the height of the hat. Now wrap it around the edge of the turban and pull tight. Push the needle back through the top again.
Repeat winding until the "knot" of your turban is nice and secure and looks pretty.
Once done. hide any loose ends under the knot.

Round 16: sc in the first 5, 2 sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 17 -19: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 22: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 23-25: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 28: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 29-31: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest

Stuff horns firmly. They need to be able to stand up.

Horn Texturing info found at http://lostsentiments.blogspot.com/2014/03/amigurumi-crocheted-unicorn-horn.html
With the black yarn, back stitch from the bottom of the horn: up 2 rows and over 2 stitches each time until the tip of the horn, then work down again in the same way, granted you won't be able to do 2 over and 2 up once you are at the top of the horn, so just space them halfway apart (or stitches up 1 stitch over).



With the I sized hook, start with the widow's peak (separate piece). Ch 14.
Row 1: sc in 1st ch from hook and ea ch across for a total of 13 sc. Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 2: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. sc2tog.
Row 3: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 11 sc sts in the row.
Row 4: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 7 sts. sc2tog.
Row 5: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 9sc sts in the row.
Row 6: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. sc2tog.
Row 7: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 7sc sts in the row.
Row 8: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 sts. sc2tog.
Row 9: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 5 sc sts in the row.
Row 10: sc2tog. 1 sc in next st. sc2tog.
Row 11: 1 sc in ea st across the row for a total of 3 sc sts in the row.
Row 12: sc3tog and 1 sc.
Row 13: sc2tog. Fasten off light grey yarn and attach dark grey.
Rows 14-15: Ch 1 and turn. Work a round of sc all the way around the edges of the triangle, working 3 sc in corners. The extra chs make the corners a bit pointier, and a bit more pronounced, so that they stand out more.

End off. Weave in your loose ends.

With the G hook and black, make the turban. Chains at the start of a round count as the first Double Crochet of that round.

Switch to the dark grey at the end of round 17.

Switch to the black at the end of round 18.

Turn the hat inside out. Decide which side of your triangle is the front, and lay it front-down on the hat, where you sewed the top up. Using the black yarn, whip stitch the triangle into the turban's front, on the inside, so the  sharpest point of the triangle is facing down (the starting chain should be at the top of the turban).

Flip the hat back to right side out. Sew the button on to the outside where the front of the turban was sewn up.

This is where things get a little hinky. You may either want to use a wig head or a willing participant, and maybe a curved yarn needle. Get the hat situated on a head, the way it will be worn. Look at the bottom of each horn. You'll see it has a bit of an angle to it. Position the horn on the head (so it's back even with the ears) and whip stitch it on, with the long length of yarn from the end of the horn.
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Another Mahogany Cutting Board on: August 29, 2015 04:14:35 PM
Earlier this month, I posted the cutting board my husband made for me. As of today, we have a second board finished for the friend of mine that actually bought the wood.


top


bottom

I couldn't do a test fitting in my own sink, because our kitchen sinks are different sizes. But here it is, in all it's finished, seasoned glory.
18  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Fixed My Cat's Scratching Post on: August 29, 2015 12:14:20 PM
Our cat, Orion, still has all of her claws and really loves her scratching post. She's had the same once since the day we brought her home, a little over a year ago. It's a simple one, just rough rope wound around a square post, with a dangly mouse and bell on the top. My husband bought it for her at PetsMart.


This is what it looks like after abut 14 months of daily use. Orion was a little concerned about what I was doing with her scratching post in the kitchen. There was much close watching and a little crying. This is an important part of her little life! Smiley

Since I am trying to not contribute anything too sizable to the landfills, instead of replacing it, I wanted to fix it up for her. And because I'm a little weird like that. Smiley

I was ordering some stuff from Amazon the other day and decided to get Wellington Manila Rope, 1/4" X 50' for just $7.39. I knew I wouldn't need the full 50 feet so this will be enough for a couple repairs.


I unwound the really loose rope and cut off some of the more frayed sections. Originally, the rope was glued and on throughout its lengths but stapled on at the ends. That's a little dumb. But with just a couple staples from the staple gun... viola! The new rope is about the same size as the original.


Cat tested.
Cat approved.
19  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Mahogany Cutting Board on: August 17, 2015 08:20:05 AM
As simple as it is, it was totally worth the wait! And my friend Nicole is just over the moon at seeing her board, even though it's not quite done yet.

My husband's in the Navy, so when he's gone, he's gone a lot, so that's why I wasn't going to bother him with it. Smiley But patience paid off in the end.
20  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Mahogany Cutting Board on: August 15, 2015 10:24:16 AM
A couple years ago, a very good friend of mine came across a large piece of mahogany at a yard sale. She said she knew right away it would make some amazing cutting boards, if she could just find someone to make it. Unfortunately, her now ex-roommate figured he should help himself to said wood and cut a huge piece of out it and DIDN'T make her a cutting board.

Fast forward a bit to Christmas 2014, when my husband and I went to Luray County, VA. The kitchen of the cabin we rented had a cutting board made to fit the sink. I thought this was the coolest little kitchen thing ever and I decided I needed one for our kitchen at home. My husband said he'd make one for me.

Fast forward to July of this year. Nicole mentions the wood and I mention the cutting board I wanted. It turns out that she wanted the same kind too. She said she'd supply the wood if I found someone to make the boards.

I initially didn't ask my husband to make these, because his work schedule is crazy. I was hoping his dad would be able to make them while he was here, but he kept pretty busy. I started looking for someone to cut the board for us, but everyone I talked to said they'd want $100-$140 PER BOARD just for labor.

Ummm, how about, "No?"

Fast forward to this month. Shane noticed the wood in the laundry room, and having forgotten about it, asked what it was for. His dad had gone back home, and I told him about trying to find someone to make it into cutting boards. He told me to stop looking and he was going to do it. Smiley



He got mine finished first, because I only wanted a one basin board. The underside is cut to fit inside the basin, with the top resting on the edges of the basin. Shane also routed off the long sides to give it a little more of a finished look.

I did just minimal sanding on this, because I didn't want to take anything away from the original finish of the wood.

I went to Home Depot yesterday and found butcher block oil. I bought only one bottle of it, because it will last Nicole and I for some time.

To make your own cutting board you will need: untreated hardwood, a circular saw or table saw, sandpaper, food grade mineral oil and a clean cloth. Be sure the hardwood you choose is untreated if you plan to actually use your cutting board for cooking. If you're unsure, just ask someone at your local lumber yard. And for the mineral oil, make sure you use food grade (most are food grade). I did 4 coats of the oil over two days, wiping it on with the grain and letting it dry completely in between coats. Give your cutting board a fresh coat of mineral oil every 3-6 months to keep it looking fresh and new.

The oil gives the wood a nice sheen, even after it dries.

Nicole's cutting board had a quick test fit on her sink tonight. She wanted a double wide cutting board. and it needs about 3/4" cut from various sections to make it fit. After that, it'll be ready to be cleaned and oiled, and it will go to her house then.
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