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11  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.
12  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.
13  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.
14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Two New KISS Gnomes on: July 30, 2015 05:42:35 PM
I've finally finished the last two KISS gnomes (at least for me anyway. I've gotten a request to make another Gene and another Paul for family members for Christmas).

I bought a set of four 10" tall rubber Art Line gnomes from someone on eBay. They were damn near perfect: no fading, no staining. I don't think they ever saw the outside world.

Space Ace with a cute little lamb. He did have a tall wooden branch in his left hand originally. Because of the belt and vest, there's no enough room to put it back into his hand. I did keep it though for one of the other gnomes, just in case.


This time, there was minimal swearing and complaining, because I wasn't having as many problems with the silver Testor's enamel paint as I did last time.

15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Crotchet hook making on: July 26, 2015 07:38:27 AM
I don't think I could manage making anything with a hook this big, but I want to make a giant crochet hook just to hang on my wall! Smiley

16  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Cake the Cat Amigurumi from "Adventure Time" on: July 24, 2015 06:53:15 PM
I finished writing this pattern tonight, and she was inspired by Mia Handcrafter's original pattern for Jake. I have to say already, just from looking at her, I do like her but I feel like I should have made her arms and legs a little shorter.

I'm not going to post the pattern for it here, since I write the way I talk: long and windy.  Grin Plus, I've got some extra pictures of her tail online too. However, if anyone wants to make their own Cake the Cat, the pattern is up for grabs.

17  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Bow Tie For My Dog on: June 12, 2015 05:52:06 PM
He's so funny! He wasn't wild about the tie until I told him how handsome he looked. THAT'S when he smiled at me for the picture.
18  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bow Tie For My Dog on: June 11, 2015 06:09:06 PM
Our German Shepherd is 13 years old. We've had him since he was 7 months old.

My husband has always said I am not allowed to dress the dog. I have always maintained that a little doggie black leather jacket and matching hat would make him look tough (and freaking ADORBS!). My husband says no, it really won't, because our GSD is actually a lover and not a tough guy.

And he also doesn't want our dog to be dressed like the lead singer of Judas Priest.

But when I saw a pattern for a baby's bow tie, http://www.dreamcatcherbaby.com/2012/01/baby-bow-tie-tutorial.html...well, my husband's at work, I'm here alone with our dog, and I've decided he's going for the preppie look tonight.

I actually saved some fabric from some pants I turned into capris, especially for this project. I may need help. The crafting might be getting out of control for me.  Roll Eyes

This pattern actually called for interfacing, but since this was going to be just for cutes and giggles behind my husband's back, I left out the interfacing. For the inside of the bow, I put in one extra piece of fabric. The interfacing does have a purpose, which was to give it a little extra stiffness (that's what she said) and I knew the tie would need that, even just for photos.

I think I should have made the center part of the bow a little narrower, by taking off 1/2" in width.

"Orion, what's my afternoon schedule look like? I'm going to need to pencil in  a post-meeting nap around 3."

"Hello! I'm Business Dog! It's time to go to work to make the moneys to buy more treats!"
19  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Tennessee Titans Blanket For A Friend on: May 31, 2015 06:18:21 AM
Ooooooooh!  Shocked Shocked Thanks for the link! I'm going to look at it right now!

This is epic. Well done on finishing it. You have a very lucky friend.
I don't know if it will help with crochet patterns but this website http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/matrix/e-index.html allows you to create and print a graph paper that matches your row and stitch count. In knitting it makes designing a pattern so much easier and it might work in crochet too.
20  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Tennessee Titans Blanket For A Friend on: May 30, 2015 06:32:05 PM
And it will FINALLY be on it's merry way to it's rightful owner as of Monday! (I have seriously been working on this blanket for over a year, off and on.) It does need some time to hang a little more, to open up (mostly) the top half, and it's large enough to cover a queen sized bed, with just a little overhang.

The details:
an H sized hook
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in White (larger skein)
partial skein of Craftsmart Value Yarn (from Michael's) in White (smaller skein)
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Soft Navy (big skein)
full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Soft Navy (smaller skein)
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from AC Moore) in Soft Navy (big skein)
full skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Black (I found out this is actually a discontinued yarn. It's also a lighter weight yarn than all the other yarn I was using.)
partial skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Black
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Light Blue
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Grey Heather
partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Cherry Red
I'm not completely wild with how the helmet emblem came out. It looks wonky to me, but I redid it a few times, and I know it's not a design fault. Somewhere, I kept putting in too many stitches going across so I know it's wider than it should be.

I also wish I had gone with a shade of yarn lighter than the Soft Navy. It's hard to see the black details within the cowcatcher on the front of the helmet, even with the white outline.

And I did take a little creative license with the logo. The "TENNESSEE" in the logo is supposed to be slightly curved into the "TITANS." But I'm enough of a pain in the ass that I decided I was going to change it because I didn't like it like that. In this version, the "TENNESSEE" is completely straight across.

However, I love these patterns. Like the Steelers blanket, this pattern was made by Donna Hammell of New Jersey. It takes a lot of work to get these graph patterns to come out correctly. I've tried a few times and I just can't get the hang of it to make my own.
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