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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Finished a Ombre Skirt Dye project on: October 14, 2012 08:21:28 PM
Painted Threads (http://paintedthreadsprojects.blogspot.com/2012/05/diy-ombre-skirt.html) has a super easy DIY Ombre Skirt tutorial. I just got this Christopher & Banks skirt out of the washing machine. I've had it for a while. My mom actually got it for me. I like it but it's a little bit on the bland side. I think it's because it's so dark and I usually don't wear that dark of denim.

I've bleached the holy hell out of the bottom part of this skirt and can't get it as white as I would like but it was looking pretty good when I rinsed it and threw it into the washer.

I am going to let it air dry tonight and run it through the dryer in the morning with a dryer sheet. It still really smells like bleach, even after being washed. Originally. I thought I hadn't been able to get the bottom as stark white as I would have liked, but it surprised me. And even though I rinsed the skirt out before washing it, that middle section came out lighter than I wanted, but still...I love how this turned out!!!!! My laundry room was a little dark tonight, so the top part is really not that dark. The before picture above it actually truer to life.
22  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / I have a question about shows on: October 10, 2012 07:27:38 PM
Hi there. Hopefully this question doesn't violate any Craftster rules, but here we go.

Can I ask people who make jewelry here on Craftster, in the correct category, to PM me if they are in a certain part of the country, if I want them to join a trunk show fundraiser I'm planning for next year? Can I even post a  request like that? I'm not hitting anyone up to donate their items, bu rather to sell them.

23  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 79 ENTRIES / My Little Halloween Pony??? (Pic heavy!!!!) on: October 06, 2012 04:44:58 PM
A long time ago, before Hurricane Katrina ever tried to wipe out New Orleans, I came across a family's Halloween idea site. One of the many ideas I loved about this site was the horseman idea the King family posted: "Create this neat prop by using a child's horse. Paint it all black, eyes painted white, and stick a skeleton on the saddle. Then attach real rope to the face and use a child's size grim reaper costume." The idea stuck with me for some time and I kept it filed away in the back of my head. (The family that runs the site lost EVERYTHING when Katrina blew through.)

Then I discovered Craftster. A fabulous post over here caught my eye, on how to turn a child's bounce horse into a carousel horse. And somehow in the twisted confines of my head, these two projects combined to form a carousel My Little Halloween Pony.

I bought this used for $10, because the dowel for the handles on the top of the head was missing. I removed the American Flyer frame and was going to put it out for the metal scrappers, but a man came past our house, recognized it for what it was and asked me if he could have it. Smiley He legitimately seemed surprised that I gave it to him. The horse was standard black and very dirty. The dowel where the stirrups hang was starting to rot.

Primed in our driveway. I used Rustoleum Extra Cover Primer, Rust Control flat black for the quick and dirty spray jobs I did on the mane and tail, and Textured grey spray paint for the body. Unfortunately, it wasn't as textured as I was hoping. I was originally concerned that the details in the saddle (it's just a blow mold plastic horse) would disappear once primed, but that wasn't the case here.

Umbrella base for support from Ace Hardware, a wooden dowel, a random furniture leg from Home Depot, and some PVC pipe fittings. The saddle area is still primer, but the rest of the horse has it's first coats of paint.

In our dining room at this point. The pole has been sprayed with aluminum paint, left over from my Jedi communicator project earlier this year. The first bit of detail painting has begun. Do you see the vampire bite marks on the horse's neck? It even has a little dribble of blood running down.

Done with the detail painting and the clear coats. I also went back to the mane and tail, and brushed on some blue glitter paint on the top parts of the hair to catch the light, kind of like highlights. I also ran a thin paintbrush, dipped in the darkest black paint I had, through the deepest parts of the mane and tail, to show depth. I actually ended up being quite happy with how some of the paint crackled and ran, once the clear coat was applied. In some places, it looks like veins. The umbrella base is a little larger than the dowel, so I have to finagle it into place to make it stand straight.
I purposely drilled the holes for the pole through the middle of the saddle, instead of more towards the front. We have some "interactive" looking props in our yard for Halloween. While we don't let anyone play with them (so no one can get hurt), we can't be there 24/7. So I wanted to avoid any parents seeing this in our yard and think, "Oh, the baby would look so cute sitting on that carousel horse. Let's put her up there and take a picture real quick!" This horse is supported on the pole with super glue, hot glue and 550 cord. While the bottom PVC fitting makes for a pretty tight fit to hold the horse up, it's not fool proof. If a parent put their kid on this, the kid will fall when the horse breaks and then they'd probably want to sue us. But, since they can't sit their kid on the saddle, problem avoided! Smiley

The finished horse of doooooooooooooooooooooom! To hide the hot glue mess in the saddle, I dressed it up with some ribbon I had and some flowers/leaves from the Dollar Tree.

Close up of the paint job on the saddle.
24  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / "Polaris Hat" from LBY on: September 03, 2012 04:19:34 PM
A co-worker of mine, Alissa, brought me two skeins of yarn and asked me to make her a beret. After sending her a couple patterns to look at, she settled on the Polaris Hat from Lion Brand Yarn (you'll need to create a username and password to look at the patterns here).

Obviously, this is the LBY hat. I was too lazy to take a photo of the hat I finished!  Grin

I just got done with this hat this evening, after watching a bunch of Doctor Who episodes, both downloaded and some on YouTube. I was watching both Baker and Tennant to pass the time.

The yarn Alissa brought me was Lion Brand Homespun in Pearls (#412). The hat didn't even need one full skein, so I'm going to suggest she pick out another hat. One skein of this yarn is 185 yards. The pattern actually calls for Lion Brand Amazing in Ruby. The Pearls is a pretty boucle yarn, but instead of Pearls, I think I'd rename it as Mushroom.

This is a very easy pattern (actually is rated as "Easy") and worked up so simply. I can't wait to give it to her tomorrow.
25  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Finished a blanket for my mom on: August 28, 2012 07:43:41 PM
I was talking to my mom last night on the phone. She's starting chemo again on Wednesday this week: 1 round every 3 weeks for 3 rounds. Her uterine cancer spread again, this time into her liver. My grandma had liver cancer and she died from it. Grandma was 63. My mom is only 59.

Anyway, Mom mentioned how cold she's been lately because she's not feeling good, very tired and weak, which is not like her. So I told her that in about a week, she'd be getting a package from me: a new blanket that I made. She liked that idea and said she can use it at home on the couch, or maybe she'd take it with her to her treatments. I told her it's a good size but still it would be easy to travel with (I estimate it to be about 6'x4'). So as of last night, I realized it was time to get cracking on this thing. All I have left to do is finish the tassels on this.

Since it's a stashbuster, here's what it's made out of, on a J sized crochet hook:
--2 skeins of Poems 100% wool in #588--Love love LOVE this yarn
--Half skein of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Cornmeal (#0220)--"Cornmeal" is just about the perfect name for this color
--3 skeins of Plymouth Yarn in Boku (#17)--Really enjoy the texture of the Plymouth and Ella Rae yarns: the Plymouth is a sturdy, strong yarn while the Ella Rae ends up, finished, much prettier than you think that texture would work
--2 skeins of Plymouth Yarn in Vizions (#103)
--2 skeins of Ella Rae yarn in #204
--1 skein of Tartelette yarn in #731--A fun ribbon yarn that ended up being a variegated yarn and I didn't realize it when I bought it
--2 skeins of Berroco yarn in #2816
--partial Lion Brand one pounder in Denim (#110)
--partial Lion Brand one pounder in Pastel Yellow (#157)--This is the same yarn I used for my minions.

The pattern calls for 70" lengths of yarn to be woven in and out of the widest (DC) rows, not the thin (SC) rows. The lengths are doubled and woven to go in and out of 2 DC's at a time. I started doing this with a light yellow yarn in the Pastel Yellow rows first. I didn't like this. I guess my tension was off, because my woven yarn lengths looked puckered and tight, and nothing like they do in the finished pattern.

BTW, the pattern calls for only three colors of yarn, so you can easily see another change I made right there!
26  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Doop from X-Static Crochet Pattern on: August 21, 2012 06:13:27 PM
Doop is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe who was created by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred. He made his debut in X-Force vol. 1 #116. He is a green, floating spheroid creature of unknown origins who spoke in a "language" all his own (represented in text by a special font). For a time, he also served as the team's cameraman.

His abilities include levitation, an accelerated healing factor, superhuman strength, and he has an extra dimensional void within his body that can store objects and people.

A friend of mine saw a crocheted Doop on another website, minus a pattern, and sent it to me with a request to make one for his desk at work. David said he liked Doop because he looks like a demented pickle. I think Doop looks like a stoned pickle.

         E sized hook
         G sized hook
         Stitch markers (optional)
         1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Honeydew
         Small amount of  yarn, your choice of shade and kind (I used Premier Yarn Deborah Norville Everyday in Royal Blue, ED100-09)
         Fiber Fill
         Red, yellow and black felt (small amount of each)
         Fabric glue
         2 googly eyes, 1" wide
         Yarn needle

Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the G sized hook (This is done in the round. Don't join the rows.):
1) Make a magic circle of 6. Join with a slip stitch here only and pull tight.
2) Chain 1 here only, and work 2 sc in each st around [12]
3) Work 2 sc in each stitch around again [24]
4 & 5) *sc in next 2, 2sc in next* repeat ** around
6-19) sc in each st around
20-23) sc2tog. around, evenly spaced, 3 times

Start stuffing the body.

24) work 1 sc in each stitch around
25-28) increase by 3 sc, evenly spaced
29 & 30) work 1 sc in each stitch around
31) work 1 sc in each of 17 sc stitches, then work 3 sc in each of the next 2 stitches. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around. The section of 6 sc in the previous 2 sc will become Doop's nose. You may want to leave a stitch marker here for later.
32) work 1 sc in each stitch around
33) work 1 sc in each of 18 sc stitches, then work 2 sc in each of the next 2 stitches. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around.
34) work 1 sc in each stitch around
35) work 1 sc in each of 19 sc stitches, then work 2 sc in each of the next 1 stitch. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around.
36) This row starts the uneven bumps on Doop's head. Work 5 sc in as many stitches around. Work a 4 dc popcorn stitch so that it pops to the front of your design. (Work 4 dc in the same stitch. Drop the loop from your hook. Insert your hook from front to back under the top 2 loops of the first dc of the group. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the stitch.) Repeat the 5 sc/1 popcorn stitch pattern around to the end.
37-40) Repeat row 36, but adjust the sc so the popcorn stitches are not even with the previous row. His bumps are random. There doesn't even have to be the same number of them on each row. Also, decrease each row by 2 random sc. Continue stuffing the head.
41) work 2sctog all the way around and continue doing so until the top of his head is closed. Fasten off the yarn with a slip stitch and weave in the end.

Cut a circle out of the yellow felt, about three fingers wide. Glue the circle to Doop's chest, straight down from his nose (where you may have left the stitch marker), about halfway down between the bottom and the intention of his neck.

Cut an X out of the red felt, making it larger than the yellow circle, and then glue it over the top of the circle.

Take a small sliver of black felt, about 1" in length, and glue it on Doop's face, below the nose, a couple rows down.

Glue the googly eyes on his face, so the horizontal center of each eye is about even with his nose. The eyes should be spaced out so the vertical center of each lines up with the edge of his mouth.

EYELIDS (Make 2)
You're just crocheting rough half circles here. This will give Doop his slightly stoned look. Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Leave a good length of yarn and make a slip stitch. Chain 10. You may have to adjust your own count here. The eyelids need to be slightly wider than the googly eyes  you're using.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [9]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-5) Work the first 2sctog and the last 2sctog. All stitches in between are 1 sc each. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. Fasten off the yarn with a slip stitch at the end of row 5.

Place the lids over the eyes so the eyes are half covered from the top down. Use the beginning length of each  eyelid and whip stitch the lids in place. Weave in any loose ends and fasten off yarn.

ARMS (Make 2)
Working from the wrist first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Make a magic circle of 1 chain and 5 sc. Pull tight and secure with a slip stitch. Chain 1. This is the only time you'll join rows here.
2) Work 2 sc in each stitch around, including the slip stitch from the previous row.
3-13) Work 1 sc in each stitch around.
14-15) Work 1 sc in each stitch around and work 2sctog in the middle of the row. This is Doop's elbow.
16-17) Work 1 sc in each stitch around and increase by 1 sc in the middle of the row.
18-22) Work 1 sc in each stitch around.
23) Work 8 sc, chain 1 and turn.
24) Work 2sctog, 5 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
25) Work 2sctog, 3 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
26) Work 2sctog, 1 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
27) Work 2sctog  and 1 sc. Secure with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches on the yarn.

Lightly stuff the arm. Position the arm so the flap you made at the end is on Doop's side and level with his neck. Slip stitch it into place. Weave in all loose ends.

FINGERS (Make 6)
Working from the fingertips first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Chain 6.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [5]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-6) Work 1 sc in each stitch around. Chain 1 and turn. At the end of row 6, finish off with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches for the tail.

Working from the fingertips first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Chain 6.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [5]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-4) Work 1 sc in each stitch around. Chain 1 and turn. At the end of row 6, finish off with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches for the tail.

Roll each small square into the tightest little rod you can. Whipstitch up the side of the roll, and attach the finger to the hand (four fingers per hand). Weave in all loose ends.

Doop has a back-up brain in his butt. No, really, he does. Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the G sized hook:
1) Make a slip stitch and chain 17.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [16]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-5) Work 1 sc in each stitch across [16]. Chain 1 and turn.
6) Work 7 sc in as many stitches across. Work 2 sc tog, and work 1 sc in each remaining stitch across. Chain 1 and turn.
7-8) Work 6 sc in as many stitches across. Work 2 sc tog, and work 1 sc in each remaining stitch across. Chain 1 and turn.
9-101) Work 1 sc in each stitch across. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. At the end of the last row, finish the yarn off with a slip stitch and leave a tail of several inches.

Lay Doop face down on your crafing area. You'll see the start of the two little cheeks should be facing up towards you. Try to line up the bottom edge of the pocket to around row 6 of Doop's body (where all the increases for the bottom of his body are already done). Using the tail you left, whipstitch the butt "pocket" to Doop's body, through the two sides and bottom edges, making sure to leave the top of the pocket open. Weave in any loose ends and fasten off yarn.

He's a green floaty alien, so why not a strange colored brain? Working with your choice of blue yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Make a magic circle of 1 ch and 5 sc. Join with a slip stitch and chain 1.
2) This needs to be turned into a rough little oval, so work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc. Do not chain 1 unless specified.
3) Work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc.
4) Work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc.
5) Turn the brain over and work some random surface sc over one side. Just try to give it a little bit of texture.
6) Work your way back over to one edge of the brain and chain 40. This is almost like Doop's back-up brain's umbilical cord (you don't want to lose a back-up, do you?).
7) Cut off a length of a couple inches and secure the chain with a slip stitch. Use your yarn needle to sew the slip stitch end of the chain to Doop's rear end, on one side of the inside of the butt pocket. Weave in all loose ends and finish off the yarn. You can either tuck his back-up brain into the pocket or have him hold it. Depending on how you've attached his arms, you can adjust the length of the chain as needed.

27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Made a Lane Bryant shirt smaller on: July 29, 2012 02:59:24 PM
I just finished this modification this afternoon finally because my in-laws just left this morning from a 1 1/2 week visit. I actually bought this shirt in May from my local thrift store and have just been hanging onto it because I didn't have time to sit down with it. I think it was $2.99.

It's a Lane Bryant shirt, size 22. This is the before picture. I knew this would be a big shirt on me, but I loved it so much that I had to have it. The teal and brown are so pretty together, the fabrics are light and airy, and the embroidery on it (although machine-done) reminds me of a Moroccan design. I'm not a plus-sized woman, but I really did LOVE this shirt.

I knew this might be more of an advanced modification than anything I've done so far. I had to remove the stitching from the top and bottom part of the shirt first, on each side, so I could then take in the sides correctly. From both bottom layers, I took about 1.5 cm in on each side of the shirt where it was already pieced together. Then, I had to go back to that horizontal seam and put it back together.

I did really well with this one! I'm surprised that I was able to keep the vertical seams matching on the top and bottom, considering it was just the bottom I took in and not the top. I haven't taken an after picture but it's considerably smaller on me now and it still looks so good! Yay me!
28  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Anyway to mimic a knit stitch in crochet? on: July 29, 2012 07:20:53 AM
Hi there. I am a long-time crocheter but somewhat of a new Whovian. That being said, is there anyway to mimic the knit garter stitch but do it in crochet? I want to make a Tom Baker-style Doctor Who scarf but I can't knit. I can definitely do it with single crochets, but I have seen the knit garter stitch and just love it so much.

29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Slight Shirt Modification on: July 15, 2012 08:17:01 AM

This is an XL sized shirt by Mossimo, that I bought a couple weeks ago at my local thrift store. I think it cost me $2.99, and I like to Mossimo line already. I fell in love with this shirt when I saw it but I didn't try it on. Once I got it home and washed it, that's when I finally tried it on. I really should try the clothes on when I'm shopping for them. The store does have fitting rooms. (This is just the after picture, because this modification is so slight, it doesn't need a before picture.)

Anyway, I'm guessing this shirt shrunk at some point, because the arms were tight. Luckily for me, I found this tute over at Crafty Stylish (http://www.craftstylish.com/item/49711/easy-fix-for-that-tight-uncomfortable-sleeve) on how to fix that.

I won't run through it step by step here, but I dropped the hem, opened up the sleeve, and resewed it. samsstuff, the writer of the tute, has a much better way of explaining it.

I also removed the ties from this shirt. They were long thin ties, secured at the sides, up by that hem just below the bust. The rest of this shirt was loose and billowy, which is a look I love but doesn't work on me. I think it makes me look chunky or pregnant, and I don't want to look either. To take it in a little bit, I used a hint I learned from another shirt I bought at the thrift store.

I scored this awesome black and red checkered Torrid shirt, buttons down the front, collared and with 3/4 length sleeves. It has a line of buttons down the back as well, to cinch it in a little bit. I pinned the back of this shirt so that it was cinched too, and then sewed it down. This brought it in a little tighter by about 3/4".

I have a thin braided leather belt from some other piece of clothing that I think will look good with this shirt, so I can wear that on my actual waist instead of having it up high. I hope this shirt lasts me for a while, because the material is thin. I can't tell if it's supposed to be like that or if it's been well washed and well used.
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Dresses into skirts on: May 27, 2012 01:26:33 PM
I've turned two long dresses that my husband got me in Iraq a few years ago into skirts. Over the last few years, I apparently have become a little more...busty. Smiley Yeah, sure, busty, that's what it is. I'm sure it wasn't a weight gain or anything. Each dress was a tank top style and I cut the tops off and made new waistbands.

Before of the blue/grey one. This is a beautiful color in real life! See how the tank couldn't be buttoned?

After of the blue/grey one.

I forgot to take a before one of the khaki one. I really like this one, because the left side hem on it has a random point coming down from the asymmetrical hem. That one is secured on the side with a snap.

I'm really proud of how these turned out. I've tried other clothing modifications before and they haven't turned out yet. Granted, I ripped out the waistband a couple times to get it right, but I feel like I've turned a corner with my sewing with these projects. I can't wait to wear these to work!
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