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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Red-nosed Kid Tree Ornament on: January 02, 2014 08:49:01 AM
Every year I make an ornament for the grandparents and great-grandparents featuring their favorite grandkid in some way. This year I combined a couple of ideas I found floating around the Internet to make Red-nosed Kiddos!

I printed out black and white photos of my subject and mod-podged them onto purchased birch rounds. I then carved two stamps for the antlers and hot glued a mini red pom-pom on for the nose!

I did drill a hole in the top and added a red tie after I took the above pic.

Thanks for looking! Happy New Year!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Yoga Mat Bag! on: November 16, 2013 10:58:53 AM
This has been on my to-do list for years. I finally did it!

I've had a ton of this tan canvas duck cloth (think Carhartt) since my BIL thought he wanted me to make him seat covers for his Jeep that never panned out. It's been used in a myriad of projects since it's purchase, but when I came across this awesome tutorial using upholstery fabric, I knew exactly how I wanted to use up the canvas.

The only problem was the color. I knew I could jazz up the fabric somehow, or even use it as a sturdy lining, but exactly what to do was just not gelling in my head. Until LimeRiot posted her now famous toilet paper printing tutorial, and inspiration struck.

Since this is for a yoga mat, and I'm a little bit peace-loving hippie, I cut off the end of the roll and glued it back in to make a peace sign shape:

I dipped it in some white acrylic paint and prayed it would work:


From there, it was a piece of cake to follow the tute and create the bag! I've had the strap in my stash for years, I think it fits the bag perfectly!

Here are a few more pics, because I'm completely in love with the finished product.

Thanks for looking! Namaste.
3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Luigi's Mansion Luigi on: November 05, 2013 05:01:06 PM
My son was Luigi from Luigi's Mansion this year!

I used this tutorial for the overalls.

And this tutorial for the hat.

The Poltergust 5000 was made from a gallon water jug spray painted red and embellished with lots of cardboard, duct tape, and hot glue. And a vacuum tube scrounged from hubs work, of course.

Poltergust close up:

And a pic for reference:

Thanks for looking!
4  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / A Touch of Rainbow Yarn or "Unicorn Farts!" on: October 16, 2013 06:57:00 AM
Even though I'm not a yarnie, I greatly admire all those work with fiber, especially the lovely MamanTattoo, for whom this yarn was dyed. This was my second time dyeing yarn and my first time dyeing wool (I eased in with cotton first). I purchased the yarn from Paradise Fibers and used this AWESOME tutorial. I did have trouble finding lemon-lime koolaid, so I used green food coloring and bumped up the yellow with a few drops of neon yellow food coloring added to the koolaid. Other than that, I followed the tute exactly.

And here are the results!

All hanked up:

Super easy and super fun. I want to make this for all the yarnies in my life, haha.

Thanks for looking!
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A Long, Strange Trip: Tie-Dye T-shirt Quilt on: August 05, 2013 07:31:20 AM
This quilt has been a work-in-progress for me for at least two years, with an additional two years of persuading my husband to let me cut up his old t-shirts. When I first met my husband, he lived in tie-dye, most of which featured some sort of Grateful Dead logo. Gradually, however, the tie-dye went by the wayside (along with his long hair and Birkenstocks Sad). My husband is a sentimental guy, though, and he kept every single solitary t-shirt in the attic for years. I was sentimental about these shirts, too, since they reminded me of our college years and when we first met. As sewing became more and more of a hobby for me, I got the idea in my head to make a quilt out of all those old t-shirts rotting away in the attic. Hubby was wary, however, and it took a long time for me to convince him the quilt was a good idea. When he finally consented (and I realized that I had to actually follow through with this endeavor) I knew that it would take me a while, but I never expected it to take this long! A few life set-backs and some design evolution delayed this project a bit, but I finally got the kick to finish it from the Harry Potter Craftalong here on Craftster and the fact that both my husband and I turned 30 this year (though the actual birthday deadline did pass me by).

And here it is, my first trip into full-size quilting completed!!

You can see the square alignment is off in the first few rows...I got slightly better at that as I went on.

Here's a shot of the back:

And some fun angle shots just because:

I interfaced all the t-shirt squares and used a black sheet for the boarders. The backing is a tie-dyed cotton sheet and the binding is store-purchased extra wide bias tape (9 yards). All machine sewn and quilted.

Critiques and comments welcome! Thanks for looking!  Grin
6  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / DIY Squirt Bottle Tie-Dye on: April 23, 2013 07:56:15 AM
You know those tie-dye kits that come with "everything you need to dye" and usually cost around $20? They're great, right? I must admit that my tie-dye experience began with one of those kits. But eventually, dropping $20 every time I wanted to dye was hitting my wallet (I may or may not dye on a regular basis Wink). So, I made my own kit!

I'll admit that the initial gathering of supplies for your DIY kit might rival the store-bought kit in cost, but it will be far more cost-effective with multiple rounds of dyeing. Here's what I start with:

Squirt bottles and commercial powdered dye. I'm using RIT for this tutorial because it's cheap and easy to find. I've also used Dylon and Tulip brands (Dylon is probably a personal fave). If you use fiber reactive dyes, you'll need to add a soda-ash soaking step that I skip here.

Start by adding 1-2 T dye to your bottles. I like to do this outside with lots of fresh air so I don't breathe in the powder. Wearing a mask is also a good idea. With RIT, I've found that for lighter colors you'll need more powder in your bottles (~2 T), or the color will just wash out. Darker colors are usually ok with less (~1 T).

Once you've got the powder safely in the squirt bottles, add HOT water. The water heater in my house is set ridiculously high, so I just let the water run until it's steaming and then fill 'um up! Shake to dissolve all the powder and you're ready to go!

A note on the bottles: Store-bought dye kits tend to have "needle nose" bottles. These give you increased precision when applying dye. Generally, I'm ok with a less-precise look, but if you want more control over your dye, look for a pointier tip on your squirt bottles.

Now, for the "tie" portion of our program. I did basic spirals for this project to keep things simple, but there are TONS of resources out there for different tying techniques. I did wet my shirts prior to dyeing to help the dye penetrate the shirt. It's not necessary, as I have had success with dry shirts/fabric as well.

Lay your shirt out on a clean, flat surface (if wet, a plastic bag under the shirt will help protect whatever surface you're working on):

Pinch the center with your index finger and thumb and twist the entire shirt around that point.

Rubber band the heck out of it.

Now you're ready to dye! I like to dye on an old cooling rack placed over a bucket. The rack keeps the dye from pooling around the shirt as you dye and the bucket catches the excess.

Using your squirt bottles, apply different color dye to each "triangle" of the tied shirt. Repeat until all your material has been covered in color.

When finished, place the shirt on newspaper to soak up any excess dye.

After about 30-60 minutes, transfer the shirts to plastic bags and store in a dry, warm place for 12-24 hours. I set them near the heater in the basement.

After the agonizing wait is over, rinse out the shirts with cold/warm water until the water runs clear (or until you've had enough squeezing Wink).

you can admire your work now, but know that it will change slightly post-wash. I throw the shirts right into the washing machine without detergent in cold water. If I have something with a very different color scheme, I'll wash it separate just to keep the colors from melding in the washer. You'll notice post-washing that the excess dye does tint the white spots on the shirt with this method. If you want to keep the white white, make sure your water runs clear before washing and wash each shirt by itself. With RIT/Dylon/Tulip, you might still get some color bleed in the machine, just a heads up. You can either line dry or machine dry your shirts after they go through the washer.

Now you can enjoy your work!

Thanks for looking! Hope you try this at home!  Grin
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tree Stump Storage Bin (pic heavy!) on: March 21, 2013 08:14:45 AM
I made this for MamanTattoo for the One Awesome Harry Potter Thing Swap. She had something similar pinned, and I knew I wanted to give it a try. I "Potterized" it by making it a Whomping Willow Stump for the swap. I'm ridiculously proud of the end result, and really want to make another one for myself!

First, the finished product:

With the lid off:


Lid close up and some of the "Potterization." Since the Whomping Willow is a magical tree, I thought it would record events in its rings. So these are some Hogwarts events over the years from the tree's perspective:

Some of the events:

"Remus Lupin transforms into werewolf"
"James, Sirius, and Pettigrew discover the secret passage"
"Ford Anglia crashes into branches"
"Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover the secret passage"
"Battle of Hogwarts"

During quiet times, the tree marks the year with a simple "grow."

The stump includes the knot for the secret passage to The Shrieking Shack:

And here's some in progress shots. It's constructed from one of those water cooler bottles that my husband brought home from work and cut into two pieces. I had to "patch" the handle side to give it a completely round shape:

Top view:

The "bark" is fuzzy felt purchased on JoAnn's cut into 3-inch strips and sewn together with the seams right-side out. Here's a pre-attachment shot (sorry, I thought this was a better pic than it is!):

I cut the "roots" from some of the excess bark and fit another piece of felt for the bottom:

Yay! It's finally starting to look like a stump!

For the lining, I simply laid some fabric inside the stump and sewed it in:

Here are some pics of the top construction. It's all just cardboard, some duct tape, fabric, and glue!

Close up of the "seal":

And that's it! I'm definitely going to level off the top next time, or even try making the lid from scratch! This was a super fun project and I really enjoyed making it.

Critiques and comments welcome! Thanks for looking! Smiley
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Mario Question Block Valentines on: February 14, 2013 08:17:26 AM
Happy Valentine's Day!  Smiley

Mario is really big in our house right now, so of course we had to make Mario inspired valentines!

I started with paper bags I collected from the local grocery store and cut them into 4 x 4 squares. I then drew the question block details and colored it in with washable markers. Then some stamping on the back and at least 2 hours of agonizing name writing by my three year old. Finally, I sewed up three of the four sides and slipped in some chocolate covered coins! The whole thing went into a paper bag envelope finished with a smiley face star!

I hope they are hit today at the party!

Thanks for the viewing love!  Wink
9  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Twisted Tree Art Quilt on: February 12, 2013 07:16:43 AM
I made this quilt for wdicwg in the Mini Art Quilt Swap Round 6. It's my first MAQ and I'm really happy with how it came out!

The artsy, filtered, thumbnail pic:

The tree is supposed to be inspired by Tim Burton, and the colors were specified by my partner (purple, lime green, and turquoise). I machine stitched the sky and the grass to a plain piece of muslin and used reverse applique for the tree.

I added hand-sewn embellishments to the sky and to give it a "stitched together" kind of look. Because I don't really know how to machine stitch, I embroidered a rolling landscape for the ground and then made the backing/binding one piece.

I added the loops using some cool tree branch buttons I got in a swap a while ago.

I had a lot of fun making this for the MAQ swap! Thanks for looking!
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Child Drawing Ornament Tutorial on: December 18, 2012 07:36:57 AM
If you're a last minute gift maker like me, here's a quick, easy, and personalized way to turn your kid's drawings into ornaments!

Materials Needed:

See-through top fabric (I used muslin)
Backing fabric
Fabric marker
~8 inches of ribbon
Kiddo's drawing

First, cut both your top fabric and backing fabric to about 4 in x 4 in:

Next, place the top fabric on top of the drawing and trace the image onto the fabric using a fabric pen:

Easy, peasy.

Next, layer the fabric pieces right sides together with the ribbon sandwiched in the middle. Make sure the ends of the ribbon are at the top of the drawing so it hangs right side up after sewing.

Sew around the edge, leaving about 2 inches open at the bottom for turning right side out:

Turn right side out:

Stuff with polyfill and hand sew the opening at the bottom:

You can personalize it by adding names, dates, drawing titles, whatever!

I'm sure there's a million things you could do with the drawing once you got it on fabric. I hope this inspires you this holiday season!!

Thanks for looking Smiley
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