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November 17 News: WOW!  Congratulate the winner of DIY Halloween Costumes 2015!
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21  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Day of the Dead Skull Gourds on: November 03, 2015 05:56:40 AM
I grew birdhouse gourds one summer and have had several rattling around my basement for years. They take up space and roll all over! I have used them one by one for crafts, but the last 5 were just annoying me.

So, with a few layers of paint, a cup hook or three, and a saw (for the bowls) I transformed them into......Day of the Dead Skulls! Few people recognized them as gourds with the paint and hanging them upside down.

I sketched the faces in pencil, then painted the bright colors. The first two gourds I outlined in black paint, but with Halloween approaching, I used Sharpies on the last one and it worked just great! Much faster and easier. We will see what it looks like next year. I find that sharpies can bleed over time. For the full effect see http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441356.0

Here's a shot of the naked gourds. Lovely with their mold spots and variations.

Here's one after several coats of paint. I should have done a base sealer coat of shellac, but I do like the slight discolorations coming through the white paint. Makes them a bit creepier.

These are the bowls after a coat or two of shellac. They show the lovely patterns the curing process left. The insides are also coated with several coats of shellac. Caution: Always wear a face mask when sawing or sanding with gourds. The dust is not good for you.

See http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441356.0 for more on the costume.
22  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 110 ENTRIES / Day of the Dead is coming after you on: November 02, 2015 12:07:08 PM
Our church did a Trunk or Treat this year so my trusty Matrix received a make over to DAY OF THE DEAD!

I constructed the hat out of posterboard, an old pair of black pants (I couldn't find enough plain black fabric in my stash), and red pom pom trim. The mask was downloaded from the internet and hand colored (I grew short on time!). The rest of the outfit was straight from my closet.

I painted up some birdhouse gourds to keep me company and cut tissue paper garland for a festive look. I ran the lights from a Diehard battery charger. The candy bowls are missing in this pic, but were cut from the gourds and painted with shellac. I included a pic...we ate ALL the candy!

Come and have fun!

23  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Chunky Houses Halloween Edition 6 GALLERY on: October 24, 2015 01:12:38 PM
I also received a wonderful house from sonjaboo. I love the wonky windows and door and the dancing skeleton is perfect. The back is awesome too. But it is sad, this is my last house for this round. Sigh. But they are sitting in my window looking spooky.

24  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Chunky Houses Halloween Edition 6 GALLERY on: October 23, 2015 02:29:07 PM
And if you put it in a window, you can see the witches dancing in the translucent window! It was hard catching those little witches. The trick or treaters just stood there.

PS, the back is a candy wrapper. My favorite Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate with caramel crungh and sea salt. Fair trade and organic. CAn't be bad for me at all.
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Fall 2015 Ninni Gallery - Send out by October 19, 2015 on: October 23, 2015 02:26:35 PM
LOL. You remove the legs and arms from a Ninni and it become a blob. But you stretch a Ninni's neck and you get awesomeness. Who knew.

I love them all, the bird, the translator and the giraffini! So creative and such wonderful fabrics. I want them all.
26  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: "Jacquotte" The Fierce Female Pirate on: October 21, 2015 06:56:30 AM
The hat was fun. I thought there was some secret to the tricorn hat, but it's just a big brimmed hat with three sides tacked up. I can do that! Those stylish pirates knew how to keep the brims out of the way! I'm sure it was a style

The tricorn became popular in the 17th century. "The tri-corner, however, had three sides of the brim turned up, either pinned or buttoned in place to form a triangle around the wearers headlike a mince pie, to quote the vernacular of the time. This style then allowed the wearer to show off his latest wig fashion underneath, and thus his social status."

And the American revolution spawned lots of pirates raiding English ships. I love history.
27  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Chunky Houses Halloween Edition 6 GALLERY on: October 18, 2015 04:57:45 PM
I received from thisbirdabsurd a wonderful black and white house.The woman is from an old dagurereotype and the window is mica. With the light shining through you see her ghostly form. OOOOO haunted! There is lots of details, trim and wings and little metal bits. I love it. Thank you.

28  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chunky Houses Halloween Edition 6 (Signups 8/25 to 9/8; MAIL BY 10/20) on: October 18, 2015 04:51:42 PM
I finished and mailed this morning. I love Sunday mornings at the PO. Just me and the kiosk. Watch your mailboxes.
29  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chunky Houses Halloween Edition 6 (Signups 8/25 to 9/8; MAIL BY 10/20) on: October 17, 2015 07:58:59 AM
Getting started....right now. Wish me luck and inspiration.
30  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Wild Woman of the forest Ninni!!! on: October 15, 2015 05:36:05 PM
She's wild, she's untamed, she's a forest dweller, she's a ninni!

For the Fall Ninni Swap I created a wild woman of the forest. Her hair is wild, her cloak is torn and dirty, her bag is full of rocks and acorns. Watch out or she'll hex you!

Check out the Fall Ninni Swap http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=440842.0

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