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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Tree Pin on: January 05, 2015 02:16:25 PM

I made this pin for my aunt for Christmas.  The base is made of black shrink plastic, and I swear it was round when I cut it out.  I don't know if I did something wrong in the melting process or if I just have cheap terrible shrink plastic but it turned into an oval somehow.  Oh well, if it had turned out like I wanted it to, I would have made a different kind of pin, and my aunt probably wouldn't have liked it as well.  So it worked out.

Here's the back:

I couldn't figure out a nice, pretty way to attach the pin back and hold down the ends of the wires, so I went the quick ugly route and stuck everything down with hot glue.  It's not like anyone will see the back when she's wearing it, but I wish I knew a better method...
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Sonic Seam Ripper! on: December 30, 2014 06:37:40 AM
I got to meet the fabulous Mistress Jennie the other day, and since her Craftster signature has been "I really need a Sonic Seam Ripper" for ages and she mentioned once that people keep telling her they're making Sonic Seam Rippers for swap partners but no one's ever made one for her, I thought I'd surprise her with one of her very own.

Here's the seam ripper I started with, next to a photo of the actual prop.  My original idea was to build the Sonic body out of Sculpey clay, but I scrapped that because I was afraid it wouldn't be durable enough.  Also, I wasn't sure how well the seam ripper would hold up to being baked in the oven.

I ended up deconstructing a pen instead.  I took apart everything that would come apart, then used a small saw to cut the main shaft into two pieces and remove the clip.

Here it is partway through the assembly process.  The seam ripper fit neatly inside the pen shaft.  I put a mini hot glue stick in there first so it wouldn't go all the way in, then filled up the empty space around the seam ripper with more hot glue so it (hopefully) won't wobble around while it's being used.  I also sawed the clear seam ripper cover in half and glued a round wooden bead onto the open end, and carved down the clip end of the pen to try and make it not look so much like a pen with the clip cut off.

The top half of the seam ripper cover became the piece at the end with the light on it.  I painted the inside of the very end blue to represent the light and glued pieces of toothpick on for the cage-looking part.  At some point during construction the pink plastic bit on the end of the shorter seam ripper prong came off and was lost forever, so I superglued a tiny blue plastic bead in its place.  The silver button is a piece I cut from the pen's rubber grip.  Once everything was assembled I painted it up all sonic-y and sealed it with Mod Podge.

Sonic Seam Ripper!  I think she likes it.  Smiley
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wooden Snowman Ornament on: December 16, 2014 09:09:20 PM

I made this cheerful little guy last week, using my dad's scroll saw and this pattern.  He's about 4" tall and made out of 1/4" thick poplar wood.

I was hesitant to attempt this pattern since it looks so complicated and I'm still a novice with the scroll saw, but it turned out to be easier than I expected.  The whole process (transferring the pattern to the wood, drilling all the starter holes, cutting out, sanding, and finishing) took about four hours.

He's finished with a mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits.  He makes me happy.  Smiley
4  Category Challenges / Occasions and Holidays: Challenge Entries / Green Man Carved Pumpkin on: November 02, 2014 06:23:30 PM
I carved this Green Man pumpkin a few weeks ago at carving class with my dad.  I used a picture from the book Extreme Pumpkin Carving by Vic Hood and Jack A. Williams as my inspiration, and I carved it with woodcarving gouges and knives.

5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 103 ENTRIES / Apple/Bacon/Cheddar Chimichangas on: October 11, 2014 05:53:12 AM

I think apples and cheddar cheese make a tasty pair, and this grilled cheese sandwich recipe gave me the idea that bacon could make it even better.  This chimichanga recipe gave me the time and temperature at which to bake my creations, but the rest is my own.

Apple/Bacon/Cheddar Chimichangas (makes 4)

4 flour tortillas (I used 8-inch, but 10-inch would have been easier to keep closed)
12 slices bacon
1 medium Gala apple (you want to use a good baking apple so it doesn't turn to mush)
1 (13-oz) can cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450*F.  Fully cook your bacon and chop your apple into smallish bits.  If you keep your tortillas in the fridge, microwave each one for about 5 seconds to make them easier to roll without breaking.  Put 3 slices of bacon in the middle of each tortilla, then top them with equal portions of chicken, apple pieces, pecans, and cheese.

Fold in the ends of the tortillas and roll them up.  If they're big enough to stay closed on their own, put them on a baking sheet seam-side down; if not, place them seam-side up so they don't fall apart and hold them closed with toothpicks.  Bake until tortillas are crispy, about 8-10 minutes.

6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Inlaid Cedar Box on: September 07, 2014 07:46:46 AM
I made this box last week as a gift for my girlfriend.  It's made entirely of bits of cedar planking left over from when my dad lined some closets.  I used a scroll saw to make a heart inlay in the top of the box.

I had never done any inlay before so it was a learning experience - the trick is to stack your inlay wood on top of your outside wood and slightly tilt your scroll saw table so the angle of the cut compensates for the wood lost due to the thickness of the saw blade.  That way the inlay design will fall right into the cutout space and if you've used the right angle, they'll sit flush with each other.

I picked a mostly-white piece of cedar for the lid and a mostly-red piece for the heart, for contrast.  The fact that the white bit in the red lined up with the red bit in the white was a happy accident.

I used half-red-half-white pieces for the sides and front, to make a transition between the white lid and the red base, but I only had three pieces like that so the back is different.  I glued a piece of wood to the bottom of the lid to keep it from sliding around on the box.  This also helped flatted the lid out, since it was kind of warped.

I finished the box with a mix of linseed oil and mineral spirits.  I like how it turned out, and my girlfriend liked it too.  Smiley

7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Carved Wizard Walking Stick on: September 06, 2014 06:36:15 PM
At my family reunion this summer, my dad hosted a carve-your-own-walking-stick class.  We all found sticks in the woods where we were staying and Dad loaned everybody knives and taught us how to carve a wizard.

My stick is about 4'9" long.

There was a bad spot in the wood and I tried to carve it off but the more I carved the worse it got.  Tongue  That's the hazard of carving found wood, though, and at least it's just on the back.

I feel like I'm getting better at faces...well, wizard faces, at any rate.  It's just occurred to me that I've never tried to carve any other kind of face.  Maybe I should.

8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Wooden Mini Dresser on: June 14, 2014 07:17:18 AM
At carving class with my dad this week we made bandsaw boxes.  Bandsaw boxes are, as the name implies, boxes that you cut out with a bandsaw.  They're generally made from a single piece of wood, with bits cut off and then glued back together so the grain matches up.  I came up with a slightly wonky two-drawer dresser design for mine.

Bandsaw boxes aren't technically difficult to make, but you have to do all the steps in the correct order - which, as it happens, I didn't.  I forgot the bit where you cut off the back and I went straight into cutting out the middle, which meant I had to make a new back out of a different piece of wood.  I used a thin bit of cedar planking.

The main wood I used is mahogany, which I think is an absolutely gorgeous material, although it doesn't look like much before you finish it.  The only in-progress picture I have of my box shows what a difference a little mineral oil makes.

I am not very good at making straight cuts with a band saw so the drawers turned out kind of slanty.  I was going for a whimsical look, though, so I'm all right with it.  Smiley

The box is about 5" by 2.5" by 2.25" and the top and bottom drawers are 1" and 1.5" deep, respectively.  I used bits cut from the drawer interiors to make the drawer pulls.

It took me a little over four hours to make this.  I wanted to finish it all in one go, while I was at my parents' house with bandsaw and belt sander and clamps at my disposal.  I ended up getting home around midnight but it was worth it.  Smiley

9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Space! (with a secret message) on: June 07, 2014 01:51:21 PM
I've been playing around with Circular Gallifreyan recently and I thought it would be neat to try and incorporate a word or phrase written in the Gallifreyan alphabet into a picture of planets and stars and things.  Since this was my first go at it I used a simple design just to see how it would turn out.  What do you think?

Here's the Gallifreyan design I used (the pencil marks are just guidelines, what's in pen is the actual word).  I wanted the translation to be a quote from the Doctor so I picked the advice he seems to give most often.  It just says "Run!"  Grin

As a first try at this concept I think my drawing turned out okay, but I don't love the random shafts of light that I used to represent the lines in the Gallifreyan design.  Is there a different way I could have indicated lines that might have looked better?  Maybe comets or something?  I'd appreciate any suggestions, I want to make more of these.  Smiley
10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Gallifreyan quote shirt (Doctor Who/Serenity crossover) on: June 07, 2014 09:37:16 AM
I hope this is the right board...tracing counts as an image reproduction technique, right?

I've been on a Circular Gallifreyan kick lately, I love codes and different alphabets and I think anything written in Gallifreyan just looks cool.  I wanted to combine my two great science fiction loves, Doctor Who and Firefly/Serenity, so I picked my favorite Jayne quote from Serenity and wrote it out in Gallifreyan on a piece of cardboard.  Then I traced it with a fabric stain pen onto a T-shirt.

The quote is "Let's be bad guys."   Cheesy
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