Class/Challenge/House Pride: October Detention House: Ravenclaw Project Name: Christmas Fabric House Ornament Brief Description: My partner in the One Tiny Holiday Ornament Swap lives in Australia, so although I finished this a month ago, it took 4 weeks for it to arrive to her. Anywho, my little fabric house features the fall color of red, and a bit of brown as well. (I would be remiss if I didn't point out that where I live [South Texas], the tress are still very much green, so green is most assuredly a "fall color" where I live. ) Project Picture:
My partner in the One Tiny Holiday Ornament swap received earlier this week, so now I can finally post this (been sitting on it for a month!)
Battle/Challenge: October - Seeing From a Different Angle Team: Multimedia Project Name: Christmas House Ornament Brief Description: This small house is full of angles. The frame of the house itself is a square(-ish) shape cut out of felt, and the roof is a trapezoid made of Christmas fabric. Additionally, the bottoms of the windows are right angles -- although my little fabric house defies the laws of physics (or was built on a serious slant), because my sewing skills are still very much a work in progress. Project Picture:
My stuffie from sugarmaestro arrived today! Things have been unpleasant and stressful at work as of late, so this made for a very nice treat to come home to.
Isn't he just adorable? I asked my partner to emphasize the cute over the creepy, and this handsome little bat absolutely delivers. I wish I could get some better pics, but alas, I am no longer home during daylight hours on weekdays, so these will have to do. (sugarmaestro, if you have better pics, feel free to post.)
Besides from his adorable scarf, my favorite feature is that his wings are posable! Thank you so much sugarmaestro, I am sooooo pleased with him!
Also, while I'm here, I figured I'd post a pic of what I sent my partner, since she hasn't had a chance to post pics yet:
Battle/Challenge: October - Let's Celebrate Team: Multimedia Project Name: Virus Appreciation Day PSA Doll Project Page Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=428573.0#axzz2iplgyLeq Brief Description: BEWARE! October 3rd is Virus Appreciation Day (http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/October/virusappreciation.htm) . Now, Virus Appreciation Day is not a day to "celebrate" viruses, but rather, to increase public awareness about the importance of preventing the spread of viral infections. Look at this poor little mermaid who went swimming in contaminated ocean water -- ZOMBIE PLAGUE. Don't let this happen to you, people! Please take all proper precautions to ensure that you don't contract a terrible infectious disease like the zombie plague. Project Picture:
This is quite a step-up from the previous project I posted on this board! I recently participated in the Creepy Cute Stuffie Swap, and my partner said she liked creepy mermaids, so I decided to craft her a zombie mermaid.
Initially, I tried to draft a pattern for the entire thing by hand, but having never even made a doll before, that was a bit beyond my skill set. Thankfully, I found a $3 blank stuffed doll form at Joanns, which even had the bonus of being that perfect zombie un-dead gray! So I chopped off the legs, and used that for the upper body. With a good base for the torso, I was then able to draft a decently-shaped pattern for the tail.
Two pieces of black felt, machine-sewn together and stuffed with poly fill from the bottom up as I went along. I intentionally cut the top of the tail a little wider than the waist of the doll, and after the torso was glued into the tail, I hot glued the over-wide edges of the tail to the backside to create the effect of her wider hips and narrower waist. The tailbones were all painted on with white fabric paint -- which I did not realize had a velveteen effect, so when I used a blow dryer on the paint to speed up the drying, the paint actually started to bubble up. It was a happy accident, though, as I think it adds some interesting texture.
I figured that crafting her chest would be difficult, so I went with the requisite mermaid shell-bra, hot-glued on. My friends and I had a good laugh over her Madonna-esque cones. The face and scratches were all painted on using black and white fabric paint, and a Tim Holtz brand red distress paint for paper crafting (which I figured would be more subtle, and I think it was. It actually comes in a dauber, so I had to daub it onto a paper plate to be able to get some on my brush). I wish I had taken a little more care into how I had applied the scratches (they look more like pus sores than wounds to me, but I guess that works too). Her little cameo was purchased at Joann -- I was hoping to make a skull one, but based on the time I had and supplies I was able to find, this ended up being the best option. So, it is the mermaid's treasure, recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean.
My absolute favorite part of the doll, however, is her ridiculously-long hair. I had already figured I would end up using yarn for the hair, but when I saw this one at the craft store, I knew it would be perfect. The black, white and gray colors say "zombie" to me, and it was all knotted in weird places, which really helped to add a lot of volume. Originally, I was just going to start gluing long strands of yarn to the top of her head, but my best friend wisely advised me to create a base for a wig, using a teardrop-shaped piece of black felt. That way, I could more easily create a part, instead of having hair hanging down in the doll's face, and it worked really well. I still managed to almost permanently lose the use of a couple fingers to the hot glue gun... but, y'know. Crafting problems.
She is even a little bit blinged-out, with a jeweled fishbone stuck in her hair.
Hi all! I joined Craftster this summer, and while this is hardly my first project to post on the boards, I wanted to share it here because it represented a totally new skill set for me, and I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out.
I crafted a zombie mermaid for my partner in the Creepy Cute Stuffie Swap. The tail is made from two pieces of felt machine-sewn together and stuffed with poly fill, and the tailbones are painted on with white fabric paint. (The texture was unexpected though -- I ended up buying "velveteen finish" paint, so the heat from my blow dryer activated the effect.) I had a terrible time trying to draft a pattern for her upper body, but thankfully, I found a blank stuffed doll form for $3 at Joann, so I just cut off its legs and glued it into my pre-made tail!
I figured that crafting her chest would be pretty difficult, so I went with the requisite mermaid shell-bra -- one inspired by Madonna, apparently, since it is pretty conical in shape. The face and scratches are all painted on with fabric paint (the red is actually from a Tim Holtz paper crafting distress paint, which I daubed onto a paper plate in order to get it onto my brush). My absolute favorite part is her ridiculously-long hair, though:
I went searching for yarn for the hair, and knew this was the one as soon as I saw it. The black, white and gray colors would be very appropriate for "zombie", and it was all knotted in weird places, which really helped to add a lot of volume to the hair. My best friend had the very smart of idea of creating a small-ish tear-drop shaped base out of black felt, so that I could shape the wig separately instead of just trying to glue hair randomly to the doll itself, and I am so glad I did that. Still managed to almost permanently lose the use of a couple fingers to the hot glue gun... but, y'know. Crafting problems.
Oh man, I am so excited for today's post! This is definitely one of my two most-favorite things I have put up on Craftster so far.
Class/Challenge/House Pride: History of Magic House: Ravenclaw Project Name: Black Lake mermaid Project Page Link:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=428573.0#axzz2iplgyLeq Brief Description: Our assignment for HoM is to study some aspect of Hogwarts, and ever since I rode across the Black Lake with the other first-year students at the start of this term, I have been fascinated (and a little spooked) by this natural feature of Hogwarts' landscape. One of the older students even told me that there are supposedly MERMAIDS living in the lake -- and when I went down to the lake to do some research, I discovered it's true!!! I actually saw a real-life mermaid! The one I met, though, looked a little... errr, "distressed". She had scratches all over her body, and parts of her even looked like they had been sewn together?!? Almost like a... zombie or something. I hope this isn't the work of some sinister dark magic... maybe I shouldn't be wondering around by myself so close to Halloween.
I made this for my partner in the Creepy Cute Stuffie swap. I had never made anything like this before, so it really pushed my crafting skill set, and was super fun to create to boot! My partner said she liked creepy mermaids, and so I figured a zombie mermaid would be good. My favorite parts are the tail (that bumpy texture on the paint was unexpected, though -- turns out I bought "velveteen finish" fabric paint, which activated when I used a blow dryer to speed the drying time) and her ridiculously long hair.
The upper body was re-conned from a $3 blank stuffed doll I found at Joann; I just chopped off the legs, and glued it into the tail I had made. Good thing, too, because at first I was having the worst time trying to draft my own pattern for the upper body.
There is a bit of a personal story to go with this one.
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Dumbledore's Army -- Have a Drink in the Hog's Head House: Ravenclaw Project Name: Mom's Famous Cookies Brief Description: My mother passed away suddenly in 2005. She worked at the school where, several years later, I am now employed. So although we were never working there at the same time, several of my co-workers now also worked with her. One of the things my mother was known for was her "famous cookies" -- she would always make them for special events, the holidays, etc. My mother loved sharing the recipe with people -- with her name prominently displayed at the top, naturally. Even now, people at work will make these cookies and share them with me, and it never fails to touch my heart.
And you want to know the crazy thing? This is a total cheater's recipe. Baking for people who don't bake. And the best part is that you hardly need any ingredients!
Mamavanbuck's Famous Cookies:
1 box butter flavor cake mix
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 bag Skor English toffee bits OR 1/2 bag Heath Bits o' Brickle toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a fork until ingredients are completely incorporated. Take heaping teaspoons of mixture and form into balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 11 - 12 minutes, being careful not to let nuts burn or bottom get too dark. The cookies will spread A LOT while baking.
Now, full disclosure: these are going to have a different feel and texture from your regular cookie, and they can be a little greasy (they are SUPER crumbly and moist). But I love making them, because they are so easy to throw together, especially since you don't need the traditional fresh ingredients like milk and butter. (I don't drink milk for dietary reasons, so it is not something we buy at home unless someone needs it to cook with.)
For years and years and years, we only made the "traditional" recipe, using the butter cake mix. But last year at Christmas time, as I stood staring at all the different varieties of boxed cake mixes in the grocery store, I wondered if other flavors might work, and so I started experimenting. Oh man, do they work! Not all of them, certainly, but I have had huge success in using a spice cake mix and switching out the brickle bits and nuts for cinnamon chips, as well as chocolate cake mixes with peanut butter chips.
So this past weekend, I tested using a carrot cake mix for the first time. This particular cake mix came with a bag of "real" pieces of carrots and raisins, which I used in place of the nuts and toffee bits (though I didn't like the texture of them in the cookie, so next time I will leave them out. I might try using golden raisins instead). In going with the whole carrot cake theme, I iced them with a cream cheese frosting, and brought them in to work the next day. They were a hit with my co-workers!
I managed to get 18 cookies out of this batch. Now, I'm sure you real bakers out there would easily be able to tweak the recipe to change the amount of oil based on what kind of cake mix you're using (and maybe even incorporate "real" ingredients like milk and butter!), and come up with a superior product. But for me, since it's my mom's recipe, it will always be made with 2/3 cup of oil and 1 egg. It is certainly not the fanciest or most professional recipe (I don't think you could even call this "made from scratch"), but it is dear to my heart.
Transparency film, of course! I might even be able to find some lying around at work somewhere.
So anywho, when I checked the mail earlier today, I hit the Craftster jackpot! Not only did I have a package from another swap, but THREE cards from the amazingly talented kosmicgirl!
First up is "Danebenbenehmen", which means "to act inappropriately" in German. This was the first German word kosmicgirl learned before moving there.
I just absolutely love her. The color is amazing, and the stamped detailing on the dress -- wow! Next up is "Estonian Impressions", which she made after coming back from a recent trip to that country.
Naturally, I had to go read up a little bit on this language that I previously knew nothing about! I got such a huge chuckle from the "We love words with vowels" that frames the woman.
Last but not least is the personal swap card she made for me, based on the recent video game "Ni no Kuni" (which we both played and loved). It features the familiar Toko, one of the adorable critters from the game.
Here are the cards together, along with the killer extras she sent me: a postcard contrasting standard German and the dialect spoken where kosmicgirl lives (my inner linguist totally nerded out over this!), and another one featuring a Chinese translation of a quote by the Bengali writer Tagore. Man, it does not get much more global than that!!!
kosmicgirl, you spoiled me beyond words. Thank you SO MUCH for this treasure trove of goodies!!!