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11  COOKING / Dessert / Candy sushi! on: September 19, 2010 07:56:33 AM
One of my friends is pregnant and really missing being able to eat sushi, so when my boyfriend and I went over for game night, I brought this:

Like many candy sushi recipes I saw on the internet, I used Rice Crispy treats as the rice, gummy worms and Twizzlers inside, Swedish fish as, well, fish, and green fruit roll-ups as the nori. It was totally my own idea to use orange sugar (from a pack of sugars in Halloween colors) as roe though.  The only hard part really was finding the green fruit roll-ups, but I found some Kroger brand "Alien" ones that unfortunately have white speckles, but eh, close enough.

I brought chop sticks to eat them with, and they were a hit! Totally fun to make, not too difficult, and pretty tasty!
12  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / [ACCEPTED] Take swaps out of "hot new projects" on: March 03, 2010 04:56:08 PM
I just want to say, it is kind of disappointing when I see a cool thumbnail on the "Hot New Projects" scroll on the front page, and I think "wow I wonder what THAT is?!" and I click it and oh, it's just a thumbnail for another swap, not actually a project at all.

I know a lot of people love swaps, but perhaps they could be separated out of that scroll on the front page, and featured somewhere else instead?
13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / More cardboard cuffs, better design! on: December 29, 2009 05:21:20 PM
I've been making lots of these cuff bracelets from cardboard tubes and scrapbook paper: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=328753.msg3795437#msg3795437

They're the tubes that yarn comes on, and my boyfriend's mom gives them to me.  It finally occurred to me (duh) that I could make them easier to get on and off if I split them first! I decided they also look better if I don't wrap the paper around, which means I also had to paint the edges, and of course I had to custom mix colors to match the papers, because I am apparently crazy.  Anyway, on to the pics!  (I just love these papers, from the pack called Lime Rickey by Basic Grey)

Thanks for looking!  Comments and critiques welcome!
14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Diorama - How to Make a Friend on: December 25, 2009 08:42:37 AM
Here is my latest diorama!  I am so proud of this one.

How I made

Bricks: Mixed sand and red paint, painted a piece of cardstock, let it dry.  Then I cut out and glued down each individual brick (because I am crazy) and when that was dry I washed it all with watered down black paint to age it.

Robot: cut pieces of copper pipe, filled with hot glue (tried clay at first, didn't work) stuck in the spring neck and legs, let dry, painted the hot glue.  The hands and feet are jewelery findings, and I glued the arms on with E6000 and painted the glue when it was dry.  I probably should have used JB Kwik, which i did use for the other metal bits, but I didn't have it at the time.

Floor, crates, cabinet, window frame, door frame, shelves: popsicle sticks. Crates are filled with hot glue and the metal odds and ends stuck in.  Metal bits on shelves and screws on the cabinet are glued down with JB Kwik.

Peg board: cardboard with holes burned in with my heat tool.  Tools: purchased from dollhouse section of craft store.

Door: used to be the lid to a box.  

I bought a lot of the random metal bits from here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagesupplyco

Comments and critiques welcome!
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / My new awesome diorama! Pic heavy on: December 10, 2009 08:52:35 PM
This project ate my life for the last couple of weeks.  It's titled "Don't Ask Don't Tell."  

Comments and critiques welcome!

16  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Woodland whimsy coasters! on: November 21, 2009 07:21:11 PM
Yes, it is even more ceramic tile coasters, but we can always use more coasters, right?  These are with scrapbook paper from a pack I think was called Friendly Forest or something like that, that I got on clearance.  Yay clearance!  

The colors got a bit washed out in the first pic, they're more true to life in this one:

I've been using Mod Podge to glue the paper, then sealing with Mod Podge, and with Triple Thick Glaze, then spray acrylic sealer, but I'm going to try some with varnish or something else instead of Triple Thick because it's kind of expensive. I apply everything with a sponge roller, which gives a subtle texture that I really like.  Oh, and I've got adhesive cork on the back to protect surfaces.  

I've made several sets of these, it's a great way to use up my scrapbook paper so I can make room . . . to buy more scrapbook paper, lol!
17  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Cardboard cuff bracelet on: November 21, 2009 05:47:48 PM
I posted a while back about getting all these short cardboard tubes from my boyfriend's mom. They held yarn, and when she uses up the yarn, she gives me the tubes.  Thanks to a suggestion from here, I've been making lots of cuff bracelets out of them by covering them with scrapbook paper, coating with Mod Podge and Triple Thick Glaze, then sealing with acrylic sealant.  I think they've been turning out nice!  Here's a couple of pics of my favorite one:

Oh, I also made that paper hand to display them for photos, pretty simple really, just traced my own hand. 
18  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Shipping for dummies? on: October 30, 2009 07:41:17 AM
Still doing my prep before opening my shop. I have never shipped anything, ever, in my life. So confused. I'm imagining the steps I'll need to take if I ever do make a sale.

I'm in the U.S.  So, ok, I guess I buy boxes for my stuff?  Where is a good place to get them?  Oh, I'd need bubble wrap too I suppose, to keep stuff from breaking.  So, ok, I wrap it, tape it up, print an address label I guess?  Take it . . . to the post office? UPS store? And they will sell me postage I guess?

Apparently there are all sorts of ways to ship something, and I have no idea how much any of them will cost and which one is the right one to use.

How do you determine your shipping cost ahead of time if you don't know how much the post office will charge until you get there?

Do y'all buy your shipping materials in bulk or wait until you've made a sale before getting the boxes and stuff?
19  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / How perfect is "perfect"? on: October 28, 2009 06:13:40 AM
I suppose this question can be answered by both buyers and sellers on Etsy.  I don't have an Etsy store yet, but I've been wanting to sell stuff on Etsy for a while now. 

What holds me back is that in most of the things I make, no matter how hard I try to be "perfect" there are often small imperfections that come from things like: I do not own a laser cutting machine.  So, like, if I made greeting cards, any embellishments would be cut out by hand.  I'm pretty good with scissors, but if you look close you can tell it wasn't done by a machine like with cards you'd buy in a store. 

I also make jewelery, sometimes with shrink plastic, and those of you who are familiar with this may know that sometimes the plastic doesn't shrink completely evenly, so what started as a circle might be more like an oval when it comes out of the oven.

And then, I also want to make and sell coasters, and I glue cork to the back to protect the surfaces they'll be on.  I cut the paper for the front with a rotary cutter at work, so that looks great, but the cork doesn't fit in the cutter so I had to use scissors, and it's not laser-perfect either. 

So my question is, how big a deal are imperfections like this?  Should I wait and save up for some kind of cutting machine so my stuff will look as good as things in the store?  Or should I go ahead and try to sell my imperfect things but sell them really cheap?  Or do people not mind imperfections so much on etsy since the stuff is handmade?
20  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Steampunk airship pirate on: August 29, 2009 01:46:03 PM
I have finally finished my costume for DragonCon!  On time!  woo!

I already posted the gun here and the goggles here.  And now here is all of it all together.

Wings open:

And with wings closed:

And from the back:

Goggles and gun are already explained in their own posts, on to the rest.

Vest: purchased.  Waist cincher: already owned.  Shirt: purchased then dyed a bit duller white.  Hard to see in the pic since I was in the sun, but it's not bright white in real life.  Pants: purchased, then altered.  I cut the bottoms off and made them smaller, grommetted and laced up the sides, and sewed them back on, pleating the legs on the side seams.  I bought the socks, two pairs so one could be arm warmers.  Oh, and I made the gun's holster.  Oh and those shoes are awesome!  They were originally $140, I got them at a discount store for $40!  And for such a high heel, they're actually pretty comfy.  Here's a better pic of the shoe:

The wings!  The wings I've been working on forever, trial and error.  The support frame is made from copper pipes soldered together.  The spines are slats from a broken set of wood blinds I got super cheap at Big Lots. The fabric is just muslin, with grommets to tie it to the spines.  They open and close by pulling a string which hooks onto some jean buttons I hammered into my belt. The black belt with the big grommets is chained to the support frame to help hold it on. There are also brown straps attached with D-rings that are attached to the pipes with pipe clamps.  

Since the wings don't operate by steam power or clockwork, I guess it's not really steampunk, huh. It's stringpunk! Wink
Anyway, comments and critiques welcome, though I don't have time for any drastic changes.  If you're gonna be at DragonCon, see you there!
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