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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Bi-Polar Bear on: November 02, 2012 11:27:51 AM
My Halloween costume for 2012 is the Bi-Polar Bear. The Bi-Polar Bear is one of my roller derby aliases, and I've been waiting all year to make this costume. I took my inspiration from a variety of sources, including Ruben Ireland's work and these Gloomy Bear arms and hat.



I looked at the pictures of the arms and hat to get an idea of how to draft the patterns. The head and arms are furry fleece and polar fleece. The claws are pleather. The eyes and nose are polymer clay. The cape is satin with marabou trim, with polymer clay bear paw brooches. The name was machine embroidered by a friend.



The feet were so huge they felt kind of like wearing swim flippers, so it made running around pretty... interesting.



Anyway, thanks for taking a look, your questions and comments are welcome.
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Bi-Polar Bear on: October 31, 2012 05:16:32 PM
My Halloween costume for 2012 is the Bi-Polar Bear. The Bi-Polar Bear is one of my roller derby aliases, and I've been waiting all year to make this costume. I took my inspiration from a variety of sources, including Ruben Ireland's work and these Gloomy Bear arms and hat.



I looked at the pictures of the arms and hat to get an idea of how to draft the patterns. The head and arms are furry fleece and polar fleece. The claws are pleather. The eyes and nose are polymer clay. The cape is satin with marabou trim, with polymer clay bear paw brooches. The name was machine embroidered by a friend.



The feet were so huge they felt kind of like wearing swim flippers, so it made running around pretty... interesting.



Anyway, thanks for taking a look, your questions and comments are welcome.
3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / WoW: troll shaman and orc warrior on: November 03, 2009 04:25:36 PM
It all started with an ax and a mace:



My boyfriend and I were wandering around a local markdown store, when I came across a plastic battle ax amongst the Halloween props and costumes.  "Hey!" says I, "they have a battle ax like [your Warcraft character] Pugool's!"  Says he, "Yeah, and they have a one-handed mace over there like [your Warcraft character] Agriveda's!"

We looked at each other and in a moment of synchronicity exclaimed:
"WE SHOULD BE OUR WARCRAFT CHARACTERS FOR HALLOWEEN!!!!"

Those fateful words began the month of sweat, tears, screaming and hot glue burns that was the making of our World of Warcraft costumes.  This was a labor of love from both me and my boyfriend, and I am super proud of our hard work.  First, the goodies:

Meet Agriveda the lvl 77 troll shaman and Pugool the lvl 80 orc warrior:



/cast Healing Wave


/flex


A model of my character in her gear, circa level 75


For the Horde!


"Lok'tar!!"


A model of his character in his gear

The making-of was a long and arduous thing.  For reference I used some screen caps and downloaded the very helpful WoW model viewer here: http://www.wowmodelviewer.org/

Most of Pugool's armor was made using the tutorial from Jia Jem with some minor revisions made for the sake of time and money.  We did only one layer of paper mache and skipped the paper clay layer all together.  I love Jia Jem and her work, and her tutorials are the best: http://www.jiajem.com/armor.html


The card board shapes for Pugool's legs and arms.


Pugool's shoulders and some other pieces in the paper mache stage.  The white piece in the middle is his chest plate with one coat of gesso on it.


One of my shoulder pieces halfway through the painting process.  Base layers of metallic spray paint, then acrylic were put down.  The photo shows the left side before antiquing and the right side after antiquing.  Antiquing in this case was just painting on some thinned black acrylic, then wiping it off with a paper towel, leaving some paint in the crevices.

A lot of my armor is sewn vinyl and fabric, with some Crayola Model Magic for sculpted details.  I approximated chain mail with a crocheted sweater spraypainted silver and bronze.  My totem is sculpted foam painted with acrylics. 

The wig is a Punky XL in blue from Cosworx: http://www.cosworx.com/product.php?productid=16463&cat=2471&page=1  Many hours of styling and almost a whole can of Aquanet went into that bad boy.


This is the wig on my improvised wig head: a pillow cinched onto the top of a vacuum cleaner with a belt.

We're both wearing Razorback teeth from Dental Distortions: http://www.dentaldistortions.com/product_info.php?products_id=18


Here's a makeup test while I was figuring out how blue I wanted to be.  You can see the ears before I painted them ($2 from a Halloween store!) with my earrings in.  Also check out the sweet necklace, with real bone beads!


We went to my boyfriend's office party, where we were a big hit.


Comments and criticism welcome! I lived and breathed these costumes for a month so I'm sure I can talk at great length about them  Undecided .
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Coraline and Other Mother on: November 01, 2009 03:49:42 PM
So my boyfriend's daughter wanted to be Coraline for Halloween.  This was great, because I have a dress almost exactly like the Other Mother's dress and have wanted to do her costume since I saw the movie.  I mean, um, Halloween is all about the kids and I just played along for her sake.  Right.

Srsly, my favorite part of these costumes was making them together.  She picked out which Coraline outfit she wanted, picked out her clothes and accessories (hence the Webkinz black cat).  She drew and arranged the stars, I wrangled the hot glue gun.  I made the beaded dragonfly pin, and the wig is a Hallowig from Knitty graciously knitted by a friend.

She was a bit bummed that only one kid (or adult for that matter) recognized her costume, but I figured the kind readers of Craftster, among whom I know there are a lot of Coraline fans, would give her props.






Adorbs!!


We tried a real blue wig, but the knitted version seemed way less fussy.
Hallowig from Knitty is here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/PATThallowig.html


Bustle made from black poster board + acrylic paint, held on by black yarn


Huge buttons from another costume, held on with double stick tape.
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / skull + steampunk brain on: October 09, 2009 01:34:53 PM
Here's the back story to this piece:  I work at a medical device company that makes custom cranial implants.  (In short, patients have holes in their skulls, we make the patches to make them whole again.)  Our company will be a vendor at the upcoming convention for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (read: trade show), and as part of our marketing campaign, we are preparing works of art using our implants.

The skull and the clear "door" are parts used in our regular implant production.  The skull is a model created from an actual CT scan of a patient's skull through a process called stereolithography and the clear implant is an actual implant that we might ship to the surgeon (the original implants shipped long ago, I made this one specifically for this project).

The rest are pieces and parts that I've added to turn these two basic elements into a steampunk contraption.  I wanted this to look like something you might find in the Mutter Museum (which I heart oh so much).  












I like this one because of the little watch face that you can't really see from any other angle until you discover it like an Easter Egg through the left orbit.


A work-in-progress shot, taken for my own reference as I try to recreate the arrangement of parts that I assembled in the brainstorming phase.

I'd like to give a shout-out to a couple awesome products that I used in this piece: 1) Varathane Stain & Polyurethane - stains the wood and seals it in an aerosol can, and gave a much better finish than I would have expected from a "do it all in one easy step" product, 2) Devcon Plastic Welder epoxy - a two-part epoxy that is more viscous than regular epoxy and dries in a cream color which blended perfectly with the skull.  *This is not a paid endorsement, I just really liked these products.

We have a professional photographer coming in next week, so I hope to update with those photos when I can.  C&C welcome Smiley
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Dog hiking backpack - tutorial with pics on: June 19, 2009 09:51:53 PM
I've learned that I'm way more likely to exercise if I have some company while I do it, so to that end I've started taking my dog Jeff with me when I run intervals in the park by my house.  Some things I learned from our first run: 1) Jeff gets tired and could use a drink after about 20 minutes, 2) there are no spigots, water fountains or trash cans for miles, apparently, and 3) it is no fun to run while holding a bag of poop (or two).

Hence the doggie backpack.  This is meant for light use, carrying some bags/water/full poop bags until they can be disposed of, and for no more than an hour at a time (because honestly, I can't last that long either).  It has a handle for easy placement upon the dog's back, and a padded chest strap.  I added a pad to the girth strap after I took these pictures.



Size: Jeff is medium-sized, about 55 lbs.  He measured about 28" around at the chest, behind the forelegs, and about 18" across the front of the chest to the point above his elbows.



YOU WILL NEED:
About 1/2 yard or so of fabric (I used camo duck cloth, but if you want something more durable, I would try a ripstop nylon)
1" nylon webbing, about a yard and change
Two 9" zippers (I used 7" because that's what I had)
Two plastic buckles for 1" webbing
Scrap batting (I used fleece, again out of convenience)
A lighter or match, to melt the cut ends of the nylon webbing



All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise noted.

SADDLE BASE
Cut two rectangles 21" x 9.5" and curve the corners.  Pin right sides together.


Sew around the outside, leaving a small opening.  Turn inside out and fold the edges under in the opening.  Press.


Sew the opening shut close to the edge (if you're extra special, hand sew the opening shut to hide the stitches).  Top stitch 1/4" in from the edge.


POCKET
(Instructions are for one pocket, repeat for the second pocket.)
Cut one rectangle 8.5" W x 10.5" H (A), and one 10.5" W x 7.5" H (B).


Fold (B) in half width-wise and mark 1.5" from fold on top and bottom, both sides.  Lay flat.


Fold between the marks and press.  Fold each pressed line in towards center about 1/2" to create a box pleat.  (B) should now be the same width as (A).  Pin in place.


Baste the pleats in place.


Pin the zipper face down along the edge of (A).  Sew.


Flip the zipper back and place so zipper and (A) are face down on (B).


Pin and stitch in place.


Open the layers and press the seam allowance away from the zipper.


Top stitch.


Open the zipper halfway and fold the pocket in half, right sides in, so free edges are aligned.  Pin in place.  Stitch around the sides and bottom.


Pull the layers apart so that two folds run at 45 degrees from the corner.  Stitch across these layers, perpendicular to the bottom seam.  Clip the corner (not pictured).


Repeat for the opposite side.


Turn inside out and press.  Repeat for second pocket.


Align the bottom edges of the pockets with the bottom of the saddle base.  Pin in place by the top edge.  Stitch across the top edge.  (I did a double line of stitching for extra strength.)


HANDLE
Cut a length of nylon webbing slightly longer than the width of the saddle base.  Melt the ends with the lighter.  Pin in place along the midline.


Stitch the ends in place using an "X in the box" stitching line (Do this every time you tack down the end of a strap).


PADDED CHEST STRAP
Cut a rectangle 14" L x 3.5" W, two from fabric, one from batting/padding/fleece. Curve the corners to create an oblong shape.  Cut a rectangle 12.5" x 3.5" from fabric.


Flip edges under on the rectangle, press and stitch. 


Pin in place centered on one of the oblongs, both right sides up.


Baste across the long edges (not pictured).  Place a length of the 1" nylon webbing lengthwise along the center of the oblong.  This will be used as a guide for stitching the strap channel.


Stitch down the length of the webbing creating a channel.  Stitch as close to the webbing as you can manage without stitching over it.


Stitch on both sides of the webbing.  Your channel should look like this.


Lay the three pieces in the following order: batting, plain oblong right side up, channel oblong right side down.


Pin in place.


Stitch around the outside, leaving a small opening (not too small, otherwise it's a pain in the rear to turn inside out).


Turn...


...press, and stitch the opening closed.  Topstitch 1/4" in from the edge.


STRAPS
Flip the pockets up.  Place the chest buckle about 3.5" above the bottom edge, and in far enough so the whole buckle lays on the saddle base.  Mark with a pin.  Cut a 3" length of webbing, fuse ends, and tack down female end of the buckle, aligning the edge of the buckle with your pin.


Slip the chest pad onto the webbing.  Mark the corresponding spot on the opposite side of the saddle base.  At this point, check the fit on your dog!  Trim the webbing and tack down the end.  It's always better to leave a little extra and trim the excess later.


Align the girth buckle perpendicular to the chest buckle, about 3" in from the posterior edge.  Tack down in the same manner as the chest strap.  Find the corresponding point on the opposite side of the saddle base.  Tack down the edge of the girth strap.


Check the fit, trim the end of the girth strap, and buckle.  Tada!


7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Phallic 40 oz. cozy = NSFW, NSFK on: May 31, 2009 07:12:22 PM


So, now that caveat's out of the way, let me say that the great thing about being a craftster is that your skill set allows you to take a joke way, way too far.

Case in point:
 
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I made this for a buddy's birthday, at his suggestion.  I don't think he thought I'd actually make it (though if he'd seen my shocker mittens he would have http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=73948.0).  There was some discussion about the color, but when I saw this yarn that was so blatantly FLESH TONE (no flesh tone found in nature), I was sold.

I'm actually quite proud of the construction. The whole thing is crocheted from the bottom up, then switches to a 2x2 knit rib at the point where the bottle starts to taper. The rib helps snug the cozy up around the bottle. Then there's a series of yarn-overs for the drawstring before switching back to crochet.



The cozy continues in single crochet with gradual increases to form the flared corona of the glans. Then the whole thing is flipped back down and sewn right below the ribbing, after stuffing with a bit of polyfill.



I don't have a shot of the scrotum, but it's basically two crocheted domes that were joined together and continued for a bit before being sewn onto the base of the cozy.  The sweet part is that I stuffed them with two of these, for a more realistic texture:



White drawstring was inserted, a few chain-stitched veins, and voila...

 
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And, 'cause you know I had to, some reaction and action shots:

 
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Sorry guys.  Undecided
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Matronly to sassy recons on: May 06, 2008 07:46:02 PM
I found this, um, matronly dress while thrift store shopping.  It was one of those "OMG this is so ugly" finds, yet the fabric was a neat turquoise and black leopard print, and despite its Designing Women tendencies, I could see it had potential.

Before:


After:


A couple months later, I found a similar dress and knew if I did it once, I could do it again.

Before:


After:


Both required the removal of shoulder pads and sleeves and adjustment of the width of the bodice.  The blue one was also taken up in the shoulders and neckline, and the hemline was raised.  I raised the waist in the pink one, which also had the effect of raising the hemline, and added some elastic gathering to define the waist.

Hope you like it!  Comments and criticism welcome.

**EDIT!**

I had a brain wave and made one last modification to the pink matronly dress.  It takes care of the slight gappiness of the front bustline and adds, IMHO, a bit of extra style.

New After:
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Cigarette girl tray on: April 04, 2008 06:51:38 AM
Our roller derby league will be working at the local tattoo convention this weekend, and a pair of girls will be roaming around, one selling merch and the other taking money.  Norma Jean Bruiser, pictured below, had the clever idea that the merch girl could carry her stuff around on one of those cute cigarette girl trays.  Not to leave her partner unadorned, I whipped up a cute lacy half-apron to carry money and make change.

Norma Jean did a beautiful (OCD) job painting the tray.  The letters are self-adhesive cardboard die cuts from the scrapbooking isle.  The adjustable neck strap is cotton webbing attached with screws and washers.  Very simple, very cute Smiley

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Pink/black half-apron on: April 04, 2008 06:47:08 AM
Our roller derby league will be working at the local tattoo convention this weekend, and a pair of girls will be roaming around, one selling merch and the other taking money.  Norma Jean Bruiser, pictured below, had the clever idea that the merch girl could carry her stuff around on one of those cute cigarette girl trays.  Not to leave her partner unadorned, I whipped up a cute lacy half-apron to carry money and make change. 

Pink cotton, two deep pockets, black lace trim, and ties made from black quilt binding (which made it super duper easy!).





Yes, she's wearing a tea towel for contrast.
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