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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Old-school school desk on: May 29, 2008 02:56:45 PM
No.  That's not a typo.  This is literally about as old-school as you can get. 

I forgot to take a picture with the top open, but this is the real deal. 

Here's the before picture:
We got it for $10 or $15 at the Kane county flea market near chicago.   http://www.kanecountyfleamarket.com  I thought for sure we'd paid too much when the top broke in half putting the desk into the car. 

Using a natural stain really wasn't an option since the top was covered in scorch marks, candle wax, and water damage.  I thought about doing something all fancy and modern, but I love how the straight black keeps the feel of the original desk. 

Let me know what you think.  I can post more in progress pics if anyone cares. 
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / old jeans transformed by Jujitsu embroidery on: March 29, 2008 05:47:50 PM
old jeans + ultimate sashiko sourcebook + a little crafster ingenuity = the coolest placemats ever. 


The "jujitsu embroidery" comes from a friend.  She'd seen the book one day and asked about it, but the next time she came over she couldn't remember what it was called.  That's the name she came up with, and really, that's just so much more fun to say than sashiko. 

Now for a couple of close-ups, cause I'm just so damned proud:

3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Vintage Craft Projects / Creative Crafts and Stitchery (1976) - Book Review on: March 03, 2008 09:53:09 AM
The book:  Creative Crafts & Stitchery, published by Better Homes & Gardens in 1976

How it came into my possession:  Dad's got a thing for auctions.  He acquired 4 boxes of cookbooks for about $15 recently.  There were some real treasures in there, including one by the Junior League of Baton Rouge; that one had lots of tasty gumbos and things.  Mom and I went through all those dusty books, and argued a bit about who got to keep each book.  The ones neither of us wanted were donated to the library.  Buried in with all those cookbooks was this little relic.  

General Review:  The book's got an identity crisis.  Half the projects in there are trying to be trendy (read "trippy").  The other half are distinctly for little old ladies.  There are enough neat ideas in here that I kept the book, but some of the projects will definitely make you wince.  

A choice selection of projects:
The perfect decor for you next stoner party

Or if you prefer a more "in touch with nature" groove

Stare at this too long and you're guaranteed to go blind

[insert joke here]

I didn't think that even in the 70's people would wear this in public

This is one of the neater ideas in the book, these are mandalas made out of feathers.

An early version of alternative/recycling.  Those "mirrors" are soda cans.  Blue=pepsi, green=7-up,...

4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / watercolor on: February 17, 2007 10:54:09 AM
I did these a little while ago.  Haven't been able to pick up a brush in a while  Cry

I was working on wet-in-wet techniques at the time.  When I did the buffalo, I was also trying out some chinese/japanese brush stroke techniques.

As a side note: The buffalo was done from a picture my mom took out of her car window less than 5 miles from her house in west TX.  I miss TX.

Let me know what you think. 
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Recycling bag holder-thingy on: September 30, 2006 08:18:05 AM
Pittsburgh's got funny recycling rules.  All plastic and metal has to be put out on the curb in blue bags, rather than in bins like the rest of the country.  Now you can buy trash bags that come in blue, but what most everybody does is use blue plastic bags from the grocery store.  So I needed a place to store these suckers. 

Ta-da: and the close-up:
Made it out of kitchen string.  It's not terribly full right now, so it looks a little lumpy and misshapen.  (I promise my crochet isn't that bad!!)  I may use the same basic design to do a yoga mat bag soon. 

***Edited to update picture links.
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Not very crafty, but slightly clever on: September 30, 2006 07:58:17 AM
Ok, so the new apartment's the second floor of a mansion built near the turn of the previous century.  Can you say drafty?

Since it's starting to get cold, we had to get window coverings up, and fast.  Just started a Phd, so no time for any serious crafting. 

This is a chenille throw, held to a tension rod with aligator clips. 

Here we have a quilt, also held up by a tension rod.  It's actually a different color than the throw, more of an olive khaki than sage green. 

Both of these came off of the clearance rack at target, and were cheaper (and more insulating) than buying fabric and sewing something.  I feel pretty clever about this solution, what do you guys think? 

***Edited to update picture links.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Tropical/Bugs/Lizards/Frogs boy's stuff (img heavy) on: June 05, 2006 05:31:20 PM
I hadn't posted this because it's rather old, but since I had a special request...

I'll start with the crib stuff.  The original plan was for my mom to piece together a quilt and send it to my mother-in-law for quilting, since the MIL is the one with the quilting machine.  However, after she'd piece the first one and sent it off, she realized she had enough fabric for two.  So mom made another one and HAND-QUILTED it!!
I think this is a picture of the hand quilted one, I'm not sure because except for the quilting, they're almost exactly the same.  

My MIL also made a matching curtain.  

Then mom found this fabric somewhere and made a lightweight blanket out of it by putting a piece of yellow twill tape around it as edging.  
My grandmother made a bumper, but I can't post a pic since it's been packed away for quite some time now.

What did I make?
A blue toybox.  Say hi to the frog collection.  The little frog in the lap of the 3ft kermit was mine when I was a baby.
The little boy in this photo is the baby that all this stuff was made for.  I guess that means I chose wisely since I haven't had to put anything but the bumper into storage.  

The closeup:

A green toy box:

A laundry bag, which now holds a collection of balls:

Then there's the paint job.  It's the same blue as the toy box, but with a creamy yellow glaze over it that makes the whole room look like it's full of clouds.  My other grandmother made the sock-monkey for him this Christmas.  
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / copper maille necklace and bracelet on: June 01, 2006 03:07:04 PM
I've been more or less obsessed with chainmaille since I saw this post by Hawkwolf http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=76833.0
But really, with the paint supplies piling up, unfinished embroidery laying around, half made quilts in boxes, blah, blah, blah, I didn't think another hobby was what I needed.  After months of trying to supress the urge, I decided I wanted it bad enough to be worth it.  At least I finished the embroidery before diving in, if not the quilt   Roll Eyes

The bracelet was inspired (well, copied) from here http://www.bluebuddhaboutique.com/gallery/bracelet/view.php?id=bracelet_maru
I didn't get the aspect ratios quite right, but close enough. 

The necklace is my own design, and I'm really, really proud of it.   Grin

They're both copper and that green bead is aventurine. 
Let me know what you think of my first attempts. 

***edited to update picture links
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Need opinions on background on: May 14, 2006 12:58:20 PM
This is a planning sketch for a painting. 

Its designed with medieval heraldry traditions in mind. 
The blazon on the shield (I think) is: Vert, a pale Argent charged with 3 Waves Azure. 
The shield is supported by 2 celtic-style dogs.  In the center, under the shield is the St. Crispin's Day soliloquy from Shakespeare's Henry V.  I've already decided that the celtic knots need to come all the way around the speech to form a complete frame. 

As you can see, the design so far has a very limited palette: blue, green, silver, gold, with black outlines and lettering.  The colors in the final version will be much brighter and bolder, the sketch is pencil and crayola on newsprint. 

My question is this, what do you think will work in the background?  White seems to be traditional, but I don't think that will work in a painting.  Blank canvas? =ick.  I think a black background would dull the other colors too much.  One idea that seems like it might work is to use some combination of colors to simulate an aged tapestry background.  I could use brown, red, and gold for a traditionalish tapestry look, or blue, black, silver and gold. 

When I frame the painting, I'll probably put more celtic knots on the frame, so a simple background would probably be best.  Oh, and since it's not clear from the picture, this will be relatively large at 18x24 inches. 

So.... Any ideas?
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Simple toys for kids on: February 16, 2006 02:35:45 PM
These two projects seem to be at the very end of basic, but if you have a toddler...

Bowling pins
This requires only empty (clean) pint size milk bottles and colored sharpies.  You can add a couple of inches worth of rice or sand or beans or whatever and glue them shut if you want to give them some weight.  

Building Blocks
Take an empty cereal/cracker/whatever box.  Stuff with newspaper.  (I tend to use the sports section, since no one in my house reads that.)  Wrap with comics in the same way you wrap Christmas presents.  I use clear packing tape because scotch tape will not stand up to a toddler.  
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