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11  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Lips painted to look like an eyeball and other amazing makeup. on: October 05, 2013 12:48:24 PM
This makeup artist is really incredible.


More of her work.

12  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sweater Monster How-To, now go raid those closets! on: August 13, 2013 02:21:11 PM
Wanna see how I do it?

You'll need a sweater made of natural fiber, wool, angora, merino, alpaca, mohair. If you'd like to trim your monster with facial features, heart etc it's good to have some more fabric, I use other sweaters but if you've only got one for your project you can use felt. It's nice to use good quality felt because it's easier to work with and it holds up well, the craft stuff tends to get pills if it's exposed to friction (aka played with or loved up Wink ). If you need a small amount of good quality felt many suppliers offer sample packs or you can call out to fellow crafters (because this place is full of teh love you know).
Now, felt up your sweater! I put it into a hot water wash with some laundry soap and then into the dryer on hot. Sometimes I wash them more than once to get them really shrunk up good and tight. Take care to remove lint from the washer and dryer, there can be a lot.
Here's my pile of felted sweaters. Cut them apart, detach the arms, cut off all the inside seams, the neck band, buttons etc. You can save pockets to use on the back of monsters or as a mouth on the front piece if it will suit.

You will need to cut out a front and a back so two of the same shape. You can cut out whatever shape you like here but I often let the shape of the pieces inform the design. See?

Now the ears. You can use a piece of felt cut into any shape you like and it can be sewn in just like that or you can fold over one or both edges.

Ear with one folded edge.

Ear varieties.

If you'd like to use a different sort of fabric here woven (non-stretchy, like for quilting) fabric works too. You will cut out 4 of the same shape, I use the same fabric for the 2 fronts and a contrasting fabric for the back. Pin the ears together, fronts to backs. The right side or outside (that you want showing) of the fabric will be on the inside here. Sew around the ear shape as shown.

Take a sharp pair of scissors and trim the point of the ear being careful not to clip the stitches. This helps make the point pointy when you turn the ear right side out Smiley.

Turn the ear right side out and press it with a hot iron if needed to make it nice and flat.

The following shows how to insert the ears and where to sew. If you want to add arms you can do so here as well. They can be sewn from felted sweater fabric or felt or woven fabric like you did with the ears. You can stuff the shapes or not. If you do add stuffing make sure it's not in the way when you sew all the pieces together or your machine may have trouble with such a thick layer.
Remember that the body pieces will be right side in, that means that the fabric that you want to show on the outside will be on the inside for this step.
Sew around the body leaving an opening to turn right side out. You don't want a really big seam allowance here so if your stitching is pretty far from the edge of the fabric you can trim it a little, so that it's about 1/4 inch or a bit more. I recommend using pins to hold everything in place before you sew it together.

Want to add different coloured legs? Same process as the arms. You can add legs and arms and ears or any combination of the three, it's up to you and your imagination.

Now cut out some shapes to use as features, eyes, noses, mouths, teeth, hearts or whatever you'd like.
circles and hearts

Here are three finished monsters. You can see the addition of features and hearts. I sew these on by hand before stuffing the monster bodies so that I can tie off threads inside the body where they won't show but you can do it any way you wish. You can also embroider the features but sometimes stitches get lost in the fuzz of the wool.

You can use polyfil to stuff your monster or if you want to use up all the little scraps left over from the sweater you can clip them all up into tiny little bits and use that. It takes a while but it's really nice and makes a terrific fluffy monster as well as leaving no waste!

Now I'd love to see how you do it!
13  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Quetzalcoatl... The Massive Stash-busting Snake o' a Thousand Pieces! Avec tute! on: August 12, 2013 07:41:25 PM
Craftster means SHARING! How many times have I been amazed at an awesome project on here and then seen a free tutorial showing how to make one myself? I must have 30 gigs of files stored just from Craftster alone, never even mind my bookmarks here and links to other stuff. The generosity of this community is astonishing. It makes me want to share how I do things and I figure that's how this place keeps itself so wonderful. The giving begets giving begets giving Smiley. Good life lesson that...

I've been making tons of stuff out of ugly, holey old sweaters rescued from various junk piles because, hey, that's made outta WOOL! Or angora or merino, or alpaca, or even silk and cashmere, wow. I felt them up in the wash (learned how to do that here) with natural homemade laundry soap (learned how to make that here) and make up patterns as I go, cutting without measuring of course (learned that here, lol!), and don't waste even the teeny weeny tiny little left over bits because I'm sure somebody will suggest something fabulous to do with those, right?
I've got a lot of scrap. Precious, precious scrap. So when my friend mentions a passing interest in having me help her make a snake my mind goes berserk! I need something for my new apartment and I can make it in the form of a snake and bust a whole lotta stash while I'm at it. Practical things can be amazing to look at because Cute Doesn't Need a Reason Wink. And if it gets really complicated and requires a tutorial to show my friend how to do it herself well heck, I get to share that with all of you while I'm at it and maybe somebody here will take this idea and make something amazing that I get to see. That's how it works on this fabulous site and that's why we love it so Smiley.

Don't be scared, this is a long process but not all that complicated. I really hope somebody will try it and post some pics of their creation. It could be a snake or a dragon or a mermaid or a fish or a monster or whatever. Get crazy with it y'all Cheesy.

Here's my snake!

It's made from the tiniest bits left over from projects I made out of these but you can use whatever you want so long as it's fabric that doesn't fray. That means felt, fleece, and some knit fabrics. If you really want to use woven fabric you'll need to use fray check on ALL the edges or fuse it onto a fusable web that will hold it together when you cut out the scales.

My lil' bits. The couch was full of this mess for 2 whole days, we had nowheres to sit down! LOL!
You can see how I pieced together lots of little strips for the body, That doesn't really show on the finished product, just peeks through here and there.

And here's the HOW
Cut two snake shapes, it's ok to piece together bits of fabric to get the right size and shape if needed. Mark off where the mouth will be (see the black marks I made?).

Fold the mouth open at those marks, put the fabric you're going to use for the mouth underneath and cut two pieces in that shape, I used black. Make sure you've added a little bit of extra fabric to the straight edge for a seam allowance.

Cut a tongue shape, sandwich it between the two mouth pieces (the straight edge) and sew them all together. Set that aside for later.

Sew the two pieces of the snake body together along one side from the narrow end of the tail to the mark you made to show where the mouth will be.

Open the pieces up with the right side of the fabric up.

Now gather all your scraps up and cut out some strips. They can be an inch to 2 inches in width. They should overlap by half, that means if the strips are an inch in width they will overlap by half an inch. Cover the whole body of your snake starting at the narrow end up to wherever you want the scales to end on the neck of the snake. Now trim the strips so that the edges width-wise are just smaller than the body of the snake, this means that the strip will be as wide as the snake MINUS the seam allowance. If you look at the pictures this will be more clear.

If you have small scraps that's ok, you can join them together to make strips that are long enough.

Or you can join pieces just because you want an interesting colour combo.

Now you are going to shape the strips into scales, like so...

Keep the strips in the same order they were laid out on the snake.

This is what the strips that were patched together out of little bits look like trimmed.


Sew the first row of scales on, center it like so.

Each row will overlap by half the width and will be staggered as in the photos below, do NOT sew past the seam allowance on the snake's body. Look carefully at this picture and let me know if you have questions about this step.

Once you get them all sewn on it's pretty much inevitable that they will be smaller than before you trimmed them into scales, you'll need a couple more rows to make this up.

That's ok, now you get to use up even More scraps, yay!

It looks great if you use lots of single scales at this point but they'll have to be pinned on individually.

This looks really nice, it's an interesting feature detail close to the snake's head.

At this point cut a strip with scales on both sides to finish.

This makes a neat sort of ruff.

Turn the snake over, if you were careful not to sew past the seam allowance it might look like this.

Sew on some eyes!

Fold the snake body in half and tuck all those sticky outty bits of scales inside out of the way and pin the sides together.

Sew along the side from the mouth notch right to the bottom, notice how the end is not pointy but blunt? That's a good trick for turning a pointy end Wink. Be very careful NOT to catch any of the scales in the stitches. If you do you'll have to pick them out and do that part again.

Turn your snake right side out (feels pretty cool sticking your arm into a tube of inside out snake scales, lol).
All your hard work staggering those rows of scales means that, if you did it right, when you look at the side seam you can't even tell where the stitching is.

Now you'll need to go row by row tacking down the loose edges of the scales. Do this by hand, it's pretty quick. If the scales overlap too much you can carefully trim a bit off of the scales on both sides or even just squish the fabric up to make it fit better. Same if they are a bit too far apart, this sort of knit fabric is stretchy so... stretch it!

Turn the snake back inside out and pin the mouth part in place.

Sew around the mouth leaving a small opening for turning and stuffing purposes.

Turn right side out again, stuff and sew closed.

It's so fantastic! Oh my gosh, can you believe you made this wonderous thing? Let me tell you, my friend is pretty pleased with hers. I love mine too. Can you guess what I made it for? Here's a hint, it wasn't a scarf, too itchy!

I filled mine with a tube of sand and it's a draft stopper. Awesome, right?

I just want to mention that the eyes on my snake are from here (this was a happy/sad project).
and part of the neck ruff was waste trimmed off this recent item.

some serious salvaging in that project, oh man... Cheesy
14  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Rainbow gathering of MONSTERS!!! Picture garfreakinggantuan! on: August 11, 2013 02:28:07 PM
Craftster means FUN! OMG you people are a RIOT! I've never had such a blast as I do looking at and reading about all these crafty adventures. You've unlocked (even more of) the weird in me! It's gushing out in the form of MONSTERS of all shapes and sizes, LOL!

Even more than that though, Craftster means LEARNING. New things and learning about myself too. Craftster's taught me that it's ok to make all the things I dream up, I can give them away or even sell them, yay! I've learned that it's perfectly reasonable to have a big chunk of my living space full of supplies and tools of the trade (lots of people do that, it's not just me!), it's not unreasonable to rescue and take home any and everything I might find useful "one of these days". And that the downed tree in the yard is a Perfect spot for a photo shoot!  Cheesy

Here's where I got the idea that there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking 30 stuffies outside on the lawn for a little camera lovin' despite how loonie it looks to the neighbours Cheesy. That I'm a better photographer than I thought I was and also, and possibly most importantly, that if I get eaten alive during said photo shoot, well, there's bound to be a recipe for homemade bug bite lotion on here somewhere Cheesy.
And I've learned that while I may not necessarily be able to make my entire living selling my work, I CAN offer my art for sale. It's good enough, it's cute enough, and gosh darn it, people Like it!
Oh, and I also learned here how to felt up the old wool sweaters I use for these guys as well as how to make the homemade natural laundry soap that I wash them with Wink.

There's a prevailing spirit of enjoyment and positivity on this site that you can't help but be uplifted by Smiley. And I know I'm not alone in feeling confident and safe sharing my crafty adventures and, oops, mishaps here  Undecided. Because this is a community full of the kindest, most supportive, encouraging people anywhere. And it's helped me grow into a more supportive, kinder and encouraging person myself. The folks here are unfailingly giving of themselves, their time, their patterns, tutorials, advice, and even the beautiful things they've made. Craftster is all about spreading the love <3. Thank you for everything.
15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / The best, The Best, most forgiving, gloriously gorgeous BATHING SUIT EVER! on: August 03, 2013 08:53:52 AM
No kidding. And she's done a sew-along on her blog to answer questions and has been super generous with everything. The pattern's for sale on ETSY for just 10 bucks, woot!
I'm moving in a couple of weeks but I'd Love to do a sew-along on here in a bit if anybody's interested. I'm so tired of yanking that speedo outta my crack, oh la. What I wouldn't give for a suit that actually doesn't ride up for real Tongue.

There's a pinterest group with Tons of pics if you're not convinced it'll work for you, it seems to look great on everyone!

Here she is in a royal blue version (there are a few variations to choose from).

Freaking CUTE!
16  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Little teeny weeny sleepy bunnies! on: June 08, 2013 09:56:10 AM
Had a house full of small cousins and friends to whom I promised bunnies so here they are. These were pretty fun to make, all from little bits of leftovers from bigger projects. The bunnies are made from an old felted cashmere sweater. There's a request in for a bear from an older brother, good thing I have so many empty tins!

Our smallest cousin is only just over a year so a bigger bunny was in order for her.
17  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Don't throw that out, I can use that!!! on: June 05, 2013 10:40:55 AM

Title pretty much says it all, lol, but I'll tell you anyhow... I can't throw anything away. I seriously can't. So here are all the pockets I've collected over the years from pants cut up for other projects and a ton of teeny weeny little scraps of denim etc that I thought were still just this side of garbage. I don't know what I'll ever do with these things, if they'll sell or I'll end up using them as wall paper but I'm just so happy to finally be rid of that box of random pockets I've been carting from house to house and across the country (it's been about nine years, ha ha!).

This one was given to our cousins as a house warming gift

I have 2 others that needed binding.

This one isn't finished.

18  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Jungle Book Sock Puppets! on: May 01, 2013 11:03:09 AM
Our local cub scouts wanted to put on a play and of course scouts is full of characters and details from The Jungle Book so what better story to choose? As the resident crazy crafter, I was asked to help design sock puppets that the cubs could assemble themselves and use in the play. We had four glue guns going and a line up of eager 8-10 year olds sticking on tails, ears, eyes, noses and bits of fur. It was such a fun night and the play was AWESOME! I was so pleased to have been invited to participate in this and while I won't post pictures of the cubs themselves I can sure show you our creations.

Akela and Raksha (aka mama and papa wolf)

There were 6 wolf cubs too




Shere Khan


And King Louie who doesn't appear in the original story but was my test sock puppet and now belongs to my daughter who just Loves his to bits, lol.

19  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / REALLY bizzaro music video full of crochetty weirdness. on: April 24, 2013 11:31:29 AM
This is so great, I just love it!

20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Sugru. Miracle... stuff... on: April 23, 2013 11:16:15 AM
Ever use this stuff? It's like putty but it's silicon so it dries sort of hard-ish and can be used to repair and hack all kinds of things. If you look in the gallery on their website you'll see lots of incredible projects.

Here are a few of mine. I don't work for them, I just love the stuff Smiley.

Turn and "L" fridge magnet into an "I" (I cut part off with a carpet knife then filled it in with red sugru.

Fix a ripped shower curtain ring.

Heat and slip-proof metal camping dishes, works to personalize sets too Cheesy!

Fix an uncomfortable knife grip.

Mend a broken clasp on your kid's arts and crafts lap table/storage unit.

Make a dollar store paper towel holder into a handy canning jar ring stash tower (these things were EVERYWHERE before I did this!).
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