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11  Re: Favorite Color Rnd 3 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Muria on: May 11, 2010 06:57:47 AM
Psychonmemphis has received, so I'm going to post the picture I took before I shipped it out (we took more with my other camera, but had to delete them over the weekend to make room for my son's graduation invitation). 



The pile of stuff includes a striped collar and leash for her dog, a polka dotted collar (the first one I made seemed kind of short, but I hope one of her dogs can get some use out of it), a dog hat that I hope will fit one of her dogs, a dog bone off her wist, an owl stuffie (this was originally intended to be a dog toy, as she said her dog loves bird toys), and some fabric from a project that didn't turn out, but that I thought she would like anyway (the owls on the brown fabric have pink wings, so it sort of fits).  Whoops, and a set of three domino magnets from her wist. There's also a craftster shirt:


It was made with Jones Tones foil, which presented some issues, so I used matte black paint to hide the spots where it didn't work so well. Unfortunately, my flash seems to think matte paint is glossy, but the box is less noticeable in person. I hope.  Smiley 

I hope you like it all, and that everything fits SOMEbody in your house.  Wink
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12  Re: Favorite Color Rnd 3 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Muria on: May 05, 2010 10:33:59 AM
I got my package this morning. I opened it as soon as I got in the car. It's fantastic, even the FH thinks so, despite his lack of craftiness. Hehe. Pics will be up when I can get my camera batteries recharged.

FH?  Not sure I've run across that abbreviation.  Faithful Husband?

I received my package from psychonmemphis about a week ago, but last week was hectic.  This week, I couldn't find my camera, took pictures with my old camera, can't find the camera cable, refound my new camera (hooked up the the USB cord on the floor, thanks to my daughter), and took a quick pair of pictures of what I got:

A really pretty, hand-painted butterfly purse, and a feathered headband (that I didn't get a very good picture of)! 

The coolest pug stitch markers ever!!!  Some pretty rose earrings, and a charm bracelet with some really pretty beads, including a handmade tree disc bead!

Thanks so much, psychonmemphis!  Your package is going out as soon as my kids get home from school!  I hope you like it as much as I like what you sent me!

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13  Craftster logo screen for printing in CHALLENGE 50 ENTRIES by Muria on: May 05, 2010 10:22:27 AM
Putting the screen at the top so it shows up as the thumbnail for the post: 

I decided to make a craftster shirt. Not just ANY craftster shirt, but one with a pink skull and scissors!!  Inspiration hit me at the craft store, where I ran across the Jones Tones foil  (this stuff: http://www.jonestones.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2&zenid=49ad75df00fa600b870aef821bd6d36b ). Sparkly! The projects look amazing! Quick and Easy it says!  Just put the glue on the back of the foil, plop it on your project, apply pressure for an hour, peel off the foil and voila! Instant craftster art!

Or not.

Hmmm.... apparently, I used too much glue (because it never said "thin layer" anywhere on the package or the website), which got all over the place, and didn't dry in an hour.  *sigh*  So I decided to buy some fabric paint to fix it. The best match (oddly enough, very few fabric paints come in sparkly pink. Go figure!) was a color called Cosmopolitan by Plaid. Hurray!  http://www.plaidonline.com/apSimplyScreen.asp
Of course, when I got it home, I read the "screen printing" part.  So I decided to make one.  They weren't going to have a cool craftster screen premade anyway.  And BethieB pointed me to a tutorial for making a screen for printing that ACTUALLY USED THINGS I ALREADY HAD!!!  *ahem*  Here's the tutorial:  http://modpodgerocks.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-finally-screen-printed-with-mod-podge.html

And finally, here's my screen: 


I admit, my first screen print didn't come out as well, but fortunately, this time I tried it out on scrap fabric (instead of the final shirt), and I think it will work on the next few. Here's a shot of the trial: 


And the original shirt?  I actually couldn't use the screen with it because it was so messed up (and I'd put the skull and scissors further apart), so I went back and used the dry method of Jones Tones foiling instead of the wet glue method, and it's no longer as bad, though the scissors still aren't optimal.


I also covered the pink part with glow-in-the-dark paint. I'm hoping it will seal the foil layer, and the only thing cooler than a sparkly craftster logo is a sparkly, glow-in-the-dark craftster logo!  I ended up using Tulip Soft matte black paint in the box around the skull to hide the Jones Tones glue that "dries clear" (the matte paint picked up more of the camera light than it does without a flash on it). 

Lessons learned: If they don't tell you how much glue, start small. If worse comes down to worse (and it could), you can always add more.

If you're screen printing, try to keep the screen as taut and close to the fabric you're printing as possible, otherwise, you may just smear your scissors!  Smiley  Oh, and don't believe the Plaid people about not needing something underneath it when you print. It bled through, but fortunately, I had a paper bag behind it (because I've done fabric paint before, and it really sucks if it bleeds through. Though not as much as it does if it bleeds through and sticks the front of your garment to the back...).

I'll see if I can get another screen done before the end of the challenge, so I have a good shot of the result.  I don't expect to win, but it was still a fun challenge.  Smiley
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14  Butterfly Gift Bow in Completed Projects by Muria on: May 05, 2010 09:35:45 AM
Probably not the most exciting project on craftster, but I liked how it turned out.

My 7 year old son was going to a birthday party. We bought the present, and wrapped it. In my house, wrapping paper is usually bought at Christmas time, and consists of solid colors.  So I got out the bright blue wrapping paper, wrapped the present, and thought it looked pretty boring. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to decorate the paper. Fortunately, I did have some white organza ribbon from a failed Christmas project.  And so, I made a bow.  As I was making the bow, I noticed that it looked a little like a butterfly. So I decided to make it look a lot more like a butterfly by using a bullion knot for the body.  Here's the finished product.



It's still not a fancy package, but I felt a little better taking it to the party.
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15  Cancelled sophomore dance poodle skirt in Costumes: Completed Projects by Muria on: March 18, 2010 01:15:34 PM
So my daughter's high school social studies class has a "Decades Dance" as part of their final grade (they're in trimesters, so they just finished the class). She and her friends decided to do the rather overdone 50s poodle skirt. I personally find poodle skirts to be pretty clich, but she's my daughter, so I agreed to make her one, and one for her friend. Fast forward two weeks ago, and the friend is having her skirt made by someone else's mom. All righty then. So we went out and bought 2 1/4 yards of 72" wide felt. Apparently, my daughter had no idea that it was a circle skirt, so she was pretty perplexed by the process.  Something I should mention here is that the math formula to figure out the radius of a circle doesn't seem to work very well with fabric. We wanted a 40 inch circle, so (having read other people's complaints about the failure of geometry to when making circle skirts), I cut a radius of 6 inches (which, according to my calculations, should produce a 37" hole). It was too big, but not excessively so. I'm forever grateful to rostitchery (of the infinity dress tutorial) for mentioning the whole circle skirt/geometry issue, so that I didn't attempt to cut it bigger. Anyway, because my daughter is lazy, I added a cotton fluffy slip built into the waistband (because otherwise she wouldn't wear it, and it wouldn't look even close to authentic). Basically, it's the twirly skirt pattern added as a slip.  

As it turned out, the dance was cancelled the day before (too many jobs that needed doing that no one wanted to do). So here's the poodle skirt, courtesy of my 4 year old son (because my daughter doesn't want me to take her picture in it):


He must be internet savvy already; notice the strategically placed track piece hiding his identity, so that decades from now, when his future boss goes looking for embarrassing pictures of him on the net, he'll have a lot harder time with the identification.  Wink

By the way, I was a bit boggled by the poodle skirt pattern from the traditional pattern company. They wanted me to buy 3 3/8 yards of fabric. I'm not sure what I was going to do with the extra YARD of fabric they recommended, especially since I already had an extra 1/8 yard with my 2 1/4 (the other 1/8 yard was the waistband). It was even more fabric if I wanted to use 45 or 60 inch fabric.  Roll Eyes

Comments appreciated!
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16  Revenge of the Science Fair Project: poison dart frogs in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Muria on: March 18, 2010 12:59:55 PM
I freely admit that I am no polymer clay expert. Though I kind of like to play with it, my sculpting abilities are likely stuck at the no-art class high school level.  Still, my son decided that he wanted to research Poison Dart Frogs for his science fair project.

A little background on science fairs. I remember doing science fair projects. Ok, I remember my parents doing the vast majority of the work for the two science fair projects that I remember. Therefore, I've done a significant chunk of the work for every science fair project in the house (it's only fair, I guess). In any case, poison dart frogs.

Poison dart frogs come in a variety of sizes and colors (from 1/2 inch to 2 1/4 inches, and practically every color of the rainbow). So I bought Crayola air dry clay in a tub (you may be asking yourself why this is posted in polymer clay. Hang in there a sec). We made four frogs out of the quick drying clay (admittedly, the humidity of our air is fairly low in the winter). They cracked. Then the legs broke off, and I wasn't impressed by the texture when I was modelling it, either. The good thing about this is that I got in some practice modelling frogs, because I'd never done it before.

So we went out and bought polymer clay instead. One block of black, and two blocks of gray. I figured it was better to paint them then to try to get accurate coloring with my low level of skill.  And paint is fun for first graders.  Smiley

Anyway, here are the naked frogs (before paint):

The ones that look like snap pops/sperm are tadpoles.

And here they are after we painted them:

The tadpoles coincidentally, did not need to be painted, so they're only in the first picture.  Not too shabby for never having taken an art class after elementary school, I guess.  Wink

Comments welcome!

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17  Legend of zelda Link cake in Dessert by Muria on: January 25, 2010 06:15:38 PM
My daughter is a pretty big fan of the Legend of Zelda games, and gave me absolutely no ideas for what she wanted on her birthday cake this year. I'd seen a lot of the quilts and afghans using the pixellated video game images, and decided to do something similar. But I'm really not that good with frosting. So I present to you: the chip Link!

It's as a thumbnail  because up close, it's kind of hard to make out. Anyway, the outline is in semi-sweet chocolate chips, the skin is white chocolate chips, the hair and buckle are butterscotch chips, and the hat and tunic are the broken Andes mint pieces that they sell in a bag (that I bought on the spur of the moment a while back, but we found that we preferred the full size andes mints). It took a bit of time to hunt down all the appropriately green squares, and a bit of time to graph it all out. And the design turned out to be a lot bigger than I thought (I was going to do the cake horizontally with link on one side, and "Happy 16th birthday" on the other, but it didn't fit).  The cake and frosting under link are both chocolate.
   
Once she recognized the image (pretty much when she saw the mini scale picture in the camera), she liked the cake.  And it's pretty tasty, which is always a plus in edible art.
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18  Dog coats for my allergy ridden pug in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by Muria on: January 25, 2010 06:01:03 PM
My pug has allergies. We're not sure what he's allergic to, but the vet assures us that it's allergies. Whatever it is, he scratches. A lot.  To the point of bleeding.
So we decided to put his store bought (deep discount) hoodie on him. He undid the velcro in less than a minute, and was out of it, looking fairly smug (our pride prevented us from getting a picture, but maybe you've seen a smug pug before and don't need the photo). 

So we brainstormed. And put his harness over the top of the hoodie. But he'd wiggle the velcro open and scratch anyway. So we brainstormed some more, and put buttons on the coat. He couldn't get it open, but he scratched IN BETWEEN THE BUTTONS (and after all that work getting the buttonholes lined up).

Clearly, we needed to rethink the coat itself (in part because the fabric was getting threadbare in spots).  No velcro, no buttons. Clearly what was needed was a zipper.
So I bought two 14-inch separating zippers. I tried two designs. One was a McCall's pattern (I can look up the number if anyone else desperately needs a dog coat pattern when there's a dollar pattern sale going on).  Considering this was for the dog, we wanted something sturdy. And cheap is always good, too.  So I cut up a pair of my daughter's outgrown jeans (with a huge hole, so it wasn't like I was going to donate them to someone in need. They were destined for patches).  The result:
Notice the fabulous collar(already stained, of course), and nice (hard to see in the picture) zipper down the front. The only problem with this is that our beloved pug scratches higher than the collar goes on his neck (and the zipper doesn't lock, so we have to safety pin it up). While we could do the cone of shame, I instead decided to attempt a second coat, this one traced off the original hoodie that had already undergone some improvements. This time the zipper went up the back:
The chic deconstructed look is mostly because I forgot to leave a seam allowance at the bottom, and the zipper goes all the way to the end.  This one has an unfortunate tendency to slide down, so I put a green knit collar on it. With safety pins. And a safety pin to hold this zipper up, too. And a safety pin at the bottom to keep him from fitting his paw under the coat to scratch his belly. I'm planning on increasing the seam allowances next time it's in the wash so it doesn't slide down so much, and possibly adding a few snaps for the knit collar. That way maybe the zipper will stay up.

So the dog is covered (and hasn't managed to squirm out of either coat yet), and the hair that he scratched off is gradually growing back. Mission accomplished!
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19  Reindeer amigurumi in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Muria on: January 25, 2010 05:38:50 PM
I get the Lion brand newsletter, and when I saw their "happy reindeer" pattern, I knew it was one I'd make eventually.  I hit eventually when I ran across the craftalong to post a project in every "completed project" board. So here's mine:

And a slightly better picture:


I didn't have the safety eyes the pattern called for, and after playing around with a couple of options, my daughter chose this style.
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20  Crafting a kettlebell out of a dumbbell in Discussion and Questions by Muria on: December 20, 2009 08:01:42 PM
Once upon a time, I bought a rather large number of dumbbells (in sizes 2,3,4,5,8,10 and 15 pounds, in pairs, of course).  I very rarely use them, but I've read that kettlebell exercises are great for getting in shape because they swing (adding a bit of variability to the load that your muscles carry).  I have the hex kind ( example from amazon.com), and the neoprene covered ones ( another example from amazon.com. My current best idea is to use something like rope to make a handle that fits over each end, something like this wonderful paint picture:


I know how to crochet and knit, and did macrame in the 1970's when I was about 10 years old.  Are there any suggestions for how to go about this (technique, best angles for strength, explanations why this is a really bad idea, etc.)?  I'd greatly appreciate some input before I step blindly into the project (though I'd intended to do tests with lighter weight dumbbells in an unoccupied room to prevent large holes in walls or people).

Thanks!
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