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61  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Mermaid crown for 9 year old's birthday: need opinions!! on: January 06, 2007 09:44:42 PM
My niece turns 9 tomorrow, and we're celebrating her birthday in the afternoon. So I'm at the bead store for a completely unrelated reason yesterday, and spotted some sea charms (a crab, a sand dollar, and a seahorse specifically), and thought, "My niece loves The Little Mermaid. I should make her a mermaid crown for her birthday!"  (I blame the fairy tale swap gallery. Never look at swap galleries right before going to a crafting store...  Roll Eyes )  Anyway, so I bought the three mentioned charms, some blue/green (sea colored) crystal-like beads (not swarovski, although I did look at those... just because.), and some pearls and came up with this:



I know the detail is rather fuzzy (need a camera with a zoom, or a digital film developing studio, neither of which is likely to be in my future), but the basic idea is that there's a braided wire headband with pearls on it, with 5 green seed beaded spikes (supposed to look like seaweed), and the aforementioned beads linking the 5 spikes together at the top. There's a charm at the middle, and between the two end spikes on either side, and there's smaller seaweed leaves between the crystals/pearls strung between the large seaweed spikes.   

My niece likes to draw, but as far as I know has not exhibited any interest in beads or crafting in general. Her mom (my sister) is uninterested in crafting, to my knowledge, so I'm rather uncertain what the reception will be to it. The big question is: should I give it to her, or should I just give her the cash I had originally planned to give?  I'd hate for it to be thrown in the closet and forgotten, or just thrown out (by craftster standards, it'd be a "large" project).

Any opinions on it (preferrably before Sunday afternoon), and whether I should give it to her would be appreciated.  Smiley 
62  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded cardinal with wing detail pic on: January 03, 2007 06:57:04 AM
Without further ado....



While I did all the beading, I didn't create this pattern, so I can't post tutorials (and I'd hate to think how long it would be if I did  Shocked ). I think it probably took me 12 hours of crafting over a month or so, but I didn't really keep track of how long it took.  The kit I bought was originally a necklace pattern, and I made it as a Christmas ornament. Since the original pattern has the wings supported by the necklace, I inserted a wire along the top row of wing beads to support the wings. Oh, and I goofed and started the tail 2 rows early, so my tail "feathers" are a little bigger than they're supposed to be, but I think it turned out well.

Just wanted to share that I got this done!  Smiley

Updated to show a wing close-up:

63  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Crossed swords with stencilled letters on: January 03, 2007 06:46:47 AM
Just wanted to show my mixed technique shirt (and the first shirt I've done in several years):


DH found some swords from Oblivion (one of his computer games) and we printed them out onto black iron-on transfer paper. I cut them out, ironed them on (backwards, having not read the instructions, followed by carefully peeling them off, removing the backing, and reapplying  Roll Eyes  ), and tried to fix the edges with metallic silver fabric paint (somewhat successful).  Then I used the freezer paper stencilling instructions, printed out a picture of a font from Wikipedia, doubled its size with my handy dandy all in one printer, and traced it out onto wax paper (not having any freezer paper handy). I cut the letters out with a X-acto knife, then used a teflon pressing cloth to apply it to the t-shirt. Unfortunately, it didn't stick especially well (note to self: just buy the freezer paper), so I quickly, and carefully applied the paint, and removed the stencil as best I could.  This was also not so easy, since the wax paper stuck to the ink jet transfer. However, it did release the transfer without further complications (after careful peeling), and I got a hand cramp using a black Scribbles paint to do the lettering (completely freehand) at the bottom (It's a quote from one of DH's gaming friends, "It's not nice to rape and pillage your own village." I didn't come up with it. Really.).

So after much trial and error, DH's two gaming friends got a much less fancy version, which I didn't get to take a picture of before they were rushed out the door to gift.  Grin

Lessons learned:

1. Just buy the freezer paper. It has to be easier than wax paper, even with a teflon pressing cloth
2.  I love my teflon pressing cloth.  Smiley
3. Stencilling letters close to an inkjet design should probably be done with contact paper, with the inkjet backing sheet covering the  inkjet design to avoid messing up the inkjet already applied.

I think that's enough lessons for one day.  Wink
64  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Lion Brand fun fur cat on: December 04, 2006 08:12:55 AM
I took a knitting class at the beginning of November, and ran across this pattern for a calico fun fur cat while looking for something to try to knit.  After having some initial problems with the fun fur, I asked for help here (naturally), got some great advice, and here it is! 



I may redo the eyes, as I'm not completely happy with those, and I had to trim the face just a bit (so you could actually see it).  I used Lion Brand fun fur copper (not the tangerine they recommended) for the orange spots, and Cello black and off-white (I realized it wasn't white when I tried to knit it with white yarn  Roll Eyes  ).

I fully recommend using a different kind of yarn with the fun fur until you get used to it (I only needed the plain yarn for the face area to get the hang of doing the fun fur, so next time I'd just knit a swatch with both, and then do the project without the helper yarn), and the Cello is definitely fuzzier than the Lion Brand fun fur. After I got knitting with fun fur down, it was relatively easy, and I used pieces of toilet tissue tube for the bobbins with a notch cut in one side to hold the lead piece. It would have been better with the clothespins they recommend, but it worked for a project this small.   Smiley

Thanks again for all the help!
65  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Fun Fur knitting tips? on: November 26, 2006 08:22:42 PM
I just learned how to knit a few weeks ago, and was looking through Lion Brand's website for something, and found an intarsia fun fur calico cat (as I recall, I was looking to see what "intarsia" was). DD fell in love with it, so we picked up some  *shudder* fun fur to make the cat (if you search the Lion brand website for "intarsia", it's the only pattern that shows up). 

I agree with DD that it's adorable (even though I'm not really all that fond of fun fur). I've started it three times so far, and have frogged it each time (it's not even fun to frog: WHO decided this stuff should be called "fun fur"?).  I can't tell if I'm knitting the main strand, or some bunched fur strands, and my increases are really weird (probably because of all the other strands keeping me from being able to see, as my plain yarn attempts seem to work well).

Are there any good tips for using fun fur (apart from making the object out of fabric and stitching the fun fur on: this is my alternate plan)?

Thanks!
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