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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Safely starting up a neglected torch... help! on: May 22, 2008 10:18:06 AM
OK, so some years ago, I got into jewelry fabrication, and got a nice torch setup in my dad's garage.  it's an acetylene/air torch (http://www.littletorch.com/silversmith.html)  I picked up a tank of acetylene from a local welding supply place (B-size tank, 40 cu ft. if I remember correctly)  I used maybe half the gas, then left home for college.  When I came home for summers, I worked full time, and didn't have time for torch work.

So now, about 5 years later, that tank is still in my dad's garage, half-full of acetylene.   I'm a little afraid of it now, after neglecting it so long, since it IS a pressurized tank of flammable/explosive gas.  Is it safe to start using this tank and torch again?  How do I go about checking it safely to make sure everything is in working order?  It has been stored upright, off the ground, and protected from being struck or otherwise damaged.  if it isn't safe to USE the gas, what do I do with it?  bleed it off, or bungee it to the passenger seat of my car to take it back to the welding supply place?

also: I did not previously have a flashback arrestor, since my teacher said they were mostly for fuel/oxy torches, and that acetylene/air was safer, unless the tank was almost empty.  I'm planning on picking one up as it is, but I was just wondering wether he was right.  all the info I'm finding about them online is geared for fuel/oxy.

I know I tend to be paranoid, but this is something it's probably justified for.  thanks for any help!
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Creamsicle Soap! on: January 26, 2005 07:48:16 PM
recently got a bug to make some nifty soap, so I went by AC moore today and got some M&P supplies.  I got the goats milk soap base from "Life of the Party", a few colors, scents, and small molds.  I put orange dye, and orange scent oil into the base expecting to get something smelling like orange peel, but instead, it smells like creamsicle! I guess coz of the milk... the similarity is further enhanced by the dye coming out much lighter than I expected

http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/soap1.jpg

this soap thing is fun! Cheesy  it's not quite as moisturizing as I'd hoped (coz of the brand?) so I might find some cocoa butter or something similar to add.
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / saving an old friend on: November 21, 2004 08:27:06 PM
I got Punky when I was 2 ears old.  he was a quick project made by my great aunt... one of those pre-printed patterns that you just cut out, sew along the edge, and stuff.  for some reason, I became instantly attatched to him, and Punky hasn't left my bed since. 
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/punky1.jpg
but being so loved for 20 years isn't so easy... his stuffing got all lumpy, his fabric so thin and worn I could clearly see through it, and 2 holes along the seam already.  I've begin to fear for his survival lately... i fear the slightest rough treatment would tear him beyond repair. so I decided to head off such a disaster. 
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/punky2.jpg
I roughly traced around him onto some soft cotton flannel in appropriate colors, then hand-embroidered the face on one piece.  then I hand-stitched the two halves together with Punky inside, careful not to catch any of his original fabric in the stitching.  believe it ot not, the orange he is now is very similar to the orange he originally was. Now i'm sure he'll last for years to come. Smiley
4  UNITED STATES / North Carolina / Anyone in Fayetteville? on: November 12, 2004 08:41:05 PM
just wondering if any craftsters are from the armpit of a city I'm currently stuck in ^_^ (well, i exaggerate... it's not that bad, unless you're wanting to make a living from art/crafts)  so yeah, lemme know if you're in the area, might be able to go do crafty stuff together.  just seeking a source of socialization other than D&D games Grin  o_o 
5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / non-streaky nail polish? on: October 18, 2004 12:00:01 PM
well, I abosutley LOVE to have my nails painted, but i've not been able to for a long time now.  i stopped painting my nails when I started drawing a LOT [ur]http://phoenix-feather.deviantart.com[/url] because when I brush eraser bits or colored pencil dust off my picture, my fingernails would leave colored smears all over the picture which were ear impossible to remove.  it was mostly a problem because I like dark colors... black, and metallic reds and purples mainly.  (btw: I usually use a drafting brish to clean off a picture, but every-so-often I forget)  any idea on how to make the polish less apt to smear off? i've also considered henna-ing my nails, but if that smears too, I'd go nuts waiting for it to grow out.  anyone have any advice on products or techniques to prevent this, or experience with henna-ed fingernails?

thanks in advance Smiley
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Jewelry metal preferences? on: August 24, 2004 01:47:57 PM
ok, I'm putting together a line of things to sell, and I keep runnig into the question of what kind of metal to use for jewelry.  If I use base metal components (clasps, earwires, pins, etc.) the final products will be cheaper, but less pretty.  But if I use Sterling, they will be more valuable, pretty much hypoallergenic, and prettier (I like the sparkle of silver) but the silver will tarnish over time, and must be polished. 

Personally, I'd prefer silver.  but as most of my own jewelry is silver, I may be a bit biased  Wink  The rest of my stuff is pretty artistic...  buttons made from my own designs, art prints, cloth pouches, and the jewelry.  The style of the website will be a Rennaisance Faire/Goth theme. 

So basically, I have a few options.

1: all base metal, surgical steel earwires
2: all sterling
3: one group of dressier styles in sterling, and a second more "fun" group in base metal
4: Base metal as standard, with an upgrade to sterling available for a charge. 

so yeah, any input will be VERY MUCH appreciated  Grin
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / life-size gerbil stuffy on: June 06, 2004 03:53:50 PM
I saw the mohair bunny thread ( http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=4539.0 ) a while ago, and while I love bunnies, I didn't really want a stuffy of one.  so I borrowed the body shaping idea, but only used a 4" square of off-white cotton yarn.  add a bit of embroidery floss, and a few crochet chains, and I have a little stuffy portrait of one of my gerbils!  
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/stuffgerb.jpg
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/ivory.jpg
I think it's a good likeness  Cheesy
unfortunately, everyone I show it to seems to think it's a cat toy.
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Omiage etc. on: June 05, 2004 01:50:09 PM
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/flowers1.jpg
http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/flowers2.jpg

Chinese Bellflower and Sakura from Omiage, completely hand-sewn(mostly at work during break) and make from quilting cottons.  I love the purple paisley on the front of Bellflower so much, I got a few yards, and am making a sundress of it.  (pics later ^_^)

http://www.phoenix-feathers.com/linked/flowers3.jpg
original designs inspired by Omiage.  the blue one is lined in sky blue satin, and the fabric of the "petals" on it is etched with metallic silver.  the hippy-flower pouch is lined in fabric that closely resembles worn-out denim. again, these were completely hand-sewn.  

I've also make the Marbles" bag from Omiage, but it refused to let me take a decent photo of it.  

I'd love to get some authentic japanese silks to make some, so if you know of a good source, mind sharing?  it'd probably have to be mail-order or internet based, because I doubt anyplace near me (Fayetteville, NC) sells that kind of fabric.  

anyway... hope you like! ^_^
9  COOKING / Dessert / ber chocolate brownies on: June 05, 2004 12:16:27 PM
don't remember where this one came from, but it's GOOD.  one of the few recipies that can actually overdose me on chocolate.

1 pkg. (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1pkg (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
milk as listed on pudding directions

make pudding according to package.  stir in cake mix completely, stir in chocolate chips
pour into greased 15x10" panbake at 350?F for 30 - 35 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly toched.  if you use a smaller pan, bake longer... though as there are no eggs involved, it's not dangerous to underbake.   these are sludgy, fudgy, and incredibly good.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / For flat girls who sew... on: May 23, 2004 09:37:59 PM
The July issue of Threads magazine has a GREAT article about modifying patterns to fit a flat chest.  i don't know how many others have this problem, but it bugs me no end to finish a sewing project, and have it gap open or sag over my significant lack of boobage.  includes how to measure for the alterations, and where to make them for princess seams, side darts, and armhole darts.  this article not lives by my sewing table.
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