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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Birds Of A Feather - Feathered Neck Cuff and Gauntlet (bunches of pictures!) on: June 19, 2011 04:48:37 PM


Father's Day seemed like a good day to play with feathers - Feather's Day!



Ruffs have not been in fashion for very long, in the greater scheme of things - they date to the mid sixteenth century, when they were made from 10 or more yards of fabric, shaped in a figure 8 ruffle. I've always liked the ostentatious nature of them, though. With that in mind, and an ample supply of feathers, I made this feathered neck ruff - which does not contain ten yards of fabric, but the number of cream and golden feathers should make up for that.



The base of this is felt - I wanted something that would be flexible and soft but study enough to hold up to the weight of the feathers. But it wasn't super pretty - the felt was textured and should have looked kind of weathered and neat. Instead it just looked kind of... like textured felt. *laugh*



To solve the pretty problem, I trimmed it out with brown velvet ribbon. I stitched the ribbon by hand so you can't really see the attachment points. Then I lined the inside with grosgrain ribbon - which I also used to create ties for a custom fit.



The feathered gauntlet coordinates but isn't an exact match. I glued and sewed the base the same basic way that I did for the neck ruff. Plus it's more secure that way. I kind of hate shedding feathers.



The gauntlet is actually plain (um, so to speak) so that brooches can be swapped out - or, you know, it can be worn plain. You can see it that way in the first picture! For this, I liked the way the texture of the grosgrain ribbon contrasted with the felt. I like contrasting textures.



Instead of being all "tie a bow one handed!", I sewed snaps onto the felt base - the felt is double layered so the backs of the snaps aren't visible.



Again with the customizable fit!



I'm a big fan of options, you know?

Thanks for reading and looking!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / I Believe In Pink - A Sofa Reupholstery Job (lots of pictures!) on: June 13, 2011 07:22:48 AM
Seriously, when I'm all "Oooooh, that's a really neat piece of furniture; we could totally reupholster that," someone needs to remind me that reupholstering always takes, like, two to three times as long as I think it will. Yes, this is a lead-in to another furniture redo adventure. *grin*

Friday night, Ed (my husband) and I were driving around when we spotted this on the side of the road:



I just thought the shape was super interesting! We stopped and checked it out - I was surprised that it was solid as a rock, no wobble to that backpiece at all. Similarly, the foam was in excellent condition.



Now, it isn't that I have been scouting for a new sofa or anything. We have the circus coach we recovered a few years ago (and forgot to scotch guard so now I'm kind of out of love with it) and a Klippan loveseat from IKEA. But IKEA furniture being what it is... the loveseat isn't the most comfortable thing in the world because if you sit on the edge of the seat, the padding is very thin - all you feel is the wooden frame and that's not very comfy. Even so, I've just been whatever about it. It wasn't that I was in the market for a new sofa.

But when this one presented itself... It was 10pm, so we chucked it in the back of the Element and headed home. It got to air out overnight, outside - because I am always a little wary of soft furnishing we find on the curb. 

Saturday morning started early with errands like going to the Bargin Annex of the Sewing Studio in Maitland, FL! Which is where we found the hot pink canvas for $3.99 a yard. We bought more than we figured we'd need (there will be supplemental pillows) to finish off the bolt, and we still spent under $40 on the fabric.

We had some other errands to run so it was mid-afternoon before we got started on the actual couch. Which was okay - gave it more time to air out. I checked it for bugs - no evidence of anything. Ed found a cigarette burn on the existing cover - and there was definitely some residual cigarette smell. So I'm glad it aired out some more.

Getting the back and the bottom apart took over two hours because there were hidden lag screws:







Once we got it inside, the dog spent a lot of time not helping:



She didn't help at any stage of the game. And one of the cats decided he was going to not-help as well:



I don't really have any photos of the reupholstering process - mainly because stapling is a lot of work. My hand kind of aches from the staple gun. It was so worth it, though.

We got the tension wonky in a couple of places - and I had to sew channels for the upright posts of the back to slide down into. Measuring for that was tricksy. So there are definitely parts that aren't perfect. But I'm still really pleased with how it turned out. I've got some round pillow forms to make a few pillows for it but I love the back being all plain like that. It's padded, so it's comfortable to lean on as is.





There are a couple of places where I'll need to add some staple-hiding trim. *grin* I know exactly what I'm using for that, I just have to get it and then spend time attaching it. It's kind of the girliest frilliest sofa ever, and the trim will just reinforce that.

And this time, we scotch guarded that sucker IMMEDIATELY. Smiley

Thanks for reading!
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Brooches and Epaulets, Oh My! (lots of pictures) on: May 22, 2011 02:20:33 PM
I'm a fiddler and a fidgeter, a person who can't really sit still. I buy clothes and then mod or embellish them. And I live for accessories because I can't just ever leave well enough alone - I have to make things personal, mine, different. Lately, that's been through epaulets - I'm lucky that the people at work just kind of expect this sort of thing from me by now.

It wasn't until I was adding the rhinestone that this pair of epaulets really started to remind me of sunflowers. Pink sunflowers with black rhinestones. Totally natural. Uh-huh.









Then I decided to make a very small set (they're only 2.5 inches in diameter) because I wanted something that could be worn on the strap of a tank top or the like. Then it occurred to me that these would work for kids, too. And I fell in love with the image of a glammed out kid in epaulets. Ah, one can dream.







A while back, I made a flower out of a zipper - I never actually got around to posting that, but I tried it again today, with a nylon zipper. The pop of color is just what I was hoping for.





Basically, you do a running stitch down the length of one side of your zipper, gather it, and then stitch it in place as you wind up your flower shape. You can add bits and folds as you go along and really personalize it. I like adding beads to the center both as a focal point and because I think it looks more finished that way. Plus, I like the weight a little bead adds.

This ribbon flower is my favorite thing right now, though. Maybe because I love pink, maybe because I love grosgrain ribbon. Maybe because this is pink grosgrain ribbon. *grin* This was leftover trim from the sunflower epaulets - actually a fairly short length of it. It was amazingly easy to roll up into a flower. The bead at the center is actually a flocked purple bead I had in my stash.







Thanks for reading and looking if you've made it this far! Yay, fance!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Wearing My Heart - Or At Least My Epaulets - On My Sleeve (SO MANY PICTURES) on: May 15, 2011 07:51:56 PM
This past fall, alice + olivia had a tshirt with feathered epaulets that made me kind of swoon. There were only two problems: 1) the tshirt was almost $300 and 2) they don't make plus sizes. But it was one of those things I totally looked at and figured I could make myself; of course, I didn't get around to doing anything about that until this week. *grin*

My first pair was pretty simple:



That's a sewn felt base, with fringe and feathers. I glued the feathers on (Fabri-Fac, y'all) and then sewed them as well so they'd be extra secure. Nothing worse, when it comes to wearing feathers, than shedding them everywhere you go. I added a rhinestone finish at the end that goes under the collar. Here's a wider shot:



They match some of the colors in my hair - when I wore them to work, I spent half the day with coworkers touching my shoulders and the other half forgetting I had them on and being startled when I saw them out of the corner of my eye!

I used stiff felt and a bangle bracelet to make my epaulet bases:





I sewed two forms together (and the fringe can be sandwiched between the layers to hide the trim edge as well, and ran several lines of stitching down the length of the piece for stability:



I used feathers from the home dec/floral department rather than those in the regular craft department - you get better/bigger feathers for less fundage - you just have to take them off the stick. And floral stuff is often on sale, which is even better. The second set I made was yellow:



Again, I glued and screwed (to borrow a phrase from the woodworkers) for extra stability. The Fabri-Tac just needs to dry before you sew it. I was pleased with how they turned out:







Again, I put rhinestones on the collar edge to finish it - plus, I can't resist an opportunity for rhinestones:



I used strips of felt to attach safety pins to the back in two places (one at each end, basically) so that every epaulet could be moved from garment to garment:



Feathers are one of my favorite things but it seemed like a cool challenge to make a set that was just jeweled. I followed the same basic construction principles but made them with just a circle of felt (again, two layers for structure):











Making epaulets is kind of addictive. Which is why I wound up making yet another pair - a deluxe pair with twice as many feathers and a really kind of extravagant feel to them. They bring the drama:









If you've made it this far, thanks for hanging in there! I'm completely obsessed - and I've got a fairly sizable feather and rhinestone stash - so I know I'll be making more of these. Fortunately, my coworkers have come to expect this sort of thing from me. *grin* It's sort of amazing to me how these epaulets transform blazers and jackets I never ever wear (I keep trying to be one of those pulled-together women in a blazer and jeans and heels but I'm just not that minimalist) into jackets and blazers I want to wear every single day all the time ever.
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Victoriana Meets Glam Rock: A Laptop Case Mod Gone Pink (So Many Pictures, OMG) on: June 21, 2009 06:47:53 PM


The Victorians had elaborated decorated photo albums. Books covered with velvet and gold bits and ribbon and frames for special pictures.

http://www.tias.com/stores/victorianlady/pictures/v7885a.jpg

I do not have a photo album. I don't, like, even scrapbook or anything like that. What I do have? Is a laptop.

Three or so months ago, I got this cool pink hard-shell case for my laptop. The actual case of my laptop was getting a little grungy and I wanted something neat to protect it.

http://a248.e.akamai.net/7/248/2041/1554/as-images.apple.com/is/image/AppleInc/TV323?wid=326&hei=326&fmt=jpeg&qlt=95&op_sharpen=0&resMode=bicub&op_usm=0.5,0.5,0,0&iccEmbed=0&layer=comp

And it's been great. I've been happy with it. But the other day we were at the coffee shop and I had this flash of a vision. POM POM TRIM.

Then, you know, things took on a life of their own. I think this is pretty much the polar opposite of unbranding.

The original body of my laptop has not been altered in any way. I've modded PC cases before but, I mean, this is my Mac. That's different. If I really wanted to, I could remove all of this trim and the frame as well.

But why on earth would I want to? *grin* It's like David Bowie went back in time and rocked out with Queen Victoria.

So, the how-to. I started by heading to Joanns and browsing the trim aisle. I left with 3 yards of purple pompom trim and two yards of pink rhinestone trim. That would have been about $20 but I had a coupon so, more likely, it was about $15.



When the first layer was dry, I applied a second layer of pompom trim (which is why I got 3 yards), staggered to fall inbetween the other pompoms. I had quite a bit of trim left - my laptop is the 13 inch. But better too much trim than not enough. This was, like, Aleene's Original Tacky Glue. It's solid but I can remove it if I need to.



Next up, I added hot pink rhinestone trim tape. I knew it was just about the same color as the case I was starting with so that would be cool. Unfortunately, because of how the rhinestones were positioned, I couldn't miter the corners. ALAS. I placed the rhinestone tape over the selvage of the second layer of pompom trim just to clean things up a bit.

This was as far as my original planning took me.



I don't appear to have taken any intermediate photos between the thin purple cable and the silver metallic flat lace. But I'm sure you can imagine! I ran a thin line of glue around the edge of the rhinestone tape and used the thin purple cable to finish that edge. Then I did the same thing with the metallic silver flat lace. It might seem like there's a lot going on there but stay with me for a minute!



But all that empty pink space in the middle, what to do with that? Originally, I thought I'd put a picture in a frame in the middle. Maybe even a picture of apples just to be meta and ridiculous. But the apple glowed so prettily through the pink shell that I couldn't bring myself to really eliminate it.



The picture frame and the silver lacing don't have the exact same finish - that's because the picture frame is actually metal and the flat lace is, of course, just metallic. However, surrounding the frame with the same thin purple cable really pulls it all together.

I can't wait to take this to the coffee shop with me. *grin*

6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / SO much jewelry, OMG. Very, very pic heavy. on: January 04, 2009 04:38:35 PM
I've spent many several hours over the past few days making jewelry!













































WHEW! Time to take a break, I think.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / From Curbside to Kitchen: We've named the sideboard Starsky... (4 pictures) on: December 08, 2008 06:23:44 AM
To partner it with HUTCH.

Also, we're dorks.

I'm actually really proud of the two projects my husband and I finished yesterday. The curbs in our city are often rich with awesome finds.

BEFORE (mostly):



I forgot to take a real before picture but this is mostly what our latest trash find looked like before we finished it tonight.

AFTER:



I spotted the sideboard on the side of the road yesterday when The Hubs and I were coming home from helping a friend out with something. He was awesome enough to turn around - twice! - so we could look at it again and figure out what it was.

We pulled up as someone else was pulling away, having examined it and dismissed it. We walked around it and around it and spotted the hutch leaning against a nearby telephone pole. It was a toss-up until we realized we had the perfect space for it (we were GOING to put the bench in the nook but this worked out even better) and it would give us more space - we've been using some rickety wire shelves but with this thing in place, we have a lot more cabinet space to use for pantry type purposes. It rocks.

I lined the two shelves of the hutch with cork.

BEFORE:



We found this diner booth bench, like, a year ago. Some dudes were throwing it away - they'd had it in their backyard and were moving. Well, we couldn't just pass something like that up!

AFTER:



I've had the white glitter vinyl on-hand for a long time. Originally, it was for recovering an old chair - that project STILL isn't done and now there is no more white glitter vinyl. Sad face! Alas! However, I think it was perfect for this project.

The kitchen is so much more open and organized and awesome now! The blue really brightens the place up.

I bought 8 cans of blue spray paint, which was plenty for both projects. That would be $21. The cork to line the shelves was $10 and the new handles for the sideboard cost me $8. So, just under $40 to rock out in the kitchen.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / This Little Piggy Went to Market Art Shrine Necklace (Bunch o' large pictures) on: June 19, 2008 01:34:42 PM
So, I made this:



It's a This Little Piggy Went to Market art shrine necklace. Obviously. I mean, what else could it be?



This is, also obviously, a mixed media piece using reclaimed and recycled materials. Well, the little plastic pig I cut apart was new. But still!



The silver clasp is new but the pearls were salvaged from an old necklace.



The houses are from an extra copy of Monopoly.



Oink!

Originally this was going to be a completely different pig-themed necklace. But it just wasn't working so I took it (and its components - not easy, thanks to two-part epoxy) and took another stab at it.



Pearls before swine, y'all.



*laugh*

This necklace cracks me up in so many ways.

9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Miniature Shrine Necklace - an experiment in wearable shrines (large images) on: June 17, 2008 06:54:39 AM
So, I've been working on shrines lately, and really enjoying the results (a couple of which you can see here). But I REALLY wanted to translate that aesthetic and general vibe into jewelry.

The idea of a wearable shrine meant finding a small container (small tins seemed ideal and a serious no-brainer) and addressing a subject that could be miniaturized. This necklace has really been my proof of concept - figuring out if this style of jewelry is something I can do and do well.



This necklace has evolved quite a bit. For a while there it just wasn't coming together and I wasn't sure I could pull the idea of a shrine necklace off.

I replaced a hanging skull with a watch-winding key, adding rhinestones to the inner sides to increase the dimensionality of the piece, and added a darkened metal circle to the back. The key is hanging from a gunmetal silver chain - the same chain which is threaded through a darkened metal circle chain. I got rid of a bright silver chain that I was using to form swags - I don't think this needs the swags at this point.



The general idea began as momento mori, which I think it still accomplishes without being morbid or depressing.

So, what do y'all think? It is obviously a larger piece and isn't for everyone - I don't know that *I* would have occasion to wear it all that often, even! But I love the idea of very baroque lockets and shrines and am having a lot of fun experimenting with my work in this direction.
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Button man - I just can't stop making things with buttons (a bunch of pictures) on: June 10, 2008 11:42:01 AM


I made a button person. This little dude is vintage and new buttons (and some left over from this project) and wire. I thought I had plenty of buttons, to make more of these, but my selection of larger buttons is a little too skimpy to make a button man army just yet.



I love his little feet. I think I originally saw these in a whole book about button crafts? Oh, I think it was! But mostly the was sewing buttons onto pillows - which is a bad idea as it becomes uncomfortable - and so the book as a whole was a wash. I had to make up an approach to this as I went along, since I didn't read the instructions in the book, so I have no idea if my construction is similar. I used wire to make a sturdy button man, but I bet you could just string them on thread as well.



And how perfect is his little pom pom button hat?

I'm just not entirely sure what to do with him. Any ideas?

I also made a few button flowers while I was at it - these will probably wind up on barrettes or as brooches.





Some of these are new buttons and some of them are vintage. As I collect more buttons, I'll make more and wind up with a nice bouquet of them.
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