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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Fluffy orange cat Ginger decided I should photograph HER on: March 24, 2016 08:19:14 PM
...because I clearly cannot possibly photograph trees without her paws-on assistance.

Yeah, thanks Ginger. Very helpful! Cheesy Grin
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Candy? Where we're going we don't need...candy! (A female Marty McFly Halloween) on: November 04, 2015 04:14:12 PM
So earlier this summer I made a female Marty McFly cosplay to attend my first ever convention; Tampa Bay Comic Con on August 1st.

For Halloween, I modified my costume to add some Part II touches in honor of October 21, 2015 being Back to the Future Day.

It's one of those things that looks simple but involves a lot of parts. Especially since those parts are all 30 year old men's clothing, coming up with women's version was a challenge.

I sourced out a similar shirt, suspenders, vintage shoes and accessories such a cassette player, Casio watch, etc.

I modified a vintage jacket to look more like his one-off costume with a two-tone paint scheme, updated pockets and even fusing in custom printed fabric lining.

I painted it step-by-step to give it the details of his original:

For Halloween, in honor of October 21, 2015, I added in a few touches from Part II, namely his Nike Mags and Hoverboard.

The Nike Mags can be purchased as a costume replica, but...they lack any branding since they are Universal licensed, they are not Nike licensed. So I added screen-accurate decals including the "Nike MAG" lettering and swoosh. I also added screen-accurate Mattel logos to the hoverboard.

The outfit was a total hit. I had SO many kids oohing and aahing over my shoes and hoverboard and one even asked to take my pic. Grin

3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Great Scot!! Female Marty McFly cosplay (Woah this is heavy) on: September 14, 2015 12:46:19 PM
A few months ago, I decided I was going to attend my first ever con, Tampa Bay Comic Con, and that I was further going to do my first ever cosplay: a female Marty McFly from my all time favorite movie, Back to the Future!!

(and yes, that is me with Lea Thompson who played Marty's mom, Lorraine!)

On the surface, this looks like a simple costume. But there's a TON of details and converting 30 year old men's clothing items (that are rare and expensive to start with) into equivalent female versions...well, it was a bit of work!

For reference, this is what I was trying to replicate:

There are so many layers and details and components that are easy to get wrong and hard to get right. Even the basics are daunting...

a burgundy tee shirt
a white button up with a black windowpane pattern
black suspenders
custom Guess jacket with those distinctive dark blue accents
burnt orange puffer jacket
Nike Bruins red and white sneakers

...it was a lot of thrifting and repurposing and getting creative. For example, here's my windowpane shirt:

And here's a pair of vintage women's Nikes I was able to get. They're not the exact style but they're darn close!!

They still make the Casio digital watch amazingly enough. LOL

I even modified an old Jansport backpack to look more like his (VERY EXPENSIVE) Eastpak original:

The jacket was it's own adventure. I started with a vintage one like this:

I painted it step-by-step to give it the details of his original:

I also had to add pocket flaps and fuse in paisley lining for the cuffs.

Overall though it was a HUGE hit! I had a ton of people ask me where I "bought" my jacket.  Grin I was like, bought? I MADE this!!

I get into a lot of information and reference photos and the original screen used products in my blog if you're interested in getting MUCH more detailed info:
Part I: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/2015/08/female-marty-mcfly-cosplay-part-1/
Part II: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/2015/08/diy-female-marty-mcfly-cosplay-costume-part-ii/

Also see pics of me in action at Comic Con with Doc Brown and other Marty McFly cosplayers here:

Overall it was a HUGE hit and I was so excited. I love this movie so much and this is the 30th anniversary and next month (October 21st 2015) is "the future" (the day they travel to in part II) so it was just a perfect time to try my hand at a cosplay. Grin

4  UNITED STATES / Florida / PhoenixFire Designs at 2015 Etsy Craft Party Friday June 5th!! (St. Petersburg) on: May 24, 2015 10:51:37 AM
PhoenixFire Designs will be vending at the 2015 Etsy Craft Party Friday June 5th 6-10pm, Downtown St. Pete at the Coliseum!

TBEC: Tampa Bay Etsy Crew, St. Petersburg Greenhouse, Creative Loafing Tampa & Strands of Sunshine bring the area's most vibrant makers, artisans and vintage sellers together in this free community event. We'll have craft demonstrations and make-n-take projects for all. The first 100 at the door get a Dark Cycle swag bag full of goodies. Our team is putting together some amazing raffle prizes to benefit Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Concessions will be available.

Check out the event page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/381403845386740/

Or my blog for more info: http://www.treeoflifependants.com/event-etsy-craft-party-june-5th/
5  UNITED STATES / Florida / PhoenixFire Designs at Art and Music Show Ybor Saturday June 6th! (Tampa) on: May 24, 2015 10:23:49 AM
Come on out and see us Saturday, June 6, 2015 @ 6pm in Ybor at the Crowbar for Art and Music Show!

Live, local music and lots of local artists and crafters will be on hand for this awesome evening!! Right in the heart of Centro Ybor, Crowbar is located at 1812 N 17th Street.

Click here to save $2 on tickets with code "PhoenixFire"

Additional info, maps, details and more here: http://www.treeoflifependants.com/event-phoenixfire-designs-at-art-and-music-show-ybor/

Hope to see you there!!  Grin
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Miniature Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Rose Bell Jar Necklace on: April 27, 2015 08:35:27 PM
I made this for rantyhippie in the craft your fandom swap. She said Beauty & the Beast was one of her favorite Disney films and it's mine too. I always loved the image of the enchanted rose in the bell jar and had an idea to make a miniature necklace versions.


Basically, I found this small two part miniature bell jar and used a small ribbon rose which I dipped in pink glitter to give it the more magical color of the enchanted rose and then I glued it into the jar and glued the jar together. I also glued a cap on the top from which I ran wire to make a loop and strung it on a matching red satin cord.

I think it just came out so fun and really captured the inspiration. Cheesy
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Miniature Harry Potter (Hufflepuff) Magical Spell Cabinet Hutch on: April 27, 2015 08:20:05 PM
I made this for rantyhippie in the craft my fandom swap. She said she loved Harry Potter and specifically Hufflepuff. So I immediately thought of a fun witch or wizard magical spell cabinet/hutch that you might find in a Hufflepuff professor's classroom.

Click any photo for a larger version!

I painted it yellow and black for Hufflepuff house colors. Then I aged and distressed it a bit to make it look like it's been well used. I added a ton of assorted things like spell books, potion ingredients, crystal ball, candles, scrolls, a witch hat, wands an owl and a small Hufflepuff crest. The candles, witch hat, wands and scrolls I made with polymer clay. It was my first time making poly clay minis. Other items were repurposed mini bottles or beads turned into potion bottles and the crystal ball.

Some close-ups:

Here it is next to a standard soda can for size reference:

I really loved how it came out. I haven't done a mini like this in a long time (they just take so many hours!!) but it was a lot of fun to make. Grin
8  UNITED STATES / Florida / PhoenixFire Designs at Safety Harbor Spring Fest Saturday April 18 2015 on: April 13, 2015 09:43:04 AM
PhoenixFire Designs will be at the Safety Harbor Green Fest this Saturday, April 18th from 10am-5pm!

Celebrating Earth Day, this FREE event will feature organic produce, farmer's market, sustainable living items, plants and a local artisans market!

Look for our large, orange PhoenixFire Designs banner and Celtic tree of life tapestry!

Enter the festival, turn right and head back towards the food truck. PhoenixFire Designs will be near the end of the row on your right!

Hope to see you there!!

More info: http://www.treeoflifependants.com/phoenixfire-designs-at-green-fest/
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Photo Memory Board / French Ribbon Memo Board (with instructions) on: April 10, 2015 10:15:53 AM

I see these called by a lot of names like French Memo Board, Ribbon Board, Photo Board, Memory Board, etc. but whatever you call it, I recently made two of them for the first time. My grandmother passed away and we wanted a way to display photos at the service. I went to Michaels and Joann's and Target and Walmart...and no one had what I wanted! So I finally decided just to make my own.

(Click any picture for a larger version.)

I made the first one up and then realized I should have taken some pics. So please excuse the crappy cell phone photos I took during the making of the second one. Took me about an hour to make the first one and probably about 45 minutes to make the second since I knew more what I was doing. It really wasn't hard.

Here's my supplies:

I bought inexpensive 20x24 artist canvas from Michael's. It's the kind that's stretched and with a wood frame. That's important for the stability of the piece. These were on sale 50% off so they cost $8.49/each. You could obviously go smaller or larger as your needs demand. Here's the back before I started to show you what I mean about the frame.

Next, I bought two yards of fabric from Joanns. If you're only doing one board, one yard should be enough. Depending on the size of your canvas and the width of your fabric, you might get away with less. (I needed both yards in length to cover mine even though I had some leftover in width if that makes sense.)

I also grabbed some poly batting (mine was in the remnant bin and not wide enough so I had to duct tape it together. I'd advise just buying the right size up front instead. Wink )

I used almost an entire roll of ribbon per board. (These were like $1.99 at Michael's and not as silky which I liked but any thinner ribbon you like would work.)

And then general things like staple gun, staples, scissors. Plus, I wound up buying a "Brad Setter & Piercing Tool" by We R Memory Keepers to punch the holes for the brads. It was a total lifesaver because there was no way the brads were going in on their own without pre-punching through. Any kind of sharp needle point tool would work though.

How to make it
Pretty simple. Start with your batting. Wrap it around the canvas like you were upholstering something. I like to start in the middle of one side, then go to the opposite and pull it tight and staple there. Then do the same with the other two sides.

So for example, one staple in the BOTTOM middle, then pull tight and one staple in TOP middle. Then one staple on LEFT middle, pull tight and one staple on RIGHT middle. Then just keep going until it's on there securely. You don't have to go crazy with the batting since you'll be covering it with the fabric and adding MORE staples. For the corners, I sorta folded it down as flat as possible and just stapled it a few times.

Here you can see I'm in progress of stapling it all down:

Repeat with the fabric. Same thing. Just go right over the batting and staple it down fully. This time feel free to use as many staples as you want to make sure it's pulled tight and secure.

Next I laid out how I wanted the ribbons to be and cut them, leaving enough overhang to ensure they would wrap around to the back side.

It's probably best to actually measure and use a ruler, but I just eyeballed it. Wink

I then stapled them down on the back side. I stapled long-ways THROUGH the ribbon instead of going across it because I wanted to make sure it wouldn't slip out from under the staple.

I started with the first and longest going from corner-to-corner and then did the next largest, until I was done. Then you repeat for the other direction.

The final step was punching holes with my brad tool where the ribbons intersect. This is important or your ribbon won't have enough tension to hold the photos in place and they'll just slide around. The tool comes in handy because remember, you're punching through ribbon, fabric, batting and canvas. After punching the hole, I inserted the brad and opened it (they have two "prongs" on the back) and pushed it flat against the back of the canvas.

Tip: Around the outer edges close to the frame and across the center, it's REALLY hard to get your brads in because the wood of the frame is in your way. The outer edge ones I didn't worry too much about. The center one, I would push the canvas up from the back, away from the wood frame a bit to make enough room to try and get the brad in there. It's hard going and takes some fiddling. It was the most frustrating part of the process.

I left the back of mine rough because no one is going to see it. But you could certainly stretch some fabric over to cover it, or even get a piece of heavy cardstock, poster board or cardboard and tape/glue it down.

Here's the finished project:

Everyone loved the boards. They were a wonderful way to celebrate our family and show off a wide variety of photos in all shapes and sizes. Of course, you could also put notes, memos, letters, paperwork, etc. on them beyond photos. But they made wonderful memorial boards and I was so pleased with how they came out. It also felt really nice to make something like this to help celebrate my grandmother.

As always, thoughts welcomed!
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Sun and Moon Celestial Tree of Life Pendant on: February 10, 2015 11:43:59 AM
Of course, I've made a ton of various full moon trees but I was recently inspired to make one that has both a sun AND moon!

I used a large 20mm yellow jade sun and a smaller, blue flash rainbow moonstone for the moon and put them together in the same tree.

You can see a larger pic here in my blog: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2015/02/celestial-sun-and-moon-tree-of-life-pendant/

As always, thoughts welcome! Grin
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