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21  Winter-themed Cloth Napkins in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by TheMistressT on: December 22, 2013 01:29:47 PM

I spotted this snowman fabric at JoAnn a few weeks ago, but left it on the shelf.  Then when I went back I saw that it was on sale for, get this, 70% off + 20% off!  What!?  Plus I got the end-of-bolt discount for another half yard or so. Oh yeah! 

Anyway, enough victory dancing. Ahem.  I like to make my cloth napkins two-sided so I don't have to press hems or have the backside of the print show. So I found this plaid with the same greens and a red in it, also double discounted.

I made a dozen and it's a good thing, because we have 4 other couples coming over for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres the Saturday after xmas. WOO!
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22  Alternative, Essentially 2D Christmas Tree now with TOPPER UPDATE! in Winter Holidays by TheMistressT on: December 21, 2013 09:24:32 AM
It's been about 8 years since I had a Christmas tree and probably about that long since The ManFlesh has either.  We don't have a great place for one here without moving furniture around to awkward places or into the guest room or whatever AND as you know trees are made of sticks and our dogs are allowed sticks (at least when outside).  So... when I saw this material at Ikea in April, I bought a length and figured I'd come up with something.

I built a frame of 1x4 and 1x2 lumber, then attached Homasote board to that. Homasote is a recycled fiber material made as a sound barrier, but it's a great bulletin board material, too, and you see it used a lot that way.  Finally, I stapled the fabric to the sides and back of the wood frame, stretching with a similar method as art canvases (but with sloppier corners).

The ornaments are hung using 2" straight pins. I think we need some "us" ornaments; most of these are mine or ones I made him of various pets' footprints.  Also, we need a topper and I want to figure out some lights that won't mean a bunch of thick-ish cords or cutting holes in the fabric, perhaps some LED technology.  Maybe a bead garland, too.

This was not a cheap project, but cost about 2 years' worth of lot trees and half or less of a decent looking, full-priced traditional fake tree.

UPDATE! I threw together a topper with some things I had laying around. You know, like BIGFOOT!

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23  Fuzzy Animal Slippers! You Know, For the Adults. (6 pics) in Shoes: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: December 12, 2013 08:23:47 PM
I have a new respect for those of you who work with plush frequently. Oy.  BUT I am super pleased with the results of my foray into plush.  Grown-up fuzzy animal slippers!

First up, the leopards for The ManFlesh's BIL.

The face of one leopard, I used two-hole buttons for the eyes, embroidery floss for the nose.

And the bottom, the usual non-skid material.

And then there's the wombats! The ManFlesh's sister's favorite animal.  Admittedly, neither look so much like the animals they represent, but I'm pleased with how they turned out for a first go.

I packaged them up in labeled boxes to help their recipients would know what they are since we won't be there when they unwrap them.

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24  Barbie's New Living Room Set in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: December 11, 2013 08:18:31 PM
The ManFlesh's nieces, ages "almost 6" and "8 and a half", do enjoy their Barbies and I had an decade+ old Vogue pattern for a "fashion doll" living room so I made them a furniture set for Christmas!I didn't want to do pink or lavender, because there's already too much of that in girls' toys, so I raided the home dec clearance rack and the remnant bin for something feminine, but not typical or stereo-typical. 

There were patterns and instructions for the sofa and ottoman and I modified the sofa pattern to make the chair and winged it on the coffee table. I had much grander plans for the coffee table, but I was running out of time.

I added some throw pillows for funsies.

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25  Job Interview Outfit... for Dogs! ACTION SHOT UPDATE! in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: December 09, 2013 05:59:18 PM

Our dog-nephew, Wacho is about the age where he can start contributing to his family and I thought it would be nice for him to have something to wear to interviews so I made him this for Christmas. (here modeled by our Betty)

Here it is off the dog. I used the collar off a thrift store shirt. I just cut it up the center back and finished the ends with a bias tape scrap I had in my stash.  Elastic loops give a place to slide a collar through.  I found a tie to go with at the same shop.  Wacho is a Malamute with the standard fluffy hair, so I don't think anyone interviewing him will even notice that his shirt collar doesn't go all the way around and the blue color will bring out his eyes.

Betty can be one of those too-cool-for-school, bored model-types.

Heeeeere's WACHO!  I told his mom that the gift was for job interviews, but indications would suggest that he wants to use it for dates! [wink]

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26  Snowball Flip-top North Pole Diorama (lotsa pics) in Winter Holidays by TheMistressT on: December 01, 2013 10:21:39 AM
I found another way to use the paper mache spheres that I've been making my Fisher Price Little People Dioramas with by poking around on Pinterest. And by poking around I mean "staring at for hours."  This one is a gift for The ManFlesh's mom. 

The outside is a monochromatic, glittery snowball.  I decoupaged the exterior with tissue then painted it white. After I added the mini pom fringe to tidy up the seam and used a plastic snowflake to cover the nubbin where the original loop has been attached I covered it with some vintage "diamond dust" that I picked up years ago in the Goodwill bins.

But the inside is THE NORTH POLE! This this is like a Tardis: it's bigger on the inside.  I decoupaged strips of snowflake-patterned scrapbook paper to the inside and finished off the edges with some ribbon.

 I used couple of plastic snowflakes from my stash to hide the nubbin on the inside from the hanging loop. 

For the "earth" I used a floral foam half-sphere that I decoupaged with tissue and painted with swirly-twirly Arctic Ocean waves.  I formed some wool blend felt over another Styrofoam sphere to get the domed shape, then glued it to this one for the snow and ice of the North Pole.  You can see in this pic that I used some mini sliver rick rack from my stash to cover the raw edge where I cut the paper mache sphere in half. (FYI, at least this "paper mache" is actually a layer of paper mache over a plastic ball)

Because I wanted this to sit on a surface rather than hang by a loop, I created a base using some cardboard tube I'd hoarded kept, but I can't remember what it's from; it's larger and thicker than a wrapping paper or paper towel tube.  It has also been decoupaged with tissue paper and painted, then glued to the bottom of the sphere.  I had just enough of this snowflake bead string used in other projects to wrap it for a little extra detail.

I bought the Santa and reindeer mini figures in a lot on Ebay, but made the North Pole with Sculpey that I painted and "diamond dusted."  It's built on a long straight pin that I cut the head off of so I could stab it into the foam ball.  I baked the pole and the ball separately then used liquid Sculpey to attach them and didn't realize until baking time that I hadn't planned for how to bake it upright.  Luckily, I had  the heel of a stale baggette so I just stabbed the pin into that and baked in that way. Ha!

To attach Santa and the reindeer I dug out my trusty, dusty manual drill to drill tiny holes in their "undercarriages" (ahem).

I cut the heads of a couple more long straight pins and glued them into the holes, the stuck the pointed end into the foam sphere.  All of those pieces are also glued to the felt to keep them from spinning around or loosening up.

Now I'm searching for a box for it which is turning out to be harder than I thought. I'd really like something that will work not only for wrapping it, but for her to store it in when she packs up her Christmas decorations.  So far I've only found one place selling 7" x 7" x 7" boxes and I have to buy something like 50 or 100 of 'em.  Any suggestions for finding something (even a tin with similar dimensions) would be appreciated! Otherwise, I'm going to have to make that, too.   Undecided

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27  "Gobblets" for our Thanksgiving Tipple in Thanksgiving by TheMistressT on: November 22, 2013 04:00:45 PM
I was searching for and editing clip art for another Thanksgiving project and got the idea to put some turkeys on some gobblets for our Thanksgiving wine.  Gobbers + goblets = Gobblets! 

I used Martha Stewart's decoupage medium in matte and a copper "metal leaf" paint pen.  I'd do some things differently knowing what I know now and I think I might want us to have these as part of our new Thanksgiving tradition, so I may remake them later. They're just dollar store glasses, so while cost is not the only factor in wastefulness that bothers me I may redo them anyway with the glossy decoupage medium and actual class paint.
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28  Little People Cat Lady Diorama Ornament! (that old story: with lotsa pics) in Winter Holidays by TheMistressT on: November 22, 2013 02:17:40 PM
It's like I'm in a Fisher Price Little People Mafia: just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in!  This diorama ornament is for The ManFlesh's aunt who isn't a crazy cat lady, but last I heard she and her partner were fostering 16 cats (including 2 litters of kittens).  They only have 3 cats of their own.

That's her and her partner covered in cats!  I took lots of pics, because there are lots of cats (but only a dozen!) and plenty of silly, funny details.

Those little pranksters have gotten ornaments off the tree! One on the coffee table and one on the floor between the chairs!

I even got a star on top of the tree this time~

Views through the windows:

I could not get an in-focus and well-lit picture of the black one behind her chair. It's got an ornament off the tree, too! 

This one is even cheekier!

I could not resist adding a tiny pink cat butt to one of them!

And view of the whole thing in the front

And a bit of how the windows look from the outside.

I still need to add a little something to make the place where the loop is inserted into the sphere look nice, but I haven't found that thing yet.  I keep thinking snow-ish, but they don't get snow where they live.  Maybe I can find a star in my stash.
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29  Plaster Cupcake Prop! in Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: November 16, 2013 11:12:06 AM
A good friend of mine has a party blog and is involved with lots of other party bloggers. Through that involvement she ended up making and selling tulle wreaths and tulle pom cupcake toppers (also used as swizzlesticks).  She's been photographing them in a martini glass, because it's lots easier than making cupcakes each time (or even buying them).  So I decided it was time for me to make the plaster cupcake I'd wisted (remember wists?) waaaaaaay back in the day.  (I got lucky and it snowed overnight so I was able to go white on white on white for these pics)

I left it all white so that it would go with any color she had made and not call attention away from the item.  But I couldn't leave it plain, so I added little glass bead sprinkles.  The hole is for the stick that holds the pom to go in.

A felt circle on the bottom protects the surface the cupcake sits on from scratches and the plaster from soiling.

I used a silicone cupcake cup to form the base. It has a ridge in it which I assume is a fill line for actual cupcakes. I used rick rack to cover that up.  The silicone cup is slightly smaller than a standard cupcake tin or paper liner, so she could still set this into a paper liner to match her theme or color, too.

I learned a few things making this one and even though I don't have a reason to make more, I kind of want to!  I'm sure you all know how that goes.   Kiss
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30  Decoupaged Dollar Store "Pumpkins" in Thanksgiving by TheMistressT on: November 15, 2013 05:27:51 PM

Decorating for Thanksgiving is something I've never done. Now that we live far off from family and are not really integrated into a group of friends or anything, I feel like making it a little more special than just the meal.  We're on a budget and I have always been frugal, so I didn't want to go out and drop a bunch of dough on a centerpiece.  But I did have these fake "Funkins" from the dollar store that I bought when they first started putting out their Halloween things.

They have that awful seam along their "equator" and are pretty small, so hadn't yet been inspired to make them into a Halloween decoration when I decided to use them for Thanksgiving instead.  And I chose decoupage as a quick and inexpensive way to turn them into something more suitable.

I did a more thorough explanation of my process on my blog, but they are pretty much basic decoupage and "aging" techniques.
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