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251  Growing Tree in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by TheMistressT on: July 15, 2008 05:53:26 PM
I made this for a swap and since my partner received today, I'm going to post it here.  It's a growth chart for her baby-on-the-way!  Her nursery will have a nature theme.  I was all amped up to paint a growth chart on wood or MDF, but it seemed like the shipping would be challenging.  So after PMs and wist-stalking, I thought why not a fabric tree?

Mounted in my basement wall.

Close-up of the many little tucks or pleats or whatever they're called on the trunk.

It's really hard to sew crooked on purpose, but controlled crooked!

A handy dandy pen pocket for the fabric pen:

And how it will look to the baby (when he or she gets here), only on a cuter colored wall:

I'd never done anything like this before and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, but boy was I nervous about my partner liking it.  She does or is faking it really well!  YEY! 
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252  Re: IYP 9: Midsummer Masquerade Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by TheMistressT on: July 13, 2008 05:27:16 PM
So!  Color me spoiled in blues and greens!  My neighbor received this box yesterday and brought it to me at the end of the day.  I was shocked as it somehow made it clear across the US in just 2 days!  I stared at it a bit, thinking that I should maybe wait until mimiw's package was at least in her region.

Well after a couple of hours (maybe 10 minutes) I thought, "heck with that!" and brought it to the nice, cool basement so I could really enjoy unwrapping it.

Here's the whole* package; photo taken in the crummy light of the basement:

I almost wish I could have recorded the audio of me unwrapping everything because I was all ooos and aaahs and squees and gasps as I took each piece out of the tissue and examined them one by one.  I could've made a how-to for bridal showers or something except mine were all completely genuine and no one was here to hear them except free-loader cats.

The basement light wasn't doing these lovelies justice so I moved out into the sun to shoot them, which also didn't do them justice. Mimi really read my bio, asked questions and checked out my wists and did a great job of making me things that I wanted and/or needed and in my taste.

A have shirt like this one on my wists!  I wore it when The ManFlesh was over last night for chillaxin in the shade with cards and cocktails and he got a kick out of it, saying that it had multiple meanings.  You see I'm a (naturally) buxom faux finisher.  HA!

And an awesome wristlet in awesome colors and awesome fabrics with an awesomely padded-ish wrist loop for my comfort and ease-of-use!  This is my favorite side:

No wait, this is my favorite side:

 I can't decide!  I took it to brunch today and it worked out great and looked so cute sitting on the table at the semi-fancy, hip n trendy restaurant!  It will also go with pretty much my entire summer casual wardrobe as it's all greens, blues, purples and browns/tans.  I have to mention that it's lined with a dark denim and maybe has interfacing as it holds it's shape very nicely.  It's SO well sewn!

And finally the thread catcher for my sewing area!  I had to move back into the basement to my sewing area so I could show you it installed - I already caught some threads, too, because I had no shortage of them scattered around there!

You can see how nicely the fabrics she chose go with my paint in there, too, even thought the flash has the colors a little off in the picture! 

That's a nicely weighted pin cushion on the table that is removable with Velcro and full of magically delicious pins that she sent!  She sent many more colorful pins, but I was too excited to install them all right then.

(here's mimiw's post with better photos of it: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=257125.0 )
THANK YOU, MIMI for inviting me!  I sure hope you like your package at least half as much as I like mine!  I think the swap anxiety is now at maximum.  Arrrrrrgh!

*I received word last night that mimiw found a small that was accidentally separated from the herd!  More?  For me?  I am spoiled.
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253  Snuggly Blankets for Shelter Animals (pics a' plenty) in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: July 08, 2008 04:53:25 PM
Months ago I saw this post while perusing the Crafting For Good And Not Evil board: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=212419.0 . It's a charitable project that gets shelter animals blankets for their cages and kennels.  Not only does it give them something soft and comforting in a potentially frightening and uncomfortable place, but seeing an animal on a cuddly blanket actually increases that animals chance of being adopted and becoming a pet. If I remember correctly, the blanket goes with an adopted animal and as something familiar can help it adjust to it's new home.

So shortly after seeing that post, I told The ManFlesh about it and he offered to help as he's a big old softie for animals, even if he's not the craftiest fella (he's mean in the kitchen, though). So, I hit the Goodwill Outlet and got about a dozen pounds of blankets, afghans, pillow shams, etc., we each washed and dried them and then they sat in our respective basements for months until last weekend when we got. to. town.

He did a bunch of sewing and pinking.  I did the cutting and sewed some of the more difficult blankets, as he hadn't sewn since 4H over 20 years ago.  He picked it up again real quick-like, though. They're each made of 2 different pieces, back to back.  A few have binding around the edge.

Herre are 2 of 4 large-sized:

A polar fleece teddy bear panel w/ blanket back.

A woven throw blanket with a flannel sheet back.

2 of 3 medium-sized:

All the medium sized ones are pillow shams backed with afghans.

and an example of the 4 small-sized:

The small ones are all woven blankets backed with polar fleece.

When one of us would worry over the aesthetics of them, the other would say "they're dog blankets".  Of course they're for cats, too and shelters for other types of rescued pets are also signed up for the project. None of these are fine examples of sewing or design, but there's a certain charm to the extra homely ones that reminds me of little kids who drag around ratty, one-eyed teddy bears or stained and shredded blankies.  We made 11 and while I feel all warm and fuzzy about it, I feel sad that there most certainly won't be enough for everybody.

Interested?  All the details are here: http://www.snugglesproject.org/
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254  More Varmint-y Freshness in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: June 13, 2008 07:50:26 PM
I've been having quite a bit of fun creating new editions of my Varmint Voodoo dolls the last couple of days!

Varmint Voodoo: Grasshopper/Locust: Edition

Varmint Voodoo: Spider Edition

Varmint Voodoo: Opossum Edition

Varmint Voodoo: Rabbit Edition

Other Varmints Voodoo:
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255  Customized "Bar Mops" in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by TheMistressT on: June 02, 2008 10:28:30 PM
So I saw a bias tape maker somewhere a few months ago and had. to. have. one. NOW!  So I eventually got one (within days) and went to town making straight-grain tape with scraps from other projects.  Bias tape takes a lot of yardage and so I made straight-grain tape (which is what I'm calling it, even though I'm sure it has an official name).  Then I tacked it to the wall in my basement craft lab and tried to figure out how to use it. 

I made some dish towels (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=244735.msg2705477#msg2705477) and then got hooked and have been looking for towels in the right colors in the weeks since then.  Yesterday I found a pack of 5 assorted colors of "Bar Mops" and a matching pack of "Bar Cloths".  I like booze.  I spill.  Sometimes at the same time & I know others who do, too.  So here are the first 2 sets. 



Now I've just got to spill something so I can clean it up!  Forget milk, I'll save the tears for my beer and my next heartache.
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256  Keeping It Clean in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by TheMistressT on: May 28, 2008 09:02:40 PM

Because I don't want my newly altered painters' pants (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=248069.msg2749394#msg2749394) to look like my altered on-the-job painters' pants (above) I made a little tool apron to wear to work. 

There are 3 pockets for things like brushes, scrapers, sandpaper, etc. and the rings on the side are for hanging a rag (which will be the biggest help, as most of the paint on the pants is from wiping my hands) or hooking a 6" roller (see below) when I'm up on a ladder. It fastens with a couple of snaps on the side.

And an action shot as best I could manage myself in the weird kitchen light after dark.

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257  used as a stronger division than a comma in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by TheMistressT on: May 26, 2008 11:46:33 AM
Last week one of my longest (both physically and chronologically) and dearest friends had to have part of his colon removed to get a rather large-ish, but benign, polyp out.  Like anyone who would be one of my longest and dearest friends, he has a great sense of humor. 

I appliqud this 3-pack of briefs for him as a get well gift. I double-checked with his wife (also a long (only chronologically) and dear friend) and she said she thought he'd appreciate them and also that he needs new underwear. 

Colors of briefs were limited, so while I wouldn't have chosen burgundy/navy/hunter myself in the last couple of decades, it was the best collection available.  The colors of the semicolons are based on the 3 colors of cotton interlock fabric that I had in my stash.
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258  Simple Dye Job "Recon" in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by TheMistressT on: May 25, 2008 05:01:19 PM
So, I end up wearing men's "painters' whites" for work most of the time.  They don't fit well (since I'm not built like a man), but they are durable, handy and inexpensive.  There is a line of women's painters' whites, but they are more than twice as much as the men's version (at my contractor discount at my paint store) and it's just hard to get excited about paying much money at all for clothes that are going to be "ruined" pretty much instantly.  BUT, I'm so tired of not getting to dress like a girl very often.  This is my compromise.

THIS is my butt:

I dyed a pair and made "painters' purples!"

And since every pair of men's painters' pants I buy eventually get too short, I bought a 24" inseam and just cuffed them.  I added some handmade seam tape left over from making boxer shorts and snaps because these pants never stay cuffed.

Pardon the wrinkles, but I draw the line at ironing painters' pants.

Before shots:

These are unbleached cotton, but traditionally painters' pants are true white.

It seems like all the pockets on these things would be handy, but really the only truly cool extra feature is the double back pocket on one side.  There's a "cell phone" pocket on the leg that dumps my phone everytime I crouch - I don't know if it magically holds cell phones when these pants are worn by men or what.

In progress:
Sometimes I get to where a tyvek bunny suit for work and I thought it was a good idea considering I'd be working with a giant pot of simmering purple pants.  The red on it is Venetian Plaster, the blue spots are bits of painters tape.  I didn't actually wear the hood for dying.

Thanks for looking!  I know it's not very exciting, but the women painters I know are going to appreciate it.
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259  Will The Varmint Voodoo Madness Ever End? in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: May 24, 2008 11:56:10 AM
I made a few more Varmint Voodoo dolls.  I'll ease up on new editions for awhile though, so this will likely be the last you'll see of new ones for a bit. [craftsters exhale a sigh of relief]

I had this great image of an armadillo, but the bit of research I did only described them as nuisances on roads (we don't have them where I live).  I did learn that they are diggers, so I figured they must be pests for gardeners.  Nofury set me straight, that indeed they are reviled wreckers of gardens and yards... so I finally felt like I could justify making one and putting it in the shop.

Look at that face!  It would've been a shame to not use it, right?

I received a special request for a bear, a crow and a raccoon from Vermont.  I already had done a raccoon, but hadn't done them for sale.  Here are those three:

These are the pins they come with for pokin:

Thanks for looking and for commenting on the other posts!
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260  Fleas and Ants and Cockroaches, oh my! (pics and images and photos, oh my!) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: May 20, 2008 07:03:38 PM
Been makin' up a mess of Varmint Voodoo dolls.  I randomly came upon one I made in 2 strangers' (even on craftster) wists (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=210006.msg2250561#msg2250561 , http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=216068.msg2323503#msg2323503), I decided to create a few more Varmints (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=245472.msg2715146#msg2715146) and then received a few requests for others.  Those, plus a few I just felt like doing are those shown below.

Deer mess up a lot of gardens:

Mom thought I should do ants, because at least around here everyone is fighting sugar ants right now:

Fleas, because I hate them and I had the image:

Cockroaches, because I've a friend moving to Manhattan.

As close as I could get with copyright-free images to a woodchuck/groundhog - didn't work out for the requester.  Anyone else have an suggestion as to what this guy looks like?

And the pins they come with 

More details about supplies and construction are in the post that the first link leads to.
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