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191  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Wreath for the Fence on: October 14, 2012 03:09:17 PM
We just bought a house in the Bitterroot Mountain Range in Montana where we have 5 acres on a dirt road that passes through our property.  The last owner had a vine heart and silk flower arrangement down at the entrance to the property as a welcome and probably as a marker.  Well, it's a little worse for wear and hearts really aren't our style and since I don't know yet what to put in its place, I made a Halloween wreath to put up for a few weeks at least. 

I was able to do it all with stuff I had on hand.  Yes that is a real bone spinal column that one of the dogs found on the property or in the National Forest bordering the property.  It has been wired together previously, so obviously it had been on display at one point, but not too recently as it was all dirty and such.

It's a dollar store raven that has seen better days, so I'm not worried about it being out in the weather and I figure the worse the flowers look the better.
192  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Puppy's Birthday Blowouts! on: August 23, 2012 08:01:08 AM
Our Delia is going to be one-year old in a couple of weeks!  Ever since she was just a potato-headed wee pup, her skinny little tongue has unfurled when she yawns, so I just had to alter some princess-themed party blowouts for her party!  (since these photos were taken, I have added little pointy party hats made from colorful scrapbook paper to her head)

I got a good, high-res photo of her face, used photo shop to erase her body and the background and to resize the image to fit the blowout.  Then I printed them up and cut them out with an Xacto knife.

Then I cut along the upper lip, glued the jaw to the extending part of the blow out and her face to the "princess" part that came with the set.

It took some searching for me to find some in a plain, tongue-colored pink.  They came is a package of 8, but someone was still in her chewing stage when I made the prototype, so I only have 7 for the party.  Siiiiiiiigh.

Here is an action shot:

That's Delia on the bottom of the photo, her sister, Betty, is on the left.  Here's a post of Betty's first birthday party: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388793.0

And a before shot of the blowout:

193  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bigfoot Isn't Concerned With The Conventions of Human Society on: August 02, 2012 08:42:35 PM
I'm in a round robin tea towel swap with some friends.  I'm doing variations on a theme and that theme is Bigfoot. 

This time he has donned a love Kentucky Derby hat with a big ol' purple flower!  Angle shot, because I love an angle shot to show textures:

I used chain-, stem-, satin stitiches, lazy daisy and french knots.

194  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / The Cupcake Cowgirl: My Friendly Neighborhood Superheroine on: July 15, 2012 07:31:36 PM

(action shot of our heroine)

I have a dear friend who is known among our club as a super heroine, The Cupcake Cowgirl!  But, get this: she didn't have a cape!  I know.  She did have a birthday, though, so I made her one!  (only a month late, too)

I made an applique with a cowgirl hat for the cherry and beads for sprinkles.

The front buttons with a tab at the neck.  I actually found the button after I made the cupcake and they're in similar colors.  Twas meant to be.

But, wait!  There's more!  It's reversible because The Cupcake Cowgirl's has an alter ego (and arch enemy?): The Tiki Terror!

Come happy hour, watch out!  Can you see the cocktail glass in the tiki head?  Tee hee!

This is the button for the Tiki Terror side.

You can't tell in the photos, but the light pink and dark pink satins have glitter all over them, too!  GLITTER!
195  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Patio Table Cozies on: July 10, 2012 09:40:09 AM

One of my Ballard Designs tables got all discolored from having a glass top from another table sit on it for a week while I was on vacation last summer.   Cry  The tables are powder coated steel, so hard to redo on a budget and spray paint isn't going to hold up as well as I'd like, so I decided I needed table clothes. 

We eat al fresco most nights in the summer as well as sit out there during the day so I didn't want to have to bring in/take out a table cloth every time we used the tables.  Also our house is going on the market later this month and I wanted to have something that looked nice for whenever the house is shown w/o us having to put it on every time. That required some kind of plastic. 

And I didn't want it to blow around or away or to deal with clips or weights, so... I made it envelope style. 

I bought the tablecloth plastic before I knew exactly how I was going to put these together (I didn't want to have elastic gathers), so I neglected to buy matching bias tape.  Oh, well.  At least I had yards and yards of this tape I made to practice a technique for cuttin yards and yards of bias tape in one long strip.  Only the dogs can see it when they lay on the deck and they don't mind much.
196  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / "Quick" and Clean (and cheap) Kitchen Update (soooo many photos) on: June 22, 2012 08:05:54 PM

The ManFlesh and I have decided to move to another state and are in the process of preparing his house for sale.  It's a 1911 Craftsman with lots of nice unpainted wood work, built-ins and details.  But... the kitchen was an moderately sloppy 1980s redo that was a worn out style that was wearing out physically.  Obviously he doesn't want to dump a bunch of money into it so we decided to work with the existing footprint and cabinets, but to change all the surfaces except the floor.  That's where I come in with 7+ years experience as a decorative painter and a life-long interest in interiors.

Before the cabinets were a yellowed white, the counters were scratched and worn (and missing in places) nearly-maroon laminate, and the open cabinets painted to match the counters.  The light fixture was the standard builder's cheapo of the day and someone added a plug-in track light over the sink.  The cabinet hardware a period charming style in a worn and out-of-style brass finish.

The walls were a nice sagey green, but they were also full of pinholes and poorly patched spots.  The ceiling had some cracks and was what I like to call formerly-white.  Like all old homes, it didn't have lots of storage and adding some would be difficult, because that room had 4 (count 'em, 4) doors into/out of it.

NOW!  It's all in neutral black, white, greys with new brushed nickel hardware, stainless steel appliances and a cement counter veneer that imitates Carrera marble.

Because we know from watching HGTV, looking at listed houses online and talking with our awesome agent, that we had to clear the clutter we removed all the things from the shelves that weren't black/white/grey/silver/wood or our chosen accent color (purple).  We cleared up the garden window over the sink and I made a quick valence in a black/white/grey spoon and fork print to dress it up a bit.

We did the same on the other open shelving and packed up most of the small appliances stored there, but left a few to show that there was room for some and because we use those.  We packed up most of the cookbooks, etc., too.

The counter is a product called SkimStone which is a cement hybridized with an acrylic solution then tinted with proprietary pigments.  It's designed for concrete floors, but with a special bonding primer will adhere to laminate and tile.  The pic at the top shows it well.  The white tiles are left over from when I tiled the shower at my house which I sold last year and the black tiles are made from recycled glass that I bought on sale at a home center.

We got the dishwasher used from a seller on craigslist ($80); the KitchenAide range ($275) and light fixture ($27.50) used from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

One of the former owners seemed to think that expanding spray foam was duct tape and could fix anything.  Wink  Sigh.  So I shouldn't have been surprised when I started chipping away at this mess over the stove (knowing the old stove pipe vent was under there) that he'd just filled the pipe with, smeared some spackle on it then painted over it.  I repaired the plaster properly and while these 101 year old walls are far from perfect, at least they just show age, not neglect and indifference.



197  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / But, of course Bigfoot has Grey Poupon (on his chin). on: June 10, 2012 06:10:49 PM
I'm in a tea towel swap with some friends and am stitching Bigfoot on all there towels.  I just finished my 4th and here it is!  I wanted to have him in a bowler hat and a monocle, but couldn't figure out the final touch. The towel arrived to me with a light stain on one corner and then had my own embarrassing public mustard-on-chin experience last week and a Bigfoot stitch was born.

Here's a close up of his dribbled upon chin (and his monocle chain):

An angle shot to show some of the texture:

I used a lot of split stitch which I hadn't done before and I'm pretty sure I like it for filling.  There's also some satin, back, random and chain stitch.
198  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Sir Richard Attenbigfoot: Orinthologist & Naturist* on: May 20, 2012 08:18:42 PM
I'm in a tea towel swap with some friends and I've chosen to do variations on a theme for my stitcheries.  That theme is Bigfoot.

Stitching in outline was a big challenge for me, because I've always filled my work.  But this towel was delicate and I'm a white-knuckle stitcher, so I didn't think I could fill without ruining it.  Here's an angle shot to show some of the texture.  You can also see a little better that his salt & pepper hair is saltier at this temples and where his soul patch hair grows.

I used back stitch, bastardized stem stitch and split stitch.

* Get it?  Cuz he's nekkid?  Teehee.
199  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bigfoot pouted so much a bird built a nest under his lip. (4 photos) on: May 08, 2012 01:47:19 PM
I'm in a round-robin tea towel swap with some friends and have decided to do variations on a theme, that theme being "Bigfoot."  This is my second in the series. (the first is here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=407773.0)

An angle shot to show some of the texture:

The little birdie who laid the big egg (that's why it's eye is popping a bit).

A close up of the pouting that got him into this situation:

I used satin, split, and long and short stitch, one french knot and some whatever-it-takes stitch.

200  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bigfoot doesn't always smoke a pipe, but when he does it's a Meerschaum. on: April 27, 2012 12:50:13 PM
I'm in a round robin tea towel swap with some friends and this is the first of a series of variations-on-Bigfoot that will go on the towels.

I looked at a bunch of drawings of Bigfoot online to come up with the basic pattern, that I then filled in as I went.

Some detail of the textures:

Green eyes for this guy!

I used satin stitch, long and short stitch, split stitch and "random crazy stitch."
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