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201  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.
202  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.



203  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.
204  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.
205  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.

206  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."
207  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Tutus for My Two: Dogs in Clothes, It Never Gets Old (overly photographic) on: April 16, 2012 08:03:12 PM
So a good friend of mine asked for some help making a dog tutu and I, of course, accepted.  The thing is, I've never made a tutu for anyone, let alone a dog.  So, of course I had to practice and who better to pratice on than my Beastie Grrlz, Betty and Delia?  Making the tutus was more time consuming and yet much easier than taking photos of my horrible beasts wearing them.

Delia: What is this thing, mama?  I must bite it.

She got used to it... or at least distracted.  Smiley

Betty: Look how good I am.  I'm sitting!

Delia: No, mama!  I'm the good one.  I'm sitting!

I used the same netting and tulle for each of their tutus, but in different configurations and I assembled each tutu differently to attempt to figure out which is easier/faster and/or better.  Betty's has each double folded layer individually gathered and then sewn to an elastic that fastens with Velcro around her waist.

Delia's has all the layers folded in half, then a channel sewn for the elastic w/ Velcro.  Faster, easier, but doesn't hold it's fluffiness as well.

Finally a question: Is it a catwalk when it's a dog fashion show?

Regardless, I think Tyra and Miss J would approve.

208  COOKING / Dessert / That Little Blue Box - Tiffany's Inspired Coconut Candies on: April 11, 2012 02:19:51 PM
A girlfriend of mine, named Tiffany, is having a birthday brunch with a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme this weekend.  I had picked up a couple Martha Stewart candy/ice moulds at JoAnn on clearance a few months back that were little square packages with bows on top.  I decided to make my first foray into candy making for people* with something not super easy.  BUT I don't hate the way they turned out, so I'm going to take them to the party as favors for all the guests (for which I received permission from the hostess).

They're about 1.5 inches wide, 2" tall and 1" deep.  It's white chocolate, dyed white chocolate and a coconut filling.  The blue is way closer to Tiffany Blue in real life and the the grainy-ness not so noticeable.  I didn't have that issue with my test run; I think I added the gel colorant when the white chocolate was still to warm for these.  But, I was winging it so... yeah.

I had these bags and silver wire ties on hand, so packaged them that way for easy transport home by the guests.  There will be 10-11 guests and 15 of the 16 I tried to make stayed in one piece the whole time.  So, I'll let her have the extras to do with as she wishes as I am now sick to death of white chocolate/coconut.   Tongue

* These carob bunnies for my pups' Easter baskets were the first: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406280.0
209  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Puppy's Birthday Bunting on: April 04, 2012 07:22:43 PM

Last summer our puppy, Betty, turned 1 and we through her a party (posted here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388793.0).  Well, last November we got another puppy, named Delia,  Roll Eyes and in September she will turn 1 and we will have another party!  Since I'll be making pretty much all the decorations, treats, snacks and favors I'm startin' early!

My first project was this bunting inspired by this project I saw on pinterest: http://www.ohcrafts.net/party-baby-face-garland.php

Here's the whole thing.  It's a smaller scale bunting that is usual, because that's how it worked getting photos of her cute little face!  It's about 4 feet long altogether.

I also saw a color theme that I liked a lot on pinterest: orange, blue and green.  Luckily I had some appropriate papers in my stash.

There are five photos, each used twice.

After gluing the hats together, I glued them to the pics I'd printed and cut out, then taped a large paperclip on the back to use for attaching to the silver chenille wire I had in my stash. 

It was so fun to put those party hats on her adorable face!  I can't pick a favorite and neither can The ManFlesh.   Kiss
210  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Carob Bunnies for the Dogs on: March 28, 2012 02:17:12 PM
A friend of mine makes peanut butter filled chocolates for every occasion, so I got excited about making chocolate bunnies.  But, who to make them for?  I don't have kids and all the kids I know will be getting plenty of treats for Easter, so another chocolate something really wouldn't matter much to them.  Then I realized that all the canine bakeries use carob for topping, etc., so I could make carob bunnies for my dogs!

I used a 2-sided mold so I could make them hollow.  This is the other side (some have the eye on the left side, some on the right).  The eyes were bought pre-made at a cake and candy supply store.  They're the smallest size they carry, but I think they make the bunnies look a little frightened which is appropriate since they're about to be eaten by dogs Shocked.  

Of course if I was going to go to all this trouble, I wasn't just going to make two (one for each of my dogs).  I decided to package them up.  I used cello bags from the craft store and that plastic grass that comes in pre-packaged sushi (which I got a the local Asian supermarket).

I made a little label so that everyone is clear as to what's inside; this is the back side which you can't see in the other photos.

And here are a couple that are going to the girls' cousins.

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