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211  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Mom's Stay-at-home Stocking! on: December 22, 2011 08:16:12 AM
Every year I pick up my mom's stocking to bring home so Santa can fill it at my house.  But that leaves mom w/o a stocking to decorate her mantle which is no good.  No good at all.  So, I made her this one to hang by her chimney with care.  



It's all vinyl (lined with felt), with metal grommets and a real shoe lace that's embellished with snowflake decorations.



Of course Santa will sneak a little something into this stocking, too.  After all, my mom has been on the nice list for YEARS.

This year it's hung by my chimney with care with my pups' new stockings and those I made for me and The ManFlesh in years past.

212  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Christmas Stockings for My Beastie Grrrlz! on: December 22, 2011 08:08:45 AM
Our pets are our babies, so of course they get visited by Santa Paws.  Last year they shared an extra stocking we had, but this year they have stockings made just for them!  



I make covers for their collars (Collar Cozies) so I used some oops materials from that and a little collar-like buckle to top them.



Close-up of the short nap faux fur paw and the vinyl pads.



Hung by the chimney with care... and the other stockings I've made for me, The ManFlesh and mom (ice skate).



My pups are mostly black with brindle markings, but I learned WAY too late that I couldn't bleach brindle out of the faux fur (since it's essentially plastic).  When I posted a query on the Fiber Board, feltingirl offered the suggestion of using a felting needle to add the color of fur I was hoping to get from bleaching.  I didn't have time to do that for this year, but I may try it for next year.

213  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Removing Color from Mystery Manmade Fiber Fur - HELP! on: December 16, 2011 05:10:42 PM
I have a very short nap faux fur in black that I would like to make brindle.  I had assumed I could just use a chlorine bleach pin and it would "stain" to a warm brown.  I was wrong.  It didn't change AT ALL.  I also tried a applying the RIT Color Remover with a cotton swab and a paint brush - nothing.  Finally I tried masking off part of it and spraying it with straight chlorine bleach.  If there is any difference it's so subtle as to not matter.  Any ideas, suggestion, advice would be soooo appreciated.

The idea is to have it look similar to the legs on the bigger dog in this picture.
214  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Reconned Advent Calendar - From Dull & Broken To Sparkly & Whole! on: November 25, 2011 07:26:02 AM



I love advent calendars, the reusable kind.  Six or seven years ago I pulled this "beauty" out of the Goodwill bins (had to hunt to find all the drawers, doors and top) thinking I'd fix it up.  And I finally did as a gift for a dear friend!



Detail of the faux bois paper "veneer" on the door and sides and the bead knobs:



What's inside?  Sparkles!



Close up of the drawers with their glittery paper in 3 colors on the drawer fronts, "crystal" glitter snow ball knobs and pearl-painted polymer clay numbers (1-24).  Each drawer has an item with which to decorate the tree and a chocolate.



Drawer 1 contains this pearlized snowflake garland:



Drawers 2 - 22 have little ornaments, no 2 exactly alike.



Drawer 23 has this little tree skirt made from layers of blue and white glitter tulle and silver rick rack:



Installed on the tree; you can see the glitter felt "snow" on the top and the little snow ball fringe:



Drawer 24 had the star for the top!



And finally the back, covered with scrapbook paper:



Close up of the paper:

215  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Demon Dog Costume on: October 31, 2011 08:12:04 PM
I bought Betty (age 14 months) some horns at Goodwill a few months ago. They needed a longer elastic, so I hung them on the door knob to the sewing room (bedroom, really) so I could take them up to fix. Later I found them (well, not longer them, just it) chewed and spread around the living room.



So, late this afternoon I used some other horns from the costume stash and the remnants from Satan's Throne upholstery to make her this Devil Disguise...although it turns out it's really more a part of her true nature than a disguise. Which is probably a contributing factor in her not really minding wearing the head piece.



The cape just slides over her collar; the cape's collar laid down, unfortunately - that's what you get for waiting until the last minute.

This last picture isn't so much a representation of her costume as a representation of what it's like to try to take a picture of Betty in her costume.

216  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Human Butchery Worker on: October 31, 2011 08:03:38 PM
I generally don't wear my official Halloween Costume on Halloween night when I'm home for trick or treaters.  Historically, I've cobbled together something last minute using props and various things from the costume box.  This year we had a party () and decorated the kitchen as a "Chop Shop" so I used things from there, plus a little red hairspray to come up with this.



As you can see, the puppy is not impressed.  I hope that the purple fleece socks don't distract from the gore now that the sun is down.
217  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Hellacious Halloween Costume Bash (Wickedly Pic Heavy) on: October 31, 2011 02:20:56 PM
A girlfriend of mine just happens to have a similar collection of Halloween decorations and enthusiasm for the holiday, so we conspired to co-host a party at my house this year.  We plotted over the last several months and spent hours and hours over the last few weeks planning, making, and setting up.  My photos are all from 4 hours before the party and a bit incomplete in content and number as well as taken in full light.  I hope to add hers later.

The entry hall was a spider cave, but I didn't get a good shot... except of the bones and wire on the bench:


This GIMOUNGUS specimen was making her way out into the living room


Working our way around the living room and the alcove off of it at the front of the house:

The ratty "curtains" were down for the party (up for the puppy who went for a sleepover at her cousin's house).

The mantle, I didn't get close-ups, but I hope my partner in crime did:


The piano:


Close up:


Living room light fixture, you can't see them but there are various plastic spiders in the glass and at night with the light on a dim setting, it was a nice touch.


In the dining room we had bats leaking out from the bat cave (hallway) and family (hologram) portraits on the plate rail.

Of course, The ManFlesh's costume was on him, rather than the hanger in the corner for the actual party.

The food table before the food; the baby is light activated and growls with it's eyes lighting up.  People had to reach past it to get to the deviled eggs.


Looking from the dining room into the bat cave (at the bathroom door); there was a black like in there.


Turn right as you want into the hallway and you see this big fella; who was strung up to the doorknob on the bathroom door so it would raise and lower when people went in and out.


Bathroom door:


View through the door:

We had much dimmer lighting in there for the party, or course, and no sunlight coming through the windows.

The commode vignette:

You can't see the blood dripping copiously from the tank lid.

The specimen collection:


A few favorites including the guy who ignored the No Solicitors sign and eyeballs of LaCross Team '06:


The pet/captive animated hand; sound activated so it would wriggle and crackle when the seat was put up or down.

(that project posted here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=390043.0)

Dollar store bloody hands window clings and cut up "bloody cloths" on the window:


Most "bloody cloths" to replace the shower curtains:


Used paint and fake blood on an old bathmat and hand towel:

(thought the baby shampoo was more creepy to leave in there)

On the opposite side of the dining room the alcove was turned into Satan's Throne room for our Pictures with Satan photo booth - you know, "Satan" is an anagram of "Santa" and all:

That's a separate post that I added pics from the party too just today!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=393314.0

Looking from the dining room into the kitchen which my co-hostess suggested be a "chop shop" and then I went to town distributing our fake body parts and bones around:

Dog dishes and trashcan moved for the party.

Looking the other way:


Blood dripping down the stove:


Stove area:


There was a human heart in the pan for the party:


Bsonlytoots saved my bacon by making me the human butcher charts!

Every time I came upon a potentially creepy tool in my tool boxes I'd set it aside:


The Tattoo Removal Station:


Closeups:




Chains and a bloody dishtowel on the fridge:


Apron hung on the back of the basement door, bloodied with craft paint:


Chopsaw by the back door leading to the cemetery (sign over the door) where the beverages were and where we had a smoking area:


I don't have pics of the beverage area or cemetery (yet) but I do have a shot of my Jilted Bride prop using my mom's wedding dress and an altered store bought prop (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=390038.0)

I'm proud to say people admitted to being freaked out by this one.

Finally, a little humor on the butt can for the smoking area:


If you've made this far without dying of boredom: THANKS!  I'm already planning what new props & haunts I'll do for 2013 (I'm way too tired to do this every year)
218  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Pictures with Satan Photo "Booth" - Mmmmwahahahahahaaaa! on: October 23, 2011 09:37:53 PM


So you know how "Satan" is an anagram of "Santa" there there are jokes about it?  Such were my inspiration to do a Photos with Satan feature at my Halloween party this year!  Luckily, I have a co-hostess so I could focus a bunch of time and energy (and some funds) on this while she focuses on the food spread... and her party blog, Fizzy Party (http://www.fizzyparty.com/).

I really wanted the whole thing to some off like a mall Santa's Village - some parts super details, other parts flimsy/cheesy.  So I started with Satan's Throne which I wanted pretty detailed and definitely sturdy.


Throne specific post: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=393303.0

Then I turned a little sitting room off of our dining room into the Throne Room using flimsy/cheesy dollar store tablecloths, scissors and lots of masking tape... and the entry decoration provided by my co-hostess.  The photos do not do it justice as it's dark in our house, but not as dark as it will be on the Big Night.


The entry.  


The curtain will be down when the photo lighting is on, open when it's just a red bulb from the ceiling fixture.

Close up of the sign by the entrance made from a V for Vendetta mask bought in the by-the-pound bins so I think it probably cost less than 40 cents that I repainted and made horns for and a sign stand given to me by a friend that I painted place and beribboned.



The throne with "studio" lights (or as close as I can get for free) and spectors floating above (also care of my co-hostess).



Because we're a digital "photo booth" we'll make all the portraits available on flickr after the party so I printed up cards with the address for party goers to take with them.  I used the jaw I removed from the skull atop the throne (painted gold) as a card holder.  I've been trying to recruit a few more Satans among the guest list so I don't spent the whole party on the throne, so I bought these chalices as gifts for those who help out.  All this is on a table covered with a black tablecloth in a corner by the tripod.



The table up close:



There are 3 shrouded minions, 2 buy the table (and one of the lights) and one by the tripod - they're Christmas decorations (Pepsi kids?) belonging to my co-hostesses parents that I shrouded using black burlap and ribbon.  They add a little depth and detail, plus they sort of disguise some of the technical stuff.



Photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/themistresst/sets/72157627424220437/ , but here are a few just to whet your appetite for evil.


Like Santa has little helpers at the malls and department stores, there was a Satan's Helper to take some of the photographic responsibilities.  I was pushier about getting people to pose, though.


My co-hostess was Medusa!


Having a laugh with The ManFlesh before the party got going.


219  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Satan's Throne! on: October 23, 2011 07:55:17 PM


A girlfriend and I (and The ManFlesh) are throwing a Hellacious Halloween Costume Bash at my house this Saturday and one key feature of our party is our Pictures with Satan photo "booth" (you know, because "Satan" is an anagram of "Santa").  So... I had to make a throne for Satan to visit all the bad boys and girls.

An internet image search turned up this image which I thought I was capable of replicating:



PS: I forgot to mention that I got adjustable feet (like on table legs) for it so it can be adjusted for our 100 year old floors.

... using old doors.  I started shopping around and they were more expensive than I thought they'd be, but I was determined... and then a friend donated these from her attic!  WOO!



I picked up a few metal swirly bits from the by-the-pound thrift store, stryrofoam tombstones from the dollar store and I had some wood mouldings, pine boards and plywood in my stash.



I had a friend with a circular saw (one of the few saws I'm afraid of) and The ManFlesh's dad who has a big table saw (not afraid of that one) make a few cuts turning 2 doors into a back, 2 side/arms and a front.  Then I sanded, primed, painted and glazed all the door parts using materials I had on hand.  Finally I used L-brackets to attach all the parts - this way I can take it apart for storage.


(in progress)

Here's the finished project!



The details:

The side with painted, glazed and gold leafed tombstones, attached with construction adhesive (from my adhesive collection):



So I cut the jaws off some small skulls from Target then painted and gold leafed them for the ends of the arms.  And upholstered the arms and seat.



It just felt like something was missing on the top, so I went back to Target for the larger sized version of the arm skulls, which luckily had a hinged jaw so I was able to reuse it - AND attaching the skull to the top of the throne was much easier than the hollow skulls on the arms.  The antlers are paper mache over wire armatures, coated with a decorative painting plaster and air-dry clay, then colorwashed.



Attaching the antlers to the skull... lets just say that I made up new cuss words and it's still not super stable.  Sigh.  



Anyway, the next step was assembling Satan's Throne Room in Casa Arachnida (what we're calling the house for the party) and that will be a separate post that included a couple-three projects.
220  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Leashes for My Beastie Grrrlz on: October 07, 2011 03:54:44 PM
I made 2 of these plaid corduroy leashes for my dogs!  I used a 2" bias tape maker to make double-fold hem tape (cut with the grain rather than on the bias since I don't want them to stretch) and swivel hooks from the hardware store.



You can see I added a d-ring at the base of the loop for attaching poop bag carriers or anything else.  I think I'll eventually make a ball holder to clip on there.



And a close-up of the super soft (for now) corduroy print fabric - luckily it printed diagonally, because that's my favorite way to have plaid AND it shows the whole pattern even on 1" wide strips.

I'm hoping for an action shot at park time today!
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