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231  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Puppy's First Birthday Party! (a whole litter of pics!) on: August 21, 2011 01:01:11 PM
We adopted a puppy and with our vet we determined her birthday to be August 20 (give or take, of course).  So, having coveted some super cute crafted kids' birthday parties and not having a human child of my own... I unleashed on Betty!  The theme was orange, purple and white in ginghams when possible.

Save the date cards sent to the small guest list in May since August is a busy vacation and bbq time.  The pic is from Betty's first few days in our family.

Craftster post with details here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380340.msg4499380#msg4499380

Then in mid-July I sent out invitations with a current pic of Betty - airborne at the dog park.

Post here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388795.0

Even though the party and the decorations were focused on the back yard where the party took place, I wanted the front porch to indicate a celebration.

(post for the bunting:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=370902.0 )

Throughout the planning process I wanted to make it as much like a human-child's party as I could so I started with goodie bags for dogs and for kids.


I made the bags from orange gingham oilcloth with vintage button closures (sewn on with purple thread), then chose a few dog essentials to fill them with: a toy (squeakers added to those for dogs who like squeakers), a roll of poop bags in either orange or purple, and...

a tin of Kitty Roca!

Homemade dog cookies, rolled into "turds" instead of cut with cookie cutters, and then rolled in chopped peanuts.  

The label based on Brown & Haley's Almond Roca label:

Even though, Betty is mostly black she has brown brindle on her head, face and legs so we often refer to her in terms of brown (as opposed to her sister who we refer to in terms of black).

For the human cousins:

A puppy puppet and a puppy activity: I found this puppy blanks and went to town.  First I drew some basic details to help with the coloring since the girls are younger.

The kit for decorating the puppies included bone shaped-crayons in a bone container, glue stick, googly eyes and collars (cut from papers used on the save-the-date cards and invitations).

There were mini-pupcakes (beef jerky chip flavor) and a normal-sized pupcake with a carrot "candle" presented with a rendition of the birthday song.  Both had either orange or purple gingham papers that I bought from an etsy shop.

For activities the 4 dogs (Betty, her big sister Olive, her Uncle Murphy and cousin Wacho) ran around the yard, wrassled, begged and played/laid in the dog pool.

It wouldn't be a TheMistressT/Bubble Off Plumb Productions event without custom Collar Cozies for the dogs - knowing party hats would never last.

Betty with her big sister, Olive.

Uncle Murphy

The cozies before installation on most of the collars:

For people we had hot dogs, of course!  Well, fancy sausages, actually.  Wink  And Apple Brown Betty cupcakes, also in the gingham papers:

... and a tasty strawberry rhubarb pie from MrsBowles!

Coming up very soon: Thank You notes for her guests!

232  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Major Margarita: The Happy Hour Heroine (Adult Pinewood Derby Costume) on: July 24, 2011 10:36:31 AM
For the last 4 years I've participated in an Adult Pinewood Derby.  In addition to making cars using the official boyscout kit (but usually not with the official boy scout rules) we make dioramas, wear costumes, eat, drink and smack talk.   Especially drink and smack talk.

This year we had a new host and a Derby Theme: Super heroes and Super Villians.  I had decided previously to this that my fantasy super power would be "being able to make it 5 o'clock where ever I was" and from there I built my character: Major Margarita: The Happy Hour Heroine...

who, with her sidekicks Private Label: The Hooch Pooch & General Garnish: Olive Dog, fights for your right to party!

(My sidekicks were unable to attend the event as they were dealing with a mixer emergency on the other side of town).

The dirty (martini) details:
A reconstructed child's pro-wrestler belt toy from the dollar store for the belt.  Repainted a less chrome-y steel & silver color, an Always 5 Oh! Clock with spinning clock hand, sparkle vinyl, black vinyl...

and on the other side a holster for the Sunset Gun (see below).

Turns out that a US Army Major's insignia is an oak leaf, but since that wouldn't fit my theme I chose a lime wedge for the chest detail insignia.  The cocktail swords were removable just in case some Overtime Overlord needed a stab.

I added gauntlets with agave cactus patches

I picked up a couple of water weapons at the dollar store

that I repainted, then filled with margaritas which I shared with the other derby racers.

(Left: Sunset Gun and Right: Make It A Triple, which mounted on my left wrist (there are 3 holes that margaritas shoot out of)

What you can barely see is that there is matching green garter on my left thigh with a pocket for a mini-flask.  Here's an action shot of Major Margarita taking a good luck swig at the beginning of her first race.

COSTUME CATASTROPHE: I didn't have time to get pics of me posed in my costume before the race, so I thought I'd get back into it and shoot some the next day.  It was SOOO hot/sweaty in that dress (made of swimming suit fabric) AND my weapons leaked margarita all over it that I decided to wash it first.  The color was RUINED!  The hole thing lost a lot of the green and sparkliness and where my belt was it lost ALL the green.  Now it's the uniform of a washed up has-been of a super hero.   Cry  Luckily, there was no shortage of photographers (some actual pros) at the party.  The top photo is by Daniel Root (http://www.danielrootphotography.com/#) who took portraits of us all and I can't wait to see the rest!

My car (seen above): Quittin' Time Bar Cart is posted here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=386228.0

Past years:
2010, Egyptian War Chariot: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355463.0
2009, Slogo the Driving Slug: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=315638.0
2008, Vampire Scouts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=260397.0
233  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Quittin' Time Bar Cart - 2011 Adult Pinewood Derby Car on: July 18, 2011 07:53:13 PM
This year's Adult Pinewood Derby had a Superheros & Supervillians theme.  I had decided that my fantasy super power would be being able to make it 5 o'clock pm anywhere.  I was Major Margarita, The Happy Hour Heroine.  My first car literally crumbled in the building process and at the last minute I had to start from scratch with a different idea altogether.  Thus I present Quittin' Time, the Bar Cart Pinewood Derby Car - coming to an awful workplace parking lot near you!

Lots of detail shots:

She raced w/o her cocktail parasol awnings, which is how she raced.

A look inside where Happy Hour begins:

The signage, note it's ALWAYS 5 o'clock at Quittin Time

Posted hours of operation:

My cars generally come in the slowest 2 or 3 and I embrace that.

The obligatory shot of my assistant, Betty, helping with the photoshoot.

My past cars:
2010 Egyptian War Chariot http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355463.0
2009 Slogo the Driving Slug http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355463.0
2008 Vampire Scouts http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=260397.0
234  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Save the Date Cards for Puppy's First Birthday (seriously) on: May 12, 2011 06:14:11 PM
Betty will be 1 on August 20th, which happens to be a Saturday, so we're going to have a party to celebrate!  Because August is a busy travel time I made Save the Date cards with scrapbook paper for our short guest list.  

The decorations and favors will be orange, purple and white and there will be gingham, because I'm in a gingham loving phase.  Kiss  The photo was taken within the first few days she lived with us after coming home from the shelter.

I had some greeting card blanks for ink jet printers in my stash from at least 10 years ago, so i glued the assembled front onto those after running them through the printer with the save the date info.

I used an orange pen to write the addresses and the Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps; then used the same fonts to make return address labels.  It'll be a small get-together with dog-family and their people + a few other important guests.  Appropriately invitations were addressed the dogs and their families when applicable.   Wink

After they were sealed, I decided to cut more circles out of the orange paper for seals on the envelopes.

Thanks for looking!  I have lots of ideas for making things for the party and hope to a) do them and b) share here when I do!

235  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Foofy Rosette Brooch for the Birthday Girl! on: May 06, 2011 05:58:50 PM

For her birthday, I bought my friend a necklace on etsy and then today I saw this card today and I was reminded that for years I've wanted to make a rosette ribbon style brooch and got inspired to finally do it and use it as a topper for her package.

All the parts are from my stash; some new, some vintage.  I sewed a few things, but most of it is glued which surprised me as going in I expected for it to be mostly sewn.

Close-up of the rosette

I hand sewed the bead trim to the interfaced burlap between each bead and love how tidy it looks.

Close up of the ribbons

Her initials are LRH.

The back:

This is her 47th birthday.

I'm so happy that I was able to over come the hurdle I had to starting this project!  Grin  It probably took about 3 hours with all the searching, sorting and assembling.  I hope I can stay inspired and motivated to make another soon.  I'll give it to her tonight at her semi-surprise birthday dinner - I sure hope she likes it!   Undecided
236  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Hi, I'm adopted! - "Outfits" for the local Humane Society Doggie Dash on: May 01, 2011 10:26:42 PM

We're joining a fund-raiser walk for the local Humane Society in a couple of weeks.  I wanted my girls to have something special to wear.  That's Olive from the front up there and here she is from the top; she's 8 years.

White cotton & eyelet lace I had laying around, red gingham I made and an ink-jet iron on.

This is Betty, she's about 8.5 months.

Made from an extra white jersey pillowcase and the same other materials as Olive's.

I'll probably make coordinating collars for them, too and hope I can get a shot of them at the event!
237  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / New Varmint Voodoo Editions: Shark & Snail on: April 21, 2011 09:06:43 PM
I've finally gotten around to making a few more editions of my Varmint Voodoo line and had great fun stitching these guys up.

The shark's face cracks me up:

I used to have a shark phobia, but am mostly over it so this has a special place in my heart spleen:

All the Varmints have red sequin & bead eyes, so it tickled me to sew them to the end of the snail's eye stalks!

Hopefully surfers and divers will feel safer with the shark and gardeners can sleep well at night knowing the snail is helping protect their crops.
238  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Vintage Doily into Mom's Easter Basket on: April 21, 2011 05:29:45 PM
I'm a sucker for a doily, even though they aren't my style for interior decoration.  Most of mine are family-made pieces, but this one was in the by-the-pound thrift store bin and I couldn't pass it up.  That was about 2 years ago.  When I saw this tutorial(http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2011/04/how-to_vintage_doily_easter_ba.html), I realized I finally had a project for this doily: Mom's Easter Basket!

With Easter grass:

Without Easter grass:

From the top:

Thanks for looking!
239  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Forty is sweet! An ice cream party banner. on: April 02, 2011 12:12:58 PM
It's a big year for 40th birthdays around here!  One of my girlfriends is celebrating hers with an ice cream party at a local dairy that has an ice cream parlor-style community room.  She offered to commission me to make a banner based on several pics she found online, but I'm giving it to her as a birthday gift.

Since the room is mostly red with black details she decided to go with red and turquoise decorations.  Originally she said "Happy 40th" would work, but when I found the turquoise glitter letters that didn't come with numerals, I played around and came up with "forty is sweet" which I like so much better.

She hasn't seen it yet, so these pics are in my living room.  Here it's hung over the mantle in our living room.  You can kind of see in the mirror that after assembling the cone and scoop I glued them to plain white paper for a finished look and a sturdier finished product.

Materials, media, supplies: Scrapbook paper, printer paper, card stock, glue stick, craft clue, E6000, cord, pom pons, glitter letters, scissors, ruler, circle cutter, self-healing mat, star hole punch, transparent tape, matches.

Since there's still no "Birthdays" board in the Occasions and Holidays category, I'm plunking this here since it was suggested that birthday stuff would go here.
240  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Madame Aviana's Gypsy Fortune Teller Wagon! (soooo many photos) on: March 28, 2011 08:09:05 PM
This is my first post on the polymer clay board!  I often use it for a part or detail in another project, but in this case it's probably the main material so I thought it should go here.

I made this gypsy wagon for the Wicked Circus Altered Altoid Tin Swap: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=375594.0 !

The whole front:

My interpretation of the Wicked Circus theme included the idea that at a wicked circus nothing is as it seems and much of what the customers see is just for show.  The backside and inside of everything is even dingier and more mysterious.

The whole back:

My partner was a self-professed "crazy bird lady" so when I found the image of this gypsy-like lady with the bird, I knew I'd found my fortune teller!

Madame Aviana:
So clean and glittery.

I rolled out the clay, cut it to fit the tin then used a paring knife to mark the "boards" and a probe to make the wood grain and knots.  After everything was baked, I attached it to the tin, primed the tin, painted the whole thing with craft paints, then used watered down burnt umber and black craft paints to make it all dingy and dirty looking.  I top-coated the whole thing with a decorative painter's acrylic varnish in "dull" which is what gave it the crackle finish - that part is a happy accident.  I imagine if I'd used artist acrylics or decorative painter's paints it wouldn't have crackled.

But what happens behind the scenes?

Some sinister and pompous half-man/half-bird is pulling the strings! His room is lined with coarse, dirty burlap.  His chair sits on a stained and ratty rug.


And now the tedious detail shots!

To follow the theme of things being much different where the customer can't see, the front gable had green painted fish scale shingles, but the back is just plain wood, lower-quality wood using the same tools as above, but I was rougher and gaugier (to coin a term).

The front wheel is much more colorful and exotic than the back wheel.



And just a few more close-ups.

Madame Aviana's banner announcing her to circus patrons as well as while she's being pulled down the road to the next site:

And one of my favorite parts - the roof.

I have a history in home construction, so it didn't really occur to me until after I'd made 2 roofs (a certain unnamed puppy chewed the first one before it was painted) that there was probably another way other than making individual shingles and attaching them one at a time to the roof being sure to stagger the joins, etc.  Sigh.  I made sure to punch holes for the bells before baking and I'm so glad that I did.  I love that there's an audio component to the wagon!  The wondrous tin I received has a scent component, so it's even more special since my partner and I never discussed fortune tellers or media and we swapped polymer clay fortune tellers with an added sensual component!  You can see how lucky I am here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=376453.0

I really geeked out on this project (also my first altered Altoid tin) so I kept track of all the media, tools, etc. that I used.  I love collage and assemblage, but I'm initimidated to try.  STill, I've been collecting things hoping one day I'll have the inspiration and the guts so it was fun to see all that I was able to use from my stash.  The only things I bought for this were the star paper and the striped paper used for the Bird Man's rug.  Well, I found starry tissue at the thrift store a couple days before sending that I used to wrap it, but that's it!

Hammer, finish nails, utility knife, oven, probe, sand paper, PVC closet rod, paring knife, Dremel tool (with cutting wheel), metal file, paint brushes, wire cutters, inkjet printer.

Altoid tin, balsa wood, metal tops to champagne corks. Sculpy + Bake & Bond, brassed linoleum nails, finish nail, craft paint, dog/cat hair/lint, primer, acrylic varnish, paper: scrapbook, printer, skewer, Dover clip art, Beads: glass, wooden, ceramic, jewelry findings, charms, bells, upholstery tacks, glitter, mod podge, adhesives: carpenter's glue, glue stick, E6000, 3-in-1, double stick foam tape. pigment , embroidery floss, upholstery trim, Fortune cookie fortunes
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