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251  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First Embroidery Post - Simple on: March 02, 2008 05:01:52 PM
I can't believe I'm posting on the needlework forum!  I've been wanting to take up embroidery again for years and finally started a few projects last autumn.  This is my first completed project since I did some kits in grade school many many years ago.  It's an initial "C" on two mismatched napkins for part of a swap package I sent off last week.  The outline and fine lines are backstitch; it's filled in with long and short stitch.



I'm kind of proud about how tidy the back is, actually.  I went old-school and didn't use any knots, which helped a lot.

The mismatched pair:

I'm not nearly so enamored of the purple one.  It's nice enough from the front, but the back is not at all tidy.  I sewed a circular patch of the same fabric over the back to hide it.  Interestingly, it's the second one I did.

Any helpful tips n tricks or constructive criticism are welcomed!

Thanks for lookin!
252  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / [ACCEPTED] That Needs A Cozy Challenge on: February 18, 2008 04:36:40 PM
Is it possible to have a multi-winner challenge?  I suppose it will take more kind donations to do a multi-winner challenge, but I'm just dyin' to see what people would come up with and have been pondering it for months.  I'd love to see what all the creative craftster could/would make cozies for.  There could be winners for several categories like "Best Cozy For Something That Now Seems Like It Should Have Had A Cozy All Along" and "Most- and Least Practical" "Most Dangerous" "If It Holds Still, I'll Cozy It", etc. 
253  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Hot Dish! [Shirtless Cowboy Edition]-UPDATED on: February 16, 2008 07:07:14 PM
Wee!  For xmas I made my ex MIL and my mom these http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=211202.msg2266008#msg2266008.  I had asked The ManFlesh if he wanted a pair for his mom and he said "If they had fabric with cowboys."  Well, I knew that Alexander Henry had a cowboy beefcake pattern (is that redundant?), but I could never find it at my local stores.  Well, yesterday I found it!  And here they are:

Appliqud onto a double-thick flour sack towel:

Sewn to Insulbrite, that quilted, insulated, silver-on-one side stuff:

I included with all of them a paper wrap that said in a kitschy font, printed in ink to coordinate with the specific fabric.  I threw together an example because I love the font.  The real ones said, "...who's handy in the kitchen."  Not "... that's handy in the kitchen."  I'm not objectifying them that much.

Thanks for looking!
254  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Canned "Love" on: February 09, 2008 01:02:24 PM
So, I like to give my special vendors and businesses that refer clients to me a little something to show my appreciation.  They are often loaded down with sweets in December, so this year I decided to give them Valentines.

I made labels with PhotoShop and covered Hershey's Nuggets with them.  There are 6 styles of labels randomly placed on 4 flavors of Nuggets.

These are pint-sized, unused paint cans purchased at the hardware store.  The paper wrap is actually opalescent and the lighter-weight version of the paper my business cards are printed on and is attached with 2-sided tape.  I got lucky that the diameter of the can is 10.5 inches so I could get 2 wraps out of letter-sized sheet.  I made these clear labels with Word using jpg files I'd already made in Photo Shop and regular word processing. 

I punched a small hole in my business card, ran some red curling ribbon through it and attached the ribbon to the can lid with 2-sided tape, then topped it with a red bow. There are about 30 chocolates in the cans, at least enough for the whole crew at any of these businesses.

Thanks for looking and Happy Valentine's Day!

255  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Gunna Pickup Chicks. on: January 01, 2008 01:57:25 PM
Some friends of mine have a whole bunch of chickens of various kinds that they are quite fond of.  I saw a wall sculpture thingy kind of like this that was out of my budget, but couldn't get out of my head as a gift for these friends.  So, I decided to reinterpret the idea in craft felt.

The only things that aren't felt are the chicks' beaks, eyes, combs, the loose feathers and the dust kicked up by the pick up.  Those are hand embroidered with DMC embroidery floss, 2-3 strands, if I remember correctly.  All the felt is machine sewn.  It's in an inexpensive frame; I just used spray adhesive to attach the finished product to the glass that came with the frame, trimmed the edges and put the frame back together.

Close up of the feathers flyin':

Close up of where the rubber meets the road.

Thanks for looking!
256  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Toothpaste Collection Display (verbose and pic heavy) on: December 29, 2007 06:43:03 PM
So I have a collection of foreign toothpaste that I've been slowing acquiring for about 12-13 years and I finally got together a few shadow box frames and a bulk supply of mat board remnants to put about 2/3 - 3/4 of the collection on display.  They are currently in my hallway, which is not the long narrow kind, but the oddly-shaped small kind you find in small old houses (like mine), but after I do some remodeling in the bathroom, they'll go in there.  They're mostly categorized by country or region of manufacture, but one grouping is kids' toothpaste from 3 different continents, in 3 languages.  I need at least 3 more frames to get the whole collection to-date on display.  I've a couple friends traveling internationally Q1 2008, so I'm going to get a couple extra frames if I can!

A few close ups:

Italian toothpaste.

Asian toothpaste made in China, Japan and Vietnam.

Kids' toothpaste made in the Czech Republic, Mexico and Japan.

I wanted them to look like old natural history museum displays, so the labels are in Courier to look kind of like they were typed and each label is cut individually with a straight-edge and blade.  The information is:

Brand type if applicable  Country of Manufacture/Country of Purchase
Country of Manufacture/Country of Purchase

The north wall:

The south wall:

Why toothpaste?  You aren't the first to ask!  It started simply because I ran out of toothpaste while in Costa Rica.  When I bought it, I realized that the Colgate tube was English on one side, Spanish on the other and thought it was neato.  It was the toothpaste in my travel bag until it ran out.  Then I ran out of toothpaste in England a year-and-a-half later (I'm from the US).  Now I pick it up in every country I visit.  My friends and family know that toothpaste would be a good souvenir for me when they travel and if they don't, I tell them.   Wink  About 1/3 of my collection is from others.  Anyway, for me it's a near-perfect souvenir because it's almost universally available, it's cheap, it's small and light weight, you can get it through customs w/ no problem and often you can find something that looks a lot different than what you get at home.  However, Colgate is everywhere and Aqua Fresh is almost as ubiquitous.  Most of the time the local language(s) is (are) on the tubes, though.
257  COOKING / Dessert / No two shortbread are exactly alike on: December 27, 2007 02:53:31 PM
Well, the cooking forum is the last place I'd ever expect to post!  I don't cook, but I do bake now and again.  I have probably over 100 cookie cutters and I bet I've used fewer than 2 dozen of them... including a set of 6-pointed stars I received as a gift a few years ago.  I had an epiphany that I could use them as a base for snowflakes!  I used two sizes of star, Martha Stewart's shortbread recipe (that I've used for years) and basic royal icing.  I thought they turned out simple and somewhat elegant (you know, for frosted cookies).

Thanks for looking!
258  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Varmint Voodoo Doll II on: December 26, 2007 11:32:00 AM
I can finally post this now that it's been delivered!  Turns out my good friend occasionally looks up my projects on craftster so I had to wait.  Good thing I learned about this habit in time!  She has an "issue" with raccoons, so I decided to make her a Varmint Voodoo Doll: Raccoon Edition after having so much fun with Varmint Voodoo Doll: Squirrel Edition (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=210006.msg2250561#msg2250561).

Sorry about the flash, but that's crafting in the winter for ya'!

The shrink plastic pins for this one are all of her cat, Kali, who likes to play tough with the raccoons... through the safety of the glass of the basement window.  Part of my friend's issue with raccoons is her fear that they'll hurt Kali when she's outside. 

I should note that around here raccoons are a nuisance and widely reviled because they wreck people's yards/fountains and hurt pets.

And because now it's a tradition, a shot of my Senior Studio Assistant, Pearl, supervising the photo shoot.

Thanks for looking!

PS Both Varmint Voodoo Dolls were hits with the recipients.  I have a few more ideas for this...
259  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / The Eating Light is on! on: December 21, 2007 08:30:44 PM
I have some very dear, long-time friends with whom I've shared many a meal.  They have a phrase they use when the conversation drifts towards the gross or gruesome.  They say, "the eating light is on" as a reminder that the subject may be incompatible with maintaining one's appetite.  I've wanted for years to make them an actual Eating Light and I finally did.

Lit up

The big dots are blue rhinestones.

Thanks for looking!
260  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Days of the Week Boxers [Tame Pics, Suggestive Fabrics] on: December 15, 2007 12:57:12 PM
Whew!  I've just finished a set of Days of the Week Boxers for the ManFlesh for Christmas.  If there's one thing I know well now that I didn't before it's Simplicity pattern 9958.  Hoo boy!  I've now made 9 pairs of those suckers, because making sassy underpants for this guy is addictive.

A close up of the Day tag:

I like how the font and the crude cutting and sewing adds a bit of a retro-name-sewn-in-for-sleep-away-camp feel, even though that was just a happy accident.  The tags are ink jet iron-on transfers.

The set in their box:

Sunday - Thursday:

Tiger Stripe-inside joke (the only flannel pair, the rest are woven cotton prints); Stanley Tape Measures-tee hee; Bones-ahem; Wood-tchk, tchk; Purple Swirls-the most masculine purple I could find that trip (purple is his favorite color).

Friday & Saturday:

Dogs Playing Poker-couldn't pass it up; Heels on Wheels pin-ups-he'd probably prefer a more retro-style pin-up, but I found this first and he'll definitely appreciate the kitsch factor.

And my post wouldn't be complete with out an image of and special thanks to my primary Studio Assistant, Pearl.  Hold that corner of the pattern down, will ya?

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