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31  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hand-embroidered Western Shirt: Weasel Riding a Bear... like ya' do. on: December 21, 2014 10:01:09 AM
It's been ages since I embroidered so why not go kind of big?  This western shirt is a holiday gift for The ManFlesh who has been discovering his inner WesternMan since we moved to Montana. Wink  "A weasel riding a bear" is a big theme of his although, I think this is only the second time it has made it into physical form, at least around here.

My friend, Bascom Hogue, drew the pattern for me - I can't draw and, boy he sure can!  THANK YOU, BASCOM!

Each yoke is a little different, just because of how I interpreted the transfer as I was stitching.  This shot is blurry, but I didn't realize that until I'd wrapped the gift!

It seemed a little plain with just the front yokes embellished so I added a line of stitches down each side of the placket.  The left side is bear-colored and the right is ground-colored.  He's a untucked shirt kind of guy unless the situation really required tucking in, so I stopped short of the bottom of the placket and put a little stylized fletching detail.  (again with the blurry)

I thought it would be fun to wrap it in a non-shirt box to keep it a bit more secret and what do you know, I have a shoe box that says "bare traps" (like "bear traps") on it! 

And tissue with bear tracks!  I think the other tracks are probably wolf, but I bet they're weasel-y enough. Tongue

I was able to spend a few hours each day over several days while he was at work to do most of the stitching.  Our house is kind of dark - that's how we like it - so daylight was vital to working on this dark material.  This meant I often had "managerial oversight" as documented below.   Tongue

The next 3.5 days I have to wait until he receives it are going to be hard on me!
32  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Bottle Brush Tree Shadow Box Ornaments (a forest of pics) on: December 20, 2014 08:03:40 PM
I made these shadow box ornaments for my secret sisters!

Store-bought shadow boxes with bleached and dyed wee bottle brush trees.

Snowflake gems, sparkly snowflake ribbon, and scrapbook papers.

Wee colored jingle bells dangling from the bottom.

Stamped on the back: date and my sisters' names and mine. YEY!

There's no shortage of glitter detailing on these!
33  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Little Trees on TALL, Skinny, Brass Candlesticks on: December 12, 2014 12:55:35 PM
I have a 70s-inspired bathroom in my house because we need to live with the avocado shower stall and avocado/cream/gold glitter swirl counter/sink for a few years.  So we've embraced antiqued-brass, certain shades of green and yellow, and the like.  So when I spotted these brass candlesticks at the thrift store on sale for 50 cents each, I grabbed them up for bottle brush tree bases.  WOO!

As per usual, I bleached them, then dyed one green and one tan, leaving one just the bleach color.  I dug through my stash of trims and ribbons and found a remnant left from a Halloween costume that was just right!

I think I'm allllllmost done making bottle brush trees for this Christmas.  Probably.
34  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / More Bottle Brush Trees! Now with More Vintage Bases! on: December 10, 2014 11:09:56 AM
Finished 2 more bottle brush tree projects!  Both are bleached, then dyed, and in vintage bases.

First up is the Santa hat tree!  The mug was given to me by my grandmother who probably got it new in 1959 when it was made.  I love his sassy wink!

Second it the Tin Cup hat inspired by this little toy cup I picked up at the thrifts when I was looking for bases for bottle brush trees. How convenient!

And a close up of the charming little cup.

35  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Wildlife-themed Holiday Cards (a herd of pics) on: December 09, 2014 01:12:20 PM
It's been several years since I sent out cards for the holidays. I had a really bad year a while back and just haven't gotten back into the habit until this year.  And like a masochist, I decided to make them.  All 30 of them.

There are 3 styles:




I cut scrapbook paper to cover store-bought card blanks, printed out clipart critters onto wood grain scrapbook paper, stamped gold speech balloons onto yet more scrapbook paper, and punched out snowflakes from (wait for it...) scrapbook paper.  Allll hand cut.  Like a chump.  Now I can see how I could use a Cricut or similar tool!

A closer look at the wood grain on the bison.

And the snowflakes have a subtle gold paisley pattern.

And the inside.  The green "oh what FUN" is stamped and the black wishes are printed onto self-adhesive, clear address labels.

I ended up using the same elk on the wood grain paper to decorate these gift bags.  I didn't plan it when I was gathering supplies, but they're the same color scheme, too.

36  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Home Canned Bottle Brush Tree! on: December 09, 2014 12:39:44 PM
I've been working on several bottle brush tree decorations; some for us and some for gifts.  This is my first finished one!  

Inside the vintage, 2 quart (I think), blue mason jar with it's zinc lid is a bleached bottle brush tree covered with some vintage "diamond dust" I found at a thrift store years ago.  The tree is set into a salt/pepper shaker that has a little bit of aqua glitter in it.  The snow is a craft store supply that seems to be made from shredded plastic bags.

37  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Custom Gift Bags on: December 09, 2014 10:45:17 AM
The ManFlesh is the IT manager at a wildlife-related organization.  We got his employees, "The Nerds," these nifty little tools for Christmas gifts. 

I was hoping to find boxes of the appropriate size and just wrap them up traditionally, but the right size boxes didn't present themselves on the first try so I picked up these bags, tissue, and ribbon and then printed these copyright-free elk clip art elk on wood grain scrapbook paper.

And these are the nifty little tools we're giving them.

38  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Kermit the Frog Tree Skirt! on: December 05, 2014 12:43:51 PM
I made one of my tinsel trees into a Kermit the Frog tree last year, but didn't have a skirt for it.  I remembered that we had a Kermit "collar" that was The ManFlesh's when he was like 4 or 5 years old and put it on the tree stand. BUT it didn't really cover much.  When I asked if he would mind if I used it to make a proper tree skirt, he said "do whatever you want with it."  So when I took down the decorations last year I set the tree and the collar aside, then went and bought material for it.  It sat in my craft room until last night! 

I know that the light/dark of the collar/body are reversed, but the collar was dark enough that when I put it with darker material it lost it's Kermit vibe.

I am kind of in love with this little tree now!  I have two other tinsel trees this size, but in other colors. Now that I have a pattern for a skirt, I hope I'll make skirts for them as well.  Hopefully before another year goes by, but...
39  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Green Ware Turned Copper Deer Plaque on: November 25, 2014 08:26:47 PM
My decorations for Thanksgiving are turkeys, deer, and pine cones.  When I spotted this piece of green ware ceramics at the thrift store earlier this summer, I wanted it for Thanksgiving.  It's about 7.75" in diameter.

I primed and painted it with spray paint to give it a copper look.  Then I used silicone to attach a picture hanger to the back.  I haven't found the place to display it yet, but it's in the hall leading to the main bathroom for now.

40  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Linen Shower Curtain on: November 24, 2014 07:06:30 AM
I'm gearing up for a surfaces-only remodel of our main bathroom early next year.  (Yes, that means this wallpaper is history!) I had put up "creepy cloth" in place of our usual shower curtain for Halloween and when I took it down, decided that now was as good of a time as any to make the new shower curtain instead of put the old one back up.  We use a liner, so we were safe to continue using it in the mean time. Wink 

I want to use and display some of my "collection" of heirloom and vintage linen towels and such in the new bathroom so I had already decided to make it out of linen (or rather a linen blend) which I was able to get a pretty good deal on by using a 60% off one item coupon.  WOO!  Good thing, because linen is not cheap and it took about 5 yards.

I made my first French seam to attach the two panels it takes to make the fabric wide enough, but the flappy bit bothered me so I sewed it down. I still like the look and feel good about the durability of the seam, too.  I decided that instead of grommets, I'd use button holes for attaching it to the rings. It seemed more old-fashioned AND it meant I wouldn't have to make another trip into town to buy enough grommets to finish the project.   Tongue

The accent colors I want to use are purples and aquas and I had already bought this fabric before we moved just for using in this room.  I found new step-out mats a couple of month ago at a discount store and picked them up, but have had them stored until I put up the shower curtain.

I finished it last week and got it installed just in time for out of town guests for the long Thanksgiving weekend!  WOO!
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