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41  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Pupcakes for my 3-year old! on: September 08, 2013 04:18:37 PM
My eldest living baby turned 3 the 3rd week of August!  Three is supposed to be the magic number for many kinds of dogs when they are suddenly chill and mature and, dare I say, "sane."  Regardless, I made her some pupcakes to honor her passage into dog womanhood*.

The recipe made about 24 mini cupcakes and one regular-sized cupcake.  I took a plate over to the neighbor dogs to share and I used the big one for when we sang the birthday song to her.  There are 3 puppy-sized dog biscuits as "candles".

After reading several dog cake frosting recipes I winged it my mixing peanut butter with cottage cheese that I'd smashed the curds of and then piped it on to the pupcakes.

I used this recipe from allrecipes.com with some modifications that I listed on my blog:

*She's spayed, so... yeah.
42  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Two Year Treats! on: September 08, 2013 03:58:35 PM
My youngest just turned two so I made her some special birthday treats!

I made about 18 big ones. The gnome celebrates how she and her sister (mostly she) demolished all the lawn fauna the former owners left at the house, the hydrant honors her urban roots, and the squirrel is because... SQUIRREL!  Bones, because that's what dog treats look like.  Wink

And then I used a couple of wee cutters to make 70-80 tiny treats which are our preferred size so we can reward our girls frequently w/o worrying about their healthy weight.

And here is the birthday girl, Delia, patiently waiting for us to stop singing so she can have her birthday treat already!

I used this recipe (with a few modifications outlined on my blog) from King Arthur flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/best-of-breed-dog-biscuits-recipe

I stored anything more than a few days' worth in the fridge, the rest in a plastic food storage bag.
43  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Mummified Woodland Fairy Prisoner Prop (like ya' do) on: September 08, 2013 01:52:57 PM

I'd been wanting to make one of those dollar store, mini skeleton dead fairies ever since I found some dismembered fairy wings in the Goodwill bins a few years ago.  Either I lost those wings or they were packed in the wrong box when we moved and I haven't found them.  Shoot.  Well, I went to the dollar store last November looking for a mini skeleton anyway and instead found one that is 2-3 times the size I was planning on.  I bought it anyway and just recently, finally made my version:

A mummified fairy, trapped in the cage in which it had been held captive by some nefarious being.  That old classic.  Tongue

I took oodles of in-progress shots and wrote a detailed tutorial on my blog.  There are also many more finished project shots including more close-ups and the details on how I only spent $1 to make this!

44  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Is No Place Safe? Sharktopus Pillow Cover! (fewer pics than tentacles) on: July 12, 2013 03:33:05 PM
A friend of mine saw my Varmint Voodoo: Sharktopus Edition and commissioned this Sharktopus pillow cover!  YEY!

Printed directly onto unbleached muslin using the freezer paper method and with the trademark red bead and sequin eye!

A detail of the "frame":

The backside; it's an envelope style closure with one button.

It's surprisingly difficult to find a cotton novelty print that evokes the look of an oceanic blood massacre.  Huh.

The edge trim bit is... wait for it... reflective tape!  You can see a bit of the effect with the flash in this shot. This was a last-minute inspiration and it makes me almost (but not quite) glad that I can't for the life of me find that grey bias binding I made awhile back. 

Thanks for looking and STAY SAFE!
45  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Pet Applique Dish Towel! Thrills and Frills! on: June 21, 2013 11:21:39 AM

A dear friend of mine had 3 things:
1. A birthday
2. A beloved pet
3. A request for a tute on pet silhouette appliques

My response is this dish towel featuring her li'l lady, Lola!

After finding the fabrics for the "cameo" I went to town on the trims.  The yellow rick rack and bias tape are vintage finds, the gingham I made, the pink & gree are from a gift of a big set of rick rack, and the lace was left over from this Halloween costume: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=203393.msg2168339#msg2168339

Here's the whole towel where you can see the rick rack detail on the other hem.

All the trim colors are represented in the flower print of the circle, there are glittery sparkles on the pink of the silhouette.

I took some photos to put together a tutorial; we'll see when I get around to writing it up!
46  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Beer Holster: My First Leather Project Ever! (handful of pics) on: June 20, 2013 03:35:40 PM
A friend of mine who is a furniture designer and maker for a company on the east coast shipped me a box of leather scraps from their scrap bin!  I had to get through a few other projects (see my MV post here:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=423832.0#axzz2WnTpJeDD ) before I could concentrate on this and decided to modify a project from that party: Beer Holster!

I'm not going to mail it with a bottle, but I wanted to illustrate what it was so I found some clip art online to use for that purpose and I thought it made better photos, so those are what follow.

The "back" is made from two layers attached together with contact cement.  The holster is attached to that with leather rivets.

A sidelong glance:

Take it from the top:

What it looks like with a belt through the slots:

She loves red so I chose that from the colorful selection she sent.  It fits cans, too!  I'm going to request an action shot, so hopefully she'll comply.

47  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Who Knew The Founding Fathers Were SO HOT!? Patriotic Beefcake Pot Holders on: June 16, 2013 06:11:45 PM
When I found this "new" patriotic pin-up print, I KNEW it was time for some new Hot Dishes!

As if vampire hunting didn't make Abe Lincoln almost too hot.

Who's your country's daddy?  (for those in the US, of course)  George Washington!

Let's not forget the fabled fife and drum corps keeping the beat to my pounding heart. 


48  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Altered Paper Towel Tubes: Independence Day Rocket Antlers! Srsly. on: June 16, 2013 05:45:02 PM
The ManFlesh got me this magnificent ceramic deer head that is sort of faux taxidermy style & instead of antlers has holes so you can make your own!  I call her Mavis.  Yes, her.

I don't normally decorate for Independence Day, but this year we're having house guests (because we moved a bit far from "home" last fall), it was time for a change, and I was inspired by the things I'd been seeing in my pinterest feed.  You know how that goes.

Lately I've been getting even more satisfaction from when I can complete a project using only items from my stashes.  I don't even have much of a paper stash, but I was able to cobble together enough various patterns in close-enough color schemes to pull this off.

I used skewers from the kitchen drawer and paper towel tubes from the fire-started bin along with a white imitation cork from the wine cork stash, too.

I've already started covering some toilet paper tubes to make a small string of firecrackers to hang somewhere, too! 

49  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Dog Cameo Throw Pillows. You know, like you do. on: June 02, 2013 03:28:30 PM
Several months ago we had an epiphany to move an "extra" couch into our bedroom in hopes of luring one or more of our Beastie Grrrlz onto it and off our our bed.  It worked!  With one.  So when we got to re-decorate our master bedroom at our new place, it was time to make new throw pillows for Betty's couch!

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and I had the lattice print, but wasn't feeling big lattice rectangles here.  Hmmmm.  Then I got the idea to do applique cameo-style silhouettes of my girlies!

I used a regular ol' gimp braid to cover the seam where the oval was appliqued to the pillow front and I covered the seam the gimp made with a covered button I made using the lattice material.  (Delia on the left, Betty on the right)

More pics of the process and recon pillow here: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/04/purple-bedroom-majesty.html
And the whole bedroom redec in progress: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/04/purple-bedroom-majesty.html
50  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Mid-May Montana Mountain Mayhem: The ManFlesh Celebrates 40! Many pics & words on: May 22, 2013 10:42:25 AM
The long story of Mid-May Montana Mountain Madness, a.k.a MV (prounounced "Em Five")

Last autumn we moved from Portland, Oregon where I'd been most of my life and The ManFlesh has been since his mid teens (we're middle-aged now) to outside a small town in Montana.  He turned 40 this spring and we only know a couple people here, so to properly celebrate we needed "The Dudes" to come out for a visit, so I went about making a big production out of it to help tempt them.  And, get this, it worked.  YES!  

We had lived in the city and now we live in the woods on the mountains, so we definitely had to go with a mountain man theme.  I found this PERFECT image via Fab, wished we could have afforded to buy everyone t-shirt (we originally were expecting 7 guests, 5 men, 2 women +us), but we could not so I lifted the image, downloaded a log font and came up with these invitations.  Of course, they'd all be invited via text (like guys do), but we thought a cool looking paper invitation would be a better lure.

I wanted to do favors in a Mountain Man theme, but they needed to be Dude-friendly, fun/funny, inexpensive & moderately quick to make 9 to 11 of each (2 local friends might be joining or initial number of 9 including us).  I reached out to the craftster community via this post with my original ideas and asking for others: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=421340.0#axzz2U236Wumi

What I finally came up with:
Hats with detachable mountain man beards
Beer holsters
Navel Lint brushes (for the guys)
Leather keychains (for the ladies)
All in galvanized buckets (well, "cachepots" from Ikea)
    labeled with magnets using another image borrowed from the same artist as the t-shirts

First I made the hats!  I bought both black and brown costume fur for the beards and camouflage printed polar fleece for the hats.  I had shopped for a pattern all over and not found one with as much contour as I wanted, so I turned a couple of our store-bought hats inside out and made a pattern based on those.  I can see where mine could use some fine-tuning if I keep making them, but they're just fine for mountain man themed favors.  the ladies' beards had hot pink bows!

We ended up with 3 out-of-town guests having to cancel (both ladies and one guy) and our local friends didn't attend any of the festivities at the house, so the much anticipated group shot of the beard hats is just the 5 guys. I hope one of them has a shot of me in mine with the pink bow.  

I'm happy to say that the dudes wore the hats for many activities as it got cool here for their weekend and was told that "the hats saved [them]" on their rafting trip, especially the half-hour of rain/hail they endured on the river.

The construction of the hats left me with a bunch of camo fleece scraps in diamond and triangle shapes.  Once I saw those triangles, I knew I had to make a bunting for the front deck!  So I cut most of the diamonds in half to make more triangles, dug up some plain ol' string and stitched the fleece to the string.

I'm not entirely sure The Dudes noticed the bunting or realized it was an MV specific decoration, but The ManFlesh did and was appropriately appreciative and impressed.  Smiley

Next I whipped up these navel lint brushes based on one I picked up at a holiday bazaar for The ManFlesh.  They're just chenille stems glued into beads. I didn't find plain wood beads that were suitable (I didn't bother going to a bead store), but I did find these fake (and fake-looking) turquoise and bone beads which I thought were western/pioneer/mountain man enough.

The ladies cancelled before I made the key chains, so they didn't happen.  I do have the hardware, though, and a bag of cool leather scraps from a friend who designs furniture for an East Coast furniture company, so...

Next up, beer holsters!  I had originally thought I'd get canteens and make faux suede, fringed covers and had started the search for canteens which was proving difficult to get nine to eleven the same at a good price and preferably not plastic.  Then I happened upon a similar holster in leather, did a bunch of online searching and combined the features of several different sources to make mine... in vinyl to make it both economical and easy to work with.  Added bonus, they could go in the hot tub!  Alas, they did not.

When I presented The ManFlesh with the idea he like it, but said, "what about cocktails?"  Good point, The ManFlesh, good point.  So I saved and cleaned beer bottles, cleaned off the labels, etched everyone's initials into them.  It turned out that with our original cast of characters there were multiple people with the same first initials (2-Js, 2-Ms and 2-Gs).  Luckily, one of the Js goes by JP, so I just did double initials for him.  Another bit of luck was that one each of the Ms and the Gs were male and female, so I just did different fonts for the guys and the ladies.  They all took their bottles with them, so maybe they'll use them for cocktails or even for vases.  You know how dudes are about vases.

You can see where I added a stopper for the bottles for times when one might need to engage in some cornhole or hiking during the consumption of the beverage, but I bought too-delicate of chain and those ended up failing.  The design of the holster needs some work, too, as they are too loose to properly hold bottles if moving around much at all.  The pre-made ones I'd based my designs on held both cans and bottles and mine fit both on the table, but were loose with bottle when worn.  I am determined to make a functioning holster, though!  I purchased some leather crafting tools to make these, so I will continue with prototypes.  There is talk of "MV II Snow Boogaloo," so I can give The Dudes improved models then.

For labels, it seemed appropriate to take advantage of the ferrous quality of the buckets, so I printed them up on card stock and attached a magnet with 2-sided tape.  I borrowed the image, made it a suitable dpi for printing, then added the speech balloon and name using the same fonts for the dudes and ladies as I used on the bottles.  The bear shouting the name crack both The ManFlesh and me right up.  I wasn't expecting The Dudes to consider the labels as favors, but they did and took them home with them!  I bet a few will even stick 'em on their fridges.  I almost wish I'd used better magnets.


Aside from favors and bunting there were a few other party-details:

Of course, or Beastie Grrrlz are good hostesses and members of our crew, so they got camouflage Collar Cozies with safety orange top stitching for the event!

I made Mavis, a ceramic deer head with holes for improvising antlers that is hanging in our living room, a special safety-orange fleece hat and let her wear the prototype beard.

The ManFlesh and I worked together on a cornhole set.

He put it together which was extra cool since woodworking is not one of his hobbies and I have more experience with that kind of thing.  I filled and painted the tops using paint we had on hand ( black & purple, his favorite color), we were able to use handles we'd taken off a screen door at our new house: I just sanded them, then sprayed them with rust inhibitor and spray paint we had (also in purple and black).  And how serendipitous that I had appropriate fabrics in my stash to make the cornbags!  We got lucky and there is just enough room in our shop to set up the game when it is not sunny or warm outside!  It's just a few feet shy of the regulation 27 feet (d'oh!).  We used the directions from ThisOldHouse.com for the boards and some official cornhole site for the bag measurements.  

When we were expecting to host 7 guests + the 2 of us, I realized the towel situation around here was inadequate.  I found a few on sale, but of course I wanted some that would go with our future bathroom decor (I haven't gotten to that bathroom yet) which meant differentiating who's towel was who's could be an issue and Despite what you may have heard, TheMistressT is not a gal who likes to share her towel with just any dude.  So I got the bright idea to make tags!

I made big initials using MSWord and printed them out as patterns that I transferred on to vinyl scraps I had on hand.  Again, multiple people with the same initials, but different sexes so men got "elephant hide" and ladies got "bronze".  Of course, with our final headcount it mattered less and made a less impressive photo with the tags installed on the stack of towels.  I think I have a better solution for our future guest/towel situations, but that will be a while before it's implemented.  It will also be non-specific to the names of the guest and therefore will work no matter who visits.

To help minimize hostess and hosting duties, I went ahead and made labels for the bathroom cabinets so The Dudes would know where to find TP.  No one claimed to have been jilted on the TP, but no one replaced empty rolls or staged a fresh roll when the current one was almost empty, either.  So I can't say if the signs worked or not.  Dudes. [shakes head]  The arrow version is the one as seen while seated.  Ahem.

And since this is probably as close to a house warming party that we'll have, I did a thing that I did for my last house warming party that people seemed to enjoy and also may have saved some embarrassment as to commentary about "when are you going to change that?" if we'd already changed it.  Wink  I printed up some before pics and taped them up so they could see the work we've been doing.

And finally, it seems there are 2 kind of guests to our place; those that easily find it and those that don't.  It's really not hard, but I think that if you're not used to Forest Service- and private, unpaved, mountain roads it may be a bit confusing as to which is a road and which is a long driveway, etc.  So I put up a few signs at key "intersections" to guide them the last half-mile.

There will be many more photos of the festivities in a few days on my blog and probably a few more detailed how-dids of the handmade projects over the next couple of weeks.

PS  Hoo boy. I think I could have made 100 navel lint brushes in the time it took me to do this post!  
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