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41  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Painted Plastic Sugar Skull on: November 04, 2015 01:09:08 PM
Not sure where to put Dia de los Muertos, so I am putting it here.

I painted up this dollar store skull real quick for a display at The ManFlesh's office. The dearly departed named on the forehead is an old, old weird data system that is being replaced.

I don't have any good detail pics, because I did it at the last minute and it's been given to the lead on the replacement project.

42  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Mariachi Costumes for Skeletons! What? on: November 04, 2015 09:47:38 AM

Last year I got a couple of "life-size" skeletons and this year I have been having fun finding and assembling costumes for them. For part The ManFlesh's office party I made them mariachi jackets since we already just each happen to have fancy mariachi sombreros!

The trim material was the best I I could do on a reasonable budget and easily the most costly part of the costume, at least for unit price. YEY COUPONS! Real mariachis have beautiful and and ornate trim work, but these guys have been dead awhile so they're lucky their jackets are clean.

As part of keeping the cost down, I didn't do the trim all the way around the wrists or anywhere else for that matter!

Here the pair are together in the dark.

I used McCalls 7216, View A for the jacket, but because I used acrylic felt I didn't have to do a lot of the hemming and such. The collar and bottom edges are raw, for some reason I hemmed the sleeves. Wink I skipped the pants to give me more skeleton showing, but it also helped with time and expense. Win-win-win.
43  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 110 ENTRIES / Luchadog: La Cazadora, The Huntress (LOTS of pics. LOTS) on: November 02, 2015 06:04:29 PM

Our Betty sometimes goes to work with her papa, especially on Halloween! His office really does the holiday up right and Betty loves the attention she gets as part of his dept's group costume. This year they did a Mexican theme with Luchadors (Mexican professional wrestlers) and Dia de los Muertos calaveras catrina (dapper skeletons).

Betty and her papa were a tag team luchador pair! And another member of the group was a calavera mariachi.

I also made parts of her papa's outfit (shorts, gauntlets, champion belt, and a few years back the boot covers)

And now a long serious of more details shots, both action and non-action, all taken at home.

Note the pink gauntlets on her "wrists."

Working from the ground up:

The "boots"! Attached to the ankle area of the pants.

Close up of the pants fabric: pink/orange/black camo with shiny dots!

The pants would have never been possible without the expert help of craftster and sewist extrodinaire, MrsBowles! She was visiting and took the time to help me modify a free pattern I found online which has an XL fitting a 15-pound, short-legged pup.

Her champions belt! Her papa's work is an elk-based conservation organization and he is the IT Manager. His belt had the same "buckle", but was on black vinyl instead of pink. The "buckle" is craft foam painted and glued together, then attached to the vinyl with metallic embroidery floss. The belt is tacked to the pants in a couple places, but fastens separately.

The mask! And boy was she a champ at wearing it both for the office party and for all the fittings and photo shoots.





I had added a black strap to the back that slipped around her collar after I took these. I found that if she put her head down the mask would slide down over her eyes, so that kept in in place. I found a pattern for a luchador mask for a pug online and modified it to fit Betty. Believe it or not, it needed to be made smaller. Less space between the eyes and less "deep" so her ears wouldn't be interfered with.

All the mask's decorative details are my own design. The antlers are to pay homage to the elk focus of the foundation.

Photos taken at the office were taken by their photo editor.
44  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Antler Monogram for the Gate! on: October 14, 2015 06:31:13 PM
I picked this blank antler monogram F nearly a year ago and FINALLY got around to decorating it for our driveway gate.

It's copper leaf on the monogram and diluted artist acrylic paint on the antlers. Both are coated with exterior grade topcoats.

I have a couple more in different shapes to swap out through the year, but they aren't all finished yet.
45  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Headstone Inspired by our Favorite Summertime Cerveza! on: October 11, 2015 04:20:50 PM
I can't believe I didn't post this last year when I made it! I have done a lot of image searches for headstones seeking inspiration for adding to my Boneyard. Then I noticed that the logo for Pacifico beer looks like a good inspiration for a headstone design AND it's called Clara so I just had to go with it.

The base is made with rigid foam insulation, the life preserver is a floral foam wreath, the anchor is a wood craft blank, and all the other details are made with air-dry clay. The "carved" details are done with a wood burning tool. The whole thing is primed, painted and glazed.

And if you are unfamiliar with Pacifico beer, here's the packaging.

46  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Flying Squirrel Napkins (no moose) on: October 07, 2015 01:13:13 PM

When I saw this flying squirrel print on the Facebook page of the cute local fabric store in my old neighborhood I knew I had to order some!  You see, we have at least one flying squirrel that visits our bird feeders at night.

I decided to make napkins (four 14" square) and used some large scale faux bois print that I've had in my stash for a few years for the other side.

47  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Copper Turkey Monogram (that old story) on: October 04, 2015 04:59:35 PM
I recently picked up a few of these laser-cut plywood monograms from one of those limited-time deal websites. My turkey arrived slightly damaged, not much, but too much for me to feel safe using outside which is what I bought it for. So, I did up the damaged one with interior finishes as a Thanksgiving decoration.

I used two different copper treatments; copper leaf for the monogram "F" and a metallic plaster in copper over raw umber artist acrylic.

Luckily. The ManFlesh and I have the same last initial even though we have different last names.
48  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Buck Off! Or 2 Wood Craft Blanks Copper-fied for Thanksgiving Decorations on: October 03, 2015 05:43:12 PM
I heard an interview with a American Colonist historian about what was most likely on the menu at the very first Thanksgiving and (get this) the protein was probably not turkey, but likely fish and venison. Well, we live in the woods and see deer all the time, so it seemed appropriate to go a bit more woodsy with our Thanksgiving decor*. For me, that included deer imagery and using my favorite metal: copper.

Individual pieces:

This is just artists and metallic acrylic paints.

This is a professional decorative painters' metallic plaster over acrylic paint.

Now it's time to set these aside and concentrate on the most wonderful time of the year: Halloween!

*We also see wild turkeys all the time, so I have started a small ceramic (and other media) turkey collection for Thanksgiving.
49  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / "Wow. That's A Really Nice Woodshed." on: September 29, 2015 06:47:16 PM
^ That's what I got to hear tonight when we had our first load of firewood delivered. YES!

We heat our house with wood and have had some kind of sketchy storage situations. The former owners had their wood kind of far from the house and stacked on pallets covered with tarps. When we moved it closer, the pallet and tarp situation lost any appeal... it looked terrible right up by the house and is a pain in the butt to deal with with lots of snow, or worse, melted snow that's turned to ice.

In-progress shot:

So, I built this wood shed! I did about 85-90% of the building all by myself! I got 0% help from this dog. Or the other one.

I wrote up a long blog post about this project with lots of photos of most stages as they were completed.
50  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Snow Gauge on the Clothesline... Why Not? on: September 26, 2015 07:57:07 PM

The clothesline that came with our place gets a lot of use between the rainy season and the smoke season and it is commodious to boot! Four lines each about 24' (approximately 8 meters) long! I love that thing, but it was kind of junky looking with it's rusty metal posts and sagging lines. Even though I have pinned all kinds of pretty clotheslines, this one is still super sturdy AND cemented into our hard, hard ground. So, I decided to paint it (green) and then add a snow gauge to one post... using toilet paper and paper towel tubes as stencils!

I haven't replaced the lines and probably won't until spring as I still have many small projects and one BIG one to complete before winter comes to our mountains.

I did a tutorial of sorts on my blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2015/09/no-more-snow-beyond-measure-for-us.html
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