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41  Re: Tin of the Month Club, July and August in Completed Projects by rackycoo on: August 03, 2015 11:54:38 AM
Just posted August on the first page. Here's a thumbnail, if you don't want to click back.

Posting a tin every month really reminds me how much time flies!
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42  Tin of the Month Club, July and August, now with September in Completed Projects by rackycoo on: July 01, 2015 06:42:07 AM
It's July! I can't believe the year is half over already. Time flies when you're having fun. I've been having a blast decorating a new little tin each month this year. Only five more to go, now that July's done.

My favorite part of July is the fireworks. This tin celebrates the traditions, fun, and festivities of a 4th of July celebration.

August already? Here's this month's tin:

I know most kids have been back to school for weeks already, but I always think of September as the Back to School month. Not sure how happy this little sweetie is to be back, but she's definitely dressed for the occasion. One of my girls' elementary school teachers used to call little girls "bow heads" when they wore big bows like that. Cheesy

To see April, May and June, click here.
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43  Circus Toys in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by rackycoo on: June 25, 2015 08:27:00 AM
Here are a couple of new things I've added to my circus collection, along with a large squeaky clown toy I played with as a baby. (Could that have been the start of my love of the circus?)

I used the new Funny Mixies collage sheet from Alpha Stamps to make the set of puzzle blocks. I am a huge fan of vintage puzzle blocks, and often use them in my art, so it was fun to make a set of my own. You can mix and match the faces, bodies and feet on the blocks to make all sorts of crazy characters. Hey wait; is that Satan, wearing a dress?

While the four sides of the blocks each contain a body part, the tops and bottoms each have part of a single image on them. Put those together, and you get a circus scene. I used some fine grained sand paper to lightly sand all the blocks. I wanted them to look like they were well loved and played with often.

I got the red clacker a couple of years ago from a "free" table at a craft event. I was attracted to its color and well-used look, plus: free! I used a couple of fun clown images from the Reversible Clown collage sheet and gold star stickers to make it a little more fun. That clown on the left is actually smoking a cigarette. Such wholesome fun!

I can think of so many uses for blocks like this. What about personalized photo puzzles for Christmas gifts this year. Wouldn't those be sweet?

What is with this clown?  Cheesy
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44  Tiny Peg Circus in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by rackycoo on: May 04, 2015 06:36:41 AM
 Step right up to see the greatest show on earth! An entire traveling circus, tucked up inside a tiny trunk. Well, OK, full disclosure: the entire circus doesn't fit into the trunk, but most of it does. I just got a little carried away and kept adding extra acts and accessories. Making little peg circus performers is just too much fun.

Here's the whole gang, standing in front of their opened trunk. 

The little trunk. I made this from the same 4" by 2" by 2" chipboard steamer trunk kit I used to make the Tiny Traveler I posted a while back. This one's a little brighter in color, because hey, it's a circus.

Opened up, you can see that five of the circus performers fit in the lid. Behind them, the flags for the ticket booth and the ringmaster's whip are stored. The three drawers on the right hold things like barbells for the strongman, knives for the knife thrower and his assistant, and a rubber chicken for the clowns. The bottom drawer also serves as the ticket booth, once it's slid out and turned around.

And here comes the circus! First up, there's the daring knife thrower. His revolving wheel and sign are found on the bottom of the trunk. That is one brave assistant he's working with; look how close those knives are. I think the sign should read "Daring Knife Thrower's Assistant"!

On the other side of the opened trunk, you can see Pete the ticket seller, manning the bottom drawer/ticket booth, Magnificent Mighty Max and his 500 lb. weights, and Red, who sells cotton candy. That cotton candy is actually pink packing peanuts, cut down and stuck onto toothpicks. Mmm, only two treats left, better get 'em while you can!

Clowns! You gotta have clowns at the circus. Here's Bingo and Twinkle with a big red ball and a rubber chicken. I hear their act is hilarious.

Finally, here's the act that broke out of the trunk: the Amazing Lion Act. The ringmaster seems to have things well in hand with that whip of his. It's made from a thin piece of wire wrapped with black embroidery floss.  The lion's hoop is made from a plastic ring and a 1 inch dollhouse hat stand with the "head" removed.

I hand painted the faces of all these pegs, but the bodies are actually wrapped with paper costumes that I designed. I made my first collage sheet! If you're interested in how the costumes work, there are several in progress photos on my blog. There are also more pictures of the peg people and the trunk.

Thanks for stopping by; I hope you enjoyed the show. Smiley
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45  Tin of the Month Club, April and NOW! With May and June in Completed Projects by rackycoo on: April 10, 2015 08:25:12 AM
Each month this year I'm decorating a tiny tin. Here's April! This tin is pretty dark, but it matches my current weather perfectly! We've been having thunderstorms all morning. You know what they say about April showers, but at least in this tin, there's a silver lining.

EDIT: It's May, and those April showers seem to have done the trick. Here's the May tin, and the flowers are blooming.

June edit: Here's June. Time to enjoy the summer. How about doing some fishing? This tin is for Mr. 'Coo. He's an avid fisherman. It's a bit hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see a tiny fly that Mr. 'Coo tied himself. Hope that big fish bites!

If you would like to see the first three months of the year, click here.  Smiley
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46  Tiny Traveler with Steamer Trunk/Home Away From Home in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by rackycoo on: April 06, 2015 06:15:30 AM
< little teaser photo

This month's Alpha Stamps theme has to be one of my all time favorites: tiny steamer trunks! We each got a 2" by 4" steamer trunk kit and directions for assembly. From there, the sky was the limit. I decided to make a little trunk that looked ordinary on the outside, but inside, contained everything a tiny traveler would need to have a truly comfortable voyage. Who's the tiny traveler? This little 2" painted peg doll. I had some adorable tiny crowns, so I popped one on her head at a jaunty angle.

On the outside, her tiny trunk may not look like much...

...but when you open it, you can see the tiny traveler and all her goodies snugly tucked up inside. On the left, there's a trundle bed on hinges, held to the wall by some ribbon with velcro, a charming wire chair, and the tiny traveler herself. On the right side, there's a top drawer containing bedding and a pillow, a drop leaf desk, and a bedside table and lantern, held in place with another velcro'd ribbon.

There are all sorts of fun ways to set up this trunk.

This was one of my favorite kits ever. I'm working on another trunk even as we speak. It's fun to see how many little things I can cram in there. Cheesy If you want to see an obscene number of more photos of this trunk, they're here on my blog, where you'll also find a little more about how I made this, plus a link for supplies.

Just for fun, one more pic for the road:
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47  Re: Be AWESOME (Redux) GALLERY! (Sendout March 23) in The Swap Gallery by rackycoo on: March 25, 2015 10:28:39 AM
OK, now, hold on to your panties, because here are some photos of the AWESOME that TheMistressT sent my way.

First off, she even wrapped the box. Stella Horker-Parker stood guard while I took a photo. (Really, she just wants to tear that box up. She thinks boxes are great fun. I told her to "leave it" and she can't even look at it she's so bummed. I did let her mangle the box on the left though, so it's all good.)

That sneaky MistressT contacted my girls (both also Craftsters) and asked them for photos of themselves and Mr. 'Coo to help with this highly personal swap item. Presenting.... the one and only sure way to assure that one will not become a Ms. Cranky Pants: actual cranky pants! These cranky pants have a crank, which, when turned, make everything (and everyone!) dance around like little fools. Included in the clever drawer in the base are all of my favorite things: photos of my family, some books, a circus animal, a Cosmo, etc! Plus, the whole setup itself looks like a circus sideshow and it looks amazing in my turquoise and red craft room. Winner!

I can make whatever or whomever I want to dance at my command! And believe me, I will!

I'm so glad MistressT took a lot of in progress photos, because I can't wait to hear about her process and see all the inside workings of these pants. Meanwhile, I'll just sit back and enjoy the show. AWESOME, I tell ya!

Thanks so much, TheMistressT! It was such a blast getting to know you and swapping with you. Smiley
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48  Countdown to Halloween in Halloween Decor and Parties by rackycoo on: March 22, 2015 11:30:14 AM
Here's something I made for TheMistressT, a fellow Halloween lover, in the Be Awesome Swap. It's an October calendar that she can use every year. The calendar consists 31 ATCs, bound together with a Bind It All, and mounted on a collapsible cardboard frame. I also included a little costumed rat, to keep her company.

The back cover folds up to create a triangular stand for the pages. Each day in October, she can flip one over as Halloween approaches. I used playing cards for the bases of the ATCs. They're just the right size, and it's easy to quickly cover them with scrapbook paper and then cut them out. I didn't cover the backs because I don't mind the way they look, and the cards would be way too fat with all that extra paper involved.

Here's one of my favorite pages:

TheMistressT also posted a few pictures of the pages here.

And here are all the cards, pre-binding:

Happy (early) Halloween!
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49  GIANT X-acto knife prop in Completed Projects by rackycoo on: March 20, 2015 12:23:46 PM
Have you ever needed a really, really big X-acto knife? Well, I have, so I thought I'd make one of my own, mostly with stuff we had around the house.

And here it is. I think it looks real, although it's actually 4 1/2 feet tall. (That's a real X-acto knife lying beside it on the floor.)

The knife itself is made of 1 1/2" PVC pipe, spray painted silver. The blade is made of thin wood, and sits in a black rubber end cap that I slit open with a box cutter. I think the part that's under the cap is what really makes it: I went looking at Home Depot to find something to mimic that grip part on a real knife, and almost cried real tears of joy when I found this 2" clear pipe with nylon reinforcements in it. It fits perfectly on the PVC, with no adhesive necessary!

I cut the stencil out for the logo on my Silhouette Cameo, then traced around them with pencil and hand-painted the logo on with black. It's a tiny bit wambly, because it's not easy to paint on that round surface, but I'm pretty happy with it.

What does one do with a giant X-acto? I'm going to use this for a prop in a costume I'm making, and then it's going to live in my craft room as decor. Smiley
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50  Housewarming Gift in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by rackycoo on: March 16, 2015 01:48:31 PM
My cousin and his wife are moving back into town after several years (yay!), and we're going to go see their new place on Wednesday. I wanted to take them a housewarming gift, so I got a scrap of wood, painted it white, and stenciled it for them. Then I sanded the front and the edges, which are painted black. This is a quick and easy gift. It probably took less than two hours to complete.

Now I hope they'll stay put for a while!
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