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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas stockings-- the perfect project for the procrastinator. on: December 28, 2010 09:24:57 AM

This year has been an adventure in the crafting department for me-- after ignoring my sewing machine for about 2 years, I was determined more than ever to learn how to use it. Many projects were made and celebrated, and some were completed half way and then ripped apart in an early morning over-caffeinated haze. Either way, I knew my Christmas crafting this year had to be something sewn (relatively quickly, since I tend to procrastinate in every department of my life), and I was looking for something fun that could make its way into being a tradition of sorts. And with the addition of my adorable niece to our family, I wanted something for everyone-- even the 6 month old.

Alas! Christmas stockings were the answer! After many, many trips to the fabric store, I found material to reflect the personalities, hobbies, or interests of each stocking recipient. I originally bought a faux fur for the strip around the top that was very classic, but since it shed like crazy, I figured it would be a cruel act to use it... the excitement of opening stockings would be ruined by the fact that you would be covered in white fur for the rest of the day. Instead, I went with a fabric that had a shearling/sherpa feel to it, and although I was hesitant to use it at first, I am very, very happy with it now. I didn't want to spend $18 for the pattern I wanted, so I just made my own by tracing a $2 stocking I found at the fabric store and adjusting the size a bit (my family goes a bit overboard with stockings). The most time consuming part of this was cutting out the fabric... otherwise, each stocking took about 20 minutes total to pin, sew, and tweak.

This is mine. I used this fabric for my first big sewing project (a halter dress), and am still in love with it.

This is my boyfriend's stocking. He is a science junkie, and I fell in love with the colors of this fabric.

This is my mom's stocking. Her most prized possession is her shoe collection.

This is my step-dad's stocking. He is very outdoorsy (we call him the Great White Hunter). I was unsure about this fabric at first, but I think it turned out for the best... I really liked it once I added the white around the top.

This is my sister's stocking. She is a yoga fanatic, and this fabric just caught my eye... I love the variety of imagery.

This is my brother-in-law's stocking. He always jokes that he's a hustler and a big money kind of guy, and when he first started dating my sister years back, he had a rapper persona figured out.... it has been an on-going joke for years.

And lastly, but certainly not least, this is my niece's stocking. With the addition of her to our family, the "magic of Christmas" is back. And since her mother/my sister is obsessed with Peanuts, Im assuming she will grow to love them too (and if not, I can take another 20 minutes to make the stocking she wants!).

I realized after taking these pictures that I was in a rush (I completed these about 5 hours before I had to give them to my mom). The white strips are not as uneven as they look-- I promise! And the flash makes the white look very sheer, so I may line the back of it after Christmas (I know it is after Christmas technically, but my family has not celebrated yet due to the fact that every member has had the flu since Christmas Eve). I plan on re-evaluating them and perhaps resewing so that they are a little more uniform and clean looking, but I think I may just ride out the glory of actually completing a Christmas project on time for a week or so, and then revisit them.

Thanks for looking, and reading through this!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / First dress! (Simplicity 2362) on: July 22, 2010 07:51:59 AM

I bought a sewing machine a year ago, and outside of a few pillow cases, it has been severely underused. A friend of mine offered to show me how to make anything I want-- literally, ANYTHING. So why not a cute dress for the summer? We went to the store, found this cute pattern (Simplicity 2362, view E), stumbled upon this fabric that made us both drool, and 7 hours later (Im not the fastest, I'll admit), I had something I could brag about.

(Please excuse that: a.) I look like crap-- it was close to 1AM, and b.) our torn up kitchen/dining room-- that's also a work in progress!)

I love the pockets! So practical, cute, and fun to make!

Thanks for peeking! This was a fun project, and not bad for my first!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Coffee table idea... epoxy/resin question. on: December 01, 2008 08:27:12 AM

These boards are too inspiring! Anyway, I have been hounding all of my friends and family to save their bottle caps because I'd like to cover a coffee table in them. I have been reading on here that most people have chosen to lay their caps down and, to seal them, pour epoxy over the caps in very thin layers until the caps are covered.
(You can find several examples of what Im talking about on this site.)

Im wondering about this process for another table idea. I am planning on doing something similar to the bottle cap idea, but it wouldnt be covering the whole table... more like a raised up design in the center. So I would need to basically form an transparent "table top" to make the surface level once again. Is epoxy okay to use for this or is there some other resin that would be better for this? Im thinking I would need like a 3/4" layer on top of the table... I would plan on doing a similar method to the bottlecap tabletop-- thin layers to prevent bubbling and ensure a level setting.

If anyone has any experience in doing a project like this, I would really love your input. Im not very experienced in modifying furniture and, since I have to spend a Michigan winter mostly indoors while my garden will be under a foot of snow and my Christmas knitting/crocheting is done, I might as well learn something new.

Thanks, Craftsters... you guys are always so helpful!
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / New to making a plush. Any pointers? on: November 24, 2008 08:01:59 AM

I have to admit that I spend at least 5 hours a week on this site, looking at pictures and getting ideas (and admiring my fellow Craftsters). So my latest brainstorm is to make some plush figures. My boyfriend and his brother are intensely into cryptozoology and I want to make a series of plush figures based off of that. The first one I want to try is cthulhu... I guess the best way I can describe it is an alien-looking creature with wings and tentacles where the mouth would be. Im not too skilled in this area, but have managed to map out most of the project. Im kind of stuck on the tentacles and that's where you come in...

Any ideas on the best way to go about making them? Im not planning on making him too detailed at all, so Im not too concerned with loss in that aspect.

And, secondly, are there any books you would recommend about this kind of project? I seem to have a book or three about most of my crafts, but lack one for plush projects.

Thanks, guys!
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