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311  Satan's Throne! in Halloween Decor and Parties by TheMistressT on: October 23, 2011 07:55:17 PM

A girlfriend and I (and The ManFlesh) are throwing a Hellacious Halloween Costume Bash at my house this Saturday and one key feature of our party is our Pictures with Satan photo "booth" (you know, because "Satan" is an anagram of "Santa").  So... I had to make a throne for Satan to visit all the bad boys and girls.

An internet image search turned up this image which I thought I was capable of replicating:

PS: I forgot to mention that I got adjustable feet (like on table legs) for it so it can be adjusted for our 100 year old floors.

... using old doors.  I started shopping around and they were more expensive than I thought they'd be, but I was determined... and then a friend donated these from her attic!  WOO!

I picked up a few metal swirly bits from the by-the-pound thrift store, stryrofoam tombstones from the dollar store and I had some wood mouldings, pine boards and plywood in my stash.

I had a friend with a circular saw (one of the few saws I'm afraid of) and The ManFlesh's dad who has a big table saw (not afraid of that one) make a few cuts turning 2 doors into a back, 2 side/arms and a front.  Then I sanded, primed, painted and glazed all the door parts using materials I had on hand.  Finally I used L-brackets to attach all the parts - this way I can take it apart for storage.

(in progress)

Here's the finished project!

The details:

The side with painted, glazed and gold leafed tombstones, attached with construction adhesive (from my adhesive collection):

So I cut the jaws off some small skulls from Target then painted and gold leafed them for the ends of the arms.  And upholstered the arms and seat.

It just felt like something was missing on the top, so I went back to Target for the larger sized version of the arm skulls, which luckily had a hinged jaw so I was able to reuse it - AND attaching the skull to the top of the throne was much easier than the hollow skulls on the arms.  The antlers are paper mache over wire armatures, coated with a decorative painting plaster and air-dry clay, then colorwashed.

Attaching the antlers to the skull... lets just say that I made up new cuss words and it's still not super stable.  Sigh.  

Anyway, the next step was assembling Satan's Throne Room in Casa Arachnida (what we're calling the house for the party) and that will be a separate post that included a couple-three projects.
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312  Leashes for My Beastie Grrrlz in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: October 07, 2011 03:54:44 PM
I made 2 of these plaid corduroy leashes for my dogs!  I used a 2" bias tape maker to make double-fold hem tape (cut with the grain rather than on the bias since I don't want them to stretch) and swivel hooks from the hardware store.

You can see I added a d-ring at the base of the loop for attaching poop bag carriers or anything else.  I think I'll eventually make a ball holder to clip on there.

And a close-up of the super soft (for now) corduroy print fabric - luckily it printed diagonally, because that's my favorite way to have plaid AND it shows the whole pattern even on 1" wide strips.

I'm hoping for an action shot at park time today!
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313  Jack 0' Lantern Socks! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by TheMistressT on: September 09, 2011 07:37:31 PM
I made this pair of polar fleece socks as a hostess gift for the hostess of a party  I'm going to next weekend.  It's not a Halloween party, but she's hosting some pumpkin carving in October and I know will appreciate these. 

I can't model them for a photo because her feet are much smaller than mine and they're made to fit pretty closely to foot size since the fleece only stretches one way (across the width of the foot).

I added a little pumpkin leaf to the side/back on each, too.
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314  Zombie Teeth Specimen in Halloween Decor and Parties by TheMistressT on: September 08, 2011 03:41:05 PM
A friend received a gift of a plaster casting of teeth from her friend (who got them from her dentist after it was no longer needed).  My friend asked me if I had any ideas of what do to with them and eventually I did.  Zombie teeth!  Harvested directly out of a zombie we'll call, ummmm, oh, I don't know... Karen Chang.  After her head was properly removed, of course - all safety precautions were closely and properly observed.

Zombie lifestyle choices are hell on dentition, as you can see.

I wonder if zombies choose not to floss, because when they get their hands in their mouth they want to eat 'em?  I may never know the answer, but I can tell you from personal experience that zombie breath could peel the enamel off your own teeth, boy howdy.
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315  Severed Hand Pet/Prisoner: Making the Most of a Broken Halloween Prop in Halloween Decor and Parties by TheMistressT on: September 04, 2011 12:49:46 PM
So I have had this sound-activated, Frankenstein hand that "walks" for a decade or so and about 4 years ago pulled it out of the decoration box to find it had a broken little finger... it still moves, but it just thrashes rather than skittering across the floor.   Sad  

I love that thing!  So I figured out a way to fix it... put in a cage and treat it like a pet/prisoner!  So the half-assed search for a cage began last year.  I found one last week on craigslist:

After some distressing and such I got this!

The devil is in the details:

The hand's "skin" had some other damage so I tea-stained some gauze, bloodied it up and glued it over the wounds.

Something about the bottom of the cage (even when I put a smooth surface in it) made the had seize up during it's twitching, so I decided to hang it from the top by a tea- and "blood" stained jute noose.

The cage came with "feeders" so I distressed those as well and put in feathers and a plastic foot that had fallen of a crow decoration I have.  The other feeder has feathers in it, too.

There are more feathers glued in clumps to a few places on the cage and some laying on the floor of the cage.

One of the best things about this project is that the only thing I had to buy was the cage!  I got feathers from a friend with chickens, but the paints, jute rope, gauze, tea, glue, etc. was all from my stash or the cupboards around the house.  

A video of the twitching in action is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36662201@N02/6113169991/
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316  Jilted Bride: A Recon of Storebought Decoration in Halloween Decor and Parties by TheMistressT on: September 04, 2011 11:58:20 AM
For years I've used my mother's 1967 wedding dress as a Halloween decorations, usually floating it from the ceiling in a dark room and putting plastic millipedes on it.  Last year a friend picked up a couple of gruesome dismembered head decorations after Halloween at a very good price and offered me one.  I chose this one:

Now I know why I'd been keeping the broken and orphaned costume jewelry around and the scraps of tulle, too!  Behold my jilted bride!

Rhinestone bracelet with missing center stone (and something old) yields headpiece!  While tulle scrap (something new-ish) yields ratty and torn viel!  Single screw-on earring (and something blue) yields single glued-on earring! Broken fake pearl necklace (and something borrowed) yields, well, a broken pearl necklace.  Plus a bobby pin to "style" the hair a little around the front.

Lesson here: Don't leave your bride at the alter - only bad will come of it.   Shocked
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317  Thank You Notes from Betty after her 1st Birthday Celebration! in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: August 23, 2011 02:45:09 PM

Since I'd made and sent save-the-dates (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380340.0) and invitations (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388795.0), I knew I had to wrap up the Betty's 1st Birthday (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388793.0) project with Thank You notes.  I'm big on them for me and set high expectations about manners for my puppy.  (Ignore the jumping, please)

I used printer-friendly cards from my stash to get the "Thank you very much!" on there, then used a circle cutter to make the hole that her smiling, happy, puppy face shows through.  I used scraps of the papers used for her s-t-d cards and invitations to doll it up a bit and glued a photo to the inside.

She dictated and I did the writing on the inside front to the left of the hole and she signed down below her feet on the picture like the glamor star she's growing up to be!

I made return address labels using the same font from all the cards.  Of course for all the mailings we used the Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps!

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318  Puppy's First Birthday Invitation! LOOK AT MY PUPPY! LOOK! in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by TheMistressT on: August 21, 2011 01:32:28 PM
I had to have a party for Betty's 1st birthday AND had to use orange and purple and gingham.

The interior:

The test at the bottom explains that Betty has everything she needs and didn't need gifts. But if invitees just couldn't help themselves that pets at the shelter where we found her needed things and she would love to donate there.  While Betty did get a few gifts, she also received a bag full of things for dogs and cats to take to the shelter from her Auntie Tiffany and a big bag of dog food from her grams.

Coordinating save-the-date cards posted here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380340.0

Party post here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388793.0
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319  Puppy's First Birthday Party! (a whole litter of pics!) in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: August 21, 2011 01:01:11 PM
We adopted a puppy and with our vet we determined her birthday to be August 20 (give or take, of course).  So, having coveted some super cute crafted kids' birthday parties and not having a human child of my own... I unleashed on Betty!  The theme was orange, purple and white in ginghams when possible.

Save the date cards sent to the small guest list in May since August is a busy vacation and bbq time.  The pic is from Betty's first few days in our family.

Craftster post with details here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380340.msg4499380#msg4499380

Then in mid-July I sent out invitations with a current pic of Betty - airborne at the dog park.

Post here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388795.0

Even though the party and the decorations were focused on the back yard where the party took place, I wanted the front porch to indicate a celebration.

(post for the bunting:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=370902.0 )

Throughout the planning process I wanted to make it as much like a human-child's party as I could so I started with goodie bags for dogs and for kids.


I made the bags from orange gingham oilcloth with vintage button closures (sewn on with purple thread), then chose a few dog essentials to fill them with: a toy (squeakers added to those for dogs who like squeakers), a roll of poop bags in either orange or purple, and...

a tin of Kitty Roca!

Homemade dog cookies, rolled into "turds" instead of cut with cookie cutters, and then rolled in chopped peanuts.  

The label based on Brown & Haley's Almond Roca label:

Even though, Betty is mostly black she has brown brindle on her head, face and legs so we often refer to her in terms of brown (as opposed to her sister who we refer to in terms of black).

For the human cousins:

A puppy puppet and a puppy activity: I found this puppy blanks and went to town.  First I drew some basic details to help with the coloring since the girls are younger.

The kit for decorating the puppies included bone shaped-crayons in a bone container, glue stick, googly eyes and collars (cut from papers used on the save-the-date cards and invitations).

There were mini-pupcakes (beef jerky chip flavor) and a normal-sized pupcake with a carrot "candle" presented with a rendition of the birthday song.  Both had either orange or purple gingham papers that I bought from an etsy shop.

For activities the 4 dogs (Betty, her big sister Olive, her Uncle Murphy and cousin Wacho) ran around the yard, wrassled, begged and played/laid in the dog pool.

It wouldn't be a TheMistressT/Bubble Off Plumb Productions event without custom Collar Cozies for the dogs - knowing party hats would never last.

Betty with her big sister, Olive.

Uncle Murphy

The cozies before installation on most of the collars:

For people we had hot dogs, of course!  Well, fancy sausages, actually.  Wink  And Apple Brown Betty cupcakes, also in the gingham papers:

... and a tasty strawberry rhubarb pie from MrsBowles!

Coming up very soon: Thank You notes for her guests!

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320  Major Margarita: The Happy Hour Heroine (Adult Pinewood Derby Costume) in Costumes: Completed Projects by TheMistressT on: July 24, 2011 10:36:31 AM
For the last 4 years I've participated in an Adult Pinewood Derby.  In addition to making cars using the official boyscout kit (but usually not with the official boy scout rules) we make dioramas, wear costumes, eat, drink and smack talk.   Especially drink and smack talk.

This year we had a new host and a Derby Theme: Super heroes and Super Villians.  I had decided previously to this that my fantasy super power would be "being able to make it 5 o'clock where ever I was" and from there I built my character: Major Margarita: The Happy Hour Heroine...

who, with her sidekicks Private Label: The Hooch Pooch & General Garnish: Olive Dog, fights for your right to party!

(My sidekicks were unable to attend the event as they were dealing with a mixer emergency on the other side of town).

The dirty (martini) details:
A reconstructed child's pro-wrestler belt toy from the dollar store for the belt.  Repainted a less chrome-y steel & silver color, an Always 5 Oh! Clock with spinning clock hand, sparkle vinyl, black vinyl...

and on the other side a holster for the Sunset Gun (see below).

Turns out that a US Army Major's insignia is an oak leaf, but since that wouldn't fit my theme I chose a lime wedge for the chest detail insignia.  The cocktail swords were removable just in case some Overtime Overlord needed a stab.

I added gauntlets with agave cactus patches

I picked up a couple of water weapons at the dollar store

that I repainted, then filled with margaritas which I shared with the other derby racers.

(Left: Sunset Gun and Right: Make It A Triple, which mounted on my left wrist (there are 3 holes that margaritas shoot out of)

What you can barely see is that there is matching green garter on my left thigh with a pocket for a mini-flask.  Here's an action shot of Major Margarita taking a good luck swig at the beginning of her first race.

COSTUME CATASTROPHE: I didn't have time to get pics of me posed in my costume before the race, so I thought I'd get back into it and shoot some the next day.  It was SOOO hot/sweaty in that dress (made of swimming suit fabric) AND my weapons leaked margarita all over it that I decided to wash it first.  The color was RUINED!  The hole thing lost a lot of the green and sparkliness and where my belt was it lost ALL the green.  Now it's the uniform of a washed up has-been of a super hero.   Cry  Luckily, there was no shortage of photographers (some actual pros) at the party.  The top photo is by Daniel Root (http://www.danielrootphotography.com/#) who took portraits of us all and I can't wait to see the rest!

My car (seen above): Quittin' Time Bar Cart is posted here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=386228.0

Past years:
2010, Egyptian War Chariot: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355463.0
2009, Slogo the Driving Slug: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=315638.0
2008, Vampire Scouts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=260397.0
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