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211  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hello Bigfoot on: December 30, 2012 07:46:52 PM
I am doing a tea towel swap with some friends.  I decided to do variations on a theme with that theme being Bigfoot.  Here is my latest: Hello Bigfoot.  Most of the others are also posted here on craftster.

Another angle to see some of the textures.  I used split stitch for the face and beard and a bastardized turkey stitch for the kitty hat.  The hat ties are braided.

And because I think it's funny to say "Pam's backside is a hot mess" I am including the photo of the back which for some reason was extra chaotic.  Perhaps it's from stitching with dogs wrasslin on the same couch.

I was the last to stitch on her towel, so she is the second to receive her completed project!  This was supposed to be a "spring fling" swap, but now we've passed through spring, summer, autumn and on into winter.  I have one more to stitch and I think there are only a few more to stitch on mine.
212  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Snowman Pinata! on: December 16, 2012 08:44:44 PM

Sometime this summer I decided to make The ManFlesh's nieces a snowman pinata for xmas.  I spent months picking up trinkets to stuff it with (no candy for these girls), then wrapped half of them in one color of paper and half in another to avoid squabbles.  The photo above is taken in our house, before I packed him up to ship back "home."

He's built on a 36" balloon blown up to about 20" and using packing paper and watered down Elmer's Glue-all (rather than flour paste), because I had LOTS of both and I didn't want him too hard to break since the girls are 6 and 8 and I've been to parties where grown men hand to pummel a grounded pinata to get it to spill it's treasures.  I also left a few week spots.

I made coal for his eyes and mouth by crumpling up strips of paper soaked with the Elmers/water mixture that I later painted with exterior house paint, because that's the inexpensive black I had on hand.  I like how they turned out shiny, like real coal.  His nose is a cone made from a cereal box that I coated with the paper mache combo so its texture would match.  When that dried I painted it with craft paint, then when that was dry I added some glitter snow to the top side.

Before I glued the "coal" on, I sprayed the whole thing with glitter spray from my stash (probably a dozen years old).  I'd have preferred silver, but I had this and since the whole thing is going to be unwrapped and smashed to smithereens w/in a few minutes certain details aren't that important.

The hat is my favorite part!  It covers the hole left in the top for filling the pinata with trinkets and is so silly and undersized it makes me giggle.  It's made from the bottom of a cylinder-shaped box (originally with dishwasher soap or something in it) and paper board.  I assembled the parts and then coated the whole thing with a layer of paper mache to match the texture.  When that was dry, I painted it, added the faux holly and added some glitter "snow."  

The cylinder box's bottom was recessed and I liked the idea of that, but wanted it to be sloped, so the paper mache helped make it so.  

I made the thing assuming I'd ship it in one of the 24"x24"x24" boxes we had left over from our move.  Except I didn't verify that the boxes were that size and they weren't (they were smaller) so I ended up having to made a box to ship it in tomorrow morning!  It was like making a pinata inside a pinata except I didn't want any weak spots in the shipping box!  Luckily we have a few appliance boxes around and the dishwater box fit the bill (and the snowman).  We are going to be there for xmas, but don't have room in the car for all the gifts, so we're shipping them ahead.  I'll fill the pinata and glue the hat on when we get there.  WOO!

SHIPPING UPDATE!  So I get down to the PO with all my boxes to ship them and my pinata box is 5" too long in one direction (any direction) to qualify for Priority Mail at all.  I can get Parcel Post for only $13!  BUT, I would have to pay an oversize parcel fee of, get this, $55.  FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS!?  Luckily, I had almost 6" to spare on one side, so I brought that bastard home, cut 5.25" off one end (just to be safe) and remade the box.  I was able to ship Priority for $28.  Next year, everyone is getting magazine subscriptions and feathers.
213  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / More Fisher Price Little People Ornament Action: This Time It's a Party! (5 pix) on: December 12, 2012 01:08:26 PM

I'm on a roll with these Fisher Price Little People ornaments!  Well, that's not exactly true: I just had several to make.  The latest is from a girlfriend with a party blog, a self-professed "party diva."

She's also a wee, tiny red-head so the ginger girl was perfect!

She has a snowman collection out at Christmas time, so I was able to use this wee guy from my stash by making a wee cake out of polymer clay, embossed with a vintage button and painted white.  I made a bunting with scrapbook paper and dental floss (mint flavored!) and a garland with trim left over from this advent calendar project I made last year: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=396391.0
I had tried to make a bunting of fan circles, but it didn't work out so I used the fan folded paper to make a "lamp shade" to cover the nubbin where the string hanger attaches to the ball.  Curtains are from fabric l had and where I got my color scheme.  Red is her favorite color and she also loves pink, so it seemed perfect for a Christmas party.

Snow on the window sills!  The guy could be her husband, but he usually hides out for her parties which are usually ladies only.

I didn't anticipate that the trio of party goers was going to throw off the balance of the ornament which now hangs crooked, so I made a little stand so it can sit on a table or mantle or whatever.

These are the other two Fisher Price Little People ornaments I've posted:
Sewing Lady: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417614.0
Dentist: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417577.0
214  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Rudolf the Red-nosed Giraffe Pull Toy Decoration (six pix) on: December 09, 2012 08:34:38 AM

The ManFlesh's mom's favorite animal is the giraffe and a few years ago I spotted (heh, get it?) this plain paper mache giraffe at one of the big box craft stores and snatched it up.  Finally this year I thought to make a pull toy decoration out of it.  As I wondered the craft stores this year looking for the supplies to make it into a pull toy, I got the idea to have the giraffe pulling Santa's sleigh and Rudolf the Red-nosed Giraffe was born!

I foolishly assumed that I could find a pre-made sleigh ornament to alter or a blank at a craft store.  Wrong and wrong.  I couldn't even find a flat version to make into a 3D version, so I bought a paper mache box in the appropriate size and then drew a sleigh pattern, traced it twice (once facing each direction) on paper board.  I used faux bois textured paper, metallic black paper and paint to cover the paper board.  I "hung" wee wreaths (weeths?) on the sides for some color.  The inside of the sleigh is a cute little red/white/green plaid, but I over filled Santa's sleigh so it can't really been seen.  D'oh!

I made Santa's sack out of felt and filled the bottom with mini presents from the craft store, then topped them with little bits and bobs from my stash + the drum which came with some of the mini-presents.  It was originally shiny silver and gold so I painted it and restrung it with black embroidery floss.

So I just painted the giraffe with craft paint.  His harness is cobbled together from a silk knot that came from a decoration on some of that twirly luck bamboo - it had a loop on the top and a piece of faux jade with the symbols for luck or prosperity (or cherry trees for all I know) written on it.  I cut and knotted both ends, tied and glued a wee jingle bell to the bottom, then used the side loops for adding ribbon (with more jingle bells sewn to it) for the sides and abdomen.  A pre-made wee pompon for the nose.

And one final shot of the whole thing from the other side and at a different angle

Oh!  The base is two pre-made wooden planks (well, it's actually thin plywood) that I glued together to double the thickness.  Instead of making axels, I drilled 4 holes for dowels into the sides and slid the dowels through the pre-made wheels.  I used a standard thumbtack for the "hubcap" which I covered with the same paper that lines the sleigh.  So the wheels actually roll.  There's a tiny screw eye up front for the little ribbon and wooden beads that make the pull rope.

215  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Another Fisher Price Little People Diorama Ornament on: December 06, 2012 11:42:24 AM
I made another of these ornaments! (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417577.0)  This for a friends who has been sewing like crazy after taking several years off.  Mostly she's been making dresses for her great-niece on the other side of the country.

I described the process pretty thoroughly on the first post.  I just used different colored paints, papers and trims for this one.

Another one: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417577.0 for TheManflesh's sister who is a dentist!

I dropped it as I stepped out on the balcony to photograph it and the sewing machine table came apart from the base, tearing the paper.  I have started rebuilding that part, but it will look pretty much the same, so I decided to just take pics and use them.  

I decided that the space directly opposite the viewing hole needed something, but I didn't have anything in my stash all ready to do so I made this little wreath with a small round mirror, wired tinsel garland and a wee, tiny angle bit that was buried in a jar of beads at a thrift store.  It's no bigger than 1.5" across!

216  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bedclothes for a Vintage Doll Cradle on: December 05, 2012 07:36:02 PM
The Manflesh's sister's family has a cabin at Mt. Hood.  It came furnished which included an vintage doll cradle that the last owners (who rented the cabin out) used for magazines and local guides.  The ManFlesh's sister and her hubby don't rent it out and go there almost every weekend once ski season starts.  They have two young girls who play with the cradle every time they're there.

There were no bedclothes for it, so one of our last visits I took measurements (8 5/8" x 15 1/2") and finally made some for it!

I made a "mattress" with batting and some ticking from my stash.  They have a lot of red in their decor there and ticking is so old-timey I thought it was appropriate.  I also made a pillow with the same materials.

There's a reversible blanket using similar colors as the ticking and machine crocheted lace.

And a reversible pillow case of the same fabrics and lace.  Originally, I was just going to make a 2-sided pillow with one of each of the fabrics on each side, but then I decided it would only be a bit more work to do it this way which would be more interactive... and maybe cause more squabbles between the 6- and 8-year old girls. But, I'm not going to have to hear them and that's one of the best parts of being an Auntie-type; giving obnoxious toys that kids love and parents my not.   Tongue

I do think that their parents will appreciate it, though.  Smiley

If I have a photo of the cradle, it's one where it's in the background and that photo is on an external hard drive that I don't have easy access to as we've recently moved, etc.
217  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Fisher Price Little People Diorama Ornament on: December 05, 2012 06:54:51 PM
Last autumn, I saw a pin of a little paper mache sphere with a hole in it and the pinner had painted them up and put a little toy inside.  One of those toys was a Fisher Price Little People and I loved it.  The source has a link to the vendor who sold the spheres, but they were sold out.  When I went back this year, the link was dead.  

The ManFlesh's sister is a dentist and when I was at a bazaar with my friend, Kittykill, last year I found a Fisher Price dentist chair!  It came with the dentist, but the ManFlesh's sister is not an African-American male, so I substituted the blonde stewardess who has pretty much the same hairstyle.  I cut off her hat, which it turns out holds her hair, head and collar onto her body.  I glued her all together and made a Santa hat out of red felt to cover the scar, a pre-made wee pompon and batting twisted up and sewn on for the "brim" fur.

Now the spheres I bought are quite a bit bigger than what I saw in the pin, but I wanted room for the furnishings.  They are 6" and when I first cut the circular hole in the front, I realized that it was awfully dark in there and difficult to see, so I cut some windows.  One thing they don't tell you about these paper mache spheres is that they are plastic on the inside; so I roughed it up with a sanding sponge & primed it with UG30 before painting.  The floor is scrapbook paper glued to a cereal box.  There's a section of toilet paper tube glued to the bottom of the sphere and the floor is glued to the top of that.

The exterior is all painted except for a piece of vintage trim at the base of the hanging loop and the wee dingleberries around the viewing window.

Another version for a sewist friend: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417614.msg4941158#msg4941158
218  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bright, Shiny Bigfoot on: December 04, 2012 08:32:44 PM
I'm in a tea towel swap with some friends.  There are 11 of us, so 10 towels to stitch.  I decided to do variations on a theme and that theme is Bigfoot.  This is my 9th, so I'm starting to get funky widdit.  Smiley

This towel belongs to the new mother of a sweet and rosy complected baby boy, so this is my first Bigfoot to have pink-ish skin and pinker lips.

His hair is a mass of overlapping Xes in crazy, fun, cheery colors just like the cheery, fun, crazy baby boy.
219  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / $4 Fridge Revamp! Seriously. on: November 28, 2012 08:14:40 PM
Our new-to-us house came with 2 fridges and a freezer, which is good because when we sold our last house the buyers stipulated purchasing our refrigerators in the contract.  But... this is the fridge in the kitchen (the other is in the mudroom and is too big for the cabinetry and no newer).

The stickers were sentimental in that they showed the interests and travels of the family that lived here for almost 30 years (not that the fridge is that old), but those weren't our memories on there and that's not our style.  Our other appliances are black and we aren't ready to buy a new fridge, so I decided to remove the stickers and do something

I used four $1 rolls of wood grain patterned contact paper to give that thing the faux bois treatment!  Then I spray painted the handles, grill and hinge cover with black spray paint that I had on hand.  There are more photos and more details on my blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2012/11/3-fridge-makeover-how-i-spent.html.

There is something about the dorm/hotel fridge vibe that tickles me.  I do think it looks better than before, but I also think it's kind of a (subtle) hoot.
220  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Even Thanksgiving Requires Dog Costumes! on: November 21, 2012 10:41:38 AM

The Manflesh calls our Beastie Grrrlz "you turkeys" all the time and now that we live in a place with actual turkeys wandering around that our turkeys sometimes chase, it seemed appropriate to make turkey costumes for our turkey-chasing turkeys for Thanksgiving.  

I made front and back feathers out of felt, then sandwiched cereal box cardboard in between to make them stand up.  The waistband is polar fleece that fastens with hook and loop tape.

While plenty cute on it's own, I felt like an additional key turkey part was necessary: the wattle.  Its design is based on the Gentle Leader "headcollar" and it's made of a 4-way stretch cotton blend I had laying around with red felt for the wattle.

It took me FOREVER to make that tail feather set up and I just did not want to make another, but both dogs needed costumes.  Or rather I needed both dogs to have costumes.  So I did a quick lady pilgrim!

The collar and hat are a cotton blend scrap and each are made from 2 pieces cut the same, sewn right sides together and turned right side out.  The collar fits over her daily collar and the hat has a wide elastic strap.  I had used this hat pattern a few years ago for myself: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=280005.0 and the dog hat is based on it with a few proportion adjustments.

The final detail are the "shoe" buckles!  What stereotypical pilgrim is complete without buckles?  These are made with leftover vinyl, buckles from my stash, black elastic, and more hook and loop tape.

There is so much that is good about dog costumes, but one of the best things about these is that the only things I had to buy were the felt squares, which I got on sale.  I used <$1's worth of the $2 I spent on felt.  The rest was all things I had in my stash.  I am proving to myself that it was worth it to move 20-some boxes of fabric, notions, and craft supplies.

A funny video of what it's like to take pictures of moderately trained young dogs wearing costumes, ore photos and painstaking details on my blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-holiday-isnt-holiday-without-costumes.html
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