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231  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
232  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.
233  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.
234  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
235  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Faux Bois Faux Etched Glass Cabinets on: November 13, 2012 08:19:26 AM
The ManFlesh and I recently moved from the city where we lived in a 100+ year old craftsman style house to the woods in the mountains.  Our new house was built in 1976 with a rustic-ish style in mind.  It's not Lodge Style or Log House-y, but it does lean that way, especially in the kitchen.  For a 36 year old kitchen, we like it pretty well.  We'll eventually upgrade some more serious/expensive things, but for now it's just some of the surface details and practical bits.

I thought for sure we'd get away from the open shelving upper cabinets we had to deal with at the last place: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=410443.0, but most of the uppers here are either open shelving or glass-fronted.  It's not our thing, having all our workaday kitchen stuff on display, so I decided to "etch" the glass.

I decided that a faux bois pattern would be the right balance between an updated look and the rustic vibe we already have.  Also, I think it's humorous.


I used contact paper as the resist and a frosted glass spray paint.  All the details and more in-progess photos on my Suddenly Surrounded by Taxidermy blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2012/11/if-you-cant-stand-heat.html?showComment=1352819006985#c6170967659420092019

One of the next projects will be removing that wallpaper; as soon as we figure out what to use as a back splash.  There is a bit of a story as to the stuff on top of that cabinet on the blog and we'll be moving that stuff soon.  I'm now re-inspired to get the last bit of the kitchen unpacked and decluttered!
236  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Safety Capes for Forest Dogs! on: November 03, 2012 02:55:12 PM

We recently moved to the woods of the Bitterroot Range and our property abuts the National Forest.  Sometimes the dogs wander just a little bit into the woods on the other side of the fence and since it's hunting season we want to be extra sure they aren't mistaken for deer or bear (not that they look like either).  Our neighbor uses plastic tape in safety orange, but our young dogs wrassle and play so much that the tape just got torn off and shredded.

So I made them little capes that slip easily over their collars.  They're made from a cotton/poly blend (I think) which is so far pretty durable and tough.  It's also a lot easier for us to spot their sleek black and brown bodies among the black and brown trees and downed limbs.

And here they are doing that playing that shreds the plastic tape.  I'm going to start calling it their Safety Dance when they wrassle in their capes!

237  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bigfoot Feels Sheepish on: November 03, 2012 11:47:48 AM
I'm in a tea towel swap with some friends and have been stitching variations on a theme, that theme being Bigfoot.  I've posted most of them here, too.

The owner of this towel is a Brit living in New Zealand with whom we've joked about sheep so I really had no choice but to make Bigfoot wooly!  I think he's also feeling a bit Oompa-Loompa-ish, a bit Commonwealth barrister-ish and/or a bit Zeus-ish.  Wink

There are actually 3 shades of white threaded for all the wool and 2 shades of purple in the violets.  I used split-, satin- and stem-stitches, lazy daisy and French knots.
238  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / All-weather Wreaths, Swags, and the Like: Suggestions and Ideas If You Please on: October 27, 2012 08:39:53 PM
The ManFlesh and I just moved to the Bitterroot Valley area in Montana from Portland, Oregon.  We used to live in an urban neighborhood with a covered front porch and now we live on 5 wooded acres on the side of a mountain.  We still have a covered porch, but hardly anyone will see it - we don't even get mail delivery.  The former owner had put a "wreath" up at the entrance to the property (the road goes through the property so neighbors and their guests do drive down it) and I like the idea!  I was able to throw together something for Halloween from my stash (+ a spinal column the dogs found around), but now I'm wondering about the rest of the year.  I probably won't do a different thing for every holiday or anything, but a few holidays, maybe some of the seasons and some general welcome-y stuff.  BUT this has got to be able to take the elements.  It's wired to our "pasture" fence and has no shelter.  No big deal for the Halloween one, because looking a little worse for wear is my kind of Halloween.

Ideas I have so far:
Raid the dollar store for plastic decorations including plastic versions of glass ball xmas ornaments and other holiday stuff
plastic versions of tinsel
Cheapo silk flowers and leaves.

As you can see by the Halloween one, my taste is not necessarily traditional so go crazy with your brain storming!

Just for giggle here it is with October snow on it:
239  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / The Zombunnies Are Coming! on: October 26, 2012 08:00:38 PM

I made some zombunnies for a few friends back home.

They're made with white chocolate tinted with blue and green gel food color... but I added cinnamon to make them a little less sweet and that turned them purple-y. 

I used royal icing for the blood, guts and brains.

The eyes are pre-made sugar eyes from the cake decorating/candy making shop in my old neighborhood.
240  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bigfoots of a Feather on: October 15, 2012 08:46:25 AM
I'm in a tea towel swap with some friends and this is my latest contribution:

I am doing variations on a theme and that theme being Bigfoot; this on for an owl fan.
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