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31  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Totally Tubular Gift Wrap on: December 12, 2016 02:22:59 PM

For some reason, I just thought that my BIL's xmas gift would be wrapped in a tube, like that classic oatmeal box trick to keep people from being able to guess. It turns out that we had a sturdy tube package from an Irish whisky we received as gift ourselves and it was the PERFECT SIZE to fit in the one little spot left in the box of gifts being shipped to the family! Instead of just wrapping it as per usual, I made it into something reusable as a gift container using only items that I had in my stash.

I used wrapping paper and washi tape on the main body. I drilled a hole into the top, then finished with a grommet and a ribbon for a handle.

I used a wooden bead to reinforce the ribbon handle.

And here's the little gift tag (one of the things in the tube is a stocking cap)! It's made from a holiday card using a punch.

32  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Wooden Snowflake Door Decorations on: December 07, 2016 12:06:05 PM

I have had this monogram snowflake for over a year and finally got around to finishing it! I used an acrylic "Stain & Seal to "pickle" the whole thing and then used glass glitter for the initial "F."

I couple of weeks ago I spotted this, smaller, wooden snowflake in the Target cheapo bins and picked it up for the balcony door. I used the same pickle treatment, but since there wasn't really a good spot for the glitter, I used this little beads from Michael's glitter line to fill in and highlight the grooves.

33  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Fake Antique Wooden Crate on: December 02, 2016 07:12:03 PM

This crate is for a larger project for promoting The ManFlesh's 1st novel that is coming out in February. I've posted a few other parts of that already! The end has the book deets.

The side has the advertising verbiage from the book.

And some bottles packed in straw to keep them from breaking as the medicine show travels from place to place by wagon.

I tried a couple of image transfer methods before having success with xylene and laser printed images. That worked like a charm!

What didn't work like a charm was the metal edges which are actual metal that I aged... after I applied a clear, acrylic varnish to protect the aging, the metal took on a duct table look. BOO!

34  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Snake Oil/Patent Medicine Bottles on: December 01, 2016 12:56:03 PM
The ManFlesh's first novel comes out in February 2017 and I am having great fun making fan "art" for publicity purposes. An 1870s miracle cure plays an important role in the story, so I designed a label for attaching to bottles of the "medicine" and filled them up!

And a slightly closer look at the labels on the bottles before they were filled and corked.

The crate is a sample of something I might make for some local shops that might sell his book, but aren't bookshops with shelves for such.
35  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / My First Cosplay: Dr. Potter's Medicine Show, The Vest on: November 04, 2016 06:24:37 PM
The ManFlesh is getting his first novel published and it comes out next February (2017), so I am making him this suit for a publicity cosplay-style photo shoot. I started with the smallest piece with the fewest steps and halfway through I thought to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?"

That said, I'm super pleased with how the vest turned out and am going to go ahead and post it to keep up my morale! I found this paisley in the vintage prints section of a large fabric store and it goes really nicely with the brown check I got for the suit itself.


Just plain mid-weight cotton for the back and lining. I am forever cutting hardware and notions off of things we are getting rid of, so I already had the D-rings.

Last year I "inherited" my family's button box! It has at least 4, possibly 5, generations of saved and extra buttons in it. These shell buttons, that may well be from the period in which the book takes place (late 1870s)! I had to find new cotter pins for them, because I made the vest washable and the shell buttons are not. It was fun and nerve racking to make double the button holes in order to use them. Wink

Next week I will start the pants. Wish me luck!
36  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Apothecary (sooooo many pics) on: October 30, 2016 04:49:09 PM

For the last few years I have been saving jars and bottles from food stuffs that we use up AND collecting interesting things from nature (by which I mean our yard in the forest) and other weird things (by which I mean trash) to make an apothecary! Well, I had enough time this year to put about half of what I have collected together. Whew! They're lined up in a niche that is over our pantry door in the kitchen and might just stay there year round.

I made the labels using Photoshop, Dover clip art, downloaded fonts, printed on some paper with bits in it that I tea stained.

Close-ups, front and back.

The tree one is using a font called "Symbols" and says "Cone from Pine of Siam"

The butterfly wings were collected off the ground... we've a pine butterfly of some sort that swarms in mid-summer then dies all over the yard.

These alvioli are actually the dried flower pods of hen and chicks!

Even the bat brains are ethically sourced (dollar store). I didn't even kill any plants to make these.  Grin
37  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Bathtub Gin on: October 20, 2016 06:29:29 PM

Our friends throw a Barter Party each autumn and I always bring homemade gin. It's not really made in the bathtub, it's made in glass bottles stored in a cool, dark place.

This year I'm bringing two sizes to give us more options for bartering: 6 quarts and 4 pints. Don't worry, I saved some for us!

I put together the juniper branch in the bathtub using free clip art.

38  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Caramelized Onion & Balsamic BACON JAM! on: October 20, 2016 05:56:36 PM

Our friends throw a Barter Party every autumn where people gather to trade things they've made, grown, canned, caught, etc. with each other. This year I decided to make some bacon jam to trade for some goodies that we can't make, grow, can, or catch.

One requirement is that things you bring to trade are clearly labeled... this one slips by some folks, but I make up for it by overdoing it. Wink I can't help it!

I used this recipe which I found through pinterest:

The pig art was found online: It was made by Enterprise IG for Ogilvy & Mather
39  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / I'm the Sasquatch Kid! No wait, Burgerfoot. No! BEEEEFSQUAAAAAATCH! on: October 16, 2016 11:18:12 AM
My cousin's daughter celebrated her 25th birthday with a Bob's Burgers themed party and my cousin commissioned me to help him with his costume: BEEFSQUATCH! (Season2:Episode 9) I made the burger, he bought the mask, chucks, etc.

I had a lot of fun with it, but it was a little stressful because I live in Montana, he's living in California for work, and his daughter lives in Seattle. So no fittings and because of time limitations, size, and shipping cost, I shipped it directly to Seattle and he didn't even get to see it (in person) until early morning the day of the party!

The burger deets:


The bun exterior is a spray painted, egg crate mattress pad, with the backside facing out.

Side with all the garnishes:

The bun interior and lettuce are woven cotton, the ketchup is cotton blend jersey, the cheese is marine vinyl, and the burger is polar fleece.


Close up of the sesame seeds which are beads I made with polymer clay and then painted and sewed on.

You can see that there ended up being a decent range of motion!
40  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Quickie Autumnal Wreath on: October 07, 2016 03:02:21 PM

I have painted the exterior doors on the house and not a bright, statement color. I did this partly because I wanted a more neutral, statement color on which to hang decorations and this little wreath is my first one!

Wreath form, birdie, and plaid ribbon from a big box craft store; wooden and foil leaves from Target.

I also just installed this wreath hanger on the door - it's actually a cabinet knob from a big box home center; the finish matches the door knob!

Even though I told myself for months that any decorations on the door must take into account that the window means the back will be visible, I completely forgot to take that into account while I was making this. Luckily, it's pretty plain on the back and there's not really any visible fasteners and such. WHEW! Plus, it's backlit by sunlight!
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