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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Lily Crystal Necklace on: December 28, 2009 12:12:12 PM
I stumbled across this clasp in my local bead shop, and I just had to design a necklace around it.  So I found a nice silver floral focal piece and built off of it with a delicate silver chain and some clear swarovski crystals.  This is what came out of it:

This is the original clasp (and the chain zoom):

12  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Wonderland's White Rabbit Necklace & Earrings on: December 23, 2009 06:17:51 PM
I saw this pendant and knew that I had to make an Alice in Wonderland necklace for the white rabbit.  It features two different kinds of chain in the same pattern, one silver and one gunmetal (the gunmetal hangs at the bottom, the silver makes the main chain.)  I made connectors using loop pins and jet hematite crystals.  It connects with a big key with a crown on the side, and a flowered clasp in the front side.  There's a little heart dangling between the draped gunmetal chain, and I like to think of it as the Queen of Hearts' heart.

A closeup on the rabbit pendant and the key:

Matching earrings:

13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Keys to the Heart Necklace on: December 23, 2009 04:21:55 PM
So this is my second project using chain, and maybe I went a little overboard using tons of it... Haha!  I saw the giant key at Michael's and I just had to hunt down appropriate matching pendants in my jewelry stash.  I wanted to use lots of different kinds and colors of chain, so there's everything from silver to gunmetal to black (the only gold is on the big key.)  Lots of jumprings, but the project didn't take that long, surprisingly.

Here's the finished necklace:

Here's a closeup of the individual pendants:

The gold key has a sort of Hindu elephant on it.  Then there's a little heart with swirlies on it, a padlock, a sparkly bead, some plain chain, a little skeleton key, and some more plain chain.

Edit: I forgot the matching earrings!  One has the padlock, and one has the key.

14  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Owl Brooch Chain Necklace on: November 29, 2009 10:00:39 AM
So I've been doing beading on wire with crimp beads and the like for ages, but this is the first time I've had the guts (or the inspiration) to go venturing into working with chain.  I had a ton of coupons on top of Black Saturday sale prices, so it was a good time to try buying all of the materials.

I LOVE IT!  It was a bit of a hassle when I got home from the bead store to discover that the pretty, slender chain I'd chosen for the base necklace was too small to fit my jump rings through.   Roll Eyes  Thus is my life.  It ended up working.  I used my pair of needlenose pliers to stretch out the links I needed to jumpring through.  I'm positive that I've severely damaged my necklace's structural integrity, but I'm lazy (and more importantly, broke) and wasn't going to get another two feet of chain.  I definitely broke several links doing it, but it WORKED, and I think that's what's important.

All in all, I'm really happy with it, especially for a first project with chain.  I'm definitely doing more as soon as I have a chance to go to the bead store.

The centerpiece is a little glass and metal brooch I got at Michael's.  There are two types of chain, a thin plain chain as the base and a really pretty decorative chain for the dangly bits (scientific name, I know.)  I used head pins for the hangy bits.  There are silver carved bar beads on a few spots, and blue Swarovski crystals to match the brooch on the hangy bits.

So this is what I came up with:

And a view on my brown shirt:

If you guys have any comments/critique/helpful hints, I'd love to hear them!  I have lots to learn Smiley
15  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / First Stencil Project: The Demon's Lexicon (Picture Fat) on: July 22, 2009 12:59:08 PM

My favorite author is Sarah Rees Brennan, who wrote The Demon's Lexicon (http://www.sarahreesbrennan.com/demonslexicon2.html.)  I highly recommend it.  Any book that includes such phrases as "Of course, Nick was expected to get rid of the bodies" and "The pipe under the sink was leaking again.  It wouldn't have been so bad, except that Nick kept his favorite sword under the sink" has to be amazing, and it is.

Anyway, she's theoretically coming to my area in October (which would be very exciting, since she's otherwise halfway around the world.)  I wanted to do something cool for her, since she's very personable and easily excited by any fannish crafty things people make about her writing.  So I decided to finally try stenciling, something I've been meaning to get into, but never really had the chance.

Of course, being a crazy perfectionist with eyes bigger than her head, I went nuts with complicated stencils.  I even did a three-layer design on the front (did I mention this was my first stencil?)   Roll Eyes

I spent I don't know how many hours cutting out my stencils from freezer paper, using exacto knives.  I literally had blisters on my fingers from the knives, I kid you not.  I used only two bottles of fabric paint, red and white, both Tulip brand, mixing to get a pink midtone, on a black shirt.  After I had already finished most of my shirt, I was poking around on craftster and discovered that Velveteen Tulip paint, which was what I got, is apparently designed to be a puffy paint that rises and bubbles when it's put under a steam iron.  I panicked.  Like a good little girl scout, I put on some of my red paint to scrap fabric and ironed it.  Nothing.  I put it in the dryer for extra checks.  Nothing.  Reassured that my paint was not going to pull some crazy yeast action on me, I kept painting and ironing.

Little did I know that my red paint was Matte, only my white was Velveteen.  All of my testing was for naught.  The shirt bubbled up and made hideous fluffy pockets that made the face of the boy I was painting look like he had a particularly bad case of hives.  The skyline had a streak of bubbles reminiscent of some horrible steam-powered experiment going on in one of the skyscrapers.  I was devastated.

Since I'd put so much time into it, I finished it, though.  I tried to call Tulip to see if I could reverse the bubbling, but they haven't called me back.  Big surprise.  As a kind of last-ditch effort, I ironed more of the shirt to let the bubbling blend in with the rest of the puffs.  It's still not what I wanted, but it at least is wearable now, if only just.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

A poster with the British cover (the American one is less pretty) and part of the stencil I made from it in Photoshop for the front of the shirt.

The back:

I like the back!  The back didn't have fluffy, bubbly problems.  I'm still pleased with how it came out.

Size comparisons!

I swear, I am never doing crazy fonts again.  I'm sticking to Arial and sans serif fonts.

Ditto to this, though this was part of the actual logo, Sarah's name was a font I chose in my own stupidity.

The front with flash, which kind of hides the bubbling (kind of.)

The front without flash, which really doesn't.  *cries*

A few sideways shots that let you really see how raised this paint is.

The paint, and a lesson to others who were as uninformed as I was:

Matte paint on the left - good.  Velveteen paint on the right - bad.  Hiss!

I think what makes me the most pissed off about this is that the bottle doesn't say ANYTHING about its puffing tendencies, which is (apparently) the point of the Velveteen paint.  It's not advertised there at all, anywhere on the wrapper.  I couldn't have possibly known about the paint from the false advertising.

Anyway, despite my new and deep distrust of Tulip's false advertising of products, I really love stenciling, and can't wait to do it again.  Smiley  I'll just have to buy better paint.
16  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Freezer paper adhesion over fabric paint? on: July 17, 2009 03:56:29 PM
Okay, so I'm a total newbie as far as stenciling goes.  I finished the back of my shirt already, which is simple and just one-color areas.  The front of the shirt, however, has a design that includes three colors flush up next to each other - white, pink, then red - to make a cel shading effect.  I just finished the white layer, and I'm going to go consecutively darker.

Now, here's my question.  Is it safe to iron freezer paper over fabric paint?  I'm using Tulip brand 'velveteen soft' fabric paint with stencil brushes, if that makes a difference.  Do I have to make a larger stenciling area that cuts over both the white AND the pink layer when I paint the pink, and just be careful not to paint over my white, or can I cut out a stencil that is pink only and iron it straight over the white?

Just in case that question makes no sense outside of my head...

1) Do I have to just be careful where I paint and include the previously painted white in my stencil area for pink: 


2) Can I iron over the previously painted white?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Checkerboard Mirrors on: June 22, 2009 07:08:51 PM
So this is possibly the simplest project ever, but it's my first thread here, and so I'm keeping it easy.  I inherited these little roundish mirrors from somewhere (Grandpa, Dad, who knows) and they've been sitting under my bed and in various locations in my room since I was, like, 10.  Now that I'm back on summer break from college, I've been cleaning, and stumbled across them.  They were ugly, old, masonite things, very cheap.

Here's the finished project:

Since this is totally easy and I suspect most of you could do this way better than I ever could and in half the time, this is only a mock tutorial so you can giggle at my mistakes  Cheesy

1.  Inherit old junk.  This is the easy step.  My mirrors were very cheap, with clunky masonite edging that was badly cut (I rulered the edges, and they were definitely not straight when they were supposed to be on the one that involved straight edges...)  The backs were set on badly with cheap glue and paper hook thingies.

2.  Decide what you want to do with said old junk.  I got it into my head that I wanted a retro checkerboard pattern, so I got my paint supplies, a ruler, and a pencil, and went at it.  I measured out every single 7/8" square and rulered them straight.

This was the point where my Dad came in and said that it would be so much easier if I just used painter's tape instead of trying to paint with in the lines.  I promptly felt like an idiot.

3.  Paint over your hard-earned gridlines and nearly cry at the wasted effort.

4.  Curse your cheap acylic paint and apply two more coats.

5.  Put on painter's tape.  Since the tape itself was 1" wide, I just measured an inch between strips.  MORE MEASURING, YAY.  Get angry every time the tape doesn't stick well, even though that's the point of painter's tape.

6.  Find a really sharp object.  Preferably an exacto knife, but I suppose anything would do.  Try not to cut your fingers off.  Cut out all of the little squares where the tape intersects itself, careful to use straight lines.  Mutter under your breath every time you go off-track.

7.  Rinse and repeat.

8.  Go to sleep.  Keep working.

9.  Paint in the checkerboards.  If you have a stencil brush, use it.  I didn't.  Yay.  Try not to get paint under the tape.  You will inevitably fail.

10.  Take off the tape!  This is the pseudo-exciting part.  You get to see where it worked and... where it didn't.

11.  Clean up the edges on the spots where it didn't.  Wipe the paint off of the mirror glass.  Paint the edges.  Generally patch over all the parts you screwed up earlier.

12.  Hang.  Enjoy!  Oooh and Aaah.

18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / How to: Cowl neck halter snug against neck ? on: August 21, 2008 08:55:07 PM
Edit: Whoops!  Tried to post this, then was confused when it didn't work.  Forgot the no pictures until 10 posts rule.  Repost with links instead.

A while ago, I came across this gorgeous authentic vintage 30's gown on a vintage online store.  It immediately caught my eye - wine red velvet, a sexy slit open back, a fishtail train, wrist-buttoned pointed sleeves, and an attractive cowl neck that was also a snug-to-the-neck buttoned halter.  Even though it was a bit out of my normal price range, I might have gradually worked up the funds had I not noticed that it was 9 sizes too small for me!  Eep!  I simply cannot loose 9 sizes for a dress.  So, in true Craftster form, I plan to make my own remake of the original vintage.  I think that I can manage to figure out how to do the fishtail train and the slit back, but I am frighteningly clueless when it comes to the cowl neck halter.

I understand the basic idea behind making a normal cowl neck, but that only makes ones that still drop in a vaguely u-shape neckline.  I have no idea how I would go about making one that is high-necked and snug.  If anyone could help with a bit of advice, I would be very grateful!

The following two links are to the images of the dress:

The original store is here - http://www.dorotheasclosetvintage.com/1930s.html if anyone is interested in purchasing one of her vintage pieces.  She is a very helpful online storekeeper (I had to ask about the measurements to be sure it was indeed too small.)

(Admin: I did consider the etiquette about 'how to make' questions on other people's works - I decided that this did not apply as the seller had not actually made the item in question, since it was made almost 80 years ago.  If that decision was in error, and this is out of form, please let me know so that I can avoid making future faux pas of that nature. Smiley )
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