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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / These are not the droids you are looking for... on: October 31, 2011 07:21:51 PM

I made these for my daughter and son this Halloween. I'm really proud of R2D2 -- he's made of cardboard, styrofoam and a whole lot of duct tape. My husband came up with the idea, and I found someone on the web who had made one (but no directions on how) and went from there.

C3PO is made from some terrible (but pretty) fabric that I'll never use again because it unravels so easily.

The accessories are spray-painted gold.

And here's C3PO giving R2D2 a kiss (and a side view of the stroller).

I made both of these over the weekend (actually finished C3PO about two hours before trick-or-treating!)
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Ol' Blue Eyes on: October 09, 2011 07:28:31 PM

Here's a hat I crocheted Wednesday during my son Seamus' latest (and hopefully last) stint in the hospital. This last one was a quick stay just an overnighter after he had his aorta ballooned. But as you can tell, he's doing fine now!

This is based on this pattern from Lion Brand, but after I was about 75 percent done with the first one, I realized it was gonna be way too small, so I made it again and just measured it off Seamus' head. I also decided to remove the front flap because it just looked a little goofy. This is the second Lion Brand pattern I've made that's been too small is this a common problem?

It was a beautiful day at the park, too! Funny enough, it's actually 80-something degrees and he's wearing overalls shorts and short sleeves.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Save a journalists job and read this post! on: September 23, 2011 10:43:06 AM

Remember newspapers? That thing some kid threw on your front yard? It was full of yesterday's news, classified ads and crossword puzzles. Yes, despite iPads, smartphones and Kindles, newspapers are still going strong(ish).

I'm the entertainment editor at a newspaper, and as you can imagine, I have a lot of newspaper at my house (I get two a day sometimes!), so when I stumbled across this tutorial one day, I knew I had to make something like it. I like the idea of paying homage to my profession through art, and my boring lampshade was the perfect canvas.

This is my second of three lampshade recovers -- I covered this lampshade using a similar technique, but with fabric.

The tutorial I found was for covering a canvas with newspaper flowers. Its insanely simple, and only takes a couple of newspapers, an old canvas (recycle a used one, if you want) and lots of glue. And I mean a lot.

To begin, I cut the cord out the top of the shade, which gave it a cylindrical shape, instead of its normal cone shape. Using a hot glue gun, I covered the inside and out with flat sheets of newsprint, folding it over the edges and gluing on the inside of the shade. To make the flowers, I tore 2-inch strips down the length of the newspaper and then twisted them into flowers around my index finger. The strips dont need to all be the same size different widths of strips will make different size flowers, as well as how tightly you twist the strips into flowers (looser for bigger flowers, tighter for smaller). Watch out what you touch while you are doing this project, because your hands will get dirty.

Once a flower was twisted up, I secured the loose end with a dab of glue. Then I glued the completed flower to the lampshade. If I did it again, I maybe wouldn't cover the entire shade with flowers, because it limits the light a little too much. Id say it took about 80 flowers to cover this lampshade, and it would probably take the same amount to cover a smaller canvas.

I love how this ended up looking a modern piece, with a little twist. OK, with a lot of twists! There are little bursts of color throughout the piece from different ads. But the best thing is that this project cost me absolutely nothing but you should go out this Sunday (the biggest paper of the week, if you didn't know) and spend a couple bucks on your local rag. Many journalists like me will thank you!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / eye <3 catnip!!! on: January 14, 2011 06:12:51 AM

Or at least my sister's kitties do... She asked me to make her some catnip eyeballs, inspired by these, sometime last year, and I finally got around to it. Yes, they are different sizes -- I was experimenting...

I'm gonna make some more for my other cat-loving friends if I have enough fabric left.

I used a baseball pattern that I found online to make the balls, but they didn't come out round enough to satisfy me (maybe they need to be stuffed more?). Anyone have any tips for making balls?

5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / wormy hat on: January 14, 2011 06:02:16 AM
Be kind, this is the first thing I've crocheted in years...

I made this baby hat for a friend's newborn.

The pattern comes from Lion brand, you can find it here. I have to hurry up and mail it, because I'm afraid it won't fit if I wait too much longer!

It was easy once I figured out how to crochet again (I love youtube for stuff like that!!!) The pattern is "Worms in the grass," but I didn't have any worm-colored yarn, so I just went with blue. I think it's just cute to have little squiggly things on there.

This did remind me of how much I like to knit and crochet, so maybe I'll bust through some of the rest of my stash before winter's over!
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / And the dish ran away with the spoon ... (cue the banjo playing turtle) on: January 14, 2011 05:54:15 AM
Anyone else remember that little cartoon from Sesame Street? I loved it!

Well, here's a dish and spoon I made for a friend's 1.5 year old. This is the second set I've made, and I still want to make two more (for another friend's kid and one for my own baby!).

I got the pattern here.

So cute a easy to make -- only an hour or so. Maybe I should figure out how to make that turtle to go along with?
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Two-for-one table makeover w/Tute on: February 28, 2010 07:57:14 AM

When a friend moved out of state last year, she asked me if I wanted her dining room table. Honestly, I didnt need a dining room table (this one was a little small for my growing family), but I cant say no to something free. Also, I had an idea on how to transform that table into something more useful for me a pair of half-table consoles.

I got the idea for the consoles from a combination of one of the home makeover shows on HGTV and a tutorial from Martha Stewart. The project is simple and requires few tools, especially if the table has a split down the middle for a leaf. This is also a good project for a table that is missing a leg, or one that is scratched or otherwise damaged. As long as half the table is intact, it can be transformed.

1. First, extend the table (open it) and sand all surfaces. Wipe it down with a damp cloth when youre finished to remove any dust. Then paint the table in whatever color you desire. I went with white, since it matches any decor, but if you are painting over a dark table, youll probably need to prime it first. I think its easier to paint the table before you take it apart, because at this point it stills stands on its own.

2. Once the paint is dry, turn the table upside down and unscrew or unbolt the extension pieces from either side of the table. Lay an old blanket down first so you dont scratch or chip the paint. I saved those pieces of wood that attached the two sides of the table and used them in the next step.

3. Place a piece of wood (the piece I used was about 1 inch thick and 6 inches long) in the center of the straight edge of the table, or the edge that will be placed against the wall. Drill three evenly spaced holes through the piece of wood and into the table bottom, making sure you dont drill through to the top of the table. Screw the piece of wood securely into the table.

4. Place the table against the wall in the location you want it, making sure it is level. It helps to have a second person here to hold the table in place while you attach it to the wall. Drill at least three holes through the wood piece underneath the table into the wall. Be sure to not hit the other screws that are attaching that piece to the table. Attach the table to the wall with screws, and youre done.

I used one of the tables in my dining room and the other in the nursery to hold various baby items:

8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Quick and easy bassinet/changing pad cover on: January 26, 2010 10:25:46 AM

I made a couple of covers for the pad in my bassinet. It was really easy, AND it used up some of my stash fabric -- which is getting out of control! The process can also be used for changing pads or any other kind of pad that needs a slipcover.

Here's the pad by itself:

There's a tutorial for making the cover on my blog.
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Super cheap "boppy"-type nursing pillow on: January 25, 2010 09:51:31 PM
I made this nursing pillow and slipcover for about $7, which makes me very happy, since the Boppy brand ones run anywhere from $30-$50.

It was fairly easy to do, but I think I'll make some changes to the slipcover pattern next time. You can read a tutorial here.

C+C welcomed and appreciated -- and more baby-related projects to come ... if I don't give birth first (I'm four days past my due date!!!!)
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Dr. Gonzo gets a new bed on: January 25, 2010 08:38:05 PM
The first thing on my crafting to-do list this year was to make a dog bed for the family pupster, Dr. Gonzo. It's been at least a year since I threw out the last one (our other dog, Baxter the Pug, RIP, wouldn't stop peeing on it).

Here's the good doctor taking a load off -- he loves his bed, and curled up on it the minute I put it on the floor. You can't really tell in this photo, but the top side is a patchwork of some upholstery material that was given to me. It shouldn't be patchwork-y, but it turns out that Gonzo is afraid of my measuring tape (and many other things), so the first version came out much too small for him. The bottom is made of some furry material I picked up at a yard sale.

I used big snaps to close it off, so I can remove the cover and wash it as needed.

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