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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Kids Summer Art Camp- Need Project Ideas on: April 15, 2012 05:44:28 PM
I'm part of a local art guild and last year I was roped into helping conduct a kids day camp. We called it the "Green Art Camp" and even had the local summer school join us several days over the 2 weeks that it ran. We decided to conduct it again this summer since it was such a hit last year.

I'm looking for crafts that take 30 minutes to an hour and appeal to 3rd and 4th graders (most of the crafts I've found are for toddlers and would be entirely too simple). The supplies can't be outrageously expensive because we expect around 30 kids most days.

I would greatly appreciate any help you can provide because the camp is in June and I definitely don't think I have enough projects, even though I've been looking since December. Thanks so much!!
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Quick sort spilled beads? on: August 02, 2011 05:56:46 PM
Do you lovely crafters have any tips on how to quickly sort spilled beads? I'm helping a woman clean her home and craft things and one of the things she has asked me to do is organize her beads. She has lots of shelves and lots of containers for the beads. My problem is several years ago someone accidentally careened into her shelves of storage containers when they didn't have lids. All of her beads were mixed up after that and because she had so many beads it would have taken her weeks to get some order, so she just threw everything into Tupperware together. Now she's used a lot of the beads that were spilled, but it's gotten to the point that she can't continue making jewelry for a business because she's so frustrated with finding the right things. I'd like to help but because she has A LOT of beads I get a little overwhelmed when I try to start sorting. So I need some tips from you guys, from people who have actually experienced beads spilling and the ensuing frustration.

Most of her beads are medium sized, slightly smaller than a pony bead, and most are in the plastic jewelry organizers. I'm not really worried about those beads. I'm most concerned with the really mixed up beads that are in mixing bowls. Those are filled with seed beads, gemstones, crystals, all sorts of common beads. I don't even know how to start sorting those.

Please help so I don't start sorting and pull all my hair out in frustration. Thanks so much!

Edited to add :She doesn't really care about sorting the seed beads. She used to dump all the beads in a large hole colander and let the seed beads fall through. That will definitely help simplify things. However, because there are so many larger beads I need tips on sorting those so I don't end up only getting a few beads put away in an hour or so.

(Similar to the bead mess, but imagine an several extra large mixing bowls full.)
3  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Brown Heels to Pastel Pink. Now Shiny Black! on: February 02, 2011 08:26:40 PM

I bought some brand new vintage heels from Etsy last year. They were the perfect height but the wrong color for a dress I had to wear with only a few days notice. It was too late to buy new shoes so I just painted the brown heels pastel pink with acrylic paints. I sealed them with one or two coats of ModgePodge because I wanted it to be sort of temporary. I thought I could just wash the paint off when I was done. That didn't work out and they got super scuffed up, mostly black marks from the asphalt, so they looked terrible and I didn't want to wear them.

I started scrubbing the paint off and it wasn't coming off on it's own. I ended up buying "Oops! Off" which I think is just diluted lacquer thinner because it smells terrible. That removed almost all of the paint and I started searching for alternatives to painting. The only permanent option seemed to be leather dye. That made me super nervous, especially because I couldn't find a lot of information online. Tandy Leather, where I bought the dye wasn't helpful either, they seemed to want me to buy a lot of unnecessary products.

Turns out it wasn't hard. You have to remove the gloss/shine on the shoes with acetone. I used a super cheap nail polish remover that I had lying around, which actually removed the remaining paint too, until the shoes were matte. Then it was like painting thin layers of the dye on. I got too much, it just makes the dye look bronzed, but to fix that I waited until it was dry and buffed the excess dye off. I did two coats, which seemed like enough. I polished them with clear "Horsemen's Boot Shield". I waited a day then polished them again. Painted the bow cloudless blue with acrylic paint and ModgePoged it. After a few hours, I used waterproofing boot spray on them outside and now they are shiny. I'm so excited to wear them, I just need an occasion now!

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / What do you do with small amounts of fabric? Cut and un-cut lengths. on: January 15, 2011 04:30:14 PM
A few years ago I bought this gorgeous sheer chiffon fabric that's printed with navy blue swallows. The problem is I bought it from the remnant bin so I only got a yard and a half. I found it while cleaning out my fabric stash. I don't want to give it away or sell it because it's pretty, but I just don't know what to do with it.

I don't really wear blouses but don't know how to incorporate it into a dress. Any ideas?

I also have fabric from two failed dress projects (a dress that I messed up the pattern and a dress that I burned a large part of the bodice with the iron). Since I was making a dress the fabric has been cut up. I didn't want to throw it out because there's a lot of fabric even though it's in pieces. I have maybe a yard of either dress fabric that is un-cut but originally I had about 6 yards of each.

I've searched around for ideas on what to do with the cut pieces but I've really only found threads suggesting gibbous clothing. I'm not really a fan of that style and the fabric pattern and material seems too fancy to make something like that. The patterned fabric is brocade and the solid fabric is some sort of poly-blend with a slight sheen.
  This stuff blows to photograph! But it's about one shade lighter than the solid because it's slightly more blue. But it the other side is gold with purple flowers and works with either side showing.

5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / How do you create matelasse designs? Similar to smocking I think on: December 14, 2010 01:40:23 PM

I found this Miu Miu clutch on Net-a-porter.com a couple of days ago and since then I have been searching the internet for how to make it. It's almost exactly what my friend has been looking for in a clutch (although this is technically a wallet) and I would love to make it for Christmas. I've found several links to the bag and links to quilts claiming to be matelasse, but the quilt links are broken and I'm not sure they are correct anyway.

I'm pretty sure that it's very similar to smocking but I cannot figure out how to create the cool V designs. I've tried modifying Canadian smocking graphs and it turns into a mess when I practice on cotton. Can anyone help me? A dotted graph would be excellent but I'm up for any help you can offer. Thanks so much!

Sorry the photos are so huge!!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / What to do with velvet circle skirt. And there's a hole in jersey scarf,help! on: November 12, 2010 08:50:43 PM
I recently found a crushed velvet circle skirt I made a long time ago. I was obsessed with poodle skirts so I made several and this is the only one I kept, mostly because I remember paying a lot for the fabric. I can't bare to throw it out or give it away but I can't wear it. It still fits but you can't just wear an ankle length velvet skirt to the store.

So i need suggestions on what I should do with it. I'm not entirely sure how much fabric is there but I'd guess about 2 yards. The hem is enormous. I don't want to just shorten it to knee or mini length because that seems like a giant waste of the length I cut off.

On a separate issue, I have a pink jersey scarf that for some reason has holes in it. I'm pretty sure it's from the washer or dryer but I've washed it several times before, it's just now getting random holes. The spot in the picture is only about 2 1/2 inches wide at the end of the scarf.  My mom suggested a patch but those are super stiff and the fabric is super stretchy and soft so that won't work. I could hand-stitch the holes closed but that might look weird and puckery.

Any suggestions would be wonderful because my brain is going blank on ideas for both.
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Dandelion! Inspired by Pushing Daisies Image heavy! on: November 05, 2010 07:59:48 PM
Last year ( I think) I posted in the costume section asking for ideas of what to use. I couldn't find the stuff that I wanted to use, mainly because I wasn't thinking broadly enough. So I ended up being a half-hearted bee (I only had a striped ruffle skirt) but this year I wanted to try the dandelion again. After looking up the suggestions and running around town I started to run out of ideas, but not the desire to make it.

After failing to find balloon sticks (the party store employee looked at me like I was crazy. Isn't the term kind of self-explanatory?) my mom found candy sticks at Michael's. Genius! I painted those brown (from light to dark brown) leaving a white space at the top (mainly so I could hold the sticks while painting). The white space ended up being a great guide for the floofy bit.

Last year I tried shredding and folding single marabou feathers but this year I used marabou feather boas. I used three six foot boas (one is super fluffy and two have little feather spines attached to the yarn. The spine boas were 5 bucks cheaper and they look almost the same as the other one.) I cut little pieces hot glued them to 100 sticks. Cutting them was terrible because ANY time I moved even a little I got a swirl of feathers. I had to vacuum myself before I got up so they weren't all over the house.

I made the hat base out of brown felt. I tried to use a Martha Stewart pattern for an animal hat, you use glue and water to stiffen the fabric stretched over a bowl. But that didn't give it enough structure so I used https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=361109.0 .I mapped out where to put the sticks because I could have easily used 100 sticks on two pieces ( I spaced them too close together at first).

After that I cut and poked small holes and secured the sticks in with lock nut washers and LOTS of hot glue. Definitely too flimsy so I got super duper stiff interfacing at Walmart and cut leftover green fabric for a lining. I just stitched that in with wisp stitches. I also stitched in a piece of bias tape so I could easily carry it when I was tired of wearing it.

The dress is definitely not the focal point of the costume but I used M6028 with dark green and a lighter green cotton. I had to chop almost 5 inches off the dress because it was super frumpy to start with. It ended up being kinda short (by my standards anyway) but I'm still pretty happy with it.

I made a yellow bag out of yellow satin I had from some project. I french seamed it so I wouldn't fall apart but I didn't line it or anything since I really only needed it for one night. I didn't have any go-go boots like the girl on the show and we walked everywhere so I wore my combat-style boots. Didn't really match my brown tights or the costume but I decided I was more of a bad-ass dandelion than a girl-y one.
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Lacy Netbook! on: June 25, 2010 02:12:46 PM
I got a netbook at the end of May and I knew before I had made a final decision on which one to get that I wanted to modify the front. I can't stand fingerprints and black is WAY too boring for me. I saw a Macbook sleeve in Vogue that I thought was lace over padding and I totally fell in love with it. Turns out the sleeve wasn't lace, but the idea still stuck.

I got a 1/2 yard of lace at Jo-anns, but I honestly could have gotten a 1/4 yard. I couldn't find the double stick tape that I wanted to use so I just used Elmer's glue and then rubbed a little over the top of the lace after running a thin line under the lace. My inside corners don't look gorgeous but I'm one of the only people that will ever see it so I'm okay with that. And I managed to leave the webcam uncovered, so score!
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Where's Waldo? Suitcase. AKA My new traveling companion! on: June 16, 2010 07:56:37 PM

Unfortunately I don't have any before shots, but I think it was a green-ish gray color. I lost the before shots because I've been working on it for about a year and a half. And by working on it, I totally mean painting a few lines then procrastinating and leaving it for a month.

I had this suitcase for a while before I decided what to do with it. I think I had even painted it pink with acrylic paint. I scrubbed most of that off and sprayed it with Walmart spray paint. Eventually, after procrastinating for a while I bought small jars of red and white enamel. I taped it and started painting the stripes. That took FOREVER because I had to wait a long time between each coat for it to dry. Then I used polyurethane and put three to four coats on each side. I wouldn't advise using that on white because I have noticed it's got a slight yellow tinge that will probably get worse with age. Hopefully it will hold up when I use it.

The inside is what took me the absolute longest, why it's been a year and half. I couldn't figure out how to reupholster the inside so it would stick permantely and so the glue wouldn't show through the fabric. Spray glue WILL NOT work, and I tried elmer's glue and I even mixed that with a little bit of gorilla glue. Sticky, but it made the fabric really hard. I HAVE FOUND THE SECRET. If you put fabric on the sticky side of contact paper you can put glue on the back of it and it won't show through. Then you can use a thin layer of whatever glue you want, I used wood glue and gorilla glue mixed and spread in a super thin layer.

I'm still not technically done, I didn't put fabric on two of the sides but at this rate I'll never have it done. And it's still usable. The only thing I would have done differently is when I put the tape on I just painted it. My brother who custom paints cars told me I should have heated the tape with a blowdryer so it would seal and I'd have sharper lines. Good advice that I'll definitely use if I ever decide to stripe something again.

I'm taking it on the train to Texas in two weeks, so I'll update when I get back if it chips or anything.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Covering a burn mark?! Help Needed Immediately, Please! on: April 19, 2010 03:51:35 PM
I've been working on my prom dress and I don't even know what happened. The iron wasn't THAT hot and I didn't leave it on THAT long, but I ended up with an iron burn in the middle of my fabric. I've already re-cut the bodice once and that piece is unusable. And of course I'm out of extra fabric. The nearest fabric store is an hour away.

SO. I need some ideas on how to cover the burn. It's small, but it is very noticable because it's in the middle of the front bodice. I was thinking it'd be okay to put a flower over it, but I realized that it's be smack in the middle of my boob. Not okay.

I just need some ideas to cleverly cover the burn. It should be somewhat discreet too, I don't  want it to just look slapped on there. Oh and I have like a week and a half to finish it, so embroidery isn't an option.

This is the piece from a few feet away.
Please help! I can't just scrap the thing, I've spent too much time and money.
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