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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sculpted eyes plush. on: September 27, 2006 01:48:28 PM
Here's a little guy I finished up yesterday morning before work.

His body is made of this crappy old nappy faux fur that I found in a bargain bin somewhere - it's totally awful and ugly but I love it and it was perfect for this project.

He's about 7 inches tall (not counting ears) and the ears are lined with blended wool felt.  His teeth are velveteen, and he was stitched together by hand (I hate sewing machines, for the most part  Tongue ) with embroidery floss.

His faceplate is molded sculpey over glass eyes backed with 24k gold foil.  He's painted with acrylics, and the whole shebang is sewn onto the doll.

Thanks for looking!


here's a facial closeup:

2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Rendering Tallow for Soapmaking: w/Tutorial on: June 13, 2005 02:36:52 PM
I decided to add hand-rendered tallow soap to my repetoire of experiences in cold-process soapmaking. On Saturday, my (vegetarian) husband and I stopped in at Mason's Meat Mart, a charming establishment that not only harbors the overwhelming smell of cold raw flesh, but boasts a large display of collected meat-slicing implements and various skulls hanging about. We purchased 2.5 pounds of raw suet (that's beef fat, kids) and went on our way home. It cost me $4.21.

I thought I'd post it here for any traditional-method soapmakers, in case anybody wanted to try their hand at rendering their own fat.  It's good if you have friends or relatives who hunt deer or raise livestock - you can usually get it for free because it's usually considered a waste product.

Rendering: The Dry Method

Here is the raw suet in the pot. I should have cut this stuff into smaller, maybe 1-inch pieces, but I didn't want to touch the stuff any more than I had to. This will stick to you like no grease I have ever encountered, and it's really difficult to wash off the ol' hands. If you are going to do this, I recommend kitchen gloves so you don't have to get sticky, and chop it up.

Turn the burner on LOW. You want to melt it, not cook it.

SAFETY TIP: Keep a tight-fitting lid handy, especially if you're cooking on gas heat. Fat can catch fire easily, and NEVER throw water on a grease fire- instead, put the lid on to deprive the flames of oxygen until the fire goes out.

After a while, the fat will begin to melt. As it melts, dump it into a clean measuring cup (or something that has a spout) and pour it into a clean jar (I used an old spaghetti jar) that has a coffee filter attached to the top. This will drip s-l-o-w-l-y into the jar, but you'll filter out all the bits of meat, gristle, and connective tissue that may be left in there.

I found using a metal potato ricer to mash the bits of fat helped squeeze the liquid fat out and they melted faster.

TIP: don't let too much liquid fat accumulate at the bottom of the pan because it will burn, and that will smell like a nasty singed cow. Ladle or pour it out as it melts and you'll avoid this.

Once all the fat is melted and poured out, you have bits left in the pan. These are the cracklin's, and if you're really hardcore pioneer, you can grab yourself a biscuit and some extra fat, spread those puppies on and chow down. I am not hardcore, so I threw them away.

Now you've rendered fat and you're left with a jar of clean fat that will be white when it cools down.

I made soap with it using 80% tallow in the recipe (the rest was 10% coconut oil and 10% olive oil), and here are the results:

It's colored with French green clay, and the colored/white bits inside are soap shavings from previous batches. I scented it with a nice, manly, woodsy scent. It's a great soap, but whether or not it's worth the pot roast smell during rendering and all that hard work is yet to be determined!

Happy rendering!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / dental bathroom (UPDATE, Page 9!) on: August 13, 2004 10:41:07 AM
My husband and I are renting a small apartment *white walls! shudder!*, and have this dorky little bathroom downstairs.  It is a long rectangle shape with the sink at one end and the toilet at the other. Very white and sterile, so I decided to capitalize on the "sterility" factor and make it a dentist/mad scientist lavatory:

Syringes, dental picks, and bottles of tooth-filling material by the sink.

Curio boxes over the towel bar.

Straitjacket, bottles, glass syringe, dental encyclopedias, and metal toilet paper roll holder.  There is a small stack of books ("Managing I.V. Therapy", "Health and Disease") by the toilet for restroom reading.

There is still more to be done (x-rays and such to be hung on walls, etc.), but the idea is there.  Much of the collection belonged to my husband's grandfather, who was a dentist, and many other things are from my own collection of medical implements from days gone by.  I made the straitjacket (above the toilet) as a Halloween costume a year ago.  The shadow boxes were bought from a craft store and painted white.  I also made a soap dispenser out of an old amber-colored medicine bottle - someone's prescription for "brompton's mixture". 

Thought someone might enjoy this Smiley

Look at Pg. 9 of replies for more pics!
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / gilbert. on: August 13, 2004 10:16:21 AM
Hello, I'm new here...there doesn't seem to be any "official" place to do that, so, I'll do it here.

I make little creatures:


They're wool felt aged with paint and powdered chalk pastels.  The eyes are glass taxidermy eyes for mounting fish, which, unfortunately you can't see that they're brilliant 24 karat gold and extremely detailed.

Thanks for letting me share him.  So happy to find a craft forum with a specific "stuffed things" section!

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