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1  Lydia, The Tattooed Lady in CHALLENGE 91 ENTRIES by kcli on: October 01, 2013 02:31:17 PM

HOST:  ...and here is the moment we have all been waiting for.  Our runner up for 1939's Miss Tattoo Contest goes to... Lydia!  
(Host crowns Lydia with a red robe as she expresses disappointment at another humiliation)

HOST:  As our 2nd place winner, a song has been written especially for her.  Hit it boys...

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia?
Lydia the Tattooed Lady
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so
Lydia, oh Lydia that encyclo-pedia
Oh Lydia The Queen of Tattoo!

*Little does Lydia know that during the next 74 years, her song will be performed by many and most recently featured as a ring tone in the final episode of Breaking Bad!

Lydia was inspired by Mimi Kirchners work, and started her life as a pillowcase from Dirty Linen's "Suburban Toile" line.  After removing all seams, the pillowcase was soaked in a mild coffee/tea solution to give it a fleshy color.  Lydia's face and hands are stitched with love (eventho she has not yet experienced it) and consideration was given toward each tattoo before her body parts were cut out.

Lydia's tattoos represent her life story and include:

Foliage on her legs to hide stubble

Birds on her chest express freedom

A removable top (which requires a 10 cent charge for viewing) teases her audience with power lines and lets them know show she is no longer a small town girl

Thanks for viewing! Roll Eyes
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2  Bear or Butterfly? in CHALLENGE 90 ENTRIES by kcli on: September 06, 2013 12:02:38 PM

(Hi Sweets4Ever...If having more than one bear disqualifies me from the miniature challenge, please let me know and I'll resubmit photos with only one bear - - thanks!)

These bears are tired of staying awake at night to chase away bad dreams.  Instead as they sit around a quarter, they are considering whether they want to try out their wings to become butterflies.

I found a book at the library on making miniature bears and thought it would be perfect for this challenge.  I definitely got carried away as I experimented with different patterns, reduction (to 70%!), various fabric and naps. 

Their limbs are attached with embroidery floss which allows them to rotate, and a cotter pin connecting the head to the body allows the head to move and hold it's position.

From the photos notice when sitting they are about the size of a quarter, or apx 1", and when standing upright measure about 2".

Although hard to see in the photos, the hands/feet have contrasting pads along with eyes, a nose and mouth to show expression on the face.

After completing a few (without wings), I read a poem* which captured the sweetness of these gentle giants and inspired me to attach a few silk flowers for their wings.

Flutter by,
Floating flower
in the sky
Kiss me with your
Petal wings - -
Whisper secrets,
Tell of spring.

Thanks for looking!   Roll Eyes
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3  ZZZzzz - a bedroom solution in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by kcli on: August 09, 2013 08:51:26 AM
To me, Craftster is a way to express ...myself ...my hands ...my thoughts ...my comments ...my appreciation ...my admiration ...my inspiration ...my anything related to crafting! 

(As a teenage in the early 1970's/precomputer days, many Friday/Saturday nights were spend alone in my room.  My boredom was alievated by gaining craft skills, but because crafting supplies were limited to yarn and glue, I improvised with lots of unrelated materials and techniques.  Later as a young adult I associated crafting with loneliness and rejected anything associated with that time in my life.  Fast forward 40 years and I now realize Craftster has taught me to recognize the earlier period of my life as a time of reflection and skill development.  I am now able to allow my crafting soul to grow and have learned so much from others in the Craftster community.)

I wanted our bedroom to be gender neutral and needed something for the wallspapace above the bed.  I had seen a collection of the letter "Z" arranged above a bed, but didn't have any as I collect the letter "K".  Even if I did have lots of the letter "Z", I don't want a ton of holes in my wall.  So...I decided to improvise.

After gluing different paper patterns on to foam board, I then traced the letter "Z" from templates I got at the hobby store.  Because less than 30% of the population dream in color, I purposely chose black and white patterns.  I then glued the letters on top of each other in the shape of a thought bubble, with an added splash of color to balance the look.  In order to support letters that were not laying directly against the wall, I cut small squares from the foam board and glued them on the underside.

I'm pleased with the way it turned out, and in hindsight I should have hung it a little higher over the bed, or provided better reinforcement to the bottom letters because cats can be curious -- and one of the culprits happened to mangle a couple of the lower letters.  Fortunately and easy fix is in sight!

Thanks for looking  Smiley
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4  Washi/Duck Tape Decorated Toenails in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by kcli on: August 08, 2013 04:41:24 PM
To me, Craftster means...a chance to share my creations in a supportive environment, even if one of those creations is kinda gross.

I tend to blame working at a keyboard all day for my poor penmanship, along with anything else that requires fine hand detail.  Thankfully I'm not a girly girl because no matter how hard I try, my polish jobs tend to be a bit sloppy unless I use stick-on decals.

So when my summer pedicure needed an update, I decided to experiment on my toenails and make my own decals using zebra duck tape and pink washi tape.

Using a sheet of decals as my pattern, I outlined the shapes/sizes and copied them onto the non-waxy side of Freezer Paper.  Since my toenails are short, I drew a line to cut the nail pattern in half.

I then laid the sticky side of the tape facing up and positioned each half of the nail pattern (waxy side) on either side of the tape so that the nail pattern extends over the tape.  This ensures the curved sections will be cut smoothly and the paper will act as a tag to separate the tape from the paper.

Once cut, the individual pieces are compared against the base of the toenail for the best fit.

After the tape is peeled from the freezer paper and placed on da piggies, the excess is trimmed and filed.  It seems the washi tape stays on longer with a coat of clear polish, whereas none is required for the duck tape version.     Thanks for looking Grin
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5  Denim Hammock in Quilting: Completed Projects by kcli on: August 08, 2013 07:05:45 AM
To me...Craftster is my drug of choice!   Grin

(My mantra is "accentuate the positive / medicate the negative", and the BEST medication is creating something!  Even if I don't physically produce anything, the thought of ...how it might be constructed, ...the materials to use, ...the technique I want to apply, ...the colors involved, ...the message I want to convey, etc... takes me into a private zone and the cray-z world around me disappears.  Yeah, there may be some bad results, but each trip a wonderful experience and makes me crave more and more.)

My brother-in-law was retiring and while "no gifts" were to be part of the celebration, I figured I would break his rule and make a hammock from denim scraps.  Afterall, isn't the opposite of "work" called "relaxing"?

Loved bluejeans were cut into usable lengths and then laid out so that shades varied.  They were sewn together and a length of outdoor fabric was used for the underside.  Topstitching the denim top to the outdoor fabric provides even greater strength.

A 7" strip of denim was placed at both ends of the hammock to provide reinforcement before grommets were attached.

Using cording from the dollar store and directions from the internet, lengths of cord were secured around a solid ring and woven into a traditional hammock design...

...and the remaining cord was threaded into a wooden stave, looped around the grommets and then tied off.

The hammock now takes a place of honor in his backyard and is perfect for napping!
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6  Phrenology Helmet in Completed Projects by kcli on: August 07, 2013 11:26:33 AM

To me, Craftster is a great way to express myself with my hands! 

When I got married one of our wedding gifts was a book on Phrenology, a pseudo-science popular in the 1800's which suggested there was a relationship between a person's character and the morphology of the skull.  Later I came across http://bellehelmets where illustrator Danielle Baskin transforms the dull bicycle helmet into a unique fashion accessory.   I really like her designs but because I don't have a bicycle (just a minibike) and not very much disposable income, I attempted to make a Phrenology Helmet for myself using illustrations from Wikipedia.

After spray painting my helmet, I placed 1/4" black stripes to resemble personality sections.  Wording for each location was penciled in and then filled in with a black Sharpie.

Phrenology images were enlarged/reduced to fit the sections, printed, roughly cut and taped into place.  Once satisfied with the layout, I removed the illustrations and recopied them using a toner based copier (so the ink wouldn't run when wet).

In order to give the helmet a dark aged look, a few tablespoons of STRONG coffee was mixed with Elmers glue, painted over the helmet and allowed to dry   The xerox'd illustrations were trimmed and attached using the same coffee/glue mixture.   After allowing each layer to dry overnight, additional layers of coffee/glue mixture was applied.   As the final step, the helmet was covered with several coats of waterproof sealer.

Even though my minibike helmet is not handpainted, I love the way it came out.  Also, it will be nice to know which part of my brain has been damaged after I get into my first accident! Cheesy
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7  Repurposed Cowboy Boot in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by kcli on: August 07, 2013 10:01:47 AM

What does Craftster mean to me...it's a great way to express myself with my hands!  (After quitting a job that required an excessive use of logic/left side of my brain, I now have the opportunity to explore my creative/right side and Craftster lets me document my growth!) 

Whenever I'm at a garage sale, it's difficult for me to pass up cowboy boots that are only a few bucks.  Who cares if they don't fit...the leather and decorative stitching is generally beautiful and by using a soft, well loved pair I'm going to show you how to repurpose a pair into a purse.

Using a rose pruner (or beefy scissors) I separated the calf section from the shoe section.  I then cut the upper calf section (without loops!) of each to give me two flaps of leather.

Using binder clips to hold the two pieces of leather together, I then used a tiny drill bit to drill holes on the three raw edges of the flaps.

I then cut two 4" strips of pleather, to attach to each flap...one is for the outside bottom base and the other for the inside bottom base.  Again using the binder clips to hold them in place along with the predrilled leather holes, I am able to handstitch one of the pleather strips to the leather...

...and handstitch the other pleather strip on the inside to act as support for the interior base.  Likewise the sides were then clipped together and handstitched (using 6 strands of embroidery floss).  Finally to give shape to the bottom, a box corner was formed and also handstitched in to place.

For the purse strap I used my sewing machine and sewed a 72" continueous (reinforced) strap and then placed it around 4 links that I had untwisted from a decorative chain.  The links were then slipped into the bootstraps and twisted back to a closed position.

(Example of how the purse strap is created.  Notice a section of cord is inside to provide support.  Pleather is generally not very strong, but the nice thing is it can be stitched on a sewing machine.  By having a cord running thru the inside, the strap will stay strong and support a lot of weight.)

When the purse was completed, I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty both the front and side of the purse appears.  If you have any questions, I'll be glad to provide more info.  Thanks for looking! Cheesy
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8  Celebration Plaque in CHALLENGE 89 ENTRIES by kcli on: August 01, 2013 06:25:33 PM

Considering EVERY ten year anniversary is a BIG event, I wanted to create a plaque commerating the Craftster milestone!

I adore chalkboard artists (especially Dana Tanamachi) but do not possess the talent to carry it off.  After lots of experimentation I discovered a suitable alternative that does not require chalk, a chalkboard or for that matter talent!

I covered the interior of a tin plated serving tray with black contact paper to serve as the "chalkboard".  I then created a stencil of the wording in contrasting (green) contact paper and centered it on the "chalkboard".

Using a white TOTE-MARKER as the "chalk", (distributed by MARVY UCHIDA Company - - and reminds me of white liquid shoe polish but in a handy pen applicator), I colored in the stencil lettering.

After removing the stencil, my "oops" were cleaned up and a yardstick was laid across the tray to prevent my hand from smearing lettering as I added a perimeter of dots as highlights

While I was satisfied with the appearance, something was missing.  I decided to take a make-up brush and lightly applied baby powder to give it a dusty look.  

I'm really excited about this technique and plan on creating something similar for an upcoming wedding anniversary gift!
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9  Meet Barbie's Cousins - The Pinheads! in CHALLENGE 88 ENTRIES by kcli on: July 01, 2013 03:48:46 PM
Not everyone has the body of Barbie - especially three of her cousins that failed to develop from the neck down and are now sold at Dollar Tree for $1 each.

Rather than becoming sexualized toys, these three brainless choking hazards decided early in life to become glam pincushions for their craftin' friends.

After minimal brain surgery (i.e. using an exacto to remove the scalp close to the hairline), a foam ball (sold 8 to a package for $1) is wrapped with scrap yarn and then hot glued into the braincase to give these gals a purpose in life.

With a cranium packed with foam and yarn, these beauties can no longer be called airheads and instead are eager to handle the most mundane (but essential!) sewing task!

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10  Who Kissed Me Last Night? in CHALLENGE 87 ENTRIES by kcli on: June 10, 2013 07:08:55 PM
A few years ago I bought a stack of 10" records from the 1940-50's from my thrift store because the titles were so sweet and I wanted to experiment with them as seen on Pinterest (which refered me to 9.asset.soup.io/asset/2972/8041_70a*_500.jpeg but no instruction)

Next month my parents will be celebrating their 63rd(!!) wedding anniversary and so this month's Craftster Challenge is extremely timely as it gave me the courage to shape an album into a sillhouette outline using the song title as it's theme.

I found this royalty free image on the internet (vintagefeedsacks.blogspot.com), enlarged-cut-taped and traced the image with a pencil on to the record, then using an exacto knife (and sometimes a hammer!) deeply scored the outline on to the record, and as the final step sanded the edges with sandpaper and emory boards.

After 63 years of marriage I suspect they will recognize the song and appreciate the sentiment   Kiss

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