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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / So you want soft hands, huh? on: April 11, 2011 10:13:56 PM
Well, I was in the mall with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, and we got lured into those tests of the bath products. There was this amazing hand scrub there that smelled delicious and made my hands soooo soft! My boyfriend told me I could probably make it at home for way cheaper than they were selling it for, and even though I wanted it, I knew he was right.

Basically the scrub was large-crystal salt and some oil, with that delicious fragrance. As I was going through the Dollar Tree one day, I decided to pick up these things to perform my experiment:

Vanilla scented body cream, sea salt (I picked it because the crystals were a little larger than normal), and a glass dish.

I went home and poured salt into the dish and then mixed in lotion until it was a nice consistency.  It looked like this:

Not the most attractive picture, but hey. It reminds me of the consistency of grits.

I ran warm water and scrubbed my fingers using my new scrub, making sure I got inbetween my fingers and rinsing well. It's a good idea to put on some lotion after this to make sure your hands don't dry out once they miss their dead-skin buddies.

My hands were soft and supple, and smelled great, too, all for just three dollars!

I keep this scrub next to my sink, now, and use it whenever I feel like it. After a day or so the oil starts separating from the salt, but that's exactly what the stuff in the store was like, too, so I'm really happy. I made this a few weeks ago and now it's a little bit dryer than when it started out, but a little more lotion or a little more stiring fixes it right up.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Crafters- making bathtime fun on: January 08, 2011 10:29:49 AM
Decided to sew something for Christmas my bf's niece, who lives in Holland. She's adorable, and her parents really appreciate handmade gifts. She had grown out of the crocheted jacket I made her last year, I decided to experiment with fleece and make this:

I waited for over an hour and a half in the cutting line on Black Friday with this fabric (among others), so it's good that it wasn't a failure. Smiley

I finished a lot of the seams and edges with satin ribbon, which I think will be my new signature. I love the way it turns out!

And yes, those little paws you see are from our dog Billy, who's wondering what mom and dad are doing taking pictures on the floor.

Thanks for looking!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Billy gets dressed up on: October 16, 2010 09:21:07 PM
I just finished a dress for my boyfriend's niece, who lives across the ocean. Because it's awfully hard to take pictures of people so far away, our dog Billy kindly volunteered to model. (Billy was born a boy, but has since undergone a neutering operation which has left him quite comfortable with his sexuality!)

Billy tsk tsking the messy living room

Billy showing off his deluxe queen sized bed, designed to match his complexion

And Billy saying 'toodaloo!' after some lovely tea and dog biscuits.

Billy said he was exhausted after looking good for so long, and volunteered Mr. Lightswitch to demonstrate the satin-lined seams. (I think Billy was just a little too modest to show his skirts inside out!)

 This was created using Simplicity 2913, size 2. I altered it to full bodice lining and a modesty panel over the slit. Billy and I thank you so much for looking!

P.S. Billy is a really chill dog that didn't mind having a hanger held in front of him for a few minutes. I really hope you all don't think he was miserable during the shots or anything of that nature.  And as always, please have a great day.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Finishing seams with ribbon on: October 14, 2010 05:21:38 PM
Hi, getting kind of sick of boring, messy homemade seams, and I'd love to encase them. I know you can finish seams with bias tape, but how about ribbon? Putting it around a curved seam would be a bad idea, but just a straight one would be fine, right?
Well, I think it'd look snazzy. Anyone ever tried it before?
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / I was stabbed to death by pins for this dress on: October 12, 2010 09:39:18 PM
It's done! Just in time to wear for my 2nd anniversary dinner. Smiley
This is the first thing I've every made that really, really fits. I am so proud of it; I feel like it's a step that means I can stop threatening my fabric with the fabric shears and start transforming it.

I started with McCall's 4481, scaled up one size, did an enormous FBA, and subsequently found out the 1/4" per cup size gets to be BS after a while.


The hem is uneven because I used a flat sheet, and didn't want to re-hem it into a circle. Wink

Along the way, I did a LOT of fitting, took out the ease in the back, and changed the front gathers to pleats, and did away with the sleeves.

Our 'family' after the anniversary dinner.

Thanks so much for looking! I'm super happy it turned out, so please be gentle. <3
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Decreases make yarn tight and non-stretchy? on: January 29, 2010 12:01:46 PM
Hi, I'm pretty new to crochet but doing it often, so learning fast. Smiley

I do have a problem, thought. Recently I crocheted a puffy hat. It was made in a spiral, and I crocheted it really big, then reduced by crocheting every two together. The end result was way too tight. I could have always just reduced less, but the problem was never the size, but the STRETCH. Decreasing made the yarn pull all tight, and not able to stretch at all! I got over that project, but now I'm working on another one.

Basically, I'm making a diamond shape, which means I'm starting small and increasing, until I start suddenly decreasing. Everything goes great with the increasing, and I get a nice, stretchy, albeit kinda arc-ed triangle. BUT as soon as I start decreasing by joining stitched together, I get the same tight-stitch problem! The decreased side of my piece is tight and refuses to stretch because of the edges. I wound up finishing, hating, and ripping out the decreased side today.

So, my question is, how do I fix this? Surely it isn't normal! If this piece were worn it would be uncomfortable and all tight , plus it's ugly with big holes.  Angry I can't find any help online or already on the board. Sad

Thanks so much!
7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Bed of Roses baskets on: January 05, 2010 08:36:41 AM
Should this go here? Feel free to move it. Smiley

So my dear sweet boyfriend came to visit me in Austria (all the way from Holland), but the people I'm staying with didn't have space for him. Oh no, what to do? I talked about it in school, and this wonderful classmate volunteered her house for him to stay! I've never been to her house, let alone him. Isn't that sweet?
They were the best hosts ever, with great food, conversation, and fun, and we all wound up having a fantastic time. So, I just had to give them some crafty thanks.

I used this tutorial http://www.allfreecrafts.com/easter/paper-basket.shtmlto help me make a gift basket for everyone. So far they've gone over well!

I covered paper in magazine designs, and connected it with ribbon instead of brads. Also, lots of glue. Tongue

I filled the baskets with magazine roses. You like?

(sorry for the blur :/ )

Also, crafty gifts of course! Close up of the embroidered hanky. It means 'Thank You' in Dutch. I'm not great yet, but I think it's cute. Tongue

BONUS shot of the bf wearing the scarf I crocheted him-my first yarn project.

We're making our fish faces so there's no way you can recognize us. Wink


8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Emma's xmas bag on: January 05, 2010 03:46:18 AM
Emma proudly wearing her purse!

So, I came to a new host family about a week before Christmas- and had no idea what to get them! But, they have an adorable 2-year-old, so I decided to sew her a little bag to make the whole family happy.

This is her unwrapping it with her mom

And this is before I wrapped it. I had to do the whole thing by hand, since I'm in Austria without a sewing machine. I tried to make the stitches tight, but I doubt it'll last too long in little hands. Tongue

The toughest part was the lining! I just made up the pattern, so I had no instructions, and messed up how the lining fits about 4 times. Smiley It's tough to makes sure the right sides are where they're supposed to be!

What do you think? Doesn't exactly match, but I'm kind of short on materials here. Tongue
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Austrian Flag Dress on: January 30, 2009 12:39:12 PM
Kay, so first project post---ever. Smiley

So, I have a friend, Babsi, who was an exchange student from Austria last year. It was her birthday coming up, and I remember reading something of hers that mentioned an Austrian flag dress. Perfect opportunity to ship over some tailorage, right?

I began with three flags; two plain Austrian ones (a white horizontal stripe sandwiched in two red horizontal stripes) for the skirt, and an Austrian battle flag (same deal, but with a fancy eagle in the middle) for the top. I wanted a skirt-shirt combo.

Basically, I had no pattern, no measurements, and only one shot at most of the cutting. I tried to use this tank-topesque pattern for the shirt, but I found out it was the only view in the whole pattern sized for stretch fabric. I went with it anyway. I had to elongate it, and to match up the side stripes I had to reduce the width of the back panels, which was ok because the pattern was a bit big and it would be an adjustable closure. I couldn't do any fancy seams because the eagle took up the entire bodice front, and princess seams would pretty much defeather it. Luckily the pattern I had had some neat side darts at the bust, which you can't really see because they fall so perfectly. Smiley

The skirt was a bit scary, just because it would have no side seams. The original idea was to stagger the two skirts, attached at a waistband and with just a circle cut in the middle of each. I just folded them enough times and went for it in the middle, cutting until it easily slid over my hips. They weren't exactly the same size, but whatever, right? Smiley

I was going to make a casing and insert elastic, but a seam over the flag looked so tacky, I had to think of something else.

So, I sewed the two skirts right sides together, then made a channel and inserted the elastic. To not show any seams, I flipped one skirt over the elastic, showing its right side, and behold, it looks (slightly bulky, but) amazing!

I had never done bias tape before, and I wound up doing it backwards, but it looked fantastic and made the whole thing look 15 times better. I made a lace-up back out of the flag grommets(broke a needle or two doing that...), and even after taking in the back a million times through seams, alterations, and about half off to start with with the cutting, the stupid thing still touched in the back. I just have to hope Babsi is no skinnier than my sister, who was the mannequin for this project. Smiley

Babsi got it in time for her birthday, and Facebook assures me that she loves it. <3

And I was all worried someone would declare war on me for cutting up their flag. Phew!
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