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1  Pennsylvania / Pennsylvania: Southwest / I Made It Market on: March 28, 2009 08:47:16 AM
There's a nomadic Indie Craft fair that happens a number of times a year in Pittsburgh and a couple other cities.  The next one is at the Union Project in Highland Park on April 4th.  The website is imadeitmarket.com.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / A new lampshade! on: February 26, 2009 07:02:38 PM

I made a new lampshade!

I have been hating two boring, shiny, tannish-whitish lampshades in my living room for several years now, one on a floor lamp and the other on a table lamp.  I was planning to replace the blah floor lamp in the corner with a very long silk hanging lamp--gorgeous, but expensive and requiring unpleasant ceiling wiring.  Then I thought to myself, I could make this corner fun and pretty without the money or electrical fuss, by upgrading my lamp with a zingy homemade lampshade.  Unfortunately I didn't take pictures until the end so this is not a full-fledged tutorial, but I was proud of myself for figuring this all out and executing it nicely, so I want to share as much of the process as I can.

I started with a shade rather like this, only larger and a bit more complicated (this has only four sides, while the one I redid has eight:  four large sides and four flattened corners, for lack of a better description--you'll see).

I ripped the shade off the metal frame.  This was one of the worst parts of the whole process, as the factory had glue-gunned the heck out of the shade.  It was infuriating and painful trying to rip the stupid thing off!  Finally I tore it all off (with my patient husband's help), then I seam-ripped one of the four panels off to use as a pattern.  I have no picture of the plain lampshade frame, but it was just a metal skeleton.

Using this pattern piece, I cut out four pieces of my fabric, then sewed those four pieces together side by side so that they were the shape of the original shade when it was ripped off and flattened (sorry I don't have a picture of that step).  Finally I sewed the two remaining edges together, making the piece into a sort of skirt shape that I could then slip over the lampshade frame.

I slipped the shade over the frame and let it sit there unfinished and ragged for about two weeks, daunted by the hot glue gun, which I had never used before.

At last I took a deep breath and glued the fabric around the top to the metal frame, bit by bit, then glued the fabric to the bottom of the metal frame.  I had to rip out a couple spots and try again until I had it nice and smooth.  

I used scissors to trim the unsightly wide fabric edges on the inside so you wouldn't see their shadows with the light on, then carefully glue-gunned the new trimmed edges to the frame and pressed them down so they wouldn't show or fray.

Now I have a beautiful new lampshade!

And my corner is not blah anymore!

I had fun with this project (except for my trepidation about ruining the whole thing with the glue gun!) and I may very well tackle the other ugly shade sometime soon.  

If you've read this whole long account, thank you for sticking with me.  I hope you enjoyed it!!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / accidental felting leads to new ipod cozy on: January 25, 2008 12:06:52 PM
Though this is not a complicated project, I was quite pleased with it because it allowed me to recycle something I could no longer wear.  A pair of wool socks ended up in the dryer by accident and shrank to a fraction of their original size.  So I used one of the socks--thick and soft from the accidental felting it had received in the dryer--to make a nice, padded ipod cozy.  A button and a bit of braided embroidery floss serve as the closure.

Thanks for looking.  Smiley
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Shrinky dink mushrooms, peace signs and bugs--oh, my! on: January 20, 2008 07:57:51 PM
I am a child of the shrinky dink era, but the only one I remember ever making was at a friend's house--and it was a color-in one of Daisy Duke.  So... I was intrigued but a little confused by all your cool creations.  I didn't know you could buy blank plastic sheets and make your very own designs.  But based on the nifty and/or beautiful things you all were posting, I figured I'd better find out what this medium was all about.  And now, after making some earrings, a zipper pull and a couple of pocket knife charms for my sister for Christmas, I am in love.  (I couldn't sleep last night after seeing BrokenFingersArt's recent gorgeous geometric creations--I'm inspired!)  So, without further ado, here are my sister's shrinky dink presents:

Peace sign earrings, two little smiling mushrooms (her nickname is le petit champignon) and a zipper pull that says "Le Petit Champignon" in script (sorry I didn't actually photograph it).  I freehanded the mushrooms and traced the peace signs from the cover of The Nation magazine:

Two pocket knife charms--a freehanded ladybug and spider (sorry these are so blurry!  Does anyone have tips for taking clear close-ups??):

5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / jar lids-->photo magnets on: January 13, 2008 08:39:45 PM
I think this post goes here.  If not, please feel free to move it, moderators! 

I saved a bunch of jar lids--salsa, pickles, capers, jam, etc.--and, after cleaning them out, pasted pictures, bead letters and doodads inside.  I got my hubby to cover them with resin (I'm pregnant--no noxious fumes for me!) and glued magnets on the back.  I love them; it was hard to give them away, but they are now adorning my sister-in-law's refrigerator! 

I got the idea from the book Alternacrafts.
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Nutty family tree on: January 07, 2008 06:44:48 AM
I made a family tree for my father-in-law this Christmas.  The background is a piece of scrapbooking paper with evergreen trees all over it and the rest I designed and cut up myself.  The empty acorn is a spot for a new baby arriving in April.  Each branch is basically a family within the family, though it's a loose interpretation of a traditional family tree.  The dog under the tree belongs to my father-in-law--not exactly part of the family, but awfully close.  Hope you enjoy it!  Smiley


7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / set of blank cards w/envelopes (image heavy) on: December 10, 2007 07:39:35 PM
I decided to make my mom a set of blank cards for Christmas.  I'm calling them a set only because I used the same base for all of them:  pre-cut light green cards and envelopes from JoAnn Fabric.  But each one is very different.  I glued on bits of paper from a variety of magazines and catalogues and from old wrapping paper and greeting cards I cut up.  I used watercolor paint, colored pencils, pen, rubber stamps, a few tiny brads and two googly eyes.  For each card I made a coordinating envelope.  I love them!  I almost hate to give them away as stationery; it almost seems like I should write a note for my mom inside each one so that she can keep them!  Smiley  Hope you enjoy looking at them.

the whole set

Orchestra in the Garden



Henry David Thoreau quote

Snowflake and Evergreens

Bluejay (my favorite!)

the whole packet

Thanks for looking!

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / daisy bracelets on: December 06, 2007 07:21:38 PM
Clearly you'll see as you check out my photo that these are not newly created bracelets (spring? dream on!) but I'm a new craftster member and was eager to post something.  I love these daisy chains and already had the photo on my computer, so here they are!  I made one for each sister-in-law this past spring. 

I got the instructions from (blush) American Girl magazine.  I know, I know, I'm over 30 years old, but I think their craft ideas are often a lot of fun.  So while my son has story time at the library, I browse the kids' magazine section.  I'm sure I could dig up the issue date of this craft if anyone is interested.
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