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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Motorcycle cross-stitch on: May 02, 2008 09:24:03 AM
I made this for one of my best friends -- it's her motorcycle, a Kawasaki KLR650.  It was supposed to be done by her birthday at the end of February but I just finished it last night.  Oops!   Wink Grin

Here's her actual bike (this photo was the basis for my pattern):

I give it to her next weekend -- I hope she likes it!!!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Waterproofing embroidery? on: February 21, 2008 05:45:26 PM
I have some great ideas for things to embroider on my motorcycle gear, but I really need the gear to remain waterproof.  I can't imagine poking little holes through the fabric will really be great for that.  Grin

Does anyone know whether there's anything I can brush/tape/iron/whatever onto the backside of the gear that would waterproof the embroidery holes? 

I'll probably try an experiment with seam sealers; I'll report back as to how well it works....or not.   Wink
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Old rusty bed frames to map coffee table on: February 19, 2008 02:31:21 PM
I saw a post here not long ago that described adding a map to a boring coffee table to make the surface more interesting.

Of course, my husband and I can't do anything simply, so we decided to make our own coffee table from scratch...from a pair of old rusty bedframes that had been sitting alongside our house since we moved in.

Here are the bed frames we started with:

A few work-in-progress shots:

And voila!!

I don't have a "nice" (i.e. not cell phone camera) picture of the finished work yet; I'll take one tonight.

The details:

Materials and machines used:
* 2 old bed frames that came in our house
* High-speed cut-off wheel
* Chop saw
* Sandblaster
* MIG welder
* Bench grinder with wire wheel
* Hand grinder
* Punch press
* Cordless drill

* 3/4"  MDF fiberboard
* AAA California and Nevada state maps
* Flat black spray paint (for the fiber board)
* Black appliance enamel/epoxy spray paint (for the frame)
* Varathane polyurethane (clear gloss)
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Panic-Brain embroidery on: January 18, 2008 01:50:38 PM
I hadn't planned on doing another embroidery project so soon after the binary cross-stitch, but my husband and I wound up on more cross-country flights due to the death of my grandma.  I like embroidery for plane rides, and thus this project was born.

I had recently bought The Embroidery Stitch Bible, so I wanted this new project to be a sampler of different types of new (to me) stitches.  It was to mostly be a "learning" project, but it had to also be wacky in order to keep my attention.

What better way to learn new embroidery stitches than to illustrate the parts of the brain that are affected by panic disorder?  I've suffered with panic disorder for 30 years and have been learning to live with it for going on 6 months now. Wink  So, in addition to being a ton of fun for learning new stitches, this project was pretty therapeutic for me as well.  I'm really looking forward to bringing it in to my therapist next week; she's going to laugh her ass off at me. Wink

Materials used:
* Split-rail scroll frame
* 28-count Aida fabric
* Wax-free pattern tracing paper and ballpoint pen
* Various colors embroidery floss

Stitches used:
* Outline (black): Holbein stitch
* Cingulate cortex fill-in (red): Satin stitch
* Cingulate cortex detail: Feather stitch
* Amygdala (green): French knots
* Cerebellum fill-in (tan): Condensed mosaic stitch
* Cerebellum detail: Chain stitch and heavy chain stitch
* Periaqueductal gray (gray): Woven circle
* Thalamus (purple): Canvas stem stitch
* Fornix (yellow): Basic needleweaving
* Septum (brown): Slanted Gobelin stitch
* Hypothalamus (pink): Cross stitch
* Frontal cortex detail (light blue): Couched lines and satin stitch
* Frontal cortex (dark blue): Plait stitch

I found the image online and traced it onto the Aida fabric with fabric transfer paper (much like carbon-copy paper).

Here's the final result:

I'm pleased with pretty much everything except the plait stitch (frontal cortex).  I ran out of thread and I think it would look a lot better a bit more filled-in.  Maybe I'll go back over it after a trip to JoAnn's.

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Adding a liner to a bathrobe on: January 09, 2008 02:29:49 PM
I'm making myself a bathrobe from a See&Sew pattern (#B4322). 

The pattern is just a plain terry cloth robe, but I'd like to add a comfortable soft yummy liner.  I've never added a liner to anything (I'm new to sewing in general) and have a couple of questions.

I cut out each pattern piece twice: once on the robe fabric and once on the liner fabric.

Originally, I sewed the liner fabric to the terry cloth by facing the "good sides" in, sewing almost all the way around the periphery, and then turning the piece inside-out.

This makes my pieces look great, but it occurred to me this morning that this means that sewing the pieces together to make the actual robe will be doubly thick (the inside-out seams of the liner-to-terry cloth and then the seams of the robe itself).

I'm thinking that maybe I should seam rip those pieces apart and start over.  Maybe I should just sew the liner directly to the terry cloth and assume those seams will be hidden when I sew the pieces all together?

I hope this post makes sense; I haven't gotten all the sewing terminology down yet.  Wink

Any advice?
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Binary cross-stitch on: January 01, 2008 11:12:48 AM
I needed a portable craft to take to my in-laws' house (6 hours on a plane + nothing to do = angry carolyn) and decided on cross-stitching. 

I didn't want to do the puppies and hearts that were on the patterns at the store, so I bought plain 18-count Aida fabric and a split-rail scroll frame. 

The design was easy to choose -- it's our last name in ASCII binary code.   Grin  My husband is a software engineer and I'm an engineering project manager, so it's safe to say we're both pretty nerdy.  I haven't yet decided whether to hang the finished product here at home or bring it to work for "street-cred" points with the engineers I work with.  Wink

It's about 5" x 7" and has almost 7000 stitches total.  Fun to do, but now I'm looking forward to adding color to my next project.   Grin Wink
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / The world's most over-engineered house numbers on: December 29, 2007 03:02:42 PM
My husband and I belong to a community workshop in the Bay Area (TechShop -- definitely check it out if you're local).  My friend Colleen wanted new house numbers for her place, so hubby and I lept at the challenge.

I'm really happy with how they turned out.

First we used a plasma cutter to cut out the numbers:

Next, we used a milling machine to drill holes in 1/2" cubic mounting post (lucite plastic from TAP plastics). I used a screw tap to etch the thread pitches into the drilled holes, but I don't have a clear photo of that step.

We used a drill press to punch mounting holes in the numbers:

Then used a flanged end bit on the holes as our mounting screws have, well, flanged heads.

Hubby used acrylic cement to glue the mounting cubes onto the plexiglass background, but I don't have a photo of that.

We sandblasted the numbers and then painted them metallic silver.  I also spraypainted the plexiglass background black.

A few years ago on a motorcycle trip, we found some construction-grade retro-reflective paint beads in a turnout.  We took a bunch of it home in an empty Coke bottle, and used some to sprinkle on the numbers while the paint was still wet.

Here's the finished product!:

Here are the numbers up on Colleen's garage:

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