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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Curio box with some childhood treasures on: March 21, 2011 09:55:17 PM
I made this curio box using the Tim Holtz Configuration boxes. I watched a video on how he was covering the boxes to make it stable without having to glue anything together and spent quite a while trying to figure out what configuration I wanted. I ended up having two boxes left over since I knew I wanted the polar bear in there and he wouldn't fit in any of the boxes.

I used a variety of papers and tissue tape to cover the outsides and the backs of the boxes. Quite a few of the pieces in the box were things from my childhood that have special meaning. And a few pieces are newer and just looked good there.

Here is the whole piece:

And from the side:

Detail shots:

The Totoro I picked up in Japan when my work sent me to Tokyo a couple years ago.  The shark's tooth I have had for so long I don't remember where it came from.

The fox I found among my craft stuff, not sure when or where it came into my possession but the hard to see arrowhead in front of it was one I found. It was found in Alabama when I was in 6th grade on the day I first got to ride a horse. It was just lying on a trail the in the woods.

The polar bear was my first needle felting project. The key is from the basement of my grade school best friend's grandmother's house. I used to wear it all the time, and still do occasionly so I made sure I could remove it if I needed to.  The ring next to it is one of two identical rings that my best college friend and I both had. It was a cheap ring and not fit to wear anymore so I can save it here.

My sort of steampunk corner. Everything is new except the yellow crystal. It is a piece of a chandelier from the same basement as the key. We used to pretend that it was a shard from The Dark Crystal.

The Believe stone was given to me at midnight on New Years Eve 2000 at Niagara Falls by a good friend. There is a faerie picture behind it.

The leather bracelet rolled in the box above the stone has some crude embroidery that I did when I was a kid. It was part of a costume from the game I played with my grade school friend. The shard was a part of the same game.

This was my first time making anything like this and I had a lot of fun doing it.  It is nice to have some of my treasures out and not packed away. It doesn't have a completely coherent theme but I like it. Let me know what you think.
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Steampunk Costume for SteamCon II on: February 13, 2011 07:39:34 PM
So last year I went up to Seattle with my husband and a couple friends to the Steamcon II convention.  I love a good reason to dress up and make a costume or four. 

A few months before my local steampunk group invited a sewing teacher to come down from Seattle and teach a corset making class. It was a one day crash course. We sent our measurements and she drafted the patterns and brought the hardware. We brought the fabric, thread, bias tape, and our sewing machines.  About 9 hours later I walked out with a completed corset (almost... it took me less than 30 minutes once I got home to finish the bias binding.)  I liked my corset and it fit great after making the alterations I needed (apparently I am a "busty gal" and I have no idea when that happened.)

I immediately went online an ordered all the hardware I would need to make three more corsets.  And then I went looking for fabric to make a corset I could wear to Steamcon. The material for the corset inspired the rest of the fabric choices for the undershirt, bloomers, bustle skirt, and cuffs. I knew I wanted color for this outfit. I have enough all brown or black costumes.

Outside of Corset

Inside of Corset

I used some commercial pattern I had lying around for the shirt. I just added a ribbon to in instead of using elastic in the neckline.  This way I had some options when it came to how tight or loose the neckline was.

The bustle skirt was made using this tutorial:

I added a little to much ease to my measurments and the layers came around the sides too far but it would take a lot of work to fix since there are so many layers to it.  it is hard to see in the pics but the lace trim is a dark brown.

Skirt front:

Skirt back:

The bloomers... well I ended up using the Colette Patterns Madeleine Mini Bloomers pattern but made them longer. I also had to make the fabric since I wasn't going to be able to find anything stripped and I didn't want to use a solid color.  I also had to line them since the insides were a mess with all the seams and there was no way I was going to be able to thread elastic or ribbon through them with all those seams.  I may re-do them at some point but I don't know in what fabric. You can't really see them in these photos but you could from straight on.

And I made a pair of cuffs... they really need to be lined though. They are really itchy on the insides.

And one more picture of me with my husband. I made his shirt from some duck fabric and a thrift store button down and some buttons. I used a Threadbanger tutorial for that one.

Oh and the hair falls were a great find. A woman was selling them at a convention I was at the weekend before Steamcon and they matched my outfit perfectly.  The colors couldn't have worked better if they had been made for my outfit.

I was of course finishing the hand sewing of the bias binding on my corset as everyone was getting dressed to go get these pictures taken. I always seem to work up until the last minute. The cuffs were partly hand sewn on the car ride up as well.

Hope you all like it. Comments and critiques welcome.  And suggestions on what to do with the bloomers.
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Roller Derby My Little Pony custom on: December 27, 2010 11:16:38 AM
So this is my second custom My Little Pony attempt. The first was a steampunk pony I made for the Steampunk Swap. I made that one with a small McDonald's pony but this time I used a full sized one.

I used Super Sculpy but after this experience I really want to get some sculpting epoxy.  The scuply was just way too brittle for the work I was doing. And baking it was interesting.  I then painted and sealed it.  The came putting in the new hair. Next time I will use more in the tail.

In addition to my day job and my crafting I am also a referee for my local roller derby league, Rose City Rollers (women's flat track derby.)  The main colors of the league are black and red.  Of course there are about 7+ actual teams that make up the league that have all of their own colors but these represent the whole group.  And so being a skater I had to try and make the skates as accurate as possible which wasn't very accurate but better than most toy skates. I made sure the skates had plates and axles and toe stops at least.  And the laces... which I broke many times and had to keep gluing back together.  The helmet broke on me too.

4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Steampunk My Little Pony on: September 10, 2010 03:33:14 PM
This if my very first pony custom which I originally made for the Steampunk Swap but I had to make a second one to send. I couldn't bear to send off my first one so I made an almost exact duplicate out of the other pony seen in the second picture.

The second pic shows the type of pony I used and the final outcome. At the time I started it was the only pony I had to customize. It is a McDonald's pony from a couple years ago that my mother-in-law gave me.

 The sculpting was done using Super Sculpey and then I painted everything and sealed it with Mod Podge although I think I will use a different sealer next time. Apparently the Mod Podge can get sticky in high humidity.  It was my first time really sculpting with polymer clay. I tried to use air dry clay at first but it just cracked when it dried so I moved on to a oven bake clay. I might try Apoxie Sculpt once I finish off the Super Sculpey since it doesn't need to be baked and works better for small detail.

I used the only hair I had on hand. Some doll hair I had bought to try and use on some dolls I had made but it didn't really work for that.  I have since gotten a bunch of nylon pony hair to make more customs.

Comments and suggestions for improving are welcomed!

5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Octopus Poppet girl on: August 08, 2010 05:38:42 PM
I am in the Tentacle swap and my partner mentioned that she liked the two mermaid poppets she had received in other swaps. So I decided to try and make a half girl, half octopus poppet for her.

So, yeah... it was a bit challenging.  I first drafted up a pattern and sewed the body and tentacles together, turned it, stuffed it, and then realized it only had 6 legs.  And there were a couple of other things I didn't like about it. So back to the drawing board.

The second try worked out better although I think the tentacles came out a bit too skinny. And they were really hard to turn and to stuff.  I used a pipe cleaner in each one as well which just added to the difficulty in stuffing them.  Once I had the body together I used standard poppet pieces for the rest although with human hands and ears instead of the paws and cat ears.

And then I though she looked really creepy. Once I got the hair on that helped. And then I needed a dress for her and last some eyelashes.  I think those last touches kept her from being really creepy in the end.  I stuck to a color palate that my partner had in her room of sand, barn read, and navy blue. Finding something to use as the hair was the hardest.  I didn't want just a straight one color yarn. 

I have to say I'm not sure I'd make another one of these just because of how long it took to turn and stuff all of the tentacles.  Although I do have some fabric that would work pretty well for the sucker side of the tentacled. 

Head shot:

In her dress:

Without her dress:

Before her head:

Underside of the tentacles:

In progress shot:

6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Cthulhu Costume - Lovecraft Rules!! on: April 07, 2009 01:32:17 PM
So I'm pretty sure Lovecraft would be rolling over in his grave but I love making costumes that you just can't find anywhere.  And this is one that is pretty uncommon.  I knew I wanted to make a Cthulhu costume but I didn't know how I was going to do it.  Then I found a stretch velvet in mottled greens with a scale pattern to it.  And this costume was born.

(H.P. Lovecraft was a horror writer in the 20's and 30's.  Cthulhu is one of his most famous creations - a huge Elder God from the stars who came to Earth eons ago and is now sleeping in his city under the sea. He will one day rise from his watery grave and devour humanity.  And he drives people insane. And if you are nice to him and worship him then he'll eat you first.)

These first few pictures were taken over the weekend in Seattle at the Emerald City Comicon.

You can sort of see the feet here - I had slip on claws over my shoes.

Here I am with Wil Wheaton at the convention. (He's a big cthulhu fan)

And I have become an unofficial mascot of sorts for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and below is a picture with some of the guests at the festival. ( Andrew Migliore - Festival Director, Mike Mignola - Creator of Hellboy, Cthulhu, Brian Lumley - Author, Jovanka Vuckovic - Editor of Rue Morgue magazine)

There are a couple of good pics that were taken by photographers for the local Seattle papers.  Didn't want to post them here so I'll just add the links.
7  COOKING / Dessert / Fondant Covered Cake of The Luggage (Discworld) on: March 10, 2009 02:41:17 PM
So this is my first attempt at cake.  It was my husband's birthday and I wanted to try make something with marshmallow fondant.  I let him pick out the cake type (boxed) and frosting (canned.)  I have never made cake from scratch and figured trying out the fondant was enough to learn this time around.  I have forced all of the Terry Pratchett Discworld books on my husband and figured I would try and make the Luggage since it's just a box.  With feet.  And a tongue.

I don't have a lot of cake pans so I just made it in a 9" x 13" pan.  I figured I could cut it and add to it from there.  I made my marshmallow fondant a couple of days before I used it and refrigerated it. 

So the first issue I had was that one box of cake in a 9" x 13" pan is not a lot of cake. I cut in half and stacked it but it was not nearly as tall as I would have liked.  Then I went to add food coloring to the fondant.  I wasn't able to get to as dark a color for the box as I would have liked. I just didn't want to spend too much time on it and I had my 6 month old puppy wandering around as I tried to knead the fondant.

I ended up with way more fondant than I needed based on the dimensions of the cake.  I did have fun and the fondant wasn't that hard to work with.  Next time I may be more ambitious or at least have more cake.

So here are my pics:

In progress:
First layer of fondant.

Adding the straps.

Front Detail.


Top view with feet.

Any tips on how much food coloring you need to add to get good colors?  I was just using the Betty Crocker gel food coloring.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Fun summer dress- New Look 6557 on: June 17, 2008 09:18:37 PM
This is my first post on this board!
I made this to wear to my wedding rehearsal dinner and actually finished it in time.  I never did get around to putting a hook and eye closure above the zipper but I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually Smiley

The pattern is New Look 6557 and I measured to see what size I should make but I was wrong.  Next time I am making a size smaller.  I had to have DH pin the back seam before I put the zipper on and I had an extra three inches on each side.  I also ended up putting some darts in under my arms because it was gapping.  As you might see in the pictures below I am way too tall for the pattern. The pattern didn't tell you where to make it taller so I just made it as the pattern said so I could get a feel for how it went together and I could add length next time.

On to the pictures:

This is what I meant about being too tall.. the piece under the bust.. the middle of that is supposed to be at the natural waist.. My waist is below that entire piece.

Thanks for looking!
9  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / My First Felt - a polar bear on: June 16, 2008 09:20:52 PM
I just love polar bears!  Really, really love polar bears.  So I have been looking art all the cool felted animals adn I was in a local yarn shop where I picked up a starter felting kit.  After playing around a bit I flipped through a copy of Sweet Needle Felts to get some technique ideas.  And then I made this!  I didn't think it was working at first but I kept at it and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  I didn't want to try to find tiny eyes so I felted those too.

How did I do?  Any suggestions?
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Super robot messenger bag! on: June 16, 2008 09:10:20 PM
So I got this fabric on e-bay and was waiting for something really cool to use it for.  The local sci-fi/fantasy convention I go to every year has a "Future Past" theme this year and I thought the fabric worked well for that.  I just didn't know what to make.  I found this tutorial and knew I had to make it.. although as a messenger bag, not a diaper bag.  And I know it will be my regular bag even though the con isn't until November.

I just finished it this evening and I love it already.  I already moved all my stuff into it to take to work tomorrow but I think I need to find more stuff to carry since it has so many pockets!

Here is the front of the bag:

And the back showing the zipper pocket and the lining material:

A couple of inside shots (although the photo above is a better representation of the lining color.)

And one more shot of the front which is a better represention of the color of the robot fabric:

Oh and a terrible action shot for size:

Let me what you think!

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