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1  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Comic book Catwoman on: May 18, 2011 12:24:59 PM
I made this costume as a commission in summer 2010 for a friend of a friend. It was my first major commission for someone I didn't know, and I've done several since then through reccommendations from this lovely Catwoman Smiley

Basically she wanted the classic purple catwoman bodysuit costume from the Batman comics for general purpose cotume-wearing such as FanExpo, costume parties, perhaps halloween. I made the bodysuit and the hood/mask, she already had the boots and gloves Smiley

I'm currently working on a Harley Quinn bodysuit costume for Catwoman's friend in the tuxedo in these pictures Cheesy Really excited about it!

Love to hear any comments or questions you have!

2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / 2 Still Life Paintings on: April 06, 2011 06:31:52 PM
These are the first two paintings I did for my painting course this semester. Both are still lives just because I wanted to, and sort of explorations of myself too. The first one is the stuff I keep on my bedside table and the second is more staged, but essentially the pile of stuff that would be left on the table/counter when I come home from a night out with the girls Smiley

Both are done with acrylic paints on canvas. First one is 5x3 feet (omg Sad ...so big) and was painted from a photograph, and the second is 24x30 inches and was painted from life. I'm sorry the images aren't any bigger, it's hard to truly represent the painting with such little pictures!

Thanks for looking! Cheesy

3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / A dressmaking adventure on: February 27, 2011 11:27:18 AM
Hi all! This thread is more for my organization than anything, but feel free to post comments or suggestions as I really do appreciate them!

My fiancee and I are planning to get married in August 2012. We've already been engaged for a year and a half and we've got a year and a half more to go. I knew right away I wanted to sew my own wedding dress (more dress for less money!) cause I love sewing, I think it will be more special that way, and we're both in university and will be paying off loans and trying to buy a house, etc etc...so low budget wedding!

This weekend I went to a bridal salon with my bridesmaids to try some things on. My purpose was to decide on a silhouette, maybe fabric, get ideas for details etc, but I put on this one dress (Pronovias 'Alce') and just about DIED, CRIED, and giggled my girly little ass off. It is absolutely, without question, the dress I want. With only very minor changes, it is PERFECT. (the images show it with straps, which we had detached because I didn't like them, and I also had an ivory 1" wide grosgrain ribbon tied just under the bustline- THIS is how it was perfect, so not exactly as the images show)

Downside? try $1760

Upside? I think it looks even better on me than on the skinny model Cheesy Yay for curves!

So my mission is to recreate a designer dress. Challenging? Probably. Exciting? Absolutely. Scary? You bet your ass. But I'm doing it. Progress won't start until the end of this semester, but I will update the thread often once I start.

-more noticeable without the straps, but the edge at the neckline and at the back is scalloped, and SO adorable Cheesy
-the bodice is lace, blending into a light (very fine) tulle skirt
-all seams are barely noticeable, so the silhouette is very smooth
-the skirt begins to flare at the widest point of the hips
-my version will probably not have a train because I hate the way bustled skirts look. it will brush the floor equally in the front and back
-the commercial dress has a built-in bustier with an elasticized back (separate closure from the outer dress) which I will probably recreate because it helps the dress to stay in place and cinches the waist just a tad
-the back closure is a zipper, I may add a row of small buttons as well because they're just bloody awesome and I think they would suit the dress. I won't decide this until the dress is nearly complete though.

To accessorize, I'm thinking a birdcage veil with a simple fascinator. I don't know if it will go well together though, because they only put a regular veil on me at the salon. I will see how I feel about it later. If I don't like the birdcage veil, I'll stick with just the fascinator and no veil at all.

That's it for now. Smiley
4  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies! on: February 15, 2011 10:38:51 AM
Hi all! I thought I'd share this lovely creation since it's a combination of two such amazing desserts. I'll be the first to defend the side of the brownie debate against frosting. I really think brownies with frosting are just ruined... But sometimes I want more than just a square of chocolate gooeyness. So when I saw this: http://cakescraps.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/cookie-dough-brownies/ I goggled, and ran out to buy chocolate chips.

I'll admit that I went against my better instincts and used a boxed brownie mix, something I'd normally never do because I really enjoy baking from scratch. I figured since I was topping it with cookie dough it didn't have to be an extra special brownie...and also I was just feeling kind of lazy today. Tongue In all honesty, I think it probably wouldn't be worth the extra effort to do the brownie from scratch, the cookie dough is more the star of this. Smiley

Mixing up and tasting the cookie dough recipe from that blog, I was really disappointed. It did not taste like cookie dough, and then I realized it was missing two of the most important ingredients! Salt and vanilla extract! So here's my revised recipe:

1 boxed brownie mix (plus whatever it instructs you to mix into it- usually water, oil and an egg)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4-1/2 tbsp 10% cream
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips. (the blog says 1 1/2 cups, but even 1 cup seemed like a bit much to me)
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (this is a guess, I just threw in a splash, it could have been up to a full tsp)

1.Prepare brownie mix, but use a 9x13 pan so that it's thinner. bake until toothpick comes out clean, set aside to cool.
2.Cream butter and sugars in a mixing bowl, then add cream, vanilla and salt and blend well. Add flour and mix thoroughly.
3. Stir in chocolate chips
4. When brownies are cool, spread cookie dough evenly over top. I had to warm my cookie dough up so it would spread without crushing the brownie to smithereens, but I don't know if that's just because I have a cold kitchen. Then refrigerate until cookie dough is firm, cut into squares and serve!

Seriously, TRY THEM. I described it to one of my friends as "orgasm in a pan". Not kidding.

5  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegetarian Lasagna on: January 18, 2011 10:52:31 AM
Hey everyone! I threw this lasagna together last night to cut up and freeze so I had food to take to my studio classes with me. I've never made a lasagna before, but store-bought veggie lasagna is really not that good and really not that healthy, so I thought I'd give it a shot, and DAMN it turned out tasty! It's chock full of vegetables and tofu, making it highly nutritious, and given that it's lasagna, it's relatively low-fat too. Smiley

(I am SO sorry for the phone pictures, but my camera was dead and I needed to cut that baby up to freeze)

Please note: some of my measurements are estimates because this was a make-it-up-as-I-go,-whatever-looks-good kind of creation. The salt/pepper/spices are approximate guesses, and can be altered to taste anyway. The chopped vegetables is a complete guess. I think they were about equal with the sauce, but there could have been more vegetables than sauce. This is not particularly important anyway, add whatever amount of vegetables feels good to you! Everything else was measured.

1 package oven ready lasagna noodles
4 cups crushed canned tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. Onion, diced
1-1  tbsp kosher salt (note KOSHER salt, I don't cook with regular table salt so I can't even guess how much of that you would use, but I know it's less!)
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2-3 tbsp fresh minced parsley
4 tbsp (or a large splash) milk
4 cups diced assorted vegetables (I used red peppers, green peppers, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms)
2/3-3/4 package firm tofu, either crumbled or diced into 1cm cubes or smaller
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar

1.   Put crushed tomatoes into med-large saucepan and put on med-low heat. Add onions and garlic and stir to mix. Add salt, pepper, parsley, chili flakes, oregano and milk. Cover and let it do it's thing.

2.   While sauce is heating, chop vegetables and add them to the sauce in order of hardest to softest. (ie: I chooped carrots first and added them, then chopped and added peppers and broccoli. Carrots take the longest by far.) Allow to cook, covered, about 10 minutes while chopping soft ingredients like mushrooms and tofu.

3.   Preheat oven to 350oF

4.   Turn stovetop heat to low, add mushrooms and tofu, and 1 cups shredded cheese, stir to combine and cover.

5.   Lightly butter a 9x13 glass baking dish, then place near the pot of tomato mixture.

6.   Spoon an even layer of the hot tomato mixture into the bottom of the pan, then cover completely with 1 layer of lasagna noodles (do no pre-cook if they are oven-ready noodles!) repeat the layers until out of either sauce or noodles, and be sure to finish with a sauce layer on top. (I had 3 noodles left after 3 layers of noodles and 5 layers of sauce mixture).

7.   Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover with tinfoil, and place in oven. Allow to bake for about 30 minutes covered, then remove foil and continue baking for about 15 minutes. After removing lasagna from oven, allow to sit 10 minutes to set and cool slightly. Cut and serve!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this recipe Smiley

6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Kaylee's "Shindig" Dress- Firefly on: November 02, 2010 07:18:18 AM
Hi all! I already posted my entry for the Halloween challenge, but I made this costume as well so I had to post it in the Halloween board!  

(see my own costume here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=363645.0 )

my oldest friend and I are both big "Firefly" fans. not many of our other friends have seen it, aside from my fiance, but we figured we'd go for gold anyway.

For those of you who haven't seen it, there's an episode of Firefly where the characters Kaylee and Mal (the captian) infiltrate a large social event to make contact with a potential smuggling client, but to fit the part Mal has to buy Kaylee a ballgown since she's a mechanic and has nothing suitable to wear. The dress is ridiculous, but she's the cutest thing ever so it's amazingly awesome!

She got a hoop skirt for the base (though my friend didn't end up wearing it for most of the night- private party at a friend's cafe, it was a little tight in there haha) and made the skirt with rows of ruffles on a cotton base. The top was all me: she can sew a straight line to make ruffles and that's about it lol. I used a basic button-down shirt pattern that I altered to suit the dress in question for the lining/basic shape, but since it had to be fully ruched, I had to wing it on the outer layer. All in all, I'm super proud of how it turned out, and though only one or two people understood the costume, everyone loved it!

Here's a shot from the show for reference: (sorry it's poor lighting, best full length screenshot I can find)

Here's my friend on her front porch all ready to go:

Hope you like it! Thanks!
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Clue! (you know...the board game!) on: November 02, 2010 06:55:54 AM
For Halloween this year some friends and I (for the first time in 4 years) managed to pull together a group costume! We went as the six characters from the board game "Clue".

Most of the costumes were made by myself (Miss Peacock) and my friend (Miss Scarlet) by altering clothing from Goodwill.

Miss Peacock: We altered a prom dress to look more like a cocktail dress, for my weapon we thrifted an antique silver butter knife.

Miss Scarlet: HEAVILY altered a super-gross high necked formal dress to be a V-neck, backless, with a nice long slit along one thigh. we also made her a garter to peek out from the slit. her weapon was a cleverly painted toy pistol

Mrs. White: she made her dress from scratch. a short black dress with white lace trim. She also made a white apron with lace trim and a lace maid's puff for her hair. her weapon was a wooden candlestick that we painted to look like wrought-iron

Professor Plum: we took liberties with this one. Professor Plum is my very tall female friend. she wore an existing brown plaid jacket and purple top, and I made her a faux-silk purple pencil skirt. Her weapon was a rope.

Colonel Mustard: This was fun, we got a beige/yellowish blazer from Goodwill and added pockets and epaulets to make it look like a jungle explorer's cargo jacket, covered a styrofoam hat with tea-stained cotton, and he wore some beige pants he already had. His eyebrows and beard were fake fur that we cut to shape: the eyebrows are stuck on with eyelash glue and the beard has a wire form that hangs off of his ears. his weapon was a wrench that he already had.

Mr Green: least crafty costume, Mr Green's suit was entirely thrifted, but we made him a "lead pipe" by covering a paper towel tube in tinfoil and using a little black spray paint to make it look "oxidized"

Finally the game board: Miss Scarlet's sister had no costume ideas, so she painted a replica of the game board (but larger) on cardboard and wore it with a ribbon around her neck. she also made a headband with the "evidence" envelope that is used to hide the cards when you play the game. from her own real version of clue, she took one room card, one weapon card and one character card and put them in the envelope. we guessed all night long, but eventually it was another friend who got the right answer. Professor Plum, in the kitchen, with the wrench. Next question is...where's the body?

Happy Halloween everyone!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Summer set for a 1 year old on: March 28, 2010 05:07:56 PM
Hey everyone!
Went to my fiancee's cousin's house today for her baby's first birthday. I decided to make a little summer dress and bloomer set for her, and hubs picked the fabric from my stash. It was really simple, just shirred the top of the dress, added some ribbons, and guessed for the bloomers! (use shirring around the waist and legs for them too)

She loved it and everyone went "awwwwwww" when she pulled it out.  Grin great success!
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Girl With a Pearl Earring on: March 28, 2010 05:03:35 PM
Bonjour! This is a painting I did last school year, but I was having a REALLY hard time photographing with without getting either a) glare from flash or b)blurriness from my camera's longer exposure trying to compensate for darkness. Today I was like "well, what if I use the flash but take the photo at a slight angle??" And so it was done. And it worked. hurray! 

So the assignment was a "Master copy", and I chose Vermeer's "Girl with a pearl earring". The original can be found all over google images.

There is still a bit of a glare...but I really can't wait any longer to post this cause I'm just so darned in love with it.

funny story actually. I remember I was working on getting the lips and teeth just right for a couple hours. and when I finally finished I was like "tada! DONE!!!!". Ten minutes and a cup of tea later, I came back to admire my work and realized i had forgotten to paint in the pearl earring- the namesake of the painting! My painting prof would never have let me forget it, haha. So I had to include a detail of it.  Cheesy

Again REALLY sorry for the shoddy pictures. they are not doing justice to the subtleties!

Thanks for any comments or critiques!
10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My two loves combined! Sewing and Painting! on: March 28, 2010 04:53:42 PM
Hey everyone! I had an assignment a few weeks ago to do a "chiaroscuro still life". That was all the instruction we had, so I decided to combine my love of sewing into the piece as well as be ever so clever and have the subject matter double as the light source. Cheesy

I still want to go back into it and add a little bit of shadow under the foot, where it touches the fabric, but other than that I'm totally pleased with it. Any comments?

(sorry there's a bit of a glare, flash was the best way I could get it to focus!)

and just for fun, an in-progress shot!

Thanks for looking and all comments are appreciated!
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