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1  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 35 ENTRIES / The Board of Health on: February 05, 2009 09:10:34 PM
Hooray! I got finished - JUST under the wire!

So my resolution this year was to take better care of my health. I've got a few, um, intensive health concerns, and I'm terrible at making and keeping doctor appointments. In addition, I'm a brand-new stay-at-home dad, who needs to schedule for a 6 month old, a 10 year old, and a wife.

So, I decided to make this:

Our Board of Health!

This is the before picture. With a gratuitous helper kitty.

Started by cutting off the border from an old corkboard my father had made me.
(note: my father was the king of wood glue. If he COULD glue it, he WOULD, with nary a care whether he SHOULD glue it. This board was no exception.)

Cut off a side of a cereal box and painted it with chalkboard paint (my favourite craft supply ever.)

Made two zippered books/pouches with ziploc bags for pages (a la [a href="https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=283977.0"]zuliblu[/a]

One is for storing various medical related receipts for insurance filing and taxes.
The other will be for organizing other medical papers - references, letters, etc.

They tuck nicely in this pocket on the upper left of the Board:

I then covered an old mini-binder I was no longer using (*shudders* had to hand stitch it too -  if I had dismantled it, like I normally do when recovering, I would have lost use of the hardware I needed)

This will be my portable Book of Health. It has our doctor's numbers, our various health conditions and information, our medications (names and dosages), and also our health cards (Very important to Canadians!). Also, lovely top pocket for carrying random stuff like meds, prescriptions, etc.

A shot of the inside, with our health cards tucked neatly in there.

The Book of Health is held nicely in place by a tether, right on top of the filing pouches

On the right side of the Board is a calendar (always useful), and the blackboard, for reminders

In the middle and lower left of the Board is our doctor's cards. Note the amount. I've been collecting them for awhile, but keep losing them. In place of the ones I'm missing are some misprinted business cards of mine, backwards. They're holding down the fort until the real deal shows up.

I didn't blur these out 'cause I can't read 'em. I hope no one does anything crazy if they can read them.

So, yay! I now have all our medical information in one spot, it's right by the computer so I can't 'forget' to call (plus the numbers are, like, RIGHT THERE), plus I can grab the Book on my way out the door and never again sit with one of my kids at the pediatrician's trying desperately to remember at what age they had had a kidney infection.
2  CANADA / Saskatchewan / Stitch & Chat at the Saskatoon Library on: July 04, 2008 05:33:59 PM
Hey all! Thought I'd bring this to our collective attention.
<a href="http://www.saskatoonlibrary.ca">The Saskatoon Public Library</a>
is hosting weekly, ongoing Stitch & Chats (needlecrafts of all kinds, and it seems as if coffee will be served)

Mondays are at Carlyle King, 1-3pm
Tuesdays are at Cliff Wright, 1-3pm (in the auditorium)
Wednesdays are at Rusty Macdonald, 1-4pm (in the meeting room)

Aside from stitching, they are also hosting a ton of crafting programs, most of them free, for kids as well as adults. Check out the link for more info, cause I don't feel like typing it all here. Smiley
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / The Fruits of my Recent Labour - cloth diapers on: June 10, 2008 12:41:16 PM
All thumbnails are clickable to see the full file.

First, a group shot of my first and second batches.

The white one on the far left is a commercial pre-fitted cloth diaper leftover from my Munchkin's babydays, included for comparison purposes.

Next, we have an all-in-one (ie, cover included) with side gussets to help prevent leaking. This was my first effort, and as it was experimental, it is made of clearance flannel, so I do not have any more of that colour. I do, however, have a bit more of the flowered cover left. As my mother put it, "Heh, he'll be fertilizing the flowers." Yes Mom. Yes he will.

Second effort. A patterned pre-fitted cloth diaper, with binding. The binding is really not worth it, for a functional diaper. It does nothing but cost more, take more time, but yes, looks prettier. I'm not going to do more like this for myself. Covers need the binding, but diapers don't. I have a second one similar, without the binding on the edges, but I don't like the way the serged edges look. So I found a better way (IMO).

Here's a shot of Cleo helping me today. Thanks, cat.

And here is the first of the three I made last night. I've got a much better idea of what I'm doing now, I've had time to tweak the pattern a bit. This one is made of plain diaper flannel (good quality too, in my opinion), with elasticized leg openings, and elasticized back gathering for a better fit. This is by far and away my favourite.

Going forward, any patterned diapers will be done with the white diaper flannel inside. It is of better quality for moisture retention, easier to keep clean, and costs roughly half what the patterned stuff does.

The patterned stuff is darn cute, though, and with the white interior, it would only cost slightly more than the plain ones.

I think I've decided on separate diapers and diaper covers for my own personal use, for a few reasons. First, easier to make them separately, and the function is the same. Second, you really only need maybe 6 or 7 covers total, so why make more than I need? Third, cover material is EXPENSIVE. Must be waterproof, breathable, and strong. I have not yet found my preference in covers. I'm weighing between flannel-backed vinyl, fleece, and wool knitted covers. Personal opinions online seems to sing the praises of wool knitted covers, but I don't want to spend that much extra time (and money, let's face it, I'm cheap). Probably still what I'll end up doing, though, as I really like the way they look and work.
4  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 27 ENTRIES / Bleh Ceiling Fan to Working Model of the Solar System on: May 04, 2008 10:35:03 PM
Whew! So, I promised myself that I would finally enter a challenge. After many set-backs (a few things left undone - grr...), I'm making myself post this, cause a promise is a promise.

Anywho, teaser pic for the thumbnails:

And here's the before:

My wife is an astronomy buff. She adores everything space-related. Myself, I've always been absolutely fascinated by models of the solar system. Scale models especially. Looking at my ceiling fan in the "study" (supposed to be the dining room, but books take precedence over eating in my household), I was struck how the blades revolve around a central light - much like a solar system! Yay!

So I took apart the fan and base,

flipped and painted the blades,

painted the ceiling black,

and sprayed it with glitter (I will be finding glitter in my house for the next year, but it was worth it)

The four innermost planets are made of Styrofoam and glued to the fan blades,

four outermost are made of paper mache (good old paper mache...)

Better shot of the glitter ceiling:

I harvested a rubber ball to act as my sun,

Unfortunately, as I'm sure you noticed, Saturn exploded when I tried to remove its ballon, and so Saturn is a barren paper planet until I can redo it.

Also, I ran out of paint a third of the way through Jupiter (which gives me huge amounts of "I told you so!"s to use against my wife the next time we're craft shopping. She swore we had enough. Pft.)

And, finally, my wire brace for the inside of the sun buckled and broke. I had to improvise a different one for the picture. It ends up being round, though the pics don't look it.

Positives! The planets are all to scale with each other (not with the sun, however.  It had to fit in my study). The distances from the sun are to scale with each other. However, distances and sizes obviously aren't. Neptune isn't visible in the pics because it's in the furthest corner from the fan. It wanted to be included, so here it is:

The best part, this is the project that never ends! We plan to add moons, the asteroid belt, and nebulae. Hurray for nerdy spousal bonding time!
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Escher's underwear on: March 23, 2008 02:12:58 PM
How fitting that my first post is in Stitch and Botch.

So, I'm making my dd some Good-Nites-like underwear. Ok, trying to make underwear. After a day and a half working on these things, I end up with what looks like underwear designed by M.C. Escher.

My dw bought me my first serger for Xmas. Thank goodness it came threaded and ready to go, otherwise I doubt I would have even tried to figure it out yet. Anywho, I'm trucking along, make the lining, and it all looked good. Make the cover, still looking good. Then a thread snapped. "Crap," I think, "how the hell do you rethread this thing?" Take apart my sewing corner to find the instructions, and an hour later (after yelling, "What do you MEAN, it doesn't come with a lower looper threader?!?!? What the hell IS a lower looper threader? AGH!" a few times) I've got it rethreaded.

Somehow in all the frustration, I completely forget how to put the pants together, and ended up doing this:

Yes, the lining is connected to the elastic casing, which is in turn connected to the cover, which sounds good in theory, until you take a closer look and realize that the crotch of the lining is in fact connected to the top of the leg hole of the cover.

*bangs head on wall* eventually, she WILL have wearable pants.

*UPDATE* She now has wearable pants. And is ecstatic. And will never repeat the words I was using as I worked on these.
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