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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Teaching Crochet to a group on: January 06, 2011 10:47:56 PM
I was asked to teach crochet at a table for an event that benefits a non profit as part of a series on artist demonstrations.  I've taught people on an individual basis, but I've never taught a group.  I was thinking of using thick cord or bulky yarn and the speed hook to have an easily visible way to demo it to a rotating group of people.  I'd probably set up 6 or so stations each with a crochet hook and a skein of yarn.  I'd set up the table with different examples of crocheted items...  some with fine yarn, some with bulky yarn, some ami, etc...  and perhaps do a board with examples of difference crochet stitches.  I have until March to prepare. 

Has anyone done anything like this before??  I'd love to hear from experience. 

Is there a certain color yarn that would be best to learn with?  I'm thinking medium tones, like blues and greens... 
What size hook would you teach with?
Would you just focus on teaching sc or try to add some variety and teach hdc and dc too?
Should I include some sort of kit to buy if they wanted to take home a project to work on that day?  I'm thinking a dishcloth kit, a ball of cotton yarn and a hook. 
Is there a place to buy hooks in bulk if you are buying the same size? 
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Learn to crochet book for an 11 y.o. boy on: October 10, 2010 02:29:23 AM
For Christmas, I was thinking of getting my lil brother a learn to crochet book with some hooks and yarn.  He's watched me crochet and I've taught him some simple stitches and he seemed to really enjoy it.  He also really likes crocheted things.  I made him a case for his Nintendo DS and he's seen other projects that I've made and admired them.  I think it would be a cool skill for him to learn.  I want to find a book that would be geared towards kids and have more boy type projects in them.  The Happy Hooker is a possibility, but maybe there is something better out there.  Any thoughts?
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Suitcase Revamp for Honeymoon Fun (Pics are SFW) on: September 18, 2010 10:00:03 PM
I'm getting married in 5 days.  I've been building up a new selection of lingerie and other honeymoon goodies and I wanted something special to carry them in.  I found this old brown suitcase at Goodwill.  It was in great shape, even the lining was intact and the keys were inside.  So I made the suitcase into a sex-case.

I painted the design on the front.  (Design is from Stencilry, but was too detailed to stencil with contact paper.  I stenciled a very basic outline and freehanded the rest.) I gave it a couple coats of polyurethane.  It was looking pretty good, but I couldn't get the old lady smell out of the inside.  I tried everything.  Since old lady smell does not put anyone "in the mood", I had to sacrifice the lining.  I replaced it with some awesome super silky red faux fur from Joanne's.  I wanted purple, but they didn't have purple. 

I was able to salvage the pouch that snaps onto the frame.  Cool thing about this is that it is a plastic lined pouch and therefore perfect for storing lube and massage oils or whatever your spill-able honeymoon supplies might be. 

I also painted our names on the bottom.  I'm keeping my name so it's labeled with both.  I love it!  It's really quite perfect for the purpose.  The lining is bawdy and the pouch worked out great.  Having the keys is nice so we can keep it locked if we're afraid of nosy people or having it spill open for some reason.  I'm going to stock it up tonight and have it ready to go.  It was really easy and fun to revamp it.  I don't think I'll be able to resist the appeal of vintage suitcases in the future.  I'm sure I can come up with some other uses for these things.

4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Craftin' It Up for my September 23rd Wedding (Pic Heavy) on: August 22, 2010 11:24:46 PM
We are planning our wedding on a pretty tight budget, with most of the money going to pay the band.  Since music is what brought us together and going to concerts is what we do for fun, the music is the top priority.  I also want everything to look fabulous, so I'm craftin up the decor. 

The Invitations:

Printed at home on paper I got a Dollar Tree (4 Invites w/ Envelopes for $1), Embellished with punched out leaves and ribbon.  There's a lovely quote on the back that I love.

The Ring Not-Pillow:

A mock copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with pages cut out and felt added for a safe space for our rings.

Table Decorations:

Made from DT plain glass candles, tissue paper decoupaged over them.  The same tissue paper has been made into the Martha Stewart poofs for decorating the hall. 

The Unity Candle:

These have got to be the most overpriced wedding item I've seen.  There is no reason a set of three candles should cost that much money. Ridiculous!   I've been really drawn to peacock feathers, they are making lots of appearances in the decorations. 


These aren't really crafty, but they are very practical.  We both work in health care, as do a fair number of the invitees, so black pens are always needed.  Pens seemed like the perfect favor and I'm really happy with how they turned out.

Other crafty things to come! 
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Cinematic Titanic/MST3K shadow box and ticket display- signed! on: November 21, 2009 11:22:25 PM
We just got home from seeing Cinematic Titanic Live!  This is the second time we've gotten to see them.  I made a shadow box to display last year's ticket stubs that was a nod to Mystery Science Theater.  I brought it with me this year and the whole crew signed it for me.  They were even impressed by it!  I was so proud, but I managed to spit out a few words.  (I'm a big dork about things like that.  For some reason, any time I meet someone I've seen perform I turn into a blushing fan girl no matter how famous or not famous they are.)  Anyway, here's pics!

My creation:  The screenshot is from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the movie they riffed last year, also a MST3K movie.   

Mary Jo, TV's Frank, and Trace checkin' it out:

And the beaming fan girl:
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Calvin and Hobbes TV Tray on: October 12, 2009 01:59:03 AM
I bought a standard wooden TV tray at a yard sale for the bartered price of $1.  It was structurally sound, but the top was water stained and scratched.  "I shall decoupage this..."  I thought.  And I thought and I thought and I thought...  for weeks I was undecided about what sort of design I wanted.  Luckily, I remembered that we had some Calvin and Hobbes collections in the basement.  This is my fiance's all time favorite comic strip.  And so, from a water damaged book destined for the trash pile....   

At first, I was going to use color strips only, but the book didn't have much to choose from and most were of Calvin's daydreams.  The artwork is fantastic, but not instantly recognizable as Calvin and Hobbes.  The black and white strips, on the other hand, where iconic and much more visually interesting than I had realized.  I chose strips based on visual interest and variety.  I wanted to include an example of many of the scenes in the strip...  home, school, fall, winter, spring, summer. bedtime, bathtub...  There was just so much to try to fit in on one small table! 

My fiance, who is often annoying by my projects (the space they occupy, more so than the crafting itself) really likes it.  Here's a few more pics...

7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Link, Neil, All right fine Neil (Link) Hat on: September 03, 2009 05:55:01 AM
Inspired by this Crafster post: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=312331.0

And motivated by The Legend of Neil (NSFW, but you should really check it out): http://www.effinfunny.com/legend-of-neil

I made this crochet hat:

I used two strands of Simply Soft Eco held together and sort of made up the pattern as I went along.  I'm trying to duplicate it with another hat and I'm having trouble.  I should really take notes when I want to remember how I did something.  Anyway...  I want to craft more Neil items and perhaps some crafts for The Guild as well, but I haven't thought of anything yet.  Sorry about the messy table in the background and my less than perfect hair.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Landscaping on a Shoestring Budget on: April 26, 2009 07:32:15 PM
I'm a broke college student a month away from graduation, but I'm also a homeowner enjoying her first spring in her own house (er...  building).  I wanted to do something to spruce up the yard, but money is tight and I can barely justify buying potting soil.  Also, it's a hugely intimidating project and I had no idea where to start.  Luckily, someone on my local freecycle offered two boxes of empty wine bottles and I knew just what to do!  I've seen this on here before, I think, or somewhere in the vastness of the Internet, but I can't remember where.

So, it's not finished yet.  I need to collect more wine bottles.  That photo shows you that part that is finished.  I used brick to mark out where the rest of the wine bottles will go while I wait for freecycle to deliver more goodies.

This is right at the start of the project.  You can clearly see that I have a lot more work ahead of me.  The tree rings where a yard sale purchase last summer.

A little further along, before mulch.  I used newspaper instead of landscape fabric because landscape fabric costs money and newspaper is free.  The newspaper is also being reused and it's biodegradable.  I do need to spring for another bag of mulch.

9  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Empty cat litter buckets on: March 21, 2009 10:03:09 PM
Here are some things I've used them for, but I'm looking for new ideas...

Storing pet food, the ones with the flip top lid are perfect for this.
A trash can, have one in the laundry room.
Storage for all sorts of things, they are stackable.  Nice for books.
Camping.  Nice for tossing in the canoe on a float trip, too.  Not waterproof if you tip, but drier than the bottom of the boat.
Planters.  Drill holes in the bottom.  Paint.
Mop bucket.

I drilled holes in one of the flip top style and buried it in my yard so that it was level with the ground.  It serves as a miniature septic tank for my dog's poo.  There are products that do the same thing that cost $50 or more.  Mine was free.  It's still in the testing stages, but so far there's no smell. 

I want to make a set that will hang on my bicycle for storage.

I've used them as travel kits for my dogs.  Put a supply of food in the bottom, store toys, bowls, leashes and other supplies on top of the food.  At a resort where my dogs had to stay in an outside kennel, I hung the bucket on the chainlink with a giant carbiner.  It kept the food up and away from bugs, yet still handy and accessible.  I used another bucket for water. 

I plan to make one into an emergency kit for each species of pet that we have.  Each will include food, water, ID, medications, extra leashes, etc.  If we ever have to evacuate due to zombies or if that supposed enormous earthquake hits the Midwest, we can grab the pets and be ready to roll.

How have you reused these buckets?  Anything to add?  We go through so much litter and I'm running out of things to do with them.  But I cannot stand throwing them away.  I'm also looking for better ways to "pretty them up" as planters other than paint.  Please share.

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Crafting to Mourn:WIP kinda pic heavy on: February 16, 2009 03:11:15 PM
We lost our first and oldest ferret sometime early this morning.  We're going to have him cremated.  Since the urns the cremation places sell are overpriced and not very creative, not to mention not really designed for ferrets, I'm making him an urn.  I started with a balsa wood box from the lovely Dollar Tree.  So far, I've only used a wood burning tool.

I like how it's coming out so far.  I'll put some sort of wood finish on it and I may line the inside.  When we get his ashes back, I think I'll put them inside a sock and then inside the box.  He was a notorious sock thief in life...  leaving piles of stolen socks beneath furniture.  I think I'll put a nice piece of felt on the bottom.

We also made an imprint of his paw before he passed.  We knew his time was short.  I used Crayola Model Magic.  In the past, I've made these with scultpy or fimo, but I like the way the Model Magic is super soft and less stressful for the animal.  You can get a nice deep print without a lot of pressure on the paw.  Unfortunately, the finished product isn't quite as nice.  The sculpty is a little nicer to write into as well.

And finally, here is the sweet soul that left us today. 

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