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1  Re: I need to make a puffer fish lantern in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by brokenumbrella on: November 04, 2012 11:57:13 AM
I did it   Grin  Grin Thankyou all for your suggestions!

I paper mached over a balloon, used veneer for the collar, glass beads for eyes and layered tissue paper for fins and tail. There's a little LED torch inside.
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2  I need to make a puffer fish lantern in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by brokenumbrella on: June 03, 2012 05:04:10 AM
Hi everyone!

This is very weird, but I really need to make a lantern that's like a hollowed-out pufferfish. But obviously without using an actual pufferfish. It must look as similar as possible to the one pictured below, which I saw in a museum. Theoretically it should hold a small candle but that would probably be impractical due to fie risk so I was thinking some kind of tiny LED torch might be practical instead?

Thankyou to anyone who has any ideas, as I am stumped!

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3  Very stuck with this sea necklace in Beads: Discussion and Questions by brokenumbrella on: January 15, 2012 01:48:35 PM
Hello all

I have these beads, which make me think of the reflection of the moon (centre bead) on the sea, with all the little shiny light fragments on the choppy waves around it (all the other beads)

I'd really like to make them into a necklace, held in roughly the arrangement in the photo. But I don't know how. I tried weaving together lots of different shades and textures of ribbons and incorporating the beads as I went along, and it looked awful. I'm still interested in using the ribbons if possible though...here they are:

Don't really want to just line them up on a chain or beading wire as I want something a bit more unusual. Any tips?

Thanks for reading x
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4  Terrarium in progress in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by brokenumbrella on: November 06, 2011 09:32:45 AM
Wanted to share this in case anyone fancies making one as a christmas gift - my advice is to start it now so it can get established over the next 6 weeks, and so you have time to make any necessary adjustments (ie pulling out things that drop dead!)

This is my "first draft"....it's v v small because it's a present for my gran who doesn't have much space. There will also be something in the back left, I had to cut it down becuase it was too big, hopefully it will regrow from that stump you can see.

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5  Playground for small furries in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by brokenumbrella on: November 05, 2011 12:51:18 PM
Thought this might be of interest for those of you who have the kind of small furries that like to sprint and climb Smiley

I made this for my chinchillas out of planks and flowerpots - it means I can reconfigure their cage constantly without the faff of removing and reattaching permanent shelves. I bring it out into the kitchen when they're having exercise time too.

The planks are bolted into small bits of wood inside the flowerpots, for stability (see pics). I wouldn't recommend stacking it more than two levels high but as long as you stick the that, it's very sturdy.

Now I just need to make twelvety more, so I can create huge labyrinths :lol:
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6  Big chinchilla cage in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by brokenumbrella on: February 20, 2011 07:28:28 AM
Hi everyone

Not sure if this counts as "craft"? But why not - and I thought it might be useful to anyone wanting to do something similar.

Here is the finished item - below are twelvety pictures of it during construction.

I took on two chins last summer from a friend who could no longer care for them. I was told they came with a cage Hooray! thought I.
Turned out to be this:

I really wanted them to have more space, so started looking for a new cage. There are some nice ones available but for the size I wanted, they were all way out of my price range.

So, given that Im terrible at maths, have no woodworking experience and am notorious for  not planning things through properly I thought, why not build one myself? (What follows is a lot of pictures of it in progress skip to the bottom for detail pics of each level)

First plan it all out carefully not doing this has been my downfall in the past. As you can see I had to make a lot of modifications after the initial draft! Ive designed it as big as possible within the space I had spare in my living room. Its got big doors to get in for cleaning, and is divided into two halves with a ladder leading from one to the other. That way I can block them into the bottom half whiel I clean the top, and vice versa; and if I needed to I could separate the chins, eg if I wanted to monitor how well one was eating.

Crucially, make sure its small enough to fit through your doors. In my zeal to give the chins as much space as possible, I first made it too wide, and had to disassemble the side panels and take a bit off. Its important that it goes through a door as I move it to a cooler room in summer.

The cost of wood and mesh was about 120, I spent a bit on brackets and screws, but already had hinges, bolts and doorhandles in stock. So quite a cheap cage for the size - it's about 140 x 120 x 80.

Then cut the wood to size and assemble the panels. Here is my workshop yes, its a kitchen, and not a particularly big one. I think the biggest hindrance to this project was the lack of space, it made things really awkward.

I dont have a workbench either but these bricks worked pretty well!
A tip for those thinking of doing something like this you cant just put in a screw at each corner, the panels wont be strong enough, and will flex when you pick them up. I didnt realise this and had to make an extra trip to town to buy lots of corner brackets.

Covering them with weldmesh 16g with holes as recommended by people on the chin forum. This was painful and time consuming. I ripped my hand open on a sharp edge of mesh and sprayed blood everywhere, which was fortunate because I realised how dangerous it could be for the chins, so I borrowed a file from work and ground all the edges smooth.

Then I needed to screw them all together, which is when I realised I dont have twelve hands. I didnt want to pay out for clamps, cos Ill probably never use them again, so I went round the village begging to borrow them from people. Got quite a few! Another tip ideally you should clamp it all together *before* you put the mesh on that way you can check that everything fits together as it should, and its easier to make any changes. Then you can take it apart, mesh it, and clamp it back together again. I didnt think of this till halfway through but luckily it wwas all ok.

Here is the half shelf in the bottom, and the supports for the main shelf in the middle.

These are the only screwed down bits of the middle shelf, the other pieces slot in tightly but lift out for easy cleaning. I'm not

I'm not 100% pleased with the shelves. They're made of planks rather than one solid piece, because I got given the wood free. It means there are little cracks where dirt will get trapped, but it also means it's easier to take them in and out for cleaning as they're lighter. I might redo them in future, or I might not.

It would have helped if Id built it where it was intended to go. But I managed to drag it there anyway. Perfect fit!

And here it is! The top storey isnt finished yet there will be more shelves, hammocks etc, as most of its just wasted space at the moment. But its taken me just over a week to do this and I was losing the will to live! So it will be finished off when I have a bit of spare time. I cant believe I thought itd only take me three days *sigh*

It's just stood on a bit of plywood for now, I'm going to try to get a metal tray made for the bottom though. The  tiny door on the bottom of the right side is for ease of exercising, I'm going to construct a passage from there to their play area so they can go in and out as they please.



They seem to really love it Smiley I put them in late last night and then stayed up for nearly three hours just watching them race around exploring everything.

Marnie and Tim realising they now have an upstairs:

So to sum up: my hands are ripped to shreds; my house is ankle deep in sawdust and mesh fragments; Ive not had a cooked meal for a week; but it was totally worth it to see them so happy. Also for the massive ego boost its probably silly but Im really chuffed that I managed to complete this my usual pastimes are things like embroidery and scrapbooking so I was a bit out of my comfort zone on this project!

If anyone wants to try this, and has any questions, I'll be happy to give advice if I can - although I would stress that this isn't my speciality, I've pretty much bodged my way through it, learning as I went along!
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7  What are these little clippy things called? in Discussion and Questions by brokenumbrella on: December 12, 2010 10:49:59 AM
I need lots of them for something, but I can't order any, because I don't know what they're called. Any thoughts?

(It's just the clip I'm after, not the spring)

Thankyou Smiley
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8  Re: dice necklace in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by brokenumbrella on: December 12, 2004 01:44:51 PM
how did you do it exactly? i would absoluty die if i had that necklace...it'd match my earrings that i'm buying myself for christmas!

Thanks Smiley Here are some ridiculously detailed instructions I posted on another board a while ago...the success of the necklace is sorta dependent on whether you can find dice beads, but if you can find pretty dice and drill/melt holes in them I'm sure it'd be fine.

You need about 20 eye pins. Eye pins look like this (real size):

They're like 5p each and you get them at craft/bead stores. You also need about 18 beads of whatever type you wish, plus some fine nosed pliers, some medium weight wire cutters, and preferably some kind of fastening, although if you're cheap you can just use a safety pin or a paperclip. Whether you will be able to get dice beads depends on your local shops, there is an ace shop in my city that sells nothing but beads. I guess you could get real dice though and drill/melt a hole through them?

Cut all your eye pins down with the wire cutters so they're about 2cm each. Stick a bead on one of the pins, then use the pliers to curl one end of it round into a loop. This is the most difficult bit. It's really hard to get it to look as neat at the one at the other end that's there when you buy it. But there is a knack to it. Buy a few spares to practise on, cos once you've messed them about too much they get all scratched from the pliers and don't look so good. Loop-making pics:

Just before you close the loop, hook in the next pin, like this:

Then squidge it shut:

Then you just carry on threading on beads, and fastening the pins together, until it's as long as you want. You don't need to put beads right up to the back if you don't want cos depending on the beads you're using it can make it expensive and/or bulky...i just left one empty pin at each end.

To fasten it I put a catch on one end and a piece of chain on the other. That way I can have it any length I want by fastening it to different parts of the chain. I got the chain off an old necklace I don't wear anymore.

I think that's everything, if something's not clear, just ask...the whole thing cost me about 3.30 (~$5).

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9  dice necklace in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by brokenumbrella on: December 03, 2004 01:40:22 PM
I made this necklace and am quite ridiculously pleased with it...yes, I know, I'm easily amused.

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