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11  Toe guards for my derby skates in Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 19, 2016 07:52:31 AM

The front of my roller skates were looking a little scratched up, so I decided I better make myself a pair of toe guards. DIY Roller Derby have a free pattern for boot covers so I printed it out and got started! A while ago I tried to crochet some toe guards but didn't have much luck - the test run of this sewing pattern confirmed my theory as to why: my Riedell R3s need more cover at the top than they do at the bottom. Luckily, this is much easier to fix when sewing than it is with crochet! I added three centimeters to the top of the pattern, making sure to curve the edges down to meet the top of the original pattern smoothly, shifted the holes for the laces, made the toe stop bolt hole larger, and added darts on either side of the aforementioned hole.

The darts on either side of the top stop hole make the cover fit a little more snugly around the trucks. They aren't the most perfect darts ever, but since they're underneath the skate they aren't that visible. When I sewed up the sides of the cover, I also sewed across the front. This meant that when I turned the cover right way out, they didn't have little pointed horns from the seam. The holes in my cover aren't that visible, but to make them I poked a pair of sharp scissors through the pleather and then widened the holes with a crochet hook handle which was the same thickness as my laces. To make them look a little fancier, I also sewed on some red leather hearts. I think they look really cute, and hopefully they'll add a little more reinforcement to the covers. I'd definitely recommend using leather for the whole guards if you can though, or maybe even a thicker pleather, because this thin pleather ended up wearing through fairly quickly!
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12  Hipster Vulcan cosplay in Costumes: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 07:26:59 AM

My friends and I weren't really planning on going to SupaNova this year ... and then the week before we decided to anyway! Of course this meant that we needed cosplays! I was being a bit indecisive about repeating one of my old cosplays, but in the end decided to make something new. So I hurriedly threw this costume together, 100% from things I had lying around my house. As I awkwardly explained to one girl at the con, "it's like a hipster Vulcan, like on shore leave kinda thing, like just casual?" Ugh, words. Anyway, from head to toe, here's how I put this costume together ...

Flower crown: I made this a couple of years ago at my "it's my birthday, let's make flower crowns" party ~___^ I used two bouquets of foam roses, one white and one pink, and thin floral wire. The foam roses come on bendable wire steams covered with florist's tape so all I had to do was bend them into a circle shape, alternating pink and white roses, and add small amounts of floral wire to hold them into place.

Eyebrows: I think I went too subtle, but I did actually change the shape of my eyebrows so that they were more straight (mine usually curve down a lot more!). To do this, I put a small amount of glue stick on the end half of my eyebrows (which, despite the internet assuring me this would be fine, I was very nervous about!) and then did layers of powder, concealer, foundation, and then more powder to cover up my eyebrow. Then I used an eyebrow pencil to draw them in again, but in a more Vulcan like shape. And, wonderful news, it all washed off really easily that evening, and my eyebrows weren't harmed at all - yay!

Jewellery and accessories: My glasses are my regular ones that I wear everyday, my necklace is one of the galaxy necklaces I made a while ago, I brought the Saturn pin from One Happy Leaf, my Starfleet brooch is made from sculpey, and my pointy ears are from The Reject Shop - I actually found a whole Spock costume there! Unfortunately, it's for children so the top doesn't fit ; _____ ;

 Shirt: I had an old t-shirt in my drawer that I never wear anymore because it's a bit too big. I used a stencil from Typo to paint on the L,O, and E, and painted in a little Vulcan hand in place of the V ^____^ The shoulder ... things ... are from Spotlight and all I had to do was fold up the sleeves so that they were a bit shorter and then sew the shoulder thingies on top. I also cut the shirt into a cropped style, with some ties at the front. I wish I had have cut it just a little longer though, because I was a bit worried about it riding up at the back!

Skirt: This skirt had been in my mending pile for aaagggggeeeesssss because once when I was doing some cleaning, I got some cleaning spray on it which left little bleach marks - ___ - I had been planning on dyeing it so the marks weren't visible anymore but instead I did the opposite - more bleach! After bleaching it, I washed the skirt in hot water and left it to dry. Then, I got out my fabric paints and a sponge brush and went to town creating myself a little galaxy ^____^ I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think it's pretty good for my first try at galaxy painting. The only thing I wish I had have thought of was that most of my old clothes are too big for me now - including this skirt. I wore a belt but it was also slightly too big so I spent a lot of the day trying to tug it back up! All I need to do to fix this is take in the waistband slightly, and then I'm sure this skirt will get a lot more wear! ^____^

Tights and shoes: I also wore blue tights (they match my hair!) and, although they don't show up in any of these photos, my Doc Marten Mary-Janes. Cons always involve a lot of walking and standing, so comfortable shoes are a must!

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13  Making jewellery from stickers in Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 07:17:35 AM

Hello! I don't know if anyone else is like this, but I have a hard time using stickers. It's just like, once you use them, that's it! I know, it's weird - and I keep buying them hoping to find the perfect place to stick them to. This has resulted in me having quite a lot of stickers but I've finally discovered the perfect use: make them into brooches, earrings, and hairclips!

To make your own you'll need some thin balsa wood, a scalpel, jewellery hardware, E6000 glue, PVA glue or mod podge, and some fun stickers. I just stuck my stickers directly to the balsa wood, but I noticed one of them moving around while I was wearing it yesterday so in future I would brush on a very thin layer of glue before adding the stickers.

Cutting them out with the scalpel is the most time consuming part! I used the time to catch up on some Welcome to Night Vale episodes ^___^ Lastly, use the E6000 to glue on the jewellery hardware and leave everything to dry.

I've still got a lot of stickers in my collection so I think I'll be making more of these in the future, and now I have an excuse to buy even more stickers ~____^

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14  Ruby the Red amigurumi chicken in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 06:56:06 AM

As with many amigurumi, the first challenge arose with finding the perfect pattern (well ... it was possibly the procrastination, but stick with me here). I had a firm idea of what I wanted the chicken to look like, but no real skill in shaping 3D objects that would allow me to freestyle. And then, happily, I found Jennifer Olivarez' pattern for her Rainbow Chicken. The Rainbow Chicken had the perfect chubby body that I wished for my chicken, so I got out my hook and yarn and made it up.  I love how squishy and chubby and curvy this chicken is! I stuffed it very firmly with polyfill so that it would keep it's shape and stand up by itself. Well, mostly. This chicken does have a tendency to want to lean a little, but I think it just adds to its charm.

The next step was to make the crest, for which I again followed the pattern except for a small change. The pattern suggests to pick up some stitches from the chicken's head and crochet the crest from there, so that it is attached as you crochet. I think my tight tensioning is possibly to blame, but I couldn't get my hook through my stitches! So instead I crocheted five chain stitches to use as the base, and then did the rest of the crest in these chains instead. Afterwards I used a tapestry needle to sew it on to the chicken's head.  I did my own pattern for the wings, which are really just half-circles and are worked in rows rather than circles. Here is a little pattern for them, which remains untested and so probably contains errors.

Chain two
Row 1: treble four times into the second chain from the hook
Row 2: treble twice in each stitch (8 trebles)
Row 3: slip stitch into the first two stitches, *chain two, slip stitch into the next stitch. Repeat from * a total of four times. Slip stitch into the last two stitches and tie off.

I made two wings, and then sewed them to the chicken's body using the long end from where I tied off and a tapestry needle. To make the beak, I did two chains and then made three single stitches into the second chain from the hook. Then I slip stitched into the front loop of the first single stitch, and tied off. I then used the two long ends of the beak to sew it to the chicken. Honestly, the beak does not have much of a shape, but because it is so small, it doesn't really need to. For the ... whatever that thing is called is that chickens have below their beaks, I chained twice (again!) and did three trebles into the second chain from the hook. Then I tied off and used the long ends of the yarn to sew it underneath the beak. The most important part for this is that you leave the ends long because that is what you use to draw the stitches into the teardrop shape.

After that, the only thing left to do is to sew on some black buttons for eyes and the chicken is finished, hurray! Ruby Red stands 11cm tall from bottom to crest and is 22cm wide around her belly.
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15  Fluffy rainbow mohawk hat in Crochet: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 06:44:56 AM

For this mohawk beanie, I made the base hat from Shiver in black; it's a really plush acrylic yarn which is very warm and very soft. Itchy hats = the worst, amiright?

I used a pattern from Oombawka Design for the base of the hat which I really like because it gives you lots of sizing options. I used the Adult Large size, but because my tension is very tight I did still have to add in a couple of extra rows. Shiver is an extra bulky yarn, and I used a 6mm hook. I could have gone bigger for the hook size, but I wanted to make sure I didn't have a gappy look for the base hat.

For the mohawk I used instructions from Ashlee Marie; basically I crocheted a strip that runs from the front to back of the hat. I used trebles to make mine to ensure I would have enough space between stitches for the fringe, because I wanted to use a variety of chunky yarns! I used the black Shiver yarn for the mohawk base to ensure it would blend in with the hat. I cut my colourful yarns into 20 cm/ 8 inch lengths and used three or four (depending on the chunkiness) for each piece of fringe. In progress it looked like a really cool caterpillar! I am not sure how many lengths I cut to make this; I just cut a bunch, looped them through, realised I need a lot more ... (repeat, repeat, repeat). I sewed the mohawk to the hat with the same black Shiver yarn, but in retrospect I think embroidery thread would be a lot easier! I didn't trim down the mohawk when I was finished because I liked how the slightly different lengths gave texture to the mohawk. Plus, I'd spent so long on it that the idea of taking scissors to it made me wanna cry a little! ~___^

I don't have a full list of the yarns I used for the mohawk because I am terrible about keeping labels on my stash, but here are the ones I do know!

    Passioknit Electric Beat Jambi (90% acrylic, 10% wool): this is the cool multicoloured yarn! It has orange, grey, brown, blue, green, pink, and purple in it.
    Moda Vera Jester in Turquoise and Lime (70% acrylic, 30% wool)
    Lion Brand Yarns Hometown USA in Honolulu Pink (100% acrylic)

The ones I don't know included a thick and thin purple, a pink and purple wavy yarn, and a blue and green wavy yarn. As long as your yarns are chunky and colourful though, I don't think you can really go wrong! ^___^
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16  Mermaid with, what do you call 'em ..., legs in Halloween Costumes by teaandcraft on: November 04, 2015 11:36:10 PM

This year I decided to be a mermaid, but part of my Halloween evening plans included a social skate session, so I wanted to make sure I didn't wear anything that was going to make that difficult/dangerous. I decided on leggings and a short circle skirt which I made the patterns for (after following tutorials explaining how to do so!) and sewed myself - yay! I followed this tutorial for the skirt and this tutorial for the leggings. The fabric for both is a stretch dance fabric that I found at my local big box craft store. It was surprisingly easy to sew; I was sure it was going to be a nightmare!

For the top, I printed out a picture of clamshells and used them to make a freezer paper stencil. I mixed up some light blue and light green fabric paint (I just diluted the colours I had with more white fabric paint) and used sponge brushes to add the blue on the top and green at the bottom. Then I used a brush dipped in both colours to mix them together in the middle of the shells and create a colour gradient look. And then I put silver glitter all over them - yay! Lastly, I made some hair accessories simply by attaching, with E6000, hair pin backings to some shells and starfish I had in my stash.

I'm really happy with my costume; it was super comfortable, I've already worn the skirt out to other parties, and I think the leggings will be a hit at roller derby training ^____^

P.S. Any ideas on how to make the last two photos not sideways? :/
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17  "But first coffee" tattoo inspired coffee cups in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by teaandcraft on: October 11, 2015 03:44:10 AM
I made these mugs for a friend's birthday present. He's a big fan of coffee and tattoos, so I figured these would be well received ^___^ To make them, I used some plain coloured mugs and Pebeo porcelain pens. And of course a tattoo flash inspired design! After designing the image in Illustrator, I printed it out onto regular paper and cut it out to use as a stencil. I used a pencil to lightly stencil the basic shapes of the design onto the mug.

Then I went over the line work with a black porcelain pen. Getting the lines straight on a curved surface is a little tricky, but slow and steady does the job ^___^ Next I coloured in all the shapes - yay! You can see that my colouring in isn't the best ... the Pebeo porcelain pens don't give the best coverage for large surface areas. That said, they are much much much better than the porcelain paint you get in pots - that stuff is so streaky! It's very strange since they are made by the same company.

After I'd done the colours, I went back to the black pen to thicken some of the line art, write on the words, and add a little bit of vintage tattoo style shading. I won't be allowed to touch a tattoo machine any time soon, but I like the little touch of grunge the speckles added ^___^ The Pebeo pens say that they are dishwasher safe after 72 hours of air drying, but my personal tests have shown that to be untrue. Well, I say personal ... one of my work colleagues put a kitty mug in the dishwasher. Not pretty! So, to hopefully keep these designs in place longer, I baked them in the oven on the lowest setting for a couple of hours. Even so, I included a little mug care sheet in the gift bag which suggested only light hand washing be applied to these babies!

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18  Let's be mermaids papercraft pendant in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by teaandcraft on: October 11, 2015 03:27:41 AM
I made this pendant using a mix of papers from my stash, some light cardboard, and some string.

Basically I cut out 62 circles which are 6.5 cm diameter and glued them onto a pendant shape which is 30cm wide across the top, 31cm long down to the top of the pointy bit, and the edges of the pointy bit are 22cm. On most of the circles I only added glue to the top half, which has allowed the bottom and sides to lift up; I actually really like this effect and think it helps the circles look even more like scales

Once I'd covered the entire pendant in circles, I trimmed the overhanging circles down the sides and top so the lines were straight. And I folded a remaining bit of card in half, glued it together, and then glued it onto the back of the pendant to make a tube that holds the hanging string.

I used my tiny alphabet stamps and black ink to add "let's be mermaids" to one of the scales - I don't have an apostrophe stamp, so I added that in with a felt-tip pen.
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19  Some faux watercolour paintings in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by teaandcraft on: October 11, 2015 03:06:29 AM

I've been having fun playing around with masking fluid and watered down acrylics, since I don't have any actual watercolours. I think I'm going to have to invest in some though because I really like how they turned out ^___^

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20  Sarlacc Cake in Dessert by teaandcraft on: October 11, 2015 02:53:12 AM

I was inspired to make this Sarlacc Cake by Kathleen at Yummy Crumble. However I wanted a gingerbread flavoured cake, so I didn't follow Kathleen's recipe. Instead I used my Anzac Cake recipe but omitted the coconut, vanilla essence, and vinegar and added two teaspoons of ground ginger, and half a teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg.

I made cinnamon cookies for the tentacles and jaws, but they puffed up a lot so if I was to make this again I'd choose a different recipe. A Madeleine tray is recommended by Kathleen for shaping the jaws of the Sarlacc, but I don't have one and didn't think I could really justify buying one. Instead, I used aluminium foil to create two shapes that looked kinda like the head of a spoon turned upside down. I laid a sheet of paper baking over these molds and then shaped the cookie batter over them. It turned out pretty well! I had to cut off some of the biscuit because it was a little too tall for the cake, but I need biscuit crumbs so they didn't go to waste ^___^

Once everything was cooked, I mixed up some cinnamon chocolate icing and put it in the hole of the cake and around the edges of the hole. The icing ensures the Sarlacc tentacles and jaws don't move around too much once you place them in! I used some of the excess biscuits to make into crumbs and spread them over the icing to resemble sand. I added the remainder of the icing into the Sarlacc's mouth where it works to hold the jaw even more firmly in place, and also kinda resembles a maw.
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