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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Old 70s Clip-On Earring Reborn as Focal on: November 05, 2009 08:33:27 AM
I found these old 1970s HUGE gold-colored go-go clip-on earrings at an estate sale. I had some small gold go-go stampings, so I made a matching set of a necklace and earrings. I used the small stampings on the earrings and the one of the old earrings as the focal on the necklace. The chips are amber.

I think it looks much better as a focal than it originally did:

I'm really getting into 'recycling' old, ugly/broken costume jewelry into something (hopefully) cool and wearable.

2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Dr. Who Villain Costumes [Completely Photo bloated with construction pics!] on: November 04, 2009 11:05:30 AM
Okay, so my kids are all crazy for the British T.V. show Dr. Who. They love the Doctor. Especially my sons. Both of them decided they wanted to be villains from the show - a Dalek and a Cyberman. I'm entering these both together because they were both inspired by the same episode - where both Cybermen and Daleks show up and try to conquer the Earth.

First, the finished costumes:

My elder son as a gold colored Dalek:

And my younger son as a Cyberman:

(Here are the reference photos I used from the BBC website for the Dalek and the Cyberman.)

I made both nearly entirely out of paper mache.  Of course, the Dalek had some 'add ons' to complete it, and I used straws in the construction of the Cyberman. I got down to the wire time wise on the Dalek and had to try and finish his 'bumps' with styrofoam balls cut in half. They didn't work well and didn't want to stay on properly. But the bumps that I had made out of paper mache worked fine.

Here are some construction photos of the Dalek:

First, I made a collar out of poster board and started doing the rectangles on it. This is the base of the Dalek's 'head'.

Then I started making paper mache 'bumps' by coating the inside of some small glass bowls with petroleum jelly and lining them with paper mache. That's where these finished bumps that I am laying out on one of the Dalek's bottom panels came from. This ended up being a problem because I ran out of time before I was able to make all the bumps from paper mache, and I had to try and use the less satisfactory styrofoam balls.

Here's a finished panel. But then I realized I should put the panels together and THEN put the bumps on, which lead to this photo:

Remember what I said about running out of time to do all the bumps in paper mache? Here I am trying to get the styrofoam bumps to stay adhered by putting books on them while the glue dries.

Then the styrofoam had to be primed with acrylic/latex paint before spraypainting, so it didn't melt. I really really wish I had had time to do ALL the bumps in paper mache. Much easier to paint and attach and... well, you know. By this point, I was calling the bumps 'Dalek boobs'.

In order for my son to see, I made the central part of the Dalek head out of plastic needlepoint canvas spray painted with black Krylon paint. Worked great!

And the head - not quite finished - spray painted and drying in the yard. The gun and 'plunger' were added later and were put through holes in the front so my son could manipulate them a bit. The gun was a paint roller without it's fuzzy cover [I swear that must have been what the BBC used, because it looks just like it!] and the plunger was, well, a plunger, cut down a little and painted the proper colors. The end of the eye stalk coming out the middle of the head were some odds and ends from my collage box. And the 'lights' on the top are upside down plastic drinking cups.

Okay, now for the Cyberman, which was much simpler:

On a 'real' Cyberman, the front is several plates of layered armor. I decided to do 'faux' layers by building up the posterboard chest plate with layers of old school papers (yes, lol, with 4 kids I have a lot of those  Cheesy ).

I then accentuated the edges of the layers with rolled up 'snakes' of notebook paper - roll up a skinny tube on the long edge of a piece of paper and then dampen it with paper mache paste and shape it as you want. This is how I also did the 'wires' and other raised parts on the arm and leg sections. Pardon the blurry photo - my son took it because my hands were all covered in goop!

Here are 'before' and 'after' shots of some of the leg and arm pieces. They were just paper mache built up on posterboard. I made sure they fit my son by making templates out of notebook paper and trying them on, and then trying on the posterboard tubes before adding the paper mache. The thin 'tubes' on the upper part of each arm and leg (you can see them better on later picks) are drinking straws covered in papermache.

I constructed a 'face-plate' mask, building up parts just like the chest plate, to give my son that blank emotionless look that makes Cybermen so creepy. The arcs of the 'headphones' are straws again. My friend Amy helped at this point by finishing the paper mache on the mask, but we had to put one of my styrofoam display heads in a plastic bag and put the mask on it in order for it to dry in the proper shape. The ear covers are cut down styrofoam disks. The rest is posterboard and paper mache, except for one checker from my collage bin (Which you can see in later photos).

Here are various parts after spray painting them a matte silver color. In the middle of the 'headphones' on the Cyberman mask you can see the checker. Looks really different papermached and painted. Hard to believe I managed to get this from less than $6 of supplies - with half of that being spray paint.

The parts of the costume were connected with strips of silver fabric left over from my eldest daughter's costume and it had straps that tied in the back.

And here am I after the spray painting of the Cyberman:

I'm pretty much over my 'partial petrification' now except that my left thumbnail is still silver.  Grin

Well, what do you all think?

3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Rosie from Nintendo DS Animal Crossing Costume on: October 31, 2009 05:06:55 PM
Here's my younger daughter as the blue colored cat character Rosie from the Nintendo DS game Animal Crossing. I know, the make up stinks. It was old and didn't work and I couldn't find the better stuff I have.


4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / GLaDOS from Portal Game Costume on: October 31, 2009 05:03:40 PM
My eldest daughter wanted to go as the crazy computer from the PC/XBox game Portal. The balls in her hair are actually painted to look like the different colored eyeballs. She designed it, I didn't actually do much. I think she did well.


5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Cyberman from Dr. Who Costume on: October 31, 2009 04:56:16 PM
My other son (not the one who wanted to be a Dalek) wanted to be a Cyberman from Dr. Who. [Can you see a trend amongst the boys in our house? We ALL love the show.]

So, here is my best at a Cyberman costume for an 8 year old. Everything is made from papermache and straws. Smiley [We had to use straws to hold some of the papermache in place while it dried and my eldest daughter called them 'Cyberman curlers'].

What do you think? Think there might be a job waiting for me in the BBC props department? [Actually, maybe not. They have a budget now....]


6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Dalek from Dr. Who Costume on: October 31, 2009 04:51:26 PM
My younger son wanted to be a Dalek from the British TV Show Dr. Who this year. I did my best. It's made mostly from cardboard and papermache. I ran out of time to papermache all the bumps and had to use syrofoam, which refused to stick Tongue. It also turned out to be uncomfortable, and he only took it a short way up the block and back before finishing trick or treating as 'an alien disguised as an ordinary kid' LOL. Cheesy

But, here's what I managed to do in the time I had. It needs major improvement but I think I did pretty well for having no budget and making it mostly from cardboard, paper, and flour and water paste. The plunger is, well, a plunger. The gun is a paint roller handle. The lights on top are plastic disposable cups and the eye is a dowel, and some odds and ends from my collage box.

So, how'd I do?


7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Digital Stamps - do any of you use them? on: September 23, 2009 06:42:58 AM
I've been looking into them, and trying my hand at making a few, but I'm not sure if anyone really uses them.  Huh
The ones I've been making are 300 ppi transparent .pngs, which means they might also be usable for digital scrapbooking - but, since I'm so new to that also, I'm not sure.

Any comments or insights would be appreciated.


Here's a sample one:

8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Scrapbooking: Discussion and Questions / Digital stamps - do any of you use them? on: September 22, 2009 06:41:42 AM
I've been looking into them, and trying my hand at making a few, but I'm not sure if anyone really uses them.  Huh
The ones I've been making are 300 ppi transparent .pngs, which means they might also be usable for digital scrapbooking - but, since I'm so new to that also, I'm not sure.

Any comments or insights would be appreciated.


Here's a sample one:

9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Altered Puzzle Letter on: August 17, 2009 11:42:01 AM
I had some fun, and made a puzzle into a letter to mail to my parents. I also wrote a tutorial, and put it on my blog: http://store.tidbitstrinkets.com/blog/ You can see more pics of it being made there.

What do you think? I wanted to have the whole puzzle be the picture, not each individual piece.


10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / I've decided to offer PD images on my blog. What do you think? on: August 06, 2009 02:55:29 AM
I have decided to put my rather extensive collection of PD images to use, and put some of them up daily for others to use. If you are interested, check out my blog, The Schizoid Mouse. If all you want is the images, be sure to click 'Daily Public Domain Image' in the catagories on the side bar.

Enjoy! Please tell me what you think of this idea.

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