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1  "Can't Stop the Signal" notebook in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by MagicalGirl on: August 13, 2013 08:40:22 AM
I go to the University of Notre Dame, the one with the Golden DomeTM and the big ego. (I actually think they might have trademarked "Golden Dome." It's the sort of thing they'd do if they could get away with it.) I picked up a free notebook from Admissions when I was hosting a prospie, because I like notebooks. This one had "ND" on it in raised letters and said "Home is where the dome is" on the back. Inside, interspersed with the actual paper, it had inspiring, romantic, gag-making, drunk-on-kool-aid quotes about Notre Dame, which I tore out as soon as my prospie wasn't looking. Seriously, our admissions propaganda is indistinguishable from my older sister's parody of our admissions propaganda. It's very sad.
I finally got around to painting it:

Because I like space and Firefly and free speech.
This is what it looks like open:

I'm pleased with the symmetry given that I free-handed it, only looking at one side at a time, but I wish it didn't look quite so much like the gravity funnel from that episode of Doctor Who where they're orbiting a black hole.
Here's a detail of the planet and the writing:

You can still sort of see the pencil guidelines. Oops. I wish I could get rid of the "ND."

What do you think? Comments are always appreciated! Cheesy
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2  Making the basement a habitable tornado shelter - Part 1: Lots of "Before" pics in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by MagicalGirl on: June 14, 2013 09:18:21 PM
My sister and I and a friend are renting a house near our college while I take a summer class and they have summer jobs. We're in the Midwest and the other day we had to sit in the basement for a tornado warning. The basement is super dusty and my sister has allergies, and also I like disaster preparedness and making my own life difficult, so I appointed myself to be the basement into a decent tornado shelter. My sister extracted a promise that I wouldn't become a crazy stockpiler, and I started cleaning. Here are the "before" pictures, and I'll update as the place turns into somewhere we can comfortably sit out tornado warnings and sleep if necessary.

Oh. My. Gosh. This basement hasn't been cleaned in years. I, on the other hand, am going to get cleaned ASAP.

Hi guys.

So here's the basement before any serious rearranging and decorating, but after a lot of cobweb-removal. You start down the stairs:

Okay, it's kind of grubby and the stairs themselves aren't in great shape, but it's an inexpensive rental for college students. No big deal.

You keep going.

There's something HVAC-y leading out through what used to be some sort of door. And yes, that's a coat hook holding the ex-door shut.


You turn the corner and come out into the basement proper:

Okay, slightly sketchy college-student basement. Whatever.

There's some basic basement stuff: random things previous tenants left, the furnace, a no-longer-functional laundry sink. There's also water pipes coming out of the ceiling and draining into...

...a trash can with a pump in it. Why, what do you have in your basement?

Also we have a tank that holds or used to hold some sort of gas.

Peace, y'all. (ETA: Turns out it's part of a water softener. Thanks, Housemate's Father!)

You know that scene in all those movies where they take the hero down into an incredible janky basement and plunk him in a chair and interrogate and/or torture him?

Yeah, they filmed it in my house.

Today I mostly swept dust and cobwebs out of the rafters. There are diagonal supports going between the rafters that collect so much dust the first time I swept a clump down I thought it was a dead mouse. I'm betting that by the time I'm done sweeping I'll have a pound or two of dirt to throw away. And speaking of cobwebs, look what I found in one of them:

Does anyone have any idea what it was when it was alive? (ETA: Turns out it's a centipede. Thanks, LadybugsAndBumblebees!)

Next I'm going to sweep off the walls and the air pipes, then wash the windows. I'm also going to do something about the wiring. The ceiling is full of about thirteen different systems of electrical wiring, most of which seem to date from a century before the house was built. Here's a taste:

But that really doesn't do it justice. Imagine if you were staying at someone's house and borrowed their computer, and then went to them and said, "Why have you installed Internet Explorer and Firefox and Chrome and Opera and Safari and Seamonkey? Also, you have a Linux virtual machine on which you're using Wine to run IE again. WTH?" and they just said, "Don't ask, man." Yeah, that's what the wiring in my basement is like.

Once it's decently clean, I'm going to fix up some shelves and store some food and water, flashlights, first aid kit, that sort of thing. I'm also planning on retro Civil Defense signs to label the shelves. Wish me luck!


I wear size nine shoes.
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3  Hunger Games hat! in Costumes: Completed Projects by MagicalGirl on: September 28, 2012 03:19:22 PM
Way back when, when the Hunger Games movie came out, I wanted a Mockingjay pin, but I didn't feel like shelling out ten dollars for one on the internet, so I made myself one out of shrinky-dink. Then I decided on a whim to make myself a military-style beret and wear the pin as a beret flash.

I'm in the rebel army now! This is also the face I made for my passport photo.

They're showing the movie on my campus so I dug the hat out again, and then I put on makeup and took webcam photos 'cause I didn't want to study Chinese.

This is the snapshot I send home to my family in District 11.

Military people out there, please, judge not my salute.

Don't you know there's a war on?

It turned out way too gathered and ruffly to look properly military. Oh well. Also the blue reminds me of U.N. peacekeeping troops, which reminds me of Peacekeepers, so it's sort of a fail. But that's the fleece I had on hand.
Thanks for looking! What do you think?
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4  dotted skirt for dancing in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MagicalGirl on: August 14, 2012 05:25:53 AM
Hi! I just made a skirt!

It's a very simple skirt, just a gathered rectangle, which I made in a day or two. It even has a zipper! (Im overcoming a fear of zippers.)
The fabric is a cotton print that I bought a few years ago and didn't get around to using. (The truth: I procrastinated so long I outgrew the original pattern.)

The colors are a little brighter in real life.
I tried to take interesting pretty pictures and ended up looking stoned or trying-to-look-sultry in all of them, and had to settle for a This is pretty much what the skirt looks like, guys, photo.

I had to crop my head out because I looked like I was waiting for my final nine grams of lead.  Grin But that's pretty much what the skirt looks like, guys.
It's pretty comfy and I like the length. It earned a Not as cock-eyed as all the other skirts you've sewed from my older sister (who disapproves of nearly everything I do, from listening to Paramore to considering a career in the Navy), and when I wore it to a swing dance, a man old enough to be my grandfather told me I was the hottest math major he'd ever met. So I guess it's a success?
What do you guys think? Comments and criticisms are always appreciated!
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5  Sailor top, and new buttons on my shorts! in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by MagicalGirl on: August 14, 2012 05:21:25 AM
Lately I've become slightly obsessed with nautical style--it probably comes of having grown up surrounded by cities with harbors and never having sailed. So here are a couple of recons that I made to fuel this obsession, and because I'm trying to stop buying fabric.
Number one is a sailor top:

I've wanted to make a top with a sailor collar for a while, and finally one day I decided I was going to make on, dangit, so I dug up a white t-shirt and cut it up for the collar, and then attached it to a blue t-shirt I had. I took a piece out of the sleeve to go inside the collar, and then I got a bunch of ribbon and sewed it on.
This is what it looks like from the back:

I pretty much wung it (winged it?), and it doesn't really lie flat because I couldn't figure out how to turn the t-shirt's scoopneck into a V. Im not totally happy with it, and it was a huge pain in the neck, so Im definitely going to use a pattern next timeany recommendations?

Then I had some shorts which had little bronze-y flower shapes on the pockets and button loops, which were pretty, but kind of cowgirlish. They were made like those metal button-y things They put on jeanswhat are those things called? Anyway, I hammered and pliers-ed them off and threw them away.
I had some cute buttons with anchors on them, which I believe I cannibalized off of one of my little brothers' dress jackets. ^^ (It was a goner anyway.)

So I just sewed them on where the metal flowers used to be:

There's single-layer belt loop in the back and a tab on each pocket, but I couldn't get an unsketchy photo of the back. -_- I probably need a telnyashka to wear with them now.
Thanks for looking! Comments and criticisms are always appreciated!
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6  1940s vintage in Costumes: Completed Projects by MagicalGirl on: June 23, 2012 12:11:19 PM
My younger sister Nellie and I discovered a love of vintage costuming at the same time, that time being about nine o'clock at night. Of course, we immediately started charging camera batteries and throwing together a costume. We didn't really made it so much as assemble it--the only handmade part is the cap, and of course the hair and makeup.
Which was done with a curling iron on my family's straight-as-a-stick, yes-my-grandmother-was-Asian hair. Which took forever. And which I am never doing again. She can roll it overnight.
Anyway. Here are the photos. (It was very much a spur of the moment shoot, in poor light, and the photos were taken by yours truly. I'm very sorry about the resulting photo quality.)

Then we dug up an old locket, and I told her to look sad and pretend she had a boyfriend who was away fighting.

The whole time, she kept saying, "I don't do sad! You've seen me act! I can't act sad!" and I kept saying, "Shut up! Just try!"

So morose.
By this time it was past midnight and we were both really tired, and when she invented a submariner boyfriend who had been killed, she got so worked up she started crying real tears.

Now she's in a teen theater company.

What do you think? Comments and criticisms are much appreciated! Smiley
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7  Two squid paintings! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by MagicalGirl on: May 31, 2012 08:06:26 PM
Hi everybody!
A long while back, I painted a squid in three shades of blue, and now I've finally finished its buddies!
Meet Green Squid

and Purple Squid:

I'm sorry the pictures are so bad--it was the very last bit of daylight coming over the fence.
I've only started painting recently, and any comments or critiques would be appreciated! Also, they're all pretty big, and now I don't know what to do with them--any advice?
Here's what I'm working on next:

It's "a whale that has a house on its back on which people travel across the ocean, exploring different places and having adventures." Again, I'll gladly take any critiques you guys feel like dishing out. Smiley
Thank you!
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8  Lolita help, please? AKA What's wrong with this picture? in Costumes: Discussion and Questions by MagicalGirl on: August 29, 2011 04:14:46 PM
So yeah, what is wrong with it, anyway?

I mean, besides my stoner face, smudgy eye makeup, battered door, funky socks, wrinkled shirt, and strange hand position. I noticed all that.  Grin
Is it the wrong size? Wrong shape? (If it's the straight-hanging part of the skirt at the bottom, that'll go away when I hem.) Is there something wrong with the skirt's waistband? Is it sitting too high or too low? Should it start poofing higher? Lower? Does it need more lace? Maybe it just doesn't look loli enough for me because it's only the skirt, and not even finished. Tongue
(I sewed the skirt myself. (It's not hemmed yet, as you may have noticed. I figured I wouldn't know the right length until I had the petticoat.) Then I acquired a giant crinoline and am trying to turn it into a loli petticoat, mainly by shortening it, as it's mid-calf length right now.)
But I'm really not happy with how it looks and I can't put my finger on why. What do you think? I'd really appreciate some help from people who know what they're doing.
Thank you in advance!  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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9  Squid paintings! Well, one painting, two paintings-to-be, and a questions. :D in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by MagicalGirl on: August 27, 2011 02:09:19 PM
Hey guys, guess what? I FINISHED A PAINTING!

You like?
It's about 2' x 3', acrylic on posterboard, but I drew it in pencil first and inked it in Sharpie. The plan was to color the whole thing in Sharpie, but like I said, it's 2' x 3'. The thought of all that coloring made me roll it up with its two friends and forget about them for months. Then I bought paint for something else and decided to come back to them. (I think the proportions look different in person, but maybe I'm hallucinating.)
Its friends aren't finished but I'm putting up little pictures so that The Internet will know they exist, which will shame me into finishing them. They're to be green and purple.

I could go take nicer pictures of those, but it's hurricaning where I am and I'm lazy and I have to apply to college. (Because that's what I'm about to do, not Facebook. Riiight.)
The lighter colors are just the darker color with different amounts of white added, because I wanted to keep it in the same color palette; I'm a little nervous about that working with the green, but we'll see. It's just cheap Wal-Mart acrylic--don't judge!
If you think the edges look wrinkly, like the whole thing is un-flat, you're right. Does anyone know what to do about that? Part of the problem is that they used to be rolled, but there's also some wet-paint-wrinkle-that-dried. I probably can't iron them, right? Any ideas? I probably should have fastened it down while I was painting.
I'll gratefully take any criticism you guys wanna throw at me, especially since it's one of my first paintings (since I was little). Go ahead and be as brutal as you like; it's probably very good for me.
Thank you!
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10  Re: Matchbox Swap round 4 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MagicalGirl on: March 06, 2011 10:46:54 AM
First of all, I am very sorry for not posting pictures earlier. This is entirely my fault. But here they are now!
Behold the awesomeness I received from Pinkleo:

The picture really does not do the colors justice. They are the most beautiful blues in the world, and the buttons are attached to the matchbox with rubber cement, so I can take them off and use them. There were also earrings and a necklace:

The necklace was immediately dubbed my "lucky necklace". Whenever I have some sort of competition coming up, the closest pretty object is designated as lucky. So I wore it to a math competition, where I had fun, so I guess it did its darndest.
Thank you Pinkleo! I had a lot of fun in this swap. Cheesy
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