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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Baby Mobile: Pirates and Parrots on: April 05, 2011 11:25:37 AM
My friends are having a baby (any day now!) and they are both fans of Disneyland, which led to a debate over the nursery theme: Pirates of the Caribbean or Enchanted Tiki Room? They met a compromise by choosing "pirates and parrots" which gives everyone the best of both worlds.

I made them a themed baby mobile with plush toys attached. The hoop is 8" and the plush dangly bits are about 3" wide for the pirates and 3" tall for the parrots. I used a thick satin, variegated floss for the 'string' and covered the hoop in a Jolly Roger print fabric, attached with fabric glue.

I used "safety eyes" for each character (including the skull on the Captain's hat), just in case the baby takes a bite, but what I didn't account for was the thickness of the "safety" part of the eye behind the fabric. It made the parrots a bit wall-eyed. Oops! Fortunately, they prefer to hang with a side view (as they are intended to be seen).

Pirates & Parrots mobile by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Pirates & Parrots mobile by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Pirates & Parrots mobile by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Pirates & Parrots mobile by giddygirlie, on Flickr
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / bridal hankie on: April 05, 2011 10:54:49 AM
My cousin is getting married in a couple of weeks and I wanted to send her a little pre-wedding gift. I decided on a handkerchief and I kept saying "hankie" which made me think of "blankie" which was her name for her childhood security blanket. It was yellow gingham and had a ruffled trim on it.

Her wedding invitations also had yellow, so I decided to make her a "hankie that looks like blankie" and embroider it with the same motif that she used on her invitations.

I bought some yellow gingham and embroidered directly onto it, then backed it with yellow linen. The trim is a ruffled ribbon. I ended up finishing the corners after I photographed it (I was going to leave them loose, but at the last minute had a change of heart), so the final product is slightly different than shown here. It's 100% hand embroidered and hand sewn (no sewing machine).

bridal hankie by giddygirlie, on Flickr

bridal hankie by giddygirlie, on Flickr

bridal hankie by giddygirlie, on Flickr
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered Easter Eggs on: April 05, 2011 10:44:45 AM
It's that time of year again, but I decided to ditch the vinegar and dyes and embroider my eggs! I started with jumbo sized plastic eggs and I carefully poked the holes that I would later embroider through. Because the plastic is actually pretty weak and liable to crack, poking the holes was a slow process. Next time, I'm going to try a very fine point drill bit (I was using a needle-sized hole poker).

After the holes were in place, I embroidered the design on to the egg using a beading needle.

Inside each egg is a cross stitch kit, including patterns, cloth, and coordinated floss and on the outside of each egg is tied a hoop to display the finished work. I think these will be fun gifts for my embroidery friends, who can spend the day stitching something new while the kids hunt for eggs and eat too much candy. Smiley

Hand Embroidered Egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr

hand embroidered egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Hand Embroidered Egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Hand Embroidered Egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Hand Embroidered Egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr

Hand Embroidered Egg by giddygirlie, on Flickr
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Trailer Park Boys cross stitch quote on: February 14, 2011 06:51:42 PM
A comment on Emmajb's embroidery based of another "Rickyism" reminded me to post this here.

(for those unfamiliar, on the show Trailer Park Boys, Ricky is perpetually mis-speaking and making up his own turns of phrase)

Finished piece is in a 4x6 inch frame. Stitched on white aida (16, I think?) with DMC cotton floss.

5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Rod Serling embroidery on: February 14, 2011 06:35:22 PM
Based on a drawing by Scott Campbell (used with permission), I stitched up Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone.

In the end, Mr. Campbell requested the finished piece which now resides in his studio (and his mom says she likes it!).  Grin

This is an 8 inch hoop, painted black and the fabric is permanently mounted in the frame. The fabric is printed with a tone-on-tone lined pattern. For most parts of this, I used 2 strands of black floss, but there are a lot of parts where I used a single thread and a beading needle to get the stitch so small.

6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / updated! EASY TO MAKE: Ursula -or- Octopus Costume - repurposed materials on: October 22, 2009 11:30:25 AM
The final product (taken inside "Ursula's Grotto" at Disney's California Adventure park):

I used children's watercolors to paint my make-up on. Instead of painting my whole face purple, I just painted my eye sockets, which I think give the same effect. To achieve this effect, add just a drop or two to the watercolors and stir until you have a thick paint, then apply. Goes on quick and easy and comes off just the same! A splash of water and you're done! I also added some false eyelashes that have rhinestones along the eyelid, which I found for $3 at Wal-Mart.

For my hair, I wore a blonde "rocker" wig that had spiky hair. The hairspray held up great until the night got foggy and damp, but the cut of the wig really helped keep it spiky.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Hi everyone - I did a bigger tutorial write-up of this on my craft blog, if you're interested in the step-by-step processes a little bit more. But for now, I just wanted to share what I've come up with!

This costume came together relatively fast and was very low cost and could be easily adapted to work for any type of octopus, not just Ursula.

I started with some thrifted clothes:
* purple shirt with long sleeves (mine is actually 3/4 sleeves, but close enough)
* black velour/velveteen dress - this is a plus-sized, full length dress
* purple velour/velveteen dress - this is a child's sized dress

The black dress is the "body" of the octopus, so the first thing that I did was to determine where the 'bottom' of the body would be and to cut the tentacles.

Then I sewed the tentacles (which created tubes). Once these are sewn, you will notice that the opening of your dress (what was formerly the skirt part) will be much smaller, because you've essentially sewn it in 1/2 with the tentacles. This is why I like the velour/velveteen fabric -- it doesn't fray much, so I was able to cut a slit directly between each of the tentacles to allow the body to stretch out more (picture below will help demonstrate).

I used the purple velour/velveteen dress to cut out "suckers" for the tentacles. I attached these with hot glue, which was fast and easy, plus it gave a nice rounded look to the suckers.

Once that was done, I stuffed the tentacles with fiberfill and then attached the 'body' to a purple shirt (because Ursula has purple skin and I didn't want to deal with body paint). My husband is holding up the costume in this picture and holding the body out, so you can see where I cut between the tentacles to give myself room to get in to the costume.

Because I don't want the tentacles to just hang straight down (and also don't want my own legs to show), I wanted a skirt to go beneath the costume that would simulate water under the octopus. I wasn't able to find anything at the thrift stores that would work, so I ended up using remnant fabrics to create a simple skirt (step by step details are on my blog).

I also decided to make Ursula's jewelry out of Model Magic clay instead of buying and painting real shells (too fragile for my purposes). I used the white clay and made the pieces and then painted with acrylic craft paints.

The final part of the costume hasn't been written (or completed!) yet, so I don't have final photos for a couple of days. The last pieces: wig and make-up!
7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Dr. Girlfriend (Venture Brothers) dot painting on: August 14, 2009 02:08:52 PM
I just wrapped up this dot painting this week for a friend's birthday -- Dr. Girlfriend, by special request. I love to do these paintings, they're sort of a simplified pointilism, that are kind of repetitive and tedious but it just clicks for me. As a bonus, the dots are raised slightly off the canvas, so there is a great texture to it as well, and since it's acrylic it is very durable and so you can run your fingers over it all day long! Smiley

I start with a canvas or canvas board (8x10" board, in this case) and prime the background in a single color. I usually use a bright blue, because it seems to set off the other colors nicely and provides a bit of light in the background. After the canvas is primed, I start my main outline: the face. I hand-place each dot, by dipping the back-end of my paintbrush into a puddle of paint and going back and forth ("dip, then dot...dip, then dot") between the pallette and canvas.

Work in progress:

After the hair and face were filled in, I started on the background. I like to make concentric circles, where ever I can (even in the face and hair) but they usually show up more prominently in the background. I used a matte purple paint this time, so that it would really set off the high-gloss black in her hair (and outline).

Finished! But I realized after I mailed it that there was a fingerprint on my camera lens, so these pictures have a smudge in the right corner. Oops! Sad In any case, you can click on the pictures to see the images larger.

I've made something like 50 of these paintings in the past year - too many to post them all on Craftster! - but if you're interested, I upload pictures of them all to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/giddygirlie/tags/dotpainting

I've even made other Venture Brothers characters (which are always very popular). Thanks for looking! :-D

8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / wooden peg people - Molotov Cocktease from Venture Brothers on: July 31, 2009 07:37:58 PM
A while back I made a set of wooden pegs painted up like the Venture Brothers family and villians and it was super fun (posted on Craftster, over here) but I keep getting messages from people asking Where is Molotov Cocktease?

Seeing as how she's a mercenary always traveling around the world, she's not easy to track, but she's finally here!

She is 2-1/4" Tall x 5-8" Diameter and hand-painted with acrylic paints (and a little love), then sealed in a high gloss varnish.

More pictures (and even more characters) are posted in my Flickr photostream. I haven't had time to post them all here yet! Smiley

9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / wooden peg people: Venture Brothers on: June 10, 2009 12:40:05 PM
The Venture Brothers is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. Brilliant comedy writing and some of the most developed characters of any show ever. Which inspired me to make these wooden peg people. The Ventures (Hank, Dean, & Doc "Rusty" Venture) are 1 11/16" and everyone else is 2 3/8".

Team Venture (the Venture Family)

Brock Samson has textured "hockey hair" (mullet) and a dangling cigarette. Also, I JUST NOW realized that I forgot to take a picture of Doctor Venture after I added his ears and the arms of his glasses! Ooops!

The Monarch & his crew

The Monarch & Dr. Girlfriend

Henchmen 21 & 24

10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Simon Pegg wooden peg people on: June 10, 2009 10:05:20 AM
I'm a big fan of Simon Pegg, so I have painted him in some of my favorite roles that he's played.

Scotty from Star Trek
Tim Bisley from Spaced (who also said "Sure as day follows night, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as every odd numbered Star Trek movie is sh*t" -- obviously, before Simon was cast to play Scotty!!)
Nicholas Angel from Hot Fuzz
Shaun from Shaun of the Dead

Each of these wooden pegs is hand-painted with acrylic paints. I use tiny paintbrushes to add the details. The pegs stand 2 3/8" tall (small!) so the smaller details, like the "Chocolate" beanie and Shaun's nametag are pretty small (smaller than this message board font), but I love the challenge of working on tiny projects. I'm working on another TV-inspired set right now that should be done by the end of the week and I'll be sure to keep you posted! ;-)
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