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61  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Behold! the Jack'o'melon! on: October 30, 2007 05:06:00 AM
Ok, here's the original thread..

Basically, I live in Australia where pumpkins are now $4.00 per kilo but watermelons are only $1.30 per kilo, plus I don't really like pumpkin but i love watermelon. So thus the Jack'o'lantern was born!

Full of glowy red goodness...

In the making...

Front - face...

Back - bats with moon...

Dark shot...

I love this much more than my previous pumpkins and it was sooo much easier to carve! And the red insides just jump with Halloween spirit. There was some debate about whether the candles would work but they go great and are slowly drying out the inside. I tipped out all the excess water first and packed it full of paper towels for a few hours.

I hope this inspires some other Craftsters to carve various fruits and veggies, I would love to see some other melon types too.

Thanks for looking, Eve.
62  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Southern hemisphere jack'o'lantern idea on: October 25, 2007 04:25:58 PM
Pics and new thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=204902.0

Hi all, I went shopping for some pumpkins last night and found them to be quite expensive for a decent size. Now i just want to carve silly faces in them as it's my son's first Halloween and didn't realise the new family tradition would cost so much!

On the was out of the grocer's i saw a nice big box of watermelons and thought 'HMMMMM'. So now i plan on making watermelon jack'o'lanterns! This works out so much better in Australia as our watermelons are about $1.50 per kilo while the pumpkins are about $4.00 per kilo. Also, none of my family are much into pumpkins but we love our watermelon, so i think we will end up will gallons of fruit punch as well as yummy watermelon chunks. I might even make some pineapple jack'o'lanterns and use their innards for juice too....

I will post the photos when we're done, I thought if we left a little red flesh inside it would look like the jack was bleeding. I hope some other southern-hemisphere crafsters can use this idea too.

63  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Gift suggestions from a Crafty new mum - new links pg 2 on: September 16, 2007 08:23:18 PM
I gave birth to my first child just four months ago, in the weeks leading up to his birth I was scanning Craftster and other sites looking for things to make. Although very inspired, I got really confused since I really didnt know what I would need or what type of which things! I thought I would put this very long winded post together to give some suggestions to other mums and gift-givers in a similar boat.

I can elaborate on all of these suggestions and can put together tutes on all the things I have made if anyone wants. And please feel free to post your own suggestions for the other readers out there; hopefully we can inspire some more craftsters.

Toys - crochet (amigurumi), knit, sewn, sock monsters, beanies etc. Embroider faces or attach really well (glue and sew on), try to use natural materials as they will end up in babys mouth.
Mobiles are great; go colourful, sparkly and moving. Toys that can be hung from the pram/cot are excellent.
Bath bags are great for storing toys, make them from netting and either hang from the taps with loops or attach to suction cups.
A baby floor gym is also great fun a padded floor mat with toys overhanging.
Clothing think of the season baby will be in when he/she wears the clothes. Size 00000/0000 newborn, 000 about 3/4 months, 00 about 6/8 months (approximate ages!). For newborns in cooler weather I love the onesies with long arms and legs and feet I suggest the ones that unsnap all the way down the front and inside both legs, its much easier than trying to get something over a newborns head. For warmer weather and 3 months+ I love the onesies with short sleeves and short legs (not the no-leg ones). For 3 months + the ones that go over the head are ok since baby can sit up with support. Some mums love fancy outfits so they would be good and one show-off outfit for outings is always welcome. Also onesies with short sleeves and no legs are very cheap but I can never find simple pull on pants to cover their legs both pieces together would be great. Booties are great and can be sewn, crocheted or knit same with hats (beanies and sun hats), mittens and socks. Singlets are a cow to get on tiny babies but really are necessary; I like to turn mine inside-out so the seams do not rub on Xaviers skin. And singlets expand a lot, so theres no need to buy over-sized ones.
Linen is always great, find out the size of the cot mattress and try some fitted sheets and matching flat sheets. For mine I made two fitted sheets out of one double fitted sheet cut in half and the two final fitted corners added perfect fit. Blankets and quilts are always good too, aim for breathable fabrics or baby will get sweaty; cot bumpers and pillows really are not necessary and not recommended by SIDS prevention. A padded floor mat is a great idea, and a thin sheet with waterproof backing (plastic tablecloths from the dollar store are great for backing) for baby to lie on naked for a good kick; try to keep it thin though or it will take ages to dry after washing! A padded change mat it a good idea too, and travel change mats. Towels are a necessity, regular sized towels on special are perfect and you can decorate as you wish, face washers are needed too. While you are looking for cheap towels, try cutting them in half for spit rags the fancy cotton ones are lovely but you really want something absorbent, perhaps back them with nice fabric instead. Try a large muslin square for covering the pram when the sun is out or the mosquitos are hungry or just keeping gawkers from poking their heads in. Large throw cushions are handy too; mum can use them while feeding, prop up baby or just nap on whenever she can.
Other ideas for mums who like this kind of stuff cloth nappies, knit/crochet soakers, washable sanitary pads (extra absorbency), washable nursing pads, baby sling, curved feeding pillow, nappy bag for outings, pacifier chain (short chain to attach babys pacifier to their shirt, stops it from falling to the floor)

drawers, cot, nursing chair (comfy with low arms to help support mums arms while holding the baby), bassinet for newborns, toy box (keep it lidless or add safety hinges and cut out air holes for safety)

Nursing necklace these are not meant for baby to play with or to be put in their mouths, they are long tactile necklaces for mum to wear once bubs gets old enough to start grabbing/pinching delicate areas so he/she will play with the beads and not hurt mum.
Memory box, memory/baby book (to record events, keep photos etc), footprint/handprint kit (a deep frame or shadow box and portion of air dry clay).
Piggy bank
Artwork for the wall, book of stories/poems/nursery rhymes, cd of songs (lullabies, nature sounds, white noise, heart beat, significant songs, classical music)
Pregnancy calendar a calendar that shows the progress of her pregnancy at each stage. All the baby websites have this information and most have pictures of the baby growing too, leave space for her to add notes about how she is feeling and what is happening

Frozen lunches and dinners mum will have little time to prepare healthy meals for herself during those first few weeks. If they have a large enough freezer try cooking up her favourite meals and freezing in disposable containers. A supply of mums favourite herbal tea.
Creams and stuff bottom cream, wipes for dirty bums, a spray bum cleaner teamed with soft tissues or a washcloth for wet bums, talcum powder (regular talc is very fine and can be irritating to a babys lungs, also you can make medicated or scented talc substitutes), bath wash (a large jar with a mix of regular oats and either lavender/rosemary/calendula etc. Add a small muslin bag and all mum needs to do is put a scoop of the mix in the bag and dip in the bath water and use it to wash bubs or herself. Keeps skin soft, is good for sensitive skin and doesnt have soap in it), nipple cream (pure lanolin doesnt need to be washed off before a feed), soothing spray for sore perineums, massage oil. Hot and cold rice/wheat pillow.  

Offers! Many mums will not ask for help, but offers (sometimes forceful!) to vacuum, baby-sit, cook, watch bubs while mum has a nap, rub feet/back/hands (anything!), go for a walk with mum and baby, or just talk to mum and give her some adult conversation are always very helpful. Sometimes we think we have to do it all ourselves and we just have to give in and take some help.
Sleep mask and earplugs for those times when someone else is watching baby and mum needs the earplugs so she doesnt stir at the smallest sound
Dressing gown, slippers, comfy pjs, socks
Home facial kit or relaxing bath kit to remind us we are still women and need pampering too

Baby - Nappy bucket even disposables need a large lidded bucket for dirty nappies, night light, cd player/radio, toy box, vibrating chair/rocker (Xavier and I both love his one), baby cotton buds, antiseptic cream, plastic nursery toys are fine second-hand, just give them a good clean and add new batteries if needed
Mum - nail kit, books or magazines (go for paperbacks so mum can hold in one hand while nursing), photos frames I like large frames with multiple slots, camera/video camera film, printer cartridges and paper for printing out photos and thank you cards etc, alternatively a voucher for a store that prints digital photos, funny movies to keep mum laughing while those damned hormones rage and she cries for no reason, baby raising book I picked up mine from an ex-library sale and it covers conception to two years, mobile phone credit, quick pamper items leave-in hair moisturiser, face scrub, body moisturiser etc, basket of washing products washing powder/liquid, antibacterial soaker (handy for clothes as well as cloth nappies) disinfectant, memory stick or cd rws for sharing photos (my dad lives three states away and we send photos on a memory stick through the mail, he saves the pics on his computer then sends it back to me with some pics of him and so on), the ultimate splurge I bought myself a dvd/hard disk recorder to record my favourite tv shows when I had to go to bed early a great group gift for mums who like tv or a vcr would work too.

I have recipes for the creams and stuff, patterns or links for many items and can put together tutes on the various things I have made. I can also offer pics/links of items if you are unsure what I am talking about! Please just let me know if you need any clarification.

Also, please post your own suggestions too.

I sure hope this has helped a little, no doubt I have forgotten to add a bunch of stuff but this should keep you busy!
64  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / King Charles Spaniel pattern needed, please help on: September 04, 2007 12:59:21 AM
Hi all, I am trying to find a sewing pattern so i can make a stuffed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Does anyone know where i can get a paper pattern of a dog with this body type? I can sort out the colouring and stuff myself, but i need the basic body.


I would appreciate any advice

Thankyou, Eve
65  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Excellent bead product!! on: September 18, 2005 06:45:47 AM
Hi all, I just wanted to let you all know these great bead packs I picked up on the weekend. Now I'm in Australia and I often check out the craft section of the local toy shops, they often have some great packs and kits and are really well priced. Anyway, I picked up this weekend two packs called NOBLENESS BEADS...

Here is the big bead set ($14.99 AUD):

* the flower, heart and tube shapes are actually adorable acrylic containers with lids (the tubes are actually little test tubes!) and the box in the centre is acrylic too and has a lid
* most of the beads are glass and are all really high quality
* it includes earring wires, clasps, nylon thread, coloured thread and head pins
* the silver thing in the bottom left corner is a scoop!! it's metal and soooo cute, I want to drill a hole in it to use as a pendant!

As you can see I bought the blue set, here is the back of the box which shows the other colours:

Here is the glass bead set ($9.99 AUD):

*ALL glass beads, and some lovely focal beads too
* includes earring wires, clasps, nylon string, hemp string and black faux leather string
* the box is acrylic and has a lid

Once again I bought the blue set (bummer, there were no green in sight) but here is the back of the pack showing the range:

Now I thought these packs were so cool, I checked them out online, unfortunately I cannot find an Australian site which offers the range, but here is the site that shows you all the products:
http://www.prosperity-ind.com.hk/product_index.htm. I'm sure somewhere out there is a nice toyshop that would order in some of the other products...

Anyway, I hope you enjoy, not only are these packs a great affordable idea for the craftsters of the world but I think they would make great gifts to our brother and sister craftsters too.

P.S. no, I'm not a rep for the company or anything like that  Wink
66  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Purple and silver clock *NOW WITH TUTE* on: August 30, 2005 10:05:40 PM
I made this clock from scratch, or at least I swiped the innards of an old clock and made myself a new face  Wink

It's MDF painted with acrylics and the workings are from a cheap old plastic wall clock, I strongly urge all budding clockworkers to harvest the organs from old clocks and remake them to your liking!

Front (please excuse the cropping):

Back, pretty plain but hey, noone sees it:

Closeup of the details:

If anyone is interested I can give a tute


1. grab some paper and a pencil and choose your shape, I literally put pencil to paper and just started scribbling. think of the style and size you want. I wanted something oversized and unusual, thus the curvy spikes.

2. for mine, I used MDF (medium density fibreboard) but try pine sheeting, masonite or any other scrap timber. my mdf was 6mm thick.

pencil a mark which will be the centre of your clock, this is where the hands will turn from. for a strange shape like this i marked a circle around my centre point,

(**if you do not have a large compass, tap a nail lightly into the centre mark, tie a piece of non-stretchy string around the nail and wrap around a pencil on the other end, hold the string taut and draw your circle.**)

free-hand your shape around this circle.

3. now, grab your old clock and remove the workings, don't be intimidated. you will probably find that the hands are held on the front of the clock by being pressed into the centre spike. I just needed to pull mine off (be sure to hold the very centre of the hands, not the hands themselves) with a little persuasion they came off and left me with a centre spike held on with a small nut which i removed with pliers. you will probably find the back just falls off the old clock now, if it's glued on, slide the blade of a craft knife under it until it pops off.

4. cut out your shape with a jigsaw

5. leave the hands to the side and eyeball the centre spike to see what sized drill bit you will need to make the right hole in your new clock face. if in doubt always start smaller! drill your hole and see if the fixture fits through snugly.

you can either glue on the clock back but i made a small niche for it to sit into so i didn't need to glue it, also i can remove this fixture and use it on another face if i want!

to make the niche, insert the workings (if your clock is an odd shape make sure the backing is in the right position. my backing had the battery on the bottom so i inserted the spike through the hole and turned the back until it sat in the right position) and draw around the square back of the mechanism. remove the mechanism. chisel out your niche, make it just deep enough for the backing to fit into and not move around.

6. the fun part... paint or decorate your clock face. be creative, paint a pattern, decoupage, glue on fabric, anything.

#6a. for the swirl effect i painted, i did this next part first. i marked out the hours and then using a ruler, drew a straight line between 12 and 1, 1 and 2 etc. i measured the middle on the straight line between the numbers and marked this.

next i grabbed a large dinner plate and lined it up so the centre hole and the mark between the numbers was connected, then traced the line, i continued this all the way around.

i pained the alternating purple and silver in light coats, re-marking the hours between coats so i wouldn't lose the position.#

with the decoration dry reassemble your fixtures and add the hands. hold the back of the clock and manually turn the hands until the clock reads 12 o'clock. mark this position with a pen or marker on the clock face. continue to turn the hands to read every hour and mark the positions. remove the clock workings again.

now you add your numbers, or spots, or stickers or whatever you like so you know what the time is. dont forget to spray or paint a few coats of varnish to protect the face.

7. with the face dry, reassemble the clock. add a hook or eye to the back for hanging, you may need to glue a scrap piece of wood where the hook will go, and then screw the hook into it if the clock backing sticks out too far.

8. stick in a battery and hand it up!

i hope this makes sense to someone, just post any questions and I'll answer them if i'm not clear enough.
67  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Op shop stool to furry cool *NOW WITH TUTE* on: August 30, 2005 09:54:56 PM
Here is a project I did a while ago. I have an unhealthy obsession with renovating chairs, especially for someone who usually sits on the floor... Huh

Sorry there are no before pics but it was just a crappy green vinyl seat.

All furry and lovely:

The underside:

If anyone is interested I would be happy to post a tute.

(now fingers crossed, this is my first post with pics)

*** ok, so here goes the tute...

1. unscrew the frame of the seat (depending on the seat, you will have to see where the fastenings are, on this chair they were obvious but some furniture has hidden screws)

2. take pleasure in ripping off the old covering from the seat cushion. be careful to remove any staples, nails or pins without damaging the base.

you should be left with the old fabric cover, a wooden base and a piece of foam or some other padding that may be glued to the base.

discard the old fabric unless you have a particular like for it.

3. lay out your new furry fabric, furry side down on a table. place on top of that the foam padding and then the wooden base for the chair, this makes a nice upholstery club sandwich. you want to cut the fabric in the same shape as the wooden base, in my case round, but make the piece large enough to reach over the padding and and overlap the base by about an inch.

4. with your trimmed fabric still sandwiched under the padding and base, grab a piece and staple with a staple gun to the base. be sure to staple on the flat of the wood, not the edge... thats a whole other tutorial. with your first staple secure (you may need to tap it in with a hammer if it's not all the way in but I usually leave this until last, then I tap in all the staples at the same time) turn the seat in front of you until the first staple is facing 6 o'clock. grab another piece of fabric at 12 o'clock and pull it tight over the base before securing. you may find it easier to have someone push down a little on the sandwich so you can concentrate on stapling. the fabric needs to be taut and it will squish the padding at the sides to make a rounded seat.

5. turn the seat again so the first two staples are facing 3 o'clock and 10 o'clock and continue to pull the fabric taut and staple. remember to staple on opposite sides (yeah i know circles only have one side but u know what i mean), this keeps the fabric smooth and the tension even. keep stapling until there's only a 1\4 inch between staples. whenever the fabric folds between staples, mush the fold flat and staple on top.

6. trim the fabric to about a 1\4 inch from the staple line.

7. you can finish here and re-attach your new seat to the frame or you can line to underside, it honestly doesn't matter unless you will have people peeking at your chair's undersides.

to line the seat, place your lining fabric on a flat surface and place the seat base-down on top. mark the fabric around the seat about a 1\4 inch from the edge. cut out your lining fabric and iron the raw edges over until it fits over the base and covers the staples.

now you can either staple the lining to the base or hammer in upholstery tacks, i used tacks.

8. to re-attach the frame, push a pencil or nail through the lining into the screw holes to make a SMALL hole, this will prevent the fabric twisting when you screw through it

So thats it, don't forget, if the frame is crappy, re-invent that too. for metal or wood frames, sand the frame down to make the surface rough and spray or paint it... try chrome paint for a retro feel, fluro, matt black for a little sophistication or even glow in the dark! or what about decopage? or stickers? wind some funky coloured wire around the legs, or if the frame is suitable, give your friends permanant markers and have them grafitti it. just don't forget to spray or paint a few coats of varnish over flat finishishes to protect them.
68  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / tons of free modern, easy to read patterns on: August 30, 2005 01:09:25 AM
I'm not sure if anyone has found these sites, but while searching for patterns today I found them.

By two fabulous ladies named Dot (who has posted all her patterns for free, this site has ponchos, hats, bags and heaps more) and Bev who has posted her own patterns as well as many links to other sites.

Bev also has a special section for cancer cap patterns, so if you do make use of her site, how about whipping up a simple cap and sending it to the cancer ward of your local hospital to say thankyou?

69  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Sunflower lovers on: May 15, 2005 01:29:30 AM
Now I know many of u out there love sunflowers. If u r looking for a cost-friendly way of brightening your garden or even a sunny spot inside, look for a cheap brand of parrot feed in your local grocery store. You should fing a big bag purely filled with sunflower seeds for only a few dollars, this is what you want. Just sow a few of these seeds in a large pot indors or sow randonmly outside in a garden, you don't need to do anything special, in fact I grew some in an old, dry container of potting mix and just made sure to water them.

Sunflowers are pretty much self-sufficient and sprout in no time, you don't need to buy itty bitty packs of expensive seeds...just sum good old bird seed. Did anyone have a pet bird as a kid? If so, you probably realised that if you throw out the old seed on the lawn when ur cleaning out the cage, u soon have strange tufts of grasses growing in that spot...

In case anyone is wondering, sunflowers have a teardrop-shaped seed, black with a few white stripes. The edible part is the inside kernel thats a slight olive colour.
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