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1  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Rainbow Randolph Costume on: August 12, 2014 05:18:42 PM
I'll be at Dragon*Con later this month.  I've always wanted to do a Rainbow Randolph cosplay from Death to Smoochy.  It seems only fitting to attempt it this year, given Robin Williams' sad and untimely death.

The costume seems simple enough, but my sewing skills are quite lacking to even attempt a rainbow blazer. 

I was thinking, if I could find a white jacket at a thrift store, I could possibly make it rainbow-y and add some rhinestones.  I can probably find the rest of the costume at a Halloween store or a thrift store. 

As for making the rainbow jacket, would it be better to dye it or use spray paint?  Getting the iridescence may be too tricky, but I think if I wear the rainbow jacket, people will get who I am.  Here's a pic for the reference:

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / concrete planters + tutorial on: February 05, 2011 02:33:28 PM

I've seen similar sized planters on etsy go for $15 - 20 a piece.  But you can make them on your own for a fraction of the cost.  They're pretty simple to make, but it does take a bit of elbow grease to mix up the concrete and you will get a bit dirty.

For my molds, I used some cheap-o plastic containers from the dollar store.  But if you want to be 'green', you could use old take out containers, clean ice cream or milk cartons, etc.  Basically just something in a size you like.  For the 'hole', I would suggest using a plastic disposable cup.  I used old wine bottles for mine - but more on that later.  There are some pros and cons to using glass.

For the concrete, I used a product called Countertop Mix (http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/CountertopMix.asp).  It has additives to make it more flowable.  But since most big box home improvement stores probably don't carry this product, I would suggest using Sand Mix (http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/SandToppingMix.asp) instead.  And I believe the Sand Mix is available in smaller 10 pound bags.  I found the 80 pound bags of the Countertop Mix a bit tedious to mix for a weakling such as myself.  I also added some charcoal colored pigment to the concrete to darken it up a bit.

Before mixing up the concrete, you'll want to put some sort of release agent on your containers & cup, to make them easier to remove after the concrete has set up.  I used WD-40.  Just a light coat of WD-40 will do.  If it's on too thick, it may stain your concrete.

Basically, just follow the directions on the bag on how to mix the concrete up and for how much water to add.  It's always easiest to mix by adding the concrete to the water in small quantities vs. adding water to the concrete.  With the Countertop Mix, mechanical mixing was required in order to activate the flowable additives.  But since I didn't want to rent a concrete mixer for just 2 bags of concrete, I mixed by hand - which was a bit of a bad idea.  The concrete ended up being too thick for me to mix so I had to add extra water.  Typically adding extra water to concrete is bad because it weakens the concrete - but I figured since the concrete is just being used for planters, it probably not a huge deal.  The ideal consistency is that of 'chunky oatmeal'.  You definitely don't want the concrete to be soup-y.  

Once your concrete has reached the desired consistency, pour it into your containers and push in the cup to make a hole for your plant.  You may need to put some rocks in the cup to weigh it down and to prevent it from being pushed out.  I used a margin trowel to help consolidate the concrete and to smooth off the top.  You may also want to lightly tap on the sides of the container with a soft mallet or the handle of the trowel to help with the consolidation.

You'll want to store your concrete planters in an out of the way location for a few days while they cure.  If it's hot, dry, or windy, you may want to mist them with water or cover them with a plastic baggy to keep the concrete from drying out too fast.  After 3 - 4 days of curing, the concrete should be hard enough so that you can remove your forms.  You will probably see a few pin holes on the sides of the planters from any air bubbles, despite the consolidation.  I actually kind of like the way they look, but if you don't you could probably use some grout to fill in the pin holes or buff them out.

Since I used old wine bottles for my hole, the alkalies from the cement seeped through the protective layer of WD-40 and actually etched the surface of the wine bottle, permanently fastening the bottle to the concrete.  Because of this, I wasn't able to remove the wine bottles.  Instead, I carefully broke up the tops of the bottles with a hammer.  This resulted in some jagged edges of the wine bottle inside the planter.  The good thing is, I don't have to worry about sealing the inside of the planter.  But I do have to be careful when planting my plants, so that I don't cut myself on the edges of the broken glass.

Since I had access to a wet polisher / grinder, I polished the tops of the planters to expose the aggregate.  If you're extra crafty, you can add broken pieces of glass or those glass rocks from craft stores to the concrete, for a decorative look, granted you'll be polishing your planters.  If you're not polishing the concrete, then don't bother with the glass aggregate, as you won't be able to see it without polishing.

If you didn't use glass for the hole, then you'll want to seal the planter with a waterproofing sealer for concrete, to prevent water from seeping through the porous concrete.  Depending on the type of sealer you use, the concrete may need to cure for an additional 7 - 28 days.  For some of the larger planters I made, I'm probably going to go with a siloxane penetrating sealer, that will keep the natural look of the concrete.  But if you want a shiny look, that will also darken the color of the concrete, go with one of those wet look, high gloss sealers for concrete.

Since I'm going to be keeping some of my planters indoors and I don't want them scratching up any furniture or floors, I put some of those felt sticky pads for furniture underneath the planters.  Or if you have any craft felt, you could cut it into the shape of the planter and glue it onto the bottom as well.

Now just add a succulent or cacti and enjoy your new planter!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Any Ideas On How to Fix This Broken Bag Strap? on: April 18, 2010 10:13:19 AM
I found this amazing vintage bag at an antique shop.  It has this awesome hinged opening and is going to be my new knitting bag  It's in pretty decent condition except for the strap which recently broke as I was cleaning it.  Any thoughts on how to fix this?  I was thinking of possibly trying to sew it together with matching or clear thread.  But I'm not too sure if that will work or not.  The strap is made out of some sort of synthetic-y plastic material.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!  (Sorry for the crappy photos.  I couldn't get my camera to focus on the broken area.)

4  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / First Quilt - Robot Themed on: March 03, 2010 09:59:42 AM
So I'm thinking about making my husband a robot themed quilt as a birthday present.  His birthday isn't until July so hopefully I should have enough time.  I was thinking about just sewing together 6" x 6" or 8" x 8" squares of various robot and sci-fi themed fabrics I've seen online.  For the backing I was thinking about using polar fleece.  Is using polar fleece a bad idea?  Would I still need batting and/or binding?  I probably wouldn't actually quilt it, but use knotted yarn or embroidery floss to hold the pieces together.  Would this work? 

5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Lining Questions--Ask and Answer! on: April 08, 2009 06:39:55 PM
So I got this nifty messenger bag at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.  I'll probably end up decorating the outside with embroidery and buttons.


Unfortunately, the inside is lacking in pockets.  I figured the best way to add some pockets would be to add a lining wth pockets.  I've sewed linings for some small crocheted clutches I've made.  Those were easy.  Fold a piece of fabric in half, sew up the sides, and sew it into the bag.  But because of the rectangular box shape of the messenger bag, I'm kind of lost on what to do.  Should I take the same approach as I did with my crocheted bags?  Or should I sew a box looking thing and sew that in?  Any ideas of where I could find a tutorial on-line?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / my first sock monkey! on: August 21, 2008 07:20:39 PM
for some reason last weekend, i got the urge to make a sock monkey out of some argyle knee socks that were just too high.  her name is penelope.  she's far from perfect.  the pattern doesn't match on the legs and you can see some of the stitching.  but she's still adorable!

7  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Robots! Monsters! Leslie Nielson! on: June 28, 2008 09:11:58 AM
I finished this just in time for my hubby.  We're seeing Forbidden Planet tonight at the Silver Scream Spook Show in Atlanta.    He has a thing for robots.

my unintentional 'design element'.

as i was making the button holes slightly larger to accomodate for the amazing sci-fi buttons from reprodepot.com, i accidently ripped the fabric and had to sew it back together.  oops!

here's a photo of the buttons.  i think they add a little bit extra to the shirt.

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / plain men's shirts to embroider on: June 07, 2008 04:27:18 PM
For my husband's birthday I want to embroider a shirt with some of the Spaced Out patterns from Sublime Stitching.  I even have awesome sci-fi buttons to match from reprotdepot.com. 

I've been trying to find some plain short-sleeve men's button-up shirts in plain solid colors that aren't white or light blue.  And they're almost impossible to find.  I'm thinking something in gray or light green would look good.  I did find some awesome plain martini shirts on daddyos.com.  But they run about $40, not including shipping.

Any ideas of where I could find plain solid color button-up shirts?
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / crazy old lady hat on: June 07, 2008 02:32:22 PM
Yarn: 1 skein Ozark Handspun
Pattern: http://www.ozarkhandspun.com/blog/2007/01/ozark-handspun-hat-pattern.html
Time: 1 hour

Mods:  Versus knitting in the round since I didnt want to special order size 19 circular needles, I made them on straight glitter needles. Because when you knit with sparkly yarn, you have to use glitter needles. Duh. I whip-stitched the hat together with some of the leftover Ozark Handspun and you cant even see the seam.
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rusted Root aka My First Knitted Sweater on: April 06, 2008 04:40:28 PM
After knitting for 3 years, I finally got the balls to make a sweater.  And I'm ecstatic that it actually fits well and took only 2 weeks!  I adore the poofy sleeves.

Pattern: Rusted Root (Zephyr Style)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

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