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11  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Agents of SHIELD: To protect and serve candy on: November 07, 2015 11:25:28 AM
So, my tendonitis was still acting up a bit from August's sewing frenzy, so I figured sewing another costume for Halloween would be pretty dumb  Cry But, my friend and I had to do something for a Trunk-or-Treat! And we had to coordinate. Being the geeks that we are, we settled on...

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!
I used this to make our badges. Photocopies of the logos were glued onto paper then laminated for the badge holders. I simply taped the laminated badges inside the holders so that they could be taken out and carried in our wallets after the event because, as mentioned before, we are geeks. I also glued a logo onto paper and taped it around a water bottle and made something similar for her to slip into her coffee cup. For good measure we hung a logo off the trunk as well.

We raided our closets for black clothing.

The finishing touch was the discovery and subsequent download of fake fingerprint scanning apps. Yep, there are apps for that! We "verified" the kids' identities before they were cleared for candy, even all the Caps, Hulks, and Iron Men  Smiley

12  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Embellished Macaron Coin Purse on: October 24, 2015 09:43:02 AM
I had an amazing OTT October holidays swap partner, so I pulled out every stop I could think of for the macron coin purse I made her, which, for me, meant trying new things.

On the front I embossed the velvet with a pumpkin. Oddly enough, it was hard to find a pumpkin rubber stamp. Once I located one, the embossing went smoothly. So. Much. Fun! And so satisfying. I may be doing more of this. The embossing itself wasn't enough, though, so I beaded it.

Next came the zipper. I had black but it just didn't go. I eyed metallic zippers, but they certainly weren't rustic-y. I ended up sewing cotton lace over the black zipper tape. Why had I not embellished zippers with trim before? Easy!

Instead of glueing some white batting to the inside and covering that with fabric, I used black felt and covered it with this odd, ivory colored, sheer fabric. If I had to guess what it really is, I'd say raw silk, but I honestly don't know. It gave pretty much the look I was going for, though, whatever it is.

I had a bunch of fun and learned a lot making this!
13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / "Lined" notebook cover (no extra fabric) on: October 24, 2015 09:07:33 AM

A while ago I figured out how to make a lined composition book cover. Yes! But then I joined a swap here where you can only use 2 fat quarters of fabric. It didn't count interfacing as fabric.

So, not wanting to waste part of my allotment of fat quarters on lining, I decided to line it with interfacing.

No stitching on the outside necessary!

First, you'll need to get the fabric part of your cover. If you're using 1 whole piece, just grab it (cut to the right size.) If you're piecing different fabrics together like I did, get all that done first. I used this tutorial for the general measurements for an A5 notebook cover. I sketched the rectangle then drew in the features I wanted: a spine and pockets. Then I used that to make the different pattern pieces.

Anyway, once you've got the fabric ready, cut a piece of fusible interfacing to the same size MINUS the side seam allowances. If you allowed for 1/2 seam allowances all the way around, cut 1 inch off 1 of the short sides of your interfacing. You won't be turning the interfacing under like you will the fabric.

This next part always gets me confused, but here goes:

Fold the flap allowances so the right sides of the fabric are together. This is the opposite of how you'll want it to look when finished. Iron the seam allowances on the flaps so that the wrong sides are together.

Finger press the flaps into the interfacing so that the non-glued sides touch. Don't iron! Position the edges of the flaps so that the cut edges touch the seam allowance folds of the fabric. The interfacing fold and the fabric fold of the flaps should match. The top and bottom edges should match. Pin.

Sew the top. Sew the bottom. Leave the flap sides alone for now Smiley

Reach in through one side and pull the other through. Turn the flaps the right way. The glue side of the interfacing should be touching the wrong side of the fabric and the seam allowances of the flap for a "hem". No glue should be where the notebook will go.

Finger press everything to where it should be (a few pins may be needed as well) then iron away, sealing the glue to the inside of your cover.

If this will be washed in the future, you may want to topstitch the interfacing to the flap, but it's your call!

This tutorial has some more in progress shots.

Add some beads if you want, slip a notebook in, and away you go! Yay!

14  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / The name is Agent, Agent Carter (mini built-in gussets tutorial bottom of page) on: August 23, 2015 10:47:17 AM

Like a good Marvel fan I was watching Agent Carter and saw this dress:

Hmm, perhaps I could make something along those lines work for me?

First up, a sloper. (Don't craft tired! Mistakes will be made.)

Then a pattern. I tried built-in gussets for the sleeves and love them!

(This pattern isn't quite done. I adjusted the hem and tapered the seam more.)

Full range of motion!

Done enough to try on and text some friends for opinions.

All done!

I couldn't find an image of the back, so I winged it. The neck closes with a button and loop. I dug through my collection of old buttons and found this one.

Kind of fitting, don't you think?

In addition to built-in gussets, 1940s sewing techniques and fashion I learned about makeup, nail polish, and hair styling.

Pin curls are a must.

Do not make me use my stapler.

15  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Craft or else! on: August 03, 2015 03:15:18 PM
Inspired by crafts and propaganda posters:

I started with tracing/drawings/print-outs of the craft items, burst and letters. I arranged the papers how I wanted then traced them into glad press and seal with a sharpie. Then I arranged all 3 fabrics in the order I wanted after much deliberation and consulting with my swap partner: orange, red, yellowish-tan. The press and seal went on top of the orange.

Next it was time to sew over the lines on the press and seal with a straight stitch, so all three fabrics were sewn together. After that I ripped and peeled the plastic off, cut out the design and sewed over the stitches with a zig-zag. Finally I squared it up and finished the edges by using the bottom layer to cover them up. And added loops to slip a dowel through for hanging.

Here's a great reverse appliqu tutorial right here on Craftster.

I like the look it makes on the back:

16  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Summer, it's surfing tidal waves, creating nanobots and dying a pillow on: July 30, 2015 08:59:27 AM

To commemorate Phineas and Ferb, summer and my mom's birthday I made her this pillow.

Except for a few end repeats and where it got cut off at the left and right edges (on purpose) it features all the lyrics of "It's Summer".

Of course the back closes with shoelaces, complete with aglets!

I used Elmer's school glue gel poured into a little squeeze bottle attached with a small tip to write the lyrics onto an 18" square of white muslin, leaving some room at the top and bottom. Not easy. It took 3+ hours to write out the song.

It sat around drying for a day or two while outside a bucket of water heated up in the sun.

On dying day I mixed 1 packet of Dylon bahama blue in hot water then dumped it in the bucket and stirred it around. Without wetting the fabric first in it went. I didn't care about streaks (I actually wanted some and got faint ones) and I did not want to risk messing up the glue.

Yes, my hand is a little blue. It and its twin got much bluer later. Wear gloves.

Oh my gosh! Where did the lyrics go? All my precious writing! Oh, there, I can see some glue at the bottom. Phew. Please work, please work, please work...

It worked!

Mom loved her gift, so it was all worth it Smiley

Enjoy your summer!
17  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Enchilada Slop and Taquitos on: July 30, 2015 08:27:47 AM
"Enchilada slop" may not be the most appetizing name, but it's tasty and easy and versatile!

You'll need:
refried beans
enchilada sauce

You add these things too:
black olives
cooked chicken (cut small)
whatever you think will taste good

It's better not to mix cheese into the slop. Save it for a topping later so it doesn't get blegh.

For this batch I used 2 cans of beans, half of that big can of sauce, olives and a whole chicken breast.

Mix it all up, pop it in the fridge and let the flavors meld. Whenever you want some, grab a tortilla or chips, dish it out and heat it up (or not) for tacos, burritos or chip dip. You can also use it for filling in...

taquitos. Yeah, I was less than impressed too. Why? Why would those four remain perfect and those three crack? Seriously, what the heck?

I used corn tortillas, heated up to a very flexible state, and rolled them around a couple of tablespoons of slop. Then they were spritzed with pam and backed in a 425F oven for 15 minutes, as I had seen done on numerous blogs. Next time I'll try it with flour tortillas. They look worse than enchilada slop sounds, but they taste good!
18  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Lazy Lasagna on: July 21, 2015 10:05:02 AM
All right, I cannot seem to take pictures of food. I'm working on it (okay, sort of) but let me assure you this is pretty and tastes good in real life!

You'll need:
lasagna noodles
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
ricotta cheese
mozzarella cheese

Boil the noodles.

Get out your sauce. I use meat sauce made by cooking hamburger and mixing it with spaghetti sauce. I keep some in mason jars in the freezer and pull it out as needed. For this lasagna I used these two plus some sauce straight from a jar. In all, it was about 2 jars of straight-from-the-store sauce.

Mix half of the sauce with half a container of ricotta.

Layer plain sauce, noodles, sauce-cheese and repeat, topping it all with mozzarella.

Pop it in a 375F oven and cook for 40mins-1hour.

19  COOKING / Dessert / Orange Ice Cream Syrup on: July 21, 2015 09:49:56 AM
Drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream, this syrup makes it taste just like a creamsicle!

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh orange juice

Dissolve the sugar in the water in a mason jar then pour in the juice and shake to mix. I didn't do this, but I'm sure you could add some food dye if you wanted more color.

A little goes a long way (Seriously. Just drizzle it, otherwise it is cloyingly sweet.) but it sure goes fast!
20  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Fruit Syrup Soda on: June 29, 2015 05:51:56 PM

1 1/2 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Dissolve the sugar in the water. Puree the raspberries in a blender, mixing them with the sugar water.

Take a spoonful or 2 or more or less to taste...

And add it to sparkling water or another beverage.

That's it! Garnish it if you want. Add in something else if you want (A dash of orange juice?)
I store my syrup in a mason jar in the fridge and it's lasted about a couple of weeks. It gets used up in that time, so I'm not sure how long it'll keep barring that. It's great on pancakes and ice cream too.
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