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181  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Toy Soldier on: November 20, 2011 07:11:00 AM
Thanks everyone for checking him out.  If anyone truly wants to make one, I can always offer more detailed instructions.  He isn't at all difficult.
182  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Re: Turkey BACON on: November 18, 2011 10:19:03 PM
Fantastic idea.  Love it!
183  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Toy Soldier with instructions/diagram added on: November 18, 2011 10:08:49 PM
A toy soldier I created to stand guard at my front door during the Holidays.  Surprisingly, he's made from mostly castoffs.  Can you find these items?

1 Paper Ice cream container
2 Gift wrap cores
2 Paper towel cores
1 Ribbon spool
1 two liter soda bottle
1/2 Cork
3 paper mache eggs
(Actually there are 5 eggs.  His feet are flat paper mache eggs)

With a bit of paint, trims, buttons, fur & feathers I transformed those throwaways into a Christmas decoration who stands about 2 ft. tall.

Thank you.  I'm happy that some of you like my little guy enough to want one.  Hopefully my instructions will help.  Unfortunately, I no gave him to my sister & she's a thousand miles from here so I can't give exact measurements.

Carefully clean & thoroughly dry the ice cream container.  Place it open end up on a table & stand the 2 paper towel cores at his sides.  This is so his shoulders will be straight.  Hot glue the cores to his sides about 2/3 of the way.  Leave the area at his waist so  you can slip the belt between his arms & body later.

While he's still upside down, place him on a piece of posterboard, cereal box, heavy cardstock or other very light weight cardboard.  Draw around all 3 pieces to make a single piece to cover his shoulders.  Follow the dotted lines on diagram A to fill in the area where the cores meet the ice cream container.Cut this piece out & glue it to the top of the ice cream container & his shoulders.  I don't know how long his arms are but you can cut them to any length you like.  I prefer shorter body & arms, & long legs.

Paint the entire piece red---I used acrylic but spray paint will work too.

I don't know if they still sell the flat, paper mache egg shapes but if you can t find them you can cut them out of  a foam core board or matboard.  Glue them to the bottom of the gift cores & paint them black.  Adjust his height---the cores will reach all the way to his shoulders.  You'll have to balance him on his feet.  Mine stood on his own when the gift wrap cores were placed apart & all the way to the back of the ice cream container so I hot glued them where they touched the back of the bucket, as well as around the top of the cores where they touched his shoulders.

Take the flat sides off of the ribbon spool so you have only a cardboard ring left.  Paint it black & glue it to the center of the ice cream container for his collar/neck.  Again, I can't give measurements for the paper mache eggs so you'll have to see which fits & looks best.  The diameter of his head should be about the same as the diameter of the soda bottle---perhaps a bit larger.

Use a sharp knife to cut a wine cork diagonally top to bottom & glue it on for his nose filling in any gaps with glue.  Paint his face & hands pink/flesh tone.  You can finish his face however you choose.  I used an ice pick to poke holes & glued purchased eyes into the holes.  Marker for his mouth & pink blush for his cheeks.  Glue his head & hands in place.

Cut enough of the top off of a 2 liter soda bottle so it will come down over the head.  Cut out the front section so it fits just above his eyebrows & in front of his ears.  Cover it with faux fur.  It will probably have to be done with several pieces of fur cut, fitted & hot glued on.  Feather glued on & 2 buttons glued on with a chain draped between.

You can draw his chinstrap on or glue on a piece of cording, shoelace, ribbon, etc. so it extends under the edges of his hat.

I added gold fringe to his shoulders & gold braid to his collar, epaulets, cuffs & between his buttons.  Also a stripe down the side of his legs.  I either cut the backs from the buttons with a wire cutters or poked holes with an ice pick to accommodate the shanks.  (Can't remember which)

His belt is a white faux leather with an old shoe buckle, glued in place.

I hope I've covered everything.  Let me know if you have any further questions & be sure to post photos if you make him.

184  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Grinch Christmas Ornament made from a gourd. on: November 16, 2011 08:05:44 PM
I have no idea who designed the original Grinch ornament but he/she deserves plenty of kudos for the idea.  As soon as my friend posted a photo of one on her site, I knew I would make one for my daughter---He's her favorite Holiday character.  I wish I could take credit for the design but my only contribution is the furry collar. 

My daughter's was made with a gourd (same as my friend's) but I've since made a number of them & found that a paper mache egg works as well & is much easier to find.  There is also the advantage of consistency---not having to adjust the hat pattern to fit different sized gourds.

I drilled a small hole in the top of the egg/gourd & inserted a kabob skewer with a dab of hot glue so I could paint the egg more easily. I made a stencil that I used to paint the white part of the eyes & then sprayed the entire egg with an acrylic finish.  When it dried, I put the stencil back in place & outlined everything with a permanent black marker.  I learned the hard way that the acrylic spray will cause the marker to run---even a permanent marker.  At this point I snipped the skewer off even with the egg & the stub was later hidden under the hat.

I folded a wedge shaped piece of fabric in half, sewed the one short seam, turned it & glued it in place.  I glued both long edges under for the hatband & hot glued it in place over the raw edge of the hat.   I glued the collar to a circle of cardstock, folding the edges to the inside, before I glued it to the bottom of the egg.  With the addition of the collar he can either hang or sit.  A puffy ball on the end of his hat & a gold cord for hanging finished him.

I made a number of these for friends & even taught a seminar at a motor home rally.  My daughter loves hers, as do my friends, & about 15 people left my seminar with cute little Grinch ornaments.

185  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Whopper Cheeseburger---28" in diameter! on: November 14, 2011 06:48:26 PM
It placed 3rd in the contest & I received $150 for it.  Happy to hear you like it.
186  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Making Faces on: November 13, 2011 08:51:51 PM

I seem to be obsessed lately with making faces---clay faces!  I've been taking clay classes for more than a year now & it seems that quite a number of my projects are faces.

When I began I intended to make only one.  I pressed the terra cotta clay into a mold, carved leaves & vines into it when it was leather hard & added leaves & a flower instead of hair.  She is finished in a deep bronze color & is named Ophelia.

 When I realized she was a good representation of Earth, I created a series of 3 more using the same basic mold.  Number 2 became Pyro representing Fire.  The third is Algae or Water.  Fourth is Zephyr who, of course, is Air/Wind.

I've since made a 5th that is not part of the series, even tho I used the same mold for the basic face.  I'm still trying to find a name for him.  To me he represents a person who tries to be so open minded he has no thoughts or convictions of his own.

The mold for all of them is about 7-8" long. 

I've abandoned the mold for the time being & created another series of 5 more faces.  I just modeled these from balls & slabs of clay.  These vary in size from about 4" to 6" & are named Monkshoods.  They remind me of hooded monks or flowers---There is a flowering plant named Monkshood.

187  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Fanciful beaded bird, Fanciful hat on: November 13, 2011 07:09:16 AM
(Tongue in cheek) I can easily visualize it.  It would have to be the red hatband paired with a red dress.  Limey green spike heels & a striped red & green handbag.  Would black pearls be too much with it?? 

My British friends have, fortunately, been happily married well over 60 years & aren't planning another wedding.  I've not been invited to their granddaughter's upcoming wedding but, had I been, I'm sure the invitation would be quickly rescinded if they learned about that outfit.  Even the Brits might take exception to the clash of colors. 
188  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Fanciful beaded bird, Fanciful hat on: November 13, 2011 05:06:06 AM
What an absolutely stunning bird. I am sorry about your fingertips but the finished work of art must be some reward for your suffering.  It is so lovely it is a pity it can't actually be worn.

Oh, it's completely lined & fully wearable.  I just don't know anyone eccentric enough to want to wear it.  Instead, I like it as a wall decoration.  Thanks for the lovely comments.  I certainly appreciate them. 
189  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Fanciful beaded bird, Fanciful hat on: November 12, 2011 08:39:11 PM
I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to post this item because, even tho it's clothing, it's not something most people would wear.  I hope it's OK here.

I created a very fanciful beaded bird to embellish an equally fanciful hat.  Beginning with 2 layers of fabric fused together, I cut out a very long bird shape (about 20" long) & sewed various beads individually over the entire surface.  I learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to try sewing thru the bonding material as it makes the fabric quite stiff.  My fingertips became very sore but I persevered because I wanted the finished piece to be stiff enough to keep it's shape.

After I completed the bird, I made the pattern for the hat.  It took several tries to get the size & shape I wanted.  It's fully lined & the fusible interfacing is the heaviest I could find---doubled.  The scalloped brim is just an added bit of whimsey. 

When I glued the bird on, it circled the crown almost completely.  I left enough gaps in the area under the wing so I can change the hatband as I desire.  A tiny gold earring holds the band fastened in the back.  It isn't really a wearable item but I've sewn a small ring under the front of the brim & it looks quite nice hanging in my bedroom. 

190  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Dobby the House Elf cloth doll on: November 12, 2011 07:22:37 PM
Love this guy.  You've done an incredible job.
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