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21  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Birthday/Gratitude Bunting on: September 26, 2011 07:32:25 AM
My daughter's 3rd birthday was coming up and I decided that I wanted to make her some bunting with her name, not original or anything but I knew she'd like it. Concurrently, I have been bitching and moaning about how small our 1 bedroom apartment is and I've been looking for 2 1/2 years for a bigger place, somewhere with a room for our daughter,  and have been painfully unsucessful. A few weeks ago, I fell in love with a place but the landlord decided to go with another applicant. Oh, the pity party I through myself was freakin' epic I tell you! Eventually, I decided that I really need to start appreciating all of the blessings in my life instead of focusing on the things we lack. To this effort, I started in on making the bunting with the intention to hang it at my daughter's birthday beach party and then to go ahead and hang it over her bed (our bedroom is woefully undecorated). I decided to start fixing up what we have instead of wallowing in my pity puddle. About 20 minutes into making the bunting, and thinking about gratitude and blessings, my husband called to say that the landlord had called to say that the other deal fell through and to offer us the little house! So, I will hang this bunting over my little girl's bed in her new bedroom, and every time I see it, I will count my blessings one more time.

22  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / 30 Minute Butterfly Wings on: September 24, 2011 10:24:28 PM
My daughter fell in love with a pair of angel wings from the 99c Store which featured an unholy amount of poorly applied glitter. Quickly, our everything was covered in an unholy amount of glitter that suddenly decided to be super stubborn and stick exactly where it was not welcome, like the tip of my nose. We were getting ready to leave for a party and suddenly I decided this was the PERFECT time to try to reconstruct this pair of wings and begin the process of getting rid of the evil glitter that I'm pretty sure was multiplying like fleas or bunnies or something.

I noticed that the material used for the obscenely glittertastic wings looked like cheap panty hose, you know, the kind that snags in the breeze and gives you instant sweat foot? Gross. I dug in my sock drawer looking for something similar (as if) and came up with a pair of black ribbed tights. I removed the original glitter/nasty panty hose nonsense, making the glitter issue even worse by way, and then promptly hacked off the legs of the black tights and pulled them over the frame of the wings. The tightness of the tights made the frame smoosh down so the wings looked less Butterfly and more Evil Fruit Fly, which now that I think about it could be entirely amazing. Whatever. I ruined my tights and my daughter has no wings. How can she fly without wings??

Plan B: Change locations so as to avoid the big glitter mess I just made. Start another mess in the bedroom. Dig out a sheet that I'm using for another project. Find glue gun and only 2 1/2 glue sticks. (Note to self: buy glue sticks.) Burn fingers repeatedly. Glue around and then patch another piece over that and glue it down, too. Stitch around the frame and, subsequently, through the glue thereby completely mucking up the needle. (The sacrifices we make for our children!) Drive gluey needle into my thumb knuckle because I'm distracted by my daughter marching around me singing "Friday" by Rebecca Black over and over and over. Finish butterfly wings (sans glitter and kinda raggedy but still loved by a little girly girl) in 30 minutes, just in time for the party.

23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bride of Frankenstein on: September 10, 2011 07:26:22 AM
While browsing through internet images for craft project ideas, I came across this great piece by Sid Stankovitz ( http://blackmarketartcompany.com/cart/images/brideoffrankenstein.jpg ) and I knew I had to do an embroidery version for my friend's birthday. I am new to embroidery so most of it is in back stitch (my go-to stitch). There's a bit of satin stitch and, woo hoo!!! I conquered my fear of french knots and now I want to put them errrrrrrvywhere!

I left the lips outlined in back stitch for a long time, not sure which stitch to use. Then I got the "brilliant" (i.e., totally effed up and don't ever do that again) idea of using a Sharpie to color in the mouth. Which then bled outside my outline. Flippin' great. So then I relined the lips and then filled them in with a janky version of some not so great fill stitch which still kinda bugs me (but the piece now lives in my friend's house so it will only bug me when I go over there and pick apart my mistakes  Tongue ).

When the piece was finished, I dipped it in a bowl of water to get rid of the embroidery pen marks and then set it outside to dry. Twenty minutes later, I went to check on it -- and sweet Jesus on a freakin' pogo stick, the Sharpie had bled aaallll up around the mouth and face area, this yellowy-orangey smear. Shit balls. Now what?? I figured it was pretty much a gift for the trash can and so I didn't have anything to lose at this point so I busted out my 3 year old daughter's cheapie watercolors and started dabbing colors onto the cloth. And, wonders of all wonders, I actually liked the result! Watercolors are so forgiving--just a quick dip in the bowl of water and any "mistakes" are quickly rinsed away and a clean palette awaits. I will definitely be using the painting technique again.

French knots, hooray!

I'd love some suggestions as to which stitch would've worked better for her lips.

Here she is, all framed and ready for giving:

And here she is with her happy new owner:

Thanks for looking and reading! Comments and criticisms are appreciated. Happy stitching!
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / I pity the fool! on: May 25, 2011 06:04:51 PM
I was browsing around and came across this picture of Mr. T and promptly fell in love. It took me about a week's worth of baby naps to finish it. I stitched it on a piece of really thin tie-dyed cotton. I used this tutorial https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=335956.0 and stretched the piece around a canvas that I'd had for a million years.

25  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / NSFW: Dirty embroidery! on: April 30, 2011 01:50:28 PM
My best gay's birthday was coming up and I decided that my first embroidery project should be a.) something for him and b.) kinda naughty. After much too much thought, I decided on "The Three Stages of an Erection: Uncircumcised." Then I thought maybe it needed some flowers too, kinda add to the ridiculousness.

It's all back stitch because that's the only stitch I know right now. I used a transfer pen to draw the design onto cotton twill. I considered adding text so I wrote it out, but then when I changed my mind and tried to wash out the ink, it didn't all come out. Then I got the not-so-brilliant idea to try to bleach it out with a Qtip and some bleach water but it wound up turning the blue ink kinda yellowy and gross. *sigh, it's always something. I'm telling myself that he won't notice it because his apartment is usually lowly lit and also his eyes are not as young as they used to be.
As you can see, the gift was a big hit. Cheesy

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26  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Easter Alligator dress on: April 26, 2011 08:04:29 PM
I wanted to try to make my daughter an Easter dress but I have never used a pattern or attempted something like this before. I wound up finding a dress for $2 at the thrift store and took it apart, and, using it as a pattern, came up with her Alligator Dress. It still wound up way too big and kinda wonky but she loves it ("Cute!" she said when she put it on) and it's an Actual Wearable Garment! Yay!



And I conquered my fear of buttonholes!

27  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Wonky, cozy, tee shirt wonky blanket (so many pics) on: March 31, 2011 09:36:26 AM
Did I mention it's wonky? I started this blanket a long while back. Collected the tee shirts from my closet, the hubs' closet, and my favorite thrift store. Ironed on the interfacing, cut out the rectangles, figured out the layout, and then sewed up four columns of tee shirts. It was then that I realized that my lack of experience, patience, and accurate measuring and cutting had come back to bite me on my craftin' ass. The tee shirts did not even come close to lining up right, and the top of the blanket did this not-so-awesome tapering thing by the time it got down to the bottom.

Hmph. So I stuffed it behind my couch and there it sat, and haunted me, for a couple months. Then we got a new couch (hooray! as the old couch was the most hideous thing in the entire universe) which meant that I had to figure out a new place for all of the crap I'd stashed back there, including the Wonk. One day it came to me: who cares what it looks like--just start sewing that em effer! See what happens! So I did! And here's what happened--
The Wonk in its entirety:

Individual sections:

Glad to finally have a use for my "Barbie is a Slut" tee shirt, purchased a gazillion years ago during a semester in London. Now that I'm in my mid-30s and a teacher, probably not the most appropriate thing to be sporting around town.

And for the back, I used a Tommy Hillfiger sheet ($4 for the set, suhweeeeet!):

Long live The Wonk!
28  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Paper flower on: March 30, 2011 03:55:17 PM
After seeing a post on here (and of course I can't find it now  Undecided) which led me to this site http://meholder.blogspot.com/2009/03/paper-flower-tutorial.html, I found an old anatomy drawing book and got to work. I don't have the flower punch recommended so I just did a search for "six sided flower template" and used card stock to make a tracing thing (sorry, I'm brain dead right now).
29  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Free hats for the taking (morbidly obese with pictures) on: January 08, 2011 10:04:17 AM
After seeing this post https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=367028.0 I decided I wanted to do the same thing. So, I made 5 hats and attached tags.

Then I put them around my town.

I got to see a woman take this last hat right after I hung it up. It made me happy on a cold day, just as I hope my hats will do for whoever decides to take one.
I finally managed to find the pattern I used for these hats. Here you go! http://warmthdesigns.blogspot.com/2009/01/pattern-for-bobbys-slouchy-beanie.html
A friend of mine recently contacted the editor of our little local freebie paper, The Ventura Breeze, and told him about this project. Next week's issue will include a small story about it, possibly with some of the pictures. The paper has also partnered with a local artist, Johanna Spinks, who is embarking on a "Faces of Ventura" project where she is painting a series of 55 portraits of various Ventura residents which will be featured in each weeks' issue and then displayed altogether eventually in a nearby gallery. Guess who is getting her portrait painted March 18th? Me! How freakin' cool is that??
30  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Criss-Cross Crochet Ball on: December 17, 2010 07:25:15 AM
I wanted to make a ball for my 4 month old nephew for Christmas. I finally settled on this one http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gevlochten-bal---braided-ball but decided to make it using crochet instead of knit. The pattern suggests using "tubes" of crochet but I forged my own path and opted to just use strips of 55 chains by 5 rows. The weaving, of course, was the hardest part, and I'm still not 100% sure that I did it right but it is what it is, right? I went with black and white because I heard somewhere that babies respond well to that combination (plus it looks cool and not "baby") and then since I needed a third color I went with red because my brother and sister in law are big Georgia Bulldogs fans.
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