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1  Christmas nails for my mom! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by BananaAmbush on: December 19, 2014 05:03:00 PM
I just did this Christmas manicure for my mom... ho ho ho!

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2  Embroidered bee ribbon rosette in Needlework: Completed Projects by BananaAmbush on: January 06, 2014 01:35:06 PM
Hellooo! I had seen some really cool ribbon rosettes online, so I thought I'd try my hand at making one! I made a bee ribbon, just in time for Sherlock Holmes's birthday!  Cheesy After retiring from being a detective, Holmes started beekeeping instead... hopefully, this is only the first of many weird little Holmes references that I can wear all at once.

I tried some super-novicey stumpwork... I wasn't able to find too many tutorials online, so I sort of made it up as I went along. Thanks for having a look!
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3  Sweet'n'Scary Jam Jars! in Needlework: Completed Projects by BananaAmbush on: August 13, 2013 01:46:33 PM
All righty! To me, Craftster is all about trying new things and new media, so for this challenge, I decided to go completely out of my comfort zone and do two totally new crafts for me: canning and embroidery! My sister and I bought a ton of strawberries at the farmers' market and made some delicious strawberry jam, and then I embroidered/sewed two covers for the jam jars.

I've never embroidered before, so for the first one, I decided to freehand it instead of trying to make a pattern:

I found that I really really enjoyed embroidery; I never would have expected it. I don't usually take to crafts like knitting, crochet, etc. but I found embroidery to be the perfect mix of drawing and repetitive motion for me. I'm sure my work is pretty sloppy and that there are tons of new stitches and techniques for me to learn, but hey, that's what Craftser is for, right?  Cheesy

After I made the strawberry one, I thought, "you know, I'm totally going to lose my metal cred over this frilly jam cover." And so I made a second one, and officially named our jam batch: "ETERNAL JAMNATION." I tried to make a tracing-paper pattern for this one, but it didn't really end up working out, so I ended up freehanding this one as well after making a few guideline-stitches. Maybe next time!

The odd couple:

According to my profile, I joined Craftster in February of 2005... I can't believe it! I've learned so many new things from this site... I can only imagine what I'll make for the 20th anniversary!  Cheesy
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4  My first attempt at restoring a book from the late 1800s in Completed Projects by BananaAmbush on: June 03, 2013 03:40:08 PM
I love books from the late 1800s and early 1900s, so I decided to teach myself how to repair and restore them! I definitely have a lot to learn, but I'm fairly satisfied with my first attempt.

Here's the book in the condition in which it arrived. As you can see, it needs a lot of TLC.

Here are the detached covers:

The original endbands attempt to escape the horror that is the text block. The block itself was in great condition, though; score!

All four corners were busted like this:

The bottom of the spine was super raggedy, and the spine itself was almost detached from the covers in many places.

Very cool inscriptions on the first page. The oldest one is from 1900; the newest one is from 1909.

So after hours of work, here is the finished product:

I ended up repainting everything because the cover illustrations were so faded:

A quarter for size comparison. I tried to remain as faithful as possible to the original illustration, which was hard when the printed marks were so tiny!

Sometimes it was impossible to stick to the original. The bottom of the spine was so faded that I had to make a lot of this up.

The new inside, bound nice and tight!

Don't worry; I kept the inscriptions:

The new headbands are black and blue instead of white and blue. This is the only area where you can see my new spine showing through. I'll have to cover it up better next time.

All finished; tight binding and lovely text/illustrations!

I didn't take any in-progress shots (I'll have to do it next time!) but if you'd like to do something similar to a book of your own, I'd highly highly recommend http://www.indiana.edu/~libpres/manual/mantoc.html and http://www.youtube.com/user/DIYbookrepair.

Now, I have some questions for the good people of craftster: I used regular acrylic paint to repaint this; is there a better choice? And is there some sort of sealant or lacquer that I could use to seal the covers so the paint doesn't chip or get damaged? Thanks so much!
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5  Catsby and Baron Bun Paper Dolls [somewhat image heavy] in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by BananaAmbush on: May 22, 2013 09:32:13 AM
I'm back at it again! It's been awhile, but I've made some more paper dolls. Perhaps I've been watching too much Jeeves and Wooster, or maybe I'm just excited to see the new Great Gatsby movie, but I had to do some tuxedos. Each one has a little masquerade mask that attaches with straps behind the head!

While I like them apart, my favorite is when they're hanging out:

I'm thinking that next I'll do either a little girl or some martyr saints. I love me some St. Sebastian!
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6  Wolf Brat Paper Doll in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by BananaAmbush on: April 24, 2013 11:13:24 AM
Here's my latest paper doll design... THE WOLFBRAT! He thinks he's a toughie, but I guess he still carries around his stuffed lamb.

I love making these paper dolls, and I want to print a lot of them, but I often have issues getting my print shop to get the colors just right. If anybody else makes fine-art-esque prints, I'd love it if you could give me some advice about where to get it done!
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7  Changeable Bird-Headed Paper Doll in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by BananaAmbush on: April 18, 2013 02:34:31 PM
Hey everyone! I've been off living in Korea for some time and it's been quite a while since I last posted... but I'm back with a vengeance! The last couple of weeks, I've been designing paper dolls. I've always loved paper dolls, and now that I'm back in the good ole' U S of A, I have all the paint and tiny brads my heart desires!

This one's probably my favorite one I've made so far. It's an articulated body with changeable bird heads. Each head is attached to a tab with an egg on the end. The tab pops out just above the doll's hand, so he holds each bird's respective egg depending on which head he's wearing!

You can choose between the scarlet ibis:

American robin:


or raven:

I have a couple more designs to upload over the next few days, but the birdboys might be my fav.
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8  Re: Wicked Children Altered Tin Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by BananaAmbush on: September 14, 2012 01:21:57 AM
OK, as promised, here is cackle's amazing tin. She chose to do Captain Nemo, from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Before he was the Captain Nemo that we all know and...erm...love?... Captain Nemo was the Indian prince Dakkar. But after an unfortunate run-in with the British, Dakkar's family was no more, and he became the enigmatic and elusive Captain Nemo of lore.

Cackle depicted Dakkar before his Batmanesque rebirth, lounging on his royal bed with a not-so-fluffy pet (as, she posits, he was probably a bit off from the start. Lots of people lose loved ones without resorting to crazed aquatic anti-imperialist vendettas.)

Even the back is amazing!

Needless to say, this tin is way above and beyond the call of awesome. Thank you so much, cackle!
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9  Christopher's Room, my first big installation! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by BananaAmbush on: May 14, 2011 03:31:19 PM
This thing was super exciting to make, because I love installation art and finally got the opportunity to do a piece myself. There was too much stuff packed in there to post pictures of everything, but here are the highlights! Here's the installation itself, with me sitting at the desk. I wanted people to be able to poke around and look at everything in the cabinets and boxes:

The room follows the story of Christoper, a young prince, and his struggle against Ezra, this snakey demon sort of guy:

The story is explained in this little pamphlet; Christopher beats the snake, but takes its mask so that he doesn't get hurt again. The mask gives him strange powers, but he becomes a bit of a zombie personality-wise.

Here's a little family portrait of Christopher and his parents, the king and queen:

Christopher's mom, the Insect Queen, doesn't recognize him after he puts on Ezra's mask, so she just collects pictures of him how he used to be:

Christopher's dad, the king, uses Christopher's newfound powers to get rid of two of his potential assassins, the twins Asher and Felix Orthrus. Christopher has to deliver their hands to the king for proof. The first twin's hand:

The five fingers of the second twin, each in its separate box:

The cabinet was also full of little goodies:

Haha, this was probably confusing with just photos and a little bit of context, but hopefully you can enjoy the visual aspect of it, if not really the story/audience participation bit  Cheesy

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10  Cube Book in a Cube Box! in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by BananaAmbush on: May 14, 2011 03:15:11 PM
For this book project, I wanted to see if I could make a perfect cube in a cube box...I'm going to consider this close enough  Tongue. Here's the imposing box:

You open it up to reveal another cube:

And inside it is this coptic book I bound!

Here's the whole group together:

This thing left me ready to start a project that involves no math whatsoever  Cheesy
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