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51  Cape from umbrella in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Antidigger on: July 18, 2012 02:15:39 AM
I've been collecting dead umbrellas for a while. They make wonderful parachutes for teddy bears, but that's a different story. This, on the other hand, is the story of a wonderful rainbow umbrella that was torn in a very strategic place and so unsuitable for it's purpose.

I'm a recycler. Obssessively, really. So the canopy was removed from the frame, the tiny end caps collected on a string and the twisted and broken struts used as pea sticks. So the largest part of thos umbrella that was left was the canopy, the beautiful rainbow canopy, the beautiful rainbow rain-proof canopy, Ah Ha! Grin. Just the thing for a cape.

But hang on, even hemmed and fastened, the rain will be a little chilly. I must line it. And pockets, everything needs pockets. They'd better be on the inside, otherwise they'll fill up with rain!
So I present the umbrella rain cape.
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52  A set of buttons made from etc. in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: July 17, 2012 03:45:13 PM
I've been fancying doing some modelling for a while now, I used to really enjoy it when younger, but stopped for a long time. My current circumstances dictate that what I do is small & cheap, so I thought I might start with some salt dough.

It was quite a substantial undertaking. First of all, I made too much, so even after 2 hours of kneading (on & off) the gluten in the flour wasn't well developed enough to allow me to mould well. So I threw it away and sulked for a long while. Roll Eyes

So then I tried a much smaller amount (after recovering my composure) and this lot did work, but still took considerably longer than the 20 minutes promised. But I finally had the dough that I could use sort of like clay. I decided to make some buttons first because A] I'd seen some posted on here and B] they were hopefully going to be quick and easy. Well, I produced about 50 over the days work and left them to air dry. The next day I checked them: still not dry, so I popped them in the oven after I'd finished cooking and had turned the oven off. Checked them again next morning: still not dry. This time I tried baking some of them at 180C. Yay Grin, dry, but distinctly brown Sad. I put the others in the oven as it cooled again.
Finally they came out dried through. I didn't say: this is the wettest summer on record here in the UK, humidity has been absurd (for this country). Anyway, I finally got a matched set of 8 non-browned dry buttons that hadn't cracked in the drying process.

Then I started experimenting with the paint and glazes. Long story made short: I didn't prime the buttons, I washed them with watercolours between 2 & 4 times to get the depth of colour I wanted and varnished them with superglaze, which is nice & clear & shiny and doesn't dissolve the buttons or streak the colour when I used it.

And here they are

Since then I've been playing with other salt dough projects, but that's another story.
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53  Re: UK only swap - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Antidigger on: June 11, 2012 12:51:09 PM
Well, the light isn't much better today than it was last night, but I've had a go and got a couple of half-decent piccies.

I would make you wait, but, well, I'm just too excited.  Cheesy May I present a beautiful blanket: words cannot express how beautiful I think this is, all the colour combinations and the choice of a dark chocolatey brown for the background is inspired.

As if that weren't way and above the call of duty, I also received a very pretty recycled paper bead bracelet.

And, yet more: a very kind gift of some handmade soap

So, so, lovely a package. Thank you soooo much Littlebluegirl. It is truly wonderful and I have been well and truly spoiled.
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54  Waistcoat for mum. in Knitting: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: May 04, 2012 03:18:42 AM
In my bid to bite off more than I can chew I promised to knit my mum a waistcoat. She wanted something quite long, and something that would go with a lot of different things. I looked for some patterns and decided that I would learn some lace knitting this time, and bought a pattern & some wool.

 Huh Huh Huh ARRGH! I tried and tried and tried, and eventually took the pattern to the knitting club I go to: The particular size I wanted just didn't work. Not even the experienced ladies at the club could make it add up. That took me a few months to work out. Angry

So I picked a simple pattern (in chunky this time) off the internet and decided I'd add a bit of lace knitting to it out of the book I've got. I'm not going to link to the pattern, because when it came to the shoulders I had to re-write the pattern several times to get the hang of what was meant and it still doesn't look quite right. Oh. Yes. I also fiddled with it mightily to get the lace pattern in as well.

So, overall, I learned to lace knit, I learned to start (sort of) patch pockets, I learned to pick up stitches for ribbed edges and I learned to interpret awkward patterns. I wish I'd put the lace pattern on the pocket and also that I'd written out the pattern in a comprehensible form before I started knitting and I wish I'd written the alterations in a form I could still understand now!

A couple of highlights for the new things I learned.

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55  Just how do you take an 8ft reptile to the vets? in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: May 03, 2012 10:30:18 AM
Poor Beastlie. He's sick. Sad Which means he has to go to the vet. But he is 8ft long (ish), weighs as much as a toddler (nearly all muscle) and doesn't like being enclosed, so tries to escape. Huh

When we moved house recently, it was only a 15 minute trip, but he managed to escape  Shocked (fortunately after we'd parked up at the new house) from the cardboard pet carrier we used (it was recommended by a shop we won't be using again).

So I got my thinking cap on: I needed an air permeable container, with a secure or securable lid, that is big enough to hold him, but not so big that he slides all over the place. It needs to be washable, warmable and appropriate to put on the scales at the vets. It can't have big holes or he'll injure himself trying to get out. This ruled out any of the standard pet carriers.

So I ended up with a large plastic click lock lidded container, I melted holes fairly close to the bottom and also in the lid. It felt a bit on the cold side and wouldn't fit on the scales, so I sewed an inner for it and placed the inner over the top of some polystyrene tiles, to keep his belly warm. If it's very cold I can put one of those re-usable hand warmers to keep him warm.

And of course, I had to personalise it!

And a close up of the embroidery

You know I keep calling him him? We don't really know so we chose a name that is easily changed if we ever find out. I'm not, however, going to subject him to an uncomfortable unnecessary procedure by the vet just to find out. We love him/her anyway.
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56  Re: Fake Swapping Craft-along (ongoing) in Craftalongs by Antidigger on: May 02, 2012 04:22:14 AM
Wee Hee! My parcel arrived from the Beginners Inchie swap. It should have been an envelope, but my partner added a packet of chocolate biscuits that were my favourite as a child. (How could she have known?)

Anyway, here are my piccies.
From my floral theme:

From my tree theme:

What you can't see very well is the last one has raised tree branches using PVA glue.

From my sweetheart theme:

From her choice

Good job on guessing my tastes so well Antidigger Wink

Oh yes, I'm nearly done on the mini 12 days of Christmas swap. I'm glad I was allowed to join the beginners inchies fake swap, I don't think the organiser noticed I'd flaked on the mini 12 days of Christmas, but I'll soon have sorted that lot out (talk about procrastination!).
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57  Re: Bookmark Swap Round 5 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Antidigger on: April 25, 2012 12:38:20 PM
It looks like my bookmarks are lost in the post. I've remade, but here are some photos of the originals.

There was a long story about the symbolism of this one.

And some extra disposable origami bookmarks.
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58  Labeling Clothes in Needlework: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: April 04, 2012 06:23:40 AM
Well, in a day and a half I'll be off the the World Sport Kite Championships in Berck-sur-mer in France. And this is another in the long series of posts about my preparation. Because we're competing as a team, we all wear team uniform, which will undoubtedly be all washed together in the same washing machine in our rented apartment. So to identify whose thermals, shirts, jackets e.t.c. are whose, we have to label it all. Most stuff has been fine: a white washing instruction label and a clothes marker does the trick nicely.  BUT (you could tell there was a but coming couldn't you) It really doesn't work on a black label. So I embroidered them; what else?

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59  A too short frock needs a slip. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by Antidigger on: April 04, 2012 06:16:35 AM
The World Sport Kite Championships (or the associated festival) in Berck-sur-mer in France starts on Saturday. I, and my team are competing, so for the evenings where we're not flying but still on show, I bought a black dress (black being the team colour), but it rides up and it's a little short to start with, so I sewed a half petticoat for it. The dress is much more decent now.

Currently you can see it's tacked up, that's because I decided to make it multi-functional: I can undo the tacking and use it for other skirts & dresses.
This is another in the long series of posts about my preparation for the WSKC!
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60  Re: Ecofriendly/Recycling/Gardening/Hippie Swap 2 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Antidigger on: March 31, 2012 09:34:11 AM
I saw this ^ just as I was settling down to post a picture of my wonderful goodies!

I've received from Velvet Rose and I got some splendid stuff

 An amazing Rapunzel scarf, and a mini one that is a bulky keyring holder: just right to stop me rummaging at the bottom of my handbag for my keys all the time!. Some splendid felted beads I'm just itching to try putting these together for a necklace or maybe I'll just keep them in my large tin for a while so that I can carry on taking a random one out and just rolling it in my fingers! A lovely abstract canvas that is already in my craft room for inspiration (this is the one that the cockroaches took a fancy to). The double recycled tags are wonderful: recycled card folders & dividers, and then reused into these great tags, just waiting for a leaf or something similar  Smiley And the card she sent was from the same stuff, embossed. Delightful.

I have no idea how Velvet Rose looked right into my brain to see the colours that I love so much and get them so perfect, when even I couldn't get quite the right combination, but I am so delighted that she could.

Thank you, thank you so much for my wonderful parcel.

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