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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Custom Rat Puck Stick *Not official, registered, regulation gear* on: June 05, 2014 04:47:08 PM
While making Rat Puck Sticks for myself and my Maddy Adventurous, it occurred to me that if her little minion, I mean sister, didn't get her own that she would 1) Loudly and Consistently protest, and 2) Attempt to take others sticks from them.  *SO* I decided to make her a Rat Puck Stick of her own, and document the process. 

The first step of making your own custom Rat Puck Stick is to measure your height.  We have a bathroom door reserved for this purpose (3 generations now) but you may have a door jam, a measuring stick, or poster reserved for this.  Whichever is fine, but you need your height.  In *this* case our measurement was 33 3/4".  To get the length of your Rat Puck Stick you need to add 12" (or 1 foot) to your height.  In our case we rounded up to 34, added 12, and got a total of 46". 

The second step is to find a grove of trees small in diameter to scrounge your stick from.  You dont want a stick off the ground, as it will be rotted and will not withstand the roughness of play.  We used persimmon wood from this small stand growing in the West Pasture.  We used a chainsaw to cut down 4 young trees who didn't make it through the Winter, but hadn't fallen down.  They are not only still plenty strong, but also dried out. 

Drag your tree home, cut the top off, measure your length from your stick's top, mark it, and cut your stick to size.  You measure from the top because you don't want the bottom to be too thick and heavy. 

Here's where it get's a little tricky.  Decide how it's comfortable to hold your stick sideways (each stick is different), and cut a slot up from the bottom of your stick, in the middle of your stick, a few inches.  I used a circular saw for this and it worked like butter, but a jig saw would also work very well, maybe even better.  In a pinch a hack saw would also work, but I pity your arm muscles when you're done.  After you make the first cut in the bottom of your stick you need to make a second cut so you have a ledge on the bottom of your stick to balance your cloth Rat Puck on while you toss it.  I made my second cut at an angle to make it snazzy. but you can make your cut perpendicular if you want.

At this point you *could* "theoretically" be done.  But you aren't, because YOU want an *exceptional* Rat Puck Stick.  SO, next you then sand your rough Rat Puck Stick until it's as smooth a a baby's bottom.  I used an orbital sanger for this, and it did a GREAT job!  There is NO WAY little hands will manage to get a splinter of any kind while handling her Rat Puck Stick.  Cheesy 

Leave plain, shellac, or paint.  *thumbs up*

2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Time Lord Cabbage Patch Birth Certificate and Adoption Papers on: August 31, 2013 12:27:22 PM
My children's baby brother turned 1 and his mother is a Whovian (which works out because we're a family of Whovians. Smiley.  I already knew I wanted to give him a Cabbage Patch.  They are soft and he and my youngest already played with her's.  But the vintage doll I won at auction for him, while it LOOKED like him, did not come with a birth certificate or adoption papers.  THIS HAD to be rectified.  I emailed the company, and they don't sell replacements.  This was going to have to be a fabrication project.  There is NOTHING on the internet (that came close to satisfying me).  I searched for hours for what it should say, what it should look like, etc.  THEN I got up the gump to text his Mommy and ask her what the doll's name should be.  After some debate it was decided that the doll's name should be Jon Smith.  It was like opening a Mary Poppins bottomless can of worms.  I got sucked in and before I knew it I was building a Time Lord's birth certificate and adoption papers.  Being a TIME LORD's papers they had to be MUCH cooler than *just* Cabbage Patch papers.  Oh no, THAT just wouldn't do.  I searched through fonts for JUST the right Doctor Who fonts, a font that was the closest I could get to Robert Xavier's signature, through pages and pages and pages of Doctor Who images searching for just the right images, and the hardest of all.... a border.  Seriously, that border was a lucky find.  THEN......  I had to learn how to write Circular Gallifreyan. 
Yes.  On the back of the certificates and papers are the translation in the written language of The Doctor's home planet. 
They are both patterned after the original vintage papers that came with all of our Cabbage Patches, all those years ago, altered to be fitting of a Time Lord.  The birth certificate reads This is to certify that Jon Smith was born on Gallifrey on August 13, 2012 (Baby Brother's birthday), and on the back that is EXACTLY what it says in Gallifreyan.  The adoption papers have the signature of Sydney Newman, the Head of Drama at the BBC at the time of Doctor Who's primer and the man ultimately responsible for it's existence.  The adoption pledge reads I promise to love my time lord with all my heart.  I promise to be a good and kind companion.  I will always remember how special my time lord is to me. and THAT is what is printed on the back of the adoption papers in Circular Gallifreyan.  Smiley  I wrote in Gallifreyan using Paint and GIMP.  I can't begin to say how many layers there were.  It was a lot of work, but totally worth it.  These papers took me a soul sucking, served meals at the computer, 4 days to complete. 
Project Picture:

3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Muggle Wildlife Bingo Cards on: August 31, 2013 12:21:23 PM
I made these cards for the Harry Potter Craftalong. Cheesy

When I discovered we were going camping I was SO excited!!!  Camping in the MUGGLE WORLD!!!  Cheesy  Well, of course never having BEEN to the Muggle World, we HAD to have FIELD GUIDES!!!!  I IMMEDIATLY put in a call to Flourish and Blotts to order them, and was informed that they had a new item available, MUGGLE WILDLIFE BINGO cards!!!!  HOW WONDERFUL!!!  Mother always gave us bingo cards when we went on vacations as children and I HAD to get these for my children!!!  I put in my order and anxiously awaited their arrival.  How DISAPOINTED I was when they arrived and I saw them.  They had ASSURED me that they had only REALISTIC Muggle animals depicted on them.  I called them STRAIGHT away to complain.  We ALL know SQUARRELS are imaginary creature and do not really exist!!! 

Smiley  I built these cards using OpenOffice.  I had a lot of fun finding pictures of muggle wildlife for them.  The background is digital camping scrapbook paper that I found online and printed onto cardstock. (I didn't even know they HAD such a thing!!!)  The bingo card is printed onto cardstock, trimmed, and attached to the background paper with spray adhesive.  I made one for each my children and one each for their baby brother and his mother.  They are a lot of fun. Smiley
Project Picture:

4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Vintage inspired Seeds Packets for saved seed :) on: August 31, 2013 12:18:07 PM
I wanted to post these in gardening, but they're made of paper so I'm torn....

Since before we arrived in Texas in 1834, my family has saved garden seeds.  One of the worse moments of my childhood was when, one spring, my cousin Steven and I decided to plant *our own* garden in Aunt Bendina's front yard (just like Aunt Bendina, his grandmother, and my Mommy.  EVERYONE had HUGE gardens back then).  We tilled a 2' square section of Aunt Bendia's flower bed with a hand trowel and then planted seeds that Steven pulled out of a dresser, unknowing that these were seeds saved from plants saved from Aunt Bendina's mother's garden, which she saved from her mother's garden, which SHE had saved from HER mother's garden..... yeah you get the idea.  *Cringe*  My mother has never stopped gardening but I have not managed too well with ours.  This Summer the kids and I made a concerted effort and have been growing a bit.  We have taken to saving the seed of everything we eat, but WHAT to put it in???  At first I washed the seed, laid it out on a sheet of newspaper to dry, and stored them in empty spice bottles.  But those are clear and seed should be protected from sunlight to extend it's shelf life  (an EXCELLENT excuse for this project).  And so I made seed packets.  I printed out a pattern, found on the internet, of a seed pack onto card stock.  I then sprayed it with spray adhesive and attached it to scrap booking paper.  I built a label using GIMP, and an online program called pixlr.  The picture in the frame is actually a picture of the pasture behind my mother's house where I grew up.  Smiley  I couldn't stop there so I hole punched holes in the back of the seed packet and glued in ribbon, which I could use to tie the packet flap shut with. Smiley  Now my seeds are stored safe and dry, and out of the light.  Smiley
Project Picture:

5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crocheted 12mo hats on: August 31, 2013 12:12:16 PM
I'm making a TON of hats for S.P.E.W./HP Craftalong so I'm posting them all here together.  Smiley  I'm just having too much fun!!! Cheesy  lol

I made the hat using the Micah Makes Ear Flap Hat pattern and an H hook.  The eyes are single crocheted circles using a F hook.  The eyes are a black circle sewn onto a white circle sewn onto a green circle sewn to another green circle, stuffed, and then sewn onto the hat.  I sewed the crown on top of the hat before I sewed the eyes on.  (It really IS centered perfectly, it just LOOKS crooked due to the angle of the picture)  I used this pattern www.bobwilson123.pdf BUT I added a layer of double crochet between the single crochet and the shells.  It was just too short without the addition.  The smile was embroidered on with yarn after everything else was sewn on.  Then, of course, I added pompoms to the bottom of the ties.  (And yes, I thought about how I could have made the eyes from pompoms.  lol)

I used the Micah Makes pattern to crochet a sz 6-12m ear flap hat.  It's meant to resemble an old fashioned bee skip.  Smiley Then I researched crocheted flower patterns and then threw them all out because they didn't do what I wanted and free crocheted Black Eye Susans.  They use a triple stitch with an extra loop.  A quadruple stitch?  Then I looked at bee patterns, shook my head and free crocheted a bee.  I started with a single crocheted circle and then kept going.  Ive never done that before.  It was quite fun. Cheesy  I sewed the motifs onto the hat with yarn and a tapestry needle, and added pompoms.  Cheesy
Project Picture:

I started this hat the week after AnnoyingBabySister was born.  (I LOVE to relax and crochet after I give birth to recoup and bond). The hat itself is single crochet.  I can't remember what pattern I used but it used a amigurumi technique.  There weren't very many brain sucker hats online at the time.  Maybe two, and one was a paid pattern and the other was..... not what I wanted.  Anyway it took me a WEEK of crocheting, ripping out, and recrocheting to get the little feet the way I wanted them.  And by that time my hands ached and I wanted to set fire to the hat, SO thrown into a yarn basket it went.  Very sad about it because now that I've finished it, it's just SO ADORABLE and there's no one in my house who it fits. (And it would NEVER have been so *cute* w/o the pompoms I learned to make during the HP craftalong. : )
Project Picture:
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Felt S'mores for Little Sister on: August 31, 2013 12:07:16 PM
My 4yo daughter (and her baby sister) has been having SO much fun in her play kitchen lately, but when we tidied up we realized most of her toy food has gone AWL, so I made her these felt food S'mores. When I got the idea I went online and sat glued to the screen gazing at all the wonderful felt food, but in the end I measured her plates, discovered that the best size would be 2, and then made 2 graham crackers and chocolate and 1 marshmallows.  (I used a pvc pipe connector as a pattern for the ends of the marshmallows)  I made enough for each child to have one S'more. I'm really addicted to felt food now.  There is so much I want to craft for her kitchen.  She's force fed me pretend food breakfast in bed for a week now!!!  lol

7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Stars and Pompoms Baby hat *my entry* on: August 13, 2013 09:57:51 PM
What Craftster means to me......

To me Craftster means finding the motivation and the courage to try something I haven't successfully done before.  During the Harry Potter Challenge I learned to crochet stars (something that looks scary to begin with), sew with yarn (something I haven't done in decades), and make BIG pompoms (something I've been trying to learn for over 20 years).  Smiley  I learn new things all the time thanks to Craftster.  Things I wouldn't have had the courage to try otherwise.  Smiley  Thank you Craftster.  Cheesy

I crocheted this hat using the Micah Make's ear flap hat pattern....


And I used this star pattern ...


And here is my hat.  Cheesy  It is crocheted with CONFETTI yarn (for a birthday party) with TEN stars for ten years!!! Cheesy

8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Essence of Hinkypunk bottle on: July 28, 2013 11:37:28 PM
For Harry Potter Craft along Defense Against the Dark arts class I needed to craft around the elusive and dangerous Hinkypunk..  Known for leading travelers away from the path, deep within the forest, only to attack them by shooting fire at them from their lantern, I knew my Hinkypunk project should revolve around the light they generate.  One morning I came across this link http://www.villabarnes.com/2012/05/silvered-bottles.html to silvering bottles and found it simply enchanting.  I loved the vintage, dirty finish to the bottles, no where near a mirror finish.  Leaving nothing to chance I scratched rust into my vintage style vanilla bottle, funneled a bit of dirt in, AND poured in a few drops of water.  It was a classic case of overkill.  I poured in about 1/4 of silvering liquid, screwed the lid on, and shook the bottle for a few minutes.  I then opened the bottle and left it outside (up high in a hanging plant pot, out of reach of small hands) to dry.  Several hours later (yes.......... I forgot about it) I came back and DID NOT LIKE the finish.  The cover was NOT thick enough.  I believe this is due to the previously mentioned overkill. Oops. Smiley  I silvered it again and left it to dry.  I found a simple border (the incredibly ornate border I was originally set on using fell apart when I shrank them to fit the bottle) for the label and shrank it using Gimp.  Using layers I was able to add text and a nice north star emblem.  The text is in French in WILDLY ornate script, as ALL good potion bottles should be in unreadable French.  Just to add to the mystic.  Wink  It reads like a lamp oil bottle....

North Star
Essence of Hinkypunk oil
For all of your household lighting needs.

The label is attached with Modge Podge.  I rummaged for my butane lighter in order to burn a few well placed scorch marks to show how the Essence of Hinkypunk had, over time, scorched the bottle's label through the glass with it's INTENSE light, but my friendly household resident pyro had made off with it and I had to settle for plain old matches.  I had almost no control over where the fire led.  It burned as it would, leaving an odd path across the label, and giggling family members as I squealed not the text, Not The Text, NOT THE TEXT and dabbed it with a damp washcloth attempting not to saturate the paper thereby ruining the label.  The glowing liquid inside the bottle is achieved by activating glow sticks, carefully cutting off the ends (one stick at a time), attempting to pour the glowing content into the bottle, discovering the hole blocked by a large chunk of glass, panicking, trying to break the glass with the scissors, pouring the liquid, glass and all, into the bottle and resolving to stomp the puss out of the next stick in order to break the glass up into manageable pieces.  It doesn't work.  Glow sticks are quite happy being as stubbornly difficult as possible.  I did, thankfully, wear gloves for this ENTIRE process, but before I was done the bathroom looked very much like an episode of CSI.  You would have thought I had butchered and juiced hinkypunks right there for my project.
  While I preferred the white glow liquid for this project I only had three sticks, and therefore did not have enough liquid to FILL the bottle, nor enough to be able to shake the bottle, set it up for a picture, and TAKE a picture before the glow liquid all ran back down to the bottom again.  I was surprised that the glow liquid was not more sticky.  It did not coat the inside of the bottle at all, and every picture was a race.  In frustration I then added all of the yellow glow stick liquid I had, resulting in a more golden light emanating from the bottle.  I was very pleased with the liquid's highlighting of the imperfect silver finish of the bottle.  It looks very old, and very worn, like a bottle that has been use for some time maybe bouncing around in Filch's pocket as he goes about lighting the lamps of Hogwart's every evening. Smiley

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Cheerful Cherries Drawer Cover on: July 28, 2013 10:42:55 PM

I built a wonderful drawer to hold all of my pots and lids that fits in my kitchen cabinet.  But one morning I opened the drawer and found a native chameleon had found his way into the drawer and had been unable to find his way out.  To prevent this from ever happening again I sewed this sweet drawer cover from adorable green cotton fabric with cherries on it.  Smiley 

I ironed the fabric, and laid it flat.  I laid the drawer on top of it and cut around it, leaving a seam allowance.  I could have just measured the drawer and then measured the fabric, marked the fabric, and then cut the fabric, but I was also watching Pride and Prejudice and anytime Mr. Darcy is on the tv I'm going to take the quick and easy route. Wink  I then measured a strip of fabric 5 wide.  Why 5???  Because I had just enough fabric to make two covers with 5 wide sides.  This was a sew by the seat of my pants project.  I had just enough fabric for each of the 4 sides to be an extra 3 long.  Just enough to give the cover a little *poof*.  I sewed this long strip of 5 wide fabric together at the ends.  I then serged one edge of the strip of fabric and sewed around the other edge with the longest length stitch on the machine, which I then pulled in order to gather that edge.  I pinned the gathered edge to the edges of the big piece of fabric (the top) and serged the sides to the top .  I then turned the unattached serged edge under 3/4 and sewed it down to form a tube for elastic.  I inserted the elastic, sewed the ends of the elastic and then stitched the opening shut.  Instead of measuring around the box and then measuring elastic and using an equation I simply wrapped the elastic around the box and pulled it tight to figure how much elastic I needed. Smiley  It was uncharacteristicly simple, fast, and easy for me, but the results are beautiful.  And, thankfully, functional too. Cheesy

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Constellation curtain on: July 28, 2013 12:20:39 AM
For my Astronomy class, in the Harry Potter Craftalong, I had to create something that honors the summer night sky.  I decided to make a curtain that has the constellations on it that glows at night.  I started with a sheer curtain.  The same curtain that hangs in every front window of my home.  *This* curtain was from my children's bedroom.  Smiley  I unfolded it and spread it on the floor.  I then folded the print out of constellations into the same folds as the curtain had from sitting, folded, waiting to be made into something new.  This was my reference.  It helped me paint the constellations onto the right areas of the curtain and keep it, somewhat, in perspective.  I squeezed paint onto a cream cheese lid and loaded a paint pouncer.  My intention was to use the pouncer to pounce paint "stars", little round suns, onto the curtain and then connect them with paint squeezed from the bottle into the shapes of the constellations.  I did this to the entire curtain and then allowed it several hours to dry. 

This is when I discovered that paint goes through sheer curtains and glues them to the floor.  When I pulled the curtain off of my beautifully hand stained concrete floor, the dried paint pulled the stain up with it, varnish and all.  There is now a section of my living room floor that glows in the dark. Wink  I waited until night, only to discover that a paint pouncer does NOT deposit enough paint on to sheer curtains to register at night.  The connecting lines glowed brightly, but the stars did not glow at all.  The next day I spread the curtain out OVER THE LINOLEUM IN MY KITCHEN, a *much* better choice, and repainted all of the stars, squeezing paint straight from the bottle into a nice, thick, round button of paint, which reminded me of Winton's melting chocolate tokens.  Smiley  After several hours drying time it, quite easily, pulled off the linoleum.  The hardest part of this project was cleaning the kids' room enough to take a picture of it hanging up. Smiley 

Sadly my camera would not take a picture of the curtain glowing in the dark.  And it DOES.  Very nicely.  The kids LOVE it.  And all the cars that pass get a little startled.  "What the heck is that GLOWING in that house's WINDOW!!!???!!"   Smiley 
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