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1  Family Dia De Los Muertos Altar (Picture Heavy) in Halloween Decor and Parties by muyhippie on: November 04, 2011 12:39:02 PM
I'm hoping this is the right section to post this - I did a search beforehand and I saw a few others posted in here so I figured this would be the correct choice...

...anyway, el dia de los muertos is something that I have been inspired by time and time again, mostly due to living so culturally close to Mexico.  This year, I wanted to go very large - in the past, I've built altars out of boxes, nooks, etc. - so I opted for a large display.

Anyway, just about everything I used was either crafted by me or thrift-store'd.  The cross in the middle was a simple wood-piece I picked up from Hobby Lobby, painted black, and glued religious bottle-cap pieces to it.  All of the lace was from the Dollar Store (the best buy of the entire project: a "Last Supper" lace table-cloth...killer!) and I used various other fabrics from around the house to adjust the length, depth of the entire piece.  Almost all of the frames I used have been altered in some way, like the one that I spent an hour just dotting with a tiny paint bottle to get the dotted-type effect I wanted.  It's very characteristic of Mexican art. 

I made sure all of the pets were included on the top shelf above the altar.

I had fun painting the skulls and tried varying up the colors to add interest.  I didn't get to finish all of the skeletons (i.e. the two at the very top) but I did paint up one of the ones sitting behind the shaver/towel stack.  I didn't get to really include everything I had originally planned to do - time and money got away from me (I'm an English graduate student - money isn't exactly flooding in at this point).  Like I wanted to include the traditional marigold flowers - sadly, I wasn't able to pick some up in time.  And I would've liked to have had a loaf of bread or some kind of additional food product - the candy is just kind of lacking.

I really had a lot of fun/enjoyment doing this - I would definitely encourage anyone to try this as it is a great memory-making experience for all involved.  And it's an amazing way to showcase the lives of people you love so dearly but have lost through the years.

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2  Very simple desk re-do (picture heavy?) in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by muyhippie on: October 14, 2011 01:31:35 PM
I had this old desk that used to be my sister's from way back - I wanted to clean it up so I could use it in my craft-room and have it be functional enough to still be used if I needed to study or write a paper.  The biggest problem was the sanding - I'm just a very impatient person and it took me about 3-4+ hours of sanding, with an electric sander and sand paper, to get it to the point where it was ready to be painted.

I'm really happy with it - I wanted to keep it simple, so I used a high quality white for the outside, and using a bright yellow on the interior drawers.  I finished it off with some simple metal knobs - nothing flashy, but its certainly usable!

Original desk - it had been sitting outside in a hot garage for several years and it was pretty gross.

Detail of desktop - note coffee stains and questionable stains.

Finished (maybe?) product.  I was thinking about adding some different, more interesting knobs, but for now I definitely like it.

Interior of the bottom drawer.  All of the drawer interiors are painted in this really great, bright yellow.

This is actually my very first furniture re-do...with the paint and hardware and lots and lots of sandpaper, it probably ran me close to $45.  I'm really happy with it and think it fits in the space perfectly.
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3  Suggestions for Re-Furbishing a Frame w/ Print Still In It in Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions by muyhippie on: September 16, 2011 09:39:04 AM
I'm hoping that I posted this in the correct section...

...anyway, last night I was lucky enough to bid (and win!) a really great cat-print already matted and in a frame.  The price was a bit high but since all of the proceeds were going to HIV/AIDS research and outreach, I went ahead and dropped the cash for it.

That said, I absolutely hate the frame - its this very traditional, gold-speckled frame that is very basic and does not fit my home's decor at all.  My question is for suggestions on how to alter the frame without taking the print out (it was professionally matted and framed and I don't want to tear through the butcher paper on the back to get at it)...should I just tape off the glass and attack it with some spray paint?  I want to maybe do a black or even an avocado green, but I want to make sure I won't damage the glass...

Any help would be greatly appreciated - I've attached the photo of the print just because I love it so much!

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4  Re: Book of Shadows Swap Gallery! (MAIL BY 9/3/11) in The Swap Gallery by muyhippie on: September 08, 2011 01:34:05 PM
I received my package today!  I was so excited to get it open and I can't believe what Liralen made for me...she really went above and beyond.

All of the goodies from the swap - all made by my partner, Liralen! 

An amazingly beautiful Book of Shadows, covered with some killer el dia de los muertos fabric. She really got me for this project - it's perfect!

Some really great bookmarks, two out of hemp and one knitted. Also, she sent me some strips of paper for these wish-stars (see below).

Detail of the bookmarks - such pretty beads.

She sent me this really cool instructional booklet on making wish-stars, along with the strips of paper pictured up near the bookmarks. So awesome!

Thank you to Liralen for being my awesome partner and to Saturn for organizing the swap - it was a blast!  I can't wait to do it again.
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5  Inspiration Shrine/Niche in Completed Projects by muyhippie on: May 18, 2011 05:19:16 PM
New member here - been messing around with crafts for years but just recently found this neato community.  Since everyone has shared some beautiful pieces (and I've gotten quite a bit of inspiration already just from searching through old threads) I wanted to upload some pics of a piece I just made.  

I just graduated with my bachelors degree and to celebrate I built an inspiration shrine...I've messed around with mini-shrines and altars before, having worked in a jewelry/boutique that carried Mexican imports.  This one is just a shadowbox I got for a couple of bucks at Hobby Lobby.  I wanted to highlight deities and things that inspired or represented myself...thus the Lakshmi card, the Jesus funeral card that I embellished with paint, and an Indian buddha I found in a picture book.  

I collected a few other pieces and strung some groovy beads over the opening - voila - my inspiration shrine!  

I'm hoping that this post is the first of many - I look forward to hopefully participating in swaps in the future!

I have to post a link to the photos uploaded to my Photobucket account since I'm a new member...

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