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21  Herb Markers in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 25, 2012 12:02:56 PM
So, Sharpie pens are currently my absolute favourite thing to draw or write with, so when I wanted some plant labels (because I can never remember what I planted where, even in the confines of a small planter) they were an obvious choice. Super simple project - just write on craft sticks with the Sharpie pens and then I sprayed both sides with a couple of layers of lacquer to make them more durable, and I didn't want to be brushing anything like mod podge or white glue over the writing in case it smeared.
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22  First ever hoop. First ever embroidery actually... in Needlework: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 25, 2012 11:43:15 AM
So I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while now, but today I finally got around to making it a reality. It's an ongoing joke in the house that I only ever add poison to the food when my brother in law is home from college as I really wouldn't want to waste it (he is convinced I can't cook because I don't cook how mommy does it... *eye roll*). So this is going to hang in the kitchen...

This is my first ever attempt at embroidery/needlework of any kind and I'm utterly stoked at how it turned out. I used a cheap poly-cotton remnant which was bought for another project but never used, and friendship bracelet thread as its about a million dollars cheaper than buying floss. It's in a 7" hoop.

I completely winged it. I had a really clear picture in my head of how I wanted it to turn out and for probably the first time ever I think I surpassed my expectations.
HOWEVER, I do need some advice. Right now, it still looks like this...

And the back looks like this...

How on Earth do I finish it so I can hang it on the wall? I want to keep it as a hoop, but I don't know how to go about tidying it up and finishing it.

Comments, critiques and advice incredibly gratefully received!
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23  Make me a superhero! (pic obese) in Costumes: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 13, 2012 07:06:02 PM
Bear has a birthday party to go to tomorrow, and I had neglected the whole gift-giving part of birthdays until this morning. I can't afford to be hitting toys r us or target for something plastic with flashy lights, so I asked Bear if he thought she'd like a super hero kit. The kidlings are often running around outside together being super heroes of various kinds, so it was a no-brainer. From the conception to creation it took about $10, 6 hours and one broken sewing machine needle to create A reversible cape, wrist guards and eye mask for the birthday girl, and wrist guards for Bear (I'm pretty sure he's gone to bed wearing them).
Here come the pictures...

I'm not quite sure what kind of face Bear was pulling in this picture, and looking at it I realise the mask is not going to fit the intended recipient as it's too wide across the bridge of the nose for Bear, and he's considerably chunkier than this little lady.

Weird little boy... You do get a good view of his wrist guards in this pic though.

I now have to make Bear a new cape because he wants a plain one for the days when he doesn't want his Superman print cape....
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24  Zebra burn-out jersey maxi dress. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: June 28, 2012 08:53:25 AM
I made this last year, but for whatever reason didn't bother to take photos until today. I don't remember how or why, but I discovered the free patterns on Burda, including this fantastic dress by Dixie DIY via her blog and decided that of course an asymmetric jersey maxi dress would be a perfect first dressmaking project. I found this amazing purple burn-out zebra jersey in the clearance section at Jo-Ann's and HAD to buy it. All of it. I think it was about 4 yards, but honestly I don't remember now. As the fabric was sheer in places, it's lined to the knee, and because the fabric was so flimsy, and being 18 feet tall a floor length maxi uses up a lot of fabric, I added a layer of an old t shirt between the inner and outer layers of the bodice to give it a little more substance. I love this dress. Because front and back are identical, it can be worn on either shoulder too. I need to find more opportunities to wear it because it's super fun.

C&C gratefully received.
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25  Re: 4x6 Art Swap Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by charlieandwillow on: June 20, 2012 10:00:41 AM
This arrived in the mail today
I think I may have scared the mail man as I swooped in to see what goodies he was delivering...
I love it, the vibrant colours are soooo me, and I often need to be reminded that without the lows in life we don't get to experience the highs either. It's taking pride of place on my dresser so I see it each morning before I face the day. Thank you mystery swapper!
Also, I checked my DC#, and it's marked as being out for delivery.
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26  A sleeping bag for my spiffy new netbook. (A tad on the photo-chunky side...) in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: June 08, 2012 11:39:13 AM
My laptop was increasingly poorly, finally submitting to the effects of the pint of cider I spilled over it [4 years ago] having owned it for only a month. After being given a nice chunk of change for my birthday, I took the opportunity to retire my laptop and purchase a spiffy new netbook, so I can take teh interwebs with me when we go travelling around the country. However, it didn't have a case or sleeve, so instead of paying more money than I wanted to part with for something boring and mundane, I made myself one that reflected 'me' a little bit more.
Batting from my stash and two fat quarters from Walmart at the extortionate cost of 99cents each resulted in this...

I inadvertently made it a bit too big; it turns out that I'm a lot neater than I realised and I didn't need nearly as much seam allowance as I'd given myself. Never mind eh, better than making it too small...

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27  Sharpies. Alcohol. T shirt. ;D in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by charlieandwillow on: May 13, 2012 06:40:23 PM
 Grin This was such a fun recon.

started out life as this..

Using this tutorial as inspiration, I set to work attacking my rather boring plain white T with a multitude of coloured sharpies and rubbing alcohol. It's a wicked easy technique, so much so that my not-quite 5 year old Bear was working on his own shirt at the same time. Stretch the clean T shirt over the top of a plastic cup, holding it in place with an elastic band. Draw on your design with sharpies. Then drop rubbing alcohol (or vodka, whatever floats your boat..) on to the ink and watch your wonderfully psychedelic pattern emerge. Once it's dry, chuck it in the dryer to heat set the colours.. et voila, one fabulously coloured shirt created by your own fair hand.
I live in tank tops in the summer, so of course the shirt had to give it's life (and sleeves) to my tank top collection. I took in the sides, then cut the neckline into a tank (yay rotary cutter!). I finished the raw edges of the neck and arm holes with binding made from the scraps. It's not bias binding because I couldn't cut enough from the remnants on the bias. Cut into strips 1.5" wide, as long as the scraps would allow, and then folded around the raw edges, and top stitched with a zig-zag to allow enough stretch to be comfy and wearable, the binding itself is left with raw edges to it will roll and fray with wear.

I'm super happy with how it turned out, I'm going to get a ton of wear from this now the warm weather has finally come to MA. And I have a couple more plain white Ts in my closet that might have to give their lives to my new addiction...
Comments and critiques gratefully received as always. xx
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28  Infinity scarf from ugly pants. in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by charlieandwillow on: May 03, 2012 10:35:26 AM
My mum sent me a package for my birthday, including a couple of items of clothing. Neither worked on my figure, but I kind of love the prints of both. One, a too-short maxi dress in an African-inspired print will become a maxi skirt when I have time, and a zipper... The other was a really easy conversion to create this...

It started out life a pants of a dubious style

They would have been super cute if I was a 5'4'' size 6. But I'm not, I'm 5'10'' so everything is too short, and I'm a pear-shaped size 8-10 so adding bulk to my hips makes me look like a clown.
Typically I started doing things the hard way without really thinking it through, ripping the seams, and when I realised that was a waste of energy I cut along the seams with my trusty rotary cutter. It was only when I came to pinning that I realised that too was silly, and actually I should have just cut straight across the leg at crotch-level to create two simple tubes. With one tube inside the other right sides together, pin and stitch all the way around one end, and most of the way around the other leaving a gap large enough to turn right-side out. Once it's turned out, carefully stitch the hole closed, probably not using contrasting bright green thread on black and gold fabric like I did... Oops. However, despite my silliness, I have a cute lightweight infinity scarf made by my own fair hands, and I can see myself getting loads of wear from it as I'll still be wearing scarves in 90 degree weather should summer ever show up...
This is it full length.

C&C as always gratefully received. Also, I apologise, my photography stinks today. It's raining, I'll blame that...
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29  Monster Cake in Dessert by charlieandwillow on: May 03, 2012 09:55:07 AM
The daughter of a good friend of mine had the Most Amazing Cake Ever for her birthday in March, and never one to turn down a good idea to steal, I blatantly ripped off the idea for my own birthday cake.
I named him Cyril. Cyril is delicious. Grin

His hair is buttery cream cheese frosting, the eyeballs are marshmallows with chocolate chips, and the mouth is more chocolate chips. The frosting was meant to be yellow and orange marbled, but I don't own a piping bag so use ziploc baggies with the corner cut off, and the first one exploded so the marble effect was lost while loading the frosting into a new bag. His innards are three layers of sponge, two layers of chocolate and one of vanilla, sandwiched together with more frosting.
I apologise for the mess in the pic, Cyril ate the cleaner *cough* Roll Eyes
C&C welcome as always.
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30  Re: Polka Dots. So many polka dots... in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 18, 2012 06:34:48 PM
Did the bust darts do that weird pointy nipple thing?
Grin Teehee, yes they did when I followed the pattern piece exactly. I ended up with something that looked a little like this...

The red line was the first line of stitching following the pattern, then I added the green and then the blue to round out the dart to make the bust more boob-shaped and less Madonna-in-that-Jean-Paul-Gaultier-bra-shaped.
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