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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Cat beds 2 and 3 from stash...completely! on: February 18, 2018 02:49:50 PM
In clearing up some of my fabric stash I came across these wonderful bits of cat fabric. Must have been from someone's bag of donated fabric. I also had polyester batting. cotton batting and some red quilted fabric for the bottom. None of the pieces were big enough so I cut and pieced to get the 18" round base, then stitched in the ditch through several layers of polyester batting. Added the padded sides and stitched on the bottom. It was a bit awkward stitching the final base on, as I wanted to turn it all inside out and the padded sides were a bit bulky. But it worked out, even if the stitching was a bit wonky, it does not show...and the cats do not care. This one is for the living room near the furnace vent, a popular spot.

This one was made from two old fleece blankets and crocheted like a big rug with sides. My hands hurt, but the cats like it.

I'm done, the cats can just stop begging for more fun things from my stach.
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / DIY crochet hook on: February 18, 2018 02:42:00 PM
Don't have the right size crochet hook, make one! I wanted to crochet a cat bed out of flarn (strips of fleece blankets), but I didn't have a big enough crochet hook. But I did have 5/8" dowels. With a little help from my DW and her workshop, some sandpaper, and patience I made my hook.

I drew the shape on the dowel, then used a drill press to drill holes for the inside of the hook and down the slope. Then did a little sawing with a small hacksaw, grabbed the roughest sandpaper and sanded, and sanded. Then moved to finer and finer to finish off with a nice smooth finish. I will probably add a finish to the wood, but the plain wood was smooth enough to make this:

3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cat Bed No. 3 with DIY Crochet Hook on: February 18, 2018 02:36:27 PM
In cleaning up my fabric stash I came across an old gray fleece blanket that had been already trimmed down a bit for another project. I ended up using two fleece blankets. I cut the blanket into 2 to 1.5" strips ( I wasn't too accurate, just slashed away), does that make flarn?


And Oskar checking out the bribe....catnip! The cats sleep in the dining room/office with me during the day, so they are enjoying the beds.

But I did not have a big enough crochet hook. And since craft stores are like crack to me, I made my own...crochet hook, not crack.

One 5/8" dowel, some minor help from my DW and her workshop, and sandpaper. I'll post more separately.

4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / My Scrappy Heart to Your Scrappy Heart with tut on: February 08, 2018 11:40:22 AM
I actually sorted through my fabric bits and separated the smalls (big enough for a quilt square) and tiny (not really good for anything, but projects like this.)

I had mad a few monsters and they were clamoring for something to hold. It's February, so of course, scrappy hearts came to mind. I had made larger ones of these years ago and so revived the idea in a scaled down version.

Start with a base fabric, anything will do since you will probably cover it up anyway. Then layer on bits and pieces of fabric. I use larger pieces first, then add smaller on top. Add fabric, lace, ribbon, anything can be layered on. Just don't let it get too thick...just 1-3 layers in areas at the most.

Cover with a piece of water-soluble stabilizer and pin the edges and about the center. If you don't have water water-soluble stabilizer, then pin the heck out of it and stitch the first several passes carefully.

Then stitch away. I go around the outside with wobbly lines of stitching, then across the center, then angle across. You want to add enough lines of stitching to anchor all the scraps. Use warm water to dissolve the stabilizer, rinse well so the dissolved stabilizer doesn't make your fabric stiff. Let dry.

Now use as you would any fabric. I added a pink printed fabric backing and stitched heart shapes leaving an opening for stuffing, then cut out with pinking shears, stuffed them and stitched the opening closed. Add hanging strings if you want.

And watch out for monsters. Sneaky little guys.

BTW, the monsters posting is here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=454165.0
5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Cards from the Heart for Valentine's Day on: February 06, 2018 01:20:28 PM
I teach a card making workshop several times a year. We had a small turn out last night, but we had such fun. I bring blank cards and envelopes, my paper stash (well not all of it, I would need a bigger car), punches, stamps, ribbon, scissors, markers, glue and glue dots, paper cutter, scoring board, lace, buttons, and anything else I can fit in a bin.

I usually make up some samples for ideas and then when everyone is quiet and involved, I make more cards!

The spiral hearts are cut as two separate pieces, mirror images of each other. Then the inner hear is pasted to each other. It's a bit tricky to get them attached correctly so the card folds, but the effect is nice. I used a single spiral heart on the cover of one and just let it spiral a bit and then glued the inner heart down. It won't fit in an envelope, so must be hand delivered. Fun!

The other pop-up heart is cut with the outer heart a mountain fold (sticking up) and the inner heart a valley fold. the tabs are folded under and glued down. A template is attached.

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Cozy Cat Bed from Worn Woolies on: February 05, 2018 06:53:25 AM
I was searching in the basement for used t-shirts to make a crocheted rug but found two old wool shirts instead. Never did find the t-shirts. One small dark grey and one small red plaid.

I decided to make a cat rug/bed. I did not have a crochet hook large enough so I ended up braiding, then stitching together. It only took about 5 tries to get the shape I wanted. And I used every available bit of the shirts. I will never do this method again!

I cut the shirts into strips, keeping the existing seams where I could. I cut the sleeves in a spiral to maximize the fabric. Then machine stitched the strips where needed. It was rough and ready, varying widths, bulky existing seams, but the cats seem to love it.

The white spots are existing paint splatters on the red plaid shirt. The cat claimed it even before I had finished the silly thing. Now I'm searching for something else to make another for the other cat.

7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Monster Attack! And just in time for Valentine's Day! With tut and pictures! on: February 01, 2018 09:20:34 AM

Back in 2013 I made a series of monsters for our church's Holiday Fair fundraiser. My friend bought one and gave it to her niece. Her niece loved the little funny guy. Last fall my friend asked me to make another for her niece's husband, apparently, he felt the other monster was lonely.  Smiley The originals are here:

All my dolls are OOAKs. And I rarely spend the brain cells to remember how I created them. I have made other scrappy fabric based monsters, but these were a lot of work and I had never made any more.

Since monsters run in packs, I ended up making a total of 4. They are rather bossy creatures.

I found the fabric, its a piece of fake raw silk texture, dull red on the right side, shiny bright red on the inside, rather ugly. I painted it with gesso and black paint mixed (two coats), and drew lines with indelible markers. I ended up painting two more swatches of fabric to complete the base, tails, arms, and legs. I always forget how much fabric these parts take.

More horns were needed. They are of polymer clay, baked and painted with washes of a gloss finish with a bit of brown or gold added. They are just simple rolled cones twisted into horns. Note the flared base so they don't pop out of the horn holes in the head to easily. I do glue them in, but the flared base helps.

I then drew the monster shapes. Very complicated shapes. Grin Just simple rounded topped rectangles. I actually had the original patterns with eye and mouth positions. I cut the eyes from felt, large ovals for color, smaller for white, and machine stitched them on. The mouth, horn holes and circles around the eyes were also machine stitched with multiple passes. For the stuffing opening I stitched a "wound" up the back, then slit between the stitching. You could do all the detailing by hand, but as I avoid all hand stitching I can, I use the machine for every possible bit.

I glued monster eyes on and let dry. Luckily I had enough monster eyes to do 4 monsters. Tut here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=430188.0#axzz2tFYOOS9z

I stitched all the arms and feet. I used heavy floral wire shoved up the fingers and then stuffed to make the arms bendable. I wired the tails as well. The feet were just stuffed. The feet and tail are sewn on with the oval base, but the arms are attached with buttons and floss through the body.

Stitch the sides and top of the monster leaving holes for the horns. (I make the holes a bit tight with lots of backstitching so I can open it up stitch by stitch to fit the horns.) Leave the bottom open. I always stitch on the right side at trim with pinking shears or straight as you simply cannot turn the painted fabric and live. I then zig-zag over the narrow seams.

The hardest part is the base. cut an oval about 1.5 inches x the witdth of the bottom. You have to fuss with this part as it never fits.

Pin the feet and tail in position on the inside, but facing out, add the bottom oval, pin like crazy and stitch. I really cannot explain better.

To keep the monsters seated I cut an oval of cardboard from a cracker box to fit in the base (lots of trimming here), then made a little bag same size as the base, full of sand, tied at the top to weight the monster down. They do wander around sometimes. I then fit and glued the horns in, and stuffed them. I stitched the backs up leaving stitch ties for fun.

Add a button for the belly button to give them some shape and hid the dimple in the back by anchoring the tail in place at that spot.

Take a long needle, floss, buttons and add the arms. I again cinched up the body a bit when I tied the arms on to add more shape.

Done, except for making scrappy hearts to go with them. My friend picked out her monster to send away and the rest will go in the Holiday Fair in November...if they last that long! I may sell if anyone wants one.

Whew, way more work than I had remembered. I guess it's good to have a selective memory.

Other monsters:

8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Make an Elf on a shelf doll...she's watching! Step by step. on: January 02, 2018 07:42:37 AM
I had nothing else to do over the Christmas/New Year's gap (other than pain the dining room, make pies, roast a turkey, work, work on a doll commission, go to parties), so I made an Elf on the Shelf for next year.

I started with a blank doll from Dharma Trading. Unfortunately, they only carry the unwired dolls now, but this was an old one I had with wired limbs. They are so inexpensive. I often replace the heads...they are kinda creepy looking. I removed the black bead eyes and tied the neck tighter. I just found these dolls at https://www.darice.com/store/details/catalog/wholesale-basics-dolls-and-plush-dolls/1236-55. I used the 14" tall doll. Or this is a better site: https://www.consumercrafts.com/store/details/catalog/basics-dolls/1236-55

Then a coat of gesso, sanding with fine sandpaper, coat of red paint, sanding, and a final coat of red, boots, face and hair color. The sanding makes a very nice smooth surface. Her braids are kumihimo woven from scrap yarn and hot glued to her little head. The bangs were zig-zagged on to a strip of fabric, trimmed, and were glued on first.

Then I crafted a jacket, undershorts, and hat, cut a belt from black vinyl, deconstructed a small Santa hat for the white fur and warmed up the glue gun again. I did the eyes last because I wasn't sure how the hair and hat would come out. They are just dots of black paint. She came out quite cute.

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Another Hogwarts Robe on: December 11, 2017 01:30:34 PM
My niece (mother of two, juggling work, school, and babies) saw my son's Hogwarts robe at a recent family gathering. She went crazy, dancing around the room and having a blast playing with my grandson. So her step mom and I hatched a plan to gift her a robe for Christmas.

It was easier this time as I had an actual pattern. What a difference. I still had to add a wand pocket and side pockets, but that's easy. http://www.clairesanders.net/2011/10/wizard-robe.html had a .jpg of a pattern she had drafted with basic instructions. I drew it out in Illustrator, enlarged it and printed it out. I ended up reducing the hood height, and narrowing the front by quite a bit. I fully lined it and added a wand pocket an side slit pockets. It fit me on the smaller side and I'm 5'7" and 170 lbs, she's shorter and slender, so I hope it is not too big. Frankly, I don't think she will care.

Dad and brother are getting her a tie, wand and scarf. She will be set to enter Hoggwarts!

The earlier robes are here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=451904.0

10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Drum bag from someone else's UFO on: December 08, 2017 11:06:28 AM
I finally bought myself a frame drum. I've been wanting one for years but was hoping one would appear.  Grin  But since I am playing the drum for holiday choir this year and needed a frame drum, I used that as an excuse to buy myself one. Oh, how we can justify things!

I had just received another bag of gifted fabric and I loved the leaf fabric. It looks like upholstery fabric and had already been cut out for a purse pattern that had never been finished. So I pieced and made do and created a nice bag for my 14" drum. I had the lining in stash as well, so the project was a very small stash buster. I added a bit of padding at the bottom for cushioning against dropping. The snap tabs are for safety when I am carrying too many things at once.  Roll Eyes

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