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11  "I want a Harry Potter Birthday!" in Party Planning by Lettersalad on: September 17, 2013 12:40:20 PM
She took that quite out of the blue. But, being the obedient parents we are, we took to it at once.
Hubby invented a "Quidditch Training Parcour" which incorporates a slack line, cricket balls and goals, a skandinavian game called Kybb which consists of throwing chunks of wood at chunks of wood and - a "find-Wally" image, but it'll be more of a "find-snitch" image.
We'll do some brewing (nonalcoholic cocktails) with Snape and have a lesson in herbs (the kids will have to sniff out garlic, ginger, red pepper and so on), we'll craft wands and have a good time.
Oh, and of course the kids have to be sorted. So I printed out a bunch of original Hogwarts Houses Sign of Arms, we coloured them, enclosed them in plastic and got nice little batches. Every one bears an original Hogwarts pupil's name on them - and the birthday girl will be Hermine Granger. Wink You can fix them to your clothes and wear them!

I printed some chocolate frog boxes and am still gluing them.

I couldn't find some decent chocolate frogs so I'll cover some jelly frogs with chocolate.

My girl ordered me to paint Potter-themed faces to all "Schokoksse" - that one is hard. Try to fit some detail into this d** small chunks.
Ron and Hagrid
Dumbledore and Hermine
McGonagall and Harry. Well, of course you need imagination to recognize them!
Oh, and the invitations - an official Hogwarts Letter, a Hogwarts ticket and a timetable. All printed out and dyed with black tea to give that ancient look - two of them got out by email, looking like this.

Quite some work, and I just hope the weather is stable so we can do the the Quidditch training outside...

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12  Re: Pokemon tour is starting soon! WIP in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: September 10, 2013 12:05:38 AM
And on it goes...
The skull have dried. At last. I redid the squirtle one and redid AGAIN cause I needed to open the mouth. The kid has to have a way to see where it is going, hasn't it?
Then I did the front shell for Squirtle. Again, lots of hand sewing... and I'm still not content with the fastening of the two shell parts. We'll see...
So for now, have a test-run Squirtle with paper mach skull and shell:

Methinks it looks good!
And while still at it, here is Raichus skull in its former state while trying to get the "skin" on it:

Oh, and in-between I started to sew a lot of flames for Quilava:

Back to work,
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13  Re: Pokemon tour is starting soon! WIP in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: September 01, 2013 01:08:36 PM
Some things good, some things bad... the quilava head ain't bad. Still needs a bit tweaking.

But the squirtle skull... it didn't dry properly, and today it ripped where it was still wet. So it is back to the start with this one... I still have some cast and am thinking about taking that. Dries a lot faster and could still cover with paper mache...

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14  Re: Pokemon tour is starting soon! WIP in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: August 26, 2013 11:46:56 AM
Still working..
Of course my machine could NOT sew through that thick a styrofoam. No way I could get that under the footer. So it was back to my big needle and handsewing time. Ouch, my fingertips still hurt... I used a linen thread (turned out this was sturdier than nylon) and pricked my way along.

But what a lovely dimensional structure that gives! Non, je ne regrette rien...
Today I planned two things.
First, I need three "skulls" made of paper mache. I had all my supplies gathered: the wallpaper glue in a bucket stood ready, about two monts worth of newspaper AAANNNND - some really big balloons, circumference one meter!
I went with the balloons into the cellar, best place to make messes, placed two of them onto some cardboard boxes which stood there and put the last into a seond bucket to keep it from rolling away. Then I started to rip the newspaper into small pieces and - BANG! First balloon, all by itself, decided to blow it! Whew. Okay, I have more where this comes from, for now there are still two of them left.
So I stuck the paper into the bucket with the glue, put it onto the balloon, took next paper... you get the picture. I was about ten pieces into work when BANG! my working balloon TOO blew it. Ever imagined the mess a gluey, gooey, papercovered balloon makes when it goes pop? My luck the cellar has a rather low ceiling, so I just needed a stool to reach it and wipe away the splashes of glue up there...
Two down, one to go. I learn from my mistakes, so I covered the top of the bucket which doubled as working stand for the ballon with some newspaper. Just in case there was something that made it pop. And started over with the third one.
You see where this is going, don't you?
Okay, let's just say, this one lasted longer... making an even bigger mess.
I was really frustrated then... just until I discovered the two inflatable waterballoons rolling around in the garden. The girls never clean up after themselves...

Long story short: I now have two nearly dry skull-shells which I'll still have to make thicker, but the thing itself is working. Phew.
To celebrate this, I laid upon myself the completion of the outer shell: sewing a real long rectangle into a tube, stuffing it with... well, stuffing, and sewing it - again by HAND - to the edge of the squirtleturtleshell. Took me only about two hours, which is about one hour shorter than quilting it... well, whatever. So, now I give to you the completed outer shell, tadaaa!

And the inside:

*being proud*

That's all for now, folks, tomorrow I'll have to do other things, no sewing for me, no glueing paper mache...

Happy crafting!
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15  Pokemon tour was great! Completed WIP in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: August 25, 2013 12:04:25 AM
Latest Update Pic:

Okay, brace yourselves - this is gonna take loooong and have loooots of pics.
I'll make at least the story short: having three daughters. First one infecting others with pokemon. Three pokemon fans around the house (four if you count daddy who's also playing). Getting news of the pokemontour via a friend of oldest daughter. Sewing big costume last time (Raichu, it's around here somewhere) with only two weeks time. Girls all totally "oooooooh, mee too next year!"
This year comes, no sign of new tourdates. Me not being sad about it, having NOT to sew two new costumes. Come summerholidays. Six weeks in Germany. Four of them occupied in one way or the other. At end of July, a day or two before we start into our holidays, I see a notice: Pokemon tour days publicized. Oh whow, the ones which are possible for us are end of september. Makes about 28 days for me to sew and fit these things on my daughter, cause now they still are in holiday camp!
So I start with the things I can guess about and wait for the girls for fittings.
I need two costumes cause the youngest will reuse Raichu from last year - but I'll need to alter that some cause the youngest ain't the smallest! (And besides, I know I can do better now...)
The middle one will be Squirtle (google him) and the oldest wants to be Quilava. Right now I'm working at Squirtles shell.
So bring on the pics:[

This is the styrofoam(?) I'll need to form the shell.
I start with drawing an octangle into the middle of a rectangle, 60 cms by 60 cms. The outer shell units are trapezoids, so I draw a line which goes straight through the center point of my rectangle and the corner of the rectangle. Because I want the shell to be rounded later on, I draw little triangles over these straight lines. They differ, some are 4 cm at the base, some are just 2 cms. The smaller ones are all to the sides, the bigger ones top and bottom, so the shell will get a more oval appearance.

I get a lot of pyramidal cutoffs which I save for Quilavas flames.

And I wish I had a professional foamcutter, something like heated wire and the likes, I'm literally covered in foam particles after cutting...

I sew the trapezoid planes to each other. The thread will not hold long, but cut through the foam if I don't take the tension off. But I plan to take care of this...

Some brown velveteen originally meant for upholstery. It has a nice, but not offensive structure and I think it perfect for the shell.

It gets the same treatment as the foam, but I don't cut the triangles but sew them together just like darts in clothing.

Then comes the real work: sew the upholstery fabric to the shell. I can't directly sew this to the foam (will rip out with time) but sew it to a linen fabric I have lying around (this was an old coverage from our couch).

But first I have to make sure it positioned correctly and there are no folds that will show later. I'm a perfectionist...
So I take a nylon thread and stitch through the ends of the darts from the fabric, through the foam where the corners of the octacle are and through the linen fabric. And back. And forth. I pull the thread quite short; later on I want to have the shell's structure visible by kind of quilting the shell. But I'm not sure my sewing machine will cooperate on this... the foam is 4 cm thick.

On comes the linen. Hey, come to think of it, this is red... this is getting really lifelike. Cheesy
I tack linen and upholstery fabric to the foam using needles, and then it's hand sewing time... a lot of little stitches have to be done, all close by, so the tension per stitch will be as minimal as can be. I did that yesterday, so today is Day of Truth - I have to do the quilting now. Wish me luck, as sewing by hand through that thick a foam really is no fun...

Until next step,
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16  Yes, I'm a hobbit in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: July 14, 2013 01:23:55 PM
We have an event over here, called "medieval fantasy spectacle" so it's okay to show up in nonauthentic, purely fantasy clothing. Wink
I decided to go as a hobbit woman - exactly last monday I decided it. So I just had to work from stash which ended a bit outside of my color-comfort-zone, so to speak. Well, heck, I'm supposed to be something totally different anyway.
I'm lacking my apron in this pic (borrowed one from my daughter and still had to get it spotless) and also missing the hair on my foot, but this got fixed (I own a LOT of faux fur scraps AND mastix).
So, brace yourselfes and meet - the hobbit!

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17  Digital painting - Cutie Pie in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Lettersalad on: May 17, 2013 01:12:19 PM
I really don't know why, but this little girl immediately started her life called "Cutie Pie". As for the moment, she's just into some beach adventures and not always the luckiest of girls, but, hey, at least she's got a name!

This one's still in progress, but I'll show you nevertheless:

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18  Meet my avatar in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Lettersalad on: May 03, 2013 11:11:46 AM
in a viewable size. I *did* mention I'm mother to three girls aged (now) 11, 10 and 8 years?
And besides having a full bed to my own I like doing digital doodles. Cheesy

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19  This is Raichu in Costumes: Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: April 21, 2013 11:52:08 PM
My daughter went to a pokemon tour day last year and happened to tell me two weeks in advance she still needed a costume.
Should I be flattered or bursting in anger? TWO WEEKS! No pattern, no fabric and naturally not the slightest idea who this Raichu may be. Well, the last was fixed by my daughter, telling me over and over it's the last evolved stage of Pikachu.
She went together with a friend of hers being Pikachu - and hey, they won fourth place having about 60 competitors! Seems I did *something* right. Smiley
I'll stop talking now and give you the pics:

Front. She's looking through the mouth - I sewed black tulle in two layers into it. She had quite a good view and could breathe easily this way. Me personally, I hate it when you start breathing your own warm, wet exhalations. Yuck.

Back - I fixed the tail with nylon cord and a safety pin so it could swing but not be stepped upon.


Everybody absolutely LOVED her! Wherever she went, people cuddled her and wanted to take pics.

Absolutely able to compete, isn't it? She could have been a little more stuffed up, but I remember the faces of the actors wearing the original costumes - they were all puffy and sweaty, even on this not-so-warm-day. My daughters belly just holds it form due to wires and reeds - no extra stuffing (and she's a thin little fishy).
Oh, and I made the hands with a slit to get your own fingers out to handle something. For further convenience (especially bathrooms) I made the costume being three parts: trousers, body with crotch closure, head. Everything is stiffened up with wires and/or reeds (like the ones you use for baskets), the legs are stuffed with styrofoam(?) like you find in cheap pillows.

Hope you enjoy,
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20  Woven or braided cords - you decide in Completed Projects by Lettersalad on: April 13, 2013 11:54:57 AM
Last year I spent a lot of time with braiding, weaving or whatever you call it when there are more than five cords in your hands.
Well, I ended up with some nice bands I want to introduce to you:

Hope you like them as much as I do.

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