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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / calavera goodness on a bag on: July 21, 2005 10:54:57 PM
I'm not really sure if this is the right spot for this, but it was done with a needle and embroidery thread, so....


I got this plain ole bag that was called a "body bag" (no joke!) and i decided to personalize it a little bit with a needle and some embroidery thread. (The bag was like 10 bucks from Longs Drugstore!) I basically just drew what i wanted to see on the bag using a black sharpie and then stitched away. It's no masterpiece but it was fun to learn.
(The skull pin was a gift from my friend for my birthday and it matches perfectly!)

I might add some more decoration on the top and maybe do more stitches around the box, but for now, i'm happy to have made this bag my own!

I swear, i'm on a dia de los muertos kick. (please excuse the bad digital camera.)
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Flowers for the Dead on: July 20, 2005 10:01:10 PM

Yay! I am super proud of this painting I did. It took me two days from start to finish. It's acrylic on canvas with some alcohol-based ink for edges. I'm thinking of doing an entire series of day of the dead skeletons and skulls . (I already have one up that my boyfriend "bought" from me of a skeleton holding his heart. He humors my silly artwork.)

My digital camera is crappy, so it's not as vivid as it is in real life. Sad

3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Orange Chicken Recipe I adapted and made my own on: June 22, 2005 07:05:50 PM
ingredients for orange sauce:
5 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp ginger powder (to taste)
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp red chili flakes

ingredients for chicken
1/2 to 1lb chicken, cubed/chunked
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
3 tsp black pepper
2-3 tsp peanut oil (for skillet/wok)

In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients for orange sauce. After mixing very well, pour into a sauce pan and set on medium heat on range.

In a bowl or flat plate, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt and pepper).
Cube or chunk chicken and dredge in the flour mixture. Add peanut oil to skillet, allow to heat. Add chicken pieces and cook for 5-8 minutes until 'golden brown' and fully cooked. Then, by this time, your sauce should have been thickening in the sauce pan. Add to the skillet and turn down heat a little bit. Allow to reduce and thicken more for another 3-5 minutes. Serve with sauce over hot white rice, along with plum wine and green tea. Miso soup is also good as a starter. You can also add red or green bell peppers with this. I just didn't have any on hand tonight Cheesy

4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Zombie Head Pinata (Small) [Tutorial] on: June 16, 2005 01:35:35 PM
Everyone loves zombies, right? And everyone loves pinatas, right?

So why not put the two together. (I decided to make a tutorial after posting about it on the party planning forum!)

I'm having a zombie birthday party this weekend, and I thought we needed a little fun to go along with the Pin the Limb on the Zombie game.

So, I came up with this:

He's a sassy lil fellow I like to call Jake. I'll tell you how I made Jake:

First, I blew up a medium sized standard balloon and tie it. (Now, I didn't realize at the time that the balloon had a leak, but serendipity is great and probably was what caused the awesome wrinkles in Jake's head. So, I'm not sure how to get that, but we'll get to that later.) Then, rip newspaper sheets into 2 inch wide strips. Can be whatever length, but is usually the length of the paper. Using about a cup of liquid starch in a pie tin, you dip each strip into the starch until its soaked but not enough that its falling apart. Stick it to the balloon. Keep doing it until all of the balloon except the place it is tied is covered. (This "hole" will be where you fill the pinata) I was impatient, as well, so I let it dry in front of a fan (hanging upside down over the pie tray in case it dripped, which it did) for about 1/2 an hour. After that it was still wet but not dripping or annoying. I did another layer of strips. Then dried for another 1/2 hour. Then the final third layer. After that, I hung it in the vanity area of our bathroom, letting it drip into the pie pan. It hung there for about 2 days. (I wish I had pictures of the process! dur i totally forgot!)

On the third day, I brought him out of isolation (heh) and took him to the living room with me. It was then I noticed that the balloon had leaked and had quietly gone its own way (ie. it fell on the floor as empty as they day before it was blown.). So what was left was basically a husk! This is where it gets fun.

First, decide what color you want his skin to be. Some people like flesh tones along with some grey. I chose grey because I like my zombies long dead-alive. I used acrylics (mixing black, white and blue) to make the weird blue-grey color. After painting an entire layer, i let it dry. Acrylics are fast, so I was able to keep working on it after a little while. Then I went straight into painting the face. I used the natural curves of the accidental leaking balloon as a guide and you can sort of see how i did that with the nose and the eyebrows.

I am by no means a good artists, but I did my best in drawing his face and making his mouth look like half of it had been ripped off. At least I hope I did. I used fimo (and painted it) for the eyeball that is falling out. Use a good adhesive, unlike me. My eyeball keeps falling off. I'll probably superglue it right before the party. On the top of his head, I used fimo to add details of 'brains' coming out of his skull. Poor Jake! And then i slathered on the red/blood. After all of that had dried I used acrylic glitter paint to add accents and to make him look a little wet/slimy.

After this, the fun happens. I'll be doing this last minute since i'm putting candies inside, but if you choose little gifts or toys or favors, you can do this step ahead of time.

Insert the gifts/candies/toys.
Use strong masking tape to cover up the hole. Paint over the hole to match the paint job you did. Let try.

When you get ready to hit it, I suggest a nice rope loop through the top of his skull. Just pierce through one side, like you're sewing, and go through the other and then drive through the rope or whatever you're going to use. Not as sophisticated as a regular pinata, but it will have to do. I didn't think ahead enough for that Smiley

So, that's that. It's super easy even though it takes a few days to do. Mostly it just takes patience.

I hope you all enjoyed this!

 Huh Cry
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Zombie Birthday Party: Suggestions and Help? on: May 18, 2005 06:47:52 PM
Ok -- so I figured I would post some ideas here from what i've decided to do for my own birthday party next month. But, I would also love new ideas.

Here are mine:
1. Zombie piata (I'm going to try and make this myself)
2. Brain Jello Mold/Brain Cake (I haven't decided yet!)
3. Zombie Fingers (a yummy lady finger's dessert plus red frosting and stuff...)
4. Zombie Punch (fruit punch (probably spiked!) with a frozen punch hand floating in it (made from freezing punch in a washed out latex glove if it is possible...)
5. Pin the Limb on the Zombie (a la Pin the Tail on the Donkey)

I plan to also have Dawn of the Dead (original) on while the party is going on. But, I am at a loss for other cool things and would love to hear your ideas!! It would be greatly helpful Smiley

Oh, also, I plan on putting together a Jill Valentine costume to wear Cheesy! (If you don't know who Jill Valentine is -- she's an awesome Resident Evil video game character. hehe)
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sylvia Plath helps me organize my jewelry! on: April 05, 2005 09:32:17 PM
I needed a jewelry organizer for my very small jewelry collection -- I wanted it to be something I hung up on the wall near the door so I can grab whatever I want to accessorize with quickly and without having to hunt for it. I also had a book of Sylvia Plath's poetry that was falling apart and that I had already replaced in my book collection. This is when the lightbulb in my brain went off and I ran to Home Depot. While I was there, I grabbed plain but long nails (in my case, finishing nails), a picture hanging hook thing to attach to the back of it and the most important part -- a particle board circle! And the best part was that this project cost me like 3.50, minus the mod podge which i already had.  I basically just slathered the mod podge on, attached poems, let dry and then nail on nails, then attach the hook at the back. Ta da! I'm probably going to add some edging at some point but I've been too busy to go to joanne's or michaels this week...perhaps later!  Either way, I'm thrilled with the way it came out. Since I'm a big poetry buff, it allowed me to a) spend time being crafty while at the same time watching a morrissey dvd and b) save space and time by being organized and c) save money by not buying a premade item!

I hope I did this right.... Smiley
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / hand-sewn happy zombie monkey purse! on: August 27, 2004 12:36:46 PM
Here's my latest creation. This was my second attempt at a purse. (The first one was a failure haha) This is my first attempt at a purse with a zipper. I think it came out acceptable. I pretty much just winged it and sewed things where it seemed logical. I always seem to have issues with the straps -- i put two on, but realized it only needed one really, since it wasn't a handbag. And all of it is hand sewn with embroidery thread. The monkey's face doesn't close all the way so i can use it as a gum pocket. Smiley

let's see if i remember how to do links on this thing Cheesy

It's a pretty straight forward purse since i'm no expert and have no sewing machine Smiley But, i can write up a tut if anyone wants it.  Hope you like it!
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / felt pillow fun on: June 15, 2004 04:13:28 PM
Hi Smiley This is my first post. I wanted to share with you the pillows I've been working on.

They're fairly easy and inexpensive to make, costing around 10 bucks to buy a bunch of materials that will make many pillows.

Here's what you'll need:
-embroidery floss (any color!)
-quilting needle (large eye - gotta fit the floss in somehow)
-stack of felt sheets
-fiber fill or whatever you want to stuff your pillow with
-sewing pins (you might need these to hold the pillow together in certain places while working on it)
-buttons or assorted goodies to embellish
-a piece of paper and a pen, to make a sort of 'template' for whatever design you decide on

I first cut out the felt figure from the template and then sewed the pieces together using floss -- it gives it a chunky, hand-sewn, somewhat old-school look. Then,  I set it aside and pinned two sheets of felt together (whatever you decide you want the front and back of the pillows to be). I trimmed my edges to make the sheets into rounded rectangles. Then, I placed the figure on top on the 'front' sheet of felt and sewed it on, again using floss. After that was finished, all that was left was to sew the two sheets together. I didn't flip it inside out or any of that because I wanted to see the stitches, which when sewn all up makes the pillow gather a little bit.

It was easy enough that it took about 2 hours to do, of course spread out over a few days. Hopefully, the people I made it for will like it Cheesy I think that's everything!
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