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1  Re: Some pie for plamobil figures in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 24, 2017 02:27:27 PM
Since you only put up the links, I took the liberty of posting your photos:

Both the wooden cutting board and sausage looks great (love them little "embedded" white chunks).

And your daughter is right, toys are always hungry!
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2  Re: Topsy Turvy Doll - Supergirl & Wonder Woman in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 24, 2017 02:13:56 PM
Awesome work and great choice of comic book subject matter (I thought Supergirl was Wondergirl for a second, until I inspected her outfit more carefully, 'cuz she's often blonde too).  Well-formed upper bodies, good expressions, nice fabric color/print choices (I like the darker hues you picked rather than the more characteristic bold comic book colors), and the yarn hair looks lovely too!

I suck at sewing, but all the talk about topsy-turvy dolls here at Craftster finally corrupted me, so I bought one last year.  Grin

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3  Re: Something smells fowl in here! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 18, 2017 06:46:39 AM
Thank you!

Now, for some bird extras. Like butterflies, avian items are always finding their way into my hands, regardless of whether I want them or not.

First off is this cute chick. It's rubbery and squeezable and covered with a bunch of soft nubs giving it a Kooshkin-like effect. I don't know why, but there's a hard ball embedded inside its body which doesn't seem to serve any earthly purpose. Or at least, I didn't think it did, until I was writing this, and decided to give the bird a good shake, and, lo and behold, the darn thing lights up with red and yellow flashing lights! Man, this thing just went from "okay" to "super awesome" in one second flat! And to think, I'd been living my existence in ignorance until today, completely oblivious to just how special this baby bird really is . . . you really have to stop and smell the roses, er, shake your chickens, or life will just pass you by!

Next is Hawkman from the 2016 McDonald's Justice League Action assortment (which just happens to be the coordinating "boy" line to the "girls" Superhero Girls fast food promotion I mentioned in my "It's Good to Bee Queen" thread). His wings are spring-loaded and open up to their full wingspan when you press a lever button on his back, releasing them, which is pretty neat.

And here's Captain Penny, Monster High Robecca Steam's pet penguin. The "daughter" of a mad scientist, Robecca is a steampunk robot, so, she's already 116 years old, but I dare say she doesn't look a day over 72. I only have the Dead Tired version of Robecca, which didn't include Penny, so, I was delighted to find her mechanical fowl pal in a bag of random toys. Penguins can't fly, but Penny can, because it has a rocket pack!

Still not enough penguins for you? Well, while some people have been wasting their summer sitting by the pool sipping Pina Coladas, Captain Penguin (whom blupaisan made for me) hasn't been idle and has assembled a rather impressive crew of peg-legged pirate penguins! These are actually playing pieces for the "Don't Rock the Boat" game, which consists of a pirate ship, perched precariously on a wave, that you take turns carefully placing these pirate penguins on, trying not to tip the ship over in the process. I don't have said game, but, if I ever find a copy, being short of penguins isn't going to be a problem (I have 15 of them total now, but I couldn't locate them all for this photo shoot).

And, lastly, here's a 2013 Bongo Simpsons comic book trade paperback. What on earth does that have to do with birds? Don't have a cow, man, I'm going to tell you! The first story ("Mr. Burn$") in this volume is actually a spoof of DuckTales, which, considering what I made, is right on target. Mr. Burns fills the role of Scrooge McDuck of course, Homer is Donald, and Bart/Lisa/Maggie are Huey/Dewey/Louie. While the whole concept is brilliant, by far the best part is when Homer shows up at Mr. Burns' mansion, ready to go treasure hunting, dressed exactly like Donald Duck, which, unfortunately, includes not wearing any clothing at all below the waist. Classic Homer!

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4  Re: Mom told me about the birds and bees but neglected the butter-smeared insects in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 17, 2017 01:16:28 PM
Thanks everybody!

@pottermouth:  I did intentionally design the wings so that they were removable just so I could make that Rainbow Dash photo comic strip, but, once that was finished, I glued them back into place permanently so they won't get lost.  And Rainbow Dash says proportions don't mean jack to her--everypony knows that slices of bread will magically shrink down to the right size once you toast them, and, if they don't, blame it on somepony else.


Now, for some butterfly extras. I get butterfly junk all the time, often without even trying, so these were easy to scrounge up.

First is a sheet of temporary tattoos. We've got hearts, ladybugs, stars, flowers, and, of course, butterflies. I don't have any real tattoos and I don't wear temporary ones either. You see, this is what separates an amateur hoarder from a professional, you've got to accumulate, and refuse to part with, things that you have absolutely no use for!

Next is one of the many tomes of Disney Fairies literature that you can get, namely 2007's "Prilla and the Butterfly Lie". This was written by Kitty Richards and is beautifully illustrated by Denise Shimabukuro. Prilla is special in that she's the only "mainland-visiting clapping-talent" fairy; it's her job to instantly teleport to the human mainland to make appearances which keeps people's belief in fairies alive; if people stop believing in them, fairies die (which is kind of heavy subject matter for a children's book). Unfortunately, Prilla has a problem, she can't say "no" to other fairies when they ask for her help, even when she detests the tasks, so, she's always helping others when she'd really rather be doing her own job. As such, after some meddling from the rotten fairy Vidia, she tells a little lie, that she's really into butterflies, to escape having to help shear fuzzy caterpillars again. Well, all the butterfly-herding fairies come down with Fairy Pox, and Prilla, due to her "confession" of love for butterflies, gets volunteered to take over for their duties while they're ill, and, having no knowledge whatsoever about butterfly herding, Prilla quickly gets into trouble (despite their innocent appearance, butterflies in Neverland are kind of nasty pranksters).

And here's a toy Green Swallowtail (which is helpfully labeled on its right wing). No copyright data on it though, so, I don't know what it's from, but, I'd guess some kind of science-themed toy set, possibly in combination with a book.

A pair of plastic butterfly rings. I have more, but these two are the nicest-looking samples currently in my collection, and I particularly like the cut-out wing sections on the hot pink one. They're kids' rings of course, and likely cupcake toppers, as such, they barely fit on my fingers (I can't even get the pink one over the second knuckles on my pinkies!)

If you thought I wasn't going to find a way to squeeze My Little Ponies in here somewhere, you don't know me very well! The pegasus Fluttershy's name is a pun on butterfly, and she sports three pink butterflies as her cutie mark, so, even though she's not an insect, she totally counts! Here's a 10" Funrise plush Fluttershy, a smaller brushable Hasbro Fluttershy (given the gem-shaped highlights in her eyes and unruly tinsel in her mane, she's probably from the Crystal Empire assortment), and an even smaller 2016 McDonald's Fluttershy (with color-changing tail). It's a sad state of affairs, but McDonald's honestly makes more accurate-looking MLP toys than Hasbro does, at a fraction of the cost! Me acquiring too many Fluttershies makes Rainbow Dash nervous, but she'll never admit it.

Speaking of Rainbow Dash, while it has nothing to do with butterflies, I also recently got this, a My Little Pony: Pop Zecora (the zebra) with Rainbow Dash's mane and tail attached to her, whom I have lovingly dubbed "Imposter Dash". (To add injury to insult, when I fished Zecora out of the bag of toys that I bought, Rainbow Dash's mane was mistakenly attached to Zecora's posterior, and her tail to her head, but Rainbow refused to let me shoot a photo of that because she couldn't live with the indignity if I did.)

I also got a small My Little Pony handbag in the same random bag of girls' toys that contained Imposter Dash. Ignoring the MLP logo, the color/design actually suggests Strawberry Shortcake more to me though. It's important for your ponies to travel in style when you're going out on a play date or something . . .

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5  Something smells fowl in here! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 17, 2017 12:57:42 PM

I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my bird project, I decided to make a "Skeleton Duck" enemy monster from Capcom's classic 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game DuckTales (it was also ported to the original black-and-white Gameboy in 1990), which was based on the hit Disney cartoon show of the same name. A hi-definition, remastered version of said title was also released for the PC, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii U in 2013.

In the game, billionaire Uncle Scrooge McDuck travels the world (The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania, African Mines, and even the Moon!) collecting even more riches to line his already super deep pockets (the Japanese adaptation was re-named Naughty Duck's Dream Adventures which is much more descriptive of that greedy old bird's activities if you ask me!) And, naturally, Scrooge's many enemies, including The Beagle Boys, Magica DeSpell, and Flintheart Glomgold, try to thwart Scrooge's efforts to maintain his status as the richest duck in the world.

Only found in the Transylvania stage, Skeleton Ducks mindlessly scamper about the rooms and corridors of Dracula Duck's crumbling castle. None too smart (their brains rotted away a long time ago after all), Skeleton Ducks frequently collide with walls, and other solid structures, and those impacts cause them to fall apart into a pile of bones, but that's only a temporary setback, as they soon magically reassemble themselves and give chase once again. Like most of the enemies in the DuckTales video game, Scrooge can easily dispatch them with a single blow from his versatile pogo cane, so, these bony adversaries aren't much of a threat to the rich old bird, who's surprisingly agile for a geriatric fowl. I'm sure he'd tell us that the pursuit of money always makes him feel and move like a spry duckling again . . .

Here's a closer look at the Skeleton Duck game sprite, without the background graphics, that I animated. The poor thing can't seem to keep it together:

Following are some photos of the papier mache modeling process I used to create this action figure:

And this is the completed model:

Newsprint, tissue paper, cardboard from a box of cereal, wire twist ties, white glue, and acrylic paint.

5.1 cm (2.0") wide x 6.0 cm (2.4") tall.
(*Please note that the numbers given can vary a bit, depending on how the figure's joints are positioned.)

Neck, ribs, vertebrae column, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips.

Three days: July 4th, 7th, and 9th, 2017.
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6  It's good to bee queen! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Patraw on: July 17, 2017 12:45:39 PM
I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my bee project, I decided to paint/draw a "Queen Bee" enemy monster from Vic Tokai's 1995 Super Famicom ("Family + Computer", the original Japanese name for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System) video game Princess Minerva [other versions are also available on the PC-98 computer (1992) and PC Engine CD console (1994); however, none of said variations were ever released outside of Japan].

The titular character, Minerva, not content with the "normal" boring life of a princess, sets out on an epic adventure, with her entourage of eight friends in tow, to save the land from the forces of evil. Princess Minerva is equal parts pro-feminist and cheesecake, as the vast majority of the characters in the game are female, including all nine of the protagonists you control, as well as most of the "monsters" you fight, but they also tend to be scantily-clad or topless/naked.

In the screenshot above, "Kui-n Bi-" is the Japanese katakana phonetic equivalent of the English "Queen Bee", and the player characters surrounded by the quartet of Queen Bees are three of Princess Minerva's comrades, Blue Morris (center), Tyrolia (left), and Elan (right) ["Buru- Morisu", "Chiroria", and "Eran", in Japanese katakana, respectively].

I was going to make a 3-dimensional figurine of the Queen Bee, but I ran out of time (and ambition), so, I just painted/drew her instead, using a photograph of a real woman, from an issue of Vogue, as my still-life reference model (obviously, I added the wings, stinger, etc., as she certainly didn't have those!) The actual illustration faces left, but I decided I liked the Queen Bee better facing right, so I horizontally mirrored the image in an art program.

Acrylic paint, graphite/colored pencil, and ink, on white paper.

10.0 cm (3.9") wide x 17.0 cm (6.7") tall.

One morning on July 10th, 2017.
(A day past my deadline--don't tell anybody!)

This isn't really relevant, but, I'll stick it here anyway. It's just a quick portrait of a woman, that I did completely in permanent marker, which was the last thing that I drew prior to the Queen Bee:

Now, for some bee extras. In my experience, bee stuff is a bit harder to come by than birds and butterflies, probably because people tend to not like things that can harm them, which makes them presumably less popular subject matter for merchandising (well, birds can hurt you too, as anyone who's ever been pecked or nipped can tell you, but they rarely do that, so, for most individuals, the worst you have to fear from a bird is perhaps having some bird poop dropped on you or your car).

First off is a 2012 Bakery Crafts bee ring. This likely originated as a cupcake decoration and was obviously intended for children (it only fits all the way down on my pinky fingers, I can't even get it past the second knuckles on either of my ring fingers!)

Next are a pair of Bumblebee dolls from Mattel/McDonald's 2016 DC Superhero Girls collaboration (why don't they just call them Superheroines?). While it looks like they'd swivel, their left arms are permanently raised in the air, which is kind of annoying, and something that Mattel has been doing for a while now with their fast food dolls, especially Barbie. I've also got a couple of Katanas and Supergirl, but I still need to get a Wonder Woman and Batgirl to complete this assortment.

Speaking of Barbie, here's her 2013 "A Boo-tiful Halloween!" storybook (not to be confused with "booty-ful" Cheesy). This is relevant because one of her younger sisters, Stacie, dresses up as a bumblebee, which Barbie describes as "bee-utiful", of course. And Barbie couldn't decide if she wanted to be a bat or a ballerina so she decided to combine the two and become a "baterina" which is kind of clever. Even better, various elements on the pages glow-in-the-dark and two sheets of glow-in-the-dark stickers are also included. It's Halloween in July, y'all!

If you prefer more scientific literature, here's the 1997 "Insects and other Invertebrates" volume of "Wonderful World of Animals". Bees are addressed in the chapter on communication, and their "bee dancing" in particular. This book is okay, but it's intended for younger readers, so, it's pretty general in scope and doesn't contain enough in-depth information for my tastes, but budding scientists gotta start somewhere.

Lastly here's a simple, rubbery bee toy figurine. There's no copyright information molded on its body, so, I have absolutely no idea where it came from, who made it, or when it was manufactured. It may just be a cheap prize from one of those vending machine things. It's cute, but I wish it had some antennae.

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7  Mom told me about the birds and bees but neglected the butter-smeared insects in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 14, 2017 11:23:03 AM

I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my butterfly project, I decided to make a "Bread-and-Butterfly" from Disney's 1951 animated adaptation of Lewis Carroll's (the well-known pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) 1871 Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. While mostly on target, Disney's interpretation of the insect's physiology varies a bit from the description Carroll gave in his book:

'Crawling at your feet,' said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet back in some alarm), 'you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.'

'And what does IT live on?'

'Weak tea with cream in it.'

A new difficulty came into Alice's head. 'Supposing it couldn't find any?' she suggested.

'Then it would die, of course.'

'But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked thoughtfully.

'It always happens,' said the Gnat.

Following are some photos of the papier mache modeling process that I used to create this figurine:

And this is the completed figurine:

I still don't have a "proper" Alice doll, so Liv Sophie gets to do the honors this time. I think the dress is a Beauty and the Beast Belle one, but, I'm not certain. It's blue and white, which is close enough to what Alice wears in the Disney film to suit my purposes. I had a black satin hair ribbon . . . somewhere . . . but, I don't remember where I stuck it after my last Alice photo shoot, as such, I made her a "new" one out of a combination of an elastic hair band and some electrical tape--MacGyver eat your heart out! Technically, there was a Target-exclusive Liv Sophie doll done up as Alice, but I don't have her, or, at least, if I do, I don't have her Alice outfit (I've accumulated a LOT of Sophie dolls over the last 3-4 years, so, I honestly don't even know anymore).

Newsprint, tissue paper, white paper, cardboard from a box of cereal, wire twist ties, white glue, acrylic paint, and permanent marker.

5.7 cm (2.2") long x 5.7 cm (2.2") tall x 5.1 cm (2.0") wide.

Three days: June 29th, July 2nd and 9th, 2017.

Rainbow Dash isn't allowed in Wonderland anymore . . .

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8  Re: 2017 Fake Swap Craftalong for Swap Junkies!!! (also previous years 2016,2015) in Craftalongs by Patraw on: July 10, 2017 10:23:35 AM
Sometimes, when Patraw isn't too busy melting potato chip bags in his oven, he actually gets the things done that he's supposed to!  Here are the three projects I made for the Bird, Bee, & Butterfly swap:

For the bird, I made a Duck Skeleton action figure, based on the creature from the NES Duck Tales video game.

It's a papier mache construct, with wire twist ties for the articulation.  It's jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, vertebrae, and hips.

More photos/information at the stand-alone thread:

For the Bee project, I drew/painted a "Queen Bee" enemy from the Japanese SNES RPG Princess Minerva (which was never released here).

I was originally going to make a figurine of her as well, but, I ran out of time and ambition.  The Queen Bee faces left in the actual illustration (see the first photo above), but I decided that I liked her better facing right, so, I flipped her in an art program.

More photos/information at the dedicated thread:

And, finally, for the Butterfly project I made a "Bread-and-Butterfly" from Disney's Alice in Wonderland animated film (it originally appeared in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass too, although somewhat different in appearance).  

This was on my "to-do" list for a long time, so, given the swap theme, now was the right time to git 'r done.

Dedicated thread with lots more photos/information and irresponsible ponies:

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9  Brooch the subject of potato chips and you'll get burned! in Stitch And BOTCH by Patraw on: June 22, 2017 12:05:10 PM
At the tail end of May, I bought a stack of 27 books, including Sally Norton's The Girls' Book of Excellence! Leafing through that volume, I saw a project for making potato chip bag brooches which looked pretty cool, so, I decided to give that a try.

The idea was that you'd stick empty mini chip bags into your oven for 10 minutes, and, much like Shrinky Dinks, they'd magically reduce in size, become thicker, and you could then attach safety pins onto the backs of the bags and wear them as brooches. Who doesn't want to sport tiny bags of chips on their chest? All the cool kids are doing it; don't you want to be cool?

Spoiler alert: that didn't happen.

I happened to have some little bags of Lay's kettle-cooked potato chips and Pampa honey/chocolate chip mini teddy bear graham crackers lying around the house, so, those are what I consumed and used (a noble sacrifice on my part, solely in the interest of art).

We have a natural gas range, and the book said to put your oven on the highest setting, which is 500 degrees Fahrenheit on ours, thusly, that's what I did, although I did have some misgivings about that, and would have much preferred that the instructions gave a specific temperature number instead.

The baking kettle chip bag seemed promising at first. It curled and shrank a bit, much like Shrinky Dinks are supposed to do, but then things went horribly wrong, as the bag collapsed in upon itself and became a mishappen lump. More than anything, it resembles a human heart to me (maybe I'll give it a red/pink paint job one of these days if I'm bored):

Meanwhile, the teddy graham bags weren't doing anything, but, I patiently waited, and they eventually began to shrink too, but only by about 25% (the book indicated that the bags should shrink by about two-thirds and become around 2 inches wide). They also remained relatively flat, like they were supposed to, unlike the kettle chip bag. I waited and waited, but the bags were starting to get noticeably darker, which I was afraid meant burning was imminent, so I gave up and stopped.

Now, my kettle chip lump popped right off of the cooking sheet with no problems and had a nice, smooth bottom where it had been in contact with the metal. The teddy grahams, on the other hand, melted to and adhered to the metal and were nearly impossible to remove. I scraped and I prodded, but could do very little with just my hands and nails. I then broke out the steel wool scouring pads, which helped some, but those still weren't removing much either, so, I had to ratchet things up still another notch and grabbed some large-grit sandpaper. Yes, I seriously sanded a cookie sheet. It took around half an hour to accomplish, a lot of elbow grease, and scratched the sheet's surface up horribly, but I eventually got all of that melted plastic off. Even so, given the possibility of chemical residue, it probably wouldn't be too smart for me to eat anything cooked directly on that surface ever again. Oh, how I wish I had put the chip and graham bags on a sheet of aluminum foil instead, which was my first inclination, as I could have just simply wadded the whole botched mess up into a ball and thrown it away!

Those teddy grahams were a cheap brand from Dollar Tree (they were delicious though), manufactured in India, so, I would guess that those bags may have been made from a lower grade of plastic than the Lay's kettle chips (also yummy), which I would further speculate accounts for the vast difference in how they reacted to the heat. I'm really not sure what I did wrong though, as I followed the book's instructions to the letter . . .

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10  Re: Medusa in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: May 26, 2017 07:37:29 AM
Wonderful job!  She looks adorable and you did an awesome job on Medusa's trademark serpentine locks (I especially like them "down" in the final photo, as that's a casual look for her that one seldom ever sees).

I love her dress slogan; after what happened to Medusa, it's certainly appropriate.  Medusa's myth is indeed pretty terrible.  A god rapes you in a goddess' temple and She takes His side and punishes you instead (it's just a legend, but likely reflected Greek attitudes towards real women at the time as well).  Poseidon was Athena's uncle, but that sure doesn't make it okay.  Alas, the Greek deities had a tendency to be less than just in their decisions in general . . .

"Naked" pipe cleaners make very nice Medusa serpent locks too.  I stumbled across this guy's work (Gil Merritt, "The Gil Monster") on DeviantArt recently and was very impressed with his pipe cleaner Medusae as well:

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