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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / How to Lock up a Backpack? on: January 10, 2010 03:11:06 PM
Hi all!

Starting next month, I'm going to be traveling around the world for an indefinite period of time.  I am so excited!!! 

I'll be living out of a backpack.  I'd like to have the option to secure my backpack from "curious" people.  I know that it won't be completely secure--someone could always take a razor to the canvas--but I'm thinking more about hostel workers rifling through my stuff.

Here's how the front of my pack opens (it's a front loading panel):

There are two zippers that go up each side, and then a flap at the top that has velcro to attach it to the top of the panel.

I can't think of anywhere else to ask this question, so, I turn to the amazingly creative minds of Craftster:  how would you lock up or secure this opening to my pack?  I have at my disposal:  zippers, grommet punch, steel cable, small padlocks.  I'm totally willing to modify this pack as necessary.


Thanks so much in advance!!!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / I am cable stupid. on: January 28, 2009 06:26:01 PM
First, I need to vent.  I AM SO F*$&%^# FRUSTRATED.  I really want to cry right now.  I actually poured myself a drink to calm the f*** down.  It's not actually the cables...  I'm stressed out at work, feeling badly about myself, and since I knit to relax the fact that this f****** project is driving me crazy makes me want to BREAK something.

Ok done ranting.

Can someone look at this pattern:


and answer these questions?

1)  Why do my cables look like mouse turds?  Specifically, instead of looking like cables, it looks like the stitches are being stretched really tightly and it looks like a jumbled mess.  Does that make sense?  I've read the directions, I've looked at the pictures, and it's just not working.  What am I doing wrong?  I'm thinking that I'm putting what SHOULD be the "bad" side of the cable on the outside of the wristlet.  I don't understand why the stitches don't "flow" nicely, though...  instead, it looks like they're jumping over each other.  So strange.  Which brings me to my next question:

2)  Second, this pattern makes no f****** sense.  I think I'm getting screwed up on the right side/ wrong side deal.  If I'm knitting on DPNs, is the right side the side that faces me as I'm knitting (on the inside of the wristlets), or away from me (the outside of the wristlets, the side that faces the world)?

3)  This is building on a k2,p2 ribbing.  On the second cable row, if I [k2,p2]x2 then p1,k4,p1, the cable (on the outside of the wristlet) switches from being made by knit stitches to purl stitches.  Shouldn't I be doing k1,p4,k1?  Is this true for the entire pattern?  Should I always knit wherever it says purl and vice versa?  That's just stupid.

If anyone can shed some light on the right side/ wrong side deal, it would be MUCH appreciated.  It would also keep me from breaking my knitting needles and giving up on knitting for a few years (been there, done that).

a very stressed out and pissed off homestar
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Brazil, Brazil, BRAZIL! on: January 28, 2009 06:48:56 AM
My sweetness is going to Brazil the week of his birthday.  I'd like to purchase and/ or make a gift for his birthday that will be useful for his trip.  Either Brazil-specific (preferred), or useful for international travel in general.

More about him:  prefers practical gifts, not really very "touchy feely" (i.e. I probably won't give him pictures of us to take with him), adventurous.

I have gotten some AMAZING ideas from you guys before...  turn on those creativity juices!!

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Winged Foot - Runner's Pendant on: May 02, 2008 08:57:14 AM
I made this out of polymer clay for the guy I'm dating.  He's a runner, and he had a race coming up.  He liked it a lot.  Very simple design, it could make a great last-minute gift for any runner in your life...

Sorry for crappy camera phone pictures!

Contrary to unpopular belief, I'm not dating Jesus Christ.  I say unpopular belief because his initials never occurred to me until I looked down at the completed pendant and was like, "Huh.  How about that."
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Viking v. Ninja on: February 13, 2008 11:58:36 AM
Howdy craftsters!

I am just starting to date someone.  I think he's pretty cool.  Except he thinks that Vikings (as a sub-group of Pirates) are superior to Ninjas.  WTF, right?

I'd like to make him a card that involves Ninja(s) and Viking(s).

Any ideas for themes, sayings, designs?  Tell me, or else I'll seek you out in the night and...

Yeah.  Wink

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / What to do when your fiance' leaves you (pics on pgs. 1 & 4) on: October 19, 2007 08:50:00 PM
In late August, my partner and fiance of seven years left me.  Actually, I ended up kicking him out after he broke up with me...  but that's another story.  Wink  The lesson:  never f*** with a girl from Jersey!

I ended up staying in our (now my) apartment, but I knew I couldn't stay put unless I did a major redecorating.  I needed to make the place feel like mine, so I could live there without constantly imagining him around.

Anyway, it's two months later, and I couldn't be doing better.  I've reconnected with old friends, renewed my interest in my career, started volunteering in my community, become closer with my family, and tons of other beautiful and wonderful things that wouldn't have happened if life hadn't grabbed me by the neck and b!tch slapped me.

And, of course, I love my old "new" apartment!!!!!  I really wish I had some "before" pictures, because these snaps totally don't do it justice...  it's the perfect blend of creative, funky, peaceful, and uplifting.  I finally feel like this is MY home; before, with my ex-partner here, I didn't have any real attachment to the place.  I can't wait to finally host a housewarming party!

Without further adieu...  on to the pictures!

The Living Room

When you first walk into the apartment, you're in the living room.  I chose the idea of a conservatory as my inspiration.  So, there are tons of plants, garden-type trinkets, wrought-iron, stuff like that.

My bookshelves:

Yes, I love to read, and I've read most of the books on my shelves!  I especially love the clock in the upper left.

Turning to the right:

More plants!  I made the curtain out of two types of fabric; the upper portion is sheer and lighter, while the lower part is brocade.  Somehow it worked perfectly.  The lights are little metal flower lights on clearance from Target.

A little more to the right:

I love to sit in my rocking chair and crochet!  The lamp above the chair was my inspiration for the room.  My grandfather made it...  the colors are actually sage green and golden orange.  I made the curtains in the tall window...  they're simple tab-top curtains.  The curtain rod is just a dowel stained with diluted brown acrylic paint, and the finials are those weird straw/wicker woven balls you can find in Micheals.

More to the right...  view when you walk into the apartment:

More plants, of course!  Plus my old and dirty but super comfy loveseat.  I made the pillows and the artwork on the walls.

Here's a close-up of some of my babies...  err...  plants:

And here's a close-up of the artwork:

Turn more to the right to face the kitchen:

I was not really sure about the color of the cabinet...  it's half-way between asparagus and lime, but I love color, so I figured, "What the heck!"  I'm going to make another painting for the space to the left.  It's so nice to lounge around in my underwear on the couch, watching a movie that I want to see...

This is my little grasshopper friend:

He lives on my table and eats dinner with me.  :-)

The Bathroom

Before, the bathroom had no style whatsoever.  At all.  Now, it's got this yellow-and-wood/bamboo theme going on...

I adore having nice, fluffy, thick towels, without worrying about a stinky boy wiping his @$$ all over them!

The Kitchen

For the kitchen, I went with a brick red/ rooster/ Italy theme.  Roosters are for good luck.  Smiley

Here's my grandmother's hutch...  It used to be the sky blue of the inside, now it's brick red...  what color should I paint the inside?

In the hutch, there are my wine glasses and all of my kitchen trinkets from my grandparents...  their espresso maker, olive oil tin, old-fashioned egg beaters, etc.

The butcher's block:

With my spices, jars of pasta, a half-finished bottle of wine (that I'm finishing right now), you get the picture.  It's a functional kitchen!

The windows:

I made the cafe curtains...  love the fabric...  the bottles of pickled vegetables and the ceramic garlic cloves I found in a dollar store.  Score!!

Tomatoes, pasta, and wine... yes please!

The Study

Walk through the kitchen, and you're in the study.  Here's the practical part:

That part's boring, and hasn't changed since The Ex left.

Here's the fun part:  my reading corner!

I love to curl up in that circular chair.  I never used to use it--in fact, it was folded up and stored in a closet!  Now I sit in my reading corner and daydream about traveling.

The shadow boxes on the wall:

are a bunch of things I've collected in my travels over the years.  It's cool to see them all in one place--reminds me of where I've gone (and makes me think about where I'm going!)

The Bedroom

As you can imagine, the first things that HAD to go were the sheets and comforter that I shared with The Ex.  Too many memories there...  I decided on a brown and turquoise scheme:

I need to make some artwork to hang above the bed!

I made this headboard.

It took about $25 and an hour, and now I no longer have insulation from behind the top part of the wall falling on my head as I sleep. Yeah!

The other side of the bedroom...

I made the curtains.  The thing in the middle is actually a big plastic storage bin...  I need to find somewhere to store it, but until I do, I just draped it with a piece of cloth that was in my box of remnants.

And here is my penguin friend.

He lives on my dresser.

So, that's it!  Congrads if you made it all the way to the end.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I REALLY wish I had some "before" pictures to share; you would be SHOCKED at the improvement!
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Edward Gorey Candleholders on: November 19, 2006 07:34:33 AM
For my sister, for Christmas.  I'm really annoyed about how the pictures shrank, because the edges of the frost are really clear and sharp in person, but they look all pixelated in the photos.  Boo.  EDIT: I think I've fixed the photos.  Let's see.

First, from "The Hapless Child":

And the candleholder:

Also, from "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" (that creepy dude with the umbrella):

And the candleholders:

The "Hapless Child" candleholder is square and the "Gashlycrumb Tinies" ones are triangular.  When there's a candle inside, these cool beams of light shoot off from the corners.

Thanks for looking!

P.S.  Never heard of Edward Gorey?  Read his most famous story here:
8  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Help me get *this* image onto cloth on: November 18, 2006 03:23:58 PM
I'm making my sister a wallet, and I'm using this image:

What is the best way to get that image onto cloth?  I was thinking of doing a stencil, but I think it would be difficult to cut out such a small and intricate image.  An iron-on transfer or something?  I don't know how to silk screen, and embroidering that image would take a long time, too (I love my sister, but love has its boundaries  Wink)

What do you think?

Thanks in advance for opinions!!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Gators for troops - but can't understand these *$(@Y^% directions! on: November 08, 2006 05:46:48 PM
A family member was recently deployed to Iraq, and I'm going to make him some stuff for him and his buddies.

One thing that was suggested to me was this gator thing, which protects and keeps warm the neck and head area.  Check it out:


BUT for the life of me I can't understand their directions!!  I'm pretty good with my sewing machine, but for some reason, it's just not computing!

Can someone please explain it to me in craftster language?

Thanks...  and let me know if you're interested in making any for the guys in his company  Wink
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Changing jobs--thank you present for female co-workers? on: November 06, 2006 08:31:33 AM
Wow, I'm posting in this board a lot these days...

I'm going to be changing jobs soon, and I'd like to get my co-workers something (because they generally rock).  I'm going to make some chocolates or cookies for the guys, so I need something that's general and homemade for the ladies.  So many of them are diabetic or on diets that I can't really do chocolates or cookies.

I was thinking of getting votive candle holders (they're on sale at A.C. Moore for fifty cents or something ridiculous like that) and etching words or phrases or images on them...  like, one girl is really into horses, so I'd do a horse stencil...  but that will take a lot of time and the etching stuff is way expensive.

Other simple, cheap, non-perishable, not too personal ideas?

P.S. Of course, this has to happen during the winter holiday season...  my busiest crafting time of the year!!
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