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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / TOTORO! on: November 10, 2014 03:24:34 PM
My two-year-old daughter loves My Neighbor Totoro, so I made this costume to go with her stuffed cat bus. I started with a grey women's extra large Cubs hoodie from Goodwill ($6), added a matching pair of fleece pants from another thrift store ($1), and bought a yard and a half of discounted ivory fleece ($4.50). I don't know if the pictures will do it justice because the kid never sits still.

I tapered the sides of the sweatshirt to make the body round, removed the pocket, and cropped the arms. One arm became the fat Totoro tail when stuffed. The other arm and pocket were made into the ears and the belly marks. I cut a double layer of ivory fleece for the belly to make sure the logo wouldn't show through. I cut holes for hands and added felt claws, lightly stuffed. I put some wire in to hold up the ears. Felt eyes, nose, teeth, and whiskers. The costume was very warm, which was great for Wisconsin's frigid Halloween weather this year.

I used some of the ivory fleece to make a white Totoro/ghost bunny treat bag, lined it with some non-stretchy fabric, and added a handle. Felt feet and eyes. (The smudge on the face is where my daughter tried to generously share her chocolate with the white Totoro.)

I have no concept of actual hours in the project because work was frequently interrupted by my spawn.
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / The Peeping Tom: My alcoholic marshmallow drink on: March 27, 2007 01:24:48 PM
(Sorry--no images yet.)

OK, all the Easter Peep craftiness has made me want to share a recipe of mine in time for your Easter parties.  A few years ago, I got it into my head that there needed to be a drink with a marshmallow Peep in it.  Initially, it was my intention to create a drink called "The Flaming Peep."  I learned a very important lesson in the process: soaking Peeps in 151 rum to increase flammability renders them inedible.   Tongue  If you don't presoak the Peep in rum beforehand, lighting a Peep on fire and dousing it in a white Russian is a tolerable drink, but it wasn't the spectacular combination I wanted.  Floating a marshmallow Peep in Kahlua and hot chocolate was rather tasty, but it lacked spectacle.  Finally, we stumbled upon the perfectly punny drink:  The Peeping Tom.

Basically, you start by preparing a Tom Collins.  I generally use a variation of this recipe:  http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink2438.html

Don't skimp on the lemon juice, because it's the sweet-tart nature of the Tom Collins that makes this work.  I also add cherry juice to the drink--I don't measure it, but I pour it in the top until it colors the drink a pretty reddish color.  Garnish your cup with an orange wheel on the rim and, of course, float a Peep skewered between two cherries in the top of the drink.  It's a fabulous visual, it has a clever name, and, as long as you like Peeps in the first place, it's even pallatable.

You can even introduce variations on the theme.  Make a kiddy-cocktail version for a Virgin Peeping Tom.  Add a shot of cherry vodka for a Blushin' Russian Peeping Tom.  You can basically come up with any variation that you please.  What's also nice is that you can get Peeps for multiple holidays now, so we actually mixed these at a fellow graduate-student's Halloween party and used the ghosts to garnish.  Avoid the cocoa-cats or cocoa-bats or whatever variation on cocoa that they have that year--ick!

I'll post a picture later when I can either find one from the Halloween party or get to the store to get the proper ingredients to whip up a pretty Peeping Tom, but I was inspired by the Peep-crafting and felt the urge to share.  I'm tempted to send the recipe to the Peep cookbook..... Cool
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Need help on Homestar puppet-head pattern on: February 21, 2007 10:47:51 AM
OK, I've tried several searches, and I can't figure out the right combination of words to get something that I could adapt.  I have to make this puppet for my husband (flash animation to follow):

*Wait...I can't figure out how to directly link this, because it pops open in another box.  To see the puppet, follow these instructions:
1.  Go here first:  http://www.homestarrunner.com/toons.html
2.  Click on "Puppet Stuff" on the remote
3.  Click on any of these choices:
Puppet Time (I need the white-headed puppet, not the yellow-headed puppet)
Everybody Knows It (ditto)
Homestar vs. Other Little Girl (this one is probably funniest, and it's listed at the top, but the other two may offer better all-around angles)

Does anyone know of a good pattern I can adapt (either to purchase from anywhere or free online) to make the rounded dome head?  My experiments aren't going so well, and I'm running out of fabric.  Thanks.


4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Oops! Sealing the edge of a light transfer on: December 20, 2005 05:25:25 PM
Howdy folks,

I was doing a transfer for my husband when it came to my attention that our evil printer (stupid HP6122) doesn't honor the margins that are listed on the page--it starts printing BEFORE it's supposed to.  I was down to my last two pieces of light transfer paper (HP transfer--I've used successfully before with my old Epson printer), one of which was bent at one end and had something on it at the other.  Because the middle of the second sheet was fine and I didn't want to spring for another package of paper, I figured I could cut the image into two pieces, because there is a logo at the top and Chinese characters at the bottom.  Of course, my original instructions are gone, so I trimmed the rounded edge of my top portion right up against the edge of the image, not leaving the recommended quarter inch between.  As I was ironing, I noticed a slight bleeding of the image on that cut edge.  I don't want the image to bleed in the wash.  Are there any products or methods I can use to seal the image back up without damaging the original transfer underneath?  Thanks.


5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Cat Tote and Knitting Needle Roll on: December 12, 2005 10:32:09 AM
I couldn't decide whether to put my Homestar Runner patches on blue or red, so I asked for advice, and my advisers were split on that, too, so I thought of something else to do with the blue and that settled it:

I was making this knitting roll for my friend when the idea struck me to make a matching tote:

I cut out and appliqued purple glitter-felt cats and moons (one crescent, one full w/star), then decided there needed to be a bat slipped in.  I managed to cut the bat-shape out of the moon without mangling the negative image, so I added the bat shape I removed to the other side.  The beading is just a Style-a-Bility sew-on.

I may not see my friend before Christmas after Tuesday, so I'm giving it to her then.  She knew I was making a knitting roll, but I'm hoping that the matching tote surprises her.



6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Music Tote: Homestar Runner Color Matching on: December 09, 2005 09:42:40 PM
Howdy folks!

So, I'm making my husband a personalized tote in which to carry his guitar books to his lesson, and I ordered the Homestar Runner patches to sew onto it (also got the freebie patch, so I have six).  I had originally planned to sew them onto a red tote, because it's my husband's favorite color and his guitar is red, but then I laid them out on a royal blue tote out of curiosity and now I can't decide (he also likes royal blue).  Help me make up my mind?

Either way, I'll eventually add iron-on sayings from the website between the patches.  If I use the blue, I'll do the quotes in white, quotes in black if I use the red.

The red tote:

The blue tote:

So, craftsters, what do you think?  Thanks!


7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Jack & Sally Nightmare Before Christmas Baby Quilt **(Now with rough patterns)** on: November 27, 2005 06:25:11 PM
***UPDATED***  Rough patterns now on page 6.  Not pretty, but it's a start.

Howdy, folks!

I actually completed this project back in spring, but I wasn't a member of Craftster until recently.  I'm still pretty proud of the project, noticed that there are several tNBC fans lurking about, and decided to post it.

I designed the quilt from scratch for friends who were having their first child before I even knew what gender they were expecting.

First, the Jack Side:

It's often reported that babies love black and white, so it's really a good color scheme for them.  Most of the fabrics were purchased around Halloween, like the dancing skeletons, Boo!s, and the glow-in-the-dark eyeballs.  I wanted the quilt to be in stripes with the wide parts being white patterns on predominantly black backgrounds and spaced apart with white-on-white stripes.  I thought the crooked zigzags would best convey a Jack sort of feel, and I added his shirt-breast, lapels, and bat-tie.  It's hard to tell, but the third black fabric from the left (or, bottom) has little white cat faces on it.  The third fabric from the right (top) has chalkboard letters on it--both parents are creative writers.  The center fabric just happened to remind me the most of Jack's striping from what I could find at the time.  Everything is pieced, even though it probably would have been easier to do the bat as an applique.  (Hindsight.)  The bat's eyes and the button are embroidered on.  

Then we have the Sally side:

Sally's side had to be a crazy quilt.  I stuck with basic pink, blue, and yellow and tried to match as many fabrics from her dress as I could, though I certainly had to make compromises to keep things unified and baby-bright.  The pattern repeats once on a diagonal, much like a playing card.  Many of the designs and shapes in the quilt are taken directly from the dress, while I eventually ran out and had to make up similar parts in the middle, with one blue shape in the center resembling the hill.  There were originally 45 different shapes and 89 separate pieces to her side, until I realized I couldn't do the zigzag "sleeve" pieces without cutting them into multiple parts--it was tough to try to match the print on that.  (Jack's side has more pieces because I pieced the bat and all the little parts between the wings.)  Because the pieces were all so unique and specifically shaped to each other, I had to trace each piece individually without seam allowances added, then pin them together with the pins matched up on the seams.  After it was all sewn together, I hand-embroidered black stitch marks between all the fabrics and blue stitches on the few pieces that were supposed to represent her skin in the bodice of the dress.  (Since the quilt is sideways, look at the lower left and upper right corners to see it.)  You can also catch a glimpse of my cat Pandora along the top edge of this picture--she demanded to be a part of every step of this project to the point of crazy-making.

Anyhow, thought some people might enjoy this.

UPDATE:  I'm going to scan in the 8"X11" pages I started with and blew up once I figure out where I stashed them.  Anyone ambitious enough will be able to blow the pattern up five times to get the same effect that I did.  Then I'm going to figure out how to scan and zip all of the full-size pattern pieces together if I can so they can be downloaded as such.  I'll include more tutorial  like directions when I find everything I need and get it together.  



*Edited to fix broken picture links.  I still can't locate my pattern.   Sad
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