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1  accidental Flying Spaghetti Monster in Completed Projects by graymalkn on: October 11, 2006 11:07:22 AM
A year or two ago, my wife modified a jewelry chest my mom gave her by sticking on a pair of eyes. This was before the world became aware of the sacred truth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but it is clear that even then she was touched by his noodly appendage:

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2  papier mache Death Star in Completed Projects by graymalkn on: July 07, 2006 12:33:31 AM
A few months ago I came into posession of a pilates ball. After an aborted attempt with some spray foam that resulted in a lampshade (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=94686.msg895360), I made a papier mache Death Star.

Here's how:

First I did about six layers of papier mache (basic flour and water recipe) to form a hemisphere.

Then I cut and inserted a large disk of styrofoam into each hemisphere.

To form the gap needed for the equatorial trench, I cut a few scraps of cardboard and spray-glued them between the hemispheres.

To make the dish, I cut a hole in the upper hemisphere...

and molded a smaller piece of papier mache on my globe.

After that it was just a matter of putting another layer of papier mache to jion the hemispheres and the dish, then a lick of paint and it was done.

Then I blew it up.

Because, I mean, what else do you do with Death Stars?

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3  intestinal/Alien lampshade in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by graymalkn on: May 11, 2006 11:36:31 AM
I recently aquired one of those huge pilates balls. The plan was (and still is) to use it as a mold for a giant paper mache globe and/or giant paper mache Death Star. Last night, however, I had the idea that I could cover it with Great Stuff (spray-on insulating foam) and sand it down to the desired shape.

As you can see, I didn't get very far with one can, and sanding it down would have been a nightmare.

I was about to dump it when I had an idea. Another item on my long to-do list has been to make a lampshade for the overhead light in the dining room, which suffers from quite a bit of glare as a result of cheap military housing construction (we live on a former Navy base). Considering this, I was able to snatch awesomeness from the jaws of suck, thusly:

All I had to do was screw in a couple of hooks to the ceiling and it was held in place perfectly. Here is the overall effect, giving the room a much softer and warmer glow:

And a pretty, if not properly color balanced, picture:

NOTE: if you try this yourself, be sure to use gloves, since Great Stuff sticks amazingly to skin - you have no grace period in which to wipe it off, and only heavy scrubbing over several days will get it off. Really, don't even think of trying this without gloves. Once it's dry you're fine, but remember that there might be wet/sticky parts on the inside even after the surface is very hard, so wear gloves removing it from the mold, too. I still have some gunk on a few fingers, several days later.
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4  head in a jar in Halloween Decor and Parties by graymalkn on: November 03, 2005 04:59:50 PM
This was for part of a mad science-themed yard setup. It was ridiculously easy, but I like the results. The bolt in the next is both decorative and useful for keeping the head upright.

Also, brains!
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5  Re: Please post your best costume... in Halloween Costumes by graymalkn on: November 03, 2005 04:49:38 PM
Here's this year's, which I think worked pretty well: Professor Membrane from Invader Zim.

Here's the character it's based on: http://www.roomwithamoose.com/pictures/official/membrane.jpg

A friend made the lab coat so she gets most of the credit.
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6  two bleach shirts in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by graymalkn on: October 14, 2005 02:23:17 PM
A couple of years ago, I was looking at Thinkgeek and my wife looked over my shoulder to see the Digital Angel shirt (http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/ladies/5a8b/back/, prompting her to ask sarcastically, "What about an Analog Angel, hmm?" Since then, every Christmas/birthday I've thought of how to do it (and make it look good). This year I was introduced by a friend to the art of shirt bleaching and realized This Is It. Here, then, in the result (sorry for the black-on-black photo):

The letters were printed out on large sticker pape, cut out with an Xacto knife, and stuck to the shirt. I sprayed bleach from a spray bottle over the cut out letters and then used a paint brush for the wings. Took the letters off, let it dry for a day, threw it in the laundry, and it was done.

Incidentally, I've come up with a better bleach pen. The one that Clorox sells makes a very wide line. For something finer, I took a really cheap fountain pen, cleaned it out, and filled the chamber with regular bleach (i.e. the whole thing, with no ink cartrige), and used that. It works quite well, as you can see in this shirt I made for my mom to celebrate her Golden Apple teacher award:

The only trouble is that the bleach tends to corrode the pen, so either clean it out after each use or resign yourself to having a cruddy pen after a while.
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7  Re: Please post your best costume... in Halloween Costumes by graymalkn on: October 14, 2005 01:41:11 PM
I have two that I think of as my personal best:

Chest burster from Alien. The back of the jumpsuit says "Nostromo".

The note reads:

    I'm sorry;
    I just couldn't
    stand another
    night of your


Yes, the noose is attached to me, not the ceiling.
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8  The Icosahedron (or 1d20 of art with a +3 for cool friends) in Completed Projects by graymalkn on: October 14, 2005 01:24:03 PM

I got the idea while looking at this lamp shade project (http://www.readymademag.com/feature_12_slidelamp.php) that it would be neat to make a
polygon of some sort covered with drawings. Since I'm no artist, I figured I would do the construction myself and rope my friends in to doing the art.

I had to figure out a few things: what shape to make, what to make the frame out of, how to connect the vertices of the polygon, what paper to use, and how to attach the paper to the frame. The first decision was to settle on making an icosahedron, a 20-sided polygon. Next up was materials. My fencing coach - who is quite handy at building small things - suggested brass rods, sold in about 3' lengths at hobby and hardware stores. Since I was looking to make an icosahedron about 2' across, this would be perfect. I picked some up and started experimenting.

The only real hurdle was figuring out how to fasten the rode to eachother. At first I considered cutting the rods so they would form up in exactly the right angle and then soldering five together at each vertex, but I decided I couldn't get the required precision without better equipment (my equipment consisted of my Dremel and... a hammer). I experimented with soldering ball bearings at the vertices (i.e. having each of the five rods attach to the ball bearing) but this just didn't work and was getting to be a mess. Finally I decided to try a method used for making geodesic domes out of steel tubing: crimp then ends, drill a hole, and put a pin through five of them. This worked perfectly:

I then screwed five of them together to form a vertex:

repeated as necessary, and had an icosahedron:

Next came the paper panels. This part was relatively easy, but very repetitive. I got some decent paper, cut out a triangle with a border:

Folded the border back:<br>

glued it, punched holes in it, and reinforced the holes. Once they came back from the artists, they were then attached to the frame
with a bit of wire:

All the individual panels can be seen here: http://multipledigression.com/gallery/icosahedron
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