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11  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / How Have You Used Craftster as Therapy? on: May 14, 2006 09:02:25 AM
I've recently found my crafts having a high therapeutic value for me, and I was wondering if other people here felt the same.  As someone with a lot of depression and anxiety issues, and a really hard time allowing anyone to know what I'm doing (to the point where I can't stand people to know if I've rented videos), crafts are my one outlet where I can be creative, make something, and then feel proud enough of it to show it to other people and let them know what I've done.  And Craftster has been especially helpful in that, because I can post things and share them, and know that I'm going to get encouragement, without people asking me "Why did you do that?" or telling me that it's stupid.

Does anyone else feel like this, that Craftster has been there for you when you needed a support group?  And if so, how?

(Incidentally, has anyone else here ever had a crafty idea while in the middle of an actual therapist session?  I felt a bit bad, too, because it was only my third session with my new therapist, and I don't think she had any idea what that strange look on my face was for.  She doesn't know what my inspiration face looks like yet.)
12  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 11 ENTRIES / The Aesthetics of Discomfort (WARNING! ADULT CONTENT WITHIN!) on: May 02, 2006 04:14:12 PM
A few disclaimers before we begin:  The idea of combining images from Chick Tracts and hardcore pornography is one I've been fooling with for a while.  My original thought was more whimsical - this is more serious.  However, it isn't my intent to offend anyone with this.  I'm simply bothered by the idea that certain people feel it necessary to lie about condoms and other methods of birth control/STD prevention in an attempt to keep teenagers from getting busy.  I think it does more harm than good.  But that's my opinion.

Also, although I covered up naughty bits, it is very very very clear what the people in these pictures are doing.  If you don't want to see people getting naughty, don't read any further.

Are we good?  Okay.  Here we go.

I started with this:

And I turned it into this:

Details of the text I used: 

Comments?  Thoughts?
13  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Braided Blue Boob Tube: Now With Tutorial! on: April 08, 2006 09:12:55 AM
Well, the top bit is a boob tube, anyway.  I made this out of a long-sleeved blue t-shirt; I thought it was a men's medium, but now I think it was a woman's, as there wasn't nearly as much fabric to play with as I thought there was going to be.  All  hand-stiched, because although I think I'm close to figuring out this sewing machine business, I'm not quite there yet.

The seams need to be finished, particularly at the top, and the braid is stiffer than I'd like, but overall, I'm fond of the design.  And having access to mannequins at work is a definite bonus...  too bad we're going out of business.  *sniff*  I might have to adopt a few and take them home.

*Edit - here's a tute with some simple pictures:

Take a long-sleeved t-shirt (a few sizes too big, naturally), and cut off the sleeves.  Measure yourself from the top of the boob to the bottom of the boob, add a little bit for seam allowances and cut that from the top (when measuring on the shirt, make sure that you go from the bottom of the collar, and not the shoulder.)

Now it's time to make your boob tube.  Cut the collar bit off, and you should have a long tube of fabric.  Measure around your boobies, and divide that number by two.  This is how long your tube needs to be.  Mark it on the fabric, sew up the sides, and slip the tube over your head to make sure that it fits you tightly without being impossible to put on.  Take it off, and make any necessary adjustments.

Skirty goodness!  You know how long your boob tube is?  That's exactly how big the "waist" of your skirt needs to be.  Mark that off, and then draw two lines down the skirt, starting at the edge of the waist and going down to the bottom corner of the skirt.  This will give you a nice, flared, a-line type of skirt.  Sew along the lines.

Sew the boob tube to the waist of the skirt.  Now is a good time to pull the shirt over your head and make sure that it fits reasonably well without being too tight to get on. 

Okay, the strap.  This is a bit tricky.  Cut as shown in the pictures: 

So you have a long strip of fabric with three fringes.  Attach it to something that won't move (I pinned it to the back cushion of a chair, which I then sat on cowboy-style), and start pulling.  Pull all three strands together.  Pull them individually.  Pull them until you feel like your fingers are going to fall off.  Don't worry - t-shirt is very stretchy.  You want the strands to be about twice as long as you think they should be, because braiding will shorten the strap up a lot.

Got the strands long enough?  Good.  Rest your fingers for a second, ice them if you need to, then start braiding.  Amazing how fast it shortens up, isn't it?  Braid it to the very end, and safety pin it to hold it into place.  Now, slip the shirt back over your head (yes, again) and fool around with the strap until you figure out where you want it to attach to the shirt.  If it isn't long enough, you can fix that - unbraid the strap, and start stretching out the strands again.  If it is long enough, pin it in place and take the shirt off. 

You'll notice that the strap is thick and hard to poke through.  I have no idea what would happen if you tried to use a machine on it.  For hand-sewers, grab your sturdiest needle and a thimble (I actually wound up using pliers to pull the needle through about half the time).  Now you get to start sewing it on.  Make it secure.  Make it as secure as you can.  You don't want it to tear off, and you don't want it to start unbraiding.

Got it on?  Guess what?  YOU'RE DONE!  YAY!  Now put it on and prance around!
14  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 10 ENTRIES / Puttin' On The Glitz! on: April 05, 2006 04:02:37 PM
These are a pair of white Coppola tap shoes that I decided were in need of a prettying up.  I gave them a Fred Astaire theme, but I think they wound up being a bit more Liberace.

Now if only I knew how to tap dance...
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Learning to Sew: A Hymn on: March 20, 2006 04:16:34 PM
Yea, though I walk through the valley of Craftster,
I shall reconstruct no denim,
Nor shall I sew a single ipod cozy,
For Thou art with me.
Thy bobbin and thread tension perplex me.
Thou makest me to curse and grumble,
And swear to take up simpler crafts, like bookbinding.
But I shall not despair,
For I shall learn Thy mysterious ways
And master both the straight and zigzag stitch,
Yea, even the buttonhole.
And failing that, I shall smash Thee
Into itty-bitty pieces with a baseball bat,
And go back to handsewing everything,
See if I don't!
16  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Washers, marbles, and... orgasms? OH MY! (Pic heavy) on: March 08, 2006 05:01:39 PM
I've been playing around with the ever-lovely, ever-welcome marble jewelry, and they're just so versatile!  Observe:

Marbles on washers (used here as pendants)

Marbles on washers with added rhinestone bling!  (pendants again)

Marbles on washers with...  interesting pictures (Used as cuff bracelets)

Bracelet 1

A larger example of one pic:  Yes, it's Debbie Does Dallas!

Bracelet 2

And again, the big version of one of the pics I used:

Comments?  Questions?  Suggestions?  I have about twenty more Orgasm Marbles and can always make more, so if you have any ideas for them, let me have it.

17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / What happened to Andrae? on: March 08, 2006 04:48:06 PM
So it is the Project Runway season finale tonight, and I decided weeks ago that I was going to make myself a shirt that celebrates one of my favorite bon mots from the show, Andrae's wail of "Where the HELL is my chiffon!"  My first, genius idea was to embroider the words on, using very skinny ribbon instead of embroidery thread.  Since I didn't want the ribbon to show through the thin t-shirt cotton, I ironed some interfacing on the inside of the shirt to help strengthen it.  This may have been my first mistake.  On the other hand, the ribbon may have been my first mistake.  It was a battle just to pull the needle through, and each stitch left visible pulls and holes.  For some stupid reason, I forced my way through the first word before realizing that I was going to end up with an ugly, holy shirt if I kept going.  So I pulled all the ribbon out and went to plan B - Fabric Paint. 

The paint actually looked reasonably nice, and I got it all painted and done well in advance.  Then I set it aside.  At some point, I set an open bottle of Coke next to it.  I think you know what happened next.  Somehow, I didn't notice the sticky brown spots all over my shirt until today, when I was getting my clothes out before hopping in the shower.  My first thought was "Bleach pen!"  But I didn't know where the bleach pen was.  But hey, we have bathroom cleaner!  That has bleach!  So I dabbed the bathroom cleaner on with paper towels.  It actually seemed to work okay.  Unfortunately, the wadded-up paper towel isn't a very precise tool, and there were spots on and around all the letters, so I kept bumping into them.  It turns out that fabric paint starts to run and bleed when you get bathroom cleaner on it. 

At this point, my shirt looked something like this:

(closeup on the letters and the bleeding)

But I still wanted to wear it!  So I rinsed the bleach out, let it dry, and then pulled it on when I got out of the shower.  And that was when I realized that I had inadvertently sewn one (just one) armhole about two inches too large.  One was perfect.  One was...  not.  Finally, I just gave up and pulled it off.  Then I looked in the mirror and realized that the shirt had played one last cruel trick on me.  My mascara was smudged all over my eyelids.  I looked like a dalmation.

I'm sorry, Andrae.  I still love you.  But I'm burning your damn shirt.
18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / T-Shirt Slogans - share yours! on: February 12, 2006 10:08:28 AM
Since I've learned a million and one things from this site but, as yet, have no nifty tutorials of my own to share, I thought I'd give the only thing I have to give:  my slogans.  Because, dammit, I know we aren't all princesses or spoiled brats or whatever!

*Passionate Engagement is the new Ironic Detachment

*I have a secret...

*Super Fantastic! (Okay, that one came from Franz Ferdinand, but it still looks great in a seventies font.  With rainbow lettering.)

*Cuter, smarter, and funnier...  than Ann Coulter.

*What Would Xenu Do?

And, of course,

*I am my own slogan

Does anyone else have a slogan they feel like sharing?
19  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Smoking... Hitler? (warning: possibly offensive) on: February 05, 2006 02:42:14 PM
My best friend  had one of the ever popular, ever vaguely offensive Smoking Babies.  At any rate, we got on a long conversation about using Hitler's image in ways that he would have never approved of, and how that was more offensive to him than it was to those who were oppressed by him, and I guess it inspired her, because she turned her Smoking Baby into this:

Perhaps I'm being over-defensive, but I'd like to reiterate that this is in no way an attempt to glorify Hitler or minimize what he did.  She (and I) mocks dictators - she doesn't celebrate them. 
20  UNITED STATES / Michigan / Tip O' The Mitt Craftsters? on: January 09, 2006 05:45:24 PM
Lots of posts about events going on in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ypsi...  This is great and all, but it's a heckuva a drive for a girl who lives just beneath the Mackinaw Bridge.  Is anyone else around here from...  say, Grand Traverse County and northwards?
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