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21  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / My belly casts on: December 13, 2007 01:25:09 PM
Made with love, and glue. LOTS of glue. True dat.

I had done belly casts when I was pregnant with both babies. I finally sat down and 'finished' them.
In all the picts, you will see Tehanu's cast first. She's almost two. The second cast in the set will be Kalessin's. He's 4 months old.
The casts were made of plaster strips, I bought a HUGE box of them at the art store (I've done some other casting.) I had more time with the first cast so it got a coating of plaster on the outside. I wish I would have taken the time to do that one the second one, the first one is MUCH sturdier.
Both of them were covered with fabric scraps. The were glued down with a rice glue I had kicking around here, and it worked really well. Each of the scraps have a little meaning from them (my wedding dress, the bathrobe I wore in both labors, my husbands bathrobe, a Halloween costume and a maternity shirt.) I used ribbon to cover the raw edges of the fabric. I actualy got much of the ribbon in a swap!
I originally was going to paint both the insides. I somehow thought that covering the insides with fabric would be easier than painting. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!? I did these casts next to my skin, so you can see details like nipples and belly button. I thought I should at least use fabric instead of paint on my sons cast (the second one) to cover up those details. I plan on giving the kids their casts, and the last thing I want is for one of his little friends to be like "DUDE!! Lemme see the inside of that belly cast again!!" Shocked But I went ahead and painted the daughters inside.
I LOVE how they turned out. And I love having them. I can pick them up and 'wear' them and be reminded of what it was like to carry that belly around! I totally recommend a belly cast to any pregnant woman! I rememebr when I first heard of them I thought it was silly, but now I think it's the greatest!

oh, and cookies if you know where my kids name's come from..... Wink
22  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Thumbs down to Crayola's Ultimate Cutter, Thumbs up to Fiskars Swivel Knife!! on: October 26, 2007 06:32:38 PM
I've been looking at some new toys for stenciling and I thought I would share what I found.
I found Crayola's Ultimate Cutter on their website and thought I would give it a shot. It's billed as being able to cut through paper in the middle of the page but safe enough to throw in your backpack. (With little ones around, I do have to think of things like that!) I fount it at my local Michaels (craft store) though their website says you can get it at target and office depot. I think it cost me about five bucks.

It's quite fancy and has a dome to keep the cutter straight on the surface. The blade DOES cut paper, though it will not cut a transparency. It's got one huge problem- the blade is off center.

You can see here how the point where the blade swivels is offset from the arrow where the blade is. As the blade swivels, it moves either further from your line that you are trying to cut out. It's hard to describe, so let me show you what I tried to cut out.

The black is the line I was supposed to cut on- I had the red triangle on it the whole time. The green triangle is where it actually cut. Like I said,  you can see how the swivel being off pulled the blade out of place. I thought maybe you could compensate for it but the blade swivels 180 very easily and can't be controlled. If you are doing something free hand, it may work for you, but my advice is: skip it.

But if you do want a nice swivel cutter, find the Fiskars Swivel Knife.

I am in love- it's what I've been looking for since I started cutting stencils. I also found this at my local Michaels (and that's the ONLY place I've seen it- I was hoping to use my joann coupon). It was a little more expensive, erm, I can't find my receipt but I think it was about 7 dollars. I found it with the scrap booking cutters. 
It is just a tiny little blade, which I love. You have enough just to pierce the paper and not much more. I like being that much closer to what I'm working on.(The paranoid mom sees that there is not enough blade there to impale anyone and that's a good thing.)

And that tiny little blade SWIVELS. Nicely. Smoothly. Fully. Because the blade swivels, you don't have to swivel the paper. I find that helps me work a little faster. It takes a bit to grasp how it moves and how to use it. I was working on some words, and by two letters in, I had mastered it. And was flying.
Thumbs up to fiskars! NEAT!! Now if they only made that so it got hot, it would be PERFECT.  Grin

23  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Stitch marker holder on: October 07, 2007 03:46:13 PM
I have recently acquired a number of stitch markers. And how can you not. They rule. They can match ANYTHING.
They need a home.
No, I don't have/ need a rolled case for my needles. I've got the Denise needles and they have their own case.
I'm trying to make my stitch markers their OWN holder/ case.
It probably will be made from fabric or felt, because I have tons of it. I thought about a bunch of ties, but I don't think that will work so well- they will rub and come undone. Maybe just a bunch of loops with snaps (like you see in needle rolls.). I'm trying to figure out how to use safety pins, some how stitch them to the fabric. Dunno what will work better (also keeping in mind I have little people.)
Ideas? Suggestions?
24  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / I think I have costumes, but what ARE we? on: September 16, 2007 05:58:17 PM
I'm making a kilt for my new born son, no not for halloween, for his blessing at church.  Grin I figure I will get more use out of it if we re use it for halloween. His dad has a kilt too. I figured they'd be cute in their matching kilts.
I found a really cool sari type fabric on clearance this weekend. I figured I'd just make a dress up sari for my daughter, but then I thought, why not halloween? And if the boys are matching, why don't I make a sari for my self?
So the girls are in saris and the boys are in kilts and we are.....HuhHuh
The only think I could think of was that the boys were plaid (mad) and the girls were sari (sorry). Which is cheasy but the only thing I could think of. Any help?
25  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Knit Gloves for big ole man hands on: August 11, 2007 01:36:35 PM
I tried making my husband a pair of Knitty's Knucks. His hands are too big. These gloves are for 9 inch man hands. His are just a little bigger, not much, but enough to make a difference. So I need to find a new pattern.
Does anybody have a big hand man glove pattern to recommend? Free would be awesome. I only have a few months until it gets cold! (If it ever gets cold....)
26  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Carving the labyrinth on: July 09, 2007 09:23:59 PM
I met a fantastic metaphor for birth and labor at my child birth class last weekend... the labyrinth. A lot of times people will use climbing a mountain as a metaphor. That's nice for some but has never worked for me- the first time I tried to climb a mountain beginning to end I gave up. Not something I want to think about in labor. A marathon is the other one that gets used a lot. I just shake my head at that one. I don't run. At all. No no no. So this labyrinth is just perfect for me. It twists and turns and goes and there are no dead ends and you don't quite know when it will end. Then when you get to the middle, well, you gotta work your way back out again. te he. I'm so happy. I GET IT.
In celebration, I've been playing with this labyrinth figure. I carved a rubber stamp.

This is the stamp and some of the imprints. I cut the imprints apart and made some cards. Because I will need more than one thank you card by the time this whole pregnancy is over.
Then I discovered the stamp fits on an ATC. So I did up a few of those. This one is my favorite.

as a side note, I really should join an atc swap.
I just figured out that my labyrinth is backwards from what I intended. Whoops. No big deal. That just means you enter the labyrinth  from the right and not the left. I just love how imperfect the stamp looks. I really am liking this stamp right now.
I may take some ATC's to play group tomorrow- there are about 4 other pregnant mamas there too......
My husband was giving me grief about my current obsession with this labyrinth, I may have to take the stamp upstairs and stamp his forehead while he sleeps......  Tongue
27  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / painting the tops of needles? Ok kind of stupid..... on: May 12, 2007 08:57:38 PM
Pregnancy makes me stupid. I know I should be able to conquer this on my own but the placenta just eats my brain.  Shocked
I just got a bunch of felting needles, and they are in different sizes. I want to be able to mark them so I know which is which after I take them out of their bags. I know you can buy them with paint on the little bent handle, but how to you paint them yourself? I mean, what kind of paint can you/ should you use? I nixed acrylic- I was worried it would sweat off. I have some enamel paint and nail polish on hand, would either of those work?
(I know the answer is glaringly obvious. It's just paint....)
28  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / cutting bamboo neeedles? on: April 28, 2007 01:52:12 PM
I have a pair of bamboo DPN's that are the perfect size (gauge wise) for my next project (me husband's knucks). They are really long- they reach almost to my elbows!! If I could cut them in half they would be perfect. That means I need to cut them with out cracking them and then sharpen them. My thought is to use a wire cutter and a pencil sharpener but all the bamboo skewers I've ever cut with wire cutters have cracked, and these are size 3- so much bigger than my pencil sharpener! Help? Hints? Ideas?
29  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / meh knucks!! on: April 26, 2007 08:43:37 AM
I have been dieing to make a pair of knucks since I saw the pattern. I have a hard time buing yarn for myself (why buy it when I can make it is my thought) so it took a magic yarn ball swap to get them done.
I will start with the finished product and then tell stories.
The pictures stink because they were taken with a web cam. I keep trying to get my husband to take some pictues....
on the top they say

and inside they say

(I'm kinda proud of the tats on the outside and the inside. So far everyone who's seen them has gotten a kick off them!)
They are knit from a purple soy silk and I cam't for the life of me find the label. They are happy soft and pretty warm- I wore them while driving though the icky rain storm that hit denver a few days ago.
I made the cuffs a little longer than the pattern.
The embroidery isn't straight or even.  But neither is my hand writing. I found shoving a marker into the fingers was very useful when stitiching...

I loved making them, I love wearing them. And I am going to have to make some more- my husband wants a pair for when he rides his bike to work. Which is only fair I guess because I started these when we took a road trip to SLC to find this bike.....
and a funny pregnant belly/knitting in front of the puter shot. Yes I do like my web cam...

30  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / One skein baby sweater? on: April 16, 2007 08:33:59 AM
I am lookig for a non-gender specific easy one skein baby sweater. Free would be cool. I swear I saw a pattern for one online but I didn't book mark it (duh) and I've been unable to find it due to placenta brain. I also could be thinking of the EZ once peice baby sweater.

I found a really cool skein of yarn in my stash (houray for organizing!) and I figured it would make a great baby sweater.

Thanks for any help!!
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