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1  Washington / Washington: West / May 13 -- Archie McPhee Super-Duper Sidewalk Sale! You gotta be there! on: March 28, 2007 08:28:49 PM
Dude!  I went to this last year, and I got SO MUCH STUFF for like, seriously, next to ZERO cash!  I got stuff for Christmas stockings, silly presents for all my friends when I go on trips, and a crap-ton of bar/party supplies. 

My friend and I went toward the end of the day, and they had oodles of stuff still left, plus the longer we stayed there the more they lowered the prices.  Remember those little tape measure I gave y'all?  Literally, I paid one nickel for a box of 24 of them!

We must go.  I command it!  Bring a big bag or a roll-aboard suitcase or something to put your haul in.
2  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 17 ENTRIES / It's about 8:30am -- breakfast time! on: February 28, 2007 11:13:15 PM
According to my friend Lucy, I should just say it's bacon time, because a real breakfast simply *must* involve pork products!  Cheesy

My clock is a true piece of mixed media artwork.  The plate is a real, honest-to-Pete dinner plate, one of the last few remaining from a set my Mum had for years.  I really, really do not recommend that you try to drill a hole in a ceramic plate; had I realized what a chore it would be, I would've gotten a plastic plate from the dollar store!  At least the ceramic plate looks really authentic.

The eggs are made from white craft foam and yellow nail polish.  I poured the nail polish onto the foam, rather than using the brush.  I started with a small puddle of polish, let it dry, then added more layers until I was happy with the yolk's size and texture.

The toast is a piece of upholstery foam I sliced off a big block that was hanging out in my parents' laundry room.  Shhh, don't tell my Mum I stole a piece of it!  Wink  I cut out the bread shape with scissors (it's tougher than you might imagine to cut it evenly), then colored the "crust" and shaded the "toasted" part with a brown Sharpie.

The hands of the clock are all made from inkjet printer-compatible shrink plastic, and glued on top of the original hands.  The knife is the minute hand, while the fork is the hour hand; both are clip art.  The second hand is pure bacony goodness -- a photo of an actual piece of bacon I cooked and ate for breakfast last week!  I added the red triangle pointer.    The clock mechanism is scavenged from an el cheapo thrift store find.

Bon appetit!

3  Washington / Washington: West / 2nd Seattle-Area Craftster Get-Together! on: February 24, 2007 04:02:44 PM
Right then, we talked last time we met about having a meal at Thaiku in Ballard and then making a foray to Archie McPhee.  Who's up for it? 

Suggestions on a day?  Maybe next Saturday or Sunday (March 3 or 4), for a late-ish lunch/early dinner?
4  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / [FIXED] Uninformative thread titles and subforum designations on: February 22, 2007 11:10:01 PM
Right, then.  I read the board not by visiting individual forums, but by clicking the "Recent Unread Posts" button.  Then I toggle back and forth from the list, only reading the threads that interest me.  I don't knit, sew or crochet, so I'm usually not hugely interested in those projects.  I try not to tempt myself with more crafty pursuits than I already have; Pete knows I don't need to accumulate any more craft supplies!  Wink  More often than not, a thread's title gives zero clues to the actual subject of the thread, like in the screenshot linked below.  

Two of the threads ("my first project post" and "HELP! What does this mean?") have titles like that, and the "child board" subforum designations below are no help, either, since there are subforums with the same names in several sections of the board.  Is it possible to tack on the main forum's name in those subforum notations, so that we don't waste time accessing threads in forums we would not otherwise frequent?  I would really appreciate it!

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Arrrr! It be the pirate-iest bathroom EVARRRRR! (Photos, ahoy!) on: February 10, 2007 03:05:21 PM
I've been working on a silly project the past couple of months, and since my fella Chris has been gone, I've been able to implement it as a surprise for him.  I'm certain his reaction will be something along the lines of "You're so weird."  He is not wrong.  Cheesy

Behold, the piratification of my boyfriend's bathroom!  It's cheese-tastic in many ways, and I may add a few more touches, since he won't be back until sometime next week.  However, I'm really pleased with what I've done so far.  It's been fun!

Most of the stuff came from Archie McPhee, my favoritest store in the world.  Nothing was really expensive; I think I've spent about $100 total, something like that. 

I'll just link to photos of stuff I didn't make.  The recon part of this project is at the end.

The door to the bathroom.  The Pirates Code poster came from an online retailer which shall remain nameless, because they suck hard and I don't want anybody to give them any business after they jacked me around so badly.  I made the small sign on the wall on my computer, with a treasure map background, and "The Head" in piratey script printed over it.  Stuck it in a cheap wood frame.  The hook is a finger; it just screws into the wall.  I added red nail polish to make it look bloody.


Here's looking into the bathroom from the doorway.  The washcloth hanging from another finger hook is from McPhee, as are the shower curtain, trash can and pirate skull "nodder" on the back of the toilet.

The two posters are printed on paper that looks like old parchment, and those are just cheapie poster frames with black posterboard for matting.  I think they look really good.  Here's the treasure map and this is the pirate weapons poster.  Both very informative, and nicely done.  I highly recommend this company!  They have a lot of cool flags and other stuff, and their customer service and pricing were top-notch.  I bought two copies of each, as well as two copies of their version of the Pirates Creed of Ethics.  Did you know pirates were sort of unionized?  It's true!

From the doorway.

I used the extra copies of the posters to decoupage the covers for the lightswitches and outlet.  I think they turned out really cool!  I especially dig the outlet cover.  The lightswitch cover was a bitch to piece out, because I didn't really have sizable images to work with, but it turned out fine.  I used lots of the weapons, 'cause Chris is a bit of a gun nut. 

I burned some of the edges to nice effect.  I used Mod Podge decoupage glue, and then sprayed the hell out of them with about four coats of acrylic, to seal the Mod Podge so it doesn't get tacky in the damp bathroom.  Sorry for the too-much-flashness in the photos.  I should've scanned them.  Oh, well.

Here are a silly plastic pirate ship and cheapo action figure.
  I dig that this guy has a mace along with his sword.

Bathmat from McPhee, too.

These doors hide the washer and dryer and water heater.  On the left is a nylon flag, and on the right, a What Would A Pirate Do? spinner.  I mounted it sorta low, so the boy could occupy himself while sitting on the throne.  Cheesy

This is clearly not a large bathroom, and it was tough to take photos.  Looking back toward the door.  I hung the Blackbeard and Anne Bonney action figures from McPhee on the wall in their packages, rather than taking them out.  The packages have interesting blurbs on them.  Bonus action shot of my right elbow.

Next photo:  Shot glasses from McPhee.  Why he'd do shots in the bathroom, I don't know, but I guess he can use 'em for mouthwash.  Also you see here the most complicated and involved part of this caper, and I daresay the most GENIUS!  Feast your eyes on the skull toothbrush holder!

I got the skull from McPhee a couple years ago, as a freebie when I gave blood during their annual blood drive.  It's plastic, and looks pretty realistic, too, with "antiqued" coloration and such.  I was going to just stick it on the counter as decoration, but then I got the bright idea to carve out a hole in the top of the skull and put a plastic tumbler in there to make it a toothbrush holder.

This was not an easy task.  I hadn't realized it had this weird foam inside, which I had to gouge out and which made a big ol' mess.  I was delighted to get to use my brand-new Dremel tool set that I got for Christmas.  YAY power tools!  YAY trepanation!  *grin*

After digging out enough of a hole for the cup, I inserted it and then ran a bead of silicone caulking around the outside, to seal out water.  Then I took some cotton clothesline cord I had laying around, dyed it with tea, and when it was dry, I hot-glued it around and around the cup to hide the silicone sealant and disguise some of the shinyshiny acrylicness of the cup.  I made the coil with the tail end, and then glued on a fake jewel thingie I've had for umpteen years.

But I wasn't done.  Noooooo!  While having way too much fun with the Dremel, I got the bright idea to ream out the eye and nose sockets, and then to cut out the area between the upper and lower teeth.  I also made some of the teeth broken and jagged looking.

I took myself to Radio Shack and bought a battery-powered blinking red LED module.  OK, I got two, because I'm sure I'll find a use for the other one at some point.  Wink  Then I cut a hole in the bottom of the skull, and removed enough of the foam so that light would shine through all the facial openings. 

I inserted the module in the hole, then used a piece of an old leather watchband, a couple of screws, and some stickum putty to hold it up inside the skull.  It's jerry-rigged and it ain't pretty, but it works, and nobody will see it.

Really, it's the piece de resistance!

Click to see the blinkiness! (teeny Quicktime clip)

So that's it so far!  I do think I need to find a wee treasure chest and fill it with fake coins and Mardi Gras beads.  Might go to the craft store tomorrow.  Also, I saw a few days ago in the "saucydwellings" LiveJournal comm that another person had done a pirate themed bathroom.  Hers is far cutesier than I wanted, but she has some good ideas.  I like the fishing net tied around the tub curtains.  She cleverly used wooden cutout letters to spell ARRRR on the wall.  I believe I shall do this as well.  Only I think mine will be distressed black, rather than gold.  This bathroom is waaaayyy too beige.  And if I can find a parrot, I'm so sticking that in there, too.

I hope you have enjoyed my piratification project!
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Onyx cubes & freshwater pearls: earrings, bracelet & necklace set on: May 13, 2006 09:01:56 PM
I made this set of jewelry for my dear friend Lucy, who will be attending a wedding May 20, for which I made the bridesmaids' jewelry (see this thread).  I think it'll look smashing with her black satin dress!

The large and small cube beads are onyx, and the oval pearls are natural freshwater.  I also used tiny sterling silver round beads, plus two sterling silver filigree saucer-shaped beads on either side of the large onyx cube focals.  The clasps are sterling silver hearts, and the sterling silver round-link chain makes them adjustable.  I made little dangle ornaments using one pearl, one cube, and one silver bead on a silver headpin, and looped them onto the end of the chain.  Both necklace and bracelet are strung on Accuflex beading wire.

For the earrings, I did the same dangle ornament, but before wrapping the loop closed, I slipped on a length of fine-link sterling silver chain.  Two dangles are attached by jump ring to each of the bottom loops on the sterling silver spiral connector.  Sterling silver French hook ear wires finish off the earrings. 

She wanted flamboyantly dangly earrings, so that's what she got!  They're about 3" long from the top of the hook to the bottom of the lowest dangle.

7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Supreme Combination Pizza costume on: May 02, 2006 01:11:49 AM
This is the pizza Halloween costume I made for my niece last year.  The crust is tan felt, folded in half and cut in a triangle shape, with a cutout for her head.  The edge of the crust is a piece of thick yarn-like rope I sewed on haphazardly. 

Then I cut a big piece of red felt for the sauce, and used fabric glue to stick it to the crust.  The toppings (green pepper, ham, sausage, black olive, mushrooms, cheese) are all cut out of felt, as well.  I love the sausage felt, which is this weird mottled brown color, perfect for the sausage!  I'm proud of the ham and mushrooms, which I embellished with Sharpie after cutting them out.

Dig her hot pink Chucks!  Yeah, I bought those for her.  Tongue

My own pizza costume is Hawaiian (ham & pineapple), but I haven't quite finished it.  The pineapple are especially cute, though; I cut them in exactly the right shape.

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Freshwater pearl bridesmaids' jewelry (large photos) Updated w/ new photos, pg 2 on: April 25, 2006 02:32:13 AM
I was commissioned to make jewelry for the bridesmaids in my friends' wedding.  This project has been harder than I originally anticipated because I've had to do all the consulting and getting measurements via email.  The bride-to-be is in London, one bridesmaid lives in Prague, and the other bridesmaid is in Austin, TX.  Oh, and the wedding is in Albany, NY!

I showed the bride and bridesmaids the pieces a few days ago, and they were thrilled, so now I just need to bang out the other set, plus some cufflinks I'm making for the men in the wedding party (using Shrinky Dink plastic, no less!), and I'm set.

First off, the earrings!  I think they've turned out fabulously.  

The Prague bridesmaid is a tiny wee English girl, so I've had to ask the barmaid at my local Irish pub who is approximately the same size to try on the finished pieces to be sure I've gotten the sizing right.  I took this photo against a black satin background, for more contrast and a different sense of the colors of the pearls than just on the scanner.

The oval pearls are a light cream, a very classic pearl color, with a very smooooooth surface.  The smaller round pearls are a lavendar/mauve color, with a more dimpled, uneven surface texture.  Both sorts are natural, unenhanced freshwater pearls, and have an excellent luster for the price, so yay!  I think they're a lovely contrast in color and texture, as well as size and shape.

I used sterling silver headpins, very thin and delicate, and stacked one of each color pearl on it, plus a tiny round silver bead, then turned the loop.  I slipped the last link of the piece of chain into the loop, then used the pliers to wrap the excess length of the headpin around the shaft.  Then each chain was strung onto a sterling jump ring, which slipped through the bottom loop of the heart-shaped link.

The lengths of chain from which the pearl drops hang on the earring are three different lengths (boy, THAT's not easy to do with such delicate chain!).  All the silver components are sterling (ear wire, chain, headpins, beads, links), and that little swoopy heart link is repeated in the necklace.

Next, the necklace!  

Necklace and earrings on the scanner.  The necklace features a repeating pattern of pearls and tiny sterling silver beads, with a silver heart toggle clasp, meant to be worn at the front.  At the bottom of the descender is that same little swoopy heart link I used for the earrings.   The bridesmaids' dresses are strapless, in a barely-pinkish beige color with a lavendar underskirt, so they needed a bit of a vertical line to help fill in that expanse of bare skin and draw the eye downward.

Here's a closeup of that clasp.  Lovely, no?

Here's Sinead the barmaid wearing the necklace.  

Here it is on the black satin.  Gee, my robe is useful!

Finally, the bracelet!  

Here it is, flat on the scanner bed.  The same heart toggle clasp is there, and I've done a technique called a right-angle weave, with a repeating pattern of pearls and silver beads that is similar to what I did with the necklace.  

On a black cone display from the front,

and the clasp.
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