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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Square Quilted Leftovers Pillow on: March 24, 2009 01:05:02 AM
I went home to Austin over Spring Break and got the chance to do a bit of crafting with my sister, Superstitch (well, I mostly call her Elizabeth). I took her quilting class a while back and had some leftover fabric, conveniently already cut into equal-width strips. We decided to make a quilted pillow out of my leftovers, and she painstakingly guided me through the process which, although I took a class, I had forgotten because my brain is made out of Tropical Fruit Starbursts.

It was worth it in the end though, because now I have this beauty sitting front and center on my couch:

(That's actually Elizabeth's couch, but it's on my couch now, haha.)

We had enough fabric left to make the back fabulous too:

I love it so, so much. Thanks for helping me, Liz!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Moda Building Blocks "Soft Trees" on: January 21, 2007 01:06:05 AM
I know these are really popular right now and everyone has them, but I couldn't resist posting these. Plus, I just love these fabrics!

Made from the pattern on Little Birds blog: http://littlebirds.typepad.com/little_birds_handmade/files/soft_tree_pattern.pdf

I made a few slight alterations from the pattern, I don't tend to think ahead and realized halfway through making these that I didn't have rice or anything to weight them down. So instead I inserted a circle cut out of index card into the base to give them stability, then topstitched a little rim around the base.

I hope you guys like them!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Super easy stash-busting dolls on: January 21, 2007 12:20:10 AM
I got bored last night and decided to make some dolls, using only materials I didn't have any other use for. It was totally fun, and even though I'm not very good at sewing (and I've never made a doll or a stuffed animal before), they came out pretty cute.

The two of them together:

The one I call green-head:

And the one I made for my sister (the hideous yellow mall-hair is temporary and not sewn on, my sister has extra brown yarn so I'm making her make her own doll-wig):

and what she will look like with the brown hair:

And a few in-progress pictures:

These are made of scraps, vintage pillowcases, napkins, and yarn I wasn't ever going to use. The faces are done in three strand backstitch.

I hope you guys like these!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Headband girl on: September 16, 2006 03:15:29 AM
I did this embroidery for my sister the headband queen. I adapted the pattern from an ad I saw somewhere that I now cannot find... oh well. I think I'm going to do another one for her with a different colored headband, since this one ended up pretty cute.

This is a semi close up of the headband, sorry, all I have is my camera phone right now:

The headband was done in four strand rayon floss, and while yes, it's pretty, it is also a pain in the butt to work with. This was my first time working with it, and all I can say is proceed with caution with it!
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / California Photography on: August 16, 2006 09:10:58 PM
Benziger Winery is kind enough to let you and your camera slow down the tour:

The view from Lombard Street (I'm almost positive that's where I was) in San Francisco. This was taken by leaning out the window of a moving car.

And now a few shots from Alcatraz, which I wandered all over for hours. It's totally beautiful, who knew?

^ I really wish those women weren't there, but it was so crowded that it was really hard to get a clean shot. Oh well, such is life.

I know this is quite a bunch, but any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to look!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Picasso's Girl with Dove rendered in embroidery on: August 10, 2006 08:37:11 AM
Hello there!

I just finished a gift for a friend (it will be turned into a handbag before her birthday in September) and thought I would share.

It it this sketch:


Rendered in six and four strand split stitch, six strand satin stitch, and one little french knot. Sorry, it needs to be pressed and some of my pictures are kind of blurry, but here she is:



[img width=500 height=375]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/polaroid65/6bdc81c1.jpg


Thanks for looking!

ETA: I tried to keep the back all nice and neat, but it ended up looking like this, haha.

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Converse Planter with Tutorial on: July 07, 2006 12:42:01 PM
*I hope this is on the right board*

Today I went from this:

to this:

And it was EEEEEEASY! Now, I'm no botanist or horticulturist or even gardener. I totally just winged all this and am hoping for the best.

First of all, supplies:

- old Converse (or similar) high tops you can't wear and don't mind destroying. I was using a small plant, so I lifted my little brother's old pair, they're a children's size 13.
- a plant that will fit in your shoe (mine is a Venus Fly Trap... so cool!)
- appropriate potting soil
- some sort of gravel or purlite (I used purlite) -- I got both the purlite and potting soil at good old Wal Mart for five bucks total
- Some sort of thick-ish plastic (not saran wrap, probably). I used a gallon sized ziploc bag.
- some sort of tape. I used masking tape because it matched the canvas on the inside of the shoe so it wouldn't show as much, but I'm sure you could use any tape you like... duct tape, electrical tape, packing tape, whatever.
- scissors

- helper (optional)

I would reccommend doing this outside, or at least prepping your workspace with looooots of newspaper. It got pretty messy.

Step 1: Prepping the Shoe

Take the shoelace out and pull the tongue forward as far as it can go. Then rip out the foam insole, getting as much of it out as possible. If you can't get it all, that's okay. This will expose the rubber of the sole.

You'll be left with a stinky little piece of foam with the Converse logo on it. Mine got thrown away, maybe you can find a use for it.

Step 2: Purlite

Cover the entire floor of the shoe with a layer of purlite (or gravel, whatever you're using) about a quarter inch thick.

Step 3: Plastic

I opened up my ziploc and cut down one of the sides so it's kind of like a pastry bag. Then I stuck the corner down into the toe of the shoe. This part is a little frustrating, but totally doable. I trimmed off all the plastic until no more was sticking out of the shoe. Then just go around, taping the plastic to the inside of the shoe. Make sure you're taping it to the tongue too. Also, before you start taping, cut little slits into the part of the plastic that will be on the bottom, on top of the purlite, for drainage. Just keep trimming and taping until you've got a little bag inside the shoe that will hold the soil.

Step 4: Potting Soil

This is where it gets messy. Grab a handful of potting soil (hands are the best tools for this) and pat it down into the toe of the shoe. Then put in a layer of potting soil about and inch and a half thick over the rest of the plastic. I watered the soil a little bit at this point because Venus fly trap's soil is supposed to always be moist. Do what's appropriate for your plant. Add in the plant and add in more potting soil until the shoe is full. Water again, if neccessary. Pull up the tongue and relace the shoe as far as it can go. Tie the shoelace and fold the tongue over the bow so more of the plant is visible.

Or you can just get a little plastic planter pot and stick it in a shoe. But I like this way better Wink

The end! Ta da!

Also, if you want to, you can decorate the shoe however you want beforehand with fabric paints, markers, rhinestones, studs, whatever. There are some awesome ideas floating around on Craftster if you want to do that! I like this project because it was extremely cheap (just the cost of potting soil, purlite, and the plant), fun, and quick! I finished this in less than half an hour. Also, it works for any shoe, no matter what the damage. It can have holes, be ugly, worn out, or just unwearable, and you can still display it proudly!

I'll probably do the other shoe once I have another plant to put in it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Thanks for reading!
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / What to do? on: June 06, 2006 09:17:09 AM
I have a bit of a problem with my latest project, and I was hoping that I could get a little advice. I made a pattern of a World War I-era Red Cross nurse from a sketch I did, and stitched up the outline:

When I was done with the pattern I didn't want to throw it away so I finished it off with watercolor pencils:

and the plan was to have the embroidered nurse match the nurse that I drew, filling in the face and arm with peach and the cross with red. But then I realized something: I am a beginner and my satin stitch is atrocious looking. I was going to make this into a bag and would like to finish it soon, but if I'm going to be carrying it around with me, I don't want it to look bad. I've been practicing my satin stitch and it is (slowly, veeery slowly) progressing, but I don't trust myself to do it right on something that I want to actually use.

My question is this: are there other, easier ways to fill space than with satin stitch? Also, is there some sort of trick to satin stitch that I'm just missing?

Thank you!
9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Craftster in a (really cute) box on: June 02, 2006 12:43:20 AM
I put this together for my sister (superstitch, here on craftster) for her birthday. Normally I don't put this much effort into birthday gifts, but this year I figured... what the heck, (metaphorical) balls to the wall.

I included prices and where I got everything, just in case someone takes inspiration and wants to know.

In this picture:

1. Beaded dressmaker's dummy necklace holder, Ross, $5.49
2. High quality Derwent graphite pencil, Michael's, $1.49
3. Sulky transfer pen (I had to get one of these for myself too!), Michael's, $3. 79
4. Five skeins of DMC embroidery floss, assorted colors, JoAnn's Fabrics, $1.45
5. Hot pink pin cushion, Michael's, $0.99
6. Small sketch pad, Michael's, $2.24

In this picture:

1. Sewing Today's Vogue Patterns Magazine, Barnes and Noble, $4.95
2. Jewelry polishing cloth, James Avery, $3.50

And to hold it all together, a box that can keep patterns and whatnot organized once the gift is opened, Ross, $3.99:

I tried to put in a lot of different, small things that I could see her using often, and also a few senseless items that were just too cute to pass up. The little dressmaker's dummy will only hold like, 2 necklaces, but it's adorable! And she already has a pin cushion, but not a HOT PINK one, you see? And it all adds up to less than $30, it's not like any of the extraneous stuff broke the bank.

I really enjoyed the shopping for all this stuff and now can only hope that her gift to me (my birthday is the day before hers) can measure up  Wink. Well, and that she likes it, of course, haha.

Hope this helped someone out with a craftster to shop for!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / A corner of sanity in a crazy, crazy room on: May 26, 2006 04:30:55 AM
While I was away at college my parents decided to wedge a king sized bed into my bedroom, which takes up more than half of the little space I have. All my furniture ended up shoved against the walls, barely functional. Plus, you never realize how much pure crap you have until you have to find a place for all of it in a room that seems to have shrunk drastically since the last time you saw it. I have come to terms with the fact that I am only going to be here for a couple of months and therefore, maybe all of my stuff doesn't have to have a place; so it stays piled up precariously on my desk and dresser and armoire and bookshelf.

I have let go of my dreams of organization, but I still need to be able to live in here. I decided that it was essential that I have a night stand to put my book, reading lamp, and alarm clock on, some sort of desk space, and a place to keep my record player. I also needed something that I could look at that didn't make me want to rip my hair out in frustration.

I decided that my best (and, pretty much, only) bet was to kill all four birds with one stone in the form of the antique blue trunk that was standing vertically in the corner of my room, next to my bed, piled high with blankets. I put the blankets away where they actually belonged and laid the trunk down. It's only a few inches shorter than my bed, the perfect height. I put my lamp, computer, alarm clock, and record player on it, they all just barely fit, and put up an old Gap display poster on the wall behind it. I added a few extra touches and ended up very happy with the result: a calming, functional oasis in the chaos of the rest of my room. If I squint just right, I can pretend the rest of it doesn't even exist.

*Sorry for the poor picture quality, all I have is my camera phone.*

This is the side of the trunk that is visible from the door. I like to think of it as charmingly distressed instead of flat out to' up.

This is the view of the trunk from the bed. Thank God for tiny little Vaio laptops.

Top view.

Side view. The John Lennon picture was a gift my dad picked up for me from New York.

I really, really love this frame. I used to have a van Gogh print in it, but it was sacrificed for the greater good. I love the way this picture looks in this frame. Oh, look! A reflection of my phone!

I have an unfortunate over-accessorization habit, so since the trunk was already so crowded I limited myself to two old French horn mouthpieces and a silver thimble. I hate the way my alarm clock looks, a retro silver one would look so much better, but for now this is what I have to work with.

This is my favorite poster in the world. My sister, Superstitch, used to work at the Gap when she was in high school and one of the guys she worked with stole the poster after it was done being in the window display and gave it to her. A few years later I cleaned her kitchen and she gave it to me. Oh, haha, and I wasn't high when I hung it. It's supposed to be upside down, I actually like it a whole lot more that way.

Scott stole this poster. Thanks, Scott! For writing your name! On the poster!

I would post a picture of another part of my room, just to show the sheer desperation that sparked this project, but that would be too embarasssing.

Oh... what the hell.

I know, right? And yes, that is an enormous stuffed catfish in the lower lefthand corner of that picture.

Thanks for taking the time to read this (enormous) post about me realizing that my parents possibly have other plans for this room than storing my junk! Have a nice day!
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