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1  Tutorial: Projectile Dolls in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Raindancing on: August 25, 2008 06:31:44 AM
Remember the old snake-in-a-can gag?  Well these are brides-in-a-can!

I posted these originally under wedding stuff, since I made them as the Save-the-Dates for my wedding, but since a lot of people expressed interest in making them as something other than wedding crafts, I figured I'd post the tutorial here.  Also, my friends with children report that the kids are still playing with them (I made sure to send them the sturdiest ones).

You can find the original thread here.

First, I got these snake-in-can gags from Zymetrical online for a good price (especially since I bought a ton).
Innocent mixed nuts:
To a rather phallic looking snake:

Since these were Save-the-Dates for my wedding, I spray-painted the cans, but you could leave them brown, or even leave the nut label on if you wanted to.

So first gut your snake to get at the spring, but you may want to do it neatly so you can use the "skin" as a pattern.

Next, trace around the outside of the end of the spring to get a circle to support your doll. You want it to be slightly larger than the spring.  Hot glue that to the end of the spring.

Now we want to prepare the doll.  You only want the top half, so chop off the bottom (a real razor blade works much better than an exacto knife here).  The cupcake dolls are nice, since they already have a flat bottom, and you just have to chop off the pick.  If your using other dolls that are hollow on the inside, fill up the inside with hot glue (it took me forever to come up with that solution).

Now I had naked half-dolls (well, the mermaids had a seashell bra on), so I got out the paint (I tried a bunch of things before I stumbled on the paint they use for model cars-- perfect!), and painted tops on them.

Glue the doll to the cardboard on top of the spring:

The cupcake dolls had heads and arms that could come off and could go back on again.  The dollar-store dolls I left everything on (or tried to-- the arms liked to come off on their own).
It doesnt have to look neat.

Now for the dress.  Take your snake skin from earlier, and make your pattern a little bit wider, and as long as you want-- the longer the tube, the more boing there will be in the doll's spring.  You may want to taper one end of the tube-- it will depend on your doll how much (it needs to go over her head at least).  You dont have to, but it makes for a better fitting dress. 

Slide the tube over the doll on the spring, and get out the hot glue again.  Glue the dress to the body (well cover that up later). 

Then sew the end of the tube closed.  You can use a safety pin higher up on the tube to keep the spring out of the way. (I didnt bother making the seam look particularly nice.)

Now the doll is complete, except for having an ugly gluey waist, so tie a piece of ribbon around the waist to hide that.  Since mine were brides, I glued little veils to their head.  I had a lot of fun making them all look different. (I did a few at a time, spaced out over several weeks.)

I hope this is clear enough!
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2  The Most Awesome Save-the-Date Ever! Now with tutorial! in Weddings and Bridal Showers by Raindancing on: July 29, 2008 12:20:03 PM
So I've been meaning to post these here on Craftster for a long time (seriously, more than a year), but now let me present: The Most Awesome STD ever: The Bride-in-a-Can!

To paraphrase the snake-in-a-can description: When the unsuspecting invitees opened their innocent-looking plastic can, a spring-loaded bride shoots out!

Inspired by the project in The Artful Bride: Invitations, I was disappointed that absolutely no one was surprised when we announced our engagement, and I was determined to surprise them all somehow.  The project in the book (which looks way classier than mine, but not nearly as cool) would cost around $15 per STD to do it their way--  and that's before postage, which would not be insignificant.

So I fiddled around with the idea, and came up with my version, which cost just over $1 each.  I bought a bunch of Snakes-in-a-Can online for 45 cents each, and then used the spring from the snake, and some dollar-store mermaid dolls and cupcake doll-bodies, along with a tiny bit of tulle, ribbon and fabric, to make projectile brides.  And they do erupt from the can with impressive force!  I wish I could get a midair action shot, but we never did get a good one of those.  Also, since the vast majority of our guests live in town, we attached a loop of ribbon to each one, and drove around one day, hanging them on people's doorknobs. 

Here is my army of tiny plastic brides, before they made their way out into the world:

And here is the written part of the STD, printed on my home printer:

My sister wrote the limerick for us-- isnt it fantastic!

Let me know what you think!

Edited to add:
I posted the tutorial under toys, since it doesn't have to be used as any kind of invitation.

You can find the tutorial here.
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3  Re: The Science IS Art! swap gallery in The Swap Gallery by Raindancing on: May 22, 2008 06:43:32 PM
So I finally found that stupid cable!

So here are some closeups of the things I sent sxyskeksis:

First, a CD wallet.  Ive had those CD pages for a long time, and Ive been meaning to do something with them.  Ive had the image of a crazy furry CD wallet in my mind for a while, and then I saw the saying (only with Physics instead of math) and I thought it would be perfect:

It says: "Math is Like Sex-- Sure, it has a practical purpose, but that's not why we do it."

Next, the Cube of Knowledge (which is why is was so neat that she sent me the Bag of Knowledge, even if she didn't call it that).  Six sides, each with a Fibonacci-related image, and chock full of useful knowledge.  I got all of the photos from Flickr (gotta love the Creative Commons license), and it took forever to put it all together in Illustrator:

I won't show you all the sides, but here are a couple of my favorites:
The Greek Alphabet:

The Fibonacci Sequence Itself, spiraling out in a golden spiral:

(if you're not sure why a pair of rabbits is a fibonacci-related image, google "rabbits fibonacci")

Then there was the magnet set: "Remarkable Women in Mathematics".  This was the "small".  Hah! 

I got overly perfectionistic here: I was going to find pictures, and decoupage them, and be done with it.  But you cant find decent pictures of them on the internet, and its hard even in books.  And then I decided I wanted them all to have a consistent look.  So I drew them. In pencil.  And I dont draw that often, so it was a major challenge. All of the dead ones I took a lot of creative license  (except Hypatia, thats pretty much how everyone depicts her), but I think I did a pretty accurate job on the live onesIm particularly proud of Cheryl Praeger.

I spent a lot of time on her and Elena Piscopia:

(I wanted to have her chin on her hand, the way she is usually depicted, but I have a hard time drawing hands, so I gave up and erased it).  Then I scanned my pencil drawings, and photoshopped them to be colorful.  I spent so much time on this project, but since I did it all in photoshop, its like I get to send it and keep it, too!  I think I'll be making myself a set.  And here's the one that escaped from the set:

I won't post all seven of them, but if you want to see, they're in my Flickr photostream.

The Pi-rate bag is another thing that I'm going to make myself one of.  I saw it on a t-shirt somewhere in the internet (can't remember where, or I'd credit it).  You can see it really well in the photo sxyskeksis posted, so I won't post another.  But I will say that it was the first time I had done a freezer paper stencil on canvas, and the edges were more ragged than I was expecting, but fortunately that does work with the design.

And finally, I included a booklet full of math puzzles.  I know a lot of good ones, and typed them up, and then I padded it with some that I stole from the internet (usually I changed the names to protect the innocent-- or to make them more crafty, one of the two).  Here's the cover:

Sorry for writing a book, and that was a bit pic obese!  But I was really excited with all the stuff I sent.  Grin
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4  Re: The Science IS Art! swap gallery in The Swap Gallery by Raindancing on: May 15, 2008 09:24:44 PM
I received from sxyskeksis!

It's all so awesome, I want to take better photos tomorrow in daylight, but for now:

Group shot:

She handwrote what I have decided to call "The Bag of Knowledge":

(click the photo to get to my flickr, where you can really see all the detail)
The best part of the Bag of Knowledge is the fact that she included a bunch of quotes, including one that I mentioned my favorite professor always said:

Next is the fabulous Unit Circle Clock:

I almost wish the semester hadn't ended so I could hang it in my office and show it off to people right away!

And finally, and most fantastically, the most awesome topology craft ever in the whole universe:

I really need to take a better photo of this, it's amazing in person.  I'm hoping for a lot of sun tomorrow so I can get some good ones.

In the meantime, some closeups of the insanely cute ants:

Thank you so much, sxyskeksis!  I hope you like yours half as much as I love this!
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5  Re: The Science IS Art! swap gallery in The Swap Gallery by Raindancing on: May 12, 2008 11:12:41 AM
Well, drat.

Sxyskeksis and I agreed to a little delay in the swapping, but now it looks like I might not be able to make it to the post office today.

I lent my car to a friend so he could drive to Dallas and spend mother's day weekend with his mom.  But he still hasn't brought it back (I was supposed to have it "Monday morning" and it is officially well past morning) and he's not answering his cell phone.  I'm fixing to be officially pissed off.

I miss living near a bus route.  Besides not being able to mail my swap package, I'm starting to get some serious cabin fever.
edited to add a teaser for sxyskeksis:

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6  I've got a great fireplace... now I want to do the hearth! in Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions by Raindancing on: July 31, 2007 11:37:19 AM
But I'm not sure exactly what I want to do to it.

So here's what I've got:

And the original Completed Project thread is over in Glass Crafts, if you want to know more about the fireplace: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=180635

So, I want to cover the plain white tiles with more mosaic, but I can't really decide on a design.  Obviously, I want it to go together, but I don't think that necessarily means I need flames on the floor.

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7  Re: So I finally have a fire on my fireplace... in Glass Crafts: Completed Projects by Raindancing on: July 09, 2007 07:11:15 AM
Thanks guys! 

For some reason I feel compelled to point out that the black line along the inside of the fireplace isn't an excessive amount of black grout (although I did consider doing it that way), it's strips of black glass.  You can see it better in this picture:

I was playing with our new camera, and for some reason whatever flash settings this one was on made the color of the grout look really uneven in this picture, but in real life it looks pretty consistant.  Also, this was probably taken before the final clean up (either that or I just realized I missed a few places).

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8  So I finally have a fire on my fireplace... in Glass Crafts: Completed Projects by Raindancing on: July 02, 2007 06:38:17 PM
That's right, I said on.

Until recently, I had this ugly (or at least boring) thing for a fireplace.

So, over several months (I think I started last September or October) I built a fascade, and made myself this:

I'm much happier in my living room now.  We've only actually used the fireplace once in the last two years, so when my swirly design started to resemble flames, I thought that it when the perfect way for the fireplace to express itself since it never gets to perform its function.

For some reason I feel compelled to point out that the black line along the inside of the fireplace isn't an excessive amount of black grout (although I did consider doing it that way), it's strips of black glass.  You can see it better in this picture:

Edit to add the awesome photo from page four to the first page.
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9  Re: Feminism+totebag=strange looks at grocery store in Stenciling: Completed Projects by Raindancing on: May 06, 2007 08:30:46 PM
I thought you might like to see the gift you inspired:

I wanted to do something she'd use often, so I chose a black messenger bag, and I used pink for the stencil.

I'll give it to her on Wednesday-- here's hoping she likes it!
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10  A windowed gate in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Raindancing on: May 06, 2007 07:53:27 PM
So I finally decided to post a project I had done (even thoughn this is something I did several months ago).  During the winter, my dog had gotten bored and basically chewed her way through the gate.  When I finally had some time, I built a new one.  I wanted to build something that she couldn't chew through, and I decided to make it out of cedar instead of pressure-treated lumber in case she decided to try.  I also didn't want the same old Z-frame that everyone has.  So I stood around in Home Depot, reading a book on gates to get some ideas, and then went home and planned and built this:

There are 2x4's framing the edge of the gate-- she's not chewing through this baby!  But I don't think she has even tried.  She stands on her hind feet with her paws on the crossbar to look out her little window.  See the muddy pawprints? Smiley
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