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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Knitted Knockers... The Crochet Version on: September 03, 2018 05:27:10 PM
Several months ago, I ran across some information about a crochet version of the Knitted Knockers (knittedknockers.org) for women who have undergone a mastectomy. I ended up buying 3 kits, but then they sat until I had time to start them. I tried while on a bus trip in early June, but messed it up somehow, and didn't have the patience to try again until recently. They're actually very easy (and probably quick for someone who crochets faster than I do). From one skein, I was able to make one pair knockers, and there is plenty left... I could make at least one more, and maybe two if I made the back a different color.

I was happy to discover that there is a woman in my area who sends them to women in hospitals in my city. I'd rather give to someone local than send them halfway across the country.

There is an opening in the back for stuffing, but that's up to the recipient. They're made out of cotton yarn, so the stuffing can be removed and they can be washed, as needed.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Dragonfly Sharpie Tile Coasters on: August 31, 2018 08:02:58 PM

After I posted a photo of my Sharpie collection in another project post, several people commented that I could make a heck of a lot of Sharpie crafts, so I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to know if I could use a vinyl shape as a way to create an image on the coaster. I did a practice coaster the other day to see if it would work. It did, so I did it 8 more times Smiley

I used my Silhouette to cut out a dragonfly (I just used white Contact paper), and stuck one on each tile:

Then, I colored all over the tile with the Sharpies:

Next, I dripped 90% isopropyl alcohol all over them (I didn't have a dropper, so I soaked a cotton ball and squeezed drops all over the coasters).

And then, once they were dry, I hit them with a coat of acrylic sealant. I'll be adding felt to the back of them soon. I"m offering up a set of 4 as a raffle prize in the Nerd Games, and the winner can choose their 4 tiles, and the color of felt for the backing.

3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / The True Book of Money Journal on: August 31, 2018 07:30:11 PM

I used to work in an elementary school and the library staff was culling the book collection. When I saw this book in the discard pile, I knew I wanted to turn it into a journal. That was 10 years ago...

But, I finally decided to tackle the task.

I decided that my money journal should have ledger pages, so I ordered a couple of ledger pads from Amazon.

Then, I cut out the pages of the book, and cut the cover in half along the spine (I did that part on the paper cutter).

Next, I trimmed the ledger pages down to size. I ended up losing the first column of the ledger sheet, but it should still be fine.

The inside!

I haven't decided what to use it for, yet. Maybe I'll start investing and use it to keep track of my millions! Cheesy
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Fish Tank Terrarium on: August 31, 2018 05:36:58 PM

his 5-gallon hexagonal fish tank had been in my mom's attic for years, and when she sold her house, it ended up on my porch. I decided to make it into a terrarium to keep on my desk at school (in the hope that I can A) Keep them alive if I see them every day and B) Keep my desk neater, since I can't pile stuff on the terrarium).

First, I had to clean it out. There was at least one dead spider in there, plus bits of debris from when my mom had a new roof put on her house:

I picked up most of my supplies (plus the plants) at Home Depot. The dinosaurs are from when my former principal donated his sons' old toys to our school's winter flea market. I got to pick through the pile of them before they were added to the sale.

Next, I had to add a layer of aquarium gravel (1 bag did the trick):

Then, I added a layer of activated charcoal:

Followed by a layer of spaghnum moss, to keep the soil from sinking into the charcoal.

Then, I added in the soil and my plants (I put in 7 plants total... 6 types, but I used two of one of them).

I brought the rest of my supplies home (including the extra dinosaurs) so I can make another one in the big hexagonal fish tank I have (which was also in my mom's attic).

5  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / You Matter T-Shirt on: August 31, 2018 05:00:10 PM
I keep seeing ads for these shirts all over the internet, and while I love them, I knew I could make one...

I decided to limit the front to just "You Matter." I teach science at a middle school, and I thought it would send a great message.

And, then on the back, total science geekery!

Most of my students didn't get it, but many of my colleagues did. Smiley
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Defy Gravity Wall "Art" on: August 30, 2018 05:07:48 PM
I absolutely love the musical Wicked. I bought a shirt when I went to see it once, but they were out of my size, and the one I ended up with didn't quite fit (I thought it might...). I had intended for this to be a shirt with the words "Defy Gravity" on the front, and the song lyrics on the back. But, in my haste to select the perfect color of green glitter vinyl, I neglected to notice that the vinyl wasn't HTV, just regular adhesive vinyl.

So, I grabbed a cheapo (97 cents) can of spray paint and a 10" X 10" blank canvas I had, and used that instead. And, I will never buy this particular vinyl again. It came with a sheet of extra strong transfer tape... which wouldn't lift the glitter vinyl off the backing, and then wouldn't release the glitter vinyl onto the canvas. And, it peeled up a bit of the paint, too.

I was going to hang it in my classroom for inspiration, but then I was afraid that some students might interpret it as breaking rules, and not as challenging themselves... I may change my mind once I get a sense of what my new batch of 6th graders is like.
7  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) and Art Abandonment / My First Crochet Covered Rock on: August 30, 2018 04:46:15 PM
Every time I see pictures of neat little collections of crocheted rocks, I think, "I want to make those!" Well, I finally gave it a try, and while it's not 100% perfect, it's okay for my first go, and I learned a few things...

The pattern I used was from here, but I also checked out these sites for inspiration, as well: here, here and here. Once I find some bigger rocks, I'll be trying some of those techniques.

I wasn't sure how I'd like it, so I bought some cheaper crochet cotton. I didn't have the recommended hook size, so I used the next size up, since I crochet tightly anyway.

The pattern is done in 2 parts- the heart and the mesh- and then those are stitched together:

I ended up not using all of the rounds of the mesh, because my rock was smaller than a bar of soap. Also, I had to fuss with the back to get it to stay connected, so it's not the prettiest on the reverse side.

I've left it as an Abandoned Art project, but I don't have a photo of it in place (in a restaurant bathroom) because my phone battery was dead. I only have the photo of it packaged up...

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crochet Journal on: August 25, 2018 08:46:12 AM
So this isn't exactly a completed crocheted project, but it's a project related to crochet, so I thought this was the best spot for it (but if it should be moved, let me know Smiley ).

A while ago, I saw an image online of a crochet journal that was being kept as part of a bullet journal. I'm not usually into journaling, but something about this one struck me, so I decided to order some supplies.

My journal isn't nearly as beautifully done as the inspiration photo, but it's a good start for me. My first project is my temperature scarf, which I started in mid-January. I've added in 2 other projects I hope to do this weekend, and I'll be going back through my posts to add in any other completed crochet projects I've done this year (sadly, that number is very low).

One mistake I made is that I used Sharpies as my pen of choice, and they bled heavily through the page, so I have to have a set of blank pages after each project. Some of it even bled through slightly onto the next page! So, I'll need to stick a piece of cardstock in between the pages to keep that from happening.

I bought the stencils, but I haven't used them much. Once I get into the habit of using the journal, I can have a bit more fun with the page design.

I do have several long-term projects that I'd like to keep track of, and I think the act of actually marking a part completed will help me get them finished. At least, that's what I'm hoping because, as you can see, I haven't gotten very far on my 2018 temperature scarf. Seeing it in print makes me want to work on it!
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Adventures with Acrylic Paint Pouring on: August 21, 2018 10:16:59 AM

My sister and I had planned a trip to Quebec, but it fell through. Since we both had the weekend free, we thought it would be fun to try a technique that was new to the both of us. We hit the dollar store for most of the supplies (based on this video), dug through my sister's rather large collection of acrylic paints, and got started!

I wanted to make a little series of pieces that would match my bathroom, so I picked a series of colors for that:

I poured a little of each into a little paper cup, and thinned them all with a bit of Mod Podge (per the video I linked above). I then added some 3-in-1 oil to each cup and stirred it in.

Next, because I had 3 little canvases, I poured layers of each color into 3 separate cups (1 cup per canvas).

Then, I poured the contents of a cup onto a canvas, tilting the canvas to get coverage (the paint brush was for spots I missed... although there are still a few places that ended up with the white canvas still showing). We used wax paper lined cookie sheets, and cookie racks from the dollar store. My cookie rack was a little warped, but I had also bought a level (again, at the dollar store), so I used some popsicle sticks as shims to level the canvases out.

We left them overnight to dry (while we made cheese), and this was my first result:

We got a bit of cracking (called "crazing," I learned) and realized that we had A) probably used too much paint and B) dried them too quickly. And, if you notice, we didn't get any of the cool "cells" that we expected.

We did a little more research (using this video {we learned how to get cells}, this video {we learned what "crazing" is} and this video {we learned how to slow the drying to recuce crazing})

We made a trip to Home Depot to get some butane for my sister's torch, and picked up a spray can of silicone-based lubricant.

We also learned that you should use only a few colors, so I did my next set with only 4 (again, trying to get pieces that I could use in my bathroom):

I ended up with some decent cells, and 2 pieces that will go really well with my guest room!

But, while we got some really neat cells, we still had some cracking (we hadn't watched the last video above, yet).

I headed back to my sister's the next weekend, and we had time to try it again.

This time, I didn't bother trying to match the bathroom, and went very far afield from my usual color palette (cooler tones):

And, this time, my sister had some matte medium that we used, along with water, to make a pouring medium that we used to get our paints to a pourable consistency.

For this last set, I just used one cup, and poured multiple layers of each color in the cup. Then, I did the 2 pours from that. I think I went back to the first canvas (the one on the right) with some dribbles that were left in the bottom of the cup, which gave me that dark blob.

For this set, we reused the canvases that my sister did in the first 2 sessions (she hated her color choices), and we put them in the bathtub in the guest bathroom, and covered the tub with plastic trash bags in an attempt to have them dry more slowly. This set ended up with the most cracking. I'm sure that it didn't help that temps were in the 80's and 90's and it was humid as heck.

We ran out of canvases, but we're definitely going to be trying this again. I think I want to try a bigger canvas- it might help me get a thinner layer of paint. I have a couple of other ideas I want to try out, but I think we'll wait for cooler weather!
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Mojo Bags X 6 on: August 21, 2018 09:10:09 AM

After making my first "Mojo Bags" (here), I thought it would be a fun project for my mom, my aunt, and I to work on together. We got together at my aunt's house at the start of the summer and worked together (I did the cutting and sewing, and my mom and my aunt did the pressing, pinning, etc....all of the fussy stuff that I don't love to do.) to make the 6 bags. Unfortunately, I had misplaced the purse frames (I just found them last week), so we couldn't do the last step together.

These are my 2 completed bags:

I had to buy one more purse frame for my second bag, and I also bought them in 2 other sizes, so as soon as I get the dimensions for the fabric down, I'll be making a few more!
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