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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / no-sew blouse for hospital use. Or vacation! on: May 24, 2014 09:05:59 AM

-Here is a quick (once you adjust the pattern to yourself), super comfy, no-sew jersey blouse that has two good uses:

1) If you've ever been in the hospital with an IV or PICC line in your arm, you know that they never want to detach you ever, and those hospital gowns that display your posterior to the world are not God's gift to your self-esteem. Wouldn't you rather be wearing this?

2) One of the nurses told me she was planning to make one to wear on vacation. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Tute is available on my blog at http://cherisheach.com/2014/02/22/iv-blouse/ , but here are some photos to give you the general idea. The overall pattern is kind of a cross shape (with the sleeve sides narrower than the front-and-back sides), and a small neck hole (see top of post).

Don't worry, your back will not be exposed as in this pic--I just pulled up the back flap of the cross to illustrate how to tie the front flap in back.

Fabrics that work great: Fine jersey knit (a bit thinner than a standard t-shirt) with good stretch, good springback from stretch, and the color sort of showing on both sides. Of course, a fun print never hurts!

Fabrics that work ok (and would be good for a trial garment to fit to your body): knits that are about as thick as a t-shirt and are only printed on one side (with the other side white).

Fabrics that won't work at all: woven (vs. knit), rib knits, or slouchy sweatery fabrics.

I wash the shirts in lingerie bags to keep them from getting all tangled.
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Yes We Cane -- Glorious bulletproof walking cane decoupage! (tute) on: January 02, 2012 12:31:47 PM
Yes! We! Cane!

Should not tripping require a boring, stainless-steel, hospitally, soulless contraption?

No it should NOT, and with this bulletproof decoupage, my grandmas and my walking canes are fun, loud, and (figuratively) in your face!

More cane beauty shots, including closeups of the bendy parts and the orange paper rings on the red paper background:

Basic formula: fun paper glued on with Elmers, dried overnight, and sealed with half a tube of Loctite Stikn Seal Outdoor Adhesive (applied with cut up pieces of the clear plastic from the adhesive package). Easy and cheap! Might work on crutches/walkers too.

Detailed instructions if you want them:

1) Get a cane (mine was $25 online) and adjust it to suit the recipient (she or he has to try it out to see when it is the right lengthinstructions come with the cane). I wasnt completely sure on the canes pictured, so I had to leave room to expand or contract one notch, which was a pain and left a naked part on the cane. If you are sure you have the cane the right length, put a little glue under the screw-tight ring near the bottom of the cane, and screw it tight to help hold the cane the right length, and so it wont rattle. (Im not sure why this ring is necessary as the main way to make the cane the right length is the little metal bump that comes out one of the holes, but whatever).

2) Get some paper that is gorgeous, and not too thin (banana paper works, tissue might be iffy) or too too thick (the batik paper I used for the cobalt polka dot was a bit hard to glue down). The color will get a little deeper later on when you coat it, but wont change terribly much. Go for patterns that will look good on a canei.e., stripes that form rings, or small repeating patterns. You can also get rings by putting strips of one paper on top of another (as I did on the orange and red cane, using papers which each had a little visual texture).

3) Cut a strip a little wider than the circumference of the cane. (If you are going to apply stripes of a different paper, dont apply the stripes yet).

4) Using Elmers, glue the middle of your paper strip down the back of the cane (around the outer curve of the top bend in the cane).


5) On the bendy parts of the cane (A and B), cut the strip into a or so fringe on the sides.

6) Fold the top edge of the paper around the caneit will fall on the diagonal with two triangles of extra paper on each side. Dent where you should cut the paper with your fingernail, then cut the paper there.

7) On the top bend (A), apply Elmers to the inside of the flaps & smudge with your finger to distribute. Starting near handle, wrap flaps from alternate sides around the cane, keeping the paper hugging the cane as tightly and non-wrinkly-y as possible.

8 ) On the second bend down of the cane (B), glue some paper on the convex side of the cane so there will not be gaps when you glue the main strips paper fringe around the bend.

9) [If you had to leave room for adjustment (C), then fold the dry sides of the strips around the holes where the metal cane-length-holding bump comes out.

Indent with your finger, then cut little circles out there so that you can leave the holes clear. Then glue the paper down around the holey bit. Dont forget to leave some of the cane naked above and below the ring-that-tightens-your-cane.]

10) If you want to glue on rings of a different paper, as in the orange-and-red cane pictured, do that now.

11) After youve glued all your paper on, let dry overnight.

12) OUTSIDE, with a fan blowing gently from behind you to carry away all the fumes, and in a situation where you have good light, apply a sealing coat of Loctite Stikn Seal (Outdoor version). First, take the clear plastic that held the tube of Stikn Seal to the cardboard package; cut that up into 1 strips. Put on crafting gloves. Put glue onto the cane, a pea-sized glob at a time, and use plastic to spread over surface. Change bits of plastic when one gets too full of glue barnacles. Be sure to get a good coat or two over the outside of the top bend (A), as this is a high impact area for canes. Be sure not to miss any spots, as paper alone will not wear well. You may have to get your head fairly close to the cane sometimes to see; hence, the fan to keep the fumes from hurting your brain, liver, God-given ability to distinguish between Kardashian gossip and real news, etc.

14) Let dry overnight outdoors. If you spot a small bit you missed later, i.e. at the very bottom of the cane above the rubber tip (which is a part that gets splashed by puddles, etc.) you can patch it with Superglue.

ViolaYes! We! Cane!

P.S. Glue choice note: The Loctite looks sturdier than the Varathane I used on my earlier In-Your-Face Cane of Orangey-Red Glory https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=314630.0, and Im pretty sure it left the color clearer. The Varathane got a bit dingy after a few months, and was not durable enough to be washed repeatedly.

I also tried e6000 glue one time, which was more durable than the Varathane, but also dulled/yellowed the paper color more than the Loctite, took days to dry and stop outgassing fumes, and has a slightly glutinous/tacky surface.

I want to try Duco Cement in the future, as that looks as if it might have good durability, little color distortion, and a smooth matte finishbut it comes in smaller tubes, which might mean more time dealing with fume-y things.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / It's a Klein bottle AND a hat! Tute on: August 30, 2009 06:47:21 PM
A Klein bottle is like a Mobius strip, only with one more dimension. Just as a Mobius strip has only one side, a Klein bottle has only one surface - there is no inside!

I made this small Polarfleece version as a gift for a mathematically inclined friend, and then realized it would make a good hat (modeled here by Boc, my living room tyranosaurus):

I actually made a human-size version, but it is in darker fleece and so wouldn't photograph as well.

Here is a tute. I do not have a very steady hand at Paint, so pretend that all the wiggly lines are smooth curves outlining shapes with top/bottom symmetry. The basic pattern piece looks like an hourglass that has been stretched out so that one lobe is taller than the other:

Maybe the width doesn't actually have to be a whole 36". If each lobe has 6" or so of wide space for the head to fit into, that seems to be enough.

Because of the topographical properties of the Klein bottle, it needs only two seams (plus the optional dart, which makes the hat a nicer shaped cone). Don't make the narrow neck too narrow to yank the rest of it through in the unfolding process.

Also, because there is no inside, you should use a fabric that looks good on both sides. The raw edge will show on the neck, so best to use fleece or some other fabric such that a raw edge doesn't look too bad. I guess you could make it a fringy edge...

To accentuate the no-inside-or-outside part, I ran a ribbon along the length of it and tied it to itself as a kind of road map.

Come winter, I may start cranking out Klein bottle polarfleece hats with matching Mobius strip scarves. Thank you, Polarfleece!

P.S. The prototype in the photo doesn't have a raw edge showing on the neck because I messed up and had to cut, twist, and re-sew its neck (I hid the extra seam within the bottle). But for the larger version I did it the way the tute describes, and it works, honest!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / In-your-face cane of orangey-red glory! on: July 26, 2009 04:33:56 PM
The treatments that cured my cancer left me with a bit of a limp, so I use a cane outside to avoid tripping over my feet. Is this any reason why I should lug around a soulless stainless steel accessory with me for at least a mile a day? NO, it is not! Now I have this instead.

Muchas gracias, Rainee and other craftsters who answered my bulletproof decoupage question! Now I am ready to go flirt with the menfolk.

Here is my cane and my test object:

Here are multiple loving closeups demonstrating my love of orangey-redness:


My test object was a pie cover I got at the thrift store (now I need to get invited to picnics, and bring pie!). My materials were some great papers, some off-brand mod podge (under the paper), and two layers of brush-on Varathane Diamond Finish (over the paper). The test object made it clear that pieces of paper need to be cut, not torn, or the stray fibers will stick out in the air like little strands of Varathane-stiffened, dust-attracting coral.

I also put some rubber bands on the boring grey cane handle, but as the ones at the ends keep popping off, I will probably replace them with rubber bands over bicycle handlebar wrap.

There's just one problem I fell in love with the paper I started with, and love made me stupid.  I rashly used only two thin layers of Varathane on it, which is probably not enough to protect it from mud splashes. (On my test object, the third layer of Varathane made the paper darker than I wanted).

Should I put another layer on? Can I even do this without sanding it, which didnt work well at all on my test object? Is there some super-durable, super-clear tape I can wrap it with for mudproofing? Or should I just live in the moment and make another one when this one gets icky?

Thanks for looking!
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / bulletproof decoupage coating? on: June 18, 2009 09:31:41 PM
The cane I am walking with is BORING stainless steel, so I bought some great orange and red paper to decoupage it with. But it needs to be pretty resistant to nicks and to light water exposure - I am walking a mile a day outside with this thing, and sometimes it rains.

Along with the paper I got some PaperSource brand PVA, which I guess is sort of like the famed mod podge, and some Liquitex gloss medium and varnish. Neither of them says they're waterproof. Should I use one of them to attach the paper to the cane, then finish off with some clear Rustoleum varnish? I am happy to pay a bit more for quality materials, as I'd like this to last a while.

If anyone has ever decorated a bicycle (with paint or decoupage), that would be an ideal level of durability! Although I don't need to get quite that strong. Originally I tried to decorate it by applying a pattern with resist and spraying the rest with gold Rustoleum, but unless you look at it up close it still sort of yells "soulless hospital appliance." Of course I will sand it a bit before starting the decoupage.
6  COOKING / Dessert / Great Pyramid of Gingerbread on: December 25, 2008 04:51:23 PM
Don't know if this belongs here or on the miscellaneous board... my little sister and I decided that, instead of a gingerbread house, we'd make a gingerbread Egyptian pyramid. This is a somewhat rough-and-ready prototype - next year maybe we'll do it again with greater precision, and score lines to represent the join between stones.

Maybe Mary,Joseph, and the baby Jesus passed a pyramid during the flight into Egypt in Matthew 2: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=97249562! At any rate, this is in better Yuletide taste than the handmade "slaughter of the innocents" theme Christmas decoration my friend put up one year (see Matthew 2 for that one also).

Animal crackers, set into melted hard candy bases, repose under the shade of the melted-life-saver palms (which I described how to make here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=284060.msg3218293#msg3218293):

Random things we learned:

-Making a cardboard skeleton covers over a multitude of construction sins. We made a cardboard pyramid (with one diagonal internal support to prevent flexing - triangles are a very strong shape) and then covered it with waxed paper, to which we attached the gingerbread facing with icing that happened to be green. This allowed us to use gingerbread that is actually soft enough that we might want to eat it, and normal, yummy decorator icing rather than rocklike royal icing.

-If you want the same proportions as the Great Pyramid of Giza, you can make cut out 4 triangles which are 11 inches at the base and 9 inches high, and then lean them together. (I did the math). However, the finished pyramid won't fit onto a standard cookie sheet for display, so you might want to scale it down.

-Trim your gingerbread to its precise shape after it comes out of the oven, while it's still warm. But be more precise than we were here - we got it too small and had to fill in the cracks with fragments. Or maybe that's just the millennia of weathering?

-Speaking of weathering, as I put on my other post, melted-life-saver sculpture is awesome, but under highish humidity and upper-70s temperatures it progresses from sticky to downright melting in a couple days. Maybe it would last longer someplace where there was a discernable winter going on.
7  COOKING / Dessert / Life Saver 3-D sugar sculpture made easy! (tute) on: December 23, 2008 10:34:26 PM
I was surprised how easy it was to make 3-D sugar sculpture out of crushed hard candy - I started out 2-D but then was able to weld pieces together with extra blobs of melted sugar!

[CAVEAT: Looks like you'll want to store these in the fridge or something if you make them more than a day or so in advance - after 2 days in 78 degrees F and highish humidity, the thinnest palm tree dropped its fronds, and they all got quite sticky.]

I used the following method to make palm trees (to go with the gingerbread Egyptian pyramid my sister is making tomorrow, of course) but this could easily be adapted to an edible Christmas wreath. It took me about 90 minutes to make three palm trees.

Beyond the sugar trees, the lone and level sands stretch far away...

For a more traditionally Christmasy look, instead of assembling fronds to a trunk as below, you could put them onto a circular wreath substrate of melted hard candy, and add round red berries. The melted sugar has a cool glasslike effect:

1. Make your molds - I used nonstick aluminum foil (which can be hard to find - maybe normal foil would work too). To make the leaf shapes, I made a cardboard template and scrunched the foil around it (the brown oval at the right of the picture is the template, and its little leafy imprints already exist to the left, although they are hard to see). You can't get much detail beyond a general oval , but don't worry - later on you can prod the molten leaves with a toothpick to produce interesting shapes. For tree trunks, I made a furrow with the end of a pen. If you were making a wreath, I'd make a giant circle to be the base. Don't make more than 4 or 5 leaves on one piece of foil, as you want time to prod them all with a toothpick before they cool.

2. Double-bag your hard candy of choice in ziplocks, then crush it with a hammer (don't break your kitchen tile floor!)

3. Put each mold on a cookie sheet or something and load the mold indentations with crushed candy (for particularly large shapes, like a wreath base, I wouldn't bother to crush it).

4. Preheat your oven to 350 F and bake the molds for 4-5 minutes, staggered so they will come out one mold at a time. They are done when they look melty; if you leave them in a minute or two longer, they will start to brown in color, like the one in the middle in this pic:

5. When you take out each mold, use a toothpick to swirl the molten sugar into more leaflike shapes. Then let them sit until they are cool and hard enough to pick out of the mold. Put them on waxed paper (not onto paper towels, as they will be a bit sticky and would pick up a papery patina).

6. To upright trees, bake and cool the trunk first (purple + orange = brown if you swirl it with a toothpick). Then make a base by baking 3 adjacent life savers on a flat piece of nonstick foil until they start looking like a puddle. Remove from oven, stab puddle with the end of your trunk, and hold trunk upright until it hardens, several minutes (it will look solid before it actually is).

7. To attach leaves, first make an aluminum foil structure that will hold leaves in place (here, I used a cylinder that went around the trunk). Then bake a little pool of leaf color candy. Working quickly, dip the end of one leaf into the puddle (pulling out a blob half the size of a pea), then put the blobby end of the leaf onto the trunk, so that the leaf is resting on your aluminum foil support, so you don't have to hold onto the dang thing until it's cooled.

8. Clean up all the spare threads of sugar on your counter. Revel in your 3-D hard candy artistry! It's entirely edible, if a little sticky.
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Black and White and Recycled Spiral Ornament Whee! on: November 27, 2008 10:28:20 PM

Perfect for people who like books! Or people who like to look at print, even when they havent bothered to open a book! Great for Make Something Day!

This is inspired by Sojourners tute for cutting up your credit card into a star ornament (http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/?p=4047), but I ran out of extra credit cards and got tired of stars, so I started making spirals out of other plastic tofu boxes, yogurt containers, the packaging of a Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. Plastic is everywhere! And its fun to cut!

Then I decided to wrap them with strips cut out of The Economist, which would make this a very brainy craft IF I had read the stories first. Glue doesnt stick to the plastic so well, so I tore narrow strips of duct tape (easiest to do this directly from the roll), rolled them into spiral tubes, and bent a tube along the top of each spiral arm (see red arrow below). After that its easy to wrap with paper strips. Decorative dots, also cut from magazine, glue nicely onto the magazine substrate.


I tried putting some decorative stripes on another ornament, but wasnt as excited about the result. I am excited about the fact that these puppies flatten out for storage.

9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Frankenfelt purse (happily distressed) on: June 01, 2008 03:23:59 PM
Felted a bunch of thrift-store sweaters and made this small purse from a sleeve. The pieced strap looks kind of like a boa made from sock monkeys, but I like its character. (Lining, not shown, is tan linen.)

The button didn't originally look disheveled enough to go on this purse, but 5 seconds with an emery board gave it that lived-in look.

Frankie thanks you for looking!

P.S. Although I had all this felt to make purses for my cousins, I hadn't thought of making one for myself. (In college, my circle of friends disdained purses in favor of backpacks, and 15 years later I still took a completely utilitarian view.) Then a Bad Samaritan stole my old purse when I wasn't looking, thus indirectly ushering me into a new realm of craftiness.
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sweaters' purse-arific afterlife on: May 25, 2008 09:11:24 PM
Sweaters' purse-arific afterlife

A bunch of sweaters (from the fill-a-bag-for$5 phase of a church rummage sale)
+ multiple runs through the washer
+ iron-on interfacing to stiffen felt
+ acrylic yarn to sew it all together
+ a sewn-in lining and velcro closure
= hopefully cute purse!

As it's for a cousin in grade school, it's literally cute, or at least tricked up with pink yarn. What do you think? This is my first purse, so maybe my stitching will be more precise when I do the purses for the other cousins (but probably not, because the felt is kinda thick).

For the next purses, I'm thinking of using double-sided interfacing to just bond the lining directly to the outer layer (instead of stitching it on separately). Or would this be too lazy? What if my other cousins develop an intense need to carry sand or ball bearings in their purses?
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