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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Best quality clay overall/least cracking? on: February 22, 2012 09:35:40 AM
Hey guys...I tried to do a search on this subject and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I hope this hasn't been address already.

I make small figurine-type sculptures as gifts/cake toppers etc, and I typically use Sculpey III, just because of its low cost. However, I'm having a great deal of trouble with it cracking. I know how to keep cracking to a minimum, and how to repair cracks once they've been made.

But because I'm using a cheaper clay, I have to wonder, are other brands like Fimo stronger or less prone to cracking? Does anyone have any experience with the various brands being overall better quality than others?
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Mermaid! on: November 05, 2011 11:09:51 PM
I've wanted to go as a mermaid for Halloween for quite some time now, but this was the first year I was able to make it a reality! I think it turned out pretty spiffy...The only thing I didn't make or modify in any way is the tank top.

The full costume, on me:

A closeup of the 'seaweed' boa I made, out of yarn, scraps, and a couple of those bath poufs I unraveled.

The side of the complete costume, on my sewing dummy:

Closeup of the skirt.

Full view of front.

Closeup of the seaweed and seashell necklace:

Closeup of the seashell crown I made:



What the crown looks like when worn:

3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Need help with prizes for an 80's costume contest? on: February 23, 2011 09:37:22 PM
So my boyfriend's birthday is in May, and we both love the 80's. We're also both in bands and book shows for many of the local bands around here. So I figured for his birthday I would put on an 80's themed show. I'd like to hold a contest for the best 80's costume, but I need help deciding what I should give away? Basically I am on a very low budget, and the more things I can make, or buy cheaply, the better.

In the past when we've had contests, I usually put together a basket with candy (so 80's candy is a must, but I'm not sure what was popular back then?), and a mix cd (so an 80's mix cd is a must as well), but other than that I'm drawing a blank.

Any suggestions would be really helpful! Thanks!
4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Victorian "Derby Murder Mystery" Dress! on: April 27, 2009 09:18:28 PM
Hello all! I still consider myself somewhat of a sewing novice, because I've only made a handful of wearable things at this point. But my most recent creation is a victorian dress (my fourth victorian dress to be exact), created for a Kentucky Derby-themed murder mystery my volunteer group puts on every year.

Firstly, a purse I made to go with the dress:

I later added some beads to the bottom and a cameo to the front of it, btu haven't photographed it since.

The necklace I made to match; I made the cameo out of sculpey and used beads from two old necklaces and an old pair of earrings.

A closeup of the dress, along with a hat I made:

My sad attempt at an action shot:

Thanks for looking!!

5  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Odd advice needed...UFC-style belt?? on: January 04, 2009 11:45:54 PM
Hey guys! This is kind of an odd craft idea, but I suppose on this board, odd craft ideas are pretty common. :-) Anyway, some of my friends are very much into mixed martial arts, aka UFC and Pride fights. A couple of these said friends participated in a fight recently, and being the crafty girl that I am, I offered to make a belt for the winner (and the winner said that would be awesome).

Essentially, an official UFC belt looks like a wrestling belt...large and made of black leather, with a huge gold emblem in the center... http://thefullmount.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/ufc-belt.jpg

Since the boy already has a belt that looks like that, I am going to decorate it differently. But my main problem is, how should I go about making the belt (and cheaply, at that)?

So far all I can come up with is to buy a leather jacket or something like that at the goodwill, and then cut it out in the shape of the belt...should I sandwich some cardstock in between two layers of leather to give it some shape and stability?

And is there an easy/cheap way to make the belt fasten? I believe on the real belt, there are snaps on each end and it fastens in the back.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help! I look forward to everyone's suggestions!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Victorian-esque hat. on: September 27, 2008 10:51:53 PM
So I recently went to a theatrical supply shop in Cincinatti and discovered those nifty little buckram bases they have for hat-making. I decided to try my hand at a hat to go with a Victorian dress I made. I'm not entirely sure how period accurate the hat is, but I figure anything flamboyant a tacky probably works.

I am honestly a little concerned that it is maybe a little silly, because the one time I wore it with my costume, nobody really commented on it. So if anyone has any constructive criticism, it is more than welcome!

Thanks for looking!
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Need help with favor ideas...Pirate vs. Ninja. on: August 11, 2008 07:34:02 PM
Hey guys! My friend's 21st birthday is coming up and she wants to have it Pirate vs. Ninja themed. There's just one thing we need help with...party favors! The two biggest problems is that she/we don't have much money to spend on favors (so something simple but cute would work), and she wants to make sure it's something that can appeal to both pirates and ninjas (whether it's one thing that could work for both 'teams', or get two different types of favors).

I suggested to her that we just get a big chest, fill it with candy jewellery, ringpops, jolly ranchers, chocolate coins, etc, hand out booty bags, and let everyone take all the pirate booty they want...but that really only applies to the pirates. Ninja stuff is somewhat difficult to find!

Does anyone have any suggestions?

8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Shirring won't work? *won't stretch* on: April 21, 2008 06:13:52 PM
I really hope this hasn't been posted before, I tried to do a search and didn't really come up with anything.

I recently made an attempt at shirring, but it was unsuccessful...I bought elastic thread, wound it on my bobbin (not too tight, not too loose), set the stitching at about 8 stitches per inch, and began sewing. But...it doesn't sew. The machine acts as if it doesn't have any thread...the needle goes up and down and puts holes in the fabric, but doesn't sew any thread into it.

The elastic thread seems really thick (I bought it at walmart, it is white elastic with a thread/cloth like coating, like what you string beads with)...I don't know if that has anything to do with it...Does anybody have any suggestions? I'm kind of a novice sewer, so I don't really know how much info is needed to figure out what I'm doing wrong...if there's any specific details needed, let me know and I'll try to answer as best as I can.

EDIT: Ok, so I adjusted the length of stitches...now it does catch the elastic thread, but I have a new problem...it won't stretch, like, at all. I sewed about three rows with the elastic, but it doesn't stretch at all. It's as if I just sewed it with regular thread. I've tried the tension, the stitch length, etc etc...does anybody know what might cause this? Could I be winding the bobbin too tightly or too loosely?
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / I have never really sewn before... on: April 17, 2008 12:54:55 PM
I've only made one or two skirts (that were actually wearable)...but I am in a Victorian murder mystery, and needed to make my own dress because I am a bigger girl, and the only costumes available at the mansion are itty bitty, or made out of a curtain (yes, seriously, made out of a curtain). So I took apart my too-small, too-old, and too-worn out Victorian gown, and made a pattern from it, enlarging it slightly to fit my belly and such. It took probably about a month or so to make, that includes taking apart my old dress, making a muslin test garment first, and sewing the final dress. There are a lot of mistakes, but I'm really proud of myself, and I think the mistakes are only noticeable if you really look close and look at the inside of the garment, the stitches, etc. Here it is!

10  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / I need help with movie-related costumes! on: February 27, 2008 12:55:00 AM
Hey guys! There is an art show at my local video store in a couple months, and it's movie geek themed! I'm really excited and am hoping to have some of my sculptures in the show. The thing is, there is a costume contest this year, and I am pretty clueless as to what I should go as. I do have some ideas, but they either don't really stand out, or they are somewhat hard to accomplish. My favourite idea so far is to go as the mom from the zombie movie 'Fido', but the problem is I don't think the costume would work without a Fido, and I can't find anyone to play him.

My other thoughts are Miranda July's character in "Me and You and Everyone We Know", Janeane Garofalo's characters in either "Mystery Men" "or "Wet Hot American Summer", or possibly even Olive from "Little Miss Sunshine".

But, like I said, except for the Fido one, I'm not too terribly fond of any of them. I was wondering if any of you guys could come up with any ideas? The problem is that I don't look very much like any actors or actresses...I would REALLY love to go as some character from a movie from the 50's or 60's, or to go as a zombie.

For reference, here are some pics of what I look like...there is also a link to my myspace page in my sig in case anyone wants more. I currently have a green streak in my hair, but that can be coloured or whatever if it doesn't go with the character.

Thank you in advance to anyone with any ideas! You have know idea how much I appreciate this!
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