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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Chair for Baby Room!!! on: March 16, 2012 02:56:55 PM
My husband had an old lazy boy rocking chair that has seen better days.  First, the color doesn't go with anything. Second, my cat used it for a scratching post.  Love the cat, hate what he does sometimes.  But, the chair is really quite comfy!!  We had it around still, so I thought that I'd try to make a slip cover for it so that we'd have a chair to use during feedings or when we rock the baby.

Here's a before:

And after:

Fortunately the chair is pretty forgiving.  I could tuck the cover into the seams/gaps between the back and arm rests.  That allowed a little extra maneuverability.  The seams inside the cover aren't very pretty.  I would like to double stitch them and apply some no-fray glue stuff.  I would imagine its only a matter of time before the baby hurls and stains the fabric.  We'll want to wash it now and then.  The seat cover is lined, that fabric was heavier and frayed more easily.  There is a spot or two that I'll have to hand stitch.  I had difficulty navigating where all the different pieces would come together at a curved point.

My technique probably wasn't 'proper', but I think it turned out okay.

I have a footstool that I'd like to make a cover for.  I registered for a gliding footrest, so I might hold out and see if I receive that.  That'd probably look a little nicer.  The footstool that I bought isn't as pretty, but it was only $5.  With a matching cover, it'd be okay!

Here's the chair and part of the nursery:

The cats have always liked this chair.  I constantly had to kick them out of it so that I could redrape the cover and pin pieces/check the fit.  The chair was in place for less than 5 minutes and my cat Pixel was in it.

I also made the book rack that you can see behind the chair.  I think that I saw it on pinterest, or maybe somewhere on here.  The example used wooden rods and double curtain rod brackets.  I found this decorative double curtain rod set at Wal-Mart and sewed the pocket for the books.

I might make a pillow that drapes over each arm rest...  instead of a boppy, the chair would just have extra padding.  We'll see how ambitious I get.  I'm due next Tuesday, finished the cover yesterday and am pretty tired today.  If the baby doesn't arrive this weekend, I'll probably work to clean up my craft room after this project.  And, I suppose, the rest of the house.

Thanks for looking!
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Birdhouse Lamp on: January 09, 2012 05:44:24 PM
So here it is!  I blended a couple images together to try to show how it glows and the texture of the lamp.  It actually glows pretty well.  I've had some difficulty trying to show it in a photo.

3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Birdhouse Lamp Progress: Input on Roof on: January 04, 2012 07:24:12 PM
I'm liking how the birdhouse is turning out... though I'm not sure if I've picked the best approach to the roof.

I am trying to go for sort of a whimsical look.  I was trying to figure out something that would let light through the top.  I had considered just lining sticks up and letting light come through the cracks.  Hubby is thinking that may be better... at least with what he pictures in his mind.  I'm not sure yet.  I want whimsy, but not pile o'junk either.  I guess I thought that if a bird were to build a house with glass in the walls, they might weave other items together to make a roof.

I plan still to paint the exterior.  I am thinking warm neutrals/cream/golds/browns/whites that would compliment the cool tones of the glass and canaray.  I planned to use a sponge brush to build textures.

Or I might use a palette of greens/blues/hint of brown

What do you think of the project thus far?

I used some of the wire mesh and wove plastic through it to create the windown panel.  I  plan to do the same for the other side.  That was also part of why I thought weaving plastic might work for the roof.  I really like the windows, the roof might be a bit much.

I hate that point of a project where it could still turn out really cool...  but only if you don't make the wrong color/technique choice.  Cheesy  I'm enjoying the project...  Just proceeding slowly at this point.

Edited to add:  I was thinking about the project last night.  I thought perhaps I could combine the two ideas...  I may go out in our grove of trees looking for the smallest twigs I can find.  If I soak them in water, I may be able to weave them through the twig frame.  Then I might selectively weave a few strips of plastic through that for a compromise of sorts.  I don't know if that would work out to be what I'm aiming for either.
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Epic Fail. Birdhouse in your soul project. on: January 03, 2012 08:10:48 AM
Second attempt is looking much better!!

I made a form from cardboard, wrapped it in aluminum foil.  I used a thin layer of clay, layer of wire mesh and then a thicker layer of clay.  I cut spaces for the glass out of each layer.

I managed to get the middle support out without busting up my piece, so I'm very happy!

The inside of the piece is not smooth, you can see where different layers of clay were applied.  That won't be seen by the general public, but it still bothers me. Cheesy

We have some mud that a person would use to patch dry wall.  I wonder if I could 'paint' a layer of that on the inside of the bird house?  I may use a bit of it to add a little texture to the outside of the piece.

The clay on the outside did discolor, but I kne that it probably would.  It doesn't bother me since it will be painted.

I have to lightly sand the doorway so that I can fit my resin piece into it.  That space shrunk a little bit. I should have cut a piece of cardboard and wrapped it with foil.  I could have inserted that to hold the shape too.

I just have to make the roof (I think that I'm going to use a few twigs... but I'm not sure in what way and what else I may add to it yet.)

I also haven't determined the color scheme for the piece yet either.  I suppose blues/browns/greens/creams to go with the glass.

I'm taking photos of the progress.  Will share later.  Thanks for the advice that you all shared!!
5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Epic Fail. Birdhouse in your soul project. on: December 22, 2011 05:25:02 AM
The very first two photos were Kato.  The structure being weak due to all of the seperate parts makes sense.

I didn't use any boxed Sculpey.

Attempt #2 is currently in progress.

I made a cardboard internal form to build the clay around.  I made a thin base (number 5 setting on pasta machine) and made the initial panels, cut openings for the glass.  I've been working thin guage wire around the project and through the spaces between the cuts.  I was thinking that I'd do another layer or so in this manner.  I haven't been able to keep going because of Christmas preparations and I'm out of clay.

I did coils in the first piece.  This time I'm making solid panels and will add decorative coils on top of the clay and work them around the glass.  Whole panels should hold up better than the previous attempt.

I'll be sure to let the raw piece sit for a day or so to allow the layers to meld together according to your suggestions.  I'll be more careful to measure the thickness of the piece to make sure that it is baked for 15 minutes, or whatever the appropriate time ends up being.  And, I'll let it cool in the oven before I touch it.

My piece before had crumbled before I even opened the door.

I don't mind having to paint the piece.  I plan to anyway.  I noticed that Sculpey does discolor.  I haven't decided what color to choose, but it won't end up being white.

Thank you for your tips!!!  Merry Christmas to all of you! 

6  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Epic Fail. Birdhouse in your soul project. on: December 19, 2011 05:40:02 PM
I was mistaken, I used Kato polyclay in the first photo.  And I used Sculpey III clay.  Thanks for the tips.  I've built a cardboard form, planning to form panels around that.  I thought if I do a solid base layer, cut out the spots where Id like the glass.  Then I thought if I used thin wire to create an armature to put a second layer of clay on top... Maybe that's help add structure.  If I add coils around the glass bits and perhaps glue them post baking/cooling to add support, would that work?

It's a busy week for every one.  Diane, hope you got your errands done.  I didn't manage to get cards out in time.  :-(

Thanks for brainstorming with me!
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Epic Fail. Birdhouse in your soul project. on: December 18, 2011 07:10:36 PM
Thanks Diane, I will try to read more of that information more carefully!  Translucent clay might be good to make the roof. 

I was using an oven to bake the clay.  I warmed up the oven and then put the items in, baking them at the suggested time.

At the end I stood them up and tried to join panels together with a rope of clay.  So, the piece was freestanding in the oven.
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Epic Fail. Birdhouse in your soul project. on: December 17, 2011 03:01:57 PM
I've spent quite a few hours trying to put together a lamp that will go in our baby room.  I've been baking panels and then today I was joining a few together so that I could build up the structure piece by piece.  That's the point where the clay gave out and fell in on itself.  Previously baked pieces toppled and broke into multiple pieces.

The front and back main panels are fimo.  There wasn't enough Fimo at Hobby Lobby, so I had to buy Sculpey when I went back.  I believe that FIMO fires hotter, so I thought that adding secondary sculpey pieces might work.

Here's the rear panel flat:

Here it is with light behind it:

I used a coil method, like a person would use to make a coil pot to wrap clay around the glass bits.  Maybe that reduced the structural integrity.

Here's the front and rear panel lying flat side by side.  I would say the panels are around 1/4 inch or less.

Here's the crumbled mess.

It occured to me that perhaps I should have built an armature/structure of sorts.  Though on Diane's page discussing gingerbread houses, some people mention being able to bake panels and then join them with clay joints... which is what I thought that I did.

I was able to pop the bits of glass back out, I'm glad.  They're bits that we picked off of the beach in Hawaii.  I didn't want to have to toss those away.

I will probably build a foil covered cardboard interior to form four sides around and will lift it out before I make a roof.  Maybe I will hotglue the roof on instead of baking those pieces together.

Fortunately, my resin insert turned out.  I was saving that to the end anyway...  So we will see.  If there is something else that I should consider, I'm open to it...  Some night I'll start in on making an insert and possibly a permanent armature to be baked into the clay as well.

For fun, here's the resin piece:

And the front panel with light coming through, including the resin piece.

9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 62 ENTRIES / Re: Patchwork Planet (4 biggish pics, lots of thumbnaily ones) on: May 05, 2011 07:55:39 AM
I find it amusing that you said minimal amount of work in your post.  Fantastic idea for a project!  Well done!
10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 62 ENTRIES / Earth Light Stencil and Star Trail Photograph on: May 05, 2011 07:50:05 AM

I wanted to do a photography project.  I like to do light stencils and long exposure images.  So, I decided to submit a photograph.  But I DID do some crafting.

I often use tissue paper to make my stencils.  The earth is made out of fused plastic hobby lobby and hyvee bags.  I thought that would add to the earth day inspiration for this project by using some found materials.  I had some difficulty getting the earth to be accurate...  I sketched this view as compared to a photo that I found online.  North America maybe should've been a little smaller to allow for more of South America to be included.  That might have been more accurate.  I kinda doing a free form plastic fusion. 

I was really doubtful of the project as I was working on the stencil, but I think that it turned out.  I worked on this project on Earth Day itself, the skies were cloudy that night so I couldn't do the photo.  I had to wait until the night after.

I used an embroidery hoop (picked up at a second hand store) to hold the stencil and taped it to a light stand so that it would be at the same spot and not move.  I put colored gels (plastic film) in front of a flash light in order to add more definition to the stencil.  Blue light behind the water areas, green behind the land masses.

If you do a long exposure outside at night, the earth moves but the stars stay still.  It will depend on the computer, hopefully you can see the star trails in the sky.  I was pointed toward the north, so the stars make a large circular pattern.  I looked at this photo on an ipad, the sky was really dark.

The white dot above the earth was me turning a flashlight on and off.  I intended for it to be a moon, but I didn't hold my hand still enough.  So, the spot is wonky.

In the background is a red circle.  I originally planned to make the whole solar system and realized that would take a crazy long time.  So, I made one planet type form.   It too uses fused plastic, and I also put strips of tissue paper in the mix.

I made a light box to put that stencil on.  Its a rubbermaid type storage tote.  I spray painted the inside white to reflect light, outside is black to make it light tight.  I cut a hole on the outside so that I could stick the flash head in it.  I did attach this to a stand as well so I could figure out the specific spot for it to appear in the photo.  I added a red film to the flash to make sure it was colored like I thought I'd prefer.

There are all sorts of ideas for DIY photography projects at www.diyphotography.net  Its a good place for lots of people to share their spins on a tool or idea.

I usually wear black so that I don't show up in a photo.  However, some light reflected off of my face.  You can see me in the image in a couple spots.

This image is mostly right out of camera.  I tweaked the brightness and contrast a little bit.  We are in rural South Dakota, but still have some light pollution from near by towns.  I had to tweak the sky a little to make the stars show up.  I can see them on this computer, hopefully you can see them on yours.  I made the sky black and white to improve the contrast too.

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