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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / What to do with peacock feathers -- for my wedding? on: March 28, 2008 04:49:30 PM
We're having a vintage/art deco inspired wedding. Colors are black and white with peacock-y blues and accents of silver. We plan to employ black and white damask patterns/fabric (making my own damask table runners, for instance). Centerpieces will be in vintage milk glass vessels (varying -- I have a huge collection now!), surrounded by candles inside vintage cut glass wine glasses/goblets/punch glasses/etc (we'll either use tealights, or I'll pour my own candles into the glasses).

We'd also like to incorporate peacock feathers into a few places. But not too much that it looks tacky or overdone! So far, I've purchased sandalwood fans for the ceremony (to be placed on each chair), and plan to dangle a peacock feather eye and a tag with our monogram from the little hook on the fans. I'm also considering incorporating a real feather into our invitations somehow. Also, I'm considering tucking a small feather/eye into the napkin at each place setting.

I need help coming up with other ideas... thoughts?

The only other thing I thought of was making a display out of feathers that looks like the fanned-out feathers on a real peacock, and using that to attach our escort cards. But I haven't figured out how to really execute that, so ideas there would be greatly appreciated too!

Here's my inspiration board, btw:

2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Yay! I just finished my first Chelsea bag on: May 29, 2006 01:07:05 AM
I had wanted to buy this Amy Butler pattern for ages, and finally found a super price on Ebay. I used some home dec fabric from Joann's. I'll definitely make it again, although next time I'll probably put some binding around the inside edges of the handles (when you turn the fabric in to make the handles, it leaves these little fibers sticking out from the raw edges.) Also, the reversible/lining piece gathered a little when I sewed it to the exterior. So, next time I'll be more mindful of that. And, next time I might stick little magnets on the inside, above the handle hole, to allow it to close shut. Otherwise, it was a very easy pattern to make.

Here's the finished product, turned right-side and inside out.

Right side

Reverse side

3  New York / New York: NYC and Long Island / Taking a solo trip to NYC. Yarn stores? Other recs? on: October 28, 2004 12:26:32 PM
My company pays for me to come out to NY twice a year for the company picnic and the company Christmas party (they're HQed in NYC, but we have a satellite office of 2 people in SF).  The past few times I took my boyfriend, and one time we brought his mom along.  Since he's in the Police Academy, he can't go this December, and my best friend couldn't get the time off of work.  So, I'll either not be going, or I'll be going alone.  I think I'm just going to go alone.

I love to knit, and thought this would be a great opportunity to check out a few NYC yarn stores (since my boyfriend wouldn't enjoy that).  Does anyone have any suggestions of must-see yarn stores in NYC?

Also, are there any knitting groups that meet on Friday nights in NYC?  I tried looking up one of the SnB groups, and it appears they meet on Tuesdays.  If there's another group that will be meeting Friday, December 17th, I might want to pop in!

And if anyone has any suggestions about other good places to check out for solo travelers (restaurants, museums, stores, attractions, whatever) I'd love to hear them, too.  (I've done all the really touristy things, like Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building and such... so you can rule that stuff out).

Thanks in advance!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Mug Cozy, with tutorial! on: October 21, 2004 10:17:32 PM
Last night, while watching TV I decided to make a mug cozy.  While regular beer cozies, and coffee cup cozies are just knitted tubes, this had to be a little special because of the handle on the mug.  I spent only about an hour making this up.  It's fast, fun, and can use up small amounts of scrap yarn!

I used some DK weight scrap yarn I had, and a pair of size 4 needles (what was recommended on the ball).  You can use any yarn you like. 

1. Go into your stash and dig through the avalanche of yarn until you find something that tickles your fancy.  You won't need a lot of yarn.  I had a ball that was hand wound, and was about the size of a tennis ball.  I used maybe half of that. 

2. Pick a pair of needles that seems right for that type of yarn.  You don't want anything too big, because you want the final product to be cushy, not holey and thin.

3. Make a swatch!  I know, normally you skip this, right?  But this time you really should make one.  Nothing huge, and nothing fancy.  And you can cheat, like I usually do, by making a swatch, and either not binding off at all, or not completely binding off (and not breaking the yarn from the ball), so when you're done with your measurements you can rip the yarn out and use it in the pattern.  Your swatch doesn't have to be very big.  Just large enough for you to know how many stitches and rows you get per inch with the particular yarn and size of needles you chose.  Once you've knitted a small swatch, use a ruler (or a knitting gauge checker) to count how many stitches (horizontal) fit within one inch.  Then count how many rows (vertical) fit in one inch.  Write down these numbers.

4. Measure your mug.  Mine was about 10" around.  Most mugs should be about the same size.  But, if you have a particularly small or large mug, swap the 10" for your mug circumfrence.  Also, measure how tall it is, and how long and wide the handle is.  My mug was about 3 1/4 inches tall.  The handle was 2 3/4 inches long, and 1/2 inch wide.

5. Now for a little math.  First, you'll want to figure out how many stitches to cast on.  Take the number of stitches you got to the inch (in my case, I got 6 st/inch) and multiply it by 10" (or whatever the size of your mug is).  This gives you 60 stitches, which is how many you should cast on (if your yarn is like mine).  Then, multiply the number of rows/inch from your swatch by the height of your mug.  In my case I got 9 rows/inch.  So, I multiplied 9 rows x 3.25 inches, which equaled about 29 rows.  You can also just eyeball the height as you go along by measuring your progress up against a mug.

6. Cast on the number of stitches you calculated (i.e. 60 in my case). 

7. K2P2 for about a 1/4 of an inch (in my case, that was about 3 rows).

8. Bind off about 1/2" worth of stitches at the beginning of the next row. (in my case I bound off 4 stitches -- I kept the number a multiple of two, since I was working in a K2P2 rib, so I didn't end up with any single purl or knit rows.) K2P2 until the end of the row, in pattern.

9. K2P2 for about 2 3/4 inches (or until you have a "gap" about the length of the handle)  You should have a piece of fabric a couple of inches long, with a small notch that sticks out at one side, on the bottom.

10. Cast on 4 stitches (or the same number of stitches you binded off earlier).  This is best done at the end of a row.

11. K2P2 for about another 1/4 of an inch, including the bind off row.

12. Bind off in pattern (meaning K2P2).  Be sure not to bind off too tightly, as you need some "stretch" in the final piece to pull it over the mug.

13. You should have a rectangle with two notches sticking out on the top and bottom edge of one side.  Using the yarn tail, stitch the notch to the other end of the rectangle.  Then, using the other tail attached to the other notch, seam that to the other side of the rectangle.

14. Weave in your ends.

You should now have a tube with a rectangle "cut-out," running vertically in one section, big enough to slip the handle of the mug through.

Long directions (I'm a rather verbose person...), but easy and quick pattern to make.  And it's perfect for using up little bits of leftover yarn!

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Record CD holder on: October 16, 2004 11:40:22 AM
While browsing through the latest Readymade, I saw this: http://homeandplanet.com/productdetail/product_detail.asp?ProductID=121&ProcessType=1

I figured, hey, that looks easy!  So, I decided to give it a whirl.

However, like the perfectly round record bowl, it's not as simple as it looks.  After 45 minutes of melting, shaping, melting, shaping, melting, shaping, I came up with this.  It's not perfect, and I'm sure somebody here can do a far better job than I can, but I give up (for now at least)!

Some tips:  I used a box to fold the record across to try to get a sharp line.  However, the area with the label on it is harder to bend than the rest of the record, so getting a crisp line is a bit of a pain.  Also, I tried to fold it originally like it is on the homeandplanet.com site, but I couldn't get it to come out the same.  I didn't have so much excess record at the bottom to make the nice folded feet.  Maybe I just didn't try hard enough...

I may go back and do a little spot touch ups just to make it look better (I like to hold the edge I need to fix near the heating element in my stove, until it gets soft enough to manipulate).

6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / I'm looking for tips on painting with acrylics on canvas on: July 13, 2004 03:51:47 PM
I decided to try my hand at making some of my own artwork for my walls.  I bought some stretched canvas and some acrylic paints (in black & white, and also green and purple, since those are the colors I decorate with). 

I have never really painted with acrylics before, except in the 8th grade (which was more than 10 years ago).  So, I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers on painting with acrylics.  For instance, what sort of things I should be aware of (so I don't end up surprised).  Or, what kind of neat techniques I can use.  Or anything else.  Keep in mind I'm more or less a total beginner, so things that may seem "basic" to you, won't be to me.

Also, how far will one of those tubes of acrylic go?  Do they last a long time, or do you have to buy new ones often.  The tubes I got are about 4 oz, and the canvas boards are 16x20 (and I have 4 of them).  Will I need more than just a few tubes?

Thanks in advance!!!  Kiss
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / What to do with this cool barware set I found on: July 11, 2004 07:22:58 PM
I took a stroll over to the thrift store right by my apartment complex today.  While I was there I found this really cool barware set (I'm not sure if it's complete though, but these were the only pieces I could find).  I think it cost me about one dollar for all of the pieces.

I was thinking it would be cool to put them in a shadow box with a chess board in the background, and some other chess pieces I picked up while I was there.  And then I could hang it on the wall in my kitchen.

But, before I did that, I figured I'd see if anyone else here had any cool ideas for what to do with them.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Ideas for decorating an unfinished wooden box? on: May 24, 2004 12:33:15 PM
I knitted these really cool napkin rings from silver wire and green and gold beads for my boyfriend's parents last Christmas.  I was short on time, and told them that I would be getting them a box to put them in too.  I'm just now (!) getting around to doing it. 

I went down to Michael's yesterday, and found an unfinished rectangular wooden box with hinges on the lid. It also has an insert in the center of the lid that is engraved with a pretty flowery design.  It should be the perfect size to hold the napkin rings.

I'm trying to think of some ideas for how to decorate this box.  I could always just stain it, but since I haven't done that before, I'm not 100% sure how to go about it.  Plus, I'd like to do something at least a little more creative than just staining it.  Any ideas?
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Tampon Angel on: December 24, 2003 10:21:34 AM
Yes, folks, this one takes the cake.  

Looking for that perfect last minute gift for someone on your list?  Try making a tampon angel!

10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Christmas Tree Topper on: November 28, 2003 07:29:17 AM
This is my first Christmas in my own apartment, and my grandparents gave me one of their artificial trees last night (they had three, and setting them all up has gotten to be too hard for them).  It's just a 4-footer, but perfect size for my apartment.

I have plenty of ornaments (raided Target the day after Christmas for 75%+ off all of their Christmas stuff).  However, I realized I DON'T have a Christmas Tree Topper.

So, I'm trying to think of some crafty ideas for making my own tree topper.  My tree will be done in silver and gold.  Any ideas of creative ways to make a tree topper?  I was trying to think of things to do with stuff like CDs, microbeads, mosaic tiles, knitting, etc.  But I'm open to suggestions.
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