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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Victorian Geisha Mermaid (PIC HEAVY) on: November 10, 2014 06:52:57 AM

After last year's unicorn costume, I decided that this year I'd be a mermaid. And not just a mermaid, but a Victorian mermaid!

It all started with the underskirt. I used this free trained skirt pattern as my basis, with some help from Yesterday's Thimble, Historical Sewing, and various diagrams and extant garments. It's made from a cotton bedsheet and a voile curtain and cinches closed with a snoopy ribbon. The now-filthy train is detachable.

The skirt itself is almost exactly the skirt with train balayeuse, but the back panel is divided into top and bottom. If I did it again, I'd make the train in two halves because it doesn't drape quite right. It's made from a really nice cotton sateen bedsheet overlaid with real fishing net down the back and interlined with poly-cotton broadcloth. The front is trimmed with a deep ruffle of fishing net covered in dollar store gems. In the second photo, all the trim is on, including custom dyed eyelet lace, metallic braid, metallic ribbon, and metallic net down the sides. You can just see the metallic "grass" around the train that's pretending to be seaweed. It cinches closed with tasseled gold drapery cord.

The overskirt is just a rectangle pleated on the sides with another rectangle gathered in the back. The outer fabric is this amazing drapery fabric lined with a green poly-cotton bedsheet. I added a green organza ruffle around the waistband and the fins are more organza set into polyester satin cones. The tail and fins are secured to the skirt with elastic loops on faux pearl buttons, and there's a lobster suncatcher hitching a ride. You also get a better view of the seaweed around the train. It cinches closed with a green scarf or sash I found at a second hand shop.

My crown was modeled on headdresses worn in central Asia, but I totally get why people said it has a geisha vibe. I started with a round dollar store place mat sewn to a headband and embellished it with shells, gems, pearls, fishing net, fake plant matter of various kinds, metallic grass, pearl trim and five tiny seahorse buttons. The back has clusters of green net sprouting more grass.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good shots of my shawl (Esjan by Stephen West), felted starfish purse (modeled on this one), or bra (inspired by maaany different rave bras on Etsy). I started spinning the yarn for the shawl last winter, felted the starfish purse a month early, and was still gluing things to my boobs while my fiance packed the car for our trip! Aw well, here's some full length shots, which include my crap-ton of necklaces and bracelets. I also dyed my hair pink, wore huge pink feather lashes, and glued teal feather lashes to my eyebrows and ears.

There's more progress pictures on my photobucket and a whole pinboard of inspiring mermaid stuff.
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fibre Friday - April 11 2014 on: April 11, 2014 09:14:17 PM
Hey, where's all the yarn??? Other than that stunning nut yarn, I mean :-P I've only got two finished yarns to show, all my others being still in progress. Feel free to check out my handspun projects over on Ravelry for random balls of not-yet-plied yarn (I have the same username over there).

Here's a fingering weight superwash I dyed myself as top. It should become socks for my fiance before next Christmas. Or it will sit in my stash looking pretty...

And this is the only picture that really shows off the colours of my first successful singles yarn, and support spun to boot! It turned out laceweightish, made from batts that reminded me of Japanese maples in autumn. I just let the fibre do whatever it wanted with minimal futzing over lumps. I had to knit with it right away :-P

What have you guys been working on?
3  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Wet Felted Tablet Purse on: March 07, 2014 10:39:30 AM
A friend's girlfriend saw my Phoenix purse while my tablet was living in it and told me she'd absolutely love one for hers. She has the exact same tablet, so the math was easy :-) With purple and blue being her fave colours, I dove into my stash and found some fluffy goodness. She was very excited for her early birthday gift, and now her tablet has a safe new home :-)

The base is white alpaca with dark purple shetland, lilac polwarth, and some random blue locks for the toppings. The button is a blue marble. The close up has the more accurate colours.

4  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Land of Ice and Snow (now w/ moar pix!) on: January 11, 2014 10:44:26 AM
I decided you can't improve a skill without using it, right? So when I was invited into the Spiritual Weaving challenge for January, I said "Self, you are weaving in January whether you want to or not!" So I wove this for the theme of "Land of Ice and Snow."

And some clickable minis of the details:

Quoting myself from Ravelry:

There is a LOT of angst in this project, especially the first half, because I was coming down from all the cray-cray of the holidays. As I was choosing my yarns, I envisioned a harsh and unforgiving wasteland. As I wove, this rocky landscape with snow-filled hollows emerged, with tufts of dead grasses breaking up the grey and white expanse. Finally I reached a place in my mind where I could appreciate the beauty of such a stark place, with more snow rounding out the harsh edges, more grasses promising a verdant spring, and icicles dripping from the rocks and catching the meagre light.

I used a variety of techniques, and tried a couple of new ones out. I did tapestry style inlay (the first of which I messed up), pile, side fringe, and I especially like my icicle beads. They're triangles cut from a water bottle with a hole poked by a candle-heated nail. The heat caused them to curl slightly, giving a more 3D effect.

Someday soon this tiny bit of yardage will become a zippered knitting/spinning tote. Here's the Rav project page for those interested.
5  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Mobius Scarf - First Loom Project (moar pix!) on: December 02, 2013 12:35:40 PM
Woohoo! I finished my first loomed project last night and I'm super proud of myself Cheesy I found the tutorial for this type of Mbius scarf on Ravelry. My boyfriend promptly adopted it. I used a variety of techniques I'd seen around, including insertions, clasped weft, double clasped weft, and a slit. The BF was confused by the slit Tongue Ravelry project page, for those interested.

Clickable minis:

6  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Restoring Lily Table Loom on: November 26, 2013 06:42:48 AM
YEAH!!!!! My first loom just came in the mail, and she's so beautiful! Hopefully you fibre lovers can help me out with some tips to get her going.

Everything that turns squeaks. Everything metal is oxidizing. No cracks or warping in the frame that I could see, and other than a front tie-on stick, I'm good to go. Specifically, all the shafts for the heddles are rusting. The reed and heddles just seem to be dirty, and maybe just beginning to oxidize.

So: beeswax for the squeaking wood? Mineral oil for the oxidized metal? Or should I just go buy a bottle of gun oil for the whole shebang?

Edit: loom pron.

So after work, I gave her a more thorough look. Apparently, I'm in for ride. The reed is rusting, the whole frame can torque, and some carp-face did a crappy job of lacquering it. That's what I get for being all excited by a pre-run-off-to-work once-over... I'm committed now, though, because I started taking it apart Tongue
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Glowing Golden Unicorn on: November 04, 2013 01:38:36 PM

I've wanted to be a unicorn for YEARS. This year, I finally went to town on making my own horn prosthetic, and I even made it glow! It's gentle flickering blew some minds, and finding out I'd made it myself blew them some more Tongue

I used several resources for how to make a gelatin prosthetic: a DIY here on Craftster, the basic how-to on Zombie Maker, and this YouTube video.

I don't have many in-progress photos, silly me, but here's my two part mold of the plasticine sculpt:

And here's my horn all painted up, and you can faintly see that it's glowing. This is after wearing it twice, so there's liquid latex eeeeverywhere.

And here you can see the LED from an electric tealight buried in the gelatin. I covered the battery with felt because it made my forehead tingle.

I also made a Hindi/Central Asian inspired headpiece out of a dollar store bracelet, craft chain and an old rhinestone earring.

Here I am all made up at our huge and awesome Halloween party!

And last, but not least, here I am with my boyfriend of 7 years, showing off my French-braid Mohawk.

8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Cat Under Moon - A Found-Objects Sculpture on: September 17, 2013 08:42:30 PM
I recently participated in a swap on Ravelry with a theme of "found objects." My partner likes mini-altars and saori weaving and other very cool New Age stuff, which was very inspiring. I didn't even know what this sculpture would be until I had my dining table littered with random bits and bobs I've picked up off the filthy, dirty ground Tongue

The base inspired the whole piece. It's actually the heel of a little girl's shoe. The wood piece I found in the back yard ("my" men never clean up after their projects...). The kitty is quartzite, the moon is either shale or sandstone, with a piece of mirror, a strange bit of metal and a shard from a broken plate serving to hide the joins and keep the sculpture stable.

9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fibre Friday - August 2, 2013 on: August 02, 2013 12:19:30 PM
I'm spinning my first sock yarn! I combined a rainbow merino/silk batt with a rope of rainbow merino/silk/bamboo top into rainbow rolags. I'm splitting each rolag in half, one half for each sock. Chain-plied on the fly, and I'm about a quarter of the way through.

What fluffy goodies are you guys working on?
10  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Phoenix Fire Purse - first wet felted object! on: July 21, 2013 10:30:11 AM
Using a combination of tutorials from around the web, I made myself this funky purse Cheesy It's a bit small, and didn't shrink around the resist properly, but I'm still very proud of myself.

The inside, straps and button are merino from World of Wool, and the outside is a mini envirobatt from Ottawa Valley Fiber called "phoenix," and I threw some peachy orange angelina (courtesy of a swap partner on Rav) on top because, hey, I love me some sparkle!

More pix and stuff on it's Ravelry project page.
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