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31  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Felt Cactuar Plush on: February 08, 2008 06:13:27 AM
Disclaimer: I have never played Final Fantasy, so I know nothing about cactuars in their natural habit. I just found a picture of one several years ago and thought it was  cute and funny, and have liked them ever since.

I successfully made some felt stuffies a while back (pictured below), and I'm hooked. So this is just the latest. What next? I need something simple and geeky. I'm open to ideas!!

Look at 'im go!

Now the other way...

Cactuar and Friends

Just playing with the light...

Still playing...

And...last one!

And poor cactuar got a taste of being poked himself - I accidentally got a bit aggressive with the chopstick I was using to rearrange his stuffing! ^_^; Again, must make more...ideas, please...
32  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Need Ideas for Children's Home Monthly Craft Day on: February 02, 2008 09:46:09 AM
Just for reference, I'm located in Wichita, KS. Smiley

Okay, I've given a longer explanation below, but what I need from you fellow Craftsters are ideas for organizing crafts for kids ages 14-18 who are in a children's home - both girls and boys. The girls are easy, but the boys have me completely stumped. Can you all give me ideas?

I'm afraid I don't yet have any guidelines on budget or time, so right now I just need any and every idea you can throw at me. Even if you think it's lame, it might spark an idea for someone else, so please, please share! If you know of any web site references I could look up, please post those as well.


Okay, now for the unnecessarily lengthy backstory. Smiley

My boss is involved in Rotary, and they have worked with a children's home in our city. The home houses children who are taken by the authorities when it is deemed best to remove them entirely from their particular situation; once at the home, they wait for foster or adoptive parents. I haven't heard any of the details, but these kids have had it really, really tough.

Some time before Christmas, my boss's group was doing a craft day for them. They took their pictures and put them in frames, which the kids then decorated with foam snowmen and snowflake glitter and the like. They also each made their own Christmas tree, which were about 6 inches tall. They then put the frame and a card in a gift bag - the idea was that they then had a gift ready to give someone, and each had their own Christmas tree. I was really impressed at the way they turned out. Anyway, my boss was originally having me make a sign-up list for the event. I of course asked about the details, because...well, crafts! ^_^ I offered to help out, and had a really great time. I even overcame my embarrassment of wearing a T-shirt (all the Rotarians were dressed rather nicely or in Christmas sweaters) when lots of the kids recognized Larry the Cucumber on my shirt. I may be 26, but I'm not completely out of touch with what's cool - or at least that's what I'd like to believe, ha ha! Smiley

Apparently the East Wichita Rotary group had done this at least one Christmas in the past, and has been in discussions with the home director about doing a monthly crafty thing - but no plans have been solidified as of yet. The Rotarians heard of my hopeless case of the craft bug, and leaped on the opportunity to have someone organize things. Good thing I like organizing. Smiley (I'm also hoping to get involved helping kids with their homework at another organization, because I love school and miss it terribly! It's odd that I'm getting involved in these things, because normally I'd pick the retirement home crowd over the kiddies, but these things have sort of landed in my lap, so I'm just going with the flow, I guess.)

The problem I am having is first of all coming up with something kids these ages would like to do. I don't think that would be terribly difficult, and I may be able to do the same thing more than once as I don't think the children ever stay in the home for very long. The most difficult part is coming up for something that boys would like doing - I know what I liked to do as a girl at that age, but all my guy friends were into building models, playing video games, and messing about on computers and non-crafty things at that age. My brain was already five miles down the road and racing along with how I could teach them to make jewelry (I know the home tries to teach the kids to be independent if they enter the home after they've turned 18 - they may be able to sell jewelry, but I'm not certain - if so it'd be the perfect thing) when I realized I didn't have any ideas what the boys could make. As much jewelry as I've made, I've never been able to come up with very masculine jewelry. I'll find skull beads or other things and have the beginning glimmerings of an idea, but they all fizzle out when I try to pair them with other beads or the appropriate media - stringing, wire wrapping, chains, etc.

So again, make with the ideas pretty please! Smiley
33  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / RAWRRRR! Domo-kun Heads! on: January 15, 2008 12:18:29 AM

I made these for the first round of the bento swap. After I made them I was somewhat dismayed at having to give them up, but then my swap partner flaked on me. See what she missed out on? Wink Fortunately, we have an awesome swap organizer, and I've been paired with another, so I'm excited all over again. Smiley And I'm totally lucky, and my new swap partner had specified she didn't want any stuffies (she hasn't seen these, though Smiley )! Woot! So now I have some new Domo-kun friends. I have no idea what to do with them, but I love them anyway. ^_^ A new take on fuzzy dice, perhaps? Ideas would be welcomed. Smiley

The Domo Duo
Ah, what to do with the pair...

The Round One
Sorry about the quality of the individual pictures...not sure what happened,
but it was late, so I've an excuse.

The Square One
My favorite!

And for those of you who aren't familiar with him, this is what the original guy looks like:


I had intended to barely stuff them at all, or perhaps use a couple pieces of felt trimmed stuffed into the interior so that they were kinda flat. I'm not sure why I wanted them like that, and now that they're finished, I kinda wished I'd stuffed them as full as they could go. The round one makes a great flying disc as is, though. Smiley

It took me forever to make a pattern to cut out the mouths from. I was way too picky about how they looked. There had to be four teeth on top and four on bottom like the original, and I couldn't get them to look quite right. But now that they're done, I don't care and love them just the way they are!

Sorry for the long postage, I'm sleepy (it's 2:00 in the morning, after all...). I'll prolly edit to fix that later. Right now I'm just excited about these guys!
34  COOKING / Dessert / My Boss's Crappy Birthday Cake... no, really! on: December 22, 2007 06:34:41 PM
If you're totally grossed out and think you couldn't actually eat this cake, it's not quite so realistic-looking in person. Please excuse the crappy picture. Yes, pun intended. Wink

For years my family has made what we call cow pattycakes (as a result, I was probably in my teens before I could eat German chocolate cake!). It's really fun to see people's reactions to the cake!! Since my company's logo is a buffalo, I made one and called it a buffalo pattycake for my boss's birthday this year. Of course, it was only as I was walking out the front door with the thing to take it to work that I remembered she was allergic to coconut. Sad She was able to scrape the frosting off, though, and eat just the cake.

It's pretty easy to make - I don't normally like cake, so I literally never make them, but I had no trouble putting this together (the trick is knowing how to stack them). If you're more ambitious than I am, you can make the batter from scratch.

German Chocolate Cake Mix and any additional ingredients required
Coconut Almond Frosting
Plain Shredded Wheat
Plastic Flies

Preheat the oven. Prepare the cake as per the box's instructions, and pour round or slightly oval-shaped puddles of it onto a cookie sheet. Bake until the cake passes the toothpick test. It takes a lot less time to bake thus way than in a pan, even if you do two or three cookie sheets separately. Once they're done, you take a clean cookie sheet and stack the patties on it. Skew them a bit as you do this so that they don't sit directly on top of each other, but not enough to make the entire thing wobbly, either. Spread the coconut almond frosting all over it. Now add the flies. Break up the shredded wheat and spread it around the cake. That's all there is to it! It really is quite simple.

You'd probably figure this out on your own, but just for safety purposes I'll point out that plastic flies are not edible, and you should remove them before eating the cake. Smiley

I really wish I had a better picture. Unfortunately I did not buy my digital camera until a couple months after making this cake (I only recently ran across the picture again and recalled I hadn't yet posted it). At the time, I only had a camera phone available to me. If I make another one, I'll be sure to take a better picture.

If you use this recipe or ever make something similar, please PM me to point it out! I'd like to see how it turns out. Smiley
35  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Skullish Guitar Pick Cozy on: December 15, 2007 10:53:52 PM
I found Craftster several months ago - figures that my first project post is something I need help with rather than one of my many, many decent projects! My long-winded tale of the train of thought that led to this creation is at the bottom of this post. Pictures and plea for help first, though. Smiley

How can I make this thing hold together permanently? My sewing/stitching isn't so hot. Help me out!

The Front
Handsome fella, no?

The Back
The flap looks like it was cut and then sewn crooked,
but it's because it wasn't lying flat on one side when I photographed it,
not because I'm an idiot with the scissors.

The Back with Flap Open
Only took me two tries to sew on that snap! Roll Eyes

The entire thing is three pieces cut out from two sheets of felt - the red pieces on the outside, and then a black one in the middle. Some of the shadows make it look like the black sticks out farther than it really does - it's actually cut evenly all the way around.

Now to my permanency problem - right now it's just super glued together, but that won't hold forever. I thought about stitching X's around the edge, but I can't figure out how to space them, and the teeth pose a problem. The entire thing is about 3 inches (app. 7 cm) square, so you can imagine how bitty the teeth are (I thought about doing a satin stitch in gold floss on one of them!). And again, my backstitching is pretty ugly, so I'm really hurting for ideas here. Can anyone help?

I learned that when working with felt, use super glue sparingly. There are spots where I got it on a bit heavy and I can see where it dried - fortunately not enough to be obvious to anyone not looking for it.

I'm trying to hand make all my gifts for Christmas this year. My brother was, of course, the most difficult - not so much in terms of things I could make him, but what I could make that wouldn't be met with the standard unenthused grunt of appreciation. After coming up with the idea to make Shrinky Dink magnets for some of my friends, I got the idea to make guitar pick magnets for him. I figured he wouldn't be wild about me abusing picks that way, but too darn bad. Smiley I didn't really feel like that was enough though, and through some weird thought path and inspiration by moxie_d's Happy Star Felt iPod Cozy here:
https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=206863.0, my brain came up with the idea of a guitar pick cozy. He's always losing them in the washer; I figured this is small enough to stick in his pocket, but (theoretically) big enough that he won't overlook it when laundering.

Originally I was going to go with a wallet-sized rectangle and a picture of a skull on the front, but that didn't quite satisfy me. Then the idea of what I have now popped into my head. Perfect! Well, perfect for me since I was looking for an excuse to learn how to work with felt. Smiley We'll see if I get more than a grunt for Christmas this year...

I also stumbled upon this, which is just too cool not to share:
The blog archive is on the right-hand side below most of the other stuff if you want to see more.
36  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas Shrinky Dinks on: November 02, 2007 02:55:24 PM
I've got this crazy idea to make Shrinky Dink magnets for my friends for Christmas. I'd like to do some sort of scenery and characters and things they can move around - for instance, Mario characters (Mario, Yoshi, goombas) and objects (green pipes, ? blocks, coins, etc.). And while everybody loves Nintendo games, I'm absolutely sure there's got to be something out there more clever than Mario that I'm overlooking - help me out here!

Any other creative twists you can throw in, like say a background drawn on paper they can tape behind the magnets for scenery, or some other creative idea like that, would be super helpful. Also, if you've made Shrinky Dink magnets before and can recommend a particular type of magnet and/or glue, please do.  Smiley

Basically I'm looking for help expanding my idea and any tips or techniques you guys can offer. Thanks a ton!

Oh, and geeky things would be fabulous because most of my friends are (almost!) as geeky as I am.  Grin
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