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171  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Father's Day / World's Best Pop! "Pop" themed Father's Day Gift (middling number of pics) on: June 11, 2014 06:15:57 PM

We're those kind of dog people; the kind that think of them as pretty much equivalent to humans and ours take on the role of children in our minds.  The Beastie Grrrlz give holiday gifts to us and to their "grandparents" and they call TheManFlesh "papa" so when I saw a pin for a Father's Day gift riffing on "pop" as a name for "dad" I had to pin it and then wait a few years before I did anything about it. Wink

A Cost Plus World Market opened recently in our area so I loaded up on various sodas and a few other "pop" items.  Then I rescued a 6-pack box from the recycling bin and covered it with copies of maps of Montana where we moved 1.5 years ago.

I just used MS Decoupage medium to adhere the copies to the box, but didn't top coat it at all.  I don't suspect we'll be keeping the box.  And I used alphabet stamps to make a simple tag explaining the theme.  The BGs got him a card, too.

172  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Altered Altoids Tin Parade Float/Red Wagon (so much photoz) on: April 30, 2014 07:50:49 PM
One of my besties is turning 50 and she deserves a parade!  She lives far away so I won't get to see her in person, but I can make her a parade float.  I finished this today and got it boxed up to ship to her.

That's her with her hubby in pics they had taken for the anniversary.  The little wagon is from the fairy garden stuff at Michael's and the kitty is their cat, Lincoln.

That's her birthday in the graffiti.

I took lots and lots (and lots) of photos because there are lots and lots (and lots) of details.

She was born in Newark, Ohio so this old puzzle piece went underneath.

"Float"ing on clouds.

Annnnnd the photos of the kitty float.

173  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Fake Passport/Real Birthday Card for Mom on: April 13, 2014 11:12:08 AM
I made my mom a leather passport wallet for her birthday at the end of the month (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=432845.0#axzz2yn3uZGJ7).  Since I have to ship it to her and won't be there to tell her what it is (and it's not labeled) I wanted to make a fake passport to put in the pocket and I decided to make that her birthday card.

Just some blue scrapbook paper in a similar color to a US passport and gold pigment ink. I had bought alphabet clear stamps and it was fun to finally get to use them even though they don't really look like the font on the passport.

First page is the birthday wish. The all caps and all lower-case were chosen mostly just for what would fit on the page. More gold ink.  I need practice getting even, clear impressions.

Center pages is a quote I thought appropriate to travel, but that wasn't too long to fit on the page. This time blue ink.


And the back page, same blue ink:

The biggest challenge was getting photos.

I'm having lots of fun with the tedious task of writing out things with these clear stamps!  I hope I get the chance to go more projects with them soon.

174  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Leather Passport Case for Mom on: April 13, 2014 10:48:48 AM
My mom has been doing lots of traveling since she retired a couple of years ago and she's been lucky to get to travel internationally as well as here in the US.  I was given a box of scrap leather by a friend who designs & builds for a furniture manufacturer on the East Coast, so I started pinning lots of leather project ideas.  When I came upon a tutorial for a passport holder/wallet I thought it would be a good gift for her.

Original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/168885054748787786/

I chose this icy, light blue leather and a light natural colored waxed thread.  This is the inside, with bonus dog snootle photobomb.

I had planned this project for a few months, so saved those fake credit cards that they send with your pre-approved junk mail and then I made a fake passport/real birthday card.  I have to ship the gift to her, so I thought it would let her know what this thing is as well as be cute.  I'm trying to get a hold of a Euro note or two to put in the other pocket since she's going to France and Italy next month.

Front without dog snootle.

Back, also sans snootle.

This is the first time I've ever stitched on leather and second leather project.  You can tell that I'm a novice by the semi-wonky stitches, but otherwise I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I used stamps to put her initials on the inside.  I didn't trust myself to stamp "PASSPORT" on the outside and get it at all straight and level.

Here's the fake passport/real birthday card:

175  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Tea staining and ink jet printing... do they play nice? on: April 01, 2014 06:52:54 PM
I want to make some old stained labels for bottles and jars. I love the tea stain look and the warping of the paper.  Does anyone have experience tea-staining paper they've printed on with an ink jet printer?  I'll just be using black ink (grey scale).  I thought of staining before, but I wonder the the warped and swollen paper will feed through well.
176  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / The Not-wine Hostess Gift on: March 31, 2014 08:13:44 PM
Our lovely neighbors around the way invited The ManFlesh and I to a dinner party last weekend.  Of course we asked wht we could bring and they said "just yourselves."  Well, we're not the types to show up empty handed so we thought we'd just pick up a bottle of wine.  The next day I was grocery shopping and saw the daffodils and picked up a 10-stem bunch. They were only $1.99 so it seemed like a lot of blossom for the buck (ninety-nine).  After I put them in a vase at home, it hit me that flowers might be a better (i.e. "safer") option for us to bring as a hostess gift.

When I decided on daffodils for them (three and a half 10-stem bunches) I decided that I could use some of the green burlap from my stash to doll up a vase.  One dollar store vase and a bit of lace from the fabric store later et voila!  A pretty, spring bouquet.

177  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Contribution to Collaborative Memorial Project on: March 22, 2014 03:29:22 PM
About 6 weeks ago my friend and colleague's husband was the victim of a murder/suicide committed by a co-worker.  I know her from a now-disbanded decorative painter's guild and workshops we took together One of the other members of that guild organized nine of us from the guild to create for her a collaborative project.

This is the first time I've ever worked on a canvas and I was intimidated by that as well as the purpose of the project.  The only parameters were using a low profile 8" x 8" canvas and using the couple's love of the outdoors as inspiration.  The will be arranged and framed in a 3 by 3 square to make a 24" x 24" piece.

I had seen photos of them at the beach and enjoying water activities, so I decided to go with blue sky and blue-green water as my my inspiration.  I wanted to be dimensional, so I used the lid of a paper mache box to create an inset.  I liked the idea of warm colors in there to contrast with the cool colors on the main body.

She and I had just had a little FB thread about birds when the tragedy occurred, so I wanted a branch with a bird, but couldn't find a bird and didn't trust myself to make one and then got to thinking a single bird might be sadder than I intended.  So, I just went with a branch made of two gauges of copper wire and leaf shaped beads.

It was hard for me to capture with the camera, but there are hits of "interference gold" on the surfaces to add some kind of dynamic element and a little something else.  All of this is done with decorative painters' materials instead of artists' materials, because that's what I have and what I know.  It's mostly applied and manipulated with a trowel, but some with brushes.

I'm not thrilled with the piece, but I'm not humiliated either.  I picked up several more canvases when I bought this one, hoping to try more things. 
178  COOKING / Dessert / Tying Elk to St. Patrick's Day in a Cupcake! I bring you Irish Elk Car Bombs! on: March 16, 2014 03:55:23 PM
So The ManFlesh works at a foundation that is Elk-related (yes, really) and they have an Employee Crisis Assistance Program that has various fundraisers throughout the year, like chili cook-offs and bake sales.  Last month their bake sale was so successful they decided to do another one this month - on St. Patrick's Day.  Teehee, my *last contribution was so popular that The ManFlesh was asked if I would be contributing again.  Roll Eyes   Well, I'd already planned on making Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for his team, so I was already almost ready to make them for the bake sale!  

I just had to add fun toppers for the bake sale.  this piece by D Trudeau** was perfect (and I didn't even know it had been post of craftster)  While trying to decide on imagery, I got the idea to use Irish Elk!  POW! and BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!  There are more deets about all that went into these as well as links to the original recipe & details about Irish Elk, as well as a photo of my T-rex dressed for the holiday (no kiddin') on my blog - AFTER March 17, 2014, 7a US Mountain Time. http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-touch-of-blarney.html

** You can find of D D Trudeau's work here: http://kodriak.deviantart.com/ and under the craftster user name TheDaytimeHeros.
179  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Ice Marbles on: February 21, 2014 06:27:34 AM

When we decided to move to Montana, I started pinning all kinds of snow and ice activities and crafts. Well, it turns out usually our snow is too dry to compact into snowmen and snow forts, but it does stay below freezing for days on end, so ice crafts it is!  All I've done so far is make ice marbles like these.

It's simply a matter of liquid food coloring and water into balloons that are frozen in the freezer (or you could do it outside, too). Once frozen solid, remove the balloon and you've got a pretty ice marble!  As you can see, I like to place them on fence posts, but I have also stacked them on frozen bird baths and along the deck rails.

Last winter, I put a more thorough tutorial on my blog with some information about mistakes I made and how I corrected them: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/02/lost-marbles-found-marbles.html
180  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Camo Cupcakes for Fundraiser Bake Sale on: February 13, 2014 07:04:22 AM
The ManFlesh's employer has an Employee Crisis Assistance Program which holds fundraisers at the office. Today they're having a bake sale with employee contributed baked goods.  Small treats like cupcakes and cookies will be sold individually, goods like cakes and pies will be sold under a silent action. So, I sent him off with a dozen of these this morning and directions to bid on a pie if a good one is on the block.  Wink 

It's a wilderness/wildlife preservation group whose primary donor base are elk hunters, so camo and elk seemed extra appropriate.  I used this tutorial for the cupcakes that I found on pinterest: http://craftymamabakes.com/2012/08/03/camouflage-cupcakes-tutorial/

Annnnnnd if you spend much time in the woods and wildlife watching you know that scat (droppings, feces, poop) is an important indicator of what is around (and what they're eating) so I used some sprinkles to add a little more humor to the decorations.  Like I doo do.

The toppers are made from free clip art I found online, printed on card stock.
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