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191  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Decoupaged Dollar Store "Pumpkins" on: November 15, 2013 05:27:51 PM

Decorating for Thanksgiving is something I've never done. Now that we live far off from family and are not really integrated into a group of friends or anything, I feel like making it a little more special than just the meal.  We're on a budget and I have always been frugal, so I didn't want to go out and drop a bunch of dough on a centerpiece.  But I did have these fake "Funkins" from the dollar store that I bought when they first started putting out their Halloween things.

They have that awful seam along their "equator" and are pretty small, so hadn't yet been inspired to make them into a Halloween decoration when I decided to use them for Thanksgiving instead.  And I chose decoupage as a quick and inexpensive way to turn them into something more suitable.


I did a more thorough explanation of my process on my blog, but they are pretty much basic decoupage and "aging" techniques.

192  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Santa's Elf Shoelaces. You know, for the kids! on: November 15, 2013 04:25:35 PM
The ManFlesh's nieces live "far" away and we won't be able to be with our families of origin this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas, so I wanted to send them a little pre-Christmas treat just so they remember that we still think of them even though we're not what you'd call "phone users."  They are 7.75- and 5-years old (will be 6 on Dec 20). 

I saw a pin for bias tape shoelaces and I am a sucker for making bias tape so this seemed right up my alley!  I don't think that the original blogger (http://sara-vs-sarah.blogspot.com/2011/03/scrapbuster-no-18-challenge-submission.html) actually cut her strips on the bias and at first I wasn't going to and the I realized that store bought shoe laces usually have some stretch so I ended up cutting on the bias. I made a little wrapper just for funsies.  I wish I'd waited until the laces were done so I could have sized them better, but I bet the kiddos won't even notice.

The biggest trick is using heat shrink tubing to make the aglets (you know the plastic bits that keep the ends from fraying). The blog suggested and I bought mine from Radio Shack, but I'm sure there are other options with more color choices, too.

Sorry the pic is a little out of focus, but you get the idea.
193  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Pet Silhouette Pillows! on: November 10, 2013 02:44:52 PM

I've started making custom pet silhouette cushion covers!  So far I've only completed a cat (12") and a dog (18"), and done a chicken example silhouette (that I misplaced before I got a photo!), but I hope I get to do some less common pets, like turtles, lizards, parrots, chinchillas, bunnies, horses, pot-bellied pigs, ferrets, etc.

194  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Baby-Lederhosen (a handful of pics) on: November 02, 2013 11:50:45 AM
I never expected to post on the clothing for children board!

One of my oldest friends is my pen pal from 9th-grade German class.  GASP! That's 27 years ago!  He and his wife just had their first baby (A BOY!) and I really wanted to make them something, but I wasn't sure what.  THEN I got the bright idea to make faux Lederhosen!  Neither of the new parents are Bavarian, but he did live in Munich for a few years (during the beginning of their courtship) and if I remember correctly he bought some Lederhosen and she a Dirndl to wear to Oktoberfest.  AND they also know that a lot of the non-German world thinks that all Germans wear Lederhosen all day, every day.  Wink

The Hosen are costume suede which seemed the comfortable, machine wash- and dryable, looks-close-enough-to-leather option.  I looked at dozens and dozens of images of Lederhosen online and determined that wouldn't do ALL the details, but I wanted to applique that front part with a little bit of "embroidery" detail and add the buttons, which on these are non-functioning.  For the basic pants I used a pattern purchased here on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/125045470/pants-pattern-for-baby-and-toddler?ref=shop_home_active

For the onesie, I made the suspenders with the cross piece from the costume suede and then added the fancy ribbon.  A floral would have been more traditional from what I could tell in my image searches, but I just couldn't find a "masculine" floral in the small selection at my local fabric store.

Now I'm just waiting to verify their mailing address, so I can ship it off.  The onesie is 6-month size, the pants 6-12 month. They baby is about 1 month, but apparently he's big so hopefully it will fit soon.
195  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Hey, It's Us! In A Diorama Ornament! (lotsa pics) on: October 27, 2013 08:46:02 PM
Hoo boy. I started this thing probably last January and just finished it 4 days before the end of October. 

I trawled ebay searching for Little People brunettes to be me and The ManFlesh and a couple of dogs to be the Beastie Grrrlz and a sofa.  The floor is wood grain scrapbook paper and the rug is a photo from a rug dealers trade magazine.

The tree is from a set of bottle brush trees with wired beads glued into it, a chenille stem for garland and a vintage mini- glass ball for the topper.

The outside, window.

The bottom where all the gazillions of little individual pine cone scales started getting glued on.  These are a big reason this took so long.  I got 3/4 done and then it sat for months and months.

The way the last of the pine cone scales were coming together at the top was not pleasing, so I added a little felt snow patch. 

Now I have to figure out where/how it will be hung up when we decorate for Christmas.
196  UNITED STATES / Montana / Missoula/Bitterroot Craftsters? Are you there? on: October 20, 2013 12:05:14 PM
Hiya!  I've been on craftster for ages, but only in Montana for just over a year. The ManFlesh and I moved here from Portland, Oregon in the autumn of 2012.  We're south of Missoula living in the country; our property borders the National Forest, not a lot of neighbors, not working in the area yet, etc.  We're both moderately introverted so we haven't met a lot of folks.  I would love to meet some creative types, preferably left-leaning & aged 30+, but that's not really a requirement.  I prefer a craft group that's more a bring what you're working on style to the a lesson type.  Anyone?

This shot is from The ManFlesh's 40th Birthday Celebration where his main dudes came out to celebrate for a long weekend. I posted about it here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=423832.0#axzz2iI34eknf

And blogged about it here: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/05/mid-may-montana-mountain-mayhem.html

If you look at my projects here or follow those links to the party info, you will see that fun(ny) and function are my crafting proclivites.  Wink 
197  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Dog Gate Cozy. Yes, You Read That Correctly (4 pics) on: October 08, 2013 03:30:12 PM

Because we're having to keep our two dogs separated for a bit, we bought and installed a "baby" gate at the top of our stairs so each dog could have a little space to roam around in securely.  But it turns out that it's best if they don't get a chance to stare each other down.  So for a few weeks we had this old blanket thrown over it. It was both awkward to use and messy looking.

I dug around in my stash and found some suitable upholstery material. I don't love it, but I think it works both aesthetically and practically (it's the same colors are as our brindle-y Beastie Grrrlz.

It's essentially a long rectangle, hemmed on all four sides that drapes over the gate so that both sides look finished.  It's secured by four 4" strips of hook & loop tape sewn on the side seams just under the top rail and just over the bottom rail (shown).

This photo shows the material colors the closest to how they look real life, even though you can barely see the hook & loop.  Heck, you can barely see it in real life!

198  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Mountain Bone Yard on: October 07, 2013 03:01:29 PM

I had 5 rigid foam head stones that I made 13 years ago before the interwebs was quite so wonderfully deep and wide and before I had as much experience with making.  I"ve seen so many cool hand-crafted headstones and tutorials on making them that I decided to recon mine.  Here is a before shot with the standard dog photobomb.

I looked at lots of tutes all over the interwebs and kind of combined techniques to go with the tools and supplies I had on hand and what seemed to work for me.  And here are two of the five.

I tried to keep them old and creepy looking, but also with a touch of humor.  That combo is kind of my Halloween M.O.

FYI: when I saw the "noir" setting on The ManFlesh's iPhone camera that came with the iOS7 update, I knew I wanted to take pics of my bone yard with it, so I set aside the 3-4 hours to download and install just for that feature alone.

Finally, a pic w/o filters. We we live in the mountains and in the forest and for the most part our 5 acres slant a little. This is a mostly flat spat that the former owners had placed the birdbath in and had some flower beds bordering. We couldn't quite figure out why until we realized that it's a good spot to see the view of the valley.  Well, it's also the perfect spot for a bone yard because it's flat-ish and we can see if from the house and the driveway.  I repositioned the bench and the bird bath to look more like a grave yard situation.  I have plans to expand and improve this in Halloweens to come!

I've done a more in depth post about the process for the headstones on my blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/10/bitterroot-bone-yard.html

I posted here about the way I made installing these quick and easy: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=427713.msg5100180#msg5100180
199  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter) Dog Costume! (so many pics) on: October 06, 2013 03:36:43 PM

I had made my Betty a pilgrim costume (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417134.msg4933793#msg4933793) for Thanksgiving last year and for Halloween this year I gave her a scarlet letter so she can be "Bester Prynne"!  She's not THAT kind of bad girl so the letter A wasn't quite right, but a scarlet B for the Sin of barking did seem right.

Something about her bonnet made her think she could feign deafness; had I known I might have made her a scarlet "FD."  Sigh.

And the little touch that means so much, the big brass buckles on her "boots"!  They actually have a Velcro closure in the back.

She's such a good sport and was rewarded handsomely with delicious treats.

200  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Keeping My Bone Yard Secure on: September 25, 2013 07:22:03 PM

Now that I am a more accomplished maker and have access to the wide world of interwebs, I have been reconning some old foam headstones I made a dozen or so years ago.  Previously I put them out on Halloween night only to avoid thieves and vandals so I had a pretty sketchy "system" for installing them on the lawn.  Now I live OUT of town so I can leave them out and want so since they're going to be so much cooler, so I needed a better way to secure them.  I did a bunch of looking around and decided that the constraints of having them already cut and the hardness of our soil meant that gluing PVC to the back and then sliding that over rebar that's pounded into the ground.

In order to make this easy to do year after year, I wanted the PVC to be uniform across the tombstones, so I used a ledger-sized piece of card stock and a metal ruler to space the PVC and carve some channels for it to sit in to give more surface area for the adhesive.  This PVC is conduit we had left over from a project and probably overkill, but it was already paid for and already grey. I may paint it later so it won't show as much.

Then I got some other PVC from the scrap bin at the hardware store and a couple of T-couplers to make a jig for pounding the rebar into the yard (no lawn here in the forest).  I didn't bother gluing the joints, because they're really snug.

AND it worked!  It makes pounding the rebar into the ground a 1-person job.  I've only done one so far, but when the weather gets a little better I'll do the rest, set up my mini bone yard, and take pics.  WOO!
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