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241  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Valentine Rosette Ribbon Brooch for Mom on: February 09, 2013 06:19:00 PM
Valentine's Day is coming on fast and I wanted to do something special for my mom, but had no idea what.  Finally I decided to make another rosette brooch by raiding my various stashes.



Found a good use for this little charm:



I wanted to put it into something other than a plain envelope, so I used a vintage paper doily place mat to cover a manilla clasp envelope.

On the front of the envelope, I but a red heart paper doily on the front with a quick Valentine's note written on it.  I couldn't find the proper glue so it kind of messed up the heart, but hey that's part of the charm of your kid's homemade gifts, right?  Even if your kid is middle-aged.   Tongue


242  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Old-fashioned Yarn Doll as Black Cat Valentine on: February 06, 2013 07:04:12 PM

(I took the lint roller to him when I saw this photo, but you can see the collar on his shirt in this shot so I'm sharing anyway)

I've been wanting to make old fashioned yarn dolls since I came upon this bunny several years ago that my great grandmother made at least 3 decades ago.  I remembered making something similar with my grandmother (her daughter) when I was little.  I even bought yarn and tried one about 5 years ago to unsatisfactory result.  Then I started up again with one right before we decided to move to another state and I got busy with that whole process. 

Now that we're semi-settled I decided to press forward and made this Valentine for a friend back home!

She has a black Bombay cat named Jasper and this is based on him.  He's super snugly with her so I assume he's also romantic.   You know, in a neutered way.  Maybe "gentlemanly" is a better word.

The rest of the photos were taken before I decided he needed a cummerbund.  Here you can see his tail which is yarn-covered floral wire.

A closer look at his cuffs with fancy "gold" cufflinks and heart-shaped box of chocolate-covered mice.  You can't tell in the photos, but the felt of his "shirt" and cuffs has glitter on it.  Because he's fancy.

And one more shot of the details: a dozen roses was beyond his budget (he's kind of a layabout and hasn't ever had a job to speak of).

I'm midway through making versions of my Beastie Grrrlz and I'm pretty excited about those!  The challenge is getting brown/bronze locally (for they eyes).

243  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Cloth Napkaaaaaaaaaaahns! (Star Trek cotton print napkins) on: February 03, 2013 06:47:09 PM
I was wondering around the local JoAnn at the beginning of the year, ogling all the prints when I stumbled upon a section of Star Trek prints.  GAH!  Well, I went home and plotted what I could make then went back with stacks of paper and phone app coupons and bought yards 3 different patterns! 

First project: Cloth napkins.  I've been using cloth napkins pretty much exclusively for over 2 decades so it's fun to make new ones once in a while and it had been a few years.

They're the same print on 2 sides, just sewn right sides together, turned and top-stitched around the edge to close the opening and keep them square.  I considered a contrasting backside, but I was kind of trapped at home due to an icy Death Luge of a driveway that I fell on and got scared about driving, etc.  AND I had enough to make 6 w/o buying anything more. 

Action shot the first meal:

We're having fun with 'em!
244  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / McGyvering Up A Faux Bois Shower Curtain Rod on: January 30, 2013 09:54:55 AM

We have a narrow shower stall insert in one of our bathrooms.  We just bought this house and have to live with the avocado shower and sink for a few years until we will hopefully do a more intensive remodel.  So I used a shower curtain sample from my stash to inspire a simple redecoration in a retro 70s style - might as well roll with the avocado, right?  But, that shower also has a cheap-looking and worn shower door.  It's practical because of the size of the stall and removing it would mean filling holes in the insert which wouldn't necessarily be any better looking.  So I decided to hang curtain right over the door.  BUT... the tension mounted shower rod we brought with us doesn't get short enough, the local sources don't have the short ones in stock and the online options weren't great as far as color or price.  So I made one!

I did have a cafe curtain tension rod that fit and I tested it for strength and it held up fine.  I didn't like the look, though.

So I bought a scrap of PVC from a used building supplier had them cut it to size with their power saw, and used various materials from my stash to paint it to look enough like wood to blend in.

I've posted a tutorial on my blog if you have more questions: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/01/3-faux-bois-shower-curtain-rod.html
245  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Rubbish cum heat: Egg carton firestarters. on: January 16, 2013 05:19:32 PM
Now that we living in woods in the mountains our house is primarily heated with wood (via a wood stove in the kitchen).  In order to expedite getting the fire going in the morning and save time chopping and money buying kindling we started experimenting with supplemental ways to get the fire started.  I'd seem plenty of fire starter ideas on pinterest and decided to try the wax-in-paper-egg-carton type. 

Basically, you melt paraffin and pour it into the cells of a paper egg carton.  I'd also heard of and seen dryer lint used to start campfires (on purpose, as well as a leading cause of house fires) so I stuck that in cells before adding the paraffin.  You can also use candle wax, but we just moved and we surely didn't pack up and trck candle stubs with us across 3 state lines. Also, we want something that burns hot and fast and I'm told candle wax is often designed to burn slowly. 

I was able to make 6 dozen of these in about an hour for about 2.4 cents a piece!  Plus, I kept a few things out of the landfill AND helped heat our house.


I go into great and agonizing detail with lots more photos on my blog: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/2013/01/lets-get-this-fire-started.html
246  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Fisher Price Little People Diorama Ornament: This one's a craftster mod! on: December 30, 2012 08:05:20 PM

I can finally post my last Fisher Price Little People Diorama because it has been delivered!

You may recognize this young lady as one of the craftster mods: kittykill!

She's been doing lots of sewing since the Bernina challenge, so I thought of her when I saw the little sewing machine!  The ManFlesh thinks this is his favorite, because the Little People (Little Person?) actually looks like Pam!  (as far as a peg can look like a person, of course  Wink )

Pink pompons around the front opening, lace around the string's base.

Lace curtains and Miss Pam's profile through the window.

Now that the holidays are over I'm working on one to commemorate our family's first xmas here in Montana and one for me, too!

247  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hello Bigfoot on: December 30, 2012 07:46:52 PM
I am doing a tea towel swap with some friends.  I decided to do variations on a theme with that theme being Bigfoot.  Here is my latest: Hello Bigfoot.  Most of the others are also posted here on craftster.

Another angle to see some of the textures.  I used split stitch for the face and beard and a bastardized turkey stitch for the kitty hat.  The hat ties are braided.

And because I think it's funny to say "Pam's backside is a hot mess" I am including the photo of the back which for some reason was extra chaotic.  Perhaps it's from stitching with dogs wrasslin on the same couch.

I was the last to stitch on her towel, so she is the second to receive her completed project!  This was supposed to be a "spring fling" swap, but now we've passed through spring, summer, autumn and on into winter.  I have one more to stitch and I think there are only a few more to stitch on mine.
248  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Snowman Pinata! on: December 16, 2012 08:44:44 PM

Sometime this summer I decided to make The ManFlesh's nieces a snowman pinata for xmas.  I spent months picking up trinkets to stuff it with (no candy for these girls), then wrapped half of them in one color of paper and half in another to avoid squabbles.  The photo above is taken in our house, before I packed him up to ship back "home."

He's built on a 36" balloon blown up to about 20" and using packing paper and watered down Elmer's Glue-all (rather than flour paste), because I had LOTS of both and I didn't want him too hard to break since the girls are 6 and 8 and I've been to parties where grown men hand to pummel a grounded pinata to get it to spill it's treasures.  I also left a few week spots.

I made coal for his eyes and mouth by crumpling up strips of paper soaked with the Elmers/water mixture that I later painted with exterior house paint, because that's the inexpensive black I had on hand.  I like how they turned out shiny, like real coal.  His nose is a cone made from a cereal box that I coated with the paper mache combo so its texture would match.  When that dried I painted it with craft paint, then when that was dry I added some glitter snow to the top side.

Before I glued the "coal" on, I sprayed the whole thing with glitter spray from my stash (probably a dozen years old).  I'd have preferred silver, but I had this and since the whole thing is going to be unwrapped and smashed to smithereens w/in a few minutes certain details aren't that important.

The hat is my favorite part!  It covers the hole left in the top for filling the pinata with trinkets and is so silly and undersized it makes me giggle.  It's made from the bottom of a cylinder-shaped box (originally with dishwasher soap or something in it) and paper board.  I assembled the parts and then coated the whole thing with a layer of paper mache to match the texture.  When that was dry, I painted it, added the faux holly and added some glitter "snow."  

The cylinder box's bottom was recessed and I liked the idea of that, but wanted it to be sloped, so the paper mache helped make it so.  

I made the thing assuming I'd ship it in one of the 24"x24"x24" boxes we had left over from our move.  Except I didn't verify that the boxes were that size and they weren't (they were smaller) so I ended up having to made a box to ship it in tomorrow morning!  It was like making a pinata inside a pinata except I didn't want any weak spots in the shipping box!  Luckily we have a few appliance boxes around and the dishwater box fit the bill (and the snowman).  We are going to be there for xmas, but don't have room in the car for all the gifts, so we're shipping them ahead.  I'll fill the pinata and glue the hat on when we get there.  WOO!

SHIPPING UPDATE!  So I get down to the PO with all my boxes to ship them and my pinata box is 5" too long in one direction (any direction) to qualify for Priority Mail at all.  I can get Parcel Post for only $13!  BUT, I would have to pay an oversize parcel fee of, get this, $55.  FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS!?  Luckily, I had almost 6" to spare on one side, so I brought that bastard home, cut 5.25" off one end (just to be safe) and remade the box.  I was able to ship Priority for $28.  Next year, everyone is getting magazine subscriptions and feathers.
249  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / More Fisher Price Little People Ornament Action: This Time It's a Party! (5 pix) on: December 12, 2012 01:08:26 PM

I'm on a roll with these Fisher Price Little People ornaments!  Well, that's not exactly true: I just had several to make.  The latest is from a girlfriend with a party blog, a self-professed "party diva."

She's also a wee, tiny red-head so the ginger girl was perfect!

She has a snowman collection out at Christmas time, so I was able to use this wee guy from my stash by making a wee cake out of polymer clay, embossed with a vintage button and painted white.  I made a bunting with scrapbook paper and dental floss (mint flavored!) and a garland with trim left over from this advent calendar project I made last year: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=396391.0
I had tried to make a bunting of fan circles, but it didn't work out so I used the fan folded paper to make a "lamp shade" to cover the nubbin where the string hanger attaches to the ball.  Curtains are from fabric l had and where I got my color scheme.  Red is her favorite color and she also loves pink, so it seemed perfect for a Christmas party.

Snow on the window sills!  The guy could be her husband, but he usually hides out for her parties which are usually ladies only.

I didn't anticipate that the trio of party goers was going to throw off the balance of the ornament which now hangs crooked, so I made a little stand so it can sit on a table or mantle or whatever.

These are the other two Fisher Price Little People ornaments I've posted:
Sewing Lady: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417614.0
Dentist: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417577.0
250  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Rudolf the Red-nosed Giraffe Pull Toy Decoration (six pix) on: December 09, 2012 08:34:38 AM

The ManFlesh's mom's favorite animal is the giraffe and a few years ago I spotted (heh, get it?) this plain paper mache giraffe at one of the big box craft stores and snatched it up.  Finally this year I thought to make a pull toy decoration out of it.  As I wondered the craft stores this year looking for the supplies to make it into a pull toy, I got the idea to have the giraffe pulling Santa's sleigh and Rudolf the Red-nosed Giraffe was born!

I foolishly assumed that I could find a pre-made sleigh ornament to alter or a blank at a craft store.  Wrong and wrong.  I couldn't even find a flat version to make into a 3D version, so I bought a paper mache box in the appropriate size and then drew a sleigh pattern, traced it twice (once facing each direction) on paper board.  I used faux bois textured paper, metallic black paper and paint to cover the paper board.  I "hung" wee wreaths (weeths?) on the sides for some color.  The inside of the sleigh is a cute little red/white/green plaid, but I over filled Santa's sleigh so it can't really been seen.  D'oh!

I made Santa's sack out of felt and filled the bottom with mini presents from the craft store, then topped them with little bits and bobs from my stash + the drum which came with some of the mini-presents.  It was originally shiny silver and gold so I painted it and restrung it with black embroidery floss.

So I just painted the giraffe with craft paint.  His harness is cobbled together from a silk knot that came from a decoration on some of that twirly luck bamboo - it had a loop on the top and a piece of faux jade with the symbols for luck or prosperity (or cherry trees for all I know) written on it.  I cut and knotted both ends, tied and glued a wee jingle bell to the bottom, then used the side loops for adding ribbon (with more jingle bells sewn to it) for the sides and abdomen.  A pre-made wee pompon for the nose.

And one final shot of the whole thing from the other side and at a different angle

Oh!  The base is two pre-made wooden planks (well, it's actually thin plywood) that I glued together to double the thickness.  Instead of making axels, I drilled 4 holes for dowels into the sides and slid the dowels through the pre-made wheels.  I used a standard thumbtack for the "hubcap" which I covered with the same paper that lines the sleigh.  So the wheels actually roll.  There's a tiny screw eye up front for the little ribbon and wooden beads that make the pull rope.

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