Monday, April 30, 2007

Yay! Finished project: Snowball's Chance in Hell

Dear Shayne,

I know it seems like forever since I first mentioned this project (at least, it feels that way to ME) but I finally finished this past weekend! Yay!
Snowball's Chance in Hell: Finished!

Meanwhile, taking this photo was pretty hilarious -- I lay down on the floor Superman-style and Bill stood over me and took the pic of my outstretched arms. Hee hee. I wish I had gotten a photo of that.

The bummer of this project is that it took frickin' forever and now that I'm finished... I have to put them away until winter. >sigh<


PS -- Edited to add that the left one looks a little deformed in the snowflake area, but it is most certainly not. Also, I am very white. That is all.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hunka hunka... somethin'

Dear Shayne,

This one here's a little wacky. I was asked this week to make a copy of this ring for someone playing Elvis. Oddly enough, this was work related (don't ask).

Just in case you're not up on your Elvis lore, he had this motto, TCB (Taking Care of Business), and the lightning bolt meant "in a flash." (If you're interested in a ring like this of your very own, check out this site).

Why not just shell out the 20 clams and buy that ring, right? Welll... we needed it for filming the very next day and we really wanted it in "gold," sooo... Heeeere's Kelly!

I was initially stumped about how to make it. I'm not really good with detailed cut outs, especially on a tiny level, so... ick.

And then I had a brilliant idea: shrink plastic! (The stuff used to make "Shrinky Dinks.") I could cut it out when it was big and then shrink it down to size. Great! But... the gold? What to use for gold? Have you ever noticed how gold paint never really looks like actual gold? It looks like gold crayons. More brown than yellow. Hrrrm. Then I thought: gold leaf! I've never used it before, and I hear it can be a total nightmare, but... oh, what the heck!

So I cut it the TCB logo and the ring part out of shrink plastic, shrunk it down, then gold leafed (leaved? left?) that sucker. Voila:
TCB ring
Yet another little project that I spent waaaay too much time on!

Gold leaf is weird. It was also my first time using shrink plastic (shocking, I know) and we had a good ol' time watching it curl and uncurl in the toaster oven. I had some troubles gluing it together, but I think it's good enough for its intended purpose, so let's call it "Done."

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!


Big Art Show DC #1

Dear Kelly,

Tomorrow night I'm sharing a booth with two other DC Craft Mafia members at the Big Art Show DC #1. Luckily, Randy has offered to drive me there and pick me up - there's only on-street parking and I can't parallel park to save my life. Now I have to figure out how much merchandise I can fit in about three feet of table space. Wish me luck that I sell lots!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Dear Kelly,

A week from today, I am off to Art & Soul in Hampton, VA, to take five days of classes. Here are the descriptions for you to drool over.

Carved, Bound and Wired
Wrist Quilts
Coptic Assemblage
Soda Pop Icons
Layers on Canvas

Right now, I have tons and tons of supplies to gather (wish me luck that I can find everything), as well as a few more things to buy. Whee - shopping!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Birthday Present

Dear Kelly,

I needed a little something to give to my friend Chris for her birthday last week (always younger than me, dammit!). Her favorite color is lime green so I got these beads at Michael's and made her a bracelet. I even managed to find all my tools, a clasp, etc. easily, although I brought the stuff up to the living room to make, because my craft room is still not habitable.

I haven't made any jewelry in ages and when I do, I'm always worried about how well the piece will hold up. But miraculously, the crimp beads crimped on the first try and everything seems to be sturdy.

I even have some beads left over to make matching earrings.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Little House on My Window Sill

Dear Kelly,

Here are the finished pictures of my little house.

I don't have a dresser, but I do have a window sill that's about a foot and a half deep - perfect for my little house as well as tons of random crap that the cats like to knock off.

Here's a picture with the doors open. It is the perfect size to hold my Damned Dollie.

And here's a close-up of the drawers. The background is flocked ribbon from Ikea (it's so pretty, I wish I'd bought a billion rolls). The drawer pulls are glass hearts from the mosaic aisle at the craft store.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Birthday banner

Dear Shayne,

As you know by now, I have a habit of spending waaaay too much time on a project that could be quick n' easy if I just Let. It. Go.

But alas, I cannot.
Happy Birthday sign (detail)

It was my boss's birthday this week and I don't know why, but I decided to make a little Happy Birthday banner. I went to the craft store but I couldn't really find any letters I liked. I found some wooden ones, but then I thought, "Oh, I'll have to paint these and drill them and string them together..." Too much work, right? Ha. Ha.

So I find these cute little pre-decorated (yay!) chipboard letters. And I think, "Well, these are kind of small, but I can put them on some cardstock and string them together and voila!"

Right. Only after I "distress" the cardstock and then glue a bunch of extra decorative bits of paper (that I've also "distressed" -- it's gotta match, right?) on there. And then put grommets on every one. Oh, yeah... and I have to dangle something fancy from the ends... sheesh.
Happy Birthday sign (detail)

Fortunately, my boss is also very crafty and clearly appreciated the work I put in (I must've spent 3 hours on this damned thing) so that was gratifying.

Meanwhile, I've spent almost as much time trying to figure out a good way to post this super-horizontal photo on the blog, but I cannot. So if you want to see a bigger shot of the whole thing, click on it:
Happy Birthday sign

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holy switchplates, Batman!

Dear Shayne,

As you know (cause it's yours now), I made you a switchplate a few weeks back for your Powder-room-in-Progress (side note: for some reason, I always say "switchplate cover," but I think just the term "switchplate" suffices).

Here it is:
Switchplate for Shayne

After I made yours, I realized I had some naked-lookin' switchplates in my own home, so I made a couple. This first one uses one of my favorite fabrics (you might recognize it from the sewing machine cover and the baby quilt). It's in the office. I'm not too sure about the orange screws, but otherwise, it's working for me, as I have some other orange items hanging on this wall. (It's not that lumpy looking in real life, by the way):
Office switchplate

The last one is for the bedroom. As I've mentioned before, we've got a pretty old (100+ years) house and, as such, it's got a few... erm... "quirks." One of the quirks is this situation, which is three switches in too narrow of a space for a three-slot switchplate. The one that came with the house was a cut down wood one circa 1980... not so sexy.

So I had Bill cut me down a plastic one and I covered it with mod-podgey fabric. I'm not the best measure-er, so there's a bit of a gap, but... I think it's going to have to do for now.
Bedroom switchplate

Oh, and the off-white colored switches have just got to go, but that's outside my realm of craftiness (Kelly = electrical danger). So I'll put in a request with the Electrical Dept. (read:Bill) and we can add it to the ever-growing list of "Gee, we should do that around the house..."


Friday, April 13, 2007


Dear Kelly,
I've lost my craft juju. But it doesn't matter too much at the moment because my craft room is also lost beneath a sea of "shit that needs to go up on eBay." Thank you, dear husband. Anyway, if you have any spare craft juju, please send it my way!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

OTB: Yay for windows! (and skeletons!!)

Dear Shayne,

I am pleased to announce that I am finished with the windows in the bathroom! (Just one of many projects from the original OTB list.)

I have finished painting the molding and scraping the paint from when we installed the windows (over two years ago now, but... who's counting?) The best part is that I could finally hang up the coolest skeleton ever:
Bathroom today -- yay!

This baby was a Halloween window display at a cool little shop in Berkeley called Castle in the Air. I fell in love with him immediately and inquired within about buying him. He was hand-made by someone who works in their shop (I didn't get his name, but perhaps I'll send them a link to this and they can pipe up). They agreed to sell him, so I bought him as a gift for Bill for Christmas that year. That was... 2004. So you can tell that I am bursting with excitement to finally hang him up! (The skeleton, not Bill.)

I did not crop this photo so that you could get an idea of his immense size. At the top of this photo, you see our ceiling and at the bottom, the molding along the floor. We have 11' high ceilings, so you know -- he's big!

Besides the excitement of hanging ol' Skelly, there's a real sense of satisfaction that we have gone from this (note that this was taken before we owned the house)...
Our bathroom, before it was ours
(07/04: This is what the bathroom looked like when the previous owners lived here. No sink. 2.5 feet wide and 7.5 feet deep. Just a toilet in a little hallway with... a... bookshelf in it. To make it feel more spacious? Ugh.)

To this...
Bathroom sans walls
(11/04: This is after Bill tore down a bunch of walls and the ceiling and the floor and... well, everything. He's amazing!)

To this...
Bathroom sans molding

(04/05: This is what the windows looked like when we moved in. The bathroom was completely functional, but there was still finish work to be done -- like molding around the windows. And skeleton hanging!)

... to the photo that you see above! Yay for getting things done! (Finally!)

I know that your bathroom has been a bit stalled out, but I also know that you have a new switchplate for it. Perhaps you could just install that and call it done? Maybe?


Monday, April 09, 2007

Sewing machine cover (that took waaaay too long to make)

Dear Shayne,

I've been thinking for awhile that I need a sewing machine cover. After getting it serviced last month, I decided that it really would be a good idea (cat fur + delicate mechanisms = not so good). So hey -- I'll make one. It's a rectangular box, right? Easy-peasy, right?

Sewing machine cover

Except (of course) I can't just make some simple thing. It's gotta be all patchwork-y and quilted and fancy-shmancy and all. And then, as I'm nearing the finish line (of a project that already feels self-indulgent with its time consumption), I realize: Oh, yeah. It's too short.

The irony (in two parts):
1. It was originally longer, but I cut it down to this shorter size. (Don't ask. I don't know why.)
2. After I cut it down, I thought, "Gee, I wish there was more of that fabric around the bottom showing." Wish granted! Er, yay.

I should have taken a picture of it in its sickeningly too-short stage, but I did not. Instead, I did something totally weird and cockamamie (does anyone even use that word anymore? Sheesh.) to fix it. It looks decent from the outside but do not, I repeat, do NOT ever look at the lining of my sewing machine cover. It's hell under there. Really.

But it's done. And it's tall enough to cover the whole thing and it sure as heck took long enough to make! The best part about it (looking for the happy, here) is that I used some of my all-time favorite stash fabrics, so it's nice to see them every day. Aww.

Still... what a pain.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

The problem with craft books...

Dear Shayne,

The problem with craft books (you know, books that are filled with darling patterns for stuff just begging to be made?) is that the crafts don't magically make themselves. Sigh.

This post was brought to you by the concept "Too many crafts, too little time."

And the letter F.