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Always Exciting

I still get super excited to be on the front page of etsy, its only happened a few times and last night after or LNKHandmade crafty meeting I came home to a huge jump in views and hearts.  I dashed over to craftcult and find this:

heart o matic 8-10-2009The front page and the Halloween gift guide!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so excited, front page exposure is better than almost any advertising that you can buy and it’s free!  I’m off to cut out some more cemeteries and maybe list a few new Halloween items.

No reason, he just looks like a Steve.shrunken head bag embelished The details I added were some black stitching and some color.  The pattern recommended felting, I currently do not have any felting equipment and I didn’t want to buy any, so I used sharpie markers to color in the details.shrunken head bag embelished detailHe also has wood bead eyes and bone teeth.   I think he turned out pretty gruesome.  The really great thing is that you can use him as a purse or stuff him a bit and you have a great decoration!

I’ve done it before and here is the proof:shrunken head some fullingI’ve been  working on this shrunken head bag for a couple of days.  I have fulled him a little and now I need to decide if I want to full him some more before I add the voodoo.  I will be adding some decorations to his hair and some stitching to his eyes and mouth and some jewelry.  I think once I finish everything up he should be pretty creepy.  Here’s what he looked like before, more homely than scary.shrunken head before fullingI found the pattern on ravelry, you’ll have to become a member if you want to download it, don’t worry it’s free and there are a lot of really great patterns to see!

I’m also still looking for spooky Halloween patterns, so please leave me a comment if you know where to find a good one!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, well at least I have, the Halloween gift guide!halloween2009giftguide There is a lot of really great stuff this year, so go check it out.  I am also excited to report that my Instant Cemetery is featured in the guide this year, Yay!!!

As most of you know I love Halloween and the season has officially started, there are decorations and crafts in the store.  Every year I see some really great stuff, but it’s the same stuff everyone has.  This year I wanted to get something different, something crafty.

Last year craftster started a 13 days of Halloween swap (similar to the 12 days of Christmas), but because we were moving there was no way I could join.  This year I’m in, I missed the swap deadline altogether, but was able to pick up an angel spot and I am super excited!!!  You can read all the swap-y details here.

I have warned my partner that I will be posting projects to this blog, so if she wants to be surprised no peeking.  I have my days planned out and I am working on two projects (more on those later this week).  I am hoping to make duplicates of some of my projects, so I can keep one for myself, but we will see how that goes.

I also have been busy with new house stuff.  Our neighbors are going to tear down this adorable shed.neighbors shedThey have said we could have it if we can move it.  I think we are going to have to rent some heavy duty equipment to pull this off, but I really like this shed, doesn’t it look like a chicken coup!  A coat of paint and a tin roof would make it super cute and maybe some window flower boxes.

I have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Crafty Chica Bag Contest winner.  I feel like I’m stalking Kathy on twitter hoping that any day they’ll say who won.  She tweeted yesterday that they were going to decide, but they haven’t announced anything yet!

And my son is going to start kindergarten this year, so we have been getting physicals and shots, it’s been fun!

If you have any Halloween suggestions or links please let me know and if you know the best way to move a shed I’d love to hear from you.

I bought Rebecca Danger’s pattern for Daphne and Delilah and have not been able to put it down.  I have not knitted a stuffed animal of any sort, so this was really a new experience.  I definitely need to practice my seaming/attaching techniques. 

The pattern was nicely written and easy to follow.  It was almost entirely knitting in the round, so lots and lots of knit stitches.  My monsters are a bit um…quirkier, yeah quirkier, than hers, but I like them that way ;).  I seem to have made everything a bit lopsided, but they are monsters, it just adds to their charm, right?

daphne and delilah This pattern is sooooo adorable, I will definitely be making more!  BTW leave me a comment if you have any tips for sewing up stuffies, I could use the help!

My daughter recently received a doll house for her birthday.  It is a homemade one and doesn’t have a lot of accessories, so I decided we needed some play food.  There are a lot of really talented people making miniature food with polymer clay, but I don’t have time to hand sculpt fancy concoctions and I definitely don’t want to spend a lot of money buying something that can be easily lost or broken.

Materials:

  • Scrap polymer clay
  • acrylic paint, like apple barrel or folk art brands
  • acrylic sealer, I would use a spray
  • baby powder or cornstarch to use as a mold release
  • Play-doh sweet creations set (my daughter received this for Christmas, Play-doh has a lot of different sets and there are a variety of different shaped molds so check your sets, ask your friends and keep an eye out at yard sales, these molds work great for polymer clay).   The green and the red ones on the left are some that I found in our collection.play food supplies

Start by conditioning your clay, it need to be warm and soft to produce a good shape.  You can condition it by hand kneading or you can run it through the pasta machine a few times.

Use a brush to apply baby powder or corn starch to the inside of your molds.  Roll the clay into small balls and then firmly press a ball into the mold.  I use my thumb to really get it in there good.  There will be excess clay around the outside edge of the mold and this is what I use to pull the clay out. 

After removing the clay from the mold the bottoms can be rough.  I used my tissue blade to slice the excess clay off.  The piece can be easily sculpted and reshaped, remember this is just play food don’t make yourself crazy making it “perfect”.  Here they are ready for the oven.play food before Bake according to the package directions, mine were supposed to be baked at 275 for 30 to 40 minutes, but I must have bumped the temperature dial on my toaster oven because they came out looking like this.

play food afterI guess it’s good I used scrap clay and was planning to paint them anyway :).

Paint your creations to make them look like real food and then seal with acrylic sealer.play food aboveI was able to whip these up in an couple of days (during nap time and such) and my daughter was delighted with them.  An older child would be able to help you make/paint the shapes, but it was a bit beyond my three year old abilities.  ***Always supervise small children with this play food as it can be a choking hazard.***

We all know that wine can be a great gift for may different occasions, but what is a good way to dress up the bottle and make it special.  There are fancy boxes and bags everywhere and they can really add to the price of a gift.  I was able to make this fabulous wine sleeve for less than a dollar.wine sleeve All you need is a package of copper pot scrubbers.  I was able to get a package of two at my local grocery store for $1.00. 

Figure out how your scrubber is wrapped up, this one had the ends twisted together and once I untwisted them it was easy to unroll it into a tube which slides onto any regular sized wine bottle. 

The one above is just plain, tied at the top with some ribbon and a card, but there are ways to dress it up a bit more.wine sleeve2 Dig some of those beads you’ve been hoarding and jazz it up a bit!wine sleeve3If you look closely, you’ll see this scrubbie is knitted, you might even be able to convince the recipient that you knitted it yourself :P.

Overcooked?

I working on a new polymer clay tutorial.  I hope this is not an indication of how my week is going to go.Over cooked

I borrowed this book from my local library, (it appears to be out of print, but there are used copies available on Amazon).  This book is targeted to children and it is simply written and has interesting pictures and fun facts about plants to entertain and educate.

My children, especially my son, are really interested in plants and seeds.   Most of the plants in this book are common, except for the wheat berries, I have nooooo idea where one would buy those, maybe a health food store?  I liked that how the plants sprout and grow was explained and is was made clear that most of the plants would not bear fruit indoors and what could and could not be eaten.

We have started our first project from the book, an avocado tree!avacado 1The seeds have to be dried overnight and peeled.  Peeling was hard, I found that the pointy bit of my pot scrapper worked great for removing the outer skin with out damaging the inner seed. avacado 2 The seed is then skewered and the bottom is immersed in water.  Now for a few weeks in the dark and we’ll see what happens.  I was hoping to start three seed, but one of them was damaged and broke in half when it was time to be skewered.

I am excited to see if anything will grow and if it doesn’t I’ll just be forced to make more guacamole to get some more seeds, wouldn’t that be terrible!

pineapple 1Guess what we’ll be planting next =D.

I did enjoy this book and it was a quick read, I would buy it if I found it on a yard sale or in a thrift store, but I am not inclined to purchase it for $10.00 online.  So thumps up, but don’t buy, borrow.  I’ll let you guys know how the avocados turn out.