Friday, July 11, 2008

A Blog By Any Other Name...

...smells a heck of alot sweeter!

New name for the blog! Due to my lack of any creative mastery over my native English language, "Can Tab Craziness" as my sad attempt to describe the content of this site has been replaced. Now, thanks to gypsylakat at , whom I met in the forum, we have a much more clever name for what we do.

Now, to just start a guild and we are in business. Anyone interested in aprenticeship? Hehehe.


In other news, my mom has very recently been dubbed the Canny Queen of Tabs in the Texas Realm by "the locals" (being us) for her families' thriftiness and gallant efforts in recycling over 10,000 aluminum cans in the year 2008. :) Hey, we are proud! This honorary title will also go to gypsylakat for the state of Virginia, I believe, if she gets her bodice done and posts pics. Hehehe.

FYI: The idea of this is loosely based on the Pearly Kings and Queens of England started in the 1800's and their charitable efforts, which Fiona McCrae has made us aware of. If you would like to have yourself or someone you know bestowed a title such as this, please post their name, general location and reason for being chosen. As with the Pearlies, the number of tabs you wear is a direct representation of your status in our group.

(Of course, I'm making all this up as I go and have know idea what I'm talking about. lol)

Tablet (Card) Weaving

I tried my hand at some basic card weaving after seeing some samples online and finding a tutorial I could actually understand. Here is a link to the tute:

It was really quite cheap to put together and easy once you get it setup, which is the confusing part. I used a synthetic string I got oodles of at a flea market. Not the best material for this project, but I'm learning. 6 huge spools that are over a foot wide by a foot tall of different colors for $1 each. Couldn't pass that up. I would have bought more, but I couldn't fit it in the trunk.

Tablet Weaving Sample

Tablet Weaving Sample

Tablet Weaving Sample

Tablet Weaving Sample

Just changing the orientation of each card creates all kinds of patterns. Mine turned out to be about 1/2" wide. And, this was only with 8 tablets. Imagine 20 or more! I should have pulled the weft string tighter to the band, but I wanted to see how well it would hold up loose so I could add danglies on the sides.

Rag Dolls

Below are some dolls that mom and I made last winter. We were only going to make clothes for an existing doll of Jeudi's, but somehow we ended up with all of these and one naked princess in the works. I've been meaning to take some better pics, but we still need to finish up the witch's costume.

A peasant girl...
peasant doll
...a wicked witch...
witch doll
...and a bellydancer.
belly dancer doll

Ostrich Marionette

I was digging thru some old things that have been stored away and came across this little cutie. I made it back in high school when I had seen a large one somewhere. Mine stands only 5" tall. I need to replace the strings with something thinner. Hmm...maybe human hair would be thin enough. :)


Just thought I'd share it. Very easy to make. Just pom poms, yarn, google eyes, two sticks. I made clay feet and beak for weight. I think it might be painted paper clay of some kind, since I'm sure I hadn't heard of Sculpey at the time. I made the pom pom head out of yarn.

Ever wanted to give someone the finger!

I'm getting anxious to start working on our ongoing Halloween costumes, again so I thought I'd share these. This was a fun project. I will post better pics when I get them back form my sister in Kansas.

This is the first one I made, and my favorite. It is the perfect shape for holding and the weight is balanced. I wrapped some cord around the handle and attempted some "scrimshaw" carvings all over various parts. There is a glass jewel embedded in the handle.

boney wand

This was my second one, that didn't turn out as well as the first. It is too straight. I was experimenting on the finish, as well. It doesn't look as natural as the first does.

I reinforced the clay with a piece of wire hanger so they won't break.



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mom Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

Well, just like the title reads, my mom was complaining about not having comfy shoes to go with her outfit. So, I said, "Why not make some!" Out of can tabs, of course! One day later, here one is:

mom's shoe top

shoe side

mom's oufit with shoe

mom's can tab shoe right

Strange style for her outfit, I know, but they definitely fit her personality. :) She says they are comfortable, but we will have to field test that at TRF before a true judgement can be made. We need a louder bell, jewel, or charm for the toe.


As requested, here is a pattern for making a shoe like the one above. This is a simplified version. The original has a left and right side, but I altered it so it would be easier.

can tab shoe pattern
To join the two pieces, I tied the ends of the top and bottom toe point together. Then pulled a separate strips of fabric/cord between the two layers on each side of the shoe starting at the top most point. Pull the ends out of the first holes on either side of the top point. Then, start weaving into the next hole of the top layer down thru the bottom layer and then move over a hole on the bottom layer and up thru the same top hole. Then move over to the next top hole going down to the next hole in the bottom layer. Keep repeating this until you reach the last hole of the top layer. Be sure to alway go to a new hole on bottom and the same hole on top to get the curled toe.

When the toe is finished, continue around the shoe to soften the edge and make the opeing smaller. Next, with a new strip start joining the side to the bottom 'til you reach the back. I ran a strip of vertical tabs up the back to hold the two sides together. The last tab should stick up in the back where you could add a lace to tie them around your ankle.

I highly recommend lining the inside with soft fabric for extra cushion.

The illustration below shows how to create the staggered weave pattern needed to make the shoe.:
staggered can tab pattern