Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More of Mr Sam's Leather Hats

Here is another of Mr. Sam's steampunk leather hats.  This one was made specially for a friend who'd requested one over a year ago. 

He'd promised to make her a hat, but had a difficulty finding inspiration on what style to make. Then, she'd purchased a dress just before the Steampunk Invasion of TRF, and we brainstormed what would look nice with it without being too frilly.  After that, the hat came together fairly quickly.

While he was finishing up, I started planning a hat box to store it in.  Sorry, I forgot to get some better pics of the box. It's pieced together out of cereal box carboard, paper mached, covered in tissue paper and painted, much like the cardboard hats I've posted about in the past. I lined the inside with gold satin with a bit of padding to protect the hat. There is a decorative gear on the center top.

Yeah, I've been goofing around with photoshop, again.  I'm looking for new ways to antique photos.  There are so many effects to be tried.

I helped decorate the hat by making a quick hatband with bow and feathers.  The hatband is removable by velcro, so she can change it up to suit her style.  And the bow and feathers were just pinned on.  This way it will fit in the smaller box when packed away.


I think it looks great on her with her dress. Hope she gets a lot of enjoyment and compliments from it.

We had to buy a fairly large piece of leather for this, and there was a big brand on one section that he decided to incorporate into a tall top hat.  Here is Mr. Sam, himself, in his "Onery Abe" hat.  I think the brim still needs a bit of shaping.  It's a softer leather.  I've heard boiling it might stiffen it, but I think adding a casing with wire in it might be better.  He also has plans to make a few more hats and other things with the leftover leather when he gets inspired again. 

Thanks for looking.  Feel free to stop by anytime!  I'll try to have some new stuff up.

A Pretty Pink Present for Barbie

Carol from Cay's Creations sent a most wonderful gift for my daughter and I awhile back!   I've been waiting to post about this glamourous outfit for Barbie until her brand new site (www.cayscreations.com) was up and running.  So, here it is!


She sent us a top, skirt and shrug/stoll.  (The top is strapless.  The straps in the pic were painted on.  Daughter chose the doll and dressed her for our photo shoot.)  It's a three piece set that can be mixed and matched.  The stoll almost has a kimono look to it. 

If you've ever played with Barbies growing up, or have kids who do, you'll know how hard it is to find decent clothes for them.  Nowaday, it seems you have to buy the whole doll to get a pretty dress.  And they usually aren't made to last long.  I've even found some that wear sewn on!  No fun at all.   I can remember back when I was young.  I traded a friend for a red velvet dress her grandmother had made for her.  She didn't appreciate it like I did, I guess.  And, though I no longer own it (it was aquired by my younger cousins), it was gorgeous and one of my most precious doll accessories I ever owned.  This is one reason I think its so great that Carol is offering handmade doll clothes.  Her craftsmanship and attention to details is spot on!  In a world of disposable everything, it's nice to see items made to be cherished.

 And, the really neat part is the top is reversible from metallic silver to pink satin.

Daughter loved the outfit.  However, I fear this doll is now showing up all the others in their nicest evening dress.  ;)  If you enjoy Barbies or have a daughter, or other family member, who does, please go check her site out!  It's at www.cayscreations.com.  Enjoy!  And, thank you so much, Carol.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Papa, we're gonna need a bigger shroom...

The daughter's birthday was yesterday.  We made some simple cupcakes.  Had no idea how we were going to decorate them this year.  Since we'd slightly overfilled the cups, they reminded us of mushroom shapes, so with a little frosting and a lot of red food coloring (and a touch of yellow to make it brighter), guess what they became?!  Don't worry, though.  We tried them, and these mushrooms aren't poisonous.  (Daughter added Papa Smurf that she found in her room.)

There are two different sizes.  The four center ones are larger.  If I'd of had more batter, I would have made some mini ones for more variety.

Hope you're all having a wonderfully smurfy Thanksgiving this fine day!  Since we've been so busy lately, we had a small family dinner.  Don't know about you, but I'm ready for a nap.  I've got a few sewing projects to show when I get a chance.  Until then, be crafty!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hope your HALLOWEEN is Purrrfect!!!

Hope you're enjoying your Halloween. Thought I'd share this adorable witch cat that Hullabuoy sent me at the end of last year.  It's taken me SO long to post it, because I was still tweaking the witch hat we added to it.  I'd been delaying posting it, because I thought it would be a nice Halloween post.  Leave it to me to wait til the day of!  So, without further ado, here is Crookshanks, the witchy kitty. (Daughter named it, of course).

She hand painted this kitty on a styrafoam buoy with a decorated wooden wand and fabric ears attached!  The wand is removable.  Cathi (Hullabuoy) possesses mad painting skills!  I enjoy seeing all her work, especially the buoys.  You should definitely check out her facebook page at Hullabuoy and Mcathi Designs on Etsy.

The hat was made with the usualy cereal cardboard for the brim and newspaper cone top, all paper mached so that it is really stiff.  We had to cut slits to be able to place it on the kitty's head over the ears.  Best part, is Cathi had the forethought to supply the decorations that we added to the hat.

We love it!  It sits on top of our Harry Potter themed book case all year long.  Thanks so much, again, Cathi, for sending it to us!  So proud to have a piece of your talented work!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here be Dragons!

Well, I was going to attempt some fairy wings for the daughter and I to wear to faire in a couple weekends.  But in my first experiments, I somehow managed tiny dragon wings instead...hmmm...it's all good, cuz I'm going to an event this coming weekend where the theme is "Here be Dragons".  Love those "happy accidents"!!  :)

And the coolest part is they GLOW IN THE DARK!  Neat, huh?!

Isn't that cool!!  It will be really great, if there are lots of blacklights around.  Glow-in-the-dark works best under the blacklights.  I also love how the light can pass through the membranes.

I used hangers for the main frame that fits into the back of my bodice/corset and thinner 19 gauge steel wire for the fingers.  The tape extends about a 1/2" past the tips, so I can nudge people with them and not take out an eye.  They're are a small set at about 14" long.  This will be a good size to practice traversing crowds in, if we plan to make larger wings for fairies. 

These were pretty easy to make and feel realy cool.  I started by wrapping masking tape around the wire frame, adding extra tape at the knuckles. I covered the tape in glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, which is rather translucent and gave a nice bone color.  I accented the joints with a brown marker. 


Then, I used Mod Podge to make the membranes. Who knew mod podge was so stretchy!  They turned out really flexible.  Won't be easy to tear these.  The trick is to paint the Mod Podge onto paper and when dry, rub off the paper with water.  The brush strokes add a kind of veiny effect close up.
Hope you've enjoyed this post.  I'll be away most of this month having fun.  Until I get back, keep bein' crafty!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

IMMOBULUS!! - Pesky Pixie Problems Solved

Yep, our house is infested with cornish pixies, again! 

We've had a couple requests to make a few more pixies inspired by the Harry Potter books/movies, so we got to making some improvements while we were at it.  We'd been having some frustrations with the eyes and wings.  We chose to use two colors of Alova Suede Cloth for the bodies.  We made a few minor alterations to the hands, feet and body shapes and decided to use fabric covered wire for the antennae.  The eyes were the most trouble. We couldn't find any more of the acrylic ones we had used in the past.  Then, just recently we discovered a fabric store that sells the larger 19 and 21 mm eyes. But, they were only in brown. So, I ended up using the dremel tool to grind off the brown irises as best I could. I found the 21mm were easier to remove completely.

She cut all the pieces and sewed them together while I helped to turn them, attach the eyes, stuff and hand sew up the opening.  Then, she attached the jointed arms and legs while I sewed on the heads and made them each wings.  So happy to have figure out some wings for these!  And, they are so simple!  I'll get to that more in a bit.   First, here's a pic of each one.  (Of course, they each turned out different as usual.)

Pixie #1 - Wizzopuff 

Pixie #2 - Fizzbang

Pixie #3 - Dizzleboom

Can you believe these were all made from the exact same pattern?!  :D  We haven't given them names, yet.  Daughter just helped named them for us.  Now, for those WINGS!

I made several attempts at them with different materials trying to come up with a light-weight wing that light would pass through.  You may remember  glimps of my glue on wire attempt back here.  I've also tried cellophane, tissue paper, mod podge, tulle and something called "Press and Seal". Each one had different plusses and minuses.

But the best wings I came up with were made with packing tape and a laser copy. It's an image transfer technique I've experimented with a long while back. The wings seem just barely stiff enough not to need wire support.  I made two separarte pieces for the upper and lower wings. And sandwiched a pin back between them. I'm still working to conceal the pinbacks a little better. 

That's all for now!  Mom also experimented with some more polar fleece and even flannel pixies that I will post more about a little later along with an eye experiment.  You may not hear from me for a while, though.  We've got a few events coming up this next month.  But, I'll be back in full on crafting mode in November.

UPDATE:  Now you can own one of our pixies or make some using our Cornish Pixie Pattern/Tutorial available in my Etsy store (mieljolie).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Felt a Bit Like Cinderella Before the Ball!

I was fretting about not having a thing to wear to the Sky Commodore's Autumn Masquerade Ball the weekend before last.  I meant to have something spectacular finished way ahead of time, but of course life stepped in, and I was late working on the witch boots for this Halloween.  Really was excited to see Steam Powered Giraffe and our fav local band, Marquis of Vaudville, play again. 

So, this is the outfit I came up with with mostly stuff I had. Amazing what a few new pieces can do for a new look. Just goes to show you don't have to totally start from scratch for a new look, right?  Though most of it is made up of stuff I'd already made or found like the corset and underskirts, I managed to make a new tabistry hat to match my corset and sew a gold overskirt and sleeves. I'll discuss the hat more on my tabistry blog.

As for the overskirt, it is five panels gathered at the seam with an adjustable casing.  All the strings are hidden at the underside of the skirt under my corset.  I'm still not completely happy with it.  Being a crunch for time, I had to sacrifice in places.  I plan to go back and add a front panel, prehaps removalbe to change the color that will help to straighten it out at the front edges.  The gold drapey sleeve thing is just a tube of fabric pinned to the inside of the corset.  I wore a black tank under it and made some black removble sleeves out of tights.

This was my frst outing in a hoop skirt. We had aquired the hoop skirt with another larger one from, where else but, our local flea market (One for me and one for mom.).  We got them from a nice lady who used to have an awesome vintage clothing shop there. She has since moved to another larger flea market. She has some great stuff. I also found a pair of spats in her shop that are a wee too tight in the ankle for most of my shoes and a great metal chain belt I will have to wear one of these days. But, back to the hoop skirt. Not the best thing to dance in to the type of music we heard, and was a real trick to get in the car in. But, I survived without and traumatic mishaps or exposure.

Mr. Sam wore the top hat and vest we created for the Willy Wonka event earlier this year. The canes we have were also from back then.  I reworked the striped one I have from a wooden staff that had a giant skull on top.  You can't see in the pic, but I resculpted a smaller skull on the top with paperclay.  His cane was from the flea market.  The mask he wore was one he'd put together when he was working on his first top hat and steampunk outfit.

It was a great time as usual. Awesome show.  Well worth the effort I (didn't) put into a new outfit for it. We even got to chat briefly with Toby, the lead singer of MOV.  Great guy.


There were too many amazing costumes to count.  The crew of Airship Serenity was in full force that night.  There was a lot of steamy eye candy.

Though I've been tinkering and all round mucking them up, I must give Joseph Hernandez a member of Airship Serentiy the credit for shooting these photos. To our shagrin, we had yet again forgotten the old camera. I was sad because I really would like to have gotten some close up pics of all the hardwork my mom put into stylin my hair into a Victorian updo with ringlets. Using about a thousand bobby pins, she did a fantastic job that really set off my outfit.


Thaks for stopping in!  Pardon the pun, but hope you too are having a ball crafting! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Dog or Cat Beds - Made from Old Sweatshirt and Other Things Around the Home

A new friend, Carol, sent me a DIY idea for a dog or cat bed that I thought was absolutely brilliant!  It's made from an old sweatshirt, a pillow, and some other stuffing.   She didn't know, but we'd been pondering how we could make our own just days before she sent this.  So, we whipped one up over one weekend, and I thought I'd share our experience. 

Very little sewing on this project.  Only took about an a hour or so to gather, prepare and finish the project with stuff we already had around.  Lindy isn't really sure about the bed, yet.  She's never actually had one before.  But, we are trying to train her because she's starting to have trouble jumping up to the bed.  She tries it out every once in awhile.  Beats the cold hard floor, I'm sure.

Here is the pic she sent that inspired us.  By the watermark, it looks like it came from a facebook post by pensedenovo(https://www.facebook.com/AllGodsCreaturesPetServices/posts/165953616875336), but the author may actually be here:  http://caninablog.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/ciccilo-mostra-cama-com-conceito-reciclavel/


An average size sweatshirt may be okay for a cat or small dog.  But, you're gonna want a fairly large shirt for a larger dog. Our IG, Lindy, is a medium-sized dog at less than 20 lbs and shorter than 2 foot from nose to base of tail.  I already had an old oversized sweatshirt that would be perfect.  When Lindy was cold as a puppy she would actually crawl into this sweatshirt while I was wearig it.  (There was plenty of room for both of us.)  So, she even had history with it.  :) 

For the pillow, we had some used polyfil bed pillows that flatten out over time.  When they get flat, I normally take out a seam and sew it in to a square size refluffing as needed.  Then, I cover again with pretty fabric and use them to camp with.  But, I had one left over that hadn't been repurposed, yet.

The side stuffing in the sleeve portion in ours is old carpet padding that we shredded up.  This took most of our time, but the stuffing created a much denser walls that will hold it's shape better than the polyfil to provide more support.  Afterall, we don't want her rolling off to the floor.

As for the sewing part.  You want to close up the neck hole first.  Then, sew a line right across the chest where the sleeve starts.  Doesn't have to be perfect.  Now, you just stuff the sleeve/chest portion with stuffing of any kind like old clothes, pillow stuffing, or carpet padding.  You may even want to try plastic grocery bags.  Close up the ends of the sleeves and attaching them together.  Shove an old pillow into the belly portion through the bottom and sew up.  The last thing is to attach the sleeve to the bottom of the belly portion where you closed it.  We didn't sew all around this.  Just tacked it in the center and a little ways up both arms.  This will allow crumbs and lint to fall through, instead of accumulating in the bed.

Here's a whimsical variation using jeans:  http://crushable.com/other-stuff/the-daily-wtf-here-is-a-dog-bed-shaped-like-a-lap-953/

And, a bed made from a suitcase:  http://moxandfodder.com/2011/10/24/vintage-suitcase-dog-bed/  This is nice if you want to hide it under the bed or somewhere when not in use.

And, the same idea leaving the top on:  http://www.atypicaltypea.com/2011/03/11/rethink-reuse-suitcases/suitcase-dog-bed/  Leaving the lid on might make it easier to toss all the toys in and tuck under the couch when company comes calling.  (Might want to secure it so it won't fall down on the dog when in it) 

Hope these ideas inspire you to make your own dog/cat bed for your pet, instead of purchasing an overpriced one from a store.  Continue on crafting!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have you ever wondered?...

...Do you know?
Why a witch's' shoe has a curled up toe?


One day Miss Witch put on a shoe,
but there's one thing she failed to do.
She didn't peek inside that pump.
She didn't spy a creeping lump.

Instead she brushed upon her heel
a squishy feel that made her squeal.
For in her slipper, beneath her flipper,
she almost squashed a unseen nipper.

A spider with fangs and reflexes quick
and venom that makes one feel quite sick.
It's bite caused her a great surprise.
And, the toe it bit grew twice its size.

The toe, it turned five shades of blue,
and oozed with puss and smelly goo.
The spider faired no better, I'll say.
For two of its legs were sprained that day.

For weeks this pair of grumpy gimps,
Miss Witch and the spider, walked with limps.
But instead of arguing 'bout who's to blame,
Neither again would wind up lame.

Vowing her shoes would possess ample room
Miss Witch saved the future spiders from doom.
Because any witch will tell you clear,
it's not just your toes at stake, my dear.

And, now you, too, know why they chose
Those goofy shoes with the curled up toes.
But...What's up with those pointy hats?!
Think there's room in her belfry for bats?

by Mieljolie, ©2012

Finished painting a 2nd witch shoe from the batch I posted about way back here.  This spider themed one is for my sis.  I'm calling it "Spider Webs".  She had claimed it 2 years ago when I first posted about them.  But, even though the three shoes were almost finished then, I had set them aside for other projects.  It's taken a while, but I finally got around to putting the last touches on this one.  Well, maybe.  Just one last thing I'd like to do.  I want to find a spider to hang from the toe.  I will probably try to make one out of polymer clay.

This is one of my favorite shoe styles from what we've made so far.  I think I may make some more little loafers like this someday.

Just one more shoe from the set to finish.  It's the super tall one.  I probably won't have it finished for this Halloween, though.  But, the 9 year-old daughter also painted her first boot!  :) 

She helped us assemble a batch of the small boots, so I let her have one to paint however she wanted.  She was glad to shred paper strips and mix our paste, but I couldn't convince her to get her hands dirty sculpting.  Said she didn't like the feel of it.  Such a girly girl.  :)


And just so ya know, it says "Puka Ville", not "Puke Ville".  Tee hee.  She meant to write "pooka".  Those are little bunny-like pookas playing atop the heel.  The other side has some houses. I think it's going to be fun pulling this out when she's older. I should let her paint one each year. :)

These might be the last new witch shoes/boot you see for us this Halloween.  I may keep working on a larger boot, but I've got a lot on my plate right now.  Until next post, be craft-tastic!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Miss Witch's Ogrehide Witch BOO't available in time for Halloween

Miss Witch's Ogrehide Boots

Miss Witch met an ogre named Clyde,
who quite unexpectedly died.
He was useless in life.
Always caused others strife.
But, his hide made fine boots when dried.

Miss Witch then went for a ride
in her new boots of green ogrehide.
She blushed top to bottom
when asked where she got'em.
"Off an ogre named Clyde", she replied.

by mieljolie, ©2012

New Witch BOO't finished and available on Etsy!  This is a small sized one standing about 8" tall and 7.5" long and is painted to look like an ogre's hide all stitched up into a boot.  It has an eye peeking out on one side and a colorful spider on the other with a few flies landing everywhere on the sides and tongue. 

There are two more flies on the tongue in front.  I used a brown nylon cord for the lace. I had thought about using a color that would match the bright green stitches, but decided the brown would tie in the tree stump heel better.

Close up detail of the spider and a fly on the left side and of the eye on the right side. (Click images to see larger versions)  I think I've been inspired a lot by the many spiders we seem to be finding around our house these days.  We've seen orb weavers, wolf spiders, cob web or house spiders, and our family favorites the many colors of jumping spider, among others.  Jumping spiders are the only ones we allow to stay inside.  The are fairly harmless, secluded, and territorial.  So, they keep all the other creepy crawlies at bay. The rest get cupped up and sent back out to the "wild".

It was rather relaxing (and just a wee bit tedious) painting all the stitches.  I may revisit this theme again in the future.  But perhaps in a more deliberate symetrical fashion or just on portions of a boot. 

I'll be trying to finish up some larger BOO'ts next along with some costuming.  One boot may have a haunted house theme.  Hope to have at least one more completed by Halloween.  **Knocks on ogre-hide boot's faux wood heel**  ;)