Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Something Steampunk This Way Comes...

After a long day at work, there aren't many things better to come home to than a package in the mail. This particular package contained some awesome handmade Steampunk bullet necklaces, created by fellow crafter and blogger Mieljolie. This isn't a great photo (for some reason photos uploaded from my phone don't look that great on here), but if you go over to All Things Crafty and check out Mieljolie's photos, you'll get a much better idea of how cool these are. Thanks, Mieljolie! :) Maybe someday I'll get super crafty and make a Steampunk outfit to go with these. It's on the bucket list, at least.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

50 Blows

Yet another adventure in amateur cake-making. I have become the de-facto cake baker of the family, despite the fact that I really don't know what I'm doing, I guess I'm just the one willing to lay it all on the line and take the big risks. Remember the topsy-turvy 50 Sucks cake I made for my mother-in-law a few months ago? Well, I made its companion cake for my father-in-law, who was also turning 50: 50 Blows.

Now, the logical thing would be to make this cake with Blow-Pops, right? Well, after tossing a few ideas around, we decided to instead make his a cigar/humidor cake, as he has recently developed a liking for cigars. Here is yet another cake when knowing how to do fondant would have helped, but alas, I have not taken the time to experiment/learn.

This isn't a great picture, but you kind of get the idea:
This cake has a rectangular opening for the "cigars" (chocolate covered pretzel rods with sugar-paper bands). Brown icing for the wood, and matches made out of mini pretzel rods with red candy melt tips. The matches were my favorite touch.

This was kind of a rush job, and I didn't take the time to really photograph it well, but it met my minimum requirements: you could tell what it was supposed to be, and it tasted good. We had several different ideas on what to make the hinges and other hardware from, but were unable to find any of the items in question at the old Wal-Mart. Time was short, so I used what I COULD find--Sugar Sheets sucralose paper. Edible sugar. This stuff was easy to use (just cut out your shapes, moisten the back, and press into place), but kinda pricey. I think it was $2.50 per sheet. Luckily, one sheet was enough.

I must admit, although I'm not really a baker, I have been enjoying the cake experimentation. I was a sculpture major, after all, so I guess I SHOULD enjoy it, but you know how it is, we rarely enjoy those things we SHOULD. Anyhow, just wanted to share with you the latest creation. I hope to be posting more soon, so keep your fingers crossed that I will have the time to do all the things I have planned! Until next time, this is the Cardboard Crafter, signing off.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quilted Christmas Ornaments

Piecing together some fabric squares with my trusty ol'
sewing machine.

The other day when I was reading through all of my son's school papers, a bright yellow sheet of paper caught my attention. No, not because of the color, but because of the content: my son's school is having a Christmas Craft Bazaar!

I've never tried to sell anything I made, except for the cardboard dollhouses I offered up at my yard sale (which didn't sell...) (**Unless, of course, you count back to when I was 5 and set up a greeting card stand on the front porch of my house. I think I sold 2 whole cards... both to relatives.) It has always been something I wanted to try. And Eli had so much fun selling lemonade at the aforementioned yard sale, that I couldn't help myself; I signed us up for a table.

The problem? We had nothing on hand to sell. So I've been looking for some pretty easy crafts that I can make from items on hand. Today I came across this post from The Sewing Loft. I had already picked out all my red and green fabric, thinking I might make some holiday dresses for a few Barbies I picked up at my local Goodwill for 50 cents each, but my husband suggested that maybe Eli would want to sell something a little less "girly" at his school. (I haven't scrapped the Barbie idea yet, but I do concede that my kid needs a few other things to sell as well.)

These quilted Christmas ornaments looked pretty easy and quick, which are pretty high on my list of "musts" for a craft project these days.
These are my inspiration pieces, thanks to The Sewing Loft.
Eli and I have decided to donate 50% of his proceeds to his
school, and although he doesn't know it yet, he'll get the other
half for his own Christmas shopping (that is, if we can sell anything)
I don't have pinking shears (an oversight one day to be corrected, I'm sure), but I think I have everything else I need.

  • Red, white, and green Christmas fabric
  • Felt
  • Ribbon (substitute red yarn)
  • Sewing machine
  • And my own special touch: silver thread to use for the edging

 <Finished product to be posted when I get done>

I got about halfway done with this project when it became apparent that my girls needed a little more of my attention. C'est la vie. Meet you after nap time to let you know how it goes!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picture of the Day: Cardboard Cityscape

Super cool cardboard buildings from the Hola Mama Blog.
Thanks, Babs, for sharing this link! As a lover of cardboard, dollhouses, and cardboard dollhouses, I'm sure it is no stretch of the imagination to know that I would love this. And now that my best friend's wedding is over, (Congratulations, Erica!) I have completed all the sewing, projects, and events associated with the festivities, so now is a good time for me to start on Emily Henderson's I'm A Giant! Challenge. (You didn't think I had forgotten, did you?)

I have been collecting items for quite a while to use in my next dollhouse. I have 4-6 diaper boxes for the rooms, craft hinges (because I intend to make the dollhouse close to be a complete house), cardboard tubes, and all kinds of small things. I will build this one in 1/12 scale (1 inch = 12 inches), which is half Barbie/GI Joe size. The only thing I will need is 1/12 scale dolls (although I do have some that are close to the right size, so I might just fake it... we'll see).

I'm getting a little excited about this project, just thinking about it! Will any of you be joining me? Please post your pictures on my Facebook page and share any links that may be inspirational! When I am finished with it (if it's done in time), this will be a Christmas gift for my daughters.  Anyone else have the same plan? There's nothing better than a homemade gift. And even though there's a good chance they will tear it up within 5 minutes, that's okay--they'll at least get some play time, and that will give me a reason to make another one! ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sew Elegant Sashes

I started this post yesterday evening and was about halfway done, when inexplicably my computer got turned off and nothing I had written was saved. I hate that. So I'm just going to sum up what I had written last night. Below are some pictures of my current project in progress. (These are pinned together, in the process of sewing.)

These are sashes for the bridesmaid dresses at my friend's wedding. Recognize the fabric? Well, you've seen it before, it's the spare fabric from the table rounds. Long story short, the original plan for these sashes fell through--first because of money, then because the new sashes I ordered were quite a bit smaller than I thought, so they became the bows for these Plan C sashes.
Here's a front view of the sash on the black dress on my
dress form. The dress is strapless, all that stuff you see above
the neckline is just dress form modifications.
Plan B sashes will be used as bows.
Long and lean bows. We're going for something elegant here.
The sash narrows as it gets near the clasp in the back.
So, there you have it. These sashes are basically like the sashes in my pillow case dresses with a hook and eye closure and a bow sewn on the back. I think they will look really sharp and elegant, though. And hopefully, the rest of the girls agree ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Organization, O How You Elude Me

This shelving has been with me since three moves ago when
I rescued it from the curb after my neighbor discarded it.
Silly neighbor, there is a ton of potential in these shelves!
I have a dream. I have a dream of a house where there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place. I have a dream where I can walk through the living room without tripping over toys. I have a dream where I can eat at my kitchen table without causing an avalanche of kindergarten worksheets and drawings. And I have a dream of an organized sewing room where I can find everything I need to get the job done in 5 seconds flat.

"Dream on, sister," you may be thinking. You clearly must remember the shape my sewing room was in last time I dreamed of cleaning it up... Well, it's not in much better shape now, but there is potential for improvement. Yes, folks, I have acquired additional storage space. Not just any storage space, but open shelving where I can stack up my fabric and still see it. Shelving separated in square units that are perfect for putting baskets and boxes of notions and accessories inside. Shelving which will get a goodly amount of crap of my floor.

Now you may be wondering why these shelves are not actually IN the sewing room, as pictured above... Well, the problem is that there was too much crap on the floor for these to actually fit in the room. It's one of those situations where I have to clean up before I can clean up. (Usually I have to MESS things up before I can clean up and reorganize, so this is a little foreign to me.) Or at least I have to shift the piles around so that there is a path to the back wall. Well, that's doable. Once the shelves are in place, however, the real challenge begins: organization. I need to take stock of what I have on hand and arrange it in such a way that it makes sense and I can find what I have. Now THIS might call for a mess: pulling all the fabric back off the shelves and rearranging it by color or fabric type or whatever. I still have tons of stuff in boxes and bags that I never have unpacked because I had nowhere to put it. Gosh, just thinking about the job ahead has me exhausted.

But let's focus on the positives: I DO finally have storage, and I have lots of WONDERFUL things with which to craft. Organization, you may have eluded me this go round, but I've got your number and soon I will take the time to put SOMETHING in my house into order, even if the little whirlwinds I call children will soon blow through and undo all of my progress. C'est la vie.