Wednesday, February 3, 2016

May The Floss Be With You

Just when I think I can't get any more nerdy...awhile back, I did a Craftster swap (I've since forgotten the theme) where I embroidered a hoop of  Bo and Daisy Duke for my partner. I got to thinking that I should do something like that for myself, so I give you...Kit Fisto!!

I found Kit's image by searching Yahoo for Star Wars coloring pages. The fabric is some muslin type that I got from AC Moore, along with the embroidery thread.

I used my front door's glass as a projector on a sunny day, taped the picture and the fabric up to it, and traced the image on with a pencil. It's roughly 8.5" x 10".

I love Kit because I thought he was such an interesting character. visually speaking. I've read that Phil LaMarr, an actor I enjoy very much, was the voice of Kit in the animated Clone War series, but he did so with a slight Jamaican-type accent.



Personally, I never thought Kit would sound Jamaican. I don't remember hearing him speak in episodes 1-3, but I figure his voice would be deep and slightly gurgly, kind of like what Abe Sapien would sound like under water.

Wow, that's the geekiest thing to come out of my mouth in a long time! :) I just combined Star Wars and Hellboy in the same sentence!
 
My next planned embroidery project will be of William Shatner as Captain Kirk. I think once I get enough of these, I might have to turn them into a blanket of some kind.

Monday, January 18, 2016

I Wanted To See The Universe, So I Made a TARDIS and I Ran Away.

Well over a year ago, while doing some Christmas shopping for the 2014 season, we ended up at a store called At Home. There was a lot of interesting things there but I didn't end up buying anything. However, they did have two different sized TARDIS cabinets that I realllllllllly wanted. (They don't show them on their website so, I don't know if they still carry them in store.)

I talked myself out of either of them, because I need more furniture like I need a hole in the head. But the thought of those lovely blue cabinets never left me. Fast forward to about a one month ago. I decided it was time to transform a small cabinet I already had into a version of the TARDIS. (This whole refinishing furniture really caught me hard, didn't it?)

I spent about $28.50 on this refinish.

This is what I started with. I don't believe this is solid wood, but rather some kind of compressed sawdust kind of thing, mixed with something else. It doesn't feel like pure wood. I've had it since probably 2005, if not longer. It was something my mom bought for me at Hancock Fabrics. I always thought it was fairly homely but it's function was too good. It's been where I've stashed my paints and PS2 games in the past.

Primed, on Christmas Eve. I already had the primer. Because I hoard spray paint like that.


About 1 1/2 cans of this (from my local hardware store), for a cabinet about 2 1/2 feet tall, both inside and out. I wanted very even coverage.

Sorry for the potato here. I removed the top (unneeded) drawer pull and filled the hole with wood filler. I found the windows, St. John's ambulance, police box sign and public sign on various websites, printed them to fit, and then decoupaged them on with some Modge Podge. The window trim is actually automobile pin-striping tape from Pep Boys.

I liked how the front door of the cabinet had that faux trim and recessed area on it, so I tried to recreate a version of it on the sides. these are $1 wood frames from AC Moore, with thin wood trim, from Michael's, mitered and added to the sides.

I also tried my hand at some distressing/weathering painting all around the TARDIS. I bought some craft paint in lighter and darker shades of blue. My TARDIS is well-traveled. It's been through a lot.
I thought about adding some simple Home Depot stock furniture legs to it, to raise it up a little bit and give it more of a weight in my room, but I decided against it. I thought it would take away from that perfect "base" it already sits on.

I was going to take this outside on Sunday to start spraying on the polyurethane, but Mother Nature decided to make it snow and rain here instead. Right now, it's about 28 degrees outside (with the windchill, it's about 20 degrees).

I really wanted to get this finished, because I busted my hump on it on Saturday night to finish the detail work. So, since this is going upstairs in my finished crafting room, I hauled it upstairs to the unfinished attic room we have here. It has electricity for light, but no heat, exposed rafters and unfinished wood plank floors. That is my new spray painting room! As long as I keep the paint away from the stuff I'm actually storing up there, who cares what the floor looks like! :) I'll do another coat on it tomorrow morning, and maybe a third one in the evening, and I'll call it done so it can dry.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another Entry Off the Bucket List

I am still around, but I've been super busy since the holidays. This year, we went up to Cleveland for New Year's and did some sightseeing up there. We got to go see Ralphie's house from "A Christmas Story," so I'm able to cross that off my bucket list.

A Christmas Story House, now restored to its movie splendor, is open year round to the public for tours. Directly across the street from the house is the official A Christmas Story House Museum, which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos. Among the props and costumes are the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car. After reliving A Christmas Story at Ralphie’s house don’t forget to visit the museum gift shop for your own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia. You can even shop through our online gift shop here. Proceeds from the gift shop help support and maintain A Christmas Story House & Museum.
 
And just so you know ahead of time...EVERYTHING in the house is interactive! You can play with everything in the house, if you want!
 


The only thing missing was the puff of ozone.


Looking outside the window next to Ralphie's bed. Remember when he got up, threw open the window and everything was covered with snow?



Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie!
Now that I'm coming down from my New Year's vacation high, I'm working on turning a small, slightly ugly cabinet into a small, less ugly TARDIS for my crafting room. Pics to come in a few days!

  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy sub, but my husband and I don't know anyone that works on board a sub.
  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy ship that most people will never get to go on. I got to go walk around under a ship while it was in dry dock, and then I walked up the scaffolding around the mast, almost to the very top!
  • I'd love to go for a ride in a fighter jet of some kind.
  • I want to go jet skiing in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • I want to go scuba diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean.
  • I want to go to the top of the Washington Monument. 
  • I want to go to NYC, and see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers, and go to a show of some sort. We went there in 2000 and saw The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • I want to go to the Saint Louis Arch. We did this in 1999.
  • I want to go to Niagara Falls. We did this in 2000.
  • I want to go to Universal Studios Florida. We did this in 2001 and I'd love to do it again!
  • I want to go to the Poconos and stay in one of their themed suites. We did this in 2006 and stayed at Caesar's in the champagne glass suite.
  • I want to stay in a themed suit at the HoJo in Florence, KY. I'm crossing this one off without doing it. I took a look at their rooms again (apparently, they were bought by another hotel chain). The rooms on the new website look pretty cheesy, even for a themed hotel. Plus, the room I would have liked is a smoking room only, so you know it's going to stink.
  • I want to visit Santa Claus, IN, "American's Christmas Hometown."
  • I want to go to Metropolis, IL.
  • I want to get a memorial tattoo in honor of my mom and my mother-in-law.
  • I want to take a road trip up to DC to see the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum and go to Horace and Dickie's Seafood Restaurant This one was both completed (wax museum) and not completed (Horace and Dickie's) in April 2015.
  • I want to write a bad sci-fi horror script and present it to The Asylum to see if they'd be willing to make it into an actual movie for the SyFy Channel. I finished this on April 12, 2015.
  • I want to finally order the "Hell's Admin Assistant" patch for my motorcycle jacket that I've been thinking about for years.--I figure it's a funny alternative to a Hell's Angel patch, which I'm clearly not a member of Hell's Angels. I ordered one from Star City Stitchery
  • I'd like to cuddle a baby gorilla. I really don't know where this one comes from, but aren't baby gorillas the cutest babies EVER??!
  • I want to take a painting class, a la Bob Ross. I did this in a restaurant in Virginia Beach with a bunch of motorcycle riders from an American Legion post, in 2014.
  • I want to go hang gliding in Kill Devil Hills, NC. I did this over Memorial Day weekend with my husband.
  • I want to see the archaeological dig at the Jamestown Settlement.  I did this in April 2015.
  • I want to go charter boat fishing in the Atlantic Ocean: I tried doing this in 2012, but the water was really rough that day. I didn't catch anything but I sure made a lot of chum! In July 2015, we went charter boat fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • I want to go to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • I want to see KISS in concert, in the make-up. 
  • I will get a job at some kind of animal shelter, and I'm going to be damn good at whatever I end up doing there. 
  • I will get at least one old, beat up piece of wood furniture, save it from going to the landfill, and refinish it. I've actually done two pieces now.
  • I'd like to go on an LCAC ride with my husband before he transfers to his new command.I had to cross this one off finally, because Shane left this command already. This bummed me out. I never got a ride on an LCAC out on the bay. Some of his family members did, and even though I offered to take any number of half days off from work, I never got to ride. 
  • I will go to see the Booth Trail in 2013. 
  • I will go to Natural Bridge, VA (We did this in 2013) and the Shenandoah Valley and stay in a cabin in the woods.  We did this for the end of the year in 2014.
  • I will go to Hiddenite Gems, an emerald mine open to the public, in NC. 
  • I will go to the Richmond Zoo and the Virginia Zoo (they have done a lot of remodeling and I haven't been there for a several years). 
  • I can't drive a clutch and have no desire to learn, but I'd like to go for a ride in a 1957 Chevy BelAire and a mid-80's Lamborghini Countach.
  • I'd like to sit in any of the Batmobiles (did the original series Batmobile at ROFCON 2015), ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters, a DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future (had my picture taken with this at Virginia Comicon in November 2015) KITT from Knight Rider, and the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • I will go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 
  • I want to go to Rhode Island, Boston and Seattle, just for the sake of going.
  • I want to go to Tokyo some day.--I've been to Hanoi and Hue, Vietnam, but it wasn't close enough.
  • I want to see the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt. 
  • I'd love to see the Mona Lisa (she's in the Louvre in Paris) and The Scream (there are a couple, two of them are in Munich). 
  • I want to go to London, and maybe look for the TARDIS and the Doctor. 
  • I want to go to San Diego to see my best friend, go to Comic Con, wear a costume, take lots of photos, find an awesome looking Spider-Man so I can give him a hug for just being Spidey, and then walk a beach on the Pacific Ocean, looking for shells. 
  • I'd like to go to a taping of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" if we ever go to California.  I had to cross this one off: On April 28, 2014, Ferguson announced that he will leave the show on December 19, 2014.
  • I want to have at least one great, wildly creative crochet pattern published in a real book somewhere. 
  • I'd like to have our yard be featured for our Halloween decorations with a local tv station, so people might understand you don't have to spend big bucks on decorations and still put together a great display (I say this because we don't go as crazy for Christmas decorations). 
  • I'd like to win a challenge on Craftster. 
  • I'd like to compete on Craft Wars on TLC. I had to cross this one off too, because I'm pretty sure it's no longer on the air. I can't find any updated information on it. 
  • I will finish the Jedi costume finally and I will join the Rebel Legion I was accepted in December 2014!
  • I want to ride a mechanical bull. --I did this in April 2015.
  • I will finish the doll house I started several years ago. 
  • I want to go to Ohio and see Ralphie's house from The Christmas Story. We did this in December 2015.
  • I want to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert (summer 2015), and maybe even the Bangles if I ever get to California. 
  • I want to see the Barenaked Ladies again, the next time they come to Hampton Roads.
  • I want to take my friends to the Virginia Safari drive through park in Stanton, VA. Did this in July 2014.
  • Sunday, December 20, 2015

    I Made A Crochet Hook!

    I recently saw this article about a woman who knits with her arms instead of knitting needles. I thought it was very interesting and wondered if I could use my right arm as a big ol'crochet hook. I haven't tried it yet, but then that got me thinking about making a crochet hook.

    I looked around online and came across Jimbo's Frot Porch and his tute for making a crochet hook. Clearly, Jimbo is an experienced whittler, while I'm lucky to not slice off my fingertip when making supper. However, I decided to try it anyway.

    Pen for scale, of course.
    This is what I started with: a couple of sticks from my front yard. I believe the shorter stick was maple and the longer one was oak. I wanted to have a back up stick, in case one didn't work out, and I was glad to have thought of that. I left them to dry out on my front step for a couple of days.

    After I got the bark off, the maple stick was extremely uneven, because the bark had been uneven. After I tossed that one out, I got to work on the oak stick.

    I sanded the oak stick with a hand held "mouse" type of sander, with some coarse sandpaper. I don't remember the grit off hand, and I can't go out to the garage to look it up because that part of the garage is off limits to me until after Christmas, per a standing "order" from my husband.

    Anyhoo, I sanded off the outer layer of bark instead of using a knife to cut it off, as I did with the maple. This bark was thinner and more brittle, and was probably out in the elements longer. Maybe that's why it was easier to work with. Who knows...I'm not very knowledgeable about wood.

    I actually used a box cutter to notch out the hooked end (the "throat" of the hook). This is where I really should have hurt myself, but because I was working slowly, I was fine.

    I used a damp paper towel to wipe away the sawdust, and left it to dry overnight in the kitchen. The next night, I sprayed on a couple coats of a clear semi-gloss poly. The instructions on the can said to sand it one more time and then re-coat. So, I hand handed it first and then used a big heavy, workbench-mounted sander in our garage to finish it off.

    When everything was done, it was a really pretty blonde wood, very evenly colored. But I wanted to somehow seal it and make it more slick to the touch. I found the stain I used for my bench awhile back (red oak) and rubbed on one layer of it. The wood dramatically changed color, but in a way that didn't make any sense to me. It came out spotted. It didn't matter but I thought it was interesting.

    I finished it off with a couple more coats of the semi-gloss poly and now I have a very rustic homemade crochet hook!


    This is now the largest crochet hook I own. It's 12 3/4" long. I don't know the size of it, but I do know it's bigger than a Q sized hook.

    Thursday, December 17, 2015

    A Blast From the Christmas Past

    We moved into our house 12 years ago. I think it was our first or second Christmas here in the neighborhood that we went out driving to look at the lights and were inspired.

    There was a neighborhood close by that had lines of cars waiting to get into it, and it was all to just look at the Christmas lights there. One little area in particular stood out to us. It was a cul de sac that backed up to the interstate and there were two houses there facing the road at angles. Since then, the city put up a sound wall-barrier-thing, so you can't see the houses from the interstate anymore.

    The house on the right had the typical Nativity scene, a whole bunch of lights, and a long series of almost all of the Peanuts characters. I think all of the Peanuts "kids" must have been handmade. The characters looked a little "off," but the whole display was pretty striking. I looked at my husband and said, "Shit, we're creative people. We could make that and have it turn out better than that!" He agreed.

    So that's how our Snoopy and his house were "born."

    We got some wood from Home Depot, and after some online image searches, I started drawing. My husband had the hard work of cutting everything out. They were primed and given quick blasts of white spray paint. Everything else was craft paint.

    Snoopy and his bowl of bones from Santa actually have pieces of 2"x4" on the back, to keep the wood from warping outside in the elements, plus wedges of wood attached to the "kickstand." On windy days, the kickstand isn't enough to keep them standing, so I can drive the wedge into the dirt for added support.

    Snoopy and his box of ornaments (no kickstand here, just a 90 degree piece of wood on the back) have each been repainted once. For some reason, the bowl of bones have been just fine.


    I realized a few days ago, that I need to repaint the red part of Snoopy's house again. That will be repaint #3. That's also the second set of lights' I've been through on his house, and I need to look for a new dome light for the house. I had one here, but I must have lost it during an attic cleaning frenzy during the off season. The house also has 2"x4"s on the back, as well as the kickstands and wedges.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking this through when we made the house...it's so big that I can't get it up into or out of the attic here by myself. It's about 4' tall and wide.

    We went driving through that same neighborhood again tonight. There's less lights there, and the house where the Peanuts kids were on display was almost completely dark on the cul de sac side. I'm guessing the people who really did up their houses no longer live there. And in return, we have more lights in our neighborhood this year, because of new people living here.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    The Christmas Cards Are Going Out

    Last year, I sent this Christmas card. I addressed it to a woman in Paducah, KY that I just randomly found in the White Pages.

    For this year's card, I kept it simple. It's going to a man in Missoula, MT.


    Wanda, Robbie and the twins just want David and his family to have a Merry Christmas. I really hope it gets hung with the other random cards this guy might get.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    Key Tab Slouchy Hat

    I'll be honest here...I love this hat, but the picture I took of my hat turned out so horribly (I looked like I surprised myself), so that's why this post is going to use Callie's photo.

    It's called the Key Tab Slouchy Hat. I made my hat from some Red Heart yarn in light green and two silver metallic looking, but plastic, buttons from my mom's stash.

    This was a super easy hat to work up, even though it's listed as an intermediate level project. The ribbed brim and the slouch are worked in two separate pieces, so you could use two different colors with ease.

    Check out Callie's website, or her Ravelry page, for the pattern.