The craftings of a shadowy figure...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Confucius Say ~

Cracking open my fortune cookie from yet another dinner out of a box, I grimaced.  According to Confucius, not even he thought I had a chance of finding this skirt.  

"People who don't know where they are going usually wind up somewhere else."  

Apparently I needed a better lucky charm.  It had been weeks and not a peep from this deadbeat dame.  A few graveyard shifts at the Warm-up wasn’t giving me anything either.  This skirt might as well have been a ghost.  
I wasn’t feeling like a ghost story, at least not telling one.  I was looking forward to getting paid.

I was going to have to do a stakeout.  I hated stakeouts.  Terrible locations, limited resources and usually winding up somewhere I didn't intend to go.  

No use fighting it - it was time to pack.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Luck of the Irish?

Artistically speaking there is a school of thought that, "How can you know if you've gone too far if you haven't gone far enough".

Everything I touched this week has been a specter of that expression.
I have been near madness multiple times with everything I touched this week:  a wedding gift that won't be wrapped, my Iron Craft projects(both of them), even just trying to keep track of my Michael's coupon.

So, I can't speak of the luck of the Irish, even though I'm only partly Irish.  I would have thought that counted for something.  However, the only luck I seem to be having is in not catching anything on fire...yet.

Example Numero Uno: Iron Craft 11-project 1.
The theme was green.  No I didn't want to think 'out of the box'; I figured I'd enjoy making something kitschy for St. Patrick's day.  Besides you can only wear the party-store Shamrock earrings and the plastic ring that came off of last year's cupcake for so long.

I dug back to the 1960's Disney gem, Darby O'Gill and the Little People for inspiration.

Of course I like that movie!

There is a dark and stormy night and a Banshee and the Coiste Bodhar make oh so creepy appearances.  True, it scared the crap out of me when I was little but there was always something cool about that part.

So for this project I grabbed a T-shirt from Goodwill.  And scoured online for decent Darby O' Gill images.
So far so good.  I even found a screen-shot from an extra that was a Disney badge looking graphic that says, "I caught the King of the Leprechauns".

This really should have been easy...

But I didn't think to flip the image so that the writing would come out correctly.
I figured that little gem out AFTER printing the main image for the back and the 'badge' for the front.  The badge however, was small enough that I could print a redo on the same sheet.

Have no fear!  I had 1 piece of Iron-On paper left...

Too bad the printer ran blue streaks down the right side of the sheet.

I mean "Thats ok, I'll just cut away most of the green! It's a green t-shirt after all."


Then I touched the iron.

I touched the iron to the design after it took FOREVER to get the cut away pieces to stay down.

*#$^%&#%~*^@#%@! ~
I mean, "Thats ok, it'll be cute with the vintagey-worn look.  Hmm, maybe not, I'll just use the left over backing and the iron to go back over that rough spot, & that spot, & that spot, & that spot."

I think I saved it though.  At this point I'm so tired of staring at it that I'm pretty convinced that I saved it.

But I being a mere mortal, was not content to screw up just one project.  Oh no, next I offer you frustration - uh, project # 2.  A ring in kind.

I found this cool ring at Target on clearance.

And immediately I thought, I could just take some of those Darby O'Gill pics and print them on shrink plastic, cut that little sucker out and glue it to the ring. kind of worked.
 When they were in the oven, I got nervous because they curled up.  So I freaked and thought, well, I'll try those again later.  But I read about the curling problem and found that I probably didn't give them enough time.  So back in they went.

They turned out must better than at first but they were a little too big.  So another batch was printed.  This time the Banshee came out a bit too dull.  But in the 2nd run they shrunk right down.

King Brian however continued to curl, even though I tried the hint to place a piece of parchment paper over the shrink plastic to help keep it from rolling up.  I eventually got that piece to lay flat but noticed a small split in the side.  I don't know if that was from my trim job or my attempt to get that piece to lay flat.

But these pieces were definitely a better size.  So one of these puppies was getting a fancy ride.  So I checked them both out on the ring.  I decided I should color the Banshee's edges - the white was a bit too stark.  While I fixed the edges I decided to brighten her back up.

I gave them both another look on the ring but was still torn.
Unable to decide a clear front runner, I Modge Podged them both.

Head: : Desk.

The Modge Podge on King Brian smeared some of the ink.  He looked like a Gaelic Line Backer, the green smeared under his eye on one side.  Again, with some finagling I think I saved it.

So after a lot of fixes I realized that all these little boo-boos are just another set of tools.  Tools that won't take up any room.  Next time, I'll know just how far to go.

I'll know just how far I can push a piece of shrink plastic and just how far away my iron needs to stay away from an exposed transfer.

And until I decide whether to make a King Brian ring or a Banshee ring I at least have a cool t-shirt to go with that ring from last year's cupcake.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

March Roundup - I may need a nap...

Babies, Birthdays, IronCrafting & that little distraction I refer to as work has got me running!  So I haven't updated recently...I owe you a little tour of my recent attempts.

Perhaps I should start with the oldest project.  It was a Christmas gift...yes, a Christmas gift.  I hadn't seen my friend since before Christmas - so what better time to give her the gift than her birthday?  Ha - that's terrible to even write...

I'm pretty proud of this.  It was material that was preprinted for a pillow...but I saw an apron.
She squealed like a 12 year old at a Bieber concert, so I think she liked it!

Of course I had a Birthday gift too.

She's been a devotee of Zumba lately so I figured a cute little workout outfit might be useful, if not ironic.


Who wears dessert themed work-out gear?!?

Apparently people that are crazy enough to be friends with me!

And last but not least, the newest Iron Craft Project:
This week's project was in honor of Fat Tuesday.  So our challenge was to make a project out of a FatQuarter.

Yep - 1.  1 Fat Quarter.

I ran through a couple of possibilities.

But I ended up deciding on a project that I took from my Sewing Calendar from last year.  The funny thing is going back through the calendar, I'm recognizing more crafters from blogs I read & that I've heard from through Iron Craft.  Funny how that works.

The project that I picked works for one of the many babies that seem to be popping up everywhere!
(Seriously people...I can't keep up!)

I gave the Pacifier Pouch from Lola Again a shot.  I say gave it a shot because she makes it seem so easy,that  my attempt feels like I'm a 3rd grader in art class.  She whips these little suckers out in under an hour.  I cannot go on enough about how cool her site is.

I'm afraid that this doesn't reflect on how easy this project was!

I am just still struggling with sewing.  I am definitely taking baby steps.  So the Pacifier Pouch is strangely appropriate.

Looking at it, these pics don't do my little pocket justice.

My Pacifier Pouch is pretty plain -- maybe I need to look at adding something a little extra...but I don't want to frou frou up a bag for a little boy.

I will say I'm happy that the vinyl I had on hand worked out.  I was a little skeptical since it wasn't the iron-on kind.  But I wouldn't recommend using jean material for the outer pouch.  I thought it'd be great for durability but it doesn't handle the little folds of creating a finished edge so well.  At least at my skill level...

I doubt this will get any Beiber-worthy squealing but I'll definitely give this project another try.  It was easy and best of all it's useful.  And those are the gifts I love to give - ones that will be useful, of course squeals are always welcome.  

So - now you see what I've been up to.  

I guess that means it's time to get back to work...
maybe I'll sneak a nap in first!