Friday, April 24, 2015

Tank top fail! Scarf ongoing sucess, at least.

I managed to get a little experiment done, as you may have seen in my Monday entry. Unfortunately, this:

dried to look like this:
Yeah, gross.

The tank top was so thin at this point that the paint dried to the cardboard underneath, and I couldn't peel the garment off without taking a fair amount of cardboard with it.

Don't at all care for the colors and the paper gave the whole thing a funny shape/uncomfortable fit.

Ah well. Back to the drawing board.

I did manage to put a few more rows on my dragon scarf.

At least that's turning out nicely.

Now, I have a package to put together for a certain someone far to the north.

How did time manage to slip away like it has?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday - The Best Part About Crafting

Yesterday, I headed downtown for a dental appointment and some errands. Since it's easier to carry things on my back, I carried my backpack with me. I'd put the remaining two TMNT key chains on it, just 'cause I could.

As I was waiting for the bus, a little boy stopped dead in his tracks, stared at me and said, "Woah," very quietly.

I had to ask him to repeat the request to get a closer look a couple of times, because I couldn't hear what he said, but once I finally got it, he came over and turned this little guy over a few times.

His mom pulled him away with an apology and a smile before I could really say anything, but that reaction is really one of the highest compliments a crafter can get. What a sweet kid.

(Also featured on Oh My Heartsie Girl and Create With Joy)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fabric Paint TMNT Costume Shirt: Attempt One

Disclosure: This entry has an affiliate link to Target.

Every year, the convention I attend, CONvergence, has a theme that relates to the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Panels are built around it, and cosplayers are encouraged to make related costumes. This years is dystopia.

Since my friends and I are big TMNT fans, we've been going as our own versions. This year, we're doing dystopian versions. Should be fun, right?

Last year, our Leo and I tried Punk!TMNT, which I don't think a lot of people recognized, since we didn't really look very turtle-ish from the front. This year, I'm thinking I want to try for a plastron look on a shirt.

At first, I thought I'd find one of those costume shirts at a low price and just use something from my Generation T book to alter it. After looking around online, the least expensive I could find was $15.99, and I didn't care for the pattern.

If I'm going to cut a shirt up, I'm not paying over $10 for it. So, unless I can find something I like in that price range, I'll be trying my hand at painting a tank-top or shirt. Today, I figured I'd give it a try on a tank-top I'd delegated to the rag bin.

It doesn't look too bad in this pic, but it's threadbare and has holes in it.
I pulled out my old fabric paints (got most of 'em from Target), spread newspaper out on a table, and pulled the tank top down over a Coca Cola box sacrificed to craft. Since I'd already had sponges in the box, I figured I'd give them a try instead of hunting down my brush set.

First, I mixed orange, tan, red/pink and black to make brown, and dabbed a rough outline on.

At this point, I realized I should have cut the cardboard larger, but oh well. This is an experiment, after all.

I then tried mixing the paint to a shade lighter.

I'm no expert with paint. In fact, I'm pretty sub-par when it comes to visual art in general, but I can figure out how to mix colors together.

From there, I dabbed paint inside each square, progressively getting lighter as I got to the center.

This is what I ended up with:

Meh. It...sort of looked ok.

After some deliberation, I picked up my black puff paint, hoping I still had enough, and outlined each square with black.

I then blended the black paint in an attempt to create the illusion of shadows between the "plates" and around the outside. That done, I dabbed lighter colored paint in the center of each section and gradually blended it out.

Here's what I finally wound up with:

That's...actually not terrible.

If I can find a dark green tank top, I think I'll give this another try, but this time, I'll do the edges with an actual brush, so there will be a cleaner look.

As it is, I will try this one on, once it's dry. Depending on how it fits, maybe I'll go with it? I don't know yet.

If you do decide to try this yourself, be forewarned - you WILL make a mess, and your hands will get full of paint, so put newspaper down beforehand and wear something you don't mind getting paint on.

Fortunately, this paint washes off pretty easily, and what doesn't wash off will peel off.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Seedlings and WIP

Again, not a whole lot done craft-wise this week, but I did manage to get some work done on that dragon scarf.

I'm also hardening my seedlings off in order to get them planted in the beginning of May.

Lastly, we might be reorganizing our living room, since our furniture never seems to fit in it very well. Right now, our couch is against the front double window, and the cats seem to approve.

So, anyway. Happy crafting, all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Allergy Season Begins

Allergies have been getting worse in recent years, so I've been trying to find more ways to treat them. Yesterday, I tried this stuff:

I have since dubbed it, "Don't Make Any Plans". Rotten side effects.

So much for getting outside and digging.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Need Cosplay Supplies, But Don't Have Much Money?

If you've been keeping up with this blog for any period of time, you'll know I love cosplay. It's a huge amount of fun, and although I have nothing against store
bought costumes, I still prefer handmade.

A decent handmade costumes take a lot of time to put together, which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you enjoy crafting, but it can also be extremely expensive. Sadly, we don't all have the money to buy expensive supplies, and it can be tricky finding the right props.

After the years of crafting I've put in, though, I do have a few pointers about saving money on supplies. Here are three of my favorite resources.
One of my thrift store hauls. That blender still
works beautifully.
Thrift Stores
Provided you don't mind buying things second hand, or hunting through interesting things, thrift stores can be amazing resources. I've found treasures like fabric (a lot of it high quality), yarn, knitting supplies, paper craft supplies, beads, appliances (like my blender for paper making) and jewelry perfect for adding to certain costumes.

You can save a huge amount of money by shopping at these little stores, and very often find surprisingly high quality items. It's a lot easier to experiment with online tutorials to make a pair of high-rise boots on a $5.00 pair of shoes than on a pair that cost you $25.00.

I've also seen wigs in some stores, but I don't know what kind of quality they were. Since I have no experience with those things, I couldn't speak to how to care for them.

Another thing I love about thrift stores is that they often support wonderful organizations. My favorite stores are ARC Value Village, because their profits go directly to helping people with disabilities severe enough to warrant the need of ongoing help.

Garage Sales
My Hitchhiker's Guide cosplay.
The Don't Panic pouch is made
of garage sale finds, and the
jeans bag is 100% upcycled.
Like thrift stores, garage/yard sales are awesome low-cost alternatives to craft
stores. There is a lot of hunting involved with these, but some of the finds are pretty great. A number of years ago, I landed a huge stash of embroidery floss for fifty cents and a box of jewelry notions for a dollar.

Keep an eye on Craigslist and your local newspapers for sale listings. In the springtime, some neighborhoods hold yearly garage/yard sale events. People on a series of blocks will schedule their own sales on the same day, providing access for shoppers to easily navigate between sales.
This slightly awkward
badge holder is lined
with upcycled plastic bags.

My personal favorite in finding supplies is upcycling things I no longer use around the house. Old shirts can be used as lining or fabric for new projects, and denim from old jeans is hardy enough to be used for a wide array of things.

You can also use plastic bags as water-proofing, and old containers as fodder for
props. It's a little surprising how many things can be used for costumes when you apply imagination. There are quite a few great online tutorials available to help you out with upcycling items, as well.

While some things are best bought at specialty retailers, like specialty contacts or high quality wigs, it is possible to put together a great costume without breaking your bank account.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Accessorizing and Growth Spurts

Since I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to post anything tomorrow, I'm taking care of all my Friday posts today.

Well, I didn't get any jewelry made, but that's ok. I'm not lacking in that department.

I did finish that belt, but I'm a little iffy on it.

I don't know. I kind of like it, but at the same time, it's not exactly what I'd had in mind. It could use a latch or brooch of some sort. Ah, well. I have to run to the store at some point today, so I can see if they have anything, but if not? That's ok.

Anyway, the seedlings that have come up seem to be very happy! The Nasturtium and Sweet Peas in particular are growing like crazy.

I'm entirely too amused at how the Naturtum (the ones with the Lily Pad-like leaves) are growing. Since they lean over so far to get closer to the window, I keep turning them around, so they start the process all over again.

The other seedlings, bar one of the morning glories, seem to be rather happy, too.

My one spaghetti squash plant is growing rather nicely, too.

Cute, isn't it?

All in all, a semi-productive week. The rest of today will be filled with cleaning and whatnot for me. Hope you all have a great weekend!