Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hipster Vulcan cosplay for SupaNova Perth

Hello! Scott, Rebecca, and I weren't really planning on going to SupaNova this year ... and then the week before we decided to anyway! We missed out on Oz ComicCon earlier in the year, so I'm really glad we did end up going ^____^ Of course this meant that we needed cosplays! I was being a bit indecisive about repeating one of my old cosplays, but in the end decided to make something new. The WA roller derby grand final was the night before and even though I was just spectating, I knew I'd want something simple and comfortable to wear the next day - that much screaming and cheering takes a lot out of you, you know! ~_____^

So I hurriedly threw this costume together, 100% from things I had lying around my house. As I awkwardly explained to one girl at the con, "it's like a hipster Vulcan, like on shore leave kinda thing, like just casual?" Ugh, words. Anyway, from head to toe, here's how I put this costume together ...


 Flower crown: I made this a couple of years ago at my "it's my birthday, let's make flower crowns" party ~___^ I used two bouquets of foam roses, one white and one pink, and thin floral wire. The foam roses come on bendable wire steams covered with florist's tape so all I had to do was bend them into a circle shape, alternating pink and white roses, and add small amounts of floral wire to hold them into place.

Eyebrows: I think I went too subtle, but I did actually change the shape of my eyebrows so that they were more straight (mine usually curve down a lot more!). To do this, I put a small amount of glue stick on the end half of my eyebrows (which, despite the internet assuring me this would be fine, I was very nervous about!) and then did layers of powder, concealer, foundation, and then more powder to cover up my eyebrow. Then I used an eyebrow pencil to draw them in again, but in a more Vulcan like shape. And, wonderful news, it all washed off really easily that evening, and my eyebrows weren't harmed at all - yay!

Jewellery and accessories: My glasses are my regular ones that I wear everyday, my necklace is one of the galaxy necklaces I made a while ago, I brought the Saturn pin from One Happy Leaf, my Starfleet brooch is made from sculpey, and my pointy ears are from The Reject Shop - I actually found a whole Spock costume there! Unfortunately, it's for children so the top doesn't fit ; _____ ;

(This pose displays what Rebecca calls my "angry model" look! ~____^)

Shirt: I had an old t-shirt in my drawer that I never wear anymore because it's a bit too big. I used a stencil from Typo to paint on the L,O, and E, and painted in a little Vulcan hand in place of the V ^____^ The shoulder ... things ... are from Spotlight and all I had to do was fold up the sleeves so that they were a bit shorter and then sew the shoulder thingies on top. I also cut the shirt into a cropped style, with some ties at the front. I wish I had have cut it just a little longer though, because I was a bit worried about it riding up at the back!

Skirt: This skirt had been in my mending pile for aaagggggeeeesssss because once when I was doing some cleaning, I got some cleaning spray on it which left little bleach marks - ___ - I had been planning on dyeing it so the marks weren't visible anymore but instead I did the opposite - more bleach! After bleaching it, I washed the skirt in hot water and left it to dry. Then, I got out my fabric paints and a sponge brush and went to town creating myself a little galaxy ^____^ I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think it's pretty good for my first try at galaxy painting. The only thing I wish I had have thought of was that most of my old clothes are too big for me now - including this skirt. I wore a belt but it was also slightly too big so I spent a lot of the day trying to tug it back up! All I need to do to fix this is take in the waistband slightly, and then I'm sure this skirt will get a lot more wear! ^____^


Tights and shoes: I also wore blue tights (they match my hair!) and, although they don't show up in any of these photos, my Doc Marten Mary-Janes. Cons always involve a lot of walking and standing, so comfortable shoes are a must!

Bec revisited her Princess Mononoke costume this year - she made her entire outfit save her earrings and shoes! Her cape is faux fur, her jewellery is made from sculpey and faux leather cording, and I believe her dress and top and made from cotton.

Bec also made a gorgeous sculpey mask ... which got a bit up close and personal with the floor and broke ; _____ ; 

Scott was really unsure about doing a cosplay this year but last minute he decided that he would be a Hooded Figure from Welcome to Night Vale. He wore black jeans, black shoes, and a black t-shirt, then added a hooded robe, a tactical vest, black gloves, and a ninja hood (basically a snug fitting hood that covers up the front of your neck). He started off also wearing a black gas mask but found it a bit too hot in the convention center; with the hood of his cloak pulled down low his face wasn't visible anyway. His sign is made from balsa wood which I just painted onto with acrylic paints and attached to some cotton string with hot glue. His outfit was very popular with other convention goers and he was asked to have his photo taken several times ^____^

 And, of course, I couldn't resist having a photo either. Scott and I don't really have any photos of ourselves up in our house, but I feel like this one needs to be framed ~____^

As you probably know, last week I was the Crafty Superstar on Cut Out + Keep and now all seven projects are done and up on their website! Yay! It was a lot of fun seeing my projects revealed each day and I'm so glad I've finally been able to share them with everyone - it was so difficult keeping the brand new projects a secret! If you have somehow escaped seeing my daily Twitter and Instagram mentions of this feature, go and check them all out now!! ^____^

I also picked a winner for the beanie giveaway, using the highly scientific method of flipping a coin ~___^ Congratulations to Molly who is now the proud new owner of a tiny, tiny hat! ^___^

Next week I've got a fun jewellery tutorial for you, and hopefully I'll have an update on how my next knitted hat is going - my aim this time is to make it so it actually fits an adult! ~____^

- Lisa xx 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Toe guards for my derby skates

Hello! Exciting news! This week I'm Cut Out + Keep's Crafty Superstar - yay! I've got a project going live on their site every single day this week; some are from my archives but others are brand new, never been seen before projects! It's been so hard keeping them a secret so I hope you check them out during the week and let me know what you think ^____^

Now, on to my most recent project: do you, like me, always want to craft something anytime you get a new hobby or interest (or see a new movie, or read a new book, or play a new video game ...)? I've been threatening for ages to make myself something for use in Roller Derby - and I finally have! Yay!

The front of my roller skates were looking a little scratched up, so I decided I better make myself a pair of toe guards. DIY Roller Derby have a free pattern for boot covers so I printed it out and got started! A while ago I tried to crochet some toe guards but didn't have much luck - the test run of this sewing pattern confirmed my theory as to why: my Riedell R3s need more cover at the top than they do at the bottom. Luckily, this is much easier to fix when sewing than it is with crochet! I added three centimeters to the top of the pattern, making sure to curve the edges down to meet the top of the original pattern smoothly, shifted the holes for the laces, made the toe stop bolt hole larger, and added darts on either side of the aforementioned hole.

Unfortunately, I can't make a pattern for you at the moment since my computer died, taking all my graphic design programs with it! I'm currently using my ancient laptop, which struggles when running one internet tab so I'm currently rather limited in that regard. When I have Illustrator again though, I shall edit this post to include a pattern! Edited to add: Well, my computer is still down, but with the help of the library's scanner and my old friend Paint, I made a pattern for you! Yay! You can download it from my Google Drive here.

The darts on either side of the top stop hole make the cover fit a little more snugly around the trucks. They aren't the most perfect darts ever, but since they're underneath the skate they aren't that visible. 

 When I sewed up the sides of the cover, I also sewed across the front. This meant that when I turned the cover right way out, they didn't have little pointed horns from the seam. The holes in my cover aren't that visible, but to make them I poked a pair of sharp scissors through the pleather and then widened the holes with a crochet hook handle which was the same thickness as my laces.

To make them look a little fancier, I also sewed on some red leather hearts. I think they look really cute, and hopefully they'll add a little more reinforcement to the covers. The pleather I used isn't very thick, so I'm not sure how well they'll hold up; but I shall simply have to wait and see!

Overall, I'm happy with the fit and very happy with the price. Since I already had the pleather and red leather scraps in my stash, this project cost me nothing at all! Huzzah!

I've got a Pinterest board of more Roller Derby crafts to do, but I haven't decided which one I will do next. What do you think?

- Lisa xx

P.S. Don't forget to enter my tiny beanie giveaway!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

GIVEAWAY: blue and pink heart beanie

Hello! I finished the hat I was knitting for myself but I also hit a rather major snag ... it's way too tiny for me! >___<

Oh dear! I'm really not sure what I did wrong here; I was very diligent about following the pattern correctly and I even measured my needles to make sure I had the right size. I think this is an advantage of crochet - you can pause halfway through to wrap it around the appropriate body part to ensure sizing is right! But, what's done is done and now I have a lovely knitted hat that I cannot wear. 

However, I'm still quite pleased with how it turned out. My tensioning was good, I really like how the colourwork looks, and for my first real shot at colourwork I think I even did an ok job on the floats!

I really love the combination of the turquoise and variegated pink yarns and I used a lovely soft acrylic yarn which was a pleasure to knit with. The variegated hearts turned out so well - I simply adore them! I really love how each one is a little different ^___^

Another fun element of the pattern is this super long ribbed section which you can fold up or leave out if you like a really slouchy beanie! It's four inches of ribbing in total, which seems like tons when you're knitting it! But I do really like the look.

All the best hats have pom-poms on them (this is a scientific fact, I'm sure) but I couldn't decide what colour my pom-pom should be - so I went for all of them! ^____^ I think it really helps tie the whole beanie together.

Now, since I can't wear this hat, I'm going to give it away to someone who can! It should fit someone with a head circumference of about 41cm (or 16 inches) and it is about 15cm (6 inches) tall which is quite tiny so if you, or someone you know, are expecting a baby soon, comment below with your favourite baby name by the 30th of June to win! Please make sure your comment includes some way for me to know your email address so I can get it contact with you ^___^

Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions on how to remake this hat so it actually fits me, I wouldn't mind hearing from you either! ~____^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tattoo art inspired coffee cups

Hello! I think it's because I've been watching waayyy too much of those tattoo shop reality TV shows but I've had tattoo style designs on the brain lately. I designed a little skating badge and then when I was brainstorming present ideas for my friend Steve, who is a body art aficionado, I decided to tweak it a little and came up with these fun mugs!

I don't drink coffee, but I'm still kinda in love with this design! I want to make one for myself; I don't know if "but first, tea" has the same ring to it though ~___^

To make them, I used some plain coloured mugs and Pebeo porcelain pens. And of course a tattoo flash inspired design! After designing the image in Illustrator, I printed it out onto regular paper and cut it out to use as a stencil. I used a pencil to lightly stencil the basic shapes of the design onto the mug.

Then I went over the line work with a black porcelain pen. Getting the lines straight on a curved surface is a little tricky, but slow and steady does the job ^___^ Next I coloured in all the shapes - yay!

You can see that my colouring in isn't the best ... the Pebeo porcelain pens don't give the best coverage for large surface areas. That said, they are much much much better than the porcelain paint you get in pots - that stuff is so streaky! It's very strange since they are made by the same company.

 After I'd done the colours, I went back to the black pen to thicken some of the line art, write on the words (I copied the Cute Tattoo font for these btw), and add a little bit of vintage tattoo style shading. I won't be allowed to touch a tattoo machine any time soon, but I like the little touch of grunge the speckles added ^___^

I'd like to try some other brands, because I think being able to properly paint (as in, with brushes) would allow me to add more detail and get better colour coverage, but I do really like how the Pebeo paint pens look on the grey mug - they came up quite true to colour which I was pleased with as I was a bit worried they'd all look muddy!

 The Pebeo pens say that they are dishwasher safe after 72 hours of air drying, but my personal tests have shown that to be untrue. Well, I say personal ... one of my work colleagues put a kitty mug in the dishwasher. Not pretty! So, to hopefully keep these designs in place longer, I baked them in the oven on the lowest setting for a couple of hours. Even so, I included a little mug care sheet in the gift bag which suggested only light hand washing be applied to these babies!

I think birthdays are mostly over for the next couple of months, so until October I plan to only do selfish makes ~____^ I'm currently working on a hat, and then ... I don't know! I'm much more indecisive when it comes to making things for myself then I am with making presents for others. So, help me out: if you were me (and I was you!) and you were making me a present, what would you make? Reading your comments will be like my birthday! ^____^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Welcome to Night Vale posters, art canvas, and earrings

Hello! Recently I did a Welcome to Night Vale swap on Craftster and since my swap partner has received her parcel, I can share with you what I made! ^___^ If you haven't listened to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast yet, I highly recommend you do! It's really fantastic, and this post will make a lot more sense if you do.

The thing I'm most proud of is this WTNV themed art canvas. Whenever I start an art canvas I think that I have nothing to put on it, but after digging through my stash I usually manage to find more than enough - it's a great way to use up random bits of stuff I've been hoarding too! ~___^

I used a Kaisercraft wooden cloud cut-out covered in glow-in-the-dark paint for the Glow Cloud (all hail ....).

The musical notes (i.e. the weather) are also wooden cut-outs, but these ones are from Typo. I drew the Night Vale eye on the white one with a felt-tip pen.

I used "thickers" (still can't get over that name) to write out Night Vale, and the quote below is written in felt-tip pen also.

I'm not exactly sure where I got this plastic cactus from, but I figured it was perfect for representing this friendly desert community. I cut off the bottom stand with scissors and attached it with E6000 glue.

My swap partner said that one of her favourite characters was Fey, so I used stickers to add the numbers Fey read aloud down the side of the canvas.

This side of the canvas is kinda Carlos the Scientist themed; he discovered that the clocks in Night Vale aren't real, and I headcanon him as wearing thick glasses so I used clock patterned pattern and glasses washi tape for this part. The pocket watch is a jewellery component that I brought at Spotlight and then discovered is faulty - the glass face is meant to be removable, but mine didn't budge! I used my trusty felt-tip pen and some white card to add Carlos' discovery to the inside of the pocket watch and I attached it to the canvas with string, a small piece of leather, and a lot of E6000.

There is also an instruction from a local community group; they huddle in the hole in the vacant lot behind the Ralph's, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

The top of the canvas has more wooden cut-outs from Typo, these ones spelling out the end of a rather popular Night Vale quote: "If you see something; say nothing, and drink to forget." I don't condone this behaviour (you shouldn't be seeing anything in the first place) but I did have these wine glass cut-outs and I couldn't think of a single other thing they'd be useful for.

The bottom of the canvas has another one of Fey's numbers, Khoshekh the floating cat, and a warning against rabbits.

The other side of the canvas expands on the rabbit warning: they are not what they seem. These ones seem like even more wooden cut-outs.

I even added a little something on the back of the canvas. Strex is seriously creepy, so I think this is the best place for them.

All the papers I used were from mini scrap booking paper pads that I brought from Spotlight. They are really fantastic for canvases of this size as you don't get nearly as much paper scraps leftover.

I also made two paintings; they are just acrylic paint on card stock, but I think they would look quite good framed. I left them as is to mail, however, since postage costs are already high enough without adding more weight to the parcels.

I really liked how the galaxy effect turned out, although I think it could have possibly been a bit darker. Basically I watered down my acyclic paint so that it worked more like watercolours and added purple, blue, and black all over the page in random splotches. After it was dry, I added the words, the black edges, and the silver stars. I might make another for myself so I can play around with this technique a bit more.

It's difficult to see, but I also added some very watered down iridescent medium to the black edges of the page; it gives it a subtle sparkle that looks really pretty in real life.

This art piece was made using the same technique as my Princess Leia and Han Solo quotes where I just used masking fluid to write out the quote, painted over it with watered down acrylic, and then removed the masking fluid once everything was dry. I went around the words with a felt-tip pen again; I think it looks more impactful that way.

Lastly, I made these Big Rico's Pizza earrings; these were super simple to make as all I had to do was glue earring backs to the pizza charms I had already made.

I made the 'packaging' (I use the term loosely) with more scrap booking paper, mini stamps, and some pens. My drawing skills aren't top notch, but hopefully my Hooded Figure is a little spooky looking?

In return I received this wire crochet Hiram McDaniels sculpture;

 A wood-burned quote block, Glow Cloud card, and stickers;

And a tiny Glow Cloud scarf with a wooden-burned scarf ring.

Have you ever done a craft swap before? This is the first time I've swapped with someone I don't know, and I must say swapping with friends is a lot less stressful! 

I'm currently working on something just for me, which is even less stressful ~____^ I'm trying to improve my knitting skills so I'm making a hat with ribbing and colourwork - two techniques that I haven't tried before. It's going pretty well but my hands aren't used to knitting and are so sore! Luckily tonight is roller derby training so tomorrow my legs will be sore which will take my mind off my hands ~____^

- Lisa xx