So back about 6 months ago, I was super excited to purchase and hopefully learn to play the ukulele. I bought one, 32cef64cloved it, but wasn’t so great about practicing. Then a few weeks back, I joined Ukulele Underground and I found this.

Plans to build your own ukulele stand, this one already sized perfectly for a tenor uke, which is what I have.

All I needed was a piece of wood for the base, a 1″ thick wooden dowel at least 22″ long, some felt, some screws, and some metal hooks sold at Walmart to act as the brackets.

I was super tight on money but really wanted to do this, so I improvised a bit. The wooden plaque I bought from Michael’s, with a 50% off coupon for $1.90. The felt I already had on hand, thanks to getting sent the wrong item when I ordered fabric ages ago. Wood stain and E6000 I had on hand. The dowel was the most expensive piece at about $4.50 for a 48″ length, and the screws were about a dollar for a package of 8. The hooks/brackets I made myself out of polymer clay, then cast them in resin which I dyed a deep red color with some mica powder.

Not counting the cost of materials I already had on hand, I spent about $8 building this.

I know I haven’t posted in almost a month (wow! That long already?) but I have some new makes to share, and some updated older makes. A few days ago I decided to make mini sculptures of the dogs after buying some wooden plaques I saw at Michael’s. The dogs aren’t fancy- I joked as I was making them that they were milk dud dogs- but I think they turned out super cute. The color is more true in the back view photo- the front view got kind of washed out with the flash.

doggies1

doggies2

Then I decided to give the same mounting treatment to the polymer clay fish I made about a year ago. They looked pretty good on the plaque but I decided to add some “coral” in different colors to the plaque as well.

fishies

I made the coral the same way I made the kibble in the dogs’ bowl. I roll out a small portion of clay, then sliced into tiny cubes. Then I mixed the pieces with some liquid Sculpey, stirred it up just enough to coat it all, and gentle formed it into shape with light pressure. I’m not sure these pieces will be especially tough, but for looks only, they look great!

I also finally mounted my skull I made a few weeks ago onto its own plaque. I really with I had a glass dome to go over it though.

skull1

skull2

These plaques are really inexpensive- I got the round ones for a dollar, and the larger 5″ x 7″ rectangular one was only a little more. All I had to do was lightly sand the edges and apply a few coats of wood stain to them.

Anyway, I’m really happy with these pieces and looking forward to my next project!

Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!

When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.

1

 

Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.

It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.

The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.

2

 

I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.

Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.

3

 

I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.

4b

 

I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!

4

 

I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!

I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.

8

 

The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.

The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.

7

 

I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!

And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂

I haven’t posted in a few weeks but I’ve been busy with my crochet, some knitting, and I started a new craft last night. Let’s start at the beginning though.

Let’s start with my Mickey blanket which I was only able to finish with the help of a really nice fellow yarn crafter who mailed me a few yards of the orange yarn I needed to finish. I didn’t want to buy a whole new skein of yarn for just 8 or 10 yards worth that I needed.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll be doing with the Mickey blanket, but I suspect I will be gifting it to someone in the future. After that, I started a new blanket, and while I’ve done quite a bit on it, I want to make it bit enough to cover our Queen-sized bed, so I still have quite a ways to go. Here it is though with what I’ve finished so far.

More #crochet #blanket #progress. Still have a long way to go though. #redheart #yarn

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

I’m hoping to have it finished in the new few weeks but it will be slow going, especially now that it takes me a good 40 minutes to do one round at this size.

I took a break from that blanket for a bit and knitted up this quick scarf, which turned out really really well and it’s definitely a keeper.

And last but not least, I decided last night to try out resin. I won a kit from a blog contest some time ago, and figured I’d give it a try. I wasn’t sure if the resin was too old or not, but figured worst case it didn’t set up and I’ve chalk it up to user error and if it happened again, to being bad resin. I placed some tiny seed beads into the molds and then poured my thoroughly mixed resin into it, letting it set up a bit before adding another sprinkling of beads. Then I left them to sit overnight and this morning I had this. I need to file down the edges a bit more because they are a little rough but all in all they turned out how I wanted.

I want to do more earrings but with tiny bits of threads in different colors embedded into them and I’d also like to create a light switch plate embedded with various tiny scraps of fabric. I can’t believe I never tried resin before this, it was so fun on my first try!

So all in all, I feel like this has been a pretty successful couple of weeks of crafting! I’m looking forward to more resin pours in my near future!

Over the last few days I’ve been making all sorts of things out of clay that were destined to be made into jewelry. Some of them I had definite ideas in my head about what I wanted to do, but others not so much. Last night and this afternoon I spent a few hours putting those ideas together. What did I end up with? Some pretty cool stuff!

7 of the 8 items pictured in the gallery above were made mostly from polymer clay. The last few days I have been making a ton of those little round, flat disks to make the bracelets, one pair of earrings, and the necklace, and I actually made too many- I still have about 50 of them left.

The two pairs of earrings at the beginning are a little different, but still polymer clay. They were so easy to make and the random splotchy designs are a lot of fun. My friend Tracy at Art Resurrected said they looked a bit fried eggs, so I ran with it. They are in the store listed as Eggcellent Earrings (in blue, and in yellow)!

I was also really happy to use that big black and silver focal beads in the green bracelet because I honestly had no idea what to do with it for ages. I had purchased it as part of a string of beads with a purpose in mind for 4 of them, but still had a few leftover, including it, and the black crystals and metal beads on either side of it.

Anyway, you can see all of these items in my shop- just click on the Jewelry category!

Thursday Mattie’s Dad and brother came by for Thanksgiving dinner. We had tons of food, good things to drink, and lots of pie for dessert. Normally I am all for them visiting, but after five hours of the TV volume being really high, I ended up retiring to the bedroom, and shortly after slipping out to Michael’s to take advantage of their holiday shopping Thursday night sale. They had a 30% off everything coupon, and a lot of the store was marked down as well.

I looked up the regular prices of things after I got home, and I got out of there with what normally would have been $53 worth of stuff (yes, I know they are over priced) for $29. What did I get? All sorts  of stuff. I walked out with….

  • 2 strands of beads, reg price $3.99 at 60% off
  • 2 5″ x 5″ stapled canvases, reg price $7.99, 70% off
  • 5 2 oz blocks Sculpey III clay, reg price $2.79 each, 16% off for buying 5
  • some weird plastic rings to use at stitch markers in my knitting, reg price $2.99
  • 2 skeins Bernat Softee Chunky yarn, reg price $3.29, 31% off
  • plastic 6″ embroidery hoop, reg price $3.99
  • small pair scissors, reg price $1.79

Plus I also had a 30% off reg. and sale price items, so that brought it down to $29 and change out the door. I pulled the regular prices off of the website and I think some are slightly different than in the store, but it gives you an idea.

crafthaul

 

The yarn is a lovely orangy-brown color and the beads are green and purple. I grabbed some clay colors I don’t already have, plus black, because I always seem to be using black, and the one other thing I wanted was a very thin, fine paint brush, but I was 1) out of money, and 2) couldn’t find the ones I really like anyway.

I’ve also made some other trips to Michael’s in the last few weeks as well, and have come home with a few items each time. So many things I want!

Now, what have I been working on you ask? I finished a pair of fingerless gloves I will keep for myself for sure in black with rainbow eyelash trim. Right now I’m working on another pair in lettuce green that are longer, and without the eyelash yarn edging. After this is done? I’m thinking of doing a scarf- a scarf I will want to actually wear, not the scary mess I made when I was first getting the hang of things. Hopefully I will have photos of both soon.

LB1I’ve been working on new projects and new items for my shop, and working on promoting my social media profiles for Kittyloaf Designs more. Its something I only seem to do sporadically, because honestly making all these posts, comments, and whatever else is a lot of work. I use Hoot Suite to help me out, letting me pre-schedule various posts and updates as I think of them, spreading them out over a few days at a time. It really does help because I can manage these things as I have time, cross post to different social networks, and not have to do the same thing 3 times manually. One click (or there about) and its done!

My Google+ page for Kittyloaf Designs suffers the worst. I have literally 3 followers on there and its because I almost never use Google+. Why? Because I do most of my social networking in the evenings from my mobile devices, and the Google+ app only shows me content that is 10 days old and older. I can’t find any settings that relate to this, and I’ve tried reinstalling the app, but its always the same old 10 day old stuff for me.

Anyway, I’ve added two new beading patterns, and their related finished products to my shop. They are my new Deadpool earrings, and my Mario star earrings and patterns. Over the next few days I have some other ideas to work on, so stay tuned!