Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm a driver, I 'm a winner...

Thinks are going to change I can feel it!

Ok, just kidding. I got my "button" from Dabbled for winning the Halloween contest. Woo hoo!

Thanks, Dot! And, I have a little treat coming soon, too! I love treats. I have a feeling that the mailman is going to be sick of me next week.

And finally, the Hammerhead!

So, the shark theme marches on. Last year, a Wobbegong, this year, a Hammerhead. Next year? I almost hope that he wants to be something a little more pedestrian. He was talking about a T-Rex, but he is just a little bit fickle about things like this!

So, without further ado, Hammerhead '08!

Now, if you read my earlier post about the Wobbe, I did pretty much the same thing here- sans pattern, of course! I never learn...

The head has two pieces of very lightweight craft foam, and the body and fins are made of craft felt (we were on a budget this year! Both the front and back had two layers of felt, both for extra reinforcement (especially where the fins were sewn in) and to create a pocket for the head stuffing. The head was secured with a head ring from a batting helmet (as was Wobbe's), but the neck was just a tiny bit too tight, so it didn't sit too well. He ended up wearing it like a hoodie for much of the evening! And, since I made it to a generally large scale again, the whole thing is over 6 feet long from tip to tail. I had to tack it up in the back so that he wouldn't trip.

The gills were hand sewn with black yarn (in a modified embroidery stitch), which also reinforced the arm slits (a happy coincidence!). The scallops on the head were just a single large stitch (from front to back) which was pulled tight to create the shape- a technique that I learned in 7th grade home EC when I made one of those crazy "Stumpkin" pantyhose dolls. Good times!

My biggest problem was with the eyes (I will have to add a picture later, sorry!). I struggled to find a way to make them look right, and it took me several tries (it was also the very last thing to be finished, right before they left for Trick or Treat). I ended up using a large glass gem (a larger version of the glass gems that you might find in a glass vase with flowers), which I covered with felt and painted black. I tacked it onto the head, then added a round "ring" of white felt to accentuate the eye and make it more dimensional (plus it looked really weird without it!). I had tried to use the glass gem itself as the eye, but I couldn't figure out how to attach it and still create some dimension (I was trying to "sink" into a makeshift eye "socket", but it kept popping out!). So, not perfect, but it worked, and they stayed on. Well, almost- we lost one of the rings somewhere in the neighborhood.

On of my favorite things about this one is the mouth-I cut a rounded flap for the hole (the flap itself became the lower jaw), and I added teeth around the top and bottom, and a free moving "tongue". Anatomically, the Hammerhead's mouth is actually in the right spot for the head hole, but it ended up looking more like the shark had swallowed him.

Now, since Little Round Top (my younger son) is just 18 months, he didn't have much of a preference this year. I did have an older giraffe costume from Dome (a craigslist find, I must admit- I wasn't attempting that one!), but since LRT is still a bit unsteady on his feet, it was just a bit too heavy this year.

So, he was another jungle creature, courtesy of Freecycle. He was just too cute not to include.

Happy Belated Halloween everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time off for good behavior!

Today was the first day in such a long time that I actually had a few hours (the whole day, actually!) to devote to crafty stuff. With all that has been going on, I have been mighty frazzled lately. Hubby took the kids to Ohio to visit his sister, so I got going on some early Christmas presents. I am working on my first tempered glass mosaic- a wooden clock form that I painted first with acrylics. It was a bit tough going- I have never worked with this kind of glass, so it took a lot longer than I expected. Now I just need to clean it up, and off to the grouting table it goes!

I also painted up some resin angels that I had picked up at Goodwill - they had been done up in kitchy gold paint and brassy glitter, and needed some new threads. I wanted to crackle the finish, but it didn't seem to take. The nature of experimentation, I guess! I will finish them sometime before Christmas- the next time I have a moment to myself.

It was cloudy and warm here today (who say global warming is a myth- it was almost 70 degrees out!), and I should have been working to finish up in the garden for the season. Still, the time in my studio was well needed, and I am just going to have to make up the time outside another day. Hopefully this sense of accomplishment and well being will last for the next few days- it promises to be a bumpy week...