Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bellatrix Lestrange Costume...Finished!

Well I got the Bellatrix costume done just in time for the library's Harry Potter Library Bash! Literally at 11:30 the night before I decided it was good enough. I had to eliminate the hood and the painted on swirls, but I'll add them in at another time. when I have some more time.

My favorite part was making the bird skull necklace. I couldn't find one I liked and I didn't want to pay the money for a replica one. So I did what any normal person would do...I sculpted my own out of clay. I'm actually shocked about how good it looked at the end. I was quite impressed with myself!

(Unpainted...just clay base)

 (Finished product)

(Stick I found outside that I used for the wand)

(Finished product...sanded down, added extra clay and painted)

(Corset stitches)

Happy Birthday Harry Potter! Next year, I'll have the costume 100% completed!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bellatrix Lestrange Costume...part 3...the lace-up sleeves

I finally hit a snag in this costume. The dress was easy to make. The corset was easy to make. For whatever reason, the sleeves were not easy to make. After 3 or 4 tries I finally got the proper amount of spacing in the laces. Luckily I bought an extra pack of eyelets, so I still have enough to add onto the shoulder and sleeve top areas.

1.5 weeks to finish this up!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bellatrix Lestrange Costume...part 2...the corset

And I've moved onto step 2 of the Bellatrix Lestrange costume: the dreaded corset. With looking at the refernce pictures I saw that it didn't look like there were any front panels or boning in the design. So I wanted to make it as sturdy as possible with the least amount of panels. I opted to divide the corset into 4 pieces. So I drew out a rough idea of what I think corset pieces should look like. And somehow it actually worked. 

I still need to go back in to shape up the top and bottom edges, or better term to make it more ragged, and to add in all the cuts and stitches, but I'm pleased with the shape. It's not perfect but I think it's pretty good for not really knowing what I'm doing. I even managed to get the front lacing to work properly. 

Next step, get those small black eyelets and make up those sleeves.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bellatrix Lestrange Costume...part 1...the dress

I probably should not be taking on any more projects at this time, but that's what I do so, I'm making a new costume. The library I work at is having an all day Harry Potter Day event on July 31st. So of course I'm aiming to get a costume made up for it. I do work a 10 hour shift that day, so I may as well have fun while I'm there!

Since I do tend to be drawn towards the darker characters, I chose to go with Bellatrix Lestrange.

I chose this dress version because 1.) I just like it 2.) construction shouldn't be too complex and 3.) very importantly, it's distressed. So when I have a million other projects and I need to get a fast costume made: chose one that doesn't need finished edges. 

I zoomed into my reference picture and saw that the fabric has faint scrolls all throughout it (not counting the dominant painted or embroidered on ones). And so I knew exactly what fabric I was going to use, because I had already bought some years ago because I liked it. I had to run to the fabric store to get more yards, but at least I didn't have to make any decisions. Though they didn't have enough fabric to make the hood that is attached in the back. So if I manage to find more fabric and time, the hood may get added.

Cutting out and sewing the dress took only about 2 hours which was nice and I sewed in the front gathered stitch. I still need to shape the neckline a bit and cut off, and distress, the hemline. But all in all, the shape is good.Also note, that is not the corset in the picture, it's a random piece of black fabric I put on just for reference.

I was hoping to be able to start working on the sleeves but all the stores I checked today didn't carry 5/32 black eyelets. I was hoping to get small black ones so they will blend into the fabric. I'm going to check online to see if I can order them and have them shipped in time to finish up all the lacing.

Still to do:
1.) Corset
2.) Sleeves
3.) Distressing
4.) Final details (painting on scrolls)
4. Wig...or decide to destroy my own hair
5.) Wand
6.) Jewelry

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Fat Cat Pincushions: Harley Quinn and Shirley Temple

After how ever many months I've finally gotten a couple of new pincushion cats done!

Harley Quinn (AKA Hefty Quinn) is now my new favorite! I will admit she took a bit of time to figure out her patterns to get the right proportions, but I love the final product. Only took 3 tries, but that's how it goes...

She's in her classic red and black jester catsuit, white bib and over-sized mallet.

 Shirley Temple Fat Cat was made for a custom request. She's wearing a pink ruffled dress, white tap shoes (I added small beads to the bottom so that she makes a slight noise when put down) and signature curly locks.

 And I also added in a removable silver tiara.

The cat pincushions are made primarily of various colors of felt. They are completely functional pincushions for sewers or can be used as a cool decorative pieces. The majority of these are hand sewn.

They stand approximately 5.5 inches (14 cms) tall and measures approximately 11 inches (28 cms) around the belly.

Still to come: Zombies!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Upcycled Wedding Guestbook DIY Project!

I've completed my first wedding project! The wedding guestbook. Ta Daaaa!

My mom found her old guestbook, which she forgot to bring out at her wedding therefore it was unused. So I decided that I was going to convert her guestbook into our new fancy Halloween-ish guestbook. And it's my something old! 

 (Original Guestbook - not quite the look we were going for)

 I knew I planned on wrapping the book up in fabric and then placing a cool piece of scrapbook paper for the front cover. I didn't really want to buy new fabric so I went through my fabric stash and came across a black crushed velvet. Hated the crushed velvet but liked the look of the matte reverse side. Plus it has stretch to it, so I could pull the fabric real tight without worrying about wrinkles. 

And I decided I wanted to put a piece of paper inside the covers as well. Originally I was going for a picture frame sort of effect with the paper attached first therefore being under the overlapped fabric. Now that it's done, I wish I would have done it in reverse with the paper on top of the fabric. But my fiance likes it better this way and he made me promise that I wont rip it apart and do it over, which I'm really considering doing.

(Inside back cover in progress) 

(Finished back cover)
(Finished front cover)

So pretty much the steps were for this exact book:
1. Measure, cut and glue in the front and back inside cover paper panels 
2. Measure and cut out the fabric with enough room to overlap to the inside covers
3. Glue the fabric down to the book. I started with gluing it to the spine first, then just kept molding it along the front and back. Again, the stretchiness of the fabric helped wonders with it.
4. Measure, cut and glue the front cover to your book.
5. Add on sticker letters.
6. Marvel in your own awesomeness for putting together such an amazing work of art.

It did take me a few hours to do this though. But once I got over the fear of possibly ruining my mom's old guestbook, and dove in headfirst, it went a lot faster. I think I had the hardest thing was placing the stickers since they were so thin and swirly. They were a bit of a nightmare to set them exactly where I wanted them. But afterwards, you have an awesome DIY/up-cycled guestbook that everyone, even yourself, will be impressed with!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ideas For My Sister's Baby Shower

****This is an old entry from a few years ago but I decided to post it back up again due to it's popularity!**** Plus I need to get into my crafty mood to tackle all these wedding DIY projects!

I'm so thrilled to be throwing my sister's baby shower! I'm the youngest of 3 girls and my middle sister is having the first baby in the family! I finally get to be an auntie!! Her shower is in a few weeks and my mom an I are frantically trying to get the majority of it done now. We are making all the centerpieces and the guest favors. So here's what I got so far. I hope my sister doesn't read this! Melissa if you're on this site, don't look at this!!

These are going to be the centerpieces on the guest tables. She doesn't know if the baby is going to be a boy or girl so we are alternating between pink and blue umbrellas. These were actually quite simple to make. Very time consuming though. The square is Styrofoam that we painted and decorated to look like a nursery block. The letters spell out baby. We then put small furry bears and blocks onto of it. We inserted a small umbrella into the block and hung small plastic rocking horses, teddy bears, and pacifiers on the ends. All the supplies were bought at a basic craft store.

Here's a close up of a rocking horse, furry teddy bear, and small blocks.

These are going to be the guest favors. We started out by cutting out thin double sided tape in the shapes of teddy bears and carriages. (We used a small cookie cutter and traced the shape.) We then stuck the tape onto glass candle holders and rolled in glitter. Now all we have to do is fill small bags with candy, tie them up with pretty ribbon, add a silver stork charm and a thank you tag. This is a very simple and inexpensive way to make decorative favors. You can use whatever shape and color to fit the theme of your party!

Here's a close up of the purple carriage and teddy bear.

I can't wait for the shower! We still have some more work to do though. We plan on making a much larger version of the umbrella to go on the gift table. And we have to figure out a menu.
Still much more to do but it's going to be fun doing it! I'll take much better pictures of the shower and share those here!

****Add-on Pictures!****

Baby Shower Centerpiece

****This is an old entry from a few years ago but I decided to post it back up again due to it's popularity!**** Plus I need to get into my crafty mood to tackle all these wedding DIY projects!

Alright here is the centerpiece that's going to be on the gift table at my sister's baby shower. It's a much larger version of the guest table centerpieces. It's made pretty much the same way. We took larger Styrofoam blocks and painted them to look like baby blocks. We decorated a large lace umbrella with ribbons and made a bow and dangled colorful plastic pacifiers off of the ends. Then we stuck the umbrella into the blocks and secured it with a lot of glue.

Here's a close up of the top of the umbrella and the pacifiers.
Here's a close up of the rocking horse, stork and baby. My mom insisted on having the Kewpie doll up there and I wanted a stork. We decided to put both up there. You have no idea how difficult it is to find a stork figurine! This is the best one we could find.
And a close up of the cute monkey that goes with her crib set.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wedding Flowers...part 2...Artificial vs Real

I know in one of my earlier posts, I went to the florists and the flowers quoted was within my budget. Slightly under to be exact. But then I started thinking about maybe making my own bouquets out of silk flowers instead to help cut costs even more.

I went through my priorities of elements/decor/etc. and floral was at the bottom of my list. I wanted a bridal bouquet, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 mother of wrist corsages, 1 grandmother of corsage, 2 ring bearer boutineers and 1 officiate boutineer. My fiance had already planned on making "special" boutineers for his groomsmen and for the flower girl escort (flower girl's 6 year old brother) and the flower girl basket we already planned on making.

I know my bridesmaids (sisters), the officiant (my brother-in-law), the ring bearers (my nephews) and myself wouldn't care about fake flowers. The only few that I would feel bad about making were for the moms and grandmother. I feel like they should get something a bit more fancy. I guess I could always make the bouquets and just pay the little bit for fancy wrist corsages for the moms and grandmother.

Though this does mean that I'll have more projects to do. But it also means I have more creativity and freedom with making them. Looks like I will be pricing some flowers/supplies and I have some thinking to do!

Any thoughts or suggestions from anyone who has made their own wedding bouquets??

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wedding Shoes!

Yay, my package made it's way back to Ohio and was delivered today! Which means...I got my wedding shoes!

So for a recap, I bought a pair of "Used-Like New" condition from Amazon. They are black lace-up granny style boots with lace panels on the side. They have a pretty low heel, which is what I was looking for. And since they were in used condition I got them for over 50% off.

Well I gotta say, these don't look used at all! Not even a scuff on the bottom. I'm figuring someone bought them, tried them on and then instantly returned them? Either way I don't care, they're perfect! Going off of the reviews, and since there weren't half sizes, I went up to the next full size: a 7. To me, they feel a little big length-wise, but they also feel on the narrow-side, so I think it was a wise choice going up instead of down. I will say that they are insanely slippery on the sole so I will need to scratch them up a bit or get something to cover the bottoms with. Don't want me falling down on my butt on my wedding day now do we??

And yes I am wearing my awesome pinstripe thigh highs to get the full effect!  Now granted, again, not the best pictures due to me trying to take the pictures myself since I didn't want any help from my fiance because I don't want him seeing them. Don't worry...he never looks at my blog!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wedding D.J...within budget...Check!

Somehow, I don't know how, we got the D.J. within our budget! So again thanks to our Friday wedding discount and some referrals, we came out to $745.00. And I had planned on just using a CD player, and a friend, for the ceremony music but the time frame for this DJ is 5 hours so he'll play our ceremony music. Score!

Updated Wedding Budget Breakdown:

       Bride's Apparel...10%...$1000
       Groom's Attire...1.25%...$125
       Photography...8.8%...$880 (Accomplished...that's what we're paying)
       DJ...7.45%...$745 (Accomplished...that's what we're paying)
       Ceremony...1%...$100 (Accomplished...that's what we're paying)
Next step: finalize floral price and find cake!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Halloween Bride's Wedding Accessories!

The fun part has arrived...I've started buying for my wedding attire! I will not be posting my dress up here until after the wedding, but I will say I got it at an amazing wedding dress shop in New Jersey: Wedding Dress Fantasy. I did not go over to that state to order, I'm in Ohio, so I ordered it online, without trying it on.Which a bunch of people think I'm crazy for doing. But I used to work at a bridal shop at one point, so I knew how to measure myself and what shapes look good on my frame. Plus I emailed the designer a couple of times, watched her YouTube videos, stalked her page on Facebook, read all her reviews on her website and Etsy shop, and feel 100% confident in my decision to order this dress. Simple fact is, the dress I've always dreamed about was not going to exist in any bridal shop in my area. THIS dress is my dress and it will be perfect. But I will go ahead and say that it's a classic shaped white and black dress and mom approved!

Shoes: I got these "Funtasma by Pleaser Women's Dame- 115"granny style lace-up boots at Amazon. I found a pair in my size (I'm normally a 6.5 but this style doesn't have half sizes and the reviews said to size up so I went for a 7) that had the 'Used- Like New' condition so I got them at more than 50% off! Great deal in my book! They have a lower heel, which is what I was looking for and lace side panels. Perfect for my Halloween style wedding!
 (I have not received them yet, due to Fed Ex constantly shifting the estimated arrive by date and going unneeded all over the country. Going off of my tracking, a few days ago they were in my state but today they're in a different one. So this is the stock picture off of Amazon. I'll post some pictures when I get them.)
Click HERE to see the shoes

Necklace: I got this beautiful black lace necklace from Etsy at "Joola Design Studio". I love it! It's delicate and has great amount of detail work out into it with an adjustable chain so I can decide the placement of the necklace. This will look stunning with the dress!
(I promise this picture does NOT do this necklace justice! I'll take some better pictures on a not-so-gloomy day)
Click HERE to see the necklace
Click HERE to see her full Etsy shop

I did buy a second necklace from another Etsy shop, "CBC Boutique" because it was just a fun necklace! Going still with the delicate lace theme, it's a gorgeous lace bat on a black tie ribbon. Again, I get to decide how low the bat falls because of the tie ribbon. This bat comes in black, red or a fun glow in the dark option. I don't plan on wearing this to the ceremony, but it might get switched out at some point at the reception or I'll wear it to the rehearsal dinner. Either way, it was just too fun of a necklace to pass up.
(Again, sorry for the not-so-great picture. Delicate black lace and overcast days don't mix well I guess)
Click HERE to see the necklace
Click HERE to see her full Etsy shop

Thigh Highs: I've been eying these for awhile now at "Sock Dreams". But they started to go low in their stock of this specific style and when I saw the notification of only 2 left I jumped on them! They are now out of stock, but they might come back! Thin black pinstripe with a bow on top. Classic and perfect for the wedding attire! Plus everything has free shipping!
(In case I need to say it...these are not my legs, this is the packaging...)
Click HERE to see the thigh highs
Click HERE to see the full online shop

For the Groom: I bought this pin from a third Etsy shop, "Holly Pop Love". I will not be including this in my attire but it will be going in the groom's somewhere! Possibly in his boutineer, which he plans on making for himself and his 2 best-men/brothers. This is his favorite vintage Halloween picture so I knew I had to pick one up for him. Plus this item had free shipping, too! This item does not seem to have been restocked up in her Etsy shop, but there are plenty of other goodies to look at.
Click HERE to see her full Etsy shop

Gift from an awesome friend: a skeleton cameo...my something blue! I'm thinking I will be incorporating this into my hairpiece, when I either make or buy one. Going off the packaging this looks to be bought from an online shop "Back to Classic Designs"
Click HERE to see the full online shop

So the shoes, 2 necklaces, thigh highs and pin cost me about $70 which does include the shipping costs. But I got to admit, I love that I'm buying a bunch of my stuff through Etsy or other smaller businesses, minus Amazon. I feel like I'm supporting my fellow handmade crafters and their talents...so this is working out perfectly!

My accessories are almost complete! I still need something for my hair, a second pair of black flat shoes for the reception, which I will be getting at a local resale shop and probably adding some Halloween ribbons or something to them and possibly bracelet/cuffs. My attire is just about done. Now I just have to wait patiently for my dress to arrive so I can try everything on together...Sigh.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wedding Florist... within budget...Check!

So our budget for wedding flowers was $325. And I'm happy to report that after meeting with the florist for our wedding over the weekend, we are still sticking within our budget! Slightly under to be exact. I won't know the exact cost until later this week because she going on a search to see if she can find a white and black carnation hybrid that I'd really love to have for my bouqet. And if so, whether that will be in the budget as well. Right now, with carnations and a few white daisies with the black/chocolate brown centers, I'm good. So either way, if those are a no-go I'm on budget!

I'll have the break-down of what I got for wedding flowers and what they cost later this week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wedding on a Budget Breakdown...can we stay within our budget?

So my fiance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, therefore we need to be a bit thrifty. But just because it's thrifty and a lot is going to be DIY doesn't mean that it's going to be any less classy and perfect!

We've saved up a little, not much, but we figured with the average cost of a wedding being around $30,000 we can do it with a third of that with a budget of $10,000. We plan on having 75-125 guests (we're really struggling with the guest list right now so those numbers keep changing) and the ceremony and reception will be at the same location.

 Here's my breakdown of what I hope to be spending on vendors and such:
       Bride's Apparel...10%...$1000
       Groom's Attire...1.25%...$125
       Photography...8.8%...$880 (Accomplished...that's what we're paying)
       Ceremony...1%...$100 (Accomplished...that's what we're paying)

 Granted these numbers are a work in progress since anything that goes under budget will be put towards something else to bring that percentage up higher. I'm not aiming to be under, as awesome as that would be, I just figure that it's going to be tough enough planning a wedding at that budget in the first place.

First smart move we did was decide on a Friday wedding. Though I will admit it was supposed to be a Saturday but we waited too long to get a place on a Saturday and all that was left were Fridays. But score, we got the venue for half off and the vendors we've been dealing with seem to also give Friday discounts!

We have an appointment with the florist on Saturday, and I'm determined to stay on budget with that. If I have to I'll get bouquets of just carnations. And we're not getting any floral centerpieces or decorations so that should save us some dough. 

But I'm already figuring in that the "Misc" category will be going over budget since that deals with all the decor we're making. But I've spent $9.66 on a whole ton of pumpkin seeds. And my mom has converted her upstairs spare bedroom into a mini greenhouse...and those little baby seedlings are actually growing! If they make it to end, we'll have lots of homegrown pumpkins to put around.

I have no idea what a tux/suit costs so I put the groom's attire pretty low, but that can very easily be wrong.

I'll keep you updated on my Halloween Wedding Planning Adventures! Cross your fingers and wish me luck! Only 150 days to go!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wedding DIY List!

So it's somehow almost the end of May! So much has happened since I last wrote. We officially moved in and got the house, for the most part, situated. Though it did just flood in the basement last week due to an insane rain storm...but oh well, we didn't lose too much stuff. Made and sold lots of new Fat Cat Pincushions during the holiday season on my Etsy shop. Almost got me and my pincushions into a Superbowl commercial...unbelievable but true. Came so close to getting that spot but just missed it. But...I did get one of my pincushions in an Australian crafting magazine. Pretty cool! And have started the mad wedding planning hoopla. Which is mainly where I'm at now. October wedding so under 5 months to go...

We have a small budget for this wedding so the majority of the decor and such will be made by us. Such as:
      *Lots of decorated pumpkin décor
      *Memory table banner and display with pictures
      *Card box
      *Garlands/hanging paper décor
      *Bride and Groom Fat Cats
     *Spider web "Words of Wisdom" for the couple
      *Misc decor and anything else I can come up with

Though the first project I'm taking on is the guestbook. My mom found her old one from when she got married in the 60's. Which she forgot about so it was never used. I'm going to take that book, cover it in fabric and scrapbooking paper and make a fancy Halloween Wedding Guestbook.

As soon as I find some fabric, I'm starting. Pictures soon to follow...hopefully successful ones!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Moving Day is Over!

Well, my fiance and I have officially moved into our new house on Saturday. That was the longest 6 weeks of my life...so much painting, cleaning, moving, etc. I'm pooped. and my back hurts but I can't rest yet because everything is in complete dissaray and I need the house to be in decent shape or I'll go mad. Especially my sewing room since I'm ready to start sewing again. 

Much has happened, which I can't post pictures of because I'm on my computer's not hooked up yet due to some issues which will be remidied very shortly. I'm on fiance's computer so I don't have access to my pictures right now. 

But I did get to go to the Comic Con in Columbus, which was so fun! Unfortunately I had no time to sew anything so I just went in my geekiest attire: a Dexter's Laboratory T-shirt. But next year we'll be going back for the whole weekend...and in costume!

Our star wars Read Day also took place at my library this past weekend. So I pulled out the Padme costume and ran around in that. Always a hectic work day, but always fun as well.

I'm working on lots of new Fat Cat Pincushions: Zombies, Weeping Angels and Daleks from Doctor Who, Luke Skywalker with Yoda on his back, etc.

My fiance and I finally agreed on our Halloween costumes: Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Sweeney Todd has been one of my favorite musicals from childhood. If you know the subject, yes I'm aware I was a bit twisted for a young kid. So I'm pretty excited to get to tackle that costume. Though we are going as the movie version because, quite truthfully, I loved the costume design from that movie. 

When this house is in some order and I have my computer back, I'll post up some pictures!

Bye for now!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Costume Sketch

I'm going to be going to our Columbus Comic Book Convention mid-September, which will be my first. I'm pretty excited because I've always wanted to go to one and see what they're all about. Plus it'll give me a good chance to see if maybe it'll be a good fit to sell my pincushion cats there. But I am annoyed at the timing because it's right in the middle of our house painting/moving in time. Which means I doubt very much I'll have time to sew up something to wear. Because how can you go to a convention and not take full part in its entirety?? So here's hoping I'll miraculously get something done!

The Riddler (60's style TV show) has always been one of my favorite characters and I've always wanted to do a female version of that. So I sketched up some ideas. Please bare in mind I AM NOT AN ARTIST AND I'LL NEVER CLAIM TO BE! So please don't mock my drawing abilities too badly. A little is fine, though. I won't take offense.

I have 3 different styles because truthfully I'm not sure what look I'm going for. And I know the colors aren't quite accurate for the TV show Riddler colors. But I couldn't find all my colored pencils and this was the best I could be for the time.

(First sketch I drew - I was going for a fun 50's style party dress with alternating panels of color. And I forgot to put the hat on in the picture I see)

(Second style - more of the suit outfit instead of the unitard, but in a coat-dress style)

(Third style - combination of the suit and unitard outfits, with different color leggings)

Again, it's doubtful that this will get done in a few weeks, but you never know. Maybe I'll use it for Halloween or something. Or I can talk the library into doing a comic book event!

Anyone have a favorite style?