Monday, May 30, 2011

Skeleton Leaves Necklace

These are real leaves that have had their pulp removed and what remains are the veins. These leaves are from the Rubber Tree (Ficus Elastica). They can be found randomly at higher end craft stores.

I dipped in an resin to give it strength, and fills in some of the gaps of where the pulp one resided. The three leaves are flexible.  They are attached to jump rings and strung on a wire.  Using wire helps limit any distractions from our gorgeous focus points.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Leggings 0.7

Yay we've gotten to the last tutorial before having a completed Final Fantasy XIII-2 Cosplay

I found these giant rolls of Craft foam YAY. 

I wrapped cylinders around my thighs to get the right size, than trimed out the shape.

Than got the rough estimate around my caves and used elastics (used for waistbands) to hold it closed for my ankle area.  THis way you can strech it wide to put your legs without any ripping ations.  I was stupid and glued the elastic to the outside so here I'm flipping the foam.

Yay,I used a separate join for the middle to let the piece piviot.  It's connected to the thigh piece in the front, and connected to the bottom piece on the back.  Because the foam is flexible it allows you to bend at your knees.  And it's also costume accurate!

Closer picture after it's been painted.

Making some of the gold embellisments for her leggins

several photo series to hopefully visually explain as to how they get put on

Oh she's got this medallion thing on her legs.  So i just took a scrapbook chip art to use, you wont see the palm tree after it's been painted.

Ok i'll admit i didn't do the best job with the feet, but i tried.

I started by making a cover for my foot.  Two angled pieces on er. . . . I'm going to stop here with this one cause the foot wasn't well done, so let's not bother teaching you how to make the unsuccessful piece.

Here's a final picture of the legs.  You can bend and run and do all sorts of things with it.  Although warning, dont go climbing rocks with it.  THe foam isn't that strong so it will rip easily.  More layering or coating of a good sealent or a backing of packaging tape could reinforce it it you desire.

Till next time, when you get to see the compete outfit.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Congrats Pillowboxes

Nothing says CONGRATS better than a gift that says CONGRATS on it!

I made these for two cousins when they graduated from college.
Guess what fits in pillowboxes really well... gift cards!

This is a really easy 5-minute craft.

1. Start with a pillowbox - you can buy them bulk at
2. Measure the width of the box and cut out a piece of decorative scrapbooking paper that is longer than twice the width of the box and not quite as wide as the box.
3. Wrap the paper around the box and secure with double-stick tape.
4. Decorate!
5. Insert a small gift, like a gift card or money and fold over the ends.
6. Tie a decorative ribbon to secure it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Refinished French Provincial Nightstand

I purchased this nightstand from a Craigslister for $25. It was old and a little worse for wear, but I knew it would make a great project! I found a lot of pictures of similar French Provincial-style furniture which had been painted, remember this Inspiration blog post?

Can you believe I didn't take a before picture? Oh well. This thing used to painted a yellowish white with gold detailing, very similar to this desk, and the hardware was unpainted.

Here are the products I used. "High Hiding Primer" - two coats, much sanding. Olympic Satin paint "Rise and Shine" color - four coats. Topped it off with one coat of MINIWAX Wipe-On Poly. The can says you should use two coats, by one coat seemed to cover well. I would have added a second coat if I'd missed any spots. The Krylon white (gloss) spray paint was used on the hardware, in several coats.

I love how it turned out, so cheery and pretty!

I even lined the drawers with a pretty black and white floral contact paper. Adorable! Now the dresser is in my guest room, which I haven't done much with yet. But a bold pop of color is always a great start!

Now that I think of it... this nightstand could also be really cute in the livingroom/dining area to hold table linens or games.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seattle Chocolate Salon

The Seattle Chocolate Salon is basically a small sampling festival of fine chocolates.  Although it's small, there is still too much chocolate for one person to consume.  There were many artisan chocolates, chocolate wine stall, and some random Yelp and Olive Oil & Balsamic vinegar, and tea stand (with no chocolate).  I was a little disappointed that there weren't any coffee or savory dishes presented.  Oh well, on to some pretty pictures 

 Karen here makes these beautifle Chocolate Tulips, great gift that I bought for my boyfriend for only $2.  Unfortunatly they were pretty fragile. 

Vibrant Chocolate was very pretty and really tasty as well.  They tempered their chocolate to give it that shine.

Taza Chocolate wasn't about looks, but about tradition and texture.  Their Mexcian chocolate is processed using stone mills so it's still gritty.  Suprisingly people really enjoyed it because of its rustic nature.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Eye of Writing

Made in the 3D design software Rhino back in highschool.  I did need to use a tutorial to figure out how to do it.  I can't believe how much of a real eye structure it neededd instead of just some curved object.  I needs to make a full socket and everything.  But it's def worth the effort.

I used a bunch of text as the texture for the pupils.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Inspiration - Repainting Old Furniture

This transformation has given me the confidence to tackle my own furniture-repainting project!

This painter started with a lovely old French white-and-gold style desk:
The before picture (Source:

Last year I bought a French-style three-drawer nightstand on Craiglist that was white with gold details just like the picture above. After completing my Dresser Facelift project I did not refinish the night stand and instead just moved it into a spare bedroom as-is, but the white paint on the night stand looks old and yellowed, which seems out-of-place in a new, modern bedroom.

But check out what Natty-By-Design did to that old desk! 
The after picture (Source:

Wow. Hey, that carpet looks like the same carpet in my house.

Look, she even had the guts to repaint the hardware white.

This is a gorgeous jade green color that would really work well with Chinese decor.

I think any good, rich color could work! for this technique. What about purple, red, or a rich yellow?

Natty also painted a couple of matching nightstands pink with white hardware instead of continuing with the bold green color. Again, this pink would also work well with Chinese decor, but I love how it's paired here with the blue and white in this photo.

On futher search, I found more painted French-style furniture!
Check out this link for a How-To on repainting dressers! Excellent.
This adorable Tiffany-blue dresser comes with a really great How-To on repainting painted furniture. I think the black hardware looks great with the light blue; white hardware wouldn't contrast as much.
dresser by Poppyseed Living
Photo by buoy bird ~

I'm sure I'll have a follow-up post in the future to share how I transform my own French-style night stand. What color will I choose? Hmmm... I'm up to suggestions!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ava's Avatars

There's this web comic (you might have heard of it?) called Order of the Stick. "OOTS" has a large following, complete with online forums where fans love to make their own avatars in OOTS style, which is easily identifiable by large round heads, stick-figure limbs, and different-sized black dots for eyes.

Of course I had to try my hand at making some custom avatars... primarily using MS Paint, a readily-available "Accessories" program on any Windows PC.

Some of these are based on well-known characters, some are original made-up characters and things or characters I created on request for forum avatars...

Video Game Characters:

Ayame of Tenchu
Dark Elf Phantom Ranger
Selye, Blood Elf Mage
Irk, Orc Hunter
Scottimus, Undead MageArbogast, Orc Warlock
Aiva, Undead ShadowpriestAiva, Undead Shadowpriest (v2)Silverjade, Blood Elf Paladin
Blood Elf Rogue
Troll Shadowpriest v.1
Troll Shadowpriest v.2
Fire Elemental
Tree Druid
Blood Elf Mage
Kahne, Orc RogueTauren Hunter v.1Tauren Hunter v.2
Pandaren BrewmasterPixieCora Caster
Dark Elf Blade Dancer
OOTS characters:
MitD Goes to China
MitD in Spring

Cobra Commander"Drow-Dragon""Drow Werewolf"
Dancing ViolinistEaster BunnyWarrior Bunny
Wampa TribblePadme AmidalaKailee
Angry HalflingElf MonkGirl With Pen
BattleaxeWampa with a GunZombie Ninja

How Roland Met Wampa