Sunday, October 28, 2012

Holiday Bazaar Next Saturday!

It's less than one week until the St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar!!!  Baby Cat and I will be there displaying all of the items that we've created all year long.  Please come and enjoy the Bazaar with us.  There are a lot of beautiful things to buy and yummy things to eat.  There's even a thrift store included.  So, there's something for everyone!

We always look forward to seeing family and friends at this event every year.  So we hope we'll see you there!

-Momma Cat

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How to Make Captain America's Shield in Time for Halloween

I was looking for a Captain America shield for my boyfriend's Halloween costume, and was shocked by how expensive a little plastic shield with a rubber-band handle can be. I decided to make my own cheap version using a garbage can lid and some masking tape and spray paint. I have since seen homemade shields that put mine to shame, including this one, which makes me totally jealous. But my version isn't too bad, especially if you only have a few days to put it together.

Here's what you need to do if you want to make this project yourself:

1) Begin with a metal garbage can lid. These can be found at your local thrift store, but be sure to ask for pure vibranium, or you may get an unpleasant surprise the first time you try to stop a bullet with your shield. If bullets are not a concern for you, any kind of metal will do. You also need a roll of masking tape or painters' tape and red, white, and blue spray paint.

*note: if you have a little more time and want to make sure your colors don't overlap, hand-painting is preferable to spray paint and tape, because the paint will always leak through the tape at least a little bit.

2) Next, take a drill and drill out the rivet holding the handle on the lid. Whoever made that lid put the handle on the wrong side! It will be reattached on the other side later.

3) Once the handle has been removed, I recommend spray painting the whole thing white and then proceeding to follow the procedure below for the other two colors. Of course, that's not actually what I did. For some reason, I decided to paint the red parts first, which created a lot more work for me.

First, I taped carefully around the edges of everything I wanted to be red, trying to make the tape fit as closely to the contours of the lid as possible, to minimize leaking, and trying to keep the circle as smooth around the edges as possible. I used the ridges of the lid as guides. Next, I filled in everything I didn't want to be red with masking tape and newspaper to protect it from the red paint...

And painted it!

4) You can skip this step if, unlike me, you were smart enough to use the white paint first. After waiting the recommended amount of time for the red paint to dry, peel off all of the tape and newspaper and use the same method to tape over all of the red paint, then paint it white.

5) Whether your last step was the red or white paint, wait for it to dry and, without removing any tape, tape over all of the red and white stripes so the whole thing is mummified except for the center circle.

*note: this step describes what I did to save tape. However, I ended up with some nasty stickiness leftover from the tape where I left it on too long. For this reason, you may what to change out the tape after each step. You could use a combination of tape and newspaper to save tape.

6) Next, tape off the star in the center. I had enormous trouble making a regular star out of tape. It kept coming out all wonky, especially because the star has 5 points and the lid I used has 6 segments! I ended up measuring the diameter of the center circle, then finding an image of the shield online, scaling it so that the center circle was about as big as the center circle of the lid, printing it, cutting out the star, and taping it to the shield. Then I trimmed the corners of the tape to make the points of the star pointy again. The tape around the edges makes the star slightly larger, so it wouldn't hurt to print a star that is a bit smaller than you want the finished one to be.

7) Finally, paint the center of the shield blue and wait for it to dry.

This is what the star looks like
And here is the whole thing before touch-ups

The finished shield, after touch-ups!
8) Remove all of the tape and voila! It should look somewhat like Captain America's shield! If you have white spots from the tape of places where paint is missing, like I did, you can touch it up by spraying some paint into a disposable cup so that it pools up, and applying it to any flaws with a paint brush. Use a brush that you don't really care about because spray paint is sticky and hard to wash out. I was able to pick up a brush for 15 cents at Hiron's and it worked just fine. Again, paint chipping or any problems caused by the tape can be avoided by painting the whole thing by hand, although this will definitely take longer overall.

9) The last step is to secure the handle on the inside of the shield so that you can hold onto it. You can do this with glue, a rivet, or whatever method you would like. You could also use fabric to make straps so you can strap the shield to your arm.

This whole project took me about three days to make, including drying time. I waited about 24 hours each time before applying the next coat, but this could be different for you depending on the recommended drying time for the kind of paint you buy. I used Rust-oleum in Apple Red and Brilliant Blue, and Dupli-color in Gloss White. Whatever kind you use, make sure it says on the can that it will work on metal. The actual painting took no time at all and the taping would have taken less time if I had painted the white coat first or thought of using a template for the star earlier.

I hope this helps someone with their costume!

-Baby Cat

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Busy like a bee. Getting ready for the Bazaar!

Lest you think I haven't been doing anything because I haven't posted recently, let me assure you I've been busy as a bee.  I've been working very hard getting ready for the upcoming St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar, which is on November 3, from 9-4,  and November 4, from 9-1.   It's held in the St. Agatha Parish Hall at 7959 SE 15th Avenue, in Portland, Oregon. 

Baby Cat and I have been crafting for the Holiday Bazaar every year beginning when Baby Cat was in the 4th grade!  So this is our 13th year!!!!!  You can see how special this event is to both of us.  Baby Cat is even coming home from school so she can help sell things at our table.  We always have a great time together at the Bazaar.  Often we buy lovely Christmas gifts from the other vendors for the special people in our lives. 

Since Baby Cat is away at school, I have no idea what things she's been making to bring to the Bazaar.  It'll be a surprise to us all.

Here are just a few of the things I've been working on. 

Handmade Potholders

Dolls, Washcloths, Poodle Dog

Handmade Ornaments

There's a lot more that I don't have room to show you.  But, if you come to the Holiday Bazaar on November 3 or 4, you'll be able to see everything for yourself and perhaps come away with something special for someone on your Christmas list!

See you there!

-Momma Cat

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dovetail Joints and Nesting Tables

I'm working hard on things for the Holiday Bazaar in November, but I don't have much in the way of finished products to show off right now. In the meantime, here is another studio update:

I recently learned how to make a dovetail joint on the router! My first attempt was rather rushed because I didn't have a lot of time in class and it ended up very loose and wobbly.

What not to do

My second attempt was much better. I went back to the shop over the weekend and took my time, making sure everything on the router table was adjusted properly and clamped down so it wouldn't move. Then I was careful to take off only the tiniest bit of material off at a time, because if you are impatient and cut off too much, you can't put it back! I wish I had remembered to put a block behind the piece while I was cutting, because a little bit of tear-out occurred, which makes it still look kind of rough, although the joint itself fits very well! 

Much Better!
I plan to use a dovetail joint in my table design, so hopefully my next one will be even better. This is the first sketch  model of my table design, which I am currently working on refining for my midterm presentation on Wednesday.

I am making a set of three small nesting tables. I think nesting tables are really cool because they only take up as much space as one table when they are nested, but can have the surface area of multiple tables when you need them. Perhaps part of this stems from my childhood fascination with nesting dolls. It is so much fun to open up the dolls and discover smaller and smaller versions of them!

Although I often really like to see lots of ornament on furniture, I think that nesting tables can sometimes get too busy looking because they have so many more legs than just a single table. For this reason, I am trying to keep the form as simple as possible and avoid extra ornamentation, instead using the repetition of the table units themselves and the way the joints fit together as the ornament.

Front View
All of the legs line up together in the front, giving it a flat, uniform appearance.

Side View
From the side, the legs hide behind one another, looking narrower and creating a larger void. The tabletops and stretchers create a stepping effect, which I like quite a bit. I have already changed my design somewhat since taking these pictures, including making the table smaller (this model would be 3' tall with a 2' x 2' footprint, I decided to make it 2'x1'x1' instead), making the members slightly narrower, and bringing the stretchers off the floor. I will have more on that design process in the next update, but for now I need to get ready for the midterm!

-Baby Cat

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Zombies Are Here!

Remember my little zombie hula dolls from the Summer? Well, now you can buy one! My wonderful aunt is helping me sell them on Ebay and she has just posted one for sale. Click here to see the listing and place your bid!

This doll is 100% handmade by me and one-of-a-kind. She is primarily yarn with a raffia hula skirt. Her hair can lay flat against her head as in the picture below, or it can be styled to stick out, for a more wild zombie look.

Also keep your eyes out for the zombie surfer boy doll, they both need good homes!

-Baby Cat

Monday, October 15, 2012

Little Treasure found in Stars

I was walking home yesterday morning after meeting some friends for coffee, and I stopped in at Stars, a local antique and collectors mall.  This is not something I usually do, but I saw a doll in the window that interested me, so I wanted a closer look.  Then I was hooked, I had to look through the entire store.  Now, this was no little feat.  There are many, many, many wonderful things to look at, even things that don't normally interest me became interesting when displayed in an artistic way.

For the most part I was able to go through the store without finding anything that I wanted, but then I came to a booth with a lot of Mickey Mouse stuff in it.  I used to be a big Mickey Mouse fan, so I had to take a closer look.  Everything there was pretty overpriced, so I was on my way out when I spotted a little treasure tucked far away in the back of a shelf.   I gasped, took a closer look, then I picked it up.

A little sweetie in a Valentine print dress

It was a little Nancy Ann storybook doll!  I couldn't believe my luck!  She was in excellent condition, and unlike the other dolls that Baby Cat and I have made by the same company, she's hard plastic instead of bisque.  The most amazing thing of all was that she was priced under $5.00!  So, I just had to buy her!

I don't have a name for her yet, so if you have one you think will fit her, let me know.

Sweet little face

 So, the moral of the story is, you can find a little treasure just about anywhere if you take the time to look.   And real treasure doesn't have to cost a fortune.

-Momma Cat

Sunday, October 14, 2012

St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar

I did it, I finally got ahold of the flyer for the St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar where Baby Cat and I will be selling all of our little creations!  Please come and see it for yourself.  It really is a very nice Bazaar.   

 Hopefully Baby Cat and I will both be able to be there this year and we'll see you then!

-Momma Cat

Potholders, Washcloths, and Stars, Oh My! The Bazaar facts.

The St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar is coming up soon, on November 3 and 4.  Baby Cat and I have been making things for the bazaar, and these are just some of the things we'll have for sale.

 This is a little ornament I made using another ornament I bought last year as a model.  I did change a couple of things to make it uniquely my own. I think it turned out really well.  What do you think?

These are examples of the potholders and crocheted washcloths that we'll have for sale.  I had a great time at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday picking out more fabric and yarn to make even more of these for the Bazaar.

Baby Cat and I make things all year round.  Some of the things we make go to family and friends for birthday, Christmas, and wedding gifts.  Some of them we end up keeping, and some we sell at the Bazaar.

So please come and see us and all of our hand made items at the annual St. Agatha Holiday Bazaar on November 3, from 9am-4pm, and November 4, from 9am-1pm, at 7959 SE 15th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

In addition to all the hand made items, there is a lovely cafeteria with wonderful home made food.  The Altar Society has a large variety of baked goods for sale, as well, so you can have a snack or enjoy lunch while you're there!

-Momma Cat

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Display Stand for my Little Dolls!

I haven't written a lot of posts since I have been back in school, because the time I have available for extracurricular projects has been significantly diminished. However, that doesn't mean that I am not getting enough opportunities to be creative!

My design studio class this term is focussed on furniture design, and more specifically tables. I am very excited about this because, as you know, I became very interested in building and painting furniture over the summer. I am looking forward to learning how to design a table!

So far, in studio we are having fun learning how to use the tools in the wood shop. To start, we each made the same sort of wooden "club" type thing with tapers on two sides. Next, we were asked to use it to create a piece that will hold something up. I used a router to cut notches in mine in a spiral pattern and added shelves and a base that I cut with a chop saw. It turned into a display stand for knick-knacks like these little dolls! Then I painted it silver, because I think that silver looks good with almost everything and it will give me some flexibility in regard to what I want to display on it in the future.

Here is what the stand looks like.

Here is is with dolls sitting on the shelves.

This is what it looks like from above, with the shelves spiraling down.

There is still so much I want to learn about using the wood shop and making furniture, so it's a good thing it's still early in the term!

-Baby Cat