Tephie's Personal Bombshelter MarkII

Just how many journals am I going to end up with?

Journal Info



June 27th, 2015

The Crafty Report

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The craft output of the last year has not been up to the usual level due to life events. I know I mentioned my mother's valve replacement surgery that was scheduled for last summer and ended up being last fall. What I didn't mention is the reason for the delay; my Dad died. I spent late summer and fall with Mom and my brother and didn't get home until early November, which is also why you didn't see any hints of NaNoWriMo last year. I wanted to do NaNo but there was just nothing for me to work with, not even enough to really get a character or setting started, and absolutely no energy to write with, especially not with nearly a third of the month passed already. It hurt a bit to skip a year but not as much as trying and failing would have.

Anyway, I did actually get some crafty things done in the second half of last year. Many photos behind the cut. )

August 2nd, 2014

The elf with no face...

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Is faceless no longer!

Talar - New Face 1 Talar - New Face 2

My first, and so far only, attempt to give a doll a face.

I did a layer of pastel shading (which the camera mostly ate) to contour her nose/eye sockets and the sides of her face/behind her ears. Then, in a move I almost regretted, I did her lips with a pastel that looked like a good lip color and painted it on damp rather than dry.

Hello lipstick. I wasn't sure Talar was actually a dark lipstick sort of girl though, hence the near regret. I decided to keep on with it though, and gave the pastels a coat of sealer.

Then it was onto the tubes of water color, raw umber and burnt sienna, for her brows and eye liner. The brows, those were a major pain. I tried sketching them on with powdered pastel... nope, not enough color stuck for me to see it and it was way too imprecise. I tried with an orange pastel pencil about a half dozen times each and was only managing to polish the brown bone as I erased them to redo (and tinted the area orange as well). Eventually I said "screw it" and grabbed a dark brown pastel stick and sketched them in with the corner, it only took about three tries to get her right to match her left close enough. :P Then I attempted to brush the paint on like individual hairs and the 10/0 brush immediately showed that it was not fine enough for that, but it gave a reasonable brow texture so I went with it.

After all that the eye liner was almost a let down for how easy it was.

The lower lashes made up for that.

I then tackled the lips. My paint set has a tube of "flesh tone" paint, it's basically an opaque pale peach color, so I did a wash of that over the lips to tone down the color. Getting that to the point of "not too streaky" was a whole lot of fiddling and frustration. Then the crease between her lips was too pale, so I had to go in with the 10/0 liner and some of the raw umber to darken that up again, and then fiddle with the lower lip and the streakiness again to blend that in. Finally I felt enough was enough and I patted on some powdered terracotta pastel to even out the lower lip and called it good.

I really like the color I ended up making there.

Fingers were crossed when I sealed it; I was told, after I was in the middle of all this, that applying sealer over tube watercolor can make the watercolor blur.

After all that I figured "why the hell not?" and glued in some orange lashes I bought ages ago for her and my other redheads and had never got around to sticking in their eyes.

Now I just need to get my hands on a small bottle of acrylic gloss to add a hint of shine to her lips, but I'm happy enough with the matte look that I'm not going to worry about it.

March 19th, 2012

A bit of this and that

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Massive catch up post is going to be massive.

On the knitting front, well I have a lot of works in progress and not that many finished ones. And it took me a while to get photos for those so there's a pile up. Knitting )

I think that caught up my knitting, other than the fact that I finished knitting my sweater months ago and have procrastinated so long on sewing it up the weather has become too warm to wear it. I'll have to sew the sleeves in and seam the sides and find out once and for all if I knit the sleeves too long. I think that's a big part of why I haven't done it yet, I'm afraid I'll find out I need to fix the sleeves. I keep telling myself I'm skilled enough that should the worst happen I can cut the cuffs off and reknit them shorter. If I cut the right spot it will be like grafting ribbing to reattach them. Slightly tricky, but possible.

Onto other things! I saw a video about making a bead ring and had to try it. Rings! )

The ring shots show off the white nails I was sporting for about a week. I had a couple other nail styles since my last post too. )

On the crafty front, I'm pondering Kindle covers. My birthday is today and my present from Hafoc needs a cover. :)

July 2nd, 2010

Lace Shawl Progress and New Characters

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Actually, there's been no progress on the actual shawl, instead I have been charting and swatching my ideas.

Cut for those with absolutely no interest in knitting. )

On the writing front, I still need Character Fifteen for that meme. I have not forgotten it.

I did have a character "drop in" on the drive to Anthrocon last week.

What I know:

  • His name is Daniel Samson Greer. I don't know if that's given middle surname or given hyphenated-surname.

  • He is tall and lanky. I don't know if he's light as a feather and fragile or deceptively heavy due to wiry muscles.

  • He's adult. Based on his appearance people would probably say he's over 25 but probably under 40.

  • He has dreadlocks. They are not his natural hair and are brightly colored. There may be tubing or other non-hairlike textured involved. He changes his hair a lot.

  • He wears glasses. He might not need them.

  • He probably has piercings and tattoos. He wouldn't go for large gauge jewelry, stretching for flesh tunnels or plugs would not appeal to him. Likewise, there's a low chance of facial tattoos or full sleeves, but a back piece might exist.

What I don't know:

  • What sort of world he lives in. Other than one that would allow him to have things like his synthetic dreads and glasses. Cyberpunk? Urban Fantasy? Generic now/near future?

  • What he does. I'd like something counter to the stereotype presented by his appearance., but the Rule of Cool could override that.

  • What he wears. With the dreadlocks there is a tendency to see him in Boots, with jeans or pants with a ton of buckles and D-rings and such. I'd like to break that up a bit.

  • What his orientation is. This normally isn't something I plan out, the characters just start talking, or drooling. Generally though they do let me know if I get is wrong.

  • What his relationship status is. Rather linked to the above, and again, they generally correct me if I'm wrong.

I had an interesting dream the last night of the con. It was a bit of a muddled mess, as dreams generally are, but there were some ideas in it that I have been rolling around. It was urban fantasy, mixing up magic and hacking, and there were some ideas regarding magic and consent that I'll be mulling over. My POV character in the dream was not Daniel, but maybe this might be his world. That does make me wonder just who my POV female magic user was, I don't know anything about her other than her willingness to top from the bottom in certain, spellcasting obligated, situations.

March 18th, 2010

Knitting again :)

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I know you are all thrilled. ;)

Let's see, things since the last time I updated.... )

Just finished today so it's not going under a cut:

MSD Vogue Vest - Front MSD Vogue Vest - Back

Pattern #4 from the 2008 winter issue of Vogue Knitting. I used sport weight yarn and size 3 needles for the lace portion, knitting as written for the smallest size. I then dropped down to size 2 needles and started winging it. I decreased after the lace, added some short rows for her bust, changed it to a V neckline, and did raglan cap sleeves. I didn't make button holes, there are snaps sewn behind the buttons.

October 23rd, 2009

Adventures in Soap Making

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It's been a while since I made any soap, and I still have lots of lye and oil around so someone has been pushing for more soap to use up the lye. :D

So I threw together a recipe (olive, canola, palm, and coconut for the curious) and figured I'd use up the aloe juice in the back of the fridge (unfortunately I didn't finish it off with this batch) and why not use some cut St. John's Wort while I was at it, and some tangerine and ti tree essential oils.

I had to beat the lye about a bit to break it up but that went well enough, no mishaps which is always a plus when handling lye. I dissolved it in water, half the total liquid for the recipe. The other half I did with the aloe juice into which I put the SJW after running it through my coffee grinder. My coffee grinder was bought entirely for grinding up herbs and things for soap and has never been used for its intended purpose of grinding coffee beans. I let the aloe sit on a warm burner while the lye cooled and measured out my oils.

While I was measuring my oils I realized I had palm oil and had accidentally used palm kernel oil in my calculations. A quick check with the calculator showed me that adding half a pound more palm oil would make my lye amount work. I normally make 8 pound recipes so it was a relief to find that the mold, an old plastic shelf that is a convenient low pan when you flip it over, will hold 8.5 pounds. My vertical mold holds only 8 pounds and the only reason I hadn't prepped that one was that I was expecting the soap to get rather hot while curing. That turned out to be a very good bit of foresight on my part.

Anyway, I warmed the oils just enough to melt them all, turned off the heat and went about doing a cold process soap. The lye went in and I stirred it for a while, then added the aloe, letting most of the vegetable matter stay in the pot, what went into the soap will add nice flecks of scrubbiness. At that point the soap was a nice creamy egg yellow. Alas, the aloe juice has sugars in it and lye and sugar means heat so it was shortly looking more like pumpkin pie.

Then I added the tangerine and ti tree oil... hello hot and seizing soap!

Suddenly my nice calm cold process soap was a fast moving hot process, without turning on the stove. The stick blender (long used for soap and missing several "teeth" off it's guard) was brought into play and I now have 8.5 pounds of dark glossy brown soap cooling in the mold. Well, cooling after it finishes reacting, it's still very hot right now.

I'm sure it will be fine.

October 6th, 2009

Free corset making tutorial

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I know a few members of my friends list/circle sew, therefore I will share out a link for drafting a corset and if you then use their link to share the link with a friend you can get a second PDF for including gussets, gores, and corded panels. Do note that this is basically an advertisement for Foundations Revealed, but the tutorial (which is for altering an existing pattern but could be adapted to drafting from scratch) is useful.

June 21st, 2009

Tiny knitting update

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In more ways than one.

So, I've been knitting things for Anjeni on small needles, sizes US#0 and #1 mostly (2 and 2.25mm) of late. And really, I never, ever, expected to knit with needles that small.

And they are too big.

So I used a Joann's 40% off one item coupon to get $1 shipping and ordered a Susan Bates sock set. It contains sizes 1 and 0, which I have but I could use another set of 0 anyway (and I now have three sets of 1s) but more importantly, it has sizes 00 and 000 (1.75 and 1.5mm). The cost for the 4 sets is still less than the cost of 2 sets in steel (the Susan Bates are aluminum) so I figured it was reasonable for testing if I actually can stand knitting that tiny.

So, onto the testing. Cut to spare the uninterested. )

June 15th, 2009

Wow, just wow

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Someone made a Wall-E from bits and pieces of, well, junk. I am in awe.

June 7th, 2009

More Dolly Knitting

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Well, it's been a while so here we go.

First, some non-knitting things.

Anjeni - Sandals & Pose Anjeni - Sandals

Some lounging around pants from a bit of old tee shirt and, more importantly, sandals. Finally something not slippers to wear on her feet!

Now on to the knitting. Up first, the hammock!

Little Petals Doily - unblocked Little Petals Doily - blocking Anjeni's Hammock Doily
Unblocked, blocking, and done!

It's a bit larger than I was aiming for but it will work. I think. I still need to actually make it into a hammock for her.

Booylicious pants under the cut. )

May 5th, 2009

Knitting, dolls, and knitting for dolls

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In an attempt to keep the knitting posts from being huge, and from my journals from being neglected for months, an update before I have tons of photos to link.

Anjeni has been basically hanging out around my PC since I got her. She has a stand in front of my knitting books and sometimes sits on the edge of the shelf above my monitor. Other times she sits in her favorite chair on top of my stacking drawer units on the shelf over my monitor. The chair and the stand are basically out of the way so she's there most, but neither place is very cat resistant nor are they good for photography. What to do about that? Clear out a shelf in the bookcase obviously. Anjeni's New Room

She can stand in there, with about an inch of head room, so the ceiling is definitely low, but it works. The dresser is an old jewelry box, all drawers without a flip top for rings as most boxes of the style generally have. The chair and love seat were given to us by Kris.

Now dolls don't need beds really, but when you have set dressing you really should go for the whole shebang. Given the lack of room on the shelf she could have a narrow bed and her chair and dresser with basically no floor space, or she could go for something less Western traditional, such as a futon (no frame, so it would be folded when not in use) or, say, a hammock. A really spiffy and decorative hammock. A lace doily draped over a hammock "frame" (stretcher bars and edge lines the doily could be stitched to). Maybe some bead edging. It could be arranged decoratively in the corner when not in use perhaps. The first problem is the doily, the mechanics can be determined after that is made.

Graphica Doily - BlockingSo I went looking for a good doily pattern to use and immediately hit on a problem. Most doily patterns don't have a firm size. Depending on your yarn/thread and needles/hook you can make any pattern in multiple sizes. In fact, a lot of the knitting patterns just tell you how many rounds they have. So I figured the best way to work around this problem is to make a small doily with the yarn and needles I plan to use and measure it to figure out how many rows my target doily should have.Graphica Doily - Anjeni's Dresser Top

Thirty two rows and barring the loops from the crochet cast-off, seven inches in diameter. I'm looking for a sixty round doily pattern. That turns out to be a rare, rare beast so I may be using an 88 on smaller needles.

So what to do with my test doily? As it turns out it's a bit small for a proper shawl for Anjeni, and the girl doesn't have anything to wear one with yet anyway. For now, it gets to live on her dresser.

In other knitting news, still doll related, pants with booty coverage in progress:

Bootylicious Coverage

Japanese short rows are awesome, just saying.

April 13th, 2009

Knits and Crafts

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Yep, about time for an update. Before I cut for images I feel I should inform you all that there is a shift in my knitting lately. You see, someone *cough*[info]tamashitoshiro/ToshiroDragon@LJ*cough* sent me an extremely unexpected and generous birthday gift. As a result, my knit and craft urges have been focused on that gift for the past month.

First, the last thing I finished before my birthday:

Entrelac Hat

Now I can say I've knit entrelac. I also knit all the purl side rows from the knit side, aka "knitting backwards".

Okay, onto the gift and the stuff I've made for it.

Click to see what I got! )

February 16th, 2009

Crafty sorts of stuff

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Cables & Fans v2 - WIPI just finished a toe-up gusset and flap sock heel. I think this will be my preferred toe-up heel (and since toe-up is my preferred method it will likely be my preferred heel in general). The yarn isn't really right for this sock though, beyond the variegation fighting the pattern it should be knitted in a firmer gauge but the pattern doesn't scale and probably wouldn't fit if I dropped a needle size or two. Ah well, knitting it was more to scratch an itch than to have useful socks.

And yes, that would be my first set of shoe lasts that the sock is modeled on. I should also get off my butt and do something on that project as well. I'm not sure that those lasts are even the right size anymore, I started the project that long ago.

I've been swatching the heck out of the #10 bamboo crochet thread I have. It's nice on size 0 needles and while it's not the best for cables (too slippery and soft) the cables don't look horrible. It's definitely better for things that don't require a lot of stitch definition.

Still haven't frogged the sweater even though I know I should. I keep taking it out and measuring, as if the extra six inches of ease will just go away if I do that. Part of my reluctance is that I haven't figured out the best way to fix the problem, or where the problem came from exactly. Sure my gauge may have just loosened up as I got comfortable with the pattern, but what is part of the problem is a method error in measuring? The major part of the hesitation is just the amount of work that has gone to waste. I started that sweater at the end of March last year, and while it sat most of the summer untouched it still represents a lot of work, over forty thousand stitches worth.

Domino SlipperWhile trying to avoid thinking on the sweater I made some eye-searing, cat-scaring slippers:

Modular/domino knitting is addictive. I've added a cardigan to my queue that uses the technique for the "skirt" from underbust to hip. Since I have the yarn for 3-4 other sweaters already it's pretty far down the list though.

I'm about forty percent finished with that heating pad cover. It's ideal TV knitting, but I don't watch that much TV. :D

The shawl is still in the bin, I should take that out and work on the next segment rather than starting something new.

And spring seems to be the time of the year for sewing urges. I need to give my machine a thorough cleaning and tune-up and investigate my fabric stash for ideas. I know I don't have the stuff for one of the things I want to make, so have a shopping list to puzzle over:

5 buttons - metal and shanked, preferably riveted/"jeans" style
4 buckles - sized for 1" straps
54 eyelets - "standard" size, 2-part preferred but unlikely locally
1 D-ring - 1" size
2.5 yards light to medium weight twill or heavy broadcloth

About thirty four of the eyelets could be replaced with rivets, they're decorative rather than functional. They could also be omitted entirely but some of the charm of the original item might be lost if they were.

February 11th, 2009

I'm so very bad at naming things

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I'm contemplating setting up a blog in my domain for a craft blog. It would have postings about patterns I'll be putting up for sale (and I'll probably have a few free ones) and assorted technique and springboard ideas. Since I'm into more than one craft (even if it looks like all knitting all the time these days) I need a non-craft specific name for the blog. The blog name will end up being used as my Ravelry store name as well so it shouldn't be too cutesy or generic.

The sorts of things that are likely to turn up on the craft blog:
knitting patterns
"choose your own" knitting pattern (AKA, fill in your own gauge and measurement guides)
knitting technique tutorials
how to make knitting charts with a decent paint program (PSP for me but it plan to generalize)
crochet patterns
sewing patterns
how to draft sewing patterns (specific patterns that I don't feel like grading and working up PDFs for)
beading projects
wire projects
heck, maybe some soap recipes
tatting patterns, if I ever do more than dabble with it
ditto with sprang

You get the general idea. :)

I was thinking "Making Stuph" but that is very generic, even with the verging on cutesy Stuph spelling. "Teph Makes Stuph" is today's thought. Whatever I come up with will have a subdomain on tephras.com so whatever.tephras.com should also be a memorable URL easily associated with the site name.

I'm sort of tempted to swipe the name of my dead crafting comm on LJ, Internet Refrigerator, iFridge.tephras.com? :D Yes, I could do the technique posts to [info]internet_fridge, and I may do that, but it wouldn't be kosher to take that comm for the pattern selling part of the plan.

Some one toss me some ideas? Random thoughts?

Crafty Pantry just popped into my head. I need to kill it with fire.

July 1st, 2008

This is just too cool

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A biking (bicycle, not motorcycle) jacket with LED turn signals, and it's a DIY project!

March 27th, 2008

Shoes for me for $5? YES!

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Thanks to this post by CraftyHippie on Craftster I now have a source for $5 casual summer shoes.

Most people have no occasion to be aware that those cheap White Stag shoes at WalMart often run up to size 12. I generally just check the bins of the Keds knock offs (with little luck) but the ones with the elastic gores frequently have at least a few pairs of 12s. Until I read the above linked post I never paid much attention to that since the elastic gore made them impossible to wear with my very high instep.

She's right, the gore comes right out clean with just a seam ripper.

Pity they never seem to have 12W shoes in those bins, but so far these seem comfortable enough with thin socks. :) And if they only last a summer, well they were only $5.

*contemplates the things she can do with a supply of cheap black, white, and sometimes navy, kakhi, or red, canvas shoes*
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