Sunday, December 9, 2012

Longcat Scarves

A little over a year ago, I got a strange request from my sister to make a longcat scarf. How long should a longcat scarf be? I decided very long... but also I was on a budget so I bought 2m of fleece but made 4m of scarf.
Rolled up longcat body
It was a lot of scarf.
Full long cat

Decided after that epic scarf, I'd make one for myself but leave it at a more sensible 2m.

Been wearing it around for a while and then someone said to me... hey you could probably sell those. Hm. Interesting. I'll think about it.
A few weeks later, someone else asks if I made the longcat scarf and if they could commission one as a gift. Okay I'll think about it. This time I actually sat down, figured out material costs and time costs and came up with a reasonable number that didn't seem insane. I ask commissioner of scarf if the price was okay and they said it was reasonable so off I went making scarves.
Trio of Cats

Two of the above are now spoken for - the third is on ebay awaiting a good home. Third has been sold, made another one, put it on ebay, friend bought that one.

I've got a few plans for possible Tacgnol/Longcat combinations but I'll wait and see how these do first.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Laser cut rings and Plastic Weld

Apparently back in October I forgot to write about some laser cut rings I made.
wave/tentacle ring
flame/wave ring

A friend happened to be in the space after I made these and gave me some tips since they're a bit melted. Need to use less power and multiple passes next time.

More recently I learned of Plastic Weld which is a solvent that you use to "glue" (chemically melt & fuse) acrylic together. Just tried it out on a random 5mm mirrored perspex dot I've been keeping around since the prototype for the Infinity Box.

Wave & Pearl ring

So awesome. So easy. Just hold the pieces in place with one hand, use a small brush to brush the Plastic Weld into the join and it wicks along by capillary action. Done in seconds. This basically means I can make boxes... or whole cases like those in galleries! This is exciting news, especially as I'm too lazy to design boxes with all those tabs or little slots for bolts & nuts (as in the design for the Ice Tube Clock).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Shrinky Plastic Fun :D

Kate is a bad influence on me. Or a good one, I'm not sure which anymore... She made me discover many My Little Pony merchandise, like colouring books. One of the things she used the colouring books for was to transfer pony designs to shrinky plastic (known as Shrinkles in the UK and Shrinky Dinks in the US).
Lately I've seen a lot of MLP jewellery designs using the shrink plastic so I wanted to give it a try. What can be better than infinite pony fan art?

First, I tried to trace a really big Fluttershy... The instructions said it shrinks 7 times smaller. So I measured before
Fluttershut cut out
(look at those impressive tracing, colouring and cutting skills!)
And after
Shrunk Fluttershy
And found it really only shrinks down by 2.5 times or so (thanks to Kimball for using MATHS to work this out for me because my brain was slow and addled by plastic fumes).

I realised after making the Fluttershy that ponies don't have black outlines, so I made this Pinkie Pie
Shrunk Pinkie Pie :D
I really love her expression in this one. From the original I traced, her head was more down and she was much more shy looking but this is still lovely and I'll probably make it into a necklace for myself soon.

Figured to try something a bit smaller... Gummy! Pinkie Pie's pet toothless alligator.
Would have been a little better if it was a little bigger so you can see he's hanging onto something by his mouth.

and even smaller...
Tiniest Fluttershy SQUEEEEE
Copied from a mini colouring book, it was a sort of illumination on a games page. Still the most pretty tiny thing ever.

I'm sure I could come up with more ideas for this stuff and I bought quite a bit of shrinkles too. One idea that has come to mind is possibly ... mouse-sized butterfly wings. Combining the mouse taxidermy with the Rarity's wings from Sonic Rainboom MLP... Might be interesting. Or just pretty and weird. Either way it's good.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Adventures in Fur - Paws (or Gloves)

Quite a while ago, after a bit of beer, the topic of fursuits came up. For those uninitated, this is what Furries wear... also Furries seem to pay quite a lot of money for these things. So a while back, a friend was threatening to buy some furfeet for 150euros (!) ... I drunkenly texted back NO! I WILL MAKE SOME FOR WAY CHEAPER FOR YOU!

Okay I've still not made the furfeet. I do, however, now have the materials! Then I got sidetracked by the fact that I have quite a lot of fur fabric... hey I could make furry gloves. Hmmm...

This website is the most amazing resource out there Seriously, if you ever needed to know how to put together a whole fursuit or just parts of one, you should look at that website. There is so much useful hints and tips. Stuff like using hair clippers to shave the fur to get more shape and detail seems like common sense to me now but I wouldn't have thought to try it (or thought it was so easy) if it were not for the videos on that website.

Gushing out of the way, I used the tutorial for the fur hands on the Matrices Fursuiting website. I was having one of those days where I really wanted to work on something but felt I couldn't due to lack of some sort of materials... My remit from my friend was black faux leather pads on the paws. I ordered some but was sitting and waiting for it. I looked around the flat and found some very thin, dark dusty blue suede leather. This might do... These may not be paws for my friend but if I made a pair of my own, I can make all the mistakes on these and then do better for friend who bought the fur fabric for me in the first place.

So the furglove making continued. I drew out a rough palm-sized pad and cut it out of leather.
I was surprised my sewing machine could handle the fur fabric and the leather but it seemed fine. I didn't follow through on the tutorial exactly - I went for more of a loose zigzag stitch rather than a satin-style stitching. It still seemed to work out pretty good
Paw pad
I learned that it's a lot easier to tack down the pads before hitting the sewing machine. Also it leads to slightly less huge bunches of fabric, as the leather sneaks around against the fur which moves around quite a bit.

Furry Palm :P
All sewn up and ready for some shaving. I am so thankful I've trained myself to be ambidextrous. I had no problem shaving either glove using either hand. Wearing the glove while shaving with the other hand allowed me to move my fingers around and get more shaping in between the fingers.

Trimmed a bit...

And here's both paws

Hopefully I'll be moving onto the furfeet sometime soon... I've basically got the materials together, it's just finding the time to collaborate with friend to make sure shoes fit and final design/shaping.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crayons On Canvas

Drippy crayons

Cheap crayons, cheap canvas, glue gun, blow dryer on high plus some black acrylic paint for detailing. I wanted to keep the canvas white underneath in case the cheap crayons were lacking in pigment and turned translucent when melted.

There does seem to be enough pigment in the cheap crayons to show up on a black surface but it's not nearly the same effect as using a white background and then painting around the dripped wax
More melty

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fire breathing

Warning: Post contains fire. Fire is dangerous. Apparently inhaling cornflour can cause lung infections too. Blow, don't suck :P

So... Instructables is a very bad influence. It's probably been my biggest influence this week. Into my inbox came a newsletter with a section called Projects for Pyros...

I had heard of using cornstarch (known as cornflour in the UK) for firebreathing before; I even had it in my project notebook from several months ago. Using Bonfire weekend as an excuse seemed as good as any to try this out with minimum attention.

Fire breathing

It's surprisingly easy to do, although it's a bit gross tasting and gunks up in your mouth but eventually dissolves. You stick a big spoonful of cornflour into your mouth and just blow out .... up and out, not down! Flames go up! - towards a lit blow torch. This would be the other fun use of a small blow torch, besides firing PMC (precious metal clay).

For some reason, this picture of my husband fire breathing is more popular than the pictures of me.
Sully fire breathing

And here's a short video so you get the full noise effect.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Amish" food - Hamburger Barbecue & Corn Fritters

Corn fritters and Hamburger Barbecue
Dinner from last week...
The food I grew up on, basically.
Had serious issues with controlling the heat on a small frying pan for the corn fritters :(

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ideas because I'm waiting waiting waiting

So... I have at least two projects that I've bought materials for. What's worse is I have half the materials for one project and it's just sitting there taunting me (ARUGH). Also for some insane reason my internet isn't allowing me on ebay *twitch* so I will just write about some upcoming ideas...

I'm kind of getting into costuming, like fursuits and cosplay. There's an upcoming japanese/cosplay event in London that I've just suddenly decided I'd quite like to go as a very cute anthro-cosplay Pinkie Pie (yup. ponies again. Ponies all the way.)
So I was going to check ebay for a cheaper hot pink petticoat as my usual source seems to have gone up in price significantly and I still can't be arsed to make another one after one horrible attempt many many many many years ago.

So... I need a pink wig... Not quite sure what I'm going to do for ears but they'll be hair barrette type attachment like my kitty ears I bought a few years ago.
I may go for a pink t-shirt and painted-on cutie marks, while trying super-hard to make the balloons looking like balloons and not something ... ruder...

Somehow I got distracted and thought of FUNFETTI CAKE. Not sure why I'm so obsessed with this cake these days but I did think it'd be the perfect cake for Pinkie Pie.
Googled, found how to make your own:
which then led to, make your own sprinkles:
which mentions... BACON SPRINKLES! Everything comes back to bacon.

I think I want a funfetti cake for my birthday :P

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tool Roll

Sully's Lockpick Roll
All the Lockpicks Inside

The husband has recently gotten into sport lockpicking and purchased his own set of picks. Unfortunately it came with a really small case and it was very difficult to get any of the tools out so I modelled this on a crochet hook case I got from ebay years ago. Just made of more sturdy fabric (denim, an offcut from my Tudor Rose purse I made years and years ago) and some random velvet ribbon from the velvet choker I made recently.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Beautiful Naked Electronics

mintyboost + 808 cam + microSD to SD converter...

This may look complex until you realise it's just a Minty Boost charging an 808 camera which has an SD to microSD card converter stuffed in it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oven Mitt and Machine Quilting

Hackspace Oven Mitt
This was my first time machine quilting anything. It came out pretty well. It's for London Hackspace's kitchen since I managed to burn my finger trying to use a folded over teatowel as an oven mitt the last time I did any baking there.
backColouring in progress

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Root Beer #1

Roots and Stuff

So a while ago I decided to try to make cola syrup, using all natural ingredients. It came out pretty good. So... I decided to try to make root beer next.

Found one recipe. Tried it. It smells like root beer while it's simmering for the first few minutes...
Simmering Roots & Stuff
Then it starts to smell more like an old fashioned general store or the Herb Garrett museum...

The recipe called for molasses and dark brown sugar. This is where it went horribly wrong, I think... those things are very strong in flavour and it was completely misplaced in the flavour spectrum. I think I'm going to go back to my cola recipe and use white sugar, glucose syrup and caramel colouring (actually gravy browning...) to get the right colour if necessary.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Just for Shiny

Velvet Choker

I remembered having a velvet choker as a teenager and i felt the need to have another... so this is a homage to that one. Pretty much the same construction but I made this one rather than bought it. Obviously needed to be done since all the other 90s fashions are coming back it seems... skater dresses and leggings... I even saw bodysuits (! those were painful...)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Warning! Taxidermy ahead

Disclaimer: Mice sourced were ethnically bred, raised & killed for snake/reptile food and were coming to the end of their frozen shelf life. This post contains dead mice. Not for the squeamish.

I follow a blog called Morbid Anatomy... mostly via twitter. I was very excited to find out that they decided to visit the UK for a month and host a series of events/lectures at The Last Tuesday Society. One of the things on offer was Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy. 4 hour class, not too expensive and rather unique... so why not?

First off, I highly recommend a visit to The Last Tuesday Society's shop. It is amazing. It's like wunderkammer heaven. So much weird and dark things. Actually, it is literally dark in the basement but that just adds to it... there's a few very small but brightly lit cabinets there that help to keep your eyes from ever properly adjusting to the light levels so there's always something luring in the shadows.

So... the tables were laid out like a macabre dinner party for cats. Dark paper table cloth, paper doilies, shiny little plates, cups of borax substitute and disposable scalpels.
mouse dinner?


There's no gory pictures because my hands were gloved and I was a bit busy! It's not really any different to taking the skin off a chicken. Here's what my mouse looked like before...
Mouse before being skinned

Then after
Mouse drying in salt
Like a little mouse slipper.

The tricky bit came after the skinning. It's very fiddly work wiring up the arms and trying to keep the tail/spine wire into the back of the head.

I actually struggled quite a bit with the body shaping. Using air drying clay used to bulk out the body made it a bit awkward. I spent so much time on everything else, I almost missed out the anthropomorphic bit (except for the fact the mouse is in a standing pose)... then I happened to spot some interesting lacy trim and knew it'd have to be a skirt for the mouse.
Mousey in Box

Thursday, I'm going to be trying to make another stuffed mouse... with quite an audience it sounds like! I'm a bit nervous, I'm still a newbie... but I guess that'll make me more interesting for everyone.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Two of my friends decided to share a flat together... We're kind of taking the piss out of them so made them His & His towels and then I decided they'd enjoy the rude tea towels too.

His & His Towels

Cock & Knob tea towels

Happily, they seem to love them, especially the tea towels as they were needed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Raspberry... P.I.

Raspberry... P. I.
Another joke gone horribly wrong. Overheard someone describing a raspberry pi as a "raspberry pee eye" and then decided this needed to be celebrated with a raspberry sporting a Tom Selleck 'tache.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Giant T-Rex

Oh so funny... something that was vaguely a joke...

Somehow on the trip back from Derby Mini Maker Faire, we came up with the Amish T-Rex as a description for me. T-Rex because I have short arms and I have to ask other people to get things off of high shelves for me. Amish because ... well, I like to think I had a hippy upbringing but maybe it was more coddled/sheltered/not allowed to do fun & dangerous things. Also all the previous domestic skills tend towards being "amish".

Somehow I found a 6ft t-rex made out of plywood on Instructables. This idea escalated to Let's Build This For EMFCamp then ... it must glow. Yes it must. I originally thought I'd use UV paint but then decided glow in the dark pigments would be better... It'd react to light and also to the UV Lights.

I gathered a budget, I got granted a budget (materials only), bought plywood, begged for base-coat paint from friends, and somehow... it all came together. Under a bridge under the M1 in Milton Keynes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mobius Pizza

This was actually TomW's idea, I just helped with construction and making.

It still occasionally boggles my mind that even a year ago I had convinced myself I just cannot collaborate with anyone and now I do so on a regular basis without being a control freak.

So, last Thursday I mentioned I was making pizza and Tom suggested making a Mobius pizza. I mixed up the dough in my kitchen-aid mixer and brought some into the hackspace along with other pizza ingredients.

Actual construction was interesting but we've now worked out that we should just wrap/layer the dough in foil before pre-baking it. We had issues with losing the twist in the dough due to slumping.

I have a really weird way of making pizza sauce... it involves using tomato puree from a tube then sprinkling with dried herbs and seasonings. This actually works pretty well as it won't make a soggy pizza base ever. It also works pretty well for a mobius strip where the sauce has to defy gravity at some points. Also good to know for next attempt: Mix in the herbs into the puree before trying to apply. I doubt the pizza was well-seasoned in all places.

Cheese application was strangely easy... Just squish it on in a two-handed fashion to "both sides" ... Mobius strips only have one side technically.

Next came the toppings. or bottomings. or... somethings... This is very mindblowing stuff when you realise the pizza only has one side. Tom stuck on the pieces with some cocktail sticks. Once the cheese had melted in the oven, it acted like glue to stick the toppings on it.

It somehow disappeared very rapidly after being photographed. I assume this means it didn't taste too bad despite the double-baking and squishing the dough after it had been halfbaked and the sauce not being very flavourful etc etc. Mobius Pizza 2 will be much, much better. There is also plans afoot for Mobius Cookie(s)... We shall see if that works out.

Devil Hoodie

My completed project for July. What's sad is that I did so much to this and the only obvious thing is the horns. I bought a cheap hoodie off of ebay, modified it so it fitted better, put a tail, wings (which looked pretty rubbish) and the horns on it. Then decided the tail and wings had to go, so seamrippered them out. I really want to learn to make amazing wings that will somehow stand up to daily use but I guess wings will always be a bit delicate and get in the way of normal life.

Picture thanks to Will Green who came along on the previously mentioned Cable Car trip.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Less making, more having fun

I realised I hadn't posted here for ages... so I wondered what I was up to. Checking back through social media, it seems like I've just been out with friends mostly.

First, cable car!! Which including a boat ride and a bit of visiting a sort of hackerspace in Greenwich.
There was some ponies...
something called Meat Tuesdays... o_O
and a Maker Faire!
I've been barely alive since the Maker Faire. I am so glad the golf courses no longer exist..

Alas, I am no longer invincible to money problems... so I will have to only make do with what I've got. This sadly includes making do with a netbook for a while until I can save up enough money for a new laptop. Less Inkscape fun probably.

I have a bunch of stuff to post about but I'll try to space it out a bit. Yay making things!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sometimes you don't need a reason. BUBBLES!

me staring at giant bubble

Tom and I made bubble wands and made giant bubbles until we ran out of bubble solution last night :D We made bubbles that bounced off the carpet!! And bubbles that seemed to last forever and ever. And GIANT bubbles that take forever to pop along their length.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Random Dremel Engraving and Nostalgia

So... many many weeks ago I felt the need to buy this shiny, green beetle encased in resin.

Tonight, I had a random urge to engrave all over it. In my mind it was going to turn out more victoria/goth lace-like design. Instead I came up with something that vaguely reminds me of one of my favourite movies from my childhood... Explorers.


If you've never seen this movie before, I highly recommend you watch it. It is fantasy but very wonderful.

This part is pretty far along in the movie but that crystal in young Ethan Hawk's hand is what I was reminded of when I finished my bug carving.

It's funny how memory isn't perfect - I thought the crystal was green with white carvings but actually it looks more clear with green carvings.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fluttershy Everything

Fluttershy Book
pink, yellow & turquoise book finished

Fluttershy Nail Art :D
Fluttershy cutie mark inspired nail art