Dress Form Tutorial, part three

First, a disclaimer...no models were hurt in this experiment/project. A deep sense of 'freedom' was experienced when she was released from her trash bag suit of duct tape. Bear in mind, the temperatures have been a bit hot and sticky along the Ohio River Valley, so air-conditioning and fans were adjusted to benefit the bagged one. Actual time spent bagged and tagged: 30 minutes. The change in beverage, from wine to Coke Zero...my model decided to fly the coop for a bit after our little project, and we're firm believers in NOT drinking and driving. My glass of wine came a bit later in the evening. Now, on to the next step.

**After removing the form, tape the inside seam of the center back with several layers of tape, once again in several directions. (This step is reminiscent of cleaning a turkey cavity)

**Continue taping on the outside of the seam. build up the arm holes and neck hole area.

**As the neckline is built up, add a circle of cardstock to form a bit of a neck line. For an actual 'neck', I used fiberfill stuffed in a stocking leg.

**Add layers of tape over this to secure.

** Close off the arm holes with a circle of cardstock, and tape over them securely. Remember, you are going to fill the cavity with expanding foam insulation...you don't want any of this to escape.

**As you are taping on the outside of the form, it's helpful to insert a small pillow in the hollow form.

**After the form is sealed, somewhat, I lined it once again with a smaller trash bag, just for safety's sake. Spray in foam insulation. I used 2 cans and didn't begin to fill the void. I'm going to finish stuffing the form with fiberfill, and packing peanuts.

While this has been a really fun-type project, and we've gotten lots and lots of laughs from it, it is not turning out quite the way I expected it to. I still want a real dress form.

To smooth out the outside, I plan on covering the form with a latex spackle. More photos to follow Friday morning. I hope that between now and then, this resembles a dress form more than it does the Tin Man.



I can only attribute my over-active thought processes to an increase in my caffeine intake. I took a little break in the dress form project, but will be back at it after work this evening. In the meantime, I finally received my Folk Art Halloween book from Amazon. It took 7 days to cross one state. Hmmm...the book has a few really cute projects--the Gypsy Witch is a favorite, but for the most part, there's nothing really new and different. Supplies from the stash have been pulled for other projects and gifts, and I keep jotting ideas down for things I want to make. Quite a change from a mere week ago.

More dress form pics will be posted later in the day...


Dress Form Tutorial, part two

Click to enlarge photo
Well...this was pretty much fun. It was hard taking pictures because we laughed most of the time we were duct-taping. The steps:
1. Cut a smallish neck hole in a heavy duty trash bag. The hole gets bigger as you tape and the plastic stretches. Cut arm holes, too.
2. Tightly wrap a waist line
3. Tape in different directions for stability...horizontally, vertically, sideways.
4. Add several layers of tape, also for stability. Pull the tape tight, and smooth as much as possible.
5. After the basic portion of what you want to turn in to a dress form is taped, use very sharp scissors and cut a straight line up the back of the 'form'. This is especially hard to do around the waistline...be careful...don't cut your model.

We'll move on to the next portion after a beverage break. Bring on the Coke Zeros!

Dress Form Tutorial, part one

Supplies needed for the funky home-made dress form:
A large trash bag
Lots of duct tape
Foam insulation
I'm using this wire planter as a form base. I've gotta tell you...I can't wait to do this, and Megan is pretty excited about it too. I'm kind of thinking a little wine might be involved, too.


To quote a favorite blog...

What are we going to make today? Actually, this is what I plan on making tomorrow evening after work...

A dress form! I've wanted one of these for ages...I've posted on cheapcycle, freecycle, combed yardsale ads, and asked everyone I know...the closest I've come to locating an inexpensive (or free) dressform was when a co-worker said she used to have one, but gave it to her husband and brother in law for target practice. Tragic. She said it ended up going to the dump.

I've read several on-line "how-to's" and have decided that this is a do-able project, provided I have the co-operation of my daughter. She's agreed to be the 'crash-test dummy' for an evening of being wrapped in duct tape. I'm going to take lots of pictures, so I'll post a step-by-step tutorial. I can't wait!

Sunday Puttering

It's a multi-tasking Sunday...the kind of 'catch-up' day that I like. While the dishwasher, washing machine, and breadmaker do the hard stuff, I'm going to be in my little corner of the dining room (the new craft nook) and make eyepillows and sachets. I spent a little time last night putting a few more items behind the curtain, and I came across a few things that had gone missing. It's always an adventure.
After my puttering for the day is done, I'll sit down with the knitting (I'm hooked on making wash clothes), and watch the second season premiere of Mad Men on AMC.


Friday Minutia

I would say that today...I'd rather be reading. In reality, it's work, funeral home visitation, and taking a stab at the ever-present need to organize. Another fear of mine has reared its ugly head in the past day or so...if I were to die, who would want to sort through all of this stuff? Would I really want to inflict this on anyone? The answer is a resounding "NO." I'm always doing a 'Scarlett O'Hara'...tomorrow is another day...but in reality, is it? I want to be able to relax and do fun things...and in the end, will it matter if my drawers and closets are organized? A conundrum for sure.
Instead, I'll probably soon revert to my ordinary life...sitting in my chair, with my lapdesk and laptop close at hand.


Mary Ruth Tooley, rest in peace

Shortly after I arrived at work yesterday, we were informed that a co-worker had passed away the night before. It was unexpected and so very sad. Mary Ruth had worked for our library system for over thirty years, and before that, she had been a nun. She had a wonderful sense of humor and everyone loved her. Mary Ruth was a faithful reader of my blog...she was the first person I actually knew who came up to me at work to tell me she had found her way to PlumWater Cottage, quite by accident. We will miss her.

Updated to add: Visitation will be at Ziemer's East in Evansville Friday 7/25/08 from 3-8; a funeral service will be held on Saturday at 10AM, also at Ziemer's East.


Wednesday at work

Here's where I'll be at 10:30 and 3:30...the Cafe Garden at the library. The humidity is dropping as the day goes on, and it's just beautiful out this morning. After a week of scorching temperatures and high humidity, today is going to be very pleasant. It's so nice to be able to take breaks outside...to get "out" for fifteen minutes and enjoy the outdoors. The cafe is supposed to reopen next month...we've had three different vendors there, and other than the first group when we initially opened the new building, they've all left lots to be desired. I'm ever hopeful that this next vendor will be great; he had a free-standing restaurant on the Main Street walkway, and while we were in the old library facility some of us would walk over there for lunch. Named the Alley Savant, for its location in one of Evansville's many alleyways, it was a hidden treasure.


Uh Oh!

I would guess by now, anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis, or anyone who knows me, KNOWS I have a passive/aggressive relationship with books. Even in the past week, I've made several stacks of books to "do away with" in one way or another. While perusing Amazon this morning, I came across this book...Bethany Lowe's Folk Art Halloween. How could I resist? I have several pieces by her (and her minions overseas), and I absolutely love Halloween decor. This book has 30 projects...I can't wait to receive this! On the hottest day of the year--so far--I'm thinking orange & black.


This one's for you, Vee ;-)

This is what's behind the curtain...not the Wizard, just ordinary crafty items and a huge assortment of books. I need to do a purge of some of the craft books---there are things I'll never do.


Creative concealment project complete!

My little drapery concealment turned out to be a bit more complicated than it needed to be. I temporarily misplaced a little wooden thread holder that holds my big spool of thread on the Featherweight. Not good...it took a little while to find, and then with the pinning of the pleats...well--I wanted to do a 'mistreatment' ala The Nester, but instead ended up pleating, sewing, and hemming my project. So tempting to get out the glue gun, but I would have probably burned myself with it. I still need to load the bookcase, but it really doesn't look too bad...I love the fabric, the price was right, and I finished it in under 24 hours of starting it--pretty impressive for me. All in all, I only spent about 45 minutes actually working on it. The rest was hunting & gathering.

Pink Saturday

Thanks again to Beverly for hosting another Pink Saturday!
I was going to go a whole different way with Pink Saturday this week, but last night when I was cleaning out the bookcase in the diningroom--in preparation for the new cover-up for it--I came across this incense holder. I bought it primarily for the look of it--it looks heavy and old. I'm not a fan of burning incense, but will put an unburned stick in a floral arrangement purely for the scent of it. My fave--green tea.
The second picture is more what I wanted to express for Pink Saturday. Pink is more than a color...it's an attitude. The author who most expresses this for me is Alexandra Stoddard. I've been collecting her books for ages...I remember getting one out of the library years and years ago...Style for Living...I read and 'studied' that book...and wanted to live that kind of life. I went through a few periods of that, but mostly I fall back into a relaxed living style. I met Alexandra years ago (I think my daughter was in second grade), when she visited our area to do a Town Hall Lecture. Her husband was in attendance, and they were such a 'cute' couple. I took along a few books for an autograph, and she was so gracious to everyone in line...stopping to chat, to sign, and to insert a beautiful grosgrain ribbon into all of the autographed books. Whenever I think of pink, Alexandra Stoddard comes to mind.


Another project got in the way...

While out and about on my errands this afternoon, I spotted this fabric at JoAnn. It was on the clearance rack...home dec fabric on sale at $9.00/yd. and further discounted by 50%. I love the muted neutral colors in the design, and purchased 2 tiebacks to match the ones in my livingroom holding back the painter's dropcloth draperies I made last winter. I'm going to use this fabric to make a drapery for a bookcase; I won't be assembling the Martha Stewart-style craft cases anytime soon, so this will have to do. Since I've moved craft 'heaven' from the guest room, I have a need to do a 'creative concealment' ala Melissa at The Inspired Room.

I'll post a picture (maybe later this evening--or early tomorrow morning) to show you the results.

Farewell, Paris

The beginning of a three day weekend...what I thought was going to be an exercise in moving a few kitchen items out of an alcove and turning it into a cheery breakfast nook, has turned into a different furniture/stuff moving adventure. All thoughts of moving into a smaller space have flown out of the window. I'm still determined to rid myself of excess 'stuff' --probably to only accumulate new and different 'stuff'--but I've redirected my efforts last evening and this afternoon to relinquishing my guest room/craft room to my daughter. It was her space originally and she's moved back home. She's a busy girl, so I still won't see that much of her, but it's good to have her back in the nest, for however long she stays. She has just one year of college remaining, and she has her 'plan' together for grad school (along with two jobs she absolutely loves), so I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.

Last night I moved most remnants of my crafty things from the room..."PARIS" vacates this afternoon. I want her to be able to decorate the room the way she wants to...and she's brought lots of things back with her.

After a quick trip out for groceries (must replenish the pantry---other than milk, I haven't really grocery-shopped since just before Memorial Day), and a hopefully quick stop at the fabric shop for my sachet fabric, I'll be in for the weekend. It's going to be super-hot & humid, with an ozone alert in effect, so I'll be languishing in the airconditioning, sewing, and re-doing. I hope to get some books for sale listed at PlumWater Cottage Mercantile ;-) and some lavender chamomile sachets listed on Etsy.


A Thursday quickie...

Right here, right now, everything in my herb & tomato patch looks so good. Another day of sunshine, and I should be picking quite a few tomatoes. Can't wait!


Not your typical morning at work...

Sharp-shooters positioned on rooftops is not your typical morning in Evansville. Across the way from the library is The Centre where this morning our governor was participating in a 'symbolic' groundbreaking for I-69. Symbolic, because they couldn't hold it where the highway will be built--not enough security to hold back protesters.
For the past two days, they've been setting up barricades all around The Centre; including on the street right outside of our library.
Increased security was in place---it looked like every policeman south of Indianapolis was here to 'serve and protect.' Two sharpshooters were positioned on our rooftop, and two more on The Centre's. By the way...not too many protesters stopped by.


6 Unimportant Things about moi...

I was tagged by my friend Michelle, a/k/a MadRedHare. These are the 'rules':

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post these rules to your Blog.

3. Share 6 unimportant things about yourself.

4. Tag people at the end of your entry.

This presents a bit of a problem and a lot of thought. There's definitely more unimportant things than important things about me...I can't think of anything important. If the assignment was to list six annoying things about me, well...that would be a real treat and a much easier task.

1. I get up early every morning, whether it's a work day or not.

2. At any given time, I have at least four or five books started.

3. Pajama bottoms and a tee shirt are my favorite 'at home' wear.

4. I don't/won't/will never scrapbook, but I have tons of scrapbooking materials that I use for other projects.

5. I can (and do) easily entertain myself at home, with varied projects, TV, music, and books. I keep a well-stocked pantry, so that once I'm home, there's no need to go out.

6. I watch Y&R faithfully, either online or on SoapNet.

Am I boring, or what?

I would love to tag other bloggers, so if you haven't participated in this particular one, consider yourself tagged.


Bastille Day

In honor of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, let's celebrate the ordinary folk...those who took the power from the monarchy. Let's pop open a bottle of wine (French or not), listen to a little French cafe' music, and salute the common man. Vive la France, vive liberty!


I 'heart' French Poppy Art!

Thursday afternoon Mr. Postman brought me one of Teresa's (French Poppy) wonderful prints that she was so kind to give away last week. I chose the Cafe' print...but it was really hard to make a selection; they're all so beautiful. On my list of things to purchase is this print from her Etsy shop...a wonderful companion piece to hang in the little dining alcove off of my kitchen. Of course, that would entail doing a switch-out of kitchen 'furniture' from the alcove to somewhere else so I could put my small bistro set there. It seems like I'm always moving things around. Next weekend is a three-day for me, so as of right now, that's the plan.

I've had the urge to move lately...I absolutely love where I live and it's so convenient to work. On the minus side, it's quite expensive to heat and it really is much more room than I need. When I look around and see the accumulation of furniture and just plain old 'stuff', the thought of moving it (or divesting myself of it) just about does me in. It would be nice to live in a pared-down space...to spend lots less money on housing and utilities...I just don't know if I'm mentally and physically up to it. One of my co-workers is moving, so last weekend I went to look at the duplex he'll be vacating...it's about a third the size of what I have, but it does have potential...and a real back yard and off-street parking. So much to think about!

Do I 'need' all that I have? No...but it's comforting having it around. Look for a book sale to be posted soon...I think I'll put them up here before I list them on Amazon or Ebay. Step number one in de-feathering my nest.


Pink Saturday

So...if any of you 'pink lovers' are in the mood for a new home, Mary Kay Ash's Pink Mansion is for sale in Texas...for just under $5 million dollars. Think of the Pink Saturday photo ops there!

Back in Indiana, these are my contributions to Pink Saturday...not nearly as heady as the mansion featured, but they are mine!
This is one of my favorite little tea pots...it just holds two cups, but it's perfect for a pre-work cup of tea.
A pedestal plate (sitting on an attached teacup). This is one I purchased from Tina at Cherry Hill Cottage a few months back. It comes with a glass dome. The strawberry (not real, but doesn't it look yummy?) is a gift from my friend Mary.
A small butter pat plate...I'd like to find a few more.
Ribbons...one of my favorite things.



Friday miscellany...a real surprise--these little violets I bought late last winter are blooming again. I know that's what they're supposed to do, but I usually can't keep houseplants alive long enough to rebloom. The remaining three are almost ready to bloom.
A friend came over after work yesterday afternoon for a little 'crafting'. Little is the key word here. We had a salad dinner--fruity chicken salad, pasta salad, and cornbread salad. I've been trying to replicate the cornbread salad from one of my favorite lunch spots--Coffee Cottage & Cafe. I may break down and ask (beg) for her ingredient list.

I have two knitting projects going on now; a huge shawl-like wrap that I've been working on for a few years and I probably only have two or three hours of knitting left to do on it, but it's heavy and kind of cumbersome to work with. So what do I do...

I start another little dishcloth. I love doing these...no need to pay attention to what I'm doing, so I can talk, watch TV, almost anything. So it was mostly sitting--a little knitting.


Mini rant

I guess I'm in the mood to be somewhere (anywhere) else...to skip back a century....to float aimlessly in a boat, watching the ducks, feeling the breeze (could they under all of that clothing?), and not having a care in the world. Taking time to smell the roses, and not worrying about pollution, chemicals, and global warming...and not relying on an automobile. Trade-offs are everywhere---better living through science, air conditioning (wouldn't want to be without that), and other modern conveniences, but wouldn't it be nice to go somewhere and NOT see someone walking the dog, driving a car, riding a bicycle AND talking on a cell phone?


Rosemary for Remembrance

This is my entry for the contest at Mind Wide Open. I've assembled it in one of those Martha Stewart presentation boxes that Michael's had on clearance last summer. It has a plexiglas lid with a beautiful scrolled outline. It's also impossible to photograph with the lid on.
I had my first adventure in burning paper edges. Fortunately, I was standing over the kitchen sink while I did this.
Everytime I hear the word remembrance, I think of rosemary...the herb of remembrance.
Assorted items from the goodie drawer found their way into this project.
Voting will commence after all of the images have been uploaded on July 8, and continue until midnight July 14. I'm really glad I participated in this contest; usually when I make something/anything--I give it away or gift it. I'm keeping this one. Edited to add...voting has commenced on the 32 entries in this contest. One vote per person; click HERE to cast your vote!


Can you smell the lavender?

Can you imagine being here at the Norfolk Lavender Farm? The wonderful scent, the buzzing of the bees...I'd love to be there.
Instead, I'll content myself with my two pound bag of lavender buds. I think I can imagine lots of lavender sachets making their way to Etsy!


Today, To Do

When I got home from work yesterday, there was a really nice surprise awaiting me in my email inbox...I won the final giveaway of the week at French Poppy's (a/k/a Teresa Sheeley) blog. I love her whimsical art...and it was hard to decide which print to choose. I can't wait to receive it!

Today's list of things to do is fun stuff. I followed a link in Dawn's ~The Feathered Nest~ blog and ended up at a new blog Mind Wide Open.

There's a challenge involved, featuring a required image and using it in any way you desire...sewing, paper crafting, collage...and the first entry is due by midnight tomorrow evening. The submissions will be posted and voted on. I've never done anything like this before, so I just decided to jump in and do it. I worked on one idea last night, and may go in a different direction today.

That, along with lunch out with my daughter should fill my day pleasantly.


More Red, White & Blue

I hope you all had a safe and fun Fourth of July. My holiday 'weekend' has a minor bump in the road...I go to work this morning. I'll resume the weekend after 5 o'clock this afternoon!
Someone asked about this framed piece I have in my entryway...it's by Becky Geis, owner of The Heart of Newburgh, in Newburgh Indiana. Becky, and her staff (Patty and Michelle --Michelle of http://www.madredhare.blogspot.com/) are so very talented. In the past they've manufactured papier-mache figurines for all holidays...bunnies galore, wonderful primitive Halloween and Christmas pieces, and their products are available on the web and through Country Sampler magazine.