Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy birthday to me....

I planned on posting all of my wonderful bithday presents today, but it may have to wait.

It seems my mom is still a little off kilter from her heart surgery last year and has had a stroke. It's wonderful news that my mom is still alive and doing well, but I'm worried about her and will be visiting her in the hosptial today.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This is how I spend my free time....

I have finally made it to my Nero game. Forgot to have my photo taken to show off my big hammer and my final creation of the uniform. For now I'm focusing on my wedding things and schoolwork.

Last week was finals week for school. This, to me, was hell with a side of a biscuit. My professor, as most do, tore into my web design and spit it out in ragged spittle covered bits. I'm not sure of which was is up and which way is down after that. Teachers, I beg you, if you're teaching an online class... please, please, please watch the wording in your comments. Is it meant to be snarky and negative? If not then why are you only pointing out things I messed up on? Record what you have fixed in previous viewings of the final projects and don't mark off your students for fixing what was initially your suggestion in the first place. This goes double for art based classes.

This was one of the three finals I made, I used every skill crammed into my brain in a 6 week time span.

Folks. This is harder than it looks.

This was the second of the three. It was a wonderful project and the one I had the most trouble creating... Creating for a vague client with minimal information and the inability to ask any further questions than what I was given in a stats sheet.

Sounds like fun? Then maybe you should look into Graphic Design as a major. If not then you can sorta understand my frustration.

I apparently used the wrong type of text. I didn't know that there was a type of text that was correct. This was not explained to me either. Nothing aggravates me as a student more than being told that I'm wrong and being given no explanation as to how I'm wrong. How do you propose that I learn?

This one was the third project. A raw file that I was to make into this beautiful composition. It started out as a nearly black canvas. I gave it a white balance and sharpened the image. Adjusted some of the colors. And I think I fell in love with raw camera imaging. Before my final I hated raw camera formats. They always ended up nearly black, I could never find a program to open it (little did I know I already had the program with my photo shop suite) and every camera had it's own version of the raw format. It's a wonderful format, but since there is not a universally recognised format for this (because each company wants theirs to be on top) it's hard to learn unless you're in a classroom setting, and reading directions straight from a how to for dummies book.

From all the projects that I turned in. I learned the most from the final one... photography may not be my preferred media, but I found a new love of it with this project. There is something to be said for photographers and the amount of skill needed to make a picture look good.

Anyone can point and click.

On that note.... I wish you all happy crafting, and much learning.

Handmaiden Ashley

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Dual Tailed Jesters Hat

This hat was created for my larp charater Cabbage. She has a Harley Quinn twist to her so I wanted to make a hat for her. At first I crochet a hat that I ended up liking for every day use rather than for Cabbage. I searched idly for a two tailed Jesters hat, and finding only three tails and the paper triangle ones I finally gave up and decided to make my own and share.

I give you my simple Dual Tailed Jesters Hat!

1. Select your fabric. You can choose up to four different colors, but if you're still a newbie at sewing I suggest two colors to simplify things. You will need at the most 1 yard per color. Scraps from this are great for other projects and for decorations.

2. Measure out the Width for your fabric, this would be for the point at the center of your head to the end of the tail. You can make this longer and shorter as you wish. I wanted super long tails so I used the entire width of the fabric.

3. Measure out the height of the fabric. This should be at least 10 inches. The longer you make it the deeper the hat.  If you have thick hair or a large head you may want to cut it at 12 or 13 inches.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 three more times. Stack your newly made rectangles on top of eachother. Be sure to line them up as straight as possable. It wont be the end of the world if they're crooked but it makes it much easier if the cuts are straight.

5. Cut out this shape. Below is further detail as to how to make the cut. Be sure to save the upper 'heel' for scrap and decorations for your hat.

5a. Measure your head around, divide it by 4 and add 2 inches for sewing and comfort. This will be the opening area and you will begin your curve here.

(I can use my measurements as an example, my head is 24 inches around. 24/4=6 inches. 6+2=8 inches.)

5b.  Leave at least 2 inches at the bottom for sewing allowances. You can add more if you want the tails to be chunkier, and likewise you can subtract more, for finer smaller tails. I suggest not going smaller than two inches because it may be hard to turn it inside without tearing out the stitch.

6. Pin together your two seperate sides, if you are like me and have the same colors on one side then pin those two colors together.  Where you want to pin is the outside top edge and the edge of the tail leading up to the 90* angle. Do not pin this angle. Sew your edges, but do not sew that angle, this is your opening to attach and for your head. Below images show you where not to sew.


7. Pin together the two colors along the middle line and sew. Be careful not to sew the opening of the head space closed or to the color connecting areas. I did it once and even with a seam ripper it can be a pain to undo.

7. Turn your hat inside out, At this point you will want to add any decorations to the hat such as extra fabric, iron ons, and bells or poofies to the end of your tails.

I chose to sew diamond shapes of green into the black and minature crochet cabbage roses to the ends of the tails.
8. Turn in the edge of your head opening to around an inch pin and sew. This is where you would slide in the elastic if you wish. The elastic helps keep it on your head so I highly suggest it. Be sure to leave a gap big enough to thread the elastic through. Once that is done sew the gap closed.

Arrange your fabric as you want it  and now you're done and it's ready to wear!

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