Just For Fun is my way of sharing all the little things I like to do... from crafty things to thoughtful things!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steampunk Addie is a real doll!

You may remember my friend Steampunk Addie...

For those that don't, she and I recently shared a Horcrux Adventure as a part of my HPKCHC homework assignments.  There were eight classes, so I made 7 horcruxes, and some outfits for Addie.

The last time I made doll clothes was about 40 years ago, with a tiny old hand cranked sewing machine a neighbor gave me.  they were bad.  To be honest, these aren't much better to the critical eye, but Addie finds a way to pull them off.

My original objective was to make a bathing costume for her inspired by not only the costumes of her time (1864) but Mrs. Lovett by the sea.
I couldn't find a single pattern that seemed to accomplish this, but Greta (Addie's Momma) found several patterns that had pieces of what we were looking for.

In order to familiarize myself with the patterns, I made a couple of practice outfits.  First was the funky Black, White and Red All Over.

This one ended up fitting the best, so I was pleased in the end.  I swear my daughter Christy wore this outfit as a kid in 1987!

Next was a nautical themed victorian dress.  The original is white with navy details, but since this was for practice, I chose plum and black.

There is a lot of material in that dress!  I think it would be ok if it weren't so heavy... but its too big and gravity takes it's toll.  They are hard to see in the photo but there are also matching boots under there.
I made an anti-gravity belt to help her hold that heavy skirt in place.  Pretty cool, eh?  I might have to make one in my size, I will be saving pull tabs for a very long time.  :oP

Finally, I was ready to try to put them all together.  I added double ruffles to the pants, red underneath and stripes on top, shortened the sleeves, and left a little peephole for when Addie wants to show off her tummy, recently autographed by Wil Wheaton, boy genius from Star Trek NG.

I was very pleased with myself for some of the 'hardware'.  In particular, the focal point button reminds me of old diving bell helmets.  I also gave her a pirate medallion on her ankle.

I have to ponder the need for additional beads on the sleeves.  Will all that brass make her to heavy to swim?!

While I ponder, Addie is not so patiently waiting for her turn at the computer.  I wonder what she has to say about all of this?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If it's Tuesday, I must be wheezy.

What day is this?  My word, it all runs together sometimes.  But I can tell it's Tuesday by how I feel.  My allergies are the worst in the middle of the week.  That's because on Friday I get a medication boost that's wearing off about now.  It's fun on Saturday because I can run around doing fun things, no fun on Sunday because I am recovering from Saturday, and by Tuesday I am looking forward to the Friday boost again.  Sheesh.

This week though I did have yarn fun!  Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day.  The local group of Prescott Knitters had a booth at the Farmers' Market, so I joined them.  It was fun to see everyone's projects and chat with shoppers passing by.   I also got to see some old friends which was very nice.

I thought these vegetable market bags would be appropriate projects for the day and had a lot of fun with them.  The mesh bag is hidden inside until you are ready to fill it up!  I even had someone ask me to make her a tomato bag without the mesh part. 
Because we're winding down for the end of the month with my Ravelry groups, I am trying to finish up some of the yarn left lying around after other projects. 

Along with the dragon hat at the top, I made this light and summery garden hat and scarf - so soft! I was amazed at how much yarn was in this skein because I already made a pair of fingerless mitts for my friend Greta, and still had enough for the hat and scarf.

My grandson Topher came up on Sunday for a quick visit so I whipped up the blue baby dragon he had asked me for (thanks for the photo Christy!).  It was fun to see his face when he saw the dragon sitting on our table.  He knew right away it was the one he asked for, and named him fluffer-somethingorotherthatchangeseachtimeyouask.

I also made the minion beanies Christy and I had laughed about.  Two grandsons = two minions, right?

Last, but definitely not least, I've been working on items for Steampunk Addie.  I'll post photos next week when she comes by for a visit and can model for us!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Deathly Hallows

Just to give us fun project ideas leading up to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (July 15th!) we've been given an extracurricular assignment "Hallows or Horcruxes".

Like Harry, we have to decide whether to pursue the deathly hallows or the horcruxes.  Being the bored overachiever I am, I decided to make both.  My Horcrux Adventure with Steampunk Addie was a lot of fun, but now it's time for Hallows.

For those who have read the books, the Hallows are the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak given to the Peverell brothers by Death.  Each one gives the owner special powers.  As yarn projects, our hallows projects also had to possess special powers.

First, I proclaimed how my crochet hook was my Elder Wand by making this friendship/prayer shawl. Fashioned in the way of shawl ministry, prayers are said during the crocheting and the shawl is gifted to someone who needs a little extra support due to illness, trauma, or some other issue.

This particular pattern uses a nine stitch repeat, which I was able to repeat 18 times across the width for a total of 45 rows, and which fits nicely with my favorite prayer shawl blessing:  Nine Blessings By: Cathleen O'Meara Murtha,

Next is the Resurrection Stone.  For this hallow, we were asked to resurrect a vintage pattern.  I chose this table runner from 1936 because I liked the shapes. 

It was interesting trying to follow a pattern from that era.  It took two pages to describe something I could say in two lines of common crochet terminology now!

Last but not least was the Invisibility Cloak.  You might recall in May that I bought myself some great chenille yarn for Mothers' Day.  This was the project I was waiting for!  I used a classic shawl pattern, and added a hood to make it a bit more cloak-like.

It is so soft, and the photo doesn't do the colors justice.  I will say though that it does work... I bet you can't see my grandson in this photo!  He laughed so hard at the thought of being invisible like Harry! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Horcrux Adventure with Steampunk Addie

I've been friends with Steampunk Addie's Momma for more than 30 years. So, when the HPKCHC assignment for Muggle Studies was to make a doll or something for a doll... I knew just who to ask for help.

I first met Addie in person at Comicon, when we ran into a future friend of hers, Han Solo.  (Addie is a time traveler!) 

But I digress... a few more details on my June assignments at Hogwarts are important too.  There are 8 classes each month at Hogwarts.  There is also Detention, where you can turn in late homework, and Quidditch, where projects are purely extracurricular.  Enough to keep any crocheter busy, right?  Except this month, Quidditch is "Hallows OR Horcruxes", pick one or the other.  Who can do that?  I just had to do both.

Since I can only pick one for Quidditch credit, I decided to work the other into regular class assignments for credit there.  This means that not only did I have to follow each class requirement, but also the quidditch requirement at the same time.  7 horcruxes plus something for Addie in Muggle Studies meant 8 projects for 8 classes.   Perfect.  Then I had to tie them together... so I did the horcrux projects in the order we find them in Harry's story, and then asked Addie to help me present them to each professor.

Here are the class assignments I had to match up with horcruxes:
Charms - follow directions, complete a pattern exactly as written without any changes
History of Magic - make something to help with a TriWizard tournament task
Herbology - create a piece of inappropriate jewelry (not obscene, just weird!)
Divination - make something that uses both negative and positive spaces
Care of Magical Creatures - make something jeweled
Transfiguration - use scissors to transform something, reduce, reuse, recycle!
Defense Against the Dark Arts - something that reveals truth about your character
Muggle Studies - make a doll or something for a doll

... and here's what I did!
My Horcrux Adventure with Steampunk Addie

I was recently put in touch with time traveler Steampunk Addie.  It seems in her travels she came across a reference to “It All Ends 7.15”.  She knows little about the wizarding world, so the Ministry of Magic put her in touch with me.  As a fellow time traveler (I have to get to all my classes!) I already have a basic understanding of her restrictions and concerns.

Since there is so much for her to learn before It All Ends, I got her started right away with some very important books.  Her main concern is that because time travel by its nature is so very precise, any objects she takes with her must also be precise… errors are magnified by traveling though the fabric of time.  I therefore endeavored to create a book bag for her that not only utilized the exact materials called for, but was made to the precise specifications outlined.  No changes or errors could be made, or the outcome could be catastrophic.  She seems pleased with my work, and took it with her.  I hope it worked alright!
On her next visit to me, Steampunk Addie asked about the Triwizard Tournament.  She was concerned that there was a fatality during the most recent tournament.  I did not want to alarm her, so I explained that it has happened on occasion (although not as a result of You Know Who!).  She seemed satisfied with my explanation, so I showed her my latest invention.

The Marauder’s Map gave me an idea about charming objects, and Harry Potter’s use of ‘accio’ during the tournament of 1994 gave me another.  I like to do everything completely above board, I would never cheat at a tournament… but I do get nervous and forgetful when there are tests.  So, I charmed these gloves to function like muggle ‘wiki’ with the answers appearing on the back of the glove!  When a task begins, I ‘accio gloves’ and just put them on to activate them.  I have The Standard Book of Spells, Neville’s Notes on Helpful Herbs, and several other texts preloaded. As you can see, I also made the fingertips adjustable so I could still maintain a good grip on my wand.  I can hardly wait for the next tournament.  Addie says she’ll travel back to watch! 

I noticed that Addie wears some unusual jewelry and so I asked her about it.  They each have special personal meaning for her, and I enjoyed listening to her stories.  She asked whether there was any unusual jewelry in the wizarding world and I told her about the most unusual jewelry I had ever heard about (aside from my friend Luna’s quirky taste of course!  Luna showed me how to make a nargle repelling necklace once, but that’s a story for another day).

Years and years ago, there was a locket marked with a snake in the shape of an “S” for Salazar Slytherin.  Normal enough on its own… but once You Know Who got hold of it, it turned very strange indeed.  Can you believe that he put a piece of his own soul into it?  And people actually WORE it?  I heard a nasty witch who was in charge of muggle interrogations at the time wore it quite comfortably, but it’s no wonder to me why Harry Potter still tells of the nightmarish things that happened when he and his friends took turns wearing it for safekeeping.  I bet they were so relieved when it was destroyed by the sword of Godric Gryffindor!

This prompted Addie to ask about the other founders of Hogwarts.  I told her about the four, and how each one has a unique personality that is also reflected in their ‘house’ which is a Hogwart’s student family.  She thought it was very interesting as in her day only the very rich get to attend boarding schools.

Her favorite was Helga Hufflepuff because she was so accepting and loyal, a lot like Addie’s Momma.  In Addie’s experience, those are very admirable qualities.  I showed her the Hufflepuff Cup, and she thought it was fantastic, as well as my own Hufflepuff inspired yellow and black tea cup.  She wondered how I could actually drink tea from this cup but I explained that the space in between the design was actually just as important as the design itself and they both worked together to make a whole cup.  I think she wants one of her own!
In Addie’s time, most people didn’t have a lot of jewels.  Many had important family jewelry like wedding bands or their grandmother’s cameo.  Addie showed me a special cameo her Momma gave her.

Continuing our conversation about the Hogwarts founders, I told her the story of the Grey Lady and Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem.  She liked the idea that it would bring wisdom to the wearer and said she could have used it several times while devising plans on the Underground Railroad.  She didn’t understand how a daughter could steal one of her Momma’s treasures though.

We created this crown of leaves and mayflowers in hopes it will bring a special sort of wisdom about nature and the rhythm of life to the wearer.  Whether they are flowers or fire crabs, all parts of nature are just as precious as jewels!
On her next visit with me, Addie had some very direct questions about He Who Must Not be Named.  She’s read many of the books I lent to her and was quite upset about the people killed by him and his Death Eaters.  She was particular upset about the way he used Nagini, because she loves animals – all animals, even the seemingly creepy ones.

She thought You Know Who must be quite evil indeed to take advantage of one of earth’s creatures so easily.  I explained her that not everyone feels that way about the world, or about snakes.  I told her all about the Order of the Phoenix, showed her the reusable shopping bags I use instead of the ones available at the market and we talked about plarn, tarn and other ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  She didn’t know what tarn was, so I showed her how to make it out of a t shirt that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill (because it was too stained to be donated to someone else).  We used the tarn to make her very own Nagini!
“It All Ends 7.15” is coming closer and closer and my time traveling friend Steampunk Addie stopped by for one last visit today.  She understands now why it has to end one way or another.  Having read all the books I lent to her, she understands more about Harry’s hero’s journey and Voldemort’s ambition driven by his lack of love and friendship.

We agreed that our ability to love and be loved, have friends and be a friend plays a huge part in defining how we see ourselves as well as how we interact with the world around us.  She said back in the 1940’s she met a very nice old man named Clarence, and he told her that “No man is a failure who has friends.”  It certainly was true for Harry Potter, and it’s true for me too!
After all the reading, deep discussions about “It All Ends 071511”, and time traveling with Steampunk Addie in such a short period, I recommended she take a break. Nothing goes better with a good book than a summer day by the sea. While she was packing, she stopped to model the new bathing costume I made for her. Her Momma says it’s a little quirky for her time, but Addie likes to break the mold. I need to introduce her to Luna soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doobeedoo down down, Catching up is hard to do

Wow, where did I leave off again?  So many projects, so little time! 

So, just jumping in... last weekend Steve and I went to Phoenix Comicon with our friend Greta and her family.  It was our first comicon and I have to admit it was a lot of fun.  It was also a lot of waiting in line.

Part of the reason we felt the need to attend this particular time is that Leonard Nimoy said this would be his last comicon. That makes it 'once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Spock', right?

Since I know a lot of folks like to dress up for these events, I decided to be my best Dr. Sheldon Cooper.  I wore my Bazinga! t shirt and carried this Green Lantern tote.  I had a lot of fun with it.

I loved seeing "Evil" Wil Wheaton.  he even had some Wil vs Sheldon photos, so of course I had to have one!  I also asked him to autograph a napkin for me "DNA collection".  Sadly we could not get Leonard's DNA like Sheldon did.
I apologize for the horrible photos here, but you get the gist.  We had a great time.

I must admit though that as fun as those meetings were, George Takei was amazing.  Such a nice guy, chatting, introducing himself like we were meeting at a party and not standing in line for an autograph.  George is a class act!!!

We saw lots of great characters, stormtroopers, Yoda, Doctor and Tardis, warriors, superheroes, supervillians, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man... even a mermaid and Snow White.

You should have heard me though when I spotted Mad Eye Moody!

Believe it or not, I did get a bazillion crochet projects done as well.  I won't bore you with all of them, but they were fun!

 My favorite of the week was the "Beware of Dragons" hat. I used some red I had lying around, and the color changes are like magic. Check it out!


This week I start my Hogwarts assignments for June, and I have a really cool plan so watch this space!

I have to top my May marks where I earned Hermione's 'badge of awesome'!