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A co-worker asked me to make her a life-size trident because, as part of a PTA function, she was going to dress up like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.  Since I love a good challenge, I said let’s do it!  Considering they have a fabulous collection of medieval armor, the journey started at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  My BFA degree is in metals and metalsmithing and the proposition of making something look like metal and wood, even though I was going to use plastic, made me giddy… in that I’m a geek to the core sort of a way 🙂

I thought it was equally important not to lose the quality of the animation aspect of the trident and that lead me to more research on the movie as I had never seen it.

 

Based on this information, I created the vector designs in CorelDraw, to use the laser for cutting the acrylic.

 

 

 

The trident needed to be three dimensional and I decided that a ‘spreader’ component was necessary to achieve this.  I cut triangular shaped pieces out of 3/16″ acrylic to get the distance I thought was necessary between the flat trident shapes and also allow me to install the square dowel rod that was going to support the trident head when it was inserted into the PVC pipe.

 

These are the design pieces coming together.  Acrylic solvent was used to cement the two clear trident shaped pieces together, along with the triangular pieces to give the shape dimension.

To fill the gap between the trident shapes I used cold porcelain clay made from corn starch and glue.  I used baby oil in mine.  Here’s the link to a wonderful video tutorial to create your own: https://youtu.be/jC77TstFmFc

It took several days for the clay to dry!  Truth be told, I was coming up on a hard deadline with the event date and needed to paint the trident before all of the clay was completely dry.  If I make something like this in the future, dry time will be important.  I wanted to fill some of the divets in the clay to make the edges completely smooth but there wasn’t time for that!  Rust-Oleum is your best friend.  Their line of hammered metal and textured paints superbly took on the qualities I was trying to achieve to make this look like a real-life animated trident of metal and wood.  Great Stuff worked beautifully to fill the PVC pipe and add stability to the dowel rod, which was inserted into the pipe.  Once that set up, it wasn’t going anywhere.

 

I was really pleased with the interaction of the hammered metal paint on the acrylic surface.  Looking more like a real trident!

 

 

Getting down to the wire, the night before the event I made Ursula’s crown and necklace.  The crown was intended to be molded mirror gold acrylic but the time crunch got the best of me and I opted for sparkled gold foam from the craft store.  A couple holes on either end and some ribbons for tying did the trick!

 

I had a lot of fun working with polymer clay again.  In a former life I was the designer for a line of polymer clay dolls.  You never know where random expertise will come in handy. I blended two gold clays to get a seashell effect because, the real deal look and nothing else, will do for Ursula.  Additional clay was used to create the ring on the staff of the trident.

The final size of the staff is 6 feet tall with the trident measuring 19″ high and 15″ wide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A co-worker requested that I create an announcement and sign-up sheet so that we can share yummy things on Valentine’s Day.  Some well placed washi tape finished off the design 🙂

If you might be thinking that a buffet of confections sounds like a good idea too, below is a PDF download of the 11 x 17 announcement and the 8.5 x 11 sign up sheet.

 

val-day-flyers

The announcement PDF can be found here.  lz-vd11x17

lz-vd11x17

 

And the sign-up sheet is here.  lz-vdsignup

 

 

LZ VDSignup.jpg

You use a glass mirror to see your face;
you use works of art to see your soul.
~ George Bernard Shaw
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One man’s trash is another man’s art! 
Urban up-cycle this discarded mirror using a laser and spray paint!
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This mirror design was created using an Epilog laser.  The mirror finish was removed from the back by the raster function of the laser, then spray paint was applied to add color. 
Next the front of the mirror was etched with the laser to add depth to the piece. 
These effects can also be achieved using a sandblaster and masking film.
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Here’s some photos of the process.
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It all started with this discarded mirror.
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Then my design created in Corel Draw.
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A template was cut in cardboard to hold the mirror.
This insures that the mirror is placed into the laser in the exact place each time.
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The back of the mirror now complete with the raster removal of the mirror finish.
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Ta-da! 
The mirror finish has been removed via the raster function of the laser and the clear glass shows when viewed from the front.
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The front side of the mirror was etched with the laser.
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Cool technique spoiler alert! 
Use a combination of vector cutting, to achieve a hairline around the border frame image, then use the raster function to give the appearance of etched glass. 
The cut vector is sparkly… oohhh, aaaah!
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Final check inside the frame to view placement.
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Next, painting of the lattice frame.  Spray paint is your best friend! 
Two colors of paint for the frame. 
Lighter to the inside, darker to the outside.
I didn’t wait for dry time because I wanted the colors to mix, and they did, creating a really nice ombre transition.
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Bronze glaze after the paint dried worked like a champ to give the paint some depth.
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Paper tape is applied to cover the mirror surface so that the spray painting can be masked and done in stages to allow for different colors.
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The paper tape is peeled away to reveal the next part of the design to receive a different color of spray paint.
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Have I mentioned how difficult it is to get decent pictures of a mirrored surface? 
The colors are teal, black and brown.
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The final project!
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“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)

 

This is the last sale of the year and just in time for all of your holiday projects!

Use the Coupon Code woolofbat15 to save 30% off your order at

7 Yaks Design.

Expires October 31, 2015

Summer is perfect for getting your dye on!

sum dye

Materials List:

Black plastic garbage bags
Large mason jars (or gallon freezer Ziploc bags)
White vinegar
Acid dyes
Protein fibers, including silk

jar dye

Adding heat to your kitchen in the summer doesn’t make a lot of sense but that doesn’t mean you have to abstain from dyeing.  Summer sun, even on a mild day, is plenty hot for dyeing.  If a glass jar isn’t getting the temps you want then a black garbage bag will assist, or even putting the dye containers in a closed car in the sun will get the job done.  Some who use solar dyeing swear by leaving it out for a few days to get the maximum color possible.

I dye in bulk so my batches usually consist of 2 lbs of fiber per dye bath.  It’s also the maximum fiber weight for a 1/2 ounce of Jacquard dyes, and most other dye sources.  I co-mingle my fibers too, anything that will accept a dye with vinegar as the mordant can go in the same color dye.  It’s much more efficient when you desire to dye multiple fibers.

As a test to see if the dye bath is done, I always check to see if the water is clear in the container with the fiber.  If the fiber to dye ratio is appropriate, the dye bath will exhaust (meaning the dye absorbed completely into the fiber) and you will see clear water around the fiber.

bag dye

This is a great pattern for a self striping yarn and using up your stash!

hat

This hat is made with 1 skein of Noro Kureyon or Taiyo yarn with novelty yarns added for pizzazz.  This is a great pattern for using bits in your yarn stash if you’re not using Noro or another self-striping yarn as the base yarn.

Materials:
Size US 7 needles
Crochet hook

Directions:
Cast on 25 (child size) 40 (adult size) stitches with size 7 needles.

Row 1 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
Row 2 Purl
Row 3 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
Row 4 Purl
Row 5 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
If you wish to use novelty yarns, add to rows 6 – 12 of each section.
Row 6 Purl
Row 7 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 8 Knit
Row 9 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 10 Knit
Row 11 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 12 Knit

Repeat rows 1 – 12 seven times (14 sections) for child size and nine times (18
sections) for adult size.

Finishing:
Bind off stitches. Pick up 60 (80) stitches along bottom edge to add hat rib. Knit 2, purl 2 rib until desired length and bind off.  Sew side seam. Weave strong yarn through stitches at top of hat and pull to gather tightly into chocolate kiss shape.

If desired, use bits of yarns incorporated into hat to make pom pom to add to the crown of the hat.

Here’s a PDF download of the Twisted Kiss Hat Pattern:

Twisted Kiss Hat Pattern
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“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)

 Halloween Sale - Blog big

This is the last sale of the year and just in time for all of your holiday projects!

Use the Coupon Code woolofbat to save 30% off your order at 7 Yaks Design.

Expires November 15, 2014

Get festive this Halloween – add a fun and stylish skull to a scarf.
If you’re like me, skulls are fun to wear any time!

halloween skull

Scarf blanks are 6 inches x 6 feet long in super soft polyester.

scarf blank

If you haven’t needle felted on fleece yet, Craft E Magee has a great tutorial to get you started!

skull tutorial

If you want to play around with a simple design, needle felting some yarn or roving is always a great start.

scarf yarn

Here’s a free PDF stencil to print and cut with an X-Acto knife to create your own scarf!

 

Skull PDF

Skull PDF

 

PUMPKIN SEASON IS OFFICIALLY HERE!

Pumpkin drinks and products are showing up at the grocery stores and all the coffee shops are serving pumpkin lattes. 

If yopumpkin spice all the thingsu want to save a few bucks, making your own pumpkin dog treats is really easy!

 Here are 4 reasons to add pumpkin to dog treats, or canned unsweetened pumpkin, to their food:

  1. Whether your dog has the splatters, or she’s bound up like a straitjacket, pumpkin is the answer to her digestive woes.  Canned pumpkin is very high in fiber, which can help bulk up your dog’s loose stools or soften her hard ones.  And since dogs tend to love the taste of pumpkin anyway, it should be easy to get your pooch to take this “medicine.”
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  2. Fiber isn’t all that pumpkin has to offer. Pumpkin flesh and seeds are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc.  Altogether, the nutritional benefits of pumpkin mean healthier skin, healthier eyes, a healthier coat and a healthier immune system for your dog.  That’s not too shabby for a treat that your dog probably will think is a delicious indulgence anyway.snoopy
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  3. Even if your dog isn’t in digestive distress, pumpkin makes a fine addition to his meals, adding bulk and fiber without a lot of extra calories.  Many dogs love the taste of pumpkin, so yours may gobble it down not only willingly, but eagerly.  You can feed him the same amount of food while replacing some kibble with pumpkin instead, thereby filling his belly and reducing caloric intake, a good strategy if your dog needs to lose a few pounds.  I find it’s nice to change up pumpkin with plain green beans so they don’t get bored when on a diet.  Heck, I get bored being on a diet, it’s always my downfall!
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  4. There is some evidence to suggest that pumpkin seeds are beneficial for urinary-tract health.  The oil of pumpkin seeds is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, which may be good for urinary health, among additional nutritional benefits.  Pumpkin seeds are also rich in many of the vitamins and minerals described earlier, so even if the connection to urinary health is hooey, pumpkin seeds are still a doggy superfood.

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This wheat-free peanut butter pumpkin recipe from the Doggy Dessert Chef is fabulous!wheat-free-peanut-butter-pumpkin

 

Check out all of the free dog treat recipes at Bullwrinkle!  There are over 185 dog treat recipes on Pinterest too.

7 Yaks Design on Etsy

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