Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

I have not been to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival yet, but I am definitely going to go next year.  Next year’s event will take place April 6, 7, and 8, 2018 at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

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Handmade Arcade

For me, the Handmade Arcade is like Christmas.  I get giddy with excitement and this was only my second one!  I had already purchased my Early Birdie tickets and my husband came with me again to keep my company (and drive me). There are 170+ vendors!  We arrived way too early, 9:30 and hung out until Early Birdie shopping started.

Handmade Arcade

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24 Hours of Harry Potter

A local movie house hosted a spectacular event called 24 Hours of Harry Potter back in February.  The theater, Row House Cinema, is located in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, which is a bit of a hipsterish part of the city.  My friends, Connie and Trisha, decided to go and we thankfully snatched up tickets quick, because they sold out.  The theater was playing all of the Harry Potter movies over a 24-hour period starting at midnight on a Friday night and running to midnight on Saturday with short breaks between the movies and a breakfast and a dinner break.

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My full Luna Lovegood costume, but I blinked. If only I was wearing my glasses. Sigh.

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Artsmiths of Pittsburgh

I wanted to get Early Birdie tickets to the Handmade Arcade. Last year was my first Handmade Arcade, and it was a wonderland of Handmade goods, a convention center filled with a giant craft show. Many of the vendors include goods that are up-cycled as well. I enjoyed shopping there and talking to vendors and Christmas shopping, so this is on my to-do list this year. And last year I was able to get Early Birdie tickets pretty easily. The event itself is free, but for $15, you can get in an hour earlier than everyone else, plus you get a swag bag with some little treats and coupons. Once the people start to come in the place gets pretty packed, so I’ll pay to get in a little early.

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Cute card with two kitties and a heart that I bought for my husband.

Well this year I went to buy my tickets, but they were no longer available online. Starting Monday they will sell a limited number of $10 tickets, but those tickets exclude the swag bag. But! The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh still had some tickets left. I was feeling kind of drained today and I wanted to take a nap, but my husband said I should get over there today to get my tickets before they were all gone.

I headed over there and OMG! It is like a mini Handmade Arcade there. The place is filled with all kinds of locally made products including jewelry, soaps, decorative items, Christmas ornaments, art, photography, clothes, accessories, etc. They even have an art exhibit downstairs. If only the holidays were not coming, I could have gone nuts in there, but I’m trying to watch my spending. Sure, I could Christmas shop in there, but mostly I wanted the stuff for myself. Lol. Oh well. I did end up buying a cute card for my husband with two cats and a heart and it says “love.” Perfect for crazy cat people in love. Lol

Long story short, I got my tickets and they only had two more after mine were purchased, so my husband was right. Anyway, if you are in the Pittsburgh area, check out Handmade Arcade next Saturday. And maybe check out the Artsmiths of Pittsburgh sometime. Tons of cute stuff. Lots to look at and hopefully buy, to support local artisans.

Spinning Yarn

A little over a year ago, my friend and I were at a Fall Festival at a historic house outside Pittsburgh.  We got to the festival and explored the house and checked out the vendors and exhibits.  While we were looking around, we saw a lady on a spinning wheel.  I stopped and asked her questions and asked if I could try it, and she let me spin my own yarn on the spinning wheel.

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Photo Op at the Fall Festival.

OMG!  I was hooked; it was so cool to sit there and pull wool and make yarn!  I was able to spin a little bit of my own yarn on the spinning wheel and I thought this was the most incredible thing ever.  I was ready to run out and buy my own spinning wheel, but common sense told me to slow down a little.

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A little piece of yarn I made at the Fall Festival.

I did however do a little research and I found some drop spindles that are a lot more affordable and I found a YouTube video with a tutorial on how to use the drop spindle by MegganERisk.  I enjoyed this video and some of her others, she’s fun and I found her  easy to follow, not too slow and not too fast.

So, I went and bought a drop spindle on Amazon and I bought some roving and I started to spin my own yarn.  As predicted, my yarn spinning days were short-lived, so I’m glad I did not invest in the spinning wheel right away.  lol  There is just not enough time in the day to do all of the crafts I want to do.  And I guess spinning took a back seat, but I have gained an appreciation of the art of making yarn.  I still want to spin yarn and I think I will continue to do it as time permits, but it is not my primary hobby.

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My first spun yarn on a drop spindle.

Bride of Frankenstein

My Halloween theme this year was Bride of Frankenstein.  I’ve been working on this theme all year, so it was great to see it finally come to life.  Many of my props I’ve been posting over the past week, but there were plenty of decorations as well like the Mad Scientist Lab Combo and the Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein wall decals.

My costume I made following the Little Miss Monstrous Costume pin on Pinterest and I also tried another pin to erase my eyebrows.  I’m not great at makeup, but overall I think my makeup came out pretty decent.  Also, my friend did the eyebrows because I knew I would mess those up.

For the costume, I followed the directions for the drape and arm wraps.  The wig, I crocheted.  I also made some gloves to cover my hands as well.  If I were to do it all over again, I would not have used ace bandages for the arms wraps.  They were not comfortable and kept slipping all day.  I think I’d probably just make wraps from rags.  Perhaps using a cheap bed sheet?  But I do love the final costume.  This pin has also been re-pined from my board probably at least a hundred times by now.  I hope there were a lot of Brides of Frankenstein out there this year.  And yes, this costume is much better and more authentic than the one I saw at Target.

So, my cubicle won 1st place at work and my costume won 3rd place.  I’m very happy with my results.  And I have at least two more Halloween ideas in my head to keep me going for the next couple of years, although it would be pretty difficult (and expensive) to top this one.

Frankenstein’s Lab Props Part 5

Part 5 in the Frankenstein’s Laboratory prop series, leading up to Halloween.  The next prop for Frankenstein’s Lab was also inspired from pictures of the movie set.  This one is a giant wheel.

Materials:

  1. Two Large wire wreath frame
  2. Styrofoam rod
  3. Styrofoam disk
  4. Newspaper
  5. Flour
  6. Water
  7. Brown spray paint

Note:  I just did this one by the seat of my pants with no plan.  If I were to do this one over again, I think I could have made it much better.  I’m going to provide instructions on how I think it should have been made, rather than how I actually made it.

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Completed wheel

Steps:

  1. Cut the Styrofoam rod in half.
  2. Space the rods evenly around the Styrofoam disk and trace the circumferences onto the Styrofoam disk.
  3. Cut out the rod circumferences around the Styrofoam disk to about 1 – 2″ deep, judge the depth off of the position of the wreath frame.
  4. Place the Styrofoam rods into the Styrofoam disk and make sure they position so they fit inside the large wire frame.
  5. Place the Styrofoam rods inside the two large wreath frames (sandwiched) and tied the wreath frames together.
  6. Mix the flour and water together for the paper mache.
  7.  Rip the newspaper into strips.
  8. Paper mache the newspaper strips around the wheel frame.
  9. Do about two coats around the entire wheel.
  10. Once dry, paint the wheel with the brown spray paint.

OK, Since this was my first time doing paper mache in many, many years, I found that I made many mistakes,  The paper split.  Not sure why?  I tried to smooth it out with plaster of Paris and that was a big mistake.  Overall, I wasn’t entirely happy with the end product, but I didn’t feel like ripping it apart and starting all over again.  Hopefully these instructions are better than the process I initially followed.

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Wheel prop in progress