Tag Archives: crafts and projects

Tutorial: Make Fake Windows in Photoshop (With Some Pics)

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Hey, Fluffsters!

Last night, I was up a bit too late again. But that was in part because of writing this post. But enough excuses. The main reason I stayed up too late was because I discovered a fun technique on Photoshop. I found a way to make fake windows!

Picture of a picture in a frame on a window frame.

All it took was a couple photos, Photoshop, and about 10 minutes… once I knew what I was doing

So, the two photos are completely separate, and started from these:

Pretty colorado mountains that get turned into a window view

This is the original view the “window” looks out on

Pretty building sillhuette at sunset

This is the one in the “frame”.

I next distorted the “view” picture using glass effects. I used the “frosted” glass option. For this one, I went with a small amount of distortion and a large amount of “smoothness”.

I then used vectors to create my frame shape, used a wood pattern I created a while ago to make the window look wooden, and bevelled the heck out of that layer. (Play around with it until you get something you like.) I used the “hard chisel” Inwards.

To create the frame shape, I used the rectangle tool. Next, I took three rectangles “out” of the shape, by using the “subtract” option on the rectangle tool. That’s what gives it the multi-paned look.

Have fun with the wood pattern… I don’t remember how I did that one.

Next I copied the “framed picture” into the image I was working with, on a layer above the frame. I resized it, and moved it to where I wanted. Next, I gave it a fairly thick black stroke. Make sure it’s thick- you’re going to bevel this one, too.

So as I just said, go to bevel. Use the “stroke” bevel. Make sure the depth is less than the thickness of your stroke.

Next, create a new layer the size of your “framed picture”. (This will be your shadow.) Fill it with a dark color, and move it behind your frame. Skew it until it gets to be about the shape you want. Turn the setting to “Multiply”. Then give it a “box blur.” (Again, play around with the settings until you like what it shows.)

And that’s it!

I’ve done a few others of these windows, and just reuse the window frame. (And really, that’s the hardest part. So once you create one, you’re set for a while!)

And there you have it! Other possibilities include “taping” pictures to the window or window frame. Or create more “framed pictures” to go on the “window sill.”

Then you can either use it as a desktop background on your computer (and look “outside” when you’re not working), or you can maybe stick it on a wall to give yourself an extra cool window.

Have fun!

One More Reason why Spinning Is Fantastic

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Hello, Fluffsters!

As the weekend has come to a close, and therefore a lot of extra time for fun activities, I wanted to share with you one more advantage of having a hobby be spinning. As in, spinning yarn.

When spinning is a hobby, you can do fun things at the same time. Like watch Dr. Who. Or listen to Welcome To Night Vale. Or even have a conversation with a friend.

Basically, you can do pretty much anything that doesn’t require hands. And so it’s a lot of fun. I recommend it.

Anywho, happy Monday! I hope your week goes well.

Fluffy Dragons: A New Crafting Desire

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Hi, Fluffsters!

So, recently, I came across a totally epic craft project that I really want to try at some point.

Some people have felted dragons.

I’ve only seen them online, so I’m not entirely sure what they actually look like in real life. But even online they look amazing.

The first one I saw was a lovely fire-toned one. The person apparently received it (and a Pegasus) as a gift.

The other two that I saw are really amazing. They’re by the same artist.

The first I saw is a green one with a tail that can wrap around your hand.

The other is a black one. (Ok, so it’s technically a wyvern. Oh well.)

Seriously, I really want to have time (and money) to learn how to felt now!

Well, happy Tuesday!

Dress Doodling Peeves

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Fluffsters, I have a problem.

Well, actually I have several. Maybe even more than several. (Nobody’s perfect- not even me!) But I’m only going to focus on one right now.

Ok. So, for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil (or a crayon, or a marker, or anything) I’ve been doodling dresses. I love dresses.

The big problem, though, is that I can’t get the anatomy for the human figure right. Seriously. It’s as though my fingers refuse to draw a decent, accurate female body shape.

So, this is a problem. If I don’t know if the body shape is at all accurate, I cannot tell if it would be worthwhile to try to figure out how to make my dress ideas come to life. And I don’t want to spend $20 or more on a failure. (I like big, fluffy skirts, too, so it would likely even cost more. A lot more. Just on the fabric. Not including time.)

So I don’t know what to do. Should I try to make prototypes of the dresses anyway? Stick to doodling? Try to work on more accurate human anatomy, even though it’s not nearly as much fun as dress-drawing?

If you have any thoughts, just leave a comment below!

Tying Shawls for Dancing

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Greetings, Fluffsters!

So, a couple days ago, before I went to the restaurant with my friends, we were at a Christmas themed ballroom dance. It was a lot of fun.

Right now, I’m just wanting to bubble about a discovery I made! But first, a little back-story. I’ve gone to this dance for the past several years. A couple of years ago, I had intended to go in a blue dress with a white shawl I made. (As in, I made both the dress and the shawl.) I went, but needed to take off the shawl since I wasn’t able to figure out how to keep the shawl (alright, it’s turned into more of a capelet) on without choking me or hitting whoever I was dancing with in the face. (Or chest, depending on the height of whoever I was dancing with.) So I despaired of being able to wear the outfit again.

You see, the dress is lightweight, but winter-blue. It does not work as a summer dress, since it’s very dark winter blue. But it also does not work as a winter-dress, because it’s a lightweight, sleeveless, knee-length dress. It looks very nice with the shawl, so I probably could get away with wearing it wintertime in warmer climates, but if there’s snow, it’s a bit cold.

It’s perfect for winter dances, though, since it’s very wintery, but it’s also cool enough that I don’t overheat in it, even after some really fast dances. The trouble is that it really doesn’t look very good without the white shawl.

All that to say, as of two years ago I thought I would never have the opportunity to wear that outfit again. But then I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs about something completely different, (a young girl getting a super-hero costume) but it still solved my problem. Included in the EPBOT post was a link to somewhere that showed a different way of tying cloaks, capes, and other things with stringy-things that normally get tied around necks with two pieces. (Not neck-ties. These are things that an average girl might encounter.)

Basically, you take the two ends of the tie-parts. Instead of tying them around your neck, pull them under your arms, and tie it behind your back. To make it a bit tighter, I added a second tie. So I ended up double-tying my shawl behind my back, which made it a nice snug fit. It also looked pretty sharp! (I unfortunately don’t have any pictures here, but it worked.)

It stayed on the entire time, even with a couple polkas, some fairly fast waltzes, and a swing or two. It was really fun! And I’m so happy to be able to wear that outfit again!

Happy Monday!


Easy Snowflake Pattern 1

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Hello, Fluffsters! Happy Thursday!

There’s a winter dance that I’m going to on Saturday, and I’m going to be helping to DECORATE! What does this mean, you ask?

Actually… they didn’t.

Shush. They might have!

But as I was saying. This means that I am crocheting SNOWFLAKES! I’m also making some for random Christmas present-y type things. (What can I say? I have a lot of friends, and it’s a thoughtful gesture. And not fairly inexpensive!)

This also means that I currently have a LOT of new patterns that I’m developing, and they’re all so much easier than they look! All of my patterns, right now, are taking 2 rows.

Here’s the first pattern:

a finished snowflake, and a crocheted one in progress.

A finished one, and one that I’m working on

So, that’s sort of what they look like. The big one was a bit over 4 inches across. But I’m guessing you’re wanting to know how to make it, if you’re reading this far. So, here’s

Easy Snowflake Pattern 1

(Note: I’m assuming you already know how to crochet. If not, sorry! Also, this is probably the most complicated of the ones I’ve done… I’m not entirely sure why I decided to go with this one as the first pattern… Huh.)

1: Chain 7. Slip stitch together to form a loop.

2: This part is a bit trickier. Chain 4. Chain 4 more. Join at the 4th chain from the hook to form a smaller loop. (This is basically just a 4-stitch picot stitch, instead of a 3 stitch one.) Chain 3. *Single crochet in loop. Chain 3, chain 3 more to form a picot, chain 3. Repeat from * 4 more times. On the last time, slip stitch into the 2nd original chain. You should get 6 little “petal” type shapes. (Look at the smaller image for a reference, if you need it.)

3: Slip stitch in the first petal towards the first picot loop 3 times. (The point is to get to the first little loop without distorting the center crystalline structure) Then, *single crochet into the picot stitch, chain 3, do a 4-stitch picot stitch, then 2 3-stitch picots into the same loop.

(Look at the image if you need a reference. You’re going to end up with 3 little loopy things at the end of the snowflake. The bigger snowflake demonstrates this a lot better.)

Then, chain 3, single crochet into the first picot you single-crocheted in. This forms the “tall” part of your snowflake’s crystalline structure.

Now you’re going to bridge the gap between your first row’s “petals.” Here’s how: Chain 3, picot, chain 3 more.

Repeat from * until you get to where you started.

So just to recap, once you crochet to a picot stitch in your first row, you’re going to:

  • Single crochet in the picot stitch.
  • Chain 3.
  • Create your set of 3 loops. (3 sets of chain-3 loops into a single chain.)
  • Chain 3 more, single crochet into the original picot stitch from the first row.
  • Chain 3
  • Picot
  • Chain 3, and suddenly you’re to the next picot in a “petal.”

When you get to the last one, slip stitch into the first single crochet you made in the second row. Fasten off. (I like leaving some tail so that the snowflake can be hung up.)

Happy crocheting!

DIY Miniature Painted Banner Tutorial

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Hello, Fluffsters! Happy Wednesday!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been a bit busy crafting. (It’s been fantastically fun.)

The first thing that I made yesterday was a painted miniature banner.

Gold painted sun on dark blue miniature banner.

I really liked the gold paint on the blue.

The really fun part about it? It’s glow in the dark! That means that the sun motif disappears in the dark, and the stars that I painted on come out. This is my first attempt at painting a banner, and I think it worked really well. (If I do say so myself!)

DIY Miniature Painted Banner Tutorial


To start with, find any spare piece of fabric. I personally used a dark blue satin that I had. (I made a dress out of the material about two years ago, and never got rid of the scraps. What can I say? They sometimes turn out to be useful!)

A length of blue satin fabric to make a banner

A small piece of fabric.

Also, get a needle and some sewing thread. I happened to find some that matched the fabric almost perfectly. I love it when that happens! At the end, you’ll also need some paint that works on Fabric. I used either Martha Stewart All Purpose Paint, or Folk Art Acrylic. (I don’t remember which- sorry!)

So, just to clarify, you’ll need

  • Fabric scrap (Any size works. It depends on how big you want your banner.)
  • Needle & Thread
  • Paints that work on fabric


1) Cut a piece of fabric. I first trimmed it down to approximately a reasonable size. I think it was about 6×8 inches, but I’m not entirely sure. This is really flexible, though, and only depends on how large you want your banner to be. Whatever size you’re making it, don’t forget that you’re going to need to leave room for hemming. Unless you found a fabric that doesn’t fray, like I did with my red banner from yesterday. However, since this is for a sewn and painted banner, I’m going to assume the fabric frays.

That was a bit circuitous…

Oops. Sorry.

2) Shape the fabric. To get the banner shape, first fold the fabric in half length-wise / vertically. (Or “hotdog style” if that helps.) Next, from about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up on the fold, cut towards the open edge corners. This gets the “splayed” banner effect. (If you want more of a shield shape, cut at an angle from the bottom of the fold up towards about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up the fabric, at the edge side.)

cutting at an angle from the fold towards the bottom corners

Cutting the fabric into a banner shape.

It should look something like this when you’re done and unfold it:

a basic banner shape after cutting the fabric

unfolded splayed banner shape

Note: I didn’t iron this fabric before cutting. That was a mistake. Take the time and get the wrinkles out! It helps a lot with painting later on.

I also don’t show it here, but after this, I evened out the top edge slightly, even before stitching.

3) First pass with thread and needle. You don’t have to, but I found it easier to hem the non-angled bits. The way I did this was for each edge, I first did a simple hand stitch over a single fold of fabric. (This is more effective then pinning a hem in place.)

A single line of hand stitching holds a fold in place for easier hemming

Stitching only a single fold in.

As I’m sure you’re aware, fold towards the wrong side of the fabric, if you have fabric with a right / wrong side. Also, be sure to fold consistently towards one side. Nobody makes a banner to see the folded edges- that’s just silly.

4) Make it into a hem. What I personally did was I got one edge hemmed before moving onto the next edge. Looking back on it, it might make more sense to make a first pass on all the edges, and then convert them all to actual hems. If you try that, let me know how it works?

But anyway. For those who don’t know how to do that, basically just take your edge and fold it over (towards the same side) again. The point is to hide the unfinished edge so that it won’t fray. This is especially important with fabric like the type I was using that frays waaaay too quickly.

A partially hemmed edge. One part is only single-stitched- the other part is hemmed all the way.

An example of what the hemming will look like

As you hem, it should look something like the photo above.

Do this for all of your straight edges.

5) Deal carefully with your angled edges. To get them to work better, you’re going to want to make a slit up the middle of the banner. A small slit will do- this is just to allow you to hem each angle a little more easily, and still have a relatively tight corner there at the bottom. Then, repeat the steps that you did with the straighter edges. (You know. Fold once, stitch down, fold again, stitch again.)

Scissors cutting a slit in the fabric to let tighter corners be hemmed

Add the slit to your banner to allow for tighter corners.

6) Trim extra. When you’re done rolling / hemming the angled parts, you’re going to get a few awkward parts hanging off the end.

weirdly shaped corner part

Awkward corner.

Just trim that part, to make it even with the rest of that part of the banner.

even corner part

Trimmed corner part

7) You’re done with the stitching! Now, on to painting!

The fully stitched (unpainted) miniature banner.

Finished stitching! Paint, and you’re done!

As I mentioned, I just used craft paints of various sorts. I ended up freehanding everything. That’s primarily because I don’t own any decent stencils of any sort. Painting is completely up to you. The key thing to remember is to have fun! This is probably one of the cheapest crafts you can do, since in theory you’re only using leftover scraps. So yes, you’re paying for paint. But you don’t need that much for the motifs. In all, it’s fairly inexpensive.

As always, if you make one, please comment or send me a picture? My email is webmaster [at] totalfluff.com . (Clearly use the “@” instead of [at]. No spaces, either. Those are simply there to prevent spamminess, I hope.)

Happy Wednesday! And happy crafting!

Future Posts

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Hello, Fluffsters!

Happy Tuesday!

I had a lot of fun last night. I spent time actually doing crafts. I haven’t had time to do that in quite a while. (Or the supplies…)

That being said, I owe you some slightly longer posts. In fact, I owe you some specific posts.

First of all, there’s the details on the type of fluff / “food” the cafeteria I go to has served since my last “food” post. (To any grammarians out there, yes, the quotation marks are intentional.)

Second, there’s the post that I was sort of working on and meant to write tonight: A tutorial on painted banners. I don’t even know how many pieces of fabric I’ve painted tonight! A lot. That’s for sure. And it’s been a lot of fun! Here’s an example of one of the ones I painted tonight:

A scarlet banner with a gold rim and a black and gold painted cross

Red Banner with Painted Cross

Hopefully I’ll take the time to give you a tutorial on how to make the sewn banner I made… (not this one.)

I hope your week is going well!

Scary Things / Halloween Decorations 2: College Websites

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Hello again, Fluffsters! Happy Monday!

So… your next post in the “scary things” series- is it on greeting people? And wishing them a happy Monday in a too cheerful manner?

…No. But that’s actually a good idea! Maybe I’ll do that next year.

Today’s post is actually about one of the genuinely scariest things on the face of this earth:

College Websites.

Pause for a moment. Think about it. You know it’s true. Especially if you’ve tried to navigate one before.

You know what? You’re actually right. Those things are scary.

Thanks, Fluffy! It’s nice to have outside confirmation.

How College Websites are Scary

1) You get lost too easily. Frequently, a college or university website is nothing more than a set of miniature websites jammed together into a “single” website. There’s no rhyme or reason, and broken links abound.

2) You can’t even find anything. Seriously. Most of the time, rather than actually using the site to find someone, like a specific professor’s website or anything, I use Google. Here’s a useful tip for you, actually: If at the beginning of your Google search you put (site:sitename.ending keyword1) that tells Google to search just that site. So for example, if you want to find information about getting a Ph.D from Harvard in economics, you’d type site:harvard.edu phd economics . It helps. It’s certainly a lot easier than trying to click your way around to the econ department site!

3) They can determine your future. If you can’t find out how to apply to an undergraduate program, you can’t go to that program for your degree. If the site crashes as you’re trying to upload an application or trying to pay for an application, it might not work. Then your application wouldn’t go through, and you won’t get into the school, and your life might be worse off.

4) They suck away your money. Applications are expensive. College websites are responsible for applications and charging you for them. So therefore the university websites take your money from you.

In other words, college websites are scary, and totally worth being used as Halloween decorations.

…Ok, you got me. How do you use a website as decoration?

I’m glad you asked!

Using A College Website as Halloween Decorations

There are several ways you could do this.

1) Print off the homepage. Some universities should seriously reconsider the graphics artists they invested in. Just looking at the homepage is enough to make one cringe.

…says the person who designed a site to look like a baby-yarn star exploded onto the web.

This website’s at least tasteful, ok?

It’s not like a school that uses pictures of the grounds in the background… in such a way that the pictures can’t even be seen fully.

Oh Redevki. Some school sites actually do that?


Oh, sorry. It’s a mild expletive on my world. It’s comparable to your “Oh My”, but a little bit stronger.


But yes. I’m not going to inflict that link upon you. Needless to say, though, it would make a halloween decoration too scary to behold.

2) Print off the 404 links on pages that you need to access. Then paint an evil face on it. Maybe fold it, and make it look as though it’s coming to eat your soul. I tell you, the 404 errors will get you every time.

Weird… You’re actually writing stuff I agree with this post.

It had to happen some time. Don’t get used to it.

3) Create a slideshow of the code. Especially areas where the website uses any sort of inline styling. I realize this just went over the heads of anyone who doesn’t do website stuff, but trust me: it will make every (decent) web developer cringe to look at.

3b) Draw bugs over your slides of the code. That way you can demonstrate genuine bugs in the code. This gives you the added bonus of the evilness of a pun!

4) Require guests for a party to print off a particular page that you describe as their ticket. Or as the way they get candy. Granted, this isn’t strictly decoration related. It’s still Halloween themed, though, so I’m including it.

But there you go, fluffsters! Some more information about the scariness known as university websites.

(Fake) Planets

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Hello, Fluffsters! Happy Sunday!

In keeping with my simple posts for this weekend-

-You mean your laziness where this blog is concerned?

-Yeah, that too.

But, in keeping with the relative theme I’ve got going on, here’s a picture of a fake planet that I made.

a fake planet made using photoshop

Red planet I made with Photoshop

I made it by following this tutorial for photoshop.

I hope you have a relaxing Sunday, and start the week off nice and refreshed!