motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
A couple summers ago, I bought a cheongsam dress at a yard sale that was way too small. After trying unsuccessfully to design something else to make it into, I set it aside thinking I could make some kind of Asian inspired, hard-sided (as opposed to soft and slouchy) purse at some point.  I had no idea how to make a purse like that or what it might be inside it to make it sturdy.

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eBay listing by mountains2dbeach
more views of the purse in the listing

I found this purse at the thrift store and started taking it apart. Or trying to take it apart. I started with the bottom of the purse since it was sewn together and got nowhere. I read up on how purses with clasps are made - they're glued into the clasp - and how to remove glue - rubbing alcohol was what I had on hand - and went to work.  The rubbing alcohol did the trick, but only because it dissolved the cardboard.  Yes, this entire purse was made with cardboard.  The lining is glued to cardboard, there is another piece of cardboard outside of that, then the outside fabric is stitched to cardboard and glued. The bottom piece is stitched to cardboard and glued.

I felt like I did when I found out shoes are made with a lot of cardboard. Horrified, because "everything's cheap these days!" and "shoddy construction, etc!" and excited because "hey, I have cardboard, I can totally make these myself!".
Read more... )
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I've had an earworm off and on for probably the past decade (or two, ahem). I used to record a lot of video shows, one in particular called "Spin Off!". It was on a local access cable station, I think. There was a band - can't remember the name, only that the lead singer was a girl with the haircut I wanted (pageboy) and played guitar, and had a petticoated skirt I wanted. And the only lyrics I can remember are "get what you wanted, what you want-te-hed" (I also remembered the chord changes). She kind of sounded like Siouxsie. Googling provided not a thing.

The tapes are... Betamax! I've been moving around the old family Betamax, which hasn't worked in decades, saying "One day I'll fix this so I can find out who it was that sang that song that I've only had the fragment in my brain since 1996 AUUUUGH!"

I took apart the Sanyo as much as I could and noticed what I thought was a lot of grease on some pulleys and gears. "Weird," I thought, "why would you grease that." Then I found a piece of something in amongst the grease. It was not grease, it was the belt. MELTED. No wonder it wasn't working.
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This stuff does NOT come off the hands easily, people!

I cleaned the pulleys with rubbing alcohol - that seemed to be the only thing that would dissolve the muck - and slapped on a rubber band as a tester, and LO AND BEHOLD IT WORKED! That is what the problem was!

And do you know, there are places that sell parts for these things?!? I'm buying a Sanyo Betamax Belt Kit from Studio Sound Electronics.

And here's the video that I was looking for: http://youtu.be/WJ5ACG0Y3P4?t=1m7s. (I'm not embedding it because 1) livejournal, and 2) you can't embed videos and start them at a particular time. The rest of the video is basically cuts to the host saying what's coming up next and being slightly obnoxious in a bar.  (The interview with Strummer is good, though.))

Luckily, I watched "Tape 4" first, and found this within the first few videos, as I messed up the loading mechanism somehow. (Of course.) But some kind people have put the service manual online so I'm all set!  Woohoo!

ETA: The service manual is for the European models, however the mechanical stuff can't be too different, right?

ETA: Of course the video is gone and I didn't put the names of anything here. The band was called The Bel-Fires and the song was "What You Wanted". The singer was Cynthia Isabella, now Cynthia Mansourian. It's off the album "Fall for the Sky".
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
A lamp I have started flickering and dimming, and I replaced the light socket, thinking that was the problem. It was in horrible shape - a cheap part made in China that I replaced probably 5 years ago - blackened and corroded. It didn't help (but was probably a good idea anyway), and I traced the problem to the plug where I could kind of sort of maneuver it half in and half out of the outlet and get it to light. Eventually, no amount of carefully jiggling of the plug made any difference. I really like the plug because it's vintage and adorable, and thinking older parts are better made and last longer, I'd simply take it apart and rewire it...Lots of pictures... )

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