I made this ATC to try out a background technique from Bernie Berlin's book Artist Trading Card Workshop. She suggests sloppily pasting down random scraps and bits of paper, then sprinkling on various embossing powders while the glue is still wet. It gives a very rich, textured surface, which the photo doesn't really show well.
I received my package from ilovesnails last week, but I'd forbidden myself to open it until her package was in the mail. Well, that's going to take longer than I'd hoped, so I had to give in and take a peek. Wow!
I listed trilobites among my favourites, and she cross-stitched this beautifully clear pair of them on a hoopla.
Look at the crispness and detail! Cross stitch is one of those that I've never been any good at, so I'm always impressed at this kind of work.
But that's not all. What was that background fabric?
THREE cushion covers in paleontology print cotton!
And finally, this wonderful little prehistoric creature amigurumi. I love his beady little eyes! I simply could not take a photo that shows him properly. Did you take one before you sent that is better? Crochet is another craft that I don't do, so I'm especially delighted with it.
Thanks so much for such a great package! I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to open it, and it gives me even more incentive to get yours finished ASAP!
This month's dotees are amazingly varied and beautiful. A felt deer, a polymer jellyfish, a green bone creature in a hawk-capped lightbulb, an owl that is not what it seems... nobody could ever guess what these dotees have in common!
I received a wonderful one of my own from cmarion3 today. Photos shortly.
Meet Old Man Forest:
I'd said that I liked earthy colours, and it's pretty obvious from both Pinterest and Craftster that I like trees. But I was still surprised at the amazingly creative tree spirit that I received! His beard is like tree lichen or Spanish moss, and he has gently glowing red eyes. A lot of the detail gets lost in this photo, but there are tiny beads, leaf bangles, toadstools and woodgrain patterns all over him. Thank you so much, Carol! My camera just couldn't get his colour right - do you have a better photo to post?
I was rather mean to poor blupaisan in my list of literary suggestions - most of them were the sort of thing that you couldn't possibly extract a dotee idea from. But I did include a few easy marks to be helpful. So imagine my surprise when I opened the enormous and sturdily-padded package the arrived today to find that she had, in fact, taken me up on the challenge of one of my less-obvious works of literature, the novels of Madeleine l'Engel!
Behold! This extraordinary fellow is Progniskes, from "A Wind in the Door". For those who haven't read the book, he's a cherubim (a "solitary cherubim", if I remember right), who l'Engel describes as being a constantly-moving mass of feathers and eyes.
The wonderful thing here is that blupaisan asked for "no real feathers" in her dotee, and yet she's made mine almost entirely of feathers. That's crafting beyond the call of duty!
He's wonderful and very magical! I'll have to find a suitable place for him to hover.
The box, if I remember correctly, started life as one of those wooden gift wine boxes. (They're great for shrines.) I cut the depth of the box in half, and then cut the front part into two halves to make the doors. I added shaped pieces to the top of each door and to the top of the remaining box, using thin plywood and cardboard. The base is another wooden box (origin unknown), with dividers set into the front and a drawer fitted into the side. I wanted the base of the shrine to protrude far enough forward to give room for setting shrine offerings on, and to make the whole thing stable.
I covered the shrine inside and out with scrapbook paper, and printed an image of guitar-playing skeletons onto some bright orange paper from the underside of an old board game (nothing goes to waste in my house!). I made the little frame at the top so Monnie can replace this stern princess with an ancestor of her own if she likes.
Inside, I have always loved those bride and groom skeletons, so I put them in their own little niches. (The doors are actually only a couple of centimeters deep, so I had to pare some off their backs to squeeze them in!) But they seem happy enough in spite of the cramped quarters:
The skellies and little skulls are Hallowe'en decorations stashed from previous years. The "stage" has velvet curtains and lots of draped and hanging ornaments, and another stand-in ancestor occupies the picture frame.
The niches in the base are filled with larger skulls, painted as traditional Mexican sugar skulls. These were fun to do.
The purpose of Dio de los Muertos shrines is to leave offerings of flowers, candles, food, etc. to the beloved dead, so I included a painted vase of tissue paper marigolds, a votive candle holder (which unfortunately didn't survive the shipping - my fault for sloppy packing) and a small, stone dish. There's also a little stand built into the front to burn stick incense in.
The offering accessories pack away in the interior and into this little drawer built into the side of the base.
This was a lot of fun to build, although it got complicated at times, as I was working on many parts of it simultaneously before it was all assembled.
By next month, Lynda, you'll really need that drink!
I received my package from spazgirl1981 today, which has a lot more inside it than its small size would suggest.
First, some fun extras:
A wine glass yoke, so you can sling your drink around your neck to keep both hands free for the buffet table. This is such a great idea - I'm just not sure if I could ever be so openly greedy to use it! A couple of bottle opener rings (so smart! so discreet!) and a bottle of lime-flavoured salt for the rim of your beer bottle. I can't decide if this is brilliant or awful - I'll have to try it to find out.
Next, a tiny cocktail shaker, decorated in copper and gold. I've never used one of these single-serving shakers, so I can hardly wait to try it out. It's very funny that we each sent the other a shaker!
Recipes and a card with great 3-D drinks stickers on it. One of the recipes is for "Highly Alcoholic Butterbeer", which calls for Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka. That sounds like a Harry Potter product too!
I mentioned Nick and Nora Charles in my questionnaire, and Betsy put their silhouettes on bar towels for me! If you don't know, Nick and Nora (and their dog, Asta) are the stars of "The Thin Man", "The Return of the Thin Man" and other 1930's mystery movies. They're New York socialites and detectives - sort of. Mostly they just wear great clothes, drink an astounding amount and make witty remarks. If you don't have time to watch any of the Thin Man movies on YouTube, someone has edited this short collection that shows Nick and Nora doing what they do best. And incidentally, I love the size of these towels, too - one of my complaints about glass towels is that they're usually too small, but these are absolutely huge!
Thanks so much for all this! I knew this swap would be fun, and it has been.
I tried the tiny cocktail shaker this evening, and it's terrific! Fits perfectly in one hand, and seals tightly. (Not always the case with shakers, unfortunately.) I can't believe I've lived this long without one!