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1  Re: MDS - October Literary Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: November 12, 2015 06:09:03 PM
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! Wink

He's wonderful and very magical! I'll have to find a suitable place for him to hover.

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2  Re: Monthly Theme Dotee Gallery - September 2015 in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: October 13, 2015 07:42:25 PM
I received this lovely Winged Isis dotee from whatthepuck on Thursday, but was away for the long weekend and wasn't able to post it. She's very sweet.

Thanks so much!

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3  Dio de los Muertos shrine in Completed Projects by Wulf on: August 12, 2015 08:02:43 PM
I made this shrine for Monnie31 in last year's Witchy/Wiccan/Pagan Super Samhain Swap.

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.

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4  Re: OMG - I need a drink swap GALLERY (send outs July 10) in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 21, 2015 07:26:07 PM
By next month, Lynda, you'll really need that drink! Wink

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. Cheesy

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. Cheesy



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!
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5  Re: Setting the Miniature Scene - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 21, 2015 06:57:11 PM
Okay, get right up close to the screen, because some of this is so small it's hard to see. Cheesy

In my questionnaire, I mentioned that I my future retirement hobby is going to be making miniature room boxes of scenes from the Sherlock Holmes stories. As I hoped, Ludi took up that idea, but she ran off with it in directions I never expected.

I could begin anywhere, but I think I'll start with the piece de resistance. I've included a small ruler in most shots so you can see the scale.

One of Sherlock Holmes minor eccentricities is that he keeps his pipe tobacco in the toe of a Persian slipper beside the fireplace. And here is that tiny slipper! I'm so thrilled to have this, because it's something I could never make for myself and I can't imagine how else I would ever get one. And of course, no miniature of 221b Baker Street would be complete without it.

The story "The Adventure of the Three Napoleons" involves plaster busts of Le Petit Empereur, one of which contains a secret. I love this little sculpture - it would be shame to have to smash it apart! Sorry my photo isn't very good; for some reason my camera would only focus on the ruler, not the bust.

I don't think these three little bottles are specific to a Holmes story, but they're amazing. I measured them with my scale ruler, and in 1:12 scale, they're only 2 inches high!

Holmes and Watson read a lot of newspapers, and Ludi made two sheets of microfiche-sized Victorian newspaper and magazine pages.

My camera can't hope to capture the detail, but these pages are perfect!

But there's more! Some pages from an old collection of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories: "The Sign of Four", "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Ring of Thoth". The last one is very funny to see here, because although it's by Doyle, it's decidedly not a Holmes story! I guess the publisher thought no one would notice.

That particular page of "The Sign of Four" is the scene with Toby the tracking dog, and here he is!

And finally, the only large package in the box, a whole pile of assorted heads, limbs and bodies of racecar drivers and other people. Shocked (Are these your creations, Ludi?) Plus other figures in several different scales, and a metal figure of a skeletal horse, which I'm going to have to find a very special place for. (What is that object with the sphere on top, anyway?)

I love all this so much, Ludi! Having the Persian slipper in hand, I've decided I'm going to get a jump start on retirement and make the fireplace of 221b Baker St. now. That way I'll have a place to display the slipper, the bottles and the Napoleon bust!

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6  Re: Monthly Dotee Swap - JUNE OCEAN GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 08, 2015 06:08:14 PM
Acadian Driftwood and I mailed our packages one day apart, and they each arrived one day apart.

She sent this fabulously original dotee of Yemay, the ocean goddess of many African Diaspora religions.

Her face is built up of layers of cardboard, which gives it the look of a carved African mask.

I love the collection of charms that seem to have just washed up on the shore, including coral, shells, sea glass, and even a tiny barrel carved from bone. The whole dotee, in fact, seems almost more like a natural object than a constructed artifact.

Thanks so much for this! She's beautiful, and absolutely embodies the spirit of the ocean.


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7  Re: Monthly Dotee Swap - June OCEAN Theme - Send out July 1, 2015 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Wulf on: June 15, 2015 07:53:15 PM
This isn't quite a dotee, but I had to share it anyway. Picking through a box of someone's abandoned yard sale leftovers last year, I found this little ceramic baby and what I think is probably part of a Barbie mermaid outfit. Inevitably, they've been together ever since.

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8  Re: Scrappy Happy Swap -GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: June 15, 2015 07:20:25 PM
Okay, here goes! (A lot of pics here, so make yourself comfortable.)

The large box is filled with individual packages, each wrapped in yellow tissue with its own identifying label. The first contained a pair of these very funny coasters.


A good start. But then the next three...

A beautiful little fabric container (a bottle cozy, perhaps?), a piece of the astounding fabric it's made from, and a little pouch of the most elaborate paper beads I've ever seen. The fabric is made of torn strips of sari silks, sewn down with decorative stitches. And there was some sort of over layer of chiffon that was singed away to give it even more depth. I don't know what I'm going to do with this patch, but it'll be spectacular whatever it turns out to be! And my sister, who makes paper beads herself, is going to be very jealous of these. Cheesy

A large packet contained this stunning fabric bag. It's about 8 in. in diameter (it would nicely hold a large cantaloup) and has a drawstring top, which is beautifully set in, by the way - when I've tried to make these, this is the part that never works well!) I love the map fabric, and the colour combination is beautiful. I think it might be perfect for carrying embroidery supplies, if I can fit out the inside suitably.

But the best is still to come!

Doesn't look too amazing so far? Well, inside these modest, slightly faded covers is the most creative and, well, amazing altered book I've ever held!

The theme is the Wheel of the Year, and each of the eight Pagan seasonal festivals gets its own page. This is Yule. Just look at it! Everywhere you glance there's something extraordinary, from the image of the Raven swallowing the moon to the tag and medallion to the background images of ice and snow. And then of course there's the owl geisha applying her makeup...

Here's Litha, the summer solstice. I love that the colours are not at all the stereotypical ones that everyone (including me) usually applies to these seasons. The background painting is vibrant enough even without the sharp silhouettes of Pan and the fairy teasing a faun. (The fairy's wing seems almost like a real butterfly's wing!) And look at those beautifully painted sunflowers.

Throughout the book there are little metal charms tied to the pages: a key, a swallow, etc. Litha gets this beautiful hand-soldered spiral one.

I know I can't show every page, although I would like to, but just a couple more...

Instead of pumpkins and ghosts, Samhain (Hallowe'en) gets Zentangles and a book witch swinging a lantern. I realized I've cut off the bottom of this page here so you can't see the Camus quote at the bottom: "In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer." And isn't that Le Grand Albert himself peeping out the window there? I wonder what he's keeping inside...

There are about ten double-page spreads, each one impossibly more creative, leading up to the last and most gorgeous.

The texture around the edges is so thick and crusty you just can't stop touching it. And the tag on that little phial of stars reads "Potential". Cry That's a photo of my partner Ian and me, printed on canvas, behind the trees in the window. (I wondered what you wanted that for! Wink)

There's a tiny charm in the corner that says "Made with love", and I don't think I've ever seen anything in a Crafter swap with more love in it than this book. Thank you so very much, and although I don't really deserve this, I'm so happy to have it!  Kiss

Thanks so much for all of this, and I wish the package I'd sent you (which is oddly similar) was half as wonderful.

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9  Re: Setting the Miniature Scene Swap signups 6/5/15 - 6/12/15, sendouts 7/10/15 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Wulf on: June 14, 2015 11:45:52 AM
This is really for my partner, Ludi, but I thought everyone else might like to see it too.

I bought this clock at a yard sale a few weeks ago, thinking I would remove the clock and use the rather odd case to make a shrine or something. But it got set on a shelf and now I've decided I like it as a clock. But beneath the clock, now hidden by a painted glass panel, is a little 3" x 3" x 5" space that's just begging to be turned into a miniature room of some sort. At the very least it would be a great place to display a few tiny items.


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10  Re: OMG - I need a drink swap (Sign ups May 23 - June 11, send outs July 10) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Wulf on: June 12, 2015 04:58:09 PM
Yay, Betsy!

Spazgirl1981 and I haven't been partners in a swap for a long, lo-o-ong time, and I've missed her! This doubles the already high fun quotient for this swap.

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