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1   / CHALLENGE 109 ENTRIES / Dio de los Muertos shrine 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.

Wulf
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Beltane Merrymaking Gallery - WWP Swap 56 on: April 13, 2015 07:24:03 PM

Beltane Merrymaking - WWP SWAP 56
GALLERY

     Partners in this swap were:

     cutelittledevil ↔ holistic knitter
     Wulf ↔ edelC
     monnie31 ↔ frosty772
     LA-fairy ↔ Ludi
     myloveasdeep ↔ spazgirl1981
     Mamaneedles ↔ whileitsraining


Swap Status:
Still Crafting       Sent       Partner Received   Feedback Posted
cutelittledevil
holistic knitter
Wulf
EdelC
Monnie31Unable to complete swap.
frosty772
LA-Fairy
Ludi
myloveasdeep
spazgirl1981
Mamaneedles
whileitsraining



3  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Beltane Merrymaking - WWP Swap 56 ( New Send out date April 27) on: March 22, 2015 07:14:14 PM

Beltane Merrymaking - WWP SWAP 56

GALLERY!

Oh, do not tell the priest our plight, or he would call it a sin,
But we've been out in the woods all night, a-conjuring summer in,
And we bring you good news by word of mouth, good news for cattle
      and corn
Now is the sun come up from the south, by Oak, and Ash, and
      Thorn.

Rudyard Kipling

Swap name: Beltane Merrymaking WWP Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Wulf
Sign-up date range: 03/23/2015 - 04/01/2015
Date to send bone by: 04/27/2015 (changed)

Limited to a certain number of people? NO
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
Additional Age requirement? NO
Swap Organizer himself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this unicorn zombie apocalypse has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If mailing within his/her country, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this sap: YES
- If outside the his/her country, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES


Beltane is the Celtic name for the ancient celebration held across Europe and America on the First of May, the day that falls half-way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Like October 31, its opposite on the Wheel of the Year, this night was held to be a time when the separation was at its thinnest between our world and the Other World of fairies, spirits and the dead.

Traditionally in Britain and western Europe, young people took to the woods as night fell on April 31st, and celebrated with games, dancing, drinking and a degree of sexual freedom usually not allowed the rest of the year. They danced out again as the sun rose into the sky on May 1st, exhausted, ecstatic, and often, considerably more experienced. Flowers and branches of tree blossoms such as hawthorn were gathered and used to decorate homes and create the familiar May Pole for circle dances. Even after the Church had succeeded in damping down the more openly sexual aspects of the revels, May Day or Midsummer's Day continued to be celebrated throughout Britain and Europe with May poles, traditional dancing, masquerading, and odd rituals. May Day revels were even carried to the New World, in spite of the Puritans' attempts to stamp out such "heathenism."

Let's craft some merriment of our own for this year's Beltane revels!  What do you need to shake off the lethargy of the long winter we've all come through? How do you share your joy that Summer is finally on its way? This is a time for flower garlands, bright costumes and masks, music and dancing, celebratory food and drink, and everything that makes a wild party!


Come and join our Midsummer Madness! To participate in the swap, complete this questionnaire and send it by PM to the swap, Wulf.

Name of swap:Beltane Merrymaking WWP Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
Are you able and willing to post photos of the package you receive?
Do you understand that you must obtain a tracking number for your package if mailing within your country, or retain the mailing receipt if sending internationally?

How do you describe your current religion/spirituality/tradition/magical practice?
Do you consider yourself a newcomer or have you been on this path for a long time?
Are you out of the broom closet (do your friends/family know you are Wiccan/Pagan/whatever)?
Are there any gods, deities, spirits, saints etc. that are especially important to you?
Are you okay with tasteful nudity?
Do you have a Facebook page, Pinterest or other information to share with your partner?
Will you be doing anything to celebrate Beltane this year? Will you attend a festival or gathering?
Is there anything you would especially like to receive?
Is there anything you do NOT want?
Is there anything you wouldn't be willing to craft for because of your beliefs?
What kinds of crafts do you do?
Do you have any allergies or aversions to anything? Are you okay with non-vegan materials like leather, feathers, etc.?
What allergens are in your environment?
Anything else you want to add?

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.
Also, remember to read the unicorn zombie apocalypse Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

Links to some previous Beltane WWP Swaps:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=432865.0
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=422292.0
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406123.0

Midsummer swappers:

Wulf
monnie31
frosty772
Ludi
Mamaneedles
myloveasdeep
LA-fairy
edelC
holistic knitter
cutelittledevil
whileitsraining
spazgirl1981


Partners:
cutelittledevil ↔ holistic knitter
Wulf ↔ edelC
monnie31 ↔ frosty772
LA-fairy ↔ Ludi
myloveasdeep ↔ spazgirl1981
Mamaneedles ↔ whileitsraining
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Imbolc Garden Dreams Gallery- WWP Swap 55 (sendout Jan. 24) on: January 17, 2015 08:32:23 AM

2010_1218_Garden_03 by Peter Collins

Imbolc Garden Dreams - WWP Swap Number 55

GALLERY

Partners:
monnie31 ↔ Ludi
emilywilde → Wulf → holistic knitter → emilywilde


Swap Status:
Still CraftingSent       Partner Received   Feedback Posted
Wulf
monnie31
Ludi
emilywilde
holistic knitter

  Post your Winter Garden Dreams here!  
5  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Imbolc Garden Dreams - WWP Swap 55 (Signup thru Jan. 2; sendout Jan. 24)) on: December 26, 2014 05:13:37 PM

2010_1218_Garden_03 by Peter Collins

Imbolc Garden Dreams - WWP Swap Number 55


Gallery
Swap name: Imbolc Garden Dreams
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Wulf
Sign-up date range: 12/25/2014 - 01/02/2015
Date to send item by: 01/24/2015

Limited to a certain number of people? NO

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Additional Age requirement? NO

Swap Organizer herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES


A magical gardening and herb swap in the depths of Winter? Why not? This is where our gardens begin: under the snow, in the seeds that lie sleeping til the warm sun calls them to life; in the seed catalogues that have already begun arriving in the mail; in the plans and sketches we've started making for the perfect garden we'll have this Summer; in the intentions we set now, like seeds planted in the rich soil of our imaginations. This is when gardens begin - Imbolc is a festival of birth and new beginnings, when the sun begins its climb back toward the midsummer sky. In many parts of North America and Europe, it's already time to start seedlings indoors for planting after Beltane. So it's the perfect time for a gardening swap - if we wait til Spring it's too late!

As in the Summer and Autumn, we can swap seeds, dried herbs, tinctures and preserves from last year's garden. To help our partners plan their gardens, there are gardening tips, plans, drawings, charts and calendars. In anticipation of the harvest to come, we can share recipes, spells and herb lore. And to brighten up the stark midwinter, we can craft garden signs, plant markers, gnomes and fairies, birdhouses and everything else that will go into the garden once the snow has gone. Plus, of course, there are lots of great extras that can be added, such as seed packets, catalogues, books, magazines, stickers, etc.

To join this swap, PM this questionnaire to the organizer, Wulf:

Name of swap:Imbolc Garden Dreams
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
Are you able and willing to post photos of the package you receive?

How do you describe your current religion/spirituality/tradition/magical practice?
Do you consider yourself a newcomer or have you been on this path for a long time?
Are you out of the broom closet (do your friends/family know you are Wiccan/Pagan/whatever)?
Are there any gods, deities, spirits, saints etc. that are especially important to you?
Are you okay with tasteful nudity in art (depictions of the God and Goddess, etc.)?

Are you planning a garden for this summer? If so, describe for your partner the garden you hope to have. Are you new to this, or an experienced gardener? If you aren't planning a garden for this year, how do you hope this swap will help build the garden of your dreams?

If you already know what herbs, vegetables or flowers you plan to have in your garden, list as many as possible for your partner.

Will your garden be for one primary purpose (medicinal herbs, magical herbs, flowers, vegetables, etc.) or will it be eclectic?

List a few of your favourite plants/herbs/flowers.

Will your garden have to be save for children (ie no poisonous plants)?

Are there any particular extras that you'd like to have?
Is there anything you do NOT want?

Do you have favorite colors, stones, etc?
Would you be willing to learn about and craft for someone else's traditions that may be different from your own?
Is there anything you wouldn't be willing to craft for because of your beliefs?
Do you have any allergies or aversions to anything? Are you okay with leather, feathers and other non-vegan materials?
What allergens are in your environment?

Is there anything else you want your partner to know about your garden plans?

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.
Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.


Garden dreamers:

Wulf (Canada)
monnie31 (Canada)
Ludi (USA)
emilywilde (USA)
holistic knitter (Wales)


Partners:

monnie31 ↔ Ludi
emilywilde → Wulf → holistic knitter → emilywilde

6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Vintage Craft Projects / Diamond Dye Rug Book 1899 on: July 25, 2014 06:38:28 PM
I bought this lovely little booklet yesterday at a used bookstore (for $2!). It's a catalogue of hooked rug patterns from the Diamond Dye Company in Montreal, dated 1899. The book is in astoundingly good condition for 115 years old - it could be brand new, except that the paper is a bit yellowed.

"The colored plates shown on outside and inside covers and throughout this book are the richest and most novel designs for Rugs and Mats ever placed before the ladies of Canada. The designs for working up are on a special quality of Hessian  manufactured for us in Scotland. These Hessian designs are artistically colored, corresponding with the plates in this book, and are ready for hooking." (Hessian is what we would call burlap today.)

I thought I'd share these great Victorian images. They seem quintessentially Canadian, and not only because of the snowshoes and toboggan designs!

















If anyone wants to use one of these designs for a craft project, contact me and I'll send you a higher-quality scan.

Wulf
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Updated Victorian boudoir chair on: June 29, 2014 12:08:32 PM


The opera company I work for maintains a warehouse of props and furniture, and just like at home, the amount of incoming stuff exceeded the available space decades ago. So every few years there's a small purge of stuff that is damaged, over-stocked or unlikely to ever be used again.



This spring's discards included this Victorian "slipper" chair, which is a nice piece of 19th c. furniture, but in the 30 years I've been with the company has never once made it onstage. (The problem is that it's about 4 inches shorter than normal - these chairs were meant for ladies in wide skirts to perch on while putting on their shoes and admiring their dainty feet - and is too awkward for performers to sit on onstage.) I've always liked this chair, in spite of the 1980s dusty rose velvet, but it isn't something I'd have in my own home even if I had room for it. But my friend Jaene has just moved into a new apartment and is setting up a second bedroom as her "bellydance cave". If anyone could sit on a chair like this gracefully, it would be a bellydancer, so I claimed it from the give-away pile and re-upholstered it as a house-warming gift.

I like the combination of antique furniture and very contemporary fabric, and when I found this psychedelic print I knew it would be perfect. It was only a cotton broadcloth, though, so not really sturdy enough for upholstery. I got around that problem by quilting it into a backing fabric, which also gave it a bit of added dimensionality.



Reupholstering a piece of antique furniture is a bit like renovating an old house - you never know what you're going to find when you start stripping it down. Sure enough, although the sprung seat had been replaced with the plywood and foam rubber I expected to see in a prop chair, the back still retained its original buttoned horsehair upholstery, buried under a layer of foam. The horsehair fabric was disintegrating, so it had to be removed, but beneath it the stuffing of horsehair and sisal, and even most of the of burlap covering it, was still perfectly sound. (Victorian furniture was often upholstered in woven horsehair fabric, which was extremely durable and easy to care for. But although the horsehair is usually still as glossy and strong as it was 150 years ago, the cotton warp thread it was woven with has a much shorter lifespan and is usually disintegrated to dust.)



I was afraid the frame might be in worse condition than it seemed (sometimes the upholstery is what's actually holding a chair together) but it only needed a bit of glue and clamping for some loose joints and it was good to go. I removed the back padding to tighten up the webbing, but there was no reason to replace either.


Ironically, my job usually involves removing spring from antique furniture and replacing them with foam and plywood (theatrical furniture may look luxuriously padded, but it usually has to be hard enough to stand on), but in this case I had to do the opposite. Only the original springs could give the necessary height to the seat and still make it be comfortable.

First, a layer of webbing has to be stretched across the underside of the seat.



Next, the individual springs are stitched onto the webbing and tied to each other and the frame in a way that locks them together and forms the shape of the seat.





When it's firm enough, a covering of burlap, a layer of firm foam rubber (this would originally have been more horsehair padding), some polyester batting and a final covering of unbleached cotton gives it a proper shape. The back is much easier, as it just needed to have the original button-pockets in the horsehair filled in and covered with a layer of polyester batting.



The last step - and often the easiest - is actually attaching the covering fabric. I like to pin the fabric in place with metal push-pins first (especially when it has a bold pattern like this) until everything is straight, tautly-stretched and even. Only then do I staple it down and trim off the excess.



Finally, and I don't have photos of it - all the stapled edges were covered with double welting that I sewed from the black-and-white checked part of the fabric. The Tim Burton-ish look it added was my favourite part of the chair!

The entire process took about three days. Stripping the old upholstery took at least a day, the webbing and springs most of another, and the final upholstery the remaining day.

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Hogwarts Castle Birdfeeder on: May 19, 2014 09:11:33 PM


I was asked by tapestrymlp to be her partner in the recent Invite Your Partner swap, and since she's a serious fan of all things Harry Potterish, I decided to make her a birdfeeder in the shape of Hogwarts.



I based it on photos of Hogwarts from the movies and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with a lot of reductions and simplifications. It looks like a cluster of separate buildings but actually is a single hollow box, made mostly of thin plywood. I added windows, doors and details by carving them into pieces of even thinner plywood and gluing them on the outside. Extra bits of thin wood are glued and tacked on for additional mouldings, door frames, etc. I tried to simplify it as much as I possibly could and without making it look too flat, but I wished I could have spent more time on details. (For instance it just kills me that the towers had to be straight all the way down, instead of flaring out at the base the way they ought to. But I'll live with it.) Cheesy



Some of the towers, like the two square ones on the end, are cut from pieces of solid pine, with details carved directly into the wood. I shaped the little pointed roofs on the turrets from pieces of wood and fixed them on with little pieces of dowel or screws. The large, round turret roofs were turned on a wood lathe.



The large Staircase Tower is a piece of heavy cardboard tube, as are most of the smaller towers and turrets. The roofs are all made of thin sheet aluminum, to make them durable for the outdoors. Because of the way the roofs fit together and into the surrounding towers, I had to first make paper patterns by trial-and-error until they mostly fit, then cut and re-cut a series of cardboard mock-ups til I got one that fit well enough to cut in metal. The aluminum, which is sold in hardware stores for roof patching and eavestroughs, is easy to cut and fold with scissors and a straightedge. I fastened the roof pieces together where necessary with pop-rivets and nailed the edges down with tiny brads.



The conical roof of the Staircase tower is removable, as is a section of the roof from the opposite end, to allow birdseed to be poured in. The seed comes out openings cut into the "rocks" under the castle and into the surrounding tray for the birds. The rocks are sawn scraps of pine board, roughly carved into rocky shapes and sealed with a layer of tissue paper and glue. They're glued and screwed to the to the tray and the castle is glued on top of them. I never like to rely just on glue for something like that, but as the edges of the walls are quite thin, there really wasn't anything else to attach them to. I used "No More Nails" adhesive, so I'm hoping it will hold.

While I had a lot of fun building this - too much fun, because it took me weeks past the send-out date Embarrassed - I had made several near-catastrophic errors in planning. First, I roughly sketched out the plan and started cutting out walls, but quickly realized it was going to be too big. So I scaled it down by about 25% and started again. (The final size is about 14" x 22" by 18" high, or 32 cm x 55 cm x 45 cm.) Then I assembled the main body of the castle and the high Astronomy Tower cluster simultaneously (so that I could work on one part while glue was drying on the other) and when I put them together I realized I'd barely allowed enough room for the tower! Then I built a lovely seed tray with little turned wood spindles along the edge (left over from another project), only to realize I'd mis-measured and it wasn't actually long enough to contain the castle. Angry There was no way to alter the dimensions of either, so the tray had to be rebuilt (simpler, this time.) Finally, when it was all finished, and I'd found a box the right size to ship it in, I went to slide it into the box and discovered that I'd measured the height of the tallest tower before I glued the rocky base on the castle, and now it didn't fit into the box. So at the last minute I had to literally saw the top inch off the turret and make it removable! If I had thought it through from the beginning, it would have been much more sensible to make the whole central tower removable for shipping, but I was having too much fun and wasn't paying attention.

I'm not convinced it's the most practical birdfeeder ever made, but I don't think that matters too much. This was the first model building like this I've made, and now I want to make more! I can easily imagine Hogwarts as a multi-occupant birdhouse, for example. That's maybe a bit ambitious, but smaller individual birdhouses with little towers and turrets would be fun too.

Wulf
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Fabric Art Journal birches page on: March 08, 2014 03:19:47 PM


I made this page for heini in the first Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap. She had listed "nature" as one of her themes, and as that covers much of what I like to do, it gave me a lot of leeway. "Koivu" is "birch" in Finnish, which is where heini lives. I was working on this in the dead of winter, it seemed an obvious choice!

The trees and background are linen and cotton, and are held down mostly by the bark detail and limbs embroidered in cotton floss. The letters are metal brads. Overall dimensions are 4 in. by 6 in.

Wulf
10  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / WWP Round 47 Gallery - Goddess Shrine Swap (Sendout 1/26/2014) on: January 21, 2014 05:11:42 PM


WWP Round 47: Goddess Shrine Swap
Gallery

Original swap thread
Post your Goddess-loving shrines here!

Partners for this round were:

DragonChilde <--> hawkeyes_girl
MamanTattoo <--> craftypuppymom
monnie31 <--> mandykaye
Wulf <--> phnxreign99
Ludi <--> emilywilde
grasshopper <--> whileitsraining

Swap Status:
Still Crafting    Sent         Partner Received   Feedback Posted
Wulf
MamanTattoo
hawkeyes_girl
mandykaye
whileitsraining
DragonChilde
grasshopper
craftypuppymom
emilywilde
phnxreign99
monnie31
Ludi

Pages: [1] 2 3 4


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