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1  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 102 ENTRIES / Cherry Blossom Crane Tree - Whimsical Shrine on: September 07, 2014 01:49:28 PM
I tried to combine a bunch of my partner's likes into one shrine for the whimsical shrine swap, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out! 

It has a bunch of parts to it, starting with the 50 folded cranes - all out of 1" squares of paper in white, dark pink, and light pink:

I tried a lot of things before settling on a real branch for the tree - I tried twisted wire, paper mache, pipe cleaners, yarn... none of it looked right, so I finally just started gluing twigs together!

Then I added a bench out of mini popsicle sticks and twisted wire, two painted peg people...

And my person favorite bit, a tiny crocheted balloon.  It's made out of embroidery floss using a 1.75mm steel hook.

It was a lot of trial and error, but I think it was worth it!

2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Faux Slides on: August 28, 2014 06:09:49 PM
It's totally not 'shopped, you can tell because of the pixels and lack of any subtlety at all!  This is old school cut-and-paste photoshopping!

I was scrambling for a project to fill the "photo" prompt for the Summer Nerd Games, because my original idea took too long and my Plan B was a hilarious failure.  And then, inspiration struck while cleaning out a shelf at work!  I found a slide viewer (I didn't think we had slides, but I eventually unearthed a dozen random ones) and while telling a co-worker about the fun way you can "fake" a transparent slide image with simple packing tape (I honestly can't remember where I heard about that, somewhere on the internet!), a light bulb went on!  My Little Visitors could bring home slides of themselves in exotic locations!

Sure, I could have photoshopped them into the picture first, but where's the fun in that?  After a bit of trial and error, this is what worked for me.

Step one - cut out your foreground image, closely around the subject.  Please note that as I recall, this only works with magazine photos or laser printer photos, no ink jets.

Step two - position the foreground image on the packing tape.

Step three - place your background image on the tape.

Step four - burnish, burnish, burnish!  Really rub, and make sure you get the tape tight around the cut-out foreground image.

Step five - flip tape over and wet the paper.

Step six - Rub!  Gently, adding more water as needed.  Careful when it peels off around the cut-out.

Step seven - rinse and dry!  You can't dry it with a cloth or towel, because it will still be slightly tacky.  Either air dry or, if you're impatient, a hairdryer.

Step eight - I added another piece of tape to the back side (because it was still slightly sticky) and popped them into cutout cardboard "slide holders" (you could also use the real thing).  And voila!  Vacation slides!

3  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / Whimsical Shrine Swap - *FOUND* Angel on: August 26, 2014 03:08:19 PM
Swap Name: Whimsical Shrine Swap
Original Thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=434282.0#axzz3BXRApN1O
Gallery thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=434691.0#axzz3BXRApN1O
# of Flakers: 1

Angel Needed for kwality570
Shipping to US
No allergies

List of themes:

1. cute monsters
2. unicorns
3. woodland creatures
4. little houses
5. hearts/love

Please PM me if you're interested.
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Stop damaging my calm on: July 19, 2014 11:25:46 AM
For my partner on the hoopla swap!

The girl was fairly easy, though it was my first time doing loose bits on a hoop, but the wording... this was the third attempt at it, and I finally just went with paper.  It gave me the look closest to what was in my head, though it felt weird... but I guess you don't normally wash a hoop, anyway, right?  Still, that whole "sewing paper" thing is weird to me.  I like it when other people do it, I just... feel wrong.

I drew the girl out, then made copies and cut out layers of pieces and embroidered them on.  I'm not great at embroidery, but I'm slowly learning!

And a close-up of her hair (my favorite part):

5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Whimsical Shrine Gallery on: July 18, 2014 10:52:34 PM

Sent and Received
Sending Late with Communication
Feedback Given
Please Contact Organizer Immediately
Negative Feedback Given

Smeddley's group
Cryssoleil (co-organizer) <> Ludi
cackle <> PerfectlyBohemian
lovesclutter <> blupaisan

.:dollface:. <> ChameleonHound
Color=green]ShannonMB[/color] <> adrienne_bowers
Hoppy <> Ramona Q

6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Lifebook Lesson "Tangled" on: July 07, 2014 05:19:29 PM

The idea of the lesson was to glue everything down with gesso or matte media, and it would all be a uniform color (except the face(s), which were photographs in the original).  Then take paints and highlight areas/objects.

...but I never follow directions.  I was skeptical about the 3-D-ness of the project at first, but it's growing on me, and there are parts of it I like, and parts I would certainly do differently...

I'm considering her my "craft muse" and will probably hang her somewhere in my craft room, eventually.
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Double-sided (mood) "anchor" hoop on: July 07, 2014 03:39:49 PM
For one of my partners in the hoopla swap, I saw she had a pin that said "You're a W(anchor)", and I knew the instant that I saw it I had to do it.  But as I cruised her pinterest more, I also saw she had some posters pinned that said "You (anchor) me".  And an idea was born!  A two-sided hoop, where you could display whichever side matched your mood!  You partner would know they were either in your good (anchoring) graces, or they were on your bad side (W(anchor)).  Then came the part about figuring out how to do it...

This is what I did....

I stitched the W(anchor) side as usual, then pulled it as tight as I could in the hoop.  I sewed a line of stitching around the back side to hold it really, really tight.  Then (because it was dark fabric and I was adding a light fabric on top) I sewed a white circle to the back, as close to the edges as I could.

Then I released the outer hoop.

Then I put the white (anchor) side in a larger hoop, tightened it, and spread a little line of glue around the outside edge of the back of the black W(anchor) hoop and pressed it to the center of the white (anchor) side.

After that dried, I trimmed the white fabric so the raw edge would be in the middle of the hoop edge, and slipped the outer hoop back over it, hiding the raw edge.

It's not as taut as I would have liked, perhaps, but it seemed to hold up!

Does anyone else have a way to do a double-sided hoop?  I was just winging this, all the stuff I could find by Googling dealt with making the embroidery as pretty on the back as on the front (trust me, no one wants to see the back of my embroidery!).
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Profanities Hoop (NSFW, obv!) on: July 02, 2014 04:06:36 PM
Picture for the thumbnail with the bad part cut out:

So, for on of my partners in the hoop swap, I made a hoop based on a pin I've seen about (and have pinned myself!).  I was unhappy with the layout and spacing of the words, though, so I re-designed it and added two floral bits.  The bottom is part of a design from a book that I then mirrored, and the top is supposed to be a rose-colored flower but I changed the colors to match.  I'm really pretty darn happy with the way it turned out, and one of these days, in my spare time, I'm going to re-stitch it for me!

to change your image viewing settings please click here
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Origami crane (and nest) shadowbox (and nest/egg tutorial) on: July 01, 2014 08:44:47 PM
The prototype shadowbox (any suggestions or critique is welcome):

(also I might mention there's a shrine swap in sign-ups right now, shameless self-promotion is shameless!)

(also also I don't know that I love the felt, but like I said, prototype... I think I might try paint next time, but I don't know how well I can paint over glue...)

For scale, here's the crane on my fingertip (folded from a 1" square):

Aaaaand, because I want the engineering bonus points from the Summer Nerd Games, here's how I made the nest and eggs (there are tons of tutorials on crane-folding out there!).

The nest is made from twisted newspaper.  I pretty much followed the "newspaper yarn" ideas out there, and rolled thin strips:

Then I followed the wire nest pendant idea, wrapping the paper thread around an object...

Then wrapping the paper thread around the coils...

Then, finally, wrapping loosely around the bottom and (because I couldn't weave the paper thread like I do the wire) securing with some thread:

The eggs were made by soaking paper until it looked pulpy and dissolved:

Then rolling it into small balls:

(this was much harder than I though, I made many more than I needed, because as you rolled tighter and tighter to squeeze the water out, a lot of them fell apart)

And let them dry:

And there you have the crane, egg and nest:

(it's sitting on top of a salt shaker there)

The tree is a branch from our oak tree and the bench is make from twisted jewelry wire and mini popsicle sticks.
10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 100 ENTRIES / 100 Paper Cranes on: July 01, 2014 08:11:41 PM

Given the highly doubtful likelihood of me being around for Craftster's 1,000th challenge (at 12 challenges per year, that'd be in 2089...) I figured I'd do a scaled-down crane folding for the momentous 100th challenge.  But what to *do* with the cranes?  That was the question...

And I lit upon the idea of a combination of public art and well-wishing.  I thought up 100 positive qualities/words (love, joy, hope, dreams, courage, resolve, etc... that was a really difficult thing, I have to be honest...) and wrote a different one on every crane.  Then I carefully strung them on bits of string and Cryssoleil and I went and hung them on a tree at a park and... left them there.  And I want to thank her for going with me on perhaps one of the hottest, muggiest days we've had!  I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to do it on my own, especially since no one would have been there to drag me back to the car if I passed out from the heat...

It felt a little like really pretty littering, I'll be honest.  But the birds will disintegrate in the rain and the real birds (and squirrels) can use the bits of yarn in their nests (goodness knows they love the stuffing from my patio furniture...) so it's not all bad.  And, in a perfect world, as each of the cranes gets water-logged, and the ink runs, that wish - that happy thought - is released into the universe to fly away to someone who really needs it.  Hey, I can dream, too, right?

(And you'll just have to believe me, yes, there are *exactly* 100 cranes on that tree!)
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