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!
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!
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!
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.
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!).
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!
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!)