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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / bath and body stuff swap on: March 22, 2015 03:11:24 PM
How about a swap for pampering goodies, bath bombs, lotions, lip balms, or perhaps ingredients/kits to make some lovely stuff?

Any takers?
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / first oil painting ever, still life, wet on wet. constructive criticism needed on: January 29, 2015 06:33:00 AM
Hi folks.

so I bought oil paintings and have made a start, it is not wonderful, but it is not dreadful. It is wet on wet

anyway this is a still life and was done in about an hour or so. original composition for reference. Looking at it, I see that I have missed shadows that the grapes had thrown onto the limes and lemon particularly..

but what else..any advice/ criticism would be very welcome..as it is the only way I will learn!
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / My first foray into oils..what tips have you learned? any good websites? on: January 28, 2015 06:54:58 AM
I am reasonably proficient with acrylics, watercolours, but oils are pretty much a closed book to me.

it is time for that to change, I have equipped myself with some basic colours, brushes, linseed oil, white spirit and some cheap boards..

what do I do next??

Have you any tips (no matter how random) useful things you learned along the way?
I cannot afford classes in my area, so any online resources that you found good? I have been looking online but mostly am finding people selling online tuition, I would prefer free resources for now, until I learn if this is my thing or not...

Any particular youtube channels that you think are good?

4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / energy giving smoothie (I hope!) on: July 15, 2014 06:16:49 AM
So I have been so depleted of energy lately, it was time to focus on some serious nutrition and something to give me a bit of energy, rather than the carb laden comfort food that I have been eating too much of, calorie dense, but that's just giving me more padding to carry around rather than giving me any get up and go..

I did a bit of research and came up with this recipe to get a decent amount of some superfoods into me in a tasty (if not very pretty) form. The picture is not mine, but the smoothie looks exactly the same....green..

Makes one large serving:
Big glass of almond milk (You could use soy, but I like the taste of almond milk)
1 banana
small handfull of ice
1/2 mango (You could use a different fruit, some kind of berry perhaps, blueberries would be excellent as they are also superfoods)
1 tablespoon of ground hempseeds (i grind them in a spice grinder, they have the right ratio of omega 3 to 6)
1-2 teaspoon of spirulina (this makes it green)
I teaspoon of Maca powder
1 teaspoon of camu camu powder
1 teaspoon of bee pollen

put them all in a blender/smoothie maker, or even use a stick blender. zuzz until it is smooth and enjoy. It looks less than lovely, but it does taste nice and fruity and it is extremely good for you.

these last four ingredients are the powerhouse, they don't have a lot of flavour,  but they punch way above their weight in terms of nutrition.

I got all of the ingredients in the health food shop, in powder form, except for almond milk and hempseeds.
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / old sweater quilt on: July 01, 2014 09:46:30 AM
So a few years ago I lost a load of weight...but then I found it again, c'est la vie, I am trying mostly to just accept me who I am, but that is another story, in the interim I bought a bunch of cheap sweaters. (Primark-think forever21 cheap clothing) Cheap mostly because I am broke, but that is another other story...

so rather than toss the bundle, which I could wear, but they were a little too tight, and a little too short and a little...cheap...I decided to have a quick and dirty go at a lap quilt, this is the result

it is backed with a plain fleecy blanket. The whole quilt is made of synthetic fibres, but it is soft, cosy and snuggly.

this is maybe where it will live, in a little cosy reading corner...wanna join me?

6  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / spiral dyeing, fun in the irish sunshine on: July 01, 2014 07:33:20 AM

Normally in Ireland our country looks like this but for the last while it has been like this

so sunshine...it is actually hot outside, and sunshine is the perfect time to do some dyeing. I posted a tutorial on here before about spiral dyeing, it is fast easy and a lot of fun. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=361939.0#axzz36EA49c1d

This is a large piece which is the side wall of the pop up awning (gazebo,) that will be coming with us on our trip in Rosita the wonder van. It was a plain piece of fabric, printed with black and grey trees from IKEA..now it is FABULOUS!
laid out in my garden, without the excess dye washed out, it will be quite a bit paler. I like to unwrap it to allow time for the dye to take, so that one colour doesn't bleed too much on another. I will machine wash the excess dye out...

Dyeing is messy...but the mess is rather beautiful

and tie dyeing is the one thing that brings a big grin to my face...

I used three colours of procion mx fibre reactive dye, (red, yellow and blue) using the soda soak method (3 cups of washing soda to 8 L hot water, soaked for about 15 minutes before applying the dye)

and a bonus read about yarn dyeing and the meaning of life (my interpretation!) from my new favourite blogger http://elodieunderglass.com/2013/03/12/the-rainbow-in-your-hands-protocols-for-hand-painting-yarn/
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / how should I quilt this, using only a regular short arm sewing machine on: June 26, 2014 04:15:09 PM
So I finally dug out some of those lovely special fabrics, the ones that I have been saving for something special

*I had a revelation that I don't want to be someone who dies with a roomfull of craft stuff for my daughter to have to get rid of...plus the cool fabric that I love today, after a few years, well I don't love it so much*

so I got out the nicest ones...inspired by a quilt I saw on pinterest, I made this top. It is midnight here and I can't find my camera, so this is a cellphone pic and the colours are a lot more vibrant in real life..

the question is, I have just a regular short arm sewing machine, I am using a 4oz polyester batting, as I want softness, lightness and drapeabilty (I usually use recycled 100% woollen blankets as wadding, lovely, but stiffer). I always tend I quilt in straight lines as it is easier. I think I might do the same...don't really want to risk free motion on this top. But what 'pattern' should I use, plus as you can probably see, the top is not completely flat- I still haven't managed to cut exactly on the grain and sew without stretching!

1-follow the 9 main blocks
2-outline each block
3-something else??

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / quick tea cosy on: May 23, 2014 09:53:17 AM
I got this amazing printed fabric from the most recent round of the fabric printing swap, from leapfeetfirst and I needed a new tea cosy. I am a complete tea addict and own about 4 cosies, but I bought a new, bigger, teapot and I needed to make something fast and cheerful to wake me out of todays slump-I had the whole day planned for craft and did feck all..but this is cheery.

Tea-cosies that you have to lift off to pour the tea are a pain in the ass, I like the ones with the spout free...this one wasn't really measured, I held the fabric to the pot and sewed away (it is padded with an old bedspread that has a polyester lining between two layers of cotton) ..I added a couple of buttons to make it even happier.

this is how I will be pouring out tea in about ten minutes...

9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / book binding swap or another head start journal swap on: May 10, 2014 01:23:15 PM
it might be just be with an obsession for booking binding, but I have seen some great ones on here..

any interest in a swap of hand made blank books, or perhaps another round of the head start journal...

this is a link to two previous galleries


this is an example of one from a previous round stickerchic87

10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / lake scene linocut again..this time using my car as a printing press!!-Tutorial on: July 19, 2013 06:13:10 AM
Materials needed:
Thick paper
Two pieces of board
Ink and roller
A car.

the weather is fabulous in Ireland, shorts and tee weather, which is not often said about an Irish summer, and while the sun has not gone to my head..It is perfect weather to print with your car...

yes, you read that correctly. I printed with my car.

This post, the bottom image, shows the effect when burnishing with a spoon, using paper, but I wasn't happy, it was bothering me, for two reasons, The image needed tidying up as I wasn't keen on how the sky looked, but the bigger issue was that I don't have a printing press and burnishing an image of this size just wasn't working out...

I have spent all morning googling making printing presses, they are all too large for the space that I have available and a bit too big of an undertaking when I would only use it once in a blue moon, In the back of my head I had remembered something about printing with a car, there is a good youtube video of this (which I now cannot find!), but using what looks like a woodcut, rather than a lino cut...

nothing ventured, nothing gained, I have a car, I don't have a printing press. So it was time to cobble something together..

I glued the lino block onto a thin piece of ply, but that exhausted the supply of ply, scratching my head, I found an old plastic chopping board, thick and robust. To minimise movement of the paper, I hinged the two together with ducttape (McGyyver has nothing on me!)

so if you plan on doing this, a couple of sheets of plywood will be perfect, it would be even better if you had both a hinge and a lip at the bottom to register the sheets of paper on.

The stack for printing is board+linocut, paper, two blankets to pad it out a little, these were cut from an old woollen blanket, I tried with both one and two layers and it didn't make much difference.

The sequence for printing is, ink your linocut (this would work with a wood engraving I think) place your paper down on top, rub it gently to allow it to stick a bit to the ink.

Put one or two blankets on top (I tried both one and two didn't seem to make much of a difference, but I was  using thick paper, thinner paper will need the extra protection of both blankets)

Carefully lower the top half of the 'press'

Then get your car.

put the press, hinge side towards the front wheel (I guess the bigger the car and wider tyres would be a distinct advantage here. My car is little.

Slowly reverse, when you are on the stack hold the car there for a few seconds. Then off. Don't drive back over it, because the hinge will be in the wrong location with respect to the movement of the car and you will likely shift the paper and smear the image.

The results...well this was the first one, and I learned that seeing as it is a fairly wide image, I needed to go over it more than once, the darker side is where the tyre was. So A few successive passes with the car was needed.

This one is the one that I am happy with, this had six passes with the car, ie place, reverse, get out, place, reverse, etc etc..I went over it three times across the width and then repeated these three again. The image was not absolutely perfect, but when touched up, this is what it looks like, There is a small bit of blurring of the image, but I feel that it adds to the dynamism of the work.

happy to have this image, I have been asked to submit a piece of work to an exhibition, the theme is water, so this will be perfect once dry and framed..

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