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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / A melange of mini mixed media boards... on: August 02, 2015 08:52:38 AM
I made a group of these recently for the 4x6 art swap... I had two partners, but I had a lot of fun making them, so what I did was when I was done, closed my eyes, picked two, then pop them in the envelopes and then address them, so it was a bit of a surprise for us all.


These first two were made with homemade texture medium covering the base of canvas board, which I then stamped into to add texture.  Various inks and acrylics for colour, and elements added with gel medium.  I love how the texture paste took the colour and images, and it dried to a lovely hard, smooth finish.  More from my blog in the links below the images if anyone is interested.



wings of hope



timeless

These were done with various acrylics, inks, gel pens, stamping, and die cut chipboard for dimension, and gel medium.  I wanted to focus on words that are creatively inspirational.



dream....



create...



Free...



make...
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A melange of metal and leather.... on: August 02, 2015 08:24:11 AM

I went a bit wild with making these one weekend.  I was in the pendent swap, and this time, I kind of went about it differently.  I made a number of various types of pendents after a bit of stalking, then chose the pendents that I felt suited my partners best.  I actually ended up make a LOT of pendents in a few different styles/media, so all my partners got one or two extra. 

I love the combination of leather and metals, and once you pull out the materials to make one, you may as well make a few.  I punched out a variety of copper and brass circles - a real pain, and rather noisy, so I did it on a weekend when DH was away (he hates when I get up early on the weekend and start hammer metal).  I then die cut some shapes.  This time, I found a nice couple of scrap sheets of embossed leather at a fabric store I like to frequent - otherwise I would have embossed them myself.

I did a bit of colouring of the leather with metallic acrylics and sealed them with an acrylic sealer.  I stamped the metal blanks, and patinaed them, and sealed with Renaissance wax afterwards.  I then riveted the pieces together.  I had to make some mini washers also for some of the pieces - if the leather is behind the metal, you need a washer to hold the rivet, or the leather will work itself loose sooner or later - sadly enough, more often sooner than not.

There are more pics and info in my blog postings if anyone is interested...

Also, here is the original post I did way back when with a tutorial for the pendents...



Wild hearts...




free...




A creative heart...




love...




wild...




Soar...




an artistic heart....
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / A booze journal.... on: August 02, 2015 07:48:15 AM
I made this recently for emilywilde for the OMG I need a drink swap... she requested a journal for drink recipes and the like.  I was going to make one with a mini ring binder backing and recycled cardboard but when I was wandering around a craft supply store, I found these hard bamboo covered note books and they seemed perfect for the application I was thinking.


I wanted a leather-like texture, like what I had [urlhttp://onyxnox.blogspot.ca/2014/05/the-tale-of-lana.html]when I did the book base for this mini canvas for underthemountain last year[/url] and used several layers of gel medium and tissue paper to cover both covers.  After that dried, I just played around with chipboard letters and paint, stamps, tissue paper, jute, etc.  


I made the stamped panels with homemade texture paste, which dried to a great hard texture, and took a rubbed on paint application nicely.  I added the little pearl stickers to represent the bubbly cocktails and wines, and to replace the accent on the last e of salute, and take up a bit of that dead space where the e is shared with the cheers. All the elements are as well glued down as I could, with lots of matte gel medium.

More about the project here if anyone is interested...
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Anyone have solar panels???? on: July 29, 2015 06:54:16 PM
We have someone coming over to talk to us about installing solar panels on the roof - apparently there is a government incentive for it.  I am looking for ways to cut the electrical bill and being more environmentally responsible, but I was wondering if anyone else has roof mounted panels and what their experience was with them...

I wondered if there was damage to the roof, any issues with weather changes, how durable they were, initial $$ outlay, if house insurance is affected, etc...
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / The opposite of cooking... but cold-brewed coffee is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on: July 26, 2015 11:11:01 PM

This is not a typically hot brewed coffee, that is then chilled or iced to bring the temperature down.  This is cold steeped coffee and I recently saw ads for it, and wondered what the fuss about.  What I read was that it was less acidic, smoother, and brings out some flavour profiles that hot water brewing doesn't allow for.  I love iced coffee in the hot summer, so I decided to give it a try.

I always buy whole beans and grind them myself, and I had this cool carafe with a filter cone in the centre for brewing iced tea, so I used the beans I usually get (Costco), and filled the filter to the top, and filled the carafe to the top.  I put the lid on and let it steep in the fridge for about 16-18 hours.  I then removed the filter and ran it through my usual metal coffee filter to remove any further grounds.  I then returned it to the carafe and returned it to the fridge.  The cool thing with the carafe is that it is leak proof so can lay on the side for saving space.

Anyways, the end result is wonderful.  It *IS* less acidic and flavours come through with the cold brewed coffee that are not present with the hot brewed - it is smooth, rich, and has flavours of vanilla and chocolate that I do not taste in a hot cup.  It is also sweeter, just through cold brewing, without any addition of sweetener.  It makes a perfect glass of iced coffee IMO, or a base for a mixed coffee drink.  I am having it black, no sugar, because that is my preference, but I bet it would be super tasty with a flavoured simple syrup, irish cream, chocolate syrup, or something like Sheridan's or the Godiva white chocolate liqueur.

There are specialty brewers for cold brew, but why bother - my little carafe seemed to do the job just fine.  Or right now, I have another batch brewing in the fridge in a Ziploc container, and an old PB jar - I just need to run them through the filter in the morning!


More about it on my blog....

So if you haven't tried it, love your java, but want something cold and refreshing in the heat and humidity of summer, give this a try!!!! 
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A triad of resin bar pendents... on: July 18, 2015 11:42:31 AM

I made these recently while making some note cards.  I had some punched out paper pieces that were leftover from those and other projects and they were small little bits.  So I decided to embed them in resin to make some pendents.  I used some plastic packaging that I had saved, likely from packages of extra x-acto blades, and layered thin layers of resin and the bits of cut paper shapes.  As a backing, I embedded washi paper on the back, with the second to last pour of resin.  The final pour was after I unmolded the pieces and trimmed away the edges, and sanded the edges down.




This one is done with mini die cut gears, cut from kraft paper.  I painted some of them with metallic acrylic paint.  A couple I left bare paper, and they darkened as they absorbed the resin, and were set in the back, so they actually look rusty/old/oxidized.  The backing paper is a textured charcoal paper with some specks.  I thought it made nice contrast to the metal





This one is done with some teeny die cut stars, cut from yellow paper, some of which were painted gold.  I backed it with a wee scrap of star patterned washi paper on a light blue background.  The paper, being such a light colour, became very translucent and made a great pale, almost luminous background.




This last one is done with some die cut red hearts that were leftover from when I made an anniversary card for DH.  I left them the bare paper, and the resin made them a nice deeper red.  I thought a dark contrast would be nice with the red.  There were some tiny dot die cuts that came from the same die, and added that as a bit of confetti detail.  I added the same textured charcoal paper which I thought was a nice contrast with the red.

I was happy to make these three - I basically use scrap washi paper and scrap die cuts, and some left over mixed resin from another project I was making - would have hated to toss it away...
7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / OMG - I need a drink swap GALLERY (send outs July 10) on: June 19, 2015 04:19:38 AM
Original Discussion Thread

Post 'em as you get 'em and let's all admire our own and each others creativity and cleverness with a cocktail or two - SALUD!



Partners



holistic knitter (07/10) [temporary negative reversed] <--->edelC (06/18)
Ludi (07/10) <---> rantyhippie (July 10)
Audania1(07/03) <---> legtostroke (07/07)
Megz1027 (06/26) <---> texscrapper (07/11)
fluffypants (07/06) <---> SheridanLA (sent 07/13)
spazgirl1981 (07/14) <---> Wulf (07/14)
emilywilde (06/30) <---> Onyxnox (07/09)

sent
received
sent and received
sending late with communication
feedback given (on both sending/receiving)
contact organizer immediately (if not contact/proof of shipping within 2 weeks from the deadline, negative feedback will be provided, but it can be reversed pending valid proof of shipment or receipt of package by recipient.

As per swap rules:

Quote
10. At two weeks past the swap deadline all participants must have either positive or Negative Feedback, unless their package is in transit.

If someone failed to fulfill their swap obligation and has not been in communication with you, give them Negative Feedback.
If a participant has communicated that they are going to be late but has not shipped, they should still receive Negative Feedback two weeks after the swap deadline if their package has not been received. If they have been in communication and you feel that they will send soon, leave a comment such as: "has not sent, but is in good communication." This feedback is easily reversible once the package arrives. It is only used to insure that the participant focuses on the swaps they are already involved in before they sign up for others. Participants who have provided proof of shipment can remain In Progress until their package is received.
If the swapper has sent his/her item to the partner and the package meets the size requirements of the swap, they get a positive, whether or not they communicated or failed to send a DC# to you, etc. These issues should be noted in the comment section of the feedback.
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / and the new day was a great big fish... on: June 08, 2015 06:40:58 AM
This was the quote that roler gave me for inspiration for the recent Terry Pratchett swap.  It made me think of cosmic fish - that the fish was dawning like the sun... after all, if Discworld is resting on the backs of 4 elephants, who ride on the back of the Great A'Tuin, why can't there be cosmic koi in the pond of the universe?

Anyways, that inspired me to make an altered tin based on that quote and this is what I came up with...



I removed the lid, and decoupaged the outside with a decorated Japanese paper that made me think of a star speckled sky roughly, and the inside was decoupaged with black on the edges, and a swirled gelli printed paper on the background.


I made some polymer clay koi fish to set inside the tin.  Was pretty happy how they turned out.  Then I layered them, some rhinestones and stars, and the banner with the quote, slowly, in about 5 separate layers of resin.  Patience was needed - and it took a lot of effort to sit and wait until the next laying of elements and pouring of resin...

I added a bit of mica powder for some sparkle to one layer of resin.  I was hoping it would keep a distinct swirl, but I also added some heat, which made it a bit more liquid and mixed the mica powder in more than I would have liked.


I added about 5 layers of matte decoupage glaze to the paper layer on the outside, so it had a nice texture to it, and made a little easel to help display it.  I was very happy, generally, how it turned out.


A bit more about it on my blog if you are interested.

Comments and constructive criticism always welcome...
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Puffin Chunky... on: June 06, 2015 07:16:07 AM
I made this recently for the OTT Bird Swap recently.  I swapped with HSG, and she listed puffins in her list of birds.

I was playing around with sketching out some puffin images with water colours/water colour pencils.  I was happy how they turned out, and wanted to incorporate them into one project.  Oddly enough, that was not even the project I had in mind, I was just playing around to see what would happen.

I had a couple of chunky 4x4 canvases, and I decided to make a little chunky piece.  I love the chunky canvases because you can decorate all sides, and they can be stood on a surface or hung up.  I figured I could use both the back and the front for the two puffin pieces and have the short sides to add some more decorations.



Here is the front of my canvas.  I prepped the canvas with acrylics in blues, whites, and a touch of gray, and a bit of stenciling.  I tore the water colour paper and adhered it on with gel medium.  I love the walk of the puffin - it's awkward, yet adorable.



Here is the back - I cut the image to cover the opening in the back, glued and tacked it on.  I  have this thing about unfinished backs - for some reason, I can't stand them and often will finish them somehow.  Often with a placard, but this was a good way to use the second image I had done.

I found a wee image and note about puffins in a vintage dictionary I had, so added that, and a wee quote on the side.





Here is a bit more about it on my blog
10  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / OMG - I need a drink swap (Sign ups May 23 - June 11, send outs July 10) on: May 23, 2015 02:09:43 PM
SWAP GALLERY



Swap name: OMG - I need a drink swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: May 23 - June 11
Date to send item by: July 10

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional):24

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country? N/A

Additional Age requirement? 18 and older

Swap Organizer himself/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: N/A
- 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

Details of swap:



Ever have one of those moments... days... weeks... lifetimes... where you feel that you need a firm grasp on things to get control?  By things, I mean the stem of a martini glass, the handle of a stein of ale, the neck of a gallon of wine... the switch to the bar tap, what have you...

This swap is not meant to encourage drinking alcohol to excess, but as a fun ode to those moments in time when a good drink does help - at the least to refresh the palate, if not the soul and nerves.  So craft an ode to Bacchus, Dionysus, Dom Perignon, Methe, the mighty grape, a favourite cocktail, a favourite famed drunk (NORM!... Barney... ), your local favourite watering hole, or what other boozy delight comes to mind.

* my favourite drink du jour is a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a double lime squeeze *

This is a 3-point swap, so one large item, or 1 small+1 medium item.  Also, include a couple of your favourite drinks recipes presented creatively/prettily, so that we can all eventually toast each other when we post in the gallery, and share a drink, so to speak.  Extras are not needed or encouraged, but allowed if agreed upon by the partnered swappers, so please communicate well with each other.  Also, please remember to look up the rules of shipping through what service you use - if anyone is thinking of sending ingredients, there are strict laws about things like shipping fluids, foods, booze, etc, so know your postal rules before sending items like that!



Size definitions as per Craftster Swap FAQ


By Time
-Large = 3 or more hours
-Medium = 2 or more hours
-Small = 2 or less hours

By Size
-Large = A shawl, a shirt, a skirt, a set of jewelry with four to five items, a purse
-Medium = one single necklace or bracelet, a scarf
-Small = Earrings, stickers, wallets, pouches, bookmarks

By Price
-Large = $30 or more
-Medium = $10-$30 dollars
-Small = $10 or less


A bit more business...

Please remember to post in this thread before sending me a PM with your questionnaire.

Please remember to PM myself and your partner when sending and receiving, with tracking information if possible, if not, then remember to take pictures of the receipts for verification.

Please maintain good communication - PM as above, and communicate with your partners, and in this thread.

... and stay safe - if you drink while crafting, then you are drinking and crafting at your own risk!  Remember - needles are sharp, heat guns get hot, scissors can cut, vodka/gin/rum is flammable, etc, etc!
...


Update:  It was brought to my attention to ensure that everyone is aware that as per Craftster swap rules (and undoubtedly some POs rules and customs rules too) that there is to be no alcohol to be sent in the packages - it is prohibited.  So please, no samples of actual booze, or anything containing booze...

Recipes, some mix ingredients, and boozy crafts/art yes, but no booze itself, please!


If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap - OMG - I need a drink 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 18 years old: (YES/NO)


1.  What are your favourite drinks/cocktails?
              a.
              b.
              c.
              d.
              e.

2.  What are your favourite colours/combinations/patterns?

3.  What colours/patterns/things do you hate/not want to receive?

4.  Any favourite drinks/cocktail themed quotes/scenarios?

5.  Any allergens in your home?

6.  Any allergens or aversions you have?

7.  What kind of crafted item(s) would you really like to receive?

8.  What kind of crafted items can you make?

9.  What is my favourite drink du jour (do you need to answer this?  Yes, that way I know you read the details)?

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.



Swap members:

1.  Onyxnox (Canada)
2.  Audania1 (USA)
3.  Ludi (USA)
4.  rantyhippie (USA)
5.  edelC (Ireland)
6.  fluffypants (Canada)
7.  emilywilde (USA)
8.  Wulf (Canada)
9.  texscrapper (USA)
10. legatostroke (USA)
11. SheridanLA (USA)
12. Megz1027
13. spazgirl1981
17. holistic knitter


Partners



holistic knitter <--->edelC
Ludi <--->rantyhippie
Audania1 <---> legtostroke
Megz1027 <--->texscrapper
fluffypants <---> SheridanLA
spazgirl1981 <---> Wulf
emilywilde <---> Onyxnox


As per swap rules:

Quote
10. At two weeks past the swap deadline all participants must have either positive or Negative Feedback, unless their package is in transit.

If someone failed to fulfill their swap obligation and has not been in communication with you, give them Negative Feedback.
If a participant has communicated that they are going to be late but has not shipped, they should still receive Negative Feedback two weeks after the swap deadline if their package has not been received. If they have been in communication and you feel that they will send soon, leave a comment such as: "has not sent, but is in good communication." This feedback is easily reversible once the package arrives. It is only used to insure that the participant focuses on the swaps they are already involved in before they sign up for others. Participants who have provided proof of shipment can remain In Progress until their package is received.
If the swapper has sent his/her item to the partner and the package meets the size requirements of the swap, they get a positive, whether or not they communicated or failed to send a DC# to you, etc. These issues should be noted in the comment section of the feedback.

SWAP GALLERY
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