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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / I love when arts and crafts make the news... on: September 27, 2015 12:18:27 PM
Read both of these in my newspaper the other day...

Though I am not so thrilled with the reference to "domestic arts", there is something about it that doesn't sit quite right with me.

This one reminds me of the art abandonment discussions we have had, including one swap.  I quite enjoyed that.
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Craft Swaps / 2015 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap (sign ups 09/27-10/09, send outs 11/04) on: September 27, 2015 06:40:53 AM

So the holiday gift giving season is coming up, and I am inviting fellow Craftsters in joining in on a seasonal card and tag swap.  This year it will be slightly different from our previous Tag swaps, because it will be a combination of cards and tags.  

Anyways, let's get some of the business end done...

Swap name: 2015 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: October 09, 2015 (by midnight EST)
Date to send item by: November 04, 2015

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 20

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? YES/NO - no
If so, which country? not applicable

Additional Age requirement? no

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: not applicable
- 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:

This will be a swap for cards and tags for the upcoming holiday season.  

Participants will be in groups of 4, where each Craftster will send a set of 4 cards (and envelopes) and 4 tags (and attachment mode) to each of the other three members of the group by the send by date, and each Craftster will receive 4 cards/tags from each of the group members.  

Therefore everyone, in the end, should have received a dozen cards and tags in time for holiday gift giving.  

Minimum expected size for tags - 2"x3", and to include ties/ribbons/sticky
Minimum expected size for cards - 3"x5", and to include envelopes

There is no maximum.

On saying that, the theme of the cards do not have to be limited to the holidays, if that is what your partner wants.  Also, Crafsters are encouraged to be as creative as you want; just because it is cards and tags, does not mean you have to limit yourself to paper.  If you want to make your items from something other than paper, feel free to.  I love seeing how varied the results are and how wonderfully creative everyone is in these swaps!

But because this will likely be mostly a paper swap:  as per Craftster swapping rules, papercraft swaps are exempt from the DC confirmation requirements.  Senders are required to resend their packages if they are not received for any reason.

Previous tag swap galleries....

Holiday Tags 2013

Holiday Tags 2014

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

Name of swap - 2015 Holiday Tags and Cards 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)


1) What kind of holiday cards/tags do you want? (Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, religious, Kwanzaa, etc)

2) Would you prefer any non-winter holiday tags?  If so, what kind would you like (birthday, Valentines, Easter, general, etc)?

3) How do you want your tags to attach (ribbon/string/stick-on/surprise me)?

4) What kind of themes/colours would you like your tags to have (please list at least 5)?

5) What kind of themes/colours would you like to be avoided?  

6) Any links to Pinterest, blogs, etc for stalking purposes?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

Swap participants!

1.  Onyxnox (Organizer)
2.  flygirl88
3.  kbrison
4.  bec99
5.  SheridanLA
6.  stillatthetop
7.  nowheresound
8.  smashu


sending late with communication
feedback given
3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / That time of the year is coming up again - Seasonal tags/cards anyone??? on: September 12, 2015 06:01:49 PM
So Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice/Yule, etc is coming up again, and I was wondering if anyone is interested in another gift tag or seasonal card swap again... if we do it soon enough, we can have them in time for gift giving or exchanges.

4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Steampunk vanity... on: September 12, 2015 05:26:03 AM

I am a bit in love with this one.  I have some old Apoxie Sculpt sitting around and found an undecorated compact mirror in my stash the other day.  I figured I would decorate it, like I did when I did my dragon egg compact a few years ago

I pressed in the kneaded clay into the compact center, and smoothed it out before decorating it with mica powders, stamps, and adding various gear embellishments and some Swarovski crystals for bling.

I love how this material can be decorated - it is strongly adherent so embellishments can be stuck into it easily, and takes colour well.  There is roughly a 3 hour working time, which is more than enough for decorating it while malleable, for me, and when it is dry, it can still be drilled, sanded, and painted, and when dry, is quite hard to touch.  Love it!

Anyways, there is more information, and pictures on my blog if anyone is interested.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Hey foxy - have a nice day! on: September 12, 2015 05:15:26 AM
These were two resin collage magnets I made for the recent Fridge Magnet Swap, for Kwality570.  We both had nature/woodland themes in our questionnaire and funnily enough, we both made each other a fox magnet.  When I saw her theme, I thought of a little woodland scene, and this was what I came up with.

I made some die cut, water colour birch trees for the background, and stamped and decorated the mushrooms and fox, with permanent ink, and micron pens.  I layered them in a mold (reused packaging), with the forefront first, with several layers of resin, finishing with some unsealed washi paper to make the background.

 Unsealed paper wicks up the wet resin and becomes wonderfully translucent.  I embedded the magnet in the thin layer of resin, behind the fox so it would not be so visible, and used a rare earth magnet so it could be a small dot.

This made a rather largish magnet - I think about 3"x3" or so?  I kept the layers of resin thin so it would not be too heavy also.

Here is more about it on my blog, if anyone is interested...

In the course of the swap discussion, we found out that her wedding date was coming up soon, and I am so glad we found out before shipping, because it gave me the chance to make a quick extra for her, a magnet with her wedding date on it.

I die cut the letters and numbers from shrink plastic and shrunk them down, and embedded them in the first layer of resin.  I then die cut the small hearts and sprinkled them in the second and third layers - keeping them quite thin.  Then I backed it with a pale washi paper so that the foreground would stand out more, hiding the magnet behind the hearts.

Also a bit more in a separate post on my blog if anyone is interested.

Next time, I am picking up some glow in the dark paper and trying that in a resin collage.
6  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


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.




7  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...


A creative heart...




an artistic heart....
8  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...
9  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...
10  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!!!! 
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