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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Toxic Toys Shadowbox on: July 03, 2015 01:54:01 PM

My friend's grandfather used to own one of the plastic factories in the town where I work. The factory specialized in baby toys and hair combs (I think). While my friend played with these toys as a child (and turned out perfectly normal), the materials used to make the toys are now considered toxic. Her niece is having her first baby, and my friend wanted to make a shadowbox that included some of the toys. Not being a crafty individual, she enlisted my help.

First, we went through the large box of stuff and picked out some items we thought we'd like to use. Each item got cleaned up as best as we could.

My friend wanted to include a picture of the factory, but the ones that were online were of poor quality. So, we took a drive downtown and I took a picture of the factory (it's been converted into apartments) and used one of the photo apps on my tone to make it look "vintage." I was able to upload it directly to a nearby pharmacy and we had a nice 4" X 4" print in less than an hour!

We hit the craft store to pick up supplies (glue dots, background paper, ribbon, embellishments, shadowbox) and headed back to the house to get started! we played around with the arrangement of the items (and it's a good thing I took pictures as we did so we could remember how things were on the one we liked the best!).

Unfortunately, in spite of the presence of the ruler in one of the above photos, we neglected to measure the depth of the items, and our shadowbox (12" X 12") wasn't deep enough. We headed back to the store, but couldn't find a deeper one in the same size, so we opted for a smaller one (10" X 10") that was the right depth, plus it had a nice "frame" around the front edge.

It looked pretty good once it was all finished, and the only thing that we would have changed was to shift the diaper pins up (they were stuck down onto the backing paper with permanent glue dots) because the name of the factory, printed on the bottom of the card, got covered by the frame edge. And, as long as the baby never opens it up and actually plays with the toys, a nice piece of family history will be hanging in the nursery!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Chartres Labyrinth TM Patch on: April 04, 2015 07:27:03 AM
I made this patch for calluna in the most recent round of the Yet Another TM Patch Swap. As soon as I did a bit of stalking, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. The patch is based on the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. I decided to stitch the borders of the path, rather than the path itself, and I wanted to try my hand at couching.

I used some Perle cotton for the base thread and three strands of embroidery floss as the couching thread. I added beads in the center and around the outside. I probably should have picked something simpler for my first attempt Smiley I did use Sulky Solvy for the pattern transfer, and it made it much easier for me to get nice lines! It was my first time using it, and I'm definitely a fan!

It took forever, but it was very relaxing to stitch and, it turns out, it could be used as a finger labyrinth, too!

The patch is about 4 inches square.

Once I have a little more time on my hands, I might stitch up something similar for myself!
3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Yet Another TM Patch Swap R4 Gallery! on: February 06, 2015 02:53:46 PM

Swap Thread: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437630.0

Post all of your fabulous patches here!

Received & Posted Pics
Feedback Given
Sending Late w/Communication
Contact Organizer

calluna: craftADDchick
craftADDchick: Watsonc7, calluna
Craftsunderground: roler
crazyda79: goatgoddess, roler
DaphadillyArt: milkeway, goatgoddess
goatgoddess: crazyda79, DaphadillyArt
Ludi: Sharalee
milkeway: DaphadillyArt, Watsonc7
meowari: Sharalee
roler: Craftsunderground, crazyda79
Sharalee: meowari, Ludi
Watsonc7: craftADDchick, milkeway
4  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Yet Another TM Patch Swap R4! (SU CLOSED;SO March 2/15) on: January 11, 2015 12:29:14 PM

Gallery: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437989.0

Swap Name: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R4
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: craftADDchick
Sign-up date range: January 11, 2015- January 31, 2015
Date to send item by: Monday, March 2, 2015

 Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

 Restricted to people who all live in the same country? 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: YES
 - 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:
 Do you love making Teesha Moore-style patches? Have you always admired them but haven't yet caught the TM bug? Well, this could be the swap for you!

In this round of the TM Patch Swap, you will be crafting for 1 or 2 partners (first time swappers will be limited to 1 partner) and from 1-3 patches (you and your partner should agree on the exact number).

Also, you will have the option of exchanging a TM Patch Supply kit with your partner (contents of kit may include: floss, fabric, embellishments {buttons, beads, ribbons, charms, etc}, poly-fil, etc.).

Let's keep this swap simple and limit it to the sending of patches and kits (if you love sending extra things, consider adding those in to a kit Smiley ).

There are lots of inspirational patches from previous swaps, so check out some of the galleries here:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=436180.0 (Yet Another TM Patch Swap R3!)

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=434712.0#axzz37wXpySPV (Yet Another TM Patch Swap R2!)

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=432695.#axzz2yLfpYtaO (Yet Another TM Patch Swap!)




IF your are new to making patches, here are some links to Teesha Moore's own video tutorials showing you her techniques. You won't want to miss these.

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

 Name of swap: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R4!
 Craftster username:
 Email address:
 Your real name:
 Mailing address including the country (please put it in the proper format for mailing to your country):
 Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
 Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
 Do you want one or two partners?
How many patches would you like to make for each partner (Organizer will attempt to match partners based on this information as much as possible)?
Do you also want to exchange a kit with your partner(s), in addition to the patches?
List at least four themes to inspire your partner: (Some themes from previous swaps were the beach, peace and love, buttons, rainbows, DOTD, trees and nature, literature, stripes and polkadots, craftster's choice.)
List peferred size range, if you have one:
Preferred colors, if any:
Are there any colors or themes you really don't want to receive?
Are odd shapes desireable, such as round or triangular patches?
Do you have a Pinterest, website, or WIST site that your partner can peruse for inspiration?


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


1. craftADDchick
2. crazyda79
3. DaphadillyArt
4. milkeway
5. roler
6. goatgoddess
7. Sharalee
8. calluna
9. Craftsunderground
10. Watsonc7
11. meowari
12. Ludi

calluna: craftADDchick
craftADDchick: Watsonc7, calluna
Craftsunderground: roler
crazyda79: goatgoddess, roler
DaphadillyArt: milkeway, goatgoddess
goatgoddess: crazyda79, DaphadillyArt
Ludi: Sharalee
milkeway: DaphadillyArt, Watsonc7
meowari: Sharalee
roler: Craftsunderground, crazyda79
Sharalee: meowari, Ludi
Watsonc7: craftADDchick, milkeway
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Owl Man Exists! on: January 04, 2015 10:39:46 AM

This is probably one of the most complicated things I've ever made and I made if for artsycandice in the Cryptid Swap. When I signed up for the swap, I declared that I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone of crocheted, sewn, or stenciled items. This project definitely fit the bill!

One of the things artsycandice listed in her swap questionnaire was Owl Man, a cryptid spotted in England, and equated to Moth Man here in the US. It's possible that Owl Man is a hoax or a very large owl that was mistaken for the Owl Man.

I had originally intended to make him on a much smaller scale using some action figures procured from the thrift store. But, when someone at work left a pile of free stuff in the lunch room, and I saw the marionette (Joey Fatone from NSync), I knew I had to use it make Owl Man.

The first challenge was in untangling the strings. After a bit of research, I found a picture of a complete set of marionettes that showed pretty clearly how they were supposed to look. So, after checking out how they were attached to the doll, I cut them off (all but the one on the lower back). I also cut off his boots (and later his hands) so that I could attach the clawed feet and hands.

I started on the wings by sketching a template and cutting them out of plastic canvas. I covered them up with a "skin" of grey t-shirt material and then glued on a whole lot of feathers.

Next, using some more of the grey t-shirt material, I stitched up a little suit and hood to cover up the doll and so I could have something to glue the feathers onto. I could have glued them directly to the doll, but I wanted to use the grey material for two reasons: 1) To make any gaps in the feathers less obvious and 2) To make it seem more like he was wearing a costume (to fit in with the possible hoax). I cut the suit along the back so I could slip it on and stitched it back up, also stitching it to the hood at the neckline. Before I stitched it up, I re-attached the strings to the body of the doll.

Then, I made a set of wire armatures from some scrap copper wire and, using black polymer clay, created the clawed hands and feet. I also fashioned a beak out of the clay (I pressed it onto his face so I could have an impression to match up with when I glued it on later).

I glued on the clawed hands and feet using E-6000, which took longer than I expected because I had to hold each piece until it set. I cut a small opening in the front of the hood to glue on the beak.

I made 2 more cuts in the hood so I could drill into the skull to attach the eyes. The drill melted the plastic a bit, so when I stuck the red safety eyes in, they held firmly without additional glue. I then stitched the wings onto the upper arms (another advantage to using the grey suit).

Finally, I spent a few hours gluing feathers onto the body before I re-attached the strings to the "sticks" of the marionette.

And, it was done! Whew!

6  Category Challenges / Occasions and Holidays: Challenge Entries / Spider Swarm Pumpkin on: November 09, 2014 02:21:19 PM
This was inspired by the news story about the house that had brown recluse spiders erupting from the walls... While I don't mind having spiders in the house, poisonous spiders crawling out from every nook and cranny? No thanks!

So, this pumpkin is decorated with almost 37.5 (one is still "emerging" from the hole I gouged into the side) plastic spiders (they were rings, and I cut a portion of the ring off so I could stick them into the pumpkin). It will eventually become squirrel food, so I didn't want to glue the spiders on (as irritating as my local squirrels are, I wouldn't want one to choke on a plastic spider). For now, it sits in the dining room, and it's sure to give me a start every time I turn on the lights... Even with the lights on, I can almost swear they're moving...

7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Yet Another TM Patch Swap R3!- Gallery on: October 12, 2014 06:00:30 PM

Original Swap Post: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435698.0#axzz3DVicJR8T

Post all of your fabulous patches here!

Received & Posted Pics
Feedback Given
Sending Late w/Communication
Contact Organizer


cabaute: SheridanLA, crazyda79
craftADDchick: Watsonc7, vincentvanbuck
crazyda79: jenleahlynn, cabaute
DaphadillyArt: Sharalee, smileyyogini
elderflower: madcrafter, gotkrose
goatgoddess: vincentvanbuck, roler
GoldenSunshine: MommyTheMaid, pinkmichk
Inselaeffchen: roler
jenleahlynn: crazyda79
madcrafter: elderflower
milkeway: smileyyogini, MommyTheMaid
MommyTheMaid: GoldenSunshine, milkeway
noodle-bug: Watsonc7, pinkmichk
pinkmichk: GoldenSunshine, noodle-bug
roler: goatgoddess, Inselaeffchen
Sharalee: DaphadillyArt
SheridanLA: cabaute
smileyyogini: DaphadillyArt, milkeway
vincentvanbuck: craftADDchick, goatgoddess
Watsonc7: craftADDchick, noodle-bug
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Three Sisters Soup w/recipe (sort of) on: October 02, 2014 04:05:10 PM
This year, I signed up for a CSA farm share from a farm right near the school I teach in and in the last couple of boxes, we got a couple of different types of squash. Since yesterday and today have been rainy miserable days, I decided that it called for some soup. I had the squash on hand, some fresh corn, and a can of black beans, so I "created" my own version of Three Sisters Soup (The three sisters are corn, beans and squash and the Native Americans companion planted them).

Here's how I made it! I don't have exact measurements for some ingredients  because I used up what I had.

Squash (butternut, acorn, etc.)- peel and cut into cubes {I used two types- one was small, and the other medium}
3 ears of corn- slice the kernels off of the ears
1 can of black beans {I may pick up another can and add it}
Onion- peel and cut into chunks {I used 7 small boiling onions, but it was about the equivalent to 1 large onion}
1 large sweet potato- peel and cut into cubes
1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes {I didn't really measure...so add what you think is tasty!}
Cooked chicken- cut into chunks (can be shredded) {I picked up a roasted chicken from the grocery store, but I also had canned chicken on hand that was my back-up plan}
2 48-oz cans of chicken broth {you can use less chicken broth and add water, but the chicken broth adds more flavor}
Salt & pepper to tast

1. Put the chicken broth {and water, if using} in a large pot and add the squash and sweet potato cubes. Add the red pepper.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer until the veggies are cooked. {One of the squashes broke down a bit in the cooking, so it added a bit of thickness to the broth!}
3. Add the corn, black beans and chicken and cook until chicken is heated through.

I'm having it for dinner right now, and the red pepper isn't too strong. I have a feeling that it'll be a bit stronger when I have it for dinner tomorrow night! I plan to pack it up for freezing, and even if the squash breaks down a bit more when I thaw it out, I don't mind. Now, I only wish I had some nice chunky bread to eat with it!
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Upcycled Car Trash Bag with Lining- Made from a Bedhseet Storage Bag! w/Tute! on: September 30, 2014 07:29:57 PM
Last week, I was in a bad mood, so I decided to buy a new set of sheets, which, for some strange reason, always cheers me up!  Cheesy  The sheets came neatly folded inside a coordinating storage bag. Now, I don't know about you, but I have NEVER been able to fit the sheets back in the bag. But, I can't just throw them away...

Many of the bags are drawstring bags, but this particular bag had a flap with a Velcro closure, and since I was in desperate need of a car trash bag, I decided that the latest sheet bag was the perfect candidate.

Here's the finished bag:

It doesn't look too special, but I decided that I needed to add a liner to it:

And, in case you have a few empty sheet bags hanging around and want to make your own, here's how I did it!

Materials: Empty sheet bag (this was from a set of Queen-sized sheets), Clear vinyl, Coordinating double-fold bias tape, thread, plastic cable ties {Not shown: Clear packing tape, scissors, sewing machine}

1. Measure the bag to determine the size of the vinyl liner. In my case, the bag was 9 1/2 inches tall, 6 inches across, and 6 inches deep, and it was a boxy shape. To save myself from having to sew a seam at the bottom, I cut along the fold, which meant I needed a little math. I added half of the depth to the height of the bag, and added the depth to the width measurement, plus seam allowance for the side seam (I used 1/4" seams). So, my piece of vinyl was 12 1/2 inches wide and 25 inches long (12 1/2 inches folded). I realize that isn't the clearest explanation, so I can try to add a diagram with my measurements later.

2. Next, I cut notches out of the corners (3 inches up from the bottom fold and 3 1/4 inches from the side seam).

3. I folded the bias tape over the side seams and stitched them down along the edge of the bias tape (about 1/4" seam).

4. Next, I folded the bias tape over the top edge and stitched it down along the edge of the bias tape.

5. To make the box corners, I flattened the corners, bringing the edges together (I pretty much learned how to do this from the Jordy Bag tutorial).

6. Then, I folded the bias tape over the edges and stitched it down along the edge of the bias tape. I did this on both sides.

7. Here's the completed liner!

8. Next, I wanted to add a bit of support to the opening of the bag. You could probably skip this step because the liner gives the bag a decent shape, but if you don't use a liner, it'll help to keep the bag open so it's easier to put the trash into it. So, the first thing I did was to open up about an inch along the top edge seam. I opened it from the inside, along the back edge.

9. Then, I cut the cable ties to fit the measurements of each side (mine were each 6 inches long), and then I taped them together with clear packing tape, leaving a tiny gap between the ends of the ties so I could bend the form at the corners.

10. Thread the ties through the opening and wiggle it through so that the corners of the form match up with the corners of the bag. I didn't stitch the opening closed when I was finished in case I need to adjust the ties later.

11. Finally, I stitched a piece of bias tape onto the back side of the bag body (just below the top seam), and stitched the edges of the bias tape together (which I should have done first, but I didn't think about it in time).

10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / In Pursuit of Trivial Jewelry on: September 29, 2014 03:40:16 PM
Almost every Wednesday night, I get my geek on and play team trivia at a local restaurant. Since we haven't been doing so well lately, I decided that I needed a Trivial Pursuit necklace, to use as a trivia talisman, of sorts.

Here's how I made it:

Materials- Trivial Pursuit "Pie Pieces," accent beads, Sharpie, beading pliers, small drill bit (the one I used is 1/16"), bead findings (I used a head pin instead of the jump rings) and not shown, a drill, a clamp, clear packing tape, scrap of wood

1. Decide how you would like your pieces to be arranged. I found it handy to stick them to a piece of packing tape to keep them from shifting around.

2. Use the Sharpie to mark the locations of the drill holes {note: I didn't mark the top and bottom, but it might have helped to align the holes a bit better.}.

3. Before drilling, tape the sides of the pieces so they don't go flying across the room.

4. Carefully, drill through the pieces. It would be very wise to use a clamp to hold the pieces together while drilling {protect your fingers!} and to also use a piece of scrap wood under your work {protect your table!}. My drill bit wasn't long enough, so I needed to drill from each side.

5. Once the holes are drilled, thread the beads and pie pieces onto a head pin.

6. Using your beading pliers. make a loop at the top, and trim off any excess head pin. String onto a chain or string and wear with pride!

Note: The pieces have a tendency to flip around on the head pin, so if this annoys you as much as it annoys me, you may want to add a dab of jewelry glue (like E-6000) to secure them (and I'll do this as soon as I find where I stashed the tube of glue).

Now, I just need to see if it brings us any luck. If not, I might have to make some matching earrings to boost the mojo!
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