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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Shrink Plastic Blue Bird Earrings on: April 17, 2014 06:41:08 PM
I've been playing around with some printable Shrinky Dinks lately. I made these blue bird earrings that I love.


Craftster, I must share the place where I got the source image.  If you haven't heard of DoverPictura yet, be prepared to be addicted.  This site is eye candy for image addicts.  They have tonnes and tonnes of image collections that are royalty free, and you can download high-resolution image sheets for $0.99 each. So you pay for use of the image one time, then you can craft, craft away! (I sound like a commercial for this site LOL! I assure you, I'm not affiliated, just a huge fan.  Grin)  Anyhow, if you're into paper crafts, graphic design, shrinky dinks, etc., and you want to be sure you are using images that you have permissions for, hop over here:
http://doverpictura.com/

I got the blue bird image from here: http://doverpictura.com/collection/0486998541
I ordered image sheet 26 of this collection, which had my bird image and others for just 99-cents y'all!



I played around with some picture editing software and came out with this:


I took this image and a mirror image copy (I wanted the birds to face different directions in my right and left ears), imported them in MS Word to size them and lay them out properly (as well as to 'wash-out' the images as per the package directions).

Print, cut, shrink, then I used Gorilla Crazy glue to sick them onto posts.


They're so tiny and detailed - I love them.

2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Kid's Bunny Travel Pillow / Neck Pillow on: March 08, 2014 07:18:04 AM


I've got a long, loooong airplane ride with my two and three year old daughters coming up.  I've been brainstorming ways to make their trips (and thereby the trips of the people around them) more comfortable. I found this free pattern (http://hiraganamama.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/travel-pillows-for-children/) for a plain children's travel pillow. Using this basic pattern, I added my own elements to turn it to an adorable sleepy bunny with a super-practical handle. I've included a tutorial of what I did, but I'd recommend you read through Hiragana Mama's tutorial at the link above before starting the steps that follow.

Supplies
- fabric for the pillow body
(I used some chenille I had in my stash. Polar fleece, flannel or an old sweatshirt would be awesome too.)
- craft felt in various colours
- thread
- ribbon
- stuffing / fiberfill

1. Print out the pillow pattern and my additional pieces. Cut out all the pieces. My pattern pieces require no additional seam allowance. (If you have difficulties printing out the file from Craftster, pop over to my blog http://artisan82.weebly.com/1/post/2014/03/tutorial-kids-travel-pillow-neck-pillow.html and grab it there.)




2. Stitch the ears together with 1/4" seam allowance leaving the bottoms open.  Turn the ears right-side-out.  Stitch the eyes, nose, and mouth pieces onto the face. (Tip: use fabric glue or a gluestick to hold the pieces in place while you sew.)


3. 3. Stitch the face onto the good side of the pillow top (fancy quilting folks would call this an appliqué.)  Be sure to catch the ears in the top seam of the face as shown.  Appliqué the tail onto the pillow top.


4. Transfer the face details onto the face piece with a pencil or dressmaker's chalk.  Embroider them on in a contrasting thread.
             Sidebar:  You could definitely embroider the details on the face by hand.  Lazy person that I am, I used my sewing machine. I set my machine to a medium stitch width and a stitch length just below 1, as pictured.



5.  Cut about 15 cm (6") of ribbon to make a handle.  Pin as indicated.  Sew around the outside edge of the pillow, leaving a space between the ribbon ends to turn and stuff.  (Tip: make sure you don't catch a bunny ear in the seams.)


6. Clip your curves, trim your seams, and turn that bunny right-side-out.  Stuff it and hand-sew the opening closed with a blind stitch. (Tip: If your pillow looks lumpy, try throwing your pillow in the dryer for a bit to pouf up the stuffing.)


... and that completes the pillow.  Here's hoping that this bunny will bring comfort to my daughter during our travels. ;-)
3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer Clay Earrings with Hand Made Molds on: January 23, 2014 06:43:18 PM
Since about July, I've been OBSESSED with making little polymer clay animal head earrings and pins.  I love them.  My first love is definitely sculpting, and each earring is like a mini sculpture. To easily replicate them, I've been making push molds.   It's so fun. I'm on my third box of Easy Mold Silicon Putty: https://www.currys.com/catalogpc.htm?Category=EASY_MOLD_PUTTY&NBReset=3  This stuff is awesome. Non toxic, flexible, just a wee bit expensive.  Anyhow, I took progress photos the last time I did a new design.  I live in a place called Buckhorn, so of course I HAD to make a buck pin.

First I started with a little toy fawn. I picked this up at my local TSC store (unless you're a Canadian living in a rural area, you've probably never heard of TSC stores... so this info might not be helpful...)


I used the silicon putty to make a mold of the toy's head.


I pushed polymer clay into the mold to make a casting that I could work from.


For my buck, I thought the ears were too big and I wanted a different neck, so I chopped these parts off of my casting.


I sculpted new ears, a buck's antlers, and a nice symmetrical neck for my pin.


I made a new mold of the altered piece. Oh la la!


Here's a casting of the final mold.  I've trimmed off the excess clay.  Loving how it looks at this stage.


Paint.  The painting of this guy was a labour of love.  I reference some online photos of bucks so that I could get it as true-to-life as possible.


The last step was to glue on a clutch back pin blank.  I used Gorilla super-glue.  It's amazing stuff - and great value compared to other super glues.


This is the finished dude!  I'm so proud of him, I think he's such a handsome little dude.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Luxe Knock off - Beaded Wrap Bracelet on: December 01, 2013 06:27:54 PM
I'm not sure that this is a common problem, but I have someone with very expensive tastes on my gift list. It can be difficult to buy gifts for my youngest sister because she tends to like items that are often out of my price range. One way that I can get her something I know she'll love, while keeping it affordable for myself, is to find something in style and on trend, and do my best to duplicate it by hand.

This year she made it easy on me, as she pinned these designer beaded wrap bracelets from here: http://www.chanluu.com/womens-jewelry/wrap-bracelets/



My supplies: I knew by looking at the specs of the expensive version that the finished bracelet was about 80 cm (34 inches long).  Using my awesome math skills, I knew I'd need about 80 cm (34 inches) worth of beads and 1.6 m of leather.  Nice that they print the length of the bead strand is right there on the label... makes it pretty darn simple.



The tutorial I referenced was here: http://www.craftsunleashed.com/jewelry-main/beaded-wrap-diy-bracelet/

I did a couple thing different from the tutorial.  Since this was a gift, I made two knots at the end so that the size can be adjusted a bit.



I also found that my beads were sliding around a bit much, so I went back and stitched my beads twice.  That is, when I finished beading the whole length, I went back and stitched the whole thing in reverse.  So I worked right to left the first time down, then left to right back up through the strung beads.  This secured everything really nicely. And I like how the mirrored stitching looks.


Ta da! Here's my finished bracelet. (Yeah, I did a photo shoot.  Tongue ) I know its not exactly like the inspiration bracelets, but I think it turned out pretty nice - and more importantly, I think my little sis will love it! 




Anybody else DIYing knock-offs for gifts?
5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Fuzzy Monster Wreath - Pic Chubby on: November 05, 2013 09:36:52 AM
This is my version of the fuzzy monster wreath.  There's several tutorials out there already, but I did take progress pics... so I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.  Wink  But if anybody has any questions on this version, I'd be happy to answer!























6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Faux Fur Monster Stuffie - Link to Tutorial & Pattern on: November 05, 2013 07:57:05 AM
I had some extra fun fur leftover from making a furry monster Halloween wreath, so I decided to make a couple of small furry monsters.  These will be Christmas gifts, if I can convince myself to give them away.  I love them... alas, I think I'm too old to cuddle an adorable green monster. *sigh.



Some progress pics






I did a full step-by-step tutorial (and posted the pattern) on my blog... sorry for the external link, but its just easier than re-posting everything here with my super-slow country internet connection. http://www.artisan82.blogspot.ca/2013/11/tutorial-cute-and-cuddly-monster-plush.html





All in all, I love how they turned out.  I love to squish 'em!
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Grown-up Gimp Bracelets on: September 06, 2013 09:33:22 AM
In my childhood, this plastic lacing stuff was called gimp.
The recent discovery of some bargain glow-in-the dark gimp in the attic of a place called "The Fun Store" has started an obsession with the stuff.  (Not to mention you can snag a box of the stuff at the dollar store.)  For my "grown-up" bracelets I used some E 6000 to secure the ends and wove in some large jump rings. The skulls are a Halloween section dollar store find (glow-in-the-dark!) that I "antiqued" with some blue acrylic paint (paint into the crevices, then wipe off with paper towel.)

I re-learned all the stitches with a help from this website.  Great resource.
http://www.boondoggleman.com/

The pink skully one is my fav, but I'm going to wear the whole collection to a glow-in-the-dark themed 5K run I'm doing tonight.  Grin
8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / 11 Progress Shots of Barrred Owl Painting on: June 24, 2013 05:42:42 PM
My hubby thought I should take pics of one of my paintings at each step to document the process.  I thought it was  kind of a neat idea, so I forced myself to let paint dry (urgh) and scan my work at intervals through completion of my recent painting of a barred owl. The background is done with a wax-resist technique. I alternated layers of wax and paint (acrylic) until I got the final background colour, then scraped up all the wax.  I then painted the tree and owl on top of the background.  Here it is in 11 pics.



A low res scan (sorry  Embarrassed) of the finished painting:


Bigger pics and more (long-winded ?!?  Undecided) verbage here: http://artisan82.blogspot.ca/2013/06/bragity-brag-brag-owl-alighting-one.html
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / fish, butterfly, and spiderweb jewlery on: June 02, 2013 02:55:22 PM
I've always made jewelry for myself, but recently I wanted to make a jewelry collection with some meaning behind it.  Since I live in the woods on a small lake, I tried to draw inspiration from the wilderness around me.  I painted the inspiration for the jewelry on the box.

Canadian Swallowtail Butterfly - Earring/ Necklace


Yellow Perch - Bracelets


Spiderweb/ Dreamcatcher -  Necklace


What do you think?  Some feedback I had about the Perch set was that "Girls don't like fish".  Do you think I'm going to be the only person who likes these? or would people like these as gifts?
10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Stag, Mallard, Bass - mixed media paintings (wax acrylic) on: May 28, 2013 07:08:07 PM
I don't think I've ever posted on this board before.  I 've been doing way more craft than art in recent years, but I finished these pieces recently and I'm super excited how they turned out. Also, I posted them on my personal Facebook page and got some great feedback.  I think it's totally amazing that somebody else felt a connection with my work. So exciting! So encouraging!

Anyhow, here they are.  They were designed as a trio.  The backgrounds are abstractions done with alternating layers of paint and painted on wax.  When I'm done, I scrape up all the wax to reveal the trees/bubbles/rain where the different layers of paint were resisted by the wax.  The animal is painted in artist-quality acrylics on top. (I've been painting for years and never really invested in good quality acrylics until recently. Let me tell you, better paint made SUCH a difference.)

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