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101  Cushions in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Ratfinkz on: January 10, 2014 12:28:38 PM
For my mum, my mother in law, my grandma, my grandma in law and one of my aunts I made Cushions as part of their Christmas present. Unfortunately I only have photos of my mums and my aunts as I forgot to get photos of the others!

My mums partner is a farmer and has fields of cows - my mum loves them so much she collects anything "cow" and I always try to give her something with cows for presents - so much so that last year I bought her a cow piggy bank...identical to one I had bought a few years ago - oops! This Christmas I bought her hugging cow salt and pepper pots - and made her a cow cushion - at least I was sure I hadn't already given her one of those!

and the back

and my aunt used to keep chickens (unbeknownst to me she moved them on at the beginning of December - but still likes 'chicken' things) so for her a chicken cushion:

and the back

I know they are fairly simple - but as I have only been sewing since Octoberish I was really pleased with how well they came out!

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102  Chrismas Stocking in Winter Holidays by Ratfinkz on: January 10, 2014 12:20:58 PM
Sorry this is so late!

Since October this year I've been making friends with my sewing machine - for my husbands stocking I decided to hand make him one rather than spending money on shop bought ones. I had very little time to do this - I think I knocked it up in about an hour - I made the pattern myself - and it is lined with interfacing. It is more square than I had wanted. I have more material to make him a better one for Christmas 2014 - but thought I would share this one anyway.

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103  My first soaps / candles in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Ratfinkz on: January 10, 2014 12:16:14 PM
So - for a few years now I have been wanting to get into soap / candle / toiletry making. I dabbled a couple of years ago with bath bombs and bath creamers but then stopped again - but always wanted to get further into it. Early December I took a trip to our local Hobbycraft (I say local - its about 40 minutes away!) and they had both candle making kits and soap making kits on offer - so I bought one of each. A few days later I bought some essential oils and scoured our cupboards for things I could put in - then I got busy!

Although I am only playing with melt and pour for now - I hope one day to get into the CP / HP side of things.

With my kits and extras I made soap and candle sets for all my aunts!

I made a Christmas soap - into which I put crushed and a couple of whole cloves, cinnamon essential oil and some orange essential oil - they look a bit like crumpets!!

The candles had exactly the same scent

and lastly I made lavender soap - I put in a LOT of dried lavender as I wanted it to work as an exfoliater - but with hind sight I think I put a bit TOO much in! (although as a complete lavender lover I'm not sure there really is such a thing as too much lavender)

After making all of those I had none of my kit stuff left - so had a good read  online over Christmas - and have treated myself to lots of soap / candle making equipment with the plan of getting into it 'seriously'

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104  Re: Christmas Stocking Swap Round 9 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Ratfinkz on: January 10, 2014 11:42:20 AM
Don't worry about delay in posting - as I said, Life happens!!! *hugs*

Here is the sack I made for Helene - I am sorry again I got the name wrong -  so stupid of me - but glad it was easily fixable!!

a close up of the embroidery - the snow is made from tiny silver coloured beads / spacers

The top -

the sack initially was a skirt - with the black fabric as the lining and the black / white polka dots the outer layer. The lace was a table cloth I bought - I cut the middle out and used it on the university box - and sewed the outside to the top of the sack.

The uni box:
inside it was a notebook, a diary, pens, a different notebook and this owl pencil holder - oh and chocolate!

The owl was a wooden one found in a charity shop - I drilled a pen size hole in his head and then painted him black and white / silver.

The gold glittery baubles:

made from air drying clay I had in my stash - painted with a metallic gold and then covered in gold glitter glue.

I made these coasters from hama beads (same as perler) but over melted them as I preferred the affect - then glued felt onto the bottom of them.

She requested I make her some food pouches lined with denim - so I made these from material I found in a charity shop and an old pair of my jeans

I think that was about all!

The snowman did have a carrot nose when he left here - that seems to have come off during his journey - sorry!

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105  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 33 (signup by Jan 20, Send by Feb 17) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Ratfinkz on: January 07, 2014 03:35:24 PM
Sorry it was not letting me upload my second picture earlier! This is the other colour I have done although my wonderful husband has just found the purple skull I had lost so if everyo preferw the rainbow one I can redo Smiley
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106  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 33 (signup by Jan 20, Send by Feb 17) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Ratfinkz on: January 07, 2014 01:58:06 PM
I have decided to offer 6 soap sets and three skull bracelets. There are two rainbow bracelets and one pink orange yellow and red one.

The skulls are died turquoise and the rest of the beads are plastic.

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107  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 33 (signup by Jan 20, Send by Feb 17) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Ratfinkz on: January 04, 2014 04:12:48 PM
I have done a very rough draft of what I will be making if people are interested and have taken crappy photos on my kindle as my camera is currently 200 miles away at my mum's house--oops!!!

It is a flannel / face cloth (can also be used as a dish cloth) from a material I bought over New Year. It will be machine sewn and a lot more of a square than the one I have just hand sewn in bed! I did the stripes in different directions deliberately, though do people think it will be better with them in the same direction? I will also be including two mini soaps, a star and a heart (melt and pour) but do not have the supplies yet so can not show those.

What do people think??
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108  Re: Christmas Stocking Swap Round 9 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Ratfinkz on: December 03, 2013 03:45:30 PM
OK - prepare to be jealous! I think I got the best partner in the whole swap, receiving my parcel didn't feel like receiving a swap package - it felt like receiving a parcel from a friend - it is SO clear everything was made with love! This post will be very pic heavy.

P_E_S_T told me she was having a 'crafted or second hand' Christmas - and asked if I was ok with her fitting me in with that- well I was most definitely happy to do so - apart from anything shopping the charity shops for crafting materials was awesome fun! Secondly, I received some amazing presents - and none of them had a negative impact on the environment - perfect!!

I apologise for the many photos - but so many items can not be shown properly in just one photo!

Opening the package felt like a present in itself - everything was wrapped so beautifully. There was a layer consisting of the stocking, a card and some tissue paper which looked pretty enough by itself....

but when I lifted the tissue up - wow, just wow! I will let you see for yourself - but the photo does not show all of the parcels or beautiful paper unfortunately!

even the card is beautiful enough to deserve a close up photo of its very own!

The first thing I allowed myself to open was a very pretty purple box - there were two knitted hanging things knitted from a sari - (WOW!) that I can hang in a room or in my cupboard and put some of the included scent on in order to make the room / cupboard smell nice! I love these - and the scent is amazing - will definitety be putting one in my cupboard!

Whilst stalking my partner I realised she was an AMAZING needle felter! This is a craft I am enjoying learning - so asked her if she could send any tips etc to help me - well she sent me this AMAZING Travelling felting kit. It wraps up like a needle or paintbrush roll but has a lot more compartments inside. Each of these contained fleece with one reserved for needles and one for a needle holder. Even more amazing the fleece was some she had made herself. She gets fleece from a friend who lives in a windmill (jealous much) and keeps two sheep - and then turns it into this beautiful batting for felting with

outside and inside - and below is a shot of all the beautiful colours she sent!

Then came a roll of reusable kitchen towel - which I have wanted for a long, long time! The towels have such lovely fabric on the back - cant wait to use these!

and the lovely fabrics she used on the backs
As if all that is not enough there is a LOT more to come! Firstly a 'memory book' which took my breath away! It has a page for every month of the year - on the front of the page is an envelope for putting a 'memory' in each month - photo, ticket, poem etc etc etc and on the back of every page is a little crafty object for me to open each month and make something using it - such a clever idea - and so very beautifully decorated (she found out I loved magical folk from my pinterest)

Then - and now you get to see what I mean when I say she is an amazing needle felter, I received a beautiful, beautiful felted tealight holder. Again when I was stalking her I saw and immediately pinned another one she had made - not because I thought she was my partner so I ought to pin something she made - but because I genuinely loved it - well, I now have my very own and mine is even prettier!!!

And then, oh and then, something which not only took my breath away but actually made me cry - I LOVE dragons and have quite a few on my pinterest - were this one not made for me it would have been at the top of my pin board - I do not think even somebody who knew me could make anything so perfectly 'me' let alone someone I've only been talking to for a few months - meet Samphire:

As well as all that hand crafted wonderfulness she sent me a good collection of 'bought' items - starting with this little mouse / rat (I am a rat keeper and collect model / toy rats / mice.

A huge selection of cross stitch kits, two christmas trees, and some rat nail decals  - one of the cross stitches dates from 1993 - WOW!!!! I will have such fun with these!

and a ready done cross stitch saying I <3 Christmas

I also had an incense stick holder and some insence sticks - but I forgot to take a pic of those! And lastly, as if all that is not enough - she sent a jar of honey from her own bees, and some home made christmas chutney for my husband - I have not taken photos of these as he promptly put them away in the cupboard - but he is very pleased and has asked me to say thank you very much - he is looking forward to tasting them! (he is a proper 'foodie')

I hope I have remembered everything - please poke me if I have forgotten anything!!! And again - thank you so MUCH, not only have I had enormous fun crafting for you - but I so love everything you have sent for me! I need someone like you in my life to help me achieve my aim of living a greener life - so dont think you're getting away too easily now! Wink XXX
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109  Purpleicious necklace in Beads: Completed Projects by Ratfinkz on: November 23, 2013 05:22:34 PM
Hello - I am very new to jewellry making (Well anything that takes skill - have made lots of 'strings of big bead' necklaces - but am beginning to get into it and really enjoy it. During a break from crafting for a swap I decided to make myself a necklace in order to practise some skills - I know this is still rather basic - but I am pleased with it and thought I would share - if you have any advice please feel free to comment - I though I had got the three strands tangled at the top - as they are in the picture but have just picked it up again and they are not tangled - phew!
 - but luckily that doesnt seem to show too much when I am wearing it. Also there is one section of sead beads with only about 7 beads - goodness only knows how I managed that (most of them have 20) and lastly the wire seems kinked on the bottom of the third strand - and I can not work out why - I have tried pulling it with pliers but that does not seem to have done much!
(Forgive the background I was photographing my christmas ornaments from the Sweat shoppe.

There are over 700 seed beads on it - each threaded by hand (that is probably not many for regular beaders - but sure felt a lot to me!)

Due to  not leaving the end of the first strand long enough to fit the catch I had planned for, I had to take some beads off and make it smaller - but that made it too short - to conquer that I have added three big jump rings to each side - regardless to that though I am quite pleased with the way I have done the clasp. (the three strands are all one continuous wire.

and a last shot of it hanging...
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110  Re: Sweat Shoppe Ornament Swap Round 4 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Ratfinkz on: November 23, 2013 04:39:37 PM
I have received seven of my ornaments - so thought it was about time I started to add pictures!

Thanks to our wonderful organiser I received a beautiful snow snowglobe - and I must say I just love it!

A beautiful PURPLE (YAY!) traditional felt ornament from Avesthal - it is so beautiful and definitely my colours!

From Bec99 the cutest Gingerbread man - who looks so happy and will definitely enhance our christmas tree!:

From ISewCute a beautiful ornament - a beaded bell! As someone just beginning to venture into the world of beading - I can't work out how this has been done, but hopefully I will be able to make similar one day!

More purple (YAY!) in my beautiful crochet stars from goldfishpollywog - thank you - I LOVE them!

A wonderful Angel from koalascout. I am an athiest - but LOVE the idea of angel and anything 'angel' for ornaments etc - so I love this too!

I received a melted snowman from JillHogan which was the one my husband had fallen for - so it was got for him mainly (though I loved it too!) he arranged all the bits in it then brought it to me to be photographed - on the way to me he dropped it and it smashed into many little pieces - I am so gutted Sad so sorry, I have no picture of it!

I am just waiting for one more ornament now thanks everybody our tree will be awesome this year!
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