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101  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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102  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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103  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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104  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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105  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by Ratfinkz on: November 23, 2013 04:25:12 PM
Anuenue hasn't had many adventures since she arrived unfortunately as I have not been well. However she has been up to a few things and has reminded me this evening I need to upload some pics so her mummy can see she is safe and happy.

As well as being poorly I have been majorly crafting for the Christmas Stocking Swap. I needed a break from it - and decided to make something for me - which I VERY rarely do! Anuenue wanted to help me - and we made a necklace for her too:

One of the first weekends we arrived - we went to South Shields for the weekend - which was a LONG drive! Here she is looking out of the hotel window - although it was rather a boring view! I did not realise how filthy the windows were until I was sorting out this pic!

she wanted to post a picture of the finished necklace she helped make for me too - I think she's rather proud of it - she was certainly helpful in making it - kept passing me the right beads!

She is SO excited to spend Christmas in England - especially when I said we might get snow! She has been going on and on about how excited she is - so when I was taking photos of the ornaments I have received from the Christmas Sweat shoppe swap she dived right in - and made friends with a gingerbread man and an angel - the three of them were admiring the other crafts.
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106  Hama (uk equivalent to perler) keyring in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Ratfinkz on: November 02, 2013 04:32:31 AM
Just a fun little keyring I made as an extra for my partner in the make a bag swap.
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107  knitted / lined pouch in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Ratfinkz on: November 02, 2013 04:22:36 AM
This is a little pouch I made for my partner in the make a bag swap.

I then used the sewing machine to line it, I could have done it by hand but it is all practise on the machine.
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108  Dr Who iPad cover in Needlework: Completed Projects by Ratfinkz on: November 02, 2013 04:17:56 AM
I made this recently for my partner in the make a bag and fill it swap, I designed the picture for the tardis and as I was happily cross stitching away the idea for the iTardis slipped into my mind. Then I realised I could not sew it onto the case, so used superglue and then painted with acrylic paint over the top of the glue to make it look like it is bursting out of the night
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109  Project Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Ratfinkz on: November 02, 2013 03:56:59 AM
I recently took part in the make a bag and fill it swap. I am very new at using the sewing machine so was wanting to knit a bag, but I put that I can sew on my questionnaire thinking I could sew some of the fillers. However my partner said in her questionnaire that she wanted a sewn bag and when I pmed her to tell her I could sew a bag but it may not be great as I am new to sewing she was adamant that she wanted a sewn bag, and that she would love a project bag. She also loves vintage fabric, which is really not my style. I spent a day or two panicking and searching ebay for vintage fabric and a bag pattern and then decided I really needed to get on with it, so fabric and pattern  ordered I got on with it. I think I threw myself in the deep end. It took so much longer than I thought it would which may have something to do with the fact I undid every seam at least once and redid it! I am not normally proud of things I make, but I am proud of this!

It has millions of pockets (felt like it whilst sewing it anyhow!) The different fabric above the green ribbon going around is the top of three of 6 of the pockets, if you look closely you can see a joint about a third of the way down the side, that is a pocket on each side, and is matched by another one in the lining. Lastly the inside lining has one pocket on one side and two on the other.

A clearer shot of the outside

Showing a bit more of the inside and the inside pockets

A clearer shot of the inside

Hope the pics are ok, I have pinched them from my blogger and am on my kindle. If they need changing I will do so later from my pc =)

ETA: I am glad my partner wanted a sewn bag, it was fun (if frustrating at times) to make and I feel I have learnt so much and become better friends with my machine

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110  Re: Make a Purse & Fill It Round 7 Gallery!! in The Swap Gallery by Ratfinkz on: October 30, 2013 05:50:34 PM
Feeling guilty for only now uploading photo's of my beautiful bag from our wonderful organiser!! Also having seen the amazing bag felicitybaby made for Sevs - I have even MORE anxiety than I already did - and this bag was one of the FEW pieces of my own work I WAS proud of!!!! Hmmmm - just hope you like it when it arrives felicity - and apologies again for being so very very late sending!

Anyhow without further ado onto pictures of my fabulous package from Sevsonlygirl - thank you SO much!!!!

First of all everything - I got the bag (I can't tell you  how much I love this or how 'me' it is...but will say a bit more in a minute!) a wonderful paintbrush wrap - I'm wondering if I put on my questionnaire that I wanted one - I don't paint pictures but I paint things (clay, wooden boxes etc) and had been thinking for a couple of weeks I could do with a wrap to keep these in - and that is not a lie or an exageration! A lovely painted blue box with an amazing sewing tool collection in it! Having only recently started sewing this was PERFECT for me - especially the magnifying tweezers - I have NEVER seen anything like that before - but I am also learning to become more advanced in my jewellery/ beading work and have already put these to use both in finding loose threads on sewn objects - and picking up small beads from multiple designs! PERFECT Cheesy the kit also contained the most awesome travel sewing set I have ever seen - honestly there is nothing like that over here in England - I should have got a photo of that, but it was in my pile of things to go in my bag when I had taken photos - and got missed unfortunately! There was a book which I can not wait to read, it looks amazing - and lastly a purple plastic tube thing with a lid for me to store ejuice in. This sounds like I have made it up - but it is honestly true -a few days after getting the parcel I popped my ejuice in the tube and got in the car for a journey to visit my cousin, half way there I realised I needed to fill up my ecig - and got the tube out - the ejuice bottle (for the first time ever!!!) had leaked lots and there was a good few centimetres of juice in the bottom of the tube - how glad am I that I had it? Especially as before I'd just put the bottle loosely into my bag!!!!!

so - onto gushing about the bag - you have been warned lol!!!! I wanted a messenger style bag that had an over the body strap - as I come up in massive welts if I have pressure on something so over the body distributes the weight better (although I have already reacted to it - but that was cos I was carrying a bottle of water in it - lesson learnt!) so Sevs made a lovely long strap to it. I told her purple was my favourite colour and the colour I'd love a bag to be- but that was about it, so when I opened this bag I felt she had been spying on me. When I showed it to mum her reactions was "purple, stars, sparkly, it's very YOU isn't it!" and indeed - it is very very me! Thank you so much Sevsonlygirl - I LOVE it!!!!

here is a pic of the bag closed, and another of it open showing the matching but black lining! I SO want some of the purple fabric for myself to use! The closed picture is the best at showing the true colour of the bag

I didnt seem to get a pic of the paintbrush roll by itself for some reason - sorry about that it will be so useful though and of course - I love the fabric!!!

LAstly a pic of the lovely blue box that contained my sewing kit - and which will continue life as a sewing kit box!

and to finish - here's a photo of all three of my crafted items. B
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