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61  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / knitted / lined pouch 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.
62  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Dr Who iPad cover 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
63  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Project Bag 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

64  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Cross stitch pattern maker - online / comp on: October 16, 2013 01:46:03 PM
I hope this hasn't been posted - I wasn't quite sure what to search for - so forgive me if it's been posted before.

I have just completed a cross stitch which I kind of designed as I went along. I would now like to write the pattern up - in case I ever want to make it again - BUT i am useless at filling in the tiny squares in English graph paper - there's about 10 to an inch! And I know if I do it that way it will not be legible to me when I want to use it! To that end I was hoping to find somewhere online which would let me fill it in instead of just converting a picture? Is there anywhere? Does anyone know of any other ways to do this?

65  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Teach me a new craft. on: October 08, 2013 05:30:25 PM
Would anybody be interested in this swap. I was thinking it could go over three rounds. First round you would send your partner a kit to learn a craft you are competent in. This would be a couple of weeks after sign ups close as you would not need to craft anything. Second round you play with your new kit and send your partner 2 small crafts you have made from the kit. Third and final round your partner sends you a note containing some creative criticism on the good parts of what you have made, and some things that could be improved on. They also send you an "extras kit" to help you improve on what you made OR just more advanced equipment to help you move forward and lastly a medium or big item made from the craft they have been teaching you so you have something to refer to, help you have ideas of what to do.

Any interest let me know. I am thinking that as it is so involved it may make a good project for the beginning of 2014 and could even tie in with new years resolution if one of yours is to learn a new craft.
66  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 91 ENTRIES / Sewing Kit - Pic (and text) heavy! on: October 07, 2013 02:48:38 PM
I am currently in the process of making friends with my sewing machine. My husbands Grandma gave it to me about 5 years ago - I tried for a few days but couldn't get to grips with it. At the beginning of last year I saw a sewing course advertised - so I thought I would go along. I really enjoyed the course - it was 3 lessons of two hour course. I thought I'd continue using it, so it sat in the corner of the living room staring at me, but I got nervous to use it without someone telling me what to do - and of course, the more I put it off - the more scared I got - so it sat forlorn and unloved behind the livingroom door. In August I joined the rodent revolution swap - and decided to get over my fears and have a go on it! I didn't do very well - but as I'd broken the cycle - decided to keep on playing and try to make friends. I've never been good at sewing - at school when we did sewing I was the girl sat in the corner trying for the entire lesson to thread the darn needle! Still - I can be pretty determined when I need to be - and when I saw this challenge I decided it was the perfect opportunity to learn. I didnt have a pin cushion - and have been saying for ages I need one (I did some hand sewing before) so that inspired my choice of what to make - a single pin cushion wouldn't take up a pillow case - so I decided to make a whole hand sewing kit. Anyway - onto the pics I hope you enjoy! Smiley

Firstly - I started with these rather boring pillowcase - I have uploaded a pic of both as they came together - but have actually only used one.

 I decided I had to pretty it up - and decided to do some tie dye - I've been wanting to try some for years. I looked online for patterns and really liked the look of lots of small circles. To get it you have to tie buttons, or some people use grains of rice - all over your fabric - I used string to do so! I DO like the look of it - BUT tying so many buttons on took FOREVER!!!! And all the time I was aware that as my first time tie dying something might go wrong....undoing all of them using a seam ripper took an entire day - tying them on took about 4 days I think (of about 6 hours each day!).

I wanted two contrasting colours and patterns - so decided one would be just straight lines - Purple is my favourite colour and I thought blue would go well with it. This was the scariest stage - the dye was on - and I was petrified that taking the buttons off I would find out it hadn't worked - but I had to leave it to dry overnight rather than taking them off there and then to check!

Yay both methods came out well!

This is the entire set - it consists of a zippered pouch, scissor holder, pin cushion and a needle book.

I started following McCalls pattern M6256, but then went off in a tangent to get the intesting shape rather than it just being a rectangle, I'm quite pleased with how the zipper turned out on this - as it was my first time ever of attaching a zipper to anything.

The lining of the bag

Needle book which includes room for needles, safety pins, and I put a couple of safety pins in to hold some thread. This was my own pattern. The inner pages have both interfacing to keep them sturdy and felt inside them - the idea of the felt was to stop needles showing on the back of the page - and am glad to say it works nicely Smiley

The pin cushion was also my own pattern. I wanted it to be deep so I could push pins right the way in so they dont get knocked out while they are in the bag -but the bottoms do not poke out of the bottom so therefore I'm not going to prick myself if I put my hand in to get something out.

Lastly is the scissor case - this was from the same pattern as the bag - but this time I followed all of the pattern:

And finally a shot of the whole kit again on the other pillow from the pair as a "this to that" picture!

Anyway - I hope you like! One day I will enter a challenge without writing an essay alongside it! Sorry!!!!
67  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 90 ENTRIES / Fairy House and a Sob Story! on: September 07, 2013 07:35:29 AM
As I was walking in my Garden this morning - I discovered a fairy house. It was hidden under a hedge - she had taken so much effort in making it - I decided I just HAD to share it here - after all, beauty should be shared yes?

I do think the fairy has been ingenious - she made the chimney out of twigs found under the hedge - although as they were so tiny they didnt stand up too well - there is still a hole in the middle for the smoke to come out of - so it does work. The door to her house she has made from a leaf, and the handle is a slice of an acorn. She has also enchanted a mouse and a hedgehog to make them shrink so she can have some pets for company - fairies are very rare in this part of the world.

A couple of detail shots (which show up all the bits I got paint where I didnt want paint - my only excuse is it is SO tiny, still kind of gutted by them - with how many times I tried to sort it all - and how many hours I spent on it!!!!! Am actually really disappointed having seen the close up pics there is more paint in places it shouldn't be than I had noticed - and the varnish has blurred some of the detail!

The green on the side of the stem of the toadstool was put on deliberately - to look like grass.

The pond is made from tiny beads, then painted blue, and varnished with glitter varnish.  The pebbles are from our garden, everything else is painted Daz.

And the promised sob story! I have always wanted a fairy house - so when I saw this challenge I thought it was the perfect time to make one. I have never been good with polymer clay - and certainly not painting tiny things - also our oven isnt working so I can't bake anything. So - with all this in mind, I went to my local craft store - and bought some coloured airdry clay. I then spent about 6 hours trying to make a tiny house with all the tiny elements - because things were so tiny - the clay kept drying as I was making things - which was a nightmare. Anyhow - I finally got it how I loved it - and left it overnight to dry - the next day it had dried - but as it had dried - the colours had gone really dull - so I decided I WOULD have to paint it anyway - 2 days and about 12 hours later - I was satisfied with it. I put it to the side of the table to dry - and tidied up my craft space - which was full of sewijng, fabric, clay, etc etc etc after I'd cleared up - it was time to varnish it. But wait - where had it gone? Well - it was lying outside in bits...my naughty Springer Spaniel had stolen it and decided to play with it - it is the first time she'd EVER stolen an ornament - it's normally stuffed toys or socks! Well - I sulked for about 5 minutes and then thought - Gah I better try again! ( I REALLY wanted a fairy house!) The night before I had bought some Daz (which is airdry clay but uncoloured) to make something for a swap I am involved in. So - as I would have to colour it whichever clay I used - I decided to use the Daz and then paint it. Luckily it was quicker to make this time as I knew what techniques I needed to use. again I left it over night to dry - and then took another 2 days and 12+ hours to paint - I kept getting colours in the wrong place - eg while painting the spots - I would get a bit of white on the red roof - while sorting that out - I would get red on a spot - and on aond on and on - eventually I just had to accept that it would not be completely perfect - I'm away for the weekend - and wanted to post it before I went - last night I was still putting varnish on at midnight!!!!  They say everything happens for a reason - and I reckon they are right in this case - I am much happier with the second house than I was the first!

Anyway - think I've chatted long enough - so will leave this with one last comment - which is that I had made my first a long time before the fairy house on here already was posted - and the second was made - just not coloured and was almost an exact clone of the first - so despite there being some similarities (Roses, toadstool etc) I honestly did not see that until mine had been done.

two final photos; one to show you the size (although you'll have to forgive the mess of my craft mat!) and a shot of the initial one before it got destroyed - and I'm off out the door to go help at a dog show for the weekend!

(I prefer the chimney on this one - but that is all - the white spots of the toadstool are made from the top of pins - and the stones, as in the second one - are from our garden)
68  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Stripey Sock Monsters - Hand Sewn - pic heavy on: August 12, 2013 06:27:06 PM
Hello! What does Craftster mean to me? It means a LOT of things - which I have tried to represent in this challenge.

Firstly and mainly Craftster means learning and improving skills and techniques, challenge yourself to get ever better, looking at a project and thinking 'I've never done this - but I'll darn well give it a go!" or if starting from scratch to think 'that's something i've always wanted to do - so I'll jolly well do it"

With that in mind on my recent honey moon (beginning of July) I saw a kit for a sock monkey, and having wanted to learn how to make one for ages - I decided to give it a go. This was the result

Having made him I wasn't at all happy with him - I'd followed the instructions completely - but along the way found things I personally would do differently.

A large part of Craftster for me is also swaps - the majority of my posts will be found there - I love crafting for others and making new friends. Because I knew I could improve on the first monkey - and learn as I went on, but knowing I would not perservere in making them unless there was a purpose to them - I decided to join up to the Sweat Shoppe Swap and make a further six to send out - of course I'd do them as best as I could - and hopefully they would be liked by their recipients - but I also would gain a massive amount from it - by having time to perfect them!

So - here is the first I did with my own pattern - he is a lot bigger than my kit one and whilst I was pleased with him - I saw many improvements that could be made for my next one - the main part I did not like were his ears, or how scruffy it looked where he'd been sewn together - also his tail was not great, I liked it being thinner than the original - but I went TOO thin! and then there is the one leg being longer than the other......

Monkey number three had improvements on his ears and tail - but I couldnt work out what to do to make the sewing on of the piece neater (his ears look much closer to being the same size IRL!) I still wasn't 100% happy with the ears - but the good news is that whilst I was sewing him - I had a brainwave - why not make a hem on the parts of his limbs that will attach to his body - that way the will not be all the straggly ends where i'd cut the sock - I have no idea why I didn't think of it sooner! DUH! BUT his legs are at least the same size!!!

Finally monkey number four was sewn today - with the limbs hemmed as worked out last night - and he is definitely my best by far - he is the main 'entry' to the competition as he is a culmination of what I said earlier I liked about Craftster, challenge, learning, and improving - I much prefer the neatness of his limbs, his ears were done in a totally different way - I used different buttons for his eyes! I know I need to do his mouth again - but it was 12:30am my partner has to be up at 4:30 and was waiting up with me - so I was kind of hurried - I doubt I'll be able to get them up tomorrow hence doing it now (where it is now 2am - am posting in the dark sat in bed with my OH snoring!)

hmm sorry about weird colour - the others show much better colour!

his eyes are the same colours - stupid flash - this shows that a bit better

Another part of Craftster to me is the internationality (is that a word - it is now!) with so much war, hate and prejudice in the world it is amazing to find a corner where there is none - everybody is treated differently - no matter where they live or where they come from! There's not many places like that anymore Sad With that in mind I decided to make all my monkeys different - both in colour and in features - they are all individuals just like we all are - but they are friends with each other and accept each other for who they are - as this picture shows:

So yes - I think that about sums up what Craftster means to me!


(I do have some work in progress shots - but I think this is image heavy enough! I might make a tutorial at some stage if anyone is interested)
69  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Out of the darkness on: August 12, 2013 05:13:54 PM
I hope I am posting this in the right category - (and that photography counts in the challenge!)

One of the things craftster means to me is looking at a blank canvas (normally fabric, or a ball of wool -not literally canvas I can't paint ' draw at all and envy those of you who can!) and coming up with something beautiful. On a more personal note - I've been using this site for a good few years now - and during that time have been recovering from depression, a big way I cope when I am at my lowest is by crafting - it gives me a bit of self esteem and something to concentrate on. Also this is always a place that can 'pick me up' and make me smile no matter how dark life seems.

I took this photo at the Eden Project in Cornwall (on my honey moon at the beginning of July), and when I saw this challenge and was thinking about what Craftster meant to me - I decided I wanted to emphasize joy and beauty coming from nothing - so had a good play with it in Photoshop - anyhow I hope you like

70  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / The saga of the Seven Stripey Sock Monkeys! on: August 03, 2013 06:14:39 PM
Ok so as the title suggests I am in the middle of making  seven stripey sock monkeys, having never made one in my life before.  

The first one was done using a pattern that came in a kit with a pair of socks, some stuffing some thread a needle and two eyes. Although I am unhappy with him I have put 3-6 up for swap on the sweat shoppe swap as while I was making him I saw lots that could be improved and how to do so. Anyway this is Marvin. I plan to put all seven in here and you can all see how I progress.
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