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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / My Sister's Spring Cherry Blossom Wedding - Origami & Other Craftiness on: May 03, 2010 05:09:17 PM
I haven't posted in a long time, but I wanted to share some photos of the craftiness from my sister Veronica's wedding (she's veevaa04 on here, but I think she only really uses it to espy all the crafty goodness, rather than post herself...). She was married in mid-March and, as a crafter-extraordinaire, put a DIY spin on much of her wedding. My big contribution was to make the centerpieces which included almost 1000 origami blossoms. All of my friends pitched in and all of her friends helped to make the invitations, so it really was a team effort! Either she or I can answer any questions you might have about the process or materials involved!

Now, on to the photos!

The invitations:


The memorial piece for our grandparents who have passed on. My other sister, Danielle, helped me with these:


The adorable clutches that she made for the bridesmaids:


The table cards with some of the origami blossoms:


The place cards with more origami! My mom did all of the calligraphy and my last sister, Sarah, made the actual place cards. Craftiness runs in the family Smiley


A shot of one of the centerpieces:


Another centerpiece:


Artsy photos of the rings with the centerpiece I made for their sweetheart table:


Hope you enjoyed and thanks for looking!

P.S. The fabulous photographer was Jen Harris: http://www.jenharris.net/

2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / making origami durable - question on: November 20, 2008 12:01:56 PM
hello craftster friends.

i have been trying for years to figure out a way to make origami pieces durable. basically, how to make them hard. for jewelery, decorative pieces for the home or ornaments.

when i went to the craft store, they suggested this:


i did three coats over three days and still the pieces (in this case cranes) were bendable and, on top of that, had a frosty look to them.

i saw cranes made out of polymer clay, but that's totally not my medium...

i have also tried mod podge which just gave it a varnish, not any hard coating.

so, what else is there? something like shellac? seems to me there must be something, right? any suggestions would be awesome. i have such great ideas for my pieces, but no way to actualize them yet.

thank you so much!

mary.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / i am ambivalent about the corset thing on: October 23, 2008 03:59:05 PM
am⋅biv⋅a⋅lence [am-biv-uh-luhns] –noun
1.    uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by the inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

i'm totally ambivalent about the corset movement. i mean, 85 pages of corset questions and answers and growing!

so here's the thing. one side of me says that it's great, people are crafting, it doesn't really matter what they're making, they make a woman's body look hot, they're sexy, as lingerie, they totally turn me on (i'm queer, by the way) and i kinda want to make one.

but then the feminist in me starts ranting about what would women from the 19th century and before say? women who were forced to look a certain way and made to wear dangerously tight corsets. women who were diagnosed as "hysterical" because they fainted when wearing them. and why do i think that the look a corset creates (slimmed down waist, ba-bam bust and hips) is so sexy? is it fundamentally sexy or is it because fashion magazines and the media make me think it is?

obviously, i hope you realize i'm not making judgments, just trying to understand my own feelings. and i hadn't seen any sort of debate about this, so i want to know what everyone else thinks.

[moderator: if my post should be moved to the corset post, feel free to move it. i just figured it was a different topic entirely...]
4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / t-shirts for gay pride on: July 15, 2008 02:12:03 PM
hello! i am putting this in the stenciling board, even though we used a screen, because what we did technically wasn't screenprinting. you'll see what i mean.

my group of friends (gay and straight and everywhere in between) really do it up for pride. of course, we live in san francisco, so everyone seems to get excited about pride. if you haven't been, seriously, it's the place to be on the last weekend in june. it's our gay (straight, bisexual, queer, allied, transgender, whatever) christmas.

we start with gay thanksgiving about a month before pride to choose a theme and a color scheme. last year it was "does that make me gay?" which was a parody of gnarls barkley's song "crazy" (everybody now: "does that make me ga-ay? that makes me ga-ay. i think you're ga-ay. just like me-e." get it?).

this year the theme was "nobody gonna break-a my pride" a parody of matthew wilder's song "break my stride." one of our friends makes up a line dance to the parody song and we all make t-shirts in the chosen color scheme, this year: white and navy. during gay advent (the time between gay thanksgiving and gay christmas), we get together to practice the dance and make the shirts. i was in charge of cutting the stencil (printed on to a transparency and cut with an xacto). we tape the stencil to the back of a screenprinting screen and just pull the screenprinting ink through. kind of a poor-man's screenprinting technique. it works super well. here are the results:

on blue


on white


a bunch of them drying


and, just for fun, a shot of angie


most people choose to put an image or a phrase on the front of the shirt. for example, for last year, people put images or words on the front that was a gay stereotype, like a picture of yourself in a softball uniform (does that make me gay?) or "all my friends are gay" (does that make me gay?). get it? this year, most of us did something that is not, in fact, going to break-a our pride. i did prop 8 (the anti-gay marriage initiative) with a big X through it.

i also made my skirt, a pleated white number to look like a sailor chick. of course, i lost my camera half-way through and didn't take my own action shots. maybe i will update later if someone else has pictures.

and finally, just to visualize how much fun it is, here's a group of us last year, doing our line dance


and up-close of last year's stencil (though this was just a practice one, not on green like the color scheme) so you can see how i got better this year!


5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Sailor Skirt on: June 04, 2008 11:47:17 AM
hello!

i'm in need of a sailor-y skirt pattern and i can't really seem to find anything on simplicity, butterick, vogue, kwik-sew and others. i've also checked the tutorials on here, but i'm not so good without a pattern. i want it to be above the knees and pleated. it's probably something that would be more costume-y or maybe even a cheerleader skirt pattern (but for an adult!). can anyone help with a pattern recommendation? i would be very grateful!

something like this:


but maybe less pleats and more of a front panel type thing. but a bit longer.


thank you so much in advance if you have anything for me!

mary.

6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 27 ENTRIES / Cherry Blossom Branch Lights - With Semi-Tutorial on: May 02, 2008 11:38:29 AM
this is my first official post on craftster and i'm very excited to present my submission in this challenge, my cherry blossom branch lights.

all lit up:


during the day (with my own cherry tree in bloom in the background):


a close up of some of the blossoms:


these were inspired by branch lights i had seen at a store here in san francisco, but they were quite expensive and plastic and of course i thought "i could make that!" here's a picture of something similar:
http://www.grahamandgreen.co.uk/product.aspx/lamps/cherry+blossom+branch+with+decorative+flower+lights/lighting/lighting_lamps/-/tke.htm

the ingredients include brown floral tape, 20 gauge floral wire, these led mini-individual-light strings w/ten bulbs (one for each branch):


and actually just one of the white branches from the dollar store (thus, why they're a bit dirty...):


there's three small branches. this is what they look like all separated:


and just one more picture, because i'm excited and they're really pretty!!!


finally, i must give credit to those on craftster that inspired me including:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=134171.0
and
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=232999.0

thanks for looking. i can give more details and pictures, plus links to where i got the lights online if anyone is interested. comments greatly appreciated.

Updated 5/5

i just wanted to give an update to detail a bit more of my process and answer all the questions i've received. it sounds like a lot of people want to make these themselves and for a nerdy, socialist-minded crafter like me, this is thrilling!!

this is a semi-tutorial of how i went about creating these.

so first, where i got my materials:
cherry blossom branches - if you live in san francisco, i got them from the dollar general discount store on divisadero at mcallister. i live right around here and while the quality wasn't that good (you can see the rust-colored stains in some of the pictures) the people there are really sweet and there's a bunch of random things to inspire any crafter. i looked online for some cherry blossom branches and couldn't find any and hey, who can beat a dollar??
floral wire and brown floral tape - i can't ever seem to get to craft stores before they close, so i do a lot of shopping online. there's a wholesale floral store called http://www.afloral.com/ and when they were out of the gauge of wire i needed, they sent me another gauge for free. now that's customer service! i used 20 gauge and it worked just fine, though i think a thicker (smaller number) wire would be a bit more stable.
led lights - i got them here: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/floralights.html. warning: they only last 15 hours on aa batteries. i have rechargeable ones, so it's not so bad, but that's not a long time at all. if someone finds these vine lights online somewhere else with a longer running time, please let us know!!!

the process. the first branch took me about two hours, because i really was just making it up as i went along. the other two took me about an hour a piece.
1. choose your branch. my branches are maybe a foot long and are really just one piece of the much longer original branch that i just tore/cut off. i used the original branch and where the blossoms were as a guide, but i had to add flowers to use all ten of the lights.
2. pop out the centers of the flowers. the led lights i used were too small for the hole, so i wrapped floral tape a bunch of times around the base of the light, where it connects to the wire, to make it thicker. floral tape is not really sticky. what you do is stretch it and it kinda becomes stickier and i think it's the tension that actually holds it to the surface. (i bet there are some floral crafters out there that are cringing at my description...i haven't used floral tape that much, so i'm sorry!) then i just pushed the blossom over it. i suppose you could use a dab of craft or hot glue to keep it in place if permanence is something you're after.
3. at this point, locate where on the branch you want the blossom to be. if you're using the original blossom location and there's a wire, stick it under the floral tape. if there's not, stick a bit of the floral wire under the floral tape to stabilize it.
4. starting at where the floral tape under the light ends, start wrapping floral tape around the wire and/or branch and the cord, stretching the tape as you go to get it to stick to itself. keep going until the light stays in place (about an inch), but don't go too far yet.
5. repeat with all ten (or however many) lights.
6. now it's time to cover up all the cords and give the branch a uniform look. i started at the topmost blossom and worked my way down, making sure to cover all of the white cords. at the bottom, i just stopped and used duct tape to finish it off, since that part is not going to be visible and it's stronger than the floral tape.
7. put in a vase. i didn't have one that worked really well, but i think i'm going to try to find something without a bottom so that i don't have to take each battery pack out and turn it on each time. i used a newspaper bag to hide the packs and stabilize the branches, but again, this wouldn't be necessary if i had the right vase.

hopefully i'll have pictures to illustrate this process soon! if anyone tries it, please post pictures because i want to see what other people come up with, especially since i'm sure i haven't perfected it by any means!!

thanks so very much for all the responses. what a great first post! i'm in the middle of adding some crafty elements to my newly decorated apartment and i'm totally inspired to keep posting...so you'll be seeing me around!
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