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71  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Craft supplies made in China and feeling guilty on: February 15, 2015 08:49:54 AM
So pretty much every time I purchase a craft supply in any store, the price is right for my budget but the wee sticker says Made in China. I have heard horror stories about what the workers there endure for very little money. I keep wondering how I can continue to buy these items for my spoiled self when it serves to perpetuate the unfair system.  Some would say the amount of money I spend on these supplies amounts to a drop in the ocean but I would like to at least have a clear conscience. Anyone else thinking about this kind of stuff?
72  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Seriously 3D ATC swap on: February 13, 2015 08:39:54 AM




Oh my goodness folks go check out sheepBlue's incredible 'card' in this month's gallery!  cmarion3 just suggested a 3D swap so I rushed over here to see if there were interested peeps. I can host!
73  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / nature's realm... birchtree nightlight with sculpy birdie on: February 10, 2015 01:13:41 PM


Mom lives in a nursing home and cannot do a thing anymore, not even read. Her dementia is so bad, she does not even register that the radio is on. what the heck to get someone like that for Christmas??
I decided to make her a nightlight since the place gets totally dark at bedtime and a small light might make her feel less alone. she has always adored natural elements and was an avid birdwatcher all her life.

Here is a pic of it lit in the dark. why it is pink is anyone's guess. Most of the light comes out the top of the hollowed out branch. There are also small openings at the sides where it escapes. the base is wood with dried fern frondie-seedie thingies on it.
A closeup of the pileated woodpecker...

His tail is supposed to be flush to the bark as it would be naturally but i could not do this without busting the tender sculpy.
she did not say a word when she opened it and the only comment I have heard from her about it is to point at it and cry. eventually she says "that is supposed to be off."  But I take great comfort in the fact that it has not wound up in her trash, where absolutely everything goes. she puts books, money, unread mail, toothbrushes, and the kitchen sink there.
I did love making this for her.
74  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Vintage Craft Projects / Vintage saw dusty craft... on: February 09, 2015 07:50:43 AM
One of my all time favorite crafts when I was a kid was sculpting things from a kit that may have been called Weird Wood but googling that comes up with nadda. It came in a plastic jar or tub and I am pretty sure you just added water. It resembled fine sawdust. I made some great stuff with it. Plus, I loved the smell. Anyone ever encounter this?
75  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / My Craftster gratitude list on: February 05, 2015 11:57:51 AM
I often create a gratitude list in my head as I fall asleep. Just when it seems that my life is not what I had hoped for, I realize just how blessed I am after ticking off all of the things I do have. I decided to make a Craftster gratitude list because this site and what it provides for me is vital to my emotional well-being.

 The wonderful and talented people I meet here, some of whom have become dear friends.
My basic creativity and sense of humor that allows me to craft what I do.
The courage to try new things outside of my comfort zone and the joy I get in thus growing.
Local thrift stores where I am constantly finding goodies to add to my stash.
Money enough to buy said stuff and funds to ship packages.
The miracle of the albeit flawed postal system that is able to get my creations to my partners anywhere in the world.
My internet (a sporadic thing in my life) that  lets me post, swap, and PM.
The de-stressing result of crafting every day.
The awesome gifts I find in my mailbox during swaptime. There are sooo any things I have received that I enjoy using or admiring every day.
The sweet folks who give time and energy to host a swap.
The mods who make it all possible.
Tutes and advice I get from happy dedicated people here. and it's all free!!
That warm fuzzy feeling when someone says my swap package pleased them. And compliments on items I have posted.


Would love to hear what would be on YOUR list!
76  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Disorganized? Lazy? Childish? Irresponsible? Lonely? Which one? on: December 18, 2014 04:10:07 AM


For the first time in my life as a Craftster I now have an entire room which I can devote to crafting. I do have all of my supplies there and my sewing machine set up.
This morning as I went to assemble breakfast, I saw my latest project all over the kitchen counter and spilling over to my only eating table.
I had used my only cutting board and good knife for slicing into birchbark and the place was a mess and certainly not immediately available to food prep.
My question is, does anyone else out there do this type of thing? Wreck the house when you have a perfectly good place to craft? I am trying to figure out why I do this in hopes that the knowledge will help me change.  I feel like a kid wanting to use the kitchen table for a school project because that it where people gather and I won't be lonely. But aside from two kitties, I am living alone and no matter where I am, I will be! Am I just disorganized? Stubborn?
Would love some input.  Thanks!!
77  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Shrine for deceased praying mantis on: December 16, 2014 05:00:11 PM

Found a mantis in an area I thought was unsafe for her. Brought her home, named her Ophelia, fell in love with her, filmed her eating and drinking aloe juice from my fingertip, caught her in the act of laying her egg sac on my kitchen screen and filmed that, too. Enjoyed three months of friendship. The third day after laying, she refused food and water. So sad to see her go.
Made this shrine and say good morning to her still each day. Looking forward to hundreds  of babies come spring. May keep one because she was incredibly intelligent and affectionate, would love to experience that again. Others will go to 'good home' gardens.   Smiley

Decided that dusting such a delicate creature would be impossible. So I put a plastic cover over the shrine. So far so good. 
Thanks for looking! Let me know if y'all wanna see the link to the youtube stuff on her.
78  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / the loooong lost painting in Vermont on: December 11, 2014 12:12:27 PM
 

So, twenty four years ago I rented a room in a haunted house (that is another story and a good one...) and I made this watercolor painting of an abandoned wagon or sleigh support in the side yard. I gave it the the house owners after staying there (with my 2 year old daughter, Acadian Driftwood) for only a few months. I totally lost touch with that family over all those years but knew they had moved quite a bit.
I was in a thrift shop last August when a voice from the past screamed my name. Yes, it was she.
I followed her back to her home and we had years and years of catching up to do. she is now a very close friend. On that day, she brought me up to the guest bedroom and showed me this painting I had completely forgotten about! It had a place of honor on a real easel and I was very touched.
Life can be wonderfully weird....
79  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Altered matchbox with wacky book inside on: December 11, 2014 09:05:50 AM


I had to use my awful  phone for that pic, but you get the general idea of how I inserted the inner bit of the matchbox to create a chimney complete with fire inside.
The best part of this project, however, is the tiny book inside.
Here are the words...

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the place
One Craftster was battling with glitter and lace
The stocking shed made was hung by the fire,
The last blasted stitches held together with wire
She wiped off some glitter, thinking perhaps
Shed never get around to that long winters nap
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
She sprang from her desk what could be the matter?
Away to the window she flew like a shooting star,
Nearly upending her best whimsies jar!
The moon on her snowman with the hand-crocheted bow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below
When what to her wondering eyes did appear
But a popsicle stick sleigh and 8 Sculpy reindeer
And an amigurumi driver so lively and quick
She knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than send-out dates his coursers they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name
On Fimo, on Fiskars on Elmers and Speedball
On Altoids on Strathmore on Singer and McCalls!
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall
Now dash away dash away dash away all!
As ModPodge before a wild hurricane dries
As it sets up quick right before your eyes
So up to the housetop his coursers they flew
The sleigh full of supplies and St Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling she heard on the roof
The delicate clacking of each Sculpy hoof
As she drew in her head and was turning around,
Down that amigurumi dude came with a bound!
He was dressed in faux fur from his head to his foot,
His yarn sadly tarnished with ashes and soot.
A large glue gun stick he had perched at his lip,
Cuz these days you know that smokings not hip.
He had a pilly face but a nicely stuffed belly
That shifted when he laughed much like Aunt Marthas jelly.
He was charming and sweet, a right jolly old elf
Our Craftster just grinned in spite of herself.
He spoke not a word (amigurumis cannot)
And the Craftster was eager to see what shed got!
Then laying an unravelling finger by his nose,
And with a slight bow, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a holler
And away they all flew, like floss two-fer-a-dollar!
But she heard him exclaim (as he pulled up his socks)
Your stocking is awesome!  Gonna go hit THIS ROCKS !


80  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Baby loves Mama on: October 18, 2014 07:53:48 AM


For a recent swap I did this on theme of elephants. I loooove baby elephants!!  Pen and ink and watercolor.
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