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3321  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Matchbox Swap round 5 Gallery on: May 02, 2011 03:55:39 PM
I have been sick for nearly a week now, and came home early from work today to get some extra rest.  Shortly after getting home I received the most lovely matchbox from cackle!  Honestly, I'm surprised it made it here safely.  There has been pouring rain and flooding for a week now, and there was a *HUGE* tear in the envelope that cackle's matchbox came in.  If she hadn't packed it so lovingly in a nice big sturdy jewelry box, I don't think it would have arrived here in one piece!  When I opened the envelope (or rather, pulled the box out of the back of the envelope), I saw how pretty it was wrapped and decided that if I was going to sit down and enjoy the box, I'd go all out. 

So I made myself a tray of tea and biscuits.  Doesn't that look like a lovely way to start the evening?

When I opened the box, I found not one, but two matchboxes inside!  There was the actual box that cackle made for me, plus a little box of "overflow" matchbox goodies!

Here's a close up on the matchbox itself.  Cackle really hit the nail on the head with this box.  I work as a costume designer in theatre and dance, and I love the steampunk-ish side of Victoriana, so the outside of the box is a tiny Victorian theatre, filled with all kinds of vintage Victorian-esque bits!  I love the copper and gold paper lace trims!

Let's not forget the back of the box! 

As I unpacked my matchbox and "overflow box", I soon started to run out of room on my tea tray!  I took lots of pictures of things as they came out, but soon realized that I probably should edit myself down from 30 pictures to something more manageable...  like say 5.  Or 7...  So instead of 12 pictures of each thing coming out, here are all the beautiful little bits and bobs packed away in my boxes.

Items inside include from top-ish left, clockwise:
Silver chandeliers, green cut glass beads, antique gold purse, sewing machine, angel, dress, crown, moon, teapot, gears, key, & clock face charms; silver earring hooks, silver dress hangers & winged key charms; giant silver pendant bezel, big fat crystal drop, brass pressed wing shaped bits, ball chain, strand of red beads, gears, gold bead caps, olive cut glass and amber crystal beads, deep red cut glass beads, beautiful polyclay piece, and an orange pekoe tea label. 

And of course, some detail shots.  While I adore the entire package, I am absolutely in LOVE with this purple glass button! 

Thank you so much cackle!  I absolutely adore my box and can't wait to take it to work to show off in the Costume Shop.  I already have plans for many of the fun little bits hiding inside too!  Thank you for being such a wonderful swap partner!!!
3322  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: May 02, 2011 10:16:43 AM
Yep, 41.  They are very nearly all the same questions as last round.  I have added in a few about dietary concerns and alternatives.  Cheesy
3323  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Doctor Who TARDIS Tote Bag - Reverse Stencil Mini-Tutorial (Pic Heavy) on: May 02, 2011 08:50:50 AM
I recently Angeled in Round 5 of the Doctor Who Swap.  Since my partner had already waited so long for a package, only to be flaked on, I wanted to make her Angel package as quickly as possible, but with maximum adorability.  I decided to make her a stenciled tote bag with the TARDIS traveling through the Vortex on it.  

But instead of stenciling the TARDIS itself onto the bag in blue paint, I decided to instead get a blue tote bag and stencil & paint AROUND the TARDIS.  Here's a mini-tutorial of how I did it.

Start by finding a stencil shape that you like.  You will want to make sure that it has some details to cut from inside it to give the image some definition, and that it has a clearly defined outline.  I cannot seem to find the source for the exact stencil I used, but if I do, I will add a link here.

Next you will need a sturdy canvas tote.  I found this one at Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars.  They come folded up, so be sure to give it a good press with your iron, and don't be afraid to use some steam.  You really need to flatten out those fold lines or you won't get your stencil to stick as well as you would like.  Also, don't be afraid to iron it a few times, letting it sit for a few moments between pressings.  Wrinkles and fold lines in cotton can be tricky!  If you really can't get them out, then try this trick used by costumers:  Put equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a small spray bottle, and give it a shake.  Spritz onto your problem wrinkles, then iron.  The vinegar helps relax the fibers, allowing them to press flat.  As for the vinegar smell, don't worry.  It will fade and disappear in no time.  Allow the bag to sit a few minutes to cool and dry out from any vinegar and steam.

Figure out where you would like your TARDIS (or any other object you wish to stencil!) to be.  Be sure to remember that when you fill the tote bag with stuff, the bottom will be bulging, so those bottom few inches of fabric will actually be on the bottom of the bag, rather than the sides!

Once you have your placement, go ahead and iron down your stencil.  Make sure to get into all the tiny corners and edges.  If they are not ironed down securely then you will have color bleeding around your image.

Now we're ready to do our first color of paint.  I chose to start with the windows and the light spilling out from the open door.  Give them a coat of white fabric paint.  If you don't have fabric paint, you can use craft paint, mixed with Fabric Medium.  (Which is found near craft paint in your local craft store.  Mix according to package directions.)  Depending on how dark your base fabric is, you may need to give lighter colors of paint more than one coat for good coverage.

Second color of paint!  Instead of a stark black, I chose to go with a very dark purple-black for the recessed areas of the TARDIS, as well as the Police Box sign.  With darker colors you generally only need one or two coats of paint for nice even coverage.

Now, while you've got the dark purple paint out, let's start the shadowy parts of the Vortex.  Use a piece of natural sea sponge to get irregular and organic shapes.  You may need to test this out a few times, and blot some of the excess paint off of your sponge before moving onto the fabric.  I recommend testing it on some brown paper.  I went with concentric circles of color, to show the twisting and turning of the Vortex, and left some space blank.

During all of this, be sure to be careful not to drip paint onto the white areas of your stencil!

Next, it's time to add some highlight to the Vortex.  I mixed up a light blue paint, and again added concentric rings, filling in the space I left last time.I went light on this coat, so that I could add in some metallic paint in the next step.

To give the tote more dimension and depth, I added a layer of metallic silver.  Instead of using a metallic paint however, I used the same light blue highlight paint, and added in Jacquard PearlEx Metallic Powder.  Go lightly over the highlighted areas, and blend some gently into the darker shadowy areas as well.  You want the colors to be layered and blended, not sitting in neat rows beside one another.

After a first light coat of silver paint, give it a few minutes to dry.  When the shine of the wet paint begins to dry, you will be able to see just how much of your metallic pigment is visible.  After letting it dry for a little while, be sure to turn the project, as the silver can look more or less heavy depending on how it catches the light.  If necessary, add another coat of metallic pigments.  Remember, you can always do a second coat, but you can't take off a coat that was too heavily applied.

Check pack once you think you are done, and note any areas that might need touching up.  Once you are happy with your paint job, go ahead and let it dry completely.  After it is dry you can peel back the stencil.  It will likely rip into pieces, and this is normal.  You will not be able to re-use the freezer paper stencil.

Now, stand back and admire your new tote bag!
3324  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: May 02, 2011 06:49:44 AM
79 Craftsters on the interest list...

41 Questions on the Swap Questionnaire...

3 Days to go till Sign-Ups...
3325  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: One Tiny Doctor Who Thing - Round 2 (Signups CLOSED, Sendouts 5/7) on: May 02, 2011 06:20:46 AM
Organizer Note:
Just a reminder that Send-Outs for this swap are fast approaching.  They are on Saturday.  If you think you may be late for any reason, please be sure to PM your partner AND myself to let us know. 

Let's all cross our fingers and hope that we are all ready on time!  Cheesy
3326  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: April 30, 2011 05:15:08 PM
5 days to go till Sign-ups...
3327  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: April 29, 2011 06:25:48 AM
It's coming...  6 days to go till Sign-ups...
3328  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: April 28, 2011 08:11:13 PM
Definite chills!
3329  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: One Tiny Doctor Who Thing - Round 2 Gallery on: April 28, 2011 03:49:14 PM
After feeling yucky all day yesterday, and coming home early from work, I decided not to even go in today.  I've spent most of the day on the couch with cup after cup of tea being miserable.  So imagine my delight when the mail lady knocked on my door today with a package!  I was expecting my OTT from lanikins, but was surprised when she asked me to sign for something then handed me a very large box!  That couldn't be an OTT... 

Turned out to be the first 5 seasons of Doctor Who on DVD!  (I found an awesome deal on Ebay with all 5 for $80!!!)  She didn't hand me any more mail, so I assumed lanikins package would arrive tomorrow.  But an hour later I heard someone on my porch, and there was another package!  How could my sick day get any better?  I'm glad you asked.  I opened the box, and the day went from "eh" to "Fantastic!" 

I opened my box to discover another box.  A blue one to be exact!

But wait, is it opening?!?!  What could be inside???

A giant Adipose!

Oh wait no, he's actually very tiny.  4" tall exactly.  Must be a baby.

And it looks like baby found something else in that blue box.  A book!

Needle Book to be exact, just like River Song's diary. 

The stitching and shading on this tiny needle book are stunning.  Photos don't really do it justice, but here's a close up anyways:

And finally, all my goodies together:

lanikins, you are AMAZING!  I am totally blown away by your beautiful craftsmanship, your attention to detail, and your generosity.  Such a tiny box full of truly "bigger-on-the-inside" treasures.  I can't thank you enough.  I also can't wait to take them to work to show off.  The TARDIS is totally going to live on my desk now, and the needle book is going straight into my sewing kit to be used every day.  As for baby Adi, I think she's going to snuggle up on the sofa with me for the night, watching some of those DVD extra features. 

3330  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Decked Out for Deathly Hallows - Part II is coming! on: April 27, 2011 09:37:06 AM
Psst...  Guess what?  Only 8 days left until Sign-Ups open!

So, what scene are you looking forward to the most in Part II???
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