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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / HP Craftalong - Setting up Fall Semester - DO NOT POST HERE on: August 24, 2015 09:56:23 AM

~Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Fall Semester 2015~

~*Begins September 1, 2015*~
~*Ends November 30th, 2015*~

Welcome to Hogwarts!
The Harry Potter Craftalong (HPC) is not your typical craftalong; we are gathered here to celebrate our love of crafting and the Wonderful World of Harry Potter.  In the HPC you will be completing classes and challenges with your skills in crafty magic.  These classes and challenges all have HP centered themes, but your crafts do not have to be Harry Potter."  Your mission, as a student at Hogwarts, is to complete at least one class or challenge during this semester.  You may join any time during the semester.  I hope you join us; the HPC is a great way to stretch your crafty muscles, meet HP crafters, and have fun!

---The HPC is here to help us each finish projects and to explore new challenges as we better our crafting skills.  Prompts and guidelines are there to help stimulate creativity and growth; the size and complexity of the project submitted should reflect a level of personal growth and challenge over the time you spend in the HPC.
---Projects for the HPC should represent your best crafty skills.  Take pride in your work.  Classes and challenges should take a minimum of 30 minutes to make.  
---A project can only be submitted for one class/challenge (the same project cannot be entered in multiple categories) unless noted in prompt (it will be CLEARLY noted if allowed).
---Projects must be turned in within the timeframe designated by the type of assignment or challenge.
---For a project to be counted, it must have a picture or picture link included AT THE TIME OF POSTING.  If your item is a private piece, or is being kept secret for a Craft Swap, you are more than welcome to post a link for the Headmistress to view.  EDIT 4/17/15: As of today, I will no longer be posting reminders to folks about pictures.  I simply do not have the time to chase folks down for pictures.  If you post your project without a photo or photo link, it will simply not be counted when I tally House Points.
---For any cooking/food project, in addition to a photo, you must post a complete recipe, or link to the complete recipe you used.  No recipe = no points.  [EDIT due to questions: *For our purposes, a "complete recipe" means it includes a full set of ingredients that includes amounts, and step-by-step instructions that another HPC member could replicate themselves at home.  Think of writing your recipe with a beginner cook in mind, who needs full instructions.
---There is SO MUCH to do in the HPC.  Do not feel like you have to craft everything.  Think of the HPC as a "Choose Your Own Adventure".  Craft what inspires you, but don't try to do everything and get burned out.  Keep in mind these wise words , "It does not do to dwell on lists and forget to craft."  

For each assignment/challenge, use this header:
Class/Challenge/House Pride:
SPEW: (If your item is for charity, enter that here; if not leave blank or add n/a.)
Project Name:
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: (how it fits the requirements, pattern/techniques/recipe used, any fun tips, etc.)
Project Picture: (REQUIRED! NO PICTURE (or link) = NO HOUSE POINTS)

-Feel free to also include your house and any storycrafting you've created for your project.
---You can add more than one project to your post, but a header must be used for each project.
-When posting your projects, you are more than welcome to post more than one at a time. But if you do so, then please attempt to post your projects in alphabetical order by SUBJECT.  Bertie Bott's Beans, Detention Prompts, and Headmistress Challenges should be posted under B, D, & H respectively.  For more information, see this post.

~*HPC FAQs*~
---How long is a semester?  Semesters are as follows: WINTER- December, January, February; SPRING-March, April, May; SUMMER-June, July, August; FALL-September, October, November.
---When can I join?  You can join anytime in the semester.
---Do I have to sign-up to join this craftalong? No, all you have to do is post in the thread a hi or completed project post.
---How do I complete a semester/earn my year? To complete a semester/year, you only have to complete one class or challenge during the semester.
---What timezone do we use?  We use Headmistress Mistress Jennie's Central Timezone (Tennessee time).
---Do you sort me?  NO, you will decide which house you belong to, but you can only choose one.
---I have a problem or question; who can I ask?  You can send a Personal Message (PM) to Headmistress Mistress Jennie.  You can also ask specific questions to HPC staff.  And you can post your question in the thread; our students are very helpful!
---Can I turn in something I did earlier? With a very few exceptions the answer is NO!  You must complete your project during the current semester. Exceptions are Detention and OWLs; look for details about these projects in their information posts.
---Are we swapping? No, this is not an organized swap.  We are just encouraging crafting with a HP twist.  But if you enjoy swapping, keep an eye out for HP themed swap info in our thread.
---Do I have to craft all the classes and challenges? NO, you pick what you inspires you.  There is tons to choose from so choose your own HP Craft Adventure through the castle.
---What kind of projects are allowed for classes/challenges? If Craftster has a category for it, then it is a viable HPC project.  And since Craftster has a board for almost everything, your choices are vast.
---Does my craft project have to be Harry Potter themed? NO, if your item fulfills the class/challenge prompt, then it can be posted in the HPC.  Above all, we are here to encourage crafting.

~*House Points*~
~*Your triumphs will earn you points*~
Points System
15 points for a Class Assignment & Challenge*
100 points for OWLs
150 points for NEWTs
10 points extra for SPEW aka Charity Items

House Points Guidelines
--- *You cannot double dip for Class & Challenge points.  For example, if you turn-in a project for Herbology & Geminio, then you would get 2 badges but only 15 points for the project.
---You cannot get credit for a class or challenge twice.  For example, if you turn in 2 Alchemy projects, then you will only get points for the first one.
--- SPEW points are extra credit.  You can earn SPEW points for each project you turn in if it goes to charity.  You do not have to give the charity's name, just that you are donating to a certain cause.  (I happen to know that some Battered Women's Shelters don't like their names/locations posted.) SPEW projects must be clearly marked with SPEW to earn extra points.  I suggest adding it to your header.  Also, SPEW project can be turned in as stand-alone projects; they will earn 10 points.  Unlike most projects, you can turn in more than one SPEW project for points.
---HPC Challenge Points do not include House Challenges.  For Example, a Gryffindor Lion-along project would not count for points unless it also fulfills a HPC Class or HPC Challenge.
--- To determine House Cup Winner, an average from the points accumulated per house and the number of members per house.  If there is a tie, then more than one house will win the cup.  Note, a House Member is someone who has turned in at least 1 project.
--- Don't stress over House Points, but do craft your personal best. (This varies from person to person.  And I'm not really worried about "crafting your best" bit because HPCers are amazing crafters!)

~*HPC Portkeys*~
Headmistress Tower & Badge Station
Deputy Headmistress' Office
Quidditch Pitch
Diagon Alley
Magician of the Month (Replaces Witch of the Week)
Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean Grab Bag
Wizard & Witch Career Placement Agency
Pinterest Pixie's Projects Page
Hogwarts Kitchens
HPC Facebook Group

House Keys
7th Floor Gryffindor
Hufflepuff PARTY Common Room
Ravenclaw Tower
Slytherin Dungeon

Professors' Classrooms
Detention in the Dungeons
Care of Magical Creatures
Defense Against the Dark Arts
History of Magic
Muggle Studies
Potions Dungeon
Study of Ancient Runes
Ordinary Wizarding Levels
Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests

~*The Great Hall OT Chat*~

Craftster craftalongs are for crafting and crafting encouragement.  If you would like to talk off-topic, such as in-depth Harry Potter discussions, then please visit The Great Hall.  Thank you for keeping the HPC within Craftster guidelines.

~*HPC on Facebook*~
The HPC is now on Facebook!  This is a way to share links, photos, or videos with your friends here in the HPC, that you cannot post on Craftster.  Please feel free to use the page to ask questions, share craft related or Harry Potter related links, pictures of your kids dressing up like Hogwarts students, or anything else that might be of interest to the group.  This group is Closed, so folks must message me with BOTH their Craftster username, and a way to locate you on Facebook, in order to be added. This is to keep it to just folks within the Craftalong, rather than a general HP forum, and anyone who participates here is welcome there as well.  

~*Fall HPC Staff*~
Headmistress Mistress Jennie
Deputy Headmistress noodle-bug

Gryffindor Head of House Abbeeroad
Hufflepuff Head of House Moonflame
Ravenclaw Head of House FiberAlchemist
Slytherin Head of House ErinAquaheart

Alchemy Professor calliemae
Apparition Magpirate ?
Arithmancy Professor noodle-bug
Astronomy Professor Inselaeffchen
Care of Magical Creatures ErinAquaheart
Charms Professor tiamatfire
Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor tiamatfire
Divination Professor ErinAquaheart
Flying Professor gaudiknight?
Herbology Professor Inselaeffchen
History of Magic jenleahlynn
Muggle Studies Professor Magpirate?
Potions Professor noodle-bug
Study of Ancient Runes Position Open!
Transfiguration Professor Position Open!

Kitchen Elf Abbeeroad
Pinterest Pixie Inselaeffchen

~*Past HPC Semesters*~
Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2012/2013, Spring 2013, Summer 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2013/2014, Spring 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2014/2015
Spring 2015

~*Previous Winner of House Cup*~
Winter 2012/2013: Gryffindor
Spring 2013: Gryffindor
Summer 2013: Gryffindor
Fall 2013: Gryffindor
Winter 2013/2014: Ravenclaw
Spring 2014: Ravenclaw
Summer 2014: Ravenclaw
Fall 2014: Gryffindor
Winter 2014/2015: Gryffindor
Spring 2015:
2  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Back to Hogwarts 6 - (Signups: CLOSED; Sendouts: Oct 3, 2015) on: August 08, 2015 12:23:10 PM

Swap name: Back to Hogwarts Round 6
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Mistress Jennie
Craftster memeber who is co-organizing this swap:
Sign-up date range: August 8-August 22, 2015
Date to send item by: October 3

Limited to a certain number of people? no
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? no

Swap Organizer herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Swap Decree: All swappers MUST post at least once in the swap signup thread.  ABOUT BEING A PARTICIPANT IN A SWAP: Joining a swap: "In addition, you must post in the signup thread. The thread is a major means of communication for the organizer and the swap participants."  This is not a rule I created, it is a Craftster rule, and one that is enforced.  Thank you in advance for following this important swap guideline. Kiss

I reserve the right to refuse anyone.  If you have feedback that shows a history of very late sending, ill-communication, incomplete packages, lack of DC#'s, etc. I may refuse you. I want this to be a flake-free swap. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

It's that time of year again, time to go back to school.  And if you received your letter, then it is time to pack you trunk and prepare to go back to Hogwarts.  So much to do, we better get started!

In this Round of Back to Hogwarts, we will craft 1 Large, 1 Medium, and 1 Small.  If you are unclear on what constitutes various sizes, please check this post on the Swap FAQ's.

And to stretch your crafty muscles and to keep with our theme, you can choose to craft any three of the following six options...

~* an item based on your partner's House preference
~* an item based on your partner's favorite Shop
~* an item based on your partner's favorite Class
~* an item based on your partner's favorite Spell, Curse, or Potion
~* an item based on your partner's favorite Character or Magical Creature
~* an item based on your partner's favorite Quote or Magical Object[/b][/size]

Your partner's House is Ravenclaw, fave shop is Ollivanders, fave class is Potions, fave Spell is Expecto Patronum, fave Character is Luna, and fave Quote is "It does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live".

You could make....
a LARGE Stenciled Ravenclaw Hoodie, a MEDIUM Wooden Wand, and a SMALL Pair of Luna's Raddish Earrings.  
a LARGE embroidered Expecto Patronum Hoopla, a MEDIUM Cauldron Candle, and a SMALL bookmark with Dumbledore's quote.

You can self-partner aka IYP for this swap, if both people wish to be swap partners.  If you do this, please PM your partnering to the organizer before the close of signups.

If you want to participate, fill out the below questionnaire and send to organizer.
(Remember to send your info to the organizer via Private Message (PM) and not to reply with it here)

Name of swap: Back to Hogwarts 6
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country (as it should appear for shipping please):
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval (yes/no):

What are you favorite crafts to make?
What kind of crafts would you like to receive?
Do you want useful or decorative items?
Any special wishes? (no guarantees)
Anything you really DON'T want to receive? (i.e. animal products, religious, adult", HP items you already have)
What house do you belong to/support?
What is your favorite magical shop?
What class would you be most interested in taking at Hogwarts?

Who/What is your favorite HP...

Magical Creature?

Magical Item?


Do you or anyone in your home smoke?
Do you have pets?
Are you allergic to anything?

What is your...
(answer only those you are interested in receiving)
shirt/tee size?
head measurement?
hand measurement (wrist to tip of mid finger)?
foot measurement? (shoe size & measurement in inches)
hips (where you would wear a belt):
preferred bracelet length?
preferred necklace length?
preferred bag/tote/purse size? (small, medium, large)

Are your ears pierced?



Anything else to tell your partner? (A great place to list your blog, Facebook, pinterest,  etc.)

Remember to read the Swap Info Guide and Swap FAQs before participating in a swap.

Note about Personal Messages (PMs) to Organizer: Please label PMs to organizer with title of "Back to Hogwarts" or "Hogwarts".

Note about Communication: For a wonderful swap experience, communication is the key.  Please keep in touch with your partner.  Further, it would be nice if you would post in this thread at least once a week (you could just stop in for a quick hello.....or if on holiday or will be without internet access or anything of the such, just post a message....it gives your partner and organizer warm fuzzy feelings to know you are still around).

Notes about Sending, Receiving, and Feedback
  • SENDING: Take pictures of your items before you send.  When sending, you must use a tracking number, (or for overseas, send a photograph of the receipt). Keep your receipt until your partner receives.  PM organizer and partner when you send.
  • RECEIVING: PM organizer and partner when you receive.  Take pictures of received items. (Please take quality pictures, like ones you would take of your work.)  Post pictures in gallery in a timely manner.
  • FEEDBACK: Given when a package is received (verified through PM or DC#) Detailed feedback will be given.  Examples: Sent Early or Lack of Communication: No PMs of Sending/Receiving.

ORGANIZER NOTE:  If you have additions or changes to your questionnaire after you signup, please hold onto them and PM them to your future partner.  THANK YOU! Kiss  ~*Please do PM if you decide to change houses so I can adjust your colors on the Student Roster.*~
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Mixed Tape Zippered Pouch on: July 23, 2015 12:18:14 PM
Later this summer I'm taking a few trips to 2 different family reunions.  One on my husband's side of the family over in Illinois, and one on my side of the family, up in New Hampshire.  I decided to try taking along a smash book to chronicle my adventures (and have a small, portable craft to work on).  I'm bad at scrap booking, but I'm hoping that the "just shove it all in" mentality and the portability of the smash book will actually get me to do it.  It's easy to feel like you need a million accessories and supplies, but I like to travel light.  So I made myself a "pencil case" to hold some pencils, pens, washi tape, small scissors, and a few bits of ephemera to add in.  It is 7.5" x 9.5".  Big enough to hold stuff, but not too big to weigh down my purse or carry on bag.

I used a variety of scrap fabrics from my stash to create the tape, which was appliqud to the front by using wonder-under. To create the applique pattern I simply printed out several copies of this clipart image, cut them up, and used them as templates. The screws and the holes in the cassette case were done with various sizes of buttons.  It's a little hard to see in the photos but there are actually tiny little 1/4" buttons in each corner, to represent the screws that hold the cassette case together.  And just for fun, here it is filled with goodies.

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Burow-inspired Crochet Rag Rug from Tee Shirt Yarn (spaghetti/fettucini yarn) on: July 23, 2015 08:20:57 AM
I recently organized Round 2 of the One Awesome Harry Potter Thing Swap, and was lucky enough to partner with the fantastic noodle-bug.  While we were chatting about our HP Love, it became apparent that we both desperately want to live in the Burrow, the home of the Weasley family.  The Weasleys are kind, loving, welcoming, and poor.  Mrs. Weasley makes handmade gifts at the holidays, and sends Harry wonderful knitted sweaters, and homemade pies.  I decided that I wanted to give noodle-bug a little bit of the Weasleys loving if threadbare home, and decided to go with a houseware item for the swap.  I settled on a beautiful crocheted rug pattern by ATERGcrochet on Etsy.  

The rug called for tee shirt/zpaghetti/fettucini yarn, which I thought would fun to work with, and work up quickly.  Both of those things turned out to be true.  What didnt work out so well though was finding the yarn easily.  While it seemed to be available at just about every craft store a year or two ago, it has since disappeared entirely from store shelves.  I did some looking around online and found very few sources in the US, but one seller on Etsy called Ganxxet had a decent selection and fair prices.  (The seller was also very helpful and great to work with.  I'd order from her again in a heartbeat.)  Sadly I still couldnt afford to order all the yarn Id need for the rug, so I ended up making some of it.  I made the navy and black yarn from tube jersey that was on sale at Joanns for 50% off.  (Following one of any number of tutorials online for making tee shirt yarn from actual tee shirts. The only difference was that I used a rotary cutter & cutting mat, rather than scissors.)  I bought 2.5 yards of black, and 1 yard of navy, for about $15.  It took most of the morning to slice it up with a rotary cutter, stretch it out, and roll it into balls.  But I was listening to an audio book, so it was a good time.  

The pink & white print yarns came from Ganxxet, and the white is actually a print that includes doodles of wings, lightning bolts, Union jacks, and words.  Here's a close up shot of the print:

After nearly completing it, I decided that while I liked the rug, I wasn't in love with it.  It needed more colors to really feel scrappy.  So I added atouch more color by making more yarn out of a teal and a violet tee shirt that I had laying around, that had been destined for Goodwill.  I really love how much brighter the rug is with the addition of the teal and violet.  You can see how it looked before from this process pic. The overall color scheme was softer before, and now it's definitely brighter.

Here's a detail shot, which shows the magenta & teal stitches:

The entire rug is supposed to be 34 rounds, and measure 4 across, but I didnt get quite that far.  By the time I was on round 17, it was clear that I was nearly out of all my yarns.  It was also becoming *quite* heavy, and I had to ship it to the UK.  So I completed the 18th round, then did 2 more rounds of single crochet to finish the edges.  When I was done it measured 38 across and weighed 5 pounds!  Here it is in its new home, noodle-bugs bay window in her flat in London.

I will say that while I am normally all for recycling/upcycling, I did prefer working with the ready made yarn, and the yarn that I made out of tube jersey, far more than I liked working with the batch I made from actual shirts.  I hated trying to hide the tee shirt seams.  Im really pleased with how it came out, but I would like to try the pattern again some day, completing all 34 rounds.  It's very thick and squishy under your feet, and has a solid weight to it that feels comforting.  
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / The Summer of Baby Quilts on: July 20, 2015 12:41:05 PM
Does it seem like some things just happen in waves?  Back in 2009, I had a ton of quilts to make.  I made 5 wedding quilts & a baby quilt that summer.  This summer I suddenly had 4 more baby quilts to make.  Why do these things come in waves? 

This year, since I have a few trips I have to take for family functions, and a hopping Etsy shop to keep running, I don't really have time to drop everything and quilt for a month again.  So I simplified my plans a bit, and managed to put together 4 baby quilts in the last 10 days! 

In order to keep it simple I did strip quilts.  Each one used 1/4 yard of 5 different fabrics for the top, 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric for the binding and 1 1/4 yards of backing, for a total of 3 yards per quilt.  I cut each of the fabrics in the top into a 3.5" strip and a 5.5" strip, and alternated the narrow & fat strips.  They were each quilted with free motion quilting, with cotton machine quilting thread and used cotton & bamboo blend batting.

Sweet As Honey was the first one I completed.  I picked up the fabrics in a bundle from Niche Fabric Studio on Etsy.  She sells kits for rag quilts, but was happy to work with me to build similar kits that would work for my traditional quilting instead.  The fabrics include Bee Sweet Morning and Honey House.  It was quilted in a bright coral, to compliment the bees in the Sweet Morning print, and was backed in the Honey House print.  This one is going to a former student of mine, and his wife, who are expecting their first girl in September.

Isabelle's Garden was the second one I finished, and again came as a bundle from Niche.  The fabrics include Serenade Daylight, Stitchery in Aqua, some Kona solids in violet and aqua, and Heartbeats in Cool for the binding.  It was quilted in a off white, to match the background of the Serenade Daylight print, and was backed in the violet solid with a strip of the Heartbeats thrown in because I didn't have quite enough fabric for the entire back.  This one was just sent off to my best friend and his wife, who just had their second daughter at the end of June.

Fox & the Houndstooth was the third quilt I finished, and the only one made for a boy this summer.  The fabrics include Foxes in grey, Bowties in black, and Eyeglasses in Tan, from Robert Kauffman's Fox & the Houndstooth line.  It was quilted in light grey, to match the background of the Foxes print, and was backed in the Eyeglasses print.  To be honest, this bundle did not come as present, and was the only bundle I didn't see before ordering.  I enjoyed the shops other bundles so much, that I asked for one built around the Fox print, and trusted the shop to pick good coordinates.  I received an awful safety orange (which did NOT match the orange of the foxes), some mustache print (I'm SOOO over the mustache craze), and the red & white chevrons (another trend I'm pretty over).  I ended up moving the orange over to the Elephant quilt you'll see next, ditching the mustaches entirely, and buying the Bowties & Eyeglasses coordinates to redesign the quilt.  I was going to ditch the chevrons too, but found I didn't mind them as much once I added in the bowties & glasses, which has a cute tan & white houndstooth background.  While it was my least favorite bundle, it might be my favorite finished quilt.

Elephant Romp was the final quilt to be done, and was finished yesterday morning.  The fabrics include Elephant Romp, Kitchenette and Floralism in Fresh Grass, along with some Kona solids.  It was quilted in a bright magenta, to compliment the elephant print, and was backed in the lime green print.

Whew!  That was a busy week.  Now that I've got the sewing machine out, I think I'm going to put together a few zippered pouches and maybe a pencil case, before putting it back to bed for a while.  Cheesy
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / One Awesome Harry Potter Thing (OAHPT) - Round 2 Gallery on: July 02, 2015 09:24:07 AM
One Awesome Harry Potter Thing (OAHPT) - Round 2 Gallery

Mistress Jennie * ---> noodle-bug
noodle-bug * ---> Mistress Jennie

elliot_anne * ---> jillybeans
jillybeans * ---> elliot_anne

Inselaeffchen ---> seeuudee
seeuudee ---> Inselaeffchen

Audania1 * ---> jenleahlynn
jenleahlynn * ---> Audania1

FiberAlchemist ---> Abbeeroad
Abbeeroad * ---> FiberAlchemist

amc- ---> moriarT
moriarT ---> amc-

StaciRose  ---> puzzled-penguin (Angel package sent by Inselaeffchen!  Kiss)
puzzled-penguin * ---> StaciRose (pics posted by sender)

Megz1027 * ---> chughes225
chughes225 (Sent 7/17) ---> Megz1027 (pics posted by sender)

Status Color Codes
Green = Sent
* = Sent Early
Orange = Sending Late with Communication
Maroon = No Communication, Howlers will be sent!

Purple = Received & Pictures Posted
Blue = Received & Pictures NOT Posted
Kiss = Picture Posted by Sender (THANK YOU!)

Strikeout = Feedback Given
Temporary Negative= per Craftster swap rules
GLOWING RED=NEGATIVE FEEDBACK (please, oh please, no glowy red peeps)

~*Portkey to Original Discussion Thread*~
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hot Chef Charm Bracelet on: June 09, 2015 02:38:57 PM
Final charm bracelet to share today...  If you'll forgive the pun, this one has been on the back burner for months now.  I started collecting the charms last fall, and I've been acquiring them slowly, one at a time.  I got the last charm this week, and finally sat down to put them together.

The charms include: head of garlic, cutting board & knife, fork, steak & asparagus, saut pan, cook book...

...spatula & spoon, pepper mill, empty plate, carrot, wine, cheese grater...

...measuring cup, rolling pin, sausage on fork, and cheese wedge.

The beads are a mix of sandstone and Czech glass in shades of peppery black, flame red, spicy orange, and warm yellow.

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / World Travel Charm Bracelet on: June 09, 2015 02:23:31 PM
Next bracelet to share today was a special request. An older friend asked for a custom bracelet to commemorate her world travels.  When I asked which countries she wanted represented, she gave me back a list of 30 countries including Egypt, Morocco, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, China, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Tanzania, England, India, and Nepal! 

Talk about jealous.  I would love it if I was able to visit half the places she's been. Since I can only fit so many charms on a single bracelet, we narrowed down her list to her all time favorites, which was still 20 charms. They include a train, a lion for Africa, flamenco dancer for Spain, St. Peter's Basilica for Italy & the Vatican, Big Ben for England, an elephant for Thailand, Star of David for Israel...

...the Eiffel Tower for France, Asian dragon, Parthenon for Greece, whirling dervish for Turkey, sampan for China, passport, Great Pyramid for Egypt, coo coo clock for Switzerland...

...the Taj Mahal for India, windmill for the Netherlands, a camel, beer stein for Germany, plane, and Buddha for Laos, Cambodia & Thailand. 

Due to the large number of charms, there are fewer bead pins than I usually use.  They are a mix of Czech glass in shades of warm sand, rich amber, jet black and crystal clear. 

9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Take Me Out to the Ball Game Charm Bracelet on: June 09, 2015 02:17:55 PM
Second new charm bracelet of the day to share...  Baseball was an unusual theme for me. I've never been very into sports, but so many of the women in my family love it that I wanted to try to work outside my comfort zone.

I was having serious trouble with exactly the right color scheme, and what to fill a couple of the spaces with.  In the end I had to ask my friend David for help.  He is one of those folks who will always help you.  I mean ALWAYS.  The kind that even with their plate is completely full, when you ask for help or advice, they always comes through.  The kind you call Friend with a capital F.  It also helps that he's a raging baseball fan.  Wink  He suggested the inclusion of peanuts, popcorn, and the color scheme of green for the grass and clear or white for the ball.

I was trying to avoid using any team-specific color combinations, so his idea was great.  Since I usually try to add in a 3rd color or a neutral tone, I added a sandy tan for the diamond.  I also found some awesome acrylic ball beads.  I generally only use Czech glass or crystal beads, but they were so perfect that I just couldn't pass them up. 

After a lot of frustration I'm really happy with how it came out in the end.  And I'm glad for the reminder that when you're at your wit's end, you can always turn to a friend for help.

10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / California Dreaming Charm Bracelet on: June 09, 2015 02:08:37 PM
While I was working as a costume shop manager in Kentucky for the last several years, I got to know a wonderful dance professor named Lisa.  She always seems to be more full of energy and fantastic stories than anyone else.  I've often joked that she is my Fairy Godmother of Fun, swooping in to pull me out of my everyday routine, into an adventure at a moments notice. While Lisa adored her students in KY as much as I did mine, she longed to return to the home of her heart, California.  After a few years of looking, she found a new position teaching there, and is moving away this month.  While I'm thrilled for her, I'm also going to miss her terribly.  Her going away clearly called for a charm bracelet designed just for her and her dream of a new adventure in California.

I started with the idea of the dream of California as part of the American consciousness.  The idea that anyone can start anew there, can find their best self in this golden state of sunshine and promise.  And yes, the Mamas and the Papas did come to mind.  The idea of longing for the sun and warmth of California on a cloudy day.

The charms include a map of California, a dreamcatcher, disks that say "dream", shells, a surfboard, sun tan lotion and a palm tree from the beach, peace signs, grapes and a wine glass, a film canister, the bear and star from the state flag, a sandal, and of course the sun.

The beads are a mix of Czech glass and semi precious stones in shades of ocean blue, azure sky, plum wine, sand, and golden sunshine.  Since Cali has always had it's share of the hippy vibe, I included aquamarine which is thought to help connect you to your spiritual being, dragon veins agate to heighten creativity and protect against bad dreams, and purple jade to attract love to your life.  I can't wait to send it to her once she moves in a few weeks. 

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