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21  Japan Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by zcrafter on: September 18, 2009 11:45:42 PM
I made this a few months ago for sparrowowl in the Send Me on a Virtual Vacation Swap. It's one of my favorite bags I've ever made -- really wanted to keep it! I used a man's oxford cloth shirt for the outside.

I painted the Japanese characters for city names on one side. On the other, I painted the symbol for "go" and the symbol for Japan. The paints are shiny, and I kept them in light colors so the bag would be more subtle and wearable without looking like a neon sign.

The lining is a small pink and green floral cotton.

It's quite roomy, with inside pockets. The wide fabric handle makes it comfortable to carry on the shoulder. It's kind of hard to see in these lousy pictures, but I used cotton yarn to make chain trim -- pink, off-white, and green -- and sewed them around the top.

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22  Painted pumpkins in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by zcrafter on: September 18, 2009 11:12:35 PM
This is a "commissioned" project I did a few years ago. A woman asked me to paint American flags on some pumpkins, and they turned out pretty well. She used them to decorate her porch, and the next year she asked me to do more.

It was a very easy procedure. I scrubbed the pumpkins with a vegetable brush, then transferred the designs using tracing paper and graphite paper. I painted the designs in bottled acrylic paints. When it was dry, I finished with a clear acrylic top coat to help it last longer.

Of course, it's a temporary thing, since the pumpkins will eventually rot. But so much fun! Of course, you could use any design. I think kids would love to see these painted with their favorite characters.

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23  Re: Fulled sweater swap? in New Swap Theme Ideas by zcrafter on: August 28, 2009 12:25:59 PM
I hope this idea is still going, cause I have lots of ideas!

Here are a couple of projects I've done recently using fulled sweaters:

Purse from a sweater:


I've also been thinking about wall art or framed collage type things. Or maybe a winter headband? Can't wait to see what other Craftsters have in mind!
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24  Re: Stone/Rock Swap (you know like small boulder big sand) in New Swap Theme Ideas by zcrafter on: August 02, 2009 08:23:51 PM
Anybody up for something like this? It's a sample of the kind of rock painting I like to do. I use the natural contours of the rock to "find" designs. This particular one made me think of fossilized leaves, so I painted the ridges and patterns to bring out that design:

Here's sort of a side view:

I've done many of these in various sizes, but ended up giving them all away except for this one. Often I "find" leaves, but I've also found hearts, pictures of women, ocean scenes, a tree of life, animals, a Santa image -- even a fish! It's super creative and I've never known anyone who does this.

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25  Re: --- Themed Bookmark Gallery --- in The Swap Gallery by zcrafter on: July 29, 2009 07:51:32 PM
Here are the goodies I received from ntrebleagain. It's her very first swap, and she did a great job of crafting for my likes and dislikes!

First, all the stuff together. (Please pardon the blur -- my camera can only do so much.)

My themes were poetry (especially Robert Frost), quotations, ducks, and the letter Z.

She made a beautiful bookmark with part of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken."

And a cutecutecute beaded ducky one. Gosh, I love this:

Then this corner bookmark with the letter Z:

The really great thing is that, on the day I received this package, I had a craft swap party at my house. Well, when all the ladies saw the corner bookmark, they decided they had to make one! I had already set up a table with materials to make bookmarks or tags, so they just went to town and made two corner bookmarks apiece.

And last, thoroughly enjoyed by me, these stickers with quotations:

I am so happy -- great partner! Thank you, ntrebleagain.
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26  Re: Send Me on a Virtual Vacation Swap (Sign-ups CLOSED, Send-outs extended to 6/26) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by zcrafter on: June 24, 2009 10:04:05 PM
Package sent to sparrowowl!

And here's a small teaser:

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27  Re: Send Me on a Virtual Vacation GALLERY (Send-out by 6/19) in The Swap Gallery by zcrafter on: June 16, 2009 10:31:26 AM
Here it is! A virtual vacation to the British Isles, courtesy of my tour guide sparrowowl.  What a collection of wonderful things!

First, the bag. Lovely blue wool with assorted prints and pockets inside, and a faux suede outer pocket, trimmed in lace handmade by her great aunt!

An umbrella print pillowcase, paying homage to a rainy British afternoon.

A cute tea wallet made of teabag print, a lingerie bag, and a jewelry roll.

Two dynamite quilt squares! The one on the left has a pocket, as you can see. These will become pillows for my bedroom.

AND, even more greatness. A pair of knitted cotton slippers, two reversible headbands, handmade lavendar lotion and bath soak.  When I opened the package, it had that wonderful lavendar aroma!

Everything is made in my favorite colors and styles. What a great swap partner sparrowowl is -- she stalked me very thoroughly. So tell me, am I spoiled, or WHAT?

Thank you, thank you, sparrowowl. I feel like a British princess, royally treated.
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28  Wool sweater into purse in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by zcrafter on: May 22, 2009 08:22:59 PM
I used a thrift store wool sweater to make this purse.  Washed the sweater in hot water till it felted, then cut it apart to create ---

My camera doesn't show the colors well, but the stripes are navy, gray, pink, and pale green. The cuffs and hem area of the sweater were dark purple. I used one sleeve for the shoulder strap. The purple hem of the sweater became the top edge of the bag. I just love it!

Here's the lining, with fabric from my friend meganlorraine:

I created a flat bottom and reinforced it inside with plastic canvas so it will stand up. Here's a side view:

My favorite part is the way the stripes and the purple work together. I can't wait to start using it!

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29  "Leave Your Mark" painted rock in Completed Projects by zcrafter on: May 18, 2009 09:32:08 PM
I love to paint on rocks! I find one with interesting ridges and shapes, then plan the painting around them. This one turned out to have fossil shapes -- at least they resembled fossils -- so I painted them into leaves. I added a little slogan, "Leave your mark."

A side view:

It's kind of hard to show the detail of how the paint follows the ridges, but the side view picks up some of it.  What I love about painting rocks is that each one is unique. I turn them over and over, inspecting each surface till the rock speaks to me. Then I just go for it!

All comments welcome. Thanks for looking.
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30  Tree stuffie from a sock in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by zcrafter on: May 18, 2009 09:14:16 PM
Here's one item I sent to my partner in the Tree Swap 2. It's a tree stuffie made from a black sock and some bits of tie-dye patterned fabric.

Closeups of the leaves and face:

Obviously the first picture is better. It was taken by my swap partner -- she has a better camera than mine!

I made up the pattern as I went, and I kept everything baby-safe so she could give it to her little boy. I might make more of these for gifts!

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