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21  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Sherlock Holmes Swap (Sign up Dec.10-20, 2011; Send by Jan 24, 2012) on: December 10, 2011 03:11:15 PM


Sherlock Holmes Swap

Gallery is here.

As far as I can see, Craftster has never had a Sherlock Holmes swap. This curious absence is a mystery in itself, and one that should be easy to solve. So just in time for the new Robert Downey Jr. Holmes movie, let's swap Sherlock Holmes stuff!

Since the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1887, we haven't been able to get enough of the great detective's adventures. Beyond the original 56 stories and four novels, there have been countless plays, musicals, cartoons, radio dramas, comics, TV series and movies, as well as hundreds of new novels and stories featuring the immortal characters of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. That should be enough raw material for a dozen swaps, so what are we waiting for?

Because of the holidays, this swap will have a fairly long crafting period. Thats great if you want to do time-consuming crafts like knitting or embroidery, but it also makes it easier to put things off and lose your momentum. (Especially with so much else happening in December.) We want this to be a flake-free swap, so ongoing communication is a must, both with your swap partner and in the discussion thread. If you're going to be out of touch over the holidays, let me and your partner know ahead of time so we don't worry about you. I will be looking for you to post an update of your progress at least once a week, and be sure to post photos of the package you receive to the Gallery.  Requirements for the swap are one large crafted item and one medium or two smalls, plus any extras you and your partner want to send.

Swap name: Sherlock Holmes Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Wulf
Sign-up date range: 12/10/2011-12/21/2011
Date to send item by:01/24/2012

Limited to a certain number of people?: No
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No
Additional Age requirement? No

Swap Organizer himself 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


QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER
Name of swap:

Craftster username:

Email address:

Your real name:

Mailing address including the country:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?

Do you confirm that you:
-  are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval?
-  understand that a Delivery Confirmation Number is required for swaps within the US or Canada, or a copy of the mailing receipt for international swaps?

Have you read the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories and novels?

If so, which is your favourite?

Do you have a favourite character in the Sherlock Holmes world? (Other than Holmes or Watson, of course, whom we all love.)

What movie/TV versions of Holmes have you seen? Who is your favourite actor to have played Sherlock Holmes? Dr. Watson?

What crafts do you do?

What colours/styles/materials do you like most? Least?

Is there anything you would not like to receive?

Do you prefer to receive crafts based only on the original stories or one particular film/TV version, or is the entire 124 years of Holmes material fair game for your partner?

Do you have any allergies? Any known allergens in your home? (Pets, smoking, etc.)

Anything else you'd like your partner to know?


IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO Wulf VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.
Partners:
Wulf <-->  the_canadian_lynx
bookstorebabe <-->  sirael
Harvey <-->  zzdia
Alchamy513 <-->  Illiamdra
My_RubySlippers  <-->  Elameno
silentblair <-->  camezzo



22  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Sherlock Holmes Swap on: August 31, 2011 05:16:21 PM


Robert Downey Jr's new Sherlock Holmes Movie is coming out in mid-December, and because I'm tired of waiting for someone else to do it, that seems as good an excuse as any to organize a Sherlock Holmes Swap.

I'm thinking November is about right, with send-outs in early December. That way people who are looking forward to the movie's premiere will be able to have their Holmes poppets, deerstalker caps, plush magnifying glasses, etc. while waiting in the line-up.

Anyone interested? Any suggestions?

Wulf
23  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / WWP Round 28 - Litha 2011 (Signups 05-08-11 to 05-16-11; Sendouts 06-13-11) on: May 08, 2011 08:16:02 PM
Swap name: WWP Round 28 - Litha 2011
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Wulf
Co-organizer: Monnie31
Sign-up date range: 05-08-11 to 05-16-11
Date to send item by: 06-13-11

Limited to a certain number of people?: NO

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Additional Age requirement? NO

Swap Organizer himself 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/NO
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES/NO
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES/NO
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES/NO
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES/NO
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES/NO
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES/NO
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES/NO


Outdoor Rites and Midsummer Nights
Around the world the Summer Solstice is celebrated with outdoor rituals, parades, circle dances, and Pagan rites both ancient and modern. It's also the start of the Festival season for many Witches and Pagans, when many of us gather for camping, celebration, ritual, drumming, and dancing around the fire until dawn. Whether you're celebrating the longest day of the year camping in a festival with hundreds of others, or alone in your own back yard, this is the time to move the magic outdoors and connect with the sacred in Nature.

Gallery: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=381563.msg4515526#msg4515526

Let's create crafts for our outdoor Midsummer celebrations, such as flags and banners, costumes, lanterns,  drums and musical instruments, portable altars and ritual gear, cloaks, hats, camping and campfire stuff or anything else that might be useful in outdoor rituals or at Pagan festivals. Talk to your partner about what they will be doing this summer and surprise them with something magical.

Size requirements for WWP Round 28 will be 2 small items or larger if  the partners agree.

Some information about Litha:
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/lithathesummersolstice/p/Litha_History.htm
http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss2/03.htm

Some Pagan festivals to check out:
Spirits of the Earth
Kaleidoscope Gathering
Starwood Festival
Wolfsong Gathering
Wic-Can Fest
Harvestfest
Pagan Pride Days

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_festivals_in_the_United_States#Pagan_festivals


If you want to participate, send this information to both Wulf and Monnie31:

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap: WWP Round 28 - Litha 2011
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
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 is your philosophy/religion/branch/etc.?

What deity/deities/etc. is/are special to you?

Are you out of the broom closet? (Do your friends and/or family know you are Pagan?)

Are you ok with tasteful nudity?

Do you have favorite colors, stones, herbs, etc?

Are you attending any Pagan festivals or outdoor rituals this summer? Will you be camping? Is there anything that would especially help you make outdoor magic this summer? Anything else you would like to receive?

Is there anything you do NOT want?

Would you be willing to learn about and craft for someone else's traditions that may be different from your own?

Is there anything you wouldn't be willing to craft for because of your beliefs?

What kinds of crafts do you do?

Do you have any allergies or aversions to anything? What are they?

What allergens are in your environment?

Please list the avatar names of your last three WWP swap partners if applicable.

Anything else you want to add?

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO Wulf and Monnie31 VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.


Participants:

Wulf
whileitsraining
Fullmoon
impchild
mandykaye
squire_inaria
spazgirl1981
MamanTattoo
Monnie31
hawkeyes_girl
sugarsandwitch
Strawberryh

Partners:
Wulf - MamanTattoo
Monnie31  - hawkeyes_girl
strawberryh - squire_inaria
mandykaye - impchild
whileitsraining - Fullmoon
spazgirl1981 - sugarsandwitch
24  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / It's nettle time! on: April 13, 2010 07:54:45 PM


Of course Spring is eagerly awaited for all the obvious reasons, but I also look forward to  it because I can have fresh nettles again. They're only really good in the spring when the plants are less than a foot (30 cm) tall. But they're at their best right now, and if you've never eaten nettles you're missing a real treat.

Most people have encountered nettles at some point in their lives, usually as kids. One minute you're walking through the empty lot with your friends, the next your skin is on fire and you're running home screaming. Of all the edible wild plants, stinging nettles are certainly the best disguised - eating them is the last thing you'd ever imagine doing!

But the secret that the nettles fight so hard to keep is that they're one of the most delicious and nutritious greens available. Very high in vitamins A and C, as well as protein, their painful sting (inflicted by tiny hairs that are actually hollow glass-like tubes filled with formic acid) is transformed by heat into pure nutrition. The delicious, slightly nutty taste is unlike any other greens.

Nettles can be found in empty lots, along roadways, and at the edges of farmers' fields. They will grow in quite poor soil, but because they contribute more nitrogen to the soil than many commercial fertilizers, nettles are often found in areas of lush undergrowth. There are none growing wild anywhere near my home, so I bought a plant from a herb nursery and planted it in my own yard. I now have a thriving, luxurious patch! A lot of people are reluctant to try eating wild plants because they're not sure of their identification and are afraid of picking the wrong thing. No need to worry with nettles, though. One touch will tell you if you've got the right plant - if it stings instantly, it can't be anything else!


Obviously a plant with such fierce defenses needs to be handled very carefully, but a few simple precautions will make picking painless. Gloves are essential, though ordinary cotton garden gloves usually don't offer enough protection. Choose full-length latex dishwashing gloves for maximum protection. (Even then, a careless brush against an exposed arm or ankle can be agonizing, so keep your legs and arms covered!) Snip the young plants off with scissors or garden shears. Don't worry about harming the plant by over-harvesting; anyone who's tried to eradicate a nettle patch knows cutting them down just makes them grow back more luxuriantly!

Keep the gloves on as you wash and pick over the plants (they need a good wash as those tiny hairs tend to trap dirt) and until they're safely in the cooking pan. A few minutes of heat renders them harmless and delicious.



My family usually likes them best simply tossed in a pan with a bit of oil and some chopped onion or garlic, but they also make delicious soup, casseroles,  omelets, or when dried, a pleasant and nutritious tea. This evening I made a nettle and bacon quiche (because there was bacon in the fridge that needed to be used up!) and it was very, very good. In fact nettles can be used in any cooked dish where you might use spinach or other greens. Pretty much the only way you can't eat nettles is in a salad, for painfully obvious reasons! They're only at their best for a month or so, but they can be frozen and kept all year long.

Be adventurous and try cooking nettles. It may give you another reason to look forward to the end of winter!

Wulf
25  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Sashiko bread cloth on: March 28, 2010 10:59:32 AM


My bread bowl is a little too wide to use an ordinary kitchen towel to cover it, and I've been meaning to make a cloth just for the purpose. I finally dug out a piece of yellow linen from my stash and got to it. It's two layers of linen padded with three layers of old flannel sheet, then quilted through with Japanese sashiko stitching. Sashiko is usually done in a contrasting thread, but I liked the white better (it's heavy crochet cotton). Overall size is about 20" (50 cm) square.



Tried it out this morning and it's just right.


26  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Scrapbooking: Completed Projects / A non-conventional layout on: March 16, 2010 07:02:28 PM


A few of us in the "Post a project on every board" Craftalong have been voicing reservations about scrapbooking. We aren't comfortable with the 'perkiness' of the commercial embellishments and find most of the usual layouts unrepresentative of our own lives. So our leader and den-mother EdelC challenged us to post a scrapbook page that expresses a quirky or uncommon aspect of our lives without using commercial embellishments or preconceived layouts. This is mine.

This is my older brother Peter, who died in 1991. The ideas started with the image of the burning motorcycle (a story that I'm not ready to cast into the Interwebs), which made me think of the artist David Wojnarowicz, who often included burning objects in his paintings. I set out to do a page in Wojnarowicz's style, but of course it turned into something else.

I haven't yet decided how much I like it or whether it really captures the memory it was intended to. I think the background painting would have been better done in watercolour rather than acrylics, because it has a bit too much gloss which I think is distracting. (Not visible in this photo.) There is a space in the lower left that needs a photo. I'm going to have to canvas my family to find one that would fit. The Chinese funeral money at the top is there partly because Wojnarowicz often collaged banknotes into his paintings, partly because the open space needed something to break it up, and partly in respect of the Chinese tradition of burning money to honour the dead.

Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Wulf
27  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Self-sorting (sorta) bin on: January 28, 2010 08:43:10 PM
At the shop where I work we just toss loose screws, bolts, nails and other bits and pieces of hardware from the workbenches and the floor into a bucket and, every couple of years when the bucket gets too full, somebody has to dump the whole mess out and sort everything back to where it belongs. When that job fell to me this Spring, I decided there had to be a better solution. So I designed a bin that would help to at least divide things by type to make the final sorting easier. Though built for an industrial situation, it would work equally well in the home craft room for jewellery findings, sewing notions, etc.

It's basically a wooden box with openings on top where you drop things in, drawers opening off the side that they fall into.

Items dropped into each of the six openings fall into separate drawers, which sounds like it would require an intricate series of ramps and tubes, but if when you see it with the front removed you can see the trick is just that each drawer just goes a little further back than the one above it.
Vertical dividers between the openings act as stops for the drawers and prevent items from bouncing into the wrong drawer. I wanted to make the openings as big a target as possible for those handfuls of hardware, so I made each wider at the top like a funnel. And I cut the shape of each as a visual reminder of what to put where.
(This actually works really well - no thinking on the job required!)

By making the drawers shallow and easily accessible from the side, it has the added advantage of making the collected hardware readily available any time. So if you happen to need a washer and don't want to go get one from the bin in the stock room, you can just pull open the appropriate drawer and see if one has been collected in the bin. Much easier than digging through a miscellaneous bucket, and the closed bin keeps out sawdust and debris.

This was built out of pine boards and 4mm plywood, but you could easily build exactly the same thing out of foamcore or even corrugated cardboard. The drawers are just shallow boxes with bases that are a little wider to slide in slots in the front and back walls. If you were making it out of cardboard, you'd probably want to make them rest on narrow strips glued to each side. Just make sure they're parallel and the two sides line up exactly.


28  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / No Unreturn'd Love on: January 26, 2010 08:24:50 PM

After thinking about by matchbox for a week and spending another week building it, I realized tonight as I was getting ready to photograph it that I have completely missed the point that this is about papercraft. Apart from the box itself, there is no paper in my entry at all! So I post it as a first papercraft shrine attempt and an valuable lesson.

The text on the top of the box is from Walt Whitman:
But now I think there is no unreturn'd love,
The pay is certain one way or another.


When you pick up the box, a red light throbs from under the filigree heart on top.

Inside is a transparent anatomical heart, which continues to beat bright red as you pull out the drawer.

This doesn't really work in photos, so I've included a little video:


The electronics is from a motion-activated Hallowe'en ornament that's been blinking at me from a drawer for several years. I cut away all the extraneous housing around the battery and tiny circuit board and poked the LED up inside the heart. I sculpted the heart in wax and cast it in clear epoxy. (The epoxy I had is several years old and rather yellowed. I wish it had been totally clear.) The metal findings on the top and sides are quite heavy, so that when you pick up the matchbox it feels like it must contain something very solid, not the insubstantial light-filled heart you find inside. (I guess that's the secret.)

Wulf
29  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / 13 years of handmade Yule cards on: December 15, 2009 09:04:05 PM
I've been making our own Yule cards for 25 years now, and I gathered up a pile of them to have a look at together. They vary a lot, from stark and plain to rather over-conceptual, but each year has been different and some have been quite nice. My partner Ian and I send out a lot of cards every year - usually 60 to 90 - so they have to be something affordable in both cost and effort. Some years I've had a really great idea and started early; most years I think about it for months and finally come up with something in mid-November. There were a few years where circumstances or creative-malaise got in the way and we had to send commercially-printed cards. Always a disappointment.

Here are a few of the cards. The inside view of each is shown with the front of the card. You can click on the thumbnails for a better look and a few notes about method, content, etc. There are more in the photo stream -- I didn't want to make people scroll down a long posting, but you can browse through them in the photo hosting pool. Let me know if this doesn't work for viewing - I'm just trying this out.






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