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241  Previous Featured Members in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by MissingWillow on: September 12, 2012 06:06:52 AM
We're pleased to announce the current More Art, Less Craft featured member is FoxyBlue!



Here are some of our favourite projects that FoxyBlue has posted on Craftster, we encourage you to take a look through her huge body of work on here!
Tangled
Painting for my son
A Charmed Life
Without Darkness, There is No Light
La Peche
Untitled on watercolour paper
Gnome drawing
Sir Dydimus
Zombie Guitar straps

FoxyBlue was also featured in the Best of Craftster 2010 and Best of Craftster 2011  Now on to the interview!


Your mixed media pieces are stunning, when did you start using those techniques?

Thank you! It's only been around 5 years that I've been working with so much texture. A friend of mine inspired me by using drywall compound in her paintings to create texture and I absolutely loved it. I really REALLY love texture. I'm very tactile and I have to touch everything. I guess it was a fairly natural transition! Since then, I've incorporated all sorts of goodies to create the look I want. I want people to 'reach out and touch' my art...not just look at it!

What medium to you most like to work with?

My favourite medium. That's a toughie. Um, well in terms of paintings and wall art, I love to work on canvas so, acrylics, watercolour pencils, paint pens, spray paint, pastels, fabric 'puffy' paint...and whatever else I can get my hands on! I am also madly in love with papier mache . I love its versatility. You really can create just about anything with it! Soooo....I guess in short, there isn't  just one medium. I really do love it all!

Tell us what inspires you

Another toughie. I'm so easily inspired. It could be anything at all. But my favourite subject (and it's been this way since I was a little girl doing my fashion drawings) is women. I've always loved to draw and paint women because you can have so much fun with them. You can just go wild with the hair, faces, clothing and colours. I love goddesses, too. I love art that sends positive messages. I like to be 'lifted' by art. I want it to make me feel good.

Do you have any formal art training?

No. No formal art training. I took art all throughout high school, of course, but for post-secondary, I went to film school. I lament that often. Going back to school for fine arts is something I often consider.

Any tips for aspiring artists?

Well when I started to really take painting seriously, my confidence was somewhat lacking. I would get frustrated when I couldn't achieve the look I wanted. But I taught myself that, no matter what, keep on truckin' because it will turn out in the end. And it always did. Always. I really learned to believe in myself throughout this whole process. So, in short, trust in your abilities and your vision. Don't give up. Sometimes the most beautiful creations come from happy mistakes!

What is your favourite piece of your own artwork?

My favourite piece of art that I've created...well, I've done some custom pieces that I absolutely adore. And I love that the recipients loved them as well. Two of my favourites are these ones:


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=345854.msg4025081#msg4025081


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=345239.msg4017185#msg4017185

On what other Craftster boards can we find items that you've posted?

Knitting, crochet, polymer clay, ATC, home sweet home, cooking, clothing, toys dolls and playthings, Purses bags and wallets, quilts, occasion and holidays

Here are a few different things I've done:

Polymer clay works:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=412213.0

Fondant cake:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406134.msg4785267#msg4785267

Interior Decorating:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=402893.msg4738697#msg4738697

Toys, dolls and playthings:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=383619.msg4542082#msg4542082

Amigurumi:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380707.msg4504682#msg4504682

Quilting:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=349574.msg4074635#msg4074635

What is one of your favourite items on Craftster posted by someone else?

Oh boy! That's a can of worms! I am constantly inspired and blown away on this site. It's so hard to narrow it down, but I will if I must!

I ADORE Phizzychick's work. I've loved this piece from the moment I laid eyes on it!


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332796.msg3843386#msg3843386

There's also this amazing fairy that I am fortunate enough to own thanks to an organized swap on this awesome site. Bobbiemay has seriously mad skills and I'm so proud to own this!


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=374583.msg4412406#msg4412406

There's so much more that amazes me here. So much talent that I don't know where to begin. I wish I could include everyone's pieces that I love, but alas, there's just not enough room!


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242  Re: September 2012 Birthday Swap - Gallery and Discussion in The Swap Gallery by MissingWillow on: September 09, 2012 04:00:26 AM
I got my birthday present from StickerChic87 yesterday, and I love what she sent!  She claimed me for some Halloween placemats and napkins (my favorite holiday).  The fabric she used is so cute!



Here's an 'action shot'.  Cheesy  They are really well made!


She also sent me leftover fabric, which I will put to good use, along with notecards, cling stamps and a jack o'lantern punch. 


You really did a great job crafting for me, StickerChic87.  Thank you so much and happy birthday! 
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243  Halloween Bird House in Halloween Decor and Parties by MissingWillow on: September 08, 2012 10:19:21 AM
I've had this bird house I got from Hobby Lobby for years, intending to deck it out for Halloween.  I got the crafting bug this morning, and here's what I came up with.  I used a mixture of Martha Stewart and Graphic45 papers.  And a giant raven!



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244  Cooking Challenge - Bento Lunch! Open for entries through September 30, 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MissingWillow on: September 04, 2012 05:42:35 AM

photo credit - http://sonomabento.blogspot

All of you fabulous cute food fans, it's time for a cooking challenge perfect for back to school!  The subject is Bento Lunch, or a single portion home-packed meal.  You can submit a character bento, picture bento, or just a nutritious balanced lunch arranged in a box.  If there is a cooked element to your lunch, please include the recipe.  If not, please describe the process you used to assemble your masterpiece.

The Rules:

-This challenge is open to all Craftster members.

-Each participant may enter just once, and it can't be something you've previously posted.

-This contest is open for entries through midnight Sunday, September 30th.  Select NEW TOPIC in the upper right of this page.  Send TroubleT or MissingWillow a PM if you have any questions or difficulties posting.

-Voting will be open from October 1-10, 2012

The prize!
An apron with the Japanese kanji for umami!  Umami is a pleasant savory taste.  It's one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The kanji 旨味 are used to describe a food as delicious.  This prize was donated by the fabulous TroubleT.  http://thetroublewithcrafting.blogspot.com/.

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245  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 13, 2012 12:31:03 PM
I'm done! 

1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)


I finished my bunny painting and the zombie themed magnets for my daughter's zombie apocalypse countdown calendar.  It's hard to see in the photo but the top magnet is a pale severed ear with an earring.   Roll Eyes

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246  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 08, 2012 10:00:03 AM
Thanks for the incentive to finish something I've been working on forever... my Harry Potter Advent Calendar   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=412548.0

1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)

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247  Harry Potter Advent Calendar in Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: August 08, 2012 09:56:21 AM
Earlier this year, I made a Zombie Apocalypse Countdown Calendar for my daughter Tracy.  I have two daughters, and couldn't justify making something awesome for one and not the other.  Claire is obsessed with Harry Potter, so I knew that would be the theme of hers.  Here's what I came up with... the drawers have images of some of her favorite elements of the series and the center section has some festive holiday decorations.  That's an image of the Hogwarts Great Hall decorated for Christmas, along with a snitch in the upper left hand corner.



Harry's emerging from a fireplace holding a jar of floo powder.  I received the tiny fireplace from Loves2Experiment in an IYP swap, this was the perfect place to use it!  I used 3 kinds of green glitter paint to decorate it.  It glows really nicely in person, the camera doesn't capture it very well.  Harry's came with the little potions table in a Lego minifig kit I found at Target.


Here's a close-up of a few drawers.



Ron is her favorite character and Goblet of Fire is her favorite book.



But wait.. there's more.   Smiley  I'm going to have her open this black potions cabinet on the first day as well.


Inside each drawer is something to add to the potions cabinet every day, along with a description of what each item is.  There will also be a piece of candy or other small treat in each drawer.


Here's another example.  The tiny jar contains honey from our bees.


And here's the cabinet completely loaded!  I'm pretty sure both of my girls will be thrilled with what Mom made them.   Grin
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248  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 06, 2012 06:53:49 AM
I finished another on my list, hot pepper jelly.  I also made salsa, pickled peppers, chow chow, peach with honey jam and dilly beans.  I was in the kitchen on my feet all day yesterday!





1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)
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249  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 04, 2012 03:51:59 AM
I got one of my five done!  Spiced honey.  Each jar has a sliced lemon, 6 whole cloves and a cinnamon stick.  I simmered all that for 2 minutes in honey then filled jars and processed it for 15 minutes.  It's going to be Christmas gifts for the tea drinkers in my family.

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250  Blue Ribbon Sandwich Dill Pickles in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MissingWillow on: August 02, 2012 05:42:43 AM
I make my own pickles every year, and win bunches of ribbons at the county fair for them. Sandwich dill slices are my family's favorite.  Making and canning pickles isn't hard and doesn't require a bunch of fancy equipment. 



We grow our own cucumbers for pickling.  After trying a bunch of different varieties, the kind I like best is called Snow's Fancy Pickling Cucumbers if you are so inclined to grow your own next year.  You can get pickling cucumbers at the grocery store, as well as all the other ingredients. 



Here's everything you'll need; white vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, pickling spices, dill seed, mustard seed, hot peppers, garlic and bay leaves.  That's our bay laurel in the planter.  Besides the cucumbers and bay leaves, we also grow our own hot peppers, garlic and dill seed for this recipe. 



The first thing I do is sterilize my pint jars, bands and lids.  That's my pasta pot.  I put enough water in the pot for my jars to stand upright plus an inch or two and boil everything for 10 minutes.  You can reuse jars and bands, but it's important to use a new lid every time you can.



For the brine, I start with 1.5 tsp. of pickling spice tied up in a piece of cheesecloth.  That little bundle goes in a saucepan containing 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of pickling salt.  You can use regular table salt if you want, but pickling salt makes the brine really clear (not cloudy). 



Simmer for 15 minutes.



While the brine is simmering, I take a spare pint jar and use it to measure where to cut the tops off of my cucumbers to make sure they will fit.  From here I will cut them into nice thick slices.



After the jars have sterilized for at least 10 minutes and the brine has simmered for at least 15 minutes, I fish a hot jar out of the pot with kitchen tongs and fill each one with a bay leaf, a fresh hot pepper, a peeled garlic clove, 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp. of dill seeds.



I shove as many cucumber slices as I possibly can fit into each jar (they shrink a little during processing) then pour hot brine to fill the jar within 1/4 inch of the top.  For cucumbers of this size, I can fit approx. 2.5 into each jar.  If I've gotten brine on the very top of the jar I use a paper towel to wipe it off then top it with a sterile lid and band. 



Once all of my jars are ready to go, I put them back into the boiling water.  It's important that they are submerged with a least an inch of water over the tops of the jars.



They get processed for 10 minutes, then removed from the boiling water.  After 20 or 30 minutes, you'll hear the lids 'pop'.  As long as the lids pop, they are safe to store outside of the fridge until the jar is opened.  If for some reason one doesn't, just pop that jar in the fridge.  It takes about 2 weeks for the flavors to develop.



Here's an action shot!  I use this same recipe to make my own whole pickles and pickle relish.  If I have leftover brine, I store it in the fridge and heat it up the next time I have enough cucumbers to pickle.  Making pickles isn't difficult, I hope you'll give it a try!





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