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October 5th News Announcement:  New Featured Projects posted!  Congratulate these artists for being selected!
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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Primitive Witch Doll on: October 20, 2016 01:10:00 PM
My partner in the Mini 13 Days of Halloween Swap had an art doll listed on her questionnaire.  I considered this a challenge since I'm not really a doll or toymaker but decided it wasn't going to defeat me.   Cheesy  She also listed witches as a favorite so I knew the direction I was headed.  I found a pattern by Stacey Mead for a primitive witch named Goode Pumpernickel and her cat named Soot.  This was quite a challenge and I learned a few new techniques, including dyeing muslin with coffee.  Her hair is made with yarn I repurpopsed from a yarn ponytail I made years ago.  I painted a heart shaped 'tattoo' on her bum but forgot to take a photo of it.   Smiley  Thanks for looking!

2  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Vintage Trick or Treater Spool on: October 13, 2016 07:44:39 AM
Have you ever seen any of those vintage Halloween costumes from back in the 1940s where the kid basically just cut eye holes in a feed sack?  Man, those creep me out!  When I was thinking about making a spool figure for the mini 13 days of Halloween swap, I couldn't get the idea out of my head.  Of course the dolly she's holding just isn't right...

3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / A Batty Blue Shrine on: October 10, 2016 03:30:01 AM
Here's a sweet little shrine I made for Killam Creative in the Mini 13 Days of Halloween swap.  It's slab built pottery with some star embellishments.  The skull was made and fired separately, then glued onto the piece after firing.  It stands about seven inches tall.

4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Miniature Halloween Party on: October 08, 2016 03:37:15 AM
I made this miniature Halloween party in a box for the fabulous Killam Creative in the mini 13 Days of Halloween swap.  I found the black spider web chandelier on sale at Michaels last year and modified by removing an odd large skeleton face and adding my own crystals.  The spooky portrait on the wall is a lenticular sticker set into a frame. 

The table is set with an assortment of sweets, including polymer clay caramel apples, molded cake and moon pies and a spooky head in a jar.  I found the tutorial at http://www.instructables.com/id/head-in-a-jar-prank/

I hung a vintage skeleton on the wall and filled a miniature tub with poly clay apples and resin for a proper bobbing for apples party game.

Here's the back of the box, I love this paper and have had it for ages.  Thanks for looking!
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / DIY Cocktail Cherries on: May 24, 2016 03:55:18 AM
I found myself at a fancy restaurant with a real cocktail menu last week and was tantalized by 3 words... "House Made Maraschino".  What?  Since the cocktail in question (A French 75) also included champagne it was a no-brainer.  That cocktail cherry ended up being a revelation.  I love cocktails.  I love a good DIY project. I know how to can fruit.  Cherries are in season.  Duh. 
My husband loves a good Manhattan so we've had a jar of Luxardo Maraschinos in the fridge since last Christmas.  They set me back $20 but are delicious.  I foolishly thought Luxardo was the brand but some research taught me Luxardo is a maraschino cherry liqueur.  A trip to the grocery and ABC stores got me me all set. 

Here's the recipe I came up with.
    1 cup sugar
    1 vanilla bean, scraped
    2 cinnamon sticks
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Juice from 2 lemons
    1 cup water
    2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted
    2 cups Luxardo

I brought everything but the cherries and the liqueur to a simmer and cooked it for 5 minutes then added the cherries.  The cherries cooked for an additional 5 minutes until they softened a bit.  I removed the pan from the heat and poured in the Luxardo.  I water bath canned them in sterile jars for 10 minutes.

Then made my own French 75! 
6  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Advent Calendars on: April 12, 2016 07:15:42 AM
Closer to the holidays, how about an advent calendar challenge?  There are so many different, amazing and inventive ones posted here on Craftster.  It would be the perfect excuse to make one this year for someone special in your life. 
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Diner in an Altoid Tin on: April 01, 2016 03:31:21 AM
What's for lunch?  In this little diner, there's only one thing on the menu...  Spam!  Today's special is a slice of fried Spam on a croissant.  Fries please, no chips, with a pickle on the side.  I'll have a Classic Coke.   Cheesy

The croissant was made from paper clay, the spam, fries and pickle are all poly clay.

Thanks for stopping by!
8   / FIBER ARTS / Meet Our Featured Artist in Fiber Arts - Belladune! on: March 31, 2016 07:54:52 AM
Tell us a little about yourself
I am first and foremost a mother to three beautiful wild children, and a wife to a wonderful man.  Our home is also occupied by three cats a dog and some fish. We (my husband and I) run a plumbing company in a tiny little village (that morphs into a large town in the summer months. Whoop Tourism!), and are involved in many local organizations (but not the same ones.. can you imagine?! we'd be with each other 24/7!   Shocked )   I've always been crafty, and though my passion for making things has waxed and waned over the years I can't imagine a day without some sort of making.

How did you get started in fiber arts?
It's all Craftster's fault.  Wink The story goes like this: One day I got it into my head that I ought to give cloth diapering a try. I was looking at various forums on the subject and having already acquired mad skills in sewing I thought I'd be better off making my own diaper covers. That lead me to a cloth diaper pattern here, and all the wonders that are hidden within these many many pages and projects.  A gorgeous yarn popped up in the Recent Posts thumbnails and I clicked, wondering what they made with it.  Well, blow me over, they made THE YARN. Mind blown, and fingers itching, I bought a drop spindle and some wool the first chance I got and I was hooked. Down into the fibery rabbit hole with me! Now I spin, felt, dye, and more.  Funnily enough, I never did make a cloth diaper cover...


What inspires you?
The medium itself.  The possibilities that wool and fibres present are endless.  The use of resists in wet felting, using the texture of the wool to create interesting yarns, the sculpting process of needle felting... that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I've only managed to cover maybe 1/4 of what's seen above the water.


Do you have a creative philosophy?
I suppose I do. Create something everyday, in any medium, even if it's not your preferred.  Making something often leads to the next idea of what to make or another iteration of the same thing in a different medium. Because slowly it becomes a need not just a want. And it doesn't matter if it's hideous, just make it. Keep going and see it through, you may surprise yourself in the end.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in getting into spinning?
Dive in.  Run out and  get a spindle. Or heck, make one from CD's. You don't need a teacher.  There are tutorials here, and all over the place on the internet.   Make mistakes, make something that resembles yarn, and save it. Keep practicing and go back to that first ever proto-yarn and be in awe of where you started.

What is the favorite project you've ever posted?
Just one?! Such a toss up... I'm torn between my crafty Momma cupcakes, my Snailtaur (or more accurately Rlynns.. He was a swap gift!) and my Secret Keeper. Oh! and The Yarn That Craftster made!


Besides Fiber Arts, what other boards on Craftster would we find some of your work?
You can find me on the cooking boards, knitting & crochet boards... embroidery/needlework... sewing... I even played with clay a few times.. And I think there may be one or two of my projects in More art less Craft.. events and holidays.  I certainly don't practice craft monogamy.


What is your favorite project on Craftster that's made by someone else?
I love all the stumpwork embroidery pieces.


What is your favorite spinning method?
Woollen! Because it makes soft fluffy springy yarn.

Needle felt vs. Wet felt?
It really depends! I love both for different projects.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
You have time. There's always time for things you want to do, you just need to notice that you have control over it.

9   / KNITTING / 2016 Featured Projects in Knitting on: March 21, 2016 03:14:51 PM
Here's a great start to 2016 featured projects from our knitting board!

Harry Potter Inspired Hat and Mitts by raeonix

Sheep Socks...uh, NOPE... by alwaysinmyroom

10   / SEWING IN GENERAL / 2016 Featured Projects in Machine Embroidery on: March 08, 2016 03:03:41 PM
Here is a list of our current 2016 featured projects in machine embroidery.  Thanks to everyone who contributes to this section of Craftster!

Family Portraits by lindyv321

Free Motion Bunny Embroidery by pottermouth

Machine Embroidered Hoop Art by Nicc79

Hagrid's Hut by pottermouth

Always Machine Embroidered Hoop  by lindyv321

Owl Embroidery by alwaysinmyroom
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