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121  Re: IYP22 Crafting with the Glitz GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: January 29, 2013 03:58:25 PM
I received first and what amazing things they are! StickerChic87 sent me...


Gorgeous golden yellow mitts and scarf! I love this color! She said these are the 2nd and 3rd things she ever crocheted. I can't quite wrap my head around that fact. They're beautiful! And just as beautiful is ...


This. This lovely, lovely purse with a dresden plate flap! It's incredible, really. The shape is awesome. The gray and blue colors match two coats I wear all the time. The strap length is great. I love it! I also love...


The pouch and shrinky-dink postcard bracelet she sent! She even included a few extra postcards in case they were needed as replacements. The length is just right. The images are so clear and clean! The pouch is going to be so handy. It's just the right size to carry or store some necessary little items. And you know what else is just right?


These fat quarters, pizza server from her workplace and old foreign coins! I'm always picking up and using fat quarters, I've asked for her expertise on pizza a lot and I love old coins. She chose some great ones for me! Especially...


this one from the USSR! It's dated 1988, right before the fall! I find Soviet-era history very interesting- sad, but interesting and important.


Thank you so, so much for everything, Sticker! I love it all. You are the best!
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122  Re: Triple Versus Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: January 19, 2013 08:11:51 PM
I still love the sunflower fabric! Texscrapper made me two lovely pillow cases with that fabric for another swap. They're super!


Today the envelopes in the mail box were unaccompanied by a package but the mail lady came back several hours later with my wonderful hoopla from johnson.mom2two! Check it out:


A beautiful, embroidered and colored pumpkin patch with the Russian word for "Pumpkin" (pronounced tikva) arched over it! I love pumpkins and languages. Johnson.mom2two said she'd been wanting to something for me with those for a long time. It was completely worth the wait.
Thank you so much, johnson.mom2two!
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123  Snow Angel in Needlework: Completed Projects by Calabaza on: January 01, 2013 02:34:34 PM
Happy New Year!

For a swap I made a snow angel hoop inspired by one I saw on Pinterest.


blurry full view


close up


close close up (Why does my camera like close ups so much? No other setting seems to work as well as often.)


sideways


a fairly rare blurry close up of the boot tassel french knots


the back, finished with felt


just because I like photo collages

I used crayon tinting to color the picture then added the accents and outlining. The "snow" is felt. I made a similar one for a previous swap...



...and the more recent one went a lot smoother! I'm learning! That's always good. On that note, I always appreciate c&c.
Thank's for looking!
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124  Re: OTT Winter Holiday Edition 1 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: December 27, 2012 12:11:54 PM
Oh, that little snowman army is cute and the shadowbox is lovely! So is the cardinal!

I received from arwenjade before Christmas. Lookee what she sent:

A girl at one of my favorite wintry indoor activities: Reading! And what might she be reading?


A Christmas Carol! One of my all-time favorite books.
I love the looks of the pictures arwenjade chose. I collected clip art like this in high school. The holly is a perfect touch (one of my top Christmas items). I love the whole thing!
Thank you, arwenjade!
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125  Dimensional fairy tale in plain-paper-box-to-shadowbox in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Calabaza on: December 22, 2012 08:00:37 PM
Paper crafting scares me: I have next-to-zero-confidence in myself to come out with anything decent. So, when something turns out half-way decent (according to my standards which, as you'd expect, aren't very high) I'm pretty happy.


I made this for a swap partner based on the fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". In it (spoiler alert) the polar bear takes the girl to his castle and eventually turns into a prince. In this scene the hills are each cut separately and mounted on foam, as is the bear and rider. I painted the paper with sealer (and glitter for the bear/rider) for shine.


This was a One Tiny Thing swap with the max size being 4 inches. I couldn't find a shadowbox that small so here's were I started feeling okay about this project, although I know it's far from perfect. I went to the craft store and bought a 4" paper mache box with lid. I added the swirly detail to the sides of the lid with a toothpick dipped in Elmer's gel glue, painted over that plus the back and inside, sealed it and mounted the cut scene inside. Then I cut out the bottom of the box itself with an exacto knife, cut the middle of that out, painted and sealed the back, mounted it with superglue, built up the edges with more Elmers, painted it black (yeah, that song was going through my mind a lot) and sealed it.

On the back is a hanging bracket. I love superglue.  Smiley

It is not anywhere near the level you paper crafters get up to, I know, but c&c are always welcome!
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126  Re: OTT Winter Holiday Edition 1 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: December 19, 2012 08:12:36 AM
I'm glad you like it! Paper crafting is really not my thing: I love it, but making it myself just freaks me out. I'm so happy you're happy!  Smiley
I'm not sure if you noticed (it didn't turn out as apparent as I'd have liked) but I put a design under the paint on the box (which started out as a plain, non-shadowbox cardboard box and lid.) You can kinda see it here:

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127  Re: SECRET SANTA SWAP 2012 GALLERY!!!!! in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: December 11, 2012 07:46:39 AM
My secret santa was Toralune and she is amazing!


Look at the lovely wrapping! I apologize for the crummy pics. I can get better ones this weekend (although not of this shot).


A beautiful card. It pops up!


Check out all the baking goodness! Toralune sent me Halloween cookie cutters (bonus points for them being Halloween cookie cutters!), letter and phrase stamps which I have been longing for and can't wait to try out, plus cute Halloween cupcake wrappers. Oh boy!


She sent 4 great patterns too! Toralune really hit the nail on the head with these. The 40's pattern is going to be so fun to explore, I love the Christmas one- especially the matryoshka project -and the costume patterns are awesome and totally me. I've thoroughly hacked the copies I got for myself and am so excited to have a fresh start!


I've been eyeing this English-Russian reader for a while now and Toralune sent it to me! I love it! It's pretty awesome to read Pushkin in Russian (even though I check the English side every 3rd word or so). I started reading it as soon as I unwrapped it. She sent me Christmas Nerds too. I love that candy. There was another happy "I can't believe she sent this!" moment when I opened up the bag of King Leo peppermints! I LOVE them and they're kinda hard to find. I haven't seen them for a couple of years around where I live. I am savoring them. So yummy! She sent cute gingerbread people ornaments too!

And now the super-amazing crafts!

A Stitch stuffie! I think amigurumi? I don't know but he is awesome! I absolutely adore him! He is wonderful and perfect and I love him so much. The hat behind him is fantastic too! I love the color and the pattern is so cool! The little jack-o'-lantern button holds the yellow-and-white chapstick holder closed. It is so handy! And the little pumpkin up front is just precious and lovely. It's the perfect size, shape and everything!

I don't know how it escaped being photographed but she sent the sweetest little pumpkin charm too. It is so amazing just like Toralune's crafting and stalking skills. She is thoughtful, talented and a great spoiler. Thank you tons and tons for being my secret santa, Toralune! You rock!
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128  Different pillows for different pals: pincushions, lantern, Belle & Warehouse 13 in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Calabaza on: November 21, 2012 04:39:30 PM

Every year I get an idea for handmade Christmas presents and every year I think "Oh, I'll just do those in December" and every year I end up nabbing stuff from the store or cobbling something completely different together on New Year's Eve. Not so this year! Here it is Thanksgiving Eve and I'm all finished except for the wrapping, and thats even done for 1 of these 4 pillows! Here they are:



This pillow, unfortunately, reminded me why dont often quilt. This paper-pieced pattern of old-fashioned pincushions jumped out at me and I wanted to give it a shot. I got on a bit of a roll after the one below but am now back in my place. Quilters, please dont look closely! I think my friend will like it, though. It closes with a center back invisible zipper because I didnt want to risk all those little paper-pieced seams getting mauled by a seam-ripper or making the zipper hard to zip. Problems avoided.



The one that started it all:

A lantern pillow based on this quilt pattern for one who loves all things Japanese. My friend can be quite sophisticated so the back is solid black. It closes on the side with an invisible zipper (my favorite kind).




For the one who loves Disneys Beauty and the Beast a Belle pillow! It is not quilted. She really loves the movie so I hope shes able to recognize what this is. There are many, many variations of this dress, even on Disney products! I used the dress in the movie as my inspiration and added the roses because it needed this is Belles dress advertising. The neckline in lighter yellow is curved to give more shape and tacked down so it doesnt flip up. It ties in the back and closes with a center invisible zipper. See?




The above giftees and I all hang out together, more or less, but this next pillow is for someone Ive been friends with since preschool. We get together for TV/movie nights and are currently watching Warehouse 13. Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.




The Studio 54 disco ball with wooden crate background. The zipper has a Studio 54 logo pull. She found this artifact really funny so I had to run with it. This tutorial on appliquing circles was very helpful. I modified it by slipping a circle of poster board between the interfacing and fabric to keep the ball round while fusing to the crate.


The back fabric is meant to allude to why the disco ball is in the warehouse and Lewis Carrolls mirror. Of course, what kind of friend would I be if I just handed her an artifact?


As you can see in the bottom right square, a mylar emergency blanket turned neutralizing gift bag will do the trick! Let me tell you: Mylar really is tough! The stuff does not tear unless you cut it. I put it though its paces. Whether or not it can be ironed, I dont know, but my iron doesnt want to find out the hard way. The pic above it is the zipper pull.



And here they all are together:


Eclectic, huh? I know they arent perfect, but I think theyre going to be well-liked. Present-exchange anxiety is worse than swap anxiety! Do any of you have that problem?
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129  East meets...East: Pelmeni filling in spring roll wrappers in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Calabaza on: November 03, 2012 10:36:01 AM



I love pelmeni (aka Siberian dumplings, aka Russian dumplings, aka...I'm sure there're more), but am lazy. I love gyozas, but am lazy. I have nothing against combining recipes and using shortcuts to create something that isn't either but satisfies my taste buds so here we go!

You will need:
1# ground beef
1# ground pork
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1/2 a medium-sized head of cabbage, shredded and preferably wilted for lower water content, but not necessary
30 or so all-purpose wrappers, such as for spring rolls

Combine the first 4 ingredients. You can add pepper too, if you'd like.


Place a healthy pinch of cabbage and 2-3 tablespoons of meat filling near 1 corner.


Fold the corner over the filling, fold in the sides and roll up! I like mine long and skinny, but it's up to you. Don't overfill them, though!


Place a baking rack in a baking sheet. Spray with Pam, put on your "peloyzas" and lightly spray the tops of them too! It will make them a little golden without the frying.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 14-18 minutes or until the meat registers as done.


You can eat them plain or with soy, sweet and sour, bbq sauce, horseradish, in soups, etc. I use the 4% fat beef so mine can be a bit dry, but I munch them up with or without sauce. I imagine the recipe itself can be modified infinitely!

Bon appetit!
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130  Hey, there! I was Little Red Riding Hood! in Halloween Costumes by Calabaza on: November 01, 2012 02:31:06 PM
This year, I brought a basket of goodies to trick-or-treaters!





I wore this to 2 Halloween parties plus handing out baggies full of candy (that's right- a baggie of candy for each!) to trick-or-treaters.

I like the aesthetics of Little Red Riding Hood, but capes can go 1 of 2 ways on me: acceptable or dreadful. To save myself from a headache and because the idea grew on me I parted with tradition and made a bolero. I was fortunate to find a pattern that I could make work with minimal adjustments. The jumper, on the other hand, is from a sloper and the chemise I just sketched out.

The fabric for the outer jacket, chemise and jumper were gathered from various thrift stores, the jacket lining came from a family member's stash, the boots I bought for fall and the basket came from a providential field trip to a pumpkin patch. I broke down and bought the jacket's trim.


The other pictures show the color better, but this is the best I could get to show the back. I used one of my favorite, favorite trims (grommet tape) for the corset-style back and laced it with smooth, satin beading cord from the kids' craft section at the fabric store. It makes for very easy on-off!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! Happy All Hallows, everyone!
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