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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Stop damaging my calm on: July 19, 2014 11:25:46 AM
For my partner on the hoopla swap!

The girl was fairly easy, though it was my first time doing loose bits on a hoop, but the wording... this was the third attempt at it, and I finally just went with paper.  It gave me the look closest to what was in my head, though it felt weird... but I guess you don't normally wash a hoop, anyway, right?  Still, that whole "sewing paper" thing is weird to me.  I like it when other people do it, I just... feel wrong.

I drew the girl out, then made copies and cut out layers of pieces and embroidered them on.  I'm not great at embroidery, but I'm slowly learning!

And a close-up of her hair (my favorite part):

2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Whimsical Shrine Gallery on: July 18, 2014 10:52:34 PM

Sent and Received
Sending Late with Communication
Feedback Given
Please Contact Organizer Immediately
Negative Feedback Given

Smeddley's group
Cryssoleil (co-organizer) <> Ludi
cackle <> PerfectlyBohemian
lovesclutter <> blupaisan

.:dollface:. <> ChameleonHound
ShannonMB <> adrienne_bowers
Hoppy <> Ramona Q

3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Lifebook Lesson "Tangled" on: July 07, 2014 05:19:29 PM

The idea of the lesson was to glue everything down with gesso or matte media, and it would all be a uniform color (except the face(s), which were photographs in the original).  Then take paints and highlight areas/objects.

...but I never follow directions.  I was skeptical about the 3-D-ness of the project at first, but it's growing on me, and there are parts of it I like, and parts I would certainly do differently...

I'm considering her my "craft muse" and will probably hang her somewhere in my craft room, eventually.
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Double-sided (mood) "anchor" hoop on: July 07, 2014 03:39:49 PM
For one of my partners in the hoopla swap, I saw she had a pin that said "You're a W(anchor)", and I knew the instant that I saw it I had to do it.  But as I cruised her pinterest more, I also saw she had some posters pinned that said "You (anchor) me".  And an idea was born!  A two-sided hoop, where you could display whichever side matched your mood!  You partner would know they were either in your good (anchoring) graces, or they were on your bad side (W(anchor)).  Then came the part about figuring out how to do it...

This is what I did....

I stitched the W(anchor) side as usual, then pulled it as tight as I could in the hoop.  I sewed a line of stitching around the back side to hold it really, really tight.  Then (because it was dark fabric and I was adding a light fabric on top) I sewed a white circle to the back, as close to the edges as I could.

Then I released the outer hoop.

Then I put the white (anchor) side in a larger hoop, tightened it, and spread a little line of glue around the outside edge of the back of the black W(anchor) hoop and pressed it to the center of the white (anchor) side.

After that dried, I trimmed the white fabric so the raw edge would be in the middle of the hoop edge, and slipped the outer hoop back over it, hiding the raw edge.

It's not as taut as I would have liked, perhaps, but it seemed to hold up!

Does anyone else have a way to do a double-sided hoop?  I was just winging this, all the stuff I could find by Googling dealt with making the embroidery as pretty on the back as on the front (trust me, no one wants to see the back of my embroidery!).
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Profanities Hoop (NSFW, obv!) on: July 02, 2014 04:06:36 PM
Picture for the thumbnail with the bad part cut out:

So, for on of my partners in the hoop swap, I made a hoop based on a pin I've seen about (and have pinned myself!).  I was unhappy with the layout and spacing of the words, though, so I re-designed it and added two floral bits.  The bottom is part of a design from a book that I then mirrored, and the top is supposed to be a rose-colored flower but I changed the colors to match.  I'm really pretty darn happy with the way it turned out, and one of these days, in my spare time, I'm going to re-stitch it for me!

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6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Origami crane (and nest) shadowbox (and nest/egg tutorial) on: July 01, 2014 08:44:47 PM
The prototype shadowbox (any suggestions or critique is welcome):

(also I might mention there's a shrine swap in sign-ups right now, shameless self-promotion is shameless!)

(also also I don't know that I love the felt, but like I said, prototype... I think I might try paint next time, but I don't know how well I can paint over glue...)

For scale, here's the crane on my fingertip (folded from a 1" square):

Aaaaand, because I want the engineering bonus points from the Summer Nerd Games, here's how I made the nest and eggs (there are tons of tutorials on crane-folding out there!).

The nest is made from twisted newspaper.  I pretty much followed the "newspaper yarn" ideas out there, and rolled thin strips:

Then I followed the wire nest pendant idea, wrapping the paper thread around an object...

Then wrapping the paper thread around the coils...

Then, finally, wrapping loosely around the bottom and (because I couldn't weave the paper thread like I do the wire) securing with some thread:

The eggs were made by soaking paper until it looked pulpy and dissolved:

Then rolling it into small balls:

(this was much harder than I though, I made many more than I needed, because as you rolled tighter and tighter to squeeze the water out, a lot of them fell apart)

And let them dry:

And there you have the crane, egg and nest:

(it's sitting on top of a salt shaker there)

The tree is a branch from our oak tree and the bench is make from twisted jewelry wire and mini popsicle sticks.
7  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 100 ENTRIES / 100 Paper Cranes on: July 01, 2014 08:11:41 PM

Given the highly doubtful likelihood of me being around for Craftster's 1,000th challenge (at 12 challenges per year, that'd be in 2089...) I figured I'd do a scaled-down crane folding for the momentous 100th challenge.  But what to *do* with the cranes?  That was the question...

And I lit upon the idea of a combination of public art and well-wishing.  I thought up 100 positive qualities/words (love, joy, hope, dreams, courage, resolve, etc... that was a really difficult thing, I have to be honest...) and wrote a different one on every crane.  Then I carefully strung them on bits of string and Cryssoleil and I went and hung them on a tree at a park and... left them there.  And I want to thank her for going with me on perhaps one of the hottest, muggiest days we've had!  I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to do it on my own, especially since no one would have been there to drag me back to the car if I passed out from the heat...

It felt a little like really pretty littering, I'll be honest.  But the birds will disintegrate in the rain and the real birds (and squirrels) can use the bits of yarn in their nests (goodness knows they love the stuffing from my patio furniture...) so it's not all bad.  And, in a perfect world, as each of the cranes gets water-logged, and the ink runs, that wish - that happy thought - is released into the universe to fly away to someone who really needs it.  Hey, I can dream, too, right?

(And you'll just have to believe me, yes, there are *exactly* 100 cranes on that tree!)
8  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Whimsical Shrine Swap (SU CLOSED, SO 8/11) on: June 30, 2014 03:28:29 PM

(The picture used on the interest thread, and used again for continuity, by the fabulous Knickertwist - I hope this is okay, if not, let me know and I will take it down!)


Swap name:   Whimsical Shrine
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Smeddley
Sign-up date range:  June 30th to July 11th
Date to send item by:  August 11th

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


What is a whimsical shirne?  I'm glad you asked!  The Craftster Blog recently did a feature on it, and if you haven't seen it, one, you should totally be following the Craftster Blog because it is awesome, and two, it's right here!

In this swap, we will be making a shrine based on our partner's tastes, at least the size of a regular-sized tin but it can be larger or oddly shaped - no need to stick with rectangles or squares, though there's nothing wrong with either of those options!

No one like to be flaked on, so if you aren't sure if you can do this swap, please dont sign up.

If you know you will be late or unable to complete the swap please let us know ASAP.
Communication is a must. Everyone is required to post up on the thread at least once a week to let us know they are still involved with the swap. If you do not post up it will be noted in your feedback. If you are going on vacation or will be away from the internet just let us know.

Delivery Confirmation is required within the U.S., please send tracking number to both your partner and organizer when you send. A mailing receipt need to be kept if sending elsewhere.

PM both your Partner and your team organizer when you send and receive.

Please post pictures of what you receive. Your partner worked hard on it and we would all love to see it! If you cannot post up please let your partner know as soon as you know. Make sure you take pictures of everything you send just in case.


Swap Organizer himself/herself 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


(If you want to participate, please remember to send your info to the organizer - that's me! - via private message and don't reply with it here, but do say something in the thread because you have to have posted in this thread to be accepted into the swap!  It's a rule!)

Name of swap: Whimsical Shrine 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?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval:

At least five themes you'd like for your shrine (more is fine, but you need at least 5!) :

What style do you like? (Examples of styles: cartoon, gothic/dark, creepy/haunted, realistic, modern, retro... etc.  It also helps to have a pinboard!  And yes, I do think a whimsical shrine can have a gothic slant!)

Do you want a hanging or sitting shrine, or either?  
Do you want to make a hanging or sitting shrine, or either?

Favorite colors?
Least favorite colors?

Favorite patterns or designs?
Least favorite pattern or design?

Any allergies?
Any allergens in your home (include smokers)?

Is there any material you would not want used (fur, feather, bone, leather, etc)?

Are you able to post pictures in the gallery?

Do you have an Etsy favorites, wist, or pinterest?  

Is there any other information your partner or the organizer should know?

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


01. Smeddley (organizer)
19. Cryssoleil (co-organizer)
02. .:dollface:.
03. Luvebuggy99
04. Im Sew Silly
05. aada
06. ChameleonHound
07. Hoppy
08. ShannonMB
09. cabaute
10. kwality570
11. blupaisan
12. adrienne_bowers
13. Ludi
14. Onyxnox
15. lovesclutter
16. dontneedaclassroom
17. Ramona Q
18. PerfectlyBohemian
20. Jen Sews
21. wdicwg
22. cackle
23. grasshopper
24. stellato_escuro


Smeddley's group
Cryssoleil (co-organizer) <> Ludi
cackle <> PerfectlyBohemian
lovesclutter <> blupaisan
.:dollface:. <> ChameleonHound
ShannonMB <> adrienne_bowers
Hoppy <> Ramona Q

Cryssoleil's group
Smeddley (organizer) <> Onyxnox
Im Sew Silly <> aada
cabaute <> stellato_escuro
kwality570 <> Jen Sews
wdicwg <>  grasshopper
Luvebuggy99 <> dontneedaclassroom
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Pinhole camera pictures on: June 21, 2014 10:51:53 AM
...or, how to spend a lot of money to turn a very expensive DSLR into something a cardboard box can do.

Last year I took a pinhole camera class at a local museum, and loved it.  So much so that I went out and bought a Lensbaby and pinhole adapter for my Canon DSLR that very day.  And today, I used it.  Okay, technically I tried it yesterday, but today I took some semi-decent pictures.  I was out at a local park for a small duck derby and took some scenic shots...

This is probably my favorite:

For reference, here is the exact same vantage point as the last picture taken with my cell phone...

And some others I kind of liked...

I still need to do some experimenting, because it really is a system of trial and error... you can't focus or even actually see much of where the camera is pointing, and it was hotter than blazes out today, so I only messed around for a little bit.  But I'll be taking more!
10  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Pi bellydance costume (and props) on: June 11, 2014 06:05:36 PM

(Action Shot!)

My Pi costume for the bellydancer picnic.  I danced to "Lose Yourself (In the Digits)" by Pi Diddy (yes, a parody of Eminem) and I can now recite 63 digits of Pi.  Wheeee!  The stuffed Pi was a prop, I made and stenciled the apron and skirt, and a stenciled and quilted about 20 Pi Mug Rugs to give out at the dance.

Ah, the stenciling... I had hoped to use a friend's Cricut machine to cut out the numbers, but the freezer paper wouldn't stay stuck to the mat, so... all hand-cut numbers...

I had much more grandiose visions for this costume, but I started making the skirt and didn't like it... so it turned into an apron, which is much more useful!  Now, instead of having another costume that languishes in my closet, I can use it in the kitchen!

I did already get to wear it one other time, I went to a 50s Hangar dance and figured I'd play the "housewife and pi(e)" card, and won second place in the costume contest!  I'd say it's done its job for a fun, comedy bellydance outfit!
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