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1  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / What to do with three plywood tea chests? on: January 13, 2012 02:16:45 AM
A couple of years ago I got my hands on three great plywood tea chests. They look a lot like this one: http://maaidesign.blogspot.com/2009/09/tea-chest-ottoman.html and are also in similar condition.

In my previous places I used them as bed-/couch side tables but we've moved now and the new place doesn't really need any such things. Now I am pondering what to do with them and thinking I might somehow reuse them in a more clever way than turning them upside-down and putting stuff on them. I've searched the net for ideas but haven't come up with a lot except the above linked ottoman and disassembling them in order to use the printed sides as fronts for something (though I have no idea for what  Undecided)

Do you have any ideas, links, pictures of finished projects ...?

Edit: Oh, and yea, I know about tea chest basses, but I am not the musical type.
Also, do these things go by any other name? When searching for tea chest ideas most stuff I get are those tiny tea bag storage things.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Different techniques for "writing" on fabric on: May 25, 2011 03:32:20 AM
Hi all,

(I am not sure if this is the proper board for this question. If not please tell me so or move this thread where it rightfully belongs.)

I am trying to spice up a rather boring shirt of mine and want to put a word on it using different "fabric decoration" techniques for every letter. The problem with this is that I just cannot come up with enough techniques for all the letters. So far I have embroidery (usual and cross stitch), appliqu (usual and reverse), beads, sequins, and textile markers/stencilling. I am sure there are many more, but somehow my mind refuses to cough up the respective memories. I also vaguely remember seeing lots of craft blog headers using the same idea but I cannot for the life of me remember any of the URLs either.

This is clearly my slow week :-/

Can anyone help me?
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Looking for "manly" crafting projects on: January 26, 2011 10:24:48 AM
Hey fellow Craftsters, I need you help. Badly!  Undecided

So, here's the thing: the husbands birthday's coming up. He's a crafty guy but sometimes at a loss when trying to think of actual projects to do, so I thought I'd give him a craft book, full of great crafting ideas. HOWEVER, the (German) craft book market doesn't seem to be prepared for such an outlandish topic as crafting men. All there is to find is beads, sewing, knitting, interior decorating, scrapbooking and tilda, tilda tilda ... It seems when men want to get crafty they basically have the choice between model making (think aircraft carriers and double deckers), carpenty and general home improvement (insulating roofs and changing flow heaters), none of which is especially appealing to my dear man.

So, being a crafter myself I thought "Well if such a book can't be bought, I'll make him one myself!" ... and now I realise why such books are so hard to come by: It's really hard to think of manly crafting projects!

So, as usual, I turn to you, fellow craftsters  Smiley

Help me out of my misery! I am looking for crafting ideas that mainly suit the following requirements:

  • Apartment-compatible: birdhouse not rowboat
  • Low tool usage: dremel not buzz saw
  • Manly: ... I don't know, what's manly anyway? Useful not decorative?  Elegant not cute? Wood not beads? Oh I don't know ...

I'd be most grateful for any ideas you can contribute! I promise that, in return, all projects will find their way to craftster  Wink

Here are, for illustration, a few of the things I got so far: the inevitable spice rack  Wink, a bird bath for our balcony, a storm lamp made from a terracotta flower pot, wooden buttons, picture frames, little signs to put into our herb garden, a key holder, a mini greenhouse and a vase made from a light bulb.

Best,
alphascorpii
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Advent Calendars on: December 02, 2010 02:19:08 AM
Hi all,

it's that time of the year again. Yay!  Grin

My hubby and me are both great Christmas lovers and we especially love the Advent Season, so there of course have to be Advent Calendars, too! Since both our calendars are self-made this year I thought I'd share them with you.

First off, here's the one I did for my husband: It's a pair of reindeer holding up a red round cord that holds 24 little paper bags and baskets. The reindeer are made of wood and painted red. I had to buy them, our apartment isn't really made up for  wood works. Each bag includes a little letter with a little promise on it ("Breakfast in bed" and the like. He might be reading this so the rest shall remain secret  Wink)
Here are a few pictures of it (Sorry about the disturbing background, our calendars are hanging in our book cases.)

The reindeer:




The whole calendar:


The bags are made from paper in different shades of red and reddish gift wrapping paper, there are eight different kinds in total. Here are the instructions for the different bags (some of them are German but all of them have lots of pictures so you probably don't really need the text anyway)


And here's the one I got this year: I love to do puzzles so my calendar is made up from 24 little jute boots, each including about 40 pieces of a 1000 pieces puzzle with a Christmas market motive on it. Here's a picture of the calendar (again in front of our book shelf)



So far I only collected about 80 pieces so there's not that much to do at the moment but to place them on the table roughly where they belong, but I am very much looking forward to the coming days. It will be very interesting, not to do this the usual way (border first then the most noticeable motives then the rest) but in the order I get the pieces. This is gonna be great! Cheesy Yay for my hubby!

5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / A colorful earring holder on: November 20, 2010 08:00:37 AM
I have a large number of long, dangly silver earrings and used to keep them in a box where theyd always get mixed up and tangled. So I thought Id come up with something to mount them on.

The earring holder is filet crochet, but since I am not so much the frilly type I chose a rather large needle and some colourful sock yarn. For mounting I used a nice-looking twig from the nearby park.

I really like the holder's warm colours. I think the colours and the natural wood give it a nice natural look. Also this is a really nice beginner project! What (imho) makes filet crochet hard is the delicate yarn. Using a No 3 needle and some left-over sock yarn it's really not that difficult and the bright colours nicely hide the occasional mishap Smiley

The finished holder with all my earrings:


The (almost) empty holder:



C&C welcome, as usual Smiley

PS: I liked that holder so much I made it a pattern at ravelry. It's called "Mother Nature Earring Holder "
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Look, look I am kfb'ing! on: November 20, 2010 06:57:10 AM
After giving away most of my crafty things to other people I've now finally finished a little something for myself  Smiley

I an still a learner so I choose my projects mostly by intended new skill. This time I was looking for something to get a better grasp on increases, mainly kfb and backloop. Also, I got the most gorgeous cabled needle set for my birthday (I just have the greatest husband!!) , so it also had to be something that made use of my new cabled needles.

Enter stage left: "as seen in Trinity Bellwoods" by Robbie Eddison. Great written pattern, especially for novices and just the thing to meet my knitting needs Smiley The whole thing only took me a few evenings and I am almost constantly wearing it ever since it's finished.

I am insanely proud of it although, by usual knitting standards it's really not very fancy or elaborated. But I made it myself, it cost me less than 8 Euros and it's actually wearable! in public!!

Here's a picture, I usually wear it just wrapped around once, like this. The ends come together quite nicely, so it's a bit hard to see.





C&C are of course welcome!


PS: If anyone is feeling cold too, the pattern can be found on ravelry.
7  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / bookmarked / subscribed indicator on: October 15, 2010 08:18:35 AM
Hi Craftster people,

After having used Craftster for a while there's one feature I really miss, which is some sort of indicator whether I already bookmarked a thread or switched on the "notify" feature. I think it would be great if there was some sort of indicator somewhere on the top/bottom that said/showed "This thread is in your bookmarks" or "You will receive notifications about this threat". I often click those buttons twice/thrice because I am not sure if it worked the first time.

Best,
alphascorpii
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Autumn, preserves time! (elderberry jelly and sweet-and-sour pumpkin) on: September 24, 2010 09:15:41 AM
Hi all,

I've been using the last week to refill my larder (our current flat has one, I love it!) and thought I might share the results with you Smiley

First I made some elderberry jelly. A colleague at work offered me some of his yield and I gladly accepted. A couple days later he presented me with a large basket full of elder which left me, after cleaning and picking, with about 2kg of berries. Since I think pure elderberry jelly tastes a bit dull I decided to flavour it with different additions and - given the amount of berries available - decided to try three variations. Mostly on a whim I decided to use fruit smoothies as an addition, I went with Strawberry-Banana and Pineapple-Banana, the third batch was mixed with unfiltered apple juice. Smoothies are really quite handy for this, they come without any additions, are preprocessed and offer a large variety of mixtures.

Here's the result, lined up in all its glory:


I've so far only tried the strawberry batch but I am really thrilled by its taste. The banana takes a lot of the elderberries' tartness and you can even taste the strawberry. (Although I am not sure about that, maybe you only do, when you know it's there.) I have yet to try the pineapple one but so far I'd say the smoothie experiment was a full success and I'll definitely do this again.

Since I had some more empty jars left, I went and bought two (Hokaido) pumpkins and pickled them sweet and sour using vinegar, honey, cinnamon and clove.

Here's again the result:


I am not entirely happy with how they came out, the fluid is very murky, I should have filtered it. Next time I will!
For a little extra-cuteness I used cookie cutters for a few of the pieces, the pumpkin was very hard though, so there are only a few hearts and stars among the cubes. Oh well, I'll call them surprise pieces Wink

The taste of the pumpkins has yet to be tested, I'll keep you updated!


9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / What do you do while crafting? on: September 17, 2010 07:40:13 AM
Hi all,

I tend one of those vagrant-minded people who quickly gets fidgety when not being completely occupied. So, as much as I love crafting there are times when churning out row after row just gets plain boring. At the same time there isn't much you can do alongside crocheting or embroidering (which is what I mostly do). So I was wondering, are there other crafters who feel that way? What do you do while following your favourite craft?  Or, looking at it the other way, what's the secret of having your craft give you meditation-like fulfilment and not having to do anything alongside it?

I'd be really interested in other people's thoughts on this.

Best,
alphascorpii
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Looking for a more elastic crochet stitch on: September 05, 2010 08:59:12 AM
Hi crochet gurus 

I've already been doing some smaller crochet projects, however all stitches I've learned so far produce a rather solid texture, which is great for pot holders and scarves, but not so much for things that have to be stretched. So, I wonder what stitches do you people use for doing pieces that need to be more elastic, such as cuffs for instance? Are there any stitches that produce a more ribbed texture?

Best,
alphascorpii
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