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21  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / What's Purple, Blue, and Cute All Over? on: March 19, 2013 02:14:02 PM
What's purple and blue and cute all over?  This 4" monster that I made for my partner in the One Tiny Monster Swap!

The words she used to describe her perfect monster were "fun, colorful, horns".  Her favorite colors are blue and purple, so I used purple fleece for the body, and wool felt in both blue and purple for the horns, tummy, spots, and area behind the eyes.  My favorite part are the horns--I wouldn't have thought to add them if my partner hadn't requested them, so I got to stretch my creativity with that part.

Since blue and purple are two of my favorite colors too, I had all the materials on hand.  I just sketched out a 4" monster and used the sketch as a template. The whole thing came together in an afternoon, and I was able to mail it out just a couple of days after the partners were announced!

As you can see in the picture below, he is just the right size to be a pet for my Blythe dolls!

22  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 84 ENTRIES / A Sewing Box from an Old Book on: March 01, 2013 04:57:17 PM
I found a tutorial to turn a book into a sewing box HERE and I knew it would be perfect for my partner in the Book Lover's swap, which I had just started organizing when this challenge was announced.  So she got a new sewing box, and I got something I could enter in this challenge!  Win-win!

It started with this big, thick volume of Shakespeare I found for $1 at my local library. (People donate old books and the library sells them to fund their programs.)

First I removed all the pages--it was actually very easy to do with an X-acto knife:  just one cut along the inside of the spine at the front and the back, and they all came out together.  The pages aren't used in this project, so I saved them for something in the future.

Then I glued book-themed scrapbook paper to the inside of the covers, sandwiching in some ribbon to tie the box closed.  I measured and cut balsa wood into the sizes I needed to make the compartments, and used a hot glue gun to hold them in place.

I glued more of the scrapbook paper to the outside of the balsa wood to give the box a finished look.

I painted the top edges of the wood with gold paint.  The pin cushion is a simple circle of fabric stuffed with polyfil and glued into one of the compartments.  I made a matching needle book to complete the package.

23  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / My Very Own Prayer Flag on: February 23, 2013 06:55:55 PM
As I thought about starting a new round of the prayer flag swap this week, I was inspired to create a new prayer flag--just for me!  All the other ones I've made I've given away in swaps or as gifts.  This is all mine, and features things I like: bright colors, flowers and hearts. The background is machine sewn, and the large flowers are hot-glued in place.  The small flowers and buttons are hand sewn.  I printed the word "Grow" onto fabric using my computer printer and freezer paper, because I couldn't find my large alphabet rubber stamps--but I love how this came out, and I will definitely use this technique in the future!

The Prayer Flag Swap Round 3 is open for sign-ups until March 3rd--please consider joining us!

24  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Prayer Flag Swap Rd 3; send by March 26 2013 on: February 23, 2013 10:24:41 AM

Here's the GALLERY

The concept is simple: decorate a rectangle of fabric with words and/or images that convey a personal prayer. It can be all fabric, or a mixed-media piece, it's up to you.

The prayer flag will be a finished size of 5" x 8", so it will be small and easy to mail in an envelope. This will be a NO EXTRAS swap. (If you and your partner both want extras, you can post pictures in the personal swap gallery). You may choose to have one or two partners.

There is a cool blog called The Prayer Flag Project that is dedicated to these flags where you can read more on the topic. The original idea is that the prayer flag is hung outdoors to slowly deteriorate and release your prayer into the world.  With that in mind, you can see that it is not expected to be a masterpiece of perfect stitching.  Rather, it is an art piece that is thoughtfully and prayerfully made.

Here's the First Round Gallery
Here's the Second Round Gallery

We will use the article about them in Cloth Paper Scissors as our guide; the instructions below are taken from that link:

How to Make A Prayer Flag

1. Cut a piece of fabric to 5" x 11". Use material you already have on hand.
2. Fold the top down and stitch in place to create a 3" sleeve, making the flag surface 5" x 8".
3. Paint, stitch, embroider, appliqué, or collage the flag.
4. Add words, journaling, or symbols as desired. You can appliqué letters, add hand stitching, stencil with textile paint, or just write with a permanent marker.
5. Thread the flag onto a string or cord and hang it outdoors so the breeze will catch it and spread your intentions.

Details of swap:
--You will craft one prayer flag for each partner, keeping your partner’s preferences in mind.  Extras are NOT allowed.  If you and your partner want to send anything other than the prayer flag, please do not post pictures of those items in the swap thread (but you may post pictures in the personal swap gallery, if you like.)
--You will have three full weeks to craft and send, from March 3rd to March 26th, 2013.
-- Please post in this thread (or the gallery thread) at least once a week so we know you are still crafting with us.

- No one like to be flaked on, so if you aren't sure if you can do this swap, don't sign up.
- You must get delivery confirmation if sending within the U.S., or a mailing receipt if sending elsewhere.
- If you must send late, let the organizers and your partner know ASAP.
- PM both organizers and your partner when you send and when you receive.
- Please post photos of the package you receive in the gallery, and take pictures of what you make before you send it.

Limited to a certain number of people? Yes, 40
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No
Additional age requirement? No

Craftster members who are organizing this swap: Leslieshappyheart and susanab
Sign-up date range: Feb. 23-March 3, 2013 (at 3pm EST)
Date to send item by: March 26, 2013

Swap Co-organizers themselves meet 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
- Is at least 18 years old: Yes

Swap Co-organizers 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 have any questions about this or anything else, please ask your co-organizers .
If you want to participate, send the questionnaire below to both "susanab", and "Leslieshappyheart"


Name of swap: Prayer Flag Swap Round 3
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country in correct shipping format:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that you are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval (YES/NO)

1. Would you like ONE partner or TWO?
2. Do you have any allergies that are strong enough to prevent you from being partnered with certain people?
3. Do you have any other allergies or things to avoid (such as nickel or animal products)?
4. Do you have any allergens (pets, smoke) in your house?
5. List at least 3 words or phrases for your partner to choose from when making your flag:
6. Name some of your favorite images/themes that you would enjoy seeing on your flag:
7. Are there any images/themes that your partner should avoid?
8. What are your favorite colors, or color combinations?
9. Are there any colors your partner should avoid?
10. Please add a few more details about yourself and your tastes to help your partner get an idea of who you are. The more information you give, the better she can craft for you.  Feel free to add a link to your Pinterest or Wist, or to particular items that would give her an idea of your taste.


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

1.  susanab
2.  Leslieshappyheart
3.  Diesels_Mom
4.  suereal
5.  blupaisan
6.  SonjaBoo
7.  waggonswest
8.  annigirl22
9.  alwaysinmyroom
10. cabaute
11. Ramona Q
12. silentblair
13. Abbeeroad
14. Smmarrt
15. wdicwg
16. rscowtown--Welcome first-time swapper!!
17. FoxyBlue
18. deathbeforedishes
19. pioneer9
20. PerfectlyBohemian
21. Antidigger


Leslieshappyheart's Group
Leslieshappyheart <-->  Smmarrt
Leslieshappyheart <-->  FoxyBlue
FoxyBlue <-->  Ramona Q
Ramona Q <-->  suereal
suereal <-->  PerfectlyBohemian
blupaisan <-->  cabaute
Abbeeroad <-->  cabaute
Abbeeroad <-->  wdicwg
wdicwg <-->  deathbeforedishes

Susanab's Group
susanab  <-->  PerfectlyBohemian  
deathbeforedishes <--> pioneer9
pioneer9 <-->  annigirl22
SonjaBoo  <--> annigirl22
Antidigger <-->  SonjaBoo
waggonswest <-->  rscowtown
silentblair <-->  alwaysinmyroom
alwaysinmyroom  <--> Diesels_Mom
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Prayer Flag Round 3--Sign ups are Open! on: February 23, 2013 06:49:59 AM

Sign ups are NOW open on the swaps board HERE

The first two rounds of the Prayer Flag swap have been SO AWESOME that Susanab and I think it's time for a third round!  

Click HERE to read about how to make a prayer flag and how the first two swaps were run.

Here's the First Round Gallery
Here's the Second Round Gallery

I am ready to jump right in, so I will open sign-ups today or tomorrow--I'm just wanted to give everyone a "head's up" here before starting the swap.

Sign-ups will last about a week, and the send-out date will be at the end of March (a little over 3 weeks of crafting time).

You will have the option of one or two partners, like before.  Prayer flags are small and easy to make, so even if you are short on time, you can participate.  Join us!!  
26  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitting for Blythe Dolls on: February 19, 2013 02:13:06 PM
Usually I post Blythe-related things on the Toys board, but this one is all about knitting, so I'm happily sharing this as my very first knitting post!  I am a novice knitter, but I've found some easy patterns for Blythe dolls on Ravelry, and I am enjoying knitting them for my dolls and for swap partners.

Both of these pictures show dolls wearing the same items in different colors:  the "Flirty Dress for Blythe" by Jane Pierrepont, and
"Shrugs and Kisses" by Maggie Baird. I like the simple sophistication of this look on Blythe!

Tiny knitting needles don't scare me now, and I love how quickly I can knit these patterns. I'm developing an obsession with sock-weight yarn!

27  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Tiny Books on: February 17, 2013 06:04:36 AM
Last week I ventured away from sewing to try my hand at bookmaking...TINY bookmaking, to be precise.  These make perfect little dollhouse props, because they look incredibly realistic.

I found the covers on Jim's Dollhouse Printables (Jim also has a ton of other things you can print out.)  I printed them onto card stock, then glued them to pretty book-related scrapbook paper so the inside of the covers would look nice.

After the glue was dry, I cut them out with my X-acto knife.

To make the pages, I used an old dictionary I got at the local library.  (People donate used books and the library sells them, $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks.  I've gotten some amazing books that way!  A few of them are too good to craft with, and I save them for photo props.)

I measured the covers and cut the book pages just a little smaller.  Working in stacks of 10 sheets, I sewed them along the folded edge so the pages wouldn't fall out after gluing.

When I had enough of the page sections sewn to fit perfectly into the fold of the cover, I put a heavy line of glue in the cover and pressed the pages in place.

To keep everything from shifting while drying, I used a mini-clothespin.  (The bobbin is there so you can see how small the book is!)

And there you have them--books fit for a dolly! Now to make a tiny bookcase...

28  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Make Dolls for your Dolls on: February 09, 2013 05:20:43 AM
For a recent Blythe doll swap, the theme was "Dolls for our Dolls".  I had seen a picture on Pinterest of a Blythe holding a tiny replica of herself, so I knew that is what I would make for my partner!

This is how the finished dolls look, front...

...and back.

I simply took pictures of my Blythe dolls dressed in outfits that I made and I would also send to my partner. (The doll in the pink and grey dress, below, is wearing a white hat because I wanted to give her white hair, like one of my partner's dolls.)  After editing and resizing the photos on the computer, I printed them onto fabric (I used a product called Ink Jet Printing, which is cotton fabric stuck onto printer-sized paper; but the same results could be achieved by ironing freezer paper onto fabric.)

I cut out the image of the doll, and on the reverse side and drew a pencil line to follow when I was sewing.

Then I sewed, turned and stuffed her.  Here she is waiting for hair.

The results really exceeded my expectations, and I now realize that you could do this to make a mini-me of ANYTHING, really--take pictures of your kids and make them pillows of themselves--they would love that!!

29  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Old Fashioned Book Lover's Swap GALLERY, send by Feb 26 2013 on: February 06, 2013 01:50:07 PM

Take your nose out of that book for a moment and post pictures of what you received in this swap!

The swap thread is HERE

Blue - Sent package.
Green - Package arrived to partner.
Strikethrough - Feedback done.
Orange - Sending late with communication.
Red - problem, contact your organizer/co-organizer, please

Leslieshappyheart's group
Leslieshappyheart  <--> noodle-bug
flyraeven <-->  Staar84
avesthel <--> pioneer9
rachel.in.rainbows <--> titaniumhip
mthrasher138 <--> calixita
fancybutch <--> pcollins399
kriSmith -->danynn --> jennifer680 --> kriSmith
30  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 83 ENTRIES / Photo Backdrop for Dolls on: February 05, 2013 08:31:06 AM

I have recently amassed a nice collection of Blythe dolls, and I wanted to make a diorama-style backdrop to use when photographing them.  The picture above shows the inside of the box I used for this shoebox challenge, decorated like the inside of a house.  When I crop the photo, I get a great picture like the one below.

Since Blythe dolls are almost 12" tall, I had to find a BIG box.  Luckily my daughter had recently purchased some boots (and it didn't hurt that she wears a size nine!) The picture below shows the box before I altered it.

I wanted several different backdrops, so I covered every surface of the box with something different.  The picture below shows the back of the box set inside the lid, evoking an outdoor scene, which I crafted from scrapbook paper.

See?  It looks like Penny is taking a walk in the country!

I used some great paper that looks like weathered boards to cover the outside of the lid of the box. 

Now Penny looks like she has paused in front of an old barn.

To finish the box, I covered all the sides with book pages, and spelled out "Blythe" in wonky stick-on letters.  Now my photo backdrop looks great from every angle, and I have several new possibilities for photo shoots!

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