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1  Black Books sampler in Needlework: Completed Projects by yamwam on: January 29, 2011 03:23:44 PM
This is a cross-stitch sampler inspired by the late British comedy series Black Books. It's a birthday present for a friend who's also a fan.



The shelf of books in disarray is for the messy bookshop Bernard and Manny run. The grapes are for the episode "Grapes of Wrath"; the poker hand, card suits and racehorses are for the episode "A Little Flutter" (note the card Bernard tries to cheat with, Mrs Bun); the elephant and the balloon are for the episode "Elephants and Hens"; and the wine bottles and glasses are because Bernard and Fran are always getting drunk. "No Timewasters" is something the misanthropic Bernard writes on a board in his shop.

Close-ups:






I don't take very good pictures, but it's white 16-count Aida fabric. I hope she likes it!
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2  Marie Claire Ides photo heart in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by yamwam on: November 28, 2010 10:56:14 AM
I love love love the French magazine Marie Claire Ides, but I never make any projects from it because they all seem to require access to La Droguerie, a vast lush backyard, a brood of photogenic children, and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi that makes everything in that magazine look so effortless and elegant.

But the January 2010 issue contained something cool that I could actually do:


(Photos blurred in Photoshop for privacy reasons.)

Here's the original project, on the bottom right corner of the cover:


I had been looking for an eye-catching way to display framed pictures in my new apartment for some time. For some reason, the pattern provided in the instructions does not actually match the picture on the cover, and I ended up changing the orientation of some of the frames anyway, so the shape of mine turned out a little different. Mine has a pointier bottom.

The frames came from Zellers in packages of 2 for $5, al though one weekend I got 10% off for using my HBC credit card. The mats came from the dollar store in packs of 2 for $1-$1.25, depending on which employee was working the cash register. All told, each frame cost about $3. The pictures I printed on my own inkjet printer. Approximate total cost: CDN$38.

Here it is in progress:


And with a floor lamp so you can see the finished size:
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3  Honeycomb vest and Lambe handbag in Knitting: Completed Projects by yamwam on: September 02, 2008 11:32:36 AM
I had been looking for a pullover vest pattern for a while when this came out in the spring '08 Knitty. I used Cascade 220 Superwash (loved it) but the colour is slightly greener than it looks in these pictures. I think it was a cloudy day.





It took me several weeks on and off to make it, but I finally finished it in May. It was a pretty easy knit, aside from the fact that I didn't gauge-swatch and the first piece, the back, ended up a little narrow. No way I was remaking it. I just made up the difference by casting on the number of stitches required for the Medium front instead of the Small one. Seems to have turned out OK. I'm going to wear it to work this fall when I start my new job.



Lambe is a free pattern from Berroco, part of a trio of similar bags that feature cables (the others' names are anagrams--Amble and Melba or something).



I loved the cable and I had some bamboo handles, so I just needed the yarn. I was going to get something cheap, since it's just a bag, but I saw this colour of Cascade 220 and had to buy it. It was just so beautiful... Plus there was a storewide sale so it was 20% off!
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4  Re: Easy Peasy Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: April 20, 2008 06:16:25 PM
When you're supposed to be studying for exams, any other activity is totally appealing. So instead of reviewing narrative structures in Ovid's Metamorphoses, I'm posting pictures of what I received from Astica!

First, my favourite thing obviously, a tote bag she sewed and stencilled a Tardis on:

The colour isn't quite right, I think... I'm not really good with the flash.

Here's a handy little pocket on the inside that describes this capacious bag quite aptly:

This is closer to the real colour.

Finally, the whole group. Astica also sent Scrabble magnets that spell out Tardis (I love Scrabble), as well as two pretty bookmarks inspired by things on my Wists:


Thanks Astica, everything's lovely and you're totally awesome!
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5  Re: Holiday Cheer Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: November 23, 2007 11:49:43 AM
Received from our organizer, the charming irish_chicky!

Everything in the package. In case you can't tell, I celebrate Christmas.


1. The present for me! Yes, it does make me happy, irish_chicky!


And this would make anyone happy. (Except diabetics and dentists.)


2. My Christmas tree ornament, a Styrofoam ball meticulously wrapped in yarn. This must have taken you ages!


Here I am hanging on the tree...

No, that was a lie. That tree is 25 m away. And outside. And belongs to Romania. (Embassy across the street.)

3. Present for my "someone else", my roommate Maria. It's an ice-cream tub full of candy! Plus a pretty crocheted cozy, with detachable crocheted flowers! Neat.


4. Random act of kindness: gift tags. So useful!


Thank you irish_chicky, everything's fantastic! Also, we're the first pair finished, it seems. Hurrah!
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6  Re: Once You Pop You Can't Stop Swap #4 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: August 20, 2007 08:33:22 PM
Received a totally awesome can from one of our gallant organizers, dogsarecool! She stepped in after my original partner had to drop out. I told her my favourite colours and how my hero is Martha Stewart (hereafter called Marthy), and she took those facts and ran.


The haul, clockwise from bottom left: pretty Marthy stickers; Tazo teabags (I've never had these, but I've always wondered about them); brightly coloured beaded stitch markers in a (I think) Marthy matchbox; two Marthy permanent markers in my favourite colours; a bit of cool rickrack; a sparkly dangly earring in another Marthy matchbox (other earring not pictured); a lovely beaded bookmark; and a big fat bag of miscellaneous useful bits and bobs. Hurrah!


The can and a zippered clutch with a wristband. How adorable is that polka-dot ribbon with the little button adornments? Awwwwww.


Lining fabric. I don't think I got the colours quite right, but you get the idea. And all the circle/dot patterns tie together. It's all in the details, man.

Thank you very much dogsarecool, I love it all!
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7  Re: The Doctor Who & Spin Offs Swap Gallery!! in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: August 14, 2007 07:04:18 PM
Received from my absolutely fantastic swap partner Midnightoak today and I couldn't be happier. Thank you a million times over, Midnightoak! I feel so spoiled. Want to see what I mean?


How did all of this fit into one box? I think Midnightoak must have used Gallifreyan technology. Clockwise from top left: TARDIS sewing box that falls open, Capt. Jack Harkness' vortex manipulator, heaps of British candy--I mean sweets, strange pocket that came with a note that said "Bigger on the inside", cards/bookmarks featuring my favourite characters and quotes, registered merchandise including a Doctor Who pen and pencil and a "Monster message pad" (hee hee!), and these cool cards featuring quotes and sort of coloured silhouettes of the 10th Doctor and Jack Harkness.

The TARDIS sewing box, made like a fall-open box:

I saw it in a previous Doctor Who Swap and wisted it. Midnightoak's sister made the original one, which shows that this amazing talent must run in the family! I love love love it. Check out the attention to detail--there's even a wee pincushion made up to look like the controls:


This is a vortex manipulator that my partner "picked up in a secondhand shop in Cardiff". Even though it doesn't work anymore--I guess it would be pretty irresponsible to leave vortex manipulators where any mortal could get at them!--it still looks really cool:


My limited photography skills would not allow me to take pictures of the various cards and bookmarks without glare. If you have any good pictures of them, Midnightoak, feel free to post them!

I also mentioned to Midnightoak that I have a sweet tooth, and since she hails from the UK she was able to send over lots of yummy British candy that's probably outlawed in Canada. I'm going to eat it at work and see if my productivity spikes. Trust me, it'll be awesome.

The last thing I examined was the strange little pocket painted like the TARDIS. How could it be bigger on the inside? And then--

Hey, wait a minute!

Oh my God! It is bigger on the inside! It's a bag that very cleverly folds into itself and, even more cleverly, is painted to look like the inside of the TARDIS. I'd been meaning to make one of these since I saw that tutorial, but nothing I could cobble together could ever be as incredible as this! Midnightoak is so amazing at sewing that she even made the handles look like those lacy column-things inside the TARDIS. It's unbelievable.

It's all unbelievable, really. You are marvellous, Midnightoak. Thank you again, and although my package seems inadequate now, I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I like all of the above!
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8  Re: The End of Harry Potter Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: April 27, 2007 06:46:28 AM
What a haul I got from the incomparable Kristen81! Kristen, you are hilarious and a genius.

WARNING: lots of pictures. May take time to load.

Behold the lot!

Clockwise from top left: a letter of acceptance to the Death Eaters, from Lord Voldemort himself; the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making (for proof of authenticity see below); a crocheted Harry Potter doll, complete with scar, wand, glasses and enormous untameable hair; jelly beans (mmmm!); a fantastic quilted knitting tote with pockets inside and embroidery; a wand (14" birch, unicorn-hair core)!

The glorious bag (sorry about the unglorious photography):


Detail of zipper pocket, which requires much talent to install (or magic!):


Detail of embroidery on front:


Hmmmm... I think I neglected to take a picture of the Potions book... Kristen81, if you have pictures of it, can you post them? I'm out of town at the moment. However, I know it belonged to the Half-Blood Prince because his notes are liberally sprinkled through the pages, like this:


Don't know if you can see this, but it's the first page of a thick guidebook called So You Want To Be a Death Eater written by the Dark Lord himself on parchment yellowed with age/tea.

This probably isn't legible in the photo, but the last paragraph instructs me to eat the guide as soon as I've finished memorizing it. Wouldn't want juicy information like this to fall into the wrong hands!

My favourite part of the Death Eater guide is the anthem, set to the tune of the Blackadder theme:


And check out my sweet wand!
Aha, I've got you cornered now, Harry Potter!

"Expelliarmus!"

What the--hey! He disarmed me! Oh, he is good.

THANK YOU KRISTEN81!
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9  Re: 2007 March Wishlist Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: April 11, 2007 12:58:51 PM
Hurrah, I received from AsphaltQueen! She had picked me for notepads made from floppy disks, but there were two more surprises:


Clockwise from left: 2 awesome notepads--the orange one has plain paper and the red one is full of fancy patterned paper, but they're both refillable; a bag in lovely nature-y fabric for carrying projects; a knitted Gryffindor-scarf bookmark; and a pretty pink postcard (the tag in the centre says Sew Sweet).

Thank you so much, AsphaltQueen! Now to take my notepads for a test drive write!
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10  Re: OTT 11 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yamwam on: March 05, 2007 05:39:13 PM
Received today from our wonderful and talented organizer Homerof2! I asked for something practical and she rose to the challenge with this superb coaster:



Can you believe this? It's so magnificent it drew a gasp from me on its first unveiling. Is this crochet or tatting? I don't know what technique it is, but the result is amazing. I took a dozen pictures and not one captured the splendour of the thing. I mean, look at this!



That's probably closer to the real colours, though not quite faithful. It's bright pink with a navy blue stripe. Awesome! Sorry about the blurriness, but I hope it conveys a little of the exquisite detail.



Oooh, useful! Well OK, there's nothing in the glass at the moment--but if there were, it still totally wouldn't be making rings on the coffee table! Hurrah for Homerof2!
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