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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / What site do you buy your machine embroidery patterns? on: June 25, 2014 07:36:35 PM
So, I love Urban Threads. I think the designs are amazing, & love that all(?) of their designs are available in a variety of sizes.

Now, my boyfriend wants some shirts & hats embroidered with bass fishing gear. I've done a bit of scouring of the internet, & have yet to find a site that measures up, even in part, with how much I like Urban Threads in terms of usability or designs.

My question, then, is this:

What site do you buy your embroidery designs from? Bonus points if they are as awesome as UT.

Alternatively: Recommend free Mac compatible digitizing software.

Thanks in advance, everyone!
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / TGMBox of Crafty Goodness Swap on: August 15, 2013 08:11:17 AM
My boyfriend recently introduced me to the idea of The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk, or TGIMBOEJ. I thought, "What a splendid idea, this would be perfect for crafting supplies!"

So I propose The Great Migrating Box of Crafty Goodness, or TGMBOCG.

The short version is that there would be a box or boxes circulating around that contain a plethora of various crafting supplies, ephemera, tools, or even small completed projects. When you receive a Box of Crafty Goodness, you may take out & keep any pieces you may want or need, but you must refill the box before sending it on. Refilling could be based on size, value or quantity, but should always be roughly equal to what is taken out. But adding more would always be welcomed!

For more detailed info on how the original TGIMBOEJ works, check out this link:
TGIMBOEJ Wiki

I don't know if I would be willing to take on this as an organizer by myself, but I would be overjoyed to be a co-organizer with someone!

I think it would work best to try it in the U.S. first, either structuring it as groups or in a claims system similar to the various ongoing swaps. Maybe taking volunteers to start the boxes? I don't know for sure yet, but I think this could be most awesome for destashing & sharing!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Antique Mason Jar/Coffee Grinder Revamp on: October 06, 2012 09:39:22 AM
So my sister- & brother-in-law recently got married! Yay!!! They've been together for over a decade & have a home together, so they didn't really do a registry or ask for gifts. But being me, I had to make them something, of course! After talking with her, I found out that she is redoing their home in a vintage/rustic style, & that her favorite color is purple.

After an afternoon of adventuring to antique & thrift stores, I had a vintage blue mason jar, a purple & blue handkerchief, vintage lace, four tarnished serving forks & a coffee grinder. Also picked up some lace, pearl-like beads, floral foam, silk flowers, a paper mache box & some acrylic paints & ribbon from my stash. After a few crafting sessions, a nice big cut on my finger & some help from my mom, I got these!

Vintage Mason Jar Bouquet
Includes the mason jar, handkerchief, laces, beads, ribbon, forks & flowers in an almost scuptural layering under a bouquet of flowers & curled forks.


Closeup of the jar


Closeup of the forks & flowers


Altered Coffee Grinder
Includes the coffee grinder, paper mache box, floral foam, flowers & paints. The grinder was missing the drawer, so I added that with the box & handpainted it, including their names & wedding date.


Closeup of front (the name & date are on the top above this)


Side view, luckily, a time crunch (& the exciting event of having to fill out paperwork for a new job!) delayed this one until after the wedding, this tree is based on the image they used on their wedding programs


Hope you guys like them as much as they did & as much as I enjoyed making them! C&C always welcome!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Alice in Wonderland Sketched Pillowcase on: August 22, 2012 08:52:24 PM
For the recent Disney Swap, I was crafting for the wonderful Amigurl55. One of her favorite films & themes was Alice in Wonderland, & she asked for a pillowcase. So I whipped this up for her! Cheesy I'd been ogling the technique of sketching with a sewing machine, & even though I don't have a cool free-motion foot, I decided to give it a go! I've also been on a macro-image kick, & thought it would be a fun way to re-imagine the Alice themes in a cool way.

Side A, going down the rabbit hole. Light blue & cream for Alice's dress, & three shades of gray & black for the spiral, gray for the lettering.



Side B, I'm late. Red for the white rabbit's coat, black for his tail & the letters, & a gold metallic thread for the watch.



It's all stitched through two layers of the white fabric & then pieced together into a pillowcase with french seams. Smiley It was a fun piece to work on for Amigurl! I hope you all have fun looking at it, too! C&C always welcome!
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / A Trio of Snarky Dotees on: August 22, 2012 08:40:59 PM
For the August Birthday Swap, I claimed the lovely lovesclutter for a dotee, or two. Well, I ended up making three. Wink When I am see the phrase, "I love cuss words," what else am I supposed to do? lol Cheesy I tried to make them all fun & fit into other themes & likes she has, I think I did a reasonably good job with these! Smiley

First, for her love of her cats & all things red, a "Cat Who Gives a Sh**." Red fabric with embroidered features.

And, the back, get it? lol Chain stitch there, can you guess what the brown beads are suggesting now? Wink
 
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Second, for her love of flappers, a beautiful flapper gal with a bit of a risque side. Black satin, feathers (from her headband, you can't see them too well), beaded trim, strung seed bead "pearls," some felt & ribbon.

And her risque side, embroidered in backstitch.
 
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Third & last, for her love of rainbow, I wanted it to be totally in your face & so much rainbow it could make more color-sensitive people's eyes bleed. Embroidered with stem/lining stitch on fabric, the back has nothing special, just more of the overwhelming rainbow circles. lol This is "B****, please," possibly the best swearing phrase ever!
 
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I'm really, really pleased to have been able to make these for lovesclutter, since it gave me an opportunity to have some good old-fashioned fun, & especially because it gave me an amazing chance to make something really special for someone that could really make her smile & laugh! Hope you all get a kick out of them, too! C&C always welcome!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Tiki Room Hoopla on: August 22, 2012 08:25:55 PM
For the recent Disney Swap, I was crafting for the wonderful Amigurl55. One of her themes that she listed was the Tiki Room. In my initial research I found a wonderful Tiki Room image here that was just begging to be embroidered!

I picked up an 8" embroidery hoop, cut up the image & re-arranged it to fit the hoop & this is what I came up with! Cheesy


The flowers & baskets are satin & stem/lining stitch.


And I really wanted to make the birds have a feathered texture, so they are long & short stitch, but I changed the lengths of the stitches so that when they would have longer feathers, the stitches are longer & shorter stitches for short feathers.


I was trying to work mostly out of my stash, so I ended up taking some scrap fabric I had that I loved the pattern, but not the tone, & tinted it using some watercolour. Here's an image of the pre- & post-watercolouring fabric.


I was very happy to make this for Amigurl, & I hope you all like it, as well! Cheesy C&C always welcome! Smiley
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / This (Cheshire) Cat Disappears on: August 22, 2012 07:07:43 PM
For the recent Disney Swap, I was crafting for the wonderful Amigurl55. She listed one of her favorite characters as the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland As soon as I saw that, I knew what I had to do! I had to do that moment where he's just a floating head with these levitating stripes of his body. I felt crazy at first, because polymer clay is definitely not my area of expertise, & trying to sculpt something hollow? Yea, seriously, I must be crazy. But, I think it turned out really well! Cheesy

I started with a wire & aluminum foil skeleton & head. I forgot to get a pic with measurements, but he's about 6"l x 4"w x 3"h.


The face took me about 4 1/2 hours to sculpt because I had to keep going back over it to get it right.


Then added the "ribbon" of his stripes around the wire. This is the part I am probably least happy with, but I was having trouble getting it smooth without squishing it, so it's a bit lumpy.  Embarrassed


Oh well, though, after he was all baked & gessoed, I painted him with acrylic paints & finished him with a clear coat. Overall, I'm really happy with how he turned out! I'm quite pleased with him, especially the combination of sculpted & painted face. Smiley



I hope you like him! C&C welcome! Cheesy
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Posting Swap WIP in Other Places? on: July 17, 2012 07:27:55 PM
I hope this question/discussion point makes sense. As I've been swapping I've been running into a very wee dilemma: wanting to post swap projects elsewhere (not on Craftster) as works in progress or as soon as I am finished with them. This is a problem for me because I love the element of surprise with swapping & am so nervous about ruining that for my partners. I've seen other people, including myself, including a note in their signature links to be wary of spoilers on external sites like blogs or FB pages, but I'm still finding myself unsure about it.

So, I guess it sums up as this:
Do you, as the sender, post your swap projects on outside pages before they have been received by your partner(s), either as WIP or finished pieces? Why or why not?
Do you, as the receiver, take any steps to avoid seeing spoilers of what is being made for you? Why or why not?
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Fox & Owl Felt Embroidery on: June 03, 2012 11:05:51 AM
I made these for my wonderful partner thehappycrochetchic in the Foxy Hooters Swap! She had mentioned having a hoopla wall she was always looking to add to & I was totally struck by the inspiration for these while I was researching foxes & owls.

One thing I really loved about the faces of the foxes & owls, is the intensity of their eyes & how much there is when you look into them, & I really wanted to capture that intensity with both in one piece. This is my first time working with felt for embroidery, but I thought being able to extend beyond the confines of the hoop itself would make it more dramatic. I added the embroidered embellishments to help add character & use the colors to tie them together. Stitches used are satin, stem, outline, french knots, blanket & whip stitch.

Without further ado, fox & owl felt hooplas!


Detail of the great horned owl half!


Detail of the red fox half!


I hope you enjoy them, C&C always welcomed! Smiley
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Fox & Owl Plushies on: June 03, 2012 10:55:47 AM
For the Foxy Hooters Swap, my wonderful partner thehappycrochetchic asked for a plushie, which I just happen to have been on a kick for making! lol So, what else could I do but make her a couple of plushies? Cheesy

These are both made from the same basic pattern I drew up that I just added extra bits onto to make the different plushies. The bodies are machine sewn, with details hand sewn on. Please forgive the odd quality of the photos, I took these late at night.
First, the snowy owl!

Side view, too.


Second, the red fox!

Side view, too.


Both of them together!


Also, a bonus, I made these wee owls for her, too, with fabrics from my stash. These are based on this tutorial, minus the buttons.


I hope you enjoy them, C&C always welcome! Smiley
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