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301  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Christmas Cake (mother's) on: December 07, 2011 01:19:30 PM
LOVE! One of the christmassy things I miss most since moving to the US is making the Christmas cake with my mum. My favourite task has always been soaking the fruit, and then the baked cake, in booze. Or as it was known in our house, "feeding the baby".... I might need to go scoff some marzipan now, too...
302  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wreath of STAAAAAAARS! (pic obese) on: December 03, 2011 01:54:44 PM

My son and I wanted a Christmassy project to fill a few hours, and we had never made salt dough. I was loosely inspired by the plushie awesomeness of the happy plushy wreath http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=395759.0 but knew I didn't want to have to buy anything new for this adventure. So the wreath itself is a plushie! It nearly made me insane trying to work out how to sew the front and back together and then turn it right side out. There was a lot of swearing involved, let's just leave it at that.

The stars are salt dough (1 part water, 2 parts flour, 2 parts salt), dyed with food colouring and baked at 200 degrees for about 5 hours and then left in the oven to cool over night. Some have glitter in them too. We punched holes in them before baking as I was planning to attach them with ribbon, but it turns out I don't have any teeny tiny ribbon left (oops, my bad) so instead theyre glue-gunned on. They're coated with a layer of spray varnish just to give them a little protection from life.

The front of the wreath is the remains of the hoody I sacrificed to make my dala horse plush, the back and the bow were left over fabric from making christmas stocking last year and the grosgrain ribbon it hangs from is from my stash of hair bow supplies.

I'm really happy with how it turned out in the end, once I'd figured out the structural engineering side of things, and stopped stabbing myself with a needle when handsewing the last seam and attaching the bow. It's now hanging inside our living room, framed by the window in the door. I'd love to hear c+c!

Happy holidays craftsters!
303  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Dala Horse Stuffy. on: December 02, 2011 05:56:29 AM
I haven't measured him, but he's roughly 9 inches tall and about 12 inches nose to non-existent tail.
I have to say I'm really happy with the shape of his head and neck. It's his wonky wobbly bum that is troubling me. I have a proper carved 4 inch dala horse that my MiL gave me for Christmas last year that stood by the sewing machine whilst  I was working so that helped me get the decoration 'right'. I want a bigger dala, but theyre crazy expensive.
We often go to the Gift Chalet in Auburn, MA which is commonly referred to as the Swedish gift shop. They have all kinds of Scandinavian gifts and trinkets and CHEESE! (Oh my word, the cheeses are so good!) They also have a 3 foot tall Dala horse in the entrance, and I want that SO MUCH!
304  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: My Owl Brooch on: December 01, 2011 03:54:05 PM
Oh that's so stinkin' cute! How big is he?
305  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Dala Horse Stuffy. on: November 30, 2011 09:30:02 PM
I'm on an even-tighter-than-usual budget for Christmas, and so I'm trying to supplement my gift purchases with handmade goodies too. My mother in law is half Swedish, and so the house is full of dala horses, tomtes and Scandinavian fabrics. I'd been making Mystery Critters (http://lesliesartandsew.blogspot.com/2011/09/mystery-critters.html) and was really enjoying making plushies, so I decided to try one of my own design. Using a sweater I had from Halloween last year when my (then 3-year-old) son and I were going to go as Thing 1 and Thing 2, remnants from a plain white T which had given it's life to another project and some of the HUGE-NORMOUS! bag of polyfil I bought for my Mystery Critter project, I turned this...

 into this...

I'm really proud with how it turned out. Technically, it's probably really really bad, but I achieved what I set out to do. The detailing is machine appliqued (in the loosest sense of the word) and then top stitched using (read: playing with) the fancy stitches on my M-i-L's fancy-schmancy Pfaff and different coloured thread. The poor pony is not at all symmetric, and were I to make another I'd be a little more concerned with placing the details a little more carefully so they weren't so smushed once pony's two halves were stitched together and turned right side out. I'd also change the shape of his bum because there's something funky going on there. I may even let him have four legs should I ever make another...
When I'm feeling a little more attached to reality I will get around to updating my blog and adding more detail about the birth of my wonky little dala pony, but for now, c+c would be gratefully received!
306  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Rit powder dyes on: November 28, 2011 05:55:23 PM
Has anyone used Rit powder dyes, in particular the Dark Green shade?
I bought some to dye a dress (it started white, I dyed it once using a Dylon powder dye but didnt get the shade I wanted because of the high polyester content of the fabric, so was going to dye it again using Rit). When I mixed the dye bath I thought it looked exceptionally dark, and a little too much on the blue side for my liking, so I dunked a piece of a plain white T shirt I had lying about... Low and behold, after literally only 30 seconds in the dye the fabric was a deep rich blue. After rinsing and drying, the fabric ended up a kind of muted slatey-blue colour. Needless to say, my dress went no where near the dye bath.  I followed the bucket/sink dying directions, and added a cup of salt to the dye bath as the instructions directed (my dress is a poly-cotton blend, with a higher cotton content). I hung on to all the packaging and I'm considering writing to Rit to complain (thanks to my mum, I'm a letter-writer. I apologise) but want to be sure that it wasn't due to anything I did that it turned out this colour.
307  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: I would like some opinions on a design on: November 28, 2011 05:31:01 PM
I prefer the open back version. It's a much classier kind of sexy, whereas the deep V in front is just a little too overt and obvious. Also, if it's chilly you have the option of making a real feature of a cute cami peeking out in back. I wish you luck finding a suitable bra for keeping the girls in check should you go down the backless route!
308  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Baby Axolotl Plushie on: November 24, 2011 08:36:55 PM
In the name of all that is cute and fluffy, I NEED that in my life! I want an axolotl. Can I steal him please?
309  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Re: Dorothy's Ruby Slippers on: November 19, 2011 12:57:29 PM
Holy bananas, that's an incredible amount of work. I doth my hat to thee. And so much cuter than their humble black 'practical shoe' beginnings. Aerosoles are comfy indeed, but they have been beaten with the ugly stick... Excellent work, I am so impressed...
310  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Misc. bearded things on: November 14, 2011 08:06:02 AM
Beardy critter number one looks like a caveman. Me likey  Grin
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