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41  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / 2015 Second Chance Swap to redeem negative feedback on: December 19, 2014 09:10:42 AM
We've had a lot of people requesting another Second Chance Swap to help redeem feedback, so we're going to hold one after the holidays. New year, new chance to swap!

If you have negative feedback but are not banned from swapping for flaking on being an angel or flaking on a previous second chance swap, here is your opportunity to change that negative to a positive and rejoin the swapping world by sending crafted items to a Friend of Craftster.

If you are a FOC (Friend of Craftster) and would like to sign up, someone may pick you and send you some awesome swag! Not an FOC? Sign up here! It's your chance to help someone fix their feedback, to gain access to the special, top secret FOC boards, and to keep Craftster awesome. Win/win/win!

Questions? Post here and I'll let you know when we schedule the swap. Smiley
42  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Altered Ornament Box for Christmas on: December 14, 2014 11:13:10 AM
Quite some time ago, cackle and I got all excited about decorating vintage Christmas ornament boxes. I found a great deal on Ebay: two adorable identical boxes for $10. Each box measured just 4" by 5 1/2". I kept one and sent one to her, with the promise that we would each decorate them and give them to each other as gifts.

The boxes themselves were adorable! Each one measures just 4" by 5 1/2". Even though we got the boxes months ago, neither of us really did anything with them until we signed up for the IYP and got ourselves a good deadline. Cheesy

EDIT: better photo, now that cackle removed the cellophane.

Here's the one I made and sent to her. The little deer is a vintage deer I found on Etsy. The package next to him has a little tag with her name on it. Wonder what's inside?

I left the cellophane window on mine; she removed hers. She wins. It's really better without. I told her she may want to take that off of the one I sent her. The glare is pretty bad, especially in photos.

Aren't these the cutest boxes ever? Neither of us could bear to mess with the outsides; they were just too perfect!

I am so tickled with how these boxes turned out. I have a larger ornament box that I've been meaning to alter as well. Maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need to get started with it!

Wanna see the gorgeous box I received from cackle in return? Click here!
43  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Mini Tin Christmas Ornament on: December 07, 2014 10:45:55 AM
My last kit from Alpha Stamps came with the cutest little reindeer charm. I just had to figure out something to do with him. I also had some small bottle brush trees and lots of Snow-tex left over, so I popped the lid off of a mini Altoids tin and put this little ornament together. The gold tinsel and the jingle bell hanging on the bottom make it extra festive.

This was a fun little project that was quick and easy to do. Smiley
44  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Light-up Christmas House, with Tutorial (and tons of photos!) on: December 03, 2014 10:47:11 AM
Christmas is coming! I was inspired by vintage Putz houses to make this little house using Alpha Stamps' new Glitter House Template collage sheet and lots of other fun Christmas supplies (also from Alpha Stamps, of course!) This house has an LED light inside, and a working streetlight on the corner. Here it is in daylight:

And here it is in the dark, with both the inside light and the street light lit. When the lights are on, you can see the Christmas tree inside the front window.

These little houses are so fun and easy to make! Here's how I made this one.

Cut apart the template and adhere it temporarily with spray adhesive to the backside of sturdy double sided scrapbook paper. For this project, I used a very light coat of Aleene's Spray Tacky Glue. Once the house was cut out, I removed the template. Using a ruler and x-acto knife, cut around the outside edge of the template, and the doors and windows. Use a bone folder to score along the tab lines and the dotted fold lines, and then carefully remove the template from the scrapbook paper.

Fold along the scored tab and fold lines, and begin to glue the house together. I glued the top of the house down first, then the sides, and then folded up and glued the bottom. It really helps to cut out the bottom of the floor (noted on the template), so you can get your hands up into the house and hold down those glued edges until they dry. Once the house is assembled, you can replace the cut out part and complete the floor.

Now for the roof. I used corrugated cardboard for my roof, so I gently peeled off the top layer of paper to expose the ribs within. Once the cardboard is stripped, adhere the template, and then cut and score the roof. Glue it to the top of the house. I used a rubber band to hold the roof in place until the glue was set.

This is my first time to use Snow-tex, but definitely not my last! (Thanks so much to alwaysinmyroom for the inspiration!) I just couldn't wait to try it out, so I did a little test area on the roof, using an old paintbrush. Notice I taped around the edge of the lid of the box with masking tape; I didn't want to get any snow on the sides. (In case you're wondering, yes, I always work like this. My desk is a mess!)

Glue the chimney to the roof using Tacky Glue. Don't worry that the chimney doesn't sit flat on the corrugated cardboard; Snow-tex will cover that up.

Next, I put a string of tiny pearls around the door and all of the windows except the large one in front. I found that it helped to cut the string into tinier segments, especially when going around a curve. For the rounded windows, I cut the strands so that I was only gluing on two pearls at a time. Here, Santa stands guard while you check out those pearly windows. The snow you see on the window panes was added using an embroidery needle. I found the popsicle stick to be too large for applying small amounts of the Snow-tex.

I made the chimney cap a bit smaller than the one on the template so it didn't hang over the chimney, but I did cut the hole in it so I could add some smoke, which was made with a little bit of cotton pulled off a cotton ball.  In this next photo, I was determining placement of the house, the Santa, and the trees on the box lid.

I drew around all the elements on the top to help give me a guide of where to punch holes out for the wiring of the streetlight and the LED light within the house. Once I knew where things were going to go, I punched out the holes. The larger hole for the LED light was made with scissor tips, and the smaller streetlight hole was made with a large needle. These holes don't have to be pretty; they will be covered in the final project. To keep the lights stable on top, I used a bit of Apoxie Sculpt to secure them underneath the lid. 

Now it's time to add the snow. To keep the front doorstep from being buried, I sat the house up on a piece of cardboard cut to the same size as the floor. This will make the house look like it's on a little hill. Now, fill in the snow! I used a popsicle stick for the larger areas, like the ground, and a toothpick for some of the smaller areas, like the tops of the windows and around the Santa. As I mentioned before, the tiny bits of snow on the window panes were applied with a needle.

The trees were a little taller than I needed, so I used wire clippers to cut their wooden bases off. Once I applied all the snow on the ground, I used Aleene's Tacky Glue around the bottoms of the trees and set them into place. Push them into that snow, so they'll be nice and stable.

To make the wreath in the front window, I used a hole reinforcement label and some green yarn. I wrapped the yarn around the circle several times, adding some tacky glue when necessary. Red seed beads were then glued on to resemble holly berries. An upside down candy cane made the perfect wreath hanger.

Before assembly, I painted the box with cream and white stripes, and glued on some 7/8" lace around the rim of the top. The batteries for the lights are now hidden within the box. Look around back: someone has built a snowman!

The great thing about these templates is how flexible they are. You can make whatever sort of houses you wish. How about a haunted house next October?

Meanwhile, happy little Christmas houses. If you made it this far, congratulations! For a complete list of supplies, click here.
45  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Tags on: November 19, 2014 08:03:36 AM
I know it's been forever since Halloween, but I just realized I never posted these simple tags I made this year. This was just a little quickie project I did because sometimes, I just can't get enough of Halloween. Cheesy

46  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Cigar Box Mini on: November 06, 2014 09:07:19 AM
This month's kit from Alpha Stamps is all about mini cigar boxes. I LOVE that! I don't think I can get enough cigar boxes in my life. Here's what I made with the Cigar Box Mini, a masonite kit:

These little boxes are just the cutest little things, and the perfect size for gift cards. Here it is closed, without the little standup figures...

...and with some of the full sized cigar boxes in my collection:

So sweet!

47  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Tiny Gravestones and Goblins with Mini Tute on: October 06, 2014 07:13:54 AM
How cool are the new paper mach tombstones from Alpha Stamps? I used all three to make a spooky graveyard and set it up in the backyard. This is a tiny cemetery; the tombstones are each just around 6" tall.

A little bit about how I made them: the tombstones were originally the color of craft paper. I thought about covering them with scrapbook paper, but really wanted to get the look of an actual stone tombstone, so I ended up painting them. To get the mottled effect, I used four colors of paint: white, light grey, dark grey, and black. Using one brush, I dipped it into the paints and just dabbed it all over the surface, mixing the paints as I went. This technique works great; you just have to keep adding paints and dabbing until you achieve the look you want. Once the surface was done, I went in with a detail brush and black paint and added some cracks.

To make the niches for the skulls and gargoyle, use an ellipse template to draw the desired outline of the opening.

Once you've got your opening outlined, carefully cut it out with an xacto knife. I found it worked best to lightly score around the penciled outline, and then use the tip of the xacto in a sawing motion to cut through the cardboard. The tombstones are hollow, but there are strips of cardboard inside for support. I was able to just move those strips out of the way where I wanted the hole. Once I had the opening cut, I painted the inside black so it would be nice and dark.

The skulls and gargoyle are adhered with Apoxie Sculpt clay. I absolutely love that stuff. I was able to not only attach them, but to raise them up to the proper height to fit well in the niche. I ended up making a little frame around each niche to give them a more finished look. Here's the first of the gravestones. Is that nasty goblin trying to remove a stone on the frame?

The gargoyle bead in the second tombstone is the perfect addition to a proper gentleman's final resting place. The crow perched on this grave is also a bead, so it had a hole through its chest and back. I filled the hole with Apoxie Sculpt and painted it black. A little moss growing on the gravestones adds to the aged look.

And last but not least, there's the last resting place of a drama queen. Poor girl died relatively young. Someone has left her flowers, but I'm afraid those pesky goblins are thinking of stealing them.

Here they are all together. Happy Halloween! For a list of supplies, click here.
48  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Scary Toy on: October 04, 2014 11:54:08 AM
It's been a while since I made any scary toys, but I just did the October One Tiny Thing swap, and my partner Ludi mentioned that she might like one. Being tiny toys, they're the perfect size for an OTT swap, so here's a Halloween version I made for her. It's got a vintage block in the front, an old rusty bottlecap with an eyeball and painted lashes, a little turn key in the back, and a fun plastic batty flying up top.

The back has an awesome bat wings label. I love that bright green with the orange!

At the last minute, I gave it a little round "license tag" with a 31 on it, but of course couldn't be bothered to take a photo of it. Smiley

Check out the OTT gallery and see the awesome little pumpkin Ludi sent me in return. Lots of other tiny things will be coming soon! Smiley
49  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Pet Portraits: A Couple of Kitties on: September 16, 2014 07:00:02 AM
My good buddy amaryllisroze and I partnered together for the IYP recently. She wanted some portraits of her kitties, and (lucky me!), she's crocheting a blanket for my screened porch. Anyway, she received the little paintings yesterday, so I thought I'd post them.

She's got two girls, Ruby and Midge. aroze tells me that Ruby is the trouble maker, but she's got the widest, most innocent looking eyes! I don't believe it for a minute. Cheesy

Midgie is the shy girl, but it looks to me like she's harboring a secret of two. Could it be that she's secretly framing Ruby for her shenanigans?

And, both the girls together. Painting furry beasts is hard! I must have painted and repainted these dozens of times. There's probably 1/4" of paint on each of them. Luckily, acrylics are very forgiving! I just kept at it until they looked "right".
50  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / The Snarky Housewives Swap GALLERY on: September 06, 2014 10:14:13 AM
C'mon and get your snark on!

Original Signup thread: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435029.0#axzz3CYZ0SmJW

If your name is pink, you are have notified us you will be sending late. If your name is in red, you have sent. If your name is struck through, your partner has received. If you and your partner have a  Grin, you both have feedback. We don't expect any non-communicative late senders, right?

mambosushi<>goatgoddess Grin
Wulf<>geekgirl1000100 Grin
Onyxnox<>HSG Grin
SevsOnlyGirl<>fancybutch Grin
Sonjaboo<>Smmarrt Grin
Audiana1<>Ramona Q Grin
Mistress Jennie<>cackle Grin
pottermouth<>thisbirdsabsurd  Grin
rockingbearranch<>beeker Grin
rackycoo<>cmarion3 Grin

Thanks, everyone! Great swap!!
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