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131  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 27, 2013 05:42:59 AM
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Challenge: June Quidditch
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Congrats, mommy-to-be
Project Page Link: /
Brief Description:
You would think that after salvaging all those post cards from my gran, I would have plenty, right? Wrong! Sometimes, you just need to have an extra personal touch. When I saw that the Quidditch challenge for June called for orange submissions, that immediately made me think of one of my friends who is a total orange adept. This friend is currently going through the process of artificial insemination to become pregnant of her first child. She doesn't have fertility problems, but as a single lesbian woman, she has no outlook of conceiving naturally and she is conciously choosing to bring a baby into her life now, as a single mother. In Dutch, we used to be call this being a BOM-moeder, for bewust ongehuwde moeder (consciously unmarried mother) but since increasinly many couples are having children outside of marriage, the term has changed to BAM-moeder, for bewust alleenstaande moeder (consciously single mother). I chose to use both terms here, because I wanted to use the bomb-part to represent the Chudley Cannons even more. The card is possible a little premature, as she is yet to conceive, but hey: I'll be prepared when the time comes around!

The text says:
Congratulations BOM/BAM Mother!
Sharing you passions with the baby:
- customizing a green pram with flowers V
- giving the little one a trumpet X (start with a rattle)
- playing folk-dance music during tummy-time V
- jumping into a Circassian Circle with the baby X
- decorating the room with toy brooms and toy owls, stars and cauldrons V
- naming your daughter Nymphadora or your son Xenophilius X
- creating its own forum account on the day of birth X
- taking the child along to meetings of the forum / AFS and letting it be cuddled by all your friends V
- putting alphabet-blocks into the toy chest V
- reading the "Little Green Book" before bedtime X

Context:
My friend plays the trumpet in a Murga band, their outfits are all in green and they use a lot of flowers and flowery make-up. Hence the custom pram. The mother to be also enjoys going to folk dances, but the Circassian Circle is a dance where you pass on your partner constantly! Like all of us, my friend is a real HP-nerd, so that explains the next two points, and we met online through a HP-related forum 10 or 11 years ago, and the forum still has regular meetings. also, this friend is a real spelling-geek, who will often go to dictation events and usually gets very high scores. The "Groene Boekje" or "Little Green Book" is a spelling reference guide. It's kind of like a dictionary, but it only lists the official spelling of a word and no explanations. It's also often dubbed the green bible Tongue

I've got the stars, the alphabet-blocks, the flowers, the notes to represent the music, the toy broom, a sippy cup with a lightning bolt for Harry Potter, a big and a small bell pepper to represent mother and child, and the drawing in the top left of a curly banana and a bell pepper is something we always drew on the top left corner of our envelopes during the year she spent studying in Hungary, where internet access was still rare at the time (at least with her host family) and we became quite intense pen pals. Explaining that context would become very hard!

Project Picture:


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PS: Does anybody know what happened to the spelling checking function of craftster? I used it quite often, since my browser's spelling checker is in Dutch, and my English often needs checking too!
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132  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 24, 2013 04:57:39 AM
Challenge/Battle/Alert:June Multimedia
Team/Ninja: Team Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): Harry Potter
Bonus Points: Nerdy, Super Nerdy
Project Name: A chain to pull you from the marshes
Brief Description:
I've been having a very rough time lately, as my grandmother (who was also my godmother) died on May 17th, I injured my lower back, and we had to put down one of our two kitties last Monday, June 17th. I was overwhelmed by emotions and I get hit by spells of mental paralysis during which I feel incapable of doing anything that's not mindlessly watching television or numbly surfing the net. Anything beyond that feel like to much of a struggle, my energy levels just go totally down. I've identified that I was being tricked by a Hinkypunk, an innocent looking creature that will trick strangers to follow it's flickery blue light. It pretends to be a guide through difficult terrain, but instead, it lures you into the marshes where you will get stuck. This week-end, I fought of one of these little imps. I made a warning sketch, and I also made a chain to drag me out of these mental marshes. I only had silvery chains for my pendants, but when I inherited this sparkly cameo pendant from my grandmother, I needed to get it a nice matching chain! I couldn't find any suitable pre-made ones, so I went to the craft store to buy 40cm of golden chain and a matching closure. A couple of minutes of tinkering with my jewellery thongs later, I had a chain that does the pretty pendant perfect justice.

Naturally, the Hinkypunk is bright and shiny to attract wanderer's, and the chain and pendant are sparkly too!
Project Picture:



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133  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 24, 2013 04:31:14 AM
Class: Defense against the dark arts
House: Slytherin
Project Name: A chain to pull you from the marshes
Brief Description:
As I wrote yesterday, I've been struggling quite a lot lately, everything I did was becoming exceedingly hard. I believe that I had let myself mistakingly be guided by a hinkypunk, believing that its fickle light would bring me to safety, while it was just dragging me deeper into the marshes. I penned down a sketch of the little pest, and made a matching chain for the cameo pendant I inherited from my grandmother. I didn't have any gold chains, only silvery ones, and that really doesn't do it justice! So out I went and I bought 40cm of gold-coloured chain and a matching closure, I pulled out my jewellery thongs and gave the pendant a beautiful chain to hang from. The making of the chain itself was a very quick and simple craft, but also very rewarding. I think I can pull on this to get me out of the swamps and into greener pastures!
Project Picture:



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134  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 23, 2013 02:08:30 PM
Phew, I haven't been crafting much lately... I wrote a stack of envelopes and glued texts to our wedding invitations, but even though glue was involved, that was hardly crafting! The last 7 weeks have been so difficult, I have a hard time doing anything. Exactly one month after my grandmother passed away, we had to put down one of our two kitties. At 12, she hardly behaved as the old granny she was, but still more like a kitten. She was so curious and adventurous, a very enthousiastic little pirate, as opposed to her 6 month older sister, who is a very calm, stoic, carefull little princess. Kjara was suffering from allergies though and had scabs all through her fur. We had a two year trial of adjusted diets, cortico-steroids (injections, topical and pills!), runs of antibiotics when she got infections where she had scratched or bitten open the scabs, one of those lamp-shade like contraptions to keep her from biting, but though that all gave some improvement, nothing could cure her. Recently, she also started developing lumps in her underbelly, which wasn't cancer yet, but was likely to evolve in that way, she started throwing up a lot and she frequently relieved herself outside the litter box... Our little darling was starting to go senile, couldn't keep the pills down (and giving her pills was so stressful for the poor thing!) and she also started moaning during the day sometimes. It was a very, very difficult decision, but the vet and our closest friends and relatives all assured us it would be best to euthanise the kitty.



Today, I broke through my paralysis. In the morning, I was watching something on TV, and a character's friend had died. As she was crying on the television, I started crying to, and I probably cried for over an hour. (My fianc was there to hug and comfort me, luckily enough!) After I got some of that negative energy out, I found I had some positive energy left in me and we started cleaning up the house and the garden. The den, office space, dining area, kitchen and hallway are all spic-and-span clean and tidy now, and the garden is tidy and a lot cleaner. I was amazed by how much we managed to do in just five hours! After dinner, I took out my granny's vintage night gowns, my seam ripper, scissors and my cutting machine, and started cutting squares for my waste not, want not remembrance quilt. I have 37 so far, 21x21cm big.



So I've kicked off my OWL at last, and I hope to retain the energy to keep working on the project. Grieving is a process, and I've been so afraid to feel the pain that I had blocked myself from feeling anything ... I have loved and love still, and I must agree that it is very powerfull magic. It is better to feel what I am feeling that to be numb and frozen, I think. That's one big lesson I learnt from Harry Potter. HP really is my comfort zone, I can always go there, it is always home.
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135  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 13, 2013 02:19:03 PM
Challenge: May Randomizer: Scrap Heap
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): /
Bonus Points:/
Project Name: Salavaged cards
Brief Description:
While we were clearing out my grandmother's appartment, we found out how much she really did keep: we uncovered three moving boxes of post cards, some dating back as far as 1951! We sorted through all three boxes, pulling out the cards that had foreign stamps, gathering all the blank cards and also putting aside all beautiful cards that were easily salvageable. This last series was then divided over me, my mother and and aunt. I selected only those I really loved, because I don't have a lot of space to store cards, and not enough patience to salvage many of them anyway! I got a larger share of the blank ones.

With a cutter, a glue stick and my stash of unused colored paper, I got to work and reclaimed my new stash of cards for another round of sharing happiness. Don't you just love those (mainly) vintage designs? I sure did!

Project Picture:


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136  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: June 13, 2013 02:10:46 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans: Onion
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Reclaimed cards
Brief Description:
while emptying out my granny's house, three moving boxes full of (mainly received, written) post cards were uncovered. Some dating back to as early as 1951! My grandma sure did keep everything! We sorted through all three boxes, pulling out the cards that had foreign stamps, gathering all the blank cards and also putting aside all beautiful cards that were easily salvageable. This last series was then divided over me, my mother and and aunt. I selected only those I really loved, because I don't have a lot of space to store cards, and not enough patience to salvage many of them anyway! I got a larger share of the blank ones.

In the first picture, you can see my selection of cards that needed salvaging. As you can see in the second picture, they were all covered in loads of text! To remedy that, I took out my cutter, a stick of glue and my stash of colored paper. I removed the back from most folding cards, and gave the other cards a layer of glue and a layer of paper (and for the pale yellow and pale blue cards: two layers of glue and paper each, as that was rather thin paper and you could still see the text!) giving these cards another go at spreading joy. Just a couple of hours of work, and I've filled up my box of cards nicely. I won't be needing to buy cards anytime soon!

Project Picture:


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137  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Naantje on: May 31, 2013 12:48:07 PM
Battle: Pirates vs Ninja's (NINJA WINS!)
Team/Ninja: Team Fantasy
Project Name: Train Doodles
Brief Description:
Oh, I'm nearly embarassed to be turning this project in, but these are some doodles I drew on the train last week to distract myself and to keep myself from crying (this was the day before my granny's funeral). I wanted to expand it into several scenes, but an acquaintance happened to show up in my train carriage and we talked the rest of the trip. I liked the battle idea and wanted to work on that theme. I think it's pretty obvious my ninja would win, as the pirate can't even tell his opponent is present!
Project Picture:
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138  Re: HP Craftalong ~Spring Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: May 22, 2013 12:33:44 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Charms
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Baby Hat
Brief Description:
I currently don't have any literary works to peruse while riding the train, and since I finished my NEWT yesterday, I suddenly didn't have an active crochet project either! With the remainder of my ball of yarn from the baby blanket, I hooked up a matching baby hat and applied the Meteolojinx Recanto charm to make sure it will protect my niece or nephew to be from bad weather conditions.
Project Picture:
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139  Re: HP Craftalong ~Spring Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Naantje on: May 21, 2013 01:40:41 PM
I finished my NEWT!!!
NEWT Subject: Care of Magical Creatures
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Red snuggles for newborn niece/nephew
Project Page Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=423803.0#axzz2TxfHbXle
Brief Description:
My brother and his partner are expecting the most magical creature of all: a newborn baby. It will be their third child and I wanted to gift them something to pamper my new niece or nephew. I put my crochet wand to good use and hooked up a warm, snuggly red blanket. I just finished weaving in the ends and I'm wondering if / how I should block it. It's probably going to be washed quite often and I don't think blocking it will last? It's a bit ruffly, but you won't notice that when it's in use, and I like it anyway.

The center in single crochet, the outer half is double crochet and I finished it off with scallopped edging. I hope it will be well received when the baby arrives! (And finished well ahead of time!) Switching to double crochet was a good thing, it worked up so much more quickly. All of the double crochet part, the part with the little holes and the outer three rows of single crochet I worked up in the last 2.5 weeks, while my grandmother was in hospital and after her passing. As one life leaves the world, another life enters. (I didn't take six weeks for the center though, I had worked up more already but frogged a large part when my gran had been in hospital for just a couple of days)
Project Picture:


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140  Red snuggly baby-blanket in Crochet: Completed Projects by Naantje on: May 21, 2013 01:32:13 PM
My brother and his partner are expecting their third child come July and I wanted to give them something special. For their first two children, I bought gifts from their registry, but since my niece and nephew were born, I've picked up the hook and learnt to crochet so this time around, I wanted to make them a gift myself!

I bought some red boucl linnen yarn and hooked up a snuggly baby-blanket. It's got a 85cm/33 inches diagonal and measures 76cm/30 inches end to end. It worked on it for about two months, but I'm quite a slow crocheter and I had to take some breaks to avoid RSI in my wrists.





My mother figures the baby doll is about the size of a three month old baby.
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