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1  Fired up the ol' machine - reversible tote bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Buglady on: December 18, 2008 11:35:02 PM
First, thanks to Gloriana for the great tutorial! It was exactly what I was looking for for a bag for my boyfriend's sister. Tutorial here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=91070.0

(Lots of shops here are phasing out plastic bags, so fabric tote bags are *even more* useful than ever!)

I used a red denim, a blue polished cotton, and a fun printed fabric from my stash. (I seem to recall the printed fabric being from a horrendously expensive quilt shop... which is why I only had half a metre!)

The "main" side, with pockets made of the print fabric and lined with blue:

The other side:

I decided to vary things a bit, so the pockets on this side are a bit quieter, with the wild print on the inside. The ribbon is from Italy - I bought 3 metres of it in a little haberdashery shop in Lake Como, years ago. It was time for it to see the light of day Smiley:

I had a heck of a time lining up my topstitching - my two fabrics weren't matched closely enough in weight, and the denim has a bit of lycra in it!! So I stitched and ripped and stitched and swore and ripped, and then I went "screw it" and did zigzags where the straps joined:

I am actually quite pleased with how that turned out, so I'm going to claim it was intentional Cheesy

I think I'll make some more of these, with a few variations. I am going to try adding a top closure (big button, most likely), and I may fiddle with the proportions to make the bag a little taller and less wide. I may also make the pockets taller since they seem to get wrapped around the bottom of the bag a bit.
Oh yeah - one "Shop the Stash" gift down, 4 to go! (I only finished finals yesterday...)
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2  Bzzzz - Queen Bee! And other buggy goodness in Beads: Completed Projects by Buglady on: May 15, 2008 08:04:45 PM
I just learned how to make beaded beads using "zipped" peyote stitch, tubular peyote stitch, and circular peyote stitch. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for my Bead Bugs!
First, a Queen Bee:

And a Butterfly (peyote stitch mandalas in 2 sizes make the wings):

And of course butterflies all start out as Caterpillars:

Close up of Caterpillar showing his feet (caterpillars have six true legs and as many as ten little grippy bits that are not technically legs - your trivia for the day!)

I had a teacher fall in love with the caterpillar and buy him right away. I gave him a split ring loop so he could be a pendant. The other two have brooch findings sewn to the back. (The caterpillar really didn't work as a brooch; he fell over a lot).

Lots of work, but I love these guys!
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3  Another Tree of Life - kind of different :) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Buglady on: May 14, 2008 08:47:01 PM
This is my take on the "tree of life" concept... it's related to the baby blanket I knit this spring, I think. The pendant is quite large, so I made the chain on the short side so that the tree would sit just below the collarbone. I'm really pleased with it, especially how the floral/leaf chain elements turned out Smiley

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4  Re: I love Bicycles! Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Buglady on: April 01, 2008 08:03:07 PM
I got goodies from Animegirlie!!

There were two of these BIG denim panniers, with a really clever way of stiffening the back of the bags so they don't flop into the spokes:

And a super cute neck warmer and hat in bright sunshiny colours (with a note that said "for cooler nights," which made me laugh because it was -12C here this morning and never did get above freezing despite the sun Cheesy); also a set of straps to keep my pant legs from getting eaten by the chain:

And some adorable stationery with bikes on!

Thank you so much, Animegirlie!! (The panniers are especially great because my previous set, a cheap pair that were never designed for the abuse I put them through, finally shredded completely around the zipper last week! I was trying to figure out how on earth I could salvage them and maybe expand them to hold more than a notebook, lunch, and pair of jeans... and now I don't have to! Thanks!)
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5  Fishy fish! Bathmat project in Crochet: Completed Projects by Buglady on: February 11, 2008 10:48:34 PM
This is from a Family Circle Easy Crochet magazine from last Feb. or so. (I forgot to write down the date and I am too lazy to go upstairs and check Tongue) I have not done a lot of crochet, but the magazine had several fun patterns in it that got me into it pretty painlessly. I learned how to do edges at last!!!

Anyway, fishies! Here is the picture in the magazine:

The magazine cover, blurry, sorry:

My version (what can I say, I like bright colours...). I thought the fishies should be swimming together, it was friendlier that way. Also, I turned their "top fins" from the pattern into side fin, and eliminated the bottom fins:

In its new home, cheering up the smallest room in the house:

Finished size is about 24x30". Yarn was Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, doubled for the mat itself and the chain loop edging, single for the fish and "bubbles." The pattern is a bit weird in that the mat is made in six pieces that then get seamed together. The little round "bubbles" are actually handy for covering up the really uneven stripe joins! I think if I do something like this again, I will make the mat all in one piece because that was unnecessarily fussy, I thought. I really liked the way the fish worked though - they are made as separate shapes, then applique'd on, and they lay nice and flat.

I now have ideas for all sorts of fun little mats with flowers or other shapes added. They are totally washable so I am thinking a few of them would be fun to have around in the bathrooms and kitchen.
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6  Aran Tree of Life baby afghan :) in Knitting: Completed Projects by Buglady on: February 11, 2008 10:28:58 PM
This is actually my first baby blanket. I've been knitting for ages - mainly socks and other small portable projects - but never had enough lead time for a blankie Smiley However, our neighbors kindly let us know several months ago that they were expecting, and yesterday their beautiful baby girl was born.

They have just redone their house in a very classic Mission style, with lots of natural wood and such. I really couldn't see them going for the standard pink-for-girls, blue-for-boys schtick, so I went with an Aran style.

I used Sirdar Denim Chunky and kind of made the pattern up as I went. Freeform cables are fun, although I do think one side of the tree is a bit bushier than the other! The leaves are knitted separately and sewn on. Finished size is about 30x36".

I think if I do anything like this again I will use something other than moss stitch for the border, as it got a bit wavy, but overall I am really happy with it. Hope the neighborinos like it too! Smiley
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7  Wirework rings in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Buglady on: February 03, 2008 10:26:04 PM
(Posting spreeeeee!!! Sorry, I just don't get around to sorting out all my pictures very often... this is several weeks' worth!)

I have been having fun making rings out of 14-16 gauge wire. I don't have a mandrel but the handle of my hammer works surprisingly well! Mostly I keep the rings open so they can be sized (this is handy both for giving/selling them to other people, and also because my own fingers change a lot. I can go up or down almost a full ring size depending on temperature!).

I hammer the wire to harden it up and texture the top parts. The rings are surprisingly sturdy and I like wearing them because they do not feel heavy on my fingers.

14g bronze and 16g copper:

16g Silver:

I'll stop with the posting spree now. Thanks!
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8  Promoting to shops in Crafty Business Discussion by Buglady on: February 03, 2008 10:17:49 PM
I am trying to get my jewellery into some local boutiques rather than spending every weekend at the farmers market. I made these little portfolios to bring to each shop; I include 4-6 photo postcards of my work in the portfolio, tailored to each shop's tone and clientele. 

I made the folders out of fancy cardstock from a scrapbooking store. My artist's bio and other information are on different fancy papers, and I included a sheet with pricing information.

What do you all think?



Inside, exploded:

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9  Asymmetrical bracelet in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Buglady on: February 03, 2008 10:10:32 PM
This was inspired by a pattern from Beading Daily: http://www.beadingdaily.com/freeprojects/bracelets/leaf_and_twig_bracelet143-1.html

I liked the way the designer used the donut element, and I gave it a try:

The donut is rose quartz; I also used amethyst nuggets, tourmaline and moonstone chips, and seed beads. I am usually a very symmetrical person so this was actually quite hard for me to do! It does open up lots of new possibilities though.
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10  Clusters? Bubbles? Fun earrings! (image heavy) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Buglady on: February 03, 2008 10:05:20 PM
I kind of went on an earring bender yesterday. I kept looking at some of my beads and thinking how lonely they looked when I used them singly... so I put 5, 6, even 9 of them on one earring...

I called the glass ones "bubble earrings":

Detail of one that seemed to need a dragonfly charm:

Then I got into my semiprecious stone beads and the silver wire... these ones seemed to need a more dignified name than "bubbles"...

Green aventurine with carnelian:

Labradorite with freshwater pearls (these are really teeny, only 3mm rounds!):

Mix of garnet, amethyst, and blue tigereye:

Hello! I am very cute. You should play with me instead of hunching over those beads!

(This is Pickles. Pickles was a hockey player in his previous life. He thinks that head-butting is the best way to get your attention. He also body-checks if the head butt doesn't work. A ten pound cat flinging himself at you generally does get your attention...)

(Also, please pardon the very messy desk in the background. My projects can usually be described in terms of their blast radius. And yes, that's a rock tumbler beside Pickles. Christmas prezzie Cheesy)
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