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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Mixed Media Monkeys! (collaboration with storerboughtcreations) on: August 26, 2016 01:54:56 PM
My good friend storerboughtcreations and I have been wanting to do a collaboration project for quite a while now, and we finally got around to it!  She is absolutely amazing with yarn, whereas I usually use fabric, so we decided to make some monkey plushies using both of those!  I just finished the second one, so here are the wonky little monkeys!

We wanted to each keep one monkey, so first SBC crocheted the arms, legs, tails, and ears for two monkeys. She chose grey and pink for her monkey, and a combination of turquoise, salmon, and purple for mine (I love it!).  I forgot to take a photo of the pink monkey ears before I sewed them into the head, but here are the rest of the yarn pieces she made:

She mailed all of those to me, along with some neon fabric for her monkey, and some sketches she'd made for reference about the head and body size she was imagining to go with the limb length, etc.

I worked on her monkey first, choosing colors to go with the yarn and fabric she'd sent me to applique the face, and I found some cute heart print fabric that I thought could go well with the 80's vibe she likes.  Then I sewed all the pieces together... and even after completely redoing the head three times, I still got one of the ears backwards, oops.  The position of the arms is off too, but it's been a good learning experience! I've made VERY few plushies ever (I think I'd made a total of three before these ones, and they were very simple and flat), and was doing all this through trial and error, so the monkey came out pretty wonky, but I think he's got some quirky charm!

I managed to fix a couple of my mistakes on the second monkey, like the ears and arm placement.  Most of the fabric I used for this monkey came from old used clothing.  I loved finding stuff to go with the rich colors SBC chose for the yarn!

This project was really a challenge for me, but I'm always inspired by SBC's adorable plushies and hope to keep getting better myself!  It was super fun collaborating too, and we already have some ideas for things to try in the future! XD
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Rodent Spa on: August 08, 2016 01:11:50 AM
Last week was GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen - details here if you're wondering: https://www.gishwhes.com/g_blog/what-is-gishwhes/), and one of the items was this:

Item #75: The tiny kitchen trend is all the rage, but what about tiny bathrooms? Give a full spa experience to a hedgehog, hamster, or mouse, all using tiny spa implements in your tiny spa. (Remember, the customer is always right so dont make them do anything they arent happy to do including bathing them in water!)

I decided that since my pet degus are small rodents, they were close enough to fit the bill, so a friend of mine and I hit up the local 100 yen shops and then spent an afternoon making a tiny rodent spa!!

Here's the whole thing, set up to look pretty before the degus got to play in it:

And a few close-ups:

Bathing area

Cafe space
(Some of the props, such as the eraser food in this picture, were replaced with more pet-friendly things before we let the girls in to play.)

Changing room and gym

And here it is just before it was opened up to guests:

Then Buttercup and Blossom tried out the spa!  (Bubbles was feeling shy and chose to stay in her cage.)

Relaxing with a snack in the cafe:

Checking out the changing rooms:

Making a mess of the sand bath:

And enjoying the view:

Finally, here's a video of the girls playing around:
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Kitsune hoop on: July 15, 2016 08:57:45 AM
Here's another hoop I made for puzzled-penguin in the monster swap.  She mentioned kitsune in her questionnaire, and since I live in Japan I really wanted to go with that one.  I was also really excited to find a use for this awesome fabric!!  I like the hoop so much I may have to make another for myself. Smiley

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bride of Frankenstein hoop on: July 15, 2016 08:52:21 AM
I made this hoop for puzzled-penguin in the monster swap.  She had a great retro comic style picture of Bride of Frankenstein on her pinterest, so I decided to try to make a felt version of it. 

Most of the applique I've done up until now has been pretty much just felt with very little embroidery, and I'm still pretty nervous about making embellishments beyond the felt.  When I got to this point I almost stopped because I was so worried I'd ruin it:

Then I added the mouth (which is a hair misplaced, oops, but I think it still turned out fun!)

And the eyes, etc. I'm really glad I did keep going, since I quite like the finished effect, and of course she needs her scars!!
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Three Men in a Boat pouch on: July 12, 2016 09:05:14 PM
I made this little pouch for Harvey in the Romance of England Past swap.  We both love "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis, and the title is a reference to Jerome K Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat".  I made a little appliqued pouch, and made sure to include the dog on the other side!

Three men in a boat:

To say nothing of the dog!

Unfortunately I seem to have accidentally tugged down one of the corners as I was sewing this part, so it's a liiiittle crooked, but hopefully not too bad.  I still consider myself a sewing beginner but am happy to see myself making progress!  My sewing is definitely neater than it was a year or two ago!

Here are the applique pieces before I sewed them down:

It's actually the cutting out part that takes me the longest.  Sewing the pieces down is pretty relaxing once I reach that point! Smiley
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Kyudo Hoop on: June 18, 2016 10:36:12 AM
I made this for noelle in the Vikings, Pirates, and Ninjas swap.  She listed kyudo, or Japanese archery, as one of her interests, and I based this hoop on a photo from her pinterest.  I also really like the traditional clothing worn for the sport, and I had a lot of fun trying to convey the shape through felt, and then added some Japanese cloud designs.

7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / TM Patch Sewing Machine Cover on: June 16, 2016 01:19:17 AM
I fiiiiiinally finished the sewing machine cover I've been working on for ages!!

After I got hooked on TM patches, I was inspired by bunny1kenobi's sewing machine cover some time ago, and started swapping and collecting to make my own.  After about two years, I finally got enough patches and actually hunkered down and put them all together!!  I'm still a pretty inexperienced sewer though, so there were some bumps on the way. 

For example, I added WAY too much extra to my measurements the first time around, because I was afraid I'd accidentally make it too small to fit over my machine.  It was ridiculously baggy and totally unusable, but I managed to take it apart and reuse the fabric for this second attempt:

Then I just had to attach the patches!  First I pinned them on, one side at a time, until I figured out a layout I liked.  Once I had a side all pinned, I sat down with needle, thread, and Netflix to attach them.  After getting multiple sides done, I also sewed a ton of tiny whip stitches through the connecting edges along the corners, so the whole thing is pretty stiff along the edges and more or less holds its shape.  Along the way I covered up some gaps with a big button and some printed ribbon.  There was one gap on one side that wasn't the right shape for any of my remaining patches (I have a few left and plan to continue collecting, although I haven't decided what my next project for them will be), so I made a quick skinny one to fill in the blank.  Finally I did a (very sloppy!) hem along the bottom to take care of dangling threads, etc., and I'm happy to pronounce it done!!

I'm sooooo happy with the result!  Almost all of these were made by other craftsters, who were EXCELLENT at capturing my tastes and interests!  Looking at the big variety of patches really makes me smile!  A huge thanks to everyone who contributed a patch to this project!  I love them all!!

And now here are a ton of photos of all the different sides:

Ghibli, Discworld, Doctor Who, the Hobbit, Tetris, and more!! (the bottom middle skinny one is the one I whipped together just to cover the blank spot)

I tried to use patches that didn't really have a set top or bottom for the top side, although I guess the cat button does face a particular direction.

The space invader patch is one of the few on this project that I made myself.

The Princess Bridge patch is the first I ever received, and the one with Oscar the Grouch playing the Game Cube was drawn in fabric paints by a close friend of mine, based on a silly party game from way back in college!

More of my interests, including various tabletop games, Ronja the Robber's Daughter, and WEAVER, one of my favorite j-pop bands!  Not to mention a bunch of my favorite animals!!

I seriously couldn't be more happy with this project, but my TM patch addiction is far from sated!  Any ideas what I should make next? XD
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Vikings, Pirates, Ninjas, and "Friends" Swap GALLERY on: May 22, 2016 07:13:38 AM
Put photos of your awesome warrior themed goodies here!!

Original Swap Thread: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=445885.0


Isikkahjai <---> whatthepuck
Smeddley <---> bec99
rockingbearranch<---> puzzled-penguin
aisy <---> pioneer9
cmarion3 <---> Wavelight23478
noelle<---> roler
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Pigeon Pouch on: April 12, 2016 07:15:17 PM
I made this pigeon pouch for Acadian Driftwood in the Unloved Creatures swap.

I used this craftster tutorial for the pouch itself: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=151313.0

It was super useful!  I'd only ever made one pouch before, and it was a bit of a failure, so I was thrilled at how nicely this one came out!  Hooray for craftster tutorials!  I used a bit of thin quilt batting instead of interfacing between the layers to make a nice soft pouch.  The lining is a bit of fabric I got from LovelyMiss in a swap.  She's sent me so many pretty pieces of fabric, and I've been using it a lot lately! XD

The pigeon is made mostly of felt, with a bit of wool from one of my father's old suit jackets.  I had a lot of fun putting it together.  Here's just the applique before I sewed it into a pouch:
10  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Vikings, Pirates, Ninjas, and "Friends" Swap (Signups 4/6 - 4/20; Sendouts 5/25) on: April 05, 2016 12:43:08 PM
Swap name:  Vikings, Pirates, Ninjas and "Friends" Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: roler
Sign-up date range: April 6 - 20, 2016 (I will close signups at 4:00PM, April 21st, JAPAN TIME)
Date to send item by: May 25, 2016

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): NO

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Additional Age requirement? NO

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:
This is a swap celebrating the warriors of yore!  They can be vikings, pirates, ninjas, knights, samurai, or anything else that fits the theme!  Whether you love a particular show or series featuring these fighters, or you like the history/imagery in general, you're more than welcome to join up!

This will be a 4 point swap, but at least one item must be a large or a medium.  Basically, you can send any combination EXCEPT four smalls.  

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer: roler

Name of swap: Vikings, Pirates, Ninjas, and "Friends" Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
Will you provide a tracking number if mailing from the USA or within your own country, or a postal receipt if mailing from another country?
Can you take and post photos of what you receive in the gallery?
Do you have any allergies?

Do you have any allergens in your home?

What type of crafts do you make?

What type of crafts would you most like to receive?

What are your favorite types of warriors (i.e. Vikings, pirates, ninjas, etc.)?

Are there any specific people/characters you like?

Are there any shows/books relating to the theme that you'd like a craft related to?

Is there anything you would NOT like to receive?

Link to your pinterest/website, if you have one:

Anything else you'd like to tell your partner or the mods?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.


1. roler
2. aisy
3. WaveLight23478
4. puzzled-penguin
5. noelle
6. cmarion3
7. whatthepuck
8. Smeddley
9. IsikkahJai
10. bec99
11. pioneer9
12. rockingbearranch

Isikkahjai <---> whatthepuck
Smeddley <---> bec99
rockingbearranch <---> puzzled-penguin
aisy <---> pioneer9
cmarion3 <---> Wavelight23478
noelle <---> roler
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