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21  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Paper Mache Dog and Cat on: November 12, 2011 03:23:03 PM
Made this dog and cat for our float in the annual Christmas parade (I volunteer with our local animal shelter). There's a PVC base inside, then 3 sessions of paper mache, so approx 9 layers of paper total, plus a thin layer of joint compound to smooth out the strippyness (which I realize is not a word, but fun to say nonetheless).

and so it begins:

One down, one to go:


(both animals were loosely based on the characters on the back of the shirt in the last photo)
22  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Pottery with leaves... on: September 12, 2011 08:05:25 PM
These are the pieces I've been working on this summer. I am a bit leaf obsessed...
I started with leaves out of my garden zucchini, squash and cucumber specifically -

Then I moved on to using smaller more varied leaves with slip on the background:

And finally the most adventurous pieces to date.

I had a larger version of this one, but it fell apart because it dried unevenly.

This is my favorite so far, I blended 3 different shades of stoneware clay on this one.

23  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Hand built pottery class projects (img heavy) on: September 04, 2011 04:40:09 PM
Here are some pottery projects from my first handbuilt class:

And here are the some from my second class:

Thanks for looking! If you have questions about a specific piece/technique, I'd be happy to answer them.
24  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 66 ENTRIES / Falling Leaves Tray on: September 04, 2011 03:43:56 PM
I've been taking pottery classes off and on for the last few years. For some reason, I never got to do much with leaves. I didn't make this peice specifically for this challenge, but I did make it during the month of August and figured 'what's more inspired by nature than a tray made with leaves and what is essentially just dirt (clay)?'  

This is a white stoneware clay slab, slumped onto a plastic serving tray, then pressed with leaves from different plants. Once the leaves were in place, I painted over them with dark brown slip (thinned clay) before removing the leaves. Once it was fired, I finished it with a dark brown stain to highlight the leaf detail and a food-safe clear glaze.  

All of the plants are from my mom's garden (this will be a Christmas gift for her). These are the plants I used leaves from: Fig, hydrangea, hummingbird vine, fern, Japanese maple, coleus, chocolate mint, red bud, and pecan tree.

Close up of mint leaf handles:

25  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / New quilts (QFK 2011) on: February 27, 2011 09:46:15 AM
after a long and arduous fight with my sewing machine, we finally finished two quilts this weekend! I realized as I was quilting that I had a square upside down, but at this point, I said screw it and finished it anyway.

QFKs website said that they were short on teenage boy quilts, so I thought blue flames would work...

Here's a closeup of the square that I turned the wrong way...

Here's the one with the squares that came in the mail, I hated the orange and purple backing fabric that came with it, so I changed it out for pink fabric with tiny orange flowers.
26  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / quilted stockings on: November 16, 2010 07:20:12 PM
I ran across some cute Christmas fabrics last year after Christmas, so this year my mom and stepdad are getting new stockings. First time working with faux fur too - blech - what a MESS! I ended up sewing most of it on by hand. 

The back is a nice heavy upholstery fabric and the inside is lined with dark red cotton. I played around with some of the quilting, the stars are my favorite, but I also used a tree motif in the dark green fabric. The hanging loops are white grosgrain ribbon.

27  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Pet portrait on: November 14, 2010 08:48:23 AM
My best friend's husband's dog passed away unexpetedly earlier this year so for Christmas this year I decided to paint her for him.

28  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Earring Tree on: November 13, 2010 11:35:05 AM


So my mom asked for an earring tree for Christmas this year. Since 1987 has long passed, I figured it would be easier to make one than to actually buy one. I wanted it to be easy to hang post or earwire earrings without having to take the whole frame off of the wall. So I started experimenting with using some screen to make "leaves". After wrapping the edges in copper tape, I decided that wasn't going to be strong enough, so after I racked my brain for a couple of hours about how to make "leaves" with the screen, my husband came home and said "what about polymer clay"... I love him, I was starting to think I'd have to scrap the whole idea...

At any rate, here are the technical details:

- The base is a gallery style (1.5" thich) masonite board I picked up at hobby lobby. Just a word of warning, it's HARD to pound nails/tacks into masonite board - the back of the board has some little divets, but I plan on covering the backside with felt.

-The paint is acrylic and the tree is delta foil (pressure sensitive mylar) with a few peices of copper leaf to fill in some of the gaps. Sealed with several coats of satin finish poly.

- The oval frames were cut out with cookie cutters - I tried to use leaf shape cutters, but they proved to be too small and fussy to work with, especially with the screen in between.

-I sandwiched a piece of screen between two oval frames with some liquid poly. {I cut the screen with a circle punch and squished it into an oval form}. Then I pressed the frames between two texture plates and brushed them with mica powders.

-Also, picked up some copper tacks at the hardware store to hang the leaves and put in a row of small gold cup hooks for neclaces/bracelets.

I still plan to make/buy a jewelry roll to hang in the back of the peice. The idea is that when she travels, she can grab the roll, throw in a couple of the ovals and be set. Plus she can keep some of her nicer "special occasion" jewelry hidden away!
29  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Applique/embroidered pillow on: June 28, 2009 08:11:43 AM
I've been working on this for about 3 weeks. It's for my mom's birthday (today!).

Details: The main fabric is a set of cotton napkins, the bird is white flannel with pieces of a batik bandana for the wings/head. I stuffed the belly with some extra padding to make him "fat". The branches are also batik fabric that I cut out and blanket stitched with dark green embroidery thread. I used copper seed beads for the berries, an oval shaped black bead for his eye and scraps of silk for the leaves. The ring of trim around the outside is actually a perfect circle (it doesn't photograph well because the pillow's so poufy). I'm not thrilled with the shape of the pillow, I wanted it to be more square, but it turned out a little odd shaped with the corners sticking out further than the edges. But overall, I'm happy with it (it was my first time to try applique AND the frist time I ever sewed fringe).
30  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Finished blue/brown baby quilt + pink baby quilt top on: May 25, 2009 11:28:58 AM
I just finished this for a coworker of mine. I think I like the back better than the front. Her colors are blue and brown and I wanted to make something that wasn't too babyish so it could grow with her little boy. It's pretty big (39x50) and it's tied off at 13 points on each square (that's 156 little knots!). I like to use strips of fleece as binding because it's really forgiving, it doesn't ravel, and it's nice a cushy - plus, I picked up a 1/3 of a yard remnant for 75cents - score!. All of the fabrics are flannel except the yellow squares which is a really soft thin cotton.



And here's a top that I finished for a friend who's having a little girl in July. It's a stacked coin pattern, and I put it together yesterday afternoon. I love this pattern - it went really fast. BUT, now that it's finished, I think it seems a little "grown up" for a baby (maybe it's just because I want to keep it for myself?)... I haven't decided on the back yet. I still have several strips of the batik fabric to do some sort of peicing, but I'm not sure what fabrics I want to use. Any suggestions?

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