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21  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Language Learners Swap. Signups closed, partners pending. Send outs 15 June on: May 10, 2009 11:25:38 AM




This is an Indonesian billboard from about 7 years ago. I love it. I think it's funny. It says "If love is blind, then why do bikinis exist?"
It's here, because it's the only 'foreign language' photo I had within easy reach.



Swap name: Language Learners Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Kitten Wrangler
Sign-up date range: 11 May until 25 May
Date to send item by: 15 June or earlier

Limited to a certain number of people?: No

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

Age requirement? Old enough to pay for supplies, postage and get yourself to the post office.

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

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/NO
- 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 13 years old: YES
- Participant lives in the United States:
   - If yes, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
   - If no, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES


SWAPPERS' OBLIGATIONS
Please understand that by signing up for this swap, you agree to fulfill the following responsibilities

# I WILL contact both my partner and the swap organiser/s to indicate that I have 1) Made contact with my partner. 2) Sent out to my partner. 3) Received a parcel from my partner.
# I WILL maintain contact with my partner, and will alert the swap organiser if something feels 'off', or if there's a lack of communication with my partner
# I WILL respond as soon as I can to weird/panicky/questioning PMs from the organiser
# I WILL endeavour as best I can to put photos into the gallery
# I WILL contact both my partner and the swap organiser within 48hrs of the sendout date if I have been unable to meet that deadline.

ORGANISER'S OBLIGATIONS

# I WILL respond to all PMs within 48hrs of reading them - even if it's just a placeholder PM acknowledging receipt, while I think of a responsible and helpful response
# I WILL update the swap sendout status (in this thread) within the same 48 hrs of receiving updates.
# I WILL update swappers' feedback every Friday, unless I get a request to do so earlier.
# I WILL be giving temporary negative feedback if a swapper has neither sent out nor contacted me within 48 hours of the send out deadline
# I WILL source Swap Angels if a swapper flakes.

We will be swapping 1x large and 1x medium item, or the equivalent thereof. Please discuss with your partner about what you'll be sending so that no one is disappointed or freaked out by the quantity of items they receive.

Communication is a terribly important thing - and it's most important of all when it's between partners. I need to hear from you under the following conditions:

1) To hear that you've made contact with your partner
2) To hear that you've sent
3) To hear that you've received
4) In response to a PM from me
5) If something is going wrong - either you feel your partner has dropped off the face of the world, or you're not going to meet deadline.

If you're not going to meet deadline, you need to tell me ASAP. I can be rather lenient, until I have a cranky day and decide to get tough on slackers.


Details of swap:



Yes yes yes, ladies and gentleman this here is a LOTE (languages other than English) swap, dedicated and devoted to spreading a little linguistical love between the people.

Do you speak a language other than English? Is there a language you'd like to learn? Love to learn how to say stuff, weird stuff in other langauges? Then this swap will most likely suit you to a tee.

What we will be doing, to the best of our ability, is pairing swappers up according to a common language, and swapping crafted items based on teaching our partner an element of that language.  Where possible, I'll be pairing people up one on one, but I do need to keep open the possibility that some people may end up round-robin swapping. The more languages you are willing to learn, the less likely it is I'll have to do round-robins..




So - what sort of things can we swap??? How about...


Kitchen canisters and/or labels with your foodstuffs labelled in another language. (Think canister labels that say "farine", "riz", "sucre", "th", "caf")
Fridge magnets that help you to construct some grammatically correct sentences.
A bag or a t-shirt with a favourite phrase translated to another language printed on
A small book of helpful phrases
An embroidered/appliqued alphabet book with a word for every letter ("A is voor aardbei", "B is voor bananen")
Flashcards for memorising some kanji
Greeting cards for birthdays and other occasions
A journal or diary with days and dates written in another language
A map showing the countries and cities of the world in another language. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Inggris, Perancis, Jerman, Belanda.... (England, France, Germany, the Netherlands)
Shot glasses with 'cheers' in a number of languages etched upon them
Sign language pop up books.
Carved stamps with Japanese / Chinese characters on them
What about food related crafts... like a reusable shopping bag stenciled with the words for favourite foods in your partner's chosen language, or a crafted recipe book teaching your partner to cook some typical dishes in the country/countries where their language is spoken (with the recipe in that language)?
Travel journal, making use of the language.

... think outside the box. How can YOU share the language you love so much with another person? A swap that's challenging is a swap that's stimulating, and usually brings about quite a lot of awesome creativity. Have at it, guys!

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

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of 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 13 years old (yes/no)

What languages do you speak (apart from English)?

How long have you been speaking them for?

Is there another language you have a vague understanding of? Like, you know a teensy eensy bit of, but not enough to even begin to consider yourself a speaker or a learner of that language?

Do you know how to write in a script apart from the Latin alphabet? ie: Hiragana, Chinese characters, Arabic, etc etc etc

Tell me please, what are the top 3 languages you would like to learn?

What do you want to learn? Some greetings, some grammar, how to write the language, do you want to expand your vocab, learn how to sing a song?

Is there a sentence or a phrase that you are 'collecting' in a number of different languages?

Anything else you'd like to share about your language learning experience?



What crafts do you do?

What colours do you like? Which colours do you hate?

What sort of items would you like to receive? Anything you'd rather not get?

Are you allergic to anything? Are there any allergens in your house?

Anything else that is a dealbreaker (animal products, smoking households, stuff that smells like patchouli)?

Do you have a blog, wists, or anything that will make swapstalking easier?



Do you have anything else you want to add? Remember - the more you share about who you are and what you like, the easier it may be on  your partner.



IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.
Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.
AFTER PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP AND BEEN APPROVED, LIST THE PARTICIPANTS HERE AND WHO IS SENDING TO WHOM:

Organiser link here
22  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Autumn, winter, it's time to warm up swap? on: April 15, 2009 05:01:03 PM
I woke up this morning, and it was 9 degrees outside. I'm bloody freezing, and haven't readied myself for the winter.

Anyone interested in a warming swap? Say... hot water bottle cozies, snuggly slippers, scarves, belly warmers, lap blankets, shawls, gloves, socks... that sort of thing?
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help me make this dress more modest. on: March 19, 2009 03:37:20 AM
I've just remembered that there's less than a week before I jump on a plane and head to Indonesia to attend a wedding.

I need something formal and pretty to wear!!!

I have this dress here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=288599.msg3274095#msg3274095



But there are two problems with it. It's too immodest. And it displays my tatt, and I'd rather have it covered up for a formal event in Java.

So - how can I make it more modest? I need to close up that neckline , and I need extra length in the sleeve. I'm looking for any ideas for things that can just be added to the completed dress. I don't think it would look good if I wore a skivvy underneath, but if it comes to that, then so be it. Sad

Craftster powers ACTIVATE!
24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Button-up short skirt. on: February 26, 2009 12:23:18 AM
I wanted a new skirt. And this is what resulted:



I love it, so very very very hard. The pattern was drafted by me - the whole thing resulted from what I did and didn't have to hand at home.

I started with the instructions for an A-line skirt from the 'Sew What Skirts' book. The amount of fabric I had dictated that it was going to be a short skirt.



My desire to hide my chubby belly dictated the waist finishing - a simple facing, because on a short skirt I didn't want a waistband sitting over my podge, nor did I want a drawstring. I even pinched out some darts in the back for a more fitted finish.

I was going great guns, until I realised that I didn't have any zips. The only fasteners I had.... were buttons.



So buttons it was. 8 of them up the side seam. I had to change a whole heap of stuff on the fly - adding an extra piece of fabric to sew the buttons onto, folding back another facing on the side seam so that the button holes would have something sturdy to be sewn on. Somehow, I managed to eke everything I needed out of the teeny bits of fabric that were left!!

And check this!

I've been trying to develop more.... couture? techniques in the clothing I make for myself. I don't like zigzagging raw edges, so I tend to use a lot of French seams in what I do. I'm starting to hand roll my hems as well, and use an invisible hemstitch to secure them. AND - my machine makes cruddy buttonholes. I'm really bad at them. And during my pondering, I realised that sewn buttonholes would not be good at the side of a skirt - they'd be stretched out of shape in no time. A bit of googling around looking at different ways of hand-sewing buttonholes, and I came upon bound button holes. They're complicated, but I love them!!

This is the best one I did - though it's not perfect.


I will NOT show the back of the buttonholes, because they are a DAMN mess, and I don't know how to hide the mess of them away yet. I'll learn eventually though.... and in the meantime, the effect (and the strength) of the bound buttonholes on the skirt far outweigh the unprofessionalness of the inside.


So - what do you think? Any advice, compliments, concrit?? Do you see my muscly derby thighs peeking out there?? Ever done a bound buttonhole, and know how to hide all the mess of the back?
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / A very important lesson. on: February 23, 2009 10:29:11 PM
Folks, if you send something meltable in a swap package, this is why it's very important to wrap it separately from everything else:





My partner had good foresight: She wrapped this chocolate separately in paper AND in cling wrap....

It's kinda funny - it's not even hot here today, it's just that my front door (where the parcel was left) faces west.

I've eaten all the chocolate, by the way. With a spoon.
26  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Stuffie phoenix bird on: February 02, 2009 02:30:04 AM
I made this for a LJ friend... it's a phoenix, coloured like fire. Or so I hope. It was made during the hottest, longest heatwave ever recorded in Melbourne, so it seems kinda fitting.





I made it up as I went along, so it's all handsewn. Lots and lots and lots of blanket stitch!!



I thought about adding some embellishment or other decoration, but I don't think anything I could have added would have looked nice enough.


(damn bent beak in the photo!)

Sometimes I think blank features are best, especially for something that's such a powerful symbol.

Concrit? Compliments? What do you think?
27  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Thrown back in time (Life on Mars) Swap? on: February 01, 2009 09:20:36 PM
I cracked, couldn't wait till Thursday, and went and 'procured' the first ep of US Life on Mars to watch last night.

Loving it.

** PS. For the love of ALL the deities in the pantheon, do NOT mention any sort of spoiler. ANY sort **

Anyways, where was I?

Yup. Life on Mars, loving the similarities to Night Watch, loving the concept, yada yada blah.

And then - an idea!

How about a Thrown Back in Time swap? I haven't worked out exactly how it will work, but what I'm thinking at the moment is that you don't get to specify how far back in time you're sent: that will be decided either by the organiser or your partner - and therein lies the surprise and the challenge. You have no idea how far back you've been sent, but your partner will craft you things that will either help you blend in, or to help you handle your new life-in-the-past or something like that.

Hmmm..... any ideas or feedback? I want something with an element of surprise, and I wouldn't mind if it was a multi-sendout swap.

Does it sound like a fun idea? Would you be in on it? How would you improve upon it?
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Summer Christmas Dress - modified Shari pattern from Burdastyle on: January 22, 2009 09:03:23 PM
It's a Friday afternoon, which means I'm at work and bored. Time to post a project!

For a while I've been hankering after a 60s style dress with a petticoat. And I had a lovely white fabric with big red roses all over it, that I thought would be perfect.

Unfortunately, the finished dress did not suit the petticoat I had made for it. Next time Gadget, next time.

But what I did end up with makes me so happy that I strike stupid poses while wearing it.


Okay, yes, I KNOW it looks like I'm frowning. But I'm not. Unfortunately, that's just my usual expression.



Hopefully that range of cruddy poses is enough to show you where all the seams lie. I really only used the bodice portion of the Shari pattern - the skirt is an 8 piece skirt with inserts... and a really high waist. I like my clothes to ignore my midsection, seeing as I'm quite thick and lumpy there.

The skirt ends up being a circle skirt, but it starts flaring just above the crotch level, so I'm not carrying excess fabric around my hips. And with no waist, I like to pretend that it makes me look taller (HA!)

I chose the Shari pattern because of its deep neckline - I like to believe that a low neckline sort of makes my chest look less expansive.

However, in making it to a size that fits my bust, the back ended up being way way waaaaaay too big. I cheated and just cut away a total of 10 cm (!!!!!) from the centre back seam.

10cms! Holy shit! I'm lucky that the pattern let me accommodate that - the only relic of my "How NOT to tailor a pattern" experiment is a pleat thing that runs down the front from the shoulders. It gets kinda hidden in the gathers that come up from the red bit, but you can see the shadows it causes in the two middle photos. I suppose I could have tried actual drafting and changing - but every time I've tried such a thing previously, I've never ever succeeded - I honestly can't reconcile a front that's two sizes different to the back.  Huh  Huh

If anyone's got any suggestions, please let me know. And as always - concrit and accolades are much appreciated. Cheesy
29  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitty's Nob Hill shrug on: January 18, 2009 04:08:34 PM
I'm eschewing buying presents for my sister now in favour of making her things. Unique things. I'm trying to instill a love of the handmade and unique into her.

And for her birthday, I'd decided that she needed a shrug. Something to keep warm with when she's out at parties.

After sending her dozens of images all with the caption "How about this one? Do you like this one?" she finally agreed that the Nob Hill pattern from Knitty was "Alright, I guess. But I don't like how chunky it is. Make it less chunky".

Oooh boy.

I went hunting for yarn, and found Purla by Panda. Let's say that's it's most definitely NOT the size of the recommended yarn in the pattern. I knitted up a swatch on 6mm needles, and it was still more stitches per inch than the pattern. Then I thought 'Bugger it, I'm going to recalculate the whole thing.'

So here we go. This is the first garment I have ever completed. It's the first thing I've made that involves a serious recalculation of the stitches. It had a number of things I've never done before (short rows, buttonholes, picking up stitches). And it was only 10 days late for her birthday.

Here's the finished garment.



I'll add a caveat here. The photos are not as nice as I would have wished - they're taken inside, late at night, in my dimmish bedroom, and most of them were taken with my iMac's iSight camera. It's not the best for gentle flash or focus.....




This is me wearing it. It's important to note that my sister is an A or B cup - I'm an E-F cup. This shrug is being stretched out a bit here....   Undecided


This sleeve roll ended up a little wonky - I think that was the first one I did.. I'm thinking/hoping that after a bit of wearing and a few washes that the wonkiness will just kind of vanish. It's possible - the shrug is unblocked at the moment, because I honestly don't have the facilities for blocking knitted items.



Last shot. I think the tension is... okay. I only see one, maybe two spots where something went a bit kerflooey.


For a yarn that was mostly acrylic, it's actually quite soft and clingy. The finished garment is not as thick and structured as it would have been if I had followed the pattern precisely. I assume it will cling to the few curves my sister does have, and considering they way we dress in Melbourne (many layers that can easily be taken off) the fact that it compresses down into something really small can only be a benefit too.

Assuming that I will one day knit another garment of some sort, any comments or concrit for me? Was it foolhardy of me to have at it with a yarn & needle size so far from what the pattern recommended?
30  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / 3D crocheted tattoo design on: January 12, 2009 08:54:07 PM
I can't even begin to explain how I came up with this idea.... but you know those old school tattoos that have, say a scroll and a heart hung between two blue birds?

I made a removable one. In 3D. Out of crochet patterns & yarn. And strung it on a string so that it can be worn as a chest tattoo.



Here's an awful photo taken in Photobooth, showing how it will sit across the chest:


Next time I have the urge to crochet, I might see if I can recreate some other stereotypical tattoo design....



These are the patterns I used

This is the pattern for the birds:
http://www.marloscrochetcorner.com/birds.html

And this is the heart:
http://www.instructables.com/id/SNDIHKBFCEILZE0/

The scroll is easy enough to freehand  Wink
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