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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Matzoh -- My Macro Photo Contest Entry on: April 23, 2008 06:33:14 PM
I've been playing with the macro settings on my camera a lot lately. I took this picture at our Passover seder this year. 


This is a picture of the horseradish dish closest to me at the table, just after we'd finished putting it on our matzoh. I love the way the focus came out.

What's funny is that as I was loading my pictures from Passover, I was browsing the Hot Topics and came across all of these wonderful entries to the Macro Photo contest. I figured that it meant that I had to enter!

No photoshopping or anything in this one. I just resized it to make it small enough to upload. I'm trying hard to get better at photography by taking LOTS of pictures. I *really* would appreciate any constructive criticism!

2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Shrek and Fiona Costumes on: November 05, 2007 12:36:12 PM
My husband and I decided that we'd do matching costumes this year and after about 30 seconds of decision making, decided that we'd be Shrek and Fiona.

We have both done medieval recreation in the past and we used some pieces of previous costumes and made some new. The piece I was happiest about was the new bodice I made for my outfit. I drafted the pattern myself (with some help from a nightgown that fit well in the top) and had just enough fabric left over from making the skirt to complete the bodice. (I made the skirt two years ago -- boy, am I glad I saved those fabric and ribbon scraps!)  I love the way it turned out, especially since I don't really know anything about pattern drafting. You can't see it in this picture, but the sides are grommeted and laced and look really beautiful.

My husband made his pants and my chemise himself and helped on the tunic when I made it. Basically, everything in the picture except for the vest, socks and accessories are handmade by us. (I found the vest at a thrift store and the laces are actually bootlaces.) He made our ears about 10 minutes before the party started and attached mine to the tiara I wore for our wedding.



It turned out that the green facepaint we had was a disaster, so we just did noses and eyebrows.

I'd really love to know what you think!
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Our DIY Invitations are finished!!! on: February 08, 2007 07:35:07 PM
After several weeks of work, an unfortunate incident with crooked paper and a very fortunate acquisition of a Print Gocco, my sweet fiance and I finished our invitations. Since I've gotten a lot of input, help and advice from people on here, I wanted to share these so you could all see what your advice turned into. I've learned a lot about DIY invitations in the process, so if you're thinking about starting some of your own, feel free to PM me with questions. I have, of course, fuzzed out some of the more personal details. Without further ado:

The invitation closed:
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Wedding/closed%20invitation.jpg

We're trying to be socially and environmentally conscious as we plan our wedding, so these are made out of mulberry paper (a much more renewable resource) and linen paper for the inserts and envelopes.

Yes, I made 150 wax seals by hand. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared.

The invitation open:
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Wedding/open%20invitation.jpg

The bands to hold the rsvp cards in were print gocco-ed with our wedding website. I custom mixed the color with gold, white and camel brown.

The rsvp card and return envelope:
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Wedding/rsvp.jpg

The return envelopes were the first thing I gocco-ed and I got a lot better by the time I did the outer envelopes.

Lastly, the envelopes:
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Wedding/envelope.jpg

These were an exciting part of the whole process. We printed them on a laser printer at my work (with permission) but the printer was a *bit* fussy. It took almost 7 hours total to print all the envelopes. In the bottom corner of this picture you can see the return address we did on the back of the envelopes. Since the printer was so troublesome, I decided to print the return address with my print gocco. I was really proud of how well we were able to match the ink colors. Smiley

There are two people who deserve tons of credit here. My sweet fiance designed the layout for the rsvp cards and the incredibly awesome cute_anarchy made the mackintosh rose band on the RSVP card and envelope. (She's also one of my bridesmaids. Isn't that awesome?) She also helped with almost 5 hours of the envelope printing.
4  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Gromit!! on: November 28, 2006 06:08:01 PM
This is Gromit! I made him for the Friends of Craftster Swap. (He was a thank you gift for my partner, so that's why he's wearing a thank you banner.) He's my first real amigurumi and I had a TON of fun making him. The hardest part was finding good buttons to use for the eyes. (They're just white buttons with the pupils drawn on in Sharpie.)



Although I wish I had written the pattern, it is not my own. He's from a pattern that was posted on Crochetville.org. Unfortunately, the pattern has been removed from the site, so I don't even know the name of the person to give credit for the pattern. So, despite not knowing who the person is, I'd like to give credit where it is due to the (now) anonymous person who posted the pattern.

The only real change I made (besides some general shaping issues) was to add some floral wire to his ears to make them poseable. It was really fun to do that because then you can make him look surprised. (Like in this picture!)

5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Bastet, Egyptian Cat Goddess on: November 05, 2006 09:20:25 PM
For the post-Halloween toga party I went to last night, I decided to go as Bastet, the Egyptian goddess with the head of a cat. Here she is for reference:


However, I didn't actually start my costume until the day of the party. A quick trip to JoAnn's and less than an hour at the sewing machine and I came up with this.

It's just a simple tunic and overdress with a collar and loin piece made out of decorator fabric.

Here's a close up on the face/makeup:


And, of course, an obligatory action shot.


Hope you guys like it! It was simple and quick, but very fun. I made everything except the ears (because I already had some) and the jewelery.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Question for all of you experts out there on: October 26, 2006 12:26:49 PM
I'm thinking about hand embroidering handkerchiefs for my mom, mother-in-law-to-be and all the grandmas for my upcoming wedding. I have done some embroidery before, but I don't know too many stitches and it's been a while.

I don't currently know how to stitch so the front and the back look pretty, which obviously is necessary for a handkerchief. My question is, is this out of my reach as a relative beginner?

Also, what are the search words I should use for looking for double-sided stitches? Do you have other words of wisdom?

I love the idea, but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

Thanks for your expertise. Smiley It's greatly appreciated!
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / What computer program did you use for invites? on: October 23, 2006 07:18:31 PM
I've just started working on the layout for our wedding invitations and I was wondering which computer programs you all used for your designing. I'm hoping to do some sort of watermark behind the text and I'm guessing that Photoshop is the best idea, but I'm not *that* Photoshop savvy and would happily use another program.

Suggestions? Horror stories?  Smiley Thanks!!
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Purse Made with My First Felt on: July 06, 2006 05:38:03 PM
I wanted to try felting (fulling), so I crocheted up this nice, big rectangle to make into a nice little purple and white clutch. Then I fulled it. Then it was TOOOOO small for a purse. But, I didn't want to just throw it away, so (drum roll, please...) it became this purse!

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Craftster/leigh's%20purse1.jpg

It's the piece of felt, followed by a couple of rows of crocheted fun fur, plus a crocheted bottom. I couldn't decide how to close it for a long time. I finally decided on a drawstring, which took me forever to figure out how to sew, but turned out just the way I wanted it. I used a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon for the strap.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~edwards/Craftster/leigh's%20purse2.jpg

I gave it as a gift already, but I'd still appreciate comments since this is my first real purse. I'd especially love hints about making it better next time, if you have any.
9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re-Gifting Swap on: June 30, 2006 03:49:09 PM
  Everytime I make things for a swap, I worry that about whether it's the taste of the person I'm sending it to. I'm sure that people get things all the time that are lovely, but just not their style. (I actually haven't had this happen, but I guess I'm just lucky.) So, I was thinking that it would be great to have a swap to pass on those beautifully handcrafted items that you got (and you know your swap partner worked really hard on) but that just don't suit you. I know I would rather have something I worked hard on be passed along rather than sit in a drawer or go to Goodwill.
  Since I wouldn't want anyone's feelings to be hurt, I was thinking that we wouldn't post pictures, just a note in the "gallery" about what you received. "I got a great red knit bag" should be generic enough that no one feels bad. 
   To match people, we could collect color/taste preferences and color/style of items that are up for being re-gifted. Smiley

  What do you guys think? Would it be fun?
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Reversible Skull Panta on: May 05, 2006 11:37:53 AM
I made this panta for DragonsMuse as part of the Hair Accessory Swap. It was my first attempt at tapestry crochet. The pattern for the skulls is from knotbygranma's Etsy shop. I just freehanded the rest of the panta as I went along.



I wanted to line the back so you couldn't see all the threads, so I added this very soft black and purple striped backing -- and then realized that this made the panta reversible!



I'm really pleased that it turned out so well and I learned a lot about how to make my next tapestry crochet piece better!
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