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91  Make-shift Felting Needles Tutorial with Completed Pin Pics in Felting: Discussion and Questions by RecycleMicol on: September 01, 2006 10:55:39 PM
Someone asked about this from another thread, so here's how I made my own felting needles. 

You can also use the corsage pins with the faux pearl on the end or 'T' pins for this.(they're thicker, though.)

If you need more help, I can take more pics.  (Please read through the tutorials on this board to learn how to do the actual needle felting.)

Children...please get an adult to help you with this project.  Adults, do this at your own risk...I am not responsible for accidents!

Take some quilting straight pins (longish pins with either balls or flat plastic grips), a square or oblong eraser, a cutting board and an Exacto knife fitted with a straight-angled chisel blade....or any razor-sharp chisel.

Lay a pin on the cutting board and place the eraser on the ball or plastic top of the pin to hold it firmly in place.  (gives good grip and may save fingers!)

Starting at the pointy end, Start hacking away at the pin with the chisel at sharp angles that will produce nicks with the openings of the nicks pointing towards the sharp pointy end of the pin.  In other words, you will be 'hacking' toward the eraser that you are holding...please be careful!  Only go as far up the needle towards the eraser as you safely can, leaving about half of an inch at the ball (or top) end to grip when doing the actual needle felting.

Now, turn the pin just a fraction and do the first steps again until there are vertical rows of barbs all around each 'side' of the pin. 

And then, a tip about the needle felting brush!   A large, thickly bristled flat (or barely contoured) hairbrush will work well to felt on instead of the traditional foam or more modern needle felting brushes that cost $16.50 at the craft stores!  I got mine at the dollar store...yes...it was a dollar!

Here are the pics:




RecycleMicol

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92  Re: Personal/Private Swap Gallery - August 2006 in The Swap Gallery by RecycleMicol on: September 01, 2006 01:00:46 PM
Oooops...I guess I should have put my 'Melinda Bag' here because it was for a personal swap! (I didn't see this gallery!)

Follow this link and you'll see the bag I made my swap partner that is really making all of my friends jealous!


RecycleMicol's First First First First Bag

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=117975.0



And...

Here is what I'm getting from 'glittergirl94@hotmail.com' in return:  A waterbottle cozie with strap and shrinkies charm and a crochet hook roll!  Yee-haw! Thanks Melinda!!!






Later!
RecycleMicol
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93  Precise Outlining on Dark Surfaces Technique in Felting: Discussion and Questions by RecycleMicol on: August 31, 2006 09:34:55 AM
I didn't have any luck getting my white tracing pencil or gel pens to mark clearly on fulled wool fabric.  (What little bit would stick to it would rub off so easily)

So, I used a technique that I saw in an embroidery book (library...sorry don't recall the name) that you can use for outlining a satin stitch.

1. Print TWO copies of your design onto printer paper.  (I found out the hard way that tissue paper would be easier to remove from the fabric later if you want to trace your design onto it.  Don't try to send it through the printer, unless you tape all the edges down to a sheet of printer paper really well.) The extra copy is to use as an original used as a reference in step

2. Then pin the paper on top of the fabric, positioning the design where you wish it to go.

3. Using a thin needle and contrasting thread, outline the entire design using as long of a stitch as you can without compromising the details of the design. (This will allow you to withdraw your threads easier later.)

4. Now remove the paper from the stitches.  I had to cut mine out very carefully, making sure not to cut the threads.  If you use tissue paper, you can probably just rip it right off and use tweezers to pick out any remaining bits. 



5. Begin the needle felting as usual, using the second printed copy of the original design to add any details that didn't come across in the outlining.  You can see that I added the little 'flared' edges of the letters just by eyeballing it.  If I were to have stitched around each little nook and cranny, it would have been hard to cut and pull the threads in the next step. 

6. Once you finish felting the letters, cut the threads and pull out the outline stitches that you made.  (IF you completely cover the stitch, meaning that it is not visible in any way from the front, you do not have to cut the stitch out....but neatness counts!)

Here's the whole name after the outlining threads were cut:


And the back:


And the completed bag!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=117975.0

Enjoy!
RecycleMicol
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94  RecycleMicol's First First First First Bag! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by RecycleMicol on: August 31, 2006 08:30:47 AM
Okay...here's my very first sewn bag. I made it for a fellow craftster who missed the Unique Name Swap like I did.  I sent her photos already...and she loves it!!!

It is also my:

First 'fulled' (felted) bag...this wool had a previous life as a skirt! I felted it in the washing machine!

First installed Zipper! Woo-hoo!

First time to try Needle Felting (The name is done in Needle Felt...I made my own needles! Bought NO supplies to learn this new craft skill!)

First time to needle punch into directly into wool. (The cherries)

I was really dumb and didn't search the Craftster tutorials before beginning, so there are a lot of things I would do differently...I didn't have a pattern, I just winged it! I definitely will add more pockets before sewing in the lining the next time!

The last pic shows some Shrinky Dinks that I made for the swap also. The cherry one has been made into a key chain or zipper pull.

Opinions are welcome!!!!

RecycleMicol







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95  Re: Let scrapbook paper inspire your walls! in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by RecycleMicol on: August 24, 2006 11:11:07 AM
I'll take you one step further...

I've always wanted to make a whole wall like a giant scrapbook page.  Make poster-size prints of your photo of choice, frame them and just 'super-size' your embellishments with extra-wide ribbon, folded cloth, wallpaper strips or woven belt material to look like really wide ribbon... and other 'found objects!'.  (Think of all the great hinges, buckles and metal objects that people are scrapping with nowadays...just do it on a larger scale!)  If you ever see a page you'd like to recreate but get stumped on how to achieve it, just PM me and I'll help you with ideas!

For example:



On this one...Paint the whole wall the background stripes in any colors you want...Paint the vine...cut out great wallpaper leaf shapes or paint them in if you're so inclined in the colors that compliment the decor.  Add the journaling and the photo!  (use stencils, sponges or freehand to add the journaling.)

Another cool idea I had was to make faux eyelets by taking those mini 'frisbee-flyer' things that look like a little frisbee with a hole in the middle that you get at the $1 store or the cheat, toy/party favor section of your grocery store.  Paint them to match.  Use them on your wall just like you would a grommet or eyelet on a scrapped layout.  Kind of like this...



Just cut out the flowers like you would the leaves...or paint them, yada-yada.  Use the frisbee as the middle of the flower!

And, Yes...I feel really blessed to have this talent!!!   Kiss
Now if I only had the get-up-and-go to go with it!!! 

Later,
Micol
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96  Re: Amish Puzzle Ball Pincushion from Swap - Tut in Completed Projects by RecycleMicol on: August 24, 2006 06:15:01 AM
A Patchwork Or.,

I did see this...but I was on the 'recent posts with pictures' and it's like a 'no-posting replies' vortex...when I go there instead of just cruizing through the threads, taking my time, I see all kinds of great things without stopping to post comments!  (They probably would prefer that I do that all the time!  Ha-ha!)

So sorry!  Yours IS as lovely as I remembered them being from childhood!  If I don't get on in a swap, I'm making one!

Hey...I think we should have an Amish Puzzle Ball Craftalong!  What do you say?  Every size from Pincushions to Giant Pillows...we'll post our work on the Craftalong Board!  You or I can get the thread started if anyone is interested! 

Just say Yeay or Nay.

But before you say nay...check out this pincushion from the late 1900 that is selling online for $85! Yours could be worth that much some day!       

RM
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97  Re: Amish Katamari puzzle ball in Completed Projects by RecycleMicol on: August 23, 2006 07:48:21 PM
I loved the pins...but, the ball....well,

I wrote a long ode to these ball-pillows, but decided not to bore you all with it...let's just say I have a photo of me sitting on my Grandmother's couch with two of these great black and yellow-gold velvet puzzle balls on either side of me.  

We used to love to put our arms through them!  (They were about 12 inches in diameter.)

Based on my experience and fond memories, I would suggest making some...especially if you have kids!!!

Great Job, sweets4ever!!!  I'm wisting it!

Okay...edit!  I had to get the picture and show you!  There was one with black on the outside and yellow inside and one that was the exact opposite.  Here's half of the photo...the other half is blurry.



Yours truly,
RecycleMicol
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98  Re: can anyone braid plait shirt?? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by RecycleMicol on: August 19, 2006 06:32:03 AM
I didn't have any scrap fabric...so this is a plastic tablecloth...but it will do for this tutorial.

Start by folding the fabric in half with the crease where you want your 'braid'.


Then cut notches like this.  (do some testing on some other fabric to see how far apart and how long you want these...it will determine how large your braid looks.)


Open the fabric up...see all the notches?


If you're going to do this on a shirt, do it all the way around the shirt.  I didn't get a photo of this, but start in an inconspicuous place (on the side, maybe) and insert your crochet hook in one of the slits and come up on the other side of the NEXT 'loop',(we'll call them loops, anyway)  Pull the second loop on the hook through the first loop....thus pulling up one loop on your hook.


You have one loop on your hook after you pull the other one through.


Now just keep going and grab the loop on the left of the loop you just pulled up (right for lefties) with your crochet hook and pull it under the first loop on your hook all the way around!  You'll end up with this:


Except it will look better because it will be made out of fabric and not plastic!!!   Kiss

Hope I have not thoroughly confused you!  If you know how to crochet, it helps, but I think it's easy enough not to have to be experienced.

Later,
RecycleMicol
 

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99  RecycleMicol's Chocolate Truffles in Dessert by RecycleMicol on: August 18, 2006 10:31:34 AM
Someone requested the recipe for these.  Here they are pictured in the Baby Shower Planning thread: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=108119.0



This gets wordy...I will have to take pictures next time I do this...it really isn't complicated, I promise!

Unfortunately, for the ganache filling, I don't use a set recipe...I just adjust it to taste...like my Great-Grandmother used to do.  It it comes out too thin after it's cool, I add a little powdered sugar.  DO NOT thin with water if it's too thick!  Use a little cream or corn syrup.  It is supposed to be really pretty solid, though, so keep that in mind.

I like to flavor my filling with almond flavoring, rum flavoring, coffee flavoring made from freeze-dried crystals and a little water, or just vanilla.  (You can use liquers, but be wary of the amount...youngsters don't need it!)  I haven't tried mint flavoring yet, but would like to!  My 'nut of choice' is Pecan, although almonds are nice, too!

But, here are some recipes that would come the closest.  You can follow it to the 'T', or use my dipping method to get the results I do.  (you may have to look around on the pages to find the actual ganache recipes)

http://www.baking911.com/chocolate/ganache_truffles.htm
http://www.baking911.com/recipes/chocolate/ganache.htm
http://www.baking911.com/recipes/chocolate/truffles_silverpalate.htm

Okay...once you get the filling made, you can either do the shaping at that point or keep it in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month or two.  Bring to room temperature before you try working with it.  It also helps to have a cool room to do this next step in.

I have a lovely 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon that is a perfect half-sphere shape on the inside. (Tupperware, I believe)  I scoop the filling into it and scrape off any excess with a sharp, flat-edged, non serrated knife.  I smack the measuring spoon on the bowl I have the filling in and catch the little half-sphere of filling in my hand.  Put it on waxed or parchment paper.  Do as many as you want...freeze or refrigerate any left overs.

Then get some of those candy coating melts from Wilton in the cake decorating section of any craft store...some grocery stores or even wal-mart.  One to two bags of dark chocolate and one bag of white chocolate.  That is, unless you want to go through all the trouble of tempering real couverture and keeping it at temperature throughout dipping!  (if you use a good quality filling chocolate, it make up for the coating!)

Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave using the instructions on the back.  If I'm only doing a small batch, I'll just use half of a bag...you can always add more chips and melt in again.  Don't burn it, though!

I put the slightly-cool (not cold) 'filling half-spheres' one at a time into the melted coating...using a dinner fork (I don't have a candy dipping fork) I lift it out of the coating, tap the bottom of the fork straight down on the side of the bowl to get excess coating to drain down between the tines and then scrape the fork across the top of the bowl.  Use a skewer or small paring knife to slide the truffle off of the fork onto waxed or parchment paper into nice even vertical rows with at least two inches between each row.  This will make the next step easier.

Melt a few of the white chololate candy coating 'buttons' in a plastic zip-top sandwich bag in the microwave.  This does not take long...so don't burn it!!!  Add any food color you like.  I use the Wilton paste colors.  For pastels, it only takes a TAD!  Better to start light and add more if you want it darker.  Squish the color and white candy coating around until well blended.  Cut a small cut off of the corner of the bag...test this on the paper first...it it's too small, it will get all squigly when it comes out.  If it's too large for your liking, just cut the other corner and squeeze all the candy coating to that side to use that corner instead.

Now in a side to side motion, start with the first vertical row, at the truffle farthest away from you and zig-zag your way down the row whle pulling the bag toward you.  Do the same with the rest of the vertical rows.  The space between them is so you won't run into the next row of truffles when you're zig-zagging.

Let them dry and enjoy!  If you give them time to rest, they will 'ripen' and intensify in flavor.

I've been keeping mine on the counter in a plastic container and we've eaten them within three or four days.  We've never gotten sick. If you are concerned about the dairy in it, I would keep it in the fridge in a tightly sealed plastic container, but keep them covered as you let them warm up before serving.  They'll stay good for several hours at room temperature, I know!

Sorry so lengthy!  I just want everyone to know how do do them...even someone not familiar with candy making!

Later,
RecycleMicol


Edited by vanillaxlight to add RecycleMicol's picture of her lovely truffles. I say it's okay to double post this pic in this instance. Wink
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100  Pillow Boxes from Recycled Cards *With Tutorial! Pic Heavy!!! in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by RecycleMicol on: August 17, 2006 07:37:49 PM
Okay...I searched through the threads in Paper and Recycled things and didn't find anything on this...so it may be new to Craftster...maybe not, but I couldn't find it.  As far as I know, it may be a RecycleMicol original!!!

Here are the pics:




Here's the Tutorial:

Now I had to make this in Micorsoft Paint!!!  Can you believe???  I had Photoshop but my old computer bit the dust and I haven't purchased another Photoshop program for this new computer!  Sorry!

First, get a greeting card...new or used...but recycling IS the best, isn't it??!!  That way they're free, too!

This says 'Score and Valley Fold a thin margin of the front flap in towards the backside of the front flap, creasing well...but you can't read the dumb writing!!!







If you have any more questions about the terrible pixelated Tutorial, please ask!

RecycleMicol


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