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21  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 46 ENTRIES / Gingerbread Nunnery! (complete with icing nuns) on: January 03, 2010 10:56:42 AM
I'm a geeky history student, so quite a lot of my baking/crafting is history-related. Hence, I give you: The Gingerbread Nunnery



It's built in the shape of a late medieval cruciform English church, the nuns' habits are reasonably accurate (well, as close as you can get in inch-high icing sculptures) renditions of late medieval Benedictine habits. I'd love to pretend that the building is a bit wonky because the religious houses of late medieval nuns were chronically under-endowed and usually falling to bits (poor nuns!), but actually it's wonky because it was made in a college kitchen shared with about 60 other people. Some rotter actually took it off my baking tray while it was in the oven so they could use the try to cook chips! The cheek of it.


Another view:



Pigs! Nunnery estates often had their own poultry and livestock, to make ends meet. Contrary to the popular image, they were generally extremely poor.


Nuns in procession!

(you can tell the abbess by her crozier)


I'm rather proud of the nuns, they're rather sweet.

A view from the back:


But hey, who's that I spy, hiding behind a tree?

Naughty nun! Whatever is she up to?

(based on an actual nun in one of my Lincoln visitation records, who gave birth in the nunnery after getting a bit too close to an Augustinian Brother down the road...)

Hope you enjoyed, c&c much appreciated Smiley
22  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Lemmings! A tote bag for my brother on: November 26, 2009 06:48:48 AM
Hello!

Remember the Amiga? My brother used to have one when we were kids, my earliest memories involve watching him play Lemmings, Zool, Captain Planet etc. He's also an eco-warrior who re-uses newspapers as giftwrap. So I wanted to make him a Chanuka present which brought together those two loves.


Behold: The Lemmings Tote!



It's all hand-painted (oy, vey, how many layers...) with heat-set paint.

Here are some close-up shots:












Comments and Criticism welcome!

23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / (Epic!) Adam Lambert Embroidered Portrait (American Idol guy) on: August 09, 2009 09:18:48 AM
So, here's the backstory: I came back from college, and I found that in my absence my mum's become obsessed with this guy called Adam Lambert. I had no idea who this guy was, but my mum is absolutely in love! So I googled him, and it turns out he was in an American talent contest called "American Idol". We're British, so I have no idea how she even found out about this guy...  Huh Most odd.

Anyway, she loves him. And I love my mum. So I did what any good daughter would do, and embroidered her a picture of her beloved Adam:

here it is all framed (I live underground, so I had to go find a doorstep to take this photo - it's too dark in my flat):


Some close-ups:




And the technical info:

- the picture is about 11x7 inches
- I drew out the design onto tracing paper, then transferred it onto the cotton with an iron
- I painted the face with DecoArt fabric paint.
- It's worked in split stitch, back stitch, whipped backstitch, chain stitch, detached chain stitch, satin stitch, threaded back stitch, and pekenese stitch, between 1 and 6 ply floss.
- his eyes etc are done in embroidery floss.
- metallic floss is evil

And here's the photo I was working from:



Many thanks to the ladies at the "Big Project Stitchalong 2009" thread, who kept me sane...

Thanks for looking, C&C welcome!
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Blue bird embroidered tote bag! on: August 08, 2009 05:38:22 PM


As part of my mums Chanukah present, I embroidered her this bluebird bag:














The design is adapted from a lovely rubber stamp designed by a lady called Gennine, which I found on her Art Blog - http://blogdelanine.blogspot.com/2007/07/songbird-stamp.html

The body is done in long-and-short stitch in varying thickness of thread (1-6 ply), the wings are mostly satin stitch. There are little bits of chain stitch as well as backstitch for outlines etc. I did quite a bit of it on train journeys  Roll Eyes

C&C welcome Smiley
25  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / icing/fondant advice on: June 29, 2009 01:55:19 PM
Hi,

I was wondering if any cake pros could give me some advice about fondant/icing techniques?

Has anyone here worked with marshmallow fondant? If so, what is the end consistency/finish? Does is set hard or is it pliable? Can you draw with icing pens on top of it? Does it take fingerprints easily? Would it be better to use sugar paste/fondant instead?

sorry to bombard you with questions, thanks in advance!
26  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / 'Seven Species' Challah Cloth on: April 12, 2009 03:33:55 PM
As a thank-you present for the family hosting me for Pesach (Passover), I made this challah cloth (a pretty cloth to cover loaves on the table). It's embroidered with the 'Seven Species', seven kinds of plant that are described in the bible as the special bounty of Eretz Yisrael (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Species if you're interested). I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, even though the applique is a bit shaky Sad Need to get a grip on my new sewing machine...

On to the pics:

One of the whole thing:


Olives:


Barley:


Dates:


Pomegranate:


Figs:


Wheat:


Grapes:


It's all hand-embroidered in DMC cotton, between 2 and 5 strands. And it was a heck of a lot easier than my first embroidery project, the Decemberists geisha (Oy!), but then anything's easy after that one... The top is made from squares from cotton FQs, and I lined the back with orange linen. No pattern, I just researched what they look like growing using google images, which is awesome. I just sketched out from photos on there.

Hope you like it - let me know what you think Smiley
27  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Maggie's Flowers - knit/crochet flowers wanted to raise money for maternity ward on: March 23, 2009 10:00:47 AM
Hi,

A couple I know recently lost their unborn baby, Maggie, who was stillborn at eight months in October last year. It was very traumatic for both of them, but the care and support of the staff at the Borders General Hospital helped them through the first hours and days of their grief, and now they want to commemorate their daughter by giving something back to the hospital that helped them.

The BGH needs a new birthing pool, and they and their family are trying to raise money to pay for it. To do this, they are selling Maggie's Flowers - knitted or crocheted flower brooches. (see some already made below:)



If any kind-hearted craftster would like to donate knitted or crocheted flowers to help the family raise their target money, they would really appreciate it. The flowers will be mounted on to 1 inch brooch backs, and sold for a donation of at least 2 each. They're based in the UK, but would welcome donations of flowers from anywhere in the world - postage can be kept to a minimum as we're putting the badge backs on here. Alternatively, if you'd like to buy one for yourself, you can do so at  http://www.justgiving.com/maggiesflowers

Flowers can be any colour you like - the only requirement is that they are big enough to take a 1 inch pin back.


Thanks in advance to anyone who helps out! I know Maggie's parents have been really touched by the number of people moved by their story who want to help them out.

28  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Jewish "Song of Songs" Papercutting - wedding gift (IMG Heavy) on: March 02, 2009 04:49:11 AM
Hello,

I've been doing papercutting for a while now, but I haven't really posted anything, except a zine I made for a swap. Anyway, this is my biggest project to date, and I'm quite pleased with it, so I thought I'd post Smiley

 It was a wedding gift for a friend, so I based it on the Song of Songs - the great love poem of the Hebrew Bible. The verse in the centre is Songs 8.6, and  translates as "Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm".

It's about 11.5 by 11.5 inches, and composed of three layers of paper - cream on brown on cream. I hand-cut it all. The top layer, the cream frame, was cut on the fold. The frame I put it in was 12x12, but I photographed it before I put it in to avoid the glare on glass.

Here it is:




Close-ups:








And here is a picture of the kallah (bride) with it at her bridal shower:




I'd love to know what you think!
29  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Jewish Swap, R2? (or Chanukah swap) on: October 25, 2008 03:33:51 PM
Now that were all starting to recover from the chagim (woo, Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan!), I thought we might be ready to start thinking about another Jewish Swap. Anyone up for this? Im willing to organise unless someone else is desperate

I was thinking maybe November, in time for Chanukah. I know that an eight gifts for eight nights thing was mooted before, but I think that would be a bit limiting, and might end up leading to an enormous swap. Im proposing something a bit more modest one large (or even medium?) item, unless you want to negotiate it with your partner. What do you think?

Anyone interested? Got more ideas?
30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Decemberists Geisha embroidery (first project!) on: October 23, 2008 03:55:19 PM

For my first project, crazy old me decided to do an embroidered rendition of the Billy Liar EP sleeve:



So, I decided that I wanted to embroider a Decemberists picture for my friend Joes birthday. How hard can it be?, I thought, I can draw, it cant be that different, right?. Uh, that was my first mistake.

Rather foolhardily, I then decided that patterns are for wusses, and just drew my own pattern from squinting very hard at a tiny picture of the Decemberists Billy Liar EP sleeve my chosen design. Why, oh why, did I not start with a nice daisy or stick figure, or anything, really, that wasnt a ruddy geisha???

Then I decided that embroidery books were too expensive, and maybe I should give it a go from looking at other peoples embroidery online. Because, squinting at your monitor for an hour is just as good as using nice clear instructions

Anyway, the overall result was that this project seriously kicked my butt a real piece of humble pie. Next time, Im buying a book, and embroidering a stick figure.

Gratuitous pictures (sorry, I cant take good pictures my hands shake, and I live in semi-darkness)




Its done in backstitch, chain stitch, and satin stitch (I think?). Also, I am going to frame it, when I work out how.

And the original:


Anyway, despite me being a complete idiot, it is my first project and I am rather attached to it, so please dont be too unkind!


Comments/criticism/advice welcome!

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