I got my angel package today!!!!!! What a wonderful surprise it was, especially considering I was feeling pretty sad sack (fell recently and reinjured a previous injury, hobbling around on a cane, missed a concert I had tickets too - wahwahwah).
Thank you Katcal for being my angel - I love you for it, and I love my package. Thank you Dharma_rebel and jca1982 for organizing this swap and arranging for my angel. Thank you all for helping turn my first swap into a positive experience
Anyways, here are my pics of my package.
The whole shebang - a lovely assortment of teas, a coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans (droooooool), a lovely necklace, a tea wallet filled with teas, and a lovely note from my angel, plus a brochure from the company she got the teas/coffee from.
The assortment she got me - the smell when I ripped into the package was amazing.
The necklace with the lovely pendent - what kind of wood is that? I love the texture of it.
My tea wallet - I have been so envious of the lovely wallets I have seen. Now I have my own, and my teas can be transported in the style they deserve ;P
I love the fabrics Katcal used - the pictures don't do it justice, but the colours are very rich and there was a lovely pattern in the black fabric that just doesn't show in the pictures.
Thank you so much Katcal, you really really really are an angel beyond words! XOX
This did not turn out how I conceptualized it, but it's a first draft, and I may try again in the future. I had wanted to make it with a fine green stem with leaves woven along the necklace, and varying sizes of flowers and buds. My smaller flowers weren't shaping up the way I wanted them, and it started to get too bulky, so I abandoned that.
Anyways, it is beaded red poppies gathered on a spiral beaded black necklace. Instead of a clasp, I used lengths of ribbon to make ties so that it can be adjusted - it can be worn either as a choker, or longer as desired. It doesn't look like it, but the bunch of poppies are actually off centre, so that they sit a bit off to the side of the neck, and not dead centre. I used a translucent lustred seed bead, with a hex bead for the spiral necklace, and delicas in some different reds and a galvanized black for the poppies, with a reddish black seed bead to make the centres.
Excuse the crappy pics - they were the best of the bunch and I was having trouble taking pics while balancing on one leg and a cane.
I love the stitch markers that I had made a few years ago, but they were made with a 24 guage copper wire. I am finding, with frequent use, that it is starting to bend and break. So I made these recently, some for myself, and some to add to a swap package.
The top rings are uncut metal rings/shapes from a package of random metal shapes I had bought for jewelry making. They seem pretty sturdy. They have chainmaille mobius balls dangling from some, and encaged facetted glass beads in on others - for when you need to define different areas for knit/crocheted designs. Unfortunately I ran out of that size of glass beads, so those ones will be given away and I will have to make more for myself in the future.
I don't stencil very often. In fact, I don't remember doing since school. But I was motivated to make this apron and just finished it today. It's an Ozzy Osbourned apron for a swap I'm doing, and DH really likes it. To the point where he said that he would consider wearing an apron if it had Ozzy on it, and suggested I also make one for a friend who has a birthday coming up. I really enjoyed doing it, and may make a few more in the future.
Here is the original picture, in black and white, and the stencil after I cut it out
Some extra embellishment
After adding a bit of shading with a different shade of black with a bit of shimmer to add some dimension, here it is finished
Here it is in comparison to the original again
BTW - the highlighting is not that stark in reality - the paint is another shade of black/blue with shimmer in it, and the shimmer really caught the flash of the camera.
I was playing around with shrink plastic, some stamps, and this was what I got. I learned a number of things in this experimentation that will hopefully lead to greater success in the future.
First - the stamping ink I have, go lightly on, and it will not dry completely and will smear, even after shrinking. Solution, fuse the ink-stamped side to a plain peice of shrink plastic after shrinking both once.
Secondly - do not leave the two pieces fusing for too long - plastic takes on a yellowy tinge, the image warps a bit - two things I can live with. What I cannot live with - the hole punched through melts and fuses shut.
Thirdly - do not underfuse - then the little pieces come off with gentle pressure
Fourth - you CAN shape fused shrinkies into a ring! Yes, it is molten plastic. Yes, it is hot. BUT if you lift it up by the paper you are shrinking on, and manipulate the paper to shape it around the ring mandrel, you are less likely to hurt yourself. It's still hot- but manageable.
Fifth - while you can do it, it makes for a bulky ring. Not uncomfortable, because the edges rounded in the fusing process and it is very light, but it is bulky in thickness. But it does show that I can make a nametag for my stethoscope that I can shape around the earpiece so noone can slip it off, and that I can fuse the lettering between two pieces of plastic so it should be safe from the antibacterial wipes I use to clean it with. Alwo, it may make a pretty good cuff.
Sixth - I need tweezers
Seventh - next time, stamp on clear plastic, and fuse same onto opaque background - may turn out better.
Finally - watch the dog fur. I got some fused between some of the fused plastic pieces.
All in all, I am pleased. Not necessarily with the finished products, but with what I learned in the process of making them. Also, it's just fun watching the darn things shrink!
This one probably turned out to be one of the best - clearish picture, fused well, not too much warping, and the holes were still patent.
all of them together
My saddest one - I loved the three owls, but it melted too much and no hole
In no way does this compare with some of the sophisticated stuff I have seen in here, but I was pretty happy with how this turned out. I made these up to be part of a package for a swap recently. It was a tea/coffee swap, and I wanted to add something that was tea/coffee related, but not, kwim?
So I thought a bath tea would be fun. I was originally going to make just a floral or herbal bath tea, but my swap partner preferred citrus or vanilla scents. So out the window goes my dried flowers, lavender, etc.
But I did come up with this
Materials: Large tea bag filters (or make your own bags using cotton cheesecloth or muslin - make a pouch big enough to hold a 1/4-1/2 cup bath mix) a large bowl spoon to stir measuring cups/spoons som way to secure tops of bags - I was going to sew the tops shut, but ended up being lazy and stapling it. ribbon, labels 1/2 cup Epsom salts (or coarse sea salt) 1 1/2 cups Skim milk powder 1/8 cup baking soda 1/8 cup corn starch Scenting agents - both dry and essential oils
Mix the salts, milk powder, baking soda, and corn starch in a bowl - this is your basic milk bath recipe and you can add what you want to make it at this point.
For the Citrus/Orange Creme - I took thin strips of the rind (no pith) off a large organic orange and lemon, and roasted them in a thin layer at a lowish temp - about 250F, until dry. Then I broke up the pieces and added it to the bath mix. With a spoon, I mixed it in well, and while mixing, added drops of sweet orange essential oil until I was happy with the scent. It smelled like an Orange Julius. I was seriously craving Orange Julius, or creamsicles for days after making these.
For the Vanilla Creme - I actually slit and scraped vanilla seeds into the bath mix, then cut up the bean husks and added those, as well as vanilla essential oil. I think I added about 5-6 small beans (I buy bulk from e-bay for cooking, making vanilla extract, etc).
Don't go overboard with the scents - they develop and become stronger as the mixture sits for awhile.
After mixing well so that everything is evenly distributed, you can scoop it into the bags, fold the tops, adding ribbon or string to hold the bags by, and secure the tops how you want. Can be kept in an air tight container. You may choose not to use a bag - but I don't like the additives going down the drain and clogging pipes up eventually. My hair is bad enough.
To use - hang the bag over the faucet by the ribbon and run bath water over it, then float the bag in the bath water. Or boil a pot of water, steep the bag in for 20 minutes, then add the contents to the hot bath water.
I haven't seen my swap partner posting for awhile, so I am going to post the pics I took of some of the stuff I sent her. This was my first swap so I was pretty excited about it, and felt rather proud of what I managed to accomplish in a short time, especially after having a bit of a craft funk.
I went to the Tea Emporium in Toronto to buy some teas for her. It is a great place to go with lots of choices of teas. Mostly loose leaf in canisters so you can really take a good look and smell them before purchasing. I got I think about 4-5 teas from there for her to try - some that are fruity, some with vanilla notes. I also got two flavours of iced tea blends too. Then I went to the coffee roasters at St. Lawrence Market, The Daily Roast, and bought about 4 of their flavoured coffees to try. They had great names like Snickerdoodle, Caramel Crunch, etc. The smells were amazing. St. Lawrence Market is definitely a place I recommend other foodies who visit Toronto to go visit. I had a lot of ideas for crafts to make, and ended up making several of them to send along. I really hope she liked them. There were also a couple of other doodads. I wish I got a pic of the cute little silicone monkey potholder, I thought he was sweet.
I found out recently that the permanent bakeable paints I like are also permanent on metal so I personalized a coffee flask for her. I also found cute lampworked beads at a bead fair I went to and decorated a tea ball, and a complementing ice tea spoon. I used other beads, and the same chainmaille motif to make a bracelet too. I knit two cozies to go with her flask, modifying a leaf pattern I saw. I saw that she crocheted, so I added two craft containers with some simple decorations I added to hold hooks and things. Also I made some teas for her - bath teas; two milk baths, one in a citrus scent with dried organic orange and lemon peel, with sweet orange oil, and the other with whole vanilla bean bits, and seeds, and vanilla oil.
So here is the teaser I posted:
Here is the bracelet:
The two cozies
The tea ball and spoon
The craft cases. I also had a small purple case decorated to match to hold Splenda packages.
The flask (I did about three designs, erasing each, because I hated them, and ended up going simple instead because it looked neater)
The bath teas, packaged up. I called them Orange Creme, and Vanilla Creme
I made these as part of a recent swap I did for the I <3 coffee/tea swap this past month. I found some cute lampwork glass beads at the last bead fair I went to, and combined it with some chainmaille mobius flower to make a bracelet, and to decorate a teaball and spoon.
I drilled a hole at the top of the spoon to bead it - too bad I could not have made the hole closer to edge, but there was a curve in it that worried me. It is a longer iced tea spoon, perfect for stirring in a travel mug or flask.