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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Loki's paws... on: January 12, 2017 08:23:15 AM
Bunny1kenobi asked me to make some metal etched keychains for her to commemorate a pet who passed.  I know also what it is like to lose a loved fur-friend, so completely understand why she would want something with his paw on it.  I have two paw plaques of my two that passed.

She sent me the image of his paw and for a few months I thought on and off how to do it.  The image was so small, fine, and faint enough that I was not confident in the ability to print and transfer using P+P or photo paper.

Finally, I decided to just take the image, carve a stamp, and use that stamp to transfer onto metal to etch.  Also, I could then use a fine tipped marker to add some details if needed, by hand, but I left them very organic, as a paw would look, stepping onto the dirt or whatnot.

I made a couple of prototypes and showed them to Jim, along with the pic.  He seemed to think they were pretty good, so I sent the image to her, and got the go ahead, so I finally made and sent these to her before Christmas to share with her family.

I really hope they met her expectations.  More on my blog if anyone is interested.
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Advent Calendar... on: January 12, 2017 08:13:07 AM
I made this for the 12 days of Christmas swap last year - my partner posted a stocking advent and it had a nice country feel to it, using tea towels and white wool or felt.  I changed it up a bit, to use burlap and tea towels for more of that country feel.

I will say that burlap is a huge pain to sew.  This was a nicer craft burlap that I found at a sale at the Fabric Museum that did not fray as much - but still a pain with all the lint that came off it with the cutting and sewing.  But I like how it turned out.

I did not want the stockings to be too small to put a small gift into, so I gave a rather generous size, but still small.

I used mini clothes pins and handmade tags.

I wanted the tags to be durable, so they are die cut from thick chipboard, and card stock.  I stamped and decorated the card stock pieces, then glued them to the chipboard.  I then embossed the edges and each side with glittery embossing powder, and added eyelets for hanging with baker's twine.

They are not affixed to the stockings, so they can be moved around and used on other packages too, but are really thick and durable.  They are decorated on both sides, and each one different.  They were my art therapy during the US elections, because that was what was constantly on every news channel, and talk show I was watching that week - so a lot of detail went into them.

I hope my partner liked it and here is more about on my blog, with a tonne of pics if anyone is interested.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Woodland creatures ornaments... on: January 12, 2017 08:00:56 AM
These ended up being my annual ornament for family - I made some for a swap, and then a set for SIL, MIL, and some aunts, and those friends I know put up a tree. 

I started by making a set for a swap and as I was making them, I realized I liked them and wanted to make a set for myself, then Jim said that his sister would like them too, and his mother... and then I ended up making probably something like 36 of them - serious hand cramp occurred...

Jim helped me by drilling the button holes and I painted the buttons blue and used them to hold the ribbon in with a dab of glue.  They are incredibly sturdy - fantastic for all the households with dogs and/or cats who are less than respectful of the tree (namely - all of ours). They are solid wood (?beech, oak or birch, not sure now), so a bit dense, so a smaller bulb shape works well.

They are finished with several (so many I lost count!) layers of satin finish polyurethane, so they have a nice soft shine to them.

Here are a couple of my favourites

They went really well with the bird ones I made before, on my own tree, and it was nice to see them, especially mixed in with some other ornaments we made in the past, on the trees of family and friends.

More on my blog if anyone is interested.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / New Year - New Reindeer - wreaths that is... on: January 01, 2017 12:03:37 PM

I made these two new wreaths for winter decorations for the house, after getting the plywood bases on discount while shopping this week.  It's my first completed project for the new year!

They were originally chalkboard plywood pieces from Walmart - Boooooooooooooooring...

This took a lot of stages, and intensive glittering... but I am happy how they turned out.  Right now, the two of them were hanging out on my french doors in the hall, but they are double sided and will hopefully hang out in in my new bay windows next year - the bay windows Jim hopefully will put in this year that is.

Many more pics and more information of how I made them on my blog if anyone is interested...
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Any crafty goodies in the holiday season??? on: December 26, 2016 06:07:37 AM
OK, I gifted myself a few goodies over the past couple of months... but I also was lucky enough to get some crafty goodies from loved ones this year - Jim got me a new doming and block set for curving metal, and a couple of Dremel accessories including a tabletop scroll saw, and the workstation set up that turns the dremel into a drill press, and a holder for the flex shaft.  I also got a GC for one of my favourite bead stores, a clay roaster, and some watch part storage tins - great for beads, findings, and fiddly bits. 

So dish - I love hearing about what other people get for crafty goodies!  Or gave!!!
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Pretty Pots of Poinsettias for Parental Presents... on: December 18, 2016 06:39:20 AM
OK, I am in a bit of an alliteration mood - these are Permanent, and Pet-friendly also!

Jim's mom asked for poinsettia's a couple years ago, after I made both the mom's a set of coffee filter roses.  I had made some last year or so ago, but was not happy with that iteration.  This year I made this set and am much happier with it - though I learned a few things in the process of it.

Each pot has 5 stems - the pots are about 7-8", and there is floral foam (the dry stuff, not the stuff meant to hold moisture) and tissue paper filling them.

I bought extra crepe paper, so may make a pot for myself - or save them for crepe roses.

More about it on my blog if anyone is interested...
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Their first Christmas together... on: December 08, 2016 11:32:22 AM

I made an ornament for each of the two new married couples in our family.  I have a pail of wood slices leftover from the fallen limbs, from the ice storm a few years ago, and used two to make these.

The first one, above, is for Jim's brother and our new sister in law - going with a buck and doe theme as he is a hunter too.

The second one, below, is for my nephew and his new wife.  I was thinking peace doves, as he is also a new junior pastor and she is also working in their ministry.  Or two turtle doves as it is for Christmas. 

On the back, I woodburned the year and a notation about their first Christmas together.  I then added several layers of polyurathane, and added some glittery greenery and berries.  The hanger is a brass eyelet and red velvet ribbon.

More about the buck and doe ornament here, and the two doves here.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded stars V. 2.0 - they light up my life on: December 04, 2016 11:51:17 AM

I was thinking that making a lighted garland with the stars I made the other day would be cute, and gave that a go this weekend and it does work and kind of looks cute.  I am using a tiny wired set of LEDs, so made the stars proportionately smaller than the ornaments I made.  When they are smaller, they don't puff as much, but they still look cute, I think.  I only made a couple of the stars so far, but are coming together fast.  I worked out some kinks with the first one, and I think I figured it out by the second one.

... a lot more pics and info on my blog post if anyone wants to try it themselves.
9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Art tags/prompts swap - new year coming up - fresh inspiration?? on: December 04, 2016 04:30:53 AM
I started this discussion earlier in the year and there seemed to be some interest then, but then other things got in the way...

But with the new year coming up, and if you are like me, you spent the last while - and probably every second up until Christmas crafting for gifts, or charity, decorating, etc - and not just for the sake of art, or for yourself.

Is anyone interested in making art tags or cards for creative prompts or inspiration - essentially contribute small pieces with images, phrases, or words of inspiration - could be a quote, a theme, poem, song lyrics, colours, a particular genre of art, a calming exercise, part of a picture - literally anything that you may find inspirational, and presented in small artistic form (like a tag, a card, an ATC, a small 4x6 piece, mini art quilt, etc) - something that the receiver can put into into a book, display, or box and draw from for future inspiration.

For example - I could make a tag with the image of falling leaves done in gold embossing and filled in with watercolour shading, with the Camus quote - Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.  On the back I could put something like go for a walk, see what you can do with some autumn leaves you find - press them to use in jewelry, take pictures, draw them, make impressions, etc.

Or another example - Do a paper mosaic or drawing of the UP house - and I may say something like, why not play with, or make something with balloons... balloon animals, paper mache bowl with balloon shaping, or just a refreshing water balloon fight with the kids in the park (and then journal about it or take pics) - whatever it inspires.

Get what I mean?

My thought is that if enough people join, we could do small groups, where 1 person sends an inspiration to each member of the group and in the end, everyone has enough to start their own small inspiration wall/book/box, etc.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Magic Beans... on: December 03, 2016 10:31:42 AM
This is a companion item to go with the woodburned wall hung cup holder I posted the other day

It's a class jar with the clip closure, that I etched with coffee beans on three sides, and on the one side, I added the name, "magic beans" - afterall, coffee beans have the magical capability of turning me, and many I know from being cranky <w>itches with dirt for brains to reasonably rational, functional thinking human beings, who can deal with other human beings in the morning.

It's good to get that extra magical kick at times.

A bit more on my blog if anyone is interested.

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