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51  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Mad as a Hatter.... on: April 17, 2015 03:53:56 AM
I love making Alice in Wonderland crafts - some of you may already know that, so I made up an excuse to do more this year by having an OTT Alice swap - the gallery is still ongoing if anyone wants to see some of the other wonderful crafts.

Anyways, for this swap, I decided to make a pincushion or a needlebook... I was wiffle waffling on how and the theme, when I remembered I had done a mad hatter matchbox awhile back and maybe I could take that and convert it into a pin cushion.

So I did - I made the hat out of a TP roll and some some thicker card stock for the brim, with some tape, and many many layers of tissue so that it would be pretty stiff and firm.  I mean MANY layers.  I bent and formed it as I went along.  I left the top off for the pin cushion part of it. 

After I was happy with the shaping, I painted and decorated it.  I went for a purply/black distressed look with some stampings for a bit of texture and interest.  I was thinking of flocking or molding paste with a damask print, but it was not working out when I tried - too much curvature, too small a space.

After the outer layers of paint and ink dried, I added a felt top.  I added some paint to make it match the sides more.  Inside, I stuffed a layer of steel wool and batting.  The steel wool to help sharpen the pins as they are used.  I then added cardboard and tissue to the bottom to seal it in, and painted it to match.  But I was not happy with how it looked then - it just didn't look right to me for some reason. 

So in the end, I did add a matching matchbox to the base - it looks better with the hat on  platform anyways, and now there is a small bit of storage beneath for pins, or bobbins, or what not.  I thought about adding a bit of a pedestal or feet, but then thought that it may not stand up to having pins poked in and out regularly without being squished too much or toppling over.  I decorated the hat with a bit of satin ribbon, a decorative brad, die cut leather feathers, and a bit of card decorated to look like the Mad Hatter's sale sign.

Oh yes, and I made a set of pins with the card suits to go with the hat.

I posted a bit more about it on my blog if you want to see a few more pictures, etc

I also don't think I ever posted my original Hatter matchbox.  This one was similar, except I did add top to the hat, and decoupaged it with purple tissue - I liked how the tissue looked, so left it like that, with a glossy topcoat, and added black flocking detail to fancy it up.  I was thinking of it as a hat displayed for sale, so I added wood veneer to the matchbox, and flocking too to make it look like a stand. I used a commercial matchbox, so I think that this one was about 2/3rds the size of the above hat pin cushion

52  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Have an apple or two... on: April 09, 2015 05:57:56 AM
I made this set of apple cards lately for gala_apples for the Use What You Have swap.  I carved an apple stamp for her,which I posted about here, and decided that I had to make something with it an a bonus, before including them all in the package I sent her.  I really liked how the apple stamp turned out and thought it would great with some water colours.

I cut out squares of water colour paper, and stamped the images on with black Versafine ink.

When the black ink dried, it was waterproof, and perfect for painting on with pearlescent water colour paint.  I am kind of in love with pearlescent paint lately.  You can't really see in the pictures, but they do have a nice little bit of shimmer to them.

I did a set of green and red apples.  I think I made a dozen cards in total.  They were really fun to do and it was quite therapeutic painting them.

I made them as a tall thin card, or a long horizontal card.  They are about 3x6".  I also inked the edges of the water colour paper after painting the apples, to add a bit more dimension to them.

A bit more about the green apples on my blog.

and about the red apples too.
53  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / The apples of my eye... on: April 09, 2015 05:43:59 AM
I made one of these for the recent Use What You Have swap for gala_apples.  I wanted to send her an apple stamp for her own paper crafting, to make personalized note cards or whatever she wanted.  It ended up that I liked it so much that I made one for myself to keep too - just because I had so much fun making cards with them and colouring them in.  

Blog post here with some more pics if you are interested, on the first one,  and on the second one here.

I carved them out of a thin stamp carving material - I like this much more than the soft Speedball stamp carving material because I find that I can get nicer crisper lines with it.

As an extra, I used the stamps to make a couple of sets of note cards too.  
54  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A wee hint o' argyle... on: April 09, 2015 04:29:55 AM

I made this set for the use what you have, stash busting swap, for gala_apples.  We have swapped a few times in the past and I remembered that she liked plaid and argyle patterns.  I was sitting on the bus one night listening to my ipod, and the thought came to my head about making an etched argyle pattern.  I jotted how I would try to do it onto a napkin or a receipt, since I was on my way to work, and when I got home the next morning, started to work on it.

I made the etched band out of copper after drawing it out in Sharpie marker.  I did a relatively long band so I could cut it out afterwards to the length I need, and maybe have a bit more to make something else with.  I think it was about an inch or an inch and a half wide.

I made a leather cuff base from tanning leather that I textured with hammer, and coloured with leather dye and acrylics.  I used an acrylic leather seal on it, and buffed it.  Then I cut the etched piece down, curved it, and riveted it onto the leather piece.  I used a simple snap closure on the leather cuff.  I am very happy how it turned out - though my argyle is a little wonky.

A bit more from a post on my blog about the bracelet for those who are interested.

I had some leftover leather and a decent sized piece of scrap argyle, so I turned it into a small pendent to match.
55  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / A Little Alice Swap (OTT) Gallery - Send Outs - Apr 07/15 on: March 21, 2015 07:39:54 PM
Original discussion thread here....

Post them as you get them!

Please don't forget to PM myself and your partner when you send and receive!


1.  Arachnea -03/31<---> rockingbearranch - 04/02
2.  Ludi- 04/02 <---> mousee23 - 04/06
3.  pinkmichK - 04/02 <---> Quantumphysica - 04/03
4.  Averia - 04/07 <---> StainedMushroom - 04/06
5.  torimiko - 04/19 <---> legatostroke - 03/31
6.  Audania1- 03/25 <---> puzzled-penguin - 03/21
7.  mariak - 03/24 <---> Samsara 03/31
8.  Blasphemy the Blasphemer - o4/07 <---> frankibean - 04/07
9.  amc-04/02 <---> Onyxnox - 04/04
10.  luckdragon - 04/07 <--->  WeeFreeRhie ?sent 04/11

***** Audania1 to angel for luckdragon

late with communication
feedback given
contact organizer immediately
56  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / a Terry Pratchett tribute? (RIP, Sir Terry Pratchett) on: March 13, 2015 09:37:15 AM
I just found out that Terry Pratchett passed away yesterday.  I knew it was inevitable - especially as he had stated that as his Alzheimers advances that he may choose to end his life rather than suffer the latter stages.  But he apparently passed from natural causes at home. 

I am deeply saddened - his Discworld series, and Good Omens could always make me laugh and I could (and do!) read them over and over again.  They can always lift my spirits when I feel down.

I was wondering if anyone is interested in participating in/organizing a swap tribute to the late, great Terry Pratchett.

57  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / A Little Alice Swap (OTT) - closed - Send Out - Apr 07/15 on: February 28, 2015 05:05:59 AM

If you have a love of Wonderland and all things Alice, then this is the swap for YOU!

The goal is to make an OTT Alice/Wonderland craft - that is a craft that is small, within 4x4x4" at the max.  Keep in mind that is small in size, but large in heart and effort.  There will be no extras, just a wonderful tiny bit of Wonderland for your partner to love and the rest of the world to want and admire.

Sign ups will be from now until March 14th, noon, EST.  Partnering will likely occur that night or Sunday.  Crafting time will be about 3 weeks, and send outs April 7th.

So if you love Alice, and want a reason to craft an ode to Wonderland, please join!

Let's get some of the business end over with shall we?

Swap name: A Little Alice swap (OTT)
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: 02/28/15-03/14/15
Date to send item by: 04/07/15

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 20

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
Additional Age requirement? 16 yrs plus

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

Name of swap:  A Little Alice Swap (OTT)
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)

1.  What style of Alice in Wonderland do you like (eg: classic John Tenniel, Disney, Manga, etc)?

2.  What kind of crafted Alice projects do you yearn for?

3.  What are your favourite Alice scenarios/quotes?

4.  What crafted items would you absolutely not want made for you?

5.  What do you dislike (colours, patterns, strong scents, etc)?

6.  What do you eat (colours, patterns, scents, etc)?

7.  What allergens are in your home?

8.  What allergies/sensitivities do you want your partner to be aware of?

9.  How can your partner stalk you (Pinterest, blogs, wishlists)?

10.  What kind of items can you craft/would like to craft?

11.  Do you promise to post weekly in the swap discussion thread, and post pics/or acknowledgement of receipt in the gallery?



1.  Onyxnox
2.  Ludi
3.  StainedMushroom
4.  pinkmichk
5.  Averia
6.  torimiko
7.  Audania1
8.  mariak
9.  mousee23
10.  Blasphemy the Blasphemer
11.  frankibean
12.  Samsara
13.  amc-
14.  rockingbearranch
15.  Quantumphysica
16.  Arachnea
17.  luckdragon
18.  WeeFreeRhie
19.  legatostroke
20.  puzzled-penguin

NOTICE: Send out date modified to April 07, 2015 because of the Easter weekend!
58  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / No Coffee... no talkie.... on: February 14, 2015 07:24:19 AM
I made these as part of the Fill a Mug swap, for camezzo, recently.  Since we were not actually swapping mugs, I made several of my crafts to be directly cup/mug related.  This is a mug rug and cup cozy set.

First, I went with a coffee cup themed mug rug, with a sleeve that should tell everyone how to approach said person before they have properly prepared for the day.  I went with blues as we both love blues.  I liked the peaceful floral background as it kind of acts in contract to that idea of the cranky, not yet caffeinated grouch.  Also, the gray leaves look like they could be steam, rising from the cup.

I  was really happy how it turned out.  I made the cup out of a pretty swirled blue fabric, which I also used to back the mug rug.  I used strips of white to make the lid, and appliqued them on separately.  I used white with  some interfacing for the sleeve, which I stamped the sentiment on.

More on my blog post here

I made a cup cozy to accompany also.  I made it with a lace up/corseted back so it could be adjusted to fit, similar to a cozy I made last year for another swap.

I saw a couple of things on pinterest that camezzo had pinned, that I wanted to use for the cozy, so I made it reversible too.

First side, using the same swirl fabric as on the mug rug, and the white center piece.  I used some thicker interfacing too to give it some stiffness and a bit more insulation too - some of those cups can get pretty hot.

The opposite side, uses the same white fabric, and a butterfly fabric as well.

I used a permanent ink on the fabric, so it would not smear or fade, and used metal eyelets for the corseting on the back.

More about the cozy specifically from my blog - this was the second incarnation.  The first was a bit of wonky mess.

I like the swirls of the blue swirled fabric, it also makes me think of curls of steam coming up from a cup of hot coffee.
59  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Sending a tweet... a bunch o' notecards on: February 13, 2015 06:52:08 AM
I was just fiddling around the other day and making some random note cards.  I came up with these.  I loved this blue textured card stock and thought I would go with a bird theme with it.  I did the basic images and put it all together.  Then when I was sleeping, I came up with the sentiment.  I thought it was a cute play on words, especially as so many people are tweeting and using social media and the art of the written word and snail mail is diminishing.

I used some Distress ink to give the beige paper a bit more of an aged, vintage look.  The cards are about 3"x6", so long and narrow.

I made envelopes to fit from scratch and added complimentary images to them also.

A bit more about it on my blog.
60  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / OMG - I need a drink swap... anyone interested in Happy Hour? on: February 13, 2015 04:50:06 AM

We have done tea, coffee, fill a mug swaps... I don't remember if we did a Cocktails/drinks swap...

Obviously, we cannot send booze through the mail, but I was thinking it could be fun to do a drinks-themed swap, open to adults only...

Some crafty items I am thinking of are (and obviously noted limited to):

recipe books
drinks related artwork
vintage snark
snacks that go well with drinks (spiced nuts, crackers, whatnot)
decorated flasks
decorated glasses
wine charms
cocktail picks
that awesome cocktails hat
a martini hoopla...

... whatever your boozy little heart desires, your rum soaked brain can think of, your bleary hungover eyes can see to make...
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