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51  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Nourishing Nature - Bird Feeders gifts for family and friends on: November 13, 2015 11:26:35 AM

This is another project that Jim and I did together this year.  I am so happy when we actually plan on and work on projects together. 

Anyways, I was inspired when I saw the project posted by CarlieJoe a few months ago.  Jim made it from scrap wood in his shop and we had a number of bottles in stock, as his uncle had a wine making shop, so we often get gifted wine, and keep bottles to return to him.

Jim made the frames.  I cleaned and etched the bottles.  We did clear ones too, but they did not turn out as nice, so we did them all with the green bottles - the etching turned up much nicer on them.  Then, when Jim as done putting the frames together, I wood burned the leaf motifs onto the backer.

So far, we have nine made - hopefully that is all we need.  They are not quite finished yet - Jim is putting on the last coat of varnish on them now.  Then I just have to fill the bottles with seed and cork them for gifting.

There is more pictures (waaaaaaaaaay more; too many!) and more about the project on my blog if anyone is interested.
52  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / This note's for you.... on: November 12, 2015 11:18:22 AM
I made these pendents recently, from bamboo tiles.  They are paper, ink, paint, decoupage medium, and resin. 

After altering the bamboo tiles, I sealed them with a thin layer of glossy, jewelry grade resin, and when that cured, I used 24 gauge wire to wire the dangles.  Some are Swarovski Elements that I had picked up over the years at different workshops.  They add a bit of bling and movement. 

This is one of my favourites.

More pics of the other pendents and some more details on my blog if you are interested in reading further.
53  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Stars and snow... on: November 12, 2015 11:06:53 AM

I made a small batch of these recently, decoupaged star ornaments.  I quite like how they looked, but they looked too barren to me as just stars.  Then, as I was making a bunch of cards/tags for the holiday tag and card swap, I got the idea of combining them with die cut, painted, and glittered snowflakes.  I love how they turned out.

More about it on my blog if anyone is interested, with some more pics.
54  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Repainting action figures - what paint to use? on: November 03, 2015 09:18:04 AM
I want to repurpose a doll/action figure - could I just go with sanding it to rough up the surface a bit, applying gesso, and then acrylic, or is there a better option.  It will not be for a child to play with.  It will likely be more for display - a gag gift for an adult (well, in physical age anyways) for Christmas...
55  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / 2015 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap GALLERY - send outs 11/04 on: October 24, 2015 04:34:18 PM
Original Discussion here.....

Post pics if you can, as you receive them, so we can all admire each other's creativity!  

Don't forget also to PM myself and your partners when you send, and when you receive too so I can keep track for feedback!


Group1 (sending 4 cards/envelopes and 4 tags to 3 partners)
Onyxnox (2 of 3 - 10/31, 3 of 3 - 11/01) ----->nowheresound (11/12), Thimbles71, flygirl88
nowheresound (11/12) -----> Onyxnox (11/18), Thimbles71, flygirl88
Thimbles (11/05) -----> Onyxnox, nowheresound (11/12), flygirl88
flygirl88 (10/24) -----> Onyxnox (10/30), nowheresound (11/12), Thimbles71

Group2 (sending 4 cards/envelopes and 4 tags to 3 partners)
smashu (10/25) -----> SheridanLA (11/04), flygirl88 (10/31), kbrison (11/03)
SheridanLA (11/04) ----> smashu, flygirl88,  kbrison (11/06)
flygirl88 (10/24) ----->smashu (11/02), SheridanLA, kbrison (11/03)
kbrison (2 of 3 on 11/03, 3rd sent 11/05) -----> smashu, SheridanLA, flygirl88

Group 3 (sending 6 cards/envelopes and 6 tags to 2 partners)
rosemarieski25 (11/02) ----->stillatthetop (11/04), Gina1gr8mom (11/02?)
stillatthetop (11/03) ----->rosemarieski25, Gina1gr8mom
Gina1gr8mom (11/02) -----> rosemareski25 (11/02), stillatthetop (11/04)

Group 4 (sending 6 cards/envelopes and 6 tags to 2 partners)
artsycandice (11/05) ----->bec99, quaggy
bec99 (10/26)  -----> quaggy, artsycandice
quaggy (10/26) -----> bec99, artsycandice (10/29)

sent all packages (and partners have received)/received all packages
sending late with communication
feedback given
56  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Here kitty, kitty, kitty.... on: October 21, 2015 05:03:30 AM

I made these cards lately for SevsOnlyGirl for the random swap... I saw that she loved cats and this was actually something that was on my mind before then - the peeking cat images.  I was going to make a canvas or art piece for a friend who loves black cats.

Stupid me though, I ended up making these for SevsOnlyGirl, and never did get around to making the canvas for the friend!  So at some point, I will have to make new ones.

I did a series of cards using various stamped cat images with various card colours, various stamped and stenciled backgrounds and washi tape accents

I just love that image of the cat peeking over the edge.  She almost looks exactly like my friend's cat from when I first met him - he had a black cat with brilliant eyes, named Scamper, and she used to peek over the table at us like that while we played D+D at his place - she was such a sweet, affectionate cat that loved to hang with us.

Here are a couple of my favourite ones, and a bit more about this set here on my blog if you are interested...

I had carved my own stamps to make them and sent the stamps along too when I sent the package.

On the inside, I added a couple of stamp silhouettes to the liners

I also did some tall, narrow cards with the other, more cartoon-like cat image. A bit more about this on my blog if anyone is interested...

57  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Anyone interested in a 1 item/OTT winter-themed swap? on: October 21, 2015 04:35:04 AM
Either a single ornament, altered tin, altered block, small mixed media piece, or something like that?  I think we did a winter themed matchbox last year...

58  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Stars, stars, stars... woven from reused newspaper... on: October 13, 2015 02:59:47 AM
I have seen various cute woven stars from paper, but all the instructions I could find  for the ones I really liked were in Cyrillic.  So I tried to figure figure it out myself and I think I managed to this weekend.  So these are the finished star structures, and I thought I would share in case anyone else wants to know.  I am still figuring out how I want to decorate them, but I think several may be put together to make a front door decoration, and I will make more for this year's annual Christmas ornament.  Once you get over the tedium of cutting and rolling the paper strips, the actual making of the stars goes very fast.

I took way too many pictures for each part of the process, but I won't post them all here, but basically you roll strips of paper into thin tubes.  Glue some together to make longer tubes.

Then gently tease the dog by bopping him on the head with the tubes when he comes by to bug you to take him for another walk... yes, I traumatize my animals with my crafting...

Take some and fold them into a star shaped frame.

Weave around the frame.

Secure the end of the tube, and voila, a star is born!   Or in this case, many stars...

I think my next step is to take the stars and spray paint them - I am thinking frosty metallic blues and silvers.  But I can't do that until I pick up the paint, and DH clears off his current project from the workshop table - it's too rainy/windy/cold, and too many swirling leaves for me to do it outside now.

If anyone is interested, I posted more <way too many> pictures of the process, and some more info on my blog.
59  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / For the love of reading - two bookmarks... on: October 09, 2015 01:13:10 PM
I was in the recent bookmarks swap (Gallery of the awesomeness here) and these were two of the ones I made while planning for this swap. 

They are made from butterflies die cut from patterned leather attached to thin pieces of pretty blue suede.  I attached butterflies to both ends.  I riveted the butterflies to metal tabs that attached to jump rings so the butterflies could dangle nicely.  I was going to use ribbon clamps, but could not find mine, and when I went to go buy them, they did not have any nice long ones.

Then I realized, why don't I just make them.  so these are simple squares of copper I cut, sanded, and riveted to the ends of the suede ribbon.  I thought it was a nice blank surface, so decided to stamp "read" on them.  I goofed on one, and ended up changing it to "dear" so it ends up becoming "read, dear" on the two ends of the one bookmark.

Regardless, I like how they turned out.

A bit more on one of the bookmarks on my blog...

 and on the other one here if you are interested - thanks!
60  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / From blah to steampunk glory.... on: October 09, 2015 01:02:44 PM

So, a friend and I were talking about decorating some things in a steampunkish manner, especially after he saw my little compact project from last month.  He was talking about redoing the case for his computer and some things in his kitchen, whatnot, and the conversation veered around to Christmas.  So after we were done our conversation, I was having some ideas.  This was one I came up with... I had some plastic ball ornaments I never used that were pretty blah, and 'punked them up a bit.

They are covered with embossed metal tape, and then layers of copper paint, with some other acrylics to add some faux patina and aging, and several layers of acrylic sealer to maintain the surface treatment.

Then, after making sure everything was finally completely dry - and I do mean COMPLETELY dry, I added some die cut poinsettias, and foliage from vintage music paper.

This was a live and learn project - I am happy how it turned out, but I will say, it was a huge pain in the butt to make these for various reasons, including painting on metal and plastic, and dealing with the roundness of it all, and the fact that it has been terribly cool and humid here - nothing that helps with drying paint and varnish.

But they went from these blah blue striped balls to these babies...

Jim liked them quite a bit... every year I made a set of unique ornaments to gift to friends and family, but these were so time consuming in the end, that I don't these will be it!!!

But I am still happy how they turned out.

If you are interested in some more pics and details of how I made them, here is a linkity to my blog post about them...
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