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51  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ammo casing keychains for my guy and his hunting buddies... on: November 07, 2014 07:57:28 PM
I have been collecting various ammo casings on and off for awhile - just a small stash.  Somehow word got around to DH's hunting buddies that I was looking for shell casings to work with and I ended up with a huge zip bag of them this Fall.  So I decided to make a set of keychains for DH to give to his hunting buddies/family when he went away deer hunting with them this week.

These are the rifle casings they collected for me, and I thought they would be perfect to etch, so I used my Sharpie resist method to add the phrase "I would rather be hunting", and the set of deer tracks, then I etched them in an acid bath.  I then punched the holes to add the rings and chain.  I added a patina and used microcrystalline wax to burnish it.  I just thought it would be a cute souvenir for DH to give to his friends/family - I do wish I was a bit neater with the writing, but it was a bit hard with the curve, and being consistent with the scribe.

I posted a bit more on my blog... I have a good dozen more, and am thinking that I would cut them down, and etch a few more of them, for ornament bases or something like that.

I have to try removing the plastic from the shell casings and see what I can do with them too.
52  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Wrap and rust dyeing - my first time ever... on: November 06, 2014 04:53:39 AM
... and I think I am in love!

I took a short workshop a couple of weeks ago, as part of my local annual Fall Creativ Festival.  It was with a local fiber artist Maggie Vanderveit of stonethreads.ca.  She did a 6 hour hands on workshop with us about dyeing with natural materials such as fallen leaves, and local plants to imprint the image onto fabric, and dyeing with rust.  It was a lot of fun and I was excited by the possibilities.  Here is my blog posting after the workshop that day and it shows some pictures of some of the pieces that she did just prior to the workshop and that she unwrapped that day to show us.

Some of her pieces were gorgeous - and she was so excited unwrapping them, because you can never be sure 100% what will happen when you do this kind of dyeing.

During the workshop, I ended up doing about 10-12 wraps.  I was not thinking I would get much, as it was only a 6 hour workshop, and I thought it was a basic dyeing workshop, so I did not dry my leaves or flowers flat.  We boiled the wraps, or soaked them, during the class, and took them home to finish soaking.  

When I was ready to unwrap them, I was not impressed with my cotton and silk chiffon ones, even with soaking in a milk bath - they were done with beets, goldenrod, and ferns.  All I ended up with was pale, dirty looking cotton, with no discernible patterns.

But when I opened the silk, and wool samples - I was so excited and happy!!!!!  This is my blog post today with more pics of my best results

They are not as defined or as vibrant as hers, but I am pretty happy how they turned out and want to try some more!

Here are some of the samples mostly of fallen leaves and one with fresh sage -

on raw silk, boiled in an alum bath

on wool crepe, boiled in an alum bath

on rug hooking wool, with fresh sage, boiled in an alum bath, with walnut goop

on rug hooking wool with onion leaves, and rusty nails, in a vinegar bath

I was looking for  new ways to decorate fabric, for future fabric or mixed media projects, and this was a wonderful experience.  I am thinking to try this with fresh fern leaves in the summer and see if I can make some canvases for the bedroom, and I did take one of these pieces and made it into a small canvas, which I will likely post about when I am done with it.

These were all done willy nilly - and going forward, I will have to try a few things she recommended, like wrapping around a solid form to get a tighter wrap, preparing my materials more carefully,and laying my them out more carefully as well.
53  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Holiday Tag Swap - Round 2 Gallery... on: November 01, 2014 04:19:57 PM
Original Discussion link....


Group 1

onyxnox ----> kbrison, rackycoo, dharma_rebel
kbrison ----> onyxnox, rackycoo, dharma_rebel
rackycoo ----> onyxnox, dharma_rebel, kbrison
dharma_rebel ----> onyxnox, rackycoo, kbrison

Group 2

SonjaBoo ----> flygirl88, bec99, onyxnox
flygirl88 ----> bec99, onyxnox, SonjaBoo
onyxnox ----> bec99, SonjaBoo, flygirl88
bec99 ----> SonjaBoo, flygirl88, onyxnox

Group 3

Summer6061 ----> gala_apples, kaz814, Gina1gr8mom
gala_apples ----> kaz814, Gina1gr8mom, Summer6061
kaz814 ----> gala_apples, Gina1gr8mom, Summer6061
Gina1gr8mom ----> kaz814, Summer6061, gala_apples

Sender = sent to all recipients
Sender = late with communication
Sender = please contact organizer ASAP
Sender = feedback given

Receiver = received package

Feedback will be given when all packages are received by recipients.  Remember, in case of lost packages, senders are expected to resend.  

Please don't forget to PM both myself and your recipients when sending packages! Postage confirmation is not required in a paper swap - but good communication is expected!

54  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Holiday Matchbox swap... on: October 12, 2014 09:20:05 AM
I am building the Christmas spirit and thinking of small crafts to make for swapping, as I an essentially dilly dallying on my own Christmas crafting, and still wanting to swap, but trying to keep it to smaller swaps to maybe be more budget and time friendly...

some prototype matchboxes I made recently

... so I was wondering if anyone was interested in doing a Holiday themed matchbox swap.  I don't think we have had one in awhile, and not a holiday themed one that I have seen.  The the ones I have done have all be fun to do with some fabulously crafty results....

linkity-links to prior galleries for inspiration...



I was thinking we could do the standard (as I am aware) swap of one decorated matchbox filled with small ephemera, no extras (unless agreed upon by both partners).  Unless anyone else has a suggestion... I was also thinking a 12 days or advent calender-ish set of matchboxes - but that may be more than others may want to do.

55  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Holiday Tag Swap - Round 2 - Sign Ups Oct 06-20... Send Out November 8th... on: October 06, 2014 03:56:03 PM

Swap name:  Holiday Tag Swap - Round 2
Craftster member who is organizing this swap:  Onyxnox
Sign-up date range:  October 6 - 20, 2014
Date to send item by:  November 8th, 2014

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? YES/NO
If so, which country? No

Additional Age requirement? 16 years and up

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
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: N/A
- 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:

The goal is to have several groups of 4 swappers each, each swapper will make and send 5 tags for each of their partners in the group (15 tags in total per sender), so that in the end, each recipient will receive 15 tags for their gift giving this holiday season.  The tags can be the same, or different from each other if people want to be creative.  They can be made with any materials/media, though I suspect most people will construct them from papers, so I am treating it as a papercrafted swap.  But don't let my limited vision limit you!

Each tag should be at least large enough to be visible on a gift package, with room for names to be written, so I am setting a minimum 2x3 inches, with no maximum limit.

as per Craftster swapping rules, papercraft swaps are exempt from the DC confirmation requirements.  Senders are required to resend their packages if they are not received for any reason.  Please keep communication clear and let your organizer and members of your group know when you send and receive, via PM.

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

Name of swap - Holiday Tag Swap Round 2
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? As this is small tags, I will set that everyone should expect to send internationally...
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)

1.  What kind seasonal tags are you interested in (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc)?

2.  What are your top five themes?


3.  What are your favourite colours?

4.  What colours/themes do you not want?

5.  Do you want to be part of more than 1 group if we have odd numbers?  If so, up to how many as a maximum.

6.  What style tag do you want - stick on (no holes), tie on (has a hole to tie ribbon through), or fold over (small card)?

7.  Any Wists/Pnterests/whatever we can stalk you with?

8.  Anything else we should know?

56  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? on: September 25, 2014 08:46:53 AM
I realized that I have really not been posting a lot of my projects here lately.  This is the one I made for the Whimsical Shrine Swap for the organizer, Smeddley, earlier this year.  It was a super fun swap and it was fun to work with something more dimensional.  I used a shadowbox from my swap.  I had a more grandiose idea of using a deeper box and having the piece be back lit with an LED bulb so that the wolf is only visible when lit, but the box I had for that was too small for me to work in the other elements I wanted, so I went with this idea.

It is a Little Red Riding Hood inspired shrine - I saw one on her pinterest, and this is my spin on it.

I wanted a darker feel to it - Red walking through the woods, unaware of the impending threat.  I used pages from a random book I picked up, which seems to be a murder mystery, and also gave me a great quote which I used on the back.  I used branches from a downed limb from my front yard, which was brought down in the winter ice storm we had this past Christmas.

I glued the page pieces onto the back of the shadowbox and inked it to make it look like night time with the moon shining through the woods.  I hand cut the wolf out of gray cardstock and added him to the background.  I made the moon from resin clay and painted him with acrylic inks.  I glued him and the branches on with 2 part epoxy.  I added the mushrooms and moss to the make the forest floor.  Red is made from a cut down dollar store Disney princess and a piece of red cloth - I tried making her from resin clay, but my attempts were pathetic.  I made some banners from die cut card stock which I hand lettered.

I loved this shadowbox because it has three little smaller sections on it, which I used to display other elements from the story.  Again, I tried to make some of them from resin clay, and my attempts were not up to my expectations, so I did use some store bought miniatures.

Grandmom's cottage - made from a miniature birdhouse I cut the post from, flipped backwards, and painted.  I didn't like how bare the back of the boxes were so I added a dark patterned paper before adding the elements, and used the same paper to decorate the front edges of the box too.

The basket of healthy goodies that Red is bringing for her poor ailing granny.

A tree stump and axe to hint at the woodsman who saves Red in the end (though I personally like to think that Red either takes that axe and saves herself, or the wolf wins this time - why go with the conventional?).  I did make the tree stump from resin clay, and the axe from the same, and a stained, and cut down craft stick.

The back and sides of the shadowbox was covered with pages of the book that I glued on with gel medium, and inked with various stains to age and blue the lettering.  I added banners to the back to add the swap information, and I added and highlighted the quote that I found randomly while making this project, that I felt fit nicely with the feel of it.

It says, "You going to to a dangerous place like that.  A little girl has been killed.  Do you understand what that means?".

Finally, I added some brads in the corners of the front to finish it, and framed it with two larger twigs on the sides.  It can sit either upright, or be hung.  I don't remember, but I think I did add a hanger to the back.

Here is a bit more about the project that I posted on my blog earlier in the summer.
57  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Sweet housewife on one side... sarcastic snark on the other side... on: September 24, 2014 06:30:25 PM
I made this recently for HSG for the Snarky Housewives Swap...

It is a reversible, and I am very proud of the fact that 90% of it is made from stash.  I made it from a Sew4Home pattern that was free online.  It is very cute, but I made some modifications to make it fully reversible.

I used a pretty blue butterfly fabric that I bought years ago because I loved it and was going to make something for myself... though now that I think about it, I don't think I ever did make anything for myself from it. 

On the opposite side, I used the same plain blue, and cotton muslin, decorating the cotton muslin with a vintage image from Graphics Fairy, and a snarky quote that HSG had quoted on one of her pin boards.

I also made it with extra long ties so that the ties can wrap around and tie in the front.

Those are nice large pleated pockets on either side, with rickrack trim.  I am very happy how this turned out.

Now HSG can choose - sweet housewife, or let the snark out! 

More pics and more about the project on my blog if anyone is interested.
58  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Would a fixative work on Distress Inks - or don't worry about it? on: September 22, 2014 04:24:11 AM
I made these cards recently for a couple of colleagues, and they were meant to go around at work for everyone to sign.  I like how they turned out, but because the inks are meant to be water reactive, I did notice that there was some marring of the ink, probably when someone signed after washing their hands or something. 

I'm wondering if a fixative or something would help prevent that in the future, or would it just cause other problems, or not worry about it? 

I'm not worried about things where it would be just myself or a couple of people signing, more when it is being passed around a large group.
59  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Anyone have any of the Xyron sticker makers/laminaters? on: September 22, 2014 04:17:57 AM
I have been wondering about getting one of these to make sticker backed paper for die cutting more intricate shapes like letter shapes and thinking that it may be easier than trying to apply a glue runner afterwards, especially if it is to thin delicate paper that when cut, may be too delicate.  I was just wondering if anyone has experience with these ones and their pros and cons - I was thinking of either the XRN510.  I don't want a large machine due to storage, but was thinking the smaller ones would be too small.

60  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Holiday Tag Swap... on: September 13, 2014 05:33:37 AM
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... especially for those of my fellow Canadians in Alberta...

But I digress...

Just wondering if anyone is interested in doing a tag swap - bit earlier this year so that everyone does have plenty of time to get them before their winter holiday gift wrapping/giving.  Or as part of another crafting project, such as an Advent Calender, wreath, holiday journal, scrapbook, ornaments, whatever...

Anyways, if anyone is interested, here is the link to the original swap, and I would like to run it the same way unless anyone has other suggestions. 

The tags don't have to be limited to paper - they could be wood, metal, fabric, leather, plastic, polymer clay - limited only by the imagination. 

Here is the gallery so you can see last years goodies!

Maybe this can help get us into the Holiday spirit?
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