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61  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / What crafty gifts did you get this season? on: January 03, 2015 08:51:17 AM
I am always curious what goodies other fellow craftsters get, whether it is other home made goodies or treats, or items that enable their crafting... so what did you all get?

.... also, what did you all give as crafty gifts?

I did not get a lot of enabling gifts this year, but did get two fabulous ones.  SIL gave me a very generous GC to Michaels, and my coworker gave me a fabulous package for our Secret Santa, which had a stamp carving kit, inks, a journal,  artisan paper,  and gorgeous wood carved stamps.

For giving, we made wood burned wood sliced ornaments for our annual ornament.   I made sets of hanging towels for some people.  I decorated tins for treats for some of the nephews and nieces,  and we made a frame for an embroidered piece Ludi made for SIL.  Also I made paper poinsettias for MIL.  No food gifts though... oh yes, and I made the Big Box of Masculine Beauty for my friend,  and Christmas crackers for our party.

it was a tiring, but fun Christmas,  and I wish everyone a healthy, productive,  crafty new year!
62  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Decorated Altoid tin ornaments/treat holders... skating a fine line... on: December 13, 2014 10:09:37 PM
I made a bunch of these for the various nieces and nephews.  They are a perfect size for holding gift cards, and some treats.  They have a hanging ribbon, so they can hang on the tree until being given away.

The tins are decorated with scrapbook paper, and ink, glitter, and gel medium.  The shapes are die cut chipboard, decorated with ink and paint, then covered with mod podge and glitter.

I made a pair of these tins.  I punched holes on one short edge, added eyelets and a ribbon hanger.

More details on my blog if anyone is interested Smiley
63  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / The Big Box of Masculine Beauty - a gift for a friend... (and super pic heavy) on: December 13, 2014 09:41:55 PM
We do a Secret Santa with a group of friends for our annual gathering every year and this year I was given one of my best friends to gift for.  One thing I love about Bob is that he is uber-enthusiastic about hand made goods and knew that I would have to make something from scratch for him.  At first I was drawing a blank, then thought a coffee basket with homemade flavourings and the like, then the light bulb went off....

He also has been a proud facial hair bearer for over 20 years - and loves to change up his look and get all whimsical and fancy with the fuzz... and thus the BIG BOX of Masculine beauty was born...

(lots of links to my blog posts which have a ton more pics and details - I did not want to overwhelm you guys with the massive deluge of them)

This is the finished product I gifted him with, but there were a lot of things that went into building it from the ground up. I started with an image...

This is the Bearded Dude - a carved stamp that I made that I used as a base image for some of the other things I made for this package.

With that stamp, I decorated the fabric, and made a fabric liner for the basket.  I figured he could use that as a bathroom caddy.  I added stamped fabric labels to the front and back, declaring that it is the BIG BOX of Masculine Beauty - he loved the name.

Then I decorated a series of tins, to contain the various beauty unguents I planned on presenting him with.  The Bearded Dude featured in some of these too.  I went with a vintage/distressed look for a lot of the packaging, as Bob seems to like that as well as myself.

I planned on a couple of conditioning oils too, so I got some amber glass bottles and etched them to match, again, using the Bearded Dude.

After I had all the packaging prepared, I filled them up with Bob's future beauty regimen...

A conditioning beard oil, in the bottles (recipes in the links) - two different scents that I thought would appeal to Bob (Vanilla Coffee, and Cedar Rosemary)

A conditioning shaping beard balm - in the same two scents.

Finally, a couple of scented mustache waxes (guess what the scents are)

After packaging everything, I added a couple of handkerchiefs to the package (he likes to use those rather than disposables), and bundled them in, after adding tags to each with ingredients and instructions. 

I even found a mustache printed cotton tote at Marshalls to hold the gift.  Bob loved the gift when he opened it - he loved it so much that he apparently brought the entire basket to work to show off, and emailed me to tell me that I am now a "legend" amongst his coworkers Smiley

He so far tried the wax - stated it helps smooth things out nicely, but may not be up to sculpting well - I may need to adjust the recipe with more wax for a firmer hold.
64  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Winterlicious Celebrations Matchbox Swap - Gallery of Matchbox Goodies... on: December 06, 2014 09:53:13 AM
Original Discussion...


1.  cabaute ----> Smmarrt
2.  Wile E Songdog ----> cabaute, cmarion3
3.  Gina1gr8mom ----> hazelly, crazyda79
4.  hazelly ----> cmarion3, Gina1gr8mom
5.  cmarion3 ----> Wile E Songdog, hazelly
6.  greybird/Avesthal ----> blupaisan, anna.wahnsinn
7.  blupaisan ----> greybird/Avesthal, rockingbearranch
8.  anna.wahnsinn ----> greybird/Avesthal, Mountains and Clouds
9.  Mountains and Clouds ----> rockingbearranch, anna.wahnsinn
10.  rockingbearranch ----> Mountains and Clouds, blupaisan
11. Smmarrt ----> Onyxnox
12.  Onyxnox ----> quaggy, Wile E Songdog
13. crazyda79 ----> quaggy, Gina1gr8mom
14.  quaggy ---->crazyda79, Onyxnox

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

Receiver = received package

Post 'em as you get 'em so we can all admire 'em!
65  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Winterlicious Celebrations Matchbox Swap(sign ups Nov. 13-28, send outs Dec. 29) on: November 13, 2014 07:56:14 PM


Swap name:  Winterlicious Celebrations Matchbox Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: November 13-28, 2014
Date to send item by: December 29, 2014

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

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

Additional Age requirement? None beyond that set out by Craftster

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: NO
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: NA
- 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:

Participants will be assigned swap recipient information, and make them a decorated matchbox based on their swap questionnaire or stalking, and fill said matchbox with whatever teeny, tiny goodies/ephemera they feel their recipient would like - fillers can be hand made, store bought, or found.  All in keeping with a very general winter celebration theme...  

Participants can also have the option of sending 1 or 2 matchboxes - if you sign up to send 2, then you will receive two in return also.  But keep in mind that you may not be receiving from the people you are assigned to send to.

NO EXTRAS please - if it doesn't fit in the matchbox - then don't send it!  You can cram the matchbox to near bursting, but nothing outside of it!  

The matchbox can be decorated in any fashion, with any medium/material, so long as it is decorated with utmost care, creativity, skill, and attention to detail that each participant is able to muster - you are making a tiny work of art Smiley

As matchboxes can vary in size, the minimum size expected for entry into this swap will be the standard 32-40 pack size, that appears to be 0.5"x1.5"x 2".  This is for the drawer style opening box, not a matchbook.  Bigger can be sent - but please keep in the spirit of the game, and not send a matchbox meant to hole 500 matches!

Finally - please communicate well.  Post in the threads, PM myself and your recipient when you send, and PM myself and your sender when you receive.  Please post in the gallery - thank yous to show your appreciation, and pictures if you can so everyone can oooh and ahhhh over the small piece of art you received.  If not able to post pics, then please let your sender know so they can post any pics they have.  Also, don't forget to send the shipping information - DCs if in the US or tracking if available.  If the package is too small for tracking, keep proof of shipping, especially if the package goes missing.  If packages go missing, I will ask if senders want to resend or not, before looking for an angel to replace missing packages.

For those interested in making their own matchboxes, try this link.


Previous matchbox galleries for inspiration...

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=421460.0    Round 7

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408460.0    Round 6

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=377824.0     Round 5

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=369975.0    Round 4

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=295242.0   Round 3

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=293847.0   Round 3

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=161337.0   Round 2

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

Name of swap - Winterlicious Celebrations Matchbox Swap
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.  Please list your top 5 themes (for example - Christmas, New Years, zombies in winter, snowflakes, ice skating, dogs playing in the snow, snowball fights, holidays in Hawaii...)

2.  Please list any dislikes/aversions you want your partner to know about, including allergies, hated themes, despised colours, no scents, no smoking, etc

3.  How many people do you want to send to/receive from - 1 or 2?

4.  Any links for further stalking, such as a pinterest link, blog, etc?

5.  Anything else you want to let us know about (the type of crafting you like to do/want to do, how many matchboxes you want to send in one package, how you intend to display it or use it...)


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.
66  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Felt cake - not as yummy as a real cake... on: November 10, 2014 04:21:47 AM
I made this cake after another workshop at the Creativ festival, and just finished it off a couple of days ago.  It is made with a recycled CD/DVD spindle case underneath for storage.

I quite like how it turned out... but it gave me a craving for real cake...

I posted a bit more about it on my blog the other day, here.

... also yesterday, I gave into my real craving for cake and made this...

Recipe here... it is a Raspberry Chocolate Truffle cake.  Not as pretty as the felt cake, but MUCH tastier - I would presume...
67  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Raspberry Chocolate Truffle cake - it ain't pretty, but it sure was tasty... on: November 10, 2014 04:14:15 AM
... or a tale of two cakes...

I made this yesterday for when DH came home - as his belated birthday cake (his birthday was last weekend, but he had gone up North for his annual hunting trip).

I realized afterwards some of the tricks I could have used to make it prettier - I don't often make layered, frosted cakes - but I was too excited putting it together, because it was an idea in my head that needed to come to fruition.  DH loves raspberries, and we love creamy chocolate truffles, so I came up with this chocolate truffle mousse cake.  It is a tall layer cake of rich, moist chocolate cake, made with a hint of coffee to give it more depth of flavour.  It is then layered with raspberry preserves, fresh raspberries, and a rich chocolate mousse, and covered with the same mousse, then finished with chocolate ganache. 

Can you tell we love chocolate?

It ain't pretty... but it really really tasted good...  and super rich - the slices definitely can be thin on this thing.  But on the up side - I used lots of dark, antioxident rich chocolate - so it's good for you... right?

This slice - overly generous - we were each only able to finish half - I did not take into consideration how rich it was - it will serve 12 or more very generously.

Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Cake - recipe here - and a lot more pics...

This is also in contrast to the other cake I posted about recently - highly, horribly inedible Wink  But prettier IMO!

68  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.
69  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.
70  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!

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