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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / High school teachers need appreciating, too! on: May 19, 2011 12:23:15 PM
After two tough years in high school, my daughter finally hit her stride, mostly thanks to some amazing teachers. They seem to get that they are teaching STUDENTS, not just a subject.

I wanted to do something nice for each of the seven. Now, I was a teacher. A middle- and high-school teacher. I have a box full of apple gifts upstairs that I still laugh about. When I taught in public schools (like this one), I got VERY few gifts at all, even apples, but I liked them when I got them, so even though it is high school, I sent teacher gifts on this, the last week of school.

The art teacher got this frugal coaster set. I would have loved this in my writing classroom, even if the little coasters were something like $2 at CVS a couple weeks ago.

I just used Publisher to make each temporary (?) insert showing part of a famous artwork, with a quote by the creator:

My favorite!!

In their box:

Most of the teachers got record bowls full of really useful supplies like dry-erase markers, post-it notes, colored paper clips, room scent, etc., that you just can't have too many of:

Her Talented and Gifted teacher also got a gift card to a restaurant in hers.

The creative writing teacher got a quickly created fleece and felt Alot in her bowl, after I found it here and shared it with her, she taught her students using the link!

Next year I'll have TWO highschoolers. Any ideas for then?!
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Copy-cat RAWR! plushie for infant on: April 14, 2011 06:24:59 AM
Sweet friend finds out she's expecting a little girl. At 43. With twin teen boys. Shortly after she and her husband had the big "What do we do when the twins are out of the house?" talk. Heheheh.

(Moral: go ahead, plan things. It gives God the giggles.)

All her middle-aged friends commiserate, and then plan a big party/shower, which feels a little like a schadenfreud kind of thing.

Here's the bow going on top of her otherwise puchased/practical gift (burp cloths, a gazillion wipes):

Needle-punched back, with baby's first initial:

Inside's a jinglebell, just for fun.

The next one--for a little guy named Hudson--will have shorter loops, and more of them.

(Design's not original...it's based on a photo I found online and printed...and only now that I'm trying to give credit discover that the incredibly long link on the bottom of the page doesn't actually take me anywhere...sorry. I'll try to fix it soon and give her credit.)
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / I-spy a monster on: April 08, 2011 09:19:41 PM
My 5-year-old nephew's i-spy, a monster.

I googled "coloring pages" and found the little monster's head, then drew in the rest. The feet didn't come out like I drew them no matter how many times I used the seam ripper, so I just quit while I still had fabric.

The picture list of stuff for him to find, laminated in 10ml laminate:

I had to learn to learn to use MS Paint to clean up the photographs of each item...this took longer than any other part except collecting all the little doo-dads!

The word list of stuff to find, since my nephew is beginning to read:

Aannnnd, because I was a writing teacher, I made a list of "guided play" questions his dad can ask him to develop language and thinking skills:

Comments and criticism welcome!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Collapsible light tent on: April 05, 2011 09:50:44 AM
Seeing SevsOnlyGirl's wonderful tiny light box here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=371543.0 reminded me that I had made something similar a couple of years back.  And that I should get it out and use it...duh.

Warning: I know nothing about photography, lighting, etc. Suggestions to improve photographs with this thing are very welcome!

I made it with plans to use it to photograph specific projects that can be shoe-box size or better, so we needed one that was big enough but also disappear-able. Unfortunately, I made it to fold up and put into a closet, without thinking that once it was in the closet, I would forget about it after a while (like, the next day). Two years later....

When I dug it out late last night , I saw a couple of panels had tears. While I was repairing, I thought I'd share it, since some Crafty Craftsters live in tight places and want something they can store under the bed (but never ever in a closet).

Here 'tis, folded for storage:

Obviously, it's made from a foam-core science board that I bought at Hobby Lobby plus one piece of foam core left over from something else.  I just cut holes in the side panels and the spare panel and filled it in with interfacing.Sample photos...cassette that was first thing I grabbed, a gourd goose my DD painted when she was 10.

Then I started looking for stuff that ordinarily would be hard to photograph because of the glare, and found the laminated cards from the i-spy bags I'm currently (slowly) making for family and a bespoke Boomwire pendant:

I was playing around with the filmy stuff, but in the end I think I like the background better smooth. What do y'all think?
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / random act of crafting on: March 25, 2011 06:21:23 AM
I've been wanting to try out an idea using the measuring-tape closure technique, and I whipped up this little set about 30 minutes using scraps from my stash.

I originally thought to put it in one of the 17 teacher appreciation gift bags I'm making (2 kids!), but on a whim about 10 minutes before I left for a field trip to the local university--and inspired by the hat giveaways here on craftster--I grabbed a scrap of card stock and scribbled a note (which was cut out with a REALLY bad set of old kitchen shears, sorry), snapped photos, and decided to leave it somewhere on the campus as a "random act of crafting."

For those not attuned to the vagaries of the deep south's weather, it's allergy season here--the cars are positively green with pollen--and a nasty late sweep of the flu is putting people down, too. Everywhere I go, people are sneezing and honking and wiping watery eyes. Thought this might be a nice surprise for someone. Wink
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / needlepunch journal cover on: March 20, 2011 02:26:03 PM
Planned for a week, punched as quickly as humanly possible, sewn in an hour. Can't say I enjoyed it but it was well-received by the birthday girl on her 47th last night!

I just needlepunched the Michael Miller design:

And used it as interest for a small journal:

7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / teen art supplies roll on: March 04, 2011 05:34:32 AM
Finally got Sewfie's tension wheel out of a bind and...FINALLY finished another rev of DD's art roll!!! It's one of my "50 in 2011" goals from JANUARY.  Roll Eyes
Take 2:

Quilting swirlies:
Button on which teal magically materialized when placed on fabric!
First metal stamp attempt:

I'm expecting to need to make minor tweaks (on a whole new roll), but it was a fun project. She found it this morning and squealed, "Oh, Mom, it's GORGEOUS," and then proceeded to pick out each detail and exclaim with pleasure.

Yep, worth it, even if I have to make another one to get the details just right!
What I learned:
--It's best to quilt through a "sandwich," not just one piece of fabric and batting, since the cotton batting tends to pull up through the black fabric and leave permanent (?) fuzzies. (I just wanted different patterns inside/outside.)
--Sewing machines cooperate in inverse proportion to the seamstress's desperation to sew something fun!

P.S. Here's take 1:

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / S.W.A.K. (sipped with a kiss!) on: February 14, 2011 09:15:32 PM
Went to a party and saw my first set of wine glass coaster/markers. They were square, and boring. And the store at which they were bought had exactly ONE kind (a set of four). My friend bought two sets, then invited five couples over.

You guessed it. We couldn't tell whose was whose, so I promised her it would be a piece of cake to make some for our next gathering.

Then I set out to make it hard to do.  Roll Eyes

I decided on LIPS for our movie night this weekend, it being close to Valentine's day and all.

Rev 1 didn't have enough shape, and I didn't like the free-motion "highlights."

Rev 2:

For other variations (I need to make TEN that don't duplicate!), I have thought of:
a) using different fabrics
b) trying to add a mustache somehow, for guys (maybe substituting most of the top lip for a 'stache?)
c) adding vampire teeth
d) maybe slightly different shapes?

Anybody got any other ideas?!!! HELP!!!
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / "Wooly Special" Valentine on: February 12, 2011 04:01:44 PM
I had grand intentions of making all my friends a magnet-adorned valentine this year. Other schtuff interfered. So just one friend gets this:

The sheep---YES, he's pale lavender---is a magnet, a modified version of an earlier attempt (The legs were HARD, so I substituted wire: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=370494.msg4356711#msg4356711).

The rosette is a removable brooch.
Q: does it need something--beads, etc.--in the center?!!

Hiding in the rosette are two loose washers, to which the ultra-strong magnets are clinging for dear life.

Inside is handwritten I'm "wooly" glad God made us friends.

Ideas for if/when I decide to try another one most welcome!!!
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Divine Valentines on: February 10, 2011 06:59:04 PM
Y'all all can do more interesting things than this; I've seen 'em. You can probably turn this into something really fun for Valentine's day for friends. If you do, with all your rad skills, I wanna see! Cheesy

It's just a bit of a story, and I like how they came out. I hope the recipients do, too. I'll laminate them tomorrow, but took pictures tonight so there'd be no glare.

Tuesday morning, a friend asked me to "do something crafty" to make a bookmark Valentine for each member of the youth group she leads out of a stack of "attribute cards" the kids made for each other at the Christmas party. (Write each name on its own sheet of paper, everybody tries to write something nice about each name.)

So I started Wednesday morning and spent who-knows-how many hours trying to learn to use the "new and improved" (HA!!) Microsoft Publisher so I could make the name-side of 19 subway art bookmarks, one for each kid who'd been at the party. Each one is entirely different, and I tried to use what I know about each child to affirm something they're insecure about front and center. (My two teens are part of this group, BTW.)  Example:

Then I realized that if my friend passes them out Sunday night at youth group, somebody might be there who didn't make the party and would be left out. So I did generic names the Bible calls believers on extras. (This is a Baptist group, after all.) Example:

Then I needed something for the back, so I modified Father's Love Letter (easily found online) for a younger audience, addressed it by name to each kid and signed it "Love, Dad."  Click to read both versions:

Then I thought--while I was at it-- I'd make some and send them anonymously to three recently bereaved/widowed friends, on their first Valentine's day alone. Sort of a divine love letter in the mail (folded in red tissue paper) on a hard day.

Then I thought, why not make some for a couple of  friends who are having a little bit of a hard time for other reasons?

At that point, I decided to go for broke and make my mom and my breakfast group their own, too, modifying the generic one just a bit to save time, something I'd spent gobs of by this time on these things. Here's one, personalized...

End result:

Holy cow. Somebody stop me.

My kids are eating warmed up leftovers and I'll have to fold clothes until midnight tonight because of all the time I've spent doing this these last two days. Help!!!

Comments and ideas for improvement (in case I get a wild hair to do more!) very welcome.
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