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1  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: August 19, 2016 04:47:49 PM
Smeddly I love the fox-apalooza!  The scarf and the little book are especially wonderful.  Good job!
And underthemountain, the cards are a great idea and so nicely done.  I know they will be appreciated!

Finally have the finished pictures of my most labour-intensive craft project to date!
30. Restored antique rocking chair

This started out as a curbside find over two years ago.  The label on the bottom is from an area company that seems to have vanished after 1913, but the chair itself was sturdy, and had nice lines.

 I took it to a local carpenter and he told me he could refinish it for a couple hundred dollars.  When I balked at that, he said: well, are you handy at all?  He let me use his shop and tools, and advised me refinishing the wood and I brought in weekly baked goods!

I learned a lot along the way and Im so happy with the way Max turned out.  Ive already got a few more projects in the works at the carpenters shop and Ive found another rocking chair at the curb

If youre interested in more in-progress pics, I gave the chair its own thread here:


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2  From curbside to fireside - a rocking adventure.... in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by yofi on: August 19, 2016 04:30:51 PM
Almost two years ago, when I was home for Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law suggested I take my parents van for a little spin a few blocks over, that I might find something in the neighbors trash to interest me.  And did I ever.

Doesnt look like much?  This is after I finished pulling off the dusty shreds of blood-red leather and gave the rocker a bit of a bath.  It seemed sturdy, had nice lines, and I figured it could be a low-risk way to learn something about restoring furniture.  There was a faded label on the inside of the chair that it came from The Scott Chair Company of Newark, Ohio.  I dont know how old this chair is, but I can find no record of this company aftr about 1913. 

I introduced myself to an area carpenter who does a lot of creative furniture and furniture repair.  He let me use his shop and his tools, and gave me advice.  I went in once a week, and put in a few hours before work.  (I always brought a plate of home baked goods, and we never talked about money) First step was tightening up a few joints, replacing a spring and then sanding down the whole thing.  (Mostly by hand!)

Turns out the chair is quarter sawn oak, with lots of lovely rays and flecks in the wood.  I stumbled around for a while, blending stains (and leaned my lesson about not testing stain in a visible spot!)  Finally came up with a color I liked and applied it, topped off with six (six!) coats of finish, each applied, sanded and rubbed down. 

The carpenter said he didnt know much about upholstery, but he did give me nudges now and then when I started to go wrong.  Between books from the library and YouTube videos I felt my way along.  Took two days and several broken fingernails to get the springs tied 8-ways with linen twine, but it was fun!

I didnt go the whole nine yards, with horsehair stuffing, but I put down a layer of batting, before nailing in the webbing.  And nailing.  And nailing. And nailing

A layer of high density foam over the webbing, and then a layer of muslin over that (plus webbing, padding, muslin and the final fabric on the back!)

I couldnt find the nailheads I wanted, and there was a misstep with some awful light colored gimp that had to be laboriously removed, but finally.


Im so pleased with how the chair turned out.  I love the fabric and the way it compliments the stain, and the way the stain highlights the rays and flecks in the oak.

When I first took the chair to the carpenter, he told me he could refinish it for a couple hundred dollars.  I estimate I spent about $100 on supplies and at least that in ingredients for pies, cakes, and cookies for the shop but I gained sooooo much more in the process.

And now, I have another curb find to work on.

Stayed tuned! 
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3  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: August 15, 2016 12:42:32 PM
I love those colors!  What is the yarn?  It looks very soft and poofy, like chenille.
Heres what Ive been doing Its been a tremendously busy summer, I havent had a lot of time for crafting.  Ive spent most of the weekends out of town, helping my sister get her house ready to sell (doing all the things they never got around to in 25 years!), helping with my mother, and helping my dad recover from knee replacement surgery.  But I have a few things to report!  (Warning: theres a lot of dessert ahead)

24. Scone pudding
My boss is a terminal scavenger.  Most days he makes his rounds of the campus, collecting discarded letterhead, office supplies, fixable equipment.  One day he came back with three huge trays of leftover scones, bagels and croissants from an administrators meeting.  We ate the bagels and croissants for the rest of the week, and then, on a dare, I took home the rest of the scones (several pounds worth!)  and made several pans of bread pudding with a little dark rum.  It was delicious!  (We had a tray at work, and I took two pans worth to families in my neighborhood.)  Recycled food never tasted so good.

25. Fabric journal pages
I had a blast with the fabric journal swap!  (Ill post some of the pages Ive made for myself later this summer.)  My first page was for our own Alwaysinmyroom.  She and I had very similar interests, and exchanged similar pages.  I was really inspired by the gentlework website.  (http://gentlework.blogspot.com/)

I was a little intimidated making a page for Wulf, because he does such beautiful and intricate work.  I ended up scaling back my initial idea tremendously (I may return to it later this year) but I was pleased with the final project.  And he got the Bee-ch visual pun!

26. Pecan pie/rhubarb crumble/sugar custard pie
I warned you lots of food.  I try to make something to take every week to the carpenters shop where Ive been working on Wednesdays.  This skips some of the redundant cookies, handpies and bundt cakes Ive posted before.  But these were pretty good, even to me.

27. Shahada embroidery and framing
These were probably the oldest unfinished objects Ive had.  Im not even sure how long Ive been carting them around just six rows shy of completion!

The design is taking from a mosaic inscription in an (Iranian?) mosque, that I saw once in a magazine article.  In a very stylized script, it is the shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.  Ive always had a tremendous respect for Islam, and Im proud to have these apart from their artistic value.

But theyre also pretty to look at!

28. Lemon sour cream pound cake
Yep.  More food.  What can I say?  The carpenter likes dessert!  This has lemon oil and lemon zest in the cake, and more lemon juice in the glaze.  It was the best kind of mouth puckering sweet!

29. Knitted knockers
This is the first installment of an on-going project.  Last year I learned about the Knitted Knockers project.  Apparently prosthetics for breast cancer survivors are heavy, sweaty and expensive.  Some brilliant person discovered that knitted and stuffed bewbs fill out a bra perfectly, and are lightweight, dont chafe, and cheap and easy to make and distribute.  Last year I made a dozen; this is my down payment on that total this year.

Probably one of the silliest and most useful things Ive ever knit!

Ive just wrapped up a really big furniture project and will be posting that as soon as I can take pictures, but I wanted to share my summers FOs with yall.

Craft on!

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4  Re: Fabric Art Journals Page Swap #5 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: June 13, 2016 08:21:19 PM
The pirate page is wonderful!  I'm am seriously in awe of your stitching skills, Wulf.  Great page!

...almost as great as the one Wulf sent ME!

He chose my theme of gardens, and the fabric has lovely little field pansies...

He also noticed I have a Pinterest board on Wardian cases, the early terrariums that revolutionized plant collections in the northern hemisphere.  The stitching on this is incredible - you can even see the little door open for ventilation at the top!

Thank you so much Wulf -- I love my page!

(When I began your page, I didn't plan the "bee/ch" joke -- but it was too hard to resist!  the trick was finding bees in some other medium that were the right size.  I now have a swarm of them, in case I ever need them again!)
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5  Re: Fabric Art Journals Page Swap #5 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: June 08, 2016 05:24:46 AM
Beautiful!  Lovely colours and a great message.  Nice job!

I received my page from alwaysinmyroom and it's simply lovely.  We must be melding minds somehow!

All of the elements have some special significance; the base is from a sack she rescued from the road.  The Belgian lace is one of the bits and pieces saved from her first wedding dress as a seamstress.  And the buttons are from her three-generational button collection.  Even her choice of herb was perfect; it's a favorite of both of ours.  I've always thought of it as the elves herb!

I love my page, and it's a a perfect start to my fabric journal.  Thank you, always!
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6  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: May 23, 2016 05:30:50 PM
Congratulations, lindy!  I know you will be a benevolent ruler of your board
Not much to report, but Ive been having a ball.  My big project this spring has been crafting for the Shrine Swap.  Initially, my partner and I thought we could not possibly be farther apart, on themes, materials even color schemes.  I really struggled on a rather dark, convoluted idea that was going nowhere.  When I went back and looked at her questionnaire again, I noticed she had listed Studio Ghibli.  When my niece was little she had insisted we all watch My Neighbor Totoro and Howls Moving Castle.  I had my inspiration!

22. Miyazaki shrine

I used a lot of different mediums; the totoro is sewn felt, the chibi are knit, the kodamas and their logs are polymer clay, and Calcifers fireplace is shaped wood with lumpy old paint.

I had to keep reminding myself that Miyazakis style is very clean and edited not my normal way of thinking, so I ended up scrapping ideas for backgrounds and extra accessories.  But Im pretty pleased

And most importantly, my partner was pleased, too!

Ive also been helping a good friend and her daughter move into their first place.  Before schlepping all the stuff began, the apartment had to be painted.
23. Painting the apartment!
Over the course of a week, before and after work, I painted a living room, a bedroom, and a kitchen.  Its hard to take a picture of that kind of thing, but I was pretty pleased with the results.

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7  Re: Shrine Swap Spring 2016 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: May 17, 2016 01:33:56 PM
I got home late Monday night after a long weekend out of town to find an ice cold house and a nice warm swap package!  It was perfect timing, Isakkahjai!

She used a few of my themes in a wonderful shrine that is absolutely lovely, and loaded with details!  At first glance, it looks like a lovely old book one of my themes

but when you open it up, you find a lovely apothecary's shop, the kind of place any of my herbalist heroes would feel right at home!

Of course, there are a nice selection of prepared potions, ready to go

a work space, to prep poultices and such, complete with pots of fresh herbs

loads of alchemical bits and bobs in all the little (Real!  Functional!) drawers

and in a nod to one of my other themes, foreign writing theres even a little bulletin board for the herbalists to post notes!

Its such a marvelous little world!  Shelves, drawers and workspace are all made from stained and raw wood and I know that was not easy.  All the drawers have a little treasure in them; little skulls, rose beads, and a pair of really striking silver bird skulls  that are absolutely fantastic.

Thank you so much, IsakkahJai its absolutely wonderful!
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8  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: April 29, 2016 12:05:58 PM
Doing a quick dump of items far more in the works but I cant reveal them yet!

22. Pi Daze
Of course, you know I had to celebrate March 14th with a pie-a-palooza at work.  And we did! We had apple pie, butterscotch pie, lemon chess pie, and chocolate pecan pie.  What we did not have unfortunately, was pictures.  L

23. Almond shortbread selection
I did manage to get a picture of some of the almond shortbread variations I made for some friends who cant/wont eat gluten straight shortbread, snickerdoodles, toffee chip and jam thumbprints.

24. Retro dishcloths
I joined the fake craftalong for dishcloths, as I had made any in a reeeeeally long time.  The first turquoise and white one I cast on was rather large, but that just makes it more useful, right? 

I made another set in red and white, using the Mason Dixon Linoleum pattern.  I love it!  A bit more time-consuming to knit, but its very nubby and textured.  Just what you want in a dishcloth!

25. Taco party
We have a lot of interns at work, and we like to do something special on their last day, usually cake or pizza.  But Michelle often brought us cookies and cakes from her job, so we had to do something a little grander. So we threw a taco party!  I made guacamole, salsa, refried beans, chopped lettuce and shredded cheese.  I cooked the beef and turkey fillings before I left the house, and a co-worker cooked lime fish, while another stood over the hot plate warming tortillas.  It was a great time and you would think with all that work, I would have managed to get a picture!

26.Tiny Kodama
Ive been on a bit of a Miyazaki kick lately, and have also wanted to play more with polymer clay.  So, I made a dozen kodamas, the little tree spirits from Princess Mononoke. 

Some of these are headed to a special project, but some will pop up in terrariums.  And some of them have special properties

Hard to take a picture of glow-in-the-dark objects with a little phone camera!

27. Toffee chocolate chip cookies
Still spending time in the woodworkers shop every week, and paying my way in baked goods.  The toffee chocolate chip cookies were particularly popular

28. Chibi totoros
Miyazaki again, in a different medium, these are the little white forest spirits from My Neighbor Totoro.  #4 needles were not fine enough, #2 needles were not fine enough the smallest of these is under 2 tall, knit on #1 needles.  Whew!

29. A skein of snakes
One of my best friends loves snakes, and so Ive been experimenting with snake jewelry.  These pendants are getting closer

30.Gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies
Who knew there was such a thing as gluten free oats?  And that you can make your own oatflour?  And that gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies were so tasty?  Well, my friends do, now!

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9  Re: Dodo Swap - GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: February 25, 2016 11:47:37 AM
Not to slight any of the earlier postings, but -- we truly have saved the best for last!
My package from Harvey found its way from Australia to my front porch last night, and I am over the moon!

And feeling very pleasantly spoiled!  She included a lot of Aussie treats....

Australian Lemon Myrtle Tea, (the box label reads: "Black tea from the Daintree region gets busy in a mixer with the classic Australian flavour of Lemon Myrtle....") Eucalyptus lozenges, an Australian lapel/hat pin, Numbat magnets (I'd never heard of numbats!) and Cadbury chocolates.  But not just any Cadbury chocolates...

Furry Friends -- Aussie edition!

Tasmanian Devil, Koala, Platypus, Wombat and the aforementioned Numbat!

There was a lovely embroidered hoopla, and delightful rose-scented soap with a yet to be identified plastic bug....

But the piece de resistance, the one that blew my mind, was the messenger bag.  A win on so many levels!  Just the size and shape I like, sturdy construction, plenty of pockets, and -- oh! -- the fabric!

One of my themes was the passenger pigeon, a species I have a deep connection with. This fabric does them justice!

I love the colors and the ancient mosaic effect!  This is the Spoonflower fabric, Harvey?

One of my other themes was trilobites - honestly, who doesn't like trilobites?.  But have you seen them like this?  The lining is a beautiful, silky b&w trilobite print, with a dove grey contrast.  Gorgeous!  And check out the pockets!

All in all....

I am so delighted!  thank you, thank, you, thank you, Harvey!
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10  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: February 23, 2016 10:45:16 AM
Those orbs are awesome!  How did you do that - if you don't mind me asking?  Think they'd be useful for all sorts of situations...

I love the HP crafts, lindy, especially the light switch.  Sometimes it's the simplest things that catch my eye!

My partner recieved the last swap, so I can post a few more things.

9. Thylacine flag
This was part of the Paleontology Swap, and was educational as well as fun.  I had never heard of Thylacines, also known as Tasmainan Tigers, who became extinct in the 20th century.  I did stenciling, layered fabric and embroidery on this flag.

10. Trilobites

Of course, I had to include something a little sweet in the Paleontolgy swap, too.Peanut butter chocolate trilobites!

11. Unlined pouches
De-stash, de-stash, de-stash. Turned a few upholstery samples into little pouches the size of a clutch purse. 
Now that Ive kinda figured out how to do this, I want to make a few lined bags as well.  Lord knows I have enough fabric.

Still in the middle of a few projects, and trying to force myself to finish at least one before I launch another.  Some people are good at balancing multiple crafts; I'm happier when I've got just one focus.  You know, along with my job... my house... the cats... my family...

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