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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Sentiment Box swap on: February 15, 2008 09:40:55 AM
I would love to do a sentiment box swap. 

My interpretation of a sentiment box is something between a handmade greeting card in a box and a mini scrapbook.  There's an example of a box here

Topic/theme could be anything from a forthcoming event (wedding, baby, etc..) to a simple reflection on life, love, childhood, marriage, work, school, kids, pets etc.. 

Perhaps it could be something made specifically for their partner, or something that their partner could use to send on to a friend etc.. (such as their partner's birthday, or a friend's wedding)

Maybe somebody is down in the dumps with the winter doldrums and needs a pick me up or a bit of 'sunshine' in a box!  Or perhaps it would be a keepsake with space for the receiver to record special sentiments or achievements and even a photo or two.

There would be no extras allowed in the package and pals can only send one sentiment box.  This should be made from stash preferably to keep costs down and if there's no extras it would therefore be light on postage too.

It wouldn't necessarilly be restricted to card making/scrapbooking supplies - book binders might have fun with this, or even fiber artists could make their own fabric, felt, knit or crochet books with pockets for handwritten notes etc. 

The boxes don't have to be complicated.  A simple slider with a sleeve is all you need!

I'm new to the papercrafts board (I'm usually hanging out in the fiber boards) and perhaps this has been discussed as a possible swap before. Or maybe not.  But I do love papercrafting, it's where I started out on this crazy crafting journey I'm on and I enjoy making small boxes and cards within cards. They're great for birthday's and everything else come to think of it!

Anyway, just thought I would throw it out there.  Now be gentle...



2  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Hammy the exploring amigurumi hamster... on: February 12, 2008 06:16:50 PM
This is my first Crochet FO in a long time! 

I made Hammy the exploring amigurumi hamster this weekend for the OTT17 swap.  There's some great action shots of him exploring the garden of his new home - check out the gallery if you can.



Hammy, as named by my swap pal SamJ, fits into the palm of my hand and is about the size of a tennis ball. 



He's a star gazer and never leaves home without his backpack. 



Hammy is looking for his ideal soulmate - preferably a Capricorn, brown hair, hazel eyes and a great pair of knockers! Wink 
3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / First 'proper' spindle spun skein on: January 22, 2008 02:18:36 PM
Since I posted about my first spindle spun mini skeins a few weeks ago, I've been challenging myself to see how thin I could spin using the spindle.  (I'm actually running out of roving and want to make it last as long as possible, having spun singles that are so thick and bulky to begin with).

Here's the results using the 'Babe' spindle and the 'duck egg' blue merino wool roving.



It's 25g exactly and measures just under 80meters. Although it's two ply it looks more like a 4ply yarn. I must find a ruler and work out the wpi. 

How did I do it: I spun 4 singles, plied each single back on itself and then spit spliced the singles together to create one big skein of yarny goodness.  All it needs is a quick wash and rinse to set the twist.  Plus it's a little rough and this should help soften it a bit.

Whaddya think? 
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / First handspun singles (5 images) on: January 06, 2008 10:17:32 AM
I was gifted a spindle for Christmas by Mr Craftybernie and it's got to be the best present ever in the longest time.

I'm not yet worthy of Fibre Friday but it's definitely something to aspire to.  Here's my first efforts using some of the 400g of merino roving that I was given with the spindle:

First efforts:




2nd try (left) & 3rd try (right):



First singles plied



First lot wound into centre pull balls, which I love.  I haven't even tried skeining yet as I don't have a Niddy Noddy and when I tried to wind the yarn into skeins using my arm and then a dining chair, the yarn kinked back on itself. I guess if I plied them first that would reduce the kinking... 



This is Little Miss CB having a go on a spindle I bought just before Christmas.  She's loving spinning too and took to it quicker than I did. Not sure about you guys, but at only 36, I feel old when my 10yr old picks up something quicker than me. Harumph!



I love my centre pull balls and will probably use this lot to weave a scarf.

BTW, is there an easy way to calculate how much yardage you've got without any fancy schmancy equipment?

Thanks for looking!
5  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Needle Felted Landscape for bookmark on: December 13, 2007 02:03:09 AM
I made this a few months ago for a bookmark swap on another forum.  I scanned the piece into the pc, printed it off onto photo paper, and cut it down to a bookmark size.



I used some beads and different yarns to add texture and detail. I was my first needle felted project and I'm very proud of it.  The colours are all hand blended - sadly I don't have any carders so I took small amounts of fibre and mixed them together by hand. 

I want to try and build on this original design and create something bigger.  How big? I don't know yet, but it's inspired me to keep going.

Hope you all like it! Smiley
6  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Needle Felted Grinch & Bird on: December 12, 2007 02:59:37 PM
I made this 2.5" Mr Grinch and put him on my Etsy this morning (he sold within 10 hrs!).  It's my first face (and my first sale!) and I must admit that I was really pleased with him.  Although, I got a bit fed up with my 10yr old telling me that Mr Grinch did in fact look like a green dog! Sad



I also made this tiny little bugeyed birdie - at only 2" tall he's very petite. 



I gave these a quick wet felting to tighten up the fibres when finished.  Although sometimes the fuzzy look works too!

I'm making a bear at the moment so hopefully will have him finished tonight.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / 'Fairy' nice decoration on: December 05, 2007 05:42:14 PM
I made this little tree dwelling Christmas fairy for an e-friend yesterday. 



I love these little fairies and must admit that this one was hard to part with. Even our non-girly 10yr old soccer mad daughter threatened to kidnap her.   So, I promptly made another one for our tree. 

Our fairy is almost finished and just needs a quick hair 'do' and of course her woollen swing thing to kick back on.
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Knitting Needle Roll on: May 07, 2007 04:36:14 PM
I was inspired to make my own needle roll after seeing this one  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=69952.msg659223#msg659223

I made it for my scarf pal on the International Scarf Exchange.  It's my first attempt and I'm very pleased with it. 



The fabrics are left overs from other projects including the shirt and a blouse that had never been worn.
9  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Donut, with Icing & stuff... on: May 07, 2007 04:10:42 AM
Ok, if i've missed the boat on this one then please delete me!  If it's not too late to enter then here's my crochet donut which I created from my own noggin:



Good luck everyone!!!

Bernie Smiley
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Polystyrene Glitter Bals (w/tut & photos) on: December 03, 2006 10:55:17 PM
I made these with my niece this weekend - she's seven.  I've been promising to have a craft day with her for ages and we finally got round to it on Saturday.  We made a few Christmas decorations, and this is one of the fun things we made.

Here's a quick tutorial 

Ingredients:
Glitter / Glitter snow*
Polystyrene balls (any size will do but we used 2" balls)
Wooden skewers (or the handle of a skinny paintbrush)
PVA glue (if it's too thick, water it down very slightly)
Small pins
Sequins (optional)
Narrow ribbons or braids
Two plastic dishes or trays (the kind you get with take away)
Disposable plastic cup
Something to stand them in while they dry

*I found this glitter snow stuff at the local garden centre last year and immediately thought "hey, that's cool".  Then it never got used (like most stuff in my craft room!).  Anyway, it was perfect for this project, although you could use just about anything small enough to coat the balls such as fine (Art Institute glitters work well), coarse glitter, caviar beads or small delicas, sugar or even sprinkles (but don't eat them!)

Method:

Fill the plastic cup up about a third with the PVA glue.

Half fill one of the small trays with the glitter snow (or whatever you're using) and place the second tray beside it.


Pop each ball on a wooden skewer.  Use the pointy end of the skewer when pushing it into the ball or you run the risk of splitting the polystyrene ball.

Fill a disposable plastic cup about 1/3 full with PVA glue.

While holding the ball upside down by the skewer, dip the ball into the cup twirling and rolling the ball around in the glue (kind of like when you make toffee apples).

Allow the excess glue to drip off.  Make sure the entire ball is evenly coated. 

Hold the skewered ball in one hand over the empty tray.

Pick up the tray with the glitter in your other hand and gently sprinkle the glitter all over the ball, allowing the excess glitter to collect in the empty tray.  Rotate the skewer so that you cover the ball completely and gently tap off the excess.  Don't be tempated to dunk the ball into the glitter  as bits of glue may drip and ruin your glitter. 

Stand the skewer in a suitable container to allow the ball to dry.  I used an old air freshener but you could also stick the skewers in some plasticine/play dough, a polystyrene block or one of those oasis you get from florists.  Use whatever you've got lying around the house.


When dry, gently remove the skewer.  Now it's up to you to decide whether you want to embellish the balls further, or just leave them as they are.

When attaching ribbon to the ball, use a pin, pushed into a sequin - this stops the ribbon from fraying/tearing


Hope you find this useful and fun.  This is my first tut on Craftster so if you have any questions then let me know.

Bernie
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