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1  Victorian Geisha Mermaid (PIC HEAVY) in CHALLENGE 104 ENTRIES by Alexus1325 on: November 10, 2014 06:52:57 AM

After last year's unicorn costume, I decided that this year I'd be a mermaid. And not just a mermaid, but a Victorian mermaid!

It all started with the underskirt. I used this free trained skirt pattern as my basis, with some help from Yesterday's Thimble, Historical Sewing, and various diagrams and extant garments. It's made from a cotton bedsheet and a voile curtain and cinches closed with a snoopy ribbon. The now-filthy train is detachable.

The skirt itself is almost exactly the skirt with train balayeuse, but the back panel is divided into top and bottom. If I did it again, I'd make the train in two halves because it doesn't drape quite right. It's made from a really nice cotton sateen bedsheet overlaid with real fishing net down the back and interlined with poly-cotton broadcloth. The front is trimmed with a deep ruffle of fishing net covered in dollar store gems. In the second photo, all the trim is on, including custom dyed eyelet lace, metallic braid, metallic ribbon, and metallic net down the sides. You can just see the metallic "grass" around the train that's pretending to be seaweed. It cinches closed with tasseled gold drapery cord.

The overskirt is just a rectangle pleated on the sides with another rectangle gathered in the back. The outer fabric is this amazing drapery fabric lined with a green poly-cotton bedsheet. I added a green organza ruffle around the waistband and the fins are more organza set into polyester satin cones. The tail and fins are secured to the skirt with elastic loops on faux pearl buttons, and there's a lobster suncatcher hitching a ride. You also get a better view of the seaweed around the train. It cinches closed with a green scarf or sash I found at a second hand shop.

My crown was modeled on headdresses worn in central Asia, but I totally get why people said it has a geisha vibe. I started with a round dollar store place mat sewn to a headband and embellished it with shells, gems, pearls, fishing net, fake plant matter of various kinds, metallic grass, pearl trim and five tiny seahorse buttons. The back has clusters of green net sprouting more grass.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good shots of my shawl (Esjan by Stephen West), felted starfish purse (modeled on this one), or bra (inspired by maaany different rave bras on Etsy). I started spinning the yarn for the shawl last winter, felted the starfish purse a month early, and was still gluing things to my boobs while my fiance packed the car for our trip! Aw well, here's some full length shots, which include my crap-ton of necklaces and bracelets. I also dyed my hair pink, wore huge pink feather lashes, and glued teal feather lashes to my eyebrows and ears.

There's more progress pictures on my photobucket and a whole pinboard of inspiring mermaid stuff.
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2  Re: Fiber Friday 30 March 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: May 31, 2014 07:32:31 AM
Woohoo Fibre Friday! I was at the in-laws all day yesterday, so I didn't even see that we had one!

Oooh, jexxican, how could you let such a pretty batt sit for so long! And yay for alpaca fleece! I LOVE alpaca fleece!

Yay puppygirl! I love your ice cream yarn! It definitely makes me think of summer :-)

I got some yarny things finished this month :-) First up is some crapaca spun on my new fave support spindle from Ghstworks. I call it crapaca because it was the hairiest, greasiest, nastiest alpaca roving ever. I don't know why I thought I could pull the hairs out at a 50/50 blend of hair and fluff. I suspect it was processed on equipment designed for wool, as the soft stuff was short (shredded?) and the whole thing was tacky feeling. I tried from the end on a drop spindle, from a rolag on a drop spindle, and eventually had a brilliant moment where I tried spinning from the fold on a support spindle. This is destined to be a purse or something. 2.8 oz, 197 yards and around fingering weight. Shown unwashed.

I also FINALLY finished plying my 6 oz skein of alpaca/silk from World of Wool. I spun it supported and put the whoooooole top onto one spindle. What was I thinking?!?! That said, it was a beautiful spin, and I now have 348 yards of fingering weight deliciousness! Shown unwashed, and I have a feeling it will bloom huge and end up DK or even light worsted.

And lastly, I challenged myself to make the fattest yarn I possibly could. I used alpaca I washed and dyed myself with onion skins and spinach (the spinach was a fail, it's very pale). Spun and chain plied on a 3.9 oz ginormous vintage Turk I call The Beast. 5.3 oz, 57 yards, super bulky. It's very rustic, with lots of slubs and wispy bits. It bloomed a lot after washing.

LOL, why do I have so much more to say about a yarn I hate, than I do about the pretty ones? :-P

EDIT: oh, hey, jexxican, the thread title says March instead of May :-P
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3  Re: Random Swap Round 5 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Alexus1325 on: May 24, 2014 11:43:13 AM
Yesterday was one of the BEST DAYS EVER!!!! Dreadlocklove and I met up at a fancy coffee shop where I had my first chai latte in 5, yes 5 years. It was almost surreal, sitting in such a nice environment, chatting with a fellow Craftster (so nice to talk to someone who understands those crafty urges!) for over an hour while we took turns pulling goodies out of our boxes :-) And oh, the spoilage!!!! She's off to the cottage this weekend, so you'll have to wait to see her goodies, but behold the glorious craftasticness of Dreadlocklove!!!!!

First up is this gorgeous little bowl made in a pinched technique in shades of purple. It has a spiral of dots around the base that reminds me of Australian Aborigine art. It's sitting on an issue of Felt magazine, chock full of inspiring projects, and holding beautiful fabric beads made from scarf scraps and thread, and one of the flower hair doohickies she made for me. The other one that I was wearing is in my fiance's car, so I cant get it back until tonight.

Can you believe that Dreadlocklove rates herself as a beginner spinner??? My early yarns didn't look this good! She has such a gentle hand! From left to right are a scarf scrap yarn, a Karakul single (which I'd never seen before! It's all wiry and crunchy, such a fantastic texture!), and an alpaca blend single in green, brown and orange, one of my fave combos!

Fibre goodies!!!!! She hand dyed the two ounce braid herself in the yummiest shades of pink, purple and blue! I couldn't help myself, I started spinning it when I got home from work :-P And I didn't even know you could buy hemp fibre! She gave me an assortment of colours that's sure to keep me amused for awhile. It's so fine, like tussah silk.

The photo does not do justice to this piece! I cried. I had to pant and wave my hands, I was so overcome! I'm feeling weepy just thinking of the love and care that went into this amazing spirit doll. Her serene face is polymer clay, with a halo of hemp fibre, wool, feathers and eyelash yarn for hair. Her body is a twist of a scarf, tied with embroidery thread and decorated with other scraps of scarf and a blue-green bead. She has such good vibes!!!! So calming, just to look at her. I've had trouble sleeping for as long as I can remember, so she's propped in the purple bowl beside my bed, where she'll be the last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning :-)

*sniffle* BEST SWAP EVER!!!!!!


I've prettied up my doll's new home :-)

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4  Re: Random Swap Round 5 (signups March 2-15, 2014; sendouts May 17, 2014) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Alexus1325 on: May 20, 2014 02:49:43 PM
Eeeh! My stuff from China finally came! I'm so glad dreadlocklove and I are meeting a week late, because there's stuff for her in there :-)

Also, my weekend was AWESOME!!! I went to Lake Abitibi, froze at night, caught fish by day, and took lots of pictures :-) Urk, I went to link my photobucket album, and they're all messed up in the wrong order. I'll be fixing that shortly, but you can still see them here.

As a teaser, here's me and my 3.5 pound pickeral aka walleye :-)

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5  Re: Fiber Saturday? Sure. Why not. in Spinning: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: April 27, 2014 08:01:45 AM
Melerific's nests made me do a double-take because I'm working on these Tongue

For finished yarn, I only have two to show off, but I can share some gratuitous spindle pix Cheesy

This is Cookies and Jam, one single being spun from an alpaca-merino-sparkle batt from a semi-local alpaca farmer/fibre enthusiast, and for the other single, I rolled up some 'lags from an alpaca sample and random fibres in pinks and purples. I got 169 yards out of it, but I'm sure to lose a few once I wash and set it.

You guys'll LOL at this one! Over at Spindlers, the monthly challenge theme was "Science Fair," and I chose to make an Electric Potato. Disaster-dyed alpaca (freezer-burnt strawberries give you a light grey-brown, not pink Tongue), steel grey thread and glow in the dark fishing lure beads, 133 yards unwashed.

And Belladune, can I just say *DROOL*!!!! I'm looking forward to the day that I can spin half as well as you!
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6  Fibre Friday - April 11 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: April 11, 2014 09:14:17 PM
Hey, where's all the yarn??? Other than that stunning nut yarn, I mean :-P I've only got two finished yarns to show, all my others being still in progress. Feel free to check out my handspun projects over on Ravelry for random balls of not-yet-plied yarn (I have the same username over there).

Here's a fingering weight superwash I dyed myself as top. It should become socks for my fiance before next Christmas. Or it will sit in my stash looking pretty...

And this is the only picture that really shows off the colours of my first successful singles yarn, and support spun to boot! It turned out laceweightish, made from batts that reminded me of Japanese maples in autumn. I just let the fibre do whatever it wanted with minimal futzing over lumps. I had to knit with it right away :-P

What have you guys been working on?
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7  Re: Random Swap Round 5 (signups March 2-15, 2014; sendouts May 17, 2014) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Alexus1325 on: March 31, 2014 07:22:15 PM
LOL, Smeddley, your whole post made me laugh!

Who wants to see my shiny?

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8  Re: Fibre Friday March 14th 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: March 15, 2014 04:08:52 PM
OK, now that I'm not half asleep from a melatonin tablet, I can properly express how AWESOME belladune's yarns are! Your purple yarn is scrumptious and it's really neat to see the side by side comparison of the two different TPIs.

I'm really happy with how this rainbow yarn turned out. I started the rainbow merino singles back in August and somehow managed to put two ounces of black superwash onto a half ounce spindle. The colors really are that bright!

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9  Wet Felted Tablet Purse in Felting: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: March 07, 2014 10:39:30 AM
A friend's girlfriend saw my Phoenix purse while my tablet was living in it and told me she'd absolutely love one for hers. She has the exact same tablet, so the math was easy :-) With purple and blue being her fave colours, I dove into my stash and found some fluffy goodness. She was very excited for her early birthday gift, and now her tablet has a safe new home :-)

The base is white alpaca with dark purple shetland, lilac polwarth, and some random blue locks for the toppings. The button is a blue marble. The close up has the more accurate colours.

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10  Re: Fiber Friday February 28, 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Alexus1325 on: February 28, 2014 09:16:56 PM
DROOL! That boucle is delicious!!! Am I strange for wanting to rub it under my chin, or is that the yarnie in me?

I have stuff to share, holy cow! I think I missed 3 FFs?

Mostly merino in various greens and blues, but a smidge of shetland I suspect, plus allllll that rainbow firestar! NOMNOMNOM! Chain plied on the fly to DK weight, and will someday be socks for me Cheesy

Brown superwash, cinnamon alpaca, and a touch of lime merino and lime firestar. 2 ply DK and the first project I did on a Turk. Hopefully this will be boyfriend socks by next Christmas. I picked a complicated pattern Tongue

And I just finished this alpaca/merino/firestar yarn for a challenge over on Ravelry. The colours of the batt reminded me of Poison, one of my grandmother's favourite perfumes. It's 70 yards of 2 ply aran. The progress photo has more accurate colour.

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