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361  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Ironing finished project on: September 09, 2008 01:51:18 PM
I just finished my first biggish cross stitch piece (that wasn't a kit that the whole thing fit inside my hoop). From moving the hoop around it has lots of hoop marks on it. Can I iron it? I am really worried the floss color will run onto the white fabric. Steam/no steam? I'm guessing I definitely want to use a pressing cloth. Help please!  It took so long to do I would hate to mess it up.
362  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Goldfish in a Bag Tutorial (with pics) on: September 09, 2008 12:12:32 AM
Goldfish in a Bag

Goldfish in a bag seem like they are pretty easy to make, but there are lots of little things that you can do to ease the frustration and get perfect fishies. I want mine to look very "I just won this at a carnival" so I take the extra time to use the wire and position it, and also to make sure the soap hangs while it cools so there are no sharp edges to take away from the illusion of "wow, it's a bag full of water...with a fish!" Also that's why I use a twist tie, or you can use a cute little bit of ribbon!

Ingredients and Equipment:

Melt and Pour Soap, Extra Clear
Vinyl/Plastic Goldfish
Plastic bags, 8 inches x 2.5 inches
Large Embroidery Needle
10 inch lengths of wire, fairly thick but still bendable.
Very small cup or bowl
2 cup Pyrex with Pouring Spout
Rubbing Alcohol in Spray Bottle
Twisty Ties or Ribbon
Chip Clips or Clothespins
Someplace to hang your soaps while cooling (I bend down the handle on the tea pot)

*OptionalTiny amount of Blue liquid soap colorant or food coloring
*Optional--Fragrance, be very careful, many fragrances will discolor or turn cloudy after awhile, and any fragrance that contains even a percentage of vanilla will eventually turn brown.

I choose to leave my soaps uncolored and unfragranced.


1. Prepare your goldfish by sticking the embroidery needle all the way through your fish tail to create a hole for the wire. If your wire is stiff enough you may just be able to poke the wire in, if not use the needle. Then place the wire through the hole with about an inch sticking underneath the bottom of the fish. Curve it slightly up towards the fish body.

2. Fold down the top 4 inches of so of the bag onto the outside. This is to prevent making a mess of soap on the inside of the upper lengths of the bag when you pour it. Prop it up inside a small cup or bowl to keep it from moving while you pour the soap.

3. Cut your soap into small cubes and place about 3.5 ounces by weight into the Pyrex dish. Microwave** for short bursts (15-20 sec) stirring after each session. Do not fully melt the soap, and definitely do not boil it! When it is mostly melted with just few small chunks left, remove from microwave and stir until fully melted. Do not get it too hot because the bags will melt!

4. Pour your melted soap into the bag and then spray the surface with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.  Put your wired fish into the bag and spray for bubbles again if you need to.

5. Pull the sides of the bag up carefully and twist the top a couple of times, then close with twisty tie. Wire will still be sticking out the top. Move the wire around so that the fish is positioned how you like it and make sure wire end is not pressed up against side of bag, it can pop a hole in it and soap will leak out ever so slowly. Try not to mess with it too much, as soon as you have a position you like leave it alone. It's possible to pull the wire out accidentally and it just makes the kids sad when their fish is belly up (then again, that might be a really funny selling point). I just try to get it where the fish is floating somewhere in the middle-ish of the bag and try to make him as straight as possible rather than on his side or something.

6. Take your clothes pin or chip clip and attach bag to some kind of handle or something that will let the fish dangle. This is to keep the bag shaped edges of the soap. If you set it on the counter it will have one flat edge and not look like it is really a bag full of water.

7. After the soap is set up, gently pull the wire out of the soap and the fish. This is best to do before it is completely cool. If you pull it out when the fish is set well but the soap is still a bit soft, the wire won't leave a track. If you wait too long (like I did with one of these) there will be a bit of a mark where the wire was in the soap.

8. Voila! Gift to the little people in your life, or sell for like $6 each at craft fairs, they fly out of there!

Oh yeah, if Im ever swapping with you and you need fish, remind me to throw some in, I have a couple hundred lol.

** You really shouldnt microwave melt and pour soap.  It is a much better idea to use a double boiler. It breaks down the soap if you overheat it. However, I am a very bad girl and this is easier for me. I usually do novelty soaps anyways when I am working with melt and pour, not really going for the wholesome goodness with my mp (that is why I make cold process). Just please keep an eye on it if you choose to microwave, and dont blame me if you melt the bag! If you use the double boiler, you might want to use a spouted ladle or other small spouted pouring container to make it easy to get in the bag and not make a mess on the sides.


Sources to buy your supplies from:


mp soap base:
or see this link to find a soap supplier near you to save on shipping  http://www.suppliersbystate.com/
or when in doubt, check out this supplier thread!  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=202977.0

363  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Apparently I'm not a quilter on: September 07, 2008 01:25:33 AM
So I have been wanting to quilt and I found a small project in a beginner's book I have. Possibly it was too small of a project, I'm not sure if it sucks because it is such a small scale and it is obvious how nothing is even, or if I am just THAT BAD at making 1/4 inch seams. It's supposed to be a pin cushion, but not sure if I am going to bother putting it together. Also I suck at matching fabrics, I thought, "hey I have a bunch of different cherry fabrics, lets try those".  And it's supposed to be 4 1/2 inches square, but it only came out 4 inches square.

364  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Can organize only if at 5 swap max? on: September 06, 2008 01:54:54 PM
I'm wondering if I can organize a swap but not participate if I am already at my 5 swap max. I am not at my 3 swap organizing max, and they need an organizer for the Sept bday swap. Is that ok? I definitely have the time since I am off work right now!
365  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / 7 hrs~Amy Butler Checkbook Clutch on: September 02, 2008 10:38:20 PM
I have been wanting to do this project since I got the In Stitches book, and finally I sat down today to do it. It's definitely not perfect, but it was a fun project and I will make some more, hopefully without the mistakes in this one!  My camera is at my brother's house, but I was so excited to post that I took pics with my phone! I originally wanted to add some red accents into this purse, but ended up leaving it just the white and black.

Here is the outside, closed.

Here is the outside back with the flap open to show the pocket.

And here is the inside with a few things added!

I did the ruffle with the lining fabric instead of the outside fabric, and made the pen and lipstick holders with the outside fabric for a little more contrast. I goofed up on the zipper a  bit (that was a PIA) and I sewed the inside in a little bit funky so the side card holders are a little bit narrow, but I am gonna deal with it. All in all I am pleased that it only took me about 7 hours! It would have been less if I had read a few of the directions a little bit more carefully too! And I haven't added the little handle thing yet, but not real concerned about it. I think it is really a zipper pull, but they call it a handle?

Seriously, if anybody wants to do this project, make sure you have lots of tailor's chalk in good colors to contrast your fabric!
366  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / What is your fave tool/accessory that you can't live without? on: August 29, 2008 06:04:06 PM
What is something you bought for sewing and after using it thought "how did I live without this all these years?"

Mine are my shears and my sewing scissors. I sewed for 15 years before getting a good pair of scissors. They aren't even that fancy, maybe like a $20 pair, but every time I use them it makes me smile! They're like buttah!
367   / BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty FAQ; Please start here! on: August 28, 2008 02:03:41 AM
Hey all!

Just trying to de-clutter around here. This thread now contains several merged threads. To easily acess the info you are after please see these handy dandy links:

Common B&B abbreviations and General B&B FAQ

Melt and Pour Soapmaking

Health Topics & Keeping it Crafty

And please always remember to SEARCH and read all FAQ's and stickied topics on the Bath and Beauty Home Page and the Discussions and Questions Board before asking a question. Commonly asked questions may be merged and/or deleted. [/b
368  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Make a purse with this stuff Swap (Sign-ups closed, 2ND Sendout Nov 24) on: August 26, 2008 05:01:54 PM
Swap name: Make a purse with this stuff Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: MareMare

Sign-up date range: 8/26/08 9/12/08, 10 pm pacific

Date to send item by:
First sendout: 9/26/08
Second Sendout: 11/10/08 November 24, 2008

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country?

Age requirement? No age requirement, but participants are required to have completed at least 2 swaps, since this swap has 2 sendouts.

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: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: 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 13 years old: YES

Details of swap:

This is a purse swap, however your partner will provide you with all the materials you will need to make the purse. After sign-ups close you have 2 weeks to gather materials and ship to your partner, and then 1 month to create a purse and send back to the partner. This swap will stretch your creativity because you may be working with materials that are new or unfamiliar to you. However, swap anxiety will be lessened since your partner supplied the materials, so it is a no-brainer that they will like their purse!

This is a swap for people with basic sewing skills. You might learn how to do new techniques during this swap (in fact, it's encouraged!), but please make sure you have some sewing knowledge, since you will be working with someone else's materials and won't be able to buy more if there is a mistake.

Requirements to join: Since this swap has 2 sendouts and it is vital that swappers are reliable, you must have completed at least 2 swaps and have good feedback (ie, no poor communication or late sending comments).

You will pick the items that your purse is made out of! Obviously you want to pick items that will be cohesive, but the whole point is to have a bit of a challenge, so dont be afraid to throw in things that might be a bit wacky or unconventional.

What to send:
      1.)   Fabric: yard minimum, strongly advised to send 3/4 to 1 yd or more of home dec, cotton, or other fabrics suitable for making a purse. (may be a few different prints if that's what floats your boat, make sure the total yardage is a decent amount)
      2.)   Fabric: 1 FQ or more of decorative or contrasting fabric (think contrasting prints, or fancy fabrics like organza, tulle, or satin)
      3.)   At least 1 type of trim (piping, rick-rack, ribbon, bias tape, beaded fringe, lace, etc)
      4.)   At least 2 pieces of hardware (zippers, d or o rings, magnetic snaps, etc)
      5.)   Something fancy (a brooch, a bit of embroidered or beaded fabric, an interesting closure, an appliqu, etc)
      6.)   Something inspirationala picture, a pattern, a photo of a purse you really like, something out of a magazine that reflects your personal style
      7.)   Senders Choicecould be handles, webbing, straps, contrasting thread, decorative buttons, whatever you think could help pull the other materials together (or really throw the designer for a loop)
      8.)   Let your partner know one purse design element you would really like included (gussets, pleats, piecing, a deconstructed look, etc)
      9.) *Optional* Appropriate-weight fabric for lining, in amount that works with your amount of base fabric.

Obviously if you say you would like a bigger purse, make sure you send larger amounts of fabric.

Remember that you will be getting these items back in the form of a purse! Send items you truly love, and feel that your partner could make something amazing with!

What you can use from your stash:
      1.)   Lining materials
      2.)   Interfacing
      3.)   Thread
      4.)   Extra hardware you need to complete your design
      5.)   Something you have on hand that would totally fit in with what your partner sent you.

You dont have to use absolutely everything you are sent (especially if your partner sends extra stuff), however try to incorporate as much as you can. If you dont use something you need to send it back.  If you have the inclination and the materials you can create purse accessories, depending on your partners questionnaire (coin purse, wallet, cell phone holder, checkbook cover, key chain, sunglasses case, etc)

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

Name of swap: Make a purse with this stuff Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country, formatted for shipping:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 13 years old (yes/no)
Are you allergic to anything?
Does anyone smoke in your house?
Do you have any pets, and what kind?
What type of purses do you prefer? (hobo, messenger, handbag, clutch, tote, etc)
What would you consider your style?
Anything else you would like your partner to know about your purse preferences (strap size, like/dislike pockets):
Is it ok if your partner crafts purse accessories for you?
What kind of purse accessories do you like/use?
What would you consider your sewing level at?


Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.



1. MareMare
2. Kenners
3. SalutingMagpies
4. Colorado Deb
5. meganlorraine
6. addicted2knitting
7. demekah
8. island-princess
9. onegroovyday
369  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Generation T recon-along on: August 26, 2008 04:08:46 AM
I just got the book Generation T and am eager to start making some t shirts into something better! Anybody else wanting to do this? Or other t shirt recon-books?


370  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / 150,000 members! on: August 26, 2008 03:42:33 AM
Anybody notice we are almost at 150,000? Shouldn't we have a party or something?
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