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21  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 118 ENTRIES / Constellation Leo Art Quilt on: April 11, 2017 01:31:00 PM

I made this for pinkleo, wayyyyy back in 2010, for round 3 of the Mini Art Quilt Swap.  I would have forgotten all about it, if I hadn't just signed up for the newest round, and saw the question about who we had partnered in previous rounds.  Pinks, aka my Craftster BFF, wanted to try her hand at an art quilt, but was worried about disappointing a more experienced quilter.  Since I knew it was impossible for her to disappoint me, I begged her to be my partner.  Initially I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I looked through all my stacks of quilt books for inspiration. I came across a bargello quilt (a design named for this type of needlework), which is something I've always wanted to try but never had the nerve to do on a full sized quilt.  When I dug through my stash, I found colors that worked together, and happened to remind me of the night sky.  That's where my inspiration really came from...

Pinkleo takes her name from her favorite color, pink, and her astrological sign, Leo.  So I created the night sky, showcasing the constellation of Leo, made from pink Swarovski crystals surrounded by black star shaped bead frames made from shell.  You can see the constellation in the picture above.  The grey border is supposed to look like the opening in the top of a round domed observatory that would house a telescope.

The quilting was done free motion, with a random stippling pattern, in several steps, keeping the thread matching the color of the sky behind it.  Then I filled in some more of the sky with additional crystals, iridescent freshwater pearls, and AB glass beads.

I always meant to post this project here, and I'm thrilled this challenge rolled around again and I found a project that fit the bill.  Good luck everyone!

22  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Little Miss Jennie Sat on Her Tuffet on: April 11, 2017 12:13:32 PM

Yesterday I had the good fortune to take a class on tuffet making, and this is the result!  I took the class at Quilting Squares Quilt Shop in Franklin, TN.  The owner of the shop went and got 'tuffet-certified' from the makers of the pattern Tuffet Source, and sells their pattern and supplies.  It's an ingenious project, that uses iron-on interfacing that has the pattern printed onto it, for you to stitch to, much like the paper used in paper-piecing quilt blocks.  You can purchase the pattern & kits from their website, with the foam, batting, board, feet, etc., at different levels of finished for different prices.  (Ie, if you want to do some extra manhandling of the materials, you can get them a bit cheaper, or if you want to skip part of the mess and fuss, you can get a more finished version of the kit.)  

Funny story: When I called to sign up for the class, I was told that it was a 2-part class (5 hours each) and that I had already missed part 1.  I said thanks, and that I'd look forward to it being taught again.  An hour later they called back to say that if I was willing to make version 2, (which had fewer pieces in it), and if I cut my rectangular strips at home over the weekend, I could probably catch up to the rest of my classmates who had started the week before.  And that doing so, would save me $50, because they wouldn't charge me for the lesson that I missed.  

So I picked out some fabric and headed to class yesterday.  Most of the students had their entire fabric cover completed, but needed to assemble the actual tuffet.  I started my project at 10:00 am, and everyone else had finished by 12:30, leaving me alone with the instructor, in a class that was supposed to run until 3:00pm.  She had to put together a new tuffet of her own anyways, so she told me to stay as long as I wanted.  Not having to wait for the iron, and having less wedges to stitch meant that I flew through!  I did make one mistake that necessitated me going home for my extra scrap fabric, but all told I worked from 10:00-4:00, with a 40 minute run home.  Not bad for heading home with a finished piece of furniture!

The large wedges are a Tim Holtz fabric called Transportation Tickets from Joann's.  The red and black are generic fabrics from their wall.  For bottom, I used a Tim Holtz's Game Pieces in taupe, that came as part of a 12" set of his assorted fabric designs that I found in the clearance section of Joann's on the same trip.  I think I'm going to use the other prints from it to make a coordinating quilt for the back of the couch.

After stapling on the cover & the contrast fabric to cover bottom, I hid the raw edges with black braid.  (Forgot to get a pic of that step!) And here it is finished, and set beside the fireplace.  (Don't worry, I plan to move it in the event we ever need to light a fire here in TN!)  I had a great deal of fun putting it together, and was amused at the teacher, who said she shouldn't bother charging me a class fee, because she didn't need to teach me how to sew, unlike the other students.  Guess all those years of costuming and corsetry were perfect for making tiny, fiddly, curvy seams!   Cheesy

Note: Version #1 uses all wedges the width of the black on my tuffet.  In mine the red covers 2 wedge spaces, and the print covers 4, so it comes to 64 wedges if you do that version.  There were some really stunning versions done that way in class, but I kinda like #2, because you can see the detail on more of the prints.
23  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Peony, Rose & Delphinium Spring Wreath on: April 03, 2017 12:58:45 PM
Spring has definitely sprung here in the South.  My husband and I have been starting to spend time out on the porch, and yesterday he decided to get a gate for the porch so our pup can join us out there without being on her runner.  When we stopped by the home improvement store to pick up the gate, I took the chance to grab some flowers for our front porch.  That quite naturally led to also needing a new wreath for the front door, as the one that was up was very wintery.  This is the result of the mornings labors.  Grapevine wreath, with pink peonies and white roses along the bottom, and stalks of pink & white delphiniums up along the sides.  I think it matches the pink tropical plants in pots on the porch quite well!

24  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Strawberry Teacup & Bag Rest (adult language) on: April 03, 2017 11:32:41 AM
I was asked to write a crafty city guide for Cut Out + Keep, and I used it as an excuse to explore some parts of town that I haven't been to before.  I tried to visit & feature as many independent craft shops as possible, but there aren't that many around.  Sadly the glass blowing studio in town burned down in December, and the only indy yarn store is in the news for discriminating against women who participated in the Women's March back in January.  Thankfully there was Third Coast Clay, which is a paint-your-own pottery shop in The Factory, a former kitchenware factory that has been converted into a mall & venue, including lots of little boutiques, shops making artisan guitars, a few theatres, an exhibition space, and cool eateries like Funk Seoul Brother (Japanese-Korean fusion street food).  I went with a few friends and had an awesome afternoon painting.  

Being a redheaded child of the 80's, I've always loved Strawberry Shortcake, and I was channeling her when I painted. I painted a teacup and matching tea bag rest.  

The cute little rest has already become a staple of my kitchen, living beside the kettle.

I had fun experimenting with paint techniques, like the dots along the rim and the swirls on the handle which were done with a tiny dropper bottle, and attempting to get a stencil wrapped around such a rounded object.  (I soon abandoned that game!)

Once I had finished the strawberry on one side of the mug, I started thinking about the cutesy sayings that Strawberry Shortcake cards always had, things like "Life is berry sweet!"  I decided that I wanted to give a more adult nod to the berry puns.  
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Once I had painted the words though, I had a devil of a time trying to keep the phrase turned away from other patrons, as the shop was FULL of families and kids running around, and since I live in the South I was just waiting for an outraged religious mommy to start a scene.  Fortunately no one seemed to notice, and when I left it with the employees for firing, they all giggled quietly and told me they loved it. When I picked it up a week later, it was carefully tucked in the back of the shelf though!   Cheesy

All in all I had a great time, and can tell I'll be going back to make more goodies.  I'm now dreaming of a matching strawberry serving platter...  
25  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Circus Card & Envelope... and a craft fail. on: April 01, 2017 04:32:07 PM
I ordered a Silhouette Cameo 3 over a month ago, and after many trials and tribulations, it finally arrived this week!  I've spent the last few days learning my way around, trying out some small projects.  This was my second project, a big top greeting card, and a coordinating envelope.  I found the envelope a bit too plain, so I had fun adding in a little elephant balancing on a ball. 

I have to say, cutting cardstock was a much bigger pain in the bum than cutting vinyl. 

Project #3 was supposed to be a coordinating paper purse, which I was going to use as a gift bag for a friend's birthday gift.  Sadly, it was a craft fail.  After hours and hours of weeding out bits that didn't cut cleanly, covering myself in Sharpie trying to ink the edges, and fighting with glue that did not want to hold, I finally gave up on the purse.  At least for today.  You win some, you lose some.   Undecided   Now I think I need a cocktail...

26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Bracelets for International Women's Day on: March 08, 2017 03:58:45 PM
It's International Women's Day!  And it is also A Day Without a Woman, a protest being held by the organizers of the Women's March, to have women strike from both paid and unpaid work.  I decided to spend some time reflecting, while crafting, and these are what I came up with.  Bracelets for friends and family who wish to fight for a better future for women and girls. 

Frosted red glass beads and stainless steel 'A woman's place is everywhere' charm.

Magenta riverstone beads and stainless steel 'Nasty Woman' charm

Purple riverstone beads and stainless steel 'Nasty Woman' charm.

Pink dyed jade beads and stainless steel 'She believed she could... so she did' charm.

Quartz crystal beads and stainless steel 'Nevertheless, she persisted' charm.
27  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Best of the Harry Potter Craftalong 2016 on: March 03, 2017 02:43:30 PM

*Note: This list will be best viewed using a laptop/desktop,
or if you choose "Request desktop site" through the web browser
on your mobile device.  
The formatting will not be correct if viewed through Tapatalk.*

Best of the Harry Potter Craftalong 2016

It's easy to see that pretty much every project submitted to the Harry Potter Craftalong is magical!  These projects were nominated by HP Craftalong Professors & Heads of House, as some of their favorites posted throughout 2016.  There are many more to be found in the HPC threads.  Well over 1,500 projects were submitted to the HPC in 2016 alone!

Flower Crown1950's Cocktail HatDays for Girls Bags

Forest Growing TotoroSpiky Sound Machine SeriesColorful Pumpkin

Bath & Beauty Potions
Vegan 'Honey' SoapSoothing Bath SaltsPhilosopher's Stone Soaps
noodle-bugAnnoyingBigSisterMistress Jennie

Blankets, Afghans & Quilts
Neat Ripple BlanketNebula AfghanWoodland Quilt
jellybean89Mistress Jenniegaudiknight

Papasaurus & Lunasaurus ShirtsBat Goddess Fashion TopStar Wars Heroine Shirts

Monday CakeRainbow CheesecakeRosemary & Cranberry No Knead Bread

Steampunk PiratesSilurian HeadColonial Dress& Trousers

Dolls, Stuffies & Amigurumi
Loki God of MischiefRainbow ZebraPlush Phoenixes

Harry Potter Inspired
HP Quote PillowsExpecto Patronum NightlightsGryffindor Crochet Hook Case
FiberAlchemistMistress JennieAugustBell

Holiday Magic
Advent CalenderSpiderweb Table RunnerHogwarts Portrait Ornaments
noodle-bugFiberAlchemistMistress Jennie

Home Decor & Improvements
Predator Proof Chicken TractorCoconut BowlHogwarts Curtain

Egyptian NecklaceWoodburned PendantsSteampunk Ear Cuff

Magical Miniatures
Miniature LibraryMini-mini Peg PeopleInto the Wardrobe

Needlearts - Crochet
Rainbow UnicornLong Hooded CapeFlowers in January
seeuudeeMistress JennieAudania1

Needlearts - Embroidery & Cross Stitch
Tea RexBelle BookmarkSkull and Butterfly Embroidery

Needlearts - Knitting
Hitofude CardiganSumptuous ShawlDinosaur Hat

Papercrafts & ATCs
Fox Birthday CardHandbound JournalBurrow Chunky House

Stitch Witchery
Exploding TARDIS BagKantha Pencil RollSpace Bag

Terrific Textiles
Snitch FabricRust Died ScarfPaw Patrol Shoes

Thank you to the many members of the HPC for their constant inspiration!

Interest piqued? You may join the Harry Potter Craftalong at any time!  The current Ostara Term (Spring) runs until May, 31st 2017, and the Midsummer Term will begin on June 1, 2017.

~*Congratulations to everyone featured!*~
You may claim the Best of the HPC 2016 badge.

To claim your badge, right click and save to your computer.  Then, you can do whatever you wish with it.  Ideas on how to show-off your badges: use it as an avatar, put it in your profile under Brief Bio, or create a pinterest board for all your badges.  
28  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Beaded Wire Shawl Pin on: February 27, 2017 01:21:39 PM
I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees as my partner.  As my main project for the swap, I crocheted a blanket sweater for her.  But since it didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  This was created from 14 gauge wire, and wrapped with some thinner copper and bronze wire, and finished with deep teal AB beads.  

Important to note:  Dogs do NOT like the sound of you hammering wire on your work desk, as they try to nap underneath it!   Cheesy
29  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Warm & Cozy Blanket Sweater on: February 27, 2017 01:21:34 PM
I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees (henceforth referred to as Lb&Bbs) as my partner.  She had the Light Frost Blanket Sweater on her Pinterest, and I was intrigued by it so I decided to give it a go.  I picked up some bulky yarn in a colorway Lb&Bbs liked and got to hooking.  I noticed a picture in her profile that showed us to be similar in size and shape, so I felt pretty safe making a garment for her, without benefit of a fitting.

The pattern is very simple, and does go together quickly and easily.  (Basically it's a rectangle that has its corners folded together to make a wonky diamond shape.)  Sadly, I really didn't like the pattern once it was done.  When reading the blog post, the author indicated that the sweater is 'probably a small', and that if you are bigger than her, you could 'add 10 stitches' to bring it up to a size large.  Since the pattern was so new, at the time I started it there were no other projects of it on Ravelry, not even the author's own!  (Now there are 4.)  Hence, there were no other notes to reference about size.  Yeah, adding 10 stitches did NOT make this a large.  Once my rectangle was complete, I basted the edges together as indicated and tried it on.  Nope.  It basically fit like a wad of yarn across your back, with partial arm holes.  Actually, it was kind of like having a blanket hold your arms behind you, so that when you look in the mirror, your own body shame can sucker-punch you in the gut.  Not good.   Angry

While I'm not the most experienced crocheter in the world, my experience in theatrical costuming paid off.  I could easily tell that the outer circumference of the garment needed to be much bigger in order to fit around my shoulders, and my butt.  But, that the back of the garment didn't really need to be any different.  So, I hooked up two wedges, 36 stitches wide at the base, and 3 stitches wide at the top, 15 rows tall.  I inserted these into the seams, and tried it back on.  Now it was closer to being a sweater!  The gussets alleviated the tension around the shoulders and hem, but it was still a bit short, and the neckline was an odd height.  Too tall compared to the original design, but not tall enough to turn down into a shawl collar.  So, I added 5 or 6 rows around the circumference, that incorporated the body and the gussets, increasing by 12 stitches in each row.  That was enough to let the hem fall to just below the bum, and the collar to turn down.  This made it a cross between the original design, and something like a circle sweater.  

(In this picture you can see the gussets, which are inserted between the bottom of the bust, and the side of the hip.)

Since the sweater didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  You can see the results HERE.  And while it was a rocky crafting process, in the end I'm pleased with how it came out, especially since Lb&Bbs seems very happy with it.  Cheesy

*Note: I'm not trying to be down on the author of the pattern.  The sweater she designed looks great on her body shape, which happens to be tall and thin.  I try very hard to be body positive, but no matter how positive someone is, there are just some things that look great on one body, that don't look good on another, and vice versa.  (I'm fairly my curves rock a fitted sweater in a way she doesn't!)  My point in explaining what didn't work for me in this pattern, is to help anyone else who wants to give it a try, not to bash the author.  Smiley  
30  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quilt As You Go Rainbow Mug Rug on: February 27, 2017 12:47:48 PM
A quick little project for the recent Warm & Cozy Swap.  My partner LadybugsAndBumblebees likes bright colors, so I created a cheerful little mug rug to brighten the end of winter.  The fabrics were all from my stash, and I used the Quilt-As-You-Go method to make it faster.  I can't remember where I first learned to do it, but you can find a tutorial for a similar mug rug HERE. I'm really pleased with the bright and happy color scheme, and am tempted to make another one for myself. 

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