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21  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Epic scrap fiber project, piano hinge book. Photo dense tutorial. on: April 25, 2017 10:11:11 AM
With shibori elements Wink.

A while ago I turned scraps saved from many other projects into new pieces of fabric.

The post on that with a tutorial and lots of pictures is here:

A bit after that I made some beads out of scraps.

The post on that with a tutorial and lots of pictures is here:

I knew I'd figure out something to do with them eventually and then for a private swap with cmarion I did. I made them into a book.

Ribbon sewn to the covers and the signatures, those have 4 pages each (2 folded in half), caron multimedia paper. I ended up making 2 more signatures that are not pictured here so the book has a total of 20 pages. The fabric beads are used to make a piano hinge binding. I added a bit of ribbon to the top inside corner of one cover as a book mark. Many of those could be included with decorative elements knotted or stitched to them to fancy up the thing even more if desired.

The cover needs to move independently from the pages so gets it's own beads for the hinge. If you don't quite understand this sort of book binding there are lots of tutorials online illustrating how it's done with paper that should make it understandable. This is not exactly the same but it's similar enough that you can figure it out.
Attaching everything was tricky, I recommend taking your time and not attempting to stitch it all at once if you give this project a go. It's a lot of layers of fabric to sew through and ended up hurting my fingers because I am impatient and silly.
The centre beads the pages are attached to need to be sewn together, you can see they are already stitched together here before the pages were added.

Here's a closer look. The pages were stitched in very loosely, once all the beads were attached to the ribbon binding, I pulled the stitches tight and knotted them off. Thread ends are buried inside the beads so they are not loose and won't come undone.  

I reinforced the covers with some decorative lace just to be sure the scrap fibers had a more stable base since they'll be handled the most. And it looks pretty, there's always that element to consider Wink.

The hinges are aligned and sticks inserted to hold it all together.

The separate cover hinges let the book open flat.

I think the spine is the most beautiful part.

Keeping the sticks in place can be done in many ways but I chose to wrap them with string. I used a short stick between the main 2 to hold them apart a bit and bound them with left over string used for shibori dying at a workshop last year. Precious, precious scraps. I love every little left over thread and bit of fabric confetti, lol.

I could have added more rows of beads to make a thicker book but I intended it to be the sort of journal that could be stuffed with things, it can expand to hold a lot of inserts, paper etc glued to the pages.

22  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / The elusive jackelope in it's natural environment, interactive mini art quilt on: April 25, 2017 06:18:10 AM
Made for sloth in the mini art quilt swap 8. My partner is a pretty quirky gal, I knew I had to make her something strange and wondrous. I hope I succeeded.

It's strip or string piecing with one side of the strip overlapped and the other left raw.
I visually divided the panel up into 3 and fit the colours for each scene in.

Using sticky dissolvable solvy over the top, sketched some lines and sewed all over to hold the strips in place. The solvy washes away afterwards.

Added the sun and birds, mountains & cacti, a campfire to each panel using double sided fusible web.

I used the fusible web to add a layer of felt inside instead of batting so it would all start out and stay relatively flat since it's supposed to hang and I didn't want it wavy at all. I fused the felt on both sides, to the front panel and the backing fabric on the other side.
Divided the panels with strips of black then bound it all with dark brown.

Some of the quilting was done before adding detail, some afterwards.

Zig zag stitching to give the cacti spikiness.

The campfire is my favourite scene. The tree silhouettes are sketched in thread by machine.

There are 5 magnets hidden inside the quilt and one on the back of the jackelope so he can be positioned in each scene. Jackelope is an image found online (I have since lost the info about the source, terrible me!) and printed onto fabric.

The magnets are those really strong ones so as you hold Jack and circle round the quilt looking for them he pretty much jumps out of your hand into the spot when he gets close enough. That was so fun to do Cheesy.

ETA: each scene was heavily inspired by other landscape quilts I found online.
23  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Everything is better with MORE mushrooms on it! (pic loaded tute) on: April 16, 2017 07:03:15 AM
After posting this tiny mushroom tutorial I made some larger fungi to share.

First cut out some half circles. You can add spots using small circles of felt, beads, french knots, or sequins or you can leave them plain, they are cute either way.

The stems are rectangles of felt rolled up and stitched down the side. Leave a tail of thread for later.

Aren't the tops adorable already? The stems however resemble nothing more than a bunch of tampons, ha ha. Don't worry, we'll fix that right up.

You can make the tops several ways. Pictured first is one you'd turn inside out so the seam was on the inside. This would be good if you were using fabric but I found it unnecessary for felt.

Fold the circle in half, insert the needle at the fold with the knot on the inside of the mushroom cap.

Stitch down the sides leaving a tail of thread like so

If you are more of a perfectionist you can make the point of the cap a little tidier by cutting a tiny little notch at the fold.

The first stitch or two will go over the notch creating a more rounded point.

It's a subtle difference.

Once the tops are together cut circles of felt for the underside of the mushrooms caps. Just guesstimate the correct size, you don't have to be precise.

Using the tail of thread you left on the stem, attach it to the circle. You can optionally add stitches to represent gills if you wish.

Using the tail of thread you left on the mushroom cap, stitch it to the circle. If the circle is slightly smaller in circumference than the cap, simply ease the fabrics together to make them fit. It's totally fine if the cap gets gathered slightly, it will hardly be noticeable at all. Add a little stuffing in the cap once you've stitched part way round.

I added more gills to some, less to others, and grass to the base of one.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with them all. Got any ideas?

24  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Art play assemblage on: April 10, 2017 09:41:51 AM
Made for geekgirl1000100 in the Assemblage Art Swap 2.  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=451696.0
I'm not sure I quite "got" what I was supposed to be putting together and ended up with more of a shrine/shadow box rather than a sculptureish item. I'm told they all sort of fall under the category of "assemblage" so maybe it wasn't too bad of a fit.

For this project I raided every area of the house to come up with likely supplies. I used weird stuff like gardening burlap, gauze bandages, cake decorations, wood shavings, furniture tacks, nail polish, liquid paper, and lots and lots of so many kinds of glue.

I think this is the most textural thing I've ever put together, that part was messy good fun!

It took days, mostly waiting for paint and glue to dry, to get to a point where I thought I should stop.

It's fun to just play, make a game of stretching yourself, be inspired by things you've seen and put your own spin on them.

Sometimes you have to let a thing unfold & morph into something you didn't exactly plan. Sometimes you just have to say YES!

25  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Everything is better with some mushrooms on it (tutorial lots o' pics) on: April 08, 2017 11:41:58 AM

I needed some teeny little fungi for a small project and thought I'd take process pics to share while I was figuring out how to make them.

You could make these any size and probably use any fabric but I made them tiny and out of felt.
First cut a half circle, embellish with french knots or beads or even teeny sequins if desired:

Sew the straight sides together from top to bottom leaving a length of thread remaining. Cut a circle the diameter of the base of your mushroom cap and optionally stitch gills. Using an awl or larger needle poke a hole in the centre of the circle:

This picture is a bit fuzzy but you can see how I've poked a pipe cleaner through the hole and bent it to keep the circle from slipping off. This bent bit of pipe cleaner will act as the stuffing to fill up the cap. If you've chosen to cut a larger shape you may want to insert a little fiberfil:

Again with the fuzzy image, sorry. Hard to take close ups of things this small!
Using the loose bit of thread you left, attach the cap to the circle. Hide the knot by threading the end into the cap between the layers of felt and tugging it gently until the knot goes in, trim the thread:

I'll let the following pictures speak for themselves, you'll just be repeating the above steps as many times as you like though I think unless you've got a very long pipe cleaner, this is the max amount of mushrooms you can reasonably get at a time:

Now I just stitched the lower bends right to my project which you can see here in greens and blues instead of red and white Wink :

ETA I wrote another tute for larger fungi here:
26  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 118 ENTRIES / Tiny little woodland creature on: April 08, 2017 11:41:44 AM
Made for PerfectlyBohemian in the dotee 14 swap https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=451470.msg5428305#msg5428305

A little forest dude based loosely on a few of her lovely pins.

He's got a cap of teeny mushrooms.

And more growing around his belly.

And a nod to classic dotees, a little dangly.

The face was absolutely inspired by this little guy.
I used a bit of thrift store score fur coat for his beard.

I wrote a little tutorial for his mushroom crown, it's here:

27  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / April Fool's round up, '09-'17 on: April 04, 2017 03:30:32 PM
It seems like every year there's a wrap up post detailing all the fun stuff that's gone on for April Fool's day and I hear this year is no exception. For those who may have missed previous years here's a round up for you to peruse, it is ever so much fun looking back on all those kooky good times!

2009 wrap up
2010 wrap up
2010 tagged projects
2011 wrap up
2011 tags
2012 wrap up
2013 wrap up
2014 tagged projects
2015 was zombies.
Featured projects: https://www.craftster.org/blog/april-1-2015-featured-projects/
Tags: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?action=tags;sa=showtopics;tag=april_fools_2015
And this little bit of hilarity: https://www.craftster.org/blog/craftster-quickies-how-to-make-pape-raar-grrr-ugggh/
2016 https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=445801
28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Fabric moth on: March 29, 2017 04:12:40 PM
I made a stitched moth a while ago and wanted to try it again.
Stalking for a recent swap I saw some fabric moths pinned so hey, perfect timing!

I used fabric from my stash, wire, embroidery thread, felt, glass beads for eyes, and a bit of fiberfil.
Here are the fabric pieces laid out:

The legs were difficult to wrap with thread, maybe there's a way to do it before attaching to the body. I'll try again one of these days.

I would never touch a real bug like this, even looking at the picture makes me a little squeamish, ugh!

It's pretty big, a hand span at least.
29  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Curio Cabinet items on: March 29, 2017 03:35:52 PM
Made for rockingbearranch, she was super fun to craft for  Grin.

We find snail shells in the garden all the time, I gave this one a new body. It's a wire armature and poly clay, the wire hands and antenna are coated with bronze nail polish.

Sculpting teeny weeny hands is not easy. I used this excellent tutorial but still ended up with something that looks like 5 fingers instead of 4 and a thumb. http://sculptor101.deviantart.com/art/Making-a-figurine-hand-tutorial-part-I-419122158
Oh well, maybe the eye I encrusted with rhinestones distracts from the weirdness of a mutant hand.
Beach sand is glued round the base.

The miniature bell jar is sealed with melted beeswax and red thread, that was messy and painful, ouch!

Paper clay stems for the acorn top mushrooms.

There's a wee gnome peeking out of the moss on the back of the assemblage, isn't he the cutest?

My kids wanted to steal every single one of these, I consider that a win! And inspiration to make more for them. Should be fun Wink.
30  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Trashed & Wasted, rethinking kitchen scraps on: March 23, 2017 10:47:03 AM
Bet you've never eaten cinnamon chicharron with whipped lard and buckwheat honey.

This is my good friend Brock. He is amazing. He's a long-time successful restaurateur, brewer, and entrepreneur. In his many years working in the food and drink industry he's seen vast amount of meaningless, unnecessary waste that finally inspired him to do something about it in his home town. He's putting on events to highlight the usability of what we consider garbage in order to get people thinking about how to reduce waste and feed more people good tasting and good for you food. Check this out, it's an amazing movement and a really accessible way to think about our own kitchens and cooking habits.


And here's some of what was on the menu at the garbage food fest including such things as pickled tongue and lamb brain on crostini which I am not sure I'd be daring enough to try myself but I love that every bit of food got used and nothing wasted so have a gander:


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