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51  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Slow cloth/boro box on: November 29, 2016 11:29:46 AM
For Ludi in the slow cloth/boro swap. We were supposed to make patches and while the sides of this can be cut apart into separate pieces, I had a hard time with the "making something that is nothing" aspect of the project.

It's about 4ish inches tall.

I used a few different stitches, some buttons and beads, sparkly embroidery thread sent to me by kbrison as a surprise just in time to be added to this. The clear bead holding closed the strings on top is artisan made hot glass from BC, a little treasure from my stash.

The bottom, I think this is a Canadian song bird. A friend recognized it as such anyhow. Neat Smiley.
52  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Teeny weeny gnome dome. on: November 28, 2016 02:33:31 PM
I have been itching to post this but had to wait until it was received and darn cross-border post takes forever!

Gozer sent me a box of awesome fussy cut fabric http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442382.msg5410907#msg5410907 in return for a random item. Stalking her pins yielded way too many ideas but finally I settled on this one.
I had the gnome bead, used Knickertwist's mushroom making tutorial http://blog.pixiehill.com/2012/02/how-to-make-teeny-weeny-mushrooms.html, and found the rest of the bits and bobs at a craft store. Some hot-glue-burning-my-fingertips time later I had this:

My kids decided they LOVED it so I used the rest of the domes in the package plus a little bottle to make some more. I'm waiting on an order of more wee gnome beads to complete this bunch and have another package of domes to make a few more for xmas gifts.

This was so much of a good time. Thanks for the swap Gozer! XO  Kiss
53  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Plain old vanilla sock monkey. on: November 28, 2016 01:01:07 PM
I need one all of a sudden for a quick trade, good thing I made all those blanks! All I had to do was sew on the button eyes. No embellishments requested, not even a smile or a little heart. I did add nostrils though, heh.
Here she is in the studio which is under deep reconstruction, she's busy brightening up the place Smiley.

Plain Jane but still so stinking cute Wink.

54  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Ode to Chicken, for Quaggy :) on: November 26, 2016 04:46:28 PM
Sometimes you're in a swap with somebody who is not even your partner but you just get the itch to stitch for them, ye know? And sometimes you've made friends with somebody else who might just have that person's address and trust you with it... it happens now and then Wink.

This was for Quaggy, inspired by something in her pins that I really liked a lot and wanted to recreate, not exactly, just an inspired-by piece. It's been received now so I'm posting to see how many of you also have the quilt detail in your pins, ha ha.

Do you recognize the quilt detail it's from? The whole thing is really amazing, I could make little flags of every part of it! http://kimzsewing.blogspot.ca/2015/09/round-garden-with-wendy-williams.html

55  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / I am trying to find these gnome beads... on: November 13, 2016 07:55:17 AM

I have ONE left in my stash, no idea where I ordered them from previously but I can only find them now from an American etsy seller. No problem there except the shipping fee to Canada is OUTRAGEOUS! $20 worth of tiny beads (which would fit into the smallest padded envelop with room to spare) costs $20 shipping, ack! It could be sent with one stamp, lol. And that's in USD which will translate to much more in CAD. Sigh.

If anybody has seen them anywhere else please let me know. They are tiny, clay, made in Peru. I've seen other styles but these are the ones I like the best.

56  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Pokeberry on: November 02, 2016 12:50:25 PM
A friend invited me over to dye some wool yarn with her using pokeberries she'd collected in the wild. It was messy, it was smelly, it was awesome!

Here are the wasted berries after extracting colour in a vinegar and hot water simmer.

Beautiful, beautiful, vibrant colour. Just incredible!

Another batch is being fermented inside a pumpkin for 5 days, I'll have to wait to see how that turns out.

57  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Easy Peesy French Bread~ 4 ingredients, 1 hour! on: October 27, 2016 07:52:58 AM
I'm always looking for a faster way to make bread. I came across this recipe and gave it a try with great success:

I've made it quite a few times over the past couple of weeks and it really is fool-proof.
While the recipe doesn't call for much kneading, I found those loaves a bit too dense and chewy so I did knead for about 8 mins. I have baked at the 20 minute first rise mark and also allowed the bread to rise for an hour, punched down, then a second rise. I've oiled the bowl and saran wrap cover to see if it made a difference, I've added an egg, I've played with the ratios, a little less yeast, a little less honey. I've baked formed loaves and used bread pans. Always a success no matter what though sometimes additional rise in the oven makes for a wonky looking bread, lol. Even the kids have been able to help make this bread and I'm hoping they'll go on to make it on their own after a couple more bakes with me.

First try, this is a roughly formed loaf with only one 20 minute rise

58  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Crafting with kids... eww. on: October 17, 2016 12:33:48 PM
Always fun, often a little revolting.

Both of our small humans have an interest in sewing, we worked on needle books and pincushions in their choice of design as beginner projects.

I think they did amazingly well. I did help quite a bit with this first go and now that they've got some confidence and practice under their belts they're keen to make the next effort entirely on their own. Let's see what they do!

Patterns made up by us except for the tree stump, the free tutorial for that can be found here:
The only thing we modified was putting a disk of hard cardboard into the bottom of the stump to make it sit flat.
59  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Hipster coffee-lovin' sock monkey, ooh la la! on: October 04, 2016 09:21:35 AM
I just wing patterns so the first shirt made for the last sock monkey was too small. It fits this guy though. He's going to our friend's cafe.

Close up of the little angora beret.

According to my children his name is Alphonse, he enjoys reading, sketching, bike riding, puppies, and good conversation over coffee. Shade-grown, fair-trade, micro-roasted, organic brew, of course.

I wanted a skinny monkey this time so I cut the tail from between the legs, looks so wrong and so right all at the same time Cheesy.

The spiral ears are just a long rectangular piece of sock rolled into a snake then stitched into a coil like a snail.

Bit time consuming but easy enough to do and I think it looks pretty cool.
60  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Good iron reviews? on: September 23, 2016 09:22:20 AM
I'm looking at reviews online and they are so silly. The feature they all go on about is how light they are but, lol, heavy makes for better pressing!
Does anyone have an iron they find exceptional? I'd prefer 1700w but slightly less would be acceptable, and I would like some substantial weight. I often press without the steam (as learned in design college) so an iron that's only heavy when full with water just won't cut it.

Thanks so much for any info you've got, much appreciated  Smiley
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