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1  Re: Curiosity Cabinet Swap Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: March 13, 2017 11:18:57 AM
Im kinda bugging out in the most delightful way! over my swap box from artsycandice, which arrived just when I most needed a little shot of magic!  Wrapped in flamingos and curiosity, Candice delivered the perfect package!

The first item was an embroidered hoopla that, like a lot of great art, was an embellishment of sorts.  Sheepblue had silkscreened the original image.  Then Candice embroidered around it and framed it.  As a reporter, I have to say I laughed at the visual of a fly on the wall!

This delicate item is from a sculpture she carved, then made a mold of, and cast in hydrostone.  This is about 4 inches long.  Isnt it incredible?  It looks like an ancient Greek carving in marble.  

And this guy  I dont know if Ive mentioned this somewhere, ir it was just a happy accident, but I love cicadas!  I hated cicadas when I was a kid; the sound was overwhelming and they seemed kinda creepy.  But as Ive gotten older and Ive learned more about them the 17-year cicadas seem well named  - Magicicada

Heres another view check out the fabulous red eyes and the detailed veining on the wings!

And then, Candice threw in a little lagniappe the tiniest of perfect bird skulls, mounted on its own little plaque!

Heres the whole megillah.

Altogether, a truly wonderful package!  Im so happy, Candice!
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2  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: February 05, 2017 08:27:26 AM
Welcome back, re-joiners!

I recently came across the file where I keep my final tallies -- fun to see what projects I made and posted back in 2010!

Here's my latest...

5. Pyramid sachets
Using up stash and harvest from my own front yard!

These are big sachets, about 5 tall, made out of old upholstery samples in beautiful satin in blues and greens, then stuffed with lavender from my garden (and a little stuffing, otherwise it would have been about 1 1/2c of dried flowers!)

6. Sofa cover

Doesnt look like much (basically a large rectangle of fabric, hemmed with a length of elastic around the corners to hold the top and the bottom covers on).  But, as the owner of increasingly pissy elderly cats, it possesses a secret joy a layer of waterproof fabric inside

7. Batwing scarf

A fun, fun pattern although I was biting my nails when I dropped the stitches the length of the knitting  The pattern is called Dragon wing, but since I made it for a fan of HP Lovecraft, I see it as an homage to Ol Batwings himself the Great Cthulu

Ive been working on a few things, including a big kitchen project Ive wanted to do for years.  Heres a little teaser on that one

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3  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 21, 2017 06:41:27 PM
I love all the practical bags, and the bee letters are beautiful!

Thanks for all the compliments on the shaving stand.  I had a lot of fun with that.  Also wrapping up from last year, I have another piece of refinished furniture

3. Bestafaders table

Back in the 1930s my grandfather, or Bestafader, made a little table just for my father and his twin brother.  Its seen a lot of use over a lot of generations, but eventually it cracked, and one end broke off.  My sister carefully saved the pieces, and I repaired it and gave it a top-to-bottom cleaning

It's very ingenious construction, knock-down long before IKEA came along.  And the top is mostly bird's eye maple -- beautiful work.  I have a lot of respect for my grandfathers work.  A few coats of finish and its ready for the next generation!

4. The Cobblers Daughters Scarf

You know how they say the cobbler children have no shoes?  Despite all the knitting I do, when single digit temperatures hit the first week of January, I realized I had nothing to bundle up in!  So I used up a whole skein of Scarfie and made myself just that!

I have some more things that are neeeeeearly finished....just need buttons, or some elastic, or a seam... and some time!
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4  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 18, 2017 09:04:01 AM
I have a few things I'm actually wrapping up from last year, so this week I'll have a flurry of posts before I settle down to my more plodding...er... deliberate pace!

January challenge
This was actually not as hard as I'd thought it would be.  For some reason, the mantra of paring down and loving more is getting thru to me -- or maybe it's the fact that I've lived in this house for 7 years now, and there are still areas where stuff is just sitting in piles.
I decided I could get rid of stamps I had accumulated over the years, so I packed the box up to give it to a friend.  Then I decided to go thru it, just to be on the save side.  I figured she sisnt want the ones of my name, or my sisters.  And armadillos are sort of a family joke. and Alice in wonderland is a play on my nameandandand
Ultimately tho I sent my sister the one with her name and put the rest back, keeping only the ones I had carved for Christmas cards when I was a starving grad student, featuring my cat of nearly 20 years.  I have no idea what Ill do with those, but thats for the next round of clearance.

Dont know what craft Ill take up. Ill see what speaks to me!  In the meantime, heres the first batch of things.

1. Refinished shaving stand
This has actually been in the works for a loooong time.  Years and years ago a roommate left me with this ungainly little box on legs with a mirror stuck on top.  I had no idea what it was, but I lugged it along for several moves.  Eventually I was told it was an antique shaving stand, with the little drawers and compartment for shaving paraphernalia.  I began stripping the 4 count em; 4! layers of paint off and found it was a beautiful tiger stripe oak underneath.

Thats all I did with it until last year.  After successfully re-finishing the quarter-sawn oak rocking chair, I brought this stand into the woodshop.  I ended up having to remove, re-glue and rest the top, and sanding it smooth took off a lot of the stain, so I had to trial and error a new stain.  

A label on the underside of one drawer indicates it was made in Cincinnati, where I grew up, by a company that went out of business in the Depression.  Its still an odd little piece, but beautiful as well.  And, with four coats of finish, I know its going to keep looking good for a while!

2. Soft pretzels

I dont think Ive made soft pretzels since I was a teenager, babysitting a large family for long stretches of time.  I couldnt find that recipe, but Alton Brown has a great one.  I managed to get a shot of the last two my co-workers are very hungry people!

A few more projects tomorrow, once I get some good pictures!
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5  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 02, 2017 01:17:23 PM
AIMR - I love your socks.  And the shark slippers are awesome!

One last entry for 2016  This wasnt the traditional hands-on crafting exactly; I used Shutterfly to produce these calendars.  But I spenthours on each, collecting the images, searching for just the right quotes, compiling dates and history.

The first was a Reading Women for my niece, who has become a bit of a competitive reader.  Inspired by a similar idea she bought me several years ago, this has a deliberately more diverse set of images and quotes taken from books and authors I know have meant a lot to her.

The second was for my mother, whose dementia is slowly but surely progressing.  Each month had a different theme; her father, her wedding, the grandchildren, etc.  With lots of birthdays and family facts.  Sorry the pictures are so dark; I forgot to take pictures until the evening, and she enjoys mood lighting in her room!

It was a great year -- and my fingers are itching to get into some new struff this year!
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6  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 02, 2017 12:10:24 PM
I'm in!

I've got lots of ideas, but we'll see what develops!

January: Cabinet of Curiosities Swap
February: Middle Earth Swap (fake joining)
               Herbs/Herbalism Swap (fake joining)
March: Cabinet of Curiosities Swap

7 things done so far this year....
Refinished shaving stand...soft pretzels...Bestafader's little table...cobbler daughters scarf...pyramid sachets...sofa covers...batwing cowl

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7  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: December 30, 2016 05:17:46 PM
So many great things!  I love the gelato shirt -- it's so crisp and detailed.  For some reason it reminds me of 1970's pop art! 

The patches on the binder are beautiful.  I'm even more impressed by embroidery than I used to be.  And that little bird is so sweet!

Here's getting close to the last of mine for 2016.  Still a few things I haven't photographed, including some gifts I'm really proud of.  But here's what I've got -- going back to last month!

40.  Pumpkin/banana bread
More experiments with food

Pumpkin spice bread with a sweet cheese layer was a hit, and Im still working on the recipe.

41. Slow Cloth/Boro patches swap
I had a great deal of fun in this embroidery swap, trying out a new craft.  I made three very different patches.  I imagine Ill be posting more better work in 2017!

42. Meringues
Lots of baking in that last few months of the year.  A bad picture of  ginger and chocolate chip meringues.

Not shown, but even more fantastic rose cardamom meringues.  My new gold standard for decadence!

43. Pies
Thanksgiving isnt Thanksgiving without pies, right? We had pecan, rhubarb/ginger, sour cream apple and sweet potato

But they dont always have to be pies  I had enough filling but not enough piecrust for a third sweet potato pie, so I simply poured it into little ramekins.  I left them in the oven a little longer than I meant to, and the edges began to carmelize a little, turning into this wonderful, chewy, crust.  Accidents like that are the best way to move a recipe forward!

44. Thanksgiving slaw

And speaking of accidents you need something to cut all the sweet, rich, tastes of Thanksgiving.  Hence this impromptu slaw, with dried cranberries, and slivered almonds.  I actually wrote this one down, to remember it for next year!

45. Cushy cowls
If you like to knit, be sure to check out the Purl Soho site sometime.  Their yarns are sumptuous, but waaay out of my price range, but their free patterns are always fun.  (And they like bulky yarn!)  I made this pattern:  https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2016/01/04/cozy-cable-cowl/ in alpaca for my sister, and bulky merino for my sister-in-law. 

46. Winter wood duo
Some Christmas knits start with no plan at all.  I had a boring weekend with nothing to do, and an enormous skein of Scarfie yarn. I still have half a skein of that yarn

47. Cookie plates
Every year I make up a dozen cookie plates for friends and neighbors.  I start by making one kind of candies, or one kind of cookies in an evening.  Like this batch of Danish fruit cookies (4 dozen!)

As soon as I have 4-5 varieties, I start putting together plates, and dropping them off as Christmas Eve gets closer.  The plates are all a little different, depending on what I have on hand, which is great.  Every surface in my relatively large kitchen is covered in cookies for several weeks, which is not so great!  Here's some of the smaller plates for my single neighbors...

Im got a few more things I havent gotten pictures of that Ill probably post Monday.  It's been a fun year!
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8  Re: Slow cloth/boro embroidery patches - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: November 05, 2016 03:00:33 PM
Wonderful patches arrived from playswithneedles, and are sooo detailed!
She also went with the botanical theme, which I think I expressed about six ways on my questionnaire.

I really like the dandelion head; I think it works.  I like the color.scheme.as.well - orange is not an easy.color to play with!

But the more monochromatic patch is where the real stitching really shines!
The stitching is so tiny and precise!  Each of the smaller patches is.distinct.  
I particularly like this green and rose leaf skeleton onto what seems like cheesecloth the - how on earth did you do that?

As if they weren't enough, playswithneedles sent some extras, beautiful butterflies ready to be embellished and added to another project!

All in all, beautiful work!  Thank you very much, playswithneedles; these are really inspiring!
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9  Re: 50 Projects 2016---Busy Hands are Happy Hands! in Craftalongs by yofi on: November 04, 2016 04:23:42 PM
Craft the vote, AIMR!

I've got a few swap things pending, but *this* is finally moving off my front porch...

39.Re-do K's dresser

This summer a young friend of mine moved into her first real apartment with her daughter.  She was short on -- pretty much everything, so when another friend offered to drop off a free dresser, I was thrilled.  This is what she dropped off, after I peeled off the 1970's vinyl decals and started scraping off a few layers of ill-advised wall paint.

And this is what it looks like now!  After several coats of palest pink (regrettably, in wall paint again) multiple coats of acrylic matte finish, and black high-gloss painted wooden knobs.

It's not heirloom furniture, but it's sturdy, it's useful -- and now it's pretty, too!
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10  Re: Knitted Knockers Knitalong for Breast Cancer survivors! in Knitalongs by yofi on: November 03, 2016 11:12:44 AM
Unfortunately, I think it is a bit too rough.

I like KnitPicks Comfy worsted, and got two bewbs out of a $3 skein of yarn.  The big crafts stores (like Michael's and JoAnn's) don't carry it, but shipping is just a couple of bucks for a few skeins.

Two other yarns that are great at Lion brand Cotton Ease, which should give you 3-4 bewbs per skein, and CottonTots if you can find it.  (It's discontinued, but I seem to come across it in all sorts of places.)

I'm nearly finished with my lot for this year.  I had a big swap in the middle of October, which cut into my knitting time, but I finished 14 since the beginning of September.  Half of them are going to a drive on Ravelry, and the other half are going to a local charity that  distributes them.

It's been a lot of fun, and I hope you folks had some fun with the pattern.  I'll be back same time next year with another knit-along!

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