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1  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Eggs are hard! on: March 21, 2009 08:57:57 AM
So I had this *great* idea that I would make felted Easter eggs for the DD's Easter baskets.  Easy, right?  Well, for some reason I simply cannot get the shape of the egg right!!
Anyone have some good hints for me that's worked for them? 
2  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Wanted: Any Crafts for Sister's Stroke Party (due: March 29) on: March 01, 2009 05:01:51 PM
Hello my friends. Craftster's been keeping me nice and distracted while I'm SUPPOSED to be working on a fundraising party for my sister. 
LOOOONG story short:  Last Feb 28 my sister had her first baby and four days later suffered a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed, kind of like an aneurysm). She ended up having brain surgery on her 35th birthday, spent 14 days in the ICU and another 60+ in the hospital. She owned a spa but has paralysis in her left hand so she had to close her business (10+ years in the making) in December.   Cry

I'm crafting my heart out for her silent auction, at the same time planning this small party for 400 people (YIKES...did I mention I have two kids and a full-time job?) so, I thought if any of you had NOTHING to do, or overstock in your stores you wanted to get rid of and wanted to donate to a good cause, I can put it to good use to help my sister with her medical bills and my niece with her education fund.  Here she is in all her glory.

You can PM me if you'd like to donate an item.  And I'll take anything, not JUST cowboy stuff. 

Where does the "cowboy" fit in this whole thing, you ask?   Well, since we're doing blackjack for fun during the party, we thought we'd go with a cards/saloon/cowboy theme.  And, since she had a stroke (in her brain) we're calling the party:
LOL.  I know it's a serious subject, but sometimes you just gotta laugh, right?

If you want to read more about this event and my sister, you can catch all the details at www.brainanza.com.

Thanks for listening!

P.S.  Kittykill -- I've been lurking on crafster for years, but just started my posts.  If I've done anything against the rules, apologies!! PM me and I'll fix it right away. 
3  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Idea: Animal Shelter pet bed from unwanted snowpants on: March 01, 2009 04:49:16 PM
Craftsters=my peeps. 
If anyone can understand how my random brain works, you guys can!  Here's an idea I came up with and am posting for all y'all animal shelter crafters to steal be inspired by.

1) I have a puppy that sometimes has sleepovers on my friend's farm. I wanted him to have a bed at the farm, but seeing how dirty & smelly he gets, was NOT going to buy one from a pet store.  I wanted one I could easily throw in the wash.
2) I was looking on craftster and saw some great ideas for pet beds out of towels and fleece. Still, I didn't want to buy new poly fill (yes I'm cheap!).  The posts described the cold concrete floor that most shelter animals have to sleep on.
3) One of my favorite places to shop is the "pay-by-the-pound" thrift store we have in town.  I have two young daughters and they need snowpants for home and school. I kept finding snowpants with one flaw-- you guessed it -- the knees worn out.  I thought it was a shame that these nice warm snowpants were discarded for 4 sq inches of imperfection.

So, add them all up, and what do you get?  Snowpants pet bed!

Why I love it:  Cheap (snowpants don't weigh a lot, so I can get them cheap at my favorite "store".  OR, just use the ones my kids have wrecked!).  Easily washable.  Warm and water resistant. Easily convertible, and it keeps stuff out of landfills!   

Next time I do one, I'll take more before & during pictures, or if I'm super ambitious write a tut, but for now, just use your imagination from the final photo. 
Basically, cut off legs, sew together to form one long tube, sew tube (now the bed's side) on to rear/bib part of snowpants (now bed's bottom).  Turn right-side out to hide the seams from those picky shelter kitties & puppies (just kidding) and you're done!  Someone more ambitious than me could easily whip up a dozen of these in a single afternoon. 

Enjoy and I hope that someone can take their love of crafting and passion for animals and upcycle cast-offs for good use especially as the snow starts to melt (soon, I hope, right?)

P.S.  If you're crafty and have a passion for stroke victims instead of/in addition to animals, stay tuned for my next post regarding my sister.

4  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 36 ENTRIES / Picture to Burn - Junior Division on: March 01, 2009 03:07:51 PM
Story behind the craft:
My daughter (8 years old) had so much fun needle felting for the Feb. Felted Monster contest (see here)
AND was so encouraged by your comments (thank you for saying such nice things!) that she was bugging me about when the NEXT contest is...keeping in mind she entered the last one only 72 hours ago.  Yikes. 

I told her about the craft your favorite song challenge. She immediately went through all her favorite songs and Taylor Swift is near the top.  She chose "Picture to Burn" because ever since I made my felted self-portrait (see avatar) she's been bugging me to make her one.  I (gently) suggested she DIYODS.  Smiley So, the burning picture is really her self-portrait vs. the boyfriend's picture as the song lyrics suggest.

She needle felted with wool roving with a wool scarf as her substrate.  (heh, I said "substrate".)

Kept her busy all afternoon!

Proud Mama moment:  I really like how she blended the different colors of roving to achieve the red/orange/yellow flames and I think her eyes are done really well for how small they are.  Actual size is about the size of a pea.

Although she doesn't expect to win (she said "Mom, those other entries are REALLY GOOD" and I had to explain that most entries were by crafters >8 years old, and to imagine how good she'll be with 10 years practice) she really does enjoy the confidence boost with all of the nice comments that the community leaves.  THANKS!

Selected lyrics from Taylor Swift's picture to burn (if you don't have a 'tween in your house, Taylor Swift is an 17? YO country artist). 

"In case you haven't heard
I really, really hate that

Stupid old pickup truck
You never let me drive
You're a redneck, heartbreak
Who's really bad at lying

So watch me strike a match
On all my wasted time
As far as I'm concerned
You're just another picture to burn

Burn, burn, burn, baby burn
Just another picture to burn"

5  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Monster Challenge 09 - Junior division on: February 27, 2009 03:28:12 PM
My daughter saw me felting up Brunhilda and she wanted to do her own thing.  So, she needle felted some Aliens.  One is 2-D and one is 3-D.

The story goes that the one with purple hair and blue horns thought she was the only alien on earth, so when she saw the blond hair pink-horned alien, she fainted!  Which explains why she's laying down. 

Don't tell social services I give my 8 YO felting needles!  She really likes it, so what the heck. 

Please leave nice comments as she's in 3rd grade, she can read!  Wink

6  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Monster Challenge 09 - Baby Doll Max and his lil' girl Brunhilda (IMG heavy) on: February 27, 2009 09:41:47 AM
I LOVE Craftster.  That being said, although I've lurked for years, this is my first post and first contest!

Of course, as I went to post the photos I caught the bit about fulled projects not being appropriate.  Great.  Typical of a creative to not read directions.  So, we'll put this one past the panel of judges:  I'm entering baby doll Max, who is 100% needle felted out of nothing but wool roving. 
Brunhilda, on the other hand, has a fulled body with needle felted appendages.  If I'm being honest, her body was an old sweater (notice how her mouth resembles the neck of a sweater?) that I cut apart and sewed, so I technically didn't KNIT the body for the purpose of a monster.  I bought the sweater at the thrift store with the purpose of making mittens but it felted up too thick and stiff and so the sweater is now a monster.  Regardless, I had tons of fun making her and collaborating with my two DDs.

This is Brunhilda and her baby doll, Max. You'll have to decide which one is the "monster". Brunhilda is a fulled felted monster with needle felted decorations. The only "foreign" material she has on her is one pipe cleaner in her tail. Other than that, it's all wool roving, wool yarn, fulled wool and thread.

This is Brunhilda's baby doll, Max. Max is made of 100% needle felted wool roving. He does not have any wires in him, he kicks his legs and raises his arms b/c of how the wool attached to itself. Although, when DH comes in the room and sees me jabbing a baby's knee with a sharp needle, he has to wonder...

No, Brunhilda, Don't EAT the baby!!

Here are some details
Brunhilda's mane is made from wool that wasn't corded (? combed...) it's still curly like it was on the sheep. Although, I don't believe that the sheep was this color purple. I love how it sticks out like a mohawk.

Here's her tail and a better shot of her three hands and many fingers. That's the great thing about fulled wool is that you can just cut it into shape.
Her tail DOES have a pipecleaner inside so that it sticks up. The side view picture of her mane is better

I thought her eyes turned out especially well. You can felt fulled wool to other fulled wool. It's a little tricky but sometimes it's all you've got!

Her teeth (and horns) are 100% needle felted. Hard to see in a photo. Her mouth is open and that's left over fulled wool inside. When I was making her, my daughters put her body over their head like a mask and looked out her mouth. Funny. I was thinking I might add wire around her mouth to shape it into different expressions, ie "happy monster", "sad monster", etc

Here are her fuzzy feet (I mean foot) w/ needle felted nails. I got the 3-d effect pretty easily by taking a good chunk of roving, felting the end, folding it back and felting the other end. Went around the edges for security and it puffs up nice in the middle.

What's a monster w/out a tattoo? This was my daughter's idea.

Tattoo #2. M is for her maker (me!).

Even if it's not contest-worthy, hope you enjoy none-the-less!
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