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31  Re: Bead Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: December 29, 2004 07:18:49 AM
WOW I got a gorgeous bead stash from DithMer!

Including 2 polymer clay pendants which she made!  They are beautiful!  You can't tell this from the picture, but the blue one is a large disk of polymer clay and I think it has paper affixed to the front and if I'm not mistaken the flowers are hand drawn on.  At least, that's what it looks like!  I've never seen anything like it.  And I love the colors in the other one -- in general, I adore large pendants.

And all the other stuff is wonderful, too -- some wooden beads with flowers on them (2 pr), some nifty glass cane beads in red and black, dark red vintage-looking glass with patterns pressed into it, little tiny frames that it looks like you can put stuff in (ooh, the possibiilities are endless...) and all kinds of gorgeous stuff.  I see the wrapped blue ones with the spiraly lampwork ones in earrings to match the blue pendant... Thank you thank you THANK YOU for such a nice package!!!

Melinda  Smiley
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32  Re: Craftalong Un-swap part 2: embroidery in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: December 17, 2004 08:08:27 AM
Congratulations, chirel!!  Smiley

Well, with everything going on last month, I completely failed at making a purse last month.  But I just finished my embroidery project for this month!  I've done some embroidery before, so the craft itself is not something new for me to try, but what I did do that *is* new for me to try is embroidering without a pattern to go by.  I've done stuff like blanket stitch and other edging, but I've never tried to embroider freehand on something that needs to look like something at the end  Wink  So that's what this is, just freehanding as I went along.  It's a gift for someone who is a fan of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and I've had to explain it to several people, but on Craftster, there are tons of NBC fans, so I bet I won't have to explain...

It's on felt, and between the front and back pieces, I inserted a square of the thinner kind of craft foam, just to give it a bit of stability and thickness.  I had thought I would stitch a ribbon on the top so it could be hung as holiday decor, but I decided to leave it and let the recipient decide whether she wants to hang it or prop it up on a shelf or whatever.  It's about 6 inches across, more or less.

The lettering is 2-strand split stitch.  The present is 6-strand raised satin stitch (you put a few running stitches in to fill the shape before you do the satin stitch over it, which makes it sort of 3-D).  The toys are sort of like long-and-short stitch, but in a haphazard uneven sort of way, 3-strand.

Melinda  Grin
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33  Re: Game Pieces Swap in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: November 30, 2004 08:21:45 AM
HO-LEE CRAP!!!  Dixie_terror can be my swap partner any time!  I can't believe the bounty of coolness she sent me!  Sorry, but there are going to be a lot of pics:

I can tell you right now that my sister is going to be very envious of my blank book, featuring Peanut the Elephant, who is so very very cute.  I wish you could see that better in the photo. Both covers are made from the board, and some of the inside pages have lovely arty paper.   Here's what I love -- in the instructions for the Peanut the Elephant game, it says under "Object of the Game": "The player with the greatest number of points at the end of 3 games is Peanut's best friend" -- that is SO much better than just winning the game!  Who wouldn't want that??  Cool  Also shown in the pic are some old wooden checkers with the box (future jewelry, I think) and other bits from the Children's Hour combo box o' games -- the little green cards are for "ABC Fishing" and say things like "E is for Elephant".

There are some resin-and-colored-foil things, some are magnets and some have pinbacks (yippee!), and bee-yoo-tee-ful coasters, which are not game-related, but in the Martini Swap, dixie wasn't pleased with the olive coasters she sent -- frankly, I think both sets are awesome (see the Gallery for the olive ones).

excellent cards that were also part of the combo game set.  Again, I wish you could see them better in the photo.  They have characters like Mr. Durkey the Turkey and Woofy the Dog and at the top it shows the sound each makes, i.e. "CAW--CAW--CAW".  I like how "Smarty" the Donkey's name is in quotation marks, like it's meant to be a cruel joke, like he's not *really* that smart  Wink

Really neat little box -- I don't know if you can tell this, but the inside features cut-up Uno cards!  It took me a second to figure out what they were  Grin  I love love love the box!

And just so you see how much I love this kind of vintage game stuff, here is a game I have displayed in my home:


I can't wait to see what everyone else made!

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34  Re: Swingin' Martini Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: November 30, 2004 07:42:53 AM
I got the following SUPER-COOL package from dixie_terror:

The picture is sort of etched or painted on the glass, and then there is paper under the glass -- the photo doesn't do it justice.  The glasses have skulls on the stem!  There are a whole set of these.  There is also a whole set of the really cute olive coasters -- they are vinyl and felt, and for some reason dixie thought they came out wonky, but she is so wrong!  And then there is this great tiny ring binder to fit index cards, and some drinks recipes to start off with.  I love this binder, what a great idea!.

Thanks so much!!

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35  Re: PlaceSaver Bookmark Swap in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: November 30, 2004 07:19:01 AM
I received bookmarks from princess_me and anniekate a few days ago:

I certainly can't argue with princess_me's sparkly sentiment!  Wink  The picture shows both the front and back of the one from anniekate (Photoshop trickery) -- what you can't tell from the picture is that what's on the "holes" are lists of books that have been banned.  EXCELLENT!  I had fun trying to pick out ones I recognized.  Oh, and she made up that snappy slogan all by herself  Cool

Then I also got an extra package from QueenofSwords because hey, she's my sister, and really, I made some for her too, but (a) I haven't finished them and (b) they are nowhere near as cool as these:

It's a good thing our *other* sister was in town visiting, so she could explain to me how the ribbon one works because I am a spaz.  Too cool!

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36  Re: The Nifty Earring Swap (Sign up closed, Mail by Nov. 20) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by xmelinda on: November 23, 2004 06:26:24 AM
Yay!  So glad y'all like them  Smiley

I think these are the ones I sent to greenfish:

And I just realized I never checked my mail yesterday!  Dangit!  I have to wait all day to see if I got goodies...

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37  The Craftster Spirit, circa 1973 in Vintage Craft Projects by xmelinda on: November 19, 2004 01:58:03 PM
Here is an ad from a 1973 Woman's Day magazine.  I just thought the text was right in line with the spirit of Craftster.  I'll type it out, since you probably can't see it in the picture:

"Arts & Crafts Today.  It's the gift of self-expression.  And that's a perfect gift for the girl in the difficult-to-find-something-for age group.  She'll get more out of each kit than we put in, like countless pleasurable hours learning a new skill and the fun of creating a beautiful finished product.  There are 22 kits in all, including Weaving, Cork Craft, and Needlepoint.   You don't even have to know her size, because Arts & Crafts Today fits all girls from 7 to 15.  Arts & Crafts Today.  Useful Skills Tomorrow."

I would only edit to say that Arts & Crafts fits all girls AND BOYS at ANY age!

Melinda  Smiley
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38  Re: PlaceSaver Bookmark Swap in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: November 19, 2004 07:37:02 AM
Okay, Marty (my sister, remember) knows she is not the biggest procrastinator in the world, because she knows *I* hold that title.  I have had her birthday present sitting at my house since -- well, when is your birthday, Marty?  It was in MARCH.  I finally got it all boxed up and then it's been sitting for another many weeks in the box!  But guess what --  I actually have it with me today and it's going in the mail.  I know, I've said it before, but...

Anyway, here are the awesome bookmarks from recyclednew.  The one that is shaped like a little dress has 2 different papers on either side, the one that looks like stamps, and the other side looks like old letters and pressed flowers.  In the picture, the wire one looks black, but it's really a cool dark purply blue color.  Did you freehand that wire??  It occurs to me that I scanned it upside down, though, because obviously the dangly bit goes at the top.

I'm mailing mine out today, btw.  No procrastinating  Roll Eyes

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39  Re: The Nifty Earring Swap! in The Swap Gallery by xmelinda on: November 16, 2004 08:24:02 AM
More gorgeous earrings!  These are from heroinechic -- I think the colors go with pretty much everything I own, and yet, miraculously, I do not already have *anything* similar!  I love them!  Ooh, so dangly...

Thank you heroinechic!

Melinda  Grin
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40  unbelievably easy crocheted purse in Crochet: Completed Projects by xmelinda on: November 14, 2004 06:24:57 AM
I bought some super-bulky yarn to make a hat for my husband (Lion Wool-Ease Thick N Quick) but it was just too bulky and I couldn't get it to work how I wanted.  So, since my mom's birthday was coming, I decided to see if I could use the yarn to make her a purse.  I made this purse, seriously, in one evening while watching a couple of movies.  I tried to line it, but couldn't get that to work right -- but the yarn is so heavy-duty, I'm not sure it even needs a lining. 

All I did was make a starting chain the width I wanted the purse to end up, then just did single crochet with an N hook until it was long enough to fold in half and have a foldover flap.  I used the yarn to sew up the sides.  I made the strap by just making one long row of half-double, and sewed it on with yarn.  Then I used a smaller needle to single crochet the fun fur around the flap edge, and sewed the button on with embroidery thread.  The button came from my mom's antique button stash.  And my mom LOVES that lime-green color in all things  Smiley

The only other advice I would give for making a purse like this is to make it just slightly bigger than you think you want it.  Since it's flat and doesn't have a gusset, you need a little bit of fabric leeway to have enough room inside once you start actually putting stuff in it.  I just kept folding it over and putting my hand inside to see if it was long enough yet.

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