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1  General Sewing Featured Projects January, February & March 2013 in Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions by Aislynn on: April 02, 2013 11:54:51 AM
Congratulations to our featured projects for January, February and March 2013! The projects you stitchers come up with never fail to be AWESOME! Thank you for your wonderful contributions to our small corner of the Craftster community.

Palmistry Pillow by MissingWillow

Happiness = two kitty coin bags in the hoop by Lique

Mardi Gras Mask by tattfae

Keep the stitchy goodness coming!
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2  Belly Dance Bra-a work in progress in Costumes: Completed Projects by Aislynn on: February 09, 2013 11:16:54 PM
So I started covering and decorating a new top using supplies I was gifted for Christmas (I heart my family!)  Anyway, it's not completed yet, but I'm dying to share it anyway!  The one side is largely completed, and I feel like that counts for something.  I'm going to add more of those teeny tiny seed beads around the pearls, to tie all the gold tones together (and the base of it really is gold, not brown, stupid camera).

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3  Evolution of a mask in Costumes: Completed Projects by Aislynn on: February 01, 2013 06:30:42 PM

So I got a very last minute invite to a Mardi Gras masquerade.  I got the invite on Tuesday, and the ball is tomorrow.  I am incredibly short on funds, but the only real requirement of attendance is that you have to be wearing a mask.  No problem!  There are cheap masks all over this time of year.  But I wanted something special.  So I went to the party store and bought a two dollar mask.

I could have just left it, because it was actually kind of pretty.  But the jewel in the center was off-center, the weird bow thing was weird, and so were the weird designs under the eyes.  I thought, surely, I could do better.  Plus the plastic was rough around the edges.

So I trimmed up the edges a bit with a utility knife, primarily cleaning up the fleur-de-lis shape at the top.  Then I covered the entire thing in tissue paper, applying it with a water-glue mixture, like papier mache.  This is one of my favorite techniques, because it creates a great texture (if you want that) and it's easy, if messy, to do.  And it dries really well.

Then I painted it gold with just one coat of acrylic paint.  I could have done two, but with the yellow tissue underneath, it wasn't necessary.

This whole time, I left the original ribbons intact.  They're attached with brads, and they're black, so they're not a problem.  I briefly considered cutting them short (about 1") and sewing new ribbons on, but I want to hide them under my hair, so these are fine.  I could have replaced them with elastic, too.  The big pear shaped gems on the sides do a great job of covering the brads, which sort of tented the tissue paper a bit.

Anyway, paint dry, I used Aleene's Tacky Glue and a mechanical pencil to trace out where I wanted the glitter details.  A fine paintbrush would have been better, but I can't find mine, and the tip of the mechanical pencil was, well, almost as good, for getting the fine details.  I used my fingernails, too, to push the glue around into finer lines.  Then I sprinkled on superfine glitter.  I also glued on some flat back acrylic gems, for emphasis.  (The below picture was taken while the glue was still tacky--I used a big, soft, DRY paintbrush to brush off the excess glitter before moving on, after the picture was taken.)

I thought maybe I was done at this point.  But then I took some photographs and tried it on, and it seemed a little, well, subtle.  Subtlety isn't a virtue at Mardi Gras.  So (and if I had thought ahead, I'd have done this part FIRST, after painting the gold, but before doing the glitter details), I carefully spread watered down glue around the exposed gold areas of the mask with a paintbrush, and then finely dusted on an iridescent gold glitter.

The effect is dazzling!  I hope I can get some better pictures tomorrow in the daylight, but I was too excited not to share right away!
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4  New Shrine Challenge! Crafting Period: 8/20-9/23 in Discussion and Questions by Aislynn on: August 18, 2012 10:45:46 PM
Inspired by all of the amazing shrines you all have shared on the Miscellaneous boards, we're hosting a new Shrine challenge!

Your challenge is to pick something you love--it could be a person, a band, a season, an object, a  hobby--the sky's the limit, and then make a shrine for it! You can use any medium you'd like, and it can be any size.

Here are a couple examples of amazing shrines! 

The crafting period is from August 20th - September 23nd. Projects are due to be posted September 24 - September 30. Voting will be held October 1 - October 7, with a winner being announced on September 8!

The Fine Print
  • Projects must be handmade
  • Projects created before or after this timeframe will not be removed from the entry board, but will be excluded from the voting
  • An entry board will be opened on September 24 where you will post your projects
  • Post your craft during the period of September 24-30, no sooner or later
  • Each participant may enter ONE project

The winner of the Shrine Challenge will receive.....


- Box of glue dots
- Glitter alphabet stickers
- Washi stickers
- Tim Holtz labels
- Scalloped Scissors
- Random ephemera (post cards, old book pages, bingo card, map, flash card, gold tags)

Let us know if you have any questions. Have fun and be creative!
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5  Sewing Machine Review Raffle!!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Aislynn on: June 01, 2012 07:46:54 AM

    To encourage even more members to post a review of their sewing machine, we're hosting a raffle!

    Your objective is simple!  Just post a review of your sewing machine, embroidery machine, or serger.  Check out this board for a handy little survey you can use, and links to examples of reviews that have already been posted!  Sewing Machine Reviews

    You can include photos and even link to videos if you'd like!  The more information the better--remember, you may be helping other people to pick a new machine!

    The entry period is from June 1-June 30. Post your review any time during that period as a new thread on the Sewing Machine: Discussion and Questions Board. On July 1st, I'll put everybody's name into a hat (including the members who've already posted a review) and pick a winner!

    The Fine Print
    • The review must be in your own words, of a machine you've used yourself.
    • You may post as many reviews as you want, but your name will only be eligible once.
    • Post your review as a new thread on the Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions forum, even if the review is for an embroidery machine.
    • All members who have posted a review by June 30th will be eligible, excluding myself.

    The winner of the Raffle will receive a brand new Generation T Fix-It Kit, which includes an iron on star patch, 10 buttons, a pair of scissors, 5 thread colors, 6 needs, and 9 safety pins, exactly what any seamstress needs to save the day!

    Let me know if you have any questions. Have fun! [/list]
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    6  Stenciled DVD Case in Completed Projects by Aislynn on: April 26, 2012 12:48:49 PM
    This was just a silly little project I did for my MIL one Christmas.  DH burned her a bunch of DVD's, and she's a Disney fanatic, so I went to WalMart and bought a 50 disc case, but it was a little plain.  I cut out the famous Disney "D" and loosely taped it down to the front of the case.  I used different colors of puff paint and made dots all around it, and then let it dry.  Then I pulled up the paper stencil and touched up the edges.  It was easy, but a little time consuming, and I wish I'd used one more color of paint.  I also wish I'd have had more paint, period.  My original intention was to use a circle around the outside, and paint all the way out to the edge of the circle.  I started running out, though.  I also wish I had a better picture, but this should give you an idea.  It was just something a little different and MIL loved it!

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    7  Spider Embroidery in Needlework: Completed Projects by Aislynn on: April 26, 2012 12:43:52 PM
    I stitched this little guy up several months ago for a personal swap I did with Missing Willow.  My stepmother always told me that spiders protect the home, and it seemed like a sentiment that MW would appreciate.

    I lightly drew out the radiating lines of the web in pencil on my white muslin, then stitched them with stem stitch, and free handed the rest of the web, as well as the little spider, who is part back stitch and part satin stitch.

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    8  General Sewing Featured Projects January, February & March 2012 in Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions by Aislynn on: April 20, 2012 07:15:28 AM
    Congratulations to our featured projects for January, February and March! There's been a lot of activity around here lately, and this is a great opportunity to recognize some of our favorite crafters! Thank you for your wonderful contributions to our small corner of the Craftster community.

    Happiness is Easy Peasy tissue case in the hoop by Lique

    My First "In The Hoop" Project by NicoleMarie

    Bag for my mummikins by mrsflibble

    Keep the stitchy goodness coming!
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    9  White Chocolate cupcakes for spring! in Dessert by Aislynn on: April 15, 2012 09:44:58 AM
    We were having company and I thought it would be nice to bake something for them, and it just happened to coincide with this challenge!  Yay!

    I found this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and it seemed perfect: http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/07/white-chocolate-mud-cake-recipe.html

    I'm not really big on decorating, but I love baking and trying new things.

    Here's how they came out.

    I died half the icing green and used robin's eggs left over from Easter to be a little festive.  The white ones are the original icing per the recipe, with silk flowers.

    And here's the recipe from the website, with my own modifications/interpretations.

    White Chocolate Mud Cake

    300g white chocolate (I used a bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, less about a tablespoon)
    200g butter (two sticks less two tablespoons, and I added 1/4 tsp salt to my unsalted butter)
    250ml (1 cup) milk
    165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar (I couldn't find superfine sugar, so I just pulsed granulated sugar in my food processor)
    2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    100g (2/3 cup) self-raising flour
    150g (1 cup) plain flour

    Sour Cream and White Chocolate Ganache
    200g white chocolate (I used 2/3 of another bag of ghirardelli white chocolate chips, or 1 1/3 cups)
    88g sour cream

    Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (about 305 F).

    I used regular sized cupcake pans with liners.

    Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

    Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

    Add a cup (I just estimated) of the liquid to the flours and stir to make a paste.  Add another cup of the liquid and combine.  Add remaining liquid.  --  I can speak from experience, this helps keep lumps from forming, and it works great.  The batter ends up being rather liquid-y.

    I baked each pan for about 27 min.

    For the icing, melt the chocolate over low heat.  Remove from heat and add sour cream.  The result tastes really cheese-cake-y.

    I iced the cupcakes almost immediately, which is how I got a pretty smooth, almost fondant look for the white ones.  You can let it set up and whip it and then use it like normal icing, but I fail at using bags and tips, and I wanted these to look a little nicer, and this seemed a good way to do that.

    The result...delicious!
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    10  Horns! in Costumes: Completed Projects by Aislynn on: April 09, 2012 06:16:07 AM
    Hi everyone!  I've started working on a new photography project with my husband.  He wants to dress our friends up as contemporary fantasy creatures.  

    *New ones!*

    These were made with foam cones, cut on the diagonal and sections turned, I then wired and duct taped (yes, duct tape!  I couldn't find my glue gun and was worried about melting the foam anyway) together, then added onto with paper, and then papier mache'd over, using the tissue paper and watered down glue I used for the pair below.  Then they were painted black with silver veins.  The only other thing I did was to scoop out the base a little bit, to make sure it'll sit firmly against a head.  I'm really pleased with how these came out, because for a while they were looking iffy.  They're about 1' long, more or less.

    This is the first piece I've completed for him, but there will be several more to come!

    These little horns (which are currently sitting on top of a styrofoam bowl) were made out of polymer clay, and then covered with tissue paper drenched in a watered down glue (one of my new favorite papier mache' techniques, because of the texture it gives), and then painted.  This was my first time making horns, or combining poly clay with something else, or really doing papier mache' since I was a little kid, so there were a lot of times I was unsure, but overall, I'm very happy with how they came out!

    And, because I've posted these before, I figured I'd just add these into this post as well, I've made three pairs of these, which will be used for this same photo shoot, the rest will live in the dance studio where I take classes, which also hosts "princess parties".

    And three pairs of these, which will also be used for the photo shoot, and living in the dance studio.  This is a new design, but I think I'm going to tweak it.

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