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21  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Black & white pet portraits on: December 28, 2016 01:18:59 PM
I painted these three portraits for different family members for Christmas - they are all beloved pets that have passed away in the past year and a half.

Zeke the tiny poodly:

Tiggar the 19 year old tabby:

And Lottie the rescue mutt:

They were all so well received, it made my heart grow 3 sizes that day. <3

Here's all three together -

My technique for these was to edit a photo of them, giving it very high black/white contrast. Then I pencil traced a very rough outline from my computer screen. My skills aren't quite up to freehanding it completely, or at least not without taking a much longer time doing it. I found this method gave me enough of a base drawing to get all the shapes right, while still giving me creative leeway for the paint shading. I only used black acrylic paint in various watered-down states.

It may be hard to see in this picture, but here is my faint pencil tracing for Zeke:

And the finished paintings compared to my edited photos:

This was one of my favorite projects I've done in a long time!
22  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Snowflake sweater stocking on: December 11, 2016 12:07:06 PM
This one went out to edelC in the Christmas stocking swap round 12. It's made almost entirely with wool - merino and cashmere sweaters and variegated sock yarn for the embroidery.

I serged all the sweater pieces together and reinforced a few wonky areas. The snowflakes were all freehanded - I was trying to get as many different designs as I could come up with! Some were more successful than others. Here are some of my favorite bits:

It was a very fun project, and inspiring to work on.
23  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Black bean, butternut, & spinach skillet on: December 08, 2016 09:15:29 AM
This is a fairly quick and easy one-pot meal that I found online here and tweaked to fit what I had on hand. It was pretty tasty and satisfying!

I like when food blogs do the ingredients shot - much easier for me to take in than just a written list, so I'll do both here.

Butternut squash - about half a squash, diced
Onion - one, diced
Jalapeno - one, minced
Garlic - 6 cloves, minced
Black beans - one can, drained
Rotel tomatoes - one can (I had homemade from last year)
Spinach - about 4 oz fresh (more than half of the bag in the picture)
Spices - smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander -  1 teaspoon of the first, 1/4 tsp of the rest
Cheese - grated, for topping

Not pictured - olive oil, salt & pepper

In a large skillet, heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion, squash, jalapeno, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to your taste, and cook until the onions soften (about 5 minutes).

Add the black beans, tomatoes, and spices and cook until the squash is soft (about 10 minutes). There should be enough liquid for it to be bubbling nicely, but if it seems dry then add some water or broth.

The last minute of cooking, add the spinach and stir it in so it wilts.

Serve hot so your cheese topping gets melty. Yum!

24  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Little birdie in the rain - collage painting on: May 13, 2016 09:22:22 AM

blupaisan and I took a collage painting class together - she made this lovely lady while I created this springtime scene.

I found some great handmade papers to use for the branch and foliage that gave me a nice soft texture. And the black parts of the bird are all tissue paper.

The background papers are from an old french book that a local teacher was giving away - I loved the look of yellowed pages. The edges of the canvas are also black tissue paper, kind of like a frame.

Most of what you see is paper layered over a base painting. The paint shows through a bit in places, but it was mostly a guide for where I should lay my colored papers. Here is just the paint layer before I started collaging.

You can see up there a printout of my reference picture - photo of a prothonotary warbler by Paul Jones on flickr.
25  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Wisteria over the garden fence - Collage on: May 04, 2016 06:33:34 PM
I made this as part of a collage painting class last fall! It was a very fun experience. (In fact I took it again this spring with blupaisan - I still need to post that finished project, but seeing as how I'm just now posting this one from October, you might have to wait a bit!)

The flowers are made from painted pages (text and plain), some fancy handmade and tissue paper, and some fabric at the back.

White papers are from an old Shakespeare collection (these are all from The Tempest if I remember correctly), and the dark text I saved from a gift bag years back. This is why I have trouble getting rid of things, because sometimes I'll find a use for one thing in twenty!

I also put some lace down the rails, and up the sides.

Inspired by this image:

Thanks for checking it out!
26  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Moray eel cutie on: May 02, 2016 04:41:21 PM
I made this hoop for the One Tiny Unloved Creature Swap. My partner roler loves moray eels, and even has a cute photo blog of stuffie eels on adventures! So I knew I wanted to create something with that.

I used this photo by Fred Bavendam for reference, and somehow wound up shortening the snout... so I don't know if it looks weird now? But I still like it!

I made tiny french knots for the mottling on the back.

And tiny teeth!

I'm happy I got to stitch this lovely critter for the swap, because I'm sure I would never have thought to do it otherwise.
27  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Vermont + Virginia lattice stitching on: February 11, 2016 07:40:53 PM
So I was born in Vermont, and my partner was born in Virginia. My idea for this piece was to match up the two cities by overlaying the state outlines, and mixing the color schemes for each one where they overlap, the way our two lives are now mixed. Is that too much sap?

I learned three different lattice fills, and I gotta say it's pretty fun to watch them take shape as you go! Check out Needle n' Thread - that's where I found the ones I used.

I actually did the stitching almost a full year ago, and I finally got it together to finish the piece by making a pillow that I'll give him for Valentine's Day.

I tried to pull in all the colors from the thread, and used a few things from my scrap stash. I like how it turned out, and hope he does too!

It's just throw pillow sized, 10 by 15 inches. The back is envelope style.

Thanks for checking it out!
28  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Monthly Theme Dotee Gallery - December 2015 on: January 02, 2016 07:50:33 AM

Swap thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442018.0

blue = sent
green = received
purple = sent and received
orange = sending late with communication
strikethrough = feedback given

Acadian Driftwood - cmarion3
blupaisan - Sarasmile
emilywilde - The Raging Sloth
Ludi - Wile E Songdog
DearBluebird - alwaysinmyroom
Wulf - artsycandice
29  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Monthly Dotee Swap - December ~Personal~ (CLOSED, Sendout Jan 9) on: December 01, 2015 06:48:48 PM

Dotee made by sajona in the Resolution round

Gallery: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442355.0

Swap name: Monthly Theme Dotee Swap - December 2015
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Acadian Driftwood
Sign-up date range: December 1 - 11
Date to send package by: January 9

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No

Additional Age requirement? No

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Has more personality than a potato: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

In this swap you will make your partner one Dotee doll in the theme of...


For this month's theme, we will get to know our partners a bit better. In the questionnaire, you will tell your partner a little about yourself, things like your hobbies, skills, passions, jobs, where you live, and if you like, a picture of you. With this information, your partner will create something based on your life. It could be a little mini-you, or one of your pets, or a representation of one of your hobbies (like a paintbrush dotee if you're an artist, a potted plant for a gardener, or a microscope slide for a scientist). Let's celebrate what makes us each unique!

This is a monthly swap, but you do NOT have to join in each month's round! Feel free to only join in for themes you love, or to pass on months when you have no spare time.

Discus future themes and get updates for the next months here.

Shipping: For shipping within the USA - please get a tracking number for your package. Non-US packages - please save your receipt as proof of sending. When you send AND receive, please remember to PM your partner and the organizer, Acadian Driftwood. Posting in the swap thread is not enough!

What is a dotee?

A dotee is a mini art doll, meant to be traded or swapped. The dolls 6" tall or smaller, but the hanger or tail can exceed that measurement. They have a face, but do not require arms or legs (unless that's part of your design). Dotees have a loop for hanging, and some come with tails (tails are fibers, ribbon, charms or other string-y things that add to the theme of the doll), and can be made from a variety of materials - fabric, felt, paperclay, yarn, beads, gourds or any other material/media that you can make a doll from. Most dotee makers add buttons, beads, sequins, embroidery, or charms to embellish the doll.

Check out the galleries from previous dotee swaps to get some ideas:

Round 1 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=250388.0
Round 2 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=257571.0
Round 3 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=273862.0
Round 4 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=295530.0
Round 5 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=304600.0
Round 6 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=313711.0
Round 7 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=322303.0
Round 8 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=334100.0
Round 9 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=343255.0
Round 10 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=352058.0
Round 11 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=362477.0
Round 12 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=407884.0
Round 13 - https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=416850.0

Harry Potter Dotee Swap: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=383921.0
Character Dotee Swap: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=376251.0
Resolution Dotee Swap: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=402164.0
Fall Dotee Swap: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435315.0
Holiday Dotee Swap: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=436783.0
MDS January (Fauna): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437871.0
MDS February (Flora): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=438176.0
MDS March (Celestial): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=438496.0
MDS April (Fandom): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439022.0
MDS May (Music): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439387.0
MDS June (Ocean): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439769.0
MDS July (Around the World): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=440072.0
MDS August (Culinary): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=440443.0
MDS September (History & Myth): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=440774.0
MDS October (Literary): https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441321.0

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:


Name of swap: Monthly Dotee Theme Swap - December 2015
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address (how it is written on a letter) including the country:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Will you get a confirmation/tracking number for your package if sending within the USA, or keep your receipt if not?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old:
Confirm that you have posted in the swap thread:
Do you have any allergies?
Do you have any allergens in your home?
Who were your partners in other Monthly Dotee swaps this year?

Pop quiz: what is the size requirement for dotees?

Personal questions!

What's it like where you live, and who do you live with?

What are you good at?

What are some of your favorite pastimes?

What do you do for employment?

What are some things you're passionate about or obsessed with?  

What are some of your favorite things?

Are you willing to share a picture of yourself with your partner? Please link here:

Do you have a pinterest or etsy favorites that your partner can see? Please link here:

Is there anything you do not want to receive? (materials, themes, etc.)

Anything else you'd like to add?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

List of participants:

Acadian Driftwood
The Raging Sloth
Wile E Songdog


Acadian Driftwood - cmarion3
blupaisan - Sarasmile
emilywilde - The Raging Sloth
Ludi - Wile E Songdog
DearBluebird - alwaysinmyroom
Wulf - artsycandice
30  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Monthly Theme Dotee Gallery - November 2015 on: November 27, 2015 06:21:47 PM

Swap thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441359.0

blue = sent
green = received
purple = sent and received
orange = sending late with communication
strikethrough = feedback given

cmarion3 - Wulf
Wile E Songdog - emilywilde
blupaisan - The Raging Sloth
Acadian Driftwood -> Ludi -> Sarasmile
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