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21  Re: International Snack Swap 6 (Signup Jan 14th- Feb 10th Sendout Mar 12th) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Listessa on: February 17, 2013 01:59:55 PM
I was thinking of the same thing about the things you have Down Under!  Wink 

I didn't think these would make it through customs, but I thought it was something cool to post a picture of:

Moose antler shed dog chews!  The bull (male) moose shed their antlers during the winter, so you can find them in the woods.  Apparently someone got the idea to cut them down into smaller pieces for dogs to chew on.  Pretty darn cool! 

Chalk it up to Crazy Alaskan Stuff.   Grin  I'll behave and not post a picture of the bar that has the naughty words hidden in the logo and "happy bears." 

I better get going now to the grocery store, it looks like it's snowing again.
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22  Beaded Triangle Boxes in Beads: Completed Projects by Listessa on: February 07, 2013 01:21:43 AM
I had a couple of fairly involved projects lately.  My Mom's birthday was February 4th, and my work partner, Betty, had her birthday on the 6th.  Both of them love purple, so I ended up stitching two (slightly) different triangle boxes. 

I made one for my Mom first, since I had to mail it out in advance.  Unfortunately she decided to change her plans, so even though it arrived on her birthday, she wasn't home.  It looks like she will get home in the morning (the 7th) so I'll get her reaction soon.

The feet and lid pull are amethyst cut with little facets.  It is peyote stitched size 11 delica beads.  The pictures came out fairly well color-wise. 

Lid Top.

Inside, plus soda tab for size.

Open Box!

Yes, my apartment is small and I have a ton of stuff on my shelf. 

I showed Betty my Mom's box before mailing it and she adored it.  What she didn't know was that I had already started one for her!  Wink  She was thrilled to bits when she opened it!  The lid wasn't quite done, so I only wrapped the body of the box and let her open it on her birthday.  She laughed when I explained I needed to steal it back to do the last 6 rows on the lid, but didn't mind.  I finished the lid tonight and rewrapped the whole thing!

Betty's box has slightly different colored beads, these pictures came out kind of crappy.  I'm not really sure why.  I think my boyfriend used up the camera batteries taking pictures of the bunny.
Her box includes darker purples, one is translucent and the other metallic.  The gold is darker than the gold I used on my Mom's, and the light bead is a gold lined. 

I tweaked the picture a little, and the true color is sort of between this one and the prior photo.

Picture failure, but the pattern is really cool.  Pretend it isn't blurry anymore.

Slightly different pattern on the inside hem of the lid than what I did on my Mom's.

Betty's box taught me some lessons.  I need some of that fray resistant line when using the translucent beads.  The brighter purple thrashed my Silamide, so I had to keep restarting threads (UGH!) and going back if the beads started gapping from a broken line in the middle of the pattern- ie more starts and stops (ARGH!!!).

Not bad for my first couple of boxes.  Until now I stuck to regular cylindrical peyote pouches and pen sleeves.  If only I could find time to make something to keep!
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23  Beaded Snowflakes in Beads: Completed Projects by Listessa on: February 07, 2013 12:50:42 AM

I had a lot of fun making beaded snowflakes as little Christmas (and a couple of birthday) gifts for friends and family.  Instead of plain white and clear, I decided to go with the recipients favorite colors.  I spend too much time looking at real snow this time of year anyway!

The first picture is of the whole group.  Here are some more detailed shots:

Those are the smaller snowflakes.

There are the big ones!

They were really fun to make, and a quick project.  I was impressed, since I had never really gotten into bead netting.  Smiley  They were a big hit!
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24  Re: FOC Second Chance Wishlist Rd 3 **Gallery** in The Swap Gallery by Listessa on: December 03, 2012 08:17:09 PM
I got a wicked cool package from Dynamine in the mail today!  Cheesy
Thank you so much!  It's been really rough for me lately, so this came right at the right time for a pick me up. 

No unwrapped pictures, since I took a couple and now think I accidentally deleted them.  Whoops!  Sorry.  Sad  It was cute blue tissue. 

I just adore everything.  Smiley 
There's a wonderful needle book that is strawberry shaped.  The cover has such cute stitching for the leaves, and BEADS!  I'm a real sucker for beads.  It's just adorable.  Bear with me, I love needle books and it's just perfect.

I got such a huge kick out of the needlebook I took a few pictures.  The stitching on the leaves is just darling, and again, seedbeads as the seeds!

Includes some needles pre-stashed.

Very well put together.  I can't wait to fill it up later tonight! 

A neat microwaveable heating pad- I've wanted one of these for ages and it's awesome!  She did a really great job too, it's made of fleece and flannel so it is very soft.  The colors are so perfect too!  Obviously, since it nearly blends into my couch...   Grin  I can't wait to curl up with it after dinner.  I'll have to watch out and make sure my boyfriend doesn't try to steal it on me!

A bunch of super shiny and lovely DMC light effects threads to play with!  Plus a couple of cute little hoops and some silver embroidery thread too!  Smiley 

Finally she put in an adorable wolf pattern too.  Can't go wrong with wolves for me.  Wink

Even my rabbit, Thor, got a huge kick out of the box.
I kept missing the time he spent with his head in the box digging at the tissue wrapping!  I'm really not a hoarder or anything, I just keep some boxes and stuff around in the area when I have him running around.  It keeps him busy.   

Thank you a million times over, dynamine!  Your package is fantastic, I really can't believe this is the first one of those heat pads you have ever made.  It came out wonderfully! 
I'm so glad you were my partner.  Smiley  Welcome back to swapping!
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25  Beadwork Leather Pouch in Beads: Completed Projects by Listessa on: November 26, 2012 09:39:45 PM
Here's the main item I created for a Secret Santa swap on another forum.  My swapee wants to get into doing mountain man or voyager style reenactments in Wisconsin area set around the mid to late 1800s.

I didn't have enough time to make a bandolier bag, but there was enough to create a beaded panel for a small belt pouch.  (Could be a tobacco pouch or whatever little trinket carrier.)  I left the tie long, in case he would rather use it as a necklace type or what not. 

The pouch is very soft buckskin leather, with an antler slice button for decoration.  The lacing is also all deer leather, and the decorative tassels sport brass cone dangles. 

The seed beads are size 11 square stitched together.  The pattern I used was inspired by a large Sioux beaded bag.  I took one of the aspects of the pattern and graphed it out on KG-Chart so I could stitch it more easily.  The original appeared to be lazy stitched on the bag - but I'm surprisingly horrible at that.  So I ended up fabricating the bead cloth first and then stitching it on the leather. 

Surprisingly I only stabbed my finger once with the glover's needle when stitching the bead work to the bag! 

It was a lot of fun, the first bead work I have ever stitched onto leather.  I've usually stitched it on felt or something first.  I wanted to keep it somewhat authentic to what was around during those times in that setting. 

I am NOT Native American in any means of which I have claim.  I'm not claiming to be Native through this piece.  I don't usually stay this close to real Native American patterns in bead work unless they are for my own usage at home.  I only kept this one close, since my giftee has serious interest in this particular type of reenactment.  I made sure to stress in the note included that this is NOT authentic, nor is it Native handcrafted. 
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26  Halibut Otolith Earrings in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Listessa on: November 26, 2012 09:22:11 PM
I haven't made earrings, or even wire wrapped anything in a few years.  This project gave me a good kick in the butt to get going on it all again.  This was made to be a part of a Secret Santa Swap on another forum.

I wire wrapped a pair of halibut otolith (ear bones) with 26 gauge wire adorned with a few size 11 seed beads, a pair of drops, and one cube each. 

My giftee has a fiancee who's favorite colors are black and neon green.  The iridescence on the cubes is actually a lot more green than the photo shows, and one of the drop beads also has a nice lime-ish shimmer. 

It was very fitting to make a set with green and black for colors.  The fish ear bones came from this August when I was out with my boyfriend and his dad on their boat for a fishing trip in Prince William Sound.  We anchored up overnight at a good spot, and ended up pulling big ones up left and right.  When the fish took a break, and after I scared off a sea lion that was a little too interested in a few halibut we left on a stringer over the side of the boat, we reset the lines and got ready for bed.  We killed off the lights, and saw something amazing. 

It was pitch black out there, since we were away from civilization.  Everything that touched the water lit it up with a green trail.  All of the lines, the outline of the boat, anything we put in the water- the bio-luminescent plankton was very active.  It was one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life. 

Not only are the earrings made in someone's favorite colors, but they are a perfect reminder of the night the fish they came from was caught. 
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27  Spirit or Mojo Pouches for Twins in Completed Projects by Listessa on: October 23, 2012 12:01:42 AM
One of my long-time friends is pregnant with twin boys.  Since one of my hobbies is fur and leather stitching, especially creating items to be used for some ceremonial or spiritual intent, she asked if she could commission me to create little Mojo Pouches or Spirit Bags (whichever people care to call them) for her babies.  They are something special that she wants to use to keep small tokens as her boys grow.  That way she can give them to the boys when they are old enough if they wish to have a special keepsake.

Of course I didn't let her commission me - I made them for her as a gift for her Mother's Blessing! 
She gave me all of the specifics:  the size is approximately 3" X 5", she wanted the materials to be entirely deer plus the other chosen animals (including the stitching), the colors were to be natural browns along with blue and green. 
Anything else was to be the sort of good fortune, happiness, protection type symbolism for a child.

Here they are with closed flaps. 

There are the open flaps- the toggle button area is more visible in this one. 

Both bags have the same base, and are of the same pattern.  I sort of made the pattern up as I went, since I had the brilliant idea of designing something totally different starting around midnight one night.  On the cool side of things, when I went to bed I had a dream about finishing them- so my subconscious figured out the bumps in the road as I slept.

The bags are entirely deer leather, including the lacing.  The super skinny lacing on the sides and the toggles was hand cut from a regular lace piece, I used some large sheers and cut each strip into thirds.  The blue and green drawstring laces were originally white, and given new dye jobs by my super helpful boyfriend.  (For some reason I couldn't find any colors at the usual stores this year!)  They are tipped with little copper cones to add a bit of jingle, and for the beneficial properties of copper. 

All of the stitching is done with real deer sinew as well.  That is seriously hard work as compared to thread.  I'm not sure if I will undergo that again for a while...  All of the holes had to be made with an awl or a punch, good thing my boyfriend does some leather work so his tools were handy!  It would have taken ages and been inaccurate if I was left to my own devices with a razor knife or box cutter.

I think it only took me about 4 nights to make these, complete with troubleshooting time. 


This bag has a flap made of Caribou hide.  The scrap I cut it from needed a little help, as someone prior managed to get glue or paper mache or something all over the fur on one side.  A little work with a wet paper towel and some brushing brought it back to life!
The beads and buttons are slices of caribou antler, and the tip of an antler tine. 

This bag is the Buffalo bag.  The flap is a piece re-purposed from what was once a pillow.  I ran the fur brush through it a few times to fluff it back up and take out any mats. 
The toggles are buffalo teeth with some horn (hypothetically buffalo) beads to add dangle.     

On the inside:

Each bag has an identical packet.  They are made of the last bit of leather that the bags were cut from, and tied with a piece of elk leather lacing.  I put together some special stones from my collection, so they each have the same things inside. 

She was blown away when I let her unwrap them!  All she expected were some basic square drawstring pouches with maybe some accents.   Grin  I was really happy to do something extra special for her, since we have been good friends for over 12 years! 

Now I really want to make one for myself with some wolf fur scraps I have hanging around, and possibly some salmon leather if I see some available at the store!

Questions or comments welcome!  If you would like more detail on stitching with sinew, or fur and leather stitching in general, feel free to ask.  I have a ton of pictures of the pouch process and would be happy to share or write a tutorial on that type of stitching if people are so inclined.
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28  Re: Big Project Stitch A-long 2012 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by Listessa on: October 07, 2012 10:14:26 PM
I made a bit of progress.  I stopped for a while when I first brought my bunny home.  Now he's more independent and hangs out with me when I stitch.  If only the same would be true of my boyfriend...

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29  Re: Big Project Stitch A-long 2012 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by Listessa on: August 04, 2012 01:38:54 AM
Thanks WrecksTangle!  I just took two days in a row off- nooo!  (I spent ages at the fair looking at the rabbits this evening.)

The red grid lines are that Ez Count Guideline stuff.  It was the very best cross stitch aid I ever started using, especially with evenweave or linen.  I was going insane with buggy eyes on this darn dragon before.  

Those daily progress pictures are excellent.  Now I find I'm waiting all day long to work on it rather than looking at it in the evening and dreading it.  I no longer feel like any work is futile- I flip through the past few working days and see how much filled in each evening!


That's from the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Yeah, I stayed up really late stitching while watching DVDs of Supernatural.  
It doesn't show that well, but a whole bunch of the very light blue area by the dragon's chest is now filled in since the prior picture.  It was an evening full of fill in the blank, but boy is it great to have it done!
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30  Re: Big Project Stitch A-long 2012 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by Listessa on: August 03, 2012 02:32:37 AM
@Listessa: I remember that cross stitch from 2010! I'm so excited to see you have found the motivation to stitch again Smiley

Thanks so much!  It's such a good feeling to work on it once again too.  I really like the larger boarder on your piece.  It's awesome to see the variety of games together, and the new style boarder really makes it pop!

Here's my update as of last night.  Tonight I didn't end up stitching.  I got sucked into a crossword puzzle and cryptogram or two.  Oops...  Tomorrow is a day off, and I think it will be a stitching day since it's supposed to be rainy.

Toralune- I love that pattern!  Don't worry too much about the adding beads part, it's really a piece of cake.  You have a nice start there!

One thing I just started to do that seems to really help me with the big project is taking a picture after each day you worked on it.  That way when you feel like you haven't done anything, you can flip back to a couple of days prior and really see your progress. 
I just started doing that.  Eventually I want to make an in process photo collage or maybe just a slideshow on the computer.  Smiley  (I don't want to bore everyone here with daily pictures, plus I'm lazy about uploading.)
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