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1  Re: Embroidery Hoopla R4, Diptych Round - Gallery (SendOut 3/21/11) in The Swap Gallery by bookwyrmhole on: April 02, 2011 01:14:54 PM
Got my hoops from JacquelineD and I LOVE them!!! They're so different than anything I would ever have made.

The pictures don't do anything to capture the texture of the fabrics. I'm pretty sure the pink is a batik, and one of the grey fabrics is fuzzy AND sparkly!!! The turquoise has a gold sparkly pattern, and I love the ivory trims.

This picture does a little bit better job capturing some of the dimension.

The cherry blossoms are hand painted then attached. I suck at painting and am thoroughly amazed.

Super close up of cherry blossoms.

Thanks so much JacquelineD, they're wonderful!!

Tracking numbers say she received her hoops a few days ago, but she's on vacation so I thought I'd post some pics of what I sent her.

She said she liked old, worn-looking Union Jacks and had the saying on her wist. I really hope she likes them!

And a better shot of the flag:

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2  Book Clock in CHALLENGE 60 ENTRIES by bookwyrmhole on: March 07, 2011 04:53:02 PM
When I first read the challenge description I immediately thought of this project, as it has been on my list of things to do ever since I saw one somewhere. I'm super excited about the result.

The Book Clock!

The colors are nearly true-to-life, but in reality the book is a greenish-grey and the insides of the dots are just green. And the green coordinates very well with the green design on the spine.

I will admit I felt a little bad about defacing what could be good literature, but decided while cutting a hole in the pages that it really didn't look very good. Sorry Nick Tosches.

Went to the thrift store to find an ugly and cheap clock to disassemble, and was lucky enough to find one with pretty hands. Then I searched for a book without any writing on the cover that would be fat enough to house the clock mechanism.

I covered the spine of the book (which was water-damaged and had an embossed title) with a strip of wallpaper from one of my many wallpaper sample books, and used other coordinating wallpaper to make the numbers and dots.

Because I'm in love with this wallpaper, here's a closeup of the spine. It has gorgeous texture and almost looks like fabric. If it was fabric, I'm pretty sure I'd make my wedding dress out of it.

The hardest part was spacing the number markers out properly, but I managed to do it without a calculator or protractor.

Front view, that better shows the roman numerals and other dot markers.

Hope you all like it! Comments and criticisms welcome, especially since I'm not usually a papercrafter.
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3  Sweater Love (huge sweater to cute dress) in CHALLENGE 59 ENTRIES by bookwyrmhole on: February 03, 2011 04:22:50 PM
teaser pic for the front page:

I hate winter. It's cold and wet and terribly inconvenient. I love dresses, but lack any snow-appropriate ones. And so I hate winter even more, because it forces me to abandon all my cute dresses for not-nearly-as-cute sweaters.

Enter the giant shapeless sweater with a strange pattern:

And the awkwardly short-sleeved boy's shirt (complete with icky ribbed cuffs!):

detail shot of color and pattern:

Total cost: $3

After much cutting, pinning, sewing, and failed attempts at cleaning up all the tiny sweater bits that have taken over my house, I have a dress that I am proud to wear this winter.

I promise it doesn't pull awkwardly at the side like that, it's just the way I was standing.

Some more details for those of you who like reading:

I quickly determined that the giant sweater was not quite so giant as I had first thought, so the gray band at the waist was invented as a way to get some more length.

I then discovered that the sleeves on the sweater were also awkwardly short, so grey cuffs made from the shirt were added so that I could have the knuckle-length sleeves that I wanted.

I also used some leftover grey shirt to make removeable cuffs for my boots (which in real life are charcoal, not the light grey color seen below).

All sewn on a normal machine with a slight zig-zag stitch, except for the grey cuffs which I had to hand-sew because they were too small to get on my machine.

Another kind of dark picture that I took before I found the self-timer on my camera, but it gives more of a side-view of the dress. And I think I look cute in this picture, and that never happens.

And winter and I are now on better terms, because it decided to give me this pretty backyard instead of burying it under 2 feet of snow. Winter was also nice enough to hold off on the subzero temps so I could wear my dress today, and it was quite comfy!

Overall I'm very pleased with the results and look forward to using the remnants to make mittens and another dress.

Thanks in advance for any comments or criticisms!
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4  Re: Embroidery Hoopla R3 - OTT Edition Gallery in The Swap Gallery by bookwyrmhole on: January 15, 2011 05:58:30 PM
My hoop from Pixiefirefly was waiting for me when I got home (late) last night, and I'm just now getting to the pictures.

She sent me this lovely Union Jack, as we both feel that we may have accidentally been born in the wrong country. Do I detect a bit of crayon tinting?

And a pretty artsy close-up, because my camera continues to shock me with it's skills to this day.

Thanks to both my partners for such awesome hoops! I'm glad you liked yours!

And some more information about the hoops I made, in case anyone is interested. I made the pattern for the owl myself from a photo. Stitched using 2 strands on 22 count white aida, 14 colors. Roughly 6600 X's. I also made the pattern for the gears, this time from some clipart. Stitched using 3 colors on 14 count black aida. The red gear is actually done with rayon floss, which was a new experience for me, but I loved how shiny it was!

Thanks to everyone for the great feedback!
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5  Re: Embroidery Hoopla R3 - OTT Edition Gallery in The Swap Gallery by bookwyrmhole on: January 13, 2011 06:08:38 PM

I returned home from my first day of classes to find this lovely hoop in my mailbox from Kaytea4!!

It's a gorgeous pocket-watch with lots of little tiny gear details, some of which are done in metallic floss, which I daren't touch just yet for fear of angering the embroidery gods with my ineptitude. 

And a closer shot.

I can't fathom how she made such little roman numerals, and they are all perfectly straight!!

Thank you so much Kaytea4!! I will hang it as soon as I paint, which unfortunately is a ways off. But until then, I plan to give it a place of pride in my cabinet of awesome and show it off to all my friends, even if they do roll their eyes at me!!  Wink

All the other hoops are spectacular! I found it very difficult today to not compulsively check the gallery while in class...
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6  Re: Embroidery Hoopla Round 3 - OTT Edition! (SignUps CLOSED, SendOuts 1/10) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by bookwyrmhole on: January 04, 2011 09:22:15 AM
I FINALLY finished my late Christmas gift and am now making progress on my swap hoops.

Thought I'd post a pic so my partners know what I've been up to, besides moving!

I made silhouettes of a friend's dogs. Stitched on 18 count Aida using two strands and put in a 5x7 frame. I used nearly an entire skein of black thread but am quite proud of it now. It was the first time I made my own pattern and the first time using 18 count fabric.

Now back to my swap stitching!
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7  Red Clay Collection: Little House, Wheel Pieces, Plates, and an Octopus in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by bookwyrmhole on: July 22, 2010 01:16:30 PM
I took a beginning ceramics class the first semester of my senior year and loved it so much that I took the next class second semester. The class met two days a week for about an hour each day. By the end of the semester we had to complete 6 projects: a whistle or closed container made of 2 pinch pots, 2 wheel-thrown pieces, a slab rolled piece, a molded piece, and a coil piece. At the end of the semester I ended up with 13 completed pieces, all made of red clay. On to the eye candy.

I made a tiny cottage out of two pinch pots instead of a whistle. I worked on this for at least a month straight, including coming in on my off hours. I'm pretty happy with it, and my teacher must have been too, because she carted it around most of the year to different art shows. All those little tiny flowers took forever to make and glaze. The house is only 3 inches high without the roof pieces.

My first wheel-thrown piece. I carved out little squares and then glazed them green, but the glaze filled in the squares so you can't even tell I carved it. It's about 3 inches high.

I carved my second wheel piece to look like dripping paint and glazed it purple and a really dark blue. About the same size as the green and blue one.

Wheel-thrown and extensively trimmed. I applied the bow after. The studio ran out of white glaze so I had to paint the bow with acrylic paint after the piece was fired. I kind of like how the bow isn't shiny though.

An unfortunate accident that I would rather forget. I threw the bowl but then accidentally trimmed through the bottom. I made a saucer thing so I could use it for plants. I glazed the lower half in light green and then put dark green leaves on top, but something happened in the firing process that made it all look like one color.

Wheel-thrown and glazed with blue opalescent. Pretty self explanatory.

Wheel-thrown, but rather lopsided. I really liked the watermelon design but it developed a sad crack in the bottom in the kiln.

This is one of my favorite pieces of the bunch. Wheel-thrown and then trimmed to have a really narrow foot, which is unfortunately not visible. The dots and foot are a charcoal color, along with the bottom of the bowl on the inside. I really liked how the white flecks in the red clay showed up. It makes me want to eat ice cream out of it.

A test plate for a mold that I made, but the corner broke off. I wasn't going to glaze it at all but at the last minute covered it in an opalescent glaze called 'autumn leaf' that doesn't remind me of fall AT ALL.

Slab rolled and then molded on the mold I made with plywood and old baseboard. I cut slits in it and stamped flowers to make it look like eyelet lace. After it was fired I put the ribbon in. I wanted it to be white, but the lack of white glaze made pink the next best alternative.

Another molded plate. The background is charcoal because the black was all gone. Each of the circles also has a different texture. I really like this piece too.

Slab rolled with the lines applied to be raised. I want to hang it on a wall, but am afraid that it would break. Charcoal and black without transparent glaze.

This is Otis the Octopus, made out of really old polymer clay that was in my basement. I tried to make butterfly wings out of coils, but they fell apart. Since there weren't any firings left I made Otis at home and my teacher was nice enough to give me credit for him.

I miss ceramics so much. Sad
Comments and criticisms welcome.
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8  Green Jersey Dress with Gathered Neckline in CHALLENGE 52 ENTRIES by bookwyrmhole on: July 07, 2010 07:36:15 PM

preview pic of finished dress

So, despite the fact that I have a large collection of sheets for the express purpose of sewing, I had no idea what to make. Finally decided to chop up a really soft dark green jersey sheet my parents had used. It had some holes and odd faded spots that made cutting a large pattern piece difficult.

Beautiful sheet, right?

I frankensteined a pattern (NewLook 6705, if anyone is interested; it is a good pattern) I had to make the yokes narrower and lengthen the pattern. Hooray for large pieces of paper! And then I cut. I hate cutting cotton, and since I had never worked with jersey before, I was more frustrated than I imagined I would be. After cutting the pieces, I ran to Iowa for 6 days. This is how I made a 1 day project into a 2 week one.

I had decided to do French seams. I know that jersey doesn't fray, but I have a slight obsession with eliminating all raw edges. Hence, I doubled my sewing. I like it anyway. I won't bore you with the pinning, sewing, pinning again, and sewing again. The actual sewing is my favorite part.

Bound off the lower part of the armholes. Not to bad.

Attached the front of the dress to the front yoke. Mmm...gathers. The original pattern called for pleats.

I went on, actually following the pattern instructions, to apply the inside yoke facing. Attaching and topstiching at the neckline wasn't too bad. I like topstitiching, which is why I used black thread. (That, and the fact that I have no green thread.)

And now we enter my least favorite part of the project. When I used this pattern once before, I made a version with sleeves. Well, it turns out that when there are not sleeves, the pattern requires a large amount of tedious turning-under of edges. It is not fun to turn two different raw edges in towards each other. I will say I am proud of the result though since, as per my irrational expectations, there are no raw edges anywhere.

If you've stayed with me this long, you deserve another mediocre final-product picture. And so do I!

And, on a side note. I started another project with more of the sheet. Being a queen, there is a LOT left. I thought this would be an easy way to satisfy my Celtic knot craving, but it isn't as easy as I thought. It's nearly done now, applied to interfacing. I was planning on using it for the back yoke of some sort of flyaway jacket once I cut the interfacing away, but now I can't really decide what to do with it. It wasn't easy, and I want to make sure the finished product looks good. Any suggestions?

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9  Monopoly Jr. Storage Set: Dresser and Box in CHALLENGE 51 ENTRIES by bookwyrmhole on: June 07, 2010 08:55:45 PM
Feel free to skip ahead to the pictures.

I initially didn't plan on entering this challenge since I didn't have any ideas. Then I had an idea, but it required a Monopoly game, which I couldn't find in a whole day of garage-saling. Finally found a Monopoly Jr. game at the thrift store and decided it would suffice. Looking at the finished product, I actually think it worked better.

I wanted to make a storage dresser thing, and am happy to say I succeeded. First some in progress pics, but there are more finished pics at the bottom.

My raw materials. Standard game. Chance cards, money, houses, board, box and car movers. My version didn't have a dice though.

I started by murdering my game board with a utility knife, which is now my best friend. One group of pieces would eventually become drawer fronts and the long door on the finished dresser. The four corner pieces became the lid of my box. The other two pieces (with the railroads) will eventually become a second, two-drawer dresser, but I ran out of time. (That is what a Friday morning epiphany will do)

I made a structure for the drawer stack and the actual drawers out of some lightweight cardboard I had lying around. Craft glue is also my new best friend.

I then made a box that would be the space behind the Chance door. Before I glued it completely together and to the dresser stack I papered the inside of it with money. This is probably my favorite part of the finished product.

One side of the finished dresser. This is made of about half of the board and a monopoly logo from the side of the box. The awesome red trim is this really cool vinyl tape that I found in my garage. Also my new best friend.

The other side of the finished dresser, made of the other half of the board and another Monopoly logo.

The top of the dresser is tiled with Chance cards, but only the ones with good pictures. And more red tape.

The front of the dresser. I tried really hard to get the drawer fronts to lie flush, and am very pleased to say that I succeeded. And the door stays closed. I also made sure to color all of my raw cardboard edges with a Sharpie or cover them with tape. I'd like to think that the finished product is really clean with nice straight edges. You can also see my drawer pulls made of the little houses. I like that part a lot too.

Another view of the finished dresser, to show that the drawers actually work. I'm saving the best one for last. Note to self: remove unsightly masking tape after glue dries before taking pictures.

The finished box. I was thinking of making the corner pieces into doors on another dresser, but I liked the way they fit together so much that I used them that way instead. And I love that the game instructions are on the inside.

Last picture, I promise. This shows the awesome money-paper on the inside of the door and in all the drawers. Also note the Monopoly logo on the inside of the drawer. Now to explain my favorite (and nerdy) part ever. The drawers were arranged from largest to smallest, bottom to top. This just happened to also correspond with the prices of the properties on each drawer, $4, $3, $2, and $1, again from bottom to top. I then randomly glued houses on each piece. When I started to line the drawers with money, I realized that the $4 money was green, totally matching the bottom drawer! The same happened with the next two. The top drawer isn't as cool because there isn't any red money, but I think white goes just fine with the red house. It was a very happy accident.

Once I finish the second dresser, I will have used nearly everything included in the game. There is none of the board left and most of the box will be used up. Probably will have some leftover houses. jewelry maybe...

Hope you guys like it, C&C appreciated and asked for! I'll be sure to update when I finish the second dresser.
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10  Ugly Chairs and Afghan to Awesome Chairs, Cushions and Scarf! in CHALLENGE 45 ENTRIES by bookwyrmhole on: December 05, 2009 07:08:41 PM

This is a rather wordy and pic-heavy explanation, so feel free to skip to the end.

I went to the local thrift store on Saturday with my mom in search of a b-day present for my brother hoping to stumble across something ugly. My brother hated what we got him, but I did get lucky!

Browsing the furniture section I ran into (literally, I almost tripped!) a stack of very ugly wire chairs. Dirty, rusty, white metal-covered plastic. Gross. I sat in one on a whim, and was surprised to discover that it was very comfortable. So, I found the two most structurally sound chairs (I couldn't buy all six, we have too much furniture as it is) and claimed them. Two chairs, half price: $3.99

I meandered on over to the linens section, because I get all my fabric there. And came across ugly item number 2. A beige afghan with the giant words "Morrison Homes" plastered over it. I don't know where it came from, but the purple on the back was cool, and I sort of liked the flourishy-things on the corners. One brand new, ugly afghan, half price: $3.50.

I had to leave at that point, because I had too much already. (Also picked up some blue plaid wool and a silk tie, but they're really not relevant.)

I had to abandon the project until Friday because of my Calculus final, which sucked. I came home on Friday and stole some ugly green pillows that we used to have in our living room until they got stained by the dogs. Stuffing for cushions: $0.

I made them a little smaller so they'd fit better, and then started to cover them. I cut rectangles out of each of the corners the right size to cover my pillows, making sure to include the design.

I wanted to have fringe on all four sides of the cushions, because fringe makes everything awesome. Sewed up a cushion quick, and then remembered that I had chairs to paint.

I wanted the chairs to be black, so I broke out some black rust-proof paint I had from something and went at the chairs with a brush. Well, that didn't work, the paint just ran off. So I ran to the store and picked up some spray paint. That worked better, but then I ran out of paint and had to run to the store again to get more. But, I got them painted and am quite pleased. Two cans of spray paint: $5.20.

In the midst of painting the chairs I whipped out the other seat cushion while I listened to the state championship football game since my school was playing. They won, so I had to move on.

Decided I wanted cushions for the backs of the chairs, so I made some up with more afghan and some batting.

At this point I didn't have much afghan left, but I decided I had to use the ugly words for something. Sewed the center section into a scarf, which is very warm and cozy.

Now I really don't have much afghan left at all. Any suggestions for those last two pieces?

On to the real attraction, the after pictures. My awesome chairs with cushions. Don't really know what I'll use them for, but I will take them to college with me next year. I used velcro for the top cushions but didn't put any ties on the bottom ones so I can also use them as pillows. Total project cost: $12.70. Finding the useful silver lining in something ugly: Priceless.

I really enjoyed this challenge, this is the first project I've finished in a while and also my first challenge. If anyone wants more pics, including in progress, let me know because I have lots. Comments, constructive criticism welcome.
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