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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Harry Potter Espresso Patronum Marauders Map Travel Mug on: May 03, 2017 07:11:13 AM
For a private swap, I made my friend studioANF a Harry Potter themed mug. I bought a customizable travel mug from Starbucks and made the insert for it. The insert is all hand drawn/inked featuring bits of the Marauders Map, and new kind of spell Wink "Espresso Patronum" instead of "Expecto Patronum". Also, lots and lots of glitter because that's her favorite right up there with coffee. Wink Unfortunately forgot to take pictures of the insert before putting it into the mug, so there's no good pictures of the texture on the paper I used.

2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Steampunk Octopus Assemblage Sculpture on: May 02, 2017 12:21:59 PM
I had the pleasure of being partnered with Wulf in the recent Assemblage Art Swap. The swap details were fairly open ended without theme specifications or other limitations. I've seen some Steampunk themed items on Wulf's Pinterest and am also fond of the theme. After seeing an octopus somewhere, I got an itch to make a very steampunk inspired octopus that wound up evolving quite a bit from my original plan. It's mostly made up of tea tins and galvanized wire. There's a chain on the front that can be used to hang it on the wall, and a little hook for storing the chain if not being used.

The eyes are chocolate tins (from Trader Joe's) with little assemblage displays inside their "portholes". On the outside, one is "copper" colored and the other is "stainless steel" colored with touches of patina and rust accents.

The base of the body is a tea tin with scraps of other tea tins soldered to give the head a more octopus shape. The base of the legs are also scraps of tea tin mostly. There was also one cigar tube and a pretty metal trinket box in the mix. The ends of the legs have lots of curly shapes that incorporate bits and baubles - sea glass, radio tubes, beads and charms, watch parts, pressure gauge pieces, and more.

The "head" also opens to reveal a little hermit creature captured inside.

A ton of soldering went into this. I scuffed up a lot of the metal bits with sandpaper and smudged on some black paint to make it have a bit of a greasy look.
3  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Tightrope Walking or Dancing Bear! on: April 01, 2017 07:29:41 AM
I recently felt a strong urge to make a clever little tightrope-walking bear with a teeny little umbrella, and I'm pretty swing with how this came out!

This little bear is so talented and walks across a tightrope in all sorts of situations.

In the calm, cool or a home:
[img width=500

In the chilly woods:

Between buildings?!?! Gosh, I admire this little bear:

And when he's not on a tightrope, he's quite a cute dance partner ;P

Look at that cute face and bowtie! Grin Ok, I know, black on very dark brown doesn't show up well, but I swear he's smiling Cheesy

4  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Felted Clown Brooch on: April 01, 2017 07:05:42 AM
I recently decided to make a special wearable accessory to really show of my clowning-around nature at work and with friends. I put together this delightful clown brooch to wear! It goes so well with some of my favorite sweaters!

On a side no, I love the super colorful roving I used for his hair! My friend Arienna dyed it and I've used it on a couple other little projects too Smiley
5  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / A Couple of Foxes - Giant and Little (edit: and a polka dot fox!) on: March 05, 2017 07:29:05 AM
I knoooow I've made a number of needle-felted foxes in the past already (all listed with the last fox I posted), but I just about always jump on the opportunity to make another. And somehow they always come out incredibly different! So the first one I have to share today was made for cackle when we did the Invite-Your-Partner Swap (R29). I previously made giant hare in the Make a Friend Swap (R11), and decided the hare needed a foxy friend after cackle commented on the above mentioned last fox. So! What kind of foxy friend would a giant felted hare need? Of course a giant felted fox. This was a bigger undertaking than I expected, and I... accidentally... made the fox a bit bigger than the hare. It was pretty fun to make though Smiley

Cat for scale!

Face for more scale!

And after all this fox-felting, one of my best friends requested a fox of his own to send to his British cousin in some complicated exchange for a pretty lovely pair of beer glassed from England. So how many foxes are we at now? I've lost count.


OH! I also realized I never posted this fox from July of 2013! Poor guy... You can see I've definitely evolved in my felting techniques. He was inspired by a piece of art I foudn long ago of a polka dotted fox, and was given to deathbeforedishes in the Make-A-Friend Swap (R10)

6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Hot Air Balloon Lanterns (Baby Nursery Decoration) on: March 02, 2017 01:09:32 PM
A couple of my friends had their first baby last year in September. I consider myself fortunate/honored to have had opportunity host their baby shower at my home. I've also helped decorate for a couple other baby showers in the recent past, and I always like to make decorations for parties that can be incorporated into the baby nursery later.

For this shower, the theme was pink/gray, elephants and hot air balloons. I decided it was completely necessary to have hot air balloons actually hanging in my house, and wouldn't that also be super cute in the baby's room? Grin I used some $1 paper lanterns from Michael's value bins, some disposable plastic cups, a boat load of gesso, mod podge, and tissue paper, some cheap/tiny metal buckets, and twine to make them. I'm in love with bunting lately, so I also made teeny bunting for them with scraps of paper from a name banner I made them also!

Here's them in their new home! (yes, my living room and the baby nursery have the same light yellow walls somehow Tongue)

And a couple of detail shots:

I wish I had an earlier in progress shot to show the pre-tissue paper, but you can see I had mod podge aaaallll over the place here! Also, the lanterns started out with hot pink and black stripes and polka dots, so there were lots of layers needed before those stopped showing up...

You may notice a little traveler in one of the balloons! She was crocheted by my terrific friend studioANF with a whole family of elephants for the party! Grin
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Little Fox Girl Cloth Doll on: March 01, 2017 07:27:16 PM
I decided at the last minute to bring a homemade gift to a friend's baby's first birthday last year. I had less than 24 hours when I started, so some things came out a little wonky, but I think for a simply play doll, she came out okay. My friend and I both like foxes and have swapped each other a handful of fox themed crafted things in the past, so I thought a little fox girl was a great idea for a doll. I used only fabrics from my stash, so there's quite a mix of textures. It was really fun to throw this together and I'm hoping to make more gifts for friends' babies in the future Smiley

The dress is reversible - woodland fabric with trees and animals on the gray side, and mushrooms on the green side. The skirt is made from a vintage handkerchief.   

Her face is all hand embroidered.

I packed her and her extra skirt into a pretty box from Joann's with the hope that in the future I can make her some more outfits and she will have a nice little storage box for all her pieces.

And I also hand sewed on a homemade handmade patch on her little tush. 

I did learn several months later that a ribbon belt was a bad idea for someone who might put any small objects in her mouth, so next time, I'll just sew on the ribbon and snug up the dress so it isn't so baggy. Everything was made using free-handed patterns by me Smiley

And here's an "in action" shot of me and the happy little owner of this fox doll - photo courtesy of her grandma Grin

8   / FIBER ARTS / 2016 Featured Projects in Fiber Arts - 3rd and 4th Quarters on: January 01, 2017 12:12:29 PM
2016 Featured Projects in Fiber Arts - 3rd and 4th Quarters

Here are the featured projects for Fiber Arts from third and fourth quarters of 2016. These projects were chosen by members of the Craftster community by hitting the "This Rocks!" button and leaving lots of replies. Please give a round of applause and some love to these talented artists that represent this board!

Needle felted me! by Belladune

From Fiber to Finished Object: February Lady by Arienna

Rusty the Moth Guy by PerfectlyBohemian

Rust Dye Scarves with Picture Tutorial by Abbeeroad

Needle Felted Chinchilla by ThreeLittleCats

Practice Towels by meleriffic

Too see projects from the first quarter and other years, please visit the archive -->here<--! Smiley
9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Camping swap on: July 22, 2016 07:44:21 PM
I'm really looking forward to doing some camping during the late summer/early fall, and I'm always looking for fun camping gear. Wouldn't it be fun to have some crafted things like mits/cast iron handles, totes or roll-ups for cooking equipment/camp dishes, bottle totes, socks, gloves, hats, etc.? I feel like people are pretty creative in coming up with things that can be functional and crafted which is my favorite combo. Anyone else interested?
10  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Rusty the Moth Guy - mostly needle-felted art doll on: July 01, 2016 05:39:06 PM

I was sooo very excited to participate in the Strange Doll Swap in June, and when I got partnered with petskin for the first time in my swapping career, I was all the more excited. I decided to go with "moths" for the primary theme and "mushrooms" for the secondary theme of her list. I experimented and did somethings I don't usually do, and it was all a ton of fun. I really want to do more projects like this now Smiley

Rusty's body is needle-felted mostly of a plain white core fiber and then a nicer plain white top roving with four natural grayish insect-like arms, and dark natural wool accents around his eyes, legs, and forehead. Around his collar are bits of white wool locks from yet another batch of wool I have to give him a ruffled look. He has a fairly wimpy armature, unfortunately - I didn't realize how weighty he was going to get, and he didn't hold his pose well after handling and moving a lot. He can balance on his own, but his head looks down quite a bit Sad His legs were wrapped in jute twine with polymer clay claws to help provide a stable and durable foot.

For the non-needle felted bits, he has feathered ear tufts - each "ear" is three or four feathers stacked neatly and I built up the felting around them to hold them in and make them stand. You maaaay have noticed that Rusty has some abnormal "growth" on his back - mainly a few slender white mushrooms dotted with green and blue "moss". I made the mushrooms from polymer clay following a tutorial I found here. I added wires to the stems of the mushrooms, which are embedded into Rusty's humped back. The mossy bits are what I like to call "sweater droppings" or "wool pellets". They are the bits of balled up wool left in the corners of my garment bags when I machine wash/wet felt sweaters for craft projects. I have a couple bags of them because I always though I would find a purpose for them. Never through anything away, right? Wink They are also felted down in place. His eyes - which I am in love with - are made from big, flat beads that I had in my stash for a long while with plans to use for some steampunk-style accessories that never came to be. I layered on polymer clay with brushed on pastels to create the eyes. They are slightly insect like but not at the same time. The beads change from orange to green depending on the angle of light.

Now we are getting to the part where Rusty gets his name! The top of his moth wings were created using muslin fabric that I soaked for a few days in water filled with coffee grounds while the fabric was wrapped around rusty nails, screws, and hinges (kindly and gladly donated to me by geekgirl1000100). This was the biggest experiment of the project. I had never really dyed things by intentionally staining with things that tend to stain. I discovered that rust stain does not soak through fabric well. I attempted to get a symmetric look to the wings by doing two layers at once, but I wound up having to do one side and then the other (I had a small supply of rusty bits for this). I was really impressed by the overall result and found some things surprising. I expected the coffee to turn the fabric brownish, but it turned out more grayish. I added vinegar to the water bath because I heard it was good for making dyes brighter/hold better - I don't know about this and I'm not sure if it caused the coffee to change color either. Even though it was unplanned, I really liked the gray tinge around the outer bits of the fabric, but when I cut down the wings, I lots a lot of that. Finally, his wings are backed with felted sweater bits. I decided to intentionally mismatch the undersides of the lower wing parts since he is such a strange character, and it seemed fitting. Smiley

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